Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Children's Crusade

There's plenty more where they came from.

Conservatives preach that we need to do everything possible to care for the all of God's little children, from eradicating divorce to demanding that all parents are married to ensuring that parents will always be encouraged to pull themselves and their children up by their own bootstraps. Strangely, they do not mention one group of Americans whose children suffer as much, if not more, than all those ungodly liberals who don't care how their policies affect The Children. From The National Center For Children In Poverty at Columbia University:

More than two million American children have had a parent deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan.14

  • At least 19,000 children have had a parent wounded in action.15
  • Over 2,200 children have lost a parent in Iraq or Afghanistan.16

Impact of Deployments on Children’s Mental Health

Children in military families experience high rates of mental health, trauma and related problems.

Military life can be a source of psychological stress for children. Multiple deployments, frequent moves and having a parent injured or die is a reality for many children in military families.

Wartime parental deployments can be one of the most stressful events of a child’s life.17

  • Changes reported included changes in school performance, lashing out in anger, worrying, hiding emotions, disrespecting parents and authority figures, feeling a sense of loss, and symptoms consistent with depression.18
  • High levels of sadness were seen in children in all age groups.19
  • Depression was seen in about one in four children.20
  • Academic problems occurred in one in five children.21
  • Thirty-seven percent of children with a deployed parent reported that they seriously worry about what could happen to their deployed caretaker.22
  • Parents reported that one in five children coped poorly or very poorly to deployment separation.23
  • Media coverage of the war posed a significant source of stress for children and makes it much more difficult for children to cope with a parent’s deployment.24

Length of deployment was associated with mental health problems including depression, acting out, and externalizing behaviors.25

What Service Use Data Show

Service use data also indicate high need for mental health services and supports among the offspring of military personnel.

  • Outpatient mental health visits provided to children of active duty parents doubled from one million to two million between 2003 and 2008.26
  • Total days of inpatient psychiatric care for children of active duty personnel 14 and under increased from 35,000 in 2003 to 55,000 in 2008.27
  • One-third of children with a deployed parent were at “high-risk” for psychosocial issues.28

Factors associated with the negative impact of deployment on children and youth include age, the mental health of the remaining parent, re-integration, and employment status.

Age as a Risk Factor

Current research shows that a child’s response to a parent’s deployment varies by age, phase of deployment, gender, as well as other family factors. The research is mixed: but the stress of war affects children even prior to their birth.

  • Wives of deployed personnel experience more stress, a factor known to increase risk for medical complications of pregnancy.29
  • Children ages 3 to 5 with a deployed parent exhibited greater behavioral symptoms than did peers without a deployed parent.30
  • Children of military families ages 11 to 17 were found to have a higher prevalence of emotional and behavioral difficulties than children in the general population.31
  • Parental deployment places school-age children and adolescents at higher risk for a range of adverse mood and behavioral changes: anger, apathy, anxiety, depression, withdrawal, decline in school performance, loss of interest in normal activities, and social isolation.32
The war bloggers have all moved on to better, if not bigger, battles, such as the War on Women and the War on the Poor. They have carefully mended their reputations with belated horror or shrugged off the past or moved on to the next war. Authoritarian leaders and followers love war because it gives them power. They will not give up that chance to grab more power without a fight.

But a war orphan never forgets, and some never forgive. And it's not a good idea to fight someone with a soldier's blood in their veins.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Sunday Sermon On Diversity

Ross Douthat's new New York Times file photo.

Ross Douthat doesn't think much of diversity. He feels it's fake; that it's liberal and therefore self-congratulatory and hypocritical. As he described in his book about his Harvard education, he scorned Harvard for promoting diversity when the students really weren't diverse, since even the minority students usually came from money. Douthat sees no benefit in ensuring that the majority can't exclude the minority out of tribal loyalty, since tribal loyalty is what Douthat has depended on for success his entire life. If we genuinely lived in a meritocracy, which Douthat says we do, Douthat would need to be an intelligent, thoughtful, hard-working and talented writer to find success. Obviously that was not going to happen, so  Douthat depended on money and connections instead. There are very few spots at the top and keeping some of them open for someone who is not Ross Douthat is unfair because it reduces his own odds of success. Douthat managed to become successful anyway, thanks be to God, and now puts on his vestments, picks up his Bible, mounts the short staircase up to his pulpit, and begins to sermonize. He comes to us not in anger but in sorrow, to examine the actions of the parishioner Elizabeth Warren, who has sinned against her community in the Eyes of God. Sayeth "Cotton" Douthat. She has made a "clumsy" effort to explain why she believed her family story about Cherokee ancestry.
The whole story has a tragicomic, Nathaniel Hawthorne meets “Curb Your Enthusiasm” feel. It’s easy to imagine Warren originally checking a box more on a whim than out of any deep determination to self-identify as Cherokee. (She didn’t use the minority-applicant program when applying to Rutgers, where she attended law school, and she identified as “white” during an early teaching job at the University of Texas.) Then it’s easy to imagine her embarrassment when the diversity wars of the 1990s made that whimsical choice something from which she couldn’t dissociate herself without intense public awkwardness. Those wars faded, she no longer listed herself as a Native American, she thought the whole thing was behind her ... until she went into politics, where no secret stays buried. The appropriate response to such a tale is probably sympathy rather than scorn. What does deserve scorn, though, is the academic culture in which an extremely distant connection to a Cherokee ancestor ends up being touted by a law school as proof of its commitment to diversity. A diverse faculty and campus can be a laudable goal. But the point is to build academic communities that actually contain a wide variety of experiences and perspectives, not to wax self-congratulatory because you’ve met a set of ethnic quotas. The story of Elizabeth Warren, “woman of color,” represents a reductio ad absurdum of the latter tendency, which has been all too prevalent in elite universities — giving us affirmative-action programs that benefit West Indian immigrants more than the descendants of slaves, and faculties that include a wider range of skin tones than of political and religious views. (my bold)
Amen, Brother Douthat! Why aren't there more conservatives, especially religious conservatives, in elite universities? Why isn't everyone at Harvard just like Rev. Cotton Douthat? Just imagine--a world of Ross Douthats, in which it wouldn't matter that you are awkward and self-conscious, pompous and moralizing, and terminally uncool because everyone else was the same way! All the cool people would look just like you! George Clooney would have facial hair designed to point out that he does, too, have a chin, and the president of the United States would turn red when a good-looking woman looked at him. Dear God in Heaven, would that not be bliss? A Nation Of Douthats!
For many colleges and universities, then, this contretemps represents a timely gift: a chance to think anew about these issues, before the pursuit of a cosmetic diversity leaves them looking as ridiculous as poor Elizabeth Warren does today.
Why have a superficial diversity of race, nationality and gender when you can have real diversity--more fundamentalist Catholic conservatives?

