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Thursday, January 31, 2013

OTP - Feb 2013: Baseball team flunks history with Taft mascot pick

The Washington Nationals might have bitten off more than they can chew by naming William Howard Taft as their next racing mascot. If you aren’t familiar with the controversy, the baseball team features four mascots dressed as U.S. presidents that race around the Nationals’ stadium during home games to entertain fans.

“Teddy has handpicked the next president for the Presidents’ Race,” Nationals COO Andy Feffer told the newspaper on Friday, a day before the Taft mascot was rolled out. “There was a great amount of banter and discussion back and forth, but Teddy won out with his recommendation.”

On Saturday, the sanitized Taft mascot made its debut at a fan event, looking at least 100 pounds lighter than its real-life counterpart.

The reaction in the media, so far, is that even sportswriters who aren’t historians know the two men hated each other.

The Post’s Dan Steinberg asked a local historian how bad the blood was between TR and Taft.

Allan Lichtman, distinguished professor of history at American University, told Steinberg that each man considered the other a backstabber, and they had no qualms taking down each other in a presidential election.

“The rivalry was as bitter as it gets in politics,” said Lichtman. “There’s nothing like the feeling of betrayal, and both men felt betrayed by the other.”

Tripon Posted: January 31, 2013 at 07:41 PM | 582 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, ot, politics, washington, washington nationals

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:15 PM (#4359643)
Or Andrew Jackson? The seventh president has a lifelong love of horse racing and would be very competitive. (For example, Jackson beat up his own would-be assassin with a cane in 1835.)


That's a great pick. Though should wait until The Braves play The Nationals to do the race.
   2. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:22 PM (#4359649)
On Saturday, the sanitized Taft mascot made its debut at a fan event, looking at least 100 pounds lighter than its real-life counterpart.

Wait, they picked Taft and then didn't make him fat? What the hell? That's pretty much the only thing he known for. Next they'll get J-Lo to throw out the first pitch and then only shoot her from the front.
   3. Greg K Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:23 PM (#4359650)
It's a shame Toronto doesn't do this (though I suppose since it's not the capital it doesn't work as well).

But you could have Trudeau prance around the infield until Chretien strangles him into submission, Mackenzie King captures "Ace" the Blue Jay mascot and dissects him for clues as to who will win the race, and John McDonald pukes all over secon base. John Turner and Kim Campbell also show up for the race, but are asked to leave before it starts.
   4. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:27 PM (#4359653)
But you could have Trudeau prance around the infield until Chretien strangles him into submission, Mackenzie King captures "Ace" the Blue Jay mascot and dissects him for clues as to who will win the race, and John McDonald pukes all over secon base. John Turner and Kim Campbell also show up for the race, but are asked to leave before it starts.


What are those, hockey players?
   5. JJ1986 Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:35 PM (#4359658)
What are those, hockey players?


I think they are varieties of Moose.
   6. flournoy Posted: January 31, 2013 at 08:48 PM (#4359672)
Well, Trudeau is the Doonesbury guy, and Chretien wrote Jurassic Park. I think Mackenzie King was a Bud Light mascot, and John McDonald is a futility infielder. John Turner and Kim Campbell are probably local weather reporters.
   7. RollingWave Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:01 PM (#4359682)
From previous page

Speaking of which, why did the GOP not bluster and threaten wholesale bombing when NK was close to the bomb? Surely they make the Iranians look perfectly sane by comparison.


Because

A. unlike Iran, they actually have the nukes for a while now, or a least probably, since they're country is in such an insane state even the US don't know what's really going on there.

B. China, which will logically see an attack on North Korea as just another imperialist move who's longer aim is to going for them.

C. South Korea and Japan, which doesn't want war on it's doorsteps. the 3 of them (including China) account for like 20% of the world's GDP and any significant conflict in East asia is going to make 2008 look positively good in comparison.
   8. flournoy Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:08 PM (#4359687)
That is not from any previous page here, take it back to the terrible politics thread.
   9. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:27 PM (#4359701)
take it back to the terrible politics thread.


At the very least, take it back to the terrible use of apostrophes thread.
   10. villageidiom Posted: January 31, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4359713)
The reaction in the media, so far, is that even sportswriters who aren’t historians know the two men hated each other.

The Post’s Dan Steinberg asked a local historian how bad the blood was between TR and Taft.

Allan Lichtman, distinguished professor of history at American University, told Steinberg that each man considered the other a backstabber, and they had no qualms taking down each other in a presidential election.

