Monday, May 23, 2016

Andrew Sullivan vs. The Children of a Lesser Blog


Far above us and far away, our betters continue to have a very strange conversion in which things we Children of the Lesser Blogs have been saying for fucking years is poached and passed off as bleeding-edge, state-of-the-art insight into our parlous times.

One such exchange took place at Slate Magazine recently in which Slate Group's chairman and editor-in-chief, Jacob Weisberg, gives an advanced seminar in How To Interview Andrew Sullivan Without Mentioning That Liberals Were Right About The Right All Along.

Jacob Weisberg: This was a fantastic piece. I think it’s one of the most important things written about the phenomenon of Trump. But the really striking thing about it is that you see Trump not just as a dangerous politician or as a demagogue, but a threat to the survival of American democracy.
Yes, it is possible that by some metric I do not understand, other than the tens of thousands of words Liberals have written about the Rise of Trump since the day he descended the Escalator of Greatness into our lives, and other than the millions of words Liberals have written since the dawn of blogging about the descent of the Republican Party into fascist madness, Andrew Sullivan's very-very-very-late-to-the-party May 2, 2016 column may be "one of the most important things written about the phenomenon of Trump".

Sure. Go with that.

But this next bit? This next bit is fucking hilarious...
[Weisberg]: ...You and I hear in everything Donald Trump says that he is the would-be dictator. That those are his instincts. Why do so many of his supporters not hear that monarchical tone in his speech?

[Sullivan]: Well, I think some of them do and like it. And some of them just don’t take him seriously. There’s something that I’ve noticed in people who support him is just that they will say they support him, but then they say, “Well, I don’t really think he’s going to be able to do all those things he says.”...

[Weisberg]: When you use these terms like un-American, undemocratic, neo-fascist, you’re really picking up on something that is new with Trump in modern American politics, which is violence and the threat of violence as part of the campaign. Talk about how Trump has brought violence into American politics in a way that isn’t precedented.

[Sullivan]: We’ve had plenty of rowdy and difficult public meetings in the history of American politics. Goodness knows, extraordinary levels. And in modern times, too. But the one thing you’ve also always had when a protester stands up, or a heckler tries to shut something down, the speaker, whoever he or she is, and whatever office they’re running for, will generally say something like this: I respect your views. This is a free country. You can air this. But please, allow me to respond. And if they don’t respond, or if they start being cantankerous, they say, Well look, we’re going to ask security to come and take you away. And that is what we have as a civil democratic norm. And what he says in contrast is, Look at this person. What a disgusting person this is. I would like—and I’m directly quoting—to punch that person in the face. I want that person to be carried out on a stretcher as in the old days. I want violence inflicted upon people who are protesting or heckling me.

That is an extraordinarily new thing in American politics...
Ladies and gentlemen, Congressman Joe Wilson!

Ladies and gentlemen, the Never Ending "Arm Yourself Against The Kenyan Tyrant" NRA freak show!

Ladies and gentleman, Congressman Michael Grimm!

But maybe Mr. Sullivan is right, even if his timeline is conveniently wrong.

Maybe the GOP only went barking mad after the Kenyan Usurper stole their White House and turned it over the Muslim Brotherhood, the New Black Panthers and Teh Gays,

But then how would you explain...

Ladies and gentlemen, Senator Jesse Helms from 1994!
"Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here," the newspaper quoted Helms as saying. "He'd better have a bodyguard."

The President, asked about Helms' remarks during a White House news conference, called them "unwise and inappropriate." While asserting his authority in matters of foreign affairs, he said that it is up to Republicans to decide who will speak for them.

"The President oversees the foreign policy of the United States and the Republicans will decide in whom they will repose their trust and confidence," Clinton said.

It was a vintage performance for Helms, a conservative ideologue who has built a career based on pugnacious rhetoric and flamboyant attacks. But his critique of Clinton prompted soul-searching among some Republicans who fear that Helms, by his intemperate remarks, will bolster Democratic charges that the GOP is a party of extremists.
And, of course, ladies and gentlemen, The Dixie Chicks!
And that's not even touching on abortion clinic bombings, right-wing-crazytalk-made-manifest in Oklahoma City, or America's long, tragic history of lynching by state-sponsored terrorist organizations.

