Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A NEW LOW, PART 1,254,090.

Charles Two Middle Initials Cooke at the conservative flagship magazine National Review:

I’ve greatly enjoyed reading the many responses to Tucker Carlson’s now-famous monologue. We’ve had contributions from David French, Kyle Smith, Kevin Williamson, Yuval Levin, David Bahnsen, Michael Brendan Dougherty, Mike Lee, Ben Shapiro, Mona Charen, Jonah Goldberg, David French again, Kevin Williamson again, David Bahnsen again, Jonah Goldberg again, and more. And that’s just on the website. The question has also been discussed at length on many of NR’s podcasts, and, of course, on Twitter....
Forget the rest of Cooke's post; forget anything else written about Carlson's allegedly inspirational speech -- except what I wrote about it in my newsletter (Subscribe! Cheap!) and quoted in a previous alicublog post. Instead contemplate that Cooke has cited the deep thoughts of no fewer than 11 major conservative thinkers on a dumb TV speech by a racist Fox News bowtie buffoon.

It seems like for the past week every conservative bigwig in the country has weighed in on what is essentially standard-issue You Snobs Care About Foreigners Well What About The Poor Hillbillies on Opioids gush as restated by the heir to the Swanson TV Dinners fortune. I knew Trump had gutted their movement, but this is like an Evelyn Waugh parody, like a sub-basement of a nadir of intellectual decay -- it's as if Cooke had an even lower opinion of his own karass than I do, and set out to make conservatism look stupid. It's too bad we can't have a reliable accounting of who finances this crap, because I really suspect it's mostly supported by rich wastrels as a joke to see how many among the dummies who still support this movement will catch on.

Friday, January 11, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



See, I do so like new(ish) music.

I should like to extend my remarks on a subject I treated briefly in the newsletter, the sudden elevation of Tucker Carlson from rightwing TV rageclown to serious conservative intellectual. (Before I go on, PLUG FOR MY NEWSLETTER: It's called Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, it comes out five days a week, it's absurdly cheap and the money goes to support a good cause i.e. the continued shabby-genteel survival of me and the missus.) The Carlson speech over which many wingnut dummies have swooned is, to quote from myself,
...the usual Tucker Carlson bullshit, but with Big Ideas substituted for the usual dogwhistles. 
For example, Carlson wants to know, after people like him are gone, “What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter." Normally this is where he starts foaming about the dusky hordes, but on this occasion he lashes out instead at... materialism. “Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy?” he cries. 
As longtime followers of conservative intelligentsia will have figured out, here Carlson is doing a Values thing; the bad conservatives only care about the market, but noble Tucker cares about the poor — now that authors like J.D. Vance have hipped him that a lot of those poor are white and living in red states...
Carlson’s yak is not any kind of an argument, it’s just shtick — leaning toward one group of rightwing intellectuals (the Values Klan) against another (the Free-Market Country Club). It may be very important to pencil-necks who imagine their debates and flame wars are deeply meaningful — like the “Reformicons” who pretended they had a hand in Republican policy just before Trump came in and blew them away with one of his farts — but to the conservative hoi polloi it means less than nothing...
If you're wondering why one of the leading conservative racists is trying to class up his act (and, say this for him, he sure knew how to get the suckers to bite), I suggest it's because he sees that, while white supremacy sells pretty good now, November's blue wave suggests limited growth opportunities for his franchise -- he's not going to break out of the Fox News ghetto into which Jon Stewart more or less shoved him by going on and on about dirty Messicans. Hence, the grand manner: He adopts an anti-crony-capitalist angle, and suddenly he's not just another shitbird, he's a Big Thinker, and when Trump implodes he'll be well-positioned to climb as a Voice of the Respectable Right.

