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The Same Old Bullshit


Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

It's the Same Old Bullshit.

You'll never find anyone standing up for the Same Old Bullshit. There is no Same Old Bullshit lobby. No 527 or think tank that will admit to being all about the Same Old Bullshit. Don't let that fool you: the Same Old Bullshit lobby is powerful. Easily the most powerful force in American politics.

Barack Obama suggests some voters may be bitter and Hillary leaps, teeth bared, claws extended. She becomes the living embodiment of the Same Old Bullshit.

And the networks and pundits devoted to the Same Old Bullshit fall in line. They're like my idiot Labrador, Goofy: they eat it, they shit it out, they eat their own shit, and start it all over again. A perpetual motion machine of bullshit.

The Reverend Wright "controversy?" The Same Old Bullshit.
The John McCain 100 years distortions? The Same Old Bullshit.
Obama's flag lapel pin heresy? The Same Old Bullshit.
The John McCain temper "concerns?" The Same Old Bullshit.
Bowling. The Same Old Bullshit.
Did she weep? The Same Old Bullshit.
Did he smoke? The Same Old Bullshit.
Did his wife . . . Bullshit.
Did her husband . . . Bullshit.
How about her daughter . . . Bullshit.

Gotcha, gotcha, neener, neener, did you hear, did you see, did you read, hah, booyah, got him, got her, got it, got them, she cried, he choked, he lost his place, hair, suit, shoes, too smooth, too rough, too black, too white, too old, too new, too tough, too this, too that, not enough of 'a' and too much of 'b' and this bullshit, and that bullshit, and eight new kinds of bullshit, and oh, look, it's a whole new subspecies of bullshit. Bullshit from the trenches, bullshit from the academy, bullshit in Olympian tones, George Will brand Bullshit, Paul Krugman brand Bullshit, Euro-Bullshit.

Sweet suffering Jesus aren't you all just sick of it?

Actually, no: you're not. Not all of you. You all claim to be sick of it, but the Same Old Bullshit comforts people. The Same Old Bullshit is home for a lot of people. They like the Same Old Bullshit. Just like my dog, they eat, excrete, and redigest the Same Old Bullshit.

Why? Well, about half the spreaders of the Same Old Bullshit are partisan hacks who don't give a fuck about anything but their guy or girl or side winning. Because the whole fucking planet will fall off its fucking axis and go spinning into the sun if their side doesn't fucking "win."

Win! Win! Win win win win win win win win win winwinwinwinwin!

Win! What what, exactly? Win the bullshit prize! Booyah! My bullshit beat your bullshit! In your face!

And the other half are just bores. Devoid of imagination, devoid of perspective, devoid of
any real interest, just needing to have something to say, so why not just keep repeating the same tired bullshit?

It's like we never get the children out of the room. Is there never a time when the adults can talk? Like adults? About real things? No? Never? Must it always be partisan hacks and morons running loose spreading the Same Old Bullshit everywhere? Filling the world with the Same Old Bullshit until all the world is choked on it?

We've got terrorists looking for nukes. We've got a mount Everest of debt. There are two wars on. People are losing their houses. People are starving all over the world. There are viruses and bacteria busily mutating and looking for fun new ways to kill us. The goddamned planet may be overheating. We've made trillions of dollars' worth of promises we can't possibly keep. We're running out of gas, and I don't just mean literally.

And all we talk about is bullshit.

And the problem is not our politicians or even our media. They're just the bullshit-pushers. The problem is us. We create the market for bullshit. If we stop eating it, they'll stop feeding it to us.

The truth is that John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama could all be good presidents. Or lousy presidents. But none of the three has a chance so long as we the people demand a steady diet of the Same Old Bullshit.

The problem is not "Them." It's me, and you.

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“The Same Old Bullshit”

  1. Blogger kreiz1 Says:

    No shit, Michael- exactly right. I can't believe this is turning toward Atwater/Rove Country. And the media eats up these bullshit character-driven narratives- guess economic pieces demand hard thinking and no reads them anyway.

    Jesus Christ. We're headed toward Culture Wars '08. Have we forgotten that the 2000 election became 'Gore is an alien robot elitist'? We're not a serious people. We deserve what we get. Who are we going to vote off the Island?

  2. Blogger Randy (Internet Ronin) Says:

    A number of your complaints strike me as being the same old bullshit as well, as in "my candidate keeps shooting himself in the foot so let's complain about the press and the dumbness of the American people."

  3. Blogger Michael Reynolds Says:

    I don't think Obama has shot himself in the foot. That's my point. Any more than I think John McCain's 100 years remark is important. Or Hillary's Bosnia story. Or Romney's supposed gaffes or any of these idiot's so-called gaffes. Or Giuliani's supposed gaffes.

