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Gaming, Geekery, Politics & Current Events

Okay, I have to make a confession.  I am an AWFUL prognosticator.  Anyone who has played me in Fantasy Football can tell you that.  I'm pretty good at analysis after the fact, but when it comes to predicting future events, I'm bloody-effing-terrible.  Of course, there was one shining moment where I correctly predicted the result of the 2004 NBA finals game-by-game, but to be honest I was just trying to be funny since everyone and their mom was predicting the Lakers to win.

ANYWAY, that's my horrible excuse as to why I never followed up and wrote something about the Tea Party.  Because frankly, I became terrified that I would be wrong.  Or worse, not funny.  Plus, I forgot my password and was too embarrassed to ask for it.   In any case, I'm sure you're all confused.  To the casual observer, the Tea Party is a loose conglomerate of similarly minded and mildly racist individuals who have HIT THE POLITICAL SCENE LIKE A TIDAL WAVE OF PATRIOTIC DOUCHEBAGGERY.  But you're wrong!  It's really… okay, you might be right there.  But it's clear at this point that they are a very big factor, for obvious reasons.  So the big question is… how does one counter them?  We're not talking [DEM] people, that's for another article.  For me, the more intriguing question is, "How does one get out of the Republican Primaries without coming off as a little unhinged?"  IT'S AN ELEPHANT PARTY UP IN THIS.

Before we start, I'll disclose my biases.  I'm an Obama voter, and I bought a sweet-ass hoodie from his campaign that I then re-sold for $2 profit; which I THEN used to buy a Dr. Pepper.  I don't consider myself particularly liberal or a Democrat, but I vote Democrat pretty consistently, though there are many times where I'm not happy about it.

It's important to think of the Tea Party as the Zerg, not just because of their tendency to SWARM political contests and penchant for utterly destroying and assimilating planets.  But rather, their true strength comes from the early game.  The Tea Party strictly sticks with the rush strategy.  IN PARTICULAR, the dreaded Zerg tactic known as the 6-Pool.  You build a Spawning Pool at 6 drones (which is STUPID early, you usually want to think about building that once you've produced around 10-12).  To put it in non-Startcraft 2 terms, it's a super early ALL-IN rush that is meant to nail your opponent before he has anything up.  When successful, it can completely cripple your opponents econ, and hence you'll win (since they can't make any units).  If it fails, the Zerg player will in all likelihood lose, as they will be in an incredibly poor position to push back the counter.  Remember, Zerg sacrifice a gatherer to make buildings, so you'll already be down one when you drop the Spawning Pool, but then your spending most of your moneys building zerglings.  It is very effective in the lower tiers of play (as is it's cousin, the 8-Pool).  In higher tiers, it's not as effective  BY ITSELF, for two reasons.
  1. The counter to most gimmick rushes are well known.
  2. If it is deployed, the player using it is good enough to readjust strategy.

As noted from my prior article, I hinted that I knew the magic formula to pushing back a 6-Pool.  So does every Starcraft 2 player past the Silver Leagues.  It's actually quite easy;  simply "wall off" the entrance to your base with your buildings.  Maybe put a bunker down if you're playing Terran.  You'll be able to stall the rush long enough to kill it with your troops.  But most importantly, and this is mentioned in previous articles, you need to BLOODY KNOW THE 6-POOL IS COMING. 

This guy didn't scout, and now he's just an old dude who looks vaguely like a child molester on a mid-size blog.

Whenever you see that your opponent is Zerg, a good rule of thumb that you're going to get hit with a rush.  So scout early; do you see a Spawning Pool being made?  WALL THE FUCK UP.   Does your campaign's "internet guy" notice a lot of agitation in the blogosphere?  WALL THE FUCK UP.  Get out there and pre-engage.  Take the primary seriously, because they sure as hell are.  I know that feeling in a match, to conserve resources for later.  Well you can always conserve resources in the next match because you're about to lose the current one.   I'd rather be fighting in the general election a little behind in econ than sitting at home watching the results while eating a big bowl of shame.  And Corn Puffs.

It doesn't always have to be Zerglings.

I want to note that the ALL-IN rush strategy is only bullshit in that the player who utilizes it often doesn't know what the hell to do if the rush is repelled.  A rush strategy is very effective in crippling enemy econ, but you still have to actually go into the base and wipe them out.  We've seen a few players able to use this to great success, like [GOP]DeMINTYFRESH and the big dog, [GOP]PerryN0tKaty. On the other hand, we also see players like 1mNOT4Witch shit all over themselves when the match goes up against a superior opponent who knows how to minimize damage from a rush (as opposed to gg-ing too early and quitting).  And I'm not using colorful language, I mean that literally; 1mNOT4Witch voided her bowels and horrifically soiled her computer chair during the match.  Now I hear she posts screeds against jacking off in the comments section of some political blog.  Whatever.