Others among the brethren are sensing that a shift is necessary -- that's why they're all of a sudden running away from their old buddy Steve King, whose recent comments made his white nationalism too obvious to ignore. But they're not as smart about it as Carlson. At The Daily Beast, Matt Lewis tries to get "The Left" with a bank shot and winds up sending the cueball crashing through the poolroom window:
How Steve King’s Idiotic and Odious Words Help the Left Destroy Western Civilization
In his comments to the Times, King equated Western civilization, which belongs to all of us, with white people only. And that’s just what the hard left wants people to think.
Oh, you say authors don't write their own heds and subheds? Okay, from the body copy:
Men like Steve King see whiteness as a fundamental ingredient of Western civilization and, ultimately, of the United States of America. This is, by definition, a “racist” view. Moreover, it puts King is on the same level with radical leftists who agree that “Western civ” is a dog whistle for racism.
The racists and the people who notice they're racists -- both part of the same pathology!

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

NO, I DIDN'T WATCH IT.

This is as much as I needed to see:
"In California, an Air Force veteran was raped, murdered, and beaten to death with a hammer by an illegal alien with a long criminal history," Trump said in his first-ever Oval Office address to the American people.
This is not a "come, let us reason together" address. It's just more Trump porno. It's not meant to convince waverers; it's meant to keep his rubes riled. Anyone who isn't already completely invested in his 24/7 fear-and-rage fest will just look at it and say, he's back on his bullshit.

I'd like to think Trump also meant to embarrass the classy wingnuts who support him and will have to explain why this is the new Gettysburg Address, but I don't think his sense of humor is that advanced. Also I'm not sure any of them can be embarrassed anymore.

Not to pick corns out of shit but here are a few choice bits:
The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year. Vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress. The wall will always be paid for indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.
In addition to illegal drugs and our great new trade deal, the wall will also be paid for by a perpetual-wall-paying-for machine my friend Elon Musk has just invented. (Musk, his head floating up out of a pillow of cocaine: "The fuck?")
Some have suggested a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes? They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside.
I thought they built walls because they wanted to keep the wind out and passers-by from watching them fuck or take a piss. I hate to give advice to a guy everyone insists is a political genius, but Trump really shouldn't try to be poetic. What was it Mario Cuomo said: Campaign in puke, govern in shit.

UPDATE. Byron York fluffs the hell out of Trump, and gets in this choice quote from VP Pence:
"Things really have gotten a lot worse in the last year," Pence said. "They got better right after the election, frankly probably because of the thundering voice of our new president. His thundering voice probably diminished the enthusiasm of people south of the border to try..."
Why don't they just put loudspeakers at the border with his thundering voice, then? Seems cheaper.

Friday, January 04, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


I'm on a Fela binge, feel free to join me.

I'm unlocking an issue from my newsletter Roy Edroso Breaks It Down -- to which you should subscribe, it's simply super -- containing a more honest version of Mitt Romney's Washington Post "attack' on Donald Trump. It's amazing how easily Romney is conning the dummies with this. He hasn't opposed a single policy Trump has proposed or effected -- in fact Romney even endorses the freaking Wall! -- yet here we have rightwing resistance buffoon Rick Wilson kvelling, "Yes, we’ve seen a handful of truth-tellers in the Senate, but they rarely hit so keenly as today’s Romney nuke strike." All because Romney, while backing every Trump policy, pointed out that Trump is rude -- which is what his followers like about him.

Romney's just doing what a growing number of Republicans are doing -- covering their asses for when the Trump dirigible erupts in flames. It costs them nothing but a few unkind words from Trump and his sycophants, who can't do shit to them anyway and will soon be in even less of a position to do so, and buys them all kinds of goodwill within that depressingly large section of the commentariat that believes moderation (i.e., wingnuts with good manners) will save us.

Interestingly, one rightwing straddler whom the Romney op-ed has pushed into being more obvious about his Trumpkinism is Rod Dreher. Followers are certainly familiar with Dreher's "I'm no Trump supporter but"/ "I'm no Trump fan but"/ "I didn't vote for Trump but" shtick, and he does a little of that kind of defensive crouching here, but overall he's all-in: "Trump has certainly damaged US leadership in some serious ways, but is returning to the liberal-internationalist status quo what we want, or need? No... I say this as a conservative who is sick and tired of Donald Trump’s big mouth, corruption" blah blah blah blah "But if it means going back to the Republican Party as it existed before Trump, no sale." Dreher's so excited by the international fascist revival that he's forgetting to put his fig leaf on anymore.