To me, this enhances the Presidents' Race. Instead of Teddy always finding a way to lose, they can simply have Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln do their race while Taft and Roosevelt trip each other up for comic effect.
   11. Tripon Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4359749)
No fat Taft? That is an outrage.
   12. Dale Sams Posted: January 31, 2013 at 10:59 PM (#4359760)
Speaking of which, why did the GOP not bluster and threaten wholesale bombing when NK was close to the bomb? Surely they make the Iranians look perfectly sane by comparison.


I didn't hear about this in early 20th century politics class. Is Oliver Stone going after Taft now?
   13. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:50 PM (#4359776)
The only good historical use to make of Taft would be to have him throw out the first ball on opening day, since he was the first president to do so. He can then be shot by a nearsighted John Schrank, and taken to the fat men's ward of Bethesda Naval to recover in time for the 2014 opener.
   14. spike Posted: January 31, 2013 at 11:55 PM (#4359781)
errr....doesn't "OTP - Feb 2013" mean this IS the terrible politics thread?
   15. Tripon Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:15 AM (#4359792)
It will be tomorrow, I suppose.
   16. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:46 AM (#4359822)
It's where we quarantine the politics.

I'd have loved to see Nixon as one of the racing Presidents. He'd constantly be cheating.
   17. BrianBrianson Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:23 AM (#4359830)
Can you dig it?

Taft is only known for being too fat for his bathtub. A skinny Taft makes no sense. As noted about, it'd be like having a Chretien mascot who doesn't strangle people.
   18. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: February 01, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4359847)
I can imagine what happened:

"Boss, we're adding Taft to the president's race this year! Cuz he's fat! Har!"

"What?! You can't make fun of fat people! This is Washington! The National Association of Overweight People will sue our lips off!"

"But...but we've already made up the suit! Roly-poly! The kids'll love it!"

"You can keep Taft, just fix the suit so that he's skinny!"

"..."
   19. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:12 AM (#4359866)
NK is ignored because (a) they don't have oil, (b) they are foreign, but pretty far from Isreal, (c) the wrong color to want to invade (sure maybe 30 years ago, but now?), (d) were hostages ever held in their country for years (with Nightline on every night about it?), (e) are they next to two other countries weare already invading? (invade three in a region win a prize!), and of course the real reason (f) they have the bomb already and so invading is a bunch scarier (they are chicken-hawks for a reason).
   20. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:31 AM (#4359880)
National Review, faced with the news Obama commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, knew exactly what it had to do: It backed the Nazis.
   21. zonk Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4359883)
Taft is only known for being too fat for his bathtub. A skinny Taft makes no sense. As noted about, it'd be like having a Chretien mascot who doesn't strangle people.


While this is true in a sense, it is a bit unfair -- as Taft also holds the distinction of being the only American to head up both the Executive and Judicial branches (he was also the 10th SCOTUS Chief Justice).

In fact -- only three Americans have ever had the distinction of 'leading' two of the three branches of our federal government... Chief Justice and President Taft is one.

Can you name the other two?

EDIT: This being land of the nerds, a strong argument can be made for a 4th - but you'd have to make some historical adjustments
   22. OCF Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4359886)
(d) were hostages ever held in [North Korea] for years (with Nightline on every night about it?),

Well, there was the U.S.S. Pueblo.
   23. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:56 AM (#4359896)
National Review, faced with the news Obama commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, knew exactly what it had to do: It backed the Nazis.


I saw that too. But no, really, we should take them seriously, you guys.
   24. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4359897)

Can you name the other two?


Ford and LBJ?
   25. zonk Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4359900)

Can you name the other two?



Ford and LBJ?


LBJ is one - served as Senate Majority leader.... Ford is close, but no cigar -- he was House minority leader, but never Speaker (or Majority leader).
   26. LargeBill Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4359905)
Believe Polk and Garfield both served as Speaker of the House.


Edit: Oops. Skip Garfield. Need more coffee.
   27. BDC Posted: February 01, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4359933)
I don't get the impression that Taft was much more memorable a Chief Justice than he was a President, but he did have this to say about Prohibition:

British subjects on the high seas may be punished by the U.S. under the Volstead Act, if they are hovering with rumful purpose anywhere off the coast of the U.S.


Nice use of a single arch word to convey what he probably thought of Prohibition on the whole.

Taft was a very good Secretary of War. His shining moment was using Army resources very effectively for relief efforts after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. No Brownie he.
   28. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4359952)
Even better with that National Review/Nazi thing. The whole point of the article was (quoting directly here): "The idea that all violence is “senseless” violence is one that has taken deep root on the left; it’s also, unfortunately, one that poses a major impediment to understanding the world."

