Same World, Different Planets


Rebecca Solnit is one of the lefty intelligentsia, if such a thing still exists these days. She has all the right credentials:

She skipped high school altogether, enrolling in an alternative junior high in the public school system that took her through tenth grade, when she passed the GED exam. Thereafter she enrolled in junior college. When she was 17 she went to study in Paris. She ultimately returned to California and finished her college education at San Francisco State University when she was 20.[2] She then received a Masters in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley[3] in 1984 and has been an independent writer since 1988. [4] She credits her education in journalism and art criticism with strengthening her critical thinking skills and training her to quickly develop expertise in the great variety of subjects her books have covered.


I’m sure that Ms. Solnit is a very nice person and supports all the right causes, but I’m gonna save you the trouble of reading her latest opus. It’s very similar to a number of other articles and blog posts we’ve been seeing lately. Remember the “conversion diaries” of 2007-2008, where virtually every day someone would post a long-winded essay on how they were a dedicated progressive and had recently come to the realization that Hillary Clinton was a bitch and Barack Obama was The One?

I call these the “Obama sucks but we have to vote for him anyway” diaries. They all have different writers and different words, but the same message. They start off bemoaning Obama’s failure and inadequacies. Then they point out that the Republicans are really bad people. Then they conclude that we must hold our noses and vote for Obama in spite of everything.

I do want to bring attention to this passage because it encapsulates so much of what is wrong with modern progressive thought:

We are facing a radical right that has abandoned all interest in truth and fact. We face not only their specific policies, but a kind of cultural decay that comes from not valuing truth, not trying to understand the complexities and nuances of our situation, and not making empathy a force with which to act. To oppose them requires us to be different from them, and that begins with both empathy and intelligence, which are not as separate as we have often been told.


Ask a progressive what they believe in and they’ll probably rattle off some high-minded ideals like “truth” and “justice”. But if you get them talking about what “progressive” means and it won’t belong before they start telling you what it is not. In other words, they define themselves in opposition to conservatism, or, more accurately, in opposition to what they think conservatism is. They also use “conservative” interchangeably with “Republican.”

Interestingly, defining yourself in opposition to other groups is one of the things authoritarians do.

But the real problem is that their definition of conservatism is wrong. In this case both sides are guilty of stereotyping the other. The left is not a bunch of America-hating socialists, and the right is not a bunch of greedy, racist Luddites. But you can find people who match those stereotypes – they really do exist.

Compared to many other countries our radical fringes are very small. Despite all the drama and histrionics, about 95% of the people in this country are within a few points of the political median. For political posturing purposes, both sides like to depict the tiny radical fringe of the other side as their mainstream. Conversely, the radical fringes tend to overestimate their numbers and influence.

We like to talk about the country in terms of “blue” states and “red” states, with blue representing the left/Democrats and red representing the right/Republicans. But the truth is the whole country is just various shades of purple. There is a little red and a little blue everywhere, and we mostly get along just fine, at least offline.

They play baseball, football and basketball in every area of the country. We watch the same movies and television shows. Everybody has eaten hamburgers, tacos, spaghetti and chow mein. They listen to Country music in the cities and Rap in the sticks. We all love our children and want the best for them.

The real difference between the two sides isn’t the destination, it’s the route. Both sides want better schools, the disagreements are over how to achieve that goal and how (and how much) to pay for it. But neither side is evil.

There are bad people, however. It seems like the worst ones end up in politics or prison – sometimes both. Neither side has a monopoly on morality or corruption. We’re all just people. We’re all Americans.

Barack Obama has failed miserably by every objective measure. Even his supporters admit it. He ain’t gonna get no better, neither. As Clint Eastwood said, “When somebody doesn’t do the job, we gotta let him go.”

If the new guy doesn’t work out, we’ll fire his ass four years from now.


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49 Responses to Same World, Different Planets

  1. myiq2xu says:

    When you write a post just before you go to bed it always looks different when you wake up.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Ii just realized I left out an important point.

      For the Vile Progs there are no “deal-breakers.” There is literally nothing that Obama could do or say that would keep them from voting for him. Yesterday I linked to a post that basically said “Obama made assassination our government policy, so we can’t let Mitt Romney win because he would abuse that power.”

      • wmcb says:

        Yep. The prog postion has been obviously revealed as “I lied. I have no actual problem with a warmongering authoritarian State. I only want to make sure my guys wield that power.”

