Thursday, January 26, 2023

Professional Left Podcast #690

"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."  
-- Louis D. Brandeis
 
Don't forget to visit our website -- http://www.proleftpod.com -- for all those sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for building it all for us!

Links:  

The Professional Left is brought to you by our wholly imaginary "sponsors" and real listeners like you!







Stupid Shit Andrew Sullivan Says: Stay Off My Corner Charlie Sykes

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any recently-former Republican pundit, in possession of  premium seating at the Beltway Media Adult Table, secretly wants to live the life of a Liberal blogger.

And why wouldn't they?  After all, the life of the Liberal blogger is amazing!  Not just the embarrassing amounts of money.  Or the acclaim.  Or the book deals.  Or the speaking engagements.  Or the high-level consulting offers about which we are presently unable to speak.  

But more than all of that, what we Liberal blogger value most is the near-universal respect and esteem we enjoy from the American political media establishment.  Just the sheer amount of praise and congratulations that pour in thanking us for being right about the Right all along, and warning the country, so early on and so accurately, about the disastrous trajectory the Republican party was on ...well, let's just say there aren't enough hours in the day to get out all the personalized "You're Welcome" notes we would like to send.  

Which is why we all have large and well-paid staffs who attend to such things.

For example, here we find Mr. Charlie Sykes of The Bulwark getting gussied in Liberal blogger threads in order to drag America's most prominent White, gay, childless, Catholic, Tory, Conservative, Libertarian phrenologist.  And thanks to Alert Reader "Dexter" for passing it along!

Why is the Right Losing the Young?
What Andrew Sullivan gets right...and absurdly wrong.

Of course, recently-former Republican pundits like Mr. Sykes don't want to scuff up their True Conserative [TruCon (tm)]  credentials by actually being icky Liberal bloggers, or even acknowledging  that we icky Liberal bloggers  a) exist and, b) were right about the Right all along.   Because in the media terrarium in which they live, "Liberal" does not refer to a political ideology, but to an impoverishing political ghetto from which no amount of "being right about everything" will permit you to achieve escape velocity. 

In their world, "Liberal" is a terrible disease that afflicts losers who do not get invited to spout their views on teevee.  And since they are regularly gifted such largess, they are obviously not icky Liberals.  

Instead, they have recast themselves as some rare and singular new species; some miraculous form of haploid political minotaur, who are definitely not what passes for Conservative these days, but instead are pureblood TruCons (tm) who are also free to smack around their recently-former fellow traveling public intellectuals when it those fellow travelers drop trou in public and remind everyone they're really just goofball stoner pseudolibertarian nitwits.

Here is more of what TruCon-and-definitely-not-icky-Liberal Charlie Sykes is just now noticing about  Mr. Andrew Sullivan.

Here, Sullivan offers a series of tortured and, frankly, confusing proposals. Sullivan begins by suggesting that the right should start sounding more like… Barack Obama...

He proposes somehow blending this renewed Obama-ism with what he calls “South Park” conservatism that “constantly mock[s] the humorlessness, newspeak, and censoriousness of our new woke overlords.”

And:

Sullivan cites the influence of comedians like Bill Maher, Joe Rogan, Tim Dillon, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Bill Burr or Matt and Trey. “They understand that a truly diverse society needs wicked humor to vent its tensions, not pious censorship and threats of cancellation to suppress them all.”

Somehow, somewhere, he seems to imagine that all of this will lead to younger voters flocking back to the party fronted by Kevin McCarthy et. al.

And:

But his wish-casting also highlights the gap between the actual, real-world right and the right of Sullivan’s imagination.

What he describing is, in fact, the sort of centrist liberalism that has been roundly and enthusiastically rejected by a conservative movement that which bears little resemblance to the nuanced right of Sullivan’s hopes.

And:

Sullivan thinks that cultural figures like “JK Rowling, Lil Nas X, Mike White, Bari Weiss, Glenn Greenwald (!) and Arnold Schwarzenegger” will “help scramble the idea that embracing diversity means simply adopting the mantras of the woke sect.”

Unmentioned are the actual stars of the conservative movement as-it-actually-exists, such as Charlie Kirk and the trolls of TPUSA, whose approach to “diversity” bears little resemblance to what Sullivan is describing.

And:

To be sure, Sullivan does not hold up any of these misfit toys as the key to winning back the young.

Instead, the one political figure he cites is… Ron DeSantis.

In my long-running and award-ready series, "Stupid Shit Andrew Sullivan Says",  I have pointed out that Mr. Sullivan has always been aggressively clueless about his adopted country.  Until about five minutes ago, he would barely acknowledge that we had fought a civil war over slavery, that Jim Crow had been a real thing with real, long-term consequences, that racism was still a powerful force of gravity in American life and politics, or that the Republican party had embraced racism (along with xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, gun nuttery,anti-Semitism ,  the monstrous perversion of Christianity that is Conservatives Evangelicalism, etc., etc. etc.) as a means to achieve political power.

