Saturday, July 02, 2022

David Brooks is Still Livid That Barack Obama Was Reelected in 2012: UPDATE


See, what Barack Obama was supposed to do in 2012 was martyr himself to Brooks' idea of the Noble Centrist.  To lose, of course, but to go down gracefully, without losing his temper or raising his voice.  To go to his political cross quoting Reinhold Niebuhr and Edmund Burke and gently admonishing the Extremes on Both Sides, but never, ever going after the Republican party which had used every filthy trick in the book to try and destroy him.  

To Brooks' mind, Obama's duty to democracy was to lose and return America to its proper default setting -- governed by a White, Christian and "severely Conservative" man -- but do his losing in a way that George Will and Michael Gerson and Charles Craphammer and, of course, David Brooks, would find praiseworthy.

As I wrote at the timeBrooks "wanted President Obama to stay in Centrist Neverland, playing Very Serious Moderate Pirate games with him and Tinkerbell forever."  

But instead, Barack Obama ran to win.  Ran as a serious, grown-up politician.  And as some of you probably recall, this caused David Brooks to freak the hell out, and run into the streets screaming "I'm a Sap!!!"

Yes, I’m a sap. I believed Obama when he said he wanted to move beyond the stale ideological debates that have paralyzed this country. I always believe that Obama is on the verge of breaking out of the conventional categories and embracing one of the many bipartisan reform packages that are floating around.

...
So the White House has moved away from the Reasonable Man approach or the centrist Clinton approach.

It has gone back, as an appreciative Ezra Klein of The Washington Post conceded, to politics as usual. The president is sounding like the Al Gore for President campaign, but without the earth tones. Tax increases for the rich! Protect entitlements! People versus the powerful!

Well, that was 11 long years ago.  And having had his nose rubbed raw over and over and over again in his utter political punditting incompetence -- his abject failure to understand the most basic facts of the one subject about which he was being paid a small fortune by The New York Times to opine -- it looked for awhile that Brooks would wisely settle his relatively innocuous late-career role as the Faith and Humility reporter for the Acela Corridor Pantograph.  Where he could be content blathering himself into obscurity about the State of the Human Soul on the Sulzberger Family's dime.

But no. 

Instead, Mr. David Brooks has chosen this week of January 6th committee bombshells and a radical revanchist Republican Supreme Court feeding the constitution into the wood chipper to do the New York Times op-ed equivalent of Independence Day: Resurgence: attempting to reprise a big, loud, dumb thing that was somehow popular years ago.

And shitting the bed in spectacular fashion

Yes, this week Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times decided to step forthrightly back onto the stage in the role that made him a star in years gone by: Man Who Sternly Lectures Stoopid Democrats On How Politics Should Be Done. 

If you are a longtime reader or possessed of a perversely eidetic memory for such things, you might kinda sorta remember some of Mr. Brooks' more vivid and windbaggish performance of this character, much of which I have already exhaustively documented in this post from 2012, "What Matters is The Work".

There was David Brooks sternly lecturing us crazy, parochialism-on-stilts (and oh how he loved putting everything "on stilts!!" to emphasize how naughtybad we Liberals are) Democrats about how the Bush tax cuts were awesome, how we needed more of them, and how only a parochial idiot on stilts could possibly believe we'd ever face budget deficits again.

The New Stupid Party

There was Brooks' infamous Weekly Standard cover story from 2003 (which was only one of many such venomous rants) in which he announced "now that the war in Iraq is over" normal, patriotic Murricians would canonize George W. Bush as a military genius while us stoopid, terrorist-loving, Murrican-hating Liberal would surely have the decency to admit we were horribly wrong before slinking off to die in shame under a porch somewhere..

Then there was Brooks' full tilt diva hysteria over his very good friend and fellow Likud Party fifth columnist, Holy Joe Lieberman, losing to Ned Lamont in a free and fair Democratic primary.  Brooks   all but demanded the establishment of a third party -- the McCain/Lieberman party -- to spare him the pain of having to choose between Tom Delay's (remember him!) Republican party and those equally awful "net-roots Delays" on the Left.  I wrote all about it here 16 years ago:

Wretched Mole Rat

Suffocates on own dick.

Film at 11:00...

