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Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:11 PM

"I feel your pain" Nice thing to say to someone or not?

A DUer wrote that to me some months back in fairly obvious sarcasm, who it was and why is immaterial and I'm truly sorry that it made me so angry that I lashed out at them the other day when I got the chance.

I want to apologize to that person for things I wrote which were hurtful and I want to apologize to DU for losing my temper. My very deepest button got pushed hard and combined with a currently stressful situation with a close relative and the usual personal problems of an old I lost my cool.

I'm sorry I acted like an idiot and an asshole.

Period. Full stop.

With that being said I would like to open a discussion about the phrase, particularly as used by a politician, what do you think? What I think should be self evident, no, no you don't.

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bill_Clinton

"I feel your pain." Response to AIDS activist Bob Rafsky at the Laura Belle nightclub in Manhattan (March 27, 1992)



44 replies, 9626 views

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Reply "I feel your pain" Nice thing to say to someone or not? (Original post)
Fumesucker Jan 2016 OP
Sanity Claws Jan 2016 #1
CBGLuthier Jan 2016 #2
jwirr Jan 2016 #3
tularetom Jan 2016 #4
Agnosticsherbet Jan 2016 #5
SheenaR Feb 2016 #29
merrily Feb 2016 #37
SamKnause Jan 2016 #6
Fumesucker Jan 2016 #12
TheFarS1de Feb 2016 #34
HassleCat Jan 2016 #7
Fumesucker Jan 2016 #13
HassleCat Jan 2016 #15
Glorfindel Jan 2016 #8
Hekate Jan 2016 #9
Fumesucker Jan 2016 #11
Hekate Feb 2016 #39
snagglepuss Jan 2016 #10
Beaverhausen Jan 2016 #14
loyalsister Feb 2016 #25
Arazi Jan 2016 #16
Fumesucker Jan 2016 #17
DefenseLawyer Jan 2016 #18
Fumesucker Jan 2016 #19
NanceGreggs Feb 2016 #20
Fumesucker Feb 2016 #22
NanceGreggs Feb 2016 #23
Fumesucker Feb 2016 #28
NanceGreggs Feb 2016 #31
Fumesucker Feb 2016 #32
NanceGreggs Feb 2016 #35
sheshe2 Feb 2016 #36
Hekate Feb 2016 #43
Cary Feb 2016 #40
Hekate Feb 2016 #42
NanceGreggs Feb 2016 #44
Live and Learn Feb 2016 #21
SMC22307 Feb 2016 #24
aswanson Feb 2016 #26
Fumesucker Feb 2016 #33
Ed Suspicious Feb 2016 #27
jen63 Feb 2016 #30
merrily Feb 2016 #38
Cary Feb 2016 #41

Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:13 PM

1. No. I could not imagine saying it non-sarcastically

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:14 PM

2. Used by a friend it may mean something. Used by a politician it's a crock of shit platitude.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:15 PM

3. It usually means I understand. But if Bill is trying to tell

those of us who are not in the 1% that then I do not believe him. Nor do I think he has any idea what it would be like to have AIDS.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:16 PM

4. Considering the source (the 1992 source that is), at best it's insincere

To be brutally frank, when it comes out of the mouth of a politician as glib as Bill Clinton, it's simply bullshit.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:16 PM

5. It is a statement of empathy.

Which is one of the essential human traits.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 12:59 AM

29. On the contrary

In psychology we call this an empathic failure. It's insulting to tell someone that. Empathy would be asking about to understand the source of pain. Telling someone you feel it or "get it" diminishes what their pain means to them.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 03:26 AM

37. Is yelling I feel your pain at an AIDS activist really an expression of empathy from a Presidential

candidate? Or is it only faux empathy? I think that is another way to ask the question of the OP. IMO, empathy is as empathy does; and this was only campaign empathy.

Elected, Clinton went on to create DADT and sign DOMA under a pretense of an impending Constitutional amendment that was not actually impending and trying to have it both ways. Hillary also went on to use the excuse of an impending
constitutional amendment that was not impending regarding her unconstitutional flag desecration bills.

