Sunday, July 26, 2015


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

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

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

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

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


  1. coozledad11:19 AM

    Well, the GOP may be a racist party staffed and chaired by people who can't seem to wash the shit from beneath their fingernails, but they'll always have the NYT in their corner.

    When the NYT is already doing unsourced hit pieces on Hillary, you know the Republicans are betting on Jeb. It's the Bush family's paper.

  2. In our local rag this Sunday morning, a Charles Krauthammer piece taken from the WaPo's recycling bin advocates the banning of all late term abortions. That this is even a thing shows how successful the Right has been in framing the debate: it not only came up with the catchy phrase "Partial Birth Abortion", it also managed to convince the marks that late term abortions are not only common and routine, but as easy to get as buying a toaster from WalMart. Our paper, incidentally, has run three op-eds, by Cal Thomas, Kathleen Parker, and now Krauthammer, on the existential awfulness of Planned Parenthood, and not one on how this video was a shuck and a set-up from beginning to end. And I'm sure that I could describe any surgical procedure in a way that would make Douthat blanch at the thought of having surgery ( well, other than hair plugs) for any reason, even to save his life.

  3. coozledad11:35 AM

    But in the end, the Republican party's defenders insist, listening to a gun enthusiast discuss aiming for the center of body mass (analogous to the swollen middle part of Ross Douthat) so the stopping power of the shot is maximized, is fundamentally different from listening to your garden variety sociopath discuss the best way to shove a dead body into a Hefty bag.

  4. chunky reese witherspoon

  5. coozledad11:52 AM

    She was too human.

  6. You'll be hearing from Screaming Lord Sutch's lawyer in the morning.

  7. "Meamwhile Rick Perry is telling the world that the lesson of the Louisiana movie theater shooting is that people should be able to take loaded weapons to the movies."

    Shorter Wingnuts:

    James Egan Holmes: Lone nut.

    Dylann Roof: Lone disaffected teen nut.

    John Houser: Lone nut

    Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez: Filthy homicidal illegal immigrant who should have been deported along with all of those other Illegal immigrants.

    Mohammad Abdulazeez: Filthy Mooslim terrorist typical of his terroristical religion.

    Thank you for reading, and catch my new byline at the National Review.

  8. redoubtagain12:24 PM

    For some reason the term "snowflake babies" keeps coming to mind.
    Of course the whole thing is Republican spin.

  9. mortimer200012:30 PM

    And over at the National Review, Andrew McCarthy wants Obama impeached for treason. (For negotiating, along with Great Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, the deal with Iran, of course.)

    I think the GOP shot past looney ages ago. We're well into "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Clowns" territory.

  10. montag212:35 PM

    One would think that the willingness of the rabid anti-abortion Christian right to murder doctors would at least cause some pause on the part of editors when considering the evidence presented by that faction, but, it seems, no, that's not even a minor consideration.

    Upon Roosevelt's death, he was barely cool when the Repugs began work to pull the teeth in union law instituted in the `30s, and the same sort of wackos began to undo Roe v. Wade the moment it was announced, and they've become, if anything--even with successes at the state level--more embittered and more fanatical about it as time has passed.

    When the press starts thinking that the sound of goosestepping has a snappy beat, we're probably in trouble.

  11. Well, Great Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia aren't sensitive to pressure from AIPAC or Sheldon Adelson, and generally don't give a shit what Benjamin Netanyahu thinks about anything.

  12. susanoftexas12:39 PM

    Did Selzer expect tiny clothed fetuses after an abortion?

    Was it okay to kill this little girls' parents?

    Douthat thought it was a great idea. Why is it okay to kill strangers but not okay to have an abortion?
    These pundits want to have it both ways. They want to uphold God and morality and never let a woman have an abortion because Only God Can Take A Life. But they also want to kill anyone they're afraid of. They avoid responsibility for those deaths by insisting that everyone is only allowed to talk about women's responsibility for abortion deaths.
    Who has pinned down Douthat and made him responsible for his choices? Who forced him to acknowledge that god knows how many tens of thousands of people died for his party's political gain? There was a vote. Liberals lost. Too bad. That was American Exceptionalism.
    There was a vote on abortion. Women can abort their babies if they want to. Conservatives lost. Too bad. That is now called the Democratic Holocaust.
    They did not let liberals stop the march to war. We let them chip away at our basic human right to control our reproductive system because we let them shame us for having power over life and death when they revel in it.

  13. Zack Budryk1:03 PM

    Legally Born: Red, White and Born.

  14. GeniusLemur1:10 PM

    I thought we acknowledged that in 1984 or thereabouts.

  15. GeniusLemur1:11 PM

    "generally don't give a shit what Benjamin Netanyahu thinks"
    Who in their right mind does?

  16. I seem to recall that happening in 2001-2002.

  17. GeniusLemur1:17 PM

    The way to understand it is to understand right wing thinking: "I like war, it's cool. So we should have a lot of them. I think abortion is icky and lets those sluts have sex without being punished. So it should be banned."
    It's like Bill Watterson wrote: "...inside every adult (sometimes not very far inside) is a bratty kid who wants everything his own way."

  18. Bitter Scribe1:19 PM

    If abortion is outlawed, women will die. Would donating their organs upset Douthat's sensitive stomach?

  19. Zack Budryk1:22 PM

    "You should have thought of that BEFORE I glued all this stuff to my face."
    -Bart Simpson

  20. We'll be safer at the movies when all our fellow Amerkins is armed.

  21. DocAmazing1:37 PM

    Au contraire. Douthat would assure you that he is mature enough to realize that, after all, those organs might go to save the lives of deserving men.