There was David Brooks' filthy little New York Times hit job on Harry Reid entitled "The Harry da Reid Code” which pictured Reid as a conspiracy loon "...alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m., writing important notes in crayon on the outside of envelopes. It's been four weeks since he launched his personal investigation into the Republican plot to manipulate intelligence to trick the American people into believing Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction."

I wrote all about it here 17 years ago:

BoBo sits alone…

..in his high-chair, at 4 a.m. Rubbing strained beets into his hair and crying for Lost Conservative Daddy to come back and donkey-punch him until he starts acting like a real man...

There was Brooks' insistence that Democrats needed to immediately punt on the agenda that got them elected in 2008 and instead heed the mutterings of all the right-leaning "independents" who mysteriously popped into existence out of thin air just as the Bush administration was collapsing and Republican voters' rabid support for Dubya became a source of acute embarrassment.  

I wrote all about it here 13 years ago.

The "Independent" Granfalloon

In which I play a little game with myself trying to predict what piffle David Fucking Brooks will be trafficking tomorrow on MTP as Rachael Maddow puts her Keds up his ass...

And of course all of this huffing and puffing (on stilts!!) was interwoven with all the many, many times that Brooks announced with great fanfare that a mighty Conservative renaissance was just around the corner...or in 2014 when Brooks announced mere months before Trump oozed down the escalator that the Republican Party had cleaned out all of its scary Palinite weirdness and was now awesome and normal again ... or that a Centrist Third Party that fit David Brooks' perversions like a glove would surely be springing up any day now and save us from having to vote for icky Democrats ...of that it was definitely Gonna Be Rubio!

Which brings us at last to this week and Mr. Brooks' return to form as Man Who Sternly Lectures Stoopid Democrats On How Politics Should Be Done. 

From The New York Times:

Why on Earth Is Pelosi Supporting the Trumpists?

The moral idiocy of promoting the extremists.

Wow.  Sounds bad.  "Pelosi" and "moral idiocy" in one word-spurt.

The Democratic Party is behaving recklessly and unpatriotically. So far, Democrats have spent tens of millions to help Trumpist candidates in Republican primaries.

Wow.  Sounds even worse.  It's not just "Pelosi" but "Democrats" generally who are behaving "recklessly and unpatriotically."  It's "Democrats" who have spent "tens of millions to help Trumpist candidates..."

Golly!  Tell me more David Brooks!

In the next paragraph...

In Illinois alone, the Democratic Governors Association and Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker spent at least $30 million to attack a Trumpist’s moderate gubernatorial opponent. 

Oh.  So the lion's share of those "tens of millions" Brooks was shitting himself over "Democrats" spending was actually spent by one guy.  My governor.  Who, as an actual multibillionaire, certainly had the money to spend and then some.  Thanks, Citizens United!  And whose ads were mostly of the "Is Darren Bailey Too Conservative For Illinois?" variety.  Which was the unvarnished truth and which Republican voters in Illinois sopped up with a biscuit.  Bailey luvs guns? And hates 'bortion?  Hell fuckin' yeah!  Where do I sign up!

And speaking of Darren Bailey and Mr. Brooks' insistence that it is reckless, unpatriotic, sleazy "moral idiocy" for one party to finagling with another party's primaries, Mr. Brooks, allow me to introduce you to something calle Operation Chaos:

From SE Illinois News:  

In GOP guv primary, Irvin hits Bailey for his 2008 “Operation Chaos” vote against Clinton, Obama

Darren Bailey says he was with Rush Limbaugh.

In spring 2008, the late conservative radio talk show giant launched what he called “Operation Chaos,” calling upon Republicans in Illinois and elsewhere to help extend the Democrat presidential primary, keeping it competitive by crossing over to vote in it.

Limbaugh said he hoped leading contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton “will be so bloodied and brought down to earth that neither can win in the general.” 

He claimed that he inspired more than 100,000 Republicans to cross over and vote in Democrat primaries, "weakening" the two leading candidates, who were in a crowded primary with eight others, including now-President Joe Biden...

So not only is the vast majority of those "tens of millions" that "Democrats" are spending actually only being spent by one guy, it turns out they were spent to boost a right wing crank who has not only approves of interfering in the other party's elections, but was an active and enthusiastic foot soldier in Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos army.

