Part 3—What Loesch actually said: As several people have said, we live in an increasingly polarized, partisan time.
With the rise of talk radio, "cable news" and the Internet, partisan polarization became a very big business. The dimwitted claims upon which it's based are shoved at us every minute.
We liberals are very skilled at spotting the dumbness Over There—and yes, it exists in abundance.
We're much less skilled at spotting the dumbness among our own. For one recent example, consider what Henry Grabar said.
Grabar is five years out of college (Yale 2012). As such, he's rather young. Like his older colleague, Dahlia Lithwick, he's educationally elite, as these things are measured.
Grabar shares the old school tie with Lithwick. Like her, he works for Slate. In that sense, he's also part of our journalistic elite.
Like Lithwick, Grabar fawned about the Parkland kids in the wake of last Wednesday's CNN town hall event. Overnight, the pleasing novel had written itself. The headlines on Grabar's piece said this:
THE SLATESTIt certainly was the Slatest! As Lithwick would do that very same day, Grabar was saying that the kids are wiser are sharper than their elders are.
The Teens at CNN’s Gun Town Hall Had Questions Grown-Ups Forgot How to Ask
By HENRY GRABAR
FEB 22, 2018—2:09 AM
"[T]he Parkland kids don’t share the older liberal generation’s defeatism on gun control," Grabar admiringly said at one point. Four days later, this Monday morning, his upbeat piece was still being headlined on Slate's front page.
Are the Parkland kids really wiser and sharper than the older liberal generation? We're not sure, but Grabar was setting the bar quite low. Later that day, Lithwick, who's almost 50 (she's Yale 1990), explicitly said that the Parkland kids were sharper than her own failed cohort has been.
There's litlle doubt that Lithwick was right about that. But that's because her elite cohort has been such a monumental corrupted bust, not because it's decent or wise to expect a bunch of teen-aged children to lead us.
Lithwick's cohort has run and hid every step of the way from the increasingly crazy behavior of the upper-end mainstream press corps, preserving their interests and their careers in the face of every challenge. Grabar is much younger, but he was presenting the pleasing new novel too.
Those Parkland kids were just so great! Early on, Grabar described some of the genuine craziness Over There, even as he sketched the outlines of our own tribe's new novel:
GRABAR (2/22/18): Partly an intergenerational gun-policy debate, and partly a memorial service, the town hall was compelling television because simple questions kept overpowering evasive, technical answers. Over the last few days the public has been struck by the wherewithal of the Parkland students—their eloquence in the wake of tragedy, their good nature in the face of right-wing smear campaigns, their courage in confronting politicians and journalists on national television. Their efforts have been so extraordinary that some right-wing doubters assumed they were on the Soros payroll...Some "right-wing doubters" may have believed that ludicrous claim. Presumably, some right-wing lunatics and crackpots simply chose to say it.
That craziness came from Over There. That said, our own mandated tribal dumbness in one instance looked like this:
GRABAR: Perhaps the most moving contrast of the night was seeing Emma Gonzalez—whose angry speech at a rally in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday captivated the nation—confront the slick NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch. Her question, like the other two, was not a point of policy but of right and wrong: Do you believe it should be harder to obtain semiautomatic weapons and modifying devices like bump stocks? Loesch’s answer was the first of several disingenuous deflections and attacks she made over the course of the evening. After a while, Gonzalez interrupted to remind her what the question was.On balance, Dana Loesch is, indeed, a "slick NRA spokesperson." In truth, it gets substantially worse than that.
The very next day, speaking at the CPAC convention, Loesch unloosed the kind of disingenuous tribal attack that is designed to fire the crazies and the rubes and keep the nation divided. "Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it," the profoundly disingenuous NRA con woman said.
Dana Loesch aggressively serves the cabal. That said, our own team is amazingly foolish too. We've proved this in the past thirty years by our inability to see through the rank corruption which has permeated the conduct of Lithwick's self-dealing class. We prove it again when we fall in line behind silly, tribally pleasing novels like the one Grabar typed.
