Showing posts sorted by date for query david french. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query david french. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Friday, March 22, 2019

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.




Jazz ain't dead, it don't even smell funny.

• A snippet from a recent Roy Edroso Breaks It Down newsletter (TO WHICH YOU SHOULD SUBSCRIBE, he hollered with one hand to the side of his mouth like a newsboy in a '30s Warner Brothers picture, IT'S CHEEEEAP ™):
For his recent defense of the Electoral College [David French] might be excused, because it’s mostly no better or worse than all the other shitty rightwing defenses shoved, hastily and scarce half made-up into this breathing world by conservatives after Elizabeth Warren called for the EC to be abolished. (David Harsanyi’s “Democrats Want To Kill The Electoral College Because They Fear The Constitution” at The Federalist is my favorite; Jamelle Bouie effectively smacked down all this nonsense on Twitter.)
French does go the extra mile, though, with this: 
And let’s not pretend that a national popular vote elevates every citizen’s vote in a way that the Electoral College does not. Your vote counts in each state, and the fact that your state is overwhelmingly red or blue is no more or less demoralizing than the popular-vote idea that your single vote is thrown into a pool of 130 million others.
So the Republican voting in D.C. (where Clinton won with 90.9% of the vote) presumably feels himself more connected to the result than he would if his vote had a chance of contributing to a winning margin. I don’t think even French believes that.
I bring this up because the aforementioned wave of wingnut Electoral College defenses by Very Serious Commentators, all full of Founder Worship and rEpUbLiC nOt A dEmOcRaCy yak, has been followed (as if so ordained by Morning Memo!) by some dumbed-down (well, more dumbed-down) versions tailored to the Trumpenproletariat in bottom-feeder media such as the Washington Examiner, where David M. Drucker writes under the interesting headline "Republicans resigned to Trump losing 2020 popular vote but confident about Electoral College":
Some Republicans say the problem is Trump's populist brand of partisan grievance. It's an attitude tailor-made for the Electoral College in the current era of regionally Balkanized politics, but anathema to attracting a broad, national coalition that can win the most votes, as past presidents did when seeking re-election amid a booming economy.
"Trump's populist brand of partisan grievance" is "tailor-made for the Electoral College"? I wonder if James Madison had that in mind.
Others argue that neither Trump, nor possibly any Republican, could win the popular vote when most big states are overwhelmingly liberal.

“California, Illinois, and New York, make it very, very difficult for anybody on our side to ever again to win the popular vote,” said David Carney, a Republican strategist in New Hampshire.
Since it's rather giving the game away to say "Most people don't want our candidate to be President," they're arguing that most people is the wrong people -- libruls whut live in fancy states where they have highfalutin' sundries like soap and toothpaste. (Drucker is so grateful for the Trump campaign's help in filling his column that he ends with some bullshit about how the Trumpkins expect to lose the popular vote again but win the Electoral College even bigger in 2020 -- “We look to maintain and expand the Trump map" -- mainly, it would seem, to impress even more crushingly on Americans that the dead hand of the Founders -- manipulated as a cat's-paw by the modern GOP -- doesn't give a shit what they think.)

For a doubly-dumbed-down version see Hannity on Fox, transliterated here:
"You think all those red states would stick around and be in the United States if they kept losing to New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois?” Hannity asked. “I tend to think not.”
The final tantrum is always secession with these people. This time I say let them go, and we can establish generous refugee programs for the non-assholes who will flee the New Confederacy.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

HE'S JUST SAYING WHAT WE, THE BIGOTS, ARE REALLY THINKING!

I'm unlocking another Roy Edroso Breaks It Down newsletter issue -- this one about the mishegas around Michael Jackson. As you may imagine I'm not entirely convinced that people who have suddenly realized MJ was a child molester are acting in good faith. (By the way, I swear that you're missing a lot of other first-class material if you're not a subscriber -- go here and get on board.)

Speaking of people who have a strange reaction to explosive revelations, I'm not shocked that conservatives are uniformly defending Tucker Carlson's racist and rapist comments. Typical is this guy (formerly a famous Latin-pseud crackpot) at MAGA cult site American Greatness:
Let’s be completely clear here. Nobody—least of all the leftwing mobs attacking Tucker Carlson right now—cares what he said on the radio a decade ago. Except to the extent that his words can be wrapped around his neck like a noose. 
All the feigned outrage is exactly that: feigned. David Brock and his henchmen, along with their instantly mobilized Twitter mob, are not outraged. Not in the least. They’re giddy! And why wouldn’t they be? They’ve been looking for a way to get “Tucker Carlson Tonight” canceled since the show debuted. The search intensified as its popularity rose and its message caught fire. 
The imperative to kill the show reached a fever pitch after Carlson’s now-legendary January 2 monologue, which is the most searing indictment against a failed ruling class since Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.
Three sputter-filled grafs (and about a dozen thereafter) and no mention of what Carlson actually said; you'd think he had defended motherhood and the flag rather than child rape and white supremacy.

But frankly the unearthed Carlson is just a more-upfront version of the Carlson we've known all along -- the Carlson who told Lauren Duca "stick to the thigh-high boots" and dog-whistles racists with alarming regularity. And more-upfront Carlson excites them for a reason. Someone on Twitter lamented that the right's solidarity with Carlson showed how devoted to "tribalism" people have become. But I say these guys aren't defending Carlson because he's of their tribe -- even some conservatives, after all, peeled off the Roy Moore bandwagon in the final days. No, they defend Carlson because they agree with what he said. Not to put too fine a point on it, they're white supremacists and misogynists, and only wish they could say such things themselves and get away with it. Well, as the Trumpification of the Right progresses, I'm sure they'll get their wish.

UPDATE. As usual, making everything worse, National Review's David French:
Here’s the way it works. If you’re a conservative or a Republican who attains any kind of prominence at all, then the hunt is on. Media Matters has its rolling list of allegedly bad or silly things I’ve said and written, for example. And the more prominent you are, the more diligent the hunt.
Being accurately quoted is persecution! Or, in the words of A. Ridiculous Pseudonym at RedState, "Maoist totalitarianism."

If only Lonesome Rhodes from A Face in the Crowd had tumbled to this racket! After embarrassing himself at the end of the movie, he could have attacked those liberals who were persecuting him by describing what he said.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

INTO YOUR LIFE IT WILL CREEP.

For me the whole Covington thing boils down to this: These Catholic schoolboys acted like assholes, which is totally typical of Catholic schoolboys, as I can attest because I was a Catholic schoolboy myself and frequently behaved like an asshole. I still cringe when I think of my teenage behaviors, and am glad to have (to some extent, anyway) grown out of them. I hope these kids will, too, but there's less chance of that now that they've been celebrated as holy martyrs by rightwing crackpots. The smirk kid has had his PR-firm-crafted defense published in hundreds of outlets including CNN and been interviewed on national TV, yet conservatives act like he's the Dauphin during the French Revolution.

