Thursday, June 21, 2018

Potty Mouth Will Get You Nowhere




In his stunted imagination, the typical Trump voter is a 1967 Hell's Angel who loves golf, can't see his dick anymore and rolls to the local Stupid Rally on his Pride Victory 10 4-Wheel Scooter.

Today In Both Sides Do It: Advice From The New York Times On The Proper Use Of "Fuck"

The tone police
They live on cable teevee
The tone police
They're paid to shush and decree
The tone police
They're coming to denounce me
Oh no...
As a card-carrying vituperative, foul-mouthed blogger of the Left, I spend most of my evenings pretty much like every other vituperative, foul-mouthed blogger of the Left in America:  leading my local chapter of the notorious Libtard "lang-gang", MLA-13, on a city-wide reign of linguistic terror. 

Our signature move?  Spray painting churches with improperly positioned Oxford commas.  Ha!  Take that, Corrupt Duopoly! 

Yes, for years I put the "punk" in "improper punctuation" but it turns out that, as good as it felt to stick it to The Man, I was wrong to do so.  So very wrong! 

What turned me right around was the very wise column by my betters at the New York Times yesterday.  Mr. Peter Baker and Ms. Katie Roger note very wisely that, when fighting a Russia-backed white-supremacist/theocratic minority who have taken over your country, are aggressively destroying every democratic institution right before our eyes, deliberately trashing our key alliances, and ripping babies from their mothers and putting them in cages, nothing is more important than good manners.  
In Trump’s America, the Conversation Turns Ugly and Angry, Starting at the Top

...
Mr. Trump’s coarse discourse increasingly seems to inspire opponents to respond with vituperative words of their own. Whether it be Robert De Niro’s four-letter condemnation at the Tony Awards or a congressional intern who shouted the same word at Mr. Trump when he visited the Capitol this week, the president has generated so much anger among his foes that some are crossing boundaries that he himself shattered long ago.

The politics of rage that animated Mr. Trump’s political rise now dominate the national conversation, as demonstrated repeatedly during the debate over his “zero tolerance” immigration policy that separated children from parents apprehended at the border.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen a decline in civility and an uptick in incivility,” said Christine Porath, a Georgetown University professor and author of “Mastering Civility,” a book on behavior in the workplace. “It seems like people are not only reciprocating, but we tend to stoop lower rather than higher. It’s really putting us in an unfortunate place.”

...
Yes, by the simple act of pretending that the entire Bush Administration never happened, the entire Obama Administration never happened --


 -- and, indeed, the entire history of the modern Republican party never happened --



-- Mr. Baker and Ms. Katie Rogers are able to dial in on the real problem facing our democracy.

Bad manners!  On Both Sides!

So take heed, Libtards:  in the fight against the Republican forces of darkness and barbarism that are squeezing the life out of our country, how can you expect to be taken seriously if you use language that  would offend the extremely delicate sensibility of Peter Baker and Katie Rogers?  I mean, can one even imagine what an irreparable blow to the cause of emancipation it would have been to if, for example, at the height of the Civil War, instead of dainty, polite locutions, Abolitionists had used harsh language to denounce the pro-slavery goons across the aisle?


And so, in aid of this vital directive from our betters at The New York Times here is a short but helpful guide to the proper use of the word "fuck" in a formal dining situation:
Dinner fuck: The largest of the fucks, also called the place fuck, is placed on the left of the largest Republican atrocities. Other smaller fucks for other crimes against democracy are arranged to the left or right of the dinner fuck, according to when they will be used.

Fish fuck: If there is a fish course, this small fuck is placed to the left of the dinner fuck because it is the first fuck used

Salad fuck: If the salad is served after the entrée, the small salad fuck is placed to the right of the dinner fuck, next to the the largest Republican atrocities. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the fucks would be arranged (left to right): salad fuck, fish fuck, dinner fuck.

Important additional etiquette tip!  No more than three of any fucks should are ever be used during a formal occasion, except when a "Fuck you, you baby stealing motherfuckers!!!" is used in addition to three other fucks.

Yours in Christ,

driftglass.