Tomorrow, we'll take a look at what Gonzalez said in the exchange which Grabar praises. Grabar was willingto tell a tale in which he saw a brilliant young warrior at work, achildwho was ready to lead us.
Over here in Reality Town, we saw a 17-year-old high school student who was fighting a battle her elders should fight and who was, as an obvious matter of fact, already way over her head, struggling just to hang on.
Tomorrow, we'll look at what that misused high school student actually did and said in her full exchange with Loesch. For today, let's consider the silly way Grabar described Loesch's answer to the question Gonzalez posed.
People, it was tribally great! According to Grabar, our brilliant child had asked a wonderfully simple question. Their harridan had produced a "disingenuous deflection" and perhaps an "attack" in reply.
It's a woderful novel, but is that what actually happened? Here is the question Gonzalez asked, and the bulk of Loesch's reply:
GONZALEZ (2/21/18): The shooter at our school obtained weapons that he used on us legally. Do you believe that it should be harder to obtain the semi-automatic and—weapons and the modifications for these weapons to make them fully automatic, like bump stocks?Which part of yes doesn't Grabar understand? Between the catcalls and the shouting from the morally brilliant children who shall lead us, Loesch answered Gonzalez by saying yes—yes, she and the NRA advocate making it "harder to obtain the semi-automatic weapons."
LOESCH: [fawning praise for Gonzalez's activism]
Now I want to answer your question. And, I want to be allowed the opportunity, which is why I am here—to talk and have this discussion with you all and answer these questions. This is why I came down here.
I don't believe that this insane monster should have ever been able to obtain a firearm, ever. I do not think that he should have gotten his hands on any kind of weapon. That's number one. This individual was nuts and I, nor the millions of people that I represent as a part of this organization, that I'm here speaking for, none of us support people who are crazy, who are a danger to themselves, who are a danger to others, getting their hands on a firearm.
And we have been, for over 20 years, and I have been screaming about this, which is why I'm here, because I have kids and I'm not just fighting for my kids, I'm fighting for you, I'm fighting for you, I'm fighting for all of you.
Because I don't want anyone to ever be in this position again. I want everyone to think about this for one second, this goes right into your question: Do you know that it is not federally required for states to actually report people who are prohibited possessors, crazy people, people who are murderers?
No, we've been actually talking about that for a long time. Let me answer the question. Let me answer the question. You can shout me down when I'm finished, but let me answer Emma's question.
In fact, she advocates making it impossible for people like the Parkland shooter to obtain such weapons. Fighting through the morally brilliant liberal catcalls, she tried to explain one state of affairs which makes it harder to deny such weapons to people like Nikolas Cruz.
For ourselves, we wouldn't use terms like "insame monster," "crazy people" or "nuts" to describe people like the teen-aged Parkland shooter. We'd be inclined to describe people like Nikolas Cruz as "deeply disturbed," and to suggest that such disturbed people badly need society's intervention and help, before they do something like this.
That said, we also wouldn't be inclined to describe Loesch's answer to that question as a disingenuous deflection or as an attack. We certainly wouldn't do so without quoting what she actually said, then explaining why her statement was supposed to be so horrific.
Grabar gave a nearly-precise account of Gonzalez's question. He made no attempt to quote or report what Loesch said in reply.
Instead, he told us what we long to hear—he told us the demon had struck. This is the way the liberal world gets dumbed down in this newer era.
(It follows the era in which people like Lithwick smiled and made nice while the big mainstream orgs which direct their careers made war on various Democrats, sending Bush, and then Trump, to the White House.)
The students in Parkland are suffering nightmares, we were told in Sunday's Times. Elsewhere, we get the silly novelized tale in which the children shall lead us.
Atop the front page of this morning's Times, we see a photograph of two other children, this time in Syria, who will likely suffer trauma due to their exposure to flat-out poison gas war. They seem to be perhaps six years old. The photo doesn't appear online.
