Emulating the trappings of a dictatorship

by Henry on July 28, 2010

Jim Lindgren, who has apparently rowed back on “his promise to reveal ‘a lot more’ about Journolist over the next few days”:http://volokh.com/2010/07/22/obama-campaign-advisor-participated-on-journolist/, “explains it all”:http://volokh.com/2010/07/27/michelle-obama-asks-me-to-sign-president-obamas-birthday-card/.

Update: Anderson, a frequent commenter at the Volokh Conspiracy, has created a “shadow blog”:http://jimlindgrensucks.blogspot.com/ so that people can comment on Jim Lindgren’s posts if they want to (Lindgren usually turns off comments himself).

{ 19 comments }

1

DonBoy 07.28.10 at 6:47 pm

Ooh, don’t miss the followup post (not to be confused with the update to that same post), which contains the douchiest correction of all time, directed at his co-blogger Orin Kerr:

I never signed up to be on any Obama related email list. […] Orin is mistaken on the factual basis for his opinion. Would having the facts right change his opinion? Frankly, I don’t know.

(Obviously it’s the dig at the end that I find astonishing.)

2

Guest 07.28.10 at 6:57 pm

Lindgren’s not worthy to carry Orin Kerr’s pencil case.

3

Steve 07.28.10 at 7:25 pm

DonBoy –

He appears to have ‘edited’ that correction, so thanks for saving it from the memoryhole.

As it happens, I share a certain sympathy with Mr Lindgren on this one, though he’s mis-diagnosed the ailment. The problem isn’t creeping fascism, it’s purely one of utter naffness. Are names on a non-existent birthday card really going to cheer Mr Obama up? This is the fabled internet-savvy team who I read so much about in serious periodicals in the early months of 2009?

4

DonBoy 07.28.10 at 7:36 pm

Steve, unless I have an overactive cache, it’s still there. You have to look at his newer, separate post:

http://volokh.com/2010/07/28/orins-opinion-on-obama-birthday-email-is-based-on-factual-error/

There’s also an “UPDATE” on the original, but that one’s less insulting. In fact, the only obvious difference between the standalone post and the UPDATE to the original is the insult.

5

chris 07.28.10 at 7:51 pm

Seems more like the trappings of modern marketing, to me. Of course fascists probably use modern marketing, but so does everyone else.

6

P O'Neill 07.28.10 at 8:41 pm

Hopefully this is a sign of the death throes of lawyer-blogging. Because they don’t actually blog. They use a blog to engage in absurd pretend-lawyering.

7

Billikin 07.28.10 at 8:59 pm

Time limited offer!

Sign Billikin’s b’day card! Aug. 1 is the big day!

It has been quite a year, hasn’t it? And it’s all your fault thanks to you. :)

Go ahead. Make my day. ;)

8

Bill Kristol 07.28.10 at 10:01 pm

Amusingly, a huge number of folks there skipped right by an example of the exact same thing from Bush II, (down to the appeal being “from” Laura Bush) and kept right on with the Obammunism bashing.

9

Everett 07.28.10 at 10:34 pm

I find Lindgren’s point (and subsequent huffing about the circumstances of his enrollment) a bit strained. I get the same emails, probably one or two per month. If Lindgren contacted the Barack Obama campaign, presumably that would have been when such a campaign existed (i.e., late 2008). Even if there was some lag time between his contact and his having been added to the mailing list, it means he’s been a recipient of these emails for at least 18 months. Even at a less than one-a-month rate, I bet he’s gotten 8-10 emails from barackobama.com. If the man finds these emails so bothersome and his unsolicited enrollment so troubling, why not click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of one of the emails?

10

Elijah 07.28.10 at 10:38 pm

Steve @ #3: “As it happens, I share a certain sympathy with Mr Lindgren on this one, though he’s mis-diagnosed the ailment. The problem isn’t creeping fascism, it’s purely one of utter naffness. Are names on a non-existent birthday card really going to cheer Mr Obama up? This is the fabled internet-savvy team who I read so much about in serious periodicals in the early months of 2009?”

A substantial body of mass media scholarship points to how such an appeal may create an (illusory) sense of intimacy and participation. (Conversely, it may have the reverse effect on Obama haters. Lindgren may be insincerely peddling this to terrify the Tea Party base, but it is also likely his paranoia is not manufactured).

11

Michael Drake 07.29.10 at 1:46 am

Also, Obama lives in extravagant, state-funded housing, just like dictators do. The trappings. The trappings.

12

scathew 07.29.10 at 11:30 am

13

Salient 07.29.10 at 2:40 pm

We should all sign a birthday card for Jim Lindgren and send it to him.

Or send him e-cards.

14

Anderson 07.29.10 at 3:58 pm

The comments thread to Kerr’s post noted the need for a spinoff blog to comment on Lindgren’s posts, so I acted in the public interest. (And then Kerr deleted my announcement to that effect on another thread, presumably as being off-topic.)

Not sure yet whether to create a separate blog, RandyBarnettIsBatshitCrazy.blogspot.com, or just add it into the Lindgren blog.

15

Red 07.29.10 at 4:48 pm

Salient @13: Hmmmm, wanna turn CT into another Journolist? Coordinating attacks on a freedom lovin’ citizen, huh? Are you or have you ever been….

16

BillCinSD 07.29.10 at 7:19 pm

White House residents live off rabbit and possum and raccoon. They wear beaver and muskrat pelts. The trappings, the trappings

17

Salient 07.29.10 at 7:28 pm

Hmmmm, wanna turn CT into another Journolist?

Dude, you’re so far behind the pace car is lapping you. CT has been the headquarters of DangeraList for years now

Coordinating attacks on a freedom lovin’ citizen, huh?

Only a Red commie heretic punk would interpret a volley of loving and patriotic e-cards as an attack. :)

Are you or have you ever been…

…A fighter, not a lover? I plead the fifth…

18

mds 07.30.10 at 12:46 pm

Not sure yet whether to create a separate blog, RandyBarnettIsBatshitCrazy.blogspot.com, or just add it into the Lindgren blog.

Wait, the former hasn’t already been taken? It it somewhat unwieldy, though; perhaps if you cut out the redundancy and called it RandyBarnett.blogspot.com? I’m certain Professor Barnett would not object, because liberty.

19

Donald A. Coffin 08.01.10 at 9:14 pm

Oddly enough, during the reign of the Precious Leader (a/k/a GWB), I regularly received invitations from the RNC to sign a birthday card for the Beloved…I don’t even now where they harvested my email address…

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