Showing posts with label donald trump. Show all posts
Showing posts with label donald trump. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 08, 2015


Now that the Republican Presidential front-runner has anted up his bigotry, conservatives are trying harder to disown him. But it really cuts against their grain. When Trump proposed keeping Muslims out of the U.S., David French had just put up a post at National Review all about how dangerous Muslims are -- the title, in fact, is "Dispelling the ‘Few Extremists’ Myth – the Muslim World Is Overcome with Hate." Among the choice bits:
...jihadists represent the natural and inevitable outgrowth of a faith that is given over to hate on a massive scale, with hundreds of millions of believers holding views that Americans would rightly find revolting... 
To understand the Muslim edifice of hate, imagine it as a pyramid — with broadly-shared bigotry at the bottom, followed by stair steps of escalating radicalism... 
The base of the pyramid, the most broadly held hatred in the Islamic world, is anti-Semitism, with staggering numbers of Muslims expressing anti-Jewish views... 
The next level of the pyramid is Muslim commitment to deadly Islamic supremacy. In multiple Muslim nations, overwhelming majorities of Muslims support the death penalty for apostasy or blasphemy...
Etc. To be fair, he stops short of calling them vermin. If you said something like this about Christians, French would file a hate-crime complaint. You can imagine some goon reading this and thinking Shee-it, them Muslims sound awful, I better vote for Trump an' keep 'em all out!

But today French is trying to distance himself from Trump. Not on the grounds of their mutual beliefs, mind you -- French reiterates that "it’s foolish to admit a class of refugees when we know the world’s leading terror army is attempting to infiltrate the displaced masses or recruit from their ranks." But the ones that are here already, they can stay, French says -- and we can let in a small, select group of "good" Muslims, such as "interpreters who’ve laid down their lives to serve our warriors downrange... members of allied militaries who are training to be the Muslim 'boots on the ground,'" et alia. Everyone else can go die in the sea.

Oh, then he talks about what a menace political correctness is. Which is weird, because he and they are really just waiting to put in a nominee who can be as racist as Trump but keep his mouth shut about it.

UPDATE. As has become his habit of late ("We Didn't Start The Fire: Who Created Trump?"), Matt Lewis of The Daily Caller emerges again to tell us that Trump's strong support among Republicans is bad for Republicans, especially when they were getting so pumped up denouncing Obama after his pro-reason terrorism speech:
Yesterday, the media cycle was focused on radical Islamism and President Obama’s inability to counter it. Today, Donald Trump has changed the subject. But it’s not just that. Yesterday, the view that radical Islamism was a serious threat that President Obama has not taken seriously (polling backs this up) was a persuasive mainstream position that evoked sympathy and agreement. Today, it’s marginally harder to make that argument.
Now when Ralph Peters calls Obama a pussy, people will think we're intemperate! At the end Lewis admits Trump will probably get a boost from his statements -- another case of Republicans being unfairly made to look bad by other Republicans!

UPDATE 2. At The Federalist, Ben Domenech:
It is no accident that President Obama’s America has given rise to Donald Trump.
It defies explanation, but I'll try: Everyone thinks Obama's a failure and hates him (never mind showing Domenech polls that suggest otherwise, those are all run by liberals), and "our modern elites respond to that rational distrust by smearing it as vile hatred, which further divides and toxifies our politics." In other words, if you point out that their argument is wrong, that just makes Republicans more insane and racist -- so it's all your fault! "And Trump is a perfect personality to exploit these divides," Domenech goes on, "offering the promise of an authoritarian who represents the people in place of an authoritarian who represented the elites." I hope you're proud of yourself, liberals!

Like the rest of our subjects, Domenech basically agrees with Trump; he, too, thinks Muslims are toxic and "elites" are losing the War on Whatchamacallit with their "tolerance" bullshit ("Republicans have spent much of the past three years wringing their hands over how to win the white working class – Donald Trump is showing them how: by confronting and rejecting the values and authority of the elites..."). But he got the Trump-bad memo, so he portrays Trump as a menace while embracing his message. Look, it's at The Federalist -- it's not like it has to make sense.

UPDATE 3: You see this shit:

"The author advises Marco Rubio’s campaign for president." Presumably he advises on non-sequential thought, because his column is just the usual rightwing froth crowned with an "if it weren't for Joel Grey singing 'Wilkommen' there'd have never been a Hitler" assertion. And actually that's not new either: Conservative factota have been trying to blame Trump on Obama, or draw parallels between the two men, since Trump became the front-runner, and because they've saturated their little world with this false equivalence, there's no longer any reason to even pretend to back it up with evidence.

UPDATE 3. What have I been telling you people.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Yeah, it's from the Steven Crowder site, a rightwing fake-poop factory, but roll with me here a second:
This morning, HuffPo ran a photo spread with the kinds of people who inspired the human-like characters in Wall-E (which, by the way, no one I’m aware of decried as mean or “fat-shaming”). But if you dare say anything negative about someone’s unhealthy body of people sized XXXXXXXXL and above, you’re a horrible person for “fat-shaming.” 
Yet making fun of skinny women? Open season. They’re called “skinny bitches” and you can say whatever you want about them, and no one blinks. Jealousy may be a factor. Have you ever heard of “skinny-shaming?” No, not skinny-dipping, that’s something else. Stay focused. Thin women take flak from plus-sized women, yet no one comes to their defense and demands their comedy video be removed from YouTube. And guess what? Some “skinny” women have tried everything they can to gain weight, and they can’t...
I hardly need explain why this is bullshit; in fact, I doubt even Crowder's regulars are dumb enough to buy it -- until the author, Courtney Kirchoff, says the magic words feminist and liberal:
Fat-shaming has become a new third-wave feminist movement and bigger women especially are demanding society not only accept them, but embrace their full figures and lifestyle without judgment...

Liberal Logic: it’s okay to be fat and judge skinny people. It’s not okay to make fun of fat people regardless of your size.
And presto, she's no longer just a rude asshole, she's politically incorrect, the apex of the conservative Pyramid of Honor.

By the way, guess who Kirchoff's a fan of:

Generally speaking, the Crowder site is not completely in the bag for Trump: They defend him when he's attacked by Mexicans and/or homosexuals ("HILARIOUS: Ricky Martin Goes After Trump. We Destroy Him..."), but attack him when he's mean to other Republicans ("Now I’m no huge Megyn Kelly fan, but regardless of where you line up on [Michelle] Malkin... 'dummy' is not a valid attack").

If you're wondering where the growing number of Republicans zombie-marching behind the club-fingered vulgarian come from, don't listen to the pundits harrumphing about how this Trump fellow for all his flaws makes some valid points -- look at the resentment mills where wingnuts manufacture ever more exotic excuses to be jerks. If you want your shitty beliefs passed into law, you can get that from any Republican; but if you want your shitty attitude flattered, there's nothing like Trump. And increasingly that's what Republican voters are deciding they want.

