Wednesday, June 28, 2017

'Cause Conservatism Ain't Funny Anymore

QUEENBOBO_SM

Krusty the Clown:  "Smart lads who slip at times away/ From fields where glory will not stay/ Runners whom the race outran/ And the name died before the man." 

Reporter:  Krusty, does this have a point?

Krusty the Clown:   Yes.  I'm quitting show business. I was just trying to go out... with a little class, you jackass.

Reporter:  But, Krusty, why now? Why not 20 years ago?

Krusty the Clown:  'Cause comedy ain't funny anymore...


Apparently neither is Conservatism, because its Clown Prince has finally decided to walk away from the party which he had pronounced "clean" --



From Mr. David Brooks in The New York Times:
The G.O.P. Rejects Conservatism
Yes, now that Left has been proven beyond all doubt to have been right about the Right all along -- now that toxic myth of Sane Conservatism on which David Brooks has spent his entire career supping like a tick on a hound-dog has finally blowed up real good -- Mr. Brooks has finally had to go into the deepest vault of all to retrieve the oldest Conservative lie of all.  The lie that the inimitable Digby crystallized for us long ago, when the world was young and all blogs had comment sections:
Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed.
Yes in his June 27, 2017 column filed from (this is perfection itself) the Aspen Ideas Festival, Mr. Brooks has filed the requisite paperwork to divorce himself and his fellow band of Imaginary Conservative Intellectuals who labor tirelessly upon distant mountaintops to humanely solve humanities most vexing problems --
Over the past several years many plans have emerged from the various right-leaning thinking tanks that imagine consumer-driven health care that also has universal or near universal coverage.

These plans, from places like the American Enterprise Institute, use tax credits or pre-funded health savings accounts or some other method to give middle- and working-class people coverage, while reducing regulations and improving incentives throughout the system.
-- from the scrofulous, demented members of a group calling itself "The Republican Party" --
Republican politicians could have picked up one of these plans when they set out to repeal Obamacare. They could have created a better system that did not punish the poor. But there are two crucial differences between the conservative policy johnnies and Republican politicians.
-- whose existence has apparently gone completely undiscovered by Mr. Brooks until very recently:
Because Republicans have no governing vision, they can’t argue for their plans. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price came to the Aspen Ideas Festival to make the case for the G.O.P. approach. It’s not that he had bad arguments; he had no arguments, no vision for the sort of health care system these bills would usher in. He filled his time by rising to a level of vapid generality that was utterly detached from the choices in the actual legislation.

Because Republicans have no national vision, they seem largely uninterested in the actual effects their legislation would have on the country at large. This Senate bill would be completely unworkable because anybody with half a brain would get insurance only when they got sick.
But of course this is silly.  The Republican Party has a very clear and all-encompassing governing vision.  True, it is an utterly horrifying and barbaric vision, but there is nothing mysterious or surprising about it, and for decades the goals and methods of the Republican Party have been perfectly obvious to anyone who has been paying honest attention.

The lies, casual treason and policy disasters we see unspooling in every direction are not mistakaes -- they are the GOP's apotheosis, and the triumvirate of Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and President Stupid are not the GOP's freaks and outliers, but their Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

And has been true in the wake of every Republican catastrophe in recent memory, David Brooks can once again be found slinking away from the wreckage and claiming that he and his merry band of Imaginary Conservative Intellectuals had nothing to do with it.





Behold, a Tip Jar!

Today In Both Sides Do It: The Salat of the High and Holy Church of Both Siderism


For the devout Both Siderist, five times each day, wherever they are on Earth, they are required to face the Acela Corridor and recite one of the ritual incantations of their creed.

That's one.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Sorcerer's Apprentice


From the "capitalists will sell us the rope with which to hang them" (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin) department, I see that the Beast that Zucker Created is making a meal out of the hand that fed it.

The White House Just Declared War on CNN

Your move, Jeff Zucker.

