Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Boom Times Are Coming to the Indulgence Factory: UPDATE

By golly, if there isn't yet another great article in The Daily Beast by their Editor-at-Large Rick Wilson, who is also founder of The Lincoln Project and frequent MSNBC guest.  Normally I would've only been able to bring you the headline because I'm not a Daily Beast "member".  Nor, in the 16 years that I have been writing this crazy, mixed-up Liberal blog, have I ever been solicited to write anything for The Daily Beast or, well, anything for any Left-leaning publication at all  

But a rebel friend of mine smuggled me the whole thing, and now that I've read it I guess my little voice from the middle of Middle America really isn't necessary as long as Rick Wilson is out there saying what needs to be said.  And Tuesday what he felt needed to be said started like this.

Trumpists, Here Are Your Terms of Surrender. Also, Fuck You.

There’s no repairing the damage he’s done until you confess to the normalization and rationalizations that let him bring us to the edge of a conspiracy-driven insurrection.

Rick Wilson, Editor-At-Large.  Updated Jan. 19, 2021 10:04AM ET / Published Jan. 19, 2021 9:59AM ET 

And ended like this:


To the Republicans who stoked the absurd conspiracy theories that fueled this mob, I would like to extend to you a hearty fuck you. Most of you aren’t stupid — I know Louis Gohmert drags down the average — and thought your repetitive lies about a supposedly stolen election were just politics as usual.

You knew better; mobs do what mobs do, and that means the lives of anyone they encountered that day were at risk. Your post-hoc bleating on the House floor about reason and comity and unity was complete horseshit. Your people, your base, were out of control, and you helped make them so. Ask Officer Brian Sicknick’s family if the Trumper horde who beat him to death on the steps of the Capitol were responsive to reason.

So let’s be clear; Jan. 6 was a cataclysmic defeat for you, for Trump, and for Trumpism.

You’ve lost a war for the soul of America so completely that your surrender must be unconditional and immediate. You don’t understand what the Hill attack did to Americans. They were pissed after four years of Trump’s bullshit; now, they’re steely in their determination to preserve the country from his mob.

For all of you “leaders” who stoked this fire, these are the terms of your surrender.

This reflects a portion of a larger creed which has become absolutely canonical among Never Trumpers.

First, that Republicans who talked about Trump as an unfit asshole in 2015/6 are clearly prophets of the highest order and thus deserving of all available accolades and seats at the head of the media table... despite the fact that they were motivated by the cocksure belief that Hillary Clinton was going to stomp the shit out of  Trump in 2016 and thus demoralize the GOP so badly that going on the record as calling Trump an unfit asshole would supposed be their Golden "I Told You So" Ticket to taking over a dazed and broken GOP in 2017.

Second, once Trump actually won in 2016, any Republican media or political professional who had talked about Trump as an unfit asshole in 2015/6 suffered such terrible social and professional penalties at the hands of those who remained loyal to the party and enjoyed the fruits of Trump's victory that, in addition to being prophets of the highest order, Never Trumpers were also the most cruelly and unfairly martyred group in modern American political history!

Third, having established themselves both prophets of the highest order and noble martyrs, and having nearly singlehandedly driven Trump from office, Never Trumpers are completely justified to devoting a non-trivial portion of their every editorial and every podcast to valorizing themselves again and again as pretty much the only people who got it right!  This is from a recent Bulwark podcast and is typical of every Bulwark podcast:

Charlie Sykes: I... I... wrote this in my newsletter this morning, y'know, obviously if you've been a Trump critic there's a sense of vindication watching what's happening but I have to tell you it's almost overwhelmed by a sense of frustration.  Because we have been warning people for so many years about all of this.  This whole notion that somehow "Wow this is amazing! We are shock shocked to find out that, uh. that this lying narcissist conspiracy theorist, uh, y'know,  is a wannabe autocrat!" I mean they're just shocked by this.  But I mean how many times have we told people, warned the Republican party this is who he is.  He's told us who he is this is going to end badly!  And so yeah there's a... there's a sense of vindication.  But there's a sense of frustration about fellow Republicans and Conservatives.  What were you thinking?  How did you not see that it was going in this direction? Do you know what I mean Kim?

