Showing posts sorted by date for query James Antle. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query James Antle. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but to me it's genuinely weird to see the President of the United States admitting that he's getting ready to steal the election.  

Oh, I don’t think so. I — we need nine justices. You need that. With the unsolicited millions of ballots that they’re sending, it’s a scam; it’s a hoax. Everybody knows that. And the Democrats know it better than anybody else.

So you’re going to need nine justices up there. 

"Hoax" and "scam" being words Trump uses for realities he does not wish his voters to acknowledge, it's clear he expects his shysters to push swing-state vote-rigging suits up to SCOTUS after the election, and he wants Amy Barrett Comey or some other reliable co-conspirator to rig it for him when they do. (Mike Pence has been doing the same thing, though in a less rough-and-tumble manner for the more delicate JustTheTip Trumpers.) (Update: Oh, yeah, there was also Trump's "get rid of the ballots" thing. Classy!)

Thanks to Barton Gellman at The Atlantic, we even have some idea of how they plan to do it:

According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority. With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires.

If you think they wouldn't try such a thing after the Supreme Court's recent ruling against the rights of faithless electors, you underestimate the ingenuity of their evil; anti-democratic efforts work best when they contradict common ideas of fairness, because they break the people's faith in their institutions. 

To prepare for this coup attempt, rightwing factota are already dressing the stage. Democrats have been bitching about the anti-majority nature of our Democracy -- two minority-vote Republican Presidencies since 2000, Dems getting played on the Supreme Court, etc. -- so Republicans are like, nah uh, it's you guys who are anti-democratic. James Antle from the Washington Examiner on 2004:

Literally in an election where some -- admittedly not all, not most, but not a trivial number -- of liberals were hoping Kerry could succeed in challenging Ohio's results, which would have resulted in him becoming president while losing the popular vote.

Who can forget Kerry's "Banana Republic Riot"! As it happened, Democratic objections in Congress to Ohio voting irregularities were dismissed by large bipartisan majorities, but Antle did his little to make it look like vote-stealing is the other guys' game and that's what counts -- to get enough of this stuff in the media bloodstream that Trumpkins can say "Oh yeah well Kerry said he should be president and that's the real fraud."  

And GOP Rep. Jim Jordan is pimping a House Judiciary Committee Republicans report called "HOW DEMOCRATS ARE ATTEMPTING TO SOW UNCERTAINTY, INACCURACY, AND DELAY IN THE 2020 ELECTION" that is utterly full of shit. For one thing, it refers repeatedly to "all-mail balloting" as if those of us in jurisdictions with expanded mail voting options can't vote in person. And it has howlers like this:

All-mail balloting -- not to be confused with time-tested and limited absentee balloting --...

Oh for fuck's sake. 

...raises serious questions about election integrity. To begin, states have notoriously inaccurate voter registration lists—one estimate suggests that voter registration rates exceed 100 percent of the eligible populations in 378 counties across the United States. 

Yeah, people on voter rolls die and don't bother to call the BOE from their deathbeds and ask to be taken off. Not sure what that has to do with voting by mail. 

As the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform found in 2005, voting by mail “remain[s] the largest source of potential voter fraud.”

"Potential"'s doing a lot of work there. That same 2005 report also says, "While there is little evidence of fraud in Oregon where the entire state votes by mail absentee balloting in other states has been one of the major sources of fraud." That would be the same "time-tested and limited absentee balloting" Jordan referred to earlier, and which Trump himself has praised -- a distinction without a difference on which the 2020 report leans heavily: We Republicans are not doing anarchistic mail voting, we're doing good Republican cloth coat absentee voting! 

The report does this kind of thing throughout: For example, it refers to the 2007 King County ACORN registration fraud case ("Prosecutors claimed the defendants submitted more than 1,800 false voter registration forms") without mentioning that none of the registrations the temp workers filled out led to ballots being submitted -- in other words, the system worked like it was supposed to and caught the problem. There's also a lot of guff like this: 

If states can allow violent left-wing extremists to riot and loot in person, then they should allow peaceful Americans to exercise their right to vote in person. If Speaker Pelosi can visit a hair salon without a mask in San Francisco, then Americans in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania can visit their local polling places.

So it's not a scholarly document, to say the least -- it's basically GOP propaganda but with footnotes, so operatives like Byron York at the Examiner can talk about it as if it's -- well, I was going to say the Warren Report, but no one's believed in blue-ribbon reports for years,  so really it's more like Chariots of the Gods? or The Secret, and the rubes will eat it up. As I've said before: Were it not for motivated reasoning, they'd have no reasoning at all. 