No doubt you've seen plenty of shit takes without trying or wanting to -- including this brain-melting Twitter spiel by Megan McArdle, which includes a lecture on physiognomonic studies ("most facial expressions are to some extent culturally constructed, even though we learn them so early we think they're innate reflections of our inner emotional state") and ends with "please do read [my column]. Also, hug someone." About the looniest is by Kevin D. Williamson, who seems, well, disturbed:
You people are a bunch of hysterical ninnies, and it is time for you to grow the hell up. 
You know who you are... 
Joy Behar, as profoundly dim and tedious a person as American public life has to offer...
...narrowly partisan, selfish, deeply stupid, entirely unpatriotic, childish, foot-stamping, fingers-in-the-ears, weeping, cooties-loathing, teary-eyed, tremulous, quavering, pansified, gormless, deceitful, dishonorable...
That's in the first three paragraphs. Later:
I’m talking about you, Ruth Graham of Slate, still trying to justify by whatever pathetic means are available what everybody with any sense knows to have been an exercise in pure horses***. I’m talking about you, editors of the New York Times. You sorry specimens are poor excuses for journalists, which, of course, we already knew. What’s more relevant here is that you are bad citizens. Trafficking in lies and distortions...
This is what passes as sweet reason in wingnut world. I recommend you read Laura Wagner's essay at The Concourse, and to watch how this incident feeds the acceleration of conservative paranoia. David French at National Review:
Hostility to traditional, orthodox Christianity is no longer confined to the white progressive elite. It’s now popular in the white Left. Liberal elites who attack traditional Christian beliefs and express contempt for traditional Christians aren’t demonstrating their disconnect from America, they’re giving their constituents exactly what they want.
White Democrats want to kill Christers -- thank God for the black Democrats, I guess; maybe French will support Kamala Harris in 2020! And at the meth labs of The Federalist, Nathanael Blake declares "a culture that considers sexual desire the essence of a person will not tolerate a rival Christian viewpoint, but stigmatize and punish it," and that liberals' "ultimate goal is a legal regime that will treat us very much like the English treated the Irish Catholics" -- prepare for Cromwellian massacre and starvation, Joel Osteen! Our sexy heresies demand it!

I wonder if any of these guys know that they're just talking to themselves and normal Americans are wondering how the fuck they can get them and their psycho leader out of government.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A NEW LOW, PART 1,254,090.

Charles Two Middle Initials Cooke at the conservative flagship magazine National Review:

I’ve greatly enjoyed reading the many responses to Tucker Carlson’s now-famous monologue. We’ve had contributions from David French, Kyle Smith, Kevin Williamson, Yuval Levin, David Bahnsen, Michael Brendan Dougherty, Mike Lee, Ben Shapiro, Mona Charen, Jonah Goldberg, David French again, Kevin Williamson again, David Bahnsen again, Jonah Goldberg again, and more. And that’s just on the website. The question has also been discussed at length on many of NR’s podcasts, and, of course, on Twitter....
Forget the rest of Cooke's post; forget anything else written about Carlson's allegedly inspirational speech -- except what I wrote about it in my newsletter (Subscribe! Cheap!) and quoted in a previous alicublog post. Instead contemplate that Cooke has cited the deep thoughts of no fewer than 11 major conservative thinkers on a dumb TV speech by a racist Fox News bowtie buffoon.

It seems like for the past week every conservative bigwig in the country has weighed in on what is essentially standard-issue You Snobs Care About Foreigners Well What About The Poor Hillbillies on Opioids gush as restated by the heir to the Swanson TV Dinners fortune. I knew Trump had gutted their movement, but this is like an Evelyn Waugh parody, like a sub-basement of a nadir of intellectual decay -- it's as if Cooke had an even lower opinion of his own karass than I do, and set out to make conservatism look stupid. It's too bad we can't have a reliable accounting of who finances this crap, because I really suspect it's mostly supported by rich wastrels as a joke to see how many among the dummies who still support this movement will catch on.

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: THE YEAR IN BULLSHIT, PART 2.

[See Part 1 here and Part 3 here.]


© 2016 XOXO Festival used under a Creative Commons license
6. White people persecution hits all-time high-larious. Being an old man, I don't project myself into the future much -- when prospective employers ask me where I see myself in ten years, I tell them I have a nice plot picked out at Forest Lawn -- but I do expect that before long people will find it unbelievable that so many white people bitched about non-white people making fun of them. Sweet Allah! I hear them saying. These honkies ran everything, and fucked it up so badly, yet they pretended to be offended that a Korean-American tech columnist called them names? Guess it's a good thing we exterminated them! As I reported on the Sarah Jeong controversy at the time:
"At one point, Jeong tweeted a crude graph claiming that as whiteness increased so did awful,” said Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Thursday. “Later she said that white people smell like dogs.” Carlson suggested Jeong’s tweets could lead to a Nazi purge of white people — a honkycaust, if you will...
The blanco-conservative panic on Jeong has more or less subsided, though there have been recent columns about her by their of-color adjuncts like Michelle Malkin ("Silicon Valley sharia — Laura Loomer versus Sarah Jeong") and Walter Williams ("Acceptable racism is racist, too") -- maybe their white friends made them write these to prove their loyalty. But white woe-is-me is a hardy perennial, and as long as there's a Reddit it will, like cabbage rolls (lol cuz white people eat them get it I'm being reverse racist), keep repeating on us.


5. Women's Marches scare the menfolk. Lately conservatives have been accusing Women's March organizer Linda Sarsour of at least crypto-anti-semitism -- here's a typical headline at PJ Media: "Women's Rights Activist: Linda Sarsour Is 'Empowering' Radical Islamic 'Torture, Terror, Rape.'" (To give you some idea, the "Women's Rights Activist" is Rabia Kazan, president of the Middle Eastern Women's Coalition, which has endorsed Donald Trump for president in the 2020 election.) If that's not convincing, Sarsour has also been denounced by international policy expert Courtney Love.

The controversy seems to be having a negative effect on the March's leadership, though it remains to be seen whether the brethren can use it to tar all anti-Trump activists as rabid Jew-haters, or make them scared to be seen as such, as seems to be the play here.

But their efforts may be too late in any case; the Marches probably achieved their intended effect in 2017 and 2018 by establishing the abnormality of the Trump administration -- an impression that administration has since proven capable of maintaining and even highlighting all by itself.

From the big Women's March in January to the anti-Kavanaugh demos in October, ladies holding signs in the streets appeared to rattle the Right. Andrew Sullivan sputtered under a picture of protesters that all this menstrual energy was harshing his testosterone buzz. No, I'm not kidding -- Sullivan referred to man-shots he took for medical reasons, and how "the visceral experience opened my eyes to the sheer and immense natural difference between being a man and being a woman," and lamented that discussing this idea was (like all Sullivan's crackpot ideas) now "taboo" because of liberals, and "young men in this environment, will begin to ask questions about why they are now routinely seen as a 'problem,' and why their sex lives are now fair game for any journalist..." Maybe Sullivan figured since Milo flamed out, the incels needed a new gay best friend.

And the obstreperous female Kavanaugh protests, which led to hundreds of arrests, panicked wingnuts like Jay Cost, who at National Review decried the "rude, crude, and abusive" ladies' "Bullying Anti-Kavanaugh Tactics" against poor, defenseless Republican Senators and declared they "Threaten Our Republic." Some tried to posit a pro-sexual-abuser-judge female movement -- "Dems face backlash from ‘mama bears’ angered by Kavanaugh hearings," reported Mary Kay Linge for the New York Post; boy, haven't heard much from them lately, huh? -- but the main message was that women were being scary and playing rough and could they please stop. They may regret driving women out of the streets now that they're turning up in large numbers in Congress.

