Nipping it in the Bud

Dear Barack Obama Supporters:

All y’all are starting to exhibit all the same exceptionally annoying pathologies as Ron Paul supporters.

Please note Ron Paul’s current delegate count.

Thank you for your attention.

75 thoughts on “Nipping it in the Bud

  1. Thought as much. I was wondering mainly because I hadn’t seen much discussion of him (or any other candidates for President) in the comments in the past couple of days.

    Unfortunate, as I am an Obama supporter myself, though I haven’t been spamming anyone’s email about it.

  2. Good use of the plural “all y’all”. One doesn’t see that outside the South. Well conjugated, man.

  3. A certain percentage of anyone’s supporters are going to be a bit irrational. There’s likely even less of them to go around this year, since Mr. Paul is in the race.
    I’m most irrational of all: still holding out hope for that Gore / Obama ticket.

  4. Instead of writing a pro-Obama blog post every three weeks or so, I could’ve been writing emails and sending them to people I don’t even know! What a good idea.

  5. All y’all? Really? I’m an Obama supporter, and I’ve yet to send any spam, twist any arms, or make any glassy-eyed speeches on his behalf.

    “All y’all” is more likely “the usual band of inconsiderate morons with boundary issues.”

  6. I’ve heard that people are using the phrase “coming to Obama” when talking about when they decided to support his candidacy. It’s borrowed from “coming to Christ,” used when ‘witnessing’ one’s conversion or spiritual awakening.

    Is Lyndon Larouche running this year?

  7. We all have our dreams. I am hoping for a brokered Republican convention that can select a Duncan Hunter / Fred Thompson ticket.

    Hunter Thompson would be just gonzo.

  8. Politics is an interesting problem in etiquette. A lot of people I know follow the principle that discussion of politics is much like discussion of sausage-making. I used to be sympathetic to that perspective myself, but I think many of our government’s shortcomings are, at least partially, a result of people not discussing politics and accountability for its practitioners. I generally restrict myself to posting my election research and conclusions on my own weblog and sending out links to that to my friends and coworkers; anywhere else, I wait for someone else to start a political discussion before joining in. I had plenty of mental back-and-forth over the propriety of sending out something political on the general mailing list at work (since no one else does that), but I figured that anyone who listens in on the lunchroom discussions would know something of my politics and could delete the hyperlink as easily as following it.

  9. Please note Ron Paul’s current delegate count.

    Probably waaay too late.

    My horseback diagnosis: Hillary was a pol that most Dems could hold their nose for. She would have been a capable administrator but, really, would have been more of the same. You liked Bill, back in the 90s? La Clinton is your gal.

    But nobody really liked her.

    Obama appears to be The Man, because he’s a likable chap, he’s a Dem who appears to have the right cred and he’s not Hillary.

    This sucks because I don’t think he’s electable. What I’ve seen of his policies and core beliefs just don’t square with the majority of Joe and Jane Average. The fence sitters that he must have if he’s going to win.

    ‘Democrats can’t get elected and Republicans can’t lead’ is a truism but .. c’mon. You guys keep throwing up candidates that – for whatever reason – piss off 45% of the rest of us.

    Stop doing that, please.

  10. Nip THIS in the bud you paid-for neocon asshole blogger…

    [spew nipped in the bud]

    [Gregory, save your cutting and pasting for someone who actually is a neocon. Also, thanks for proving the point — JS]

  11. The problem: There is no majority-winning coalition that does not include some annoying morons.

    If that Obama-supporting post of mine that you, John, approved of is in fact correct in its view of the current political situation and its potential and pitfalls, then some of the people inspired by Obama are going to be…annoying morons.

    You can can have a coalition free of people who bug you, or you can win elections. Pick one.

  12. Politics is insane. I don’t know if it’s the 27/7 news cycle or what, but you can’t escape it. It won’t be over after the election, everybody’ll just start going on about how the results of this election will effect the next one, ad nauseum.

    Max Kaehn@14 it’s not that people don’t talk about it, you can’t get’em to shut up about it. It’s that usually what they talk about is just surface, or the sports team mentality. It doesn’t deal with the fact that you need to stop listening to what a politician is saying (hint i’s a lie) and look at what they actually do. But you also need to realize politics is not the be-all end all. It’s just one little part.