Fourth, having established themselves both prophets of the highest order etcetera, they are also completely justified in slagging the shit out of those in influential positions not only refused to heed their warning starting in 2015/6 rub but mocked them as stupid and deranged for saying what they were saying.  From the same Bulwark podcast I cited above:

Kim Wehle:  No I agree.  I mean the the chorus in my mind and, y'know, I know this isn't always popular in regular life is the,  "I told you so! I told you so!" y'know.  This is not just the last few weeks when -- and I know you mentioned this in your newsletter -- 138 republicans joined a lawsuit to literally take votes away from the American people and hand them to politicians.  Uh, but this started way back with the Mueller investigation.  And then, y'know, the... the impeachment process.  Over and over and over.  That you ignore the guardrails of democracy at your own peril!  And this is also, y'know, not new to history.  And there have been many scholar historical, uh, historians that have talked about the fall from democracy to something like authoritarianism. And Donald Trump is straight out of the playbook.  And so, yeah, I feel frustrated as well, Charlie.   That's why people are acting this... like this is shocking.   

Sykes:  Yeah we're not going to get any apologies or anything but there was a lot of mockery.  A lot of like, oh no, it's you!   You got... you suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome.  Yeah I had it at cocktail parties.  People ... oh you're exaggerating...

Fifth, and most important of all, having been anointed by the media as the sole occupants of America's moral and political high ground, they can now demand from their former doubters and tormenters who enabled all this shit after 2015/6 that they confess their sins and and atone for their complicity before they are permitted to join the ranks of the forgiven.  Before we get on with this "unity" and "We're all on Team America, right?" claptrap.  

This is where we found Rick Wilson this week, accusing Republicans of damn well knowing better when they were helping to create the monster that nearly wrecked the country, and throwing around words like "confession" and demanding an "unconditional and immediate" surrender -- strident accusations and demands which I would never have known about were it not for the fact that one of the many, many gigs Rick Wilson has leveraged himself into thanks to his status as genius prophet and noble martyr is the Daily Beast Editor-at-Large.

And because I know you never tire of it, here is a different excerpt from a different Bulwark podcast where guest David Priess explains to Charlie Sykes what Republican politicians would have to do to redeem themselves (Spoiler:  it's confession and atonement.)

Priess:  [The Republican Party] still can be saved in one way which is if there is a a firm rejection. If the senators do step up and do their jobs under the Constitution.  If those who supported Trump up to and including Ben Sasse say, "I was wrong. This is why I did it.  It was craven. I have learned from it.  I am not going to do it again."  Y'know we will believe some of them, we will not believe some of them, but without that [Ben Sasse's] article doesn't really read like someone taking ownership of where we are and what we need to do.  He diagnoses the problem well, but he doesn't really put his responsibility in there. Without that it doesn't really matter because then you're not really addressing the core problem.

Which brings us to the story of Hell and St. Peter's Basilica.

The modern conception of Hell -- the place down below with a lake of fire where damned souls would roast for all eternity -- was invented by St. Augustine of Hippo in A.D.426.  From The National Geographic: was Augustine of Hippo and his book, City of God, published in A.D. 426, that set the tone for official doctrine over the next 1,500 years. Hell existed not to reform or deter sinners, he argued. Its primary purpose was to satisfy the demands of justice. Augustine believed in the literal existence of a lake of fire, where “by a miracle of their most omnipotent Creator, [the damned] can burn without being consumed, and suffer without dying.”  

And once the Catholic Church -- God's only authorized terrestrial product and distribution center -- pulled the doctrine of Eternal Conscious Torment out of its papal ass, that was it.  And in the 15 centuries since, for the billions of faithful around the world, Hell was as real as Pittsburg or the Vatican because it carried the imprimatur of the Church.

So (you may well ask) what does St. Peter's Basilica -- the largest or second largest church in the world, depending on how you measure such things --

-- have to do with any of this?

Well how do you suppose the Catholic church paid for the design and construction of this massive, orate building.  A building which took 150 years to complete?  

They did it by selling something called "indulgences".  Because once they had established thelmselves as the sole distributor of salvation -- the sole arbiter of who went to Heaven, who got sent to Hell and who got sent the Hell Sleepaway Camp called Purgatory -- the Catholic Church could charge sinners whatever it pleased for a first-class ticket out of fiery perdition and on to the Pearly Gates.  