© 2016 FreeConcordRaw under a Creative Commons license
4. The evolution of Kevin D. Williamson. Once upon a time there was a National Review columnist who amused himself and his fellow conservatives with japes about how women who have abortions should be hanged by the neck until dead. He also said a lot of other obnoxious shit ("it should be noted that being shot in the head by a lunatic does not give one any special grace to pronounce upon public-policy questions," he once said of liberal snowflake Gabby Giffords), but when he got hired by The Atlantic, it was outrage around his abortion crack that got him unhired, leading to a mass conservative outcry that Williamson had been unfairly deprived of his Constitutional right to a job at The Atlantic.

Some, like David French of National Review, reasoned that just as he welcomed Williamson's contribution to the abortion debate despite his own more "moderate" view that "only the abortionist (and not the mother) should face murder charges," liberals should meet him halfway, too, and pay him six figures to express his valuable point of view.

Williamson himself got some mileage out of the event, railing in the Wall Street Journal about the "Twitter mob" that "came for me." Then he returned to National Review, where he has been trollier than ever. As I wrote in my newsletter:
Check out, for example, [Williamson's] rage-thrash against “craven, abject, brain-dead partisan” Democrats who were, in his imagining, trying to steal the midterms; keyslurs include “nobody really believes that Hillary Rodham Clinton is just some dotty old bat who doesn’t know how email works” and “even if Brenda Snipes were simply a wildly incompetent dope…” Also Williamson, whom The Atlantic canned for insisting that women who have abortions should be executed, suggests Snipes be criminally prosecuted because “it is time to make an example.”
During the holidays, perhaps on the advice of editors or a therapist, Williamson has regaled his readers with hymns to capitalism, but I expect before long the bile under his byline will again flow thick and dark. It'll be fun to see what happens when it clogs!


3. The year of yelling at Republicans. When the Trump Administration decided it was good politics to cage refugee children, some folks decided to let members of that administration know what they thought about it in person. Sarah Huckabee Sanders got thrown out of a restaurant, Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen got heckled in another, as did Ted Cruz months later.

It was like the French Revolution, said conservatives. "The increasing personal nastiness toward people who work for President Trump reflects the left’s understanding that they are losing. Nastiness reflects desperation not strength," tweeted that noted advocate for civil discourse, Newt Gingrich.

Rod Dreher, as is his wont, claimed that he had "three friends — two Democrats, and one anti-Republican independent — who have written to express profound concern about this political moment, and the behavior of the liberal mob. One of the Democrats — no fan of Trump or Kavanaugh — told me that her party has lost her over all this..."

Republicans picked up this sure-fire message ("Republicans accuse Democrats of ‘mob’ tactics as midterm races head down to the wire"), which led to their landslide victory just a month later in the midterms. Wait, no, the opposite happened! Americans must not have heard enough about what how mean Democrats are to members of the Trump administration; they should definitely do more complaining about that in 2019.

[Stay tuned for Part 3, soon.]

Thursday, November 22, 2018

THE TURKEY'S RIGHT WING.

Usually the holiday that coaxes the most comedy from conservatives is Martin Luther King Day, but in this Year of Our Trump 2018, when noble sentiments ring more hollow than usual, rightwing Thanksgiving is pretty funny too. At National Review Kevin D. Williamson -- whose embittered second tenure at the magazine I recently covered in the newsletter (subscribe now, for yourself or your friends, makes a great gift item!) -- bids us give thanks to capitalism and no thanks to stupid SJWs:
There is a part of the Christian tradition that relates charitable giving to the Seventh Commandment, which is the prohibition on theft. The idea is that the world and all that it contains are God’s gift to corporate mankind — “the universal destination of goods,” in theological jargon — so that the man with two coats holds one of them unjustly when his neighbor shivers in the cold with no coat at all. Private property, in this understanding, is instrumental in promoting the common good, but it does not supersede the primordial gift.
There is great grace and goodness and wisdom in that. But it simply assumes the existence of coats and coat factories, the vast and incomprehensibly complex apparatus of coat-production that incorporates materials, effort, and intelligence from people all over the world...
You see where he's going and yes, there is an actual "thought experiment" along teach-a-man-to-fish lines, except with no teaching because capitalism Knows All: instead of giving the freezing man a coat like a fucking hippie, you imagine "you have ten thousand coats" because like all wingnut heroes you are rich (they used to count military personnel as heroes too but the right's not into that these days), so you invest those coats and presto, farms and factories spring up and your neighbor "is no longer too poor to buy his own coat" -- except of course we are actually living out Williamson's Capitalist Dream today and the results are observably very different: people still need free coats, not as potential investments but because despite the general plenty our great economic system somehow still finds ways to immiserate the poor and deny them the very basics of survival.

In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, Williamson then transitions to a skein of slurs on "nice intentions or sanctimonious sentiments," "Senator Warren denouncing the supposed excesses of capitalism and the so-called greed of those who do the actual work of feeding and clothing the world," "the desire of people who produce nothing to exercise power over people they hate and envy," etc. Happy fucking Thanksgiving, snarls Kevin D. Williamson, slamming the door in the beggar's face as he gnaws a drumstick, and get a job!

I'll say this for the miserable bastard: He knows his audience.

If you're into more slow-roiling rightwing rage, there's David French, also at NR, who starts with a nice, mostly anodyne Thanksgiving celebration -- shoot, he even speaks without rancor of "Friendsgiving," which you'd think a family-values type like him would denounce -- but then, about halfway down:
At the same time, however, Thanksgiving is gaining in national hearts in part because Christmas is receding. That’s a shame.
Whuh?
As a fundamental idea, celebrating the birth of the Savior of humanity, of the Word made flesh, the “light of all mankind,” is an event rivaled only by the celebration of His triumph over death in Resurrection weekend. Yet the very social transformation that makes Thanksgiving more unifying is rendering Christmas less universal, and sometimes more divisive.
Is French talking about the War of Christmas his buddies at Wingnut Central have been pushing for almost two decades? Or is there some plan to not celebrate Christmas this year, despite all outward appearances, that I don't know about?
After all, how does a specifically religious holiday endure when fewer Americans believe in the specific religion? According to the Pew Research Center, only 56 percent of Americans believe in the God of the Bible. So, for almost half of all Americans, Christmas truly is just another holiday — but it’s a burst of days off that carry with them some rather specific (and often quite expensive) obligations. Even for Christian Americans, while it carries the religious meaning, it’s also laden with secular tasks.
Wait -- French is complaining that Christmas has been secularized? My dude, where have you been for the past century? I've got some shit to tell you about the Coca-Cola Santa that will turn you white!
...Tomorrow we’ll gather as one nation — united in gratitude — but on Friday a season begins that means very different things to different people. 
OH NO!
The transition is a symbol of our country’s challenge. We are one national people increasingly comprising different faiths, or no faith at all. In any nation, a religious transformation is often a wrenching transformation. How we respond to that challenge will define our nation for generations.
He ends with a short , cheerful oh well, enjoy your feast pagans button, but judging from his other columns, French's way of "responding to the challenge" will probably be to call up a Fourth Great Awakening that will put godly Republicans in charge of everything and establish heaven here on Earth -- wait, what's that? You say they are in charge of everything and everything sucks? Well, Fifth time's the charm!