Now, even if you set aside the whole batshit crazy basically defending the Nazis part, can anyone help me recall who said the following in 1983?

"Those who perished as a result of Nazi terror, millions of individual men and women and children whose lives were taken so senselessly, must never be forgotten."


Yep.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:25 PM (#4359962)
National Review, faced with the news Obama commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, knew exactly what it had to do: It backed the Nazis.


Nazis also remember the Holocaust - just in their own way!
   30. OsunaSakata Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4359963)
Who are the only three U.S. Presidents whose parents were both alive when he took office?

zonk-I always took Polk and Taft for that answer. I don't know if I'd count LBJ. The Speaker of the House is the highest person in the Legislative Branch on the succession sequence, but the Senate Majority Leader isn't there at all.

The mascot Taft also has white hair. In the pictures I've found online, he's more balding that white-haired by the time he's Chief Justice.
   31. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4359964)
Clusterchuck.

John Avlon is rightly incensed by this disgusting insinuation - and the whole fracas. But the Senate GOP does not surprise. Even after the catastrophes in Iraq and Afghanistan, neoconservatism in its most paranoid and aggressive form still reigns supreme. We won both wars; we never tortured anyone; there is no such thing as the Greater Israel Lobby and it never intimidates anyone and has never defended any dumb idea (like settling half a million Israelis in a conquered territory). And the proof that the fever still has not broken was Hagel's dreadful, inarticulate surrender on anything he had ever thought or said.
   32. Danny Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4359969)
Public Policy Polling: Coming up next- we tested Curt Schilling for fun as a RI Senate candidate, and he did the worst of anyone we've ever polled for the Senate
   33. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4359972)
Take a pedantic, meaningless pot shot at Obama by defending Nazism? Avoid defenses of Nazism but miss a chance to take a pedantic, meaningless shot at Obama? Clearly, the choice is obvious.
   34. steagles Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4359974)
jesus christ:

Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was — and to which the president is — implacably opposed, but it is hardly “senseless.”
   35. GregD Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4359976)
Public Policy Polling: Coming up next- we tested Curt Schilling for fun as a RI Senate candidate, and he did the worst of anyone we've ever polled for the Senate
Their polls of Geraldo Rivera must still be in the field...

Edited to add linkfor anyone thinking I made up the Rivera thing
   36. Morty Causa Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4359980)
   37. Lassus Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4359983)
I'm curious to see if Joe would be able to respond to the National Review article without bringing up once something idiotic MSNBC did to compare it to.
   38. steagles Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4359986)
I'm curious to see if Joe would be able to respond to the National Review article without bringing up once something idiotic MSNBC did to compare it to.
"saul alinsky is responsible for just as many deaths as hitler. you just have to know where the bodies are buried."
   39. zonk Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4359987)
Polk & LBJ are the other two (Polk was Speaker of the House prior to President).

The 'pseudo-4th' is Oliver Ellsworth -- Chief Justice before John Marshall... He was a Senator from Connecticut in the first Congress -- at the time, there was no such thing as 'Senate Majority Leader', since the VP was (and technically still is) the 'President of the Senate' and we really didn't yet have enshrined 'parties'... However, Ellsworth is generally considered to have been the first 'Senate Majority leader' -- in that he essentially played that role. Virtually all bills went through him and depending on whether you were an enemy or ally -- he was either a back-door dealing SOB or consensus building leader.

To the extent John Marshall is sort of the father of the Judicial Branch growing into the truly co-equal 3rd branch, it was Ellsworth that laid the legislative foundation for the judiciary (SB 1 -- which basically fleshed out the constitution's judicial framwework, was his) -- though, it was his successor (Marshall) that more or less enshrined it.

So, while officially -- there have been only 3 people to lead two of the three branches -- I think most historians would least say Ellsworth deserves a spot as an interesting asterisked 4th.
   40. BDC Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4359990)
Who are the only three U.S. Presidents whose parents were both alive when he took office?

I got three in four guesses, so will let someone else win who can get it in three :)

I'll tell you the one I got wrong: John Quincy Adams. His father was alive, but departing from the usual pattern, his mother had died a few years earlier. Surviving Presidential fathers are very infrequent.
   41. Tilden Katz Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4359993)
...an assertion that “no Jew can be a member of the race.” Suffice it to say, many sensible Germans were persuaded.


Sensible indeed. It's a wonder these guys can't attract a bigger share of the Jewish vote.
   42. Tripon Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4359994)
Are there any editors at the National Review? One look at that article and it should have been dead on arrival. The fact that it's still up is amazing in its own right.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4359996)
Who are the only three U.S. Presidents whose parents were both alive when he took office?