And for the record, 538 (which we all know is sketchy, but trust me, I'm from Illinois and this bears out) rates  J.B. Pritzker as a 98-to-2 favorite to stomp Darren "Forced Birth No Matter What" Bailey in November.  

But before dispatching Brooks once again to the "fuck right off you fucking weasel" darkness, what of his other claims?  Where is he getting this plural "Democrats" from?  Back to Brooks:

In Pennsylvania, a Democratic campaign spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads intended to help a Trumpist candidate win the G.O.P. gubernatorial primary.  A political action committee affiliated with Nancy Pelosi worked to boost far-right Republican House candidates in California and Colorado.

So in exactly one other governor's race Josh Mandel ran exactly the same kind of ad strategy that J.B. Pritzker used in Illinois, and that Claire McCaskill successfully deployed against Republicans in 2012.

From NPR:

"There were three viable candidates and Todd Akin was kind of the weirdest one," McCaskill said. "I knew he might say some weird things if he were nominated. And he had less money, so we took a poll and figured out what Republican voters would really like about him."

McCaskill put her name on the ads, as is required for political advertising, but casual viewers may not have realized they were paid for by a Democrat.

For most of the primary season, Akin had been behind in the polls. But he surged in the last two weeks of the campaign as McCaskill's ads aired across Missouri. He ended up winning the primary, then losing handily to McCaskill in the general election.

In California, it's not "Pelosi" but a "political action committee affiliated with Nancy Pelosi" that spent a few bucks trying to boost GOP crackpot Chris Mathys over his more moderate competitor in CA-2s, but Mathys ended up losing anyway.  So there's that.

And in Colorado, in the one other race where Dems dropped a few dollars to boost a nutjob, they did exactly the same thing.

They stated Ron Hanks' record.  Period.  And the Republican voters in that district ate it up.  And what does Greg Brophy, a GOP strategist and former Colorado state legislator, think of that strategy? 

From Politico:

Beating Hanks in the general election is a layup... If Democrats spend $1 million to help Hanks win the GOP primary, that will save them $20 million in the general. It’s actually brilliant.

Because these are not "reckless" or "unpatriotic" amateurs.  These are grown-up political pragmatists who are on the ground, who know their states and districts and are doing what they believe is necessary to give them the best chance of winning.  Which, as we know, is something utterly horrifies David "I'm a Sap!" Brooks.  But only when Democrats do it.

So let's look again at Brooks' pluralization of  "Democrats".  Using this trademark lazy pundit locution to imply that this is some kookie and widespread phenomenon embraced by the moral imbeciles of the Democratic party.  Except this is only happening in exactly four-count-'em-four races.

So let's do the math.

There are 435 seats in the House of Representatives, so that's 435 primaries.

Add in the 34 seats that are up for grabs in the Senate, and that comes to a total of  469 national elections.

Add in 50 gubernatorial elections, and that brings us to 519 races.  There are also roughly 5,400 state house elections happening this year, and somewhere between 1,500 to 2000 state senate elections.  Plus an untold numbers of aldercritters and councilpersons, but since national congressional and gubernatorial races are what Mr. Brooks is having hot fantods over,  stick with that number.  519.

Now what percentage of 519 is 4?  I'll spare you the figuring.  It's 0.77%

So while it is technically true in a sleazoid Brooksian pundit kinda way that Democrats are doing this stuff, it is very much more true that only 0.77% of Democrats are doing this stuff.  Or, to be more writerly, less than 1% of Democrats.  Or, to be more writerly still and perfectly accurate, 99.23% of Democrats are not doing any of this stuff.

Now let's do a comparable word problem, but instead of Democrats, let's use Republicans and see what that gets us.

In the U.S. House of Representative there are currently 212 Republicans.  Of those, there are two and only two, who are actively trying to hold Donald Trump and his goon squad accountable for the violent Republican attempted coup.  All the others are either rabid Trump enablers, passive Trump enablers, or cowards trying desperately to change the subject.  And they are all fucking awful.

Now what percentage of 212 is 2?  I'll spare you the figuring.  It's 0.94%.  

