Friday, May 13, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Yes, apparently it's supposed to be played this fast.

•   I originally had only one Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie to offer you this week -- this one about bullshit liberals (and others) who think you’re getting too worked up about the end of abortion rights. But today I was in a generous mood and thought, screw it, these guys have been working hard all week and, after they’ve trudged home on Friday covered in coal dust and sweat, they would enjoy the refreshment of my new post about some other junk on the Internet. Generous as I am, please remember subscriptions are what make my world go around, and buy one for a friend while you’re at it -- they’ll be non-plussed to receive such high-quality prose five times a week in their inbox, and all honor with redound to you. 

•   I have mixed emotions about the disastrous recent polling on the Supreme Court:

A Morning Consult-Politico poll taken Tuesday found that “relatively few voters believe the ruling should be reversed entirely (28%). Half of voters said Roe should not be overturned, up from 45% who said the same in December.” Furthermore, “voters are more than twice as likely to say abortion should be legal nationally than that it should be illegal. … Relatively few voters believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases (35%).”

Worse, from the justices’ perspective, a mere 14 percent say they have a lot of confidence in the court. Support for expanding the court is up, with 44 percent strongly or somewhat favoring the addition of justices. That’s nothing compared with the 67 percent who strongly or somewhat support term limits. In addition, 74 percent support imposing a mandatory code of ethics; 63 percent favor an age limit; and 59 percent would like the court to have an equal number of Democrats, independents and Republicans (having dispensed with the fraud that the partisans in robes aren’t political). 

Part of me of course finds this hilarious. SCOTUS has been a nest of partisan ratfuckery for years, and it’s about time its stench finally reached the nostrils of the American people. Clarence Thomas, husband of the insurrectionist Ginni, blustering about the respect owed the Court is so rich that if I didn’t know better I’d swear it was some kind of inside joke to show the rabble just how out of touch he and his fellow wingnut operatives are.  As it is conservative commentators, who have been so insistent about defending justices from the merest show of displeasure at their actions, have not to my knowledge acknowledged the contempt their actions have brought upon the Court, and that the proles now want their Black Robed Masters term-limited. Gotta admit, that’s funny!

On the other hand, though, this could be seen as a troubling new development in a decades-long trend. Conservatives have been methodically spreading contempt on government since before Reagan, rightly figuring that the more citizens mistrusted their own government, the easier it would be to elect Republican con artists who could loot the Treasury of behalf of their contractor donors via privatization. Better still for their malign purposes, it also deprived those voters of the expectation that government could render them any meaningful assistance, making it far easier to cheat them on services and safeguards, leading to the landscape of collapsed bridges, delayed and denied justice, and general resentment with which we are now cursed.

The raspberries their Respect for the Court yap is getting now from normal people shows they probably didn’t anticipate that their Drown It In The Bathtub ethos would also affect government institutions that they themselves need to further their grift. 

And it won’t stop there: Think about the curses conservatives been casting at the “woke” military, ostensibly because they have normal diversity programs but really because they failed to support the Trump program -- including the attempted coup. This is undoubtedly a big part of this reason why the military’s poll numbers are down among Americans. It’s not nearly as bad as SCOTUS’ collapse, but after a few more years of wingnut hit squads screaming that soldiers are too friendly to the people they hate (i.e. women and minorities) and too unfriendly to their Russian buddies, who knows what might happen. 

A grim thought: Neither the Court nor the military is directly answerable to voters.

Friday, May 06, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Four Go-Betweens songs. Never a bad idea.

Only one Roy Edroso Breaks It Down free installment this week, the one I mentioned in the previous post about the Dobbs draft decision. Sorry, I need more subscribers and can’t be giving it away all the time. Tell ya what though -- use this link before May 10 and you get 10% off your annual subscription. It’s already absurdly cheap so if you don’t sign up now it’s practically negligence!  

