Liberal Schadenfreude is Out of Control - Why gloating after the election is nastier than ever (SLATE)
When George Bush won re-election in 2004, I felt like the world was going to end. I called my parents that night, crying about how devastating this was for the country. The next day, my dear friend and I were driving outside campus, nearly hysterical over the results. She ran a stop sign on the side of a school bus sign neither of us saw through our tears and got a $200 traffic ticket. I had just turned 21. My vote for Kerry was the first I’d ever cast, and boy did losing hurt. But there was no one to around to rub my face in my own misery. In order to do that, someone would have had to call or email me or come up to my red-rimmed eyes and laugh in my face. Given that my immediate family is liberal, modern social media was in its infancy, and I went to a strongly left-leaning college, nothing like this happened. My friends and I consoled each other and moved on, and I never had the experience of anyone reveling in my despair.
Eight years later, how the world has changed. When the TV networks declared that Obama won his second term, I whooped with glee, did a little dance and posted a few social media updates including, “Proud to be an American tonight. 4 MORE YEARS.” I was so incredibly happy.
As the recaps and analyses rolled in, I was not above enjoying articles about Karl Rove’s Fox News on-air meltdowns and Donald Trump’s over-the-top Twitter feed.
But I began to notice, both in media coverage and in social media networks, that Obama supporters were not just thrilled that our guy won—folks were insanely, morbidly happy that all Republicans were miserable. And they weren’t just picking on easy and legitimate punching bags like Karl Rove and Donald Trump. Lindy West of Jezebel wrote a blog post entitled “My Ten Favorite Kinds of Right Wing Temper Tantrums” in which she proudly declared, “I am just 99 percent completely fucking delighted by every single weepy right-wing temper tantrum. I can't stop hate-reading. I can't stop.” A blogger for The Daily Kos wrote, “So please know, my fervid conservative friends, that I am temporarily suspending the empathic sensibility that generally informs most of us on the left. I am not laughing with you, in other words, since you seem capable of neither doubt nor self-deprecation. I am laughing at you. You are welcome to join me.” Someone created a Tumblr called White People Mourning Romney. It isn’t particularly interesting or clever, unless you just like photos of your fellow Americans crying or looking disappointed, but people sent in dozens of submissions. Judging by the number of delighted notes on each post, these photos fill many liberal hearts with glee. Mary Elizabeth Williams from Salon concludes it’s OK to meanly gloat because we New Yorkers need a reason to be happy after having such a tough time with Sandy.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||11/10/2012|
I think it's ok to meanly gloat because Republicans are evil. I am a little annoyed by the overabundance of gloating threads here, but I don't disapprove of them. They'll fade over the next few weeks.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||11/09/2012|
See, I think a tumblr called white people mourning Romney sounds hilarious and pretty spot on in terms of social analysis. The media aren't funny enough and academia is too slow to have that instantaneous reaction to something like the footage I saw of the gloomy wealthy, white people at the Romney headquarters. Next week is too long after the event.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||11/09/2012|
Oh come on, after all the evil and destruction that Bush, Rove and the Teabaggers and the Extreme Rigtpht wing have inflicted on us? Hell, yes, we have every right to gloat!
|by Anonymous||reply 4||11/10/2012|
Those people who voted for Shitt Romney were also voting to take away my fundamental rights as an American citizen, so yes, I not only feel that I have the right to gloat over their loss and pain, but it's also my patriotic duty!
|by Anonymous||reply 5||11/10/2012|
I agree, R2. Plus, there's the fact that while Romney sucked in every way possible, and his losing means we are fortunate enough dodged [italic]that[/italic] bullet, we're still stuck with Obama who is no prize either. Let's face it, Obama has proven to be a downright shitty president first time around. I'm certainly not moved to gloat, at this point, over the prospect of four more years of him in the White House. All we can do now is hope he improves immensely throughout this second term.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||11/10/2012|
I've never voted in a presidential election that wasn't about the lesser of two evils. It's sad but true.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||11/10/2012|
I revel in their misery. I am an old guy that knows what the world used to be like and still is in many ways. Let em eat shit and die
|by Anonymous||reply 8||11/10/2012|
I, for one, got treated like shit by conservatives before, during, and after 2004. I was a traitor in their eyes when I criticized Bush for Iraq, made them uncomfortable when I complained about the Katrina inertia, and a poor loser when I was unhappy about Bush's re-election. I was a pariah for asking to not be included on their chain e-mail lists, insulting them by suggesting they research what they blindly passed on. I was baited at holiday dinners by rightwing family members, even when I silently vowed to avoid politics at all costs. I've had conservative relatives change the channel I was very obviously watching so they could get their Fox fix. I've had business owners refuse to turn the channel from Fox, even when I asked nicely, even while spending money in their establishments.
