THE TRIBE IN THE MIRROR: Sarandon and the new Salon speak!


Part 3—We too can tilt toward dumb:
By any rational standard, the thrilling piece at the new Salon was just plain flat-out dumb.

Right at the start, it urged you to loathe a candidate for the things she thought and did in 1963-64. It failed to mention a sad, sorry fact:

In the summer of 63, the candidate was 15.

At least since 1992, we've been struck by the dumbness and heartlessness it takes to judge adult candidates on the basis of things they said and did when they were 15 years old—or, in the case of one major profile of Candidate Gore, when they were already very annoying at the age of 6.

That said, we humans long to loathe The Other. We the liberals often function this way, just like the people we love to loathe Over There in The Other Tribe.

At the new Salon, we were taught to loathe one hopeful for something she thought at age 15. We weren't told "the rest of the story." We weren't told that she was also being taught to admire Dr. King as this same point in her life.

Regarding the other candidate in this year's race, the same essay told us that we should admire his greatness because he engaged in civil rights work at that some point in time. We weren't encourage to think about his subsequent heroic behavior, in which he packed up stakes and decided to move to the nation's most lily white state.

We don't offer these points to praise or to criticize either candidate. Next November, we'll be standing there, first in line, to vote for whichever one gets nominated.

We offer these points in the hope of helping us see how dumb even we liberals can be, especially when we start loathing The Other, who we manage to find under every bed.

(Last night, this same human trait was on display in videotape of one of these candidates. When he said, "I say [Name Withheld] is unqualified for the White House," he was interrupted by applause from the True Believers who were all around him. They had learned to loathe so well that they didn't even let him finish his inaccurate statement before they began applauding.)

(This episode starts at the Washington Post, where Eilperin and Gearan managed to create this exciting report yesterday afternoon. Note the lack of direct quotes from Candidate Clinton, replaced by the exciting paraphrase which appears in the headline. This is how these baboons have created our "facts" for the past many years. Al Gore said he invented the Internet? It started as a creative paraphrase. Within a matter of days, the inventive paraphrase had found its way within the baboons' quotations marks. People are dead all over the world because these "journalists" invent our "facts" this way, and because people Kevin Drum prefer not to tell you this. Darlings, it simply isn't done! How else can such bloggers get paid?)

(We single out Drum because he's the smartest, clearest thinking person who has agreed not to tell.)

That piece at the new Salon was amazingly heartless and dumb. That said, its talking point about that hopeful in 63 has been widely voiced by us the self-impressed progressives in the past several months.

We love to recite that dumb talking point. It helps us loathe the one we hate; it lets us enjoy the pleasure of loathing. That said, it's an ancient human pleasure. It doesn't just exist Over There. It's found all through our tribe too.

Our liberal tribe loves to denounce The Other Tribe on the basis of their being dumb. That aid, how dumb do we sometimes get Over Here?

Consider what Sarandon said.

Susan Sarandon isn't a headstrong young kid. She's fully grown. Indeed, she's almost as old as the candidate she favors, one year older than the candidate she rejects.

There's nothing wrong with favoring the candidate Sarandon favors. Millions of other people do. Unless you simply hate those people who don't vote the way you do, it's a perfectly sensible judgment. We'll be first in line to vote for that candidate in November, conceivably before.

That said, the things she said to Chris Hayes that night may have tilted, in a phrase, ever so slightly toward dumb. The extremely wealthy movie star suggested she might choose to let Trump win this fall because it would bring on the revolution!

Such thinking may perhaps tilt toward dumb—in part because it tilts so hard toward the movie star's massive privilege.

Say you want a revolution? The Beatles tries to explain the possible dumbness of this sort of thing all the way back in 68, when the star was 22. Being human, we the humans still may not quite understand.

(For more sound advice, just click here.)

In the end, all these judgments about what is dumb end up being subjective. In the end, you can even construct an argument by which a hopeful's beliefs or behavior at age 15 (or even at 6) provide powerful warning signs.

In the end, these judgments are all subjective. But within our own self-impressed liberal tribe, there's one key fact we've always known:

We the liberals are very sharp. In the other tribe, Over There, Those People are very stupid.

They're also bigoted, racist, xenophobically nativist. We have come to know these truths as well as we know the basic truth about our own unparalleled brilliance and greatness.

Are they all racist bigots? The spectacular dumbness is always worst over at the new Salon, so let us give you a link. It will take you to these fiery headlines, which of course feature self-praise:
Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 05:58 AM EDT
Hideous, disgusting racists: Let’s call Donald Trump and his supporters exactly what they are
Media wants to call them "economically anxious working-class whites." There's a clearer, more honest name to use
In our tribal fever dreams, we're always "more honest" than everyone else! Within the tribes with which we've made war, we humans have always reasoned this way, back to the dawn of creation.

Over at the new Salon, we're encouraged to see that Trump's supporters are "hideous, disgusting racists." A simple R-bomb wouldn't suffice—and that's "exactly" what They are. There are no known exceptions!

To reach such judgments, a person has to be very dumb. Tomorrow, we'll discuss the types of dumbness which create such sweeping assessments.