...
In case you missed it, the White House just declared war on CNN. (Odd, because, if it weren't for executives seeking to spike ratings, Donald Trump would be back haunting dressing rooms at the Miss Universe pageant and Sarah Huckabee Sanders would be on the 700 Club, hawking Jesus by the pound.) Moreover, it did so by having the White House officially endorse James O'Keefe's latest preposterous ratfcking project. What's next? Sarah Huckabee Sanders beginning the next briefing with, "But first, a word about Alex Jones and his magical brain pills"?

It's CNN's obligation to fight back on this, hard. Time to cut loose Jeffrey Lord. Time for Jeff Zucker to stop worrying about what the president* and the White House think of him. Time for the network to be as cutthroat as the administration that is trying to destroy it.

James O'Keefe, shilled from the White House podium.

I may have lived too long.
If I were forced to quote from noted Radical Liberal Lefty Commie Bill Shakespeare here, it would probably be something like:
Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,
That he is grown so great?
But of course in this brave new world (The Tempest) where books aren't even judged by their covers (George Eliot) but by what Fox & Fiends (typo intentional) interprets their covers to mean, that would be terribly wrong.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sunday Morning Comin' Down



"There's No Time Like the Present" Edition.

In which Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times dines out on moldy pizza from the back of the fridge, so why shouldn't I?

Specifically. America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual took time out from his many side gigs gassing on about "Whither Conservatism?"* for PBS, NPR, TED Talks, the college lecture circuit and Meet the Press to appear on Fareed Zakaria's GPS this Sunday to gas on about "Whither Conservatism?"

And here's a fun fact: it was all leftovers.


From Sunday:
There was a book that was really useful to read -- a short book -- called the Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn.
If this sounds mighty familiar, it should.  This was the crutch on which Mr. Brooks was leaning hard over a year ago ( NYT, March 25, 2016"The Post-Trump Era"):
According to Kuhn, intellectual progress is not steady and gradual. It’s marked by sudden paradigm shifts. There’s a period of normal science when everybody embraces a paradigm that seems to be working. Then there’s a period of model drift: As years go by, anomalies accumulate and the model begins to seem creaky and flawed. 
Then there’s a model crisis, when the whole thing collapses. Attempts to patch up the model fail. Everybody is in anguish, but nobody knows what to do.
This was back when Mr. Brooks was doing what Mr. Brooks always does when faced nose-to-nose with the ugly reality that his Republican Party is every bit as monstrous as those terrible Liberals always said it was: skipping right over the Grim and Inconvenient Present and moving on to giddy predictions about the Glorious Future!
This is a wonderful moment to be a conservative. For decades now the Republican Party has been groaning under the Reagan orthodoxy, which was right for the 1980s but has become increasingly obsolete. The Reagan worldview was based on the idea that a rising economic tide would lift all boats. But that’s clearly no longer true.
...

That’s where the G.O.P. is heading. So this is a moment of anticipation. The great question is not, Should I vote for Hillary or sit out this campaign? The great question is, How do I prepare now for the post-Trump era?

The first step clearly is mental purging: casting aside many existing mental categories and presuppositions, to shift your identity from one with a fixed mind-set to one in which you are a seeker and open to anything. The second step is probably embedding: going out and seeing America again with fresh eyes and listening to American voices with fresh ears, paying special attention to that nexus where the struggles of Trump supporters overlap with the struggles of immigrants and African-Americans.
...
Of course a year ago Mr. Brooks was 99.7% certain that Hillary Clinton would win, which meant that after the election he could slip off to the Aspen Institute to facilitate Exciting Round-tables on the Exciting Future of Conservatism with his fellow Serious Conservatives, while dashing off the occasional, disappointed "Why Won't President Hillary Unite Us?" column to meet his New York Times contractual obligations.

Because for Mr. Brooks, it is literally true in a perverse, Opposite World way that "There's No Time Like the Present".