And that is exaclty what it did.  For centuries.  With a whole menu of partial indulgences for the sinner on a budget and "plenary" or complete indulgences for those with deep pockets and dirty souls. Eventually, as the market for salvation grew more sophisticated, for the right a price a person could even buy their loved ones out of purgatory after they had died, as this catchy 16th century jingle explains:

“When a penny in the coffer rings, / A soul from Purgatory springs.” 

And it was all going along just fine until a young priest from the hinterlands named Martin Luther showed up in the Vatican, took a look around, said "What the everlasting fuck!" and proceeded to ruin everything.

Now hold onto my hand because we're going to tuck this lesson away for later, take a big ol' leap over about 500 years of the history of Western civilization and land squarely in the present day.  Where anyone who has been paying even the slightest attention at the events of the past four years knows a couple of  things that are definitely true.

First, as we learned after the collapse of the Bush Administration, the one thing Republicans fear above all else is accountability.   And since Republicans fear accountability a thousand times more than, say,  imaginary Antifa super soldiers and MST3K gangs kicking in their doors, taking their guns and shipping them off to Gay FEMA Reeducation Camps, as your 'umble scrivener has been predicting since the beginning the the Age of Trump, there is once again about to be an overwhelming market demand for a top-notch Republican memory-holing and absolution service.  One that can whitewash away the grievous molestations of democracy committed by the 74 million reprogrammable Republican meatbags who just voted to re-elect a traitor to the highest office in the land, as well as giving all of Trump's influential enablers -- Republican elected officials, media goofs, funders and party apparatchiks -- that big, erasing Etch-a-Sketch shake of "Let us put the unpleasant past behind us".  

From me today at Crooks & Liars ("Strategic Forgettery: John Bolton Wishes Trump Was 'Yesterday's News'"):

But sometimes, as was the case with the George W. Bush administration, the party's standard-bearers have inflicted so much damage on the country and the rest of his party has accumulated such a massive, public record of supporting his follies, that his record cannot be immediately laundered. To obliterate from history a catastrophe the size and scope of the Bush Administration, a different level of Strategic Forgettery was needed and today's cautionary tale is about how that works.

Many years ago I coined the term "Republican Detachment Disorder" to describe the coordinated psychological gymnastics of influential people who spent their entire adult lives helping to build a Republican monster factory and midwife-ing the orcs and hobgoblins that came off its assembly line and who, once their monsters began running out of their control, erased themselves from their own history and began denying their own pasts harder and faster than Peter denied Christ.

This is what happened with the Bush Administration.

And it's what's happening, this morning, with John Bolton.

"Donald Trump is an aberration on the American political scene," he said.

"He did not cause all of this polarisation, that's for sure, but he's made it much, much worse and I think his disappearance from the political scene will be a big, big plus."

At the close of the Age of Dubya, even as we disreputable Liberal bloggers were shouting warnings of the impending Great Whitewash as loud as our shitty blogs would permit, the mainstream press and the Republican Party began colluding to wall-off the entire Bush Trump administration and declare it a Forbidden Zone. The officially recognized Year One of recorded history was reset to one minute after Barack Obama Joe Biden took the oath of office. And thanks to the coordinated denialism/Both Siderism of the press and the urgency of the crises Obama Biden inherited and the GOP's decision (taken on the very day of Obama's Biden's inauguration) to become a unified, unremitting force of obstruction and sabotage and Obama's Biden's own stubborn and ultimately fatal unwillingness to see the Republican Party as the vandals and traitors they were...

But don't just take my word for it.  I am, after all, just another disreputable, crackpot Liberal blogger.  Instead, turn to the good, gray pages of The Atlantic and find McCay Coppins turning 20 years worth of Liberals hunched over keyboards, shouting into the abyss about how the GOP keeps getting away with murder into a short article entitled: 

The Coming Republican Amnesia

How will the GOP recover from the Trump era? Pretend it never happened.