We're going out for dim sum. Enjoy your turkeys, friends, and I hope these two aren't the only ones you get.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

ALL THE WAY DOWN.

As I've said before (and it's not just me and the leprechaun who tells me to burn things saying so, either, but also credentialed bigbrains at major publications) that the Kavanaugh nomination has basically blown the whole NeverTrump and KindaTrump and JustTheTipInTrump phenomenon, making it obvious that Trumpism is conservatism and vice-versa. And it's had the knock-on effect of making rightwing authors who were previously pitched as prim-and-proper True Conservatives into something more suitable to Trump Time -- that is, trolls.

Take David French, one-time NeverTrump Presidential contender, who has gone on since the dawn of Trump about how real conservatives like him were fighting for the True Cause despite, not enabled by, the vandal Trump; last year he was blubbering over "O’Reilly, Ailes, and the Toxic Conservative-Celebrity Culture," in which he lamented that conservatives' reflexive defense of Fox News "knifework" had "reached its apex in the person and personality of Donald Trump." 

But now French is juiced that Trump has with Kavanaugh brought America one step closer to Gilead, and hardly ever bothers to wring his hands anymore. Just recently he defended Trump calling for his opponents to be jailed. But as the example of his cabinet shows, you're not totally in the tank for Trump until you've humiliated yourself as French does here:
A Conservative’s Guide to the 2018–19 NBA Season
It’s the only sports guide in America that owns the libs.
That's right, French is doing a John Miller "50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs" thing, only for basketball. The thing is mostly dull analysis on the level of sportstalk radio call-ins, but punctuated with breakers like "The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Division. Cheerfully inept"; The Beto O’Rourke Division. Expensive busts"; "The Nikki Haley Division. The future’s so bright, they gotta wear shades"; and "The William F. Buckley Jr. Division. Intellectual juggernauts." 

That last one's about the Celtics because "this team was built from the ground up by basketball geniuses to contend for a decade." I would say this is not so much a reach as a reach-around, except I think that gets the positioning reversed. French has done dumb sports things before -- see "Yes, God Cares about Football" -- but this is the first time one can actually feel him straining and cracking his knees to get himself down to the level of the hoi polloi. Marco Rubio talking about Trump's dick was awkward, but this is just depressing.

Speaking of Buckley, with the re-enrollment of hypertroll Kevin D. Williamson, National Review is looking less and less like a classy-conservative operation and more like any other dumb wingnut site. Lately most of the donation pleas I've gotten from them seem to star the latest rightwing blonde-with-big-glasses, Kat Timpf. Here's the top of one such pitch:


Fox News couldn't have done it better. That leaves only a few NROniks still working an inta-mallectual grift anymore --  Jonah Goldberg has gotten too lazy to even laugh at, so I guess we're talking Ramesh Ponnuru and substitute Dreher Michael Brendan Dougherty. When they can be inveigled to don the clown suit, National Review will have completed its transformation into a Gateway Pundit for people who like a little heritage with their bullshit.  

Monday, October 15, 2018

WHITE MAN SPEAK WITH FORKED TONGUE.

So now she's not Indian enough:


In the immortal words of Jay Silverheels, ugh. I wrote way back in 2012 about rightwingers' woo-woo-woo jokes about Pocahontas Warren (“You Won’t Have Elizabeth Warren To Kick Around By Indian Summer,” said Dan Riehl shortly before she was elected Senator) and today was the first day they even slightly altered their shtick. Warren could split open and Sitting Bull himself emerge from the husk, and conservatives would say, "hyuk, she was pretending to be a chick all along to get that sweet affirmative action!"

There is no reasoning with these people, nor any point in taking them seriously.

UPDATE. I see the credentialed and formerly respectable conservatives are playing the same stupid game. National Review's David French, who recently completed his turn to Trumpkinism by telling the world  Trump calling for his opponents to be jailed was nothing compared to liberals being mean to Ted Cruz, is now pretending to be outraged by what he calls Warren's "resume fraud." French talks as if her criminality were obvious to all True Sons of Liberty, which is what these putzes do when they're nervous that no one is listening to them. Finally, the last refuge of a NeverTrumper turned Tip-InTrumper -- he says Warren's the real Trump!  Can you imagine Tom Cruise once made people think JAG officers were cool?

UPDATE 2. In my newsletter today (Subscribe! Cheap!) I explain, among other things, why this is Bad News for Donald Trump:
Trump uses insults like this to neutralize his enemies, but by showing she had some Native American blood — not 1/32nd or three generations back, as her family had told her, but between 1/64th to 1/1,024th, or six to ten generations — Warren showed her good-faith claim was based on reality, and good faith and reality are to Trump as garlic and crucifixes to a vampire, as shown by his even more petulant than usual response: claiming "who cares" — a weird response to something he normally goes out of his way to make a big deal of — and that he never made a promise to pay a million dollars if Warren's Indian heritage were proven even though his promise is on tape. ("It was in the context of a future hypothetical debate and wasn’t actually a promise to give one million to her charity if she actually did a DNA test," homina-homina'd the ball-washers at The Right Scoop.) 
In other words, Trump couldn't even act like he was on top in this situation —he just blustered, something he's actually always doing but, in this instance, was so clearly doing it that even the redhat dummies might notice.
I would also add that, as with French and this Breitbart schnook, the fallback position among conservatives is that the Lame Stream Media, though malice or stupidity, missed the real story, which is that Warren and not Trump is the real crook. Not only is this message not a compelling one,  but they're delivering it to a small audience that already despises Warren and could not despise her more; normal people with memories of the schoolyard will appreciate her fighting back.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

THE LADYKILLERS.

As I've said, and keep saying in my latest newsletter (subscribe! It don't cost much), it seems all conservatives are now solidly on board with Brett Kavanaugh and the Tit and Clit Club and, when it comes to their arguments in defense of the accused attempted rapist, the sober mainstream types are more or less indistinguishable from the crazy he-man woman-haters club types on the fringe. Dig professional harrumph machine David French, for example, arguing in the allegedly legit National Review that the real problem is not Georgetown Prep Republicans who think they own women, but liberal jazzbos who "stripped away moral prohibitions against extramarital sex, celebrated youthful experimentation, combined it with similar celebrations of drug and alcohol use — even at early ages — and then have been shocked — no, stunned — at the sheer amount of groping, grabbing, coercion, and assault." Yeah, elite males getting drink and rapey are the fault of Hugh Hefner; before the 60s, they only raped low-status females who were easily paid off and no one was the wiser.

But give the low-class conservatives credit; while guys like French are matching them in misogyny, they can't keep up with their expertise in plain old insanity.

Take Robert Stacy McCain, who I last noticed attacking Sarah Jeong for racism against whites -- "No one at Harvard or at the New York Times will speak a word in favor of white people, Christians, heterosexuals, or police officers" -- which was pretty ballsy of him, considering McCain is a neo-Confederate.

Well, sure enough, the American Spectator enlisted McCain to tell this mouthy Christine Blasey Ford a thing or two. A large part of his rap, you will not be surprised to hear, involves the Rolling Stone/UVA case -- when Men's Rights types can't get it up for normal porn anymore, they can always get a stiffy over that.