        FUCK. THEM.

      • angienc says:

        That’s the most important part.

        They tout their “empathy” and rail against the inherent racism of the right mocking the Obamaphone lady video, but they don’t have much empathy for the family of our ambassador who’s dead body was dragged through the streets of Benghazi or the families of the other 3 men who died there, nor do they seem to give much thought about the man who was responsible for their safety hoping on a jet to Vegas less than 24 hours after their death.

        They don’t have “empathy” what they have is “rationalization.”

      • kc says:

        Dear Goddess–and they are supposedly the brilliant ones. Save us. The dumbing down of American education at work–as a retired teacher, I can tell you that it’s true.

  2. Divide and conquer.

    There are bad people, however. It seems like the worst ones end up in politics or prison – sometimes both.

    Or with friends in politics- whereby they avoid prison. Or enemies disguised as friends(as in the cases of Blago and Rezko) they get imprisoned to keep them from talking.

    • Lulu says:

      After blaming a film for the murder of a US ambassador what did we expect. And yes the members of the Obama administration are just as fucking evil as he is.

    • GRRRRRR!!!!! Send these asswipe so called fucking leaders to ANY military parent and let us give them some “sensitivity training.”
      I was beyond offended when some dumbass general decided to defile the uniform of the United States military by requiring our female troops to wear “Muslim appropriate” head gear while in the savage lands.
      I hope our female troops drop the bomb on these fucking savages-

      • DeniseVB says:

        Unfortunately to become a General in our modern military you have to suck up to politicians, especially the President. This just sounded like an idiot General who wants to keep his job by doing damage control for Obama, and he’ll get another star.

        What the media isn’t covering is that we’ve lost more troops in Afghanistan under Obama than during Bush’s two terms. That tells me we really have sh*tty leaders in the military 😦

  3. Black&Right says:

    Nice post, my only disagreement is that although the nation is purple, there are “red” and “blue” counties.

    I honestly don’t believe Mitt Romney is the lesser of two evils, I am not voting against the president. I am voting for Romney because he has a RECORD of working with both parties and getting things done. I’m trying to find more info on this but I read a blog comment about how he brokered a deal between two companies on the campaign trail? Not sure of the details but this kind of thing is why I am voting for him, we have a GLOBAL economic crisis and I don’t want the worst of it to hit our shores. Food prices are going up and so are gas prices, the president had four years to do something about it, he did nothing. Instead of solving problems we got a crappy new “Healthcare” bill which will include a tax on many Americans that we can’t afford. If he was going to do healthcare he should have done it right.

    • votermom says:

      I started off determined to vote ABO and believing Mitt was the GOP establishment pick.
      But the more I learn about Mitt, the more I like him. And the more I realize that he’s not actually the establishment guy. I think they are not scared of him but he’s too clean to be their guy. They let him win the nomination bec it was his time, and they think Obama would steamroll him (like McCain), and even if he wins he won’t rock the boat.
      But now I think the establishment is a little scared of what he might do after all (specially after he picked Ryan as VP), hence the frantic poll-pushing for Obama and the all-out media trashing.

      • lyn5 says:

        Honk! I received a call from the RNC for money, and I told the guy that I was an independent and I support the candidates and not the committees. (I’ve donated to Romney and Mia Love.)

      • angienc says:

        HONK!

    • Mitt Romney was a very good governor of my state – the bluest state in the country — Massachusetts.

      He got the big dig back on track and finished it, brought the state budget from $1b in debt to a surplus, established a rainy day fund that has been invaluable to the current gov (obama and axelrove bff Deval Patrick), did not prevent MA from becoming the first state in the USA to legalize gay marriage, and ensured affordable and publicly funded health care for all.

      I dont like Paul Ryan, but I am an unapologetic fan of Mitt Romney.

      • oops, meant to say — I agree with you black and right. Romney did a great job governing and negotiating with Democrats. MA is chock full of power mad dem leaders and rank and file. He was a success for sure.

      • Black&Right says:

        I’m sorry you feel that way about Ryan, as a center right American I am excited about him. It was Mitt Romney I had some issue with because of all of the propaganda against him coming form “my” side. Every new thing I learn about him increases my support. He is truly scandal free, they tried Bain, they tried the “War on Women”, they tried to call him a gay basher , they are even trying to characterize him as a idiot or incompetent boob. Whatever, the only people who bought into those lies were Obama’s base and people who were NEVER voting for Romney anyway.