Instead, Sullivan became one of the Right's most outspoken Useful Idiots by helping the the rotting zombie corpse of actual Conservatism hide behind a Disneyfied fantasy version of Conservatism.  And when that all fell apart, he showed up, hat in hand, to join the High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It, and has maintained the same pitch of hysterical alarm at both the actual fascism on the Right and the wildly exaggerated/largely imaginary "humorlessness, newspeak, and censoriousness of our new woke overlords” on the Left.  

Since then Sullivan's vision of America appears to be the residue of some combination of fearfully peering out some cartoon version of this country at it from between the slats of his Washington D.C. condo, his seething anger at being knocked off the top of the Conservative public intellectual dung heap, and the voices of his never-cited-by-name "liberal friends" who all agree with him about all this horrible "woke" business and who all appear to be cousins of Tom Friedman's ubiquitous wise local cab drive who, regardless of what country Friedman was traveling in, always manifested themselves out of thin air just in time and with just the right quaint provincial quotes and folk wisdom that Friedman needed to finish his article about the world being a flat Lexus or whatever.  

Oh, and of that stuff I wrote about "largess" and "escape velocity" and recently-former Republicans likes Sykes recasting themselves as a rare and singular new species of haploid political minotaur sounds familiar, it should.  It's what I wrote about Mr. Andrew Sullivan all the way back in December of 2009 on the occasion of his “Tis a far, far better place I go” speech resigning from Conservatism but reassuring everyone that he was definitely not, not, not some icky Liberal now.  

So Andrew Sullivan ("Daily Dish") and Charles Johnson ("Little Green Footballs") are sharing the last lifeboat leaving the shattered hull of the Party of God before it slides beneath the waves.

(Of course that ship has been sinking into the Mariana Trench of Crazy for, what, 30 years now? Well I guess the shark-infested water and the sounds of the alarm bell are only now reaching the First Class cabins…)

Sullivan delivered his “Tis a far, far better place I go” speech here, which said, in part:
For these reasons, I found it intolerable after 2003 to support the movement that goes by the name "conservative" in America. I still do, even though I am much more of a limited government type than almost any Democrat and cannot bring myself to call myself a liberal (because I'm not). My reasons were not dissimilar to Charles Johnson, who, like me, was horrified by 9/11, loathes Jihadism, and wants to defeat it as effectively as possible. And his little manifesto prompts me to write my own (the full version is in "The Conservative Soul").
Now in the whole of Mr. Sullivan's text, I could not help but notice that he italicized-for-emphasis only twice, one of which he deployed here -- "cannot bring myself to call myself a liberal (because I'm not)" -- to underscore how very much NOT a Liberal he is...

13 years later we find that, like ants following a pheromone trail from the nest to a stash of yummy-yummy sugar, every recently-former Republican in the media has found their way to the same TruCon (tm) Elysium.

A paradise  suspended between the actual fascist freak show that now "goes by the name 'conservative' in America" and the fairy tale horrors of the Left and our "woke overlords".  

But for me, the funniest part in all of this is watching TruCon (tm) arrivistes like Sykes, still damp from debarking from their own leaky lifeboats, beating up on one of original TruCon (tm) pioneers responsible for opened this rich and fertile definitely-NOT-a-Liberal-but-apes-everything-Liberals-have-been-saying-for-decades frontier for arrivistes like Sykes so long ago.

This is why we...

Burn The Lifeboats







Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Ep 689 No Fair Remembering Stuff Podcast: Healthcare -- It's a Big Fucking Deal, Part 1


"This is a Big Fucking deal!"  -- Vice President Joe Biden to Joe Biden to President Barack Obama 

Don't forget to visit our website -- http://www.proleftpod.com -- for all those sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for her invaluable support!

No Fair Remembering Stuff is a Professional Left podcast production and is brought to you by our wholly imaginary "sponsors" and real listeners like you!









Monday, January 23, 2023

Beware the Ides of Marge



Kevin McCarthy, the doomed horcrux of a dying party, really, really needs to brush up his Shakespeare --   

-- to understand what's coming for him sooner or later.

So many lines to choose from just from Julius Caesar -- 

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

-- that are so apt they can be quoted verbatim and are as fresh and apt as the day they were written:

What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind.

And other lines that positively beg to be played with just a little. Such as:

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
But if they're cowardly enough, the get to be the Republican Speaker of the House..

And:

The evil that Republicans do lives after them.

And:

Yond Gaetz has a lean and hungry look.