UPDATE. They're still dismissing this overt-and-not-subtle threat from the President as something you should just pretend didn't happen. David Harsanyi at National Review:

Not a single journalist or politician in hysterics on the social media right now — most of them having spent four straight years delegitimizing the presidency and the attacking constitutional order — actually believes Trump won’t leave office peacefully if he loses the election. It’s all an act. Trump, of course, gives his opposition endless ammunition to engage in these group fantasies with his reckless answers.

Just because he's "reckless" enough to say he'll do these things doesn't mean he's reckless enough to do them. If only one of these con men had the nerve to say, "look, he keeps saying he'll got a health care plan, too, and he obviously doesn't!"

Thursday, August 01, 2019


There's always something creepy about Republicans offering what I am accustomed to call Advice From Your Mortal Enemies, but in the wake of the two Democratic Presidential debates this week they've managed to make it creepier with their encomia to weirdos Marianne Williamson and Tulsi Gabbard. It's not just the interplay with the rightwing operatives pushing Williamson and Gabbard in online polls, though that's weird enough; it's their passive-aggressive insistence that these fringe candidate could lead the party to sanity and victory if only Democrats weren't such losers.

Since Libertarians Are The Worst let's start with Christian Britschgi at Reason:
While the rest of the candidates at the first Democratic debate tonight have been doing their best to out-socialist each other, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been trying to keep the country out of war.
Save us from those famous neocon-socialist hawks Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi! Ha, kidding, he maybe means these guys:
Gabbard's position contrasts with the positions of other Democratic candidates on stage. Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) was the lone debate participant to say that he would not automatically re-enter the Iran deal worked out by President Obama, suggesting a better deal could be had. 
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) said that, while she favored reentering the deal, she would like to push for stricter terms. Klobuchar also stressed that if a war with Iran were to occur, it would require congressional authorization.
Stricter terms! Better deal! Well, that couldn't possibly be look-tough bullshit for the moderate wing, it has to be socialist bloodlust. But wait -- how do we know Gabbard isn't a socialist? After all, she's standing up there with all those socialists and not wearing a dollar-sign pin nor quoting Ayn Rand. Here's the best Britschgi can do:
That Gabbard was willing to duck a softball, red meat question about raising wages for women to focus on America's war-making abroad was nonetheless a refreshing moment amidst the otherwise dreary, shockingly left-wing rhetoric from the rest of the Democratic field on stage tonight.
Higher wages for women -- that's how Kennedy got us into Vietnam, right?

Meanwhile at The American Conservative, James Antle III, a buffoon, assures that while Bernie Sanders has "mostly failed to recapture his 2016 magic" (cite needed), Gabbard, "perhaps the most interesting Democrat running for president," has the secret sauce:
While reliably progressive, she has occasionally reached across the political divide on issues like religious liberty and Big Tech censorship, a potent combination that could prove more responsive to Trump voters’ concerns than what we’ve heard from her neocon lite interlocutor from Youngstown.
By "religious liberty” I assume Antle means she ragged on Senators Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono for questioning anti-abortion crusader Brian Buescher, now comfortably ensconced on the federal bench, on his Knights of Columbus membership during his Senate hearing, which she called anti-Catholic bigotry; by "Big Tech censorship" I assume he means her lawsuit against Google, a tedious tactic of Republican cry-babies that she has adopted and promoted on Tucker Carlson's show.

Antle affects to believes that Democrats' failure to take Gabbard up is because their party "cares more about wokeness than war." Think of all those Social Justice Warriors who want to abolish ICE and invade Iran!

As for Williamson, well, let's just stick with the always good for a laugh Rod Dreher:
Russian Orthodoxy treasures the yurodivy, or “holy fool,” an ascetic who behaves in ways that seem insane to normal people, but who, in so doing, reveal Christian truth. The New Age guru and Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson is not a holy fool according to the usual definition, but I can’t help thinking that to some extent, she’s playing that role. We all love to laugh at her, because she is something of a kook … but she’s onto something important about us. 
In last night’s Democratic debate, Williamson spoke of the “dark psychic force” of “collectivized hatred” that Donald Trump draws up and exploits. Here’s the clip... 
I know: ha ha, what a ding-dong! But she’s not wrong, except in that she pins this entirely on Trump.
In other words, the holy fool is absolutely right about Trump being evil, except she doesn't realize that evil is also Al Sharpton, and since TV commentator Sharpton is, like President Trump, the leader of his party, it's all the same really, just like the Republicans were really just as bad as the fascists in the Spanish Civil War, and we should all unite to persecute homosexuals.

