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Tactics, strategy, and progressives

khin's picture

I think it's very, very important in politics to separate questions of strategy and tactics.

Strategy is pursued by organizations "on the ground": the media, academic organizations like think tanks, the blogosphere, activist organizations like Healthcare-NOW, and the public.

Tactics is the province of people who actually make laws and is a completely different arena, an arena where knowledge of the exact methods used to pass laws becomes very important.

The grassroots level and the legislative level are two other names for these same concepts. While the grassroots builds momentum toward a goal and tries to remove politicians who oppose the goal, tactics is done directly only by politicians.

The question of whether politicians should oppose the Senate bill is a question of tactics. It's a roll of the dice where one has to balance the probability of a bad result, namely nothing getting passed in the next few years, with the probability of better bills getting passed in the next few years. Of course, if you favor the view that this bill is bad even compared with doing absolutely nothing, then there's no roll of the dice: no matter what these chances are, the answer for you will always be to oppose the bill. But I think the current Senate bill is preferable to nothing.

My guess is that this Senate bill represents poor tactics. It would have made more sense for politicians who favor measures like a Medicare buy-in to use reconciliation to get it passed this year, while making an attempt to get measures less fiercely opposed by big money passed in a separate bill. If that other bill failed due to retribution for the first one, as people like Nate Silver feel could happen, most of health reform would still be passed and the remainder could probably be returned to before the 2014 kick-in date. (It is quite possible, however, that it would actually pass.) Perhaps most importantly, such a course would demonstrate that progressives have the muscle to implement an independent agenda. If the other bill did fail, that muscle would still be there to bring it or a better one back the next session.

A separate question is whether it's possible to use reconciliation this session given all the effort that has already been poured out. In other words, if Bernie Sanders just says tomorrow, "I'm not voting for anything but reconciliation," will we get it? The nasty political consequences for the Democrats if they refuse leads me to guess we probably will.

For those on the ground, though, the problem is that criticizing this bill on the comparatively narrow grounds of how it differs from the House bill ignores the bigger picture of how short both fall of Medicare for All. Nate Silver talks about the Overton Window shift established by criticizing the Senate bill from the left. If this shift exists, how much bigger a shift could we get by simply arguing for Medicare for All? Why confine our criticism to narrow differences?

Favoring national health care is a much more important standard for organizations on the ground than their stance on the Senate bill. Howard Dean may deserve some credit for fleetingly opposing this bill, but it's a pretty small crumb of credit compared to the damage he's helped do to the health reform movement in saying that "you can't take choice away from Americans" and so anyone trying to institute single payer "would pay an enormous price at the polls." Even lower in usefulness are organizations like Health Care for America Now, which may well act as a "lightning rod," channeling radical tendencies among the public safely into the ground of their largely meaningless and revoltingly partisan campaigns.

Right now at Firedoglake, people's heads are filled with the question of whether or not others favor killing the bill. It's tempting to draw lines the sand between blogs like Firedoglake, where founder Jane Hamsher has made a big deal of killing the Senate bill, and blogs like Daily Kos which largely accept the Senate bill. However, I think this difference is peanuts compared with the difference between blogs who emphasize national health care, like Corrente and ZBlogs, and blogs that ignore it. Given their official link to the Democratic Party, Daily Kos certainly ignores it and doesn't have a choice because that party rejects it by more than 2 to 1. Firedoglake too has been very caught up in the false promise of the public option, what with its sponsoring of slinkerwink the Daily Kos public option zealot, of Public Option Please, and so on. Firedoglake does have a higher proportion of people who favor Medicare for All (which is why I still post there).

The difference between strategy and tactics is: while it may be justifiable for John Conyers to hold his nose and vote for the House bill because tactically it's sensible, there is absolutely no reason why organizations on the ground should not be emphasizing the deficiencies of these bills compared with Medicare for All. Unlike Conyers, they cannot claim that there is a risk of messing up and getting nothing passed, because they do not directly pass laws. The failure of the leaders of organizations like Daily Kos, Firedoglake, Open Left, HCAN, Moveon, and others to get behind national health care is unacceptable. That also goes for public figures like Howard Dean and Paul Krugman, the latter of whom recently suggested, absurdly, that the current bill "simulates" Medicare for All by increasing coverage, ignoring the monumental waste of the current for-profit system.