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Quick (Fingered) and the (Brain) Dead

A video of a speech on inequality is making the rounds, and Megan McArdle sniffs her disapproval.

McArdle goes on to recommend the Brookings Institute's view, which says that income inequality is high but doesn't matter because it doesn't hurt the middle class. They say that if liberals want to say it does they have to prove it. Of course that has already been done, but we all know that nobody can trust those liberal facts, which often have shady motivations for being liberal. And factual.

Just as the Brookings Institute ignores unemployment, McArdle ignores the fact that the economy depends on consumer demand, not inequality. Giving all the money to the rich doesn't create jobs, as the speaker in the video says. It just makes the rich richer. The rich are not going to build factories to make things that nobody can afford to buy; they will hire more workers only when they need them.

Of course conservatives think they are winning Twitter. Why go through all that analysis and math and thinking when you can just say something "isn't very good" and your followers will agree with you immediately?

ADDED: The Thinker adds his two cents.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Hierarchy Of One. Maybe Two.

Know your place.

(Diagram from here.)

The process of denial is fascinating. It's as if an alien movie monster takes over someone's body, forcing the human to do things he doesn't want to do, then erasing any memory of the acts committed while under the influence. The poor innocent human is just a victim of this thing, this ungovernable force, and there's nothing he can do about it. But denial isn't just fascinating--it's very, very powerful. Some people create an entire alternate world in which to live, where they are powerful, good, and always right, even when they aren't.

Let's look at a conservative pundit who lives in a constant state of denial. Glenn Greenwald tried to explain to Andrew Sullivan that blind obedience to authority is not a good thing.
First, [this episode] shows the dedication some media figures and Obama followers have to glorifying and justifying whatever the President does, even when the acts being defended are the exact opposite of one another. Sullivan spent three years aggressively scorning everyone who criticized Obama’s marriage position on the ground that it’s irrelevant and inconsequential what the President thinks about marriage equality, even arguing that it’s “sad” to watch gays seek presidential approval; then, the minute Obama announces that he supports same-sex marriage, Sullivan takes the lead role in depicting this act as the Peak of Human Courage and Integrity, one of monumental significance, while he all but crusades for Obama’s instantaneous Sainthood. Given how effusive Sullivan now is about the incalculable importance of Obama’s support for same-sex marriage — for gay youth, for equality generally, for all that is Good and Noble in Our Politics — doesn’t he at least owe an apology to all those gay activists who endured Sullivan’s condescending scorn when they were trying to pressure Obama to “evolve”?
Of course not. Leaders lead, the direction is irrelevant because the followers just want to follow. Therefore Sullivan was merely doing his duty when he rebuked those who disagreed with him. Sullivan always does his duty when he must look after his own interests. It is wrong to deny gays civil rights when Sullivan wants civil rights. It's also wrong to deny Sullivan a war when he wants to go to war. It's wrong to take money from Sullivan and give it to the poor. It's terrible to embarrass Sullivan by dragging down the good names of Republicans like Sullivan. We could go on. Andrew Sullivan did apologize for his action, but he will continue to make the same "mistake" over and over until he realizes, as driftglass says, that there is a club and Andrew Sullivan is not in it. Sullivan places himself above his fellow conservatives by flouting their basic tribal laws of identity, loyalty and conformity. Conservatives must publicly conform to their authority or they will be rejected. And this is where denial enters our picture. Sullivan simply denies that his tribe exists solely to preserve the power structure of its leaders. And he denies, even more vehemently, that he is one of those pathetic powerless people on the left.

First, as Greenwald shows, Sullivan repeatedly pushes the followers into line behind Obama.
Will Obama Evolve In A Few Hours? Obama is sitting down with ABC News today for an interview which will, in part, address his excruciating non-position on marriage equality. Some are saying he will make news. I doubt it, and I don't much care. The Congress and the states are the players here - not the president. And this desperate desire among some gays for some kind of affirmation from one man is a little sad.
We know Sullivan felt the same way because he said so. From the Mediaite article that Greenwald links to:
When asked how important Obama’s move was, Sullivan responded “hugely important” and said he didn’t know how important it would be until it happened. Through muted tears, Sullivan explained the impact of Obama’s announcement for gay Americans like himself: “Beforehand, I was kind of steeled. I was like, ‘I didn’t care; he’s going to disappoint us again.’ And then I sat down and watched our president tell me that I am his equal. And that I’m not going outside – I’m fully part of this family. And to hear the president who is in some ways a father figure speak to that – the tears came down like with many people in our families.” “I never understood the power of a president’s words until that day,” Sullivan continued. “This man saying, ‘I’m with you. I get it. You’re like me. I am like you. There is nothing between us.’” Sullivan went on to say that the gravity of that moment was “overwhelming.”
Despite his denials, being excluded from full membership to the club was very painful to Sullivan. "You’re like me. I am like you," he rejoices.  I am accepted, loved, wanted. It is what every unaccepted child longs for. Sullivan denies that his joy is in finally being accepted by his authority, however. He says it's just joy in achieving a long-sought goal of public equality.
I will leave it to you, dear readers, to decide if what I said above was "creepy", as Glenn Greenwald has it. It seems to me I was completely candid about the emotions that flooded my frontal cortex in the wake of Obama's ABC News interview. I did not say they undermined my core point that technically the president doesn't matter on this matter. It is possible both to assess the limited practical impact of an interview and express emotion at the same time. Still, Glenn and I have different temperaments. He's perfectly entitled to label me a pathetic, sappy human being for being moved by the great cause of my life finally finding a home in the Oval Office. But it's deeply unfair to accuse me, especially on the issue of gay rights, of being a sycophant to this president. On this very blog, I often lacerated Obama and the administration when I thought they were dragging their feet - on the HIV ban, on the DOJ's original defense of DOMA, and especially on gays in the military, when I went on CNN to accuse the president of "betrayal". I wasn't a terribly reliable hagiographer then, was I? And you can read my cover-essay and see if it is pure hagiography, as opposed to a genuine judgment of a political and moral evolution. As to my reference to Obama as a father figure on the Chris Matthews Show, after constantly saying that we shouldn't be looking for a father figure, well: consider me busted. The power of a president's words did surprise me. The president is the head of state. When he speaks, history is being made. When a president uses that authority to express solidarity with gay citizens and their families, and to assert his belief in their core equality, for the first time ever, I'm not going to apologize for being moved, just as I was moved by the sight of an African-American being sworn into the presidency in the first place. And forgive me, but if someone had told me two decades ago that by 2012, a black president would be endorsing gay marriage, I would have asked where he got that stuff he was smoking. Glenn is a fantastic blogger and a friend. I'm sure my occasional sentiment irritates him as much as his detached purism sometimes baffles me. But I am not a toady to power; in this village, I am more of a feral creature. I have excoriated presidents and hailed them at times. I just believe this president matters; and, for me, he now matters more. If that is a position a blogger should not take for fear of being seen as a suck-up, so be it. It's from my heart. Update: Glenn emails to say that his point was that I should apologize to those who insisted that it would matter a lot if the president said the words. I don't recall a specific individual I criticized on those grounds, but, yes, those who believed his words mattered were right and I was wrong.
Sullivan is neither a conservative nor a liberal; he belongs to a party of one, the Andrew Sullivan Party. Conservatives are the party with the economic power and the party that is eager to use its military power, so mostly Sullivan is a conservative. Liberal bloggers have no money or power but liberal leaders are willing to share power with their followers, so when it is convenient Sullivan is liberal in deed if not name. He sees this devotion to his personal wealth and advancement as fair-mindedness and, no doubt, political savvy. But he wants to be accepted for who he is, as we all do. And since he does worship power he is elated when the powerful claim him as one of their own--in his eyes, at least. The next time Sullivan wants something from the right he'll be a conservative again. He'll criticize the authoritarian followers when they conflict with his image of himself as a learned, wise and passionate man and he'll sneer at the left when they get in the way of his climb up the ladder. At the same time Sullivan is making his calculated moves to gain and maintain his personal power, he will long for and rejoice in any sign from his authority that he is an important and valuable person. His neediness is a sign of weakness and he will never acknowledge it.
Obama's journey on this has been like that of many other Americans, when faced with the actual reality of gay lives and gay relationships. Yes, there was politics in a lot of it. But not all of it. I was in the room long before the 2008 primaries when Obama spoke to the mother of a gay son about marriage equality. He said he was for equality, but not marriage. Five years later, he sees - as we all see - that you cannot have one without the other. But even then, you knew he saw that woman's son as his equal as a citizen. It was a moment - way off the record at the time - that clinched my support for him. (my bold) Today Obama did more than make a logical step. He let go of fear. He is clearly prepared to let the political chips fall as they may. That's why we elected him. That's the change we believed in. The contrast with a candidate who wants to abolish all rights for gay couples by amending the federal constitution, and who has donated to organizations that seek to "cure" gays, who bowed to pressure from bigots who demanded the head of a spokesman on foreign policy solely because he was gay: how much starker can it get? My view politically is that this will help Obama. He will be looking to the future generations as his opponent panders to the past. The clearer the choice this year the likelier his victory. And after the darkness of last night, this feels like a widening dawn.
Five months before the election, Obama expresses support for gay marriage. Sullivan acknowledges the calculation of the move but denies that it is calculated. He chooses to believe that Obama "evolved" and came around to Sullivan's point of view. Obama "let go of fear." The President of the United States personally accepted Mr. Andrew Sullivan, gay Republican. He could have no greater happiness in this world. The same selfish and authoritarian impulse that compelled Sullivan to cheer for military adventure under Bush compelled Sullivan to praise civil rights advancements under Obama.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Reasoning With Authoritarians