They join traumatized children all over the region, children whose traumas stem from the way Lithwick's generation politely averted their gaze as the New York Times and the Washington Post conducted their appalling wars against Clinton, Clinton and Gore.
That's how Bush got to start his war. Politely, Lithwick's cohort looked away, saying nothing, as the press corps' "war against Gore" sent George W. Bush to the White House.
Many kids have been traumatized as a result of that gruesome conduct. Even today, the press corps' past conduct cannot be described or discussed, even though the same war, conducted against Hillary Clinton, put Trump where he is.
It's highly unlikely that high school students will be able to solve the deep problem which results when our elite institutions, places like Yale, churn out tribunes like Lithwick and Grabar. Stating the obvious, onkly deeply uncaring people would hand teenagers that task.
Tomorrow, we'll look at what Gonzalez said during her fuller exchange with Loesch. Romanticizing the children well, Lithwick and Grabar pleasingly said she was brilliant.
We saw something different that night. We saw a badly struggling teen, her elders hiding behind her.
Tomorrow: Ignore the floundering well
The "hiding" part of Somerby's complaint is that the adults who should be advocating for gun control have presumably not been doing so, that they have been discouraged and not pushing their cause forward. I take issue with that.ReplyDelete
Gun control advocates have been at the forefront of this fight after each and every shooting. They have been working hard in between times too. They have made little progress because the NRA funds Congressional races and has a very powerful lobby.
Somerby imagines that if these teens are able to attain such visibility after this latest school shooting, it must be because the adults have abdicated their responsibility. Articulate teens are appealing subjects for journalism, but so was Gabby Giffords, the attractive astronaut wife, and so was the young campaign aide who threw himself in front of others and was shot himself. So were the attendees at pulse, young people doing nothing worse than dancing. These are all compelling stories that receive lots of press attention -- were gun control advocates, adults, hiding then too? Were they hiding at Sandy Hook when they let grieved parents take center stage?
Somerby is arguing a very confused point here. He seems to be saying that these teens are victims and thus should not be actively speaking out. They should be quiet while others point to them and say "shame on us". It is hard to see how putting these teens in the background will help gun control. Meanwhile, it is therapeutic for them to do something active to prevent future shootings. It is what adults tend to do after tragedies like this, and the kidnappings, and the drunk driving deaths, and other preventable tragedies. They become activists because it helps them cope with their own sadness. Must they be protected from "coping"?
Maybe Somerby has a guilty conscience for not caring enough about gun control to ever write a post about it. Maybe he has a guilty conscience for not actively supporting Clinton, the one candidate who urged gun control during the 2016 election.
I suspect Somerby is feeling strong emotion at the sight of these teens. He is feeling anger. But he doesn't know where it is coming from and he doesn't know how to direct his anger. So he takes it out on journalists, the younger the better, the more elite their colleges, the more deserving of his ire. They are the wrong target this time, just as those kids talking about gun control are not the problem, not the solution, but just trying to heal themselves by healing our country. Somerby should send someone a check and stop attacking those who are just trying to help.
We've all been children and teens, confused masses of hormones and aggression and idealism combined with emotional stupidity and zero judgment or understanding of history. Some manage to grow up and become Republican.Delete
Some manage to grow up and become Republican, thus abdicating their responsibilities to the people of this nation.Delete
Perry, you say that you believe that "[Somerby] seems to be saying that these teens are victims and thus should not be actively speaking out." I did not get that out of what Somerby said. Perhaps you should get rid of your distorted and biased filter and re-read the piece.Delete
He says they are in over their heads, struggling, traumatized, suffering, doing what their parents should be doing.
The Woke Children Shall Lead Us.ReplyDelete
It's not surprising children as leaders is a democrat thing. The traumatized children reciting the logic of toddlers on CNN or taking selfies with big smiles on the plane is not moving a single voter.
