Thursday, June 30, 2022

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


5 comments:

Anonymous said...


It was Robert Heinlein who pointed out "Being right too soon is socially unacceptable."

Denny said...

Essentially, the Republicans have resorted to feeding Soylent Green to the idiot base, who themselves have been convinced by their servers that they are in fact political gourmands.

Anonymous said...

You may get sick of hearing me say this if you're not already, but: weaponized falsehood is the core tool of the GOP and its Hate Wurlitzer. It's not just their brand. It's who they are.

If I'm being too subtle, what I'm saying is that Sykes, Nichols, Dowd, Kristol, and all their cohort Never-Trumpers knew exactly what the fuck was going on when the crazy base was spiraling towards critical mass.

They knew, and they did what Republican officials and media enablers always, always, always fucking do: they bare-face lied about it.

The kabuki-show "OMG how did this happen?!?!" is just the next stage of their lies: self-exonerating memory-holing.

There's a club, after all. Those lake houses and houseboats won't buy themselves, yanno?

ELSKY said...

No place at nicole Wallace's table either. Or shecky dr. Dreck's table either, or mrs. Greenspan's or Chuckles Todd or Dana "who's my daddy" Bash or.....

dave said...

it is like the prefeminist manifestos...'good idea, now lets hear a man say it...'

'good idea...now we'll wait a couple of decades and let frum, brooks, sykes to say it'

My "I Promise Not To Give Your Money To Rupert Murdoch" Fundraiser.

I am given to understand that the Lincoln Lads are trying to raise one million dollars to create content that would "mess wit...