Part 4—Cable stars praise Levin: Last night, Ezra Levin was interviewed, and lauded, on The One True Liberal Channel.
Who the heck is Ezra Levin? He's a 31-year-old former congressional aide who woke us up in the liberal world, exactly five weeks too late. In mid-December, Charles Bethea provided an overview in this New Yorker post:
BETHEA (12/16/17): On Wednesday, around 7 p.m., a Google document entitled “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda” began making the rounds online. Its origin was the Twitter account of Ezra Levin, a thirty-one-year-old associate director at a national anti-poverty nonprofit, and self-described “Twitter novice,” who lives in D.C. and, until a few days ago, had roughly six hundred and fifty followers. His tweet’s simple message, “Please share w/ your friends to help fight Trump’s racism, authoritarianism, & corruption on their home turf,” belied three weeks of unpaid work by some three dozen mostly young progressives who had been collaborating on the document since the week of Thanksgiving.At Clough's site, we liberals—self-admittedly, the brightest people on earth—were "healing" in the wake of the White House election we'd amazingly managed to lose. Levin and his associates produced the Google document which has been used by our fiery tribe in fashioning our current revolts at various town hall events.
Levin and his wife, Leah, had gone to Austin, Texas, where he grew up, for the holiday, and had met with a college friend of his, named Sara Clough, at a local bar. Clough was an administrator of a private Facebook group that describes itself as “a place for support, healing, helping, sharing, community and love in the wake of the 2016 election.” Clough and others who belonged to progressive online communities—such as Pantsuit Nation—were “trying to figure out how best to act,” Levin said. “They knew that making calls and signing petitions were helpful, but then they hit a wall. They didn’t know what else to do or how to effectively engage Congress.”
We recommend Bethea's full account. We'll also suggest that Levin's "Indivisible" document may be full of good advice for people who want to fight back.
That said, it's also true that Levin's post appeared five weeks too late. Or possibly twenty-five years too late, depending on when you start counting.
The tardiness isn't Levin's fault; twenty-five years ago, he was only six. According to the New Yorker, his tenure as "the deputy policy director for Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who represents a district in central Texas," ended in 2011, when he was just 26.
You can't expect people of such tender years to issue warnings which have the advantage of being timely. Meanwhile, in those "three weeks of unpaid work," Levin and his heroic associates produced a document which may do a lot of good moving forward—or possibly not, of course.
It would be silly to blame Levin for the fact that those three weeks of unpaid labor occurred several weeks too late, or possibly twenty-five years.
Levin's document tells liberals what we should do, now that we've lost the election. We'll call it a warning about any further inaction. But good God! Just ponder the many years of inaction preceding Levin's report!
With that in mind, we'll proceed to ask our key question(s):
Is it possible that other liberals should have warned the rank and file at some (much) earlier date?
Levin's team swung into action just as soon as we lost. Should other liberals have urged resistance at various points in the past?
Should other liberals have urged resistance when the chimps were branding first lady Hillary Clinton a liar in June 1999?
Should other liberals have urged resistance when that editorial, AL GORE, LIAR, appeared that very same week?
Should someone have urged resistance when Chris Matthews was calling Candidate Gore a "man-woman" all through the fall of 1999?
Should someone have urged resistance when Matthews produced astonishing misinformation—fake news?—about the so-called Buddhist temple in March 2000, furthering the narrative that Gore was a big honking liar?
Should other liberals have urged resistance when Brian Williams staged his serial nervous breakdowns in the fall of 1999 and the winter of 2000—nervous breakdowns about Candidate Gore's troubling wardrobe choices and the strange psychological state which must lay behind them?
In 2007, should other liberals have urged resistance when Chris Matthews led a gang of chimps in a joyful revisiting of Hillary Clinton's Cubs-and-Yankees lie?
Should other liberals have spoken up when Matthews kept calling Clinton "Evita Peron" and "Nurse Ratched?" When he gave the crazy Gennifer Flowers a full half-hour to talk about the Clintons' many troubling murders? When he almost got Cody Shearer killed, so deep was his love for the Faire Willey, his dearest dear, and her crazy, dangerous claims?
Should other liberals have spoken up concerning the possible lie about the need for a mandate in Obamacare? We'll leave that "lie" till the end of our show. But should liberals have spoken up then?