George W is the obvious one.
   44. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4359999)
Even better with that National Review/Nazi thing. The whole point of the article was (quoting directly here): "The idea that all violence is “senseless” violence is one that has taken deep root on the left; it’s also, unfortunately, one that poses a major impediment to understanding the world."

Not to mention the fact that Obama did not say or come close to implying that "all violence is 'senseless.'" She just made that up.
   45. OsunaSakata Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4360001)
George W. is correct. Both H.W. and Babs are still alive. Of the other two, one is gettable, the other is really hard.
   46. GregD Posted: February 01, 2013 at 12:58 PM (#4360004)
JFK is the other easy one, right?
   47. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4360006)
Are there any editors at the National Review? One look at that article and it should have been dead on arrival. The fact that it's still up is amazing in its own right.
Two explanations for what's going on at NRO:

1. It was quietly purchased by The Onion.

2. It's been infiltrated by leftist agents determined to destroy the publication from within.
   48. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4360009)
Who are the only three U.S. Presidents whose parents were both alive when he took office?
George W is the obvious one.

JFK, of course
   49. spike Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4360010)
Are there any editors at the National Review?

The magazine's current editor is Rich Lowry, so no, not really.
   50. OsunaSakata Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4360013)
Yes, JFK, who is the only one so far who has been outlived by his parents. Not intending to jinx W or anything.
   51. BDC Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4360016)
the other is really hard

The third was accused of nepotism of an uncommon kind because his father held a Post Office job.
   52. Tilden Katz Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4360019)
Grant is the other, right?
   53. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4360022)
National Review, faced with the news Obama commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, knew exactly what it had to do: It backed the Nazis

That NR article was definitely Out There, but it was hardly "backing the Nazis". Here's the operative paragraph, written in response to Obama's reference to the Holocaust's "senseless" violence:

Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was — and to which the president is — implacably opposed, but it is hardly “senseless.” By the early 1930s, the Nazi party had hundreds of thousands of devoted members and repeatedly attracted a third of the votes in German elections; its political leaders campaigned on a platform comprising 25 non-senseless points, including the “unification of all Germans,” a demand for “land and territory for the sustenance of our people,” and an assertion that “no Jew can be a member of the race.” Suffice it to say, many sensible Germans were persuaded.


It's a stupid column on many levels, which most NRO columns usually are but you have to be looking to be offended to read any pro-Nazi intent into it.

   54. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4360033)
Is Marge Schott writing for the National Review these days?
   55. BDC Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4360034)
I hope that no sentient person could have meant that quote the way it sounds, Andy. But the way the juxtaposition of the last two sentences sounds is this: "You know, the Nazis had a pretty good point about the Jews and the Aryan race."
   56. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4360040)
Andy, the thought process that says "I need to make this senseless pedantic point because Obama said X, even if it means contingently arguing for the Nazis" is fundamentally ######. Even if the arguing "for" is only remote and tangential. The stupidity is in thinking someone needed to counter Obama's statement that the Holocaust was "senseless." It's classic ODS.
   57. OsunaSakata Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:42 PM (#4360043)
Grant is the 3rd. Very good!
   58. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: February 01, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4360054)
Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was — and to which the president is — implacably opposed, but it is hardly “senseless.” By the early 1930s, the Nazi party had hundreds of thousands of devoted members and repeatedly attracted a third of the votes in German elections; its political leaders campaigned on a platform comprising 25 non-senseless points, including the “unification of all Germans,” a demand for “land and territory for the sustenance of our people,” and an assertion that “no Jew can be a member of the race.” Suffice it to say, many sensible Germans were persuaded.



By that logic then , the Klu Klux Klan was also hardly "senseless" as it at one time at a point of few that many Americans subscribed to.
   59. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4360060)
Scott Brown - NOT running for Senate.
   60. Tilden Katz Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4360061)
Scott Brown - NOT running for Senate.


At least we know who the next governor of Massachusetts is going to be.
   61. BrianBrianson Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4360068)
You know, the Nazis had a pretty good point about the Jews and the Aryan race.


Jolly Old St. Nick is right - we shouldn't overstate their position. They point was far more like "You know, the Nazis had a fairly reasonable position on Jews and the Aryan race." - good is overstating it.
   62. The Good Face Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4360070)
By that logic then , the Klu Klux Klan was also hardly "senseless" as it at one time at a point of few that many Americans subscribed to.