A lot of other brilliant stuff has been written about the recent unpleasantness at the Supreme Court, but as you know my specialty is the crap, and that is in abundance. (I got into it a little in today’s newsletter -- subscribers know.) Basically, the Jesus-cult conservatives who don’t have to worry about alienating any heathens in their audience are ululating ecstatically; the others are just lying their asses off. Some are acting as if the leak of the decision is The Real Outrage, to misdirect attention from the massive injury to human rights the ruling represents (and the possibility that it was a conservative who did it), and to preserve their eternal victim status.  (No matter who else gets hurt and how badly, remember, it's always the conservative who is injured, offended, and cancelcultured.)

And, as previously mentioned, some are pretending that it won’t lead to other reversals the decision’s logic pretty much demands -- the end of rights to gay marriage, contraception, interracial marriage, etc. -- which is absurd enough on its face but when it’s being dished out by such as David French -- author of “Meet the New Public Face of Abortion-on-Demand: Satanists” -- it’s just ridiculous. (French even says Obergefell won’t be overturned “because Alito said so.” Oh, well then!)

But for me the absolute worst is the sort of soft-soap dished out by Peggy Noonan -- not just because, being Peggy Noonan, she is definitionally the worst, but because her passive-aggressive shtick requires she pretend that, whatever we may feel about the decision, it’s for our own good and that her slavering theocon friends will rush to succor us with Christian love:

Advice now, especially for Republican men, if Roe indeed is struck down: Do not be your ignorant selves. Do not, as large dumb misogynists, start waxing on about how if a woman gets an illegal abortion she can be jailed. Don’t fail to embrace compromise because you can make money on keeping the abortion issue alive. I want to say “Just shut your mouths,” but my assignment is more rigorous. It is to have a heart. Use the moment to come forward as human beings who care about women and want to give families the help they need. Align with national legislation that helps single mothers to survive. Support women, including with child-care credits that come in cash and don’t immediately go to child care, to help mothers stay at home with babies. Shelters, classes in parenting skills and life skills. All these exist in various forms: make them better, broader, bigger.

This is an opportunity to change your party’s reputation.

If you have ever actually met a Republican, you know this is laughable. At this very moment, the “Republican men” (and women) of Louisiana are “coming forward as human beings who care about women” by making abortion an act of murder for which women can be prosecuted. There is no concomitant rush anywhere to provide “child-care credits” or “life skills” to the unhappily pregnant. Republicans will do what they always do -- immiserate the powerless -- and their shills will deny it as long as they can, and then turn on a dime and say that’s just what they deserve.  

Thursday, May 05, 2022

THEY GOT THEIRS -- DON'T WORRY ABOUT YOURS.

Today’s Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie was inspired by some bullshit, of a sort you may have also been seeing, where some very serious commentators explain that the overturn of Roe v Wade and the end of a presumed Constitutional right to self-determination/control of one’s own body is nbd actually and you libtards are just being dramatic. 

This line of BS is most evident among rightwingers who, no shock, are frightened by the strong negative reaction to the draft ruling and worry that it will affect the midterms. Ham-faced pundit Erick Erickson, for example, has been swearing up and down, in such fragments of his newsletter that I can read without giving him the encouragement of payment, that no one cares about this silly old abortion thing (“abortion does nothing to help an economy that is stalling and on the verge of a recession”) -- but he keeps repeating it, more like a mantra than analysis; his recent titles have been “Abortion Meltdown,” “Hysteria Rules the Day,” and (I’m not making this up) “Roe v Wade Ending Really Won't Change Anything. That's Reality, Not Downplaying Dobbs.”  

Erickson is as close to someone just posting the talking points (under the thinnest palimpsest of the shittiest prose) as you can get, so clearly the idea is that the result conservatives have spent decades screaming and salivating for is a matter of no real importance to them (though they usually manage to sneak in somewhere that they are of course happy for the “pre-borns”) and that opposing the upending of this heretofore Constitutionally-protected right is some sort of pique or mania.

