Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Year That Was -- Winners and Losers

Now that the New Year is upon us, let us review the winners and losers from this past year!

Winner: The GOP. The GOP won an historic midterm election and gained control over the Senate. They also finally seem to have gained control over their own party and their own agenda. They have a strong pool of princelings, many of whom are even talking about new and legitimate issues to help win over the public. At the same time, large chunks of the conservative punditry have come back to reality and stopped trying to destroy the party. The left seems more insane than ever. Obama continues to do more harm than good to his own party and is providing the GOP with voter-ready issues to exploit on a nearly weekly basis. And Hillary Clinton appears to be a dud. They face an historic opportunity in 2016 to regain Reagan's popularity if they do the right things between now and then.

Loser: Genuine "Conservatives". We've been over this extensively, but to sum it up: this was the year the GOP fought back against the "genuine conservative" fringe who had been holding the party hostage and crushed them. Not only did every one of their candidates get beaten in the primaries by the GOP establishment, but they were exposed as being much, much smaller than most everyone believed. Indeed, rather than being the "base" of the GOP, these people were shown to be somewhere between 20% and 30% of the GOP (around 6% of the public). This has resulted in the neutering of people like Rush, Levine, Ted Cruz, and the Tea Party, who have spent the past few years trying to destroy the GOP and the conservative brand, and is allowing the party to shift back to real conservative ideas (rather than fringe obsessions) and toward things that actually matter to the public.

Loser: Hillary Clinton. The wheels came off the Clinton mini-bus this year in so many ways. First, it became a matter of open discussion that she's just not a good candidate. She has no charisma, no speaking skills, no political sense, and no loyal base. She's lifeless, uninteresting, uninspiring and gaffe prone. Secondly, the left has all but declared their desire to destroy her because her ideology is entirely corporate-establishment. The couple times she's veered from corporate-establishmentism to leftism to sway the base, she's been caught being highly cynical and has embarrassingly needed to backtrack. Third, she's awash in the worst kinds of scandals... those involving incompetence. Fourth, Obama has made it clear he won't help her, and her husband's help is more likely to highlight her missing skills. Worst of all, her aura of inevitability has been growing holes. That's really bad when that's all you have.

Winner: Jeb Bush. It was always questionable whether Chris Christie was real competition for Bush, should Bush choose to run. This year, however, Christie imploded and opened the door completely for Bush. Combine that with a good year of solidifying support and Bush has essentially cleared his path to the nomination and likely the presidency. Ug.

Loser: Race Hustlers. For some time now, the race hustlers have been losing their clout. With less than 1/3 of Americans caring about the race issue, their days are numbered and there seems to be nothing they can do to reverse that. Toward the end of the year they were thrown a minor lifeline when Michael Brown and Eric Garner were killed by white police officers. Whatever the real facts of those cases, tons of famous blacks bought the myth and even the public seemed to accept the idea that perhaps there was still cause to worry about the way some police officers respond to blacks... then the hustlers went too far in trying to whitewash Brown and demonize the police. In so doing, they danced dangerously along the edge of losing the moral victory they were clutching. Then it all imploded when a black criminal drove to New York and assassinated two police officers.

Rather than condemn this murder, the race hustlers jumped into defense mode and tried to disclaim responsibility for this killer's actions. Basically, they ignored the dead cops as they loudly blamed everyone but themselves and in the process they made it clear they cared more about their own images than the victims. This sat poorly with the public, who rightly saw this as the race hustlers condoning the assassinations and hypocritically showing indifference to the officers and their families. At the same time, newspapers like the NY Post began showing footage of these supposedly peaceful protestors chanting for the murder of police officers. Whoops. And it kept getting worse. A somewhat famous "peaceful" protestor was arrested trying to burn down a gas station in Missouri. Then another black male pulled a gun on a cop in Missouri and got shot. The race hustlers stupidly went all in and tried to claim that the Missouri cop was just another example of police abuse/racism and they actually claimed he should not have defended himself with his own gun... an unreasonable claim to any rational person. This confirmed to the public that the race hustlers' case was never an honest case, that it was always opportunistic and deceptive, and that they didn't actually distinguish between blameless young black males and thugs. This resulted in a massive backlash in which the public seems to have switch sides completely.