But Hillary did not win. And for has last 157 days and counting, President Stupid and Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan and +60 million Republican voters have proven over and over again  beyond any doubt whatsoever that the Left has been right about the Right all along.

Or, as I wrote on the occasion of Mr. Brooks first gavotte down this ridiculous goat path (David Brooks: The Great Project, Volume II -- The Panglossing):
You see, Mr. Brooks' relationship with the actual here-and-now here in America has always been a lot like Mr. Brooks' marriage:  a disaster Mr. Brooks which has been trying to get as far away from as humanly possible, because it is the graveyard of all his ridiculous postulating and pontificating about Man and God and Culture.  This is why Mr. Brooks has always reserved his biggest, gassiest lies for long paeans on the subject of Conservatism's amazing imaginary past -- which is always juuust out of sight in the Republican rear-view mirror -- and Conservatism's awesome imaginary future -- which is always juuust over the Republican horizon.

And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling Republican voters...

...who showed all of the wealthy chumps who have underwritten Mr. Brooks' Great Project exactly what Conservatism's awesome future actually looks like:



But Mr. Brooks is a resourceful parasite who learned long ago that by using the right combination of lies he can keep a profitable scam going long after it is readily apparent to virtually everyone (except the chumps) that he is full of shit.  This is because, however freaked out the wealthy chumps who have underwritten his claptrap for all these years may be by the utter collapse of everything David Brooks has ever promised them about the Bright Conservative Future That Is Just Around The Corner --
The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. The wins in purple states like North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado are clear indications that the party can at least gain a hearing among swing voters. And if the G.O.P. presents a reasonable candidate (and this year’s crop was very good), then Republicans can win anywhere. I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase. 
--  David Brooks, November 5, 2014.
-- they are so completely hostage to the Sunk Cost Fallacy that they have no choice but to go right on buying what David Brooks is selling:



And what gallon-jugs of high-end wingnut rotgut is David Brooks peddling to his desperate, Whig-drunk clientele today?

What else but another gargantuan time-jump in which we fly-fly-fly right over the inconveniently incriminating here-and-now and into that Bright Conservative Future which David Brooks swears, by God and Emile Durkheim, is still Just Around The Corner...
Well, that was over a year ago, and now that our country is sliding into the Saarlac Pit of the Stupid Administration while virtually the entire Republican Party cheers it on as progress, Mr. Brooks' evergreen "The Coming Conservative Renaissance" knuckle-ball is no longer getting the job done.  Which is why he has to go to his most reliable backup junk:  the split-finger Both Siderist pitch.  

In this case, with a bit of ham-handed prestidigitation aided by the fawning Fareed Zakaria, Mr. Brooks magically turns the obvious, unhinged lunacy and scalding racism of his Republican Party...

...into an elite dismissal of "parties" plural.

According to Mr. Brooks (at the 4:13 mark of the video), "parties" are "not ideological anymore". which is going to come as a huge shock to the tens of millions Democrats who have squared off to fight -- however imperfectly -- for the principle of "Heath Care for All" (and public education as a civic necessity, and worker safety, and reproductive choice, and consumer protection, and mitigating climate change, and a living wage, and affordable college, and... and... and...) against the tens of millions Republicans who have sworn eternal fealty to the proposition that, if the Kenyan Usurper did it, it must be destroyed.