So while it is would be technically true (in a sleazoid Brooksian pundit kinda way) that House Republicans (plural) are dedicated to holding Trump accountable regardless of the political cost, it is very much more true that only 0.94% of House Republicans are dedicated to holding Trump accountable regardless of the political cost  Or, to be more writerly, less than 1% of House Republicans.  Or, to be more writerly still and perfectly accurate, 99.06% of House Republicans are either rabid Trump enablers, passive Trump enablers, or cowards trying desperately to change the subject.  And they are all fucking awful.

Aren't statistics fun!

However (getting back to Brooks' shitty column) writing about what the overwhelming majority of Democrats actually are saying and are doing and are spending their money on isn't what they teach you at Conservative Pundit School.  And it doesn't sell papers, drive clicks or churn up "engagement" via social media outrage.  And so we get:

The Democratic Party is behaving recklessly and unpatriotically. So far, Democrats have spent tens of millions to help Trumpist candidates in Republican primaries.

And as with all such bad-faith Brooks editorial extrusions, all of his indignant puffery and foot-stamping are just a delivery system for the real snake oil he is trying to sell.  For the ideological razor in the apple.  The 

Indignant puffery like this:

Many Democrats, living in their own information bubble and apparently having learned nothing from 2016, do not seem to understand the horrific electoral landscape they are facing.

Fuck you very much, Mr, David "Don't Worry.  It's Gonna Be Rubio!!" Brooks.  

And fuck you all over again Mr. David "The Women's March Was an Indulgent, Frivolous Waste of Time" Brooks.

You thought we forgot that one?  Not bloody likely.  So given your virtually unbroken record of being wrong about everything, and the Acela-corridor pundit bubble in which you exist, you can just shut your hole forever about what Democrats do and do not seem to understand.

How about a little more indignant puffery:

Similarly, many progressives argued that cancel culture wasn’t a thing or was being severely exaggerated. Americans who are afraid to think out loud think the left has become too censorious, and the Democratic Party once again is held guilty by association.

Americans who are afraid to think out loud...like good, ol' Joey Tabula Rasa?   You thought we forgot that one?  Not bloody likely.   Brooks has always leaned heavily on claims that he was possessed of Sekrit Magical Insights into various groups of Americans which no one else has.  And Brooks has always been wrong.  

And these stats which Mr. Brooks unwisely added to his column also bear closer examination:  

The Republican Party has grown pretty extreme over the past few years. But it’s important to remember Americans believe that the Democratic Party has grown extreme, too. According to a CNN survey, 46 percent of Americans believe the G.O.P. is “too extreme” and 48 percent believe the Democratic Party is “too extreme.”...

I’ve had a recurring mystification over the past six years: How is it possible that Democrats are not crushing these guys?  

Oh come on, Mr. Brooks, you are being much too modest here.   In fact, if I had the ability to haul you up on stage and force you to take a bow for this, I would most certainly do so.  And here is a little riddle I wrote 16 years ago that will help explain what I mean:

So Dick Cheney is found, naked, on the White House lawn tossing burning kittens at homeless veterans and hitting babies with a ball-peen hammer.

What are the first three words out of David Brooks’ mouth?

“But the Democrats!”

Because what you are seeing in these numbers, Mr. Brooks, is the triumph of your Beltway Cult of Both Sides Do It: a cult over which you have presided for 20 years as its pope.

A cult which has relentlessly pounded the message home to the American public that every Republican atrocity must somehow be the fault of Both Sides.  Or, if the blame for any specific atrocity cannot be warped into an indictment of Both Sides...you and your cult have trained the general public to automatically assume that out there somewhere there must be some pack of godless Lefties doing something equally awful.

It's "But Her Emails"!  On stilts!

Of course a large chunk of that percentage that believes the Democratic party is "too extreme" are the bigots and imbeciles of the GOP base whose minds have been pureed to bilious mush by decades of Fox News and Hate Radio.  But responsibility for some very number of those tragically misguided mopes is entirely on you and your fellow Beltway cultists.  You who have groomed that segment of the public that wants to feel smart, but doesn't wanna get involved or hear the details.  Who just want to float lazily above it all, reflexively poxing both political houses with the biggest ig Lie of them all.  

Brooks again:

Those crazies could be running the country in a few years.