I also wrote in the newsletter (though I'm not unlocking that issue -- gotta leave some premium content for the subscribers!) about the insane mishegas over that Breakfast Club/Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dance video. You should read this thread about the interesting background on the video, which ties into fair-use copyright issues, but for me the really interesting thing is all the wingnuts who raced to assure the world that they weren't one of those cubular conservatives who thought it was bad, man. But many of them, like Allahpundit and these other creeps, have rushed to add that there is still at least one Democrat bitch they do hate. Ben Shapiro:


It's obvious that Shapiro and his mostly male colleagues prefer AOC because she's young and hot, whereas Warren has aged out of their wank ordnance category. I predict that as AOC gains traction, they'll start to notice that she's gained a little weight.

PS, if you want to see the distaff version of this bullshit, check out Kathryn Blackhurst at LifeZette comparing Warren unfavorably not only to AOC but also to... Brett Kavanaugh. I shit you not: "Although many Democrats vehemently opposed to Kavanaugh rebuked him for admitting to liking beer, Warren had no qualms about championing her supposed love of beer to her targeted audience." Conservatives are weird.

UPDATE. Holy shit:
Lord knows I'm not one to kinkshame but dude....

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

2018: THE YEAR IN BULLSHIT, PART 3.

[See also Part 1 and Part 2.]


2. The Republican Trump protection racket. Normal people perceive the Mueller investigation to be a sober, workmanlike pursuit and analysis of leads to determine how the 2016 election became a Russian propaganda operation. Yet conservatives kept trying to discredit the investigation and its sources in the FBI and elsewhere.

California Republican Congressman Devin Nunes and his GOP buddies kept hinting that there was something in a House Intelligence Committee memo that would expose criminal or at least unseemly overreach in the FBI's investigations of Trump -- but when released the memo proved to be a put-up job meant to shield the President, of the sort in which Republican committees seem to specialize anymore.

Republican periodically waved messages between anti-Trump FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page as if their private political opinions invalidated whatever intelligence the agency might have turned up on Trump. Wisconsin GOP senator Ron Johnson even claimed "he had an ‘informant’ corroborate reports concerning the existence of an FBI ‘secret society’ working to undermine President Trump," reported the Washington Examiner.

This went on all year and probably reached its apotheosis in the loony accusations by rightwing grifters Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman that Mueller, despite evidence removing him from the alleged scene of the crime, committed sexual assault. And indeed the part played in this protection racket by pundits has been huge -- and ongoing: See the New Year's Eve post by David Brooks, in which he suggests that, notwithstanding Trump's probable crimes, if Democrats don't say Simon Says when they go after him -- if they don't act like "modern versions of Archibald Cox, Elliot Richardson and Judge John Sirica... then the roughly 40 percent of Americans who support Trump will see serious evidence that he committed felonies, but they won’t care! They’ll conclude that this is not about law or integrity. It’s just a political show trial." Totally ignoring, of course, that the quietly industrious Mueller is the most Cox-Richardson-Sirica-like Republican since -- well, since Cox, Richardson, and Sirica, yet Republicans already act as if it's just a "show trial."

But even weirder than the paid propagandists running interference -- which we could expect -- is the dedication of what were once unironically called public servants to defense of Individual 1 -- with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeatedly propping the door open for Trump to shut the investigation down. I gotta admit, when I focus even for a moment on that, I get that old feeling of outrage we used to get whenever prominent politicians acted like low-level mob goons. And Mitch and the boys don't have too much time left to wear us down and get us accustomed to that level of criminality.


