#BiggestLiberalAsshole2012 Heat 7 – Charles Pierce @EsqPolitics (defending) vs. Dave Eggers and Friends

UPDATE: Dave Eggers has won Heat 7 of #BiggestLiberalAsshole2012 and thereby won the contest.


So The Most Important Election Ever™  happens tomorrow, and I am ever so grateful in advance for all my swing state readers who will either stay home or vote for ANYONE but The Lesser Evil™.  By anyone I really do mean anyone. If you are even a little inclined, by all means do please partake of the most forbidden voting fruit of all.  It will be therapeutic. Earnest third party voting is almost as idiotic as earnest duopolism.

If you are still equivocating, perhaps this, the last heat of #BiggestLiberalAsshole2012 will help you decide. Many people have given excellent arguments for rejecting Obama which their detractors are at pains to refute with anything but smears. Too little has been said, however, about the socially and personally enriching effects of simply wiping the Liberal Asshole smile – that cringe-making combo of earnestness, complacency and self-regard – from the collective Liberal Asshole face. As remedy, I offer this heat’s challenger, 90 Days, 90 Reasons, an unofficial Obama campaign site started three months ago by shitty, pretentious writer Dave Eggers.

In his introduction to the project  – which is so full of Liberal Asshole tropes it could easily compete in this contest on its own – Eggers claim 90/90 ‘will provide daily reasons—concrete, factual, plain—to re-elect Barack Obama, and will also provide likely outcomes of a Romney presidency.’  Roughly ninety days later, Eggers’ contributors have produced approximately 10 fairly shitty reasons  (the usual talking points)  and repeated them about 3 to 20 times each in poorly written, poorly edited blog posts.

Eggers, if you don’t know, is something of a pioneer in putting the writer and Writing way out in front of trifles like, say, what is happening in the world around him. It is no surprise, then, that many of his colleagues are as solipsistic and self-indulgent as he is and feel no particular obligation to actually know and by extension, prove,  anything. The end result translates loosely as ‘Please Punch Me Into a Coma’ recited 90 times.

By virtue of  volume, dishonesty, vapidity, and at times, shockingly infantile stupidity, Eggers project epitomizes the degraded, truly awful state of American culture and political life in ways that nothing else produced by the sphinctoscenti this season  has touched. You needn’t take my word for it, but I also don’t recommend spending too much time seeing for yourself. It’s bad for the soul. To help you find just the right balance of research and soul-killing, some friends and I have created this handy reader’s guide. Read at your own risk.

This heat was announced on Twitter some days ago and is already in progress. Voting closes at 11:30 PM tonight, Nov. 5. Vote with hashtag #BiggestLiberalAsshole2012.

Heat 6

1. Charles Pierce (@EsqPolitics) , The Cynic and President Obama

2. Dave Eggers and Colleagues, 90 Days, 90 Reasons

Recommended reading:

#BiggestLiberalAsshole2012 Introduction and Rules (For newbies)

A Guide to #BiggestLiberalAsshole2012 Contender 90 Days, 90 Reasons 

Dave Eggers’ “90 Days, 90 Reasons” Is the Single Most Dishonest Pro-Obama Website of the Campaign Season – Mike Riggs

Barack Obama for Student Body President – Mike Riggs

On Day 36, Eggers’ 90 Days, 90 Reasons Runs Out of Reasons – Mike Riggs

Has Obama Really Worked to End the Drug War? – Mike Riggs

Charles P. Pierce’s Cynical Defense of Obama at Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy.

Follow me on Twitter for updates.

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19 Responses to #BiggestLiberalAsshole2012 Heat 7 – Charles Pierce @EsqPolitics (defending) vs. Dave Eggers and Friends

  1. LorenzoStDuBois says:

    If I may make a non-twitter vote once more, please put me down for Pierce, for the reasons I said in a previous post.

    Further thoughts:

    — While Eggers appears a political imbecile, he may be at least a decent cultural critic. I gathered this after reading Chris Hedges’ book review:
    Stuck a chord with me at least, though you’re right on with his stupid website.

    — I know the sentiment isn’t well-received around these parts, but I do prefer Obama over Romney the next 4 years. I get that both candidates are the enemy, but nothing revitalizes the Dem base like a Republican in power, just as nothing erodes it like a Dem President having to reveal himself as a right-wing monster. Either way though, I think after the election it’s going to get really, really scary.

    • ohtarzie says:

      I’ll put you down for Pierce, but so far on Twitter it’s Eggers by a landslide.

      Not sure I get your voter reasoning. I have no problem with the Dem ‘base’ insofar as it consists of laborers, women, African-Americans, etc. I think the soporific effect Obama has on these people is one of the biggest arguments against him.

      But anyway, like you say, scary times ahead regardless.

      • LorenzoStDuBois says:

        I agree that there’s definitely a ledger where there are plusses and minuses to both sides, one plus for Romney being that such a president will receive more powerful opposition from the left, re: wars, grand bargain, etc. and that’s a huge deal.

        But I just personally am more persuaded that with Romney, the Left will mainly concern itself with getting a Dem elected again, whereas with Obama it will continue to fracture and move away from the Dems.

        I mean look at the last 2 2-term Dem administrations. Is it a coincidence that at the end of each (JFK/LBJ, Clinton), we had the two most serious left-wing challenges to the 2-party system in the past 50 years? As someone who believes we need a left-wing challenge to the 2-party system (I think there’s a big danger of a right-wing fascist challenge), seems like we need 4 more years of Dem demoralization.

        Do you share that goal and think I’m wrong, or just have different goals altogether?

