Tribalism vs. Principles

Raw Story:

Though he usually has disdain for “slippery slope” arguments, Bill Maher said on Real Time on Friday, he issue of the National Security Agency (NSA) going through private citizens’ Internet data and other personal records, was truly a slippery slope.

“I’m okay with it now that Obama’s in office,” Maher told his panelists. “I’m kind of trusting of him. But President Ted Cruz? Where this is going would bother me.”

“Vice President Dick Cheney would’ve had your hair on fire,” CNN political contributor Ana Navarro responded.

But what tips the scale for him, Maher continued, are nuclear weapons.

“We live in a world of nuclear weapons,” he said. “And there are religious fanatics who would love to get one and set it off here.

I’m pretty sure that monitoring the phones of hundreds of millions of Americans isn’t going to do anything to stop a terrorist group from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Bill Maher’s opinions seem to track with which party is in power. I prefer to stand on principle.

When you stand on principle the tribal world shifts around you. That’s why the Vile Progs are now attacking Glenn Greenwald while some conservatives are hailing him as a hero. Back in 2006-08 he was a Vile Prog hero for advocating the exact same positions on domestic spying that he is advocating today.

Times change. Principals don’t.

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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65 Responses to Tribalism vs. Principles

  1. DandyTiger says:

    I’m hearing the same pathetic unprincipled shit from some Obots I know. Apparently zombies are real.

  2. swanspirit says:

    just popped in to say ,…..
    Bill Maher is an idiot . He has a B.A. in English and History, and started out as a stand up comedian . Who the fuck is Bill Maher to be advising anyone of anything ? His stellar carrer includes such “memorables ” as these ..

    His feature film debut was in D.C. Cab (1983). He later appeared in Ratboy (1986), Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death (1988), and Pizza Man (1991), among others..

    ( from Wikipedia ) , he also had a failed movie that ridiculed religion . The asshats that listen to him as though he is some authority are worse. he is a womanizer , a misogynist and an all around garden variety slimy narcissist. He wouldn’t know a principle if one bit him on his penile nose .

  3. DeniseVB says:

    Classy Romneys 🙂

    • Mary says:

      Internal Exile—- the picture above is a man I feel true “contempt” for (your favorite word).

      I don’t use “contempt” for a vague group of Americans called “right-wingers.” That’s lazy thinking. Due respect.

  4. driguana says:

    Who cares what Bill Maher thinks? Who the hell is Bill Maher? It’s like caring what Michale Moore thinks! The only people that care what they think are the ones who like them already. Bill Maher is a slimy little prick with minimal intelligence. We need to stop giving these people any credence. And Bill Maher is rat butt ugly to make matters even worse…a slimy, rat butt, ugly little prick.

    • Underwhelmed says:

      His physical appearance is irrelevant. It’s no more acceptable to ridicule a man for his looks than a woman. In both cases, physicality bears no relation to content of thought. He could be as drop dead gorgeous as Johnny Depp and still be as stupid and as wrong as is humanly possible.

      • yttik says:

        Maybe Underwhelmed, except beauty really does come from the inside and show up on the outside. Johnny Depp is a good example, he can dress up like a dirty, drunken pirate and make us all swoon anyway.

        I don’t think it’s the same thing with men and women at all. Women are often judged ONLY on physical characteristics or what they wear. Men, not so much.

      • driguana says:

        Yes, his physical appearance is irrelevant, I just added that because it’s true. Focus on everything else I said before that.

        • wmcb says:

          Maybe it wasn’t nice. But I take it you weren’t feeling very nice today. 😉

        • Underwhelmed says:

          He might not fit the current ideal of physical attractiveness, but that really isn’t the point. How can we complain about the shallowness of the Vile Progs when we resort to this kind of derogatory dismissal? Condemn him for his words, condemn him for his blatant partisanship and intellectual dishonesty. Blame him for being venal and corrupt and wilfully blind. On those scores we have more ammunition than we know what to do with. But leave his looks out of it. Leave that kind of crap to the Bill Mahers of this world.

    • swanspirit says:

      Bill Maher makes me want to fight , and I am such a peaceful person .

  5. yttik says:

    Alas, I have no tribe…

    Seriously though, I think people are born one way or the other. You’re either a tribalist or you have principles. I don’t think it’s a lifestyle choice, so I quit trying to convince kool aid drinkers to see the big picture, because I don’t think they can. Some people are just wired that way. If you ask them a moral question, the answer will always depend on who’s doing it and what tribe they belong to.