You have to be extremely dumb to accept such sweeping assessments. At the new Salon, we're given this assessment straight—but all over the press corps, better-mannered performers say the same thing in ways which are more genteel.

We'll open with one such essay tomorrow, although such examples are legion. For today, understand this basic point:

As we pleasure ourselves with these tribal beliefs, we're doing the work of Ron Paul.

As far as we know, Ron Paul is honest and sincere in his beliefs. As far as we know, the beliefs in question can't be rejected as "wrong."

Ron Paul is sincere in his beliefs. We liberals are very, very, very dumb in doing his ultimate bidding.

That said, dear God! You must understand! Our tribal loathing just feels so good! And it helps us admire ourselves!

Tomorrow: 37 republics


  1. I thank you for alerting me over the years to certain horrors to avoid. I now add Salon to list, which include Dowd. I don't want to be played for a rube.

  2. Eventually, B.S. covers topical stories after he is alerted to them in his own comments box.

    cicero April 4, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Hollywood lib dares to wander off the reservation.

    "Susan Sarandon Calls Hillary a Liar, Says She May Not Vote if Bernie Loses"

    Hollywood lib Debra Messing will not tolerate fellow Hollywood lib Sarandon criticizing Queen HRC.

    Debra Messing
    ✔ ‎‎@DebraMessing

    Susan Sarandon muses tht Trump prezcy wud b better 4 the country thn Hillary.Wonder if she'd say that if she were poor,gay,Muslim or immgrnt

    7:34 PM - 29 Mar 2016

    1. That said, we fully expect a correction to be posted by BS to an error in the body of this post:

      Correction: Earlier we wrote

      "As we pleasure ourselves with these tribal beliefs, we're doing the work of Ron Paul.

      As far as we know, Ron Paul is honest and sincere in his beliefs. As far as we know, the beliefs in question can't be rejected as "wrong."

      Ron Paul is sincere in his beliefs. We liberals are very, very, very dumb in doing his ultimate bidding.

      We meant to say cicero not
      Ron Paul

      A number of readers e-mailed to say insertion of Ron Paul in the post makes no sense. As you can see it was just a typo. cicero was who we meant. He contributred greatly to the content of the post and deserved to be singled out.

    2. Speaking of dumb....

    3. What did Ron Paul have to do with the rest of the post?

  3. I do not get it. I would have thought the main thing to complain about concerning the latest back and forth between Sanders and Clinton would be how silly it is to argue about whether she said the word "unqualified" and whether Sanders should have made a response as if she did. That is the truly silly thing that the lazy press is turning into a controversy today. It does not seem too much of a stretch to say that Clinton opened the door whether she defined what is is or not.

    1. Well @ 11:35 the person now saying the stretch was too much is Bernie himself. Seems he, like Donald, follows the headlines and reacts without reading the articles.

    2. "Disqualify" is unarguably a tactic one camp openly embraced regarding their opponent. They then got indignant when that rebounded.

      Luckily, their opponent is a bit more to the left, a bit less mainstream, so there's plenty of press willing to join in being indignant.

      Somerby, not usually one for misunderstanding context, will even help out a bit: Sanders was "inaccurate," which requires pretending Sanders was referring to technical qualifications for the presidency such as age or citizenship.

      That sort of qualification questioning, we may continue to hope, is for the GOP.

      Clinton's official strategy to "disqualify" Sanders and his to do the same to her are both well within the sort of mud-slinging and putting the other's record in the worst possible light that should be considered par for the course in any campaign.

      Naturally, an honest look at Clinton's 2008 campaign against Obama, will reveal she is no beginner at that sort of thing.

      The pretend OUTRAGE coming from the HRC camp, and frothing wildly in social media, that Sanders "called her unqualified" is the most noteworthy thing here.

    3. The outrage @ 1:32 originated from Sanders himself, which he now admits was caused by his own overreatction to a headline.

      I am sorry to say this for those who like Bernie, but if you are in your seventies and you think headlines are an accurate reflection on what is in an article, much less an accurate reflection of what anybody said, then I have the same message as Gerald Ford did for New York City.

      If you think that seems to say I wish ill of
      Bernie you are wrong. It means I find him, in a pohrase applied by a major political blogger to many journalists, clueless.

  4. Thanks to Kevin Drum People may be Dead All Over the World All Over Again

    ["Sanders Blames The Media For His 'Unqualified' Tiff With Clinton

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blamed the media at a press conference on Thursday morning for instigating and perpetuating the disagreement between himself and rival Hillary Clinton about their respective qualifications for the highest political office in America.

    "So when, you have headlines in the Washington Post, 'Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president,' my response is well, you know, if you want to question my qualifications, let me suggest this," Sanders said."]

  5. Somerby and the New Howler Speak

    For what it's worth, comparisons to rodents, insects and machines have long constituted a basic element of dehumanization and otherization, dating at least to the famous, evil killing regime of Europe's you-know-whos.