Can they get the suckers to lemming after one or both of these new Jill Steins? Once upon a time I would have said God doesn't hate us that much yet, but now I'd say it's a toss-up.

Friday, May 24, 2019


"Let's get it straight girl you don't need a nigga fo' nuttin'/Lookin' better every day,
you got that Benjamin Button." You have to admire the craft.

•   I am unlocking yet another edition of my newsletter (Subscribe! Cheap! ™) for you good people. This is one of my semi-regular "This is Hardcore" features based on those rightwing stories aimed via emails with names like The Patriot Chronicles and Three-Percenter Nation at your senile father or grandfather. This edition is special, though, because it's devoted to Justin Amash and how he became a pariah by turning on Trump in the matter of impeachment. So far his few rightwing defenders are mostly usedtabees who put down anti-Trump markers long ago and smell a return on investment -- you know, guys like W. James Antle III, late of Billy Kristol's Flying Dutchman. But most of the brethren stick to the script. At TownHall Beth Baumann tells us that "conservative pundits, however, seemed to have mixed reaction to Amash's take on the situation," but after that she reproduces nothing but attacks on Amash, ranging from dumb slurs ("Justin Amash was off his rocker long before his attention-seeking comments") to the-evidence-is-insufficient harrumph-harrumphs (among the latter, hilariously: Michael Tracey!). But these are mostly tweets -- for the real quality analysis, let's go to Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media:
In case you missed it last weekend, everybody's favorite Trump-hating Republican not named Mitt Romney was busy having a Twitter bonding moment with House Democrats... 
Amash then went on a snoozefest of a Twitter rant about why, in his legal opinion, the party he doesn't belong to is right. 
He not only let his daddy issues be manifested in his Trump hate, but he worked them out with plenty of bad things to say about Attorney General Bob Barr too. 
With friends like this, who needs Democrats?
I have to say, for righteous defenders of principle, they sure do sound like whining little bitches.

•   Lotta "oh you liberals are for equality but what about liberals who are rich" stuff out here these days. Bernie and Liz must be getting to the wingnuts! Here's supergenius Kevin D. Williamson at National Review:
[Actress] Jessica Chastain, who sometimes lectures the world about “wage equality” while making films financed by the money billionaire tech tycoon Larry Ellison gives his kids, has purchased a lovely new home off Central Park for about $9 million. 
On the Upper West Side, some animals are more equal than others.
Jeffrey Goldberg must be kicking himself. Meanwhile at The Fetalist -- er, sorry, The Federalist -- Libby Emmons has a fake-woke shtick: When middle-class working moms hire poor immigrant working moms to take care of their kids, that's bad for the poor immigrant working moms' own kids (who should be separated from their parents by immigration officials, not just because some liberal mothers want to find "fulfillment" or "enough money to leave their asshole husbands"). Ha ha, you liberals are The Real ™ imperialists! You'll be surprised to learn the answer to this dilemma is not socialist stuff like child care programs or living wages:
While leftist women in the West push for less family structure and more centralized child support, they disrupt not only their own families but also families around the world.... 
If American women want equality, it must be global equality. We can’t gain our freedom by exploiting those who are willing to trade it for their children’s future. A better answer than increasing outsourced child care is to make it more possible for women to mother their own children. Women should stop demanding liberation from motherhood, and everyone should acknowledge motherhood’s importance to society.
You broke it, you bought it, ladies, so stay at home with your brats like you deserve and leave these poor mamacitas to live in dignified if extreme poverty back home with theirs! Everybody loses except capitalism, which is what conservatism is all about.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


One thing mainstream and conservative journalists seem to share is the curious idea that Trump is making a big mistake by "alienating" Congress.

The MSM pitch it as inside baseball for their cognoscenti readers, who will be titillated by the prospect of a Trump Administration collapse: "Conflict between Trump and Congress escalates as difficult agenda looms," harrumphs the Washington Post"Trump Widens Rift With Congress as Critical Showdowns Loom," says The New York Times.

Conservatives are more likely to see it as threat to their agenda, since that is, ostensibly, what they and the outsider President share: "Trump will need Republican friends in Washington if Russia probe heats up," warns W. James Antle III at the Washington Examiner; "It’s All Fun and Games until Trump Gets Impeached," says Rich Lowry at National Review; "...the survival of his presidency will depend on the support of people within his own party who have come to hate his guts."