But the meat, as it were, of McCain's argument is that Kavanaugh's accuser has no right to be in a position to make such an accusation -- and the fact that she is in such a position suggests that she's lying:
It is perhaps not a coincidence that Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser is a university professor. The former prep-school girl Christine Blasey went on to obtain two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in psychology, marry an engineer named Russell Ford, and thus become Professor Ford of California’s Palo Alto University. 
That's how women get doctorates and professorates: Marrying titled men!
Having spent her entire adult life working in academia, Professor Ford is eminently qualified as a representative of the mentality that currently prevails on our nation’s university campuses, where male students are presumed guilty of rape as soon as any female student accuses them.
Interesting. And what mentality is represented by Kavanaugh, who has spent his entire adult life as a factotum to Republican Party bosses? Why should his predictable careerist rise be any less suspicious than hers? It would seem the main difference between Kavanaugh's and Ford's position among the "elite," in McCain's view, is that hers is absurd because she lacks a penis.
This mentality was what led to the debacle at the University of Virginia in 2014, when a Rolling Stone reporter destroyed her career...
Let us draw the curtain, or close the men's room door, on McCain, and look in on Dennis Prager at National Review. Prager is a total idiot who has in the past argued that wives owe their husbands sex ("Why do we assume that it is terribly irresponsible for a man to refuse to go to work because he is not in the mood, but a woman can -- indeed, ought to -- refuse sex because she is not in the mood?"). I wouldn't say he's topped that in his pissy column "The Charges against Judge Kavanaugh Should Be Ignored," but he comes close. First he pretty much accepts that Kavanaugh tried to rape Ford but shrugs it off because he's been such a good boy since ("No matter how good and moral a life one has led for ten, 20, 30, 40, or even 50 years, it is nullified by a sin committed as teenager"), and that anyone should think otherwise is just "another example of the moral chaos sown by secularism and the Left." But here's the money part, and by "money" I mean nuts:
When my wife was a waitress in her mid teens, the manager of her restaurant grabbed her breasts and squeezed them on numerous occasions. She told him to buzz off, figured out how to avoid being in places where they were alone, and continued going about her job. That’s empowerment.
If only gals would learn to dodge their bosses' advances like Andy dodged butt-rape in The Shawshank Redemption, then come home and gave their husbands the blowjobs they deserve, we'd have the little gender thing fixed up PDQ.


Thursday, September 06, 2018

CAN KAVANAUGH.

I wrote earlier about the Kavanaugh SCOTUS hearings for my newsletter. (Ooh! says I, ostentatiously dropping my handkerchief, did I say my newsletter? Yes, that's right, I mean my brand new, $7 a month/$70 a year newsletter, and in the words of Brendan Behan, damn well good enough for you.) I still pray that the Senators wise up about this piece of shit -- or, if they don't, the voters will, and show that they do in November.

In my (available for a very cheap subscription price!) newsletter story, I addressed a post by National Review's David French, in which he brushes off any concerns about restriction of reproductive freedom owing to Kavanaugh's appointment, despite Kavanaugh's transparent animus against abortion, including his recent reference to birth control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs." French offers this as proof that Trump doesn't want to restrict women's rights:
The president is a libertine philanderer who pays off porn stars and playmates, but somehow we’re about two steps from Gilead. 
In 2016 Trump proposed legal punishments for women who had abortions. The Republican Party made him back off because it was too on the nose. Trump's "libertine" morals obviously apply only to himself. If you wonder why wingnut fundamentalists still support Trump, remember: There's still a lot of money in supporting the most vicious and corrupt Republicans, so long as you keep a few Party officials around who can be counted on to say, "Why that's outrageous, we would never" whenever someone points out how full of shit they are.

We are told that the judicial operatives Republicans have been sending to the court for decades now are just impartial lawgivers devoted only to the Constitution and the secrets of its intent that it whispers to them from its ark at the Federalist Society; but it hasn't worked out that way in practice. Here's just one piece of evidence from Linda Greenhouse's review of the record of that earlier, similarly obvious wingnut plant Clarence Thomas, at the New York Times:
I have saved my favorite Thomas opinion for last: the concurrence in the chief justice’s opinion in the case that upheld Trump’s “Muslim Ban,” Trump v. Hawaii. “Merits aside,” he wrote, “I write separately to address the remedy that the plaintiffs sought and obtained in this case.” The Federal District Court in Hawaii, in an opinion upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, had imposed a nationwide injunction against the ban’s enforcement. “I am skeptical that district courts have the authority to enter universal injunctions,” Justice Thomas wrote. “These injunctions did not emerge until a century and a half after the founding.” They were once rare, he said, “but recently, they have exploded in popularity.” He concluded: “In sum, universal injunctions are legally and historically dubious. If federal courts continue to issue them, this court is duty bound to adjudicate their authority to do so.” 
Why do I call this opinion my favorite? Justice Thomas, I’m willing to assume — as I do of all members of the Supreme Court — is a man of high principle. Yet I searched his concurring opinion in vain for a citation to a nationwide injunction issued three years ago by a federal district judge in Texas and upheld by the Supreme Court in June 2016 on a 4-to-4 tie vote. The case was United States v. Texas. The subject was President Barack Obama’s proposed Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, known as DAPA, granting temporary deferral of deportation to the parents of the young “Dreamers” who had received protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, DACA. The district court not only found in favor of the states that had challenged DAPA but, over the Obama administration’s objections, gave the injunction nationwide scope. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the injunction on a 2-to-1 vote. 
In the spring of 2016, Justice Scalia had died and had not yet been replaced. A 4-to-4 tie at the Supreme Court upholds the lower court’s judgment without an opinion and without identifying which justices are on which side. There is no doubt which side Justice Thomas was on. If he had any problem with a nationwide injunction then, he kept that to himself, rather than join the four liberal justices to make a 5-to-3 decision overturning the injunction.
To sum up: Kavanaugh, like Thomas, is an apparatchik, and is being promoted by the conservative establishment not only to overturn Roe but also to reverse any liberal decisions made since the advent of the Warren Court. Brush it off if you will -- but check back in two years and see if I'm wrong. 

UPDATE. Cleaned up some typos, brainfarts and repetitions, including the original citation of my weekly newsletter price as seven dollars; that is actually the monthly price. Seven dollars a week is what I charge Soros and it comes with a backrub. Anyway, seven bucks a month for a minimum of 20 weeknightly issues is a bargain you won't get anywhere else, and the seventy dollar yearly price is a goddamn steal.

Oh also, speaking of supporters who don't reflect well on their subject, here's a peppy Twitter video from Susan B. Anthony List which basically tells members to work to get Kavanaugh in because he'll overturn Roe v. Wade. They're not confused about what he's been hired for -- and neither are the people in the media who pretend to be.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

FRENCH FRAUD.

David French is always awful but lately he's really been outdoing himself. First there was his article in The Atlantic (har) about how both the right and the left were giving him and his wife a hard time about the little black girl they picked up in Ethiopia. On the right, there was the kind of neo-Nazi viciousness that we've all come to expect from the conservative avant-garde -- racial slurs, gas chamber imagery, the works.

On the left? Under Obama the IRS audited people like French who took the adoption tax credit -- never mind that the IRS had legitimate fraud concerns with it (refundable tax credits are a particular risk, something conservatives like to point out when the refundable credit is, say, the Earned Income Tax Credit), and French apparently kept his deduction. But that's not all: French also heard what he perceived as unkind words from lefties -- not racial slurs, but scholarship! Kathryn Joyce wrote a "blistering attack on the evangelical adoption movement, claiming that the adoption industry was rife with corruption," which to those of us who've gotten a load of evangelicals lately is like, yeah that makes sense, but to French it just means more persecution: "We quickly discovered that if you’re the white parents of an adopted black child, and you’re in the public eye at all, men and women will viciously criticize you for having the audacity to believe that you can raise your kid."