Though his official political position was against same-sex marriage, Clinton criticized DOMA as "unnecessary and divisive",[26] while his press-secretary called it "gay baiting, plain and simple".[27][28] However, after Congress had passed the bill with enough votes to override a presidential veto,[28] Clinton signed DOMA. Many years later, he claimed that he did so reluctantly in view of the veto-proof majority, both to avoid associating himself politically with the then-unpopular cause of same-sex marriage, and to defuse momentum for a proposed Federal Amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning same-sex marriage.[28][29] Clinton, who was traveling when Congress acted, signed it into law promptly upon returning to Washington, D.C., on September 21, 1996; he refused to hold a signing ceremony for DOMA and did not allow photographs to be taken of him signing it into law.[30] The White House released a statement in which Clinton said "that the enactment of this legislation should not, despite the fierce and at times divisive rhetoric surrounding it, be understood to provide an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against any person on the basis of sexual orientation".[30]

In 2013, Mike McCurry, the White House press secretary at the time, recalled that "[Clinton's] posture was quite frankly driven by the political realities of an election year in 1996."[28] James Hormel, who was appointed by Clinton as the first openly gay U.S. Ambassador, described the reaction from the gay community to Clinton signing DOMA as shock and anger.[31] On Hormel's account, Clinton had been the first President to advocate gay rights, push for AIDS funding, support gay and lesbian civil rights legislation, and appoint open LGBT people to his Administration. Thus his signing of DOMA was viewed by much of the community as a great betrayal.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_Marriage_Act

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:16 PM

6. I only use it when I can relate it to mine own personal experience.

Example:

Talking about poverty. I live in poverty, so I can feel their pain, because

it is my pain as well.

If someone has lost a child I can relate, because I lost my only child, a son.

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Response to SamKnause (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:41 PM

12. I know there are no words..

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Response to SamKnause (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 01:37 AM

34. I agree with your point .

Unless it is something I have myself gone through then it is at best insincere . People are too quick to position themselves with the problem and if they haven't experienced it personally they should just state they are hearing your issues without trying to own them themselves . Not an easy thing to do but a professional politician is the last person I would expect to "feel my pain" , especially when the majority are hardly from a working class background . I could go on about the insincerity of stating that someone is "qualified" for an elected position however that is yet another kettle of fish . I cannot fathom losing a child as I now am the proud father of 4 beautiful girls and the idea of me burying them and them not burying me is heartbreaking . In such a situation the best I could offer is my sincere sympathy but to state "I feel your pain" would be disingenuinous at best .

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:17 PM

7. Mark of a good politician

 

Bill Clinton could say this and make people believe he really did feel the pain felt by someone else, even though he had never experienced anything like what the person was relating.

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Response to HassleCat (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:42 PM

13. How long will it be before Hillary says it?

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:44 PM

15. I don't think she will

 

She's not as good as Bill at making people believe she's empathetic.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:17 PM

8. I have never said it to anyone, but I don't find it offensive

A better thing to say might be, "I understand that you're in pain because of (whatever). Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help." Thank you, Fumesucker, for a thoughtful and interesting post. I honestly had never given it any thought before.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:25 PM

9. It's a sign of human empathy. Tho there are other tones of voice, I'm going with empathy...

....in the two examples you have provided, and that is based on their personal histories and behaviors vis a vis other human beings.

May one hope you have taken steps to shut down the thread you refer to?

JURY: I am giving a genuine response to a genuine question.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:39 PM

11. I'm personally convinced that universal health care would have saved my child

It's life or death to me as it is everyone if they only knew it. I'm on Medicare now and I want everyone to have at least that from the cradle to the grave, I never want another person to die because they do not get proper treatment and I don't trust insurance companies or the system. I have a couple of nurses in my family, one of them being a flight nurse on Lifefllight helis, they are totally appalled at what is happening to the medical profession.

If Clinton loses and I tell you I feel your pain, will that make you feel better or worse?

