Tuesday, October 04, 2022

IN DEFENSE OF NO DEFENSE OF HYPOCRISY.

At Roy Edroso Breaks It Down today I wrote a bit about the Herschel Walker revelations (paid for girlfriend’s abortion, son hates him for terrorizing his family) that have been added to the previous Herschel Walker revelations (terrorized his family, left bastards all over the place). 

That it will not necessarily cause Walker to lose the Georgia Senate election is much discussed in the REBID comments section. Some readers suggest this is proof that hypocrisy is a dead letter, at least as far as elections go.

While I agree that Republicans have no compunction about nominating and sometimes electing people who self-evidently do not live by their own professed principles – for example, the myriad GOP officials who, though their party is obsessed with “groomers” and child sex crimes, enjoy statutory rape – that doesn’t mean we should give up, as it were, on hypocrisy as a political issue. 

For one thing, as I wrote back in 2006 during one of several Republican sex scandals that revived the issue, attentiveness to hypocrisy is not merely a campaign strategy – it’s a meaningful feature of civilization:

… human society depends upon at least a rudimentary concept of justice. We can forgive inconsistencies, and even admire trying and failing, but when someone amasses power from us based on his personal superiority, and is proved a fraud, he has broken the basic bargain of leadership. We mock him not out of meanness, but out of a communal survival instinct.

I guess a Republican could argue about relative degrees of hypocrisy and even whatabout the Walker revelations, but frankly they wouldn’t have much of a case. For example, I was at first surprised more Republicans didn’t bring up Bill Clinton, who as you know liked to have sex with women who were not his wife, but Slick Willie didn’t campaign on mandatory fidelity, nor did he hold a gun to Hillary’s head, have a spate of illegitimate children, etc. I expect most people understand this, which is why prominent wingnuts are pulling intellectual feats of derring-duh like this:

Boy, if things were totally the opposite, they’d sure be different, right? Again, as I said this morning, there’s plenty of hypocrisy in politics, but it takes conservative levels of hypocrisy to get us to the point where we’re even wondering whether hypocrisy has become so normalized that it’s no longer a meaningful issue  – which, come to think of it, is similar to the way conservatives have also normalized attempted treasonous insurrection and criminal acts by a president. Which is all the more reason to resist 

Friday, September 30, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: 9/30/22.



Lou Rawls got into some heavy shit during his Axelrod years.

•  So much going on these days -- Vlad P’s little “I now declare these territories conquered” ceremony, Clarence Thomas’ crackpot wife just straight-up telling the House committee Biden stole the election, and Trump’s bought judge further demonstrating her indebtedness, etc. – so the whole rightwing pants-shitting spectacle over Lizzo playing Jemmy Madison’s flute comes as an amusing diversion and a suitable subject for a free issue of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down (Subscribe! Cheap!).

Watching dullards like Matt Walsh and Ben Shapiro dig with their sputter-spoons an ever-deeper hole is fun, but it also reminded me of the old days when I used to pay closer attention to the Konservetkult and Sons of Zhdanov, and what has changed since. Back then the ridiculous fist-shaking communiques conservatives regularly issued about how corrupt our “culture” was and how, once the lumpen were suitably indoctrinated with rightwing wisdom, it would become again fresh and pure were just funny – an endless series of reminders that these clowns were as morons before the Muses, that they had no idea what works of art were for and thought they could hector people into accepting their shabby substitutes. As I’ve said more than once, when they say “culture war” they always mean a war on culture. 

That’s still mostly true and the cream of my jest. But in the Trump age there’s been a slight and disturbing change. First, as has happened generally since I began on this beat, the one-time rightblogger small fry have advanced within the conservative movement, so their ravings receive greater attention from the High Command. Once, George H.W. Bush would just make a dumb crack about how Americans needed to be “a lot more like The Waltons and a lot less like The Simpsons” and let it go at that. But in the Reign of Tubby, their fantasies were promoted at the highest levels; for example, they started to push through a Garden of American Heroes --  a sort of anti-woke Disneyland where tourists could stare at heroic statues and get Cultivated. Albert Speer might have blushed.