All this happened under Bush, when you would have thought the fools would have been happy as clams. But, no--they still were miserable, petty fucks.
So, yeah. Fuck them.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||11/10/2012|
I'm glad someone is writing about this.
The root, I believe, is disappointment in Obama. What I think is that many liberals in fact understand that Obama and the Democrats are not going to be answer to the problems that they want addressed. You cannot have been a liberal and have witnessed Obama's first term without disappointment, in some cases profound, at the limitations that the political process brought to his agenda, or rather the agenda he promised. It began with impatience over his lead-footedness to proceed on gay rights issues, then it became the stimulus that was woefully watered-down, then the health-care overhaul that didn't include a public option. It culminated in the cowardliness with which Democrats ran from their accomplishments during the Midterms when they let the Tea Party define them, when Obama became political poison and when we lost the House, and finally his awful performance during the Gulf Oil Spill.
So instead of the beautiful and quixotic optimism that infused the 2008 campaign, liberals merely channeled their energy into hating the opposition more than they supported Obama. The somewhat psychotic level of schadenfreude here (see below) is evidence not of frustration with the Right but in fact with the Democrats.
Basically it comes down to liberals no longer saying "Look how good things are going to be" to saying "Look how awful things could have been."
In Datalounge particular, it does not surprise me that amongst all the Romneyhate, Hillary's name keeps popping up. Many DLers were Hillary supporters who never trusted Obama.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||11/10/2012|
Nope. Perfectly justified. After the Bush election Republicans proudly wore buttons that said Sore Loserman (with the same coloration and design as "Gore/Lieberman" buttons.) Republicans wear Confederate flags on every part of their body in certain parts of the country. Conservatives have always been loud, abnoxious and batshit crazy with their anti-everything-not-like-them rants.
Republicans routinely spouted nasty insults about Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and any other Democratic woman. Liberals were regularly lampooned and vilified in the Republican conservative commentariat and they called Obama a fascist, but that didn't work so they called him a socialist. That didn't work so they called him a communist before they finally settled on the word that begins with "N."
I don't care about conservative Republican feelings. As a matter of fact the only thing that would have made election night better would have been a news story that Donald Trump leaped from the top of the Empire State Building and Rush Limbaugh died of apoplexy.
The "centrist" press just can't deal with Democrats having balls.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||11/10/2012|
I guess they weren't going to take away your rights if Shit Romaney was elected, OP? Well you can go Papa John's now for support. He'll welcome you and your money.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||11/10/2012|
I haven't seen much liberal schadenfreude, but I've seen and heard a lot of very poor losers. After I lived with eight damn years of George W. Bush's stupidity, they can live with four more years of Obama.
Oh, and they can kiss my ass while they're at it.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||11/10/2012|
r10 that was absolutely hysterical. You continue to write from the Republican clown car with the NO license plate.
Irony and bathos simultaneously are gut-bustingly funny.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||11/10/2012|
I personally have not gloated publicly but applaud those that do. I agree that the arrogance of the Rethugs during the eight years of W was almost unbearable.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||11/10/2012|
Really simple: Get over it.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||11/10/2012|
Are we expected to forget the entire Clinton presidency was spent fighting one specious legal battle after another with these jackasses? Does the name Ken Starr ring any bells?
Yet Clinton left office with a deficit, which GWB got rid of as quickly as possible.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||11/10/2012|
The conservative voice is heard crying throughout the land:
Waaa Waaa Waaa
|by Anonymous||reply 19||11/10/2012|
I remember being brought out of my Regan/Bush coma by the tears of joy over Clinton/Gore.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||11/10/2012|
[quote]Yet Clinton left office with a deficit
|by Anonymous||reply 21||11/10/2012|
Sorry, R21. I got distracted.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||11/10/2012|
Oh please. Liberal gloating could not begin to plunge into the depths of sheer nastiness that's come from the right ever since the Bush II era. Remember what they did to Max Cleland? They are truly vile people.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||11/10/2012|
But oh so sensitive, R23. We must remember that.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||11/10/2012|
[quote]Peter Morrison, Texas GOP Official, Calls For 'Amicable Divorce' From 'Maggots' Who Voted For Obama
Headline from today - and we're the nasty ones?
|by Anonymous||reply 25||11/10/2012|
Elections have consequences
|by Anonymous||reply 26||11/10/2012|
How about John Sununu calling us vermin? I bet he's all sensitive about losing now, so we should be gentle with him.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||11/10/2012|
You want gloating? I'll give you gloating. Just shared it on my FB page.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||11/10/2012|
But unfortunately we still get Michelle Bachman and Paul Ryan
|by Anonymous||reply 30||11/10/2012|
And let's not forget the hypocrisy over "veterans" that spewed from the right. John Kerry - remember him? - war veteran from Vietnam era was crucified by the right even though many of them were cowards of the highest order (skipping Vietnam altogether, easy military work through connections, plus the latest: eating croissant in Paris instead of being really patriotic).