The Tea Party is like the Zerg is more ways than their bullshit rush strategy.  No one really knows their motivation.  They just kind of show up and MAKE SHIT HAPPEN (when they're not busy jacking off to Atlas Shrugged).  And it's never good shit, like free handjobs and ice cream.  In many ways, I love that.  The old fuddy-duddies had no idea how to handle the kind of heat they were bringing, and we certainly need more of that level of civic engagement across all levels of governance.  But these people also had zero issue with bringing this country to the brink of FINANCIAL ARMAGEDDON.  The recent manufactured crisis was astounding to me.  A single political party, under the influence of a faction THAT IT SHOULD HAVE HANDLED IN THE FIRST PLACE, decided to play chicken.  As I see it, after the total shellacking [DEM] put on [GOP] in 2008, [GOP] wanted to bring that kind of "OMG IT'S A GOD DAMN MOVEMENT" heat that they sorely lacked (unless you count the thinly veiled racism that came around in October 07).   But, to paraphrase a saying I like to use, "If you court the loudmouth racist reactionary constituency, then your constituents will be loudmouth racist reactionaries."  I just don't see that as a sustainable strategy for winning a presidential election; you don't want the blazing- hot lazy eye of the general public looking at your crazies.  Especially when those crazies don't shut the fuck up.

I always make fun of the [DEM] clan for being stupidly adverse to conflict.  So it was grimly amusing to me that [GOP], when faced with their own jihad, capitulated. If you let the idiots be in charge, then you're going to have idiots in charge, idiots.  I know, it's frustrating to get hit with a rush and lose in the first five minutes.  It's embarrassing.  When I first got Starcraft 2, I had a friend of mine constantly hit me with 6 and 8-Pool rushes until I could handle them (mostly).  You know what would have been the pussy thing to do?  Start playing as Zerg and 6-Pooling myself.  The sad part, is that it works.  Oh man it works.  You can win a lot of matches that way.  But you know what else?  Eventually you're going to go up into the Gold League.  The people there have been bullshit rushed countless times, survived, and are PISSED off about it.  And what happens once your brilliant rush has been pushed back?  How's your mid-end game?  What's your general election strategy?   Unit mix?  When do you expand?  What's the campaign message directed to the general populace?  You won't have one because you've spent all this time and effort into a gimmick.

Starcraft, like Politics, is a game of adjustments.  You're constantly making them.  What's this guy making?  I'll make the counter; oh shit now he's countering my counter!  When are you going to expand?   Where is your opponent going to expand?  Are you going to stop him?  Sometimes you can't play the way you planned, the way you want.  Sometimes you gotta compromise.

Next: It's an FFA within the [GOP] clan!  Who has sex with Reagan's corpse first?

Last 5 posts by Derrick

42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. Scott Jacobs  •  Sep 29, 2011 @2:34 am

    I'd like to point out that a LOT of O'Donnell's problem was a nearly complete lack of Oppo research.

    I mean, we all heard about the charge of her misusing campaign funds, but by a show of hands, how many people knew it was done by the FATHER of the woman who ran around to all the MSNBC shows screaming about it?

    Yes, there were other problems, but OD being a horrible candidate wasn't really one of them. A shame it took until after the election to find that out.

    How’s your mid-end game? What’s your general election strategy?

    A record swing to a majority in the House, and a Senate that's so close they won't even bring stuff up for a vote because they fear the R's.

    I'm willing to settle for that. I mean, 2012, isn't that far off, and the biggest talking-point of the TP (spending and the debt) is a massive issue with a huge majority of the electorate.

    I'd also comment that it is telling that, while you apparently often really don't like the Dem candidate you have to work with, you vote for them anyways.

    You might not CONSIDER yourself all that liberal, but you sure vote like one. And you're dismissive of the TEA Party like one, too.

  2. Patrick  •  Sep 29, 2011 @4:35 am

    Scott, if I recall correctly you considered Donald Rumsfeld a liberal.

  3. Brett  •  Sep 29, 2011 @5:05 am

    "American politicians used to read How To Win Friends And Influence People; now they read The Art Of War. It's that simple." – @wampusreynolds on Twitter

  4. Dave  •  Sep 29, 2011 @5:58 am

    Wait, did you just translate a random NY Times article into geek-speak? Cause all I'm seeing is "Racist retards can't plan shit" wrapped up in an overly long and clumsy Starcraft metaphor. It looks like your 'research' was reading random MSM hit pieces, although you forgot to call them 'teabaggers'.