And Trump’s arts-beat acolytes got more belligerent. When a Public Theatre Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar imagined, reasonably enough, Caesar as Trump, the wingnuts went wild because in the play Caesar gets assassinated – and they thought (or pretended to think) this meant liberals (because artists are all liberals) were calling for the assassination of Trump. In one of the creepier Trump-era writings, National Review Zhdanovite Kyle Smith cheered when sponsors began withdrawing funding from the Public and crackpots like Laura Loomer began interrupting performances because it meant that “Lefty Actors Are Beginning to Fear Donald Trump” – that is, the Trumpkins were terrorizing the Entarte Kunstlers, the logical endgame of culture war when you can't produce any real culture yourself.   

So yeah, it’s still funny that Lizzo and the Founding Flute can set off these clowns (and don’t let me spoil your enjoyment of the story!), but it’s also a reminder of how far they’ll go if they get any power. 

•  Speaking of culture war, one other thing I wanted to mention was the latest entry in the conservative hate-on-for-cities sector: An essay promoted by the hapless Steve Inskeep and written by Hillsdale legacy pledge Carmel Richardson about how all you stupid liberals complaining about housing prices should move to a big house in redstate Bumfuck like she did. Like all her kind, she describes cities as hellholes (“There’s a reason literature’s greatest protagonists [Dostoevsky’s Raskolnikov, for one] go off the rails while living in seedy rented rooms”); Richardson’s innovation is to attribute the continued – indeed, timeless – appeal of cities to fads spurred by social media:

With the rise of social media and online journalism, key housing markets have become trendy in a way they never could have before. A classified ad now has a national audience, and bougie neighborhoods a ream of TikTok viewers. People are moving to areas they have no connection to and no relatives near because they saw it online and thought it looked cool. I know a few. This has the effect of driving up prices in areas that otherwise would never have known such demand.

Actually, the top end of this price-gouging is driven not by Tik-Tok but by realtor greed, absentee tenantssub-tenancy gone wild, and other late-capitalism pathologies. But, perhaps owing to her youth (ha, I’m kidding, she’s an apparatchik and must know better), Richardson misses that the big cities she excoriates are always more expensive than cowtowns for a simple reason that people prefer the cities to the cowtowns and people pay more for what they prefer. In fact, she offers as evidence of the attractiveness of Oklahoma and West Virginia that those states are offering cash bonuses to people who come and settle there – as if she’d never heard the old saying “I wouldn’t live there if you paid me.” 

Her closing is a marvel:

It is true that builders cannot keep up with the demand in places like Colorado, Florida, Tennessee, and Northern Virginia, but in the Midwest and other rural regions across the country, in towns no one ever visits on vacation, countless homes stand for sale and empty -- old, beautiful, and undesired by most.

You don’t say. Why “undesired”?

The towns they fill are thinly populated, and the old storefronts are mostly dark. What would happen if we started buying and living in these towns, dusting out the cobwebs and bringing in new life? One has to wonder what kind of people we would have to become to choose a quiet life over nightlife, and a county fair over a $75 brunch.

You stupid libtards with your brunch and nightlife, why won’t you move to a big house out in the middle of nowhere HURRY PLEASE COME KEEP US COMPANY I’M GOING MAD. Maybe the journalism thing is just a front and Richardson is actually working for brokers. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: 9/23/22.



If I had my way in this wicked world I would tear this building down.

•  Got a couple of hot ones for you from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, a big underground hit on the Substack circuit. First, a little something about how the rich are “enclosing” all the good things that were once the domain of the poor. That comparison to the old English enclosure of the commons was a reader’s (in the very lively comments section, which you are invited to join), not my own, but it fits: in my reading the toffs not only increasingly take the fruits of our labor, but also take such bygone common privileges as the right to reinvent oneself, once a quintessentially American option that grows more difficult for us paupers to avail with each biometric innovation but which seems to be all the rage among the “rebranders” of the rich

Speaking of which, another reader made a comparison between this diminution of options for the non-rich and rightwing rage against trans people:

Also it's getting harder and more expensive to legally change your name, and I suspect this is largely gatekeeping trans people which I'm sure they think is a win, but is also conveniently making it harder for everybody to get away from bad lives, and that's a bigger win.

