A Blast From The Past


This post by Ace at Ace of Spades HQ was originally posted on August 2, 2007:

The Toxic Self-Delusions of the Liberal Psychology


To bring this ’round to current politics: Liberals, of course, also have a great deal of distance between their own capacities for unfairness, nastiness, dishonesty, and hypocrisy than they believe they do. Again, their sense of self depends heavily on the proposition that they are superior, if not superlative, in their fairness, civility, honesty, and integrity; they have great difficulties admitting deficiencies (beyond a fairly trivial sort) in any of these virtues.

Now, I don’t believe that either group, liberals or conservatives, has a particular monopoly on virtue. Individual people, obviously, may be more virtuous than others, but when it comes to large groups, I tend to imagine that all the usual sins are spread, collectively, about equally over both.

However — I strongly believe that the liberals have a far less realistic self-assessment as regards their own, and their political brethren’s, scores on these virtues.

I don’t believe conservatives or liberals are more honest, generally, than the other.

But I do believe liberals are strongly convinced they’re more honest.

I don’t believe conservatives or liberals are more fair, generally, than the other.

But I do believe liberals are strongly convinced they’re fairer.
I don’t believe conservatives or liberals are more civil, generally, than the other.

But I do believe liberals are strongly convinced they’re more civil.
I don’t believe conservatives or liberals have more integrity, generally, than the other.

But I do believe liberals are strongly convinced they have more integrity.

And to toss out the obvious:

I don’t believe conservatives or liberals are more intelligent, generally, than the other.

But I do believe liberals are believe zealously, rabidly that they’re more intelligent.

This lack of accurate self-assessment has caused a great distortion in our current politics. Throughout time, both Republicans and Democrats have resorted to pimping cheap sexual scandals to win elections.

Throughout time, both Republicans and Democrats have resorted to simplistic-to-the-point-of-dishonesty messaging to win elections.

Throughout time, both Republicans and Democrats have engaged in embarrassing hypocrisy in excoriating in the other party what the blithely forgive in their own.

But here’s the thing: Because liberals have far more difficult time admitting to themselves they’re guilty of sins of integrity or honesty or the like, they have convinced themselves that, at least until recently, they’ve been too darn honest, fair, and civil in politics, conducting them with far too much integrity.

Because, you see — it’s only conservatives who’ve been letting down Team America in these areas for the last forty years.

Every election the liberals lose, they claim the same basic reasons for losing: We were too nice. We weren’t “tough enough.” We were too honest. We weren’t willing to go into the gutter like the other guys.

We were too smart for the American people.

However, they’ve been saying this for the last century. And they were wrong: The whole time they imagined they were being too goshdarn good-spirited, civil, fair, substantive, honest, and intelligent to their electoral detriment, they were actually matching conservatives punch-for-punch in meanspiritedness, incivility, empty slogaeering, dishonesty, and outright stupidity.

But now they’ve decided the gloves should finally come off.

Now they’ll really “get tough.”

Now they’ll actually match conservatives in their nastiness.


They have to be “tough” now, you see. After all, liberals have been far too civil, far too caring, far too honest, and far too kind-hearted for far too-long. Now it’s time to really cut loose — cut loose fairness, cut loose civility, cut loose honesty, cut loose integrity, cut loose simple sanity. Those were all just baggage holding them back, it turns out.

Well, liberals, you’ve remade your party into the phantasmal horror you long imagined the Republican Party to be. Your senators and top-tier presidential candidates are now required to pander to those who believe the US government itself conspired to murder 3000 Americans on 11 September 2001. Because you’ve permitted — or fostered — or encouraged — the seething political psychopathy that self-respecting men and women once shunned.

Are you happy?

And do you imagine this sort of politics-without-frontiers will ultimately prove to be a winning model?

Do you wish to shame yourselves further by continuing down this road?

Or is perhaps about time — maybe for the first time — you took a more realistic assessment of the way you and your political correligionists have been behaving before this new era of shameless, shameful “toughness”?

There is a bunch more, and you should go over there to read it. If nothing else it is evidence in support of my hypothesis that the average length of blog posts shrinks over time.

I don’t recall when I first ventured into the right side of the blogosphere (aka “Wingnuttia”) but I’m pretty sure that in August 2007 I was still confining my online excursions to the soothing streams of Left Blogistan lest I become tainted by impure ideas. But if I had read this post way back then I surely would have dismissed it out of hand as so much bullshit.

Of course the summer of 2007 was way back before all the unpleasantness took place. The intervening years have been both traumatic and educational. To say that my eyes have been opened is to put it mildly.

I also found this other post to be very interesting:

Why Does John Cole Get Traffic?

As I have said many times before, back in the days of my innocence blindness I was a regular at John Cole’s blog.