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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

S.E. Cupp Cannot Imagine a World Without National Socialism



So why is my graphic of Matthew Dowd -- "Portrait of a Political Analyst Looking For a Fence to Straddle" -- at the top of this post?

Because it is cross-referenced under: "Matthew Dowd is a fundamentally ridiculous person".

Why?

Behold!


Because the man proffering Sippy Cupp the advice to shut up and vote Democrat even if it doesn't taste like Begian white chocolate or we're all gonna die is this guy, both from back in the days when some action in the general directions of not being a leader of the Don't Vote For Hillary Because K'rupt Duopoly circle-jerk might have made a tangible difference --
-- and from long past the point when anyone who was not transcendentally puerile would finally have given up the "Both Sides Do It" ghost.


Did happen to mention that Mr. Dowd is ABC News' chief political analyst?

That his whole fucking job is to not be this ostentatiously stupid about politics?

Weird, eh.




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Krusty the Konservative Kwits Komedy



Because pimping for GOP monsters ain't fun anymore.

Steve Schmidt Announces He Is Leaving The Republican Party

Longtime Republican political operative Steve Schmidt renounced his membership in the Republican Party in an overnight tweetstorm. He said he was leaving “the party of Trump” after nearly 30 years as a registered voter.

He explained that he can no longer stand the continuing abuses of President Donald Trump and he believes “the GOP has become a danger to our democracy...

Instead, sir or madam, Mr. Steve Schmidt would like five minutes of your time to talk to you about an amazing "...proud and meaningless association of people" called The Church of Latter Day Independents!


“I have spent much of my life working in GOP politics. I have always believed that both parties were two of the most important institutions to the advancement of human freedom and dignity in the history of the world. Today the GOP has become a danger to our democracy and values.”

“This Independent voter will be aligned with the only party left in America that stands for what is right and decent and remains fidelitous to our Republic, objective truth, the rule of law and our Allies. That party is the Democratic Party.”
I'm being a little hard on Mr. Schmidt today because based on the totality of the history of the modern Republican party, it has been my observation that once the accelerating and downward-spiraling depravity of the GOP hits certain benchmarks, inevitably a handful of formerly-staunch party men and women throw up their hands, slap on an "Independent" name tag and make a great show of exiting the party, usually 20 or 30 years too late.

For Mr. Schmidt, that benchmark was internment camps for babies.  Which is fine.  I'll take what I can get.

However, it has been my observation that as soon as the immediate crisis that triggered their gag-reflex has passed, many of these same suddenly-conscience-stricken quickly find their way into the front pews of the High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It.  Because inside the Beltway Bubble, blaming Both Sides still absolutely the official state religion.

And these newly-minted "independent" dutifully pray the prayers -- "Lord Of Th' Holy Centre, Sayve Us From Th' Curs'd Extemese On Bothe Sydes"  -- and sing the hymns -- "In Brooks alone my hope is found/He is my light, my strength, my song..." -- because that is how you keep your fucking job.

And very soon after that they will find a way to convince themselves that maybe the Republican party really wasn't so bad after all...and it's getting more awesome every day!  Take this sterling example from the pope of the High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It himself from November 5, 2014 -- less than one year before Donald J. Trump oozed down the Escalator of Doom and into the hearts of the base of Mr. Brooks' Republican party with emphasis added
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. 
The Beltway media is full of former-Republicans-now-"Independents" who had whatchacall a "moment of clarity"...and quickly found out that that the price of following their newly-discovered principles all the way to its logical conclusion was to risk losing their place at the table, having the "L"-word tattooed on their head, being be cast into permanent media Coventry like any other Libtard loser.

And so, after their brief and glorious flash of horror and idealism, they weight the very real professional and financial cost of their actions, fall back to Earth, and go in search of nice, safe, media-approved Both Siderist fences to straddle.  Like this guy.





Now if Mr. Schmidt's Acela Corridor Train to Damascus conversion is real and permanent, well that's great!   But as Mr. Schmidt is fond of quoting Ronald Reagan, let me to put this is terms he will understand.

  

And just as soon Mr. Schmidt verifies his principles by admitting out-loud and with no equivocation that the Left has been right about the Right all along and I will begin to trust him.