UPDATE. Commenter EndOfTheWorld says, "Complaining about 'skinny-bitches' reminds me of the 90s, when I'd hear these same young Republican types cry foul that some gay guy somewhere called a straight person a 'breeder,' or that a black comedian made fun of the way white people drive." They've been the real victim for years of every despised minority, but lately they've had to confront the fact that even their fellow white people aren't buying it anymore; hence, the additional notes of hysteria.

Monday, September 07, 2015


One of the creepier developments in the right-blogosphere has been the emergence of a group of white supremacist online losers who think the conservative establishment isn't racist enough; they throw around the word "cuckservative" and get excited when it is repeated even in disgust or derision, because it means attention; naturally they're big fans of Donald Trump. By and large the group has been disowned by the better-known conservative bloggers, who try to steer their readers away from the group, much as Dorian Gray tried to keep people from seeing the picture in his attic.

"Better-known conservative bloggers" and "white supremacist online losers" are not exactly huge constituencies, so any publicity bump for the controversy, however modest, was bound to stir the shit, and under cover of Labor Day Weekend Jonah Goldberg spoke against Trump and by implication his fringier fans -- Stormfront versus stormfart, as it were. Whether Goldberg speaks from conviction or because David Koch held a gun to his head, his nerves are evident. Goldberg doesn't get into the racist stuff, probably because he realizes that, given his own history, he would be laughed off the face of the earth if he tried to claim that particular high ground, so he reminds people that Trump used to be pro-choice, and that he's ill-mannered. Apparently intuiting how little this would mean to anyone,  he embraces martyrdom for the Cause:
...I am tempted to believe that Donald Trump’s biggest fans are not to be relied upon in the conservative cause. I have hope they will come to their senses. But it’s possible they won’t. And if the conservative movement and the Republican party allow themselves to be corrupted by this flim-flammery, then so be it. My job will be harder, my career will suffer, and I’ll be ideologically homeless (though hardly alone). That’s not so scary. Conservatism began in the wilderness and maybe, like the Hebrews, it would return from it stronger and ready to rule...
Oh, sphincter up, Mary, one wants to tell Goldberg -- you're a legacy pledge and your Mom will never let you miss any of your dozen daily meals.

Anyway the white supremacists let up a collective shriek and in their Laboratories of Butch developed a nice new hashtag: #NRORevolt, meant to signal their displeasure with Goldberg and the entire rotten establishment. The tweets, like the one reproduced below, have the belligerent yet wounded tone of a 10-year-old boy telling his G.I. Joe doll to go gut-stab his mother in vengeance for his time-out.

Feel the momentum! The mainstream conservatives are mad, but what can they do? After years of throwing boob bait, they find the boobs fording the moat and don't know how to send them back. Some, like The Weekly Standard's Jim Swift, try to portray these white supremacists as just like liberals:
Like a right-wing bastard child of Occupy Wall Street and Anonymous, #NRORevolt was popular among the nom-de-plume crowd on Twitter (i.e. cowards). Like OWS, it didn’t have much in the way of stated goals, other than outrage/revolt. But hey, when you have former Enron Adviser Paul Krugman agreeing, what else do you need?
That last bit refers to a column in which Krugman calls Trump "exactly the ignorant blowhard he seems to be" and his platform in general "viciously absurd," but allows that the idea of taxing the rich, which Trump happens to share, isn't bad. For the equally tendentious Occupy Wall Street and Anonymous references, Swift doesn't even have that much of a fig leaf. I know partisanship requires a certain willing suspension of disbelief, but does Swift really think anyone attracted to this Aryan Little-Brotherhood is going to be scared off by the taunt that it will make him look like a liberal?

The fleurs du mal are getting more pungent by the day. Here's something from Taki's Magazine -- a guy complaining about the "faux 'anti-PC' bravery of many conservatives" including... Mark Steyn. Wow, you may be thinking, he's calling out Mark Steyn -- this guy must be really hardcore anti-PC! Buddy, you don't know the half of it:
So here’s the bigger point I’m trying to make. My example proves the emptiness of the braggadocio you hear from many conservative pundits about how fearless they are in the face of political correctness: “Mexican immigrants are rapists. Palestinians are a death cult. Black Americans owe whites a ‘debt’ for being enslaved and then freed” (a gem from David Horowitz, an original FOA member). “Women in higher education will lead to the ‘abolition of man.’ White women need to breed more to overcome an invasion of uncivilized darkies. ‘Sodomites’ are waging ‘gayhad’ against straight people. Offended? Get over it, Mr. Sensitive. We’re being brave and audacious and in-your-face! Oh, but just don’t say anything that might be offensive to Jews. That’s crossing the line. Hey, look how quickly we found our sensitivity!”
I should tell you that the author is David Cole, best known for his unorthodox ideas about the Holocaust ("'The best guess is yes, there were gas chambers' he says. 'But there is still a lot of murkiness about the camps...'"). Now he's complaining that Mark Steyn and David Horowitz are too PC. The old curse may have been mistranslated: Maybe our enemies really wish for us to live in hilarious times.

Thursday, September 03, 2015


We've seen the other Republican candidates, fading in the face of Trump, going "Look at me! I can be crazy too!" What might be the journalistic equivalent?
It would seem a tad overheated to speculate that Hillary Clinton being elected president could trigger an American civil war. Unfortunately, it’s not. If not an outright war, massive civil disobedience would likely be in the offing. 
If our chief executive is assumed to be dishonest by the majority of the population — a solid plurality and possibly even a majority believing her actually to be criminal — before she takes office, what would be the natural outgrowth to society, if not a breakdown of one sort or another?...
Just kidding -- while I'm sure PJ Media could use the attention, this is not really new for Roger L. Simon, he's been totally mental for years. Anyway: Simon thinks "the chances of Hillary’s nomination are decreasing on a near-daily basis," so I guess she would have to win on a third-party ticket, or maybe just ride into the Oval Office singing Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen, and when that happens --
Almost no one who voted against her would be giving her the benefit of the doubt. Why should they? They would be looking for ways to reject her presidency.
Not like now!
Tax avoidance would be endemic. Why give money to a country where the president abjures the rule of law? (Yes, that’s already happened but this would, after a political campaign, be a force multiplier.)
Maybe these patriotic tax cheats will be supported by Charles Murray's Honky Freedom Riders. Then Simon dons sackcloth and sayeth the sooth:
With the national treasury under threat, all sorts of results could occur — a stock market meltdown beyond what we are experiencing now, full scale depression like the 1930s, urban riots that make Baltimore and Ferguson look like Kiddyland, nonstop demonstrations of all sorts from all sides, millions of people opting out á la John Galt (most without knowing who he is), an American decline beyond recognition (if you think things are bad now, you haven’t seen anything), little border control with giant Islamic spillover from Europe, terror attacks routine, and, yes, remote a possibility as it may be, a violent civil war between between sides in a hugely split society.
The Go Galt schtick is the tip-off: This is everything these guys predicted for the Obama Administration, stuffed into one big bag of crazy for the next potential Democratic President. They did this when de Blasio got elected, too, and you could conceivably convince the rubes that the mayor really is turning New York into a gritty urban drama out of the 70s because most of them don't live there; getting them to believe the election of Hillary Clinton will lead to armageddon, as opposed to the sylvan glade that awaits under President Cruz (or the woman Simon apparently favors, Carly Fiorina, who wants to bring the skills that nearly destroyed Hewlett Packard to national governance), may take a bit more doing. Perhaps Simon would like to revisit during Halloween? I hear haunted houses can make a good bit of money, and they don't have to be convincing.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015