Joyce has kicked French's ass pretty good on this, but no one will care, as French is taking his The Left Was Mean To My Little Black Child act on the road:


If you want to know what the hell BLM has to do with any of this, you too are being mean to his widdle girl.

Also, French has leapt onto the Impeach Pope Francis bandwagon. (He even demands that the Pope "cooperate fully with impartial investigators," at which anyone with even a glancing acquaintance with the history of the One Holy Catholic & Apostolic will LOL.) Rod Dreher has of late been devoting the full flow of his logorrhea to this cause, obviously because he perceives Francis as insufficiently gay-hating to lead the Church of which he was briefly a member; also I expect Dreher dreams of one day being named both Grand Patriarch of his current religion and Pope, in a sort of SCTV Man Who Would Be King Of The Popes scenario. As for French, his shtick is to compare Francis to Donald Trump. I shit you not:
If a person becomes more powerful, does his character matter less? Or more? Increasingly, it seems, the answer from partisans is resounding and unmistakeable.
It’s less. It’s so much less that it’s doubtful character matters at all. 
You think I’m talking about Donald Trump, don’t you?... 
For more than two years now, progressives have been screaming to conservatives that the truth matters. Character matters. You cannot — must not — turn a blind eye to real wrongdoing, even when the stakes seem high. In other words, after selling out to protect Bill Clinton in 1998...
Oh yeah. Francis is like Bill Clinton, too, because of liberal hypocrisy. (French even uses the line, "Is that the progressive Christian version of 'But Gorsuch'?")

The upshot is, one of the made men of the Church has accused Francis of shielding one of the big pedo Cardinals, and French and all the wingnuts are beating pots and pans for Francis' ouster. Because the big liberal units like the New York Times have not joined them in beating said pots and pans, they are pedo-Pope Francis' enablers ("They’ll even overlook sex abuse — until the cry of the victims is too great to be ignored").

Me, I left the Church long ago, and we who have free souls, it touches us not. Still I marvel that these non-Catholics are so exercised. The clergy were fucking altar boys 24/7 throughout the reigns of Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and back then wingnuts were content to mutter about This Fallen World etc.; now they demand to impeach the Pope. It reminds me that conservatives see everything as a means to their own power; hell, that's why Steve Bannon is waddling around Europe, trying to rev up every local Bund he can get to, and sweetening the deal for credulous reporters with dirt on celebrities. It's also why they oppose doing anything about climate change -- rather than admit any advantage to scientists (who, being intellectuals, they associate with cursed intellectuals and thus with cursed liberals), they'd rather see the Earth fry and rule the cinder. Well, humanity had a good run; I'm nearly out of the game, but leave my sympathies for your poor kids.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

IN NO POSITION TO MAKE DEMANDS.

Some social media companies have finally decided to tell Alex Jones to get stuffed and, wouldn't you know it, prominent conservatives are demanding a mistrial on the grounds of You Didn't Say Simon Says. National Review's David French, in the gaw-damn New York Times:
Apple said it “does not tolerate hate speech.” Facebook accused Mr. Jones of violating policies against “glorifying violence” or using “dehumanizing language..." 
These policies sound good on first reading, but they are extraordinarily vague. We live in times when the slightest deviation from the latest and ever-changing social justice style guide is deemed bigoted and, yes, “dehumanizing"...
French is speaking on behalf of his own buddies who get thrown off other people's internet property from time to time -- like Muslim-hating scream queen Pamela Geller and her Jihad Watch. French's defense of Pammycakes' hate-site: "It’s controversial, to be sure, but it is miles from The Daily Stormer." Oh well then.

Then French runs through the innamalectual dork web's greatest woe-is-me-I'm-a-victim hits ("Just ask Evergreen State College’s Bret Weinstein"), and, get this, tells Facebook et alia to use his own chosen standard when deciding whom to throw out:
The good news is that tech companies don’t have to rely on vague, malleable and hotly contested definitions of hate speech to deal with conspiracy theorists like Mr. Jones. The far better option would be to prohibit libel or slander on their platforms. 
To be sure, this would tie their hands more: Unlike “hate speech,” libel and slander have legal meanings. There is a long history of using libel and slander laws to protect especially private figures from false claims. It’s properly more difficult to use those laws to punish allegations directed at public figures, but even then there are limits on intentionally false factual claims.
This reminds me of a TV variety show sketch I saw as a kid, in which Paul Lynde and Martha Raye played show-biz types. "I'm only willing to do a nude scene," Raye said with her nose in the air, "if it has redeeming artistic qualities." After looking her up and down, Lynde replied, "Who asked ya?"

I mean, this is like if some asshole starts tearing up your house and, as you're pitching him out the door, he starts naming conditions under which he'd be willing to leave quietly. At that point you only hope that when you throw him off the stoop he lands on his head.

Douchebags like French, Glenn Reynolds ("This is absolutely the first stage in a coordinated plan to deplatform everyone on the right") and Ben Shapiro ("Suggest that Caitlyn Jenner is a man, and you might be violating crucial social-media 'hate speech' taboos") come swaggering up making demands like this because they're so accustomed to bullying cowards like the New York Times editorial board that they think, in any situation, all they have to do is yell YOU'RE DEPLATFORMING ME like Rudd yelling "Diplomatic immunity" in Lethal Weapon 2 and they'll get what they want. Guess what, guys: Revoked.


Friday, July 20, 2018

FRIDAY 'ROUND-THE-HORN.


I missed this when it came out in 2014. I heard it sucked. Not so!

• The Federalist having done its part for the "New York, with its record low crime rate and record high population, is collapsing thanks to libs" shtick, National Review sees and raises with Deroy Murdock's and Brett Joshpe's "De Blasio’s Dystopia" -- subtitled, LOL, "This is what a socialist New York looks like." Cue sinister 70s saxophone music! The one thing everyone I know back in the old town is bitching about is the state of the subway, but Murdock and Joshpe don't mention it -- their major concerns are ancient wingnut wouldn't-wanna-live-there tropes from the Lindsay era. For instance, homelessness -- not that the authors are concerned for the welfare of the unhoused, mind; they refer to temporary housing for these poor souls as "homeless-hotel staycations," har har. No, they're worried the bums "can be prone to violence," unlike domiciled criminals, who gently ask to mug you. Then, I swear to God, they complain that they (or somebody -- the authors do not identify a witness; maybe a cab driver told them about it) saw someone shooting up on the street. In broad daylight! I know Murdock's lived in New York a long time, so I assume he lost a bet. As for Joshpe, he appears to be a baby lawyer who doesn't get why his Ivy League education and condo deposit doesn't buy him a blight-free passage down these mean streets. Mamaroneck's calling, buddy!