Loser: Feminists. Feminists had a miserable year. First, they got nothing from the Democrats and the "War on Women" sales pitch failed in the midterm elections. Even the liberal Pope told them to f-off. Secondly, it's become clear that average women have turned their backs on feminism. In fact, as I explained with 50 Shades of Grey, average women have completely rejected the fundamental beliefs of feminism and are embracing the very thing feminists want stopped. Even famous women are now openly rejecting feminism (click). Meanwhile, internally, feminism seems to have collapsed as well, with dinosaur puritanical feminists and pro-sex feminists going to war.

Then the Ray Rice thing happened and for a couple of weeks, it appeared that the feminists had been handed the gift of renewed relevance... but it was an illusion. Indeed, the feminists misunderstood the entire event. They saw the liberal journalists falling all over each other to lynch Rice and they thought they had found allies. They saw the NFL knuckle under and they thought they had a chance to control vast amounts of men. But within days, the journalists did what they always do and they flipped their outrage on its head and they began to whine about how unfair the NFL had been to poor Ray Rice -- completely undermining the message of feminism. Meanwhile, they discovered that not a single male NFL fan cared what the NFL did or didn't do off the field, and the NFL certainly wasn't going to do more than use feminists to polish their image without changing a single thing. So the whole thing Petered out with the feminists getting used without getting anything to show for it.

Then things imploded when the carefully crafted story of a campus rape epidemic fell apart when Rolling Stone got caught pushing an obviously false story about the University of Virginia. At the same time, Lena Dunham was exposed as having invented a rape just so she could falsely blame it on some mystery Republican. Suddenly, the rape crisis that had become conventional wisdom came into question and and disgrace. In the past week, a series of high profile female celebrities have made a number of statements minimizing the significance of rape and turning feminism's tenant of female empowerment into a joke.

Winner: Wall Street. Wall Street had a banner year all around. Not only is the stock market up massively, but the government enshrined "too big to fail," and even decided to reverse the one smart thing the government had done -- prevent Wall Street from speculating with taxpayer backed money. Basically, now the crony socialists get to continue to play "heads I win, tails you lose" with our money as both parties do their bidding.

Loser: Middle Class. Incomes continue to fall, housing won't recover, stock gains remain the province of the rich, net worth remains stagnant, and middle class-supporting jobs continue to vanish. Yeah, things aren't great for average people.

Loser: Obama. The year has not gone well for Obama. First, it became clear he has no positive legacy and the things he was counting on have all turned sour on him. Then he suffered an historic rebuke in the midterm elections, a rebuke that finally shook free the Democrats from his list of blind sycophants. Next, it became clear that his efforts to muscle his way to a legacy by Executive Order, which he sold as earth-shattering and finally proving his leftist credentials, were essentially duds. Now his task gets even harder because he faces a sane GOP Congress.

Loser: Democrats. It continues to become more and more clear that the Democrats' plan to wait for demographics to hand them a permanent majority is pure fantasy. Indeed, the number of Hispanics in the US population has all but stopped growing as Mexico has run out of Mexicans to export, the birthrate for American Hispanics has fallen dramatically, the birthrate for whites has increased, and the number of Asian immigrants has grown. Even a great many liberals are downright panicked about this. Adding to their panic, they have come to realize that whites are fleeing the Democrats in increasingly greater numbers as the Democrats openly implement their efforts to win more minorities. At this point, the only thing keeping the Democrats competitive is that conservatives have so thoroughly driven away woman and minorities. If the GOP can reverse this even by a couple points, the Democrats' demographic dream will turn into a nightmare.

As an aside, the Democrats' princelings got wiped out in the midterms. They suffered a total collapse in the midterms as well. They are infighting now; and best of all, they seem to have learned nothing. Obama is a millstone around their necks. Hillary looks to be Obama sans charisma... if that's humanly possible. They seem to have surrendered the South unconditionally. The GOP is increasingly controlling the midwest at the statehouse level and even is becoming competitive in the Northeast. And worst of the worst, they are stuck answering for Obamacare... every... single... day.

Winner: America. After the Great Recession and Obama's meddling, the US economy was counted down and out. A few years later, we are again the world's growth engine and its dominant economic, military and cultural power. No one else even comes close. In fact, interestingly, during the year a group of alarmists tried to claim that China's economy was now larger than ours, but the truth is that China's economy is about 75% of ours and will never come close to catching up. They also told us Germany was more popular, but good luck finding any element of German culture the world has embraced. Europe remains a eunuch. Japan is running backwards. South America went from BRICs to basket cases, and all those leftist government who used us as a punching bag are now straining and collapsing. Africa is 1,000 years from being competitive. The Middle East and Russia have collapsed as the falling price of oil dragged them down and as the US inched toward energy independence.