Jonah Goldberg isn't stupid because he is the son of Lucianne Goldberg, American Medusa. Or because he needed to be both a legacy pledge and an affirmative action recipient to be accepted by a university. Or because he is a conservative and conservatives have dumber brains. Jonah Goldberg is stupid because he chooses to be stupid.

He chooses to ignore any information he does not like and he chooses gloating, goading, or insulting instead of thinking. He is stupid by choice and nothing will change that.

The only option is to tease him until he cries and runs home to his mommy.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

On The Use Of Cliches

The Jonah Goldberg Intellectual Society meets to read and discuss his latest book.

Jonah Goldberg in The Tyranny Of Cliches:
Hindsight Is 20/20

How often do we hear people say we must “get on the right side of history,” as if they know their own history? “When they say it, what do people mean?” asks my National Review colleague Jay Nordlinger. They may mean “my side,” or “the good side,” or “the side that posterity will smile on.” People may be alluding to the ultimate triumph of liberal democracy. Or they may be alluding to the ultimate triumph of socialism, or a stricter form of collectivism. For generations, the Left has assumed that history marches with them: Get out of the way, or be crushed. The phrase has what British historian Robert Conquest calls a “Marxist twang.” The Marxists believed that history was predictable and unidirectional, so of course there must be a right side and a wrong side to it. The candle makers were on the wrong side, the lightbulb makers the right side. But history doesn’t work like that. There were times when it was obvious that technology aided tyrants and there have been times— much like our own—when it seemed equally obvious that technology must liberate the individual. The truth is, it must do neither. As Richard Pipes tells Nordlinger, “The whole notion is nonsensical.” To which Nordlinger adds, “History does not have sides, although historians do.” Marxism surely contributed to the idea that there’s a right side to history, but the chief culprit is the arrogance of the present (Marxism, one could say, is a subspecies of this arrogance). We look back on the past and see it as prologue to our moment in time. History becomes a movie for which we know the ending and we think the characters of yesteryear are fools for not seeing it, too. Like the idiot teenager who declares, “I’ll search the attic” in a horror movie, we marvel at the stupidity of earlier generations. (my bold)
Liberals think that their side of history is the right and therefore the only side of history, unlike conservatives. Liberals are arrogant; they think they are smarter than past people and that they know what the future will bring, and that it will go in only one direction--theirs. Unlike conservatives.

Jonah Goldberg in an interview about his book:
But on the broad sweep and thrust of it, almost all of the criticisms [of Liberal Fascism] to me seemed ill founded, ill tempered, and off the mark. And going through it, I was like, holy crap. You know, if this is the best that the living—that the leaders or the leading scholars of fascism have to say about my book, then man, I did a pretty good job. And so I sort of concentrated on—what’s his name—Robert Paxton, who was sort of—he himself considers himself the dean of living American scholars of fascism, and I went point by point through his assertions, and if memory serves—I mean, people are free to go back and look themselves—I think I rebutted all—if not every single one of his claims, then, you know, ten of twelve, pretty authoritatively. And if that’s what the dean of fascism studies had to throw at me, then I felt okay. Because until then, you know, when I was working on the book, it was so other-worldly, the stuff I was reading and the conclusions I was drawing. I was getting very nervous that man, I am heading out into crank territory. And you know, what am I—and I started to restrict myself to sources that were entirely mainstream, just trying to be careful. And I kept waiting when the first reviews came out for somebody to sort of catch me getting me something colossally wrong, like just totally missing it, or convincing me of how stupid I was. And that review never materialized. And it wasn’t until the History News Network thing that I finally said, okay, just the hell with these people. I think history is going to continually move to my direction. And I’m perfectly fine with what I wrote in the broad scheme of things.(my bold)
If you think that Jonah Goldberg is being a hypocrite for saying that liberals are arrogant and wrong for saying that the future will agree with them, and then going right ahead and saying that the future will agree with him, you could not be more wrong. Goldberg is not being a hypocrite because the future really will agree with him because conservatives are right and liberals are wrong. It's proven by the Circle Of Argument.
No, the reason why I find Cohn’s argument so useful is that it illustrates the progressive mind-set so perfectly. Cohn argues that LBJ made a covenant with the American people—a covenant is a sacred contract— to ensure that the poor would henceforth and forever get comprehensive medical insurance. Here’s the problem: Presidents cannot bind future presidents, never mind future Congresses. Any law can be revisited, any presidential decree may be rescinded. One would hope that Cohn would recognize this fact given that his magazine routinely argues that not even the Constitution itself should be considered permanently binding and restrictive (which is to say it shouldn’t permanently bind or constrict progressives in ways they find inconvenient). What offends Cohn and his fellow progressives is the suggestion that any liberal victory once pocketed can ever be reversed. Laws and words have no binding power on future generations, but once Team Progressive puts points on the scoreboard, they can never come off . That is what is sacred, because their conception of history only goes in one direction.