1. Conservatives versus kids. I understand why they take public stands against immigrants, minorities, and even women -- it's the same evil they've been doing for years, and it still works for them, if less over time. But it strikes me as a bad political move for them to side so strongly against the survival of children. Americans don't even approve of Trump's conscious and deliberate immiseration (and in some cases killing) of refugee kids -- and they're not even white! Also, sending administration lie generator Kellyanne Conway out to accuse Democrats of using the dead children as "political pawns" is, under the circumstances, like a rapist complaining that the prosecutor is ruining the girl's reputation by revealing that she isn't a virgin.

But the real headscratcher is their continued devotion to the NRA in the face of all the school shootings -- and, more importantly (because face it, they've been stonewalling school shootings for years), in the face of strong public awareness and activism against their reign of terror, particularly since Parkland and the media-savvy survivors that came out of it -- not to mention the boycotts.

Apart from the usual only-outlaws-will-have-guns bullshit, their outreach seems faulty, too -- mostly these-kids-today seethings from guys like Rod Dreher ("They’re already celebrating the intersectionality of [Emma] Gonzalez, a self-defined bisexual who has shaved her head") and Dinesh D'Souza ("Worst news since their parents told them to get summer jobs"). It's almost as if they don't care if they lose -- that they just want to reassure one another of their own righteousness as Americans get pissed off enough to finally turn on them. I'd like to think it's a neurosis born of guilt, but I must say I'm having a hard time giving them the benefit of the doubt anymore, even on that.

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: THE YEAR IN BULLSHIT, PART 2.

[See Part 1 here and Part 3 here.]


© 2016 XOXO Festival used under a Creative Commons license
6. White people persecution hits all-time high-larious. Being an old man, I don't project myself into the future much -- when prospective employers ask me where I see myself in ten years, I tell them I have a nice plot picked out at Forest Lawn -- but I do expect that before long people will find it unbelievable that so many white people bitched about non-white people making fun of them. Sweet Allah! I hear them saying. These honkies ran everything, and fucked it up so badly, yet they pretended to be offended that a Korean-American tech columnist called them names? Guess it's a good thing we exterminated them! As I reported on the Sarah Jeong controversy at the time:
"At one point, Jeong tweeted a crude graph claiming that as whiteness increased so did awful,” said Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Thursday. “Later she said that white people smell like dogs.” Carlson suggested Jeong’s tweets could lead to a Nazi purge of white people — a honkycaust, if you will...
The blanco-conservative panic on Jeong has more or less subsided, though there have been recent columns about her by their of-color adjuncts like Michelle Malkin ("Silicon Valley sharia — Laura Loomer versus Sarah Jeong") and Walter Williams ("Acceptable racism is racist, too") -- maybe their white friends made them write these to prove their loyalty. But white woe-is-me is a hardy perennial, and as long as there's a Reddit it will, like cabbage rolls (lol cuz white people eat them get it I'm being reverse racist), keep repeating on us.


5. Women's Marches scare the menfolk. Lately conservatives have been accusing Women's March organizer Linda Sarsour of at least crypto-anti-semitism -- here's a typical headline at PJ Media: "Women's Rights Activist: Linda Sarsour Is 'Empowering' Radical Islamic 'Torture, Terror, Rape.'" (To give you some idea, the "Women's Rights Activist" is Rabia Kazan, president of the Middle Eastern Women's Coalition, which has endorsed Donald Trump for president in the 2020 election.) If that's not convincing, Sarsour has also been denounced by international policy expert Courtney Love.

The controversy seems to be having a negative effect on the March's leadership, though it remains to be seen whether the brethren can use it to tar all anti-Trump activists as rabid Jew-haters, or make them scared to be seen as such, as seems to be the play here.

But their efforts may be too late in any case; the Marches probably achieved their intended effect in 2017 and 2018 by establishing the abnormality of the Trump administration -- an impression that administration has since proven capable of maintaining and even highlighting all by itself.