You can read the rest of it here including these choice little paragraphs (with emphasis added) --

Terry Sullivan, who ran Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign in 2016, told me he was unimpressed by this sudden rush to righteous indignation. “The newfound outrage from former Trump supporters rings a bit hollow, given how quiet most were during Charlottesville and countless other escapades,” he said. “Forty-seven months of blind loyalty followed by one month of conscience doesn’t earn you much more than the Mick Mulvaney profile-in-courage award.”

Sullivan was less certain, though, about whether the revisionism would work. “I don’t expect the voters will treat them any more kindly than the historians—but I’ve been wrong before.” After all, some predicted that the Republicans who worked for George W. Bush, especially the architects of the Iraq War, would be shunned once he left office. Instead, many of them have settled into respectable—and lucrative—perches as commentators, lobbyists, and elder statesmen. As long as the cable-news bookers keep calling, redemption is always available. 

-- or you can just read what pretty much every disreputable, crackpot Liberal blogger has been saying for decades. 

The second really important innovation which you may have noticed gaining momentum since 2016 has been the dividing of history into three distinct parts, which was something you're truly has also been warning about all along.

There is the Before Time.  This is the time prior to 2015/6 when only a handful of scurrilous Liberal crackpots were saying mean things about the Republican Party, while all the clever people -- the paid political and media professional people -- knew that the definitely not racist GOP was in great shape with a bright and unlimited future.  This was the time when David Brooks could confidently write as recently as 2014 that --

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. 

-- and not be brought down with a volley of tranquillizer darts and hustled off to the nearest upscale nervous hospital. 

And it's precisely because the Before Time is full of disreputable Liberals out there all alone, writing with fire about the GOP's long and very public slide into fascism (while media hacks and clowns and GOP operatives called us traitors and crackpots for saying such things) it became vital to the Never Trump project that whatever people might have said or done during the Before Time, those things are now, in the parlance of Nixon's press secretary Ron Ziegler, "no longer operative".

And so, because holding the media and the Republican Party accountable for what they said and did for decades to create the GOP monster machine that gave us Trump would be far too professionally injurious to both the media and the Republican Party, they have once again conspired to banish yet another large swath of the inconvenient past to the Forbidden Zone of the Before Time.

This is what those of who spent the last four years repeating "Burn The Lifeboats" over and over and over again meant.  But we lost, and an armada of elite Conservative lifeboats were assembled in plain sight, and the possibility of ever holding Bill Kristol or Rick Wilson or Joe Scarborough or Michael Gerson or Michael Steele or David Brooks accountable for any of the monstrous shit they said and did prior to 2015/6 sailed away over the horizon, gone forever. 

Or as a I included as part of a longer post ("Sigh") four years ago...

Then came the Middle Time.  The exact beginning of the Middle Time is difficult to pin down because it's based on the moment when the genius prophet/noble martyr Never Trumpers suddenly began to suspect that their Republican Party was -- gasp! -- full of Republican, and that moment of staggering revelation is different for each of them.  After all,  in the Spring of 2017 Joe Scarborough was still helping out his good friend Donald Trump, barbering his first speech to Congress for him, and then sitting in the audience applauding.  

Hell, even Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway was still pledging his unstinting support for Trump well into 2017.

And in 2018, after Tweeting some very mild criticism of Trump, Conway thought better of it and deleted those Tweets.  Conway spent the rest of 2018 questioning some of Trump's policies and appointments and retweeting criticism of Trump's decisions, but not Trump's character or fitness for office.  Which, all-in-all, was less critical of Trump than, say Paul Krugman was critical of Obama, and one would hardly call Krugman a Never Obama-er for that.  

But as mushy as it is, establishing a general start date of the Middle Time is also vital to the Never Trumper project because they need a relatively fixed point in time before which nothing they said or did will count against them and all of the Left's warnings about where the Right was headed are forgotten, and after which they and they alone stand unopposed on America's moral and political high ground.  Which is why, when describing the political and moral disaster that Republicans have once again visited on us, all you will ever hear from the media and the Never Trumpers is "as I predicted four years ago" or "as I have been saying these last five years" or "as we have been warning on this podcast/cable news show/website for several years now".

The start date for the Middle Time as now become a ritual incantation.