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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

David Brooks and the Triumphant Return of "Conservatism Cannot Fail"


A well-placed poisoner inside the castle is worth 10,000 troops outside the castle.
-- driftglass

File under: "Know your internet traditions".

This morning, after glancing at the latest godawful dreck extruded by Mr. David Brooks for the titillation of the House of Sulzberger, I went on a brief but rewarding sojourn to that undiscovered country from whose bourn, no Conservative returns.

The Past.

Conservative, you see, are absolutely terrified of the Past, which is objectively hilarious because the Past is the place into which Conservatives dream of dragging the country, kicking and screaming if necessary.  And the reason Conservative are terrified of the Past is because, for them, it's all just one big, untraversable  minefield of their own making.

The Past is packed to the gunnels with Conservatives saying colossally stupid shit over and over again with perfect confidence and telling big, whopping lies over and over again...and then pretending that none of it happened or none of it mattered when it blows up in their faces over and over again.

The Past is also stacked to the rafters with smirking Conservatives using the media to rain an unremitting barrage of unhinged slanders on the Left with  over and over again (Liberals are the real racists!)...and then scuttling back into the safety of their False Equivalence fortress when it all comes roaring back at them over and over again  (Can't we all agree that Both Sides are equally wrong and that politics is a competition between partial truths.)

For its part, the mainstream media is equally terrified of the Past, because the Past is a long and damning record of their steady capitulation to the escalating madness of Right in the name of balance and objectivity.

(And for the record, the Past is fraught for Liberals too, but mostly because it's where our high school pictures are lurking.)



Anyway, I was inspired to go spelunking around in the Past this morning thanks to the utterly predictable No True Scotsman turd which Mr. David Brooks was paid real American money to shit into the op-ed page of The New York Times today. A column in which Mr. Brooks declares that the Trump Administration is definitely not Conservative because, well, because David Brooks says so damn it!
This illustrates something crucial about this administration. It is not populated by conservatives. It is populated by anti-liberal trolls. There’s a difference.
In fact, True Conservatives like David Fucking Brooks are the real heroes here because they are the ones who have been warning us about the rise of someone like Trump all along!
What’s most significant is this: The Trump administration immigration officials have become exactly the kind of monsters that conservatism has always warned against.
And just how long have True Conservatives like David Fucking Brooks been the real heroes here? 

For centuries!
For centuries, conservatives have repeated a specific critique against state power...
And if True Conservatives like David Fucking Brooks are the real heroes here, take a wild guess who the real villains must be (emphasis added):
People like Stephen Miller are not steeped in conservative thinking and do not operate with a conservative disposition. They were formed by their rebellion against the stifling conformity they found at liberal universities. Their primary orientation is not to conservative governance but to owning the libs.
So I went rooting around the Past this morning, looking for the earliest example of some stifling, Miller-monster-making Liberal blogger turning the old Bolshevik adage on it's head and coining the now-famous adage "Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed", and of course it was Digby.

And what is most infuriating and tragic is the context in which Digby was writing at the time. 

It was 2006, and after six years of blind, rabid loyalty to the Bush Administration, Conservatives were watching all going to shit right before their eyes.  And their response was this mad, Orwellian scramble -- aided and abetted every step of the way by the mainstream media -- to transform Dubya from tax-cutting hero, military genius and the savior of the Republican party into an unperson as fast as possible:
George W Bush has won two elections with the unquestioning support of conservatives. In his first term he made it quite obvious that he was not a conservative in any sense that I understood conservative. From out of control spending to federalizing education to nation building and messianic foreign policy, he has simply not been conservative by any common definition of the term. None of that stopped conservatives from virtually worshipping the man. It is only now that he has become unpopular and his policies are failing that his brand of conservatism is being criticized on the right. And he's being criticized for being

George W. Bush will not achieve a place in the Republican pantheon. Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed. (And a conservative can only fail because he is too liberal.)
And who does Digby name-check as being in the vanguard of that frantic Conservative "It Wasn't Our Fault" propaganda campaign that might as well have been called #NeverDubya?   At  moment in history when Conservatives controlled all three branches of government, just like they do now?