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 03:59 AM

39. As I already said, I go by personal history and other interactions. In your case...

....given how hostile you have been, I would take it for sarcasm and would prefer you say nothing to me about politics. Thank you.

If I tell you I am sorry for your personal loss, would you be able to receive my condolences in the manner intended by me? My blooming 6 month old granddaughter died of SIDS 5 years ago. I don't (and didn't) discuss that here, and only mention it so you know there might be a human connection if you believed in other people's pain as well as your own.

So as you see, for me it very much depends. I am, incidentally, sorry for your loss, which no one should ever have to endure. What I feel is my business, under the circs.

I am also sorry that the vocabulary we have to express these things is so limited. It's why people buy condolence cards -- it's emotionally a lot safer, and there are almost no land mines involved. It's a rare person who can be original in such situations -- like Bill Clinton. He'll be mocked forever for saying that; gods know I've done it too, and I actually believe the man really is empathetic and that it is part of his charisma.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:34 PM

10. Most other times it is glib and insincere unless you have suffered the same thing.

Last edited Sun Jan 31, 2016, 11:49 PM - Edit history (1)

Nothing wrong with just saying "How horrible, I can't imagine what it must be like"

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:43 PM

14. It's called having empathy.

Some humans have more of it than others.

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Response to Beaverhausen (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 12:47 AM

25. Actually, that was sympathy and compassion

At the time Bill Clinton had no earthly idea what it feels like to face one's mortality. If he could have identified with that experience it would have been empathy.

It may sound a bit more profound if it is believed to be empathy, but in the end people with problems mean a lot to both Clinton's. That is, for the purpose of exploitation so they can show the world what good people they are.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:47 PM

16. Context is everything. It can be cruel or empathetic

It depends on the context. Bill Clinton had enough background info when he made that comment it's impossible to believe he wasn't being a craven liar.

In that spirit, I saw the thread you're referencing Fumesucker and it was meant cruelly.

I am so, so sorry it played out like that.

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Response to Arazi (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 10:55 PM

17. Thank you..

I wouldn't have got so upset if she hadn't kept on lecturing me and then put personal insults on top of that after I apologized to her.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 11:02 PM

18. It's better than saying that having to work 3 jobs is "fantastic"

 

And "uniquely American" as GW once told a woman.

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Response to DefenseLawyer (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 31, 2016, 11:05 PM

19. A high bar indeed

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 12:05 AM

20. THIS is your apology?

Let’s talk about the fact that you are still not taking responsibility for attributing statements to me I never made, and taking something I DID say – on a completely unrelated topic – and insinuating that I’d made that comment in response in an exchange on a different subject.

"I want to apologize to that person for things I wrote which were hurtful and I want to apologize to DU for losing my temper." Where is your apology for lying about what I said? Where is your apology for attributing statements to me that I never made?

Your contention was that I said “I feel your pain” as a sarcastic response to the fact that I had healthcare (here in Canada) that you do not. You said that I’d “bragged” about that fact. You brought up my deceased husband, and then said: ”I lost a child thanks to the profit hungry insurance companies and hearing someone with single payer tell me that I and mine are not good enough for it stick in my craw.”

When I asked you to provide a link to where I’d said anything remotely like that, you provided a link to where I’d said “I feel your pain” – in response to an OP you had written about Hillary’s alleged unelectability. (See http://www.democraticunderground.com/1251704260#post107 )

The thread I made that statement in had absolutely nothing to do with healthcare whatsoever. And you KNOW that. And yet you persisted in misleading others into thinking my “I feel your pain” remark was a sarcastic response to you having lost a child due to inadequate healthcare – an event I wasn’t even aware of before you accused me of being “sarcastic” about it.

Aside from our frequent disagreements over politics, I really thought you were better than this. I was absolutely gobsmacked that you would accuse me of saying things I’ve never said – and, when challenged to provide proof of same, that you would quote a response I made to your contention that “millions of Democrats would stay home rather than vote for HRC” as being a comment that you and yours “were not good enough” for universal healthcare.