This talking point went meta today with the Washington Times headline, “Not there yet: Pro-lifers subdued despite promise of biggest victory in movement’s history.” Reporter Valerie Richardson features anecdotes that suggest the anti-abortion movement is subdued because they have not finished God's work -- for example, in some states and for the moment women will not be forced to bear their rapists’ children. But the obvious intended effect is to back up the Republicans’ “the real outrage is the leak” misdirection -- to make it look as if what is actually happening is not happening.  

But my real inspirators, referenced in the graphic, are Orin Kerr and Megan McArdle, whose glibertarian hand-waving is as annoying as it is expected. The only difference is it usually takes a while for their bullshit to be proven bullshit; in this case, the very horrors they tell us not to worry about -- abortion criminalized in blue states via a national ban, re-criminalization of gay marriage and other rights -- are already being advanced by prominent conservatives who, despite the propaganda to the contrary, are not subdued but emboldened to further immiserate the people they despise. (Which is most of us, BTW.) 

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

NO RIGHT BUT THE RIGHT TO LIFE.

You have heard the news, and may have read Alito’s draft decision, which is every bit the nightmare everyone says it is. (As to the widespread charge that Democrats rather than Republicans somehow leaked the draft, which was immediately offered by rightwingers as The Real Outrage, one would have to be an idiot to believe it, and idiots will.)

Among many other things, Alito makes much of ancient prohibitions on abortion according to “Anglo-American common law tradition,” as one might use that same tradition to defend the burning of witches and torture confessions -- not to mention laws against sodomy, contraception, interracial marriage, et alia. He is also keen on whether a presumed right is “deeply rooted in this Nation's history and tradition” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty” -- which happen to be the same rationales used by Justice White when he upheld Georgia’s anti-sodomy law in Bowers v. Hardwick

And of course this is the plan:  A return to the before-time where certain members of society had all the rights, on the basis of laws from the eras of slavery and feudalism. (Look up “court,” “sodomy,” and “time immemorial” and see what you get.) 

So there is no reason at all to take seriously Alito’s ridiculous assertion that any other personal liberties that were codified by other Supreme Court decisions will not be affected by this one because “they do not support the right to obtain an abortion.” If they can get this one, they can and will get the others, perhaps while assuring us that the ones they haven’t gotten to yet are still protected -- at least at first. 

It's something to have been alive both for the dawn of Roe and its demise, but it’s important to remember that history is bigger than our individual lifetimes. While Alito and his fellow ghouls reach back to the Middle Ages for their illiberal precedents, we know that there have been times more recent when liberties were affirmed and expanded, and their blessings enjoyed by people still living. History does not suggest this is a one-and-done affair and that we have to slink back to the caves. But we may have to fight to keep ourselves from being pushed into them. 


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

AN UNSAVORY MUSK.

Opinions are like assholes -- everyone has one about Elon Musk! So do I, at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, and I have unlocked it for your delectation. Unlike most of the commentariat, I have a unified theory of Musk which informs the analysis: He wants to be president, and this is his way of transitioning from “unaccountably self-regarding famewhore who blows up rocket ships” to someone we’re all supposed to take seriously. 

Like a lot of other people I was amused by David Rothkopf’s related tweet on the oligarchical pile-up in prestige media, but it also made me think about the different approaches among those oligarchs. Bloomberg, Carlos Slim, and to a great extent Bezos run their media empires in the traditional way -- quietly, without inserting themselves too much into the process. (Bezos, for example, can count on brown-nosers at the Washington Post to fluff him without being ordered to.) Gates, even more old-school, pretty much eschews content and putters with philanthropy like a Morgan or a Rockefeller. 

Zuckerberg is kind of a transitional figure -- he used celebrity and tech cachet to promote his sub-journalistic enterprise, and was wildly successful, but this also increased his need to be at the forefront and he is now condemned to endlessly travel a weary gauntlet of Congressional hearings and virtual-reality shitshows to keep it flying. Musk has inherited the model but you'll never see him performing it like a duty -- alone among these worthies, he inherited rather than hustled his wealth, and sees no reason to actually work at anything. So he just bigfoots like a cartoon villain or Adam Sandler character across the landscape, confident that everything will work out because, being insulated by unimaginable wealth, he has never suffered anything resembling an adverse result, nor hoped to achieve anything more difficult than the self-promotion that daily increases his army of sycophants. There’s a lesson in the fact that Musk is positioned to become the most powerful of them all. 