None other than loyal Bush stooges and respected Conservative public intellectuals, Andrew Sullivan --
Following up on my earlier post, I just realized that Andrew Sullivan entitled his piece "Religious Left" which is very interesting. This latest dialog began with Glenn Greenwald's great post earlier this week in which he proclaimed modern Republicanism a Bush cult. It was widely read and discussed on the right as well as the left blogopshere. I disagreed a little bit with Glenn's analysis and called it a Republican Authoritarian Cult because I can already see beginning to detach from Bush and prepare the ground for whoever the next object of their authoritarian passion turns out to be.
and David Brooks:
David Brooks says that the left is Stalinist. I assume that's what Sullivan's title refers to as well. Communism is often considered a secular religion, although that clearly underestimates the huge power of state coercion. If the American left is Stalinist, it certainly has been extremely ineffective. After all, conservatism now dominates all three branches of government. And I can't help but find this argument amusing considering that the primary critique of Democrats is that we have no convictions and are constantly fighting amongst ourselves. We are remarkably undisciplined totalitarians.
And in 2006, what was Mr. Brooks' weapon of choice when it came to weaseling out of taking any responsibility for the Republican catastrophe he had helped to author? 

Well thanks to delicious bit of video I found way in the back the the Crooks & Liars archives, you can watch David Brooks from February of 2006 doing exactly what the Sulzberger family has been paying him a king's ransom do twice a week, every week, in the pages of The New York Times:  deploying the mighty hammer of "Both Sides Do It, But Liberals Are Worse!"

While Chris Matthews laughs and laughs and laughs.




PS.  The "tell" with every David Brooks column in which he lies about the state of his Republican party is that the crises is never here and now and it is never the fault of men like David Brooks.  All Republican crises are always at some point in the future (from Mr. Brooks today) -- 
“Amnesty” has become a club the trolls use in their attempt to stamp a rigid steel boot on the neck of the immigration debate. It’s the sign of a party slowly losing its humanity.
-- or have passed -- whew! -- and now everything is fucking awesome and it's clear sailing ahead as far as the eye can see! (From Mr. Brooks, November 5, 2014 -- less than one year before Donald J. Trump oozed down the Escalator of Doom and into the hearts of the base of Mr. Brooks' Republican party with emphasis added):
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. 



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Monday, June 18, 2018

John Podhoretz Gets Cranky When People Don't Recognize What a Big Fucking Hero He Is


Like virtually every other Never Trumper in the media, John Podhoretz made the long march from rock-ribbed Republican stooge --
Podhoretz was a steadfast supporter of U.S. president George W. Bush, and his 2004 book Bush Country called Bush "the first great leader of the 21st century".
-- and perpetually underappreciated genius --
At The Weekly Standard, one staff member said, Podhoretz's "arrogance and egotism had a psychological effect people can't quite believe." At The Washington Times a colleague reported, he was "permanently frozen in juvenalia." Glenn Garvin, the Central American bureau chief of the Miami Herald, once said that at the Times, Podhoretz "constantly complained that his brilliance wasn't appreciated."
-- to Hero Never Trumper, regular MSNBC contributor and rock-ribbed Both Siderist without having to move his fat ass one micron.

And for this John Podhoretz believes someone should pin a medal on his chest and give him a god damn cookie!







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The Spleenwald Grift Never Changes



Before Trump, Both Sides are equally monstrous...so stomp the Dems


After Trump, Both Sides are equally monstrous...so stomp the Dems.
Of course, the fact that the differences between America's two major political parties has rarely been more stark and clear --
No Republicans support Senate bill that would stop child separations at border 
Pushing back on Trump, all Senate Democrats now back bill to stop family separations
-- doesn't slow Mr. Greenwald's bullshit machine in the slightest, because like most armchair Lenins, Mr. Greenwald never had any intention of letting the chaos and pain unleashed by his "Disrupt!  Overthrow the Corrupt Duopoly!" bullshit affect him personally. 

Mr. Greenwald rests comfortably atop a mountain of Pete Omidyar's money and has a permanent invitation to this racist clown's prime-time teevee atrocity --
Were I a better man, I would heroically refrain from saying "I told you so over and over again".