    This episode starts at the Washington Post....this exciting report yesterday afternoon. Note the lack of direct quotes from Candidate Clinton, replaced by the exciting paraphrase which appears in the headline. This is how these baboons have created our "facts" for the past many years... the inventive paraphrase had found its way within the baboons' quotations marks. People are dead all over the world because these "journalists" invent our "facts" this way, and because people Kevin Drum prefer not to tell you this.

  6. The indignant Bob Somerby cleverly employs a weasel word to righteously slime for Hillary:

    [QUOTE] The extremely wealthy movie star suggested she might choose to let Trump win this fall because it would bring on the revolution!

    Such thinking may perhaps tilt toward dumb—in part because it tilts so hard toward the movie star's massive privilege. [END QUOTE]

    Unfortunately for Somerby, Sarandon, herself, knows a weasel word or two and how to use them:

    Chris Hayes: [3:46] ...I think a lot of people think to themselves, "Well if it's Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton..." And I think Bernie Sanders probably would think this.

    Susan Sarandon: I think Bernie would probably encourage people because he doesn't have any ego in this thing. But I think a lot of people are, "Sorry, I just can't bring myself to do that."

    Hayes: How about you, personally?

    Sarandon: I don't know, I'm going to see what happens.

    Hayes: Really?

    Sarandon: Really.

    Hayes: I can not believe as you're watching the run that Donald Trump...

    Sarandon: Well you know, some people feel that Donald Trump will bring the revolution immediately if he gets in then things will really, you know...

    Hayes: So you're saying...

    Sarandon: ...explode.

    Hayes: ...the Leninist model of heighten the contradictions?

    Sarandon: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Some people feel that.

    Hayes: Don't you think that's dangerous?


    1. ...continued

      Sarandon: I think what's going on now- If you think what's going on now, it's pragmatic to shore up the status quo right now, they you're not in touch with the status quo. The status quo is not working and I think it's dangerous that you think we can continue the way we are; with the militarized police force, with privatized prisons, with the death penalty, with the low minimum wage, with threats to women's rights, and think you can't do something huge to turn that around- Because the country is not in good shape. If you're in the middle class, it's disappearing.

      And you look, if you want to go see Michael Moore's documentary, you'll see, it's pretty funny the way they describe it, but you'll see that health care, you know, and education in all these other countries- We've been told for so long that it's impossible. It's like we've been in this bad relationship and now we have to break up with the guy because we realize we're worth it. We can, we should have these things.

      We have to stop prioritizing war, and I don't like the fact she talks about Henry Kissinger as being her, you know, go-to-guy for- And the stuff that's happened in Libya and other things, I don't think it's good.

      Hayes: You've been doing some pretty amazing work with refugees in Greece. You've been going over there and meeting them as they're coming out of Syria and across Turkey and as they're about to make this perilous journey...

      Sarandon: Afghanistan, Somalia, all different places.

      Hayes: Yeah.

      Sarandon: Honestly, I haven't been doing as much as all the volunteers that are there. The only thing, I just got so fed up with this fear based negatively based dialog, mostly from Trump, but everybody else was picking up and not taking on this issue because it had been something that's been politicized as opposed to a moral problem. And so I'm watching this and I'm thinking my grandfather was an immigrant from Sicily to escape that war, he was fifteen. Who are these people? Somebody needs to go there and get their stories and somehow get them out because they really are having a terrible branding problem.

      Hayes: Right.

      Sarandon: You know, the way people are talking about them you'd think none of them had jobs, none of them could contribute. And what they want to do is contribute and, also, you know-

      Stay in Syria? Syria is, you know, Syria doesn't exist anymore, it's just a bombed out shell. So I thought if maybe I go over unaffiliated, just by myself, and I can talk to some people and take pictures and get some stories then, maybe, people will, at least, start to have a dialog that's more human and not just these people as concepts which is a terrible thing to reduce anyone to just concepts which is what had happened.

    2. The folly of Somerby is not just the obvious use of the weasel word "suggested", but the notion that Sarandon's suggestion was
      "she might choose to let Trump win this fall", as if a different choice might not let that happen.

    3. You do know Susan Sarandon did choose to let
      Bush become President in 2000 don't you? Somerby has written about that at least a ginormous number of times. He was kidding about the press. It was Sarandon all along.

    4. You are pathetic. Somerby never blamed Saradon for backing Nader in 2000. Somerby has always admired Nader. Nader came and saw Somerby's one man show.

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  8. Well, if Bob can say the same thing a million times I guess I can. Some people like to preach. Some people like to go after one sort of person as a pet peeve (In Bob's case shallow liberals) and beat the thing to death. Here he doesn't even try draw a substantive line between Sarandon's dumb brach and the general race calling thing. It may well be that Sarandon damaged her candidate, even among liberals.
    I think there a lot of ways to come at this coverage where some illumination would help, is Bernie really sinking to low politics or are the media just paying no attention to his ideas or plans? This is where to blog might be useful,but instead we get the same old bitching.

  9. "Our liberal tribe"???

    BS please stop pretending that you are a liberal. You are not. You are very obviously an old southern conservative white male. You can't fool us. We are not as dumb as you think we are and you are not as smart as you think.


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