Mr. Brooks, these crazies have been nurtured, flattered, cultivated and harvested for their money and their votes by your former party for decades.  And these crazies did run the country from 2017 until 2021.  And yet during all the time they were taking over your party one step at a time, in plain sight, all you ever found the energy to do was bitch about Harry Reid opining about Bush's Iraqi Clusterfuck, whine about the unpatriotic Left for opposing Bush's Iraqi Clusterfuck, screech about Barack Obama for being a political realist and, of course, rage against terrible threat from us "net roots Delays".  

So now that we have dispensed with all of Mr. Brooks' mendacious hand-waving and chaff-tossing we arrive at the ideological razor in Mr. Brooks' apple.  What is his actual point?

If you love your country more than your party, you should want the best candidates to advance in either party. And in these circumstances, what they are doing is insane: The far-right candidates whom Democrats are supporting could easily wind up winning.

And there it is. 

First, Mr. Brooks, as you fucking well know, your former party, as an institution, is an irredeemable fascist shitpile.   And from the root to the fruit, with a few, rare-as-Astatine exceptions there are no good Republicans anymore.  If you are a Republican, you are the problem..  If you vote Republican, you are the problem. If  you campaign for or send money to or otherwise support Republicans, then you are the problem.  

Period.  Full stop.  

So the outcome of a single House election in Colorado will not alter in the slightest the overall trajectory of the fascist Republican party, or the fallout if Republicans win the House.  Every Republican in the House, whether they're standard-issue Republican crazy or Gohmert/Greene bugfuck crazy, amounts to nothing more than one more vote for a Kevin McCarthy speakership.  Or worse.

And a fascist chairing every House committee.

Because in case you hadn't noticed, from sea to shining sea, your former party is doing a bangup job of climbing over themselves -- 

Twitter reacts to the pure insanity that was Arizona's Republican primary for governor debate

"I feel like I'm in an SNL skit."

-- to see who can be the king of Bull Goose Loony Mountain --

-- all by themselves, with no Democratic assistance at all:

Cheney's Jan. 6 committee spotlight burns her in Wyoming primary

Rep. Liz Cheney took on Donald Trump and voted to impeach and investigate him. Back home, polls suggest she's trailing his chosen challenger.

Finally, and most importantly, for Mr. Brooks and all the Never Trumpers I know damn well read this blog, curating the political hygiene of the Republican party is not my goddamn job.   It is not the responsibility of Joe Biden or Jesus Christ of the Democrat party.  That job is and always has been the exclusive  responsibility of Republicans.  Specifically, Republican leaders and influencers like [checks notes] you David Brooks.  

And who knows?  

If you and your fellow pundits and Beltway insiders hadn't spent your entire professional lives slandering Liberals over nonsense and navel-gazing about the glories of an entirely imaginary Republican Party while the actual Republican party was running off the cliff, things might have been different.

But things are what they are.  Your former party is now a fully-fascist cult of personality, and we who have been in the trenches for decades warning that this day was coming and being dismissed as crackpot alarmists ran out of patience with your toxic, Both Siderist claptrap long ago.

PS. This post runs to over 3,800 words and took me a couple of days to assemble, so I'm going to take a little breather.  A happy and safe July 4th to you all.

UPDATE:  Jeet Heer wants to be Brooks 2.0 so bad you can smell it:

Why Centrist Democrats Love Promoting Right-Wing Extremists

Having nothing of substance to offer, the party establishment thinks supporting Trumpists is a clever move. But they are playing with fire.


Burn The Lifeboats





Friday, July 01, 2022

Disgrace Under Pressure


From the WaPo:

[Cassidy Hutchinson] said the White House counsel revealed his concerns that Trump’s plans were illegal. She told how she tried to get Meadows to “snap out of it” and stop scrolling on his phone as rioters prepared to storm the Capitol. She revealed how Trump initially rebuffed efforts to speak out against the attack.
...

Meadows looked up from his phone and said Trump “doesn’t want to do anything, Pat.” Cipollone told Meadows that if they didn’t act, “people are going to die, and blood is going to be on your f-ing hands. This is getting out of control. I’m going down there.”
...


Burn The Lifeboats


If You're Starved For Warmed-Over David Brooks Schlock From The 2010's, Yascha Mounk Has Just The Column For You

 


But if you don't have the time or inclination to read it, allow me to summarize.