This is the living, breathing heart of the progressive worldview. It is as ideological as any conviction can be. And that is fine. There is nothing wrong and a great deal that is right with having ideological convictions. What is offensive to logic, culturally pernicious, and, yes, infuriating to me is the claim that it is not an ideological tenet. Progressives lie to themselves and the world about this fact. They hide their ideological agenda within Trojan Horse clichés and smug assertions that they are simply pragmatists, fact finders, and empiricists who are clearheaded slaves to “what works.”

ADDED: Goldberg is not impressed that liberals think it is inevitable that gays will gain all the same civil rights that straights have.
It just so happens that “the right side of history” is one of the topics I discuss early in the book. My chief problem with the “right side of history” argument is that it is used an appeal to the authority of an imagined future that hasn’t even happened yet. It is a way of saying to your opponents: you should give up not because your arguments are wrong but because you will eventually lose anyway. It is an attempt to demoralize your opponents not engage them. ... Anyway, we may yet come to a point where gay marriage is an unremarkable institution in everyday life in the United States, but if we do it won’t be because it will be inevitable. Very little in the affairs of men is inevitable.
How on earth can anyone think history will move in his direction?

Friday, May 11, 2012

He Meant To Do That

Oops. He's one of the right's most brilliant intellectuals, you know.

The Tyrannay Of Cliches: A Closer Look

As we pointed out earlier, there is a strange diversion of style and content in Jonah Goldberg's work, in which he relates snippets of history in a somewhat formal, apparently scholarly manner but otherwise uses an informal and conversational style. Goldberg will start out informally:

After an eighteen-month campaign, all of the informed, conscious, and ideologically consistent voters have already made up their minds. All that’s left are the undecided centrists, who actually think they have the more sophisticated and serious position; their indecision comes, actually, by virtue of the fact they’ve either not paid much attention until way too late in the game, or more simply, they’re a**holes who think they must be at the center of the universe.
Now, hold on, I mean that in a fairly literal way. Let me explain.

As always, Goldberg states that people who don't agree with him are stuck-up and egotistical. Those leftists think they're so smart with their facts and arguments when they really are liars who think they know everything. Their liberal facts are wrong and Goldberg's conservative facts are right, because everything is a matter of interpretation, not actual historical record.

Behold and marvel, for nearly every word is a lie, smear, misunderstanding or irony. Meet formal, scholarly Jonah:

The notion that the center is a place of privilege and esteem has a very long pedigree, with a somewhat anti-Catholic bias.

This entire paragraph has nothing to do with political centrism. Goldberg wanted to cover the liberal lying cliche that the Catholic Church is anti-science. He is writing a handy-dandy debating manual for conservatives so they can defeat their neighbors and relatives in conversation. For the left are cheaters who win arguments and debates by lying.
For instance, you may have heard that Galileo dealt the Western, Christian mind a devastating blow when he confirmed that Copernicus was right. The Earth revolves around the Sun and the Sun is at the center of the solar system (i.e., heliocentrism).

Because the left rejoices in destroying Western civilization and Christians especially and everything, even the positions of the planets, must glorify the authority. When an alternate authority arises the authoritarian follower becomes confused and this threatens the power of the leaders.
John Bargh, a scientist at Yale, says in David Brooks' The Social Animal that Galileo “removed the Earth from its privileged position at the center of the universe.”

First, let us marvel at the use of centrist David Brooks to attack centrism. Or any use at all. Second, Goldberg cannot imagine that it is possible to look at a fact or truth impartially. Either the fact aids and flatters him and is therefore conservative, or it does not, and it is liberal.
The Britannica Concise Encyclopedia tells us that the “[d]ethronement of Earth from the center of the universe caused profound shock.”

Goldberg seems to think that people were upset because they were no longer, literally, the center of the universe. The little matter of whether Galileo had disproven the inerrancy of the Bible and Pope is ignored.

The less reliable but more relied upon Wikipedia agrees: “[T]he transition between these two theories met much resistance, not only from the Catholic Church, which was reluctant to accept a theory not placing God’s creation at the center of the universe, but also from those who saw geocentrism as a fact that could not be subverted by a new, weakly justified theory.” Get that? The Church opposed heliocentrism because it couldn’t handle man’s “dethronement” from the center of the universe; meanwhile, other, more sensible, opponents objected because they thought the science was weak.
Because people never declare that the science is weak to avoid unpleasant realities. Many astronomers refused to even look through Galileo's improved telescope to see if he was right.
Inconceivable that the Church might have thought the science was weak, too.

It's very odd that this brilliant conservative historical scholar does not think of looking at the Catholic Church's statement on Galileo. We don't have to theorize; we can see what they actually said:

Whereas you, Galileo, son of the late Vaincenzo Galilei, Florentine, aged seventy years, were in the year 1615 denounced to this Holy Office for holding as true the false doctrine taught by some that the Sun is the center of the world and immovable and that the Earth moves, and also with a diurnal motion; for having disciples to whom you taught the same doctrine; for holding correspondence with certain mathematicians of Germany concerning the same; for having printed certain letters, entitled "On the Sunspots," wherein you developed the same doctrine as true; and for replying to the objections from the Holy Scriptures, which from time to time were urged against it, by glossing the said Scriptures according to your own meaning: and whereas there was thereupon produced the copy of a document in the form of a letter, purporting to be written by you to one formerly your disciple, and in this divers propositions are set forth, following the position of Copernicus, which are contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture:
This Holy Tribunal being therefore of intention to proceed against the disorder and mischief thence resulting, which went on increasing to the prejudice of the Holy Faith, by command of His Holiness and of the Most Eminent Lords Cardinals of this supreme and universal Inquisition, the two propositions of the stability of the Sun and the motion of the Earth were by the theological Qualifiers qualified as follows:

The proposition that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from its place is absurd and false philosophically and formally heretical, because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scripture.

The proposition that the Earth is not the center of the world and immovable but that it moves, and also with a diurnal motion, is equally absurd and false philosophically and theologically considered at least erroneous in faith.