Correct. What the NRO author is clumsily pointing out is that people have a tendency to dismiss violence as "senseless" because it allows us to avoid thinking about it; to refuse to engage with it on an intellectual or causal level. By removing meaning from violence, it becomes a free agent, washed clean of causality, and can now be associated with whoever and whatever the speaker likes. She's wrong in attempting to make it a point about the left-right divide, at least with respect to politicians, but it's an interesting point nevertheless. Just not for the reasons she thinks it is.
   63. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4360074)

Sam makes the right point in #56. I'm Jewish but I didn't read the NRO article as pro-Nazi so much as unbelievably petty and pedantic. It follows a pretty common pattern: "Obama said X. Let's assume he meant Y. Obama is therefore the worst person in the world."

There's also the variant where even the innocuous quote is completely made up and not something Obama said.
   64. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:23 PM (#4360079)
BDC and Sam,

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't defending that NR column on the grounds of sense or even coherence, but those last two sentences sound to me more like "What the Nazis were saying made sense to the Nazi voters", and not "they had a pretty good point about the Jews and the Aryan race." But the underlying point seems pretty obvious if you know anything about NR: In NR's view, Obama (and "the left") is too naive to understand that the world is cold and hard place, and that guns are necessary to protect us from jihadists and other child killers. As if Obama is some sort of international pacifist. It's crazy, but at places like NR this sort of a worldview is almost an axiomatic article of faith, as you can see from the paragraph that precedes it:

The idea that all violence is “senseless” violence is one that has taken deep root on the left; it’s also, unfortunately, one that poses a major impediment to understanding the world.




   65. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4360082)
Correct. What the NRO author is clumsily pointing out is that people have a tendency to dismiss violence as "senseless" because it allows us to avoid thinking about it; to refuse to engage with it on an intellectual or causal level. By removing meaning from violence, it becomes a free agent, washed clean of causality, and can now be associated with whoever and whatever the speaker likes. She's wrong in attempting to make it a point about the left-right divide, at least with respect to politicians, but it's an interesting point nevertheless. Just not for the reasons she thinks it is.


This is the most generous interpretation possible, so much so it stretches the bounds of the possible. I am sure you are just as generous in reading into "liberal" articles, right?
   66. steagles Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4360088)
considering the likely reason why the article was written in the first place, i do not think it's reasonable to consider that the author is trying to say anything better than was actually written. case in point:

Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was — and to which the president is — implacably opposed, but it is hardly “senseless.”
reading this, to me it kind of sounds like the author is claiming that the united states' opposition to nazi ideology was limited to the past, and that now, the president is out of the american mainstream in opposing it.
   67. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4360089)
What the NRO author is clumsily pointing out is that people have a tendency to dismiss violence as "senseless" because it allows us to avoid thinking about it; to refuse to engage with it on an intellectual or causal level. By removing meaning from violence, it becomes a free agent, washed clean of causality, and can now be associated with whoever and whatever the speaker likes.


This is, in fact, a really strong point to make, and one that needs to be made more often than it is. The point being that reducing Nazis and Nazism to the cartoon role of "historical monsters" and "categorical evil" eliminates the very real need to grapple with the fact that Nazis and Nazism are perfectly human evils and perfectly human conditions which must be constantly guarded against. Rather, it makes it seem like they were demonic aliens who magically appeared on the good Earth, were vanquished by the forces of light and good, and now humanity will never have that problem again.

Unfortunately, as you note, the author is more interested in squaring the ideological circle and firing idiotic broadsides at Obama and "the left" than making this point coherently. As such, I think this point is well made, but similar to the posts in the Robert Fick-Dmitri Young thread where folks started making nuanced and considered arguments for what Robert Fick might have been thinking, in the place of simply acknowledging that the point actually made was crude, stupid and categorically wrong.
   68. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4360094)
This is the most generous interpretation possible, so much so it stretches the bounds of the possible. I am sure you are just as generous in reading into "liberal" articles, right?

I think it's a reasonable interpretation, and hardly as "generous" as you imply. Where the NR author gets unhinged isn't when she implicitly argues that all violence isn't equally senseless; it's when she ascribes the opposite view to Obama and "the left" and then proceeds to attack the strawman.
   69. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4360103)
considering the likely reason why the article was written in the first place, i do not think it's reasonable to consider that the author is trying to say anything better than was actually written. case in point:

Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was — and to which the president is — implacably opposed, but it is hardly “senseless.”


reading this, to me it kind of sounds like the author is claiming that the united states' opposition to nazi ideology was limited to the past, and that now, the president is out of the american mainstream in opposing it.