But Mr. Brooks sees none of this because Mr. Brooks lives in a sumptuously appointed, New York Times-funded Beltway cocoon from which he can can float high above the petty concerns of actual people in the real world, and make Laputan pronouncements like this:
What parties are these days are cultural signifiers.  Social identity markers.  And just (frown) teams. 
People think "What team has people like me on it? What fits my social identity?"
And yet strangely, the only evidence Mr. Brooks can bring to the table of people stumbling blindly into a political marriage that no amount of treachery, fraud, batshit lies, racism and treason by President Stupid can put asunder are white Republican women from the white Republican suburbs of Missouri who fell hard for a crazy white Republican lady from Alaska who got famous for calling a black guy a terrorist.  
A lot of suburban women in Missouri looked around and said, "Sarah Palin.  She's kinda like me."  And whether Sarah Palin believed in high tax rates or low tax rates or health insurance markets or, uh, some other health care policy. that's not what they were thinking about.  
Because, really, who in America is more dialed-in to the deepest, innermost thoughts of suburban women in Missouri than David Brooks, amirite?
They were thinking about "Who's white like me?" And for a lot of people in the Republican Party which is older, whiter and less educated at the core. Trump was like that.
No moral here. other than the usual:  The Sunday Shows are a wasteland of intellectually destitute relics of a bygone age who all know each other, are all bought into the same Beltway Both Siderist fairy tale about American culture and politics, and all keep their careers afloat by hanging onto each other like a roller rink full of flailing drunks trying to maintain their collective balance.  

*Thanks for the catch

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Matthew Dowd is a Fundamentally Ridiculous Person



Over in The Better Universe it would be a shocking and shameful thing to learn that ABC News' chief political analyst does not have the faintest idea how a bill is drafted and introduced in either the United States House or Senate.

Over in this universe, it's just par for the course.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Many Thanks To Noted Ridiculous Person Matthew Dowd For My New Blog Header


Couldn't have done it without you, Matty-boy!

Friday, June 23, 2017

In The Beginning...

"The junk [heroin] merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client."
-- William S. Burroughs, "Deposition: Testimony Concerning a Sickness" with a big h/t to Neo Tuxedo for this quote.
For the record, I am perfectly aware that the roots of our long and tortured political history go back to Beringa, Eric the Red and Strom Thurmond quitting the Democratic Party in 1948 to form the segregationist States' Rights Democratic Party also known as the "Dixiecrats" (note:  The Dixiecrats were later dissolved and then gradually reconstituted into a much larger, more powerful and better-funded segregationist party called "The Republicans".)


But because this post will not be one billion words long, it will not cover anything like a territory that vast.  (I just told you that to trick you into reading this far! Insert Evil Laugh here!) So pedants and "whatabouters" take it elsewhere, preferably to Blogger or Wordpress where you can start your own blog and publish your own sweeping and comprehensive history of American politics.  Which I will gladly read and carp about :-)

Instead what you'll get for the price of admission is a simplified overview of  "How We Got Here" spanning roughly one human generation:
In population biology and demography, the generation time is the average time between two consecutive generations in the lineages of a population. In human populations, the generation time typically ranges from 22 to 32 years.
Let us begin.

Professional Left Podcast #394

"What monstrosities would walk the streets were some people's faces as unfinished as their minds."
-- Eric Hoffer


Links:
  • "‘That White Boy ’Bout to Lose’: The Inescapable Racial Politics of the Ga. 6th Special Election” by Jason Johnson
The Professional Left is "sponsored" by...





...and, of course, listeners like you!



Thursday, June 22, 2017

And I Looked, and Behold a Pale Whore...



And his name that sat on him was Derp.

And Hell followed with him.

In fulfillment of prophecy, Andy Lack has finally given America's most famous Cyborg Sent From The Future To Destroy America his own show.

Hugh Hewitt to Host Show on MSNBC

MSNBC is expanding weekend news with live programming until 9 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday nights, TVNewser has learned.

As part of the expansion, conservative radio talk show host and MSNBC contributor Hugh Hewitt is getting a half hour show, airing Saturdays at 8 a.m. ET...

Hewitt’s first show, which will air live, is this Saturday morning. Expanding news programming has long been the goal of NBC News chairman Andy Lack, who created MSNBC 21 years ago...
America's most famous Cyborg Sent From The Future To Destroy America generates a lot of byproducts.

Most of them are toxic.

None of them are "news".

Let's go to the tape!  (h/t Crooks & Liars)


Never forget that your lives and your concerns mean absolutely nothing to the corporate hobgoblins who own and operate the American media.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

This Is Pretty Perfect