Schadenfreude indeed for these cowardly pieces of fuck, Americans only when it's working for them, selfish fucks now punishing their employees (as if they weren't going to do it anyway), racist, homophobic, sexist fucks. I hope Obama shits in all their faces and makes them lick his hole clean.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||11/10/2012|
It is hard to not laugh at the teabagger branch of the Republican party when their post-election meltdowns are both nasty and just as fantasy-based and wrong as their conviction that Romney would win in a landslide: all Democrats are "takers" are on welfare and food stamps who voted for Obama to keep the "free stuff" coming; Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist who should be impeached over Benghazi; Obama is trampling on the Constitution (through his failure, I guess, to understand that the Founding Fathers were just joking about that separation of church and state thing, and that "religious freedom" means the freedom to impose your fundamentalist Christian religion on everyone in the country); Obama won because the Democrats perpetrated massive voter fraud; etc.
I wasn't happy to have Bush as president for 8 years, but my complaints stemmed from his ACTUAL policies and decisions while in office, not from delusional theories that he was the second coming of Hitler or something.
Oh, and then there's my favorite Karl Rove theory: the Democrats practiced "voter suppression" by running campaign ads that convinced people not to vote for Romney. As if convincing folks not to vote for the other guy isn't pretty much the entire fucking point of a campaign ad, and as though the Republicans would never dream of running a mean, nasty ad about an opponent! For once, the Democrats took the gloves off and got just as down and dirty as the Republicans and the poor little Repubs cannot take it!
SO, yeah, it's tough not to laugh at them.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||11/10/2012|
R32, So true. Can you imagine asking for tolerance after spouting shit like that?
|by Anonymous||reply 33||11/10/2012|
Oh fuck them, I heard it by email constantly in 2000, if social media had been around then, it would've been ugly. But those fuckers poisoned every online conversation with that horseshit. If you criticized Bush you were asked with a straight face "Why do you hate America?" or "You shouldn't be critical of the President in a time of war!" or "If you don't like it, move to France." And of course "You have Bush Derangement Syndrome."
So fuck them, I'll "gloat" (which really means correcting their lies, showing them what a FUCKING BULLET we dodged with Romney and politely telling them that they'll survive the next four years) all I want.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||11/10/2012|
Too bad you feel that way, R7. I think we're all very lucky to have had the Obama administration at the helm for the last 4 years and am thrilled and relieved that they'll continue on the job for the next 4.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||11/10/2012|
Liberals didn't yell "you lie" at the President during a speech. Liberals didn't call a private citizen a slut on national radio for doing her American duty and speaking her mind. Liberals didn't threaten to secede from the country. Liberals didn't want to defund educational resources like PBS or transportation services like Amtrak. Liberals didn't say "I hope he fails" when the President was elected the first time. Liberals didn't call our President a foreigner who was born in Africa and a Muslim. Liberals didn't spend time, energy and resources on a birther movement. Liberals didn't shoot 19 people, including a US Representative who barely survived and a nine year old girl who didn't. Liberals didn't say "lock and load" and put gun sights on locations of liberals on a map. Liberals didn't send hateful e-mails to employees threatening to fire employees for voting for Obama. Liberals didn't try to sabotage the job market because the preferred man by them didn't win. Liberals didn't try to defund Planned Parenthood. Liberals didn't mock the poor just for being on Welfare or Food Stamps. Liberals didn't call our President a Marxist Socialist Communist Nazi who use to hang out at gay bathhouses in Chicago while selling cocaine. Liberals didn't flip flop on the issues during the campaign. Liberals didn't say FEMA should be defended. Liberals didn't complain about government instead of helping victims of a massive storm. Liberals didn't use their celebrity to win airtime so we could send out a PSA blackmailing Obama to release his college transcripts and passport info in return for charitable donations of millions of dollars. Liberals didn't suppress votes or even attempt too. Liberals didn't change voter laws during a Presidential election year. Liberals didn't mock our first lady, calling her fat or "Moochelle" simply because she is concerned about children's nutrition. Liberals didn't coin the term "death panels." Liberals didn't demonize immigrants in a country founded by immigrants. Liberals didn't travel to England and insult their country during the Olympics. Liberals didn't say we wouldn't let the campaign be dominated by fact checkers. Liberals didn't say that 47% of Americans are parasites. Liberals didn't lie and say that our President is coming to take our guns. Liberals didn't lie and say the British were coming to take our guns. Liberals didn't nominate a man who strapped his family pet to the roof of a car while driving to Canada 4th of July weekend. Liberals didn't say the President is nigger who deserves to be assassinated.