• Also at National Review, David French has a thing about how Ben Shapiro is the victim of an "online mob" because a lot of people said they don't like him. Regular readers know this is par for the conservative-victimology course, but two things about it are noteworthy. For one thing, in the incident French is describing, the "online mob" yelled at a guy who promoted Shapiro, not Shapiro himself -- apparently conservatives can be Twitter-mobbed in absentia! But more interesting still is the way French kicks off this bad-faith-fest about how progressives are mean to him and his buddies:
I’ve got some questions for my progressive readers. When you think of Colin Kaepernick, do you define him by his quiet kneeling and many thoughtful interviews? Or do you define him by the socks he wore once, dehumanizing cops as pigs
When you think of writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, do you define him by his hundreds of thousands of eloquent and meticulously researched words? Or do you define him by his call for violence in Baltimore, or his dehumanizing statements about the heroic cops and firefighters who rushed into the World Trade Center on 9/11? 
Is Samantha Bee defined by the time she accused a cancer patient of having “Nazi hair”? Or when she used a vile epithet to describe Ivanka Trump?
The idea is supposed to be that, just as these alleged offenses should not limit our understanding of these liberal icons, so Ben Shapiro "is the sum total of his work. He is not the isolated hot take or tweet" and should not be judged solely by these gotchas. But wait -- all the stories French links to that beat up on Kaepernick, Coates, and Bee are from National Review -- and three of them are written by French. And they're all ridiculous cavils -- like Kaepernick's pig socks -- that led to wingnut shit-fits online. Where's the National Review story -- or even brief blogpost -- by French telling us we shouldn't judge these liberals by these isolated incidents?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

JUDGE DREAD.

There are lots of law-smart people making great cases against putting Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court but to me, a simple lad, the best reason to oppose him is that the worst people on earth want him on there.

First, Donald Trump -- I could rest my case right there. Second, the Federalist Society, not only a creep cluster of committed world-ruiners run by an Opus Dei freak, but also applauded by Jonah Goldberg in his typically lazy late-Goldberg style. First, there's his now-traditional explanation of why as a Trump "skeptic" he applauds this as he does everything else Trump does:
One of the odd things about the triumphalism over the Kavanaugh pick — which is a great pick as far as I’m concerned — is that the wrong people are taking the most credit for it. People seem to forget that the list Trump committed to was a constraint on him.
Get the fuck out of here. Trump's deal with Republicans, as I have said repeatedly, is that he'll give them everything they want so long as they let him grift; they don't serve him as a snaffle and curb or screen and bank but as accomplices. Later Goldberg refers to the Fed Soc guys as "Conservative Legal Beagles" -- much as a 50s movie goon might refer to a priest as "padre" or an intellectual as "professor" -- and says there's "nothing nefarious" about them worming their way onto the court because "liberals have their own vetting process. It’s less formalized than the Right’s, but that’s probably because it can be." Goldberg certainly doesn't know how much he's admitting there, and there's nobody at National Review -- certainly not an editor! -- inclined to tell him.

Elsewhere we have Ross Douthat slo-mo ejaculating over the imminent end of Roe v. Wade; "abortion opponents will have [their] trust vindicated" with Kavanaugh, and the Court will "legislate freely on abortion once again," Douthat declares, stabbing his thigh with a penknife in hopes Jesus will call it square and his emissions will be, in the greater sense, wiped clean.

And leave it to Megan McArdle (* see update) to think of an angle I wasn't expecting -- the possibility that Kavanaugh will make colleges stop trying to bring in more black people, or, as McArdle and her colleagues still call it (in hopes of animating the Louise Day Hicks-era prejudices of their readers), "affirmative action." "The Constitution forbids discriminating by race," McArdle says, as if rehearsing for whatever test case the Becket Fund sends against Brown v. Board of Education;  besides, John McWhorter is black and he doesn't like it either, hmmph!

McArdle throws in just enough references to "trying to right past and present wrongs" and "rectifying the effects of past discrimination" to convince her dumber readers that she's sincere about that stuff, but nonetheless racial preferences have to go because we're living in a "more diverse United States where at least some groups outperform their privileged white neighbors in educational attainment" -- and if you're missing her point, she says, "racial balancing encourages anti-Asian discrimination" and "a broader racial-balancing regime... might put Asian American students at a disadvantage" and "pursuing racial balance zealously" will lead to "continued discrimination against Asian American students." Also, did she mention John McWhorter is black?

Anyway, McArdle says, all this "will leave our new justice with an uneasy choice as the court steers us into an America where race is no longer a simple matter of black and white," though from everything else we've heard about this vat-bred wingnut automaton there'll be nothing uneasy about his choice at all.

Oh, and then there's Kavanaugh's apparent conviction that Presidents (at least since Clinton) can't be indicted. The brethren are pretending he meant no such thing -- and for my money there's no clearer sign that he did than than David French insisting he didn't, and using words like "barmy" in his argument ("he was brainstorming policy proposals, not suggesting future legal rulings" -- can't you people take a joke?). These people see Trump as the promised land for their lunatic ideas, and the extraordinary feebleness of their arguments shows how little they care whether they make it look good.

*UPDATE. McArdle says she's in favor of affirmative action -- her explanation here. You tell me, guys.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I'M A NAZI, BABY, SO WHY DON'T YOU KILL ME.

I see that, since the world is showing its disapproval of Trump's brown-baby-stealing racket and conservatives' initial belligerent and hella dumb responses haven't been turning the tide, the new rightwing comeback is, oooh so you think this is Nazi stuff huh, well then why don't you go all White Rose and get executed to prove it?

No seriously -- look at this guy from the Daily Wire:


I would tell him, #1, there are plenty of Holocaust survivors saying, actually, this is how it started for them, too; and #2, we are doing everything in our power, and in proportionate measure -- for example, the ACLU is fighting the Republicans' attempts to steal the next election. We aren't at the direct-action stage and I hope we never are, but if we do get there, buddy, you better hope nobody remembers who you are.

More low-key but on the same tip is David French at National Review:
If the family-separation policy is so toxic that it leads serious people to tweet images of concentration camps and reduces a television host to tears, shouldn’t you respond to the emergency by tying the president’s hands?
Don't get excited -- he only means figuratively tying them, by... agreeing to the Republican plan, which basically puts the families in jail together (and the President's version puts them in jail together forever). But at least they're not separated -- French actually says "we ought to at least agree that families should stay together, right?" -- so he figures if we won't go for that, we must not think it's so bad then, and we might as well admit it's no big deal

Common sense tells me that the only people who would be fooled by this kind of obvious bullshit are people who want to be fooled. I still make that as less than a majority, and getting lesser all the time.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

NO RACIST, NO RACIST, YOU'RE THE REAL RACIST!

How far has National Review come since its days as an explicitly segregationist magazine? Well, they have no fewer than three columns on Starbucks' admirable decision to hold a day of diversity training in response to a well-publicized racist incident in one of its stores. Want to guess how they feel about it? Here's David French:
There is near-universal consensus that the Starbucks employee’s actions were racially motivated. Starbucks apparently agrees, and given that the company knows more about its employees than I do, I’m not going to question its conclusion.
Sounds pretty sulky, doesn't he? Can't blame him -- everyone's bought into this racism-exists madness, even the big corporation -- and they're supposed to be on his side! French is pissed that Starbucks is "forcing more than 175,000 employees to undergo 'racial bias' training" (yeah, I bet those baristas are real upset they have to sit on their ass and get trained for a day) but especially that their training will address "so-called unconscious bias," which French calls "Orwellian junk science." Imagine -- thinking people might be prejudiced without even knowing it! Next you'll be telling him about all that stuff the eggheads say we do without knowing about it, like Freudian shits.
Starbucks is a private company and as such it has a right to make this mistake. It can shutter its stores for a day and re-educate its employees. But to the extent it’s teaching them about unconscious bias, it’s teaching nonsense, and when it comes to the fraught issue of American race relations, nonsense always inflicts a measure of harm.
French doesn't explain, but from his previous writings I guess he means if you try to make people less racist, they just naturally get more bigoted and vote for Trump, so you see it's really your fault for hassling them, you Orwellian junk scientists.