But whereas it was desired at that time to deal leniently with you, it was decreed at the Holy Congregation held before His Holiness on the twenty-fifth of February, 1616, that his Eminence the Lord Cardinal Bellarmine should order you to abandon altogether the said false doctrine and, in the event of your refusal, that an injunction should be imposed upon you by the Commissary of the Holy Office to give up the said doctrine and not to teach it to others, not to defend it, nor even to discuss it; and your failing your acquiescence in this injunction, that you should be imprisoned. In execution of this decree, on the following day at the palace of and in the presence of the Cardinal Bellarmine, after being gently admonished by the said Lord Cardinal, the command was enjoined upon you by the Father Commissary of the Holy Office of that time, before a notary and witnesses, that you were altogether to abandon the said false opinion and not in the future to hold or defend or teach it in any way whatsoever, neither verbally nor in writing; and upon your promising to obey, you were dismissed.

And in order that a doctrine so pernicious might be wholly rooted out and not insinuate itself further to the grave prejudice of Catholic truth, a decree was issued by the Holy Congregation of the Index prohibiting the books which treat of this doctrine and declaring the doctrine itself to be false and wholly contrary to the sacred and divine Scripture.


We say, pronounce, sentence, and declare that you, the said Galileo, by reason of the matters adduced in trial, and by you confessed as above, have rendered yourself in the judgment of this Holy Office vehemently suspected of heresy, namely, of having believed and held the doctrine—which is false and contrary to the sacred and divine Scriptures—that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from east to west and that the Earth moves and is not the center of the world; and that an opinion may be held and defended as probably after it has been declared and defined to be contrary to the Holy Scripture; and that consequently you have incurred all the censures and penalties imposed and promulgated in the sacred canons and other constitutions, general and particular, against such delinquents. From which we are content that you be absolved, provided that, first, with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, you abjure, curse, and detest before use the aforesaid errors and heresies and every other error and heresy contrary to the Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church in the form to be prescribed by us for you.
And in order that this your grave and pernicious error and transgression may not remain altogether unpunished and that you may be more cautious in the future and an example to others that they may abstain from similar delinquencies, we ordain that the book of the “Dialogues of Galileo Galilei” be prohibited by public edict.
We condemn you to the formal prison of this Holy office during our pleasure, and by way of salutary penance we enjoin that for three years to come you repeat once a week at the seven penitential Psalms. Reserving to ourselves liberty to moderate, commute or take off, in whole or in part, the aforesaid penalties and penance.
And so we say, pronounce, sentence, declare, ordain, and reserve in this and in any other better way and form which we can and may rightfully employ.
The Catholic Church might or might not have doubted the science but they certainly squashed the scientist whose discoveries cast doubt on their authority.
It took a long time to make a scientifically persuasive case that the Earth isn’t the center of the universe and that it revolves around the Sun. If you can’t sympathize with that, please stop referring to the rising and setting of the sun across our sky, since we are the ones moving, not it. The theological reason men stuck with the old scientific paradigm had nothing to do with arrogance and everything to do with humility. And there’s the rub. The real arrogance here is on the part of those who see the past as populated with unsophisticated bumpkins, as if ignorance of scientific truth is the same thing as stupidity. But if in fifty years it’s discovered that there’s life on Mars, does that mean future generations can look at us today and legitimately say, “Look at those idiots, they didn’t even know there was life on Mars”?
It's not that the Church hierarchy was trying to preserve power in the face of the Protestant Reformation, it's just that nobody knows anything ever and it's only humble to admit it, unlike those stuck-up scientists who think ordinary, God-fearing Italians from the Heartland are stupid. 
We find the same sort of bias in glib assertions about “flat-earthism.” We’ve all heard about how Columbus proved to the skeptics that the world was round (the basis for one of my favorite Bugs Bunny cartoons). It’s not true, as we will see in a moment. But first of all, is it really so crazy that people five hundred or a thousand years ago might have thought the world was flat? Really? Cut some slack for the people who lived without powerful telescopes, satellites, and the rest for at least considering this a somewhat open question. Anyway, it’s simply not true that medieval Christianity taught that the world is flat. This myth, like many others discussed later in this book, stems from the biases of Protestant historians in the nineteenth century, who were eager to paint the Catholic Church as a giant wet blanket on scientific and human progress (see Chapter 21, The Catholic Church). Hence the myth that the Church tortured and imprisoned Galileo for his confirmation of Copernicus’s findings. There’s a legitimate question of whether he was in a jail cell for three days—or not at all. But he certainly wasn’t tortured. More important, the people who most ardently clamored for the Church to silence and punish Galileo were his jealous, lesser, scientific colleagues, not the theologians. When Galileo’s heretical Starry Messenger was released, the Vatican threw a huge book party for him.

 Galileo was under house arrest for the rest of his life and forbidden to even discuss his work. Was he tortured?
[...T]he Pope informedthe Tuscan ambassador Francesco Niccolini that the new book did not discuss Copernicus in a hypothetical way but rather presented its case in an assertive and conclusive way (McMullin, 2009: 205‐207). The interrogation period during the trial had as its goal to get the subject to confess his errors. To aid the church investigators in this process, Finocchiaro (2004:11) argues that torture was probably used on Galileo. The Inquisition, he writes, “conducted a ‘rigorous examination’ of the accused. . . . The term rigorous examination was the standard inquisitorial jargon for torture.”14 Many authors (Kelly, 1995: 281) acknowledge that torture or the threat of torture was probably used on Galileo, but what type was utilized? Did interrogators use verbal threats, visits to dungeons where physical torture was performed, or was there actual infliction of physical pain? It suffices to say that given the general agreement that torture was injected in the trial process, we have to seriously question the truth value of Galileo’s responses to questions and his confession. After all, he was close to 70 years‐old and suffering from various ailments. He more than likely said things church officials wanted to hear.

Why does Goldberg choose to believe that Galileo wasn't punished by the authoritarian Catholic Church? Because the idea that the Church attacked and punished Galileo for his scientific observations and conclusions is unpopular with Catholic apologetics. Why does Goldberg care what Catholic apologetics think? Many Catholics are conservative and the right depends on identity politics as much as they criticize it. Religion belongs to the right, science belongs to the left. Of course Goldberg will support a pope dead for hundreds of years over historical facts. And right here, in The Tyranny of Cliches, is all the proof anyone needs that the facts are conservative, not liberal.

Stupid liberals think they're so smart. Jonah knows better. Robert Nisbet said that other scholars were jealous of Galileo so the Church did not persecute the astronomer. Medieval Christianity did not teach that the earth was flat so the Church was not anti-science.

And the Vatican threw a book party for Galileo.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Please, Kind Sir, Buy My Book

Reading between the lines, it seems that Po' Jonah Goldberg was a wee bit disappointed in his loyal and adoring fans, who did not rush the bookstores to buy his latest, The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Think They're So Smart When They're Really Not."