That's way over the top. Loopy and wingnutty as NR is whenever its authors write about anything but baseball, there's never been anything about it that would suggest any sort of sympathy with Nazi ideology. The past tense in that quote is nothing but a factual reference to the policy of the United States during the historical period in question, and doesn't imply in the least that that policy was misguided or outdated.
   70. The Good Face Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4360105)
Unfortunately, as you note, the author is more interested in squaring the ideological circle and firing idiotic broadsides at Obama and "the left" than making this point coherently. As such, I think this point is well made, but similar to the posts in the Robert Fick-Dmitri Young thread where folks started making nuanced and considered arguments for what Robert Fick might have been thinking, in the place of simply acknowledging that the point actually made was crude, stupid and categorically wrong.


Oh I think it's pretty clear the NRO author was trying to score some pedantic partisan shots on Obama, and did a lousy job of it. She stumbled on something interesting and important, but since it wasn't useful for her purposes, she didn't even try to address it. But that doesn't mean we can't.
   71. steagles Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4360118)
That's way over the top. Loopy and wingnutty as NR is whenever its authors write about anything but baseball, there's never been anything about it that would suggest any sort of sympathy with Nazi ideology. The past tense in that quote is nothing but a factual reference to the policy of the United States during the historical period in question, and doesn't imply in the least that that policy was misguided or outdated.

i would say that i am no less correct in my interpretation of the author's comment as the author was in her interpretation of obama's.
   72. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 01, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4360133)
I'd rather focus on the big picture: When you attempt to score political points off the president's declaration that the Holocaust was bad, you've already lost the messaging war.
   73. spike Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4360157)
Hey look - the NRA publishes an Enemies List

Mel Brooks, Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallione and the Temptations are on it, among many others.
   74. zonk Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4360158)
That NR article was definitely Out There, but it was hardly "backing the Nazis". Here's the operative paragraph, written in response to Obama's reference to the Holocaust's "senseless" violence:

Nazism may have been an ideology to which the United States was — and to which the president is — implacably opposed, but it is hardly “senseless.” By the early 1930s, the Nazi party had hundreds of thousands of devoted members and repeatedly attracted a third of the votes in German elections; its political leaders campaigned on a platform comprising 25 non-senseless points, including the “unification of all Germans,” a demand for “land and territory for the sustenance of our people,” and an assertion that “no Jew can be a member of the race.” Suffice it to say, many sensible Germans were persuaded.



It's a stupid column on many levels, which most NRO columns usually are but you have to be looking to be offended to read any pro-Nazi intent into it.


It is stupid - though - in the sense that it's always cute when people who spend a few minutes on google or watch something on the History channel then attempt to run with it as a crux for a larger argument that they just want to make because they want to argue with someone else.

Jonah Goldberg is the greatest example of this ( Quelle surprise!) -- it's dirt clod hurling without bothering with contextual or intellectual analysis.

Setting aside the antisemitic elements for a moment (which ARE specific, of course) and the whole argument about how pervasive antisemitism was in Weimar/Nazi Germany --

Hitler and the Nazis made a very specific point about NOT being specific... I think it was his first speech to the Reichstag after being elevated to President or during the '32 campaign -- but Hitler actually said more or less "I'm NOT giving you specifics because then you can't say I broke any promises!"

I mean -- the Nazi platform 'specifics' were really political pablum at their finest... "land and territory for the sustenance of our people"? Pretty sure DNVP, BVP, and every other party supported Germany having land and Germans getting fed.

Idiots like this NRO joker are frankly -- part of the problem that leads to yes, SENSELESS tragedies like the Holocaust... in their quest to be contrarian - they lend legitimacy to angry flopsweat disguised as sense and policy.

I'm not at all saying Naziism should be written off as crazy or unfathomable and as such, we shouldn't bother with an intellectual examination of it, its roots, and its methods - there's plenty to learn and understand in the latter two instances.

However, in the quest to find something faux-smart to say today -- this idiot lends more credibility to what really was a hollow "rage fugue" more than it was something other than 'senseless'.

None of the other parties in 1932 -- accounting for 2/3 of the vote - were campaigning of a platform of Versailles being swell, German decline, German reductionism, and Germany relegated to being a European backwater either.

The Nazis were the most successful precisely because it WAS senseless -- because there was an easy target (the Jews), because there was an easy solution (take back our country!), and because no one bothered with niceties of making sense of it all....

Hell, that's the very basis of the führerprinzip that really was Naziism at its core -- it didn't have to make sense... Hitler was a divine gift, Hitler would fix it, now just shut up and goose step.
   75. zonk Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4360174)

Jolly Old St. Nick is right - we shouldn't overstate their position. They point was far more like "You know, the Nazis had a fairly reasonable position on Jews and the Aryan race." - good is overstating it.