    The left had me fooled for a long time because it was us against the government, us against the establishment. Then they became the establishment and it was like, meet the new boss, same as the old boss, just a bit more vicious and more obsessed with their own self righteousness.

    • wmcb says:

      The Progs and the Santorums of the world are running pretty equal in the sanctimony dept, IMO.

    • Internal Exile says:

      Agreed, except I don’t consider the Oborg to be truly leftist.

      By the standards of more genuine democracies, the Oborg and their ilk would be center-right, while the Reptilians would be far-right, if not fascist.

      I tend to agree with Gore Vidal’s statement that the USA really has only one party, which he called the “Property Party”.

      The Reptilian wing tends to be more ideologically dedicated to “pure” capitalism (while being thoroughly crony-capitalist in practice), while the Dinocratic wing is more openly pragmatic, willing to make more concessions to the excluded and victimized majority to keep the lid on.

      Both major parties (or both wings of the Property Party) work for the Malefactors Of Great Wealth, not for us common citizens.

      The MOGW realized in 2008 that the Chimperor and Darth Cheney and their Usual Gang Of Idiots had not simply screwed the pooch–they had screwed the whole kennel of pooches, in positions Dr. Ruth never heard of–so the MOGW couldn’t install yet another Reptilian without rigging the elections beyond the limits of plausible deniability. They got around this by finding a pliable and treacherous Dinocrat and ginning up an Astroturf campaign–even then, it didn’t quite work and they had to steal the nomination for their lackey.

      • myiq2xu says:

        You keep reciting the same left-wing talking points.

        Left = Good

        Right = Bad

        Democrats = Not Left

        Anyone you disagree with = Not Left

        Throw away your learned dogma and try thinking for yourself. Truth has no ideology. Neither do principles.

        • Internal Exile says:

          “Truth has no ideology.”

          In the words attributed to an ancient Roman official of some notoriety: “What is truth?”

      • angienc says:

        You have absolutely no fucking idea what you’re talking about.
        You should see someone about that.

  6. wmcb says:

    One of the nicest things about having zero tribal loyalties anymore: You can quote whoever the fuck you want, if they have something to say.

    The cons are all in a tizzy at the moment, because the ones upset over the NSA stuff are getting hammered by the neocons, who are urging them to “consider the source” (i.e. Glenn Greenwald). It’s all “OMFG, you are agreeing with/enabling a socialist!!! That makes it all suspect!”

    Meanwhile, libs who might find something inspiring/informational in a comment by Ted Cruz or Rand Paul can’t say so, because “Ewwww!! Republican!!!” and the tribe attacks them.

    Me, I am eyes-wide-open with no tribe. I can quote Cruz, I can quote Greenwald, I can quote Mother Jones, I can quote Sarah Palin, or Rand Paul. I can say whatever the hell I want if I find it useful or interesting.

    So I laugh my ass off at those on both sides who still get such angst over it. Who worry about giving the “other side” some kind of “ammunition.” Those on whom an accusation of “traitor” has some effect. Poor things – I’ve been there. Now I could give a shit anymore what anyone says or thinks about me. And yeah, I love it. 😀

    • Underwhelmed says:

      I hear you, and well said.

      If a principle is only a principle when someone we like is espousing it, then we are all doomed.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Who worry about giving the “other side” some kind of “ammunition.”

      So many of our former friends only made half the journey. They became disillusioned with the left but still maintain their former hatred of the “other” tribe.

      I try to judge both sides (and everyone in between) by the same standards. I prefer people with principles I disagree with to people who have none.

      • Internal Exile says:

        I would call my feelings for the “other” (hard-right) tribe contempt rather than hatred (they are not quite the same thing), and as I just posted above, I don’t consider the Oborg to be true leftists.

        Other than those reservations, yeah, I plead guilty as charged–and unrepentant–to what The Klown said. 😈

        I find myself sliding into the position of “I’m not prejudiced–I despise everyone equally”–even myself. *shrugs*

        • myiq2xu says:

          I save my contempt for people of bad character. There are plenty of them on each side. But there are also plenty of people of good character on both sides as well.

          • myiq2xu says:

            There are a lot of people on the right who are saying things I agree with about Obama. But they were singing a different tune when Bush was in office. Back then I agreed with the people on the left.

            I didn’t change, the party in power did.

        • Internal Exile says:

          I guess that’s our deepest point of disagreement, Myiq. You still think there are people of good character.

          I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect good character of a species of talking apes which were forced to evolve the capability for bad behavior in order to survive in an amoral and pitiless natural environment.