  13. The thing I’d like to see is the technology of VH-1’s Pop-Up Video applied to fact-checking speeches, commercials, and debates. Any time they make an assertion, *pop* up comes a balloon telling just how much of a lie or distortion it is. That would make them worth watching again; otherwise, I can’t stand watching politicians bloviate in real time.

  14. Obama’s electability is an interesting question.

    The solid Democrats aren’t an issue. The solid Republican’s aren’t an issue. Everyone agrees that it’s the % in the middle, and that the size of that % rarely changes. But does it?

    50% of America doesn’t vote. That’s pretty much been a truism since I began voting twenty years ago. There’s also been polls in the past that a large number of those non-voters fall into categories such as youth, and minorities, that are traditionally Democratic, so higher voter turnout is generally considered to favor the Democrats.

    There’s been record turnouts in the primaries for the Democratic side.

    So will more than 50% vote this year? The answer to that question may well decide the election.

  15. Read his website, not impressed. Must be Kennedy all over again – if you only read his statements, you don’t see what all the fuss is about. I’m not seeing much there there.

  16. PNH:

    “You can can have a coalition free of people who bug you, or you can win elections.”

    What I’m hoping for is making as many people aware that they may be becoming as annoying as shit, in the hopes that the more clueful of them may start exhibiting social graces.

  17. The Obama campaign’s running a little mini-facebook on the campaign website. I posted a little guide to ‘how not to sound like a cultist when talking about Barack Obama’ the other day. I think he’s the best candidate in this election, but some of my fellow Obama supporters really, really need to step away from the espresso machine.

    I mean, I get it. I was a freak for my first few days as an Obama supporter, too. He’s a powerful public speaker, and his message of change in Washington appeals. But undecided voters don’t want to hear about how inspiring he is, supporters need to stop saying ‘Yes We Can’ every time someone mentions his name, and for the love of Pete, harassing strangers about politics or religion is never, ever not annoying.

  18. JS,

    Tim Blair is the guy you want to talk to. He’s the contact man for all us neo-cons working for Karl Rove. But if you’re expecting to see your back wages for your Rovian tricks and strategems be aware that there is a long waiting list ahead of you.

  19. John — I appreciate that. I tend to suspect, however, that it’s going to work out the way it does in so many cognate social situations: the relatively clueful will have anxiety attacks about whether they’ve transgressed, while the incorrigably clueless will sail on unperturbed. There aren’t actually very many people inhabiting the narrow “clueless but curable” band.

    Personally, while I’ve had as many occasions as you to be annoyed by overhyped-up Obama supporters (and a few overhyped-up Clinton supporters), I have to say, it’s novel to see a Presidential election in one of the biggest problems is too much passionate energy on behalf of Democratic candidates, even if some of that energy manifests itself in the form of colorfully-dressed rustics hitting one another over the head with inflated pig bladders. For several cycles, right-wing Republicans have had a lock on the “unhinged maniac” portion of the electorate, and it hasn’t kept them from winning the majority of the national elections in question. I find it hard to believe the Republic will, as one, turn into a stale chicken salad sandwich if Democrats appropriate a little of that crazy-person energy for their own purposes.

  20. Well, I can’t say how other “fence-sitters” feel, but Obama is my first choice. If they force me to choose between McCain and Clinton II, I will go with McCain. I think Obama is electable, but Hillary is not. At least I hope she is not.

  21. “Good use of the plural “all y’all”. One doesn’t see that outside the South.”

    One doesn’t see it inside the South, either, Brett L. One has to actually be in the South to know, but there’s an extra syllable masquerading as the word “of”. “Alla y’all” is closer to the actual Southern phrase.

    Julia, in as Deep as the South gets before it turns into Snowbird Paradise

  22. John:

    I am sorry. I really am. I could explain why I am so excited about Obama or explain why I felt like you had the $$. In the end, I understand why you got the stupid emails. It was because you do like Obama and it seemed natural to ask you to donate. But, in the end, you make sense.

