A dangerous war which we're losing: In his final Senate speech, Al Franken described a "war on truth."
We're forced to agree with Franken's gloomy assessment. We'd have to say that this war on truth is a war our country is losing.
That said, the war is being fought on a good many fronts. It's being fought on the Fox News Channel, but within our own organs too.
Personally, we thought Franken seemed to be fighting a war on truth in his less than obsessively intelligent attacks on Jeff Sessions in the past year. Don't even ask about Senator Leahy, who flipped on the need for Franken to leave once Roy Moore was defeated.
Does our own flawless liberal team conduct wars on truth? We'd have to say it does. There's a lot of money in wars on truth. We see these wars on corporate cable every night of the week—and not just Over There.
Rachel cuts so many corners it's surprising the word still exists. And how about our own team's wars on logic and sense? Yesterday, Bret Stephens started his New York Times column like this:
STEPHENS (12/21/17): Matt Damon gave an interview to ABC News last week in which he offered the following observation: “There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”Does Driver's assessment make sense? We'd be inclined to say no.
Minnie Driver, Damon’s co-star in “Good Will Hunting,” thought so. “There is no hierarchy of abuse—that if a woman is raped [it] is much worse than if a woman has a penis exposed to her that she didn’t want or ask for,” she told The Guardian. “You cannot tell those women that one is supposed to feel worse than the other.”
That said, Driver is an actress. There's no reason to expect her, or any other actor, to be a flawless analyst.
Indeed, there are no flawless analysts within any cadre at all. But might we expect better performance than this from our Big Major Liberal Stars?
STEPHENS (continuing directly): Kirsten Gillibrand agrees [with Driver]: “I think when we start having to talk about the differences between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping, you are having the wrong conversation,” the Democratic senator from New York said at a news conference when asked about calling on Senator Al Franken to resign. “You need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is O.K. None of it is acceptable.”For ourselves, we don't know what a vast majority of Americans think. But we think it's pretty sad when our major liberal leaders are offering analyses which don't exactly seem to make sense, except at times of moral panic following decades of silence.
Of course none of it is O.K. The supposedly petty sexual harassment that so many women have to endure, from Hollywood studios to the factory floor at Ford, is a national outrage that needs to end. Period.
But what about the idea that we should not even discuss the difference between verbal harassment, physical groping and rape? Here’s a guess: A vast majority of Americans, men and women, would agree with Damon’s comment in its entirety.
Is a "war on truth" underway? We thought so in the 1990s! That's why we started this site.
We often think such thoughts when we watch Maddow stage her tribal diatribes, with lots of fun thrown in. At present, the work is astonishing Over There. But our own team wins no prizes, except perhaps for mugging, clowning, serving porridge to the rubes, and manifest self-adoration.
Is the "war on truth" being lost? We think it is when we read columns like today's column from Painter and Eisen.
They imagine the Republican Congress rising to smite Donald J. Trump if he moves to take out Mueller. On what planet have these egghead thought leaders been living? And by the way, how did George W. Bush's ethics czar ever become a star on liberal cable?
Back in the 1990s, we became a fan of Franken when he explained the Gingrich Medicare proposal in his book, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot. He even described a major PBS journalist's cluelessness regarding the matter.
Journalists hadn't been able to explain the proposal. Franken, a comedian, did.
We thought Franken had lost a few steps as he went after Sessions in the past year. That said, our tribe laps up partisan overstatement, much as theirs does Over There.
Has the war on truth already been lost? We'd say there's a very good chance! Two different realities now exist in the nation. Our team seems to have no earthly idea of the ways we've helped create this dangerous state of affairs.
Our stars have mugged and clowned and called Others names as this state of affairs came into being. Our stars have also maintained a wide array of silences down through a great many years.
In our view, the war on truth has been underway for at least thirty years now. Our liberal leaders have gamboled and played—plus, they just aren't super sharp, except when it comes to the best ways to maintain their own careers.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our leaders tend to be slightly fake, and they just aren't excessively sharp. The other team's leaders are out of control, but a solid knot of people have learned, long ago, never to listen to us.
Truthfully, we can see why they don't. Our team spills with standard insults, and it just isn't real sharp.