Sunday, February 07, 2016

Sunday Morning Comin' Down: The New Adventures of Old Pristine

Because you're busy people and should not be made to wade through the numbing, gelid, Very Serious Person swamp of Beltway Common Wisdom that was the Sunday Gasbag Cavalcade today, let me take you by the elbow and show you two things:  The most interesting thing to happen today, and the least interesting thing that happened today.

Most Interesting:  The New Adventures of Old Pristine

Way down the dial, in the cable teevee version of steerage, Senator Bernie Sanders was on CNN's "State of the Union" where he told the "Bernie Bros" who have been coming out of the woodwork to try and advance the case for a Sander's presidency by trying to sexist/misogynist bites out of Hillary Clinton that "We don't want that crap." 

Which is both the right thing to do, and smart politics,  

Sanders rises when his message is cheerful and inclusive; he falls when his campaign sounds petty and small and nothing is pettier or smaller that the narrow-gauged, purity-obsessed zealots who barnacle themselves to candidates and causes because their brains are wired for Manichean-only thinking.  Either you see things my way 100% right down the line...or you are History's Greatest Monster and must be destroyed.

One such hatbox full of damaged goods is David Brock, the former Republican character-assassin-for-hire who fell from favor on the Right, flipped his shingle around and became a Democratic character-assassin-for-hire.  

Key Clinton Ally: 'Black Lives Don't Matter' To Bernie Sanders

David Brock, a longtime ally of the Clinton family, told the Associated Press on Thursday that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) latest TV ad showed a disregard for Democratic voters of color.

Brock told the AP that he thought Sanders' new "America" ad, which uses Simon and Garfunkel's song of the same name in lieu of spoken words, was focused on white voters. The ad shows Sanders greeting mostly white supporters on the campaign trail, with the crowds' sizes slowly increasing.

Brock characterized the ad as a "significant slight to the Democratic base."

"From this ad it seems black lives don't matter much to Bernie Sanders," Brock told the AP...
In the same "State of the Union" interview where he told people who were douchbagging in his name to cut it if the fuck out, Sanders also asked why the Clinton campaign is letting someone like Brock speak for them,

That's a good question.

The Clintons rise when they can talk in in simple. clear language about their commitment to public service and about the practical realities of forging workable and legislatively-doable solutions to the problems of the diverse group of Americans who make up the Democratic coalition.  They fall when they let their loyalty to incompetent hacks like Mark Penn and morally-hollow bridge-burning sycophants like David Brock run them up on the rocks.

The knives come out for everyone.  Hell, the knives came out for Honest Abe much dirtier and much sharper than they now come out for Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders (and if you think this is bad, wait until the conventions are over.)

McClellan snubs Lincoln

On this day [November 13] in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln pays a late night visit to General George McClellan, who Lincoln had recently named general in chief of the Union army. The general retired to his chambers before speaking with the president.

This was the most famous example of McClellan’s cavalier disregard for the president’s authority. Lincoln had tapped McClellan to head the Army of the Potomac" the main Union army in the East ”in July 1861 after the disastrous Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run, Virginia. McClellan immediately began to build an effective army, and was elevated to general in chief after Winfield Scott resigned that fall. McClellan drew praise for his military initiatives but quickly developed a reputation for his arrogance and contempt toward the political leaders in Washington, D.C. After being named to the top army post, McClellan began openly associating with Democratic leaders in Congress and showing his disregard for the Republican administration. To his wife,McClellan wrote that Lincoln was “nothing more than a well-meaning baboon,” and Secretary of State William Seward was an “incompetent little puppy.”
Because while every single candidate for president (except, apparently, Jeb(!)) starts out with a burning certainty that they and only they have a Date With Destiny To Save The Country, they also all know that, at the end of this 18 month-long, mixed martial arts title fight and goat rodeo, all but one of them is going to go home a loser.  So, sure, you have to fight like mad with the tools you have,  But (as I wrote in a different context a few years ago) once purity itself becomes all you care about -- once it becomes a distillery race to see who can get to 100% -- the chicken farmers are never far behind:
The main Islamist group in Algeria, the GIA, ended up being led by a Mr. Zouabri, a chicken farmer, who killed everyone who disagreed with him. He issued a final communiqué, declaring that the whole of Algerian society should be killed, with the exception of his tiny remaining band of Islamists. They were the only ones who understood the truth.
And then, up the dial at the Least Interesting Thing To Happen Today:  Upon This Schlock I Will Build My Church

Anyone outside of the Beltway Common Wisdom terrarium has been able to see for a long time that Marco Rubio is kind of an idiot.  Yes, he is a reprogrammable idiot, with nice hair and an attractive family which makes him very useful.  But as Brother Charlie Pierce has noted many times,  Young Marco is never more than one coding glitch away from tumbling into the deep and dark Forest of Infinite Rakes.  For a truly hilarious example of Young Marco getting locked into a recursive dumbass coding loop I would refer you back to the Year of Our Lord 2012, when Young Marco went on the Daily Show.  I theorize that, perhaps sensing danger, some enterprising staffer decided to set the Rubio Emergency Default Answer = "Both Sides".