Some nice emails today in response to my admittedly heavy-handed G-File (though it really wasn’t intended to sound so guilt-mongering, I was just writing very, very, fast that’s what came out).
Here’s one:
Subject: Be of good cheer
I finished the Kindle edition of TOC, and immediately ordered 7 copies and gave them to the members of our high school debate team. We started discussing the book yesterday. No one has finished it yet, but we all agree that it is going to be an excellent weapon for us next year. We all had stories of encountering your examples in debate rounds (me and the other coaches while judging). The universal response was some variant of “They used that ‘one man’s terrorist’ crap on us at Princeton, and I wish I had had this answer ready!”So to your list of comforting accomplishments, you can add the fact that, thanks to J. Goldberg, the Randolph-Macon Academy Debate Team is going to kick some serious ass in the fall.
And another, from a longtime reader:

3) Good news: I touted ToC to the Face book crowd. Bad news: I did so by
sort of accusing you of intercepting my thoughts. To wit–

Jonah Goldberg’s new book arrived today, and–wow–it’s like he’s been stealing thoughts from directly inside my brain. Like  this one:
“Now when it comes to enlightenments I’ve long followed the ruleof the dad in So I Married an Axe Murderer: ‘If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap.’”
 I swear I said the exact same thing myself just the other day…

And finally, damn libraries! Here’s hoping Mitt Romney takes care of them once he’s elected!
Subject: LOVE the new book
Jonah, today’s G-File only added to the guilt I was already feeling: I checked your book out at the library rather than buying it. I know, this is awful....

I’m trying to do my part in other ways: I’ve gone to Amazon and marked the good reviews as helpful, and the ones written by people who haven’t read the book or are criticizing Amazon’s DRM as unhelpful. I’ve written emails and internet message posts recommending the book. But I haven’t yet bought the book. I was looking this morning to see if you were doing a book-signing anywhere, but I understand that so far appearing on TV shows hosted by left-wing weenies has taken up most of your time. I’ll probably end up picking it up at Costco. I know it is only one book and that won’t really move the needle, but more than anything else I want to accomplish one thing: ensure a next book by Jonah Goldberg.

Thanks, and good luck.
Goldberg was paid $1,000,000.00 to write that book. It's #43 in Amazon's ranking, above How To Be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents in rank if not in spirit. Yet he complains that people should be buying his book more quickly?

Also, I would gladly pay per view to watch the Randolph-Macon Academy Debate Team meet Princeton armed with Jonah Goldberg's arguments, facts, and historical knowledge.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pity The Poor Jonah

Jonah Goldberg lectures before AEI.

Many authoritarian followers claim victimization to avoid responsibility, as all good authoritarians are well-trained in handing over responsibility to their parents, priests/gods and other authorities. As the great modern thinker Stan Lee tells us, with power comes responsibility, and the reverse is true as well. Those with no power have no responsibility. It is the deeply ingrained weakness in an authoritarian follower and a seductive consolation prize. People who are taught as children that they can't fight back against abuse refuse to fight back against abuses as adults. Their fears are so deeply ingrained that they can't give up the defenses and crutches they have built up and clung to all their lives. When fear is all you have ever known, letting go of fear is terrifying.

But clinging to victimization is not just a psychological condition. For the Party of Abused Children currently calling themselves Republicans, claiming victimization can also be a tool. It elicits a very strong response in their fellow travelers--a type of nostalgia, almost--and reliably draws out their barely suppressed anger and resentment.

Jonah Goldberg is busy telling everyone within range of the sound and smell of his farts that liberals are just liars who think they are telling the truth while it is really conservatives who tell the truth. (Such as Johnny-Came-Marching-Home-And-Dumped-The-Crippled-Missus McCain's statement that he picked Sarah Palin because she was so well qualified.) His learned tome, The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat In The War Of Ideas, is one long cri de victim.

There is nothing wrong and a great deal that is right with having ideological convictions. What is offensive to logic, culturally pernicious, and, yes, infuriating to me is the claim that it is not an ideological tenet. Progressives lie to themselves and the world about this fact. They hide their ideological agenda within Trojan Horse clichés and smug assertions that they are simply pragmatists, fact finders, and empiricists who are clearheaded slaves to “what works.”

Pooh Jonah is the helpless victim of those mean lying liars who cheat to win arguments instead of openly and honestly debating with him.

I started to notice that the [use of cliches] happens in writing, on TV, in books; people invoke these clichés as placeholders for arguments not won, ideas not fully understood. At the same time, the same sorts of people cavalierly denounce far more thought-out positions because they’re too “ideological.” Indeed, in America, we train people to be skeptical of ideology. College students in particular are quick to object with a certain gotcha tone: “That sounds like an ideological statement.”
Goldberg's method of argumentation is to set up a strawman using a conservative cliche, and then state that he is right and the strawman is wrong. Let's revisit Goldberg's recent Piers Morgan interview to see a perfect example of this brilliant bit of argumentation.

GOLDBERG: Let's talk about politicizing [Obama's Osama Bin Laden ad]. Forget the ad for a second. In Barack Obama's State of the Union address, what he does is he goes out before the American people and he says, you know what would be fantastic?

You know those Navy SEALs, they weren't Democrats and Republicans. They were just doing what was best for America. Wouldn't that be a great country if all of you Americans were just like that? You followed orders, you marched in step and you followed my agenda. That is one of the sort of central cliches I talk about in the book, by the way. It's the moral equivalent of [war] --

Goldberg swallows whole the conservative lie, used as a weapon to grab power and money, that liberals are socialist and burps out a book calling liberals fascists. He then emits another gassy cloud book that states that Obama rules as a fascist dictator, and since Obama is a fascist dictator he uses cliches such as "the moral equivalent of war" to get his own way. Sure, Obama didn't actually use the cliche, but that is irrelevant because everyone knows that Obama would have used that cliche if it weren't for the fact that liberals are a big fat liar who pretends to be fair when they're really ideologues. Q.E.D.!

And this superior method of argumentation proves that liberals cheat in the war of ideas, and, much more importantly, are mean to Jonah Goldberg and unjustly criticizes his fact-based, intellectually brilliant books.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Yes, I Just Saw The Avengers

The Botticelli Avengers is fun but this is my favorite:

The Hulk on Pooh Corner.

Pooh smash!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Family Values

Rick Santorum, a famously devoted family man with a zillion children that his wife homeschooled, looks like he had a great time at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. According to this report he took personal photos of 25-year old Lindsay Lohan.

Now, that's one happy guy.

Here's a better picture of Ms. Lohan at the dinner.

When TMZ asked Santorum about his unexpected photo op, the politician, 53, took advantage of his campaign experience and skirted the issue.
"I took a picture of a lot of people today," the former Pennsylvania senator replied.