  2. ohtarzie says:

    Yeah, that’s the Doug Henwood argument. I don’t buy it. I don’t think there is any bottom to how much the left is willing to be demoralized, not least because smooth operators like Henwood can always give them some new reason for enduring it. I must give him props for this latest invention, an actual innovation in heat vampire liberalism.

    As far as this ‘right-wing fascism’ I keep hearing about. What, you prefer, left wing fascism? In my book, tyranny doesn’t have wings, and it’s already here.

  3. LorenzoStDuBois says:

    I’m alleging two fallacies here on your part:

    One, that any reasoning which results in the idea that a Romney presidency would have worse results, is motivated by vampire liberalism or by a secret love for Democrats, kind of a mirror image to people who think people like you, Friesdorf, Stoller secretly love Republicans. I would never vote Dem. I just think that the road, if there is one, out of this hole is easier through a fascist Dem presidency than a fascist Republican one. Your defense seems to be ad hom in that regard.

    The other fallacy is that things can’t get worse. Things can get much, much worse than they are now, even acknowledging every single critique you may have of our current situation. Perhaps you can make the argument that a complete societal collapse in the US would hasten the end of its imperial atrocities. I’ll concede that, if it’s where you want to go,

    I genuinely appreciate the relentless attack by people like you against shallow-end liberals. It just seems to me it’s gotten taboo for you guys that a detached analysis of what kind of events will lead to a better world might favor an Obama 2nd term, ASIDE from the fact that one shouldn’t actually vote for the guy.

    • Chet Blackstone says:

      “I just think that the road, if there is one, out of this hole is easier through a fascist Dem presidency than a fascist Republican one.”

      What’s the hole? What earns a route the grade of “easier”?

      “It just seems to me it’s gotten taboo for you guys that a detached analysis of what kind of events will lead to a better world might favor an Obama 2nd term, ASIDE from the fact that one shouldn’t actually vote for the guy.”

      What qualifies as a “better” world here?

      What bits of evidence should one use in assessing the future — since you’re suggesting this is down to predicting the future, after all.

      It’s verboten in your model that someone could look at the past 4 years of Obama and determine from that record what his next 4 would be like?

      How were guesses at the Romney presidency any more prescient than guesses at the Obama presidency, and how are you qualifying which candidate’s 2012-2016 Admin would be the worse?

      • Chet Blackstone says:

        I should add that your arguments all presume electoral politics are valid circa 2012, and that they have been so valid for enough time to be trustworthy reflections of what people actually want.

        So, in doing that,it’s like you’re subliminally arguing for Obama — as lesser evil (whether you’d accept that formulation, or not) as if there would be some significant action differences between the two. I’d be interested in reading how you believe your life would be different under either President. I’d wonder about the story you’ve told yourself, or stories, that give you wisdom beyond those who might disagree with your suggestions.

  4. ohtarzie says:

    “One, that any reasoning which results in the idea that a Romney presidency would have worse results, is motivated by vampire liberalism or by a secret love for Democrats”

    No I am alleging that Doug Henwood is a heat vampire liberal, something he has spent his entire career proving. I will concede, though, that arguments like his do appeal to a counterfactual intuition that the Democrats really are somehow less toxic.

    “The other fallacy is that things can’t get worse.”

    Not to nitpick, but that actually wouldn’t be a fallacy even I had said it. It would just be a dubious assertion. I sincerely believe that things can and will get worse. I just don’t think you can make a definitive case either way as to which President will hasten it. I think the classic left assertion – advanced even by such ostensibly radical stars as Chomsky – that our government is bought and paid for by oligarchs and and that our elections are therefore a complete scam is entirely at odds with the reflexive anguished endorsement of the Dems that always follows. I find it embarrassingly stupid.

    It testifies to nothing so much as the requirements of staying in the margins (if only just in) and the susceptibility of even sharp minds to groupthink. We should all be grateful to Matthew Stoller and others for at last painstakingly pointing out with actual data (Imagine! Data! In a discussion of outcomes!) just how foolish these assholes have been and still insistently are.

  5. LorenzoStDuBois says:

    Thanks OT, for engaging me here.

    I am interested to know why you think Henwood is a hack. I’m a great admirer of the both of you.

  6. ohtarzie says:

    Hack implies more self-awareness than I think Henwood has. He’s where he is because he dissents in all the right ways and complies in all the right ways.

  7. mr.clean says:

    You could also posit that a republican president would ’embolden’ the left only to the extent that engaging in inconsequential name calling while waiting for another electable figure, however sham they may be, is a bold stance. The left was exactly as critical of bush as they are of romney. But if the point is that, once in power, they shamelessly stand by their man, then what would they do with a third party, if not the same.
    The claim that Bush was a lame duck whom the dems resisted is spurious as well. He failed on social security privatization only because it was too drastic, all at once. Had he merely proposed adding some tax free investment rights to your social secuirty rights, he would have had an easier path.
    On every other policy of import, Bush received reliable compliance. If anybody stands up to power, it was the right wing in their neurotic bigotry about illegal immigration, standing up to Bush’s tolerance efforts.

    • ohtarzie says:

      Mr. Clean:

      All good points, though I don’t think anyone is positing a third party president here. I completely agree that Bush got a lot more compliance from across the aisle than some nostalgic apostates care to admit. Still I do think Obama’s grip on liberals is quite exceptional and that it does enable him to take extreme leaps that would have been harder for Bush. It’s also important to distinguish the compliance of Democrats in Congress with the compliance of the rank and file.

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