About Myiq2xu™

Peaceful coexistence or mutually assured destruction. Your choice.
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57 Responses to A Blast From The Past

  1. DandyTiger says:

    We were all blinded, and now we can see. It’s a miracle. Perhaps Obama is the messiah we have all been waiting for. /s

  2. myiq2xu says:


    But some of the replies are funny as hell.

  3. yttik says:

    Good articles!

    I have a very liberal family member who drives me nuts. Seriously, somebody should do a parody of her on Portlandia. Every single word out of her mouth asserts her liberal superiority, 24/7. I ask my husband to take out the garbage and she will announce, “I don’t have garbage, I recycle.” You ask her if she’d like a cup of coffee and she will announce, “I only drink organic free trade non profit coffee.” I don’t watch Fox news. I don’t allow TV to brainwash me. I don’t watch movies with racism. I don’t eat meat. I don’t support commercialism/capitalism….and on and on it goes until there is absolutely nothing she DOES do. I get it, you’re perfect in all your social and moral responsibilities and the rest of us should follow your example.

    The problem is, this is really an illness. That garbage she recycles, she actually saved up for so long, she got kicked out of her home for hoarding. That meat she doesn’t eat includes just about everything else, so she’s been in the hospital for malnutrition and weight loss.

    Someday in the future we’re going to recognize extreme social justice/social responsibility as a psychological disorder, but try suggesting anything of the sort in this day and age and they’ll run you out of town on a rail.

    • wmcb says:

      Someday in the future we’re going to recognize extreme social justice/social responsibility as a psychological disorder

      LMAO! Too true! I often say those people remind me of the thin-lipped guilt-ridden puritans, bent on the perfection of everyone’s souls. It’s eerily similar.

      • votermom says:

        That’s exactly what they’re like. They are like the extremely publicly devout Catholics of my mom’s generation, always ready to inform other people of their saintliness.

    • angienc (D) says:

      Someday in the future we’re going to recognize extreme social justice/social responsibility as a psychological disorder

      To borrow a phrase the kids are using today, this is known as #FirstWorldProblems.

      It’s psychological characteristics include narcissism, extreme arrogance, pathological self-centeredness and one’s head lodged firmly up one’s ass.

      You know you don’t have problems when you have to “invent” problems to take care of — like “saving the planet,” as if recycling is going to stop the sun from intensifying and burning us all to a crisp — as if we control the universe that has been around for millions of years before we got here and will be here long after we’re gone. As I always say: this planet is going to kill us way before we kill it.

  4. myiq2xu says:

    Kilpatrick got sentenced to 20 years.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Oops, my bad. He was convicted this am. He’s facing up to 20 years when he gets sentenced.

      • swanspirit says:

        If Obama were to have the lengthy collaboration he was looking forward to with the mayor , he would be behind bars with him . i hope he gets his wish .

    • piper says:

      There are others who should be sharing a jail cell for their corrupted practices which have been destroying Detroit for many years. A once vibrant city where broken dreams, homes and lives now fill the landscape.

  5. wmcb says:

    Ace is dead on. The insufferable and unearned smugness of the Left was one of the things that made me run screaming away. Perhaps because I had enough conservative family, friends, and neighbors to know it was a crock.

    There are a few minor groups on the right that have teh insufferable smugness. A subset (not all) of the social cons have it. But it’s not widespread and virtually unanimous like it is on the Left.

    Frankly, since I ventured out of the protected lefty plantation, I’ve found the right to be a lot more interested in debating what works in practical terms than in dissecting motives. I’ve found a somewhat jaundiced (read realistic) view of human nature, including their own.

    I’ve also found that when I disagree with them on policy (and I often do), I get an actual lively debate on the pros and cons of it, not a wholesale condemnation of my character.

    • yttik says:

      I really enjoy a lively debate over what works and how. One of our problems right now is that that kind of smug moral superiority has totally shut down all debate. You can’t start a discussion with, “I’m right and you’re wrong so anything you say will be completely dismissed.”

      Kind of ironic, even as a lefty, I had much better luck arguing with right wingers. We actually used to pray for a right wing judge, because they were more likely to listen to the facts of a case, cut through the crap, and throw the book at the perp. Our left leaning judges already had their minds made up and their pet ideologies in place. They’d want mediation, counseling, anger management, and community service at the recycling center. Child molesters would get less time than people who illegally harvested shellfish.

      • wmcb says:

        Yep. Oh, and I’d add some of the truly Doctrinaire Libertarians to those on the right who have teh smugness. But yeah, in truth most conservatives I talk to are remarkably practical and centrist. Or what used to be called centrist back in the day, before we decided that anything right of Mao was suspiciously neanderthal and braindead.