America remains the cultural, economic and scientific engine that drives the world. We are the world's inventors, builders, artists, singers, writers, salesmen, and protectors... and our dominance is so complete that no one else is even trying to compete.

Agree? Disagree? Who did I miss?

62 comments:

Anthony said...

I didn't see the Ray Rice thing as having anything to do with feminism. IMHO what made the difference there was the fact it was on camera.

Lots of couples fight and then try not to get the law (and the public) involved by saying something to the effect of 'It was just a minor thing, it was mutual combat, its all resolved now' but the video of Rice knocking the woman and then dragging her around unceremoniously wasn't something that was survivable from a PR standpoint.

As I said at the time, getting rid of Rice was a smart move by the NFL which carried no wider implications.

---------

http://commentaramapolitics.blogspot.com/2014/09/more-thoughts-on-attack-on-nfl.html

Anthony said...
*Shrugs* I see less reason to worry about the NFL than some of you guys.

The public and advertisers seem satisfied with the NFL's moves (haven't heard anything about ratings being down and if they were down I am sure someone would be shouting it from the rooftops).

The perpetually fringe offended won't forgive, but on their own they don't matter.
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LL said...

I realize that Jeb Bush is the favorite of the mainstream media because he's about as liberal as you can get and still be called a Republican, but I have yet to meet anyone who genuinely believes that he should be president. Maybe that's just the circles that I move in.

Bob said...

Andrew........
Losers:
Liberal, old school, media outlets.
Lena Dunham
SONY
Bank of America

Winners:
Internet "news bloggers"
Kate Upton
Netflix
Goldman Sachs

Compare and contrast

ScottDS said...

I believe Dunham did have an unfortunate sexual experience but from the recent article I read (Gawker, I know), she apparently went about covering it up in the worst possible way.

I'm no Dunham defender (perish the thought!) but I trust Big Hollywood as far as I can throw them. :-)

I pretty much agree with your assessment... when it comes to the feminist and race stuff, though, it's sadly a sign of the times that EVERYTHING has become politicized and if you're against X, then you must support Y. We all lose in that equation.

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence... just because. :-)

tryanmax said...

Identity politics in general is a big loser for 2014, and that's in large part to a big win this year for "truth on the internet." To loosely borrow from our erudite VP, that's a big f-ing deal. The dawn of the internet age was marked by much hand-wringing over how easily lies might promulgate on the unfiltered web. (In retrospect, the hand-wringing now resembles anticipation as much as worry.)

Turns out, this was an expectation born of the TV age, predicated on centralized content production and a passive, credulous audience. The internet, rather than increasing the need for fact-checkers, instead unleashed an army of skeptics upon every iffy scrap of info, eager to source each back to the very first germ. The leftist media, who made early in-roads on the net via on-demand content, is still catching up to the truly interactive side of things, where every fact will be checked, whether you think it needs to be or not.

tryanmax said...

Also, the deluded writers at Slate's XXfactor blog disagree. 2014 was a great year for feminism. So great, in fact, that a backlash is inevitable, because patriarchy. Just like the 1950s were a backlash against feminism. And the Reagan years. And the Bush years. Basically, any era in which women embrace womanhood en masse, it's blow for feminism.

But back to Slate. What made 2014 such a great year for feminism? Well, this was the year --and this is really what they say--that the clamor of female voices got louder. Makes sense. As the pool of self-affirmed feminists collapses, the remaining harpies have to shriek even louder to maintain the same decibel level. They also say 2014 was the year women demanded respect, autonomy and equality, implicitly denying the existence, let alone victories, of all prior feminists.

The rest of the article is preemptive spin to frame any likely future as oppressive toward women. If Hillary Clinton meets any opposition, it's misogyny. If legislatures address reproductive issues in any way (except to give out freebies), it's misogyny. If films with female leads perform poorly at the box office, it's misogyny. If male musicians chart better than female acts, it's misogyny. If anyone dares to mention that the U-VA/Rolling Stone hoax was indeed a hoax, let alone suggest any implications it may bear, it's misogyny.

BevfromNYC said...

Hey everyone! Happy New Years Eve!

