Thursday, August 17, 2017

Matthew Dowd is a Fundamentally Ridiculous Person

ABC News' chief political analyst warns that pointing that he is a callow, myopic political chump is not a "winning strategy."
I dunno, Mr. Dowd--

-- it sure feels like I've won something.

So, no, I'll be rubbing it in for awhile longer.

Also, for someone who wears his Catholicism so prominently on his sleeve, Mr. Dowd seems acutely averse to anything remotely resembling confession, repentance or atonement.

Behold, a Tip Jar!

This Is Basic Shit People

Never play cards with a man called Doc.
Never eat at a place called Mom's.
Never elect a President who's cool with Nazis.

Basic, basic shit.  

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We Cannot Endure Permanently Half-Fox and Half-Free

"We will become all one thing, or all the other." -- driftglass, 11/30/2010

Bullshit Connor Speaks

...the King grew vain;

Fought all his battles o'er again;

And thrice he routed all his foes,

And thrice he slew the slain*

President Stupid is never going to stop until he is removed from office.  Never.

Furthermore, the Republican Base is never going to leave him because they are just like him -- a fact which, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary staring them in the face --

-- the Brain Caste of the GOP and pretty much every member of the Beltway media has spent the last couple of decades vehemently denying by numbly invoking the Magic Conjure Words "Both Sides Do It" over and over again every single fucking day.

As I wrote last year about the Suddenly Woke Ana Navarro, but which applies to all the Judgement Day Republican converts and every single go-along-to-get-along windsock pundit in the Beltway media...
Like most Republicans who have come-to-Jesus long after it was too late, Ms. Navarro has plenty of fury, but is pitifully short of answers.  She keeps insisting that, to keep Il Douche in check, the Republican congress "must" do this and "must" do that...which she damn well knows they are never, ever going to do.  The boys greet her impotent hand-waving with a polite moment of silence, after which -- bless 'em -- they ask "OK, but what about those members of the Republican congress who don't have a conscience?"  

She also lays a lot of the blame for this fiasco at the feet of the self-contained media-bubble in which...

...wait for it...

...wait for it...

...Both Sides live!

Because Driftglass Rule #17: If you corner a Conservative hard enough, Matthew Dowd/David Brooks/Ron Fournier will invariably come popping right out of their mouth.  After all, what else is she gonna say?  "Liberals were right all along"?  Ha!  We should all live so long.

While I do not doubt her genuine fear and anger, I have no use for Judgement Day Republican converts like Ms. Navarrro.  I have no sympathy for her plight, and her opinions are irrelevant to me. I am weary of suddenly hearing things coming out of the mouths of life-long Conservatives which sound, over and over again, a helluva lot like what every Liberal has been shouting from the rooftops for the last 20 years.  Sorry, but if you're a Judgement Day Republican who has spent most of your adult life mocking and slandering the people you now imitate, the only thing you are good for is helping us better understand the most efficient way to raze your Republican party to the ground.

For example. there is obviously something deeply fucked-up with the mental and emotional makeup of people like Ms. Navarrro -- and thousands like her -- that permits them to coast along, year after year, devoting time and energy to advancing a fundamentally depraved ideology without noticing the easily observable objective realities that were staring them right in the face.  

Then, suddenly, "OMFG where'd all these bigots and monsters come from!!!"

It seems to me that isolating the specific psychological malfunctions that cause someone to become and remain a Conservative and, conversely, figuring out exactly what finally fractured Ms. Navarro's wingnut conditioning would be a worthwhile project.   Also Ms. Navarro should be able to yield any number of exploitable secrets about the goings on among Republican influencers.

Beyond that, her value is exactly zero.  

* From Alexander's Feast by John Dryden

Behold, a Tip Jar!

The Old, Old Story

It always features the same cast of misfits, halfwits and losers.

And always ends the same way.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Monster At The Door

"Well I do think there’s blame. Yes, I think there is blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there is blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it. And you don’t have doubt about it either. And if you reported it accurately, you would say."

--  Donald J. Trump, August 15, 2017

If you are a Republican, whether your are rich or poor, man or woman, a fascist or just really, really cool with fascism, every day of your life is spent in a dim little shed.

And there is always a monster at your door.