  6. driguana says:

    another kind of blast from the past…

    as a Peace Corps volunteer in the late 60s and early 70s in West Africa, I have to say that during the past few years I have found the programs of both Americorps and Vista to be be propagandistic and way off the principled ideals of the original Peace Corps….too bad…


    • wmcb says:

      My favorite teacher of all time was a Peace Corps volunteer in the 60’s. He taught my 7th grade physical science class. His name was Mr. Weaver. And what he told us of what he did during his Peace Corps stint was nothing at all like today. He helped people in practical ways – not agitating for social justice grievances. Novel concept.

    • wmcb says:

      driguana, I think that what happened, at least for many of us oldsters, is that we just assumed that many of the ideals of fairness, true justice, and prudent compassion that we started out with were still in place on the left. That the batshit Statists were still the laughable fringe they were decades ago. That belief in and love for American exceptionalism was a given, no matter how much we critiqued her.

      Because we were part of the general lefty milieu, we didn’t notice the shift. We didn’t notice that JFK was no longer even a Democrat, much less a lefty. That racial and gender (only when its advantageous) privilege and power-jockeying had replaced justice for real wrongs.

      Those of us who were Dems through the cold war years had, in truth, a very practical mindset that these days is much more at home center-right than anywhere close to the Left. Nowhere is really “home” anymore, but if I want to argue policy and reality and results, or basic civil liberties, I can no longer do that on the left. They don’t even speak the language anymore.

      • driguana says:

        Yes…awesome response, wmcb! Unfortunately, it takes a while and some provocative experiences in life to get the eyes and ears fully open!!!….sounding like an oldster!!!

        • wmcb says:

          You are old and wise, driguana, because you look at “Does it WORK?” rather than “Is it ideologically correct and does it make a lovely symbolic gesture and reassure our voting blocs that we ‘care’?”

      • HELENK says:


  7. DeniseVB says:

    Are people really this clueless? Sometimes I think these late night bits are scripted as they’re too quick to reply about something they know nothing about ……

    • myiq2xu says:

      They send a crew out to stop people at random and ask the question. Then they edit out all the smart replies and I’m guessing some of the replies they leave in are smartasses who are playing dumb.

      But some of those people really exist.

  8. driguana says:

    There have been quite a few recent articles around the blogosphere debunking this story and suggesting that it was quite a smaller purchase and for training purposes only. This is the first time a really legitimate sources has now taken it on and has a very different take. Please contribute anything you can…this is concerning.


  9. wmcb says:

    Good article on colleges making special cutouts for various groups. I agree that race is not the only or even biggest disadvantage anymore.

    Who is more disadvataged in life: the whitetrash son of a single poor woman who grew up in a meth-riddled trailer park, or the black son of an attorney couple who grew up in nice suburbia?

    One possible outcome is that the court will force colleges to show they have tried these forms of affirmative action before they turn to race. Another is a decision holding that racial preferences can be no larger — in terms of SAT points, for instance — than class preferences, says Stuart Taylor Jr., a co-author of a book critical of affirmative action.

    The liberal critics of affirmative action believe that many of these approaches would be better than the current one. Racial discrimination obviously continues to exist. But the disadvantages of class, by most measures, are larger today. A class-based system would be more expensive, forcing colleges to devote some money now spent on buildings and other items to financial aid instead, but it would also arguably be more meritocratic.


    • yttik says:

      It’s a great issue to be discussing, but I’d like us to totally turn everything on it’s head and get rid of the whole idea of competing for spots at “elite” colleges.

      I think our last couple of Presidents are a good argument against the value of an elite education 🙂 We focus entirely too much attention on what college somebody attended rather than what they’ve done with their education.

  10. HELENK says:


    this article goes along with you. why the progressives ignored the point of Rand Paul’s filibuster and made the attacks against him personal

  11. piper says:

    Funhouse by one of favs, Pink

  12. wmcb says:

    ROTFLMAO and OT – my husband has an idea to get rich. He wants someone to help him develop an app for Google Glass that automatically overlays porn on all the people you are watching.

    Sick? Yes. Could also be lucrative. Dandy Tiger?

  13. HELENK says:


    a really good article julia under backtrack’ s programs and her friend who is not

  14. wmcb says:

    Example of how the ground has shifted:

    SEIU is hosting a celebration and procession to honor Hugo Chavez.

    Still think this is your grandfather’s Democratic party, or your grandfather’s unions? They aren’t. They are stone-cold power-seeking quasi-commies, bent on bending the world to their Beautiful Vision whether we want it or not.


    • swanspirit says:

      Absolute insanity ,Chavez is a perfect example of a dictator disguised as a reformer .