The exact end date of the Middle Time is equally murky and equally critical to the Never Trumper project because Never Trumpers need a date beyond which, no matter how exuberantly you suddenly began talking smack about Trump, it's too fucking late! A date beyond which Never Trumpers adjudge that you cannot be counted as a genius prophet and noble martyr --  cannot be among the Elect.

So let's call it 2019.  

The Middle Time ended somewhere during 2019, after which we entered the After Time, which is the present time.  The here and now.  And here and now, Never Trumpers have some very fairly harch opinions about what the penalties should be for those who do not "confess" and offer their "unconditional and immediate" surrender.

Rick Wilson's judgement is pitiless:

“Nobody is fooled by these last-second, come-to-Jesus conversions."

Steve Schmidt believes such people should be rendered unemployable:

As does Fred Wellman:

And Stuart Stevens promises that the Lincoln Lads will be maintaining an Enemies List to keep track who is naughty and who is nice:


Except I feel a very strong obligation to Clio of Goddess of History to point out that the deal which Never Trumpers are offering to "these last-second, come-to-Jesus" converts -- "confession" and admission of guilt -- is exactly the same deal which I offered them.  Which begs the question, has there ever been anything that Liberals have written that Never Trumpers haven't eventually ripped off?

Here is a snip from a post I wrote three years ago.  It's one of the many I've written explaining this in clear, simple language ("The Cheap Grace of David Fucking Brooks"):

And no, to the so-called Never Trumpers who want us all to be pals now.  Who want cheap grace and ouchless redemption poured out for them despite the fact that, up until 18 months ago, they were only too happy to go right on straightening the very long, wide, filthy path of Republican racism, rage and paranoia down which Donald J. Trump strolled into the White House.

Confession first.
The Left has been right about the Right all along.  
Repentance first.
I am heartily sorry for spending most of my adult life supporting this mob of bigots and imbeciles and lying to excuse or mitigate their atrocities.  
Atonement first.
Having made a fortune preaching toxic bullshit and being wrong about everything since forever, I will work just as tirelessly to drive the Republican Party to extinction as I worked creating this hellbeast that is wrecking my country.  I pledge to go work with my sleeves rolled up to help the people my party's actions have hurt.  Furthermore, I ask that someone who has not been a Republican shill for the past 30 years take my place in all the places of influence where I now enjoy a permanent, reserved seat.
Then and only then comes forgiveness.

Some of you might remember that your host took all kinds of shit, especially from my putative "allies", for simply asking of Never Trumpers what Never Trumpers now demand of  the "last-second, come-to-Jesus" converts.  I was lectured in no uncertain terms by many of my Liberal allies that the New Rule was that anyone who stood up and called Trump a shit-head was automatically on the side of the angels, no questions asked. 

Fine. But by that logic -- if warning of the dangers of Trump in 2018 marked someone as a genius prophet deserving of virtually unlimited air time on cable news and books deals and paid opinion writing gigs in America's leading publications -- why wouldn't those who have been warning in vain for decades that the GOP was headed straight down the terrible road that led to Trump be considered even greater genius prophets?  Even more deserving of virtually unlimited air time on cable news and books deals and paid opinion writing gigs in America's leading publications?

Oh you pure, dumb Liberal.  Haven't you been listening?  Didn't you read the fine print? All of those crackpot alarmist Liberal warnings about the direction the GOP was taking took place during the Before Time and therefor don't count.  Duh!  

And besides, even if the refs were to acknowledge the existence of those decades of incisive Liberal analysis of the Right, we crackpot alarmist Liberals would still not be qualified to sit in judgement of any Republicans because...

...Both Sides!

Betcha didn't see that coming!

Over at the (surprise!) Bulwark podcast once again, Josh Kraushaar rolls out this halting, tortured hypothesis while Charlie Sykes nods eagerly along:  

Kraushaar:  The biggest fear I have for our... for society's long-term health is our ability to... to believe in actual truth.  Like that yeah I'm left I mean this is a... and... and... and... we're seeing it right now on the Right, but you know, we can talk about some of the stuff over the summer on the Left -- some of the we've talked about this... on the same podcast.  That there's a post-modernism on the Left AND the Right that's kind of... feeds off of each other.  And it... all is... it... the... the... it doesn't believe in truth.  It doesn't believe in facts. It wants to create "narrative" and it wants to rely on power to... to basically force people to... to... to... to... believe their... their... their... preferred narratives.  And I think you've got to... to get our society back on the right track... you've just got to look at the lodestar of Truth and Fact and Reporting and all the... the... the... the... the things we've... we've.... we've traditionally relied on as a healthy, democratic society.  And, uh, y'know that... that is a... I think it's a project that has to be done within both parties. You can't rely on, uh, Republicans criticizing Democrats or Democrats criticizing Republicans. It'll take leaders in... in both parties to stand up and say "We... we need to stand for reality!"  Not... not... not... crazy.