Hey... it IS an interesting turn --

Giving up on "Obama is a NAZI" in favor of "Obama hates the Nazis and the Nazis were RIGHT!"

Gives Jonah Goldberg an excuse to publish an updated edition of his finely written tome 'liberal fascism', I guess...
   76. TribeGuy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4360180)
As far as ranking the presidents goes I always find the following article to be a fun read.

http://faceintheblue.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/in-a-mass-knife-fight-to-the-death-between-every-american-president-who-would-win-and-why/

Enjoy.
   77. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4360186)
I'm with Andy here.
   78. just plain joe Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4360193)
Mel Brooks, Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallione and the Temptations are on it, among many others.


Where do you sign up for that list? Any list that includes Mel Brooks, Sean Connery and the Temptations is all right by me. Stallone I can take or leave but if the NRA doesn't like him, perhaps I should re-evaluate my position.
   79. zonk Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4360196)


Where do you sign up for that list? Any list that includes Mel Brooks, Sean Connery and the Temptations is all right by me. Stallone I can take or leave but if the NRA doesn't like him, perhaps I should re-evaluate my position.


I'm pretty sure that if you don't have a bunker and a lifetime NRA membership, you're already on the list... it's a big list - so not nearly as cool as it might sound.
   80. Morty Causa Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4360202)
76:

I ran across that before. It is a fun read. Interesting, but I don't think the discussion at the site deals with the experiences of any of the presidents wrt a knife. Washington/Jackson/Taylor, for example, were swordsmen. That has to be a plus for those men, even though the edged weapons are somewhat different.
   81. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:52 PM (#4360207)
Loopy and wingnutty as NR is whenever its authors write about anything but baseball, there's never been anything about it that would suggest any sort of sympathy with Nazi ideology.


Other than everything they've ever written about race, I guess, going back to the days when Buckley was carrying water for segregationists and white supremacists.
   82. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4360213)
Hey look - the NRA publishes an Enemies List


American Jewish Committee
American Jewish Congress
Anti-Defamation League
B`nai B`rith
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Hadassah
Jewish Labor Committee
Lauder Foundation
National Council of Jewish Women
Union of American Hebrew Congregations

Hmm. I can't put my finger on it, but it seems like all those groups have something in common...
   83. boushie25 Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4360226)
Maybe they should take Ed Koch off the list?
   84. zonk Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4360227)
Maybe they should take Ed Koch off the list?


The zombie Ed Koch is even more of a threat...
   85. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4360231)
I think it's a reasonable interpretation, and hardly as "generous" as you imply. Where the NR author gets unhinged isn't when she implicitly argues that all violence isn't equally senseless; it's when she ascribes the opposite view to Obama and "the left" and then proceeds to attack the strawman.

I just more found it amusing than anything. I don't *literally* think the author of that was pro-Nazi or something. But, you know, if you're going to go Godwin, at least have the good sense not to have it so hamfistedly worded as to leave what you're saying open to interpretation.
   86. zonk Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4360233)

I just more found it amusing than anything. I don't *literally* think the author of that was pro-Nazi or something. But, you know, if you're going to go Godwin, at least have the good sense not to have it so hamfistedly worded as to leave what you're saying open to interpretation.


Or - you could just do what any rational blogger does when you can't think of anything to write about on a given day... just post pictures of cats.
   87. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4360234)
Loopy and wingnutty as NR is whenever its authors write about anything but baseball...
Baseball Crank is missing his opportunity as a contributing writer.
   88. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4360242)
Loopy and wingnutty as NR is whenever its authors write about anything but baseball, there's never been anything about it that would suggest any sort of sympathy with Nazi ideology.

Other than everything they've ever written about race, I guess, going back to the days when Buckley was carrying water for segregationists and white supremacists.


Much as it's tempting to equate Buckley's earlier defenses of segregation with the Nazis, that's a big overreach. His views on the race question were roughly analogous to our Tea Pappers' views on illegal immigrants from south of the border: Coldhearted and ethnocentric to the max, but hardly genocidal. The Nazi comparison is no more credible than the right wing mantra that equates Obama's views with "socialism", and repeating it as a mantra isn't going to win anyone over to your position.
   89. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4360243)
Or - you could just do what any rational blogger does when you can't think of anything to write about on a given day... just post pictures of cats.


Nein!
   90. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4360245)
Loopy and wingnutty as NR is whenever its authors write about anything but baseball...

