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Thank you for the correction

Mandos's picture

It has been kindly pointed out to me that there is an error (in good faith, based on not checking the facts on another post and/or misreading the post) in my last post on flags. I feel obliged to correct this with another post, because I feel the content of my post still stands even after the factual error has been corrected.

Hillary Clinton did not participate in the attempt at adding a flag-burning amendment to the Constitution. She instead attempted to defuse it by proposing a non-amendment that very narrowly fit the Constitution as interpreted generally by the courts. Consequently, this paragraph,

Why would you celebrate a trait and praise Clinton for—-let’s face it—-pandering like any politician to a characteristic that allows people to be classified by how much they’re willing to suck up to the powerful? Because that’s what flags ultimately represent: they are symbols of the state. And who presently owns the state?

and this paragraph,

Yes, yes, national symbol, unifying (???) force, etc, etc, etc. After this campaign I’ve come to appreciate Hillary more than I used to (but that isn’t saying much about US politicians), and I developed no particular love for Obama by comparison. But a flag-burning amendment is pandering, is tantamount to burning the Constitution in its best and most vulnerable parts, and is above all in the service of the right.

should be corrected by saying that it was not a constitutional amendment, but a non-amendment. However, I do believe that the non-amendment, while it may have been in the "art of the possible" at the time, does not fix the real underlying problem, if indeed the US citizenry are so attached to their flags that it is possible to be politically vilified for supporting freedom of expression over state heraldry.

None of this actually bears on my original point, which stems directly from the Confluence post in question. There seems to be a general belief there that the defense of expression is an act of contempt for the masses. That's the only way I can interpret it.

This is further reflected in some commenters attitude towards Obama's church and Rev. Wright and Michelle Obama's alleged "chip" on her shoulder. Given that, I maintain everything I said about it. If people wish to focus on the factual error, which is a minor part of the piece, then there's not much I can do.

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Submitted by lambert on

... factual errors are not minor, since we have no system we can rely on to correct them, and I'm surprised that anybody would maintain that they are. They're "minor" like the first specks of mildew, or minor like a tiny infection in a body that has no immune system.

Unfortunately, I won't have time to post my "New Yorker, once famous for fact-checking, shits the bed on RFK smear" today, but you see.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

so bad, that I've had to defend Corrente on other blogs because of it.

There are too many people who have something to say here for you to force people to scroll through this W.O.R.M. -like drivel.... you're whole post was based on a lie. Doing a post admitting that you are full of shit -- then asserting you were right anyway, is a waste of bandwidth - and a waste of our time.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

… factual errors are not minor, since we have no system we can rely on to correct them, and I’m surprised that anybody would maintain that they are. They’re “minor” like the first specks of mildew, or minor like a tiny infection in a body that has no immune system.

Factual errors are not minor, but they can be peripheral to a larger point, as opposed to central to it. I wanted to stay away from the explosive race issues in Confluence comments, because they're actually the same things, but I was sure I'd be accused of being nitpicky on particular people or something.

In fact, staying away from it was worse, because I got stuck on a legislative details issue.

And for Paul, I feel awful for your suffering. Having to defend Corrente? Terrible, terrible suffering.

The point I have made before, and should have made, rather than talk about flags: if Michelle Obama really meant it when she allegedly said that for the first time in her adult life, she is finally proud of America, I'd be more likely to admire her husband as a politician. For some Obama critics, this appears to be a problem.

It shouldn't be.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

You link to a video of Michelle Obama saying the very statement you mention, but you gratuitously pre-pend "allegedly" onto it.

Hillary saves the day on the 1st Amendment, but in your rush to construct a certain narrative about The Confluence -- a point which, frankly, I had a hard time following -- you spin it the other way.

Perhaps you can write something informative about how Obama supported censuring MoveOn.Org for rhyming with "Petraeus"? In the truthy world of Election '08, that wasn't a notable issue in the eyes of MoveOn's members, because it's like "The Sixth Sense," where they only see what they want to see.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

...of the many ways I could have put it. Mea culpa for a failed attempt at what I hamfistedly thought was a clearer and more stark issue on which to hang the discussion.

Now I will have to wait to do it correctly because everyone will be hung up on the error and not the political point. And sure, I deserve it.

willyjsimmons's picture
Submitted by willyjsimmons on

Your original beef was about "symbols" and pandering...