UPDATE. Along with my brilliant writing this news has spurred some utter shite, including a world-beater from the epochally awful Erick Erickson, whose "The Media's Twitter Problem" begins thus:

Elon Musk is an American success story. Originally from Africa, Musk moved to America and is now the richest man in the world. 

I'm surprised he didn't write, "Originally from Africa, Musk moved to America and, through the magic of free enterprise and his own hard work, inherited an emerald mine."

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

BEEN AWAY, WHAT'D I MISS?


I’ve been off the grid this week, seeing to some family business in London. I’m not in a position to get around much but can still enjoy some of the usual London advantages of density, argot, real beer, and other marvels. Also I can semi-forget about the garbage that is America and to semi-remember the garbage that is Britain. They’re as fucked as we are, maybe even more so, seeing as their Trumpian buffoon & oligarch’s cats-paw is still in office despite having shit the bed in, of all things, a social distancing scandal. This I had assumed was only promoted because such clown-shows distract from Boris Johnson’s real crimes, both those traditionally conservative and those uniquely his own, but now it appears the rightwing British press (which is even shittier than ours, if such a thing can be imagined) is letting it drag him down because they figure they can do even worse with someone else after watery neolib Keith Starmer inevitably steps on his own dick. 

Nonetheless I get glimpses at the homeland madness. I see one of our vat-bred Trump judges reversed the mask mandate on domestic flights (not applicable to foreign airline flights coming back home, thank God). Most Americans don’t agree with it, but our asshole press is going with the Everything Back to Normal fantasies, flogging tales of the jolly singing flight attendant and owning the libs. The U.S. 14-day new case rate is up 47% and once again Cassandra is smacking her forehead.

Oh, and yeah, I heard about Dreher. Talk about get off the cross, we need the wood! But whatever schadenfreude might be spurred by his impending mortal sin of divorce (I know, he’s not in that religion anymore -- say, maybe this is why!), it has to be blunted by the fact that, despite this back-of-wrist-to-forehead performance, he probably isn’t really suffering much -- after the nine years he’s allegedly been struggling with this, it’s probably a relief. It’s a cinch Dreher will learn no kind of charity or humility from the experience and if anything will push his customary bigotry and fascism with renewed zeal, confident that God has removed his erstwhile helpmeet to free his hand to more viciously smite liberals, gays, blacks, trans people, et alia.  The problem with these guys being monsters is, anything that might make you or I question our life choices merely makes theirs worse. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



Feel so alive when no one is around

Here’s one (1) Roy Edroso Breaks It Down free shot for non-subscribers* about the next step in the culture war. (If you missed my mention of it a few days ago, it's news to you!) I’m just impressed with myself that, the way things are going, I was able to get it out before events caught up with me.

*And, heads-up to subscribers: I’m off duty next Monday-through-Friday, so your subscription is “paused,” meaning your subscription ends a week later than scheduled and you’ll get as many weeks as you paid for at the same dirt-cheap prices. (How do I do it? Low overhead!) 

Speaking of my prescience, Elon Musk’s show of buying Twitter only confirms my long-held belief that he will sooner than later emerge as a Republican presidential candidate. (I know he’s foreign-born, but since when does the GOP give a shit about the Constitution?) The purpose of the display is to demonstrate that, as a billionaire and a dick, Musk is the one the few people with both the power and the inclination to stand up to what conservatives have convinced themselves is the cause of America’s problems, “Big Tech” (i.e., the only kind of rich people whose asses Republicans won’t kiss). I don’t care if he succeeds and I doubt he does either; he’s got rich people’s ADD, and can only focus on things that are immediately gratifying to himself, which means Twitter’s poison pill trick is a suitable tactic -- if they can hold out long enough he’ll get irritable and go buy something else big to fill the Void. But either way he will have shown that, unlike the Republican politicians who gripe about Big Tech but never produce the promised anti-BT legislation, Musk is Willing To Do Something About It. That and his built-in appeal to a growing sub-generation of rightwing tech choads should have him buying votes in bulk soon. Read my essay and see if I’m not right! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

ZHDANOV'S BIG COMEBACK.