In a truckload of Trump articles A-list conservatives have tried in vain to get B-listers-and-lower to abandon Trumpism. They've compared him to everyone they don't like from Obama to John Stewart to Gore Vidal*. Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review, who previously compared Trump to Allen Ginsburg, shows the growing exasperation this week in a column called "Trump Has Succeeded in Convincing Conservatives to Discard their Principles Overnight." The British transplant sniffs at the salt-of-the-earth Americans who have elevated Trump to the lead in GOP Presidential polls -- why, don't they know Trump is a tax-and-spend liberal? Cooke explains to the lumpen what they're supposed to think:
Contrary to the fevered imagination of the exasperated American Left, conservative candidates for public office do not tend to take a free-market approach to fiscal policy because it helps “the rich,” but because they believe in earnest that it helps the whole country. By and large, this same rule applies to conservative voters, many of whom may not always benefit directly from the lack of meddling and modest confiscation, but who conceive nevertheless that a capitalistic economy is likely to deliver better results in the long term than is a power-hungry Uncle Sam... 
Honesty requires us to acknowledge that had President Obama endorsed exactly the same policies and rhetoric, the reaction from the Trumpkins would have been little short of nuclear. Where are those fawning Paul Ryan memes and indignant Founding Fathers’ quotes now, chaps?
I like to imagine Cooke reading this aloud to the "chaps" at a county fair, through a megaphone and while sporting a straw boater.

Maybe Cooke and the rest of the wingnut welfare top-feeders are upset because they find themselves on the wrong side of conservative history (which, I will tell you right now, ends in fiery ruin either for conservatives or for America). Once upon a time, any bylined rightist in need of an Amen could call out those true believer's mortal enemies, the RINOs, either vaguely or with some Congressional figurehead's name attached, and the whole congregation would have a nice grouse over the not-right establishment that was holding them down. Now the punters consider Cooke and his buddies to be the RINOs. You see it in the comments sections of all their anti-Trump columns. And you can hear it from the commentary choice of Trumpites, rightwing radio, which has seized the market opportunity presented by the occasion. At the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens has his own snarl at Trump-followers ("[Trump] isn’t the problem. The people are. It takes the demos to make the demagogue"), and is answered by broadcast shouter Mark Levin:
Freaking out at WSJ -- the editorial page stands for amnesty and open borders, endless debt ceiling increases, hundreds of billions in bailouts for Wall Street under Bush, attacks on the Tea Party movement, etc., and now this guy pretends to hold the banner for conservatism as he smears conservatives and laments the state of conservatism. Many conservatives have not endorsed anyone yet, but are attentively listening to the candidates as the primary season has barely begun. The WSJ editorial page has become mouthpiece for the GOP establishment and an overall joke.
In a year this may all be forgotten. Or it may turn out to have been a hardhats-vs.-hippies moment, leaving lingering resentments and schism. Mister, we could use a man like Mittens Romney again!

*UPDATE. Speaking of those Trump comparisons, about the stupidest has been the comparison with Bernie Sanders made by Glenn Reynolds, Ira Stoll, Nick Gillespie et alia. Well, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stuffs it today:
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders faced his own challenge at a political event last month, when two African American women pushed in front of him to use the microphone to demand four and a half minutes of silence to honor the death of Michael Brown. Sanders left the stage and mingled with the crowd. Later, Trump criticized Sanders as being “weak” for allowing them to speak, but truly he showed grace under pressure by acknowledging their frustration and anger. Instead of bullying their voices into silence or ridiculing them as losers, pigs or bimbos, Sanders left. After all, it was not his event; he was a guest. Besides, his voice was not silenced, but came back booming even louder: The next day, Sanders posted a sweeping policy of reform to fight racial inequality. (The timing coincided with Michael Brown’s death and had nothing to do with the two women.)
The two approaches reveal the difference between a mature, thoughtful and intelligent man, and a man whose money has made him arrogant to criticism and impervious to feeling the need to have any actual policies...
All this and the Hall of Fame, too. In alicublog comments, coozledad remind us of Krugman's column on the Trump travesty ("What happened to conservative principles? Actually, nothing — because those alleged principles were never real"), pretty good for a guy with no hoop skills.

Monday, August 31, 2015


You and I are well acquainted with the awfulness of Rod Dreher, and it's gotten to the point where I don't check his site much anymore, because it's too often the same old lather-rinse-repeat of gay oppression and the Benedict Option and I can't even. But I wandered over there today and came across a paragraph in a post called "Trump, the American Pim Fortuyn" (yes, Dreher managed to top the other ridiculous Trump comparisons) that epitomizes not just what's awful about Dreher, but also what's awful about a certain cast of mind all too common in this great democracy:
When I think of Trump’s appeal, I think about the conversations we used to have at the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News years ago. All of us involved in the discussion had good private health insurance, so none of us had to use the city’s public hospitals, which were jammed by immigrants, many of them in the country illegally, demanding health care. If we were poor or working-class citizens — white, black, or brown — who depended on the public hospitals (or for that matter, the public schools in small towns or non-white suburbs), the immigration problem would probably have looked a lot different. But we weren’t, so immigration more often than not appeared as a matter of socially tolerant liberalism and pro-business conservatism. People of all races who weren’t well-off enough to have good private health care, to put their kids in private schools, or to move to suburbs with good public schools — who spoke for them? Who speaks for them?
Dreher is a Christian of the most strenuously self-promoting kind. Christ's least-of-my-brothers stuff is, of course, also the least-assimilated part of the Gospels for people like him.

But for most of them it's enough just to be a flat-out hypocrite and act as if those poor people who aren't dropping the little extra they've got in their favorite megapastor's collection plate don't exist: No, Dreher acknowledges them, but cunningly finds a way to turn these out-group paupers, these desperate Mexicans who risk death in coming to America, risk uprooting and disaster once they've arrived, and are regularly and viciously exploited while they're here, into the real oppressors.

They can't legally get health insurance, see, so they clog up the emergency rooms that can't turn them away when they're sick -- which Dreher characterizes as  "demanding health care," as if treatment for illnesses were the equivalent of an iPhone or a pair of fancy sneakers. And in seeking medical attention, these immigrants deny native-born Americans the emergency room elbow-room they deserve. No, it has nothing to do with the shitty bottom-layer funding and attention we give to all our public services, including emergency care, in this country -- it's those even poorer poor people who are to blame.

And, naturally, liberals who give a shit about these bums are just pretending to do so because they secretly despise the non-Mexican, legally-working-for-the-most-part, and (most importantly) reliably-Republican class -- especially if those liberals have "good private health insurance." Because if you think everyone should have the privileges you have, then you should feel guilty about having them yourself; but if you don't think everyone should have them, then your possession of them, even in the midst of thousands suffering for lack of them, is just the earned blessing of the righteous.