Andrew - Excellent assessment of the year. Now rather than having lost all hope forever in an incinerator, it is now in a shoe box on the front shelf in my mind's closet. I am interested to see what happens tomorrow afternoon when our new Congress is sworn in. Already the Dems are lined up to demonize the Republicans. It doesn't help that Staten Island GOP Rep. Michael Grimm has resigned after admitting to some kind of tax fraud (unlike NY Dem Repl. Charlie Rangel who still does not admit to any wrongdoing even after being censured by Congress...] And the Dems are trying to brand the new Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) as a Southern racist for speaking to a white supremists group 12 years ago while ignoring Dems Robert Byrd, Hugo Black and many other once active members of the Klan.

Fun times ahead, though I predict the Dems will shortly be the party of "No" and the naysayers.

BevfromNYC said...

Re: feminism vs. feminists

Tryanmax - I predict and hope that the radical feminists who brand everything as "sexist" because...well, [insert grievance/slight here]are going to be overtaken by the truly accomplished women who tell them to just "Shut the [insert expletive here] up". Personally, I think that we've all had enough of the "War on Women" fantasy promoted by really, REALLY bad wymen candidates. It is similar to that run of really, really bad TP candidates who caused the GOP leadership to stand up and take charge again. Even long standing Dem Congresswomen running for reelection faired poorly.

The bottom line is that the Middle Class workers who just want good jobs and to be left alone are still hurting and they are tired of waiting in line behind the Grievance Lobby. And I perceive that the general public is tiring of all the freakin' whining about every little tiny thing. As Tryanmax has already stated, the internet has opened up our ability to research and verify fact v. fiction. And it has helped expose exactly how pervasive the whining has become compared to real grievances.

Let's hope the GOP doesn't screw it up...

Kit said...

Hell of a year. I think you sum it up well.

re Germany: I think Norway has been more culturally influential across the globe than Germany —and that's because of Frozen being a huge monster hit (i.e., by way of America)

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I don't know how you could have missed the feminism connection as every feminist and gender-aggrieved group used the incident to try to push phony facts about domestic abuse and to try to gin up support for new legislation on any number of feminist topics. Sadly for them, they failed to grasp how temporary the outrage machine would work for them before it flipped the issue on its head.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, Trust me, I'm not fan of Bush, but he's been the "on deck" savior or moderate Republicans since they soured on Christie. His name always appears as the guy they really want. And some recent polls have even shown his support combined with Christie at 49% already among Republicans. Moreover, as I noted the other day, he has done the ground work of lining up money and endorsements... no one else has.

I will be surprised if he doesn't win the nomination fairly easily.

AndrewPrice said...

Bob, Good list. Isn't it funny how Goldman Sachs ends up on the winner list year after year?

I will be curious to see what happens with Sony ultimately.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Perception is reality and Dunham made the mistake of launching her attack in the middle of the feminist counter-attack on domestic violence and the rape crisis... and then her claims got blown out of the water. The public doesn't have the patience to split hairs as you are doing. They just blur things together. And she has become proof that feminists are lying about rape to try to create a political issue.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, How amazingly delusional! There isn't a single fact in Slate's analysis. It's all adjectives... "Gee, women got louder!" What does that even mean? What is it based on? How do you explain away the sudden appearance of women who are flat out rejecting the tenants of feminism?

Granted, much of this is nebulous and subtle, but at the very least there must be some evidence of a trend or a change in behavior. You can't base an argument on "our side seems louder!" And consider vague statements like "women are demanding respect." Ok, who? When? How? And how is that different than feminists would have claimed every other year since 1960?

You make an interesting point about the internet. It has blown lots of holes in the credibility of leftist ideas because the internet allows them to be challenged, something the media never allowed when it was the gatekeeper of information.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Happy New Year's Eve to you too!

The media will never call them the party of no. The media will describe them as the last barrier to conservative extremism destroying the country with insane, extremist policies.

It's funny how Republicans resign, but Democrats hold on until they are pulled away from their jobs by the cold fingers of death or jail.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, The public is there to be won. They are clearly tired of all the games and all the false grievances. We just need to reach out to them in terms they will actually like.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Kit! I think this has been an interesting year. The stuff above holds a lot of promise. The question is whether or not our side will be in a position to exploit it, or if they will just fall into the same trap.

Koshcat said...

I agree that feminists are losers but I think 2014 may turn out to be a win for women in general. There were several conservative women politicians who won and there is less pressure on women to be a specific way. Pressure put on women by feminists.

I am cautiously hopeful that we may see improvements in Fanny and Freddie after the recent CBO report. It showed that if those two left the market there would only be a small increase (25-50 base points) in interest rates. Hopefully a republican congress will run with this and get the government out of the mortgage industry.