And as I write this, I see you are STILL persisting in your dishonesty in this thread. ”I wouldn't have got so upset if she hadn't kept on lecturing me and then put personal insults on top of that after I apologized to her.”

Again you are implying that I “lectured” you about healthcare in an exchange about HRC's electability. It really doesn’t get more dishonest than that.

As I said in my last response to you on the thread in question: You should be ashamed. And now you should be doubly ashamed for continuing the lie that I “lectured” you about your lack of healthcare, when we both know I didn’t.

You raised the topic of my husband’s passing in order to score political points. You then lied about what I’d said about healthcare. And you’re still playing the victim, and insinuating that I DID indeed say things I never said.

Yeah, I know. My post will be alerted on and hidden – for whatever reason your colleagues can come up with. And that’s just fine – because nothing screams “READ ME!” like a post that’s got that flashing neon “hidden” sign on it.

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 12:09 AM

22. You might recall I apologized to you in the earlier thread, you continued to insult me

If Sanders beats Clinton and I say to you "I feel your pain" will it make you feel better or worse?

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 12:40 AM

23. That's not the point ...

... and again, you KNOW it's not.

You did NOT apologize to me in the thread where you accused me of "sarcastically" responding to your lack of healthcare with the phrase "I know your pain" - which was a comment I made to you in a completely different thread, an OP of yours about HRC's electability and NOT about healthcare.

You did NOT apologize about misleading fellow posters here into believing that I had "bragged" about the fact that I had healthcare that you did not.

You did NOT apologize for attributing statements to me that we BOTH know I never made.

"If Sanders beats Clinton and I say to you "I feel your pain" will it make you feel better or worse?"

WTF does that have to do with outright LYING about what I have said on this board about healthcare coverage?

I invite you - YET AGAIN - to link to anything I've said here about healthcare coverage that even remotely constitutes "bragging", or "sarcasm" towards people who don't have what I have.

Stop deflecting with comments about Clinton beating Bernie, or vice versa. This is about your lying - and neither Hillary nor Bernie are responsible for that. YOU ARE.

I note the title of your OP: "I feel your pain" Nice thing to say to someone or not?"

Given the circumstances, wouldn't the more appropriate title have been: "Lying about someone responding to your child's death with the phrase 'I feel your pain' - nice thing to do or not?"

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 12:54 AM

28. I really didn't want to drag this all up again

You are starting to embarrass yourself, I most certainly did apologize for any pain I might have caused you when actually you had twinged my heart, it was the later personal insults that pushed me over the edge into actual anger. You came into my thread aggressively, I apologized to you and then you insulted me, that is the sequence of events.

The whole damn subject of health care brings up my feelings all over again, I'm surprised it doesn't bring up yours.

For such a great writer you have a remarkably poor idea of others emotions.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 01:13 AM

31. Fine.

Please provide the link to where you apologized for attributing statements to me I didn't make.

This is the thread in which you did so: http://www.democraticunderground.com/12511094422

I see NO apology there.

And before you even think of going there - don't dredge up an apology from a completely different thread on a completely different topic and say "there it is".

We're talking about THE THREAD in which you accused me of saying things I never said.

SO where's the link to the apology for doing that in the thread in which you made your accusations?

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #31)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 01:22 AM

32. Here is your hero proving your old opinion of her

What makes Hillary happy..



What makes Hillary mad..




Seriously, this woman is now your hero?

Have you yet apologized to me for name calling me in the first place?

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 02:04 AM

35. So you have no link ...

... to your alleged "apology" for attributing statements to me that I never made.

You could have just said so - instead of trying to change the subject.

You have completely destroyed your own credibility. You accused me of saying things I never said, and then you can't provide any evidence of the "apology" you allegedly made for doing so.

I know you keep wanting to make this into a Bernie-v-HRC thing. But it's not. It's about you making accusations about a fellow poster that you knew were false, and then alluding to a non-existent apology you never made for doing so.

The links are there. Anyone can read them and know that you lied. And pointing out that I am a Hillary supporter isn't going to get Bernie supporters to ignore those lies - which seems to be what you're counting on.