I think you missed the point of the post you were criticizing. (If you wish to press on with this).

But riverdaughter has responded so...

my name is Bennett and I ain't in it, man!

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

...was the enablement of a meme about class resentment that involved, in that case, the flag but has also involved reverse racism charges, disloyalty charges, etc. However, any clarification I issue will now be classified kindly by Paul as WORM so it probably isn't worth it.

The meme though, takes this form, and I see it on a regular basis. You can drop practically anything in it for X:

"Obama supporters resent the working class for alleged bad attitude X, and for that reason, they are unfit to govern."

But very often X is something that is actually a regressive attitude.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

"You don't hold elections with the voters you want; you hold elections with the voters that exist"

That's what underlies all of X, and why Obama's camp has exactly the wrong attitudes about all of it.

Whether X is regressive or not, voters still care about this stuff for whatever reason--and when Obama caved in on the lapel pin and talking God Bless America, etc, he reinforced those attitudes. When Wright and Michelle and others damn America, they reinforced them too.

His giant mistake was in first dismissing the attitudes, and in dismissing their importance to some voters and the voters themselves--and then in caving in and pandering to those attitudes after the damage was done--like the hypocrite he is.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Your last post confused me because I knew it was factually wrong and then didn't get the point being made.

Is the only point that the big deal so many made about Michelle Obama saying this election or whatever was "the first" time she'd been proud of her country was a cheap, bullshit criticism of her? Because that I agree with. I still have no fucking clue what that has to do with flag burning.

But, as I've said in other places, I'm on a lot of cold medicine so I'm sure I missed something.

BTW, here's something you could defend Michelle Obama on that has nothing to do with Hillary (other than Michelle is now getting some of the same gender trashing Hillary enjoyed when Bill ran, none of these women ever work for the money they earn, they only get it because of their husbands).

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Why would anyone attack "Corrente", the blog, over the opinions expressed by a particular guest poster who does not speak for the blog itself? What kind of values are involved in condemning the (pretty much) open posting policy here, and the concept that progress is best served by open expression of ideas and open debate around them? How asinine is that?

I condemn anyone who condemns Corrente. So there. Narrow-minded candy-ass wimps. If you've got something to say, bring it on over here; complaining about it at your whiny little blog won't get my attention, because I've already stopped reading you.

Mandos made a mistake. BFD, it happens. His main point, that symbols are messy and are endlessly open to manipulation and deception and harm, is correct and I support him in that. I also support him in his willingness to take a controversial stance, defend himself, and then offer a correction when he saw he was in error. Well done, that, and something we could all use a bit more of.

willyjsimmons's picture
Submitted by willyjsimmons on

But very often X is something that is actually a regressive attitude.

So...

those American's who would in fact be insulted at the burning of the flag are "regressive" in their attitudes and choice of symbolism?

Yes, this is a gotcha question.

Let's face it, Obama fucked up with his "bitter" comments.

Did he really mean what he said? Who knows.

But the point is...Obama maybe should have known better. Cuz he really couldn't have butchered his answer any more unless he threw in "Crackers!!!!!" for good measure. Understanding that Obama was asked WHY his support among rural whites wasn't higher.

Obama went all PolySci and got caught making a boo boo. And he was factually wrong in what he was talking about anywayz.

Not that the "facts" should matter.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

Why would anyone attack “Corrente”, the blog, over the opinions expressed by a particular guest poster who does not speak for the blog itself?

because people don't understand how Corrente works, and how its structure allows completely ill-informed and utterly nonsensical posts by newbies like Mandos to exist side to side with the well written and insightful posts of people like Lambert.

Most of them never read Corrente BEFORE it became a "pro-hillary" blog, and now that it is no longer a "pro-hillary" blog, they think what is happening here represents a betrayal -- but it was the 'pro-hillary blog" period that was an abberation...

unfortunately, we're now dealing with a new aberrant phase... for a couple of days it seemed like the 'old' corrente was back, but now the front page is getting more and more neo-Oborgian...

willyjsimmons's picture
Submitted by willyjsimmons on

His main point, that symbols are messy and are endlessly open to manipulation and deception and harm, is correct and I support him in that.

Sometimes?

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

of course he meant it. He repeatedly said that what he was saying was correct -- and his 'apology' was of the 'I'm sorry you are so stupid that you took offense at what I said" variety.