Let's see what NR's Kyle Smith has to say:
At a glance, what happened at that Philadelphia coffee shop last Thursday looks like racism. But there’s little context. Does the manager also routinely call the police on white people who loiter in the shop? If a white manager called the police on two white guys hanging around a coffee shop, it wouldn’t make the news, much less become a national obsession.
This guys are really suspicious about the incident that everyone involved agrees happened. Maybe Starbucks and the liberals are in cahoots to make people think racism exists!
The incident is making people unhinged. When the “racism” circuits in our brain get activated, we stop thinking clearly. We go out looking for someone to chastise, and one low-level staffer isn’t enough. We want a larger target suited to the strength of the frenzy. It affects our judgment the way being drunk does. This is your brain. This is your brain on race.
And you sheeple thought racism was bad! Nothing's as bad as anti-racism, except maybe drinking.

Now, Jim Geraghty:
I suspect you can trace the country’s unexpected path to this mindset on racial controversies by following the twists and turns in the career of Al Sharpton.
Shorter version: This Starbucks thing reminds me of some famous black guy I don't like.

Not content with this trifecta, National Review has chosen also to run this:
Enoch Powell’s Immigration Speech, 50 Years Later
I shit you not -- they do indeed mean the "Rivers of Blood" speech, which I believe was last celebrated in NR's pages by John Derbyshire, not long thereafter defenestrated for Making It Too Obvious. If you're guessing this new review is less obvious but highly sympathetic, collect your prize at the door. There are some mealy-mouthed qualifiers, but nothing the typical NR reader can't see through -- when author Douglas Murray says "some portions of [the speech] cannot but induce an intake of breath and a considerable wince or gulp" -- referring to the more overtly ooga-booga passages about "pickaninnies" and so forth -- you know conservatives for whom "politically incorrect" is the highest possible accolade will take it as a recommendation (and so, I assume, does Murray). And anyway, says Murray, none of these PC drags talk about the good parts -- why, "some of the questions [Powell] addressed are questions that understandably gnaw away at us still" -- f'rinstance:
...some of the issues he raised — however well or poorly — remain so pregnant. 
As I wrote in my latest book, imagine you had been a speechwriter for Enoch Powell in 1968, or an adviser or friend. And imagine if you had said to him then, “I have an idea, Enoch. Why not use your speech to say that if immigration into the U.K. goes on at these rates, then in 2011 the official census will reveal that people who identify as ‘white British’ will be a minority in their capital city of London.” Had this been said, Powell would most likely have dismissed the person as an inflammatory madman. Yet that was indeed one of the things that the 2011 census showed. And the news came and went as though it was just another detail on just another day.
London's full of sooties and wogs; the man was a prophet! Ahem, I mean "questions remain."

Welp, looks like National Review's capitulation to Trumpism and its corollary -- that conservatives can be elected with zero support from black people, so why even bother -- is complete. But then, they never really had that far to go.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

KEVIN, WE HARDLY KNEW YE.

In my most recent Voice column I mentioned the beef over Kevin D. Williamson, would-be executioner of abortion ladies who was recently hired by The Atlantic. Well, it looks like EIC Jefrey Goldberg changed his mind about that:
Williamson’s hiring last month had already drawn scrutiny over past tweets in which he stated that “the law should treat abortion like any other homicide” and “I have hanging more in mind” for a punishment. Those tweets have since been deleted. 
"The language he used in this podcast — and in my conversations with him in recent days — made it clear that the original tweet did, in fact, represent his carefully considered views,” Goldberg wrote in the memo. 
"The tweet was not merely an impulsive, decontextualized, heat-of-the-moment post, as Kevin had explained it. Furthermore, the language used in the podcast was callous and violent. This runs contrary to The Atlantic’s tradition of respectful, well-reasoned debate, and to the values of our workplace."
To which all I can say is: LOL. There's no way Goldberg didn't know Williamson meant what he said. If it were such a deal-breaker for him, he might have suggested Williamson start his Atlantic tenure with a column explaining why he didn't really believe it. (Instead Williamson wrote about how Trumpkin Republicans were betraying the conservative movement and -- lest anyone think he was sucking up too much -- how Democrats are just as much an "authoritarian populist" party because they want to "sue or jail people for their views on climate change," which you may remember was a key part of Conor Lamb's and Doug Jones' winning campaigns ha I'm kidding Williamson's full of shit.)

Instead, Goldberg would have us believe Williamson misled him, and the scales fell from his eyes only when a piece of corroborating evidence (inevitably) appeared. If this is really what happened, that would mean Goldberg found all the other nonsense Williamson has published acceptable, but his belief that abortion is murder -- a belief shared by many good, solid American morons -- and that women should be punished for it -- a belief once held, or pretended to be held, by the current President of the United States, if briefly -- beyond the pale.

No doubt as I write this rightwing world is exploding with charges of liberal fascism, but if anyone is protected by Goldberg's curious selectiveness, it's not pro-choice people -- it's anti-abortion people who are, as they were when Trump relented, insulated from the logical conclusion of their beliefs by this anathema. They're just morally serious people who think abortion is the kind of murder for which only accessories should be punished!

Goldberg said he was hiring Williamson because he considered him "an excellent reporter who covers parts of the country, and aspects of American life, that we don’t yet cover comprehensively," which lol wut -- I don't recall any newhounds saying, "say, that caped fellow really made me understand the plight of landlords who evict their tenants." I rather think Goldberg hired Williamson because he's a bomb-thrower and thereby bound to draw clicks -- hate-clicks, perhaps, but clicks nonetheless -- but found to his chagrin that the first bomb went off in his own offices.

As it happens, The Atlantic is the only party that does not see an upside here. People who wanted Williamson gone are celebrating. Williamson should be celebrating, too -- he's probably getting several months' pay, at least, for a single column, not to mention an enormous publicity boost which he can take anywhere else -- maybe to Fox, where he can host horror movies as the new Zacherle. And conservatives have a brand new reason to throw a shit-fit about how private businesses that choose not to work with them are practicing censorship. It's win-whine!

UPDATE. David French, who, like many of the wingnut outrage squadron, was unwilling to mention the specific insane idea Williamson was getting flak for last week, still can't, but alludes to it in -- well, feast your eyes:
Kevin is independent. He’s provocative. Sure, he can troll a little bit, and — no — I don’t agree with everything he says. I’m a moderate, you see. If abortion is ever criminalized in this nation, I think only the abortionist (and not the mother) should face murder charges for poisoning, crushing, or dismembering a living child. So we might differ about the laws in hypothetical-future-America.
He's a moderate, you see, and that's why only the doctor is the BABY KILLER RRRARAGH whom we will STONE MASH KILL JESUS ARRGH and the mother, poor benighted soul, will just live in the Handmaid's Tale hellscape we thus create for her.