But while Krugman can say whatever he wants, we can have direct effects on organizations we're a part of. I strongly encourage people to permanently leave Daily Kos, because it's joined at the hip to the Democratic Party. That also goes for Open Left: just don't post there. Every post on a blog is a small chunk of change into the editors' prestige jar. (Firedoglake I'll be keeping for now, no thanks to its editors.) Similarly, don't participate in HCAN, OFA, Moveon, and other organizations that refuse to support national health care. This is at best a waste of your time. Do crosspost on Corrente, ZBlogs, and friends. Do support Progressive Democrats of America, Healthcare-NOW and friends.

To sum up, let's not get carried away yelling at Democratic politicians if we don't realize that much of what is usually called the "progressive movement" is also responsible for this fiasco. Their strategy was flawed from the start.

Real change starts from the grassroots. If it is blind, change is impossible.

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letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

I agree with your recommendations in this post. I've also posted on strategy and tactics in hcr at FDL, as part of my disagreement with Jane, and also distinguished between these things and movement politics.

khin's picture
Submitted by khin on

I haven't even finished reading your post, but the similarities are amazingly close.

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

Follow the discussion. I got quite a bit of static from Jane supporters.

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

The problem with your tactics thing is that you don't know what the politicans know so you can't tell if they are using lousy tactics or not and you can't tell if they are trying hard or not. If you can't trust the politician on other grounds then you're in a very difficult situation there.

The thing with Bernie Sanders is an interesting example and many who decide they trust him basically think Jane Hamsher's call for him to be primaried is nuts. Unfortunately because of the nature of bluff in negotiations and the trading value of going along with a PR position as a means to get concessions, it is not always going to be efficient for a politician to telegraph all his or her moves ahead of time to their base. You don't seem to have a way to handle that situation.

I do think that people who are to the left of the Pwoggies need a better place to post than the usual center-right wing places like daily kos, huffington post or Americablog, but since it's usually the left that gets banned first from any progressive blog I would say that corrente is not a good enough place to support as it has heavy censorship and banning rules that are explicitly anti certain political views as well as explicitly arbitrary in some cases (judging by their written rules about this which is usually a lower limit of the abuse that happens in practise at a blog). I honestly cannot recall if I've ever been banned here but if I haven't already I imagine I'd last no more than about two or three weeks tops.

You'd think lambert would be better about censorship considering how often he gets banned from places.

When you talk about the Overton window in this context you need to be getting lefty views out onto these pwoggie boards where the left get banned a lot. Obviously this will lead to bannings as the managers of these places are right wingers (if they were not then they would be positively encouraging lefty comments instead of censoring them -- per Overton Window theory).

Per the theory a strong left wing voice (which will draw flak and be attacked and then banned) will act to make other left wing voices seem more reasonable and legitimate by comparison.

At any rate you need to stick with posting to these right wing boards until you're kicked off but you also need i would say, to try and build up a genuine left popular blog so people can see that these pwoggie blogs are not left wing or "progressive" except perhaps by the low low bar of American politics where Lieberman is a "centrist".

Currently the only blog that doesn't ban people for their politics is http://www.pffugeecamp.com/ (formerly freespeechzone.com but we had to move as the former broke faith with comentators and banned people -- and before that there was the politicalfleshfeast.com which ended for the same reason).

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

Nice comment. I hadn't noticed that Jane wants to primary Bernie. I thought she was focused on Harry Reid and Blanche Lincoln.

You said:

"The problem with your tactics thing is that you don't know what the politicians know so you can't tell if they are using lousy tactics or not and you can't tell if they are trying hard or not."

That's true. But you can see that if their objectives are "x," then their tactics are adequate or inadequate relative to those.

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

It seems like it would be really hard in some cases. Specifically it seems really hard in the case of Bernie Sanders as your own post suggests.

http://kmci.org/alllifeisproblemsolving/...