      • wmcb says:

        Part of the problem is that while there are still sane Democrats out there, when they hear the word “union”, the definition in their head is the laudable worker-driven movements of coal miners to address real, demonstrable oppression. So they react to the image in their head of what WAS, not what IS, today.

  15. swanspirit says:

    Ace is quite a prophet , essentially the left has become what they sat they hate , while clinging to the high ground they think they own.

    Also a good read

    Barack Obama, Huey Long and the totalitarian temptation

    Sol W. Sanders

    We live in dangerous times.

    Not so much that the world economy threatens to crash, that our carefully nuanced political system in the U.S. is momentarily checkmated, or even that while the U.S. is running the highest unemployment rates in recent memory the European Community has not resolved its disintegrating common currency.

    No, those are indeed serious concerns. Hopefully they are temporary. It is so easy to forget how serious such occurrences have been in the past and how basic American beliefs and initiatives have rescued us from the plight time and time again. Those widely repeated clichés about the first time, the largest ever, the worst in history, etc. are often as foolish as much else that appears in our increasingly illiterate media by journalists who have forgotten that their metier was supposed to be history.
    Huey Long.

    Huey Long.

    What is much more threatening is that once again, as has happened in our history but rarely at the federal level, we are threatened by demagoguery masquerading as populist reformism.

    Those who would want “to transform” the American Republic are, alas!, often those whose abysmal ignorance of our history and our institutions is apparent. But their appeal for facile [often termed “comprehensive”] solutions to complex problems that require repeated and detailed analyses and incremental remedial rather than revolutionary solutions is stronger than ever.

    In a new class of ill-educated but highly mobile elitists who know what is best for the rest of us, there is a growing tendency toward authoritarian rule.

    • wmcb says:

      Good piece, swan. And yes, the deliberately vague sweeping visions and hubris is astounding. Also astounding: the degree to which people eat it up.

  16. yttik says:

    I really believe that one of human’s worst problems is toxic shame. In the bible that’s our first problem, Adam and Eve eat the fruit, feel shame, realize they’re naked, and put some clothes on. God comes down and He’s like, “what’s going on? I didn’t create you with shame!”

    Shame is usually what’s behind all that self righteous moral superiority, whether it comes from the Left or the Right. It really makes no difference whether you have a shame based rabid right winger in charge, or a shame based rabid left winger in charge. Either way you’ve got a shame based system run by control freaks and the rest of us are going to suffer. Some on the extreme Right threaten us with hell for all sorts of sexual things, but the Left is pretty good at dishing out punishment for our sins against the environment, personal weight gain, wealth, whatever.

    There is another way. We could start electing people with a servant’s heart who are genuinely motivated by a desire to serve the country and the people here. But those people are going to be far and few between and unlikely to have much support because there is something in human nature that makes us want to wallowing in self righteousness and shame others. President Obama was elected and re-elected on a wave of retribution, with people practically salivating over the thought of getting rid of their own shame and putting it on the wealthy, on republicans, on corporations, on capitalism.

    • wmcb says:

      HONK! And thumbs up, and YES DAMMIT YES.

      There are injustices and inequities in this country, but mostly there are big structural issues created by our govt that are having predictable unintended consequences and hurting those they are supposed to help, and destroying the middle class and small business.

      I want fucking solutions, not witch hunts and morality plays and the working-out-of-personal-issues on a national scale. I don’t need govt to save my soul, or the earth, or humanity. Govt is not a very good avenue of redemption. I just want it to balance a budget, defend us, and make sure we don’t kill each other or starve.

  17. HELENK says:


    did you ever think that NYC would have a nanny? most thriving city in the world now told what the people can eat and drink. amazing and not in a good way

  18. HELENK says:

    just had a little shake rattle and roll here small earthquake

    • HELENK says:

      #BREAKING Anza quake downgraded to 4.6. So far no reports of injuries or damage.

      hell 4.6 is only good for shaking martini’s. no excitement here

  19. HELENK says:


    you know that electric car that was shoved down our throats as being good for the planet? IT’S NOT

    • DandyTiger says:

      It’s always been the case that electric cars and hybrid cars were the most un-green things you could buy. The heavy metals, the toxins, the expensive to mine components, the shipping around the world to put it all together. And the little secret that you have to replace the batters every few years. Shhh. Very toxic. I’m still all for them because they push on energy storage technologies and other things that’s good stuff for us to get better at understanding and making. Just don’t pretend they’re green. Same with solar power. Great stuff to make and develop, not green yet.

      • myiq2xu says:

        They are niche vehicles, at least for now. They are for urban areas where charging stations would be fairly easy to make convenient. They are for short commutes and fleet vehicles.

        They are just not developed enough for general all-around use or heavy/long distance driving.

  20. John Denney says:

    If there were a consertive named Freda with comparable talents and opportunities as Obama’s Julia:

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