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Coulter, Duckspeak and You


For those of you unfamiliar with her work, Ann Coulter is 43 pounds of rode-hard, visibly-decomposing, Republican slunkmeat who has worked frantically over the past 20 years to stay at the far-end of the "Wingnuts Saying The Most Godawful Shit Imaginable" bell curve.

You see, "Saying The Most Godawful Shit Imaginable" is basically her whole career (here is a sampling of her book titles) --
Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism
Godless: The Church of Liberalism
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
In Trump We Trust
Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America
Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right
Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama
Resistance Is Futile! How the Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind
-- and since the Right is now overstocked with freelance racists, out-and-proud Nazis and hypercaffeinated 12-year-old feculoids who sprang fully-formed from their whelping box screaming about how they were being cruelly silenced by the Libtard Media Conspiracy, it has gotten harder and harder for dilapidated, steam-powered gorgons like Coulter to stay in the game.

And so, on Sunday, Ms. Coulter decided to be the first to take the Republican black-sites-for-babies discussion where you just knew it was always going to go.

From the Dead Andrew Breitbart Fuhererbunker (no links because fuck 'em):
Coulter Warns Trump on Immigration, Border: ‘Don’t Fall for the Actor Children’

Sunday on Fox News Channel’s “The Next Revolution,” conservative commentator and author Ann Coulter advised President Donald Trump not to “fall for the actor children” at the border and cited a New Yorker article describing children with scripts and coaching to make situations appear worse.

“I would also say one other thing, these child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24/7 right now: do not fall for it, Mr. President. I get very nervous about the president getting his news from TV,” said Coulter.

She continued, “A New Yorker article … not a conservative publication, they describe how these kids, these kids are being coached. They’re given scripts to read by liberals, according to the New Yorker. Don’t fall for the actor children.”...
For the record, this was part of a panel that also featured Kimberly "Real Girlfriend Experience" Guilfoyle and disgraced traitor Jason Chaffetz.  

Also for the record, Breitbart provides no link to this phantom New Yorker article, neither does Coulter, neither does Fox News and a search of the New Yorker archives reveals nothing that could remotely be construed as supporting Ms. Coulter's unhinged Republican duckspeak (from Wikipedia):
Duckspeak is a Newspeak term that means "to quack like a duck" (literal meaning) or "to speak without thinking". Duckspeak can be good or "ungood" (bad) depending on who is speaking, and whether what they are saying aligns with Big Brother's ideals. To speak rubbish and lies may be "ungood", but to do so for the benefit of The Party may be good. Orwell explains in the appendix: "Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centres at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word duckspeak […]. Like various words in the B vocabulary, duckspeak was ambivalent in meaning. Provided that the opinions which were quacked out were orthodox ones, it implied nothing but praise, and when the Times referred to one of the orators of the Party as a doubleplusgood duckspeaker it was paying a warm and valued compliment."
Also for the record, as Right Wing Watch points out:
Coulter has previously suggested shooting immigrants who are attempting to cross the U.S. southern border and said that “death squads” may be the only hope if Trump helps pass immigration reform legislation. Coulter also has cozy connections with white nationalists and is openly admired by the president.
So why write about this openly deranged ghoul who makes a living pouring poison into the already cracked skulls of Republican idiots?

Because this particular openly deranged ghoul is syndicated in the good, gray pages of hundreds of local newspapers across this land of the free, including the State Journal-Register right here in Springfield where she is slotted between Iraq torture pimp Marc Thiessen and respected Spanish-American war correspondent and climate change denier, George Will, in their regular Conservative columnist rotation.  


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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Why Does The New York Times Keep Handing Columns To Conservative Nitwits: S.E. Cupp Edition


America's Newspaper of Record gave pride of place today to Ms. S.E. Cupp who you may remember from her meteoric rise to Conservative Fox News pundit middle-management because she wore smart girl glasses and presented other attributes which would not be readily apparent if you had only


been listening 


to her 


on the 


radio.

But  her act got old, and Fox News was already wildly overstocked with the kind "pundit" that quickens the pulse and delights the eye of the septuagenarian bigots who are their core demographic, and so Ms. Cupp found herself relegated to the wingnut pundit limbo of the HLN network where she regularly expresses her indignation at Both Sides because that's what the paying customers want to hear these days.