    Thanks for the wake up call. BTW, when do people become zombies? How does this happen? The glazed eyes and silly smile happens out of the blue?! I did not know that I was infected until I sent you the donate group hug from Obama. I have been obsessed. Apparently, I have some OCD issues that need to be taken care of.

    In all silliness. John, you’re right.

    Thank you. Julie

  23. Julie:

    Be assured, it wasn’t just you.

    I certainly do appreciate enthusiasm for one’s candidate, and of all the candidates, Obama’s the one I would give my vote to first. I’m just feeling overloaded on the Obama love. It’s getting a little overheated and sticky for my tastes.

  24. Are we sure they’re coming from the Obama campaign and not actually some opponents trying to annoy people and turn them away from voting for him?

  25. Sticky? Thanks for the visual. Sticky? What does that mean? My OCD will be analyzing what sticky means for the next week! Thanks John. ;)

    Back to the campaign trail with sticky on the mind. Dammit.

  26. Actually Peter:

    I was actually trying to get 10 bucks out of the big guy here. That’s all. Really. I mean it. No weird motives or stuff. Stuff is a legal term by the way.

  27. Thank god. I really started worrying about my sanity. Jeels? Who? Okay, I might be an Obama freak but I am not that crazy, yet….

  28. Also, PNH:

    For some reason you keep popping into the spam filter. I’m not sure why. I’m not intentionally moderating you (which I figure you know, but just to be sure).

  29. I do think it’s worth noting that, unlike Ron Paul, I’ve never seen an “Obama ’08” bumper sticker on the same fender as “P$ychiatry kills” and “Kill your television.” So, yanno, it may not be *quite* to that level yet.

  30. The problem is this: every time you place more power into the federal government, you get more disagreements about how that power will be used and you get more and more dangerous people who seek the power. What if I don’t want you to take my money and give it to some nation I’ve never heard of or some program that does nothing for me? What if I don’t want my money taken to be sent across the country for some pork project that benefits an influential congressman’s district alone? We get only one answer: tough luck, hand over the buck.

    There was only one candidate who proposed cutting back the federal government, reducing the power and thereby the disputes and danger. Apparently, nobody really wants that. Republicans don’t. Democrats sure don’t. The mainstream parties disagree only on how they should enforce their tax-and-spend ways and who gets the loot. That’s why people can’t talk about politics civilly anymore. Reliving a mugging is unpleasant.

  31. Interesting the way a post about a candidate’s annoying supporters turned into a discussion about the candidates. Obama’s a charismatic guy; he’s going to have his share of supporters who go a little over the edge. Bill Clinton did, too, and they were also very irritating. Hillary, I suspect, has many fewer (I don’t know any, but then, I live in Obama country). I don’t know about McCain, either; I would doubt it, but you never know. Maybe they get all hot and bothered in Scottsdale. These folks wouldn’t have gotten where they are without some measure of personal charisma.

    I voted for Obama in the primary and will vote for whichever Democrat gets the nomination because at a minimum I want every last person from the Bush administration cleaned out of the government. That said, one of the best comments I’ve seen on the election so far has been this cartoon.

  32. I too support Obama, but I feel your pain John.

    I think it is a result of people feeling so depressed about government the last 8 years. Suddenly they have a reason to get involved, but are so excited that they blow their load in 20 seconds.

    I’m sure it will get easier for you in Ohio after Mar 4.

  33. re: Julia @ 31 — I’ve always used “y’all” as an inclusive. “All of y’all” would be redundant, as the term’s a condensation of “you all”. “Any of you” however would be deserving of a variant — “Any-a y’all” or “any y’all”.

    Because #43 doesn’t deserve a response and a David Duke comparision would be too easy.

  34. Personality cults in politics are annoying and troublesome, no matter who they’re centered on (or whether the person has anything to do with it).

    The more extreme forms of Obamania I’ve seen are especially off-putting, because (from what I as a foreigner can tell) Obama would indeed make a fine president. The manic supporter crowd is pushing too hard.

  35. Dear John:

    Maybe so, but Hill is just f***ing annoying. Kinda like the dude whose job she wants, only smarter and not quite the ideot* George is.