I am also cautiously optimistic that even Obama will have to do something with Obamacare. Again I hope a smarter GOP congress can kill much of it with a thousand duck bites.

I understand what you are saying about Jeb Bush but Hillary was in the same position as he in 2008. She was the agreed upon nominee shoring up endorsements and money; up until she lost Iowa.

You made one mistake. You have Loser: Obama when it should have read Obama the Loser.

tryanmax said...

Koshcat, to be sure, I consider a loss for feminism to be a win for women.

BevfromNYC said...

Koshcat and Tryanmax - you assume real women were ever pressured by these kinds of "feminists"...😎

Anthony said...

Andrew,

On Rice, I caught the feminist angle, but I didn't view it as important. What drove the outrage was not feminists, but the fact that the act was caught on video (and thus couldn't be minimized).

Kit said...

Well, it's 2015 (on the East Coast), so where is my hoverboard?

Rustbelt said...

Kit, they stalled out over the water and haven't made it to Toys R Us yet.

AndrewPrice said...

Went to Cirque du Soleil's Varekai tonight. I HIGHLY recommend seeing it if you get the chance. The skill and artistry are amazing!

AndrewPrice said...

Here's a link: LINK

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, LOL! My mistake!

I hope you're right about Bush. The difference between Bush and Clinton, however, is that Bush actually is a talented politician, he seems to grasp the behind the scenes stuff, and he's got genuine supporters throughout the GOP establishment. Hillary is a poor politician who is relying entirely on being Bill's wife. I guess we'll see.

I totally agree about women. I think women are huge winners if they can shove aside the gender wars and end up literally with the best of both worlds -- now having a choice to be anything they want in terms of how to structure relationships.

I'd love to see Fannie and Freddie eliminated.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Interestingly, it's really a win for the original stated goals of feminism, before they got distorted by the gender industry: freedom of lifestyle choice.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, In all honesty, I think that women were tremendously pressured.

In my generation, I saw the young women struggling with having to be things they weren't just because they were told that to be anything else made them a failure. Moreover, anyone who did go the traditional route was routinely mocked and degraded and would respond almost apologetically when describing themselves.

You also saw this kind of feminism dominate the culture in the swinger/easy-divorce era and then in the puritanical/anti-male 1990s. That's all been shoved aside now as women can pretty much be anything now without anyone looking down on them.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I think that is what got the event public attention -- we could see him punch her and drag her out of the elevator. It was very visceral and made people outraged.

But what I'm talking about were the attempts by feminists everywhere to grab relevance through this event. They crawled out of the woodwork and went on television everywhere to demand new laws, the elimination of presumptions of innocence for accused males, sensitivity training and new laws on equal pay. They tried to link this with the supposed campus rape epidemic and they instantly trotted out the war on women garbage for a re-hash.

That worked for the first couple weeks as shows like Today and anything on MSNBC booked wall to wall feminists, Congressional women demanded hearings, and liberal journalists parroted their ideology in castigating the NFL for allowing this "epidemic" of domestic violence to fester (three instances).

But after a couple weeks, the NFL buried the issue in a committee investigation (which still isn't done), NFL ratings rose rather than fell, and all those liberal journalists flipped it around and attacked the NFL for being unfair to the players and denying them their due process rights. In fact, they went so far as to claim that putting an abuser on paid leave was somehow a violation of fundamental rights of some sort.

Following that, the rape stories imploded in short order and the rest of the media backed off the feminist push to avoid being brought down for pushing obviously discredited stories. With no media push, the issue died.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

Rustbelt, LOL! How sad. :(

Anthony said...

Andrew,

I'm not saying feminists didn't try to capitalize on a male on female crime (sure they did, they always do) I'm saying that they weren't a factor in what transpired.

Some in that old thread worried that the expulsion of Rice would become the first in a wave of concessions to feminists by the NFL, I didn't. I figured that the NFL getting rid of a goon who did something hideous on camera was a concession to the repulsion of ordinary people.

After the NFL hit Rice as hard as they could a satisfied public moved on. Feminists stayed outraged, but since the punishment fit the crime (in most people's eyes) they were outraged alone (as they usually are).

Anthony said...

On a related note, I'm going to go against the consensus in this thread and declare that neither feminists nor Al Sharpton are going anywhere.