He sure did. Including one of Sofia Vergara, pictured below.

Mrs. Santorum, who is 52, seems to have the utmost faith in her husband, and why would she not?

He's Touched by God's Hand; God's favorite candidate, as she said back when Santorum seemed to have the tiniest hope in hell of getting more than the Crazy Jesus Vote.

The wife of presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Thursday that his rise in the polls is due to God working in mysterious ways.

"I personally think this is God's will. I think He has us on a path, and I do think there's a lot more happening than what we're seeing," Karen Santorum told Glenn Beck as she and her husband sat for an interview on his Web-based show, GBTV. "Personally I mean I think Rick's a great guy, and he's really smart and everything. But I think a lot more is happening than what we can actually see."

Rick Santorum is being touched by a hand, alright. And we know who is doing the touching.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Can A Conservative Be Both A Stiff And A Dork?

Standing athwart knowledge, facts, and logic yelling stop!

It seems that television, like reality, has a liberal bias.

So, I was on Piers Morgan’s show on CNN tonight. It was a shameful spectacle. He pretended to be a serious interviewer and I spent far too long pretending he was one too. My apologies to everyone who tuned in. I will have a more comprehensive response tomorrow on the Tyranny of Cliches blog.

I'm sure he will but the video speaks for itself. Despite all his speeches about how conservatives are better debaters because the world is liberal and conservatives are therefore forced to refine and improve their argumentation tactics, Goldberg does not do well when someone pins him down in person and expects him to support his wild statements.

The discussion extended to Twitter after Goldberg whined that Morgan was a secret liberal out to get him.

Goldberg tweeted:

Well, for those of you eager for a non edifying, exasperating, "conversation" -- tune into Piers Morgan tonight.

Want to throw a beer bottle at the TV? Watch Piers Morgan tonight.

I swear to all that is holy, that I went in expecting a reasonably normal conversation. Had I known, I would have reacted differently.

Yup RT : Morgan's strategy was to make sure you never got to fully answer 1 question before asking another. Waste of your time.

At the end of the day, proved the point of my book (which he didn't read): liberals lie about being liberals.


Uh NOT SO FAST "ad takes Romney’s words out of context but gets part of story right. We rate it Half True."
(Jonah Goldberg)
And there was extensive retweeting of supportive tweets.

Jonah Goldberg

+1 RT : Didn't see Morgan show; just read transcript. What astonishingly stupid questioning of a book author.

Morgan tweeted:
Jonah explained that liberals think they are not ideological, that they are centrists, but liberals really aren't.  Conservatives are honest, dorky ideologues who talk about Ayn Rand, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith. But liberals say they are not ideological because they don't think they are. Morgan broke in to ask about the "big story" of the moment, Clinton's ad on Obama and Bin Laden.

Goldberg said the ad was "gloating about" killing Bin Laden which is "reprehensible."  Morgan pointed out that Sen. John McCain criticized Obama's mention of Bin Laden in an ad after praising  Bush's capture of Saddam Hussein during the 2004 campaign. Goldberg said there was a big difference because McCain didn't mention Kerry; it was stupid to run the ad because people were now arguing about the ad. Morgan pointed out that Goldberg was "missing the whole point;" the issue began when Romney, in a clear-as-glass attempt to minimize Obama's achievement, stated that capturing Bin Laden was a waste of money, and then later stated that of course getting Bin Laden was the right thing to do. Goldberg said no, Morgan was using a "category error," "apples and oranges."

You might think that  "apples and oranges" was a lazy cliche often used by conservatives to avoid unfortunate hypocrisies and errors but you would be wrong because only liberals use cliches to avoid thinking deeply about issues. Goldberg was visibly flustered when Morgan told him about Romney's statement and stammered out a laugh, attempting to show disdain for Morgan's question by laughing at it.

Goldberg stated that Romney was saying that the War on Terror wasn't "simply a manhunt" and "in the larger context of it" he didn't see why Obama didn't capture Bin Laden. Goldberg said nothing about putting Bin Laden on trial because the United States is a nation of laws and summary execution of our prisoners is supposed to be a bad thing. That would be smart. He simply says that Obama should have done everything differently. Mistermix at Balloon Juice said, "These guys have been living in a Beavis and Butthead world where just saying “Barack Hussein Obama”, “Michelle is Fat” or “Just Like Jimmy Carter” gets a high-five from the other idiots in the room, and it’s starting to show" and he is right. Goldberg expected Piers Morgan to let him set the agenda and then get blown out of the water by Goldberg's crushing intellect and finely honed arguments. Instead, Goldberg said that he didn't think getting Bin Laden was an incredble thing to do and tried to shoehorn in a Joe-Biden-is-stupid joke.

Morgan said, "Come off it, Jonah!" Morgan protested that getting Bin Laden was both militarily and politically risky and conducting a successful mission was beneficial to Obama. Morgan said he was not "batting for Democrats" but why shouldn't Obama's campaign mention his elimination of Bin Laden? Goldberg said, "If you're not batting for Democrats you're doing a wonderful approximation of it." (Either you agree with Republicans or you are the enemy.) Morgan emphasized the importance of the capture of Bin Laden to the American people and Goldberg responded that Obama could have stabilized Pakistan or solve the Middle East problems instead, without letting us know how Obama could have done something that nobody else has been able to do for 100 years, including many years in which we had Republican presidents.

Morgan, again, asks Goldberg for his point and Goldberg responded that Bin Laden was just a figurehead. Morgan pointed out that computers filled with messages to his people were found and Goldberg, fed up with being forced to listen to facts instead of being able to giggle through a number of dirty-stupid-liberals jokes, began to get frustrated. "You're trying to box me in," he protested. Goldberg rolled his head from side to side and asked, "Are we really going to have" this argument and "but I don't want to have this argument because I don't think it's an interesting argument." The decision to get Bin Laden was fine but the ad was not.

Morgan asked why the ad was stupid and we can see why he annoyed Goldberg so much; Goldberg is milk-fed veal who performs his comedy routine before AEI and college Republican clubs. His books are filled with quotations and bits of history and science but he does not know his material well enough to defend it in person.  When he is interviewed by someone who does not have the same agenda he flounders, gets frustrated, and stubbornly insists on going back to performing his routine. He is a very, very bad interview subject--without wit or charm or knowledge, or even the ability to adapt to a different medium and have give-and-take with a television host.

Godlberg reiterated that the Obama ad was bad, that it wasn't "taking a victory lap," it was "neener-neener-neener" and tried to change the subject. Barack Obama, he said, should have said that the American people should march in step and obey him like the Navy Seals who captured Bin Laden. Incredibly, Goldberg used his malicious hypothetical to claim that Obama would then be using one of those liberal cliches about turning everything into the moral equivalence of war.

Let's go to the transcript so you can see for yourself.