Evil's not too strong a word.

Friday, August 28, 2015


Maybe I should see them tonight? Everything I've heard is good.

•   I recently noted Ross Douthat's attempt to portray the Donald Trump phenomenon as a boon to reform conservatism (i.e., the latest rightwing nerd jobs program). It appears the longer this thing goes on, the more slide-rule boys rush to offer their services. At the Weekly Standard, after some pro-forma yak about what a boor Trump is, Christopher Caldwell tells that Trump's "economic critique" -- yes, he's talking about Trump's brayings, to which he'd referred a paragraph earlier as "talking about how filthy rich the filthy rich are" -- "fits into a sophisticated attack on the present state of presidential campaign finance." Not sophisticated itself, mind you, but it fits into something sophisticated, just as Trump himself may be fitted into a $5,000 suit. Then, at Slate, Reihan Salam has all kinds of exciting ideas for Trump. Apparently inspired by single-issue candidate Larry Lessig's praise of Trump as a campaign finance reformer, Salam suggests Trump embrace Lessig's program, as this "would add intellectual heft to [Trump's] populism, which would force his media detractors to give him at least some begrudging respect." I don't know what's funnier: the idea of Trump's campaign acquiring "intellectual heft," or that of Trump showing respect for an egghead like Lessig who doesn't have his own private jet and probably eats in a school cafeteria like a schlub. Funniest of all, perhaps, is the idea of these pencil-necks hovering around Trump, telling themselves that if only they can press their policy papers into the paws of the Strongman, the Golden Dawn may be hastened.

•   And what can make Trump talk worse? Peggy Noonan! Today she explains Peggy Noonan through the avatar of that Non-Partisan Nameless Friend:
I’ve written before about an acquaintance—late 60s, northern Georgia, lives on Social Security, voted Obama in ’08, not partisan, watches Fox News, hates Wall Street and “the GOP establishment.” She continues to be so ardent for Mr. Trump that she not only watched his speech in Mobile, Ala., on live TV, she watched while excitedly texting with family members—middle-class, white, independent-minded—who were in the audience cheering. Is that “the Republican base”?
Hope so -- it'll be easy to beat an imaginary constituency. Also, Hispanics love Trump, Noonan's friend "Cesar" from the bodega tells her:
Immigrants, he said, don’t like illegal immigration, and they’re with Mr. Trump on anchor babies. “They are coming in from other countries to give birth to take advantage of the system. We are saying that! When you come to this country, you pledge loyalty to the country that opened the doors to help you..." 
I will throw in here that almost wherever I’ve been this summer, I kept meeting immigrants who are or have grown conservative—more men than women, but women too.
Take Peggy Noonan's word to the bank: Your neighbors from the DR, Trinidad, Sudan, Chile, Vietnam -- they're all raring to vote Republican so long as the party nominates a suitably aggressive TV clown.  Morton Downey Jr. gazes on this from the Hereafter and sighs at what might have been.

•   Stella Morabito, the craziest shrink since Robin of Berkeley, is back to tell us how PC is destroying everything by preventing sensible conservative discourse, like how horrible Caitlyn Jenner is:
A perfect example is how the transgender lobby has saturated the media and pop culture with its talking points through Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner and incessant Hollywood shilling. Suppression is the PC practice of quashing ideas that compete with the PC message, usually through speech codes, shout-downs, or smears... The twin processes of saturation and suppression, if diligently applied, can produce the illusion of a public opinion shift, or a “cascade.”
Fans of Morabito's work will understand that these "cascades" are bad because they make you accept homosexuals:
Consider how the Left’s propaganda machine manufactured an “opinion cascade” on the issue of same-sex marriage, by first using “surprising validator” conservatives like Vice President Dick Cheney, polling pundit Michael Barone, and especially David Blankenhorn, who was one of the most persuasive and powerful supporters of organic marriage until he broke down and published a recantation. Not surprisingly, stealth conservatives—particularly those who work in increasingly politicized professions such as psychiatry, social work, teaching, or the arts—have enormous potential if they come out as surprising validators.
Amazing what how much gay-PC we've accomplished thanks to stealth conservatives like Dick Cheney, eh? (Though personally I think it was the recantation of David Blankenhorn that really turned things around for us.)

Anyway Morabito bids her readers go out and make their own cascades:
So conservatives, engage in those polarized, gridlocked places—like the neighborhood picnic, the local swim club, the farmer’s market, the student union, etc.—and engage one on one. Come out to a neighbor or a classmate.
Oh boy! Is this where we say "I hate faggots" and wait for everyone else to do the same, like Spartacus?
Don’t bother with talking points, because the purpose is not to win the argument but to simply to put a human face on your beliefs. 
Just be who you are and be friendly. In today’s PC-saturated culture, that’s the only way to draw out the lonely like-minded person or to influence a fence-sitter. It’s also the only way to water down PC stereotypes of conservatives. Ultimately, it’s the only way to start those ripple effects that can create cascades of truth.
Wait a minute -- your war against PC is to be nice? I gotta tell ya: 1.) If that's the plan, every other anti-PC conservative I've seen has definitely got the instructions upside-down; and 2.) If your goal is to get people to like you, maybe dispense with the hysterical columns for starters?

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Peter Wood at National Review:
Compare Mr. Trump with the episode in 1968 when William F. Buckley Jr. responded to a taunt by Gore Vidal on ABC in televised commentary on the Democratic Convention in Chicago. The famous exchange — Vidal calls Buckley a “crypto-Nazi” and Buckley responds by calling Vidal a “queer” — is receiving fresh attention in the documentary Best of Enemies. Buckley, in the words of Hendrik Hertzberg writing in The New Yorker, “immediately regretted” the slur, “and eventually wrote that he had returned to his dressing room in a state of despair.” But “Vidal had no such regrets about calling his opponent a crypto-Nazi. He knew he had triumphed.” 
Buckley, the man of traditional values, despairs because his flash of verbal anger is a failure of self-control. Vidal, a man of the new era, exults because his taunt succeeded in breaking his opponent’s reserve. Today, Trump plays the part of Vidal, sneering at those over whom he would triumph.
Yes, you read that right -- someone compared Donald Trump to Gore Vidal. If this degeneration of conventional wisdom continues, by next week they'll be comparing him to Adlai Stevenson.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Jonah Goldberg explains that Donald Trump isn't the "politically correct" he-man he purports to be:
So first let me say, as I said to the caller, that I agree that political correctness is a huge problem, one I’ve written about many times (often punctuated with many un-PC jokes). 
One can imagine. ("So black not even The Man can keep it down!")
Second, as I also said to him, maybe I’m not the one who is befuddled. Perchance Trump fans are the ones who are confused, while I see the man more clearly... 
It is a lie that Donald Trump stands athwart political correctness, yelling Stop. For example, you may recall that Donald Trump and I got into a Twitter fight a few months back. At one point I wrote that he was “relentlessly tweeting like a 14-year-old girl.” 
How did Trump respond? If you guessed with Churchillian statesmanship, you guessed wrong. If you guessed with anti-PC fearlessness, you guessed wrong again
Instead, he played the political-correctness card. He said my tweet was a “horrible insult to women. Resign now or later!”  
I still love the “or later."

