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Who Do You Hate? Some pols merely annoy us, others we truly despise What produces the difference?
The American Prospect ^ | May 16, 2014 | Paul Waldman

Posted on 05/16/2014 7:42:15 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Think fast: Which politicians from the other side do you merely dislike, and which do you absolutely despise? Can you say why?

I was thinking about this because of Harry Reid, who really, really gets on conservatives' nerves, and seems to be constantly trying to figure out new ways to make them mad. Unlike Nancy Pelosi, who generates contempt from the right mostly for who she is (a San Francisco liberal, a woman with power), with Reid it's about what he does, specifically his propensity for saying things about conservatives that are over the top. Most liberals look at Reid and see him as an extremely skilled legislative leader, even if they cringe a bit when his statements go too far. For instance, it's possible to criticize the Koch brothers without saying they "are about as un-American as anyone I can imagine"; things like that seem designed to just drive Republicans nuts. As Simon Malloy says, "Harry Reid is a troll. He's an effective majority leader and he knows how to work within the sticky labyrinth of official DC to get things done, but he's also a troll. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's a trait that lends itself to excess."

After hearing him make a few of those extreme statements and unsubstantiated charges, it has gotten to the point where conservatives see Reid and just boil with rage. Which is exactly what a troll is trying to accomplish. At this point, it's safe to say folks on the right hate Reid more than Pelosi, which wasn't the case a few years ago.

And what about liberals? I don't know any who despise John Boehner, because he's mostly a pathetic figure, constantly besieged by people in his own party whom he doesn't have the courage to stand up to. Mitch McConnell doesn't generate much hate either. He may be bad for America, but you have to acknowledge that he's probably the most politically shrewd Republican in Washington, and there isn't anything about his manner or habits that are particularly grating.

So there has to be something unusual about a figure on the other side to produce the real emotional reaction. Take Sarah Palin. Democrats find her exasperating not just because she's a blithering fool who nearly came a heartbeat away from the presidency, but because she luxuriates in her nincompoopery. And importantly, she expresses her own limitless contempt at liberals—not only them as people, but the places they live and the things they do. It's hard not to hate somebody who so clearly hates you. And she's important enough (or at least was) to care about; no liberal can muster up hatred for an inconsequential buffoon like Louie Gohmert, no matter what crazy things he says.

And then there's Hillary Clinton. For some reason, back in 1992 conservatives decided that she and her husband were the living embodiment of their antagonists in the 1960s culture war, even though at the time she was about as far from being a hippie as you could get. Here's something I wrote during the 2008 campaign, when conservatives were warning about her socialist agenda:

Hillary Clinton wasn't at Woodstock. Clinton arrived at Wellesley in 1965 as a "Goldwater girl," and though her politics grew more progressive during her time there, then as now she was a creature of the establishment, seeking change within the system and warning against advocating radical ideas. Not one for experimenting with drugs or sex, she charted a sensible and serious course through the Sixties.

This personal history could barely be less relevant, of course. As far as many on the right are concerned, Clinton might as well be campaigning in a tie-dye peasant blouse and leading the crowd in a rousing rendition of "The Internationale" before every speech.

If Clinton is a proxy for that decades-old conflict and you were one of the ones looking with a combination of anger and jealousy at those kids who were taking drugs and having sex—in other words, having all the fun—then the reaction you have against her is so deep-seated and beyond rationality that nothing she does or doesn't do will ever change it. We haven't heard too much of those echoes of the 1960s lately, though I suspect it would be too optimistic to say we've left that endless conflict between the squares and the cool kids behind. But for conservatives and Clinton, the dislike is still about who she is and not what she does.

That's a much more powerful feeling than the kind of hate conservatives now feel for Reid, because just like with liberals and Palin, it's not only about her, it's also about them. It reaches down to where identity lies.

So take a look at the potential GOP candidates for 2016. Which ones have the potential to really make you crazy with loathing? The only one who comes across as really sinister is Scott Walker, and that's because of things he did. Rick Perry hits the anti-intellectualism that raises liberal hackles. Ted Cruz is acknowledged by pretty much everyone he's ever encountered to be a smarmy jerk. Something tells me Bobby Jindal has some appalling behavior in him, but that's just a guess. The idea of Rand Paul as president may be alarming, but he doesn't push the emotional buttons. Rick Santorum? He's got the extremism, but he's kind of a joke. Jeb Bush? Please. Chris Christie? Now hold on—there's a guy you could grow to hate.


TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: boehner; harryreid; palin; pelosi
Comments?
1 posted on 05/16/2014 7:42:15 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
What produces the difference?

For the author, the difference seems driven by the letter after the pol's name. If it's an "R", then the pol is a hateful sack of shiite, apparently.

Really, not so deep.

2 posted on 05/16/2014 7:45:21 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Fegelein! Fegelein! Fegelein!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ve got an idea. Lets make marionettes out of straw and let them fight each other.


3 posted on 05/16/2014 7:46:22 PM PDT by marron
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I noticed that back in 2007, I had posted something that could have been interpreted as not liking Mitt Romney.

I guess that would count as a negative opinion on a politician.


4 posted on 05/16/2014 7:48:39 PM PDT by ansel12 ((Ted Cruz and Mike Lee-both of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Comm as Ginsberg's importance fades)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
For some reason, back in 1992 conservatives decided that she and her husband were the living embodiment of their antagonists in the 1960s culture war,

Gee...I wonder why...

5 posted on 05/16/2014 7:49:45 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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The word “hate” is now an accusatory term that best describes the people that use it to repress speech and behavior of others. The word was somewhat benign just a few decades ago.


6 posted on 05/16/2014 7:49:49 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well, the author is obviously a leftist. I have never heard a single complaint from people who have personally met Ted Cruz. Great guy all round.

However there is something to the idea of just disliking certain politicians and hating them.

Harry Reid: He is worthy of hate. What a slimy, hypocritical jerk. Dementia-ridden, I cannot think of a more corrupt leader of the senate in the last 100 years.

Nancy Pelosi: I’d agree, not worthy of hate. Just an incredibly stupid, botox-filled parrot who struggles to sound barely competent.

James Clyburn: Worthy of hate. Anyone who opposes this man, or looks at him in the wrong way, is a racist. Totally contemptible piece of crap.

Angus King: A lowlife attention whore, but probably not worthy of hate. Just another dirtbag who looks for the nearest camera.

Barbara Boxer: Worthy of hate. The gargoyle toto of the senate, she is beyond the usual level of annoyance, comparing abortion to viagra. What a gross and twisted witch.

Chris Van Hollen: Can’t hate him. He’s a hack, a liar, a fraud, a party loyalist... but he just sounds like half the libtards on Fox on a daily basis. No hate required.

So, you see, across both chambers, there are Democrats and then there are ArchDemocrats. The former are just stooges. The latter are pawns of satan.


7 posted on 05/16/2014 7:56:05 PM PDT by Viennacon
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I predict that the overall winners (losers?) will be Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Obama, Schumer, Durbin, Biden in no particular order.


8 posted on 05/16/2014 8:05:40 PM PDT by matthew fuller (No, I don't miss GWB- I miss Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I get it! Folks on the right just cannot bear a woman with power. For example, consider that former female governor of Alaska. Or that Rice woman; scholar of renown and former Sec’y of State.


9 posted on 05/16/2014 8:34:34 PM PDT by Elsiejay
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I despise anyone who is psychopathic and wicked enough to be pro-abortion (and a few other evils).

Thus, there are no Democrats I don’t despise, and lots of Libertarians and Republicans I do despise.


10 posted on 05/16/2014 8:35:17 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The word “hate” gets thrown around way too easily imho. However, there’s a form of mass homicidal insanity that has happened before & certainly appears to be growing again. It has nothing to do with rationality or reason. I’m not sure that’s “hate”. It’s obsession & insanity.
Real hate (again, imho) happens when a person cannot escape from oppression by someone no matter what they do (like being stalked, daily, for years). If/ when it stops, you still would go through a wall to escape encountering that person, but the hatred dissipates & you are free.
Real hate or despising someone takes a LOT of energy. (which is how it becomes hate, I think)


11 posted on 05/16/2014 8:40:25 PM PDT by KGeorge (Till we're together again, Gypsy girl. May 28, 1998- June 3, 2013)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Everybody hates Bill de Blasio. They asked the Dali Lama what he thought of Bill de Blasio.
“I hate him. You achieve true enlightenment when you start hating Bill de Blasio. What kind of jackass makes up his own name and puts a ‘de’ in it?”


12 posted on 05/16/2014 8:43:25 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

NOH8...


13 posted on 05/16/2014 8:48:42 PM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

if they are a DemLibProg , I hate um . They are the enemy , the enemy of America , a stain upon the memories of my forefathers . I do not wish them well .


14 posted on 05/16/2014 8:56:08 PM PDT by LeoWindhorse
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hate is only something that conservatives are capable of. Apparently it is their default attitude. Leftists are inclined to rational criticism resulting from their love for humanity and all that is good and decent.