I came up with two other explanations for his behaviour that you had not. How can we tell the difference between poor results if we don't know what sort of results are average? And how can we know that without inside knowledge about the negotiations?

To me this suggests strongly that the whole model of electing representatives that you don't trust and therefore have to critically analyse all the time is flawed.

Either that or you would have to explain to your representatives that they cannot use secret negotiations at all and nor can they barter their public statements of support for benefits within a deal. ie insist that they be completely transparent even at the cost of being less efficient, possibly far less efficient.

There's no doubt that Sanders is being deceptive towards his base. There is doubt that his deception is abusive or against the interests of his base.

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

David, I think one can't know what a politician or anyone else is thinking. If we make that a requirement for analyzing whether their tactics are good or bad, we can just forget about that kind of analysis. So, I'm afraid we always have yo make certain assumptions about objectives and then ask whether the tactics are appropriate for those. From the standpoint of accountability it may not matter very much whether Bernie Sanders has good motives, but is lousy at tactics or baser motives and is very good at tactics. Either way we might want to replace him.

You say:

"There's no doubt that Sanders is being deceptive towards his base. There is doubt that his deception is abusive or against the interests of his base."

I can't agree with that. First, I'm not entirely sure who his base actually is, and second, I'm not sure how deceptive he's being. If he's being very deceptive about his support for Medicare for All, he's certainly doing a bad job at the deception, since his willingness to cave for a mere $1 Billion per year for more community health centers certain calls into question the strength of his support for enhanced Medicare for All.

Submitted by lambert on

As far as I understand Chicago-style politics, it includes a lot of backroom maneuvering and pressure we don't know about. Was it Senator Harmon who was bugged by the NSA, for example? "Nice little ____ you've got there, Bernie. Shame if something happened to it."

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I really think that in Sanders case it was a straight forward case that me made the best of what he considered bad choices.

Even if this monstrosity passes we can still move to single payer in the states, unless there is language somewhere in that bill which prohibits that.

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

it is also clear that the tactics you're suggesting must involved being able to make guesses that you feel are sufficiently accurate to establish a pattern of punishment ad reward upon.

As I say it might be easier to cut the knot and say all your "approved" politicians have to endorse a program of complete openness. Perhaps with exceptions for foreign policy discussions with other countries. It's a very tough line to take.

But ignoring that option, how close do you think is the understanding of the pwoggieverse to being able to predict and understand how politicians act? I would say it isn't even remotely close enough. Every time I see a pwoggie saying something like "they are cowards" I know it means they don't understand. Every time a pwoggie says "they are so stupid" it really means the pwoggie lacks understanding. This all leads to a big "If Only The King Knew" peasant mentality of course.

Until pwoggies stop getting it wrong and start learning from people who get it right (eg on Obama) and get to a point where they can predict the behaviour instead of being constantly surprised about obvious things, this tactic cannot work.

I imagine at the high level such information is worth quite a bit since it is what any good lobbyist would need. At the same time considerable effort goes into Manufacturing Consent and keeping the American public like mushrooms so you'd have to fight that too. Not for the entire public -- just for the pwoggies. If you could get the truth out to the entire public about how stuff works you probably wouldn't need to worry about manipulating politicians as that is itself a higher goal. And therefore a harder one. But I do think educating pwoggies is a reasonable goal, and one I believe would be a necessary prerequisite for your tactic (unless you could get away with having say Jane Hamsher saying, "Trust me. Bernie Sanders needs to be primaried. I know you don't understand why.")

khin's picture
Submitted by khin on

Sanders is one of about 3 or 4 senators to even embrace the idea of Medicare for All. In the universe of where we should be devoting our effort, that implies to me that he shouldn't be a big focus. My guess is that his ability to use tactics is simply constrained by the fact that he disagrees with us in assessing the tactical situation, in other words, in his view the risk of passing nothing in the next few years is simply too great. I don't agree with him here, but Sanders is still among the best politicians we have. Let's go after John Kerry, Kirsten Gillibrand, Max Baucus or any number of others instead.