From the big Women's March in January to the anti-Kavanaugh demos in October, ladies holding signs in the streets appeared to rattle the Right. Andrew Sullivan sputtered under a picture of protesters that all this menstrual energy was harshing his testosterone buzz. No, I'm not kidding -- Sullivan referred to man-shots he took for medical reasons, and how "the visceral experience opened my eyes to the sheer and immense natural difference between being a man and being a woman," and lamented that discussing this idea was (like all Sullivan's crackpot ideas) now "taboo" because of liberals, and "young men in this environment, will begin to ask questions about why they are now routinely seen as a 'problem,' and why their sex lives are now fair game for any journalist..." Maybe Sullivan figured since Milo flamed out, the incels needed a new gay best friend.

And the obstreperous female Kavanaugh protests, which led to hundreds of arrests, panicked wingnuts like Jay Cost, who at National Review decried the "rude, crude, and abusive" ladies' "Bullying Anti-Kavanaugh Tactics" against poor, defenseless Republican Senators and declared they "Threaten Our Republic." Some tried to posit a pro-sexual-abuser-judge female movement -- "Dems face backlash from ‘mama bears’ angered by Kavanaugh hearings," reported Mary Kay Linge for the New York Post; boy, haven't heard much from them lately, huh? -- but the main message was that women were being scary and playing rough and could they please stop. They may regret driving women out of the streets now that they're turning up in large numbers in Congress.

© 2016 FreeConcordRaw under a Creative Commons license
4. The evolution of Kevin D. Williamson. Once upon a time there was a National Review columnist who amused himself and his fellow conservatives with japes about how women who have abortions should be hanged by the neck until dead. He also said a lot of other obnoxious shit ("it should be noted that being shot in the head by a lunatic does not give one any special grace to pronounce upon public-policy questions," he once said of liberal snowflake Gabby Giffords), but when he got hired by The Atlantic, it was outrage around his abortion crack that got him unhired, leading to a mass conservative outcry that Williamson had been unfairly deprived of his Constitutional right to a job at The Atlantic.

Some, like David French of National Review, reasoned that just as he welcomed Williamson's contribution to the abortion debate despite his own more "moderate" view that "only the abortionist (and not the mother) should face murder charges," liberals should meet him halfway, too, and pay him six figures to express his valuable point of view.

Williamson himself got some mileage out of the event, railing in the Wall Street Journal about the "Twitter mob" that "came for me." Then he returned to National Review, where he has been trollier than ever. As I wrote in my newsletter:
Check out, for example, [Williamson's] rage-thrash against “craven, abject, brain-dead partisan” Democrats who were, in his imagining, trying to steal the midterms; keyslurs include “nobody really believes that Hillary Rodham Clinton is just some dotty old bat who doesn’t know how email works” and “even if Brenda Snipes were simply a wildly incompetent dope…” Also Williamson, whom The Atlantic canned for insisting that women who have abortions should be executed, suggests Snipes be criminally prosecuted because “it is time to make an example.”
During the holidays, perhaps on the advice of editors or a therapist, Williamson has regaled his readers with hymns to capitalism, but I expect before long the bile under his byline will again flow thick and dark. It'll be fun to see what happens when it clogs!


3. The year of yelling at Republicans. When the Trump Administration decided it was good politics to cage refugee children, some folks decided to let members of that administration know what they thought about it in person. Sarah Huckabee Sanders got thrown out of a restaurant, Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen got heckled in another, as did Ted Cruz months later.

It was like the French Revolution, said conservatives. "The increasing personal nastiness toward people who work for President Trump reflects the left’s understanding that they are losing. Nastiness reflects desperation not strength," tweeted that noted advocate for civil discourse, Newt Gingrich.

Rod Dreher, as is his wont, claimed that he had "three friends — two Democrats, and one anti-Republican independent — who have written to express profound concern about this political moment, and the behavior of the liberal mob. One of the Democrats — no fan of Trump or Kavanaugh — told me that her party has lost her over all this..."

Republicans picked up this sure-fire message ("Republicans accuse Democrats of ‘mob’ tactics as midterm races head down to the wire"), which led to their landslide victory just a month later in the midterms. Wait, no, the opposite happened! Americans must not have heard enough about what how mean Democrats are to members of the Trump administration; they should definitely do more complaining about that in 2019.