Feminists had a bad year because high profile Republicans refrained from saying stupid things (Rush and Akin had more to do with the perception of a War on Women than feminists).

I don't see the race hustlers going anywhere because right now in terms of high profile support the choice is between the 'cops (and even play cops) can do no wrong I don't care what the camera says' crowd and the 'race hustlers' who take the same stance with black suspects/criminals.

Right now things are tiled towards the 'police are never wrong' crowd because the last high profile event was the murder of two cops, but the next squirrely grand jury decision will change that.

However, I don't expect the pendulum to swing far enough on either side to mean anything. Even before the two cops were killed there was little evidence anything was going to be done besides putting cameras on cops (though the fringes of both sides are perfectly capable of ignoring video) and in fairness, its not clear (to me anyway) what should be done beyond that.

BevfromNYC said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Okay, now that that is out of the way...
Andrew - I did not mean that women were not pressured by feminism. I meant women are not pressured by the current crop of Greivance Lobby feminists. The same "war on women" conspiracy feminists who think their lesser females are blindly held down by the male cabal in the first world while completely ignoring the REAL war on women in other parts of the world as not our problem...

Tennessee Jed said...

I'ff feel better about this if and when Hilldebeast loses and one of the "alleged princelings" ushers in a roll back of progressivism. The caveat "if they do the right things between now and then" is sad because they won't. There will be nothing the G.O.P. does to make the middle classes lives better. Democrats will have a better ground game, a better media, and in the end their are more of them. She will have long since chucked B.O. under the bus, and the myth that "Progressivism WOULD have worked if only we had a competent executive in charge" will remain in play. Republicans will be seen as the party of greedy old white men." I could not believe it when this loser of a president got re-elected. Somehow, instead of a referendum on his failed first term, it became about greedy corporate Romney. I will believe this will change when I see it happen.

Kit said...

Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan has ended! The war is over!

Now, begins Operation Freedom's Sentinel, w/ 10,800 troops stationed in Afghanistan to advise Afghan troops and carry out occasional strikes against Taliban forces in the country.

Woo-hoo!

tryanmax said...

Of course the Sharptons and Jessica Valentis are going nowhere so long as they are able to find a bullhorn and a platform to speak from. The question is whether those platforms will continue to draw an appreciable and credulous audience. The other question is whether said platforms will try to remain relevant or ideological. The fissure is apparent: they can no longer stay both. The question is which way they will leap.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, You have correctly outlined the ideological sides, but you are ignoring the middle... what this poll ==> LINK, disclosed: that somewhere between 60% and 80% of the public has simply stopped caring about race issues. Similar evidence exists for the public on gender.

The end result being this: the problem that the feminists and race baiters have (and that includes their opposite numbers on the right) is that while they can still reach an audience, that audience is increasingly smaller, more isolated, and less and less relevant to the future of the public. Basically, Al Sharpton and Rush and Valentis are now only speaking to their choirs as their congregations have left the church and are doing their own thing, which doesn't fit what either is preaching.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, let me add this... and this isn't aimed at you Anthony, it's just a general observation I run into all the time when discussing issues of influence....

It is a mistake to expect the world to be binary in nature: either you win and you get everything you want or you fail and you vanish. Conversely, if you don't get a total obvious victory, then you are losing, or if the enemy still exists, then they have not lost. That's not how life works.

Take my contention about the feminists and Sharpton. The evidence suggests to me that they have lost their influence over the public and they are finished. That does not mean, however, that they will vanish. To the contrary, they will keep trying. They will even maintain some number of supporters. There will always be leftist journalists who push their ideas and put them on television from time to time, and the Democrats will continue to pay them lip service. What they won't get, however, is any more substantive victories. In other words, they may babble on, but their ideas won't be put into the culture or into the law, and they will no longer be able to shape conventional wisdom.

Unfortunately, there seems to be this tendency to say, "Well, Obama is still president... the left hasn't abandoned leftism... the Tea Party people still exist... feminists/enviros/etc. are still out there saying the same things... they didn't close the government permanently... etc. Ergo, nothing has changed." But that is the wrong way to see the world because it elevates form over substance. The real question you must ask to understanding how things will play out is "do they have any power to get what they want?"

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I agree with that. I think feminists lost women in the 1990s with their nasty, rigid demands on how women must learn to act, and the internet gave women a place to find like-minded women, which gave them all the confidence to ignore the pressure being put on them.