Liberals did get out and vote. And liberals won the popular and electoral votes.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||11/10/2012|
Schadenfreude out of control? Really? The author believes that we won't heal our divisions because a few people on our side are doing what republicans usually do. This is nonsense.
I'm still walking on air and it's Saturday. I'm profoundly delighted that we won and that the republicans were trounced and I don't have an ounce of sympathy for these people. While I do NOT take delight in whatever emotional suffering they might be experiencing, schadenfreude, I am not about to be guilted into having any mixed emotions about Tuesday. I have been around long enough to know how rotten our enemies are. The author is young, but make no mistake about it, these people are our enemies and if you think that they will give up trying to restrict our rights, think again. They don't compromise and they never give up trying. Ever. They are gong to have to die off slowly and we will have to hope that their children become more moderate.
Anyone who is not a log cabin or goproud member will understand that quite simply, the republicans are our enemies. And those people aren't just sleeping with the enemy, they are also the enemy.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||11/10/2012|
Dear Republicans, a little good natured gloating is perfectly acceptable to the alternative.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||11/10/2012|
... Obama .... a shitty president... ,R6?
Could you even try to justify that comment ? You are a moron of staggering proportions.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||11/10/2012|
R36, mostly I had problems with some important things Obama traded away in the course of compromising.
A single payer system for universal healthcare, for a big example. I consider that an important issue.
I really didn't like the Geitner appointment and some others, which I thought probably led to the bankster bailout. There should have been major prosecutions after the subprime lending fraud fiasco, but we got the big whitewash instead.
There were others. Those are some of the big ones.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||11/10/2012|
Looking for perfection in this political system (and real world) will leave you frustrated.
Try focusing on what Obama managed to accomplished with pitbull Republicans at his heels.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||11/10/2012|
I'm not looking for perfection; I'm looking for someone who doesn't trade off important things.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||11/10/2012|
Fair enough, and good points for discussion. I still have hopes for single payer and believe that if the Obama adm. had been able to swing it they would have. IMO it simply wasn't realistic given the membership of the House. As for the bank bailout, THAT certainly was the lesser of two evils. The choice to have no bailout would probably have led to an economic catastrophe. That those fat cat bankers who brought the crisis on have pretty much gotten off Scott free so far does seem very wrong, but maybe they'll get theirs in the end.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||11/10/2012|
Schadenfreude is is taking delight in other people's unhappiness. Even your friends' because it makes you feel blessed.
This is not schadenfreude.
This is seeing arrogant, nasty, entitled people who thrive on looking down on others, dismissing others, controlling others, lying and loving it, get taken down a notch.
Rather vindication, exoneration.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||11/10/2012|
I've given up believing banksters will ever be prosecuted no matter what they do.
I remember when Jeff Bingaman said they weren't going to be able to make single payer happen. I trust him more than a lot of politicians after being on his mailing list for years. He thought they could do it but the obstructionists knew that had to be their line in the sand if they wanted to defeat healthcare.
Most of the time I can see why something happened. That doesn't mean I have to like it.
Geitner and some of his other appointees are just plain evil (to borrow recent political phraseology).
|by Anonymous||reply 47||11/10/2012|
The writer is a cunt who is setting up a straw man and then bemoaning its existence.
I do not see the type of over-riding gloating that she stupidly describes. I see great relief, humor, gladness, and the natural feeling that the side that would have done so much tangible harm to us deserves its misery. Why? Because the delusions of the right are present in every response we read about.
What do I see on the right? Howls that the election is a sham, that it is the end of America, that "the wrong kind of people" overrode the will of the only real Americans, who are anti-gay, anti-women's-rights, white people with a grudge.
So the twat can quit her idiot, uninformed play-acting. The reason they got a ticket eight years ago wasn't because of grief. It's because they were the same foolish, loud-mouth, presumptuous cunts they are now, acting like fools and deriding others because that's what entitled cunts of any political belief do.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||11/10/2012|