    Luv,

    Jim

    *Not a misspelling. Michael Moore is an ideot, too. Say? He’s been quiet since SICKO? Did Howard Dean have him whacked before primary season? ‘Cuz he should have.

  36. Brian:

    Yes, some people actually DO like Hillary. For instance, I’m quite fond of her stance on Science and Scientific funding.

    Please check facts before spewing bile in the future. k thx bu-bai.

  37. I’ve got to say that I LOVE the enthusiasm this year. Honestly, I can put up with the goofier supporters and even the spam. What I absolutely can’t stand, though, is apathy. This is America, this is a democracy, we SHOULD have wildly enthusiastic discussions about politics. Bush thought he could prevent all this by avoiding a draft and tax increases, and just buying mercenaries with borrowed money. And it seemed to work, too. You can’t imagine how glad I am to see real enthusiasm this year! I’m retired, but count me one of those wild-eyed Obama supporters.

  38. You’re attracted to me, but the idea of physical intimacy is uncomfortable because you only know me as the President. But it’s not always going to be that way, and the reason I know that is there was a moment last night when you were with ME, not the President. And I know what a big step that was for you. So, Sydney, I’m in no rush. Here’s my plan. We’re going to slow down, and when you’re comfortable, that’s when it’s going to happen.

    Perhaps I didn’t properly explain the fundamentals of the slowdown plan.

  39. ObDoDemocraciesInevitablyRatchettUpTaxes?

    Peter Lindert’s Growing Public: Social Spending and Economic Growth suggests that democracies back off on taxes and redistributive policies when it starts to hurt growth.

  40. I don’t think they’re a cult. Some of them are just overenthusiastic at the moment.

    Which I find vastly preferable to the underenthusiasm, or apathy, exhibited by younger citizens in past elections.

  41. Brian: You may find this hard to believe, but some of us actually like Hillary, and want to vote for her b/c we’re of the opinion she’d be a better leader. No nose holding here, thanks.

    I think my reluctance with regards to Obama is that I remember another eloquent and charismatic speaker who was long on poetry and short on policy. No, not Kennedy–Reagan. For better or worse, when I watch one of his stump speeches, all I can think of is “Morning in America.” Spending the Reagan years in the Rust Belt has made me wary, I guess.

    I’ve read PNH’s reasons for choosing Obama, and I respect them. I even kinda wish I could get caught up in what promises to be a historical moment. But I just can’t. Don’t like his position on healthcare, either.

  42. Brian,

    There are even some Obama supporters who don’t dislike Hillary Clinton. I think she would make a very good president.

    Unfortunately, I don’t thing she can win a general election because I know a lot of Republicans that hate her like poison and would vote for Hitler’s head in a jar if it were the Republican nominee.

    But I personally could happily vote for her in a general election if she were to be the Democratic candidate.

    (Unfortunately for my idealism, I decided several years ago that it’s not about what candidate I like best, but instead about who I think is electable.)

  43. The thing about Reagan (and Obama tried to make this point too, I think, and got crucified for it) is that he got elected because people LIKED him. And then he got re-elected, easily. And he was wildly popular and remains that way still. (No, I never understood it myself.) No president rules in a vacuum. And if you’re wildly popular, you not only get yourself elected, but you get your supporters elected. You get your party into a dominant position all across the country. Reagan did that. Bill Clinton did not. Clinton got himself re-elected, yes, but the Democratic Party was crushed after only two years of the Clintons in power. And that ended up giving us Bush/Cheney. I’ve never understood the vicious hatred of Hillary Clinton, but it’s a fact that almost half the country positively HATES her. Her nomination would ensure a huge turnout of Republicans, and give McCain a huge bump in the Independent vote. I don’t think she could get elected, but even if she could, that circumstance would be a huge disaster for Democratic politicians across the country (all of those not in an extremely reliable Democratic district, anyway). Don’t underestimate the likability factor!

  44. Often, your choice in an election comes down to this. As a poll worker, I am sometimes asked by a voter confronted by a long list in a primary election, “how am I supposed to know who to vote for?” I always give the same answer. “Whoever you like the most, or dislike the least.”