He followed up with more demands that I lose my job because of my insult to women.
In our debased era, portents of societal decay are all around us, like confetti at a Rip Taylor show. But this is a doozy: The author of a book about how liberals are fascists telling his Donald Trump fans that they should abandon their new idol because he played the war-on-women card like a PC sissy. Yeah, that'll move the needle. Doesn't Goldberg realize that none of Trump's followers, dumb as they may be, are so very dumb that they would take that "insult to women" stuff seriously? They recognize it for what it is, a mean joke -- because among guys like them, what else could a profession of sensitivity toward women possibly be?

If this is how Goldberg expects to keep the punters in the National Review tent, things must be worse than I thought. Perhaps it's time to drop the prices on those NR cruises, and add more proletarian on-board entertainments, like Goldberg on a dunking stool.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Funny or Die did a Planned Parenthood sting parody that's only borderline amusing in and of itself, but hilarious in its impact on dummies. Megan Fox of PJ Media:
Funny or Die has probably been on your Facebook feed once or twice. It is...
...that website that had that Will Ferrell bit with the little girl landlord who swears and the Zach Galifianakis interview with Barack Obama and some other online laffs, right? Thunderously no!
...a project founded by a spoiled rich kid who asked his very wealthy father to fund his frat-humor-turned-money-maker online comedy show. The wealthy daddy-benefactor is Mark Kvamme, who happens to be Governor Kasich’s sugar daddy. Kasich has been flying around in Kvamme’s jet with his campaign.
Are you not-laughing yet?
Unfortunately for Kasich (and Mark Kvamme), Michael Kvamme (pampered trust-fund baby) seems to think that Planned Parenthood’s scandalous and barbaric — not to mention illegal — methods of altering abortions to preserve organs to sell on the open market is funny.
Well, when you put it that way --
All of this is told by what I think might be minor celebrities (or semi-successful comedians) I’ve never heard of...
The video stars Kristin Wiig.*

Then Fox goes on about the latest real PP sting vid ("StemExpress employees taking blood samples from women and fetal tissue their aborted babies for research without their consent!") and yells at Funny or Die some more:
I’m surprised that this Funny or Die sketch didn’t go for broke and just make fun of aborted babies, like the pro-abortion Left usually does. Normally, when they are feeling secure in their dominance, they’ll really go for the disgusting abortion jokes.
Yeah, doesn't Jimmy Fallon do a couple of these every night?
None of that is in this video, which leads me to believe that they know exactly how much trouble Planned Parenthood is in and this is the best damage control they can manage.
They're only not doing these disgusting jokes because they know they'd get in trouble!  After a while she sniffs that Funny or Die is made up of "unfunny losers" and melts into a puddle.

You know why Donald Trump is really leading the GOP polls? Silly as Fox's column is, try thinking of it instead as a longform version of those Trump tweets in which The Donald lays down what he surely perceives as wisdom on subjects ranging from outside his expertise to in another universe from his expertise ("Everyone knows I am right that Robert Pattinson should dump Kristen Stewart. In a couple of years, he will thank me. Be smart, Robert"). Trump scores with conservatives because this is how they "analyze" everything -- that is, the same way Fox analyzes this modest video joke. They don't really think about it, they just react, making up ludicrous shit on the spot about how Kristin Wiig isn't anybody and those so-called comedians aren't really funny, etc. But in the silence that ensues, they have to imagine that people are cheering in response, whereas Trump has had the money and media access to train people to provide actual cheers. That's why they love him -- he's living their dream.

UPDATE. I see Greg Gutfeld, the Shecky Greene of Punching Down, had something to say about this parody video on his Fox News show. This line is already justly celebrated:
It's called Funny Or Die, but fetuses don't have that choice because they're already dead.
But with comedy greats like Gutfeld, the backswing is often choice too, and this one's no exception:
It's a shame that Funny Or Die didn't exist generations ago because they would have been great propagandists for Stalin.
And you thought the Jon Stewart butthurt was bad! Ain't culture-war hell? (I'm working from a partial transcript, so apologies if I missed any mention of Alinsky.)

*UPDATE 2. Commenters tell me that's not Kristin Wiig in the video -- apparently I misidentified Alice Wetterlund from The Interview and Silicon Valley. The whole cast is lesser-known comedians or, as Fox has it, "unfunny losers." Still pretty good, though.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


There are different kinds of conservative reactions to the hilarious phenomenon of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. There are lofty denunciations from rilly smart conservative True Scotsmen like this one from Charles C.W. Cooke: "Trump’s devotees consider themselves to be the rebels at the gates," he sniffs, but "by their dull, unreflective, often ovine behavior, they resemble binary and nuancless drones, as might be found in a novel by Aldous Huxley or Yevgeny Zamyatin" yeah yeah whatever Limey Brainiac hey didja see Trump smack down that fat bitch Rosie O'Donnell?

Others just compare Trump to other things they don't like, or blame him, as conservatives do everything else, on Obama; for example, here's some guy at the Washington Examiner who understandably did not demand attribution, bidding us "imagine America with an older, less knowledgeable, rude and charmless version of Obama as its president, and you get some idea of what Trump is all about," though he doesn't explain how Trump differs from an "older, less knowledgeable, rude and charmless version" of, say, Thomas Jefferson or anyone else.

And there are outright Trump defenders, generally small fry or once-major wingnuts who no longer have anything left to lose, like Ben Shapiro.

But in a category all by herself is D.C. McAllister from The Federalist. Like Shapiro, she's upset that conservatives are dissing The Donald, but for her it's intensely personal, and by way of explanation she chronicles her own feelings from 2009 to the present. First:
Like so many of my fellow Americans, I felt helpless as I sat in front of the television in the fall of 2008, watching Barack Obama become the 45th president of the United States.
If only we had elections back then! Happily for McAllister, then came the Tea Party, which she characterizes as a response to the "huge government bailout of the housing market," a popular but woefully incomplete rightwing theory that doesn't explain what the Tea Partiers themselves actually yelled at their rallies. Bliss it was to be alive then, but alas, the tricorn rubes were teabagged by Anderson Cooper and stabbed in the back by the Republican Establishment. This taught McAllister that Mitch McConnell was no different from Barack Obama -- they both believed in "Money. Power. Cocktail parties. Media incest." So McAllister did what any patriot would do -- she became a blogger. "I made friends," she tells us, "and I made enemies because I didn’t care about playing politics.... I didn’t have a fancy degree. I didn’t have a fancy fellowship," unlike all us other web writers who went to Breadloaf with Saul Alinsky and swim in Moscow gold.