MORGAN: If Barack Obama had been on the record two or three years ago, saying -- and Mitt Romney was the president at the time -- and said I do not believe it is worth spending this kind of money, going after one guy, are you telling me with a straight face, again, that Mitt Romney wouldn't have capitalized on that if he had then taken out Osama bin Laden?

He wouldn't have reminded his number one challenger that he said he wouldn't have spent the money?

GOLDBERG: Well, first of all, your characterization of what Mitt Romney said, I think, is off.

MORGAN: No, it's not.

GOLDBERG: Of course it is.

MORGAN: No, it's not.

GOLDBERG: Mitt Romney was talking about fighting the war on terror in the context of fighting one -- coming after one man.

Romney was talking about Bin Laden in the context of George Bush's attempt to dismiss the importance of America's Most Wanted, whom he could not capture.

[GOLDBERG: ] He never said if I have the opportunity, you know, he wasn't spending all of this money. That's not what Barack Obama did when he got Osama bin Laden. It was a pretty cheap operation. No problem with --


MORGAN: (Inaudible)?

GOLDBERG: It didn't cost --

MORGAN: (Inaudible)?

GOLDBERG: Are we really going to do this sort of high school debating tactic crap?

Facts not only have a liberal bias, they are high school debating crap.

 MORGAN: I'm curious what you're thinking what (inaudible).

GOLDBERG: I would put it at -- I don't know, $50 million, $40 million.

The honored Goldbergian technique of pulling crap out of your ass might be good enough for Goldberg's usual audience but doesn't work with Morgan.

MORGAN: Wow. That's cheap in the Republican world?

GOLDBERG: That's cheap in comparison to what the cost of the war on terror is.

MORGAN: No wonder the country got into the mess it did.

GOLDBERG: I suppose that that's supposed to be a really telling point. I'm not quite sure how it is.
Goldberg is unwise enough to repeatedly try to force Morgan to reveal his secret liberal bias and liberal fascism. Forcing someone with evidence to discuss that evidence is unwise. Goldberg has repeated his lies so often that he now believes them. He genuinely seems to think that conservatives are right and everyone else is wrong.

MORGAN: I'm just saying the Republican administration obviously led to a huge financial collapse. You wouldn't dispute that.

GOLDBERG: I would and I would also say Barack Obama has spent much, much, much, much more money than the Republicans.

MORGAN: Would you dispute that after eight years of Republican administration the country went into a huge economic collapse?

GOLDBERG: No, but that's a timeline question.

When those biased facts and reality rear their ugly heads, Goldberg simply dredges his memory for one of those super-smart conservative phrases that will make the mean facts go away. The fact that Obama was left with an enormously expensive financial disaster is irrelevant because Goldberg's ideology tells him that Obama spent more than Republicans. The facts disagree, the little liberal bastards.


GOLDBERG: (Inaudible) came afterwards, yes.

MORGAN: Again, we're talking about ideology, as you put it.


MORGAN: Isn't the ideology that $50 million is cheap? I don't know what it cost, the mission, actually, but (inaudible) cheap is part of the problem here?

GOLDBERG: I think the debate tactic of getting -- of sort of standing on a soap box and waxing poetic about how much I think this operation cost is cheap. That said --      
MORGAN: But you're criticizing the cliched ideology of the liberals here, and I'm playing devil's advocate. I'm not saying you're wrong. But I'm saying when it comes to cheap ideology, chucking out statements like $50 million is cheap --

GOLDBERG: Well, I didn't chuck it out. You pried it out of me. You begged me for an answer.

MORGAN: That's good journalism, isn't it?

GOLDBERG: Maybe, yes.

MORGAN: Isn't that the point of an interview about this kind of issue?

GOLDBERG: Well, you're cross-examining me. You're not interviewing.
Awww, poor Jonah. The mean tv interviewer isn't lobbing him softballs and tittering along at the stupid stupidity of those dirty hippies.

MORGAN: What do you think the whole debate about Obama's too cool? Republicans throwing this back at him, saying you can't be on entertainment shows, doing the slow jam with Jimmy Fallon. You can't be on the cover of "Rolling Stone" magazine. Nobody will take him seriously.

This is the wrong kind of thing. I mean, are they really expecting us to believe that if Mitt Romney was president, he wouldn't do stuff like this occasionally?

GOLDBERG: I would think he would do stuff like that. I don't think he'd be on "Rolling Stone," because I think "Rolling Stone" would burst into flames before that happened. But --

MORGAN: Is it legitimate --


GOLDBERG: I don't think that's quite the (inaudible). I think he certainly has every right to do it. I don't think any -- I don't know of anybody who says he can't do it. But at the same time, I do think some of that act is wearing thin. You can only be cool for so long in American life, and I think in life in general.

MORGAN: I watched him at the White House Correspondents Dinner. I was there. And he had a ready wit, charm, delivery, great comic timing. You couldn't dispute it. Everybody was falling about laughing. He got more laughs than Jimmy Kimmel did. You can't dispute the guy is quite cool.

Heh. Morgan is either rubbing it in or he actually thinks Goldberg cares more about America than about making money peddling his hateful trash.

And why would Americans not like to have a cool president? Doesn't it resonate quite well around the world to have a guy that can sing like Al Green, that can crack jokes like the best comedians? I mean, isn't this good for America?

GOLDBERG: I think as -- all in all, it's better to have a cool president than a not cool president. But if the choice is a cool president and 8 or 10 percent unemployment in a declining economy and a country that seems to be going in the wrong direction and structural unemployment for young people at 50 percent, I'd rather have a dorky president who fixed those problems.
Conservatives become very peeved when the Democrats don't come in and clean up their messes for them.  They are also incredibly peeved that Obama is cool. Robber barons are not known for their coolness; the right clung to Donald Trump as their ticket to cool but he let them down. Everyone will let them down because sexism, racism and greed are not cool. Hatred is ugly and common and old.

MORGAN: Is Mitt Romney a dork?

GOLDBERG: He's a stiff, to be sure.

MORGAN: What's the difference?

GOLDBERG: Oh, the etymological differences are small. I think --

MORGAN: Is there a difference between a stiff and a dork?

GOLDBERG: I would think there probably is, yes.

MORGAN: Can you enunciate for me?

GOLDBERG: I would say the latter is more of a geeky nerd sort of type. And Mitt Romney is not that. Mitt Romney --

MORGAN: Could you be a stiff and a dork?

GOLDBERG: Oh, absolutely. Yes.

MORGAN: Jonah, it's been a pleasure.


MORGAN: Nice to see you.  
 GOLDBERG: Nice to see you.

The two of them were still going at it in Twitter today.
 At one point Morgan tells Goldberg to man up.
Piers Morgan@piersmorgan
Stop bleating like an overgrown baby - if you think I was unfair to you, come back and try your luck again.
Fat chance.