I don't think there is any hope of ever understanding the motives of politicians, as letsgetitdone has stated above. (What are we going to do, develop psychic abilities?) You just have to judge based on the actual effect they have. Nor do I think there is any way of establishing a policy of "complete openness," short of electing a saint or a human-level AI to Congress. "Manipulating politicians" will not in general be a very successful strategy, although it may (or not) offer small successes. As I said, real change starts from the grassroots.

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

I assume Jane Hamsher's thinking on Bernie Sanders is that since he's in a hugely positive Dem constituency he needs to be judged more severely. I don't know the numbers but in general I would expect that approach would often be absolutely correct (even if it is not for Sanders himself) that -- ironically -- it is easiest for pwoggies to make successful primaries against the very people who are already seen as being most progressive -- because those people are sitting on huge deposits of progressive voters.

"They're good but not good enough" in other words.

I don't know if those numbers apply even better to the three you mentioned so I apologise if that was your exact point with that list.

And yes you absolutely need to develop psychic abilities comparable with the other lobbyists if you want to have a tactic of essentially becoming a lobbyist for the public good. Now ultimately I am with Lambert on this one -- you can't succeed -- but playing the game itself may be of value. However if you play the game, play it well, and you can't do that if you insist on solely judging by results.

There's an inherent contradiction between the subtlety and bluff needed for negotiation and the need for openness and honesty to continue to have the broad support of the people. For example what's your bottom line? What would you be prepaired to swap demand for a PO for? If that is known to your adversaries ahead of time that's bad negotiation but then if it is not made publicly known to your base then if you make a deal it is seen as a betrayal.

How do you get around that?

Submitted by lambert on

... the moderation policies, they're about banning forms of argument, not political views. The people who've been banned here run across the political spectrum. I could reconsider. Should I?

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

please don't reconsider. Forms of argument is the proper approach.

Submitted by gob on

Please don't. Your policy and execution thereof make this place one of the few useful bloggy spaces for interesting, fruitful discussion. Naturally, I've disagreed with some of your decisions, but I'd be amazed if I could do it better.

Thanks for that link. I think. Ew.

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

Lambert's purpose for linking was to build an ad-hominem case for banning me which you just endorsed. Got it.

I was puzzled because I thought he was trying to say something to me (or god help us all, actually make some sort of rational argument about the contents of that diary).

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

I'm not asking to be banned but I am sure you will do it anyway. It will be your choice and your decision and to your discredit. If it turns out I have misjudged you on that I will apologise.

Since you appear to like playing creepy games I repeat: I want to continue to be able to post here.

If there was a point to linking to that diary you didn't make it which was also creepy. You come across as making cheap threats. Intentional?

Frankly I'd rather you did NOT reply, (either to this or to me ever on this board).

Submitted by lambert on

... I'm just going to have to sit back and wait.

Generally, when people announce they have expectations -- in your case, being banned -- that are well within their power to achieve, they achieve them.

However, your suicide request today is not granted; I'm feeling nice and relaxed after Xmas, and the last thing I want to do is go meta. Ciao!

NOTE First blogger I've ever met who had issues with being given a link. Interesting.

khin's picture
Submitted by khin on

...is nuts. There is just no two ways about that. I fail to see how anyone can possibly advocate such a position. I don't know if I "trust him," but I trust him much more than I trust people like John Kerry. The latter is a far better target for a primary. Or Max Baucus, if that floats your boat. (PDA is targeting Baucus in 2014.)

I'm not really sure there is a surefire way to "handle" the problem of politicians using bad tactics. You're right: I don't know what Bernie Sanders knows. It's an inherent problem and you just have to take it into account. I'd push Bernie to call for reconciliation, but I certainly wouldn't primary him.

I thought of pffugeecamp, but the trouble is, it seems kind of...unadorned. Maybe that's just a stupid surface impression, because after all Corrente does too. On that note, I may mention pffugeecamp in future posts.

Your other comments I agree with.

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

Over the years I've discovered it is better to travel light, so I quite like the minimalist approach. It does little good to get stuck in one blog and not go elsewhere (one advantage of getting banned from scores of blogs was that I was forced to never get in a rut as to who I was reading or where I was writing).

