Friday, January 07, 2022


Boy, that must have been some party.

I noticed a bunch of liberals objecting on Twitter to this John F. Harris/Politico story, “We Are In a New Civil War … About What Exactly?” Sample:

If this is a 21st century version of 19th century disunion, shouldn’t it be more obvious what the war, at bottom, is all about?...

Only in recent years have we seen foundation-shaking political conflict — both sides believing the other would turn the United States into something unrecognizable — with no obvious and easily summarized root cause. What is the fundamental question that hangs in the balance between the people who hate Trump and what he stands for and the people who love Trump and hate those who hate him? This is less an ideological conflict than a psychological one.

Now, this is Politico so I guess one has to be sensitive to its bothsidesing agenda (“the Trump phenomenon defies explanation,” Harris says -- ha, yeah, if your first acquaintance with the GOP was Romney 2012!) But I take his point to this extent: that all the yap about civil war -- and despite all claims to the contrary, including Harris’, as I have written before “civil war” really is overwhelmingly a rightwing thing -- it’s just ridiculous. 

And I’m not calling it ridiculous because I don’t think these guys wouldn’t do it if they could -- on the contrary, as polling and experience show, conservatives are now extremely comfortable with violence against liberals. I call it ridiculous because they have no actual complaint even remotely worth having a civil war over. Here’s the top of an email I got from one of the many rightwing mailing lists to which I subscribe:

Now, I ask you: What normal American would read something like that without wondering: What the fuck is this guy talking about, America is a "dystopian, tyrannical state"? 

It’s like when Rod Dreher goes on about “soft totalitarianism” and constantly invokes non-soft totalitarianism when talking about it (e.g., “There is no Stalin of the Social Justice Warriors, but that in no way means they are not dangerous”), but when someone (someone who’s not a mark, I mean) takes him to mean what he seems to mean, he weasels, “do I say that the libs are ‘just like’ the Bolsheviks? No, not at all,” and then explains that the liberalism “seeks domination and conformity not by imposing pain and terror on people, but rather by manipulating their access to status and comfort.” Which sounds like a pretty weak kind of “totalitarianism” in the first place, and when explicated it  turns out to mean a bunch of just-so stories about how everyone’s too scared to say trans women are men because they might lose their jobs -- which is 99 44/100% Pure Bullshit -- or that a racist getting kicked off a social media platform for flouting its terms of service is the Coming of the Camps.

The next time one of these nuts tells you about the intolerable tyranny under which Americans live, ask him what he means, specifically. Watch his hands, though. 

Want a Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie? This week, along with the January 6 anniversary one I mentioned yesterday, there’s also Amy Wax’s talk radio audition. That leaves three very fine issues you could have read with a subscription, and more where that came from. Sign up and treat yourself

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