And then there were the Red Guards and the Hitler Youth. Not exactly a democrat thing.Delete
"We're much less skilled at spotting the dumbness among our own."ReplyDelete
I don't care if you fellas think of yourselves as total geniuses. I'm perfectly fine with that.
But it would be nice if you could understand and accept that there are perfectly decent, and smart, and well-meaning people out there with completely different, often opposite views about most things. Oh well.
Tell it to Newt Gingrich and Frank Luntz.Delete
"But it would be nice if you could understand and accept that there are perfectly decent, and smart, and well-meaning people out there with completely different, often opposite views about most things."Delete
Yes, I believe you call them "zombies".
Yeah, in fact it would be interesting to know what liberal ideas are these days, apart from the orgy of hate-mongering.Delete
Gun control. Higher taxes. Censoring the Internet. Anything else?
Equal rights and justice.Delete
What's the Russian bot got?
Trump is a liar and a thief.Delete
Somerby, who knows nothing about gun laws, and doesn't care to inform himself about the debate, still thinks he lives someplace called "Reality Town", where apparently, this is the prevailing logic:ReplyDelete
Lithwick (a Yale graduate, our blogger sneeringly points out not once but twice), an apparent liberal who writes for Slate, is therefore one of "our journalistic elite", and hence corrupt and self-dealing; thus she is automatically complicit in the War on Gore which sent millions to their death. And this is in no way engaging in "scapegoating", something Somerby is very reluctant to do, as he assured us yesterday.
Now, forget that Lithwick has written column after column about guns and gun laws over the years. Her contribution to the debate is at least relevant. Somerby? No, he lives in Reality Town, where this logic also applies:
High school students, hurt and grieving, choosing to speak out, are praised and encouraged by their parents and other adults; that praise and encouragement means that the adults are "hiding" behind the kids.
Also, in Reality Town, liberals, and grieving kids and parents, must not express anger at The Other, in the form of Dana Loesch and the NRA, but must defer to their "explanations". Somerby again shows that he knows diddly squat about the NRA's *actual* positions on anything.
And residents of Reality Town seem to be confused as to who is really at fault here: "elders" have apparently failed youngsters, but "elders" is defined in a rather limited way by Somerby, a way which prohibits a full understanding of the problem.
Hey, who said press critics had to know anything about issues?
Hey, liberals: it's all about the tone. You mustn't get upset at The Others, nor call them hurtful names. That right is reserved to The Others, understand?ReplyDelete
Is it true that "Many in legacy media love mass shootings." Do liberals in general like mass shootings? Let's look at the evidence:ReplyDelete
1. Mass shootings help the media get improved ratings and readership
2. Liberals and liberal media tend to discourage approaches that might realistically reduce mass shootings. (E.g., allow qualified school officials to be armed. Re-open some mental institutions.)
3. Liberals and liberal media express extreme support for gun control proposals that have no realistic chance of reducing school shootings. (E.g., there's lots of support for banning AR-15's and other assault weapons, even though a semi-automatic hunting rifle would be equally dangerous in the hands of an insane shooter. Others wish we had as few guns as Australia or the UK, even though their proposals will not achieve that. )
4. The furor over school shootings helps energize liberals and thus elect Democrats.
5. Liberals get a warm feeling of virtue, because they're more opposed to guns than conservatives are.
1. Mass shooting at a school is big news. All news outlets cover them.Delete
2. Conservatives and conservative media tend to discourage approaches that might realistically reduce mass shootings. (E.g. closing gun show loopholes, banning certain weapons, researching gun violence etc)
3. How do you know they wouldn't at least help? You assume conservative solutions would help whereas liberal solutions wouldn't.
4. Perhaps that's a good thing. Then we could pass sensible laws. It also, by the way, energizes more than liberals. Look at the polling.
5. Well, liberals think they are right about this. Just as conservatives do.
Your post is an example of tribal thinking and why we can't have a discussion about this. You claim liberals accuse conservatives and don't want to have a discussion, then you shut down the discussion yourself by refusing to discuss ideas or possible solutions because they are "liberal" and therefore must be bad.