Baseball Crank is missing his opportunity as a contributing writer.


You do realize, don't you, that one of the few coherent conservatives on BTF writes regularly on baseball for NRO? That's the only reason I made that qualifying statement.
   91. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4360246)
Or - you could just do what any rational blogger does when you can't think of anything to write about on a given day... just post pictures of cats.


Nein!

I gotta say that the existence of a website called catsthatlooklikehitler.com is one of the reasons I'm glad I've survived into the 21st century.
   92. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4360249)
You do realize, don't you, that one of the few coherent conservatives on BTF writes regularly on baseball for NRO? That's the only reason I made that qualifying statement.
I did not.
   93. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:28 PM (#4360254)
You do realize, don't you, that one of the few coherent conservatives on BTF writes regularly on baseball for NRO? That's the only reason I made that qualifying statement.


Yeah, JE, right?
   94. Tilden Katz Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4360258)
Maybe they should take Ed Koch off the list?


And Andy Williams.
   95. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4360271)
Joe C (#93), that's correct.
   96. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4360273)
Yup, JE.
   97. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 01, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4360286)
Some good points on today's unemployment news:
According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy created 157,000 jobs in January, a solid number, though behind what we need to see a robust recovery. More important, as always, are the revisions. November’s job growth was revised to 247,000 (up from 161,000) and December’s was revised to 196,000 (up from 155,000).

These are big revisions, and when analyzed as part of a trend, it’s clear that the government was been underestimating job growth for most of 2012, to the tune of 28,000 jobs a month.

It should be said that this makes Barack Obama’s re-election victory even easier to explain. If the president’s standing was higher than expected, it’s because economic conditions were much better than we thought. And if Obama’s approval rating has seen a big, post-election bump—and it has—it might have something to do with the fact that employment growth broke the 200,000 barrier in November.
Had November's 247K number been announced at that time, rather than climbing 53% through revisions, then the Election Day stomping might've been even more impressive.

Also, if the BLS was lowballing employment numbers at the time of their release, then the fools who said Obama was cooking the books look even more foolish.
   98. GregD Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4360310)
Had November's 247K number been announced at that time, rather than climbing 53% through revisions, then the Election Day stomping might've been even more impressive.
Or the election is sensitive to actual employment not the estimates? The reality not the announcement? That's at least one possibility, which would explain why the weakish announcements didn't hurt him but also suggest that a better announcement might not have helped much either. Presumably this is something one could answer by looking at other disconnections between announced and revised employment numbers around election times?

   99. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4360321)
Or the election is sensitive to actual employment not the estimates? The reality not the announcement? That's at least one possibility, which would explain why the weakish announcements didn't hurt him but also suggest that a better announcement might not have helped much either. Presumably this is something one could answer by looking at other disconnections between announced and revised employment numbers around election times?


Agreed. I would think this might explain why some of the analysis of the "fundamentals" might have underestimated Obama's electoral advantages. If you're projecting results from an aggregate total that is off by 20% or so, you're likely to miss your projection.
   100. zonk Posted: February 01, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4360322)
Or the election is sensitive to actual employment not the estimates? The reality not the announcement? That's at least one possibility, which would explain why the weakish announcements didn't hurt him but also suggest that a better announcement might not have helped much either. Presumably this is something one could answer by looking at other disconnections between announced and revised employment numbers around election times?


Well, the CW was always that the President was stuck with the economy he had in the spring of the election year -- barring a monumental collapse in the fall, you can't really 'win' the economy argument with a good Sept/Oct/Nov headline.

We talked about this a bit during the glory days of the unskewed discussions summer expectations (a period I'm always happy to relive and re-discuss!).

There was some thinking (and I shared a bit of it) that perhaps modern media -- the internet, cable's role as political conversation starter, etc --- that the CW might be stale... but in reality, I don't think that proved to be the case.

Obama basically ran with and won on the same economy he had in the spring, just like every other President up for reelect has. The Sept/Oct/Nov numbers were all just 24 hour news cycles.

Obama ran on the 'it IS getting better'... Romney ran on a combo of 'No, it's not' or 'not fast enough'.... Obama parried the economic charges well enough by hitting some Romney errors and raising other issues.

I think the old CW still holds: Barring a disaster, an incumbent President runs on the economy he had 6 months before election day. People may listen to the numbers and read the headlines, but they make judgements about the economy more based on 'feeling' than BLS numbers, no October job report was going to make them suddenly 'feel' like the economy was going gangbusters any more than a bad report was going to make them 'feel' like we weren't at least in a better place than we were in the fall of 2008.
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