So sadly no, Andrew this is not "an extraordinarily new thing in American politics".  In fact, if you ever bothered to leave your Beltway terrarium you would find that this is a very old thing in America politics.  We fought a bloody civil war over it.  We fought a century-long Civil Rights cold war over it.  And for about 40 years now, they leaders of the Republican party have been methodically refining and cultivating America's unique witch's brew of racism and fascism to seize and hold political power.

In fact...wait...I can see the outline of one more example slowly rising from the mists of forgetfulness...

It appears to be from the...Sunday Times of London on...September 16, 2001...

OMG, Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Andrew Sullivan!
The middle part of the country - the great red zone that voted for Bush - is clearly ready for war. The decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead -and may well mount a fifth column.
Of course, I'm sure we all remember how swiftly and completely Mr. Sullivan was shunned and sidelined after that.  How terribly his career suffered and how no one would be his friend anymore.

Because that's our civil democratic norm.

5 comments:

bowtiejack said...

Hey! Lay off Mikey Suits! He's out of prison (well yeah, he's got to wear that ankle bracelet for a while, but that's no biggie).
And the one time he met Speaker Boehner when he was in Congress, he never got a straight answer to why they didn't have open carry on the floor of Congress {seriously, he asked him that). And then that pussy Boehner totally avoided him and wouldn't talk to him again. Like he was crazy or something.
Well, he's talking about running for political office now that his days are free again, you know what I mean, so watch out!
And while we're at it lay off Andrew Sullivan who is an English poofter and not to be held to the same standards as say an American 4-year old on history and facts generally. But I don't think Mikey Suits and the guys on Staten Island say "poofter", Lemme get back to you on that.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

If a tree falls in the forest, and only liberals are around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Be seeing you.

duquesnepdx said...


Long time listener, first time caller.

See, this is why you're never going to be on those shows, like Ewick son of Ewick. You insist on remembering things that happened before yesterday. Stop it. Why can't you be more reasonable, like that nice Ann Coulter lady? You know: moderate in tone, and always reasonable in argument. /sarcasm

Seriously, thanks for keeping up with these jokers so that we don't have to. Keep fighting the good fight.

RUKidding said...

Sully: "And what he[Trump] says in contrast is, Look at this person. What a disgusting person this is. I would like—and I’m directly quoting—to punch that person in the face. I want that person to be carried out on a stretcher as in the old days. I want violence inflicted upon people who are protesting or heckling me.

That is an extraordinarily new thing in American politics..."


One thing you done forgot in your litany of examples of rightwing nutcase violence/shoutyness are the Koch-funded/created/run "Tea Party" Town Hall scream-fests - recall these same Trumpers shrieking "I want MY country back!!!!11!!" - in the summer of 2009. The whackaloon astroturfed TeaTards hesitated not one instant to shriek and disrupt at numerous Town Halls. They spit on black Congress members in Wash DC, and so forth. They had their stupid Tri-corner hat rallies. And the media and people like Sully fellated them constantly, even when there was some violence that emerged. It was all A-OK if Tea Tardz did it.

So color Sully shocked! SHOCKED I tells ya, that this same goon crowd of thugs, morans, know-nothing bigoted racist sexist homophobic dumbfecks are goose-stepping merrily along to their new Pied Piper. The only people professing to be shocked by this are the usual suspects amongst the rightwing punditry who created, nurtured, fed, and encouraged the rabble to be open to and responsive to someone like Trump. If it wasn't the Donald, it would've been someone just like him.

Lit3Bolt said...

And now David Brooks is mystified why HRC is disliked.

It must be nice being a pundit. Everyday is like falling off a hay truck. Everyday a fresh alternate universe can be imagined.

Except for the constant where hippies are the evil Dark Side users of the Force. That's bedrock canon.

Honesty. Empathy. Justice. The dark side are they...