In fact, if you ever get the chance, check out Pinterest. It will make feminists cry. It's packed with women posting images of things and doing things that run directly counter to everything feminists wanted women to embrace/reject. Basically, it's a world of girly fashion, cooking, homemaking, and lots of complaints about men who won't take control in bed.

I imagine Gloria Steinem looking at Pinterest and then crying like that Indian in the 1970s littering commercials.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That is the problem. The GOP has made great strides in tossing off its hateful flank, but it still doesn't have a pro-middle class/small business reflex.

In terms of the Dems, I'm all in favor of them becoming openly more progressive. The further left they drift, the further they drift away from the public.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, As Bruce Lee said, "It is the art of fighting without fighting." Only he meant defeating the enemy without fighting. Our method seems to be pretending our troops aren't in combat when they really are.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That is a great question. I'm not sure they grasp the problem because they are surrounded by butt-kissers who tell them that everyone loves their ideas. So I think they will continue to be ideological and will be satisfied with gaining personal wealth from that.

Anthony said...

Andrew,

I get that an entity can exist and not have influence, but I don't think that either feminists or race hustlers are done yet. I'd say both are at the stage where success depends on something stupid or evil happening.

Feminism didn't win any meaningful victories last year but the Gamergate movement did turn a Youtuber named Sarkeesian into 2014's Sandra Fluke. I don't think that idiocy cost anything since the game industry's decision to try to appeal more to women is driven by economics rather than ideology but that sort of nuttiness could do real damage in other circumstances.

tryanmax said...

Gamergate is utterly worthless as an issue b/c it's too confusing. To this moment, I'm not even sure what sides pro- or anti-gamergate actually represent. The non-gaming public isn't going care and the gaming community is too close to the issue to be deceived. Further, there are zero policy implications, so... The long and short of it is that the gaming press decided to shit on their audience and are now boohooing to all the rest of the press in front of a public that doesn't know enough to have an opinion.

Kit said...

re Gamergate, you know those legendary family feuds you seen depicted in movies and TV shows where they have been fighting for so long that no one even remembers why it started? That is Gamergate, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma and I don't know where the key is.

Depending on who you ask and when you ask them the issue is about either (a) lack of ethics in gaming journalism due to a far-too-cozy relationship between reviewers and developers or (b) a pushback against the Social Justice Warriors (SJWs), such as Anita Sarkheesian, who Gamergaters claim are attempting to defame gamers and force their social justice vision onto video games with the help of an adoring gaming media.

I guess it could be summarized as a general pushback against mainstream gaming media, its coziness to developers, and its willingness to promote what some gamers see as anti-gaming views on the Far Left. A mainstream media organization that is too cozy to the producers of the product it covers and promotes far left views; water is wet.

But given it also means that it's not really clear what exactly gamergaters want other than platitudes such as "ethics in gaming journalism" (not gonna happen) and it's attracted some unsavory characters; who are described in detail in my earlier blog post on Red-Pillers.

Kit said...

re Anita Sarkheesian,

The Anita Sarkheesian thing actually began about a year before Gamergate. That debacle can be understood when you realize that a lot of people used disgusting personal attacks against her, but since then she has proven to be her own worst enemy because she is a full-blown socialist Neo-Marxist. In fact, I'd wager if she was walking around in the 1980s she'd have been a Soviet-praising Communist. After all, today a Neo-Marxist is a Communist living in a post-Soviet world.

Examples: Sarkheesian said it is impossible for women to be sexist because women do not have power (the modern Radical Left believes that in order to be racist or sexist you must have power over someone) and her partner in making her web-series, Jonathan McIntosh recently tweeted "Indiana Jones is a colonialist looter". So she and her colleague have views well outside the mainstream.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony and tryanmax and Kit, Gamergate strikes me as too obscure and too confusing for the public to care, so I don't see any broad influences.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, Mario Cuomo died today. He was an interesting character. I was never sure if I liked him or not, but the left was convinced for decades that he could unseat Reagan and then Bush I. I never bought that, but it certain seemed to fire up the Democrats.

Anthony said...

Tryanmax, Kit and Andrew,

I thought my post made it clear that IMHO Gamergate in and of itself doesn't mean anything even within the game industry but clearly it didn't and I apologize for the lack of clarity.

What I thought was striking was the way a bunch of clowns (cheered on by The Bigs) made exactly the same mistake Rush made with Fluke, transforming a low profile activist into a high profile victim with a torrent of verbal diarrhea.

Rustbelt said...

Well, THAT was a heck of a New Year's!