Trump is bad.  Very, very bad.  

Biden is a weak old man so fuck that guy.

Harris is unpopular soo fuck her too.

Dems should immediately draft legislation that would save the republic from 2024 GOP fuckery.  Which will never, ever pass, but, uh, well...

To calm the fears of White suburban hausfraus hiding in their basements because of BLM, or storming their local school boards out of fear that CRT will make their kids gay or something, while Biden is being kicked to the curb he should pause long enough to loudly and repeatedly denounce "identitarian" members of the Democratic coalition.   Of course Dems should still give lip service to racial justice, but in practical terms, this means Biden giving the back of his hand to gays, women, Liberals and the millions of loyal African-American voters who won him the nomination.

Inflation is bad.  Of course there's damn little any president can do about it, but Biden should say...stuff.

Crime is bad.  Of course there's damn little any president can do about it, but Biden should say...stuff

Dems need to pass stuff!  Doesn't matter what, just...stuff!  

Passing stuff while at the same time you're the back of your hand to your most loyal and active coalition members means Dems need to move Right on every issue.

Far enough Right to give Joe Manchin gets a boner.

Then Dems need to keep moving Right until Mitch McConnell gets a boner.  

Then, whatever kind of "spindly, ricket-ridden, milky, wizened, dim-eyed, gammy-handed, limpy" legislation comes of this Rightward hat-in-hand hegira to Mitch McConnell ... pass that! 

Oh, and one more thing.  Find some younger candidate who can simultaneously:

    • Successfully primary the sitting president of their own party without pissing everyone off.
    • Successfully primary the sitting vice president too. 
    • Rally to their banner all those loyal activists that you just told to sit down and shut up.
    • But don't rally the base in any way that might scare off those White suburban hausfraus who are the lynchpin of this entire strategy to save us all from the Return of Trump.

Because, as we have already mentioned, Trump is Bad.

Very Bad.



I Am The Liberal Media


Let Me Save You an Hour of Your Valuable Time

 


The Extremes on Both Sides ruined John Roberts' Sensible Centrist slow-motion demolition of Roe.

Repeated over and over again.

That's it.  


I Am The Liberal Media


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Professional Left Podcast #657


"Traveler, there is no path, The path is made by walking." -- Antonio Machado
 
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!







Centering The Dementors

Behold a sample of authentic Trump-country gibberish from a prominent local citizen commenting on the results of this week’s primary elections: 

"I’m encouraged to see Darrin Bailey and Mary Miller win the Primary’s!!!  I am usually very ACTIVE in our elections!  But our lives as a lot of you know have changed dramatically!  I am seeing Prayers of Gods people being answered!!!  We have all cried out to God for our Country!!!  Thank you JESUS for answering our Prayers!!   We need to not Shrink back in our prayers….  But increase our prayers to turn our Country back to God!!!!  I truly believe the prayers of the Righteous availeth Much!!! It’s time to KEEP STANDING IN THE GAP!!!!  Keeping God in the front of our minds!!!!  Be wise and not fall for Biden’s (cabinets) sneaky moves to “try” and win 2024!!!"

Hold that in your mind as we take a little trip to the Before Time, courtesy of this Atlantic magazine excerpt ("How a Marriage of Convenience With Steve Bannon Exploded in My Face") from Tim Miller's  new book:  

This instinctive sense for the id of the conservative base separated [creepy Bannonite weirdo Matt Boyle] from his peers and was especially relevant to his time and place. He felt his readers’ rage in his bones. He saw around the corner, sensing what these voters might be aggrieved by in the years ahead. In December 2012, Boyle’s first article for Breitbart highlighted the excesses of the “social justice” left, a concept that most mainstream Republican staffers were completely oblivious to at the time but which would come to dominate the political discourse in the ensuing years.

Boyle could interpret the id of the base to well that by the 2016 primaries he Bannon's top guy and the hidden "policy hand" behind most of the Republicans running for president.  

So how did he do it?

The corporate and political strategy of the Bannon/Breitbart crew was both simple and, by Beltway standards, heretical: they made it their business look unflinchingly at what was actually motivating the Republican base by listening carefully to the wild conspiracies and unvarnished racism and anti-semitism the lunatics in their comment sections were spouting.