It's going to take David's grandkids being blown away in a 5th grade classroom for him to understand what freedom really feels like.Delete
Thanks Anon 7:47 for illustrating my point. For you, dislike of guns is what it's all about. You dislike guns more than I do, so you're a more virtuous person.Delete
But, you state no specific, realistic policy change that would make my grandchildren safer.
All these specific criticisms and you choose to respond to 7:47?Delete
Liberals are more virtuous because they want to prevent gun deaths. That doesn’t mean they want to control guns to be virtuous. They want to control guns to prevent more deaths. Most liberals want to stop feeling sad when innocent people are killed. You reduce this to a trivial ego trip when that is far from the actual liberal motivation.
David's MO - pitch a half-assed, policy-free rant and when he's eviscerated for it, mew - while injecting some sort of wingnut meme (eg. virtue signalling)- that liberals don't want to discuss policy.Delete
Played. Tired. Sad.
AnonymousFebruary 28, 2018 at 9:49 PM - what do you mean by "control guns"?Delete
"You dislike guns more than I do, so you're a more virtuous person."Delete
The guy who voted for a self-admitted sexual predator to be the President of the United States, thinks I'm more virtuous than him because I don't want to see innocent 5th graders shot to death at school.
David's not just an asshole. He's a stupid fuck too.
Here’s what I think should happen with guns:Delete
1. Rifles & shotguns ok for people who live near bears or have a valid hunting license.
2. Pistols ok for use only at shooting ranges, locked up on the range’s premises when not in use.
3. All other guns used by military only. Police equipped with the kind of defensive weapons and gear used in England.
4. Severe penalties for gun ownership after gun turn-in deadline. Very severe penalties for gun use. Penalties for gun owner when gun involved in accident or suicide.
This would be a good start. I don’t speak for other liberals.
Anon 11:53 - I appreciate your polite response. Maybe your ideas would be good for America, but they're unrealistic. The combination of strong gun support among many Americans plus the SCOTUS decision on the 2nd Amendment preclude your ideas from being implemented. And, you are no doubt aware that nobody in Congress has proposed a law along the lines you suggest.Delete
What value is there in supporting a remedy that cannot happen?
Here is my polite response, Comrade DinC.Delete
You come here and make the most offensive repugnant insulting accusation a wretch like you loves to make: "Many in legacy media love mass shootings." Do liberals in general like mass shootings?
And then you expect people to be polite to you. I say again, go fuck yourself, you disgusting son of a bitch.
“Maybe your ideas would be good for America, but they're unrealistic.”Delete
Notice how “conservatives” are such defeatists on everything. We can’t do that—we’re America—we’re special—it’s so hard. Here’s the problem statement on this one: How do you preserve the rights of individual citizens to bear arms for legitimate purposes (target practice, hunting, protection of their homes and family) while at the same time protecting innocent citizens from gun violence. Hard problem but people in Congress are well-paid and enjoy top-flight benefits at tax payer expense. You’d think once in a while they would roll up their sleeves and actually tackle a fucking problem instead of sticking their heads in the sand and shrugging at the behest of special interests that stuff filthy money into their wallets. And you’d think it shouldn’t take children getting their entrails blown out of their bodies to act.
BTW, think about this. Every idea that comes out of the NRA and their minions is intended to sell more guns and ammo, plain and simple, including the preposterous idea to arm 20% (Trump’s number) of the nation’s teachers. That’s 700,000 paying customers.
If these fuckheads in Washington can’t solve tough problems let’s pretend we’re Trump or Gingrich or Limbaugh and they are our wrinkly middle-aged wives. Then, without a twinge of conscience, we can trade them in for new ones.