Obama's world-view is that of a narcissistic academic. His bitter/cling remarks are a classic example of this --- he took "academic" first year sociology text theory about how communities act under pressure (by 'clinging' to their traditions, and resenting those forces over which they have no control) and made it all about HIM (narcissism) -- it was because of their bitterness and clinging that these people didn't "get" him.

Obama believes that his superiority is "self-evident"... and that the only reason that others would not recognize his obvious superiority is that they are deficient/damaged in some way.

In this regard, Obamatology is like Scientology -- the reason that the rest of us don't believe in Scientology is that we're not "clear" -- and the moment we achieve "clarity", the self-evident truths of Scientology become obvious.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

about your original post is that you got the information about Hillary wrong. The rest of it was confusing.

Do you really not understand that Clinton didn't think her bill would pass and that passing it wasn't the intent? The intent was to sabotage the proposed amendment. How is that anything less than a thoroughly good thing?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

trying to get some of that faux patriotism cred for herself and for Dems.

Just like when Tipper Gore went big for Music Labeling--it gives you "family values" cred in an easy, shoddy, symbolic way.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Guess I never saw constitutional principles, progressive goals and liberal thinking as somehow assignable to one grasping politician or another. They are inherent to the people who post here, including dear Mandos, even when we get the details wrong.

Those who can't figure out how Corrente is supposed to work are like the voters who can't figure out how democracy is supposed to work. Some of them never will get the hang of it. If they've twisted their knickers up in a ball over one guest post and haven't got the courage to deal with it directly right here where the post was made, then I'm thinking they have some other agenda - like stealing Corrente readers for themselves.

But the real reason I write in response is...now you think Obama = Scientology? Whoa there, Big Daddy! You know I love ya, but I still have to ask: WTF is with that? Has the Obama campaign killed anybody? Kidnapped them? There is a lot of asking people to believe, and more than there should be, I'll grant, but we’re not being asked to believe in an intergalactic evil overlord and demonic ghostly minions. And nobody is being told they have to contribute in order to participate; there’s no pay-to-play for the voters, you can accept him or reject him for free. Not Scientology, not by a long shot.

Better similes, please.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I'm talking high schoolish clique wars and personal threats.

Please note that my decision to vote "D" per usual is despite that, not because of it.

I will leave it at that, but I find Paul's simile far less of a stretch than I would ever hope it would be.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

and an education. Some people turned out to be less than we thought they were. (Not trying to minimize the pain or shock of that; always hurtful, being confronted by misplaced trust. I’d be more worked up than I am but I’ve had it happen so often before, to the point that I just shrug it off and keep moving; I am too old, too calloused and to much don’t-give-a-fuck about piss-ant behavior anymore, I guess.)

Having grown up out here in NorCal when the Scientologists were kidnapping and murdering and having seen friends and acquaintances ruined by their manipulation, I'm not at all willing to accept that Obama and his campaign are anything remotely like any aspect of Scientology. If some of his fans are assholes, that isn't unique to either the Obama campaign or Scientology either; plenty of them running around, everywhere.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

"In this regard," in the phrase "In this regard, Obamatology is like Scientology..." didn't you understand.

See, its possible to limit a simile.... you can say something is "like" something else (unlimited simile), or you can say something is like an aspect something of something else (limited simile).

In this case, I limited the comparison to the way in which Obots and Scientologists see non-believers as deficient/damaged -- and that were they not deficient/damaged, they'd 'see the light'.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

and I see it as too broad a brush. Obama and the Obama campaign are not "like" any aspect of Scientology, no more than any enterprise that is comprised of human beings and their aspirations - IMHO.

Understood there is a lot of frustration and unhappiness and anger and even fear being felt. I have a list of things I don't like about Obama too. All I'm asking here is that a little care be taken with scary word associations; just please make sure they are apt.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

No one would pay attention if I did. But I do offer guidelines, free of charge; take them as you will, and for what they're worth. Sometimes I also issue consequences, but this is not one of those times.

Too much anger out and about right now, bubbling over. Sometimes, it comes flying out and strikes those who do not deserve any; sometimes it gets expressed in ways that are not entirely appropriate. That's all I'm talking about.

For what its worth.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

I ought to be more sympathetic to Mandos, I suppose.
This is a statement with which I agree.