And during those years there was only one other group that was doing this kind of work.  Liberal bloggers. In fact, 12 years ago  I wrote a whole, long post entitled “People of the Lie” that was built out of toxic ravings taken straight out of the Breitbart comment section, as well as a number of other posts about various Breitbart stooges and the extensive financial and professional support networks that kept them propped up.  

Exactly the kind of professional and financial support networks which we Liberal bloggers never had.

Excerpted from the Gateway Pundit and which can still be found on my very own blog back from in 2011:

The 2011 Sammie Awards were held last night in Chicago.

CHICAGO – Tonight, the Sam Adams Alliance (SAM) announced the winners of the 4th annual Sammies awards. Nearly 400 guests, including John Stossel, Andrew Breitbart, and Brad Thor, took part in the celebration of ordinary Americans who take extraordinary steps to advance freedom. The winners from across the country were recognized for their engagement as watchdogs, reformers, messengers, and strategists
...

Ben Domenech of Alexandria, VA. Mr. Domenech along with Brad Jackson of Austin, TX won the $10,000 Messenger Award for their original and popular daily podcast, Coffee and Markets. With over 5,000 downloads each day, Coffee and Markets has quickly become one of the most widely listened podcasts on the right...


(Yes, that Ben Domenech.)

The strategy of the Bannon/Breitbart crew was to Center The Commenters.

To keep track of what the bigots and homophobes and lunatics were freaking out about in the comment section and then feeding them big steaming slabs of it as articles on the site's main page Rinse and repeat.  Rinse and repeat.  This proved to be ad extremely profitable and successful model, and Bannon parlayed that success into raw political influence which brought Republican politicians, journalists and operatives like Tim Miller to Bannon's door looking to swap favors and make alliances of mutual benefit. 

From Tim Miller again:

So, between these ["Bannon Embassy" Capitol Hill townhouse] parties and availing myself as a useful source, I cultivated a Rolodex of the ever-expanding conservative media landscape. America Rising would host bloggers for happy hours in our office and I’d help get their clips on the Drudge Report, which would drive massive traffic numbers for them and make their bosses happy. Matt Drudge was famously mercurial, but my business partner Matt Rhoades was one of the few who had a long-term relationship with him. Plus one of my friends had secretly stumbled into a job as one of his linkers-in-chief (this was an informal title). The ability to turn on this traffic hose for writers made us valuable and in certain circles added to our mystique.

Eventually this strategy of feeding their own madness back to the mob in their own language allowed Trump to easily dispatch every other Republican primary opponent in 2016 and win the White House.

At the other end of the spectrum, the strategy of us Liberal bloggers was to shout warnings about what we could clearly see was the trajectory of the GOP loudly as our tiny platforms would allow.  

This was neither profitable nor successful.  

In fact, we were dismissed out-of-hand as crackpot alarmists by many of the very same Savvy Pundits and recently-former Republicans who are now carping that Democrats aren't fixing the GOP and the serial disasters created by GOP fast enough.

And now for your fun historical fact of the day.

That post of mine from on August of 2011 was entitled "A Lullaby for David Frum" and was occasioned by the following series of events:

  • David Frum writes that trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act is foolish and counterproductive, and criticizes the "Palinization" of the GOP.
  • David Frum is fired from his sweet, sweet gig at the American Enterprise Institute and has to prevail on his friend Andrew Sullivan to get him a gig at The Daily Beast so he could keep the money coming and retain a place in the national political spotlight.  Which Sullivan did because, as I mentioned, they have always been able to rely on an extensive financial and professional support networks to keep them propped up.  Plus now Frum owes Sullivan a favor.
  • David Frum cuts loose with an "OMG!  What the hell has happened to the glorious Republican Party of my youth!"  piece that sounds like it could have been burped up from The Bulwark...five years later.

This is a snip of what I wrote in response to these events back in 2011:

[Frum] like all of Conservatism's Good German Expatriates, somehow managed to miss every single gigantic warning sign about Brownshirt nature of the monster they were creating during all of the years they were prospering from the fruits of that monster's depraved labors.