Sadly that enterprising staffer was also a shitty programmer who took no precaution against the possibility that Jon Stewart might ask more than one question that would trigger the Rubio Emergency Default Answer.  What ensued was possibly the first recorded example of a politician failing a Turing test (despite a million angry emails, the embed code Comedy Central uses still auto-starts all videos, which I hate, so here is a link to the video if you want to see it, and here is some of what I wrote about it back in 2012):
In case you missed Jon Stewart's award-verging "interview" with Marco Rubio, here is your rush transcript of Senator Rubio's answer to Jon Stewart every single time Mr. Stewart tried very respectfully to point out that Senator Rubio was, um, lying, and that the relentless, pathological obstructiveness of the Republican Party was unmatched by anything Democrats have done in modern history.
"Both sides..."

"Well, you know, both sides..."

"Both Democrats and Republicans..."

"That's just politics..."

"The Democrats left us no choice..."

"Both sides..."

"Democrats and Republicans..."

"Both sides..."

"Both Democrats and Republicans..."
And so forth, to the point of being comical...

But Trump is a braying disaster, and Cruz is a cartoon supervillain that scares little children, and Jeb(!) it practically wearing a red shirt and begging the Klingons to put him out of his misery.  Which means Young Marco is all the GOP establishment has: thanks to a 30 year winnowing process of dumbing the GOP base down and angrying them up to the point that no sane person has a hope in Hell of winning the Republican nomination, Young Marco has become the Rock chosen by Thomas Hobson himself on which the GOP establishment must now put up some kinda Church,

And so, by God and Saint Ronnie, they are going to grab their go-go-booted little cipher by the scruff of his neck and drag him bodily around the clubhouse turn if that's what it takes to keep him in contention until they can  figure out how undumbify the wingnuts just enough to lose their adoration of the billionaire with the hot wife who promises to make them all winners again.

Which is where the inexplicably-still-employed Hugh Hewitt comes in... (h/t Heather at Crooks & Liars):
Hugh Hewitt: Rubio 'Won All Of That Debate' Except For Christie Conflict

When you create a media marketplace which makes it clear that no Conservative hucksters and frauds will ever be held accountable for anything they say or do, Hugh Hewitt is the kind of "journalist" you end up with.


Jimbo said...

My 17-year old daughter inexplicably insisted I watch the latest GOP debate so we did and it began with a hilarious, if inadvertent, mock of sad sack JEB! As he kept thinking he was going to be introduced next and wasn't. After that, it was the usual tedious ratfucking and name-calling until the next hilarious exchange between Rubo and Chris Crisco. I was actually astonished since, while I.knew Rubio was a dumb funk, I didn't realize he was just a really badly-programmed robot. That multiple exchange was really bizarre.

bowtiejack said...

OK, I have avoided getting to know anything about Hugh Hewitt, so I came to the viewing of this clip a complete naif.
His spiel and Rubio's performance are very very reminiscent of a totalitarian culture [such as that exemplified in the fairytale "The Emperor's New Clothes"] where the party line is repeated over and over in the face of the obvious reality because that is what loyal apparatchiks do if they know what's good for them. Orwell repeatedly addressed this requirement of always hewing to the latest party line and, more importantly, knowing what the latest party line is. Wake up and smell the blossoming fascism.
Rubio is now the establishment Golden Child and, like Kim Jong Un, one must celebrate his divine magnificence. It is only a question of time before we learn, in addition to his above-human-understanding debate strategy of repeating the same 25 words over and over, that he got to the U.S. by swimming from Cuba when he was only four.

Jim Jones said...

As a Sanders supporter I agree 100%.

Speaking for myself, I don't think Mrs Clinton is some form of awful monster or anything like that. I do believe she is a little close to Wall Street for my taste and am not certain she has the appetite for the radical changes I think that this country needs. However, that isn't why I'm not supporting her.

The reason I'm supporting Bernie is because I've noticed that a significant number of people have a visceral dislike of Mrs Clinton, something which people don't seem to have for Mr. Sanders.

Now, you might point out that Mr Sanders is a socialist and therefore nobody will vote for him.

I would say to this that you would have been correct as little as 8 years ago. The problem is that the GOP has used the word "socialist" as an insult so often that it no longer has any real meaning. At this point it is like calling someone you don't like a "poopy head".

With that said, if it comes down to Mrs Clinton vs anyone in the GOP field I will vote and stump for her without hesitation or regret.

Unknown said...

Aside from everything else, it galls my ass that a simpleton neo nazi pimp like Hewitt gets validated with a slot on NBC. I can hardly watch a short clip of that albino miscreant.

Anonymous said...

@Jim James - Hillary Derangement Disorder goes way back to Bill's first term and, in my humble opinion, (as a female member of the human species) is totally due to sexism. Why? Because I'm also a professional of about the same age and have experienced a hell of a lot of that myself. The media went nuts when she was First Lady and she implied that maybe her thoughts on policy were more important than her cookie recipes and they haven't stopped since. I'm not with Hillary on all of her positions but she's head and shoulders above any of the clown car denizens that the Rethugs ae throwing out. I like Bernie but don't think he can win a national election. Never the less, as you said, whoever is the Dem candidate is the person I will vote for because the Rethugs are out of control and I, frankly, want my country back.

Jim Jones said...


Oh, I believe that sexism is most definitely a good chunk of it. I'd say it is a mix between sexism and that she's a Clinton.

And, just so there is no ambiguity, I most definitely believe that comparing Mrs Clinton to any Republican candidate is like comparing a howitzer to a nerf dart gun. She is just so much..more.