In my view anti-trans bigotry is at bottom about conservative authoritarian misogyny (because how are we supposed to know which is the “weaker sex” if gender is fluid?). But it’s worth considering that part of what riles rightwingers about trans people is that their existence implies people has a choice about who and what they will be – which is obviously in conflict with conservative traditionalism, whether the MAGA choad version of the tradcath “Ye offend the Lord with thy top surgery” blather. Anyway, thinky fun! 

•  Also on the REBID free table: I had a laugh at Scott Adams’ cancellation claims over “Dilbert" being dropped by Lee Enterprises (no one’s idea of a “woke” organization). In point of fact Lee dropped dozens of strips at once, but Adams, being a prominent wingnut, was apparently obliged to hint that he was dropped for political reasons so as to titillate the cancelculture crybaby community. This is another great example of one of my famous equities: the Rightwing Mood Swing TM between delusions of grandeur and persecution mania! I really should make a gift book out of those.

•  I don’t like to focus on Trump much because, as recent events have shown, the Republican Party is a vicious death cult that offers its followers nothing but brutal vengeance against their perceived enemies, and Tubby is just a giant symptom. But I do find this interesting:

Former President Donald Trump reshared a video on his Truth Social platform on Thursday night filled with numerous far-right QAnon conspiracy images, as well as references to satanists and pedophiles. The over a minute-long video contains a series of memes that show Trump alongside QAnon slogans and includes vague threats of retribution against his opponents. 

"Every last traitor, liar, leaker and enemy will pay for what they have done to America," reads the text in front of one image of Trump.

Tubby going full QAnon can be seen a couple of different ways. On the one hand, of course, it’s terrible: QAnon is nuts and its adherents are dangerously deluded. On the other hand, MAGA people are already every bit as dangerously deluded – really, some of them may not know from the alleged central character Q and its mythology, but don’t a lot of them already think that anyone who’s decent to trans people is a Pizzagate pedophile, and that violent insurrection at the Capitol was A-OK

One might argue the danger of the QAnon component is that it’s a social mechanism that pushes the already unmoored Republicans a little further out into la-la land. But if you believe, as I said, that it’s a death cult, maybe it’s better that their separation from the reality most of us share be made more obvious, so that more voters can see exactly how nuts they are and react accordingly. 

Of course this relies on the prestige media paying closer attention, which is by no means a sure thing.

UPDATE. Back to the subject of control over one's gender/personal identity, and the conservative antipathy to it: I'll just add this link to my Twitter thread about something that's related to it: Conservatives trying to get rid of no-fault divorce. This too is part of the modern conservative drive to overturn the modern world and its signal feature, self-determination. I'll highlight the button, which I think is worth repeating -- and I expect I will, in days to come: 

Friday, September 16, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN: 9/16/22.


Preach.

•  Here’s today’s free issue of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, on the conservatives’ latest New Low – BTW these New Lows seem to be coming faster, don’t they; like the contractions of the birth of fascism – namely, dumping even more immigrants in blue states, only this time sending some of them to Martha’s Vineyard.

As mentioned in my previous and more thorough examination of this trollery, conservatives have been enjoying Greg Abbott’s months-long shipments of immigrants to blue cities because they think the hardships they cause prove that a.) immigrants are disease carriers that no one wants and b) liberals don’t want them either so they’re hypocrites and the Real Racists™. 

But even conservatives know that the blue cities to which they've been sending immigrants are already full of black, brown, and indeed every other kind of people, among whom we white neighbors live quite comfortably. Which is probably why they pulled the Martha’s Vineyard stunt – it’s easier to portray those non-urban toffs as the limousine-liberal-racists of their imagination. 

This is a version of the old conservative gag about how If You Love [People We Despise] So Much Why Don’t You Let Your Daughter Marry One. You may think they stopped doing this one in the civil rights era, but rightwing internet sleazebags have been doing it as Babylon-Bee-level "satire” for years -- only now they usually focus on Latinos; here's an example from 2018, “Seize Ivy League Dorms and Give Them to Immigrant Families.” You can go read it, but I’ll make it less painful for you by supplying my own contemporaneous, better-written description:

Zmirak's big joke thereafter is an image of Messicans nestled in a "glorious Gothic dining hall, with sixty-foot carved ceilings and iron candelabras," being served their food by the silly SJW students. Liberals made to serve the brownskins they pretend to love so much -- it's a classic conservative humiliation fantasy straight out of Birth of a Nation. To add cream to the jest, Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds pimps that shit to his own coprophages and, in their rush to assault their strawmen, they suggest things like "Just dump them all in Brooklyn" -- because that's where the hipsters live, see, and since they're all limp-wristed sissies they've probably never seen an immigrant, especially in the trendier nabes like Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy.