And now -- once the monster he had been only-too-happy to wired up and turn loose to stomp on people like us had finally and predictably turned on him -- Frum runs in freaked-out little circles squealing "OMG! OMG! Where did this monster come from?! And how can "we" stop it!?"

And this is what the inimitable First Draft wrote in response to these events back in 2011:

They Thought They Could Control It

David Frum, going, "I say, old chap, maybe inviting this frothing, flea-infested, mangy were-panther to our lovely garden soirée was a bad idea."

...

I mean, COME ON. Did you really not think you'd be lunch at some point? It's one thing to know it and have a death wish. People jump out of planes. People do all kinds of shit they know is dangerous as hell and it's kinda sexy to live that far on the edge, but only if you know. If you've got yourself a degree in Advanced Self-Deception and you think it is going to be okay to keep a zoo animal in your living room because it owes you something for naming and putting a little hat on it, I don't even know what to do with you. That kind of idiocy exhausts me down to my bones.

They nurtured these freaks for years. The entire apparatus of the sensible Republican Party of which Frum is so enamored, which started unprovoked wars and slashed necessary funding for programs that helped people but at least did it with pinky finger properly cocked, was RUN on keeping people like this chained to the machines...

Does this all sound eerily familiar?

So, in conclusion, do you know what continues to exhaust me down to my bones?

This ongoing kabuki by recently-former Republicans that no one could have seen any of this coming.

That Trump used some kind of Orange Lantern Magic Power to fundamentally and instantaneously morph the base of the GOP from sensible, level-headed, Burke-quoting yeomen into this:

"I’m encouraged to see Darrin Bailey and Mary Miller win the Primary’s!!!  I am usually very ACTIVE in our elections!  But our lives as a lot of you know have changed dramatically!  I am seeing Prayers of Gods people being answered!!!  We have all cried out to God for our Country!!!  Thank you JESUS for answering our Prayers!!   We need to not Shrink back in our prayers….  But increase our prayers to turn our Country back to God!!!!  I truly believe the prayers of the Righteous availeth Much!!! It’s time to KEEP STANDING IN THE GAP!!!!  Keeping God in the front of our minds!!!!  Be wise and not fall for Biden’s (cabinets) sneaky moves to “try” and win 2024!!!"

That recently-former Republicans either bear no personal responsibility for any of this, or that somehow we are all equally to blame for this.

And that the Lefties who were right about the Right all along either do not exist or are have no place at the same table with the likes of such savvy political geniuses as Charlie Sykes, Tom Nichols, Bill Kristol and Matthew Dowd.




I Am The Liberal Media


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

MSNBC Contributor Matthew Dowd Continues to Be a Fundamentally Ridiculous Person



The same Matthew Dowd who nuked his entire Twitter archive from his King of Both Siderism days as ABC News' chief political analyst...

... to make it easier for his pal Nicolle Wallace to launder his reputation and pass him off as a Hero of the Resistance and the righteous scourge of Both Siderist journalists everywhere... 

...is now using his new status as Resistance Hero...

...to get away with peddling this bullshit from inside our perimeter.


Matthew Dowd -- the architect of George W. Bush's hateful 2004 re-election campaign -- now very much wants you to believe that it is our job to fix the garbage Republican party by getting more Republicans elected.   

Perhaps you could head over to his Twitter feed to correct his thinking.  I'd do it myself but Matthew Dowd is a coward who blocks me just as he blocks any non-blue check who even lightly brushes up against the deeply problematic past that he is desperately trying to bury.     



No, I Won't Be Appearing On MSNBC Anytime Soon


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

A Brief History of Recently-Former Republicans


The 70s:  Why do those crackpot alarmist Liberals keep simpering about me building some kind of monster? 



The 80s:  I'm not building a monster!



The 90s:  Definitely no monster here!



The Aughts through 2016:  These crackpot alarmist Dems need to stop with all of this crazy talk of monsters.


2016:  Holy shit, where did this monster come from?


Every day since:  Since those stoopid, feckless Dems failed to stop the monster they need to shut up and let me run the lab!


Burn The Lifeboats

David Brooks is Still Livid That Barack Obama Was Reelected in 2012: UPDATE

See, what Barack Obama was supposed to do in 2012 was martyr himself to Brooks' idea of the Noble Centrist.  To lose, of cou...