A few of the dumber conservatives, like Conrad "I'm rich, give me a column" Black and The Stupidest Man on the Internet, think Trump will roll over Congress because he is all-powerful. They're closer to the truth, but only accidentally and in a meaningless way. Trump is not going to lose to Congress because Trump is not in conflict with Congress. In fact, he's not on the same planet as Congress, or as nearly anyone else.

I don't mean that he's nuts. It's funny-sad that so many people talk about the mental problems they imagine the President has -- dementia, narcissistic personality disorder, what have you -- as if his behavior could only be explained by an illness. I've never approved of distance diagnosis of Presidents, and I haven't changed my mind.

By his own lights, Trump is behaving rationally. He knows people hate the Democrats -- and they hate the Republicans. Their specific reasons for hating each only interest him insofar as they direct his exploitation of each.

He shows his opposition to the Democrats by appealing to white voters' racism and uneducated voters' resentment of the professional class -- and by stirring the Democrats to show their opposition to him. He distances himself from the Republicans by publicly insulting them -- and by stirring their opposition as well, wimpy though it may be. (Whatever you think of Sheetcake Tina Fey, she's right about Paul Ryan and everyone knows it.)

That way, no matter whom the voter despises, there's a good chance he or she will remember that Trump despises them too and, if they're dumb enough, count it as a point in his favor.

What about blowback? The Democrats Trump doesn't have to worry about. The Republicans do have the power to harm him, but they're not idiots. His harsh words mean nothing to them. They just want their agenda passed.

So this Trump does lavishly: He supports every feature of the conservative agenda -- from tax breaks from the wealthy to persecution of the underprivileged -- and enables the looting of the federal government by Republican donors to an unprecedented degree.

As with his gross properties, he lays it on absurdly thick. Trump is not a traditional politician who horse-trades on a per-horse basis; he doesn't withhold some little bauble as a way of tempting his adversary to put up an equally modest bauble of his own. The ideal situation for most dealmakers is to come out ahead on a trade, but Trump's ideal to get something without paying for it. And he gets things without paying for them by giving the impression of endless largesse available to you if you play ball. He runs his White House grift like a luxury hotel. He keeps the goodies coming -- room service, dry cleaning, concierge perks, etc., all comped -- and leaves it to you to decide whether you want to risk having it all taken away.

Previous Presidents, no matter how scummy, were not capable of these innovations because, whatever their failings, they believed in governance and public service and merely sought to shake the machine enough to bring down some loose change without breaking it. Trump, on the other hand, doesn't give a shit whether he breaks it -- or about anything else. It's no skin off his ass; like his absurd Secret Service overcharges, it's someone else's money.

The reason is that, so far as he's concerned, he's not President. Oh, he has the title, and he famously tells everyone, ad infinitum, how stupendous his 2016 victory was. But he doesn't tell them that because he's proud of being President -- he doesn't care about that, no matter what armchair psychologists tell you about his ego (I mean, a psychologist, armchair or otherwise, is woefully insufficient to address his ego -- you would need a tragic poet). In his mind, Trump has always been something greater than President: He has been Donald Trump.

No, he tells them that because it's a way to extract fealty, or bribes, or to get the press to act as if he's President -- you know, like when Glenn Thrush says this hurricane represents for Trump a "Chance to Reclaim Power to Unify." Their willingness to play along -- that excites him, because it plays into his grift.

But the Presidency itself? He doesn't care. And I think his behavior become much easier to understand, and even less frustrating, when you stop assuming that he does. Think of him instead as a tyrant who somehow took over the apparatus of government, and who has none of the traditional ties to the citizens who normally elect Presidents. It's close enough to the truth.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

READER MAILBAG. In my recent Voice column on DADT repeal, I got a little kick out of W. James Antle III, who likes neither gays in the military nor women in the military. Antle responds:
Roy Edroso, the Village Voice's tour guide to the conservative blogosphere, finds it odd that I think there were any problems associated with integrating women into the military. I guess he's never heard of fraternization, pregnancies, or sexual harassment, none of which were much in evidence in the days of the Women's Auxillary Corps.
I have, but I've never heard of our fighting men and women failing to Take The Hill because they were too distracted by baby-making, fornication, and unwanted advances. Oh, wait, is that what happened in Vietnam?
But here's what I find odd: that progressives instinctively like the idea of women killing and dying in war.
I've got a few kinks, but I assure you this is not one of them. Besides, if that were a "progressive" thing, wouldn't liberal Hollyweird have churned out dozens of bloody female war epics for our pornographic delectation by now?

(Oh please oh please oh please bring up G.I. Jane; this post needs more laughs.)

UPDATE. Mission Accomplished!