One of the things she discovered during this journey of personal discovery was that the Republican base was "motivated by fear," an assessment she stands by today:
Some might not want to admit this fact. It sounds weak, maybe even naive. But fear in the proper context is anything but naive. It’s wisdom based on experience and knowledge...
And this, brothers and sister, is where things get weird:
Let me explain a little something about human nature. When someone feels oppressed and controlled and you continue to belittle them and push them against the wall, they get angry. They’re not going to be particularly rational at that point. They’re in a corner and they lash out—that’s human nature. They fight. They get angry. They grab hold of whatever weapon they can find to defend themselves. That’s what you mostly see with Donald Trump. It’s anger, fueled by fear and stoked by insiders who continue to demean the base, who refuse to listen, and who want to maintain the status quo... 
This reminds me of a toxic relationship between a man and a woman in which the man continues to control the woman, keeping her from speaking her mind, calling her stupid whenever she does. She tries to find ways to win her independence, to be heard, to be free, but he keeps pushing her back against the wall, telling her that she’s the problem. Over time, the anger swells within her. She’s afraid. She isn’t free, and she hates it. She’s powerless. Anytime she tries to stand up for herself, she is mocked and slapped down. Her fear resides. Her anger grows. Her hope recedes. One day, she just loses it. She lights a match and burns the whole house to the ground. Give me liberty or give me death takes on a whole new meaning in the context of oppression and abuse.
RINO-abused with John McCain, then with Mitt Romney -- what choice does a true conservative have but to BURN THE MOTHERFUCKER DOWN! It's a good thing McAllister can afford mental health coverage.

Sunday, August 09, 2015


Both at The Federalist -- first:
Farewell To Jon Stewart, The Left’s Donald Trump
But Stewart is no more an honest newsman than, say, Donald Trump is a serious presidential candidate.
Jeb: Trump's rhetoric 'reminds me of Barack Obama'
Of course Bush is not smart enough to make this up himself -- earlier:
Marco Rubio Says Obama Is Like Trump
 No round-up of dumbasses would be complete without David Brooks:
...bumper-car politicians thrive. Bernie Sanders is swimming with the tide. He’s a conviction politician comfortable with class conflict...
The times are perfect for Donald Trump...
Over t'England they have a forthright Labour candidate and guess what:
Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn are two of a kind
The one thing wingnuts can't admit is that Trump is their own id monster, so they have to tell themselves and anyone else who'll listen that he's actually the same thing as other people they also don't like, for reasons that don't make any sense.

If this travesty goes on much longer the name "Donald Trump" will take its place with "9/11" and "political correctness" as terms that used to mean something but, thanks to overuse by conservatives as fake synonyms for "liberal," no longer mean anything at all.

UPDATE. Speaking of bullshit, Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds:
Trump’s rise is, like that of his Democratic counterpart Bernie Sanders...
They have so much in common. For one thing, Sanders "once wrote that women dream of gang rape," or at least his writings can be thus willfully misinterpreted. Plus Sanders is "an avowed socialist." Why, it's like they're twins -- no wonder you always see Sanders hanging around at Trump's casinos,  goosing the cocktail waitresses! Further, Reynolds says,
Trump and Sanders are just symptoms. The real disease is in the ruling class that takes such important subjects out of political play, in its own interest. As Angelo Codevilla wrote in an influential [?-ed] essay in 2010, today’s ruling class is a monoculture that has little in common with the rest of the nation...
Those of you familiar with Codevilla's and Reynolds' schtick will know their standard solution for this is the election of  rightwing Republicans -- a groovy anti-ruling-class revolution that surprising coincides with the goals of the RNC. (The "country party" of true sons of liberty, Codevilla writes, "in the short term at least... has no alternative but to channel its political efforts through the Republican Party." Trust us, comrades, once we cut taxes on the rich it's on to Jerusalem!) The Tea Party act with its knee-breeches and triconers has gotten a bit long in the tooth, though -- maybe this time they should cosplay 60s radicals instead, and march around dressed as members of S.W.I.N.E. What the hell, they're led by a tenured radical.

Friday, August 07, 2015


I had the great pleasure and privilege to see Harold Prince's
stripped-down version of Candide on Broadway in 1974 and still 
appreciate its crispness, but I just love the original version of this song.  

  I think I made the right choice to skip the debate and go see Loudon Wainwright III last night. He opened with "Double Lifetime" and "Heaven," which set the tone -- death and jokes! Wainwright seems to have repurposed some of his material from his Surviving Twin thing about fathers and sons -- in fact he not only prefaced some of his songs with bits from his father's Life magazine columns, he even performed one of those columns as a  comic monologue. I wanted more songs but it made an interesting point of comparision: LWII's stuff is pretty good for magazine work; it's well-crafted and has the old-fashioned, better sort of middle-class attitude toward the big issues -- that is, a becoming gratitude for one's privilege, and respect for the mysteries of love and death and the inadequacy of privilege before them. It strikes me that his son picked up some of that, and though he likes to be more irreverent and playful that's still his grounding. Which may really be the reason he never got to be a big star -- not because of the "novelty-store garlic gum" bitter surprise lyrics I blamed when I wrote about him years ago, but because his truths are literally old home truths, a hard sell to a pop music audience (unless of course you lie about the truths).  Concert highlights: A song for his upcoming Alaskan family boondoggle called "Meet the Wainwrights" ("Rufus used to be a tit man/Now he checks out pecs at the gym"), and a really good "Be Careful, There's a Baby in the House," a song that sounds pretty mature considering it debuted in 1971.

•   Tell you why else I think I made the right call: I saw the video clip where Donald Trump excuses calling women "fat pigs" on the grounds that "this country" doesn't have time for "political correctness," and I have to say he exceeds even my satirical gifts. I also see that the mainstream National Review conservatives, who were pissed when Trump began hogging attention, are starting to love him for it.  A month ago Jonah Goldberg was calling Trump a fraud -- now he says, "[Trump] makes the debates entertaining and his competitors look more serious and responsible -- what’s so bad about that?" which suggests that they could have gotten the same effect with the Iron Sheik, who I understand has a higher Q rating. Jim Geraghty crows that Trump "killed with that 'Only Rosie O’Donnell' line" (in re women as fat pigs); he's slightly more protective of Megyn Kelly, which is perhaps just his way of showing that there's no principle of chivalry at stake, he just like fat jokes about lib chicks. I wonder what election this is meant to win? These guys already had date rapists and gamergaters locked up. On the plus side, Ben Carson mentioned Alinsky, thereby alerting whatever normal people may have been watching to this weird conservative secret handshake, which ought to help them decide how seriously to take the Republican Party as presently constituted.

"[Megyn Kelly] gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions," Trump said in a CNN interview. "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever"...
How will the Trumpenproletariat react? Let's see what commenters have to say about it:

The more toffee-nosed cons protest: National Review's Charles C.W. Cooke sputters, "Trump has no attractive qualities at all. He's not a conservative, he's not a good politician, he's not eloquent, he has no experience." Which seems a harsh thing to say about his party's front-runner.