I am surprised you ever heard of it. I suggest it only because nowhere else refuses to ban lefties (or anyone else). But if there was any other place that would be fine too.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Sanders rocks so much that I have to wonder about any alleged progressive attacking him.

Is it just one diarest? Or is is the FDL site as a whole going after the Senate's only socialist?

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

zblogs demand my address and ask for my real name. If you deny people anonymity you're going to lose many possible members. That is because in the USA there is no real free speech rights and people are well advised to be anonymus in case of discrimination by employers and others.

In short if you want to participate in a conversation with me then you can't do it at correntewire.com (for much longer) or zblogs. Nor could you do it at FDL, daily kos, huffington post, americablog, openleft and dozens of other progressive blogs and pretty much any feminist blog or web site, since I am banned at all of them.

If you take Overton Window seriously (and very few do despite all the chatter about it) you need to improve the chances of seeing lefty views at these progressive (ie center-right) blogs. After all if you can't get the truth out to these progressives how can you hope to make any larger impact?

I suspect that FDL has banned more people for advocating for single payer than they have banned either right-wing trolls or Daily Kos "Kops" who just want to insult Jane Hamsher. All of this goes to the very successful use of Overton by the right who are able to kick down the left even on progressive board in effect.

I believe that education is the key to the long term view of politics but it's no coincidence that education is exactly what is lacking and cannot easily be added into the blogosphere.

For example how come whenever some issue comes along where the pwoggies blow it all and get it wrong (many examples possible but lets go with the nature of Obama) they never ever really act as if they care they got it wrong. They never ask, why did we get it wrong? How can we stop being wrong so often? Who got it right and what can we learn from them? that would be eminently sensible for anyone seeking the truth and as far as I can see it never happens.

http://www.pffugeecamp.com/diary/499/i-w...

khin's picture
Submitted by khin on

...doesn't demand you post your real name. Their system asks for your real name because the people who set it up didn't design it with anonymity in mind. But there's no rule forcing you to post your name.

However, the issue with ZBlogs is that they do demand a donation to become a sustainer. The donation can be a measly $1 per month, but it's still a procedural obstacle. I donate quite a bit more than that because I believe in their cause.

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

It's only the address; you can sign up without giving them money. I suppose I could make up some address but I don't like lying, especially not to an organisation like the Z-group.

Submitted by lambert on

See the moderation policies on "suicide requests." Is this a suicide request?

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

this bill will effectively restrict abortion rights. for that reason alone it needs to go down. No one can vote for this bill and call themselves pro-choice.

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

So even at corrente you actually believe that line? Clearly it isn't true since the bill says nothing about rights. it's just a matter of how the operation is paid for. As I understand it very few abortions are covered by insurance as it is. So what sort of change are we talking about in reality?

I just assumed the whole abortion thing was a bargaining chip and would/will be bargained away to buy the silence of pwoggies on the rest of the bill. In that respect it would be continuing the general alliance of imperialism and feminism with respect to getting your war on ("we gotta go bomb some darkies cos they treat their womins so bad").

Beyond that it's obviously a big wet fart in your faces. Now for THAT reason I think it is worth fighting because you shouldn't take that shit. But only if in fighting for it you don't give up anything else in return.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

nobody, not even lambert, speaks for the entire Mighty Corrente Building.

And yeah, the restrictions on how you can buy insurance that covers abortion, even with your own money contained in this bill through the insurance exchanges, your reproductive rights have been effectively aboragated.

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

and therefore never had any reproductive rights -- thanks to the feminists no less than the conservatives. So don't try to tell me about how your reproductive rights have been "effectively abrogated" or dare talk to me about "equality" until you're willing to support equivalent reproductive rights and protections for men. I dare say no woman would ever swap with the position every man is in on this matter.

(guessing you are female from some blog posts of yours; not that it matters)

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Jesus, lighten up Francis.

Anyway, one, you would "dare wrong", and two, it isn't only about "reproductive rights", it is about the right to choose to have legal medical procedures or not.

Oh, and you are all wet on Arthur Silber.