The monster is Reality.  Terrifying Reality.  The Reality that you have spent your life as a fool and a chump. The Reality that everything you believe is a lie, that everyone you trusted to explain the world to you has lied to you and laughed at you behind your back and, worst of all, the Hated Left has been right about you all along.

And so you stop having any interest whatsoever in facts or history or actual politics or policy debates. In fact, all of those thing become mortal threats to your self-image, and so inexorably your Prime Directive becomes a mindless imperative to always agree with the mob (and whoever happens to be leading the mob today), to never, ever admit error of any kind under any circumstance, and (to insure your place in the cult) to immediately attack anyone who you suspect is Not Of The Body.

Because if it ever gets in -- if you are ever forced to face any piece of the Reality you have held at bay your whole adult life -- you will never live it down.  Your identity will collapse. Suddenly you will be the one who is Not Of The Body!   Your friends will turn on you.  Your community will exile you.  And worst of all, the Hated Left will make you eat shit in public forever, and they dance on your untended grave singing "We Told You So" until the end of time.

But every day, no matter how loudly your turn up Rush or how loyally you stare into Hannity's dead doll eyes, Realty goes right on circling your mental hovel, growling like a hungry wolf, glowered balefully at you through the cracks in your fragile walls and brittle roof, and year after year, Reality has only gotten bigger and stronger and more ravenous.

Until, at last, the only thing standing between you and Reality's long claws and sharp teeth is the biggest, oldest, and most reliable Big Lie of all.

The Big Lie of Both Sides Do It.

I have already written literally thousands of posts on the toxicity of Both Siderism.  How it is the worst Big Lie of all because it enables all the other Big Lies.  How the Big Lie of Both Sides Do It has become virtually indestructible because it come with the blessing of the Beltway media itself.  How hundreds of unqualified hacks and frauds have built lucrative careers within once-respectable media companies by doing literally nothing but automatically barking out "Both Sides Do It" in the face of every Republican atrocity.

And this particular morning I'm just plain tired.  Tired of getting hoarse and going slowly broke writing over and over again, year after year, about such an obvious truth.  Tired of watching obvious liars and con men and collaborators from the good, gray pages of The New York Times all the way to the bottom of the Wingnut Welfare food chain all making very comfortable livings by trafficking in this horrible lie.

So today I'll leave you with just a few of the many, many Both Siderist stool samples from the last few days.

Behold, a Tip Jar!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Very Serious Republican Peter Wehner Thinks It's About Diggity Darn Time Republicans Ask Themselves How Things Got So Bad

I think it is about diggity darn time dirty hippies like us start demanding that Very Serious Republicans like Peter Wehner explain where the fuck they have been for the last 30 years.

Behold, a Tip Jar!

Both Siderism Is All That Quisling Quonservatives Have Left

And men are they ever leaning into it.

David Brooks Error Code 114: Attempt to Access Item Beyond Bounds of Memory

As some of you know, to save the company time, money and the hassle of endless, ennui-related workman's compensation claims, several years ago The New York Times replaced the columnist named David Brooks with a proprietary algorithm called ABRA CaDaBrA (Automated Bullshit Replication Algorith/Canned David Brooks Affectation) that extrudes David Brooks'-like word clusters.

Sadly the poor thing is starting to fail.  Bigly.  And routine diagnostics suggest it is due to some kind of catastrophic memory failure.

For instance, today's "column" --
How to Roll Back Fanaticism
contains sentences such as these --
Donald Trump is the perfect snake oil salesman for this moment...
He lacks inwardness... 
He has been escaping self-scrutiny his whole life and has become a genius at the self-exculpating rationalization. 
-- which, I will admit, have a certain inadvertent but undeniable entertainment value for the way they hang a big, bright lantern on Mr. Brooks' own comical lack of inwardness and his own, life-long mad dash to "escape self-scrutiny" and his own "genius at the self-exculpating rationalization" -- a moral failing on which Mr. Brooks has built his entire career.

But what should be troubling the New York Times' IT department is that, just seven days ago, ABRA CaDaBrA generated an entire column in which "Mr. Brooks" swore off writing about Donald Trump forever and ever.