And of course the very last words out of McCarthy's mouth just before Marge puts the political knife in:

Et tu, Puta

 




I Am The Liberal Media



Area Dipso Worried George Santos May Sully The GOP's Good Name


File under "Breaking:  Peggy Noonan Not Actually Dead".

Honestly, I thought she had passed out in a puddle of her own sick months ago and had been quietly interred between the mortal remains of Rush Limbaugh and Bob Novack.

But I was wrong.  

She's still among the living and, damn it, she has things to say!

Things like (from Raw Story via MSN since WaPo is mercifully paywalled):

'He will cost them': Conservative Peggy Noonan warns GOP is playing with fire by not dumping Santos

Noonan started off her latest column calling Santos' continued presence in Congress "an insult to the American people," and she described him as someone who "has for decades abused all around him by waging war on reality."

Since Noonan traded her moral compass for a big jug of Lethe decades ago, she didn't bother trying to appeal the the non-existent conscience of House Republicans.  Instead she went straight to the dire warning...

He will be used relentlessly by the Democrats, and the media, to make the Republican conference look like a cabal of fraudsters.  In the short term he damages their reputation, in the long he will surely cost them seats.

But Peggers needs to stop worrying her addled little head over such things.  After all, compared with the feast of lies, corruption, racism, fascism and treason the GOP has been tucking into for the past 50 years (and that Noonan has blithely ignored) Santos is merely a mint.

A tiny..

...little...

...wafer- thin...

...mint.





I Am The Liberal Media




Thursday, January 19, 2023

Professional Left Podcast #688

"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened."  -- Mark Twain, writer
 
Don't forget to visit our website -- http://www.proleftpod.com -- for all those sweet bells and whistles:  there are links to donate to our podcast work at that site, as well as links to our swingin' Zazzle merch store,  our respective blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Kittehs! and much more. Many thanks once again to @theologop for building it all for us!

Links:  

The Professional Left is brought to you by our wholly imaginary "sponsors" and real listeners like you!







Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Blowing Up The World To Own The Libs

You may have noticed that almost all recently former Republicans and Very Savvy Pundits continue to operate under the same delusion: that somewhere, buried under all those layers of lies, betrayals of alleged First Principles and treason, there remains a tiny ember of decency,  still aglow in hearts of Republicans.  

Which is why this is the face they make every time the Republican party predictably plumbs some new depth of perfidy.


And why this is the face we on the Left make when they make that face.


This time around it's about the debt ceiling.

From an exchange between MSNBC contributor, Bulwark founder and 30-year Hate Radio veteran, Charlie Sykes and obscure Conservative fundamentalist National Review crank turned New York Times op-ed columnist David French.

The subject is the debt ceiling. 

Sykes:  Speaking of these strange sort-of reversals in American politics, I wrote in my newsletter today about the apparent plan of House Republicans to, uh, play a game of fiscal chicken with, uh, raising the debt limit.  

driftglass: What do you mean "reverals"?  The GOP has played chicken with the debt ceiling since Christ was a corporal.

Sykes:  You and I are old enough to remember that this has been around for a long time.  Pre-Trump, right?  This goes back to 2011 when it was a complete and utter disaster.  A complete failure.  Even hinting at the possibility of debt default will tank the markets and raise interest rates and yet they keep doing it. 

driftglass: Well I'm not as old Mr. Sykes, nor was I ever a star of Hate Radio like Mr. Sykes was, but I do remember that, long before 2011, a bomb-throwing "disruptor" and one of Mr. Sykes' heroes (until five minutes age) named Newt Gingrich, holding the debt ceiling hostage as one of his very first acts of political terrorism when the GOP took power in the House back in 1995.

It was House Resolution 2586, which was amended by the Republican-controlled Senate, was passed on November 09, 1995 and was vetoed by president Bill Clinton.  It was a legislative threat by Republicans to blow up the world economy unless Bill Clinton agreed to the massive cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education, the environment and other social program that would have been necessary to meet the Republican's draconian balanced budget requirement that were part of the legislation.  H.R. 2586 also would have significantly crippled the government's ability to regulate the private sector, and included a bunch of other horribles that have always been on the GOP's wish list.

From Wikipedia, which is freely available to everyone, including Charlie Sykes:

Since a budget for the new fiscal year was not approved, on October 1 the entire federal government operated on a continuing resolution authorizing interim funding for departments until new budgets were approved. The continuing resolution was set to expire on November 13 at midnight, at which time non-essential government services were required to cease operations in order to prevent expending funds that had not yet been appropriated. Congress passed a continuing resolution for funding and a bill to limit debt, which Clinton vetoed as he denounced them as "backdoor efforts" to cut the budget in a partisan manner.