They're unrealistic" means there isn't political will in Congress to do so. Stop electing Conservatives, and good/ smart things will be come a lot more "realistic".Delete
The people actually involved in the debate, Gonzalez, Loesch, Lithwick, etc, and the students whose classmates were ripped apart by a high-powered weapon, are the ones living in Reality Town.ReplyDelete
Sometimes outrage can be a powerful motivator that can bring about political change. The Parkland students witnessed the massacre first-hand. The parents felt it.ReplyDelete
It wasn't just MLK's calm, broad-minded speeches that brought about the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts; it was also the coverage of the brutal murders of civil rights activists and the vicious police actions against peaceful protesters that helped finally bring about change.
Perhaps some issues are better discussed coolly and calmly, but mass murder in our schools?
I wouldn't discount the power of outrage.
' to suggest that such disturbed people badly need society's intervention and help,'ReplyDelete
Let's start with Somerby, then. Anyone obsessed with any 18 year old election, and who shows his liberalism by defending Trump and Republicans clearly needs help.
Tsk, good point.Delete
Bob is resisting lib-zombeism, like Winston Smith resisted Ingsoc. He needs help, to be administered at the Ministry of Love, in Room 101.
Is that your office room number in St. Petersburg, 'Mao' ?Delete
It's a cubicle number. The troll doesn't rate an office.Delete
I read this entire post, which if you removed Bob’s anti snob snobbery, only had to be about a third as long as it was. Bob seems to accept the Leosch’s claim that the NRA has been screaming to separate the mentally ill from guns. It is fortunate he doesn’t have a hundred dollars lying around to purchase the Brooklyn Bridge. While this children’s crusade might be dismissed as sentimental, Bob really goes right up to the edge of demeaning these young people, and that is sort of sad and ugly.ReplyDelete
From Somerby's post:ReplyDelete
[QUOTE] Loesch: I don't believe that this insane monster should have ever been able to obtain a firearm, ever. I do not think that he should have gotten his hands on any kind of weapon.
That's number one. This individual was nuts and I, nor the millions of people that I represent as a part of this organization, that I'm here speaking for, none of us support people who are crazy, who are a danger to themselves, who are a danger to others, getting their hands on a firearm.
And we have been, for over 20 years, and I have been screaming about this, which is why I'm here, because I have kids and I'm not just fighting for my kids, I'm fighting for you, I'm fighting for you, I'm fighting for all of you. [END QUOTE]
Is that the NRA's position?
[QUOTE] As we explained in a 17 February 2017 post, this rule — which never went into effect before being rescinded — did not change any existing laws regulating who is allowed to purchase guns. It merely would have provided a new way to enforce existing restrictions on gun sales by allowing a transfer of information from one agency to another. There are now, and have been for some time, laws that seek to limit gun sales to anyone “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution” per Title 18 section 922(g) of the United States Code. However, according to the Associated Press:
>>>The Obama rule would have prevented an estimated 75,000 people with mental disorders from being able to purchase a firearm. It was crafted as part of Obama’s efforts to strengthen the federal background check system in the wake of the 2012 massacre of 20 young students and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.<<<
The rule was rescinded using a legal procedure called the the Congressional Review Act, which, prior to the Trump Administration, was obscure and little-used. It allows regulations passed in the final days of one administration to be rescinded with a simple majority vote in both chambers of Congress during the first 60 days of a new administration. The Senate sent their repeal of the Obama-era measure for Trump’s signature on 15 February 2017 — almost a year before the Parkland shooting to the day — and Trump signed it into law the next week, on 28 February 2017.
While the law did not change who is required to be the subject of background checks, it is true that Trump signed into law the repeal of a measure that would have plausibly prevented certain classes of mentally ill people from purchasing firearms by allowing a new data source to be included the system that runs those background checks.... [END QUOTE]
Thank you Bob and cronies,
Kill the children.
Trump is a liar and a thief.ReplyDelete
DinC and Mao,ReplyDelete
Come for me.
I've got a gun.
Perry, your own reply (far above) doesn’t make your point, and the fact that you seemingly can’t see that makes 12:30’s point (also far above) about your distorted and biased filter nicely.ReplyDelete