    Obama is who I like the most. If it’s Clinton vs McCain, I will have to go with who I dislike the least, which would be McCain.

  45. I guess the question is, could it be higher without the exuberance, or is it that it’s that high because of the exuberance?

    I’m not following the race too closely at the moment. And I have nothing invested since the person I voted for didn’t even get 1%, let alone in a state where it remains to be seen if any delegates are actually going to count towards any side anyways.

    I know in November that I’m going to be throwing my vote towards the Democrat winner. I can’t see voting for any Republican candidate for the rest of my life with the excesses that have gone on for the past seven years.

    And as an aside, both Clinton and Obama are close enough on policies that it’s six one, half a dozen the other.

  46. The difference between Obama and Paul is that Paul didn’t run to actually win the nomination; he ran to help restore his party to conservative values like nonintervention, personal freedom & liberty, lower taxes & spending, and sovereignty. He was just basically doing the same thing Tancredo did, who ran simply to pull the party to the right on the immigration issue. But a lot of anti-war folks latched onto his campaign and it really caught fire, which attracted a lot of “fringe” types. No matter how annoying his supporters are, hopefully his message will resonate within the Republican party for a long time to come. Paul is an appalling speaker, but he has a following because of his ideas.

    Obama, I believe, is just the opposite. He is an incredible speaker, and that’s why people love him, not specific ideas. According to his website he has some good issues, but I don’t get the sense that they’re much different at all from Hillary’s (or almost all the other Dem candidates). That is where Paul is far different; no other Republican candidate voted against the war, wanted to do away with the IRS, wanted to pull out of NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, and the UN (okay, maybe Tancredo & Hunter), and scrap the Patriot Act.

    I guess both have a big grassroots following, but for far different reasons. They both have attracted a lot of young voters, though, so I would say that is a good thing.

  47. “Another voice spoke, low and melodious, its very sound an enchantment. Those who listened unwarily to that voice could seldom report the words that they heard; and if they did, they wondered, for little power remained in them. Mostly they remembered only that it was a delight to hear the voice speaking, and all that it said seemed wise and reasonable, and desire awoke in them by swift agreement to seem wise themselves. When others spoke they seemed harsh and uncouth by contrast; and if they gainsaid the voice, anger was kindled in the hearts of those under the spell.”

    Saruman…er, I mean, Obama for president!

  48. Counter-counter-argument from another Southerner here: “All y’all” is fine English. “Y’all” often does not literally mean “you all” (at least where I’m from), but rather just that one is addressing more than one person.

    Happily not commenting at all on any political stuff.

  49. John @ 53 – If Obama started denying evolution and his fan base continued being a fan base, I’d worry

    Chris D @ 62 – I’m not so much inspired by his ideas as his long history of working together with people of disparate political views to get important social welfare projects pushed through, and his ability to motivate people to work with him on projects.

  50. I just love all the made up words like Obamamentum. hehe. The news REALLY needs to find better things to talk about.

    And just to pitch my hat in the ring, I like Obama but am very OK with voting for Hillary too if she got nominated. So at least this time, I’m a “voting for Dem, no matter who it is”

  51. Dave A 46, p 2, sentences 1-2:

    I think it is a result of people feeling so depressed about government the last 8 years. Suddenly they have a reason to get involved, but are so excited that they blow their load in 20 seconds.

    Yuck. I think that quote and “Come to Obama” explain perfectly what John meant by “sticky.”

  52. Just as a data point, my mother-in-law is getting a fair amount of rabid anti-Obama forwards from her usual group of kitten picture senders. (You know, “he’s a sekret Mooslem” type stuff.)

  53. Obama fans have only been facing the friendly Clinton fire so far. They’re so distressed when Bill or Hillary says anything mildly oppositional. Wait ’til the vast conspiracy starts to focus on Obama — Swift Boat Veterans will seem like a warm up act. The Clintons have been fighting this for decades and know how to deal with it. Youth and hope are not likely to be ready yet — it took Gandhi and King decades of perseverance, and Obama still has to deal with the last of the guilt-absorbing generation before his victory is inevitable.

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