  22. satch2:23 PM

    "When the press starts thinking that the sound of goosestepping has a snappy beat..."

    And they can dance to it.

  23. Hair transplants can be quite painful and icky. A small section of the scalp is removed & transferred from the back of the head to the front (usually).

  24. How is that any different from aiming in a way to avoid organs? Republicans love retroactive abortions.

  25. Ellis_Weiner3:00 PM

    RICK PERRY: Let us bring our guns into the movies.
    JOURNALIST: How would that have helped?
    RP: The responsible gun owners would have drawn down on the assailant and shot him.
    J: What if one of them missed and hit another civilian?
    RP: Th--
    J: What if someone else, seeing that, thought the guy who missed was himself an assailant, and shot him? And either hit him or missed?
    RP: The Second Amendment--
    J: Ever see that ping-pong-ball demo of a chain reaction in the 1950s classroom movie Our Friend the Atom?
    RP: I'm not a scientist.
    J: A table is covered with mousetraps. Each trap holds two ping-pong-balls. When the first ball is tossed onto the table, it hits a trap, which shoots out two balls, which spring two more traps and their balls. In five seconds the table is a seething swarm of ping-pong balls.
    RP: I don't play ping-pong.

  26. Connected, of course, to the classic paradigm: A group of black or Hispanic men carrying firearms are a gang, and you should be afraid of them. A group of white men carrying firearms are just good ol' boys out for a walk, and if you're afraid then you hate America.

  27. Helmut Monotreme3:07 PM

    You nailed it. Their god is the sum of their fears and phobias and insecurities wrapped up in a bronze age myth.

  28. The Chickenhawk Brigade operate under the assumption that war - at least when wages by the US or an ally - is, on balance, always a good thing. Yes, people die, but they would have died under those fuckers we just killed anyway, so isn't it a positive development?

    It really breaks down like this: Some of the "hooray war" types are full-on sociopaths. For the ones that aren't, it helps tremendously to assume that every country we invade is Nazi Germany and we can only make things better

  29. tigrismus3:32 PM

    Hmm, so if abortions were done with drones and dramatic news coverage...

  30. Correction - A group of black or Hispanic men are a gang. If they're armed it's the start of the race war and you have to call in an air strike. Or at least, crap your pants so hard they fall off.

  31. I think films of various invasive medical procedures should be shown in public places every day until people agree women have full autonomy over their bodies and promise to shut the fuck up about all forms of birth control forever.

    I figure it will take 10 days. Seven days of films, three days for people to stop dry heaving long enough to agree to my very reasonable request.

  32. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person4:22 PM

    "The Liberal New York Times"

    Why is it called the Gray Lady? Straw is more, well, straw colored...

  33. Let's Bring Guns to The Movies!
    Let's Bring Guns to The Movies!

  34. smut clyde5:08 PM

    I have some footage of retinal-reattachment eye surgery if that helps.

  35. Germy Shoemangler5:13 PM

    It's personal between the NYT and the Clintons. I don't know why. Were unpleasant words exchanged at a cocktail party back in 1992?

  36. satch5:18 PM

    And then, of course there's these guys, bravely defending our armed forces, in spite of the fact that the armed forces wish they would go away.

  37. Germy Shoemangler5:23 PM

    A black guy and a woman in the group? Admirable diversity.
    What a wonderful time to be alive!

  38. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person5:31 PM

    Some people go into complete squik mode on viewing any real surgery--even if they'd munch popcorn right through the goriest parts of a movie--and some people don't. When I knew what I was in for back in June, I went to youtube and watched a bunch of videos to find out what they were gonna do to me. I encouraged the entire extended family to go look, so they'd know, too. "Oh, yuck!!!11! Groooooossss!" was the universal response. Not to the videos, because nobody looked. Just to my suggestion...

  39. mortimer20005:33 PM

    Yeah. And we don't even need to ask why none of these gun-lovin' fetus huggers ever want to to display gruesome photographs of actual children shredded by high-velocity AR-15 ammunition, or the endless, godawful surgeries that try to mend organ damage from the fragmentation, or the x-rays of the shattered bones that can result just from the cavitation of the bullets, or... oh fuck it. Children in a classroom or moviegoers in a theater don't come close to fetus-status.

  40. Oo, if we use eye surgeries we can do everything in five days and celebrate on the weekend.

  41. "I like war, it's cool ^provided there is absolutely no chance I will have to fight in one. So we should have a lot of them."

  42. susanoftexas5:55 PM

    Now that would be a protest--anti-gun or anti-war. Giant photos of bullet or war-torn people (especially soldiers) instead of slogans or doves.

  43. Rugosa6:31 PM

    I've worked in a couple of hospitals in a non-clinical capacity, most recently in a hospital that was quite proud of its pioneering work in face transplants. The online employee newsletter showed before and after photos. There's a reason medical personnel talk in detached, clinical language - they couldn't do their jobs if they dissolved into emotional puddles of goo when presented with the gruesome reality of the awful things that happen to people.

  44. I just clicked past the CNN on the electric TV, and some young thing was going on about the responsible and reasonable GOP candidates running, and I'm all "who the fuck is SHE talking about?"

  45. They got born. It's their tough luck.

  46. M. Krebs6:53 PM

    "Meamwhile" is a cool word. Someone should invent it.

  47. YNWA405157:10 PM

    So she's Israel's answer to Martha Mitchell, is what you're saying . . .

  48. YNWA405157:15 PM

    To be fair, this was extremely predictable. There was probably some sort of lottery amongst the GOP contenders as to who would get to be the one to go with the inevitable "the answer is MOAR! GUNS!" talking point, and Perry's name was the one that Reince (I'm assuming) pulled out of the hat.