Despite all of the vitriol on this board between HRCers and BSers, there is one thing they agree upon: lying about what a fellow DUer said is unacceptable to both camps.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 02:35 AM

36. That is a response to said post.

??????????????????????????????????????????

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 06:01 PM

43. Fumesucker....

Please put this person on Ignore. It just is not worth it.

Also, as someone pointed out to me in the weeks after my mother died, "Grief and Anger sit at the same table."

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #28)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 09:29 AM

40. Maybe you shouldn't have started it, if you can't finish?

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 05:59 PM

42. Nance...

Please put this person on Ignore. It just is not worth it.

Also, as someone pointed out to me in the weeks after my mother died, "Grief and Anger sit at the same table."

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Response to Hekate (Reply #42)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 06:25 PM

44. Thanks, Hekate.

But this isn't about grief. It's about having really vile and insensitive statements being attributed to me that the OP knows I never made.

When challenged on it, he could have simply said he was mistaken. Instead he double-downed and is now trying to cast himself as the wronged party.

No worries - it's not my credibility that's been shot to hell; it's his.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 12:07 AM

21. If they would actually take my pain, that would be a nice thing.

I see no purpose in both of us feeling it.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 12:46 AM

24. For the most part, I wouldn't trust anyone who said that.

There may be exceptions, but generally speaking, I'd rank it up there with the condescending, nasty use of "bless your heart," not the nice use of "bless your heart."

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 12:51 AM

26. It depends

 

Whether it's offensive depends on the situation, on whether you can truly empathize with that person or not. A lot of times it can be really difficult or even impossible to transcend boundaries of race, gender, sexuality, or creed.

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Response to aswanson (Reply #26)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 01:25 AM

33. Or experience

We really don't understand things emotionally until they happen to us.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 12:54 AM

27. I might say it over trivial matters. "My boss is such an asshole. He's making me work this weekend

and now I have to cancel my plans." "I feel your pain, man. My boss had me do the same on my birthday last year." That's not the sense that Bill is using the phrase. He's using as a calculating bit of politician's empathy.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 01:06 AM

30. It would be offensive to me,

unless the person saying it had actually been through the same thing; like many here have said. It's no different, imo, than some one saying, "I know exactly how you feel." There are better phrases that could be used, or don't say any thing at all; especially if it comes from a politician.

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 03:39 AM

38. Jury results.

On Mon Feb 1, 2016, 02:07 AM an alert was sent on the following post:

"I feel your pain" Nice thing to say to someone or not?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/12511106760

REASON FOR ALERT

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate.

ALERTER'S COMMENTS

Meta. Hide this crap.

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Mon Feb 1, 2016, 02:18 AM, and the Jury voted 1-6 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: Post seems like it belongs in Freeperland not DU.
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: It's an apology, which is a good thing. As for the phrase, I see no problem with discussing it.
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: Nope.
Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: Tell it to the hosts, this is not a jury matter as you well know, alerter stalker.
Juror #7 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: No explanation given

Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future

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Response to Fumesucker (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2016, 11:39 AM

41. I don't understand the obsession with personalities

I understand it from "conservatives" who are 100% emotional and 0% logical. They are hate driven. They're not even sure what they hate, exactly. They just know it's "Liberal."

They have their empty bumper sticker slogan like "fiscal responsibility" and "limited government" but they have no idea what this means, and they accept garbage like "starve the beast" and tax cuts for billionaires.

But here we have some kind of strange attack on Bill Clinton's personality, like 30 years ago already. You're playing to the exact same gut level emotions as "conservatives," to what end? Because you like someone else's personality better?

The job of POTUS is just that, a job. We couldn't elect saints even if we wanted to. If you what to find fault in people who have done or will do the job you will either in fact or just some nonsense you perpetuate. It's a job. The idea is to find the person who will best do the job. In "conservatives" we do not and never will have a viable partner, because they are in extremis and 100% emotion.

What do we have in the radical left?

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