    "No one really knows their motivation."
    That's because there is no central tea party. What you're trying to analyze is a crapload of tiny grassroots groups all using the same name and a handful of neocons who've wrapped themselves in astroturf and adopted that name to blend in. About all these groups can agree on is shrinking government, but not how or how far to shrink it. So there's a bunch of different motivations pushing in various different directions.

    With all this chaos, you probably would've been better off going with a Warhammer metaphor. After all, Zerg are just Tyranids with the serial numbers filed off…

  5. Dan Weber  •  Sep 29, 2011 @6:06 am

    A healthy distrust of populist movements — regardless of polarity — is always a good idea.

  6. Todd S.  •  Sep 29, 2011 @6:25 am

    I disagree with a lot of this post, and I don't play Starcraft. I loved it anyway.

  7. Chris  •  Sep 29, 2011 @6:39 am

    I'd go even further – I disagreed with most of this post, don't have any idea what Starcraft is and think that the post was brilliant.

  8. eddie  •  Sep 29, 2011 @7:30 am

    Loved all the geek stuff. +1 A+++ would read again

    Think you're dead wrong about everything else, but I promise not to hold it against you. :)

    p.s. SC suxxors TA is tha bomb!!!!

  9. SPQR  •  Sep 29, 2011 @7:34 am

    While creative, "the TEA Party is racist" theme is dishonest and insulting. The last refuge of the Democrats to avoid discussing the merits of a policy disagreement is not a valid foundation for a post.

  10. Derrick  •  Sep 29, 2011 @7:37 am

    Dave,
    I did use Warhammer a while ago. The IP and ESSPECIALLY the Dawn of War rts are damn near prefect for writing these. But GW has a bad habit of suing their fans, so I took a limp-wristed geek-stand.
    Lds
    Rip my political stuff all you like. I appreciate it, esspecially if it's funny. But ' overly long and clumsy' with my Starcraft? HOW DARE YOU.

  11. Douglas Muth  •  Sep 29, 2011 @7:58 am

    I do believe this is the first time I've seen an attorney reference Starcraft and the Zerg.

    10 points for Gryffindor.

  12. Derrick  •  Sep 29, 2011 @8:09 am

    Thanks for the points, but I'm not a lawyer. How else do you think I get all this time to play Starcraft?

    The idea behind the article was to discuss a way for non-TP affilated or otherwise 'blessed' GOP candidates to make it the general election stage (mid-late game). My proposed solution was 'know they're coming and head then off at the pass' so to speak. It wasn't supposed to be a 'tea party sucks and here's why' kind of thing. Though I do think they kinda suck, and that came out.

  13. egd  •  Sep 29, 2011 @8:09 am

    I’m an Obama voter, and I bought a sweet-ass hoodie from his campaign that I then re-sold for $2 profit; which I THEN used to buy a Dr. Pepper.

    First, it should be recognized that this is an awesome bit of capitalism.

    Second, the important question is: would you vote for Obama again? If so, why? "The Republicans are Racist" doesn't count.

    Also, didn't Herman Cain win an early Tea Party poll? Is it racist to support a black politician and not support a half-black politician? If so, could you explain how that works?

  14. Tam  •  Sep 29, 2011 @8:14 am

    "Stupid racist hicks disagree with me." Did I get that about right?

  15. Derrick  •  Sep 29, 2011 @8:16 am

    Replace "stupid racist hicks" with "my mom".

  16. Tam  •  Sep 29, 2011 @8:17 am

    (It got pretty MEGO when we got to the fast-twitch RTS analogies, since I'm more a turn-based kinda gal, being a slightly slow and stupid and having known teabagger affinities, so I'm looking for the Cliff's Notes here…)

  17. mojo  •  Sep 29, 2011 @8:58 am

    Compared to the Dems? Thanks, I'll take the R's. At least they won't charge me for the bullet they shoot me with.

  18. Locnar  •  Sep 29, 2011 @9:04 am

    I would just like to state that this article is 100% accurate. Derrick is truly terrible at fantasy football.

  19. A leap at the wheel  •  Sep 29, 2011 @9:19 am

    I like how you suggest that FINANCIAL ARMAGEDDON involves the debt ceiling and not, like, you know, the massive destruction of wealth owned by private people. That's great parody.

    Right?

