We're going to disagree today...

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2019

...with our favorite blogger:
We're going to disagree today with our favorite blogger.

We'll disagree with Kevin Drum when he says, of Pamela Karlan's snarky comment involving Donald Trump's 13-year-old son, "There [was] nothing wrong with saying this."

We'll agree that there was nothing criminal involved in Karlan's masterful comment. We won't say the professor's remark was evil, deranged or demonic.

That said, we'll say the remark was in the neighborhood of "wrong," in two different ways:

First, it offended against a basic bit of public etiquette on which everyone has long since agreed. Everyone has long since agreed that people shouldn't go around making public comments which involve politicians' minor children.

This is a perfectly sensible piece of public etiquette. There are good reasons for this rule; it's good that people have agreed on it.

That said, it's typical of our liberal tribe's highest elites that you can't take them out for even one day without someone stepping outside this perfectly sensible rule. As we've encouraged you to notice, our ranking elites are like this.

That said, there's a second reason why the comment was wrong. It was wrong because comments like that can only help Donald J. Trump.

Not long ago, it was our hilarious liberal movie stars who could be relied upon to make some kind of half-assed comment which worked against the Democratic nominee during close election campaigns.

Usually, they would make their inappropriate remarks at major fund-raisers. In one campaign, it was Whoopi Goldberg. The next time, it was Larry David.

Back then, when the silly news cycle moved more slowly, these ill-considered jokes at major public events really did undermine campaigns for days at a time. Karlan's remark will disappear faster today, but our liberal ranks are crammed with public figures who will be strongly inclined to make the next unhelpful, unwise public comment.

At this site, we deeply resent these pampered, largely useless people. It isn't just the stunning lack of contribution these poodles have tended to make down through the years. It's the reliable way they'll shoot off their mouths at the most inopportune times.

Karlan's remark may not change any votes. But don't worry! If she ever gets the chance to screw up worse, we can feel fairly sure that she'll take it. It's the way these dinosaurs roll.

Meanwhile, might we turn to this morning's New York Times to focus on what really matters? In today's hard-copy "The 45th President: Impeachment" section, Vanessa Friedman takes us where the rubber hits the road, headline included:
FRIEDMAN (12/6/19): Nancy Pelosi and the Persistent White Pantsuit

The white pantsuit has become, against all odds, one of the most powerful emblems in Washington, D.C.

I know, I know. You’re thinking: not again! Not another story about a white pantsuit! But there’s no escaping it. That is the point.

It has become a statement in itself, layered in meaning and nuance...
Friedman knows we don't want to hear it. But these flyweights simply can't stop.

On and on and on she goes, sitting atop the second page of today's National section. This is all these idiots know how to do. It's all they care about.

This is a substantial part of the way we got where we are. At some point, intelligent people ought to insist that that these sub-royals stop.

28 comments:

  1. If someone has to be insane, dear Bob, it's gotta be this Friedman dembot. Didn't she write a few days ago that white pantsuit makes Major Gabbard look like a 'cult leader'? Tsk. Sort of a freudian slip, I suppose.

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    Replies
    1. This is the kind of bullshit you write when the latest popular restaurant is as significant to you as your children’s dreams.

      Delete
  2. “it offended against a basic bit of public etiquette on which everyone has long since agreed.”

    This is utterly laughable. The Republican Party long since abandoned any standard of public etiquette, and they have found their apotheosis of boorishness in Trump.

    And Somerby, like the Republicans, picks out a three second remark by one person in hours of testimony for which to chastise all liberals. The current Republican talking point is that Democrats are consumed by hatred and incivility, and the Republicans look for the tiniest, most isolated things to “prove” this ridiculous notion.

    And in doing this, Somerby is demanding a standard of perfection from liberals that no human being can possibly live up to.

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  3. The comment was also wrong because it was an attempt to refute a straw man. Trump never claimed to have absolute powers. OTOH liberals like to claim, without evidence, that Trump is an incipient dictator. So, the comment did follow the prevailing liberal narrative.