On November 13, Republican and Democratic leaders, including Vice President Al Gore, Dick Armey, and Bob Dole, met to try to resolve the budget and were unable to reach an agreement.

Long story short, the government shut down, an Gingrich thought the public would flock to his blow-it-all-up revolution.  

They did not.

Instead:


We now return to Messers Sykes and French, already in progress:

Sykes:  Frankly, David [French] it strikes me now -- I'm not sure I fully recognized it back in 2011 -- but is there anything less actually Conservative than talking about reneging on debts you are obligated to repay, or flirting with the idea of shutting down the government that you've sworn an oath to run.  I mean, there's nothing Conservative it.  I mean, it's radical.  Burn it all down.  It's Tea Party/Jacobin.  But there's nothing Conservative about even, y'know, hinting at the possibility of being a deadbeat on the national debt.

French:  Well, and it's unconstitutional...

For the record, this kind of "But don't they realize...?!?!" posturing is all over the ranks of the Very Savvy Pundit class like a rash, because they're all, once again, surprised that the lunatic with the gun who always pull the trigger might actually pull this new trigger.

So here, for future reference, I will repeat once again why the Republican party is once again doing this, why no one has any business being surprised by it,   and why Liberal predictions of Republican perfidy have always been so depressingly accurate, while America;s Very Savvy Pundits have always been so predictably, egregiously and hilariously wrong.  

Because we have never made the mistake of underestimating how deeply Republicans hate this country.

CONS

Here's a small sampling of my observations over the decades.

Me in 2005:  

And the rank and file of the GOP ain’t gonna hold Dubya to account for any-fucking-thing ever, because they are, by-and-large, kinda stupid. And at a visceral level, most of them really, REALLY hate this country in their own way as fiercely as any Wahabi Muslim. Listening to professional liars like Limbaugh or Hume or Coulter year after year has left them with a kind of Mendacity Melanoma. Riddled with a cancer of lies so bone-deep that they have developed a life-threatening allergy to anything that has the faintest whiff of fresh air and Facts.

Also me, also in 2005

So it's not exactly Big News that Red State Republicans hate this country and want to see it vivisected and replaced with a Greater Jesusland...

From me in 2009

Locally and anecdotally, I know maybe one gen-u-ine “Das Capital”-quoting Marxist. He wears a suit, owns property and cheerfully works with both unions and conservative company owners in a spirit of pragmatic equanimity; whatever he reads at night, by day he is in the getting-shit-done business and is very well-respected.

Now consider what an exponentially ever more degenerate and depraved arc the Right has been hurtling down during that same period [30 years, then.  40 years by now]. How many Republicans of the First Water are now anti-science bigots? Bible-thumping idiots? Wreckers? Stooges of the oligarchs?

How many of them are either racists, or are cravenly willing to pander to racists in exchange for power?

How many of them hate this country? Really, really hate the complexity of it? The diversity? The built-in checks and balances? The premeditated secularism and tolerance burned right into our motherboard?

How many of them applauded as Bill Clinton was slandered and destroyed because he was in the wrong Party? How many cheered when Newt Gingrich gave the order for Republicans to grab every microphone in the world and scream “Liberals are Traitors” in unison year after year?

How many of them sent every dime they could scrape together to Christopathic hateporn merchants like James Dobson and Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson?

How many of them creamed their Ronald Reagan Underoos at the thought of the Cheney Torture Administration flossing their ass-cracks with the United States Constitution?

Millions of them, that’s how many.

As this country was put up on blocks and stripped down to the rivets, millions of them applauded. And bellowed. And jizzed themselves blind.

Millions and millions of people who hate this country so much they’ve seceded from it in everything but name. Hate it so much they invented their own Wrathful Swine God who has nothing whatsoever to do with Christ, but everything to do with feeding their own rage and ignorance back to them tarted up in cherry-picked scripture.

Hate the unbearable Liberalism of reality itself so passionately that the billionaires who underwrite their fascism invented a whole new and ludicrously biased media which exists solely to externalize and echo back to the pig people the voices in their heads.

And finally (and appropriately, given the subject) me in 2013:  

The Single Virtue of a Government Shutdown:  Because every few years our Mainstream Media allows so much gooey, Brooksian, "Both Sides" gunk to build up on our nation's cerebral cortex that becomes necessary to slice through the sheath of Beltway bilge-slinger lies and remind the American people just how deeply Conservatives hate this country.

I picked these examples specifically because they are all pre-Trump.

All back from the Before Time when men like David French and Charlie Sykes and hundreds more like them were making a fine, fat living calling people like us who wrote such things crackpot alarmists.

And so it goes.



Burn The Lifeboats





Professional Left Podcast #690

"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."    --  Louis D. Brandeis   Don't ...