  20. Dave  •  Sep 29, 2011 @9:22 am

    @ egd – It works because it's blasphemous to oppose the anointed one. Therefore, racist teabaggers. It would be amusing to watch the legacy media talking heads have meltdowns if Cain gets the nomination.

    @ Derrick – There is no 'they', it's a bunch of little groups with no central planning. All a non TP Rep has to do is claim to be TP before a local group springs up to replace them. All they need to do is pay a little lip service to smaller government and they're (usually) golden. For example, look at big government neocon Sarah Palin who somehow became the legacy media's prime example of a tea party politician.

  21. Derrick  •  Sep 29, 2011 @9:34 am

    I hesitated using Zerg precisely because they ultimately answer to some central authority. But the early rush bit worked so I stuck with it.

    The tea party is like a clan tag. Anyone with a [TP] before their name is going to speak for the whole, regardless if it's reasonable small government talk or anti-gay bullshit. That's just the way it's going to be.

  22. Scott Jacobs  •  Sep 29, 2011 @11:24 am

    Anyone with a [TP] before their name is going to speak for the whole, regardless if it’s reasonable small government talk or anti-gay bullshit. That’s just the way it’s going to be.

    Wait… Do us non-enlightened folks what don't support Obama because we're horribly racist retards (go Cain) get to use this same logic on anyone with the [Dem] clan tag?

    Because I would love to start asking some Illinois D's about how they support suspending elections…

  23. Geek checking in...  •  Sep 29, 2011 @11:25 am

    I love these "R vs. D as Starcraft" articles. The 3v3 article was disturbly accurate. Please don't wait a year to put out the next one.

  24. Geek checking in...  •  Sep 29, 2011 @11:25 am

    disturbingly*

  25. Scott Jacobs  •  Sep 29, 2011 @11:27 am

    Scott, if I recall correctly you considered Donald Rumsfeld a liberal.

    I don't recall ever making a statement like that (though I won't say I never did). I liked Rumsfeld well enough.

    It's Bush the Younger who wasn't "conservative" enough.

  26. Ben  •  Sep 29, 2011 @11:31 am

    Zerg were the best race for early rushes in Starcraft 1, but in Starcraft 2 their style is different. Once you get past Silver League or so, you'll find that the Terran actually have the best rush builds. High-level zergs tend to favor a late-game-oriented strategy of getting a giant income and harassing their opponent with an extremely fast army of mutalisks and/or zerglings. If you can make a political metaphor out of that one, I will be duly impressed.

  27. Tom  •  Sep 29, 2011 @11:53 am

    I'm saddened at this post. Ad hominem attacks used as valid arguements, my respect for the authors here has diminished.

  28. SPQR  •  Sep 29, 2011 @12:00 pm

    Derrick, Tam owns you.

  29. Ken  •  Sep 29, 2011 @1:05 pm

    I’m saddened at this post. Ad hominem attacks used as valid arguements, my respect for the authors here has diminished.

    Well, now I'm not so sure I'm going to post my treatment of the GOP debates using the Leisure Suit Larry metaphor.

  30. Ken  •  Sep 29, 2011 @1:11 pm

    Also, this is a good a time as any to say that "tolerance of pockets of racism, and tolerance of or willingness to employ traditionally racist tropes" is not the same as "racism," unless you are vastly oversimplifying.

    But I took the reference to be a cheerfully thrown elbow in a patently satirical piece, akin to the cheerfully thrown elbow towards both sides of the aisle that I've thrown here.

    Also, today I'm irritated at the elements of the tea party not for pockets of racism but for pockets of carrying signs like the one I saw online last night, reading "Cut Taxes, Not Defense."

  31. A leap at the wheel  •  Sep 29, 2011 @2:17 pm

    "Also, today I’m irritated at the elements of the tea party not for pockets of racism but for pockets of carrying signs like the one I saw online last night, reading “Cut Taxes, Not Defense.”"

    Right, but that's a policy disagreement, not an exercise in marginalizing your opponents. It's not a position I like, but it's not unpossible. Anyway he didn't say anything about pockets of racism. He said the individuals that make up the tea party are mildly racist. That's either sloppy writing or sloppy logic that most Popehat authors don't engage in. I can find sloppy writing and logic anywhere. It annoys me when it shows up in places I like to read.

  32. Derrick  •  Sep 29, 2011 @2:28 pm

    Sorry. I went to State School. I do the best I can with what i'm given.
    For what it's worth, I sent a copy to my mom before publishing. She said it was pretty sloppy and there was too much cursing.