    It's a bullshit game. It's a waste of everyone's time. It's the same tired stupid bullshit that keeps us from getting anything done. There's a story out that McCain called his wife a cunt in front of staffers a few years ago. Relevance? None. There's a story he threw fists at an Arizona rep. Who cares? Does anyone really think McCain will go around pummeling people in the White House? No. No more than anyone really thinks Obama's a radical because his preacher's a nut.

    It's dishonest bullshit. And it's bullshit that cripples American politics and ends by destroying American power and liberty.

  4. Blogger Randy (Internet Ronin) Says:

    Once is a mistake, twice a coincidence but after three times a pattern begins to form. You pass off those condescending remarks about Pennsylvania as a gaffe. The only gaffe was being caught uttering them. If Clinton or McCain had said anything remotely in that vein about blacks in Philadelphia, the resulting uproar wouldn't die for a hundred days and her candidacy would have been instantly destroyed.

    As to McCain, how on earth you can claim that is bullshit is mystifying. True, the Clinton and Obama partisans who used it to their own advantage were bullshitting but the coverage helped bring to the fore an important issue in the election: what being in Iraq means both short and long term, or if there should be a long-term. Writing it all off as bullshit seems like an extreme reaction to me.

    There's no point talking to you about Jeremiah Wright and his influence over the past 20 years, I agree. Your mind is closed. Juan Williams had a different take. I imagine you will think this critique by Dan Drezner is also bullshit.

  5. Blogger Michael Reynolds Says:

    The post directly below this one is me calling attention to John McCain's nobility of character. Go three posts down and I'm claiming we may have won in Iraq. Scroll down another half dozen posts and I'm berating Keith Olbermann. But my mind is closed.

    Yeah, whatever, Randy.

  6. Blogger Randy (Internet Ronin) Says:

    Michael, "Your mind is closed" referred to the controversy over Jeremiah Wright.

  7. Blogger Hallq Says:

    I know how you feel man--I honestly have kinda given up trying to find substantiative coverage of the candidates, and have resorted to just not wasting my time on it.

    Minor dissent, though: though it falls under "gaffe" territory, McCain's Iran-supporting-Al-Quaeda comment bugs the hell out of me. It feels like a neurosurgeon about to operate on me mentioning how my thoughts reside in my heart, you sympathize?

  8. Blogger kreiz1 Says:

    Mark Halperin calls it freak show politics- labeling your opponent as so far out of the mainstream that he becomes a freak. Halerpin's nailed it- that's what elections have become. Thank you Lee Atwater for a wonderful legacy.

  9. Blogger Randy (Internet Ronin) Says:

    Thank you Lee Atwater for a wonderful legacy.

    Ah, yes, I remember it well: Lee Atwater hard at work as a 20-year-old twisting George McGovern's reputation, using skills learned as a teen-ager when he took on Barry Goldwater. Of course, he was something of a prodigy, still in diapers when he went after both Richard Nixon and Adlai Stevenson just for the sport of it in 1952. How he managed the Helen Gahagan Douglas feat before he was born we'll never know, though.

  10. Anonymous James Stanhope Says:

    A couple of points regarding Americans' preference for "bullshit" during campaigns:

    One reason for "bullshit" is that whenever a candidate tells voters truths that they don't like, he's guaranteed to lose their vote. Thus when McCain told Michigan primary voters that some of their lost jobs were not coming back, they voted for Romney who promised to rebuild Michigan's manufacturing sector (without explaining how). It's safer for a candidate portray his opponent as a "freak," as already mentioned in the comments.

    Also, sometimes "gaffes" can be revealing about a candidate's character, or at least raise legitimate concerns about how he/she would govern. Hillary's Bosnia story would be forgotten if she had not kept repeating it after it had been proven to be grossly untrue. It suggests either that Hillary has a personality disorder or that she's adopted the communication strategy of George W. Bush. Neither bodes well for governance.

    Obama's condescension toward working class whites could be dismissed as momentary tactlessness, if, afterwards, he did not keep talking about them as objects. To talk about someone as an object is to reduce him, especially during an electoral campaign. Thus a cardinal rule of electoral campaigning is: Talk TO potential supporters, but not ABOUT them. If Obama really does see certain segments of the population as genuinely inferior to himself, then this could create problems for governance (think of how certain Republicans think about blacks).

    McCain's gaffe about Iran and Al-Quaeda, which was probably intentional and not a gaffe, is more concerning because it suggests that he contemplates expanding the war in the Middle East, no matter what the cost. McCain needs to make clear that for him, war is not the only option. His campaigning suggests otherwise. That scares me.

  11. Blogger kreiz1 Says:

    Randy @ 9. Apparently you're confusing dirty politics with wedge politics. Dirty politics has been around forever, as you've aptly pointed out (although I don't know why you would stop at Nixon's 48 Senate race). Wedge politics is a subset of dirty politics, to be sure, but it's not the same. The 64 LBJ commercial and the '48 Nixon race were not examples of wedge politics. It's easy to see how the untrained eye could be befuddled by such distinctions, however.