I condemn anyone who condemns Corrente. So there. Narrow-minded candy-ass wimps. If you’ve got something to say, bring it on over here; complaining about it at your whiny little blog won’t get my attention, because I’ve already stopped reading you.

This is the statement that is the reason I stop reading:

If people wish to focus on the factual error, which is a minor part of the piece, then there’s not much I can do.

And this one time I will stop long enough from adding Mandos to my "can't-be-bothered-with" list to explain why:

If you do not care to tell the truth with accuracy and completeness, you are wasting my time. Life is too short for me to let you do that repeatedly.

Clear enough? I'm not interested in "a minor part of the piece," you knotwit, I'm interested in accurate reportage.
Even if you're trying to write an editorial, or a commentary, or the fracking Sunday Funnies, DO NOT misrepresent the presence of a factual error, don't gloss it over or try to pass it off as unimportant. Such behavior only adds to the wreckage of your credibility to me, and I'm sure I'm not the only reader who approaches the Internets in this mindframe, let alone Corrente.

Suck it up. You were wrong. Come out and say that, say you apologize and you'll try not to do it again (because as BIO notes above, you made a mistake, BFD, it happens; it's the damn coverup that curdles everything beyond all hope of redemption). Otherwise, I have no time for you to waste.

Is that clear enough, Mandos?

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

Suck it up. You were wrong. Come out and say that, say you apologize and you’ll try not to do it again (because as BIO notes above, you made a mistake, BFD, it happens; it’s the damn coverup that curdles everything beyond all hope of redemption). Otherwise, I have no time for you to waste.

Is that clear enough, Mandos?

I thought I was doing that with this post. Sorry if I'm not good at apologies, I rarely make them.

But I was also trying to salvage the discussion I was hoping it would lead to. That is not a crime, no? I HAD a larger point to make that wasn't about Hillary Clinton. But maybe it was a mistake. And now it's hopelessly confused. I'll try again some other time.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

And thank you BIO and amberglow. You sort of get where I was at.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

i got your points right away, i think, no?

(and this thanks for the correction is a really cool move too--too bad some can't be nice.)

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

You understood perfectly what I was getting at.

I'd also like to suggest that on occasion, the reality of the fact is often at right-angles to what it reveals about the attitudes those who discuss it, myself included.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

it's also that your post was about more than just the Hillary thing or flagburning, but people latched on to just that -- bec it was more concrete maybe?

(i just comment here--it makes me happier) : >

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

"Factual errors are not minor, but they can be peripheral to a larger point"

Didn't you mean "I don't let facts get in the way of a good story."?

-----------------------------

Around these parts we call cucumber slices circle bites

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

WMRM was that the relevant fact I cited (the Confluence OP and Confluence commenters attitudes) was at least a fair interpretation, and that was what I was focusing on. I misread (perhaps) the Confluence post, and took the assertion that Clinton had tried to pass an amendment to be true, but my post stood even if she hadn't as that wasn't the point of my post...

However, the post suddenly became about truthiness and Hillary Clinton rather than the discussion that I was *trying* to have. I should have predicted this and corrected the post immediately, but instead I was dumb and thought that people would still "get" it.

Well, some people got it. I should have realized that some people around here are way more interested in the truthiness kick (this needs a post at some point too, somewhere)...

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

...the truthiness kick"

With all due respect, I am reminded of what Mark Vonnegut recently recalled his father saying:

"If you can't write clearly, you probably don't think nearly as well as you think you do."

I found it hard to follow your initial point because, in part, it seemed like you were twisting the story to make Hillary a secondary villain (with The Confluence blog as the primary vaguely culpable culprit). Once a story stops reading honestly, my attention is lost.

I just reread your original post a couple of more times, and I'm still not exactly sure what trait of Hillary supporters you're criticizing.

One thing I do sense is that you're criticizing Hillary for practicing "the art of the possible." Is there a new Senate that I'm not familiar with, where one person of conscience can do better than that? Is Obama, who famously voted against the war (in the sense that an air guitarist plays a song, that is) and then reflexively voted to keep funding it, showing us an inspirational New Way? If so, then I can hardly wait to see his "art of the hopeful" ushering in veritable carousel of progress! There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, I bet!