All that’s new about the routine now is that they've got their politicians doing it with them and – as has been the pattern for decades – they’ve gotten even more vicious and stupid about the whole thing, and the contempt in which decent people hold them is still more justified. 

•  BTW I just got out of a week-long Twitter jail sentence for this, inspired by Sullivan weeping over the Queen:


This Twitter claimed violated their "hateful conduct policy” – which anyone with a middle school education would recognize as an absurd misreading of my comment, unless Andrew Sullivan has become a protected class (beyond the prestige media world where he clearly is one, I mean).

I do not mention this to invite sympathy – no cancelculture crybaby bullshit for me! These morons can do what they like with their own property – but to remind you that Twitter constantly pitches people off for stupid reasons while turning a blind eye to actual hate speech.

I really don’t think it’s political in the sense that Twitter is picking one side or another; I think their poor decisions are partly due to shit algorithms, but mostly just ass-covering gestures – gestures toward ass-covering, I should say, because the owners of the multi-billion-dollar company know they’ll only get in trouble if their decision follow any kind of a pattern, even (maybe especially) if the pattern is simply logical. For example, if they got rid of all the genuine hate speech on their platform, they’d be hauled before Congress to explain their hostility toward conservatives. But if they keep on throwing people off for jokes they don’t understand, along with occasional real offenses, they will have shown themselves to have “done something,” and no one can accuse them of bias.

One day I expect they’ll toss me forever, perhaps for some equally innocuous comment, so if I go quiet there you should look for me, not in instructions behind a rock that has no earthly business in a Maine hayfield, but here at alicublog (or, better still, at REBID – subscribe, cheap!).

Also, as a treat, here's one more free issue that may be of use to those of you who will spend the weekend standing in line to see Lizzy in a box. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

REST IN PISS.

To tide us over while we're waiting for Kissinger's fast train to Hell, we have the passing of Ken Starr, a first-class piece of shit: Grand Inquisitor of the Clinton Investigation (who then defended Trump from his own, more richly deserved impeachment!), enabler of widespread sexual abuse at Baylor, Jeffrey Epstein mouthpiece, and more. 

Funnier still are the conservatives sticking up for Starr. For example, the also-loathsome Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review:

...he had the patriotic devotion to take on the most thankless task in modern American history: independent counsel in the investigation of President Clinton.

You see this a lot in conservative salutes to Starr: His actions described as "thankless," meaning "all decent people were disgusted by them."
For that, the media-Democrat complex spared no effort to destroy him . . . personally.

That is, they noticed his malfeasances (like Baylor and Epstein, which go unmentioned by McCarthy) and reported them accurately, which is the worst thing you can do to a Republican . 

The best, though, is Quinn Hillyer at the Washington Examiner, under the already-answered-by-my-tshirt headline "Ken Starr, not a villain, did his duty with good intentions":

Former federal judge and independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who died today, was an eminently decent man and dedicated public servant who did not come close to deserving the calumny he received from most of the establishment media.

This is not to say that Starr’s judgment, especially when involving political ramifications, was always the best. But it is to say that he did his duty thoroughly and, importantly, fairly and without malice.

Yeah, he ran those people over, but he was on his way to church! 

...As it happened, both as a staffer on Capitol Hill and as an editorial writer in Little Rock, I became deeply involved in investigating the scandals of the Clinton era, trying to separate wheat from chaff. One bit of chaff (among many) was the persistent rumor that Clinton friend Vince Foster’s suicide had been staged. Some conservatives absolutely would not accept the suicide story and insisted that Foster was murdered.

Starr, with his then-young staffer Brett Kavanaugh playing a lead role, meticulously put that conspiracy theory to rest. And Starr’s team had Kavanaugh walk me through the report they presented, noting key clues that, while public, were ones the media missed. The effect was to exonerate the Clintons further on that score, even as Hillary did lead a cover-up of some materials in Foster’s possession when he died. If Starr had been “out to get” the Clintons, he and Kavanaugh would not have been so intent on noting even more of the exculpatory materials about the Clintons than the media had gleaned.