Up until today, the "Make Up Some Soothing Bullshit About The Past" subroutine of the Fake David Brooks column generator has been used largely to create self-exculpating rationalizations for Mr. Brooks and his Conservative friends and Republican fellow travelers by inventing comforting fairy tales about long term trends and historical facts.    So clearly, something deeply FUBAR is going on with the Fake David Brooks' column generator now that it is "forgetting" the existence of something it "wrote" just a week ago.  

Other things that ABRA CaDaBrA "forgot" while compiling this column?

How to spell "Republican".

How to spell "Conservative".

How to spell "Congress".

How to spell "Voter".

How to spell "Voter Suppression".

How to spell "Fox News".

How to spell "Hate Radio."

And so forth.  It's a long list.

However there is also a bit of good news for The New York Times IT department.  Because even though the "Make Up Some Soothing Bullshit About The Past" subroutine is completely fucked,  the "Blame Everything On All Sides" module is functioning flawlessly.

For example, while we do get a fairly accurate laundry list of the seditious insanity perpetrated by the Trump Administration's menagerie conspiracy mongers and "pseudo-intellectuals" ...

...the reason these goons and madmen are in White House in the first place is attributed to the actions of some unnamed group of "people" (emphasis added throughout):
Many people live within a bewildering freedom... 
Anxiety is not so much a fear of a specific thing but a fear of everything, an unnamable dread about the future. People will do anything to escape it... 
Trump gave people...
Also because of the failure of "America":
I’m beginning to think the whole depressing spectacle of this moment — the Trump presidency and beyond — is caused by a breakdown of intellectual virtue, a breakdown in America’s ability to face evidence objectively, to pay due respect to reality, to deal with complex and unpleasant truths.
(Ed. Really? "beginning to think"?  America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual is beginning to catch a hint of a whiff of a breeze of a notion that something might be wrong somewhere?  Well bully for you!)

And, finally, because we as a "country" have collectively let Mr. Brooks down:
The intellectual virtues may seem elitist, but once a country tolerates dishonesty, incuriosity and intellectual laziness, then everything else falls apart.
See?  Nary a Republican in sight.

But the real Turing Test for a machine-generated David Brooks column is this:  What sort of Beltway-pandering, sit-on-your-hands-and-call-it-courage-because-both-sides-are-awful "solution" will "Mr. Brooks" propose this time for a problem which "Mr. Brooks" adamantly refuses to identify by name?

And I gotta say, ABRA CaDaBrA passes this one with flying colors:
The temptation is simply to blast the neo-Nazis, the alt-right, the Trumpkins and the rest for being bigoted, vicious and hate-filled. And some of that is necessary. The boundaries of common decency have to be defined.

But throughout history the wiser minds have understood that anger and moral posturing are not a good antidote to rage and fanaticism. Competing vitriols only build on each other.

In fact, the most powerful answer to fanaticism is modesty...

Over the next few months I’m hoping to write several columns on why modesty and moderation are superior to the spiraling purity movements we see today. It seems like a good time for assertive modesty to take a stand.
Bravo, New York Times IT department!  This really is a flawless imitation of the original David Brooks.  The David Brooks whose reaction to his party's eight year campaign of vandalism, lies and sabotage leveled against the extraordinarily modest and moderate Barack Obama was despair...

...over The Extremes on Both Sides!

I suspect that every American president from Lincoln to Roosevelt who has had to commit American blood and treasure to the cause of defeating armies of racist fanatics who would rather die than compromise might have a few short and salty Anglo-Saxon words for Mr. Modest Louse before having him escorted swiftly from the White House.  Perhaps to the nearest drunk tank so he could sleep off whatever bad bottle he had run afoul of.

Needless to say, because of how gravely it interferes with the comforting Both Siderist bullshit Mr. Brooks' which employer pay him to sling, the inconvenient history of the actual country in which we all actually live has long since been been exiled to the zone Beyond the Bounds of Memory by both Mr. Brooks and the algorithm The New York Times built to emulate him.

Which is why any attempt to access items beyond the Bounds of Memory always leads to...difficulties.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Matthew Dowd Is a Fundamentally Ridiculous Person

11 months later...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry about the fact that ABC News' chief political analyst knows incalculably less about actual, American politics than some middle-aged, middle class nobody civilian blogger living in the middle of middle America.

Fortunately, Mr. Dowd has hit upon the perfect remedy to people pointing out his fundamental ridiculousness.

Behold, a Tip Jar!