[Stay tuned for Part 3, soon.]

Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018: THE YEAR IN BULLSHIT, PART 1.

[See Part 2 and Part 3 as well.]

© 2014 Sean P. Anderson used under a Creative Commons license
10. The (Blessed) Silencing of Alex Jones. Remember that brief moment last summer when Alex Jones became the new John Peter Zenger because Facebook and YouTube "censored" him and all the top wingnuts nailed their colors to his escutcheon? You don't? Well, maybe that's because after a brief inital burst of caterwauling they all fucked off and left him to rot in his (still highly visible and lucrative) exile.

Here in December 2018, it's hard to imagine that conservatives were blubbering over Jones' removal from platforms that did not want him aboard. National Review's Theodore Kupfer did the old unintended-consequences thing: "Facebook can’t make Alex Jones go away; banning him might add to his support and further radicalize his fans." Others cried lefty censorship: "This is absolutely the first stage in a coordinated plan to deplatform everyone on the right," declared Instapundit Glenn Reynolds. All agreed Liberals were the Real Fascists.

Reynolds' prediction, alas, has not come true, and there are still rightwing nutcakes all over the damn place -- and while claiming they've been unpersoned or deplatformed has become a rite of passage for them (see Laura Loomer chaining herself to Twitter HQ), even bigtime conservatives have for the most part stopped playing along. You don't see many REMEMBER ALEX JONES memorials on the Right.

It's easy to see why: As it becomes increasingly clear, especially since the midterms, that relying on only the nuttiest Americans to lift them to victory is not a repeatable strategy, conservatives are not as eager as once they were to be represented by crackpots and carny clowns. Speaking of which: keep an eye out because their abandonment of Jones will probably serve as a model for their abandonment of the ever-less-popular Trump.

© 2018 Mark Dillman used under a Creative Commons license
9. OMG AOC! I know the "Fill In The Blank Derangement Syndrome" template has been going since the Dawn of the Clintons, but look: Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is merely a freshman Congressmember from a safe seat in New York City, yet conservatives have gone ballistic over her. In fact they've been deranged since she beat the stand-pat Democratic incumbent for the nomination in July. Back then they were rattled that she was an unashamed Democratic Socialists of America member -- notwithstanding that a lot of other DSA candidates have been winning elections. (Which may be part of the reason for the syndrome -- a glimmer of awareness on the Right's part that Trump has made conservatism so toxic voters will run further to the left than Hillary Clinton ever dreamed of going.)

But even worse from a rightwing perspective, this socialist is popular: AOC is good on the stump and has fired up thousands of fans, which makes attacking her kind of a "this thing everyone likes is bad" proposition. Here's Virginia Kruter at The Daily Caller -- "YES, ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ ‘INSPIRED’ ME. NO, NOT IN THE WAY SHE THINKS... So, Rep.-elect Ocasio-Cortez, you did inspire me... You inspired me to fight the creep of socialism with everything I have. And you inspired me to raise my children to do the same." That's totally the kind of argument winners make.

Also, AOC is cute, Hispanic, *and* unafraid to clap back at dull-witted wingnuts, which attributes, taken together, probably ring at least a dozen psychosexual bells for conservatives. Did you see how she smacked a Washington Examiner facotum for his "creep shot" analysis of her walking down the halls of Congress in a dress? Imagine being a rightwing player accustomed to treating young women like chattel getting that kind of lip from a young Puertorriqueña with a House seat as thousands cheer.

Not only do liberals talk about how AOC drives conservatives crazy ("Why conservatives love to hate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez" -- Jane Coaston, Vox) --  so do conservatives ("Conservatives Keep Giving Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Exactly What She Wants" -- Jim Geraghty, National Review). It's like they figure there's nothing they can do about it except sluice off some of the clickbait.