Ezra Levin was very young during all these incidents—also, during the three million other incidents which were exactly like them. It isn't his fault that no one spoke up during these three million gong shows.
That said, the record shows that no one did.
Jonathan Chait didn't speak up. Kevin Drum didn't speak up. Frank Rich tended to drive these incidents. (He trashed Gore's motives for opposing Iraq. He trashed the motives behind Gore's Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth. Rich just couldn't quit this pose. Liberals should have spoken up then. Instead, we made Rich a hero!)
E. J. Dionne didn't speak up. Neither did Eugene Robinson, Jonathan Alter, Jeffrey Toobin, James Fallows.
The New Republic's Peter Beinart? A failure to speak up! That said:
Endlessly, again and again, Chris Matthews lay at the beating heart of these incidents—and these incidents invented the voter perceptions which have now sent Donald J. Trump to the White House, like George W. Bush before him.
These incidents created one of the most powerful narratives in modern American politics and journalism. According to these incidents, Hillary Clinton has a unique set of character problems, like her husband and his troubling vice president before her.
Hillary Clinton is a LIAR, like Candidate Gore before her. That's what this endless string of invented incidents taught voters to believe.
To state the obvious, none of that is Ezra Levin's fault in any way. That said, we've mentioned him for a reason.
Last night, Levin appeared on MSNBC's hastily-assembled, two-hour review of President Trump's first month. Along the way, the program was hosted by three gigantic cable stars:
Chris Matthews, Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow. These big stars hosted the show.
It isn't Ezra Levin's fault that voters thought that Candidate Clinton was a bigger liar than Candidate Trump. In theory, it's hard to lose an election in such a wildly improbable way, but our team devoted twenty-five years to the job of making it possible.
Matthews played a major leading role in building the BIG LIAR narrative. Williams gonged his way through Campaign 2000 in service to Chairman Jack Welch.
Eventually, Williams got kicked off the air, thanks to all the crazy tales he invented about himself. No one has ever asked Matthews to explain all the crazy insults and claims he pushed about Clinton, Clinton and Gore, presumably at the direction of Chairman Welch.
No one has ever written a serious profile of Matthews' past behavior. Beyond that, no one ever will. Journalistic careers hang in the balance! Good jobs at good pay!
Maddow exults in her friendship with Matthews, swears that he's the best analyst ever. Christopher Hayes will never tell you about the things Matthews did.
Ezra Levin was praised last night by two of the people who did the most to invent the BIG LIAR narrative. Maddow, of course, is the self-adoring circus clown who cautiously told us this:
MADDOW (6/15/15): ...it is not at all that I dislike Mr. Trump and, therefore, don't see the appeal because I don't share the affection for him that his supporters have. It's nothing like that. It's not qualitative at all.How in the world did Candidate Clinton get perceived as the BIG LIAR? Among other explanations, after four years of Trump's birtherism, Maddow was still saying that!
From there, Maddow proceeded to mug and clown her way through the seventeen remaining months of Campaign 2016. She avoided every politically dangerous issue, just as she'd done, in the fall of 2012, when the Benghazi myth was being invented at the expense of Susan Rice.
And then, of course, four years later, at the expense of Candidate Clinton! Benghazi, from which our clown ran and hid, helped decide this election too.
Our multimillionaire corporate stars spent decades creating this outcome. Because careers hung in the balance, the rest of our fiery career liberal guild knew they should keep their mouths shut. Maddow doesn't speak about Matthews, and no one else speaks about her.
That one other "lie" we said we'd cite occurred in 2007 and 2008. Remember? Candidate Obama said you wouldn't need an (unpopular) individual mandate to institute a health care plan.
Candidate Clinton? She said you actually would!
After getting elected, Obama "changed his mind" about the need for a mandate! Today, we liberals all know how stupid The Others all are when They can't grasp this obvious point.
Is it possible that Obama lied, at Clinton's expense? Within the world our fathers invented, such thoughts are rejected by script.
Levin performed three weeks of unpaid labor twenty-five years too late. He was praised all up and down last night by the people whose greedy, clowning corporate behavior tells us how we managed to get here, why we now need his advice.
This afternoon: A classic moment last night