Have a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie -- this one direct testimony from a culture warrior who used to believe in all that "ars gratia artis" bullshit but, since the jihad against Disney got going, came to realize that art is the enemy of culture. 

If you need a news hook, well, ha, look around you -- maybe at David Mamet, who long ago did the Left-left-me bit (at the Village Voice, as it happens!) and has now gone full Trumpkin, not only picking up the groomer shtick ("Teachers are inclined, particularly men because men are predators, to pedophilia") but also eliminationist lingo like "we need to cut off the diseased parts [of society]" etc.

Well, some of my favorite writers were assholes and Celine was a goddamn Nazi -- though it's easier to take from old Louis-Ferdinand because he's dead. 


A BUNCH OF PUSSIES.

Maybe the Cletus Safari budget has been cut -- the New York Times decided to have the Trump diner come to them
There was no talk of a stolen election, no conspiracy theories about voter fraud or rants about President Biden’s legitimacy. Yet listening to our 90-minute focus group with eight conservative men, you couldn’t help but worry for our democracy a bit.
I bet they workshopped the hell out of that last line -- "We can't just say these guys are nuts! Call the plausible deniability desk and have them send up some nuance." 

But after years of sucking up to Trumpkins who'll never stop fantasizing their prolonged painful death, the Times has still not figured it out, and gives its MAGA focus group the floor, upon which they barf up plenty of har-har-harballs. Much of it is about how rightwingers can't say what's on their mind anymore:
Joe: There’s a lot of things you really can’t talk about. I was mentioning to someone in my office about the president appointing a Supreme Court nominee. It was an African American woman. And I was saying, “That’s the most racist thing you could do. What if somebody else was good? What if they were Asian? What if they were anything?” And then when you speak to somebody about it, well, what are you? Racist? No, I’m not racist.
Well, apparently you can say what's on your mind, as "Joe" did,  but he doesn't tell us what the people he was talking to did when he said the stuff that he just said he couldn't say. ("When you speak to somebody about it, well, what are you? Racist?" is the sort of vague device you use when you're imagining what other people might say, not reporting it.) Did they Twittermob or cancelculture him? Or was Joe just talking to himself in his cubicle, again, as co-workers quietly decided to take a coffee break outside? Oddly his interrogator doesn't ask.  

Here's one with more detail from "Danny":
About a year and a half ago, I was the president of one of the homeowners’ associations in our community. An Asian woman got into an argument with us. When I say “us,” I mean the whole board. That night, she went and wrote a review on my business page saying that I’m a racist. My parents are Lebanese. I was beaten up every day when I was a kid because I’m Arabic. But I’m born in America. I’m not racist. I love cultures. I love languages. She wrote a nasty review, and Google won’t take it down, even though she wasn’t a client of mine. She’d never bought a house from me. She never did business with me, but she said that I’m a racist. That’s what’s happening today. And that never happened 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago. And you know what’s worse? You can’t stop it.
So, he got in a fight with some lady and she gave him a bad fake review, which sucks, but it happens a lot -- reviews on social media are often malicious and weaponized. But this woman called him racist first, and that's the key detail for "Danny." You can get a further sense of his priorities in a later comment, when the boys are asked about masculinity:
I’m not trying to get into a negative men-versus-women thing, but I’m seeing masculinity under attack. And I’m seeing men wearing tight skinny jeans, with no socks and velvet shoes. And it’s cool to wear pink. I don’t mind wearing pink. It’s a cool color. And I’m not saying colors belong with a certain gender. It’s so funny — this is what we were talking about earlier: Every time you speak, you don’t feel comfortable enough to say what’s on your mind, where you have to almost give a disclaimer. I have no problem with pink. But when we go out to a club or a dinner or dancing, you see some of the younger generation wearing very feminine clothes, blatantly feminine clothes — so much so that we are almost trying to portray masculinity as negative.
"Danny" doesn't describe the conversation that led to this insight, more's the pity. 