15 posted on 05/16/2014 8:57:30 PM PDT by all the best (sat`~!)
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To: blueunicorn6

That was funny...


16 posted on 05/16/2014 8:58:01 PM PDT by Morpheus2009
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To: blueunicorn6

lol


17 posted on 05/16/2014 8:59:38 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I hate anyone who seeks to make me less free.


18 posted on 05/16/2014 9:13:24 PM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: blueunicorn6

Great!

To steal from an old humor list, you know you’ve gone too far when Barbara Bush and Mr Rogers refer to you as “That mother******.”


19 posted on 05/16/2014 10:27:27 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have Ingsoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

In reality, aren’t both sides bad? We have to continue to vote for the best of the worst and it is really getting to be just another groundhog day?

Sorry, but it does seem a bit useless these days as little is gained regardless of which party is in control. Just when does reality set in - a question that is best left to young people it seems and the answer will not please many.


20 posted on 05/16/2014 11:34:06 PM PDT by Deagle (ues)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Might this apply to The Beast?

“To be young and conservative is to be without a heart; to be old and liberal is to be without a brain.” -Winston Churchill


21 posted on 05/17/2014 1:22:42 AM PDT by punchamullah
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

First, given that Barack Obama, with all the Democrat Party to choose from, chose Joe Biden for his running mate, the left can just shut up about putting blithering idiots anywhere near the presidency.

Second, it’s a puzzlement to me how Harry Reid rose so high in the Democrat Party, and even more how he became one of the most prominent public faces of the Mormons, despite apparently being congenitally completely humorless and charmless.


22 posted on 05/17/2014 1:47:33 AM PDT by RichInOC (Palin 2016: The Perfect Storm.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
So take a look at the potential GOP candidates for 2016. Which ones have the potential to really make you crazy with loathing? The only one who comes across as really sinister is Scott Walker, and that's because of things he did.

Yep. Vote for the guy with a track record!

A record of contempt for everything that Paul Waldman and the American Prospekt stand for, who forced his legislators to decamp for a foreign state, who caused the Democrat Party to expend millions to remove him! But in vain!

23 posted on 05/17/2014 1:48:27 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I think the author's take on hatred is a sign that drug use is still alive and well out there. It is steeped in typical envy, projecting that on others, and coloured by the inability to understand that some of us do not hate people, but despise the deeds they do--and for that reason would never vote for them.

Yes, that includes Hillary Clinton.

We like others, not for their appearance, sometimes in spite of what they did in college, but ultimately for the deeds they do, their willingness to give their word and keep it, a behaviour which ultimately speaks volumes about their character. If we like the promises they made and kept, we'll vote for them.

It isn't rocket science. It has nothing to do with envying the doper masses in college or elsewhere while we spent our hours working and learning, especially when doing so was in pursuit of a passion for learning we loved. In fact, more often than not, the stoner crowd wasn't even on our radar, unless we had to move through them to get where we were going. Otherwise, it didn't matter if they were wasting their tuition and time, that was their choice, and they often did so at their peril.

Funny the author should project this envy and then cite it as a reason we might not like Hillary.

I'm not fond of anyone who would abandon my countrymen to their death, and then lie about what got them killed--and that is only one salient reason I find Mrs. Clinton unacceptable as a candidate for the highest office in the USA--but it is enough.

24 posted on 05/17/2014 1:59:05 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I am an equal-opportunity hater. Skin color doesn’t play a role, only their communist, socialist-inspired hatred of America and everything American.

Obama
Reid
Pelosi
Shumer
Clinton
Kerry
Sharpton
Cher

Did I miss anybody?


25 posted on 05/17/2014 4:43:59 AM PDT by broken_arrow1 (I regret that I have but one life to give for my country - Nathan Hale "Patriot")
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To: broken_arrow1

Jane Fonda?


26 posted on 05/17/2014 1:03:47 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I think there’s a difference between holding someone in contempt and hating them. Hate is more consuming and irrational, like the kind of hate you get on the left, where every other word is F-this and F-that because they smother rational thought with their emotions; remember the painting of Bush devouring a baby? Cripes, what morons. I fail to hate them, but they deserve my contempt, certainly. Even Dirty Harry Reid is contemptible, but I won’t waste my time hating him. I think he’s evil and deserves a good kick in the behind - yes, I’d like to give that kick, maybe with cleats on.


27 posted on 05/17/2014 2:06:33 PM PDT by MaggiesPitchfork
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