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Post Partisan
Posted at 03:45 PM ET, 09/14/2012

A civil discussion breaks out

Hey gang! Today we’re putting on our hazmat suits and diving in to a very special episode of PostScript. It involves the more than 5,000 comments to Ruth Marcus’s piece about Mitt Romney needing to apologize for accusing other people of apologizing — a piece containing this awesome line: “Oddly enough, Romney’s evidence for Obama’s alleged apologizing is bereft of certain words — like apology, or sorry, or regret. To Romney, apologizing means never actually having to say you’re sorry.”

Anyway, PostScript was a little worried that the commentary would tediously echo yesterday’s acrimonious, polarized commentucopia about whether Romney had disgraced himself. But it did not. Today’s comment-palooza is a rarity of comity and intellect and affection.

First the commenters got angry, and existential. Then they got nice to each other even when they disagreed. Two commenters took over the thread as others dropped off, possibly in awe. Possibly, they looked away, embarrassed. It’s almost ... sweet. Let’s go.

Part one: existential. Commenters wonder why we are here.


This column is typical of ossified leftist group-think.


It surprises me when posters like hit4cycle post a response to an article with a one-size-fits-all description of the columnist writing a “typical ossified leftist group-think” piece. If you already know the type of column you’re about to read, have already decided it won’t be one which is “truthful”, i.e., doesn’t support your own preconceptions, then why do you waste your time reading it and writing a post about it?


hit4cycle, I rather enjoy reading other folks’ views and have changed some of my thoughts based on reasoned input from others. It is not good to have conversations only with those who agree with you, otherwise you start to get the feeling your views are perfect and always superior.
I’ve encouraged some of my liberal friends to pretend to have conservative thoughts and to share them with their own liberal friends to see just how good these friendships really are and if their friends are as tolerant of others as they constantly say they are. Few take me up as they know liberals are VERY intolerant of alternative world views and they don’t wish to lose these friends.


I concur but confess that I find it difficult to maintain friendships with leftists. It’s possible only if we avoid politics entirely. Their cognitive disconnect is baffling at best.

And then, something amazing happens. A real-time friendship occurs! Or something like it. Please forgive PostScript for quoting the conversation at length, but it made her feel warm and squooshy and it’s possible you might need that, too:

The discussion had been about why people can’t get jobs. One commenter sarcastically comments it might be because the unemployed haven’t been networking with soulless business types, that instead they’ve been hanging out . . . 


… with the wrong crowd. You know, people who like to enjoy life instead of thinking of ways to screw over everyone around them for more money.


“You know, people who like to enjoy life instead of thinking of ways to screw over everyone around them for more money. “
You do realize you have given a classic false dichotomy.


Oh, that’s what I’m doing. Gotcha.
Don’t talk to me.

The American equivalent of Chamberlain isn’t Obama, it’s GW Bush. Neville was a guy who surrounded himself with yes-men and wouldn’t tolerate any disagreement or have his views challenged.


“… no wonder you are where you are.”
and where exactly do you think I am?


Difficult to say where you are, but your thoughts are liberal and you will therefore always support Obama even when his policies are wrong.


I’m an “Obot?” Really? Then why am I so critical of him? Moron. I’m a Socialist, I live on the other side of the world, and I wouldn’t give a Republican the snot off the fingernail on my pinky.


Thanks for letting me know your world view. That’s helpful. Are you a socialist in the Stalin mold or have you redefined yourself to be more acceptable? Socialists have done so much to help the world be free of tyranny.
But do forgive me for jumping to the conclusion you always support Obama. That was unsupported and shouldn’t have been written.


Accepted. I tend to overstereotype conservatives myself. Obama is way better on social issues, and really, that is about it. On the environment, on the economy, FP, he stinks. He just happens to be better than what any Republican would be doing right now.
“Socialists have done so much to help the world be free of tyranny.”
Especially in the workplace, yes. Like your weekend? Like your eight hour day, like coming home from work with all your fingers and without poisons that will kill you by 45? Thank a Socialist.


Thanks for a thoughtful reply Cao. Commenting can be so heartless sometimes. Conservatives, like myself, see many socialist policies as having good goals, such as “weekends and eight hour days” but none of these would be possible without the advancements in technology and efficiencies that conservative industrialists have developed.
I have no problem with folks such as yourself having a part of the political process, it is just that socialists, when unimpeded, kill economies as their policies do not work when fully implemented — a la Greece, Spain, and the European Union, which is in a slow death spiral. America is trying to emulate them to our doom. And worse, socialism requires a stronger central government which inevitably becomes tyrannical to individual liberty.


No Socialist in real life believes in practicing the pure, unadulterated model. We all know it must be tempered with recognition of human nature. I wish the same could be said of the free market fanatics, because they do believe in absolutist practices.


That is why America has been the most successful country in the history of the world. We have had the ability to freely elect people who represent our views and then they have to wrestle to come to compromise solutions, some bad and some good, but the end product has been what we are.


Sorry dude but that is over. America is under the grips of the financial caste and innovation & creativity ain’t on their agenda.
You want to see a failed economic model, look at Republicans since Reagan. Sorry, but America isn’t doing ideas and innovation anymore, not with all the bright kids majoring in finance.


America is under the financial siege of socialist inspired entitlement programs — the root of our financial obligations which can’t be ultimately met. Conservative economic principles will be the only things that will save us economically.
I do agree that Republicans have not done enough to stem this slide towards socialism and the inevitable stranglehold of unfunded obligations. But, if you look back, they would be crushed politically for even suggesting minimum constraints on Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid and labeled as “heartless” and “cruel” and “uncompassionate” so they succumbed to the pressure to fight another day.

This is where it ends, so far. But PostScript, whose bread and Cheez Whiz is commentary strife, feels the need to apologize.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  03:45 PM ET, 09/14/2012

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