HOLY BUCKEYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

New Year's Day Triple Crown for the Big Ten! Outback, Cotton, AND Sugar!

Go Bucks! Go Badgers! (Nice job, Coach Alvarez!) Go Sparty!

(Shame on you, Minnesota.)

Also, a shoutout to Kit: bud, your Tide played a terrific game. I tip my hat. Crazy game. I haven't felt Ohio State play a game that intense since the 2009 Rose Bowl against- duh, duh, duh- Oregon!
Hm...B1G vs. PAC-12. Does that make this Championship Game a de facto Rose Bowl by way of Dallas? You decide!

Anyway, I haven't eaten in 7 or 8 hours and need to catch my breath. Talk to you guys later.

Kit said...

What I thought was striking was the way a bunch of clowns (cheered on by The Bigs) made exactly the same mistake Rush made with Fluke, transforming a low profile activist into a high profile victim with a torrent of verbal diarrhea.
----------------------------------
Again, the Sarkheesian thing was pre-Gamergate but, for the most part, you are right. A bunch of idiots gave her a level of fame she would not otherwise have had.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, You were clear (or at least I thought so). I think you are right too that this is an instance where the activist were their own worst enemies. I was just chiming in to point out that I doubt this event reached the broader culture.

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, That was a really good game, though I have no dog in that particular fight.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit and Anthony, As an aside, I find it frustrating that so many Rush fans still refuse to see that Rush made Fluke famous, and they won't acknowledge the problem of acting the way Rush acted. This is again, people who are blind to human nature.

Anthony said...

Kit and tryanmax,

I've been a gamer for over three and a half decades and have been reading gaming magazines for almost as long. Game journalism has always been a weird mix between Hollywood coverage (incestuous) and fanzines (adoring). What upsets the Gamergate crowd isn't something that has existed since the dawn of game journalism, but the broadening of the game industry, which they blame on game journalists and Sarkeesian.

What they fail to realize is that the change is drive by economics, not Youtubers or game journalists. Game journalism has never been widely read even among core gamers and I doubt the wave of casuals even know that Eurogamer, Gamespot and IGN exist.

Core console gaming (yes, I am excluding the Wii) ceased growing last gen, costs rose exponentially and gamers clumped around the most popular games even moreso than they did in the past (in part because online multiplayer is now huge) and mid-tier developers dropped like flies.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=459131

By way of contrast, mobile has done well in part because it has attracted a bunch of female gamers. That is what has driven developers to try to make their games more appealing to women, not some activist on Youtube.

Last but not least, its worth noting that most gamers are utterly indifferent to sex in games, so companies aren't really risking much by putting more clothes on female characters or what have you. A little noticed fact is that there is a negative relationship between how heavily a game promotes its sexual content and how well it sells.

Kit said...

Anthony,

I think I agree w/ everything much of what you are saying. I will note I am not a hardcore gamer.

"By way of contrast, mobile has done well in part because it has attracted a bunch of female gamers. That is what has driven developers to try to make their games more appealing to women, not some activist on Youtube."
I've heard about mobile doing well among women and I can see that having more to do with developers trying to attract female gamers than an activist on youtube.

"A little noticed fact is that there is a negative relationship between how heavily a game promotes its sexual content and how well it sells."
There is something similar in films and books. Nowadays, if you heavily promote sex people assume your work is crap. The result is that the games that push sex heavily usually have nothing going for it but nudity.

Heck, look at 50 Shades of Grey, the book covers were very minimalist featuring silver/grey object such as a mask or a tie on a black background.

Kit said...

Any thoughts on Obama loosening the the restrictions of the Cuban embargo?

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Yep. I'm writing about Cuba on Monday.

Rolando Gallgoes said...

Feminists really should be ashamed of themselves. So many strides made by women in politics, commerce, sports, etc. Yet if one of them touts a conservative viewpoint they are branded a traitor. 2014 should have been the year that feminism walked proud with the election and selection of so many women in places of power. What a waste.

AndrewPrice said...

Rolando, The problem with feminists is that the doctrinaire ones went off the rails year ago and they aren't interested in the success of women so much as they are looking purely to get their grievances ensconced in law.

They should be thrilled that women today have a vast array of choices and lots more economic security than in the past. But that's not their goal.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Make that Wednesday. Monday will be predictions for 2015.

Kit said...

I'm going to add another winner: dub step violinist Lindsey Stirling. She released a 2nd album with more great music.

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