My favorite in that genre is Kevin D. Williamson trying to turn it around with his traditional snotty patter -- "Ocasio-Cortez describes herself as a socialist," he quips, "a declaration mitigated somewhat by the fact that she doesn’t seem to know what the word 'socialist' means." There is only one thing worse than being witty, and that is not being witty. But even this notorious troll seems to sense it isn't working and finally goes full corncob, telling his fellow conservatives "if they were smarter, they’d be grateful [that]... this callow dilettante is the best the other side has to offer." That should be some comfort as she continues to kick their sorry asses.


8. The Kavanaugh hearings and the end of the Roe repeal boom. When SCOTUS "swing vote" Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in July, wingnuts cheered the imminent end of the right to abortion. "The central mandate for the man or woman who will take his seat, and for all the justices," Glory-Hallelujah'd the Washington Examiner, under the unambiguous headline "Repeal Roe v. Wade," "is to wipe away a disgrace that ranks alongside Dred Scott, and overtun [sic] Roe and Casey.”

As Trump replacement Brett Kavanaugh was exposed as a groper and a goon (and, I was shocked to learn, a buddy-pal of longtime alicublog figure of fun Mark Judge), we heard more talk about all the women Kavanaugh didn't rape, and about how it was actually someone else disguised as Kavanaugh who tried to rape that lady, and less about how he was going to make rape victims bear their rape-babies. Theocons like Ross Douthat have kept the faith, but other conservatives have been tucking their hands in their pockets, whistling, and walking away -- and since Kavanaugh appeared to help Planned Parenthood in a recent SCOTUS decision, we're even seeing headlines like "Brett Kavanaugh is not the pro-life savior you're looking for" at the Washington Examiner.

It was fun to dream of damning women to unwanted children in the fall of 2018 -- but with elections and polls showing Republicans becoming even more unpopular, the idea of a sexual batterer repealing Roe v. Wade is suddenly less attractive to them. We don't know what the asshole will do in the clutch, but we do know he's not committed to anything so much as his career -- and probably the goodwill of the assholes who probably let him know they made him and can break him. So in one sense, at least, the Kavanaugh hearings may have done some good.


7. The Rod Dreher "Reader" "Mailbag." This is not a matter of national interest, but of my own desires (which are... unconventional), so give the blogger some: There's so much to enjoy about Benedict Option author/hyper-holy-roller Rod Dreher -- his racism, his gay panic, his love of fascist dictators. But my favorite Dreherism is his use of "mail" from "readers" to back up his points. These missives are often from a Democrat who now hates Democrats, a liberal who now hates liberals, or a Wiccan who now hates Wicca -- all of whom express themselves very clearly in a similar tone of voice.

One of 2018's great pieces of "reader" "mail" was the one in which the proud daughter of a "Scots-Irish 'clan'" laments that her family is being "torn apart" by an "LGBT bully" -- that is, a gay cousin "who publicly shames family members on Facebook." (Though this woman calls the gay cousin a "terrorist" she didn't say how or why his Facebook posts do so much damage. My guess -- assuming, for the sake of argument, that these people exist -- is that he described some family sleepovers.)

Another is from a "reader" who reports the nice young fellow down at the store was transferred to a distant location as punishment because he said he'd be uncomfortable using "transgender pronouns." I tell ya, it's a gulag out there ("there are some very obvious common threads between what happened in the early Soviet days and what we see today") for folks who want he-shes to know their place!

But here's my 2018 favorite:
I’m certainly not a typical Trump supporter — I believe in climate change and America’s responsibility to take policy steps to reduce our contribution to it, I’m anti-NRA, pro-Obamacare to an extent, and detest the Republican Party generally... 
But leaving the nuclear issue aside, the Left’s behavior in the last year has pushed me steadily more and more in the direction of being willing to vote for a sort of lower-key Trump (someone like Ben Shapiro)...
Soon Brother Rod will notice those Beto-Bernie fights that currently inflame the internet and propose the Virgin Ben as a unity candidate. You read it here first!

Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3 over the next few days.