          We are the despicable killer apes we are because we “came from a bad neighborhood”, so to speak. I think that’s one of the reasons the Deity forgives us–S/He knows S/He can’t reasonably expect any better of us. 😦

        • wmcb says:

          Question for Internal Exile: So I take it you consider yourself a person of no-good character, a despicable killer ape? I mean, you are just as bad and untrustworthy as all the rest of the human beings? No difference between your character and Cheney’s or Stalin’s, correct?

          If you answer yes, then just advocate nuking the world now, there’s no point to any of it. You, Hitler, whatever, we’re all despicable.

          If you answer no, then you were being dishonest in your previous statement – you actually DO believe there are people of better character than others. If you answer no, then you were trying to cop out of dealing with myiq’s truth about good people of all political stripes. Because you are still really really married to the idea of conservative = evil person. And calling EVERYONE evil (even if you really don’t believe it) is a handy way out of having to deal with that.

        • myiq2xu says:

          I don’t think anyone is perfect, including myself. Neither did the Founding Fathers. That’s why they designed a system of divided power, so no one could take complete control.

          Divided/small government is capable of corruption, but only in small pieces.

  7. wmcb says:

    It’s dead-on. Read the whole thing.

  8. votermom says:

  9. driguana says:

    Wondering just where the positive, provocative singers are these days…like Dylan, even Billie Holiday with her wrenching rendering of “Strange Fruit”. Terry Callier from Chicago strikes me as one of those voices. In a discussion with a younger person the other day, they said to me…”you just aren’t hearing the right voices”… that right. Do really appreciate this Terry Callier song though…

  10. driguana says:

    …and speaking of physical appearances…..

  11. votermom says:


  12. SHV says:

    Was it made in China?

    • votermom says:

      I BET!!!!

      I think it’s meant to be a reminder of Obama: empty chair now with expanded capabilities and most of all – pinko.

  13. Mary says:

    I’m reading in the Guardian that Holder’s DOJ has approved invoking the State Secrets Privilege re any inquiries about Prism et al. Meaning, no judge receiving filed lawsuits against any involved on the government’s side can do anything other than dismiss the case, due to national security. (help out here, myiq, with more info if I’ve misunderstood that privilege).

    Holder also approved a criminal investigation of Guardian and Glen Greenwald.

    Here we go, here we go.

  14. Mary says:

    Coincidentally, new Rasmussen poll shows that 56% of the American public now finds the federal government a threat to citizens’ rights.

    No shit. I’m still trying to deal with the idea that Glenn Beck may have been right all along. I think we’re through the looking glass, Alice.

    • 49erDweet says:

      And I’m sitting here with the batteries out of all my cell phones thinking maybe old Joe McCarthy was right all along. That’s beyond scary.

  15. myiq2xu says:

    Walter Russell Mead:

    From the President’s point of view, the public belief that we have been engaged in a “war on terror” is part of the many sided problem he inherited from his predecessor. As long as that kind of military mindset dominates public thinking, even Democratic presidents will have to spend lots of money on defense. Tensions between America and Islam will fester, with the risk of more attacks and confrontations making things yet worse. The flexibility of presidents in reaching out to Islamic movements and governments, and perhaps also pressuring Israel to make more concessions in the hope of further reducing regional tensions, will also be limited. When they think the country is in danger, Jacksonians are vigilant and engaged; when they think all is well, they go back to sleep. This President wants them asleep, clinging to their guns and Bibles all they want, but not bothering their pretty little heads about American foreign policy.

  16. yttik says:

    Off topic, but darn! The day is almost over and I just found out it’s National Doughnut Day.

    This would have been a great day to commit a crime…

  17. wmcb says:

    Get this: the (secret) FISA court in 2011 ruled that the govt was conducting unconstitutional surveillance. However, we can’t see that ruling, because the ruling itself is classified. Wrap your brain around that one.

    My country has turned into a fucking Kafka film. I want some sunlight up in this joint, and I want it NOW. And I realize that the public knowing some things might, in some ways, compromise national security. But guess what? If we continue to let this run with no public scrutiny, our country has far far greater problems in store than a subway bomb.

    • SHV says:

      A court system run in secret, with other court opinions that are secret, validating an administration that is being run as a criminal enterprise, supported by Quislings in Congress. Welcome to the New land of the free and home of the brave.

  18. myiq2xu says:


    Obama is not inherently more amoral than his predecessors, only more exempt from charges of amorality. He appreciates that this latitude has never been extended to any other president in modern memory. The result is that there is no longer such a thing as presidential ethics.

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