Well she obviously she still knows somebody because as she tries to claw her way back into the top tier of fourth-rate Conservative pundits, somebody (looking at you Bari Weiss) at America's Newspaper of Record decided to give her the paper's most valuable Sunday real estate to make the provocative claim that:
No, Not All Women Are Democrats
Well, I'm hella glad we got that all cleared up.  Great reporting there, Sippy!

And if she had just stuck to those six words of self-evident, biological fact she probably would have been fine.  But feeling the need to pad her column out by a few hundred more words and live up to the promise her "smart girl" glasses imply, Ms. Cupp decided to ignore the time-tested advice about it being better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt, and go ahead and add more words to her banal headline.

And not even her own words!

Instead, Ms. Cupp decided to recycle the thin cultural porridge of the "chronicler of the salt of the earth for those people for whom Hillbilly Elegy is too heavy a lift", Ms. Salina Zito in order to build the central pillar of her argument:
If Democrats want to know why women voted for Mr. Trump — or more important, why they didn’t vote for Mrs. Clinton — they should stop presuming that their gender decides what lever they pull.

Salena Zito, co-author of the new book “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics,” recently surveyed 2,000 Trump voters in the rust belt. They are the kind of voters, she says, that experts overlooked in 2016 and still don’t get today.

One of them is Amy Maurer, a 43-year-old well-educated suburban mom in Kenosha, Wis. The Clinton campaign aimed ads at women like Ms. Maurer, keying in on Mr. Trump’s misogynistic remarks.

“It’s not my favorite thing,” she said when I asked her about the way Mr. Trump has talked about women. “It’s kind of like what I told my mother-in-law when she complained that her heart surgeon wasn’t very friendly: If he’s good at what he does, who cares? He’s not there to be your best friend.”

Mr. Trump wasn’t Ms. Maurer’s first choice. But he was good on the issues that mattered most to her. “I always find it funny when I hear the term ‘women’s issues’ because that term equates to birth control and abortion,” she said. “As a small-business owner, taxes and the economy are usually my primary concern when making a choice.” 
...
That more women are getting involved in politics — either by running for office, managing campaigns or voting — is a great thing. But the belief that female intensity in 2018 guarantees a blue wave is unlikely to bear out as decisively as some think. Especially not if women like Amy Maurer are any indication.

When I asked her if she regretted her vote for Mr. Trump, she replied: “Are you kidding? Business is booming, profit-sharing is up, we can give raises this year while also reinvesting in our business by purchasing some large machinery. The economy is doing great. We’re definitely headed in the right direction.”...
Except there is one, little problem:  Ms. Mauer is not, in fact, a persuadable swing voter who might be susceptible to the charms of the Democratic party if only Democrats weren't such  condescending coastal elite Hollywood Kenyan abortion-on-demand, flag-hating social justice warriors.

Or whatever.

Ms. Mauer is, in fact,  a Republican activist and party official, which Alert Tweeter Tom Scocca discovered by spending 15 seconds on the Google machine.  A labor which apparentlyexceeded the abilities of Ms. Zito and Ms. Cupp and The New York Times editorial staff.


I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this circle jerk of Conservative bullshit and ineptitude being lent the imprimatur of The New York Times.

I do know that the Times is never, ever going to stop handing guest columns tp Conservative nitwits,



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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Everybody Goes To Brooks


"To hold a pen is to be at war."  -- Voltaire
These days the easiest opinion-having profession in these United States is the job of holding forth about what a lying, racist shit-gibbon Donald John Trump is.   It is, in fact, such an easy beat that the laziest, most trifling pundits in universe -- America's Serious Conservatives -- all wearing the corners off their thesauri finding new adjectives with which to earnestly agree with each other on camera and in print that, yes, Trump sure is a lying shit-gibbon and isn't it weird how their entire Republican Party turned into fascist cartoon characters the minute their back was turned?

It is the perfect gig for the laziest, sloppiest pundits in universe:  they can just rerun the same gaping, indignation over and over again based on a hot take on American politics that is available, for free, on any street corners and around any water cooler in this Land of the Free.

But what happens next at our nation's water coolers and street corners and sweet shoppes and strip clubs is a much harder to write about, which is why almost no one does it at all, and fewer still do it consistently and well.