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    1. Time for another

      *** Public Service Announcement ***

      David in Cal is an idiot, both morally and intellectually, in fact he’s this commentariat’s Village Idiot, unable to do more than swallow whole right-wing talking points and then regurgitate them here.

      David in Cal is reliably wrong because right-wing talking points are reliably nonsense. You may safely ignore David, and I urge you to do that and not heap abuse upon him. Reasonable people do not ascribe agency to idiots.

      Liberal narrative does not say that Trump claims absolute powers. Trump himself claims monarchical powers. He claims to have the authority to determine when an impeachment action in the House of Representatives is legitimate. Even in the face of Article I, Section 2, which says, “The House of Representatives … shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” In a brief in federal court arguing that his tax returns cannot be subpoenaed, his lawyers claim, “The President is immune from criminal process while in office….” Get that? Trump claims he’s absolutely immune from even investigation for any wrongdoing he may have committed. (Notice that the subpoena Trump is fighting is a state order and isn’t even directed at him but at his accounting firm.)

      A claim to be above the law, including any action to hold the claimant legally responsible for his actions, is the claim to the power of kings. And like the power to ennoble people, that power is one that Presidents are not supposed to arrogate to themselves.

      Thus the “joke”: Trump may name his son Barron, but he cannot name him a Baron.

      Delete
    2. deadrat - You very well know that when Trump calls the impeachment "illegitimate, he's not saying it's illegal or un-Constitutional. He's saying that the trumped up charges and partisan procedures don't meet historical standards.

      I think you may also be aware that the U.S. Justice Department has a decades-old policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted. The Supreme Court has not ruled one way or the other. But, it's reasonable for Trump's attorneys to make this claim, subject to Court review.

      Delete
  4. Everyone has long since agreed that people shouldn't go around making public comments which involve politicians' minor children.

    Oh, please. Everyone? Rush Limbaugh famously called the 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton the Whitehouse dog. Republican cowards (i.e., all of them) were silent on this breach of basic public etiquette. John McCain told the following “joke”:

    Q: Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?
    A: Because Janet Reno is her father


    Karlan would have been just as out of bounds as Limbaugh and McCain except that her “joke” wasn’t directed at Trump’s son. As I said in my most recent PSA, the comment is about Trump’s illegitimate claim to monarchical powers. No Trump minor children were harmed in the telling. To paraphrase Karlan, “Trump may name his son Barron, but he may not name him a Baron.” The comment is about pere, not fils.

    The time was that TDH would have reserved his ire for news organizations that took seriously the Republican faux outrage at Barron’s supposedly being a “target.”

    Where’s that TDH? I miss him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. deadrat - I agree with this comment. A mild joke about Baron Trump's name is not the same thing as attacking the child himself.

      However, I think Bob is right that the comment hurt Trump's enemies. In this hyper-partisan world, anything can be ammunition. The comment changed the day's narrative.

      Delete
    2. deadrat, hope you realize by now that Somerby is a no-holds-barred Trumptard. He concern trollls, lies, and uses this passive/aggressive method to defend Trump.

      And that's why I call him a defender of Trump, Roy Moore, Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan and Ron Johnson.

      Delete
    3. "The comment changed the day's narrative."

      Because we have a Right-wing media. If we had a Liberal media like the liars say we do, this would never happen.

      Delete
    4. Karlan's comments weren't anywhere near politically correct enough for Conservatives.

      Delete
    5. Centrist,

      I usually don’t respond to trolls.

      Take Mao, our Village Troll. Most of his comments are “Dembot! Psycho witch! Zombie cult!” What happens when you respond to the most robotic commenter here by replying, “I am not a zombie”? Mao has admitted that all he wants is a response, and you’ve just given him one. He’s well handled by the commenter who merely adds “mao mao” with a jibe in Chinese.

      I usually skip the subthreads with a Mao comment at the head, but recently I happened to catch one in which he actually made a claim of fact about the Ukraine business. I responded (and expressed my surprise). But seeing as how the argument went for him, I doubt we’ll be seeing any more of that. But perhaps I’m too pessimistic.

      I usually don’t respond to idiots.