You are going to have to sharpen your game if you want to bring it here, but in the mean time, lighten up.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

Yeah, you know, you can still BUY condoms, it's just that they'll cost $100 a box whereas before this legislation, they cost $10 a box. And plus, there are no places where you can buy condoms in your state any more because we decided your man-parts are icky and you shouldn't use them except for reproduction. "Every sperm is sacred," ya know.

Golly gee whiz, what are you men wailing about? It's not like we BANNED condoms. We're pro-condoms, really we are.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

the most succinct explanation I have seen.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

It's amazing that this would need explanation to anyone, but truly, men (as a rule) do not understand what the effects of this type of legislation will be.

And really, it's not like the media even covers it. Most stories on the "health" legislation don't even mention the Catholic bishops, Stupak or Nelson. So, I figured I have to come up with something that a man could understand.

Of course, that man would have to have an iota of self-awareness and consciousness.

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

that would have worked a lot better if it was men's contraception that was covered by insurance and women's not, instead of the other way around wouldn't it?

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

you are truly irony-impaired, aren't you?

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

You just lied.

I repeat for the third time now: I don't want to get banned. When you referred to "your suicide request" that was a lie. I never made any such request. On the contrary I have formally denied that three times now.

If I have to a fourth and fifth I will do so to play your little game.

I agree about what you said though about fulfilling expectations and it applies to you. Which is why I continue to predict you will ban me for my political views. When that happens I will be unhappy and probably feel quite depressed for a short time.

And if this was about meta I wouldn't bother to reply. It is about the suppression of lefty views at pwoggie boards resulting in an effective limit on "legitimate" viewpoints and herding pwoggies to the right. Something you OUGHT to be sympathetic about. We're you not yourself banned from FDL?

In your capacity as human being and not dickhead-in-chief, have a nice post-Xmasy weekend Lambert. You seem like a pretty decent chap other than this creepy shit.

Submitted by lambert on

I deleted my own comment because I had responded to the wrong comment by you. I then moved it to the right place in the thread. If you, working in parallel, had just responded to the original comment, then your response would have been deleted along with it.

Jeezus Christ. Your second ('dickhead') and third ('lied') suicide requests of the day are not granted. If you don't understand the term suicide request, then check the policies. And now, I'm going out for a breath of fresh air!

NOTE I didn't speak to your "wants." That's why I used the word "expectations." As you wrote: "I'm not asking to be banned but I am sure you will do it anyway." So, you've defined your expectations, and let me congratulate you for being totally on track!

DavidByron's picture
Submitted by DavidByron on

Like Sesame Street's Count?

One insult bwhahahaha!, Two, two insults, bwahahaha!

Yes I did see the rather odd set of rules where you said you were happy to flame other people but would ban people that insulted you. I decided that to treat that as actually true would be to assume you were a supreme hypocrite and ass-face. So I figured it was a joke.

But I can reconsider. So for future reference you think being called a liar and a dickhead are insults do you? A little sensitive I think. You do not, for example following the spirit of this paragraph from your own rules:


None of this is personal, or about civility. (In fact, I don't even know how to moderate for civility; the most deadly insults can be delivered in a thoroughly civil manner).

How about this: you quit attacking me and I'll return the favour? I think this is all pretty funny so far so and I hope it was good for you too. (I say this for the benefit of those fragile souls that get anxious over observing these exchanges). But c'mon Lambert. Those moderator rules deserve someone making fun of you. They're just awful.

I don't think I have ever met in my history of being banned from perhaps 100 blogs any moderator who banned because people insulted them personally. So I really have a hard time believing you would either. Even when they are crap (as they often are) moderators usually try to do a good job. Banning people just because they tick you off is obviously abusive. So quit the counting thing will ya? You'll ban me but not for that reason.

In any case I haven't seen any sign that you especially dislike me and I just think the world of you of course. I mean you obviously don't like my feminist stance (while unable to debate me) and I think your moderation sucks but that's not a big deal.

ps I have no objection if you want to just delete this entire series of "meta" comments to tidy up the thread.

Submitted by lambert on

I have no more time for this. Your previous suicide requests are hereby granted.