To recap: The liberal media and the Clintons themselves were to blame for the rumor that Hillary killed Vince Foster, but Ken Starr saved them. And look at the thanks he got! 

The highlight:

As it was, Starr went on to a productive career in academia, again sometimes showing better judgment than at other times.

I wonder if they honestly don't know how funny this is. Nahh, they can't be that dumb.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

NONE ELEVEN.

I wrote this a year ago, in "The Last 9/11":

God bless you if you have dead to mourn. But I’m done with 9/11. I don’t want to invade any more foreign countries to make some yahoos feel good and some billionaires richer. I just want this country back from the people who manipulated all that violence and heartbreak to make it this way.

I'm only here to say that nothing has changed. Even the sort of buffoons accustomed to automatically wave the bloody shirt seem to be losing steam; at National Review this morning, for example, 9/11 is way down the page, far below stories like "The Biden Administration Is Engaged in a Massive Censorship Campaign"; hapless Dan "Baseball Crank" McLaughlin is wheeled out, and he begins, "One bright, sunny, seemingly perfect Tuesday morning in September, everything changed," and the eyes of anyone who lived through those years of mindless militaristic rah-rah glaze over -- and then you realize his story is datelined last year. They couldn't even come up with anything new.

Which makes sense. Modern conservatism is thoroughly exploitative, and what's left to exploit from 9/11? They long ago wrung all the graft they could out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and so have no real use for jingo perorations -- though they managed to tap some final drops last year, when Biden withdrew U.S. troops, acting as if ending that disgraceful occupation and not the occupation itself were the real crime.  

Their mob boss has no interest in foreign adventuring, except to pick up checks from Saudi butchers; his style is to defend our foreign enemies, saying after all the U.S. is not so innocent so who are we to embark on moral crusades against them -- a crude cracked-mirror version of what conservatives have accused liberals of believing for decades.

To them, 9/11 is like our natural resources -- something to be pumped mercilessly until it's used up, and then abandoned. 

Friday, September 09, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.



God save your mad parade.

 (Note: Contrary to custom, the freebie links are at the end.)

Funny, I’m actually susceptible to royal drama. I remember the scenes around Victoria’s death in PBS’ dramatization of The Forsyte Saga – the maid crying out, “it’s the Queen, mum, the poor old Queen – she’s dead!”; the archival footage of the cortege, and the infirm Old Soames tottering to his feet: “Don’t care to be seated when the Queen is passing.” I even felt a little blush of sentiment in Frears’ The Queen when the little girl proffers Liz the flowers and says “they’re for you,” notwithstanding the real meaning of the scene is that foxy Tony’s scheme worked a charm.

But I’m not so depraved that I can’t also enjoy some good Dead Queen jokes, and apart from Irish Twitter the funniest have been unintentional – that is, the puffed-up boo-hoos of reactionaries who halted, as if by reflex, their usual smackdowns and slurs on the poor and underprivileged to blow their noses over Betty Saxe-Coburg and talk about the Passing of the Old Order. For example, Andrew Sullivan:


For my impertinent reply I got a week off Twitter. Worth it! 

Sadly I can’t slap ‘em all. Erick Erickson, for example, glurges that the people cracking wise at the Queen’s death are all snooty liberals. He seems particularly incensed at the black ones, whom he angrily accuses of anger; “undoubtedly,” he fumes, “they also understand their careers are what they are because of white progressive elite head-patters, and it makes them angrier.” Hey, give Erick credit – he learned a variation on “liberal plantation”! But the rest of the shtick is musty as hell – “the left is increasingly cloistered inside a bubble of their own making,” blah blah blah – though nothing in the thing is more sick-making than his attempts at funerary prose: 

Truly, I have no words to add to the hundreds of thousands already written about the death of Elizabeth II. I can only offer my prayers. Her shoes are too big for anyone to fill, so I will also pray all of us can give King Charles the grace to walk in his own shoes in his own way, unshackled from the expectations left by our memories of his predecessor, his mother, the Queen. In the shadow of his mother’s crown for so long, he now comes into the light beneath its weight on his head and its burdens on his shoulders as he and his people mourn Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. What a time.