Charlie Sykes: Yeah. to their own teams.

Well lemme tell you about my team.

My team didn't spend the last 50 years building a political party out of the rage, racism and paranoia of tens of millions of reprogrammable meatbags, and my team didn't spent the last four years cheering for the worst president in history and then march off to the polls in record numbers to re-elect him. My team is not a shitpile of irredeemably fucked-in-the-head bigots and imbeciles and their enablers who are now going to be rushing the gates demanding yet another dose ouchless absolution -- another round of the same whitewashing and memory-holing that these same clowns were given after the collapse of the Bush Administration.  

So if Liberals are both nonexistent (because of the Before Time) and inherently unqualified to criticize Republicans (because Both Sides), and all Republican who stared talking shit about Trump starting in 2019 cannot be trusted to reform the Republican Party (because of the After Time) who, then, is there in all this wide, wide world who both exists and was right about Trump during the very narrow window of the Middle Time?

You damn well know who.

So how exactly did it come to pass that a handful of Never Trumpers have positioned themselves as the sole arbiters of political absolution?

Well this is where my team fucked up badly.  From me, last year ("File This Under 'Selling Your Birthright for a Mess of Pottage'.")

Here we are again, hobbling our way through yet another ongoing series of hellacious Republican presidential clusterfucks which has once again provided the entire world with indisputable proof that the Left really has been right about the Right all along.

And that was the exact moment that Liberals waaaay up the food chain from me decided it would be an excellent time to started throwing themselves at the Never Trumpers like drunk prom dates.

And before we continue, I need pause for a moment to make one thing abundantly clear: I actually believe in redemption and forgiveness and all the rest of that good stuff.  Not only does my faith required it of me, but it's also a very practical way to make it through life with a minimum of agita.

However before getting to the forgive and the forget, first must come confession.

Then repentance.

Then contrition.

Then atonement.

Then and only then can come absolution.

But this is not the path most Never Trumpers are willing to walk.  They are a smug and entitled little clique used to a life of deference and never being held accountable for anything...

As it was explained to me slowly and repeatedly as if I were a child, we were gonna let the Never Trumpers temporarily join our team, because "All hands on deck!" and so forth.  However, since bringing up their bloody, complicit past made our new Never Trump allies feel icky, we were also going to agree not to rudely mention their bloody, complicit past or hold them accountable for any of the horrible things they had said and done. 

Then, after we had disposed of the existential threat that their party had inflicted on us,  we would somehow take control of our national political narrative back from the Never Trumpers and all of that pre-2016 stuff would be litigated.

Which was such a criminally foolish thing for otherwise sensible adults to believe that it sometimes left me breathless with despair.

Now that Trump has gone, as I look out across the vast wasteland of the American political media, I do not see the true history of the Republican Party -- the long, public decent into madness and fascism that ended with Donald Trump -- being discussed all day, every day by Liberals (and supplemented by a few chagrined Never Trump volunteers) on cable news and on the opinion pages of every major American newspaper.  

In fact, I don't see that story being told anywhere, by anyone.  Except, perhaps, by the same rag-tag group of Liberal bloggers who have always told that story, and have always been despised for it.  

Instead I see an American political media which has now been completely colonized by men like Rick Wilson and and a handful of his fellow Never Trumpers.  Men with deep contacts in the media who, with the help of my team,  have insinuated themselves into every media outlet -- op-ed pages, books, writing gigs at major American publications, and appearance agreements on cable news where their books and podcasts and marketing companies are valorized to the tune of millions of dollars worth of free publicity every day -- so thoroughly that if you flip on MSNBC at pretty much any hour of the day you will find a Never Trumper there, on set, telling their story, nor ours.

