Friday, June 21, 2024


I think they beat-corrected these? Or maybe I'm just shocked that it still kicks so hard.

This past week at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down we had plenty of the usual political stuff, but our two freebies today for the non-subscribing public (Stop crowding! They’re coming! There’s plenty for everyone!) are about two dead guys. First my reminiscence of the now-late James Chance and the shows he played with the Contortions back when New York City was better because I was young and living in it (and really, is there any other reason people say so? Well, I’ve discoursed on that in one of my evergreens). 

The second is for the newly-departed Donald Sutherland and an invitation to comment on your favorite of his performances, and we’ve already gotten great ones from our regular commenters (who are subscribers, get the hint – come on, $7/month is ridiculously cheap!).

Since we’re short of REBID poli-scorn, let me say a few words upon an exemplary piece of hackwork from the Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger. The thing ran on Juneteenth – which reminds me, get a load of this shit:

It’s too little noted, as Trump tries to convince credulous reporters that he’s reaching out successfully to African-American voters, every single MAGA media outlet like the Examiner keeps giving evidence that they have absolutely no black readers. 


The headline suggests typical rightwing Limousine Liberals in Hollyweird Kulturkampf crap, but the dek promises a twist. One wonders: Is he talking about Ron Schneider and Kevin Sorbo? But no, it’s worse than that! After a typically gratuitous swipe at Kamala Harris (these guys never do any other kind; Vice-Presidents don’t do anything to be criticized for, but Henninger’s readers certainly know what party, gender and color KH is, and that’s enough), he gets after Biden making $30 mil at a Hollywood fundraiser rather than stroking the oil industry for a billion dollars like a real American. 

Henninger also repeats the latest cheapfake bullshit about Biden looking ga-ga, but unlike the usual lie diffusers he deflects with some pretended sympathy: “We’ll give Mr. Biden a pass on this one. Who wouldn’t be zonked after flying across nine time zones, even for $30 million?” That’s how the prestige-press pros do it, folks! 

But then we get to the nub:

Less easy to duck was the impression of a Democratic Party drowning in Hollywood glitz. The party’s public image is almost wholly defined by celebrities, and that’s not good for winning general elections.

As opposed to being almost wholly defined by enraged insurrectionists storming the Capitol and Rudolph Giuliani. At least Rudy’s hair dye runs down his face, not like the fancy stays-in-the-hair dye favored by effete showbiz liberals! After listing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Gavin Newsom as “celebrities,” or at least celebrity-adjacent, Henninger again affects to be reasonable:

The Democrats’ rejoinder is: Give us a break! Donald Trump is the most unalloyed celebrity ever associated with the presidency, or politics. True, but that isn’t the Democrats’ problem.

The list of celebrities joined to the Democratic hip runs forever. But the Republicans? Once past Mr. Trump, no one associates the GOP with shiny people. In the popular telling among sophisticates, the Republicans—whether their elected politicians or followers—could hardly be more out of it.

George W. Bush, elected twice, was derided as a Republican doofus from Texas. Ronald Reagan? A “minor” actor. The traditional Republican set of beliefs is dismissed as beyond the pale on pretty much everything—the culture, race, social values, fashion, even culinary preferences. Can a foodie be a Republican?

See, Democrats are associated with “shiny” people while Republicans are associated with a President so toxic he was never invited to a post-presidency GOP convention and a famous movie actor some unnamed person called “minor.” Even casual readers may begin to smell a rat, so Henninger tries a curveball:

The assaults on Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas may be about legal outcomes, but make no mistake, these attacks originate in the belief that they aren’t our kind of people. 

I’ve been trying to puzzle this one out and the only thing I can figure is these judges’ corruption and batshit wingnut wives are supposed to be relatable to the Average Joe. Duck, here comes another feint! 

Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing made that clear.

I can’t even guess. 

The Democratic Party’s celebrity dependency has been background noise for decades and not a problem . . . until now. 

These people have been associating Democrats with celebrities for decades (remember this McCain ad?). I guess Henninger means it hasn’t been working… but this time for sure! 

This presidential election remains closely contested. With the cost of living the No. 1 issue, each swing-state vote deserves attention. In this high-stakes context, the spectacle of the incumbent president jetting from Europe to Hollywood is the kind of look Mr. Biden and his party don’t need. He’s Hollywood Joe.

I thought he was supposed to be Sleepy Joe, even Senile Joe. Suddenly he’s one of the beautiful people? Several grafs of GOP boilerplate ensue (Did you know Trump went to a black church, and there were even a few black people there?) before this whopper:

Mr. Trump himself could help by running off the rails, but he’s been almost disconcertingly pragmatic recently, shaking hands with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and endorsing former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Trump critic, for the U.S. Senate. However improbable, a Trump turn to self-discipline could dilute the Biden campaign’s decision to run overwhelmingly against Mr. Trump rather than on the Biden record.

We’ve been hearing some version of a “Trump turn to self-discipline” since he came down the escalator and even his fans mainly like that he’s obviously deranged and might get mad enough to actually murder some people they don’t like. Normally I’d admire a bullshit parfait with as many layers as Henninger gives this, yet it’s such a slovenly job that I begin to suspect that he isn’t even using real bullshit. 

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