  33. Ken  •  Sep 29, 2011 @2:50 pm

    Right, but that’s a policy disagreement, not an exercise in marginalizing your opponents.

    Well, it's meant to be a little marginalizing, because one of the things I don't like about the diverse groups that congregate in public and hold signs and call themselves "tea party" is that many of their signs tend to be very stupid, tending to undermine those ideas associated with the "tea party" that I do like.

    I mean, they're not dressing up like paper-mache sea turtles, and they seem to bathe with some frequency, so they have advantages over some classes of protestors.

    But, pockets of tolerance for racism aside, too many tea party groups seem to have a high tolerance for stupid.

    I mean, say what you like about the Fred Phelps folks, but those people have some message control.

    But what do I know? I don't even know why descent is the highest form of patriotic.

    Anyway, given that I make rude generalizations about Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, and people who call themselves Libertarian all the time — Christ, to say nothing of the Canadians — it is not within me to be too offended by Derrick's somewhat trollish exaggeration in a satirical post, even if I might be closer to the tea partiers on the spectrum than to Derrick.

  34. ElamBend  •  Sep 29, 2011 @3:36 pm

    FWIW, I went to many of the very early Tea Party public events in Chicago and it was actually a pretty diverse crowd both ethnically and ideologically. (i.e I saw non-hippie Rasta types there). I also heard W booed at a couple of the early events (for his spending). I haven't been to anything in quite some time, partially because once something becomes too popular I don't like it and partially because if I can't walk to it I don't care. Anyway, I've gotten the impression that the Tea Party has become a broad amalgamation of groups and moved a bit right as the gray haired set picked up on it.

    I also never heard of Starcraft until yesterday when I learned it a big pro sport in Korea:
    http://www.cracked.com/article_18763_5-insane-true-facts-about-starcraft-professional-sport.html

    If I was young and single, I'd live in Korea for a year.

  35. PLW  •  Sep 29, 2011 @4:06 pm

    Descent is pretty good, but I still believe that Doom is the highest form of patriotism. Maybe I'm old-school.

  36. Scott Jacobs  •  Sep 29, 2011 @5:15 pm

    Marathon ftw

  37. Dave  •  Sep 29, 2011 @6:40 pm

    @ PLW – Nah, Wolfenstein tops Doom. Shooting Hitler in the face with a minigun is the highest form of patriotism.

  38. Al  •  Sep 29, 2011 @8:51 pm

    Right, but that’s a policy disagreement, not an exercise in marginalizing your opponents.

    Are we calling a position that's, and I'm being pretty Goddamned generous here, just slightly smarter than "Keep the government out of my Medicare!" a policy disagreement? Really?

  39. Xmas  •  Sep 30, 2011 @2:04 am

    Well…it's an enjoyable article…

    But, the Tea Party is the mid-game. The Democrats had an overwhelming win in 2008. They captured the House, Senate and the Presidency. They could have done anything they wanted (and, partially, the did). But they believed their 2008 win signaled a long-term Democratic hold on power, but 2008 was really a reflexive rejection of Bush paired up with a really shitty selection for a Presidential candidate.

    In 2008, the Tea Party was a fart in the wind. They were angry with Bush and the Democrats in Congress for passing TARP. And, instead of using that Republican anger at Bush, the Democrats doubled down on more bad spending. Follow this up with the Dems passing NO BUDGET IN 2010, they, team [DEM], let the Tea Party flex their muscles 6 months later.

    To run with your Starcraft analogy, the Dems over extended with no defenses and very poor resource management after they successfully Zerg(ACORN) rushed in 2008 and they left one Terran SCV over in the corner of the map.

  40. Derrick  •  Sep 30, 2011 @7:20 am

    That's a much more expansive view than the one I usually take.

    I generally view elections as a single game. So the primaries are early-game, generals are late. I consider mid to be that weird section where the candidates are clear but the primaries aren't over.

    But I think you may be underrating the Obama campaign in 08. They had a huge econ advantage also, and that's due to good play. And they knew the map way better, as you could see from mccain's stupid forray into the DC expansion.

  41. Elam Bend  •  Sep 30, 2011 @7:00 pm

    I'd say the real big story of the Obama campaign is that they understood the Dem primary system much better than the Clintoncampaign and followed strategy that allowed themtowin even though Clintonwon all the big statesin the end. Clinton should have crucified Maark Penn for missing that.

  42. Patrick  •  Sep 30, 2011 @7:07 pm

    I have a rebuttal to Derrick, which you people can't see because it's in the hidden section of our forum. It involves a different Blizzard game.

    I may turn it into a post next week.