For a while I strongly suspected this was all a put-up job. But then I realized, this is the beauty of the cancelculture grift -- you keep telling people they're being cancelled and prevented from expressing themselves with absolutely zero evidence, and when they start feeding it back to stupid Times reporters, they feel no need to offer supporting anecdotes that make any sense, because they don't have any. It's just something they've been trained to say, and to attach to their sorrowful realization that no one in the big wide world gives a shit about them. Join the club, boys -- I'd say man up, too, but that's clearly beyond them.

Just one more, from "Joe," when they're talking about how women run everything:
What comes to mind is Governor Cuomo of New York — who I hate. I couldn’t stand him. I was so happy when he was gone. But maybe he was really trying to have a relationship with one of these women. I just feel like people just rush to judgment on things. But that goes back to the cancel culture idea, where they just look to go after people. There’s a mob, and then once they go after you, that’s it. You work in the workplace, you have to watch what you do. You want to pat someone on the back? Oh, whoa, that might be — you better be careful.

 "Joe" hates Cuomo, but has to give him credit -- at least the former Governor sexually harassed subordinates, and that's what a man does. 

Friday, April 08, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



When I'm asked what my favorite cover is, 
I usually say 
The Residents' "Viva Las Vegas." But this will also do.

•   Unlocked for your pleasure at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down: “First Projects from Ben Shapiro’s Family Entertainment Company Revealed.” Yes, the pint-sized pundit actually claims he’s got $100 million lined up to challenge Disney, from which he expects to receive waves of apostates because Disney is “woke.” Since it’s obvious what kind of unwoke entertainment Shapiro fans would approve, I felt free to provide some likely synopses.

I’d love to give you folks some more freebies, but my crazy new plan is to suggest you pay to read what is, after all, a paid publication meant to insulate me and the missus from crushing poverty. It’s got everything: Five-day-a-week delivery, a lively mix of politics, humor, and arts journalism, a comically low price point ($7 a month, or 35 cents an issue), and above all me, God’s Lonely Man. It’s almost profligate not to subscribe! Get in there, my friends

•   I have to say that Sarah Palin’s return to American politics is rather like the later iterations of the Dennis Miller Show -- there’s a feeling of superfluity about it. The polity she helped destroy 14 years ago is such chaos now, I can’t imagine her wingnut Kabuki can break through the uproar. But it appears some of the conservative brain trust think she’s worth investing in:

Sarah Palin gets national endorsements, as Nick Begich keeps racking up local Alaskan endorsements

Since announcing that she’d like to be named Alaska’s next member of Congress, Sarah Palin has won the endorsements of political luminaries, such as former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former President Donald Trump.

Her closest competitor at this point, businessman Nick Begich, announced more endorsements from influential Alaskans: Rhonda Boyles, the co-chair of the 2020 Alaskans for Don Young campaign, [and former Governor Hickel staffer] Barbara Haney of Fairbanks.

Don’t it figure? People who would actually be represented by this person, who quit the governorship to focus on her career as a public nuisance, are not as keen about electing Palin to represent them as are other non-Alaskan political clownshows who have no interest in Alaska’s representation but could always use a hand dumbing down democracy. 

When in 2011 she seemed to withdraw entirely from politics I thought about the disappointment of her followers:

She was as close to a new Reagan as the Tea Party people had -- simultaneously  sunny and impenetrable, a great grinning billboard behind which they could safely wreak their bitter vengeance on the hippies, ethnics, and paupers on whom they blamed the modern world. How long will it take for them to move on, and where to? And -- here's a strange thought, coming from someone who expected to see her crowned [the 2012 GOP nominee] -- whether they did or not, are there enough of them that anyone will notice? Or was the whole idea that battalions of backwards-looking, flintlock-shouldering patriots marched with her just a scam as well? That would seem the cruelest thing for them to find: that they were doomed all along, and had only seemed close enough to victory to yearn for it because hucksters found profit in telling the world that they were.