What happens -- with the best of intentions and with the same "Here, kiddo, maybe this'll make you feel a little better" vibe your uncle used to have when he tucked three bucks in your pocket after your parents had another knock-down-drag-out -- is they press a David Brooks column into your hand.  A Brooks column and a knowing nod because every office park Socrates knows that Mr. David Brooks is a fooking genius and so very humble and his columns go down smooth and reassuring, like little sermons a pastor would give if your pastor was the room temperature tapioca love child of Leo Buscaglia and David Broder.

I mean Lord have mercy, why can't we all agree that every side of every issue is equally rich and valid and invalid and complex --
One of the lessons of a life in journalism is that people are always way more complicated than you think. We talk in shorthand about “Trump voters” or “social justice warriors,” but when you actually meet people they defy categories. Someone might be a Latina lesbian who loves the N.R.A. or a socialist Mormon cowboy from Arizona...
-- and forget "labeling" people and just hug it out, man!
Personalism: The Philosophy We Need

A philosophy to celebrate the infinite worth inherent in every human being.
First, whatever it is that Mr. Brooks has been doing with his life, it has nothing to do with "journalism".

Second, having read and critiqued Mr. Brooks over quite a long stretch of time, I can certify that when it comes to "lessons", Mr. Brooks has learned virtually nothing.  Well, nothing except how to make a grand living by getting the Sulzberger family to pay him a fortune to repeat the same cloying fairy tale over and over again, twice a week, for 15 years.  

At that, Mr. Brooks really is a fooking genius.

And this is why working the Brooks beat will never win friends or influence (many) people.  Because while trashing Trump in the media is now a license to print money (by expropriating the Liberal critique of the Right wholesale while continuing to pretend that Liberals do not exist) by the very people who made Trump possible, talking smack about Mr. Brooks means giving your well-intentioned uncle who just wants all the shouting to stop his three bucks back, looking him square in the eye and telling him that he is wrong.  

As wrong as he can possibly be.  As dangerously wrong as any Trumpkin.  

Telling him that before we can all be free to get nekkid and hot tub together in the warm bath of Mr. Brooks' pontifical argle-bargle --
Personalists believe that people are “open wholes.” They find their perfection in communion with other whole persons. The crucial questions in life are not “what” questions — what do I do? They are “who” questions — who do I follow, who do I serve, who do I love?
-- the lunatics on the Right who are currently, gleefully smashing every notion of comity and good government to bits have got to put the fucking ax down.


But this is not a message that most people are ready to hear, because the ethical and civic obligations that would be laid at their feet once they are forced to face this terrible truth (from Paul Krugman) --
...
On one side, tax cuts for the rich have become the overriding priority for the modern GOP, and Trump is giving them that.

On the other side, the party’s base really does love Trump, not for his policies, but for the performative cruelty he exhibits toward racial minorities and the way he sticks his thumb in the eyes of “elites.” So any Republican politician who takes a stand on behalf of what we used to think were fundamental American values is at high risk of losing his or her next primary. And as far as we can tell, there is not a single elected Republican willing to take that risk.

What all this tells us is that the problem facing America runs much deeper than Trump’s personal awfulness. One of our two major parties appears to be hopelessly, irredeemably corrupt. And unless that party not only loses this year’s election but begins losing on a regular basis, America as we know it is finished.
-- is more than their tender, sheltered sensibilities can stand.

So they flock to the pleasant moral asphyxiation of the High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It and coo about the sagacity of anyone who will stand in the pulpit and tell them comforting fairy tales while a for-real civil war comes to a boil all around them.






These days, writing about the travesty of the Trump Administration is a layup on an empty basketball court:  such child's play that even the most jejune creative typist on the Right can knock together a book on the subject over a long weekend and redeem it for cash, prizes and media credibility.

On the other hand, standing out on the weedy fringes of respectability and taking up one's pen to take on the high priests of the High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It is a mug's game because it means taking up arms against a bewitching lie that is beloved by tens of millions of Americans.

A  seductive and profitable lie that props up the entire Beltway media establishment. 

But then again, being a Liberal has always been a job for tilters at windmills :-)




Behold, a Tip Jar!