      Take David in Cal, our Village Idiot. It’s been years since I’ve engaged in a conversation with the most morally and intellectually challenged commenter here. I occasionally talk about him, when I respond to the right-wing propaganda that he reposts, but that’s different.

      The reason is simple: when you argue with an idiot, it isn’t long before people can’t tell the difference. Cases in point:

      I say that Trump claims the power to decide when impeachment is legitimate. Our Village Idiot tells me that I “very well know” that Trump doesn’t mean that impeachment is illegal or unconstitutional. Do you see any benefit in pointing out that both the Whitehouse Press Secretary and the President’s counsel have called the impeachment inquiry “unconstitutional”? Me neither.

      I say that Trump claims absolute immunity from any criminal process, in any venue, state or federal and at any stage from investigation to trial. Our Village Idiot says that a DOJ policy (!) says that a President can’t be indicted. Do you think it helps to point out that Trump is trying to block a state investigation? I don’t either.

      So what about you? Well, you’re a functional troll. You bring nothing to the commentariat but repeated claims you can’t back up. I’ve quoted TDH about Roy Moore and asked you to respond. You never have. I’ve asked you repeatedly to put up or shut up. You refuse to do one or the other. Do you think it’s worth engaging with your comments? I don’t either.

      But this isn’t to say that you’re worthless. Every comment you make validates TDH’s point about tribal behavior.

      Delete
  5. Bob subscribes to the Right-wing grievance of the day newsletter.

    ReplyDelete
  6. 'On and on and on she goes, sitting atop the second page of today's National section. This is all these idiots know how to do. It's all they care about.'

    There's a lot of stuff about impeachment in the NYT, but Somerby ignores it to focus on something on the 2nd page.

    That's all this clueless, lying Trumptard knows how to do, along with defending Trump, Roy Moore, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes and Ron Johnson.

    Face it, Somerby is now a full fledged Trumptard. His apologists should stop claiming he is a liberal. That train left the station a long time ago.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Professor Karlan's remark was a joke. The definition of a joke is that it is not to be taken seriously. Her remark is also a metaphor for bringing attention to Trump's belief that he can do anything he wants. Duh!

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  8. It’s eternally the case that brouhahas like this are rife with opportunism for political opponents.
    Nevertheless, I think Barron’s mama got it right in her statement.

    Karlan did right in apologizing. .

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    Replies
    1. Can anyone imagine a future where there is too much political correctness for Right-wingers?

      Delete
    2. And “doubtlessly “too much” in your book would be any sensitivity toward a political contrarian or their kids.

      Delete
    3. Cecelia,
      Agreed. There will never be enough political correctness for the snowflakes on the Right.

      Delete
    4. You said that, not me, and the assurances of your magnanimity are rather sweet, if dubious and unnecessary.

      Delete
    5. Here’s Melania’s statement:

      A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.

      Wait, is this the same Melania who visited her husband’s concentration camps in Texas for migrant children wearing a coat that said, “I really don’t care, do U?” And then after her visit, pretended that the message was a preemptive strike at media criticism of her choice?

      Is this the same Melania whose own statements show that she violated visa work rules when she came to this country and who stands by silently as her husband attacks illegal immigrants?

      Is this the same Melania whose parents were naturalized under “chain immigration” rules and who now remains mute as her husband attacks those very rules?

      Is this the same Melania who lives with a man who rages constantly on twitter, television, and live before cameras?

      Is this the same Melania married to a man who panders publicly to white supremacists, going so far as to employ one as his advisor?

      Is this the same Melania who’s married to a man biased against anyone who says a word of criticism against him?

      I have a lot of sympathy for Melania. Sure, she knew what she was marrying when she married Trump, but I don’t believe she signed up for the load of national humiliation her husband has heaped on her. But how was her child’s privacy invaded? Was his name, Barron, not known before? Because Karlan’s statement never goes beyond the kid’s name. And how was her child dragged into politics? The comment was about her husband’s claim to royal authority.

      There’s plenty of shame to go around, but none of it accrues to Pamela Karlan. Karlan has nothing to apologize for, certainly not because of the self-serving lies of her husband and his claque.

      At this point, Melania has forfeited the right to public faux outrage.

      Delete
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