Thursday, August 06, 2015


As we have seen, the winding down of the Jon Stewart show has prompted a right-wing sputterfest. Now we are at the close, and some of the brethren are seizing the last-minute opportunity to steer some hapless internet bazaar patrons into their tents. The Federalist has two essays devoted to this -- one in which a Washington Free Beacon writer insists Jonah Goldberg really mopped the floor with Stewart, thereby executing the prized clickbait-logroll; another in which the house hipster actually says out loud that "Jon Stewart Isn’t Funny Because He’s a Coward" and "The purpose of the show is to entertain, sure, but the purpose of the entertainment is to discredit political opponents of the Left." To be fair he didn't mention Alinsky, which may be a sign that ol' Saul has fallen out of fashion (maybe at this moment all the cool kids in Woodside are citing the Frankfurt School, or some even more obscure conspiracy you squares haven't heard of), but it's the same idea: laughter is illegitimate if it's at your expense.

Oh, and they both compare Stewart to Donald Trump, because words that end in "Trump" are funny. It's amazing no enterprising conservative has explained yet how Will Rogers was a shill for Roosevelt. Get scribbling, crybabies!

UPDATE. Reason has a video about how Stewart is "full of shit," but do you seriously expect me to watch a Reason video? Have you ever seen one of those things? They make PJTV look like HBO.

UPDATE 2. The tears just keep on coming: At The American Spectator, Aaron Goldstein's actual subhed is "Jon Stewart is neither as funny nor as smart as he thinks he is." That'll show him! Goldstein goes on: the show "is more smart-ass than smart. It is the sort of humor geared to the mentality of a 12-year old... The approval Stewart receives from his audience and critics isn’t because he’s actually funny, it’s because they agree with him... Simply put, Stewart thinks he’s a lot smarter than he actually is." Then Goldstein pushes out his lower lip, dips his head, and stomps back to his deserted clubhouse. Cheer up, Aaron, you've given my readers lots of laughs in the past, and I assume more are to come.

UPDATE 3. Never sleep on alicublog commenters, e.g. Dex: "First they ignore you, then they say that you aren't as smart as you think you are, then they say Jonah Goldberg totally laid a sweet burn on you back in 2007 or whenever it was, then they say you were actually conservative."

Sunday, July 26, 2015


At the New York Times, Ross Douthat starts by regaling us with a Richard Selzer story about "tiny, naked, all-too-human bodies of aborted fetuses," then moves on to the Planned Parenthood sting videos:
It may be disturbing to hear those procedures described: “… we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact"... 
But in the end, Planned Parenthood’s defenders insist, listening to an abortionist discuss manipulating the “calvarium” (that is, the dying fetus’s skull) so that it emerges research-ready from the womb is fundamentally no different than listening to a doctor discuss heart surgery or organ transplants. It’s unsettling, yes, but just because it’s gross doesn’t prove it’s wrong. 
And the problem these videos create for Planned Parenthood isn’t just a generalized queasiness at surgery and blood... 
...the reluctance to look closely doesn’t change the truth of what there is to see. Those were dead human beings on Richard Selzer’s street 40 years ago, and these are dead human beings being discussed on video today...
Douthat's always been horrible, but now he's like one of those nuts standing outside abortion clinics, waving pictures of dismembered fetuses -- look, guts! -- except when the guards fail to restrain him he also pushes a note into the terrified women's hands explaining that he's really thought this throughGoogle "Nucatola" and "sips wine" and you'll see (along with impressive message discipline) that a huge chunk of the American Right is there with him, though they're not usually such candy-asses about expressing it.

Meamwhile Rick Perry is telling the world that the lesson of the Louisiana movie theater shooting is that people should be able to take loaded weapons to the movies. (You thought the guy who always spills his popcorn was a problem before!) Mike Huckabee says by negotiating an arms treaty with Iran, Obama "will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven."

And Donald Trump leads this great party's Presidential race.

Isn't it about time we acknowledged for good and all that the Republicans are basically the Monster Raving Loony Party, but without the sense of humor?

UPDATE. Drop me a line at roy at edroso dot com if your comments aren't getting through.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


The headline on Victor Davis Hanson's column is even more, how you say, impactful when you see how those rascals in the National Review art department chose to illustrate it:

You could use this same technique for a "Obama and Hitler: Two of a Kind" or "Obama and Leatherface: Two of a Kind" story. But how does Hanson support the interesting concept that "Obama is Trump’s doppelgänger"? This'll give you some idea and believe me, even if you're familiar with Hanson's work you may be surprised:
Donald Trump believes he can oversell America abroad in the manner of Chamber of Commerce boosterism; isn’t that the twin to Obama underselling the country in the fashion of a wrinkled-browed academic? Both are stern moralists: America is too often shorted, and so Trump is angry over the sins of omission. For Obama, past genocide, racism, and imperialism vie as sins of U.S. commission.
Ahh, we are not so very different, Mr. Trump! I think America has too much, and you think it has too little! No, wait, that didn't come out right -- how about:
The two see the world in similarly materialist — though, again, opposite — terms: Trump wants net worth to be the litmus test of political preparation (“The point is that you can’t be too greedy”), even as Obama professes that big money is a Romney-like 1 percent disqualification. Obama’s infamous communalistic quotes to the effect that you didn’t build that, at some point you’ve made enough money, and this is no time to profit are just bookends to Trump’s money-is-everything ideas that he built everything, he’s never going to make enough money, and it is always time to profit.
Ahh, we are not so very different, Mr. Trump! We are both materialists, unlike the rest of America -- you in your money-is-everything way, I in my communis -- my commonalist -- my supercommunalisticexpialidocious way oh fuck it.

In some ways it's vintage Hanson -- there's even an obligatory VDH Obama/Jay-Z moment -- but in other ways it's uniquely awful, just like so much stuff coming out of National Review anymore. They're actually breaking the Jonah Goldberg paradigm, and I didn't think such a thing possible.

Thursday, July 09, 2015


My favorite AC/DC tune is "Back in Business," but there's no good video of it.
This'll do, though. What's your favorite? It's all streaming now!

•     Republican pundits (or should we say RINO elitists?) are panicking over Donald Trump's strong showing in GOP polls. Jim Geraghty attempts, unqualified as he is, to talk sense to his fellow wingnuts in a post called "Do Trump and His Fans Even Want to Persuade Others?" (something I ask about conservatives generally all the time):
I realize that if you’re a Trump fan right now, energized by his in-your-face combativeness with the media and anyone who disagrees with him... 
But let’s take Stephen Covey’s advice to “begin with the end in mind” — presumably that is conservative governance — and recognize that to achieve that, we need a Republican president. And as much as Trump may be rising in the polls of the GOP primary... let’s take a look at his numbers head-to-head against Hillary Clinton: 
CNN: Clinton 59 percent, Trump 35.
Fox News: Clinton 51 percent, Trump 34. 
Quinnipiac: Clinton 50 percent, Trump 32.
Some of you will see the problem right off. Wait for it...
(One caveat: That CNN poll had Hillary ahead of Rubio by 16, Walker by 17, and Bush by 13, so perhaps we can argue that it was a Democrat-heavy sample...
A Democrat-heavy sample! Or "perhaps we can argue" that Clinton is a revered name in American politics and the Republicans are running approximately 239 feebs, flakes, and nincompoops led by a racist blowhard clown. Wait, though, Geraghty's not finished:
...Most polls have these candidates trailing by single digits or tied with Hillary.)
Geraghty provides zero links to support this assertion, so I looked up keywords in Google News and got some results such as this from the Washington Examiner:
Ted Cruz is winning at Twitter, tied with Hillary Clinton on Facebook
If only elections were totes social media LOL!  Also, that was from December of last year.  Much more recent (June 26) was this:
Poll: Sen. Bernie Sanders Is Statistically Tied With Hillary Clinton In New Hampshire
Well, now it makes sense!