Frankly, both you and madamab (author of the Confluence post in question) lost me because the framing of both posts is erroneous: liberals are not habitual flag burners. This is, for the most part, a symbolic issue about a symbol. Also, though I can't put anyone in rhetoric jail for it, you both failed to note a rather obvious related topic that sheds light on who's the bigger panderer: the Obama/MoveOn/Petraeus vote. Hillary stood up for free speech, and Obama pandered -- at the expense of a progressive activist group -- with a cheap symbolic act of fauxtrage. He was promptly rewarded with massive support from MoveOn's discerning members.

Anyway, please accept my apology on behalf of the entire Corrente community for expecting that writing should be cogent and intellectually honest. Our bad!

BTW, if you don't have a refutation to my points (like, say, a concise explanation of what trait your initial point was complaining about, or why it's wrong to be turned off to a post that's founded on inaccuracies), not to worry. There are ample opportunities for meta-snark (hint: try pointing the bad-writing finger back at me). In any case, willy-nilly wagging any finger at Hillary and her supporters is always a winner.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

You are reading too much into that Confluence post, in the first place.

The only thing that post was saying, is that Clinton is a smart politician. She makes good strategic political moves, that work to the benefit of herself and her party.

Do you always agree with them? Probably not, but as everyone has been saying, you go to elections with the voters you have, not the voters you wish you had.

Many voters, and yes these voters represent the "working" class end of the spectrum, believe these symbols are important. So Clinton found a way to protect the Constitution and demonstrate to these voters that she hears them. It was brilliant, like her gas tax holiday plan.

You are getting all caught up in the fact that "she was reinforcing the frame", overlooking that short term loss, was to get a long term gain.

In other words, Big Fuckin Deal. It is more important to wield political power, than to be morally or intellectually superior. Clinton takes steps, minor ones, that innoculate her from Republican smears, so she can continue to wield political power.

And if you can't grok the rift between the working class and intellectual wings of the Democratic party, I recommend reading Anglachel, she has been discussing this rift for most of the primary season.

I can also tell you, though I fall in with the more "intellectual" wing, I am strongly "working class", and I've seen the constant condescension towards the working class many of the Progressive blogs have. This has been coming to a head since the 2000 election, and this year, they have finally decided they can win without the working class(not likely), and have written them off.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

If I had to give the point in a single sentence, it would be to say that the right reaction to Whole Foods Nation's apparent disdain for an alleged working class habit from is NOT NECESSARILY celebration or reinforcement or justification of said habit, but that a lot of Hillary Clinton supporters online seem to me to do so.

I read that post and the following comments as a case in point. That was what I was trying to write about. ie, it sounded like they *agreed* that flag-burning was a terrible offense against The People, when I didn't think it should be. amberglow got it in one, but because I read the history wrong, it became a discussion about "truthiness", which---I guess due to the primaries, whose TV media I largely ignored---crowded out the discussion about perspectives on class resentment.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

So, in other words, you're saying that we're adopting Bubba values. Is that correct? Is there a lot of this about?

Most of the upset I'm seeing on the pro-Hillary blogs is concern that Obama is throwing progressives and their traditional constituents under the bus. This other business strikes me as rather obscure, but YMMV.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

I read Anglachel on a regular basis and am familiar with her theory about Stevensonians. I have a similar theory which I wrote in a much better received Corrente guest post a while back, but I'm not sure I agree with Anglachel's interpretation of that divide even if I think she's drawn the line in a very similar place from what I would.

I've commented on her blog about this on multiple occasions.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Link?

As to your one sentence summary, let me see if I got this straight.

Obama supporters may be getting a bum rap when they are accused of showing disdain for the customs and practices of the working class. Nonetheless, Clinton supporters should be showing more disdain for the customs and practices of the working class than they have been showing heretofore.

Do I have it about right?

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

That article was quite good, and I've seen it before. Yes, I think I agree with it.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Yeah, I did read that post and thread. I especially remember Lambert's "If you ever worked in a cube" comment.

In a different thread you took me to task with what I read as your "all is lost" view:

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How sad that you believe so. It belongs on a Hallmark card. It spreads the blame equally—-do you not realize this?
*******************

I see back in April you described one scenario that you thought could possibly play out in the future:

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The times when the process has worked best in pushing forward a progressive agenda are ones that existed alongside policy reforms like those of FDR. The USA has the infrastructure to make policy changes—-that’s why it has a constitution, and Congress, and so on. It’s a matter of the will to choose to use it...
**********************

The times do change, I guess. Granted, you did follow on with a "riposte."