As we now know, her true successor was Trump, whose career suggests that all the scam needed (along with some outside assistance) was an avatar with as little interest in actual public service as she had, but with a slightly more butch aspect that would convince the rubes he would in fact bring pain to everyone they hated.  Maybe if, when she was questioned as turkeys were slaughtered behind her in 2008, she’d thought to run back and smear her face with their blood and tell the interviewer that was what she planned to do with her enemies, history would have gone differently.  

Anyway: We'll always have Going Rogue

Friday, April 01, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


 Sure, insistent bass and jangly guitars, why not, still cool 

Here’s a freebie from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, about the new thing on the right wing, which is GROOMERS -- that is, yelling it at people who oppose anti-gay laws like the Don’t Say Gay mess in Florida, or at Disney for having cartoons with gay characters. 

If you’re a normal person you understand this to be an accusation that the person or company is trying to get children to have sex with adults. This is a very serious charge indeed, and one that normal people would be unlikely to believe without substantial proof -- that is, something considerably more than registration in the Democratic Party and a belief that gay people are normal and what’s actually perverse is acting like their very existence is a threat to children. In fact, normal people would probably find making such charges absent proof to be a repulsive act, and wonder what the hell is wrong with the accuser. 

If, however, you are a QAnon type, as about a quarter of Republicans are, you believe all Democrats are part of the Spirit Cooking Pizzagate Sex Perv Conspiracy, and these accusations will excite you to vote and march and perhaps commit violent crimes

This is why you’ve seen conservatives spreading the accusation in weird stories like the Fox News testimonial of one Kristan Hawkins -- a concerned mom and, coincidentally, president of Students for Life of America -- that the cartoon Turning Red, with its symbolic allusion to a girl’s first period and its tween crushes (it's rated PG, for parental guidance), “grooms children for abortions and sexual promiscuity… Disney leadership is actively pushing children out of Neverland and directly into an adult’s sexualized world, where they can be groomed for others enjoyment.”

As you might imagine, Rod Dreher is totally out of control on this -- here are some of his allusions to grooming from just the past week:

Mickey Mouse is a groomer...

Most people are uncomfortable with gender ideology now, but a generation or two raised on woke Disney, and all of woke Disney’s allies in the Cathedral, will likely have been tamed, co-opted, and groomed...

Most Americans do not want their little kids groomed by woke classroom ideologues to embrace a queer identity...

Americans are broadly tolerant of trans people, but they correctly draw the line at grooming children. I hope that the suits at the Walt Disney Company, the leading corporate groomer of children, are soiling their pants over these poll numbers...

If we as a country and as a society cannot protect our children from having their minds colonized by these groomers, what use are we?...

UPDATE: Groomers. They are all groomers...

Etc. Perhaps the most rancid thing about this is the way the slur-throwers insist they’re not really saying what they’re clearly saying and hoping their loony followers will believe -- Dreher, again, in his story (I’m not even kidding) “Democrats: Party of Groomers”:

About the term “groomers”: it’s usually used to describe pedophiles who are preparing innocent kids for sexual exploitation. I think it is coming to have a somewhat broader meaning: an adult who wants to separate children from a normative sexual and gender identity, to inspire confusion in them, and to turn them against their parents and all the normative traditions and institutions in society. It may not specifically be to groom them for sexual activity, but it is certainly to groom them to take on a sexual/gender identity at odds with the norm. And it’s working…

The passive locution “it is coming to have a somewhat broader meaning” suggests Dreher believes he has Humpty Dumpty power over the general understanding of common English words, which given his ineptitude as a wordsmith is rich. But you don’t have to be particularly skilled to throw shit, though it does help if you can keep people from noticing that your hands are covered with it.