As their eyes pass over this, I doubt even the people who take Erickson seriously are paying close attention, and it registers merely as a gush of So Sad So Sad God Save & Are Eye Pee. But for those of us who can’t help ourselves, it conjures vision of King Charles III trying out one of his thousands of pairs of shoes with a renewed sense of purpose (and a great fat book on his head, to improve his posture), and Erickson, squeezed into an equerry costume, bawling out the late Queen’s honorifics at a suburban barbecue. 

I’m grateful that old Bess stood up to the Nazis with whom her wicked Uncle liked to party, and can even understand how the durability of her reign gave very old people some sense of continuity and stability, and that it must be rough to lose it. But most of us do not have such a sense, because the world has been getting worse for a long time and dragging our hope and fortunes down with it; and in that light the bejeweled lady hanging in there year after year to greet one horrible knob after another, then bidding them cheerio as they went out to fuck up England and the world some more, doesn’t seem so much a comfort as a cruel joke.

That’s why the jokes are funny. And speaking of jokes, I have a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down issue on the subject – accept it please in the spirit of the occasion (and tell your friends, since, ahem, I can’t tweet the link). And while you’re at it, read and enjoy the previous one about people who think liberal arts degrees are bad because they don’t make you rich.

Friday, September 02, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN,


Dedicated to all the MAGA shitehads out there.

•  Here’s this week’s unlocked Roy Edroso Breaks It Down story – a consideration of conservative attacks against drag queens. It may hardly seem worth mentioning, given the insane hate-on conservatives have for other groups such as trans people (whom, it is worth noting, conservatives are currently trying to chase from society and some are trying to murder). But I think it’s noteworthy for the very weirdness of their jihad. For years it seemed even lunkheads liked drag queens because of the the joy they bring. I guess when bigotry blossoms, it’s important to attack the pleasure centers. See what you think! 

•  I guess the big news now is Biden’s perfectly reasonable speech on how Trump supporters’ attacks on democracy should be resisted, and the ravings of said supporters in response. In a way it’s perfect: Biden said they were dangerous nuts, and here they are acting the part perfectly. Like this:

Prognostication is a mug’s game, but I think we can safely assume independent voters are not gonna look at shit like this and think, yeah these guys are definitely not the violent lunatics they looked like on January 6. 

The weirdest thing, though, has been the argument made by some of conservatism’s finest minds, that since MAGA stands for Make America Great Again, Democrats are against making American great:

That’s like saying “’Arbeit mach frei’” just means ‘work will make you free’ – it’s really a positive message!”

Oh, and for lagniappe


If only stupidity made evil people ineffectual, we could count ourselves safe from these losers. But we know they’re going to continue to act out, in violent language and behavior, protesting their innocence all the while. Well, at least the non-idiots know the score. Let's hope my optimistic view that non-idiots represent a majority turns out to be accurate! 

•  Finally, goodbye to Barbara Ehrenreich. I've only read a few of her excellent essays, and ought to take this opportunity to finally get to Nickeled and Dimed. I will mention that she was yet another subject on which Jonah Goldberg showed his utter worthlessness

Friday, August 26, 2022

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


I don't think Hoagy could write a bad song if he tried --
and he may have here.

Yes, only one free story from Roy Edroso Breaks It Down this week – and I remind you, Satan-to-Jesus-in-the-desert style, that all this – i.e. five days a week of deathless prose on contemporary topics – will be yours if you send me seven measly dollars a month. Considering he was only offering Jesus a bunch of hot sand, I'd say you'd be getting the better deal.

The current freebie is a version of that Rich Lowry essay defending FBI-threatening Trumpkins, stripped of its bullshit veneer. Lowry and that whole Republicans with Good Taste crew have certainly disgraced themselves in the Trump era – more than usual, I mean! – but, two impeachments and a coup later, their continued fluffing of Tubby should make it plain even to the dimmest professional centrist milquetoasts that the whole movement is rotten and irredeemable. 