•     Jesus-con Alan Jacobs has a long more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger thing at The American Conservative about how all us gay marriageists and non-fans of the Confederacy are not merely expressing opinions he does not share, but actively trying to shut down debate with our Twitter feeds and our mean looks -- which schtick, I'm sure you've noticed, is a popular favorite among the brethren these days. "Survey and critique others, lest you make yourself subject to surveillance and critique," Jacobs characterizes his opponents. "And use the proper Hashtags of Solidarity, or you might end up like that guy who was the first to stop applauding Stalin’s speech." He himself, of course, is just trying to keep free discourse alive -- his post's called "The Value of Disagreement," see?  The first tell that this is bullshit is an opening quote from a particularly passive-aggressive post by P-A Queen Mollie Hemingway. But it's even more instructive to get in the Wayback Machine and read Jacobs' 2003 article called "The War in Quotes: Journalists who don't like the war -- and like thinking even less -- have a little trick they use to tell us how they really feel." There, Jacobs calls rightblogger whipping-boy Robert Fisk "the Krusty the Clown of journalism," and notes that when referring to the invasion of Iraq Fisk put quotes around "liberators" and "liberation," which seems to me like basic hygeine for handling government propaganda, but which Jacobs calls "punctuational Tourette's Syndrome." Jacobs also complains that the New York Times and other peace creeps are doing the same thing:
...the Times apparently can't bear under any circumstances to use that term, in the context of the Iraq war at least, without scare quotes. Thus my description of this practice as a tic or as disease: After a while it kicks in automatically, and one wonders what habitual users could do to keep it from taking over their minds.
Twelve years later, Iraq is wreckage and everyone knows the idea that we "liberated" it was always a joke -- and Jacobs, then so diligent about what he considered journalists' inappropriate use of quote marks, is now telling us that liberals are the real language cops.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Donald Trump threw his hairpiece in the ring today, and most people reacted with the solemnity the event demanded. Even Republicans seem to grasp that Trump's insertion is no blessing on their chances in 2016.  But Trump has a few friends among the conservative elite. Jeffrey Lord of the American Spectator is here to tell you smart-alecks that Trump has the love of the people:
The other day, Trump took a stroll outside of his iconic Trump Tower with Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade. Not surprisingly there were everyday folk instantly swarming to Trump. They wanted a picture, they wanted a handshake, they wanted to have a word. At one point, standing on Fifth Avenue, Trump is flagged by the driver of a lumber truck. “I know you!” the driver says with a laugh and a grin. 
Why? Why this Grand Canyon-size gap between media and political elites and average Americans when it comes to the subject of Donald Trump?
#1: This is probably the first time since 9/11 that anyone at the Spectator referred to New Yorkers as "average Americans." #2: I can easily see the same rubber-necking and gawking visited upon your average Kardashian, but I'm not sure what that means for their national electoral chances. (If Trump stayed out there a couple of days, he'd probably be getting the same reactions those guys who dress up as Elmo get at Rockefeller Center.)
Why is it that he is consistently underestimated whether the subject is his financial worth or his political viability? 
The answer in this corner is that Donald Trump is seen by many Americans as the very embodiment of the American Dream. Someone with vision and drive who settles down and focuses, working hard day in and day out to make his own dreams come true. And succeeding. When millions of average Americans look at Donald Trump — they see — shocker! — themselves.
If I were the American people, I'd sue for defamation. Also hot for Trump: Ben Shapiro. Yes, despite his defenestration from TruthRevolt, his prose lives on at, where he has a "top seven moments from Trump’s speech." I dusted them for irony and came up empty. Example:
“I Don’t Need Anybody’s Money. It’s Nice…I’m Really Rich.” This, in a nutshell, is what makes Trump awesome. Trump may be the only candidate in the race who isn’t ashamed of being wealthy. He sees wealth as something Americans should strive for and be proud of, not something Americans should degrade. Trump also said that he had lobbyists who could get him any policy he wanted, and that as president, because of his wealth, he wouldn’t be beholden to anyone. If Trump actually sticks to this pitch, he’d do a true service to America, where Mitt Romney is supposed to act contrite for earning lots of money and creating lots of jobs...
I bet the guy in the lumber truck loved it. Shapiro is bullish on Trump's chances: "Trump must understand that he’s seen as a clown by the media – he’s too smart not to see that," he analyzes. (How'd David Horowitz let this guy go?)  "But being seen as a clown can be advantageous, because it comes with zero expectations of actual substance. Every gaffe by Jeb Bush throws mud on his skirt; every lucid moment from Trump elevates him..." Someone should check Lord's and Shapiro's bank accounts and see if they made any big deposits lately.

At Legal Insurrection, Amy Miller:
I think that most strategists would agree that a candidate who flaunts his wealth in the way that Trump has could prove problematic with the voting base. That being said -- at this point, why not try it?
She has a point. What if Mitt Romney had gone around lighting cigars with $100 bills, or paying children to dance for him?
...I may not understand what it feels like to own a yacht (anyone have a yacht I can borrow to test this?) but I do understand what it feels like to earn enough money to make a major purchase, or treat myself to a luxury item. Why shouldn’t he be proud of his towers in the same way I’m proud of the things I’ve earned?
I sweated and I saved and I was finally able to come up with $100,000 to pay off my $20,000 credit card debt from the 1990s. In another ten years I may be able to pay for this appendectomy, and then I'll be even more sympathetic to Donald Trump! a wonk, I’m interested to see how his campaign plans on introducing Trump the Man to the American people.
My sources tell me Trump will do a listening tour where he hits the town halls, walks up to random voters, and offers them a million dollars to let him sleep with their wives.

Other conservative writers have less motivation to praise Trump and grimly make do with whatever dog-ends are available. At Hot Air, Allahpundit says Trump is a creature of the liberal media, who inflate him only as an excuse for "not having to cover more credible candidates like Rubio who pose a legit threat to Her Majesty. My guess is they’ll give him plenty of oxygen." If only someone could read this to Trump so he'd know what a patsy he's been played for!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Of all sad words of tongue or pen...

But seriously, folks:
“Laudner would not go there unless Trump is all the way in,” Deace said. “Laudner used to be a high-ranking official with the Republican Party of Iowa. He is on good terms with pretty much every single respected conservative in Iowa, really tight with Congressman Steve King and helped Bob VanderPlaats run the judicial retention fight we won a few years ago. There’s no other way of understanding that. This is a major coup for Donald. Major coup.”
Maybe Trump ought to limber up for the Presidency with a run at an Iowa school board seat first.