So as tens of millions of racist Republican shitheads scramble to once again escape responsibility for yet another catastrophe they created, be prepared for your Never Trump friends to use the credibility and moral authority which our Liberal elite handed over to them free-of-charge to open their own, branded Indulgence factory and get into the Mass Absolution Business big time.


This is Charlie Sykes on his podcast this very day, January 20, 2021, talking about the seething resentment he gets from the "anti-anti-Trumpers" who are now trying to get right with the Lord, but are still pissed off at Never Trumpers:

SykesThey're angry because, of course, there's nothing worse than being right too soon, right?  

When he said that, I admit I started laughing loud enough to scare the neighbor's dog.

Sykes: I remember the stories of, y'know, the folks who who broke away from, say, Communism for being -- this is an actual phrase in history -- Premature Anti-Stalinism.  Ok, Stalin turned out to be a monster but you broke too early.  You should have waited until it was fashionable.  You should have waited until Lillian Hellman told you it was OK.  So the folks that are sitting around at The Nation Review and the Washington Examiner are saying, "Ok, Ok, so he's disgraced.  He was really really horrible.  But at least we didn't suffer from the Trump Derangement Syndrome of, I dunno, Bill Kristol and Tim Miller and Charlie Sykes."

Bulwark staffer Tim Miller continues the game of "What those assholes over at The National Review are probably saying about us right now.":

Miller: "At least, I mean we, I mean come on!  These crazy Never Trumpers who even...they went too far, Charlie,  they went so far, as to even attack our great United States senators for going along with the coup... that led to their near-death at the capitol.  I mean, the Never Trumper guys wanted to criticize those senators and take them out too because on January 5th -- the night before the insurrection -- they were all supporting pro-coup candidates.  Now that is just... that's just a step too far!"

But just try to apply Miller and Sykes' own Never Trump words and logic backwards in time.  To the time before Trump.  Ask them what about all those Liberals who, history has shown, were most definitely "right too soon"?  

Ask them about all those Liberals who have been ignored or slagged or nitpicked to death by these very people because we on the Left were right about the Right loooong "before it was fashionable"?  Before Bill Kristol told us it was OK?

Go ahead and ask them, and then watch what happens:

No Half Measures


duquesne_pdx said...

Fact check: True. Every damn word of it.

Neo Tuxedo said...

I've never heard of Premature Anti-Stalinism before. I have, thanks to Walter Jon Williams' story "Witness" (his contribution to the first Wild Cards anthology), heard of "premature anti-fascists" (which the narrator, Jack "Golden Boy" Braun, defines as "anyone who'd been unreliable enough not to like Hitler prior to 1941").

Unknown said...

Damn, I've missed your long rants of yesteryear that kept me sane and yelling out loud, "Right On", because there was someone else out there that could see what was going on and express it well. You still got it, brother. Thanks for all the work you've done and continue to do.

bt1138 said...

Wow. I'm still a little too PTSD (T is for Trump) to process such a long written thing.

Nonetheless, homage to Pink Animals is great. You should have been in advertising...

Bubba_Deets said...

. I’m really glad to know Larry Summers is advising another Democratic president. Normality at last...

steeve said...

And on top of all that, there isn't even any evidence that the Lincoln Project has influenced any election in any way.

Robt said...

U do not own a Frank Luntz republican dictionary. So I have no idea what the definition of Unity is when republicans speak such words?
The variances from Ted Cruz's use to Rand Paul to McConnell.

Unless it is defined as , "Confusing"

Unknown said...

"Come in here, dear boy / Have a cigar / yr gonna go far"

"Did we tellya the name of the game, boy? / We call it ridin' the gravy traaaainnnnn....!"

I know it's from WYWH and not Animals but it seems appropriate enough.

Hal Rager said...

Wonderful, prescient, and correct, as always. I must, however, ask -- what is an 'MST3K gang'?

ChicagoPat said...

Mystery Science Theatre 3000, arguably one of the funniest TV shows ever made. I think this was a tongue-in-cheek reference to Trump's endless "MS13" gang porn.

Hal Rager said...

Ah, thanks. I could not see a connection between Joel, his robot friends, and a gang...

Professional Left Podcast #690

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