Based on the continued ineducability of Damon Linker et alia, I guess it can never be made plain enough for some people. But at least some of us are trying. And now there’s the White House Twitter account mainstreaming the “This You?” attacks on Republicans who blubber about student loan forgiveness but turn out to be PPP pigs. I think it’s awesome that Biden’s people are smacking these wretched hypocrites around, for the usual petty reasons but also because it does the great public service of acknowledging that the civility with which liberals are always expected to treat conservatives is not only never reciprocated but also continually exploited.

I mean, these people worship Donald Trump, for fuck’s sake. All the hardcore rightwing ragebait emails I get are filled with stories like “DeSantis BLASTS Fauci to Kingdom Come: WATCH” and other equally combative rants. And Republicans candidates are pretty much expected to show themselves shooting or leading airstrikes against their unseen liberal enemies. 

American politics is a free-fire zone – except it’s only free going one way, toward the left. And yet, as the many citations of Murc’s Law have shown, when liberals even so much as point out how crazy these people are acting, they draw a red card from the prestige media.

Well, fuck that shit. The civility train left the station a loooooong time ago. I’m only disappointed that Biden called them “semi-fascist.” Uh uh, Dark Brandon, they’re full fash, and letting people know and giving the evidence is simply good citizenship.

UPDATE. I try not to be too "cry harder" about this, but really how can you resist when it's Timothy P. Carney at the Washington Examiner:

Did you know that if you ever took any form of federal aid, you’re never allowed to criticize any other form of government aid?

? No, I did not know that. What -- 

That’s the only reasonable interpretation of the snarky tweet campaign spearheaded by the White House on Friday, comparing the forgiveness of student debt to the forgiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program...

What they clearly believe is that giving money to anyone — in any circumstance — buys the White House the right to say “shut your mouth” any time that person criticizes a government program.

The White House "snarky tweet campaign" was just this: they ran Republicans' rages against the loan forgiveness next to the amounts of said Republicans' (often quite substantial!) forgiven PPP loans. That's it. The simplest kind of mockery. And this has reduced Carney to a full-body sputter of persecution mania:

In that light, you can better understand the unending desire to expand government. The more thoroughly you get everyone on the dole, even if you do it by first cutting off their access to nongovernment money, the more you get to boss everyone around.

We'll subsidize your electric car, but then, you have to shut up. We'll subsidize your crops, but then, you can never criticize us. We'll subsidize your home purchase, but then, you have to agree with us on everything.

The italicized section is very like what Carney italicized-fantasized was being said to him during the 2015 RFRA controversies: "Bake me a cake, photograph my wedding, pay for my abortion and my contraception." Guy's got an M.O.! 

Finally:

The only sensible response is to get government out of every part of our life we can so that we preserve the standing to criticize the government. I don’t generally support that take, but that’s what’s required by Biden’s behavior.

You liberals have forced me to pretend to be a libertarian, again! Yeesh, what a whining little bitch. Makes you want to creep under his window at night and stage-whisper BAKE ME A CAAAAAAAKE.

UPDATE 2. Ugh, it's a real pity party on the right today:

But we should blame ourselves: We should have been telling them to fuck off long since. Now they're spoiled. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

LOL STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS GO BRRRRRRRR.

I'll have to suss it out more but so far I like the Biden student loan forgiveness plan -- especially the part where none of the Jubilants (if I may call them that!) have to pay more than 5% of their discretionary income per month toward loans. For one thing, it underlines how this isn't the giveaway to the rich that Republican assholes are making it out to be. 

It also has the added benefit of making Megan McArdle mad:



If you're wondering how McArdle knows that all you horrible people who got student loans were just whooping it up in college, wearing nice clothes and painting the town and studying something silly like literature or sociology, you have to understand this is what it sounds like when a child of privilege swallows old-school outrage-based rightwing propaganda -- you know, hippies cashing their welfare checks while the silent majority works hard, goddamnit -- and regurgitates it in a snippy little pundit voice. 

In the battle of reality and resentment, resentment wins every time. That is, it wins in McArdle's world -- but in an America where a growing number of people go to college (a trend reactionaries would like to reverse, for obvious reasons), and parents still want better for their children, I suspect it's very different. 

Anyway I paid my loans off years ago (not hard because I had scholarships -- marvel at it, ye sons of Reagan!) and I think it's great.