  4. wmcb says:

    Interesting article on the sharp drop over the years in people being willing to answer polls. Coincides with drop in trust of media.

    Only 9% of those contacted answer polls. i’ve been saying for a long time that polls have an inherent self-selection bias that no one addresses. They are skewed toward those willing to spend 5 minutes answering a poll.

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/09/30/we-are-the-91-only-9-of-americans-cooperate-with-pollsters/

  5. fif says:

    Neither side has a monopoly on the “truth” either. She talks as if she alone has an accurate view of reality, the very definition of self-righteousness. And re: Obama, there’s a saying: If you keep doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same results. Romney should be using that as a campaign theme: Do you want more of this for 4 years?

  6. votermom says:

    Romney Op-Ed in WSJ (via foxnewslink w/c I guess gets you behind firewall) lays out need for Big Stick in ME
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444712904578024293333633994.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_opinion#printMode

  7. DeniseVB says:

    Oh, this is great news, Ross Perot has a fear of the US being taken over because of our crappy economy.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/81850.html

    But he’s not endorsing anyone for President.

  8. yttik says:

    “I’m gonna save you the trouble of reading…”

    So of course I read it and now I’m really appalled. She talks about Obama’s drone attacks killing kids, but it’s all good because he gave millions of other kids healthcare. He’s from our tribe, and ideology is more important than results.

    Bullshit. I’m voting for Romney because I have seen what Obama’s policies have done to the poor and the working class. I don’t give a damn about his ideology or that his motivations are pure. No, Obama did not save thousands of lives with Obamacare. Show me the poor and working class people benefiting from Obamacare! Everyone around me has lost their insurance, lost their job, lost their access to hospitals and doctors.

  9. ANd Here It IS- been waiting for something of this line to show up-Romney will realign the courts and- of course- Roe will be overturned
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/romney-supreme-court-look-105500607–election.html

    If Ginsburg is replaced with a justice who has a much more conservative judicial philosophy, the court’s three remaining liberals would find themselves without much hope for a majority, and swing-justice Kennedy’s decisions would no longer reliably change the outcome of cases. It’s possible that Roe v. Wade would be overturned, and other areas of the law would also be transformed.
    The liberal justices would “start writing for history,” Winkler says, in place of writing actual law.

    I absolutely hate it when assholes say the supremes “write actual law.”
    That is NOT their fucking job! Damnit!

    • yttik says:

      I’m sick and tired of hearing how the SC writes laws and legislates from the bench….and it’s the left now saying it!

      The guy who actually wrote the ruling on Roe v Wade was a Republican appointed by Nixon. Scalia has just ruled in favor of gay advocates in two recent cases. John Roberts just upheld Obamacare.

      The SC does not march in lockstep according to partisan beliefs and they don’t write laws.

  10. threewickets says:

    Another Obot diary here spiked with some high octane koolaid. Around 2:00 in the clip, he begins explaining how Obama’s bitter clinger remark in 2008 was actually a demonstration of empathy.

  11. DandyTiger says:

    Honk, honk!! Great post. Especially with the comment addendum: ‘For the Vile Progs there are no “deal-breakers.” ‘ Yup.

    • votermom says:

      Yup, me too! Vile progs excuse anything as long as it has a D label on it.

    • yttik says:

      I was horrified to read how she looked at a postcard of a child killed in a drone attack and than implied, but it’s all good, because Obamacare has saved thousands of other kid’s lives, so everything just balances out.

      Okay so she doesn’t really know any kids saved by Obamacare, but it’s possible that sometime in the future, someday, some child might be saved by Obamacare. We don’t really know, since we don’t really know what’s in the bill, but the president was motivated by good intentions.

      Yeah, well there’s a reason we say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  12. votermom says:

    Ok, I put Mitt’s op-ed up as a new open thread.

  13. tommy says:

    Everybody has eaten hamburgers? I thought that true lefties were pure vegetarians. lol

  14. swanspirit says:

    Some of my “vile prog” friends are not voting for Obama . They are voting for Jill Stein, and one wild woman I know is voting for Jesse Ventura , Some others want to write in Hillary .I am not discouraging any of them , not that there would be any hope of persuading them. The only consolation of course is they wont be voting for the vile prog in chief.

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