Part 4—When rational animals attack: Anthropologically speaking, it may seem like an unusual bit of behavior. In fairness, experts say the behavior in question is sometimes observed in the wild.
We refer to behavior in which Hominid A scolds Hominid B for making a statement on which the two hominids agree. Rather, for making the accurate statement too often, even though no one else will.
Yesterday, Hominid A attacked Hominid B in precisely this fashion. According to Hominid A, Hominid B has said it too often:
There's no way to erase our achievement gaps through some sort of "desegregation."Let's be clear. Hominid A agrees with this rather obvious statement. Hominid A understands that there's no way to achieve this goal, or anything like it, though this proposed means.
Hominid A understands that this is true. It just annoys him when Hominid B keeps making this accurate statement!
Speaking as a source familiar with the thinking of Hominid B, we'll render one minor complaint. Hominid A failed to explain the reason why Hominid B keeps making this accurate statement!
In the current case, Hominid B raised this point because the New York Times, a well-known newspaper, keeps publishing news reports and opinion pieces which assert or suggest that "integration" or "desegregation" actually can solve our problems. In the course of this pursuit, Hominid B keeps asking a question which Hominid A tends to avoid:
What does it say about us when our tribal newspapers and magazines keep proposing this non-solution solution? Beyond that, what does it say about the alleged "rationality" of our alleged "human race?"
Why in the world does the New York Times keep proposing this non-solution? In line with an ancient dictum. Hominid A tends to avoid this part of the problem. That ancient dictum is this:
What occurs in the upper-end press corps stays in the upper-end press corps.As a general matter, this dictum regulates a widespread code of silence. It very much helps explain how Donald J. Trump, our commander in chief, reached the Oval Office.
What occurs in the press corps stays in the press corps? To see this powerful dictum in action, consider today's insightful column by the New York Times' Paul Krugman.
Krugman's column concerns the long-running strategy known as "starve the beast." On its merits, the column should be quite important.
That said, you won't see the column, or the topic it discusses, discussed on your favorite "cable news" programs. On those programs, the children will be speculating about the latest emanations from the penumbra which constitutes The Chase.
(The other day, we mentioned the fact that corporate cable star John Heilemann is even beginning to dress like Shecky Greene. On today's Morning Joe, he opened with a deathless quip about the horror of subpoenas being delivered to peckers. As we've tried to tell you, this is who and what, and all, they are. We hope to be able to bring you the exact wording of this "Sheck attack" later.)
Krugman's column won't be discussed elsewhere in the press corps. On cable news, Krugman's topic is seen as boring and hard. The children prefer to gambol and play about entertaining fare.
That said, one part of Krugman's important column helps illustrate that ancient dictum. We refer, as we've done so many times, to the part of the column where Krugman, quite correctly, makes these observations:
KRUGMAN (8/24/18): Fifteen years ago I wrote a long piece titled “The Tax-Cut Con,” describing what was even then a time-honored scam; it reads almost word for word as a description of Republican strategy in 2017-18. Yet I keep reading news analyses expressing puzzlement that men who were strident deficit hawks in the Obama years so cheerfully signed on to a budget-busting tax cut under Trump. To say the obvious: These men were never deficit hawks; it was always a pose.Fifteen years after he explained "starve the beast," Krugman "keeps reading news analyses expressing puzzlement" about the basic structure of the scam. He voices amazement about what he describes as "the gullibility of the news media"—though it may not be gullibility at all, it may be something else.
And the gullibility both of the news media and self-proclaimed centrists remains a remarkable story. Remember, Ryan, who was utterly orthodox in his determination to cut taxes on the rich while savaging programs for the poor and the middle class, even received an award for fiscal responsibility.
Having said that, how odd! Krugman links to his own 15-year-old piece, but he links to none of the gullible journalists concerning whom he complains. He names no name of any journalist. The reader to left to puzzle about who these gullible journalists are.
We've offered this complaint about Krugman many times by now. Why do we keep making this point? To answer that question, let's recall a previous time when Hominid A scolded us for repeating a point with which he himself agreed.
On that occasion, Hominid A scolded up for saying, more than once, that the mainstream press corps waged a war against Candidate Gore in the 2000 election. He seemed to agree that our observation was valid, but he'd heard us say it too many times, and it seemed to have made its way under his skin.
Why were we repeating our point? Skillfully, we explained. We had continued making this point because we couldn't get anyone else to make it! That said, it's a major part of Hard Pundit Law:
Members of the establishment press don't talk about the establishment press corps! If they do criticize the mainstream press, no actual names shall be named!
In that instance, you may know what happened. All the children kept their traps shut about the long-running press corps war directed at Clinton, Clinton and Gore. And sure enough:
When Candidate Clinton announced in 2014, this long-running mainstream war started up all over again. The children all averted their gaze, and Trump ended up in the White House!
In the current instance, why do we keep repeating our (accurate) claim about "desegregation?" Because our most foppish newspaper, the New York Times, keeps publishing news reports and opinion columns which seem to promote "desegregation" as the great solution!
We'd say it's obvious why this occurs. The poobahs of this famous newspaper neither know nor care about the kids who attend our urban schools. Meanwhile, their readers love the glorious feeling which comes with full-throated pseudo-affirmation of glorious "integration."
It makes us liberals feel smart and good. It's also inane behavior.
Hominid A didn't talk about that when he scolded us for being correct too often. The bullshit in question occurs within the establishment press, and that's where the bullshit will stay!
As he closed his piece, Hominid A asked a good question. Since it's obvious that "desegregation" won't be the answer, what will the answer be?
That question is hard to answer. In our view, reactions in Hominid A's comments illustrate how rarely we liberals ever think or talk about this.
In some ways, the answer lies within the home. In some ways, the answer lies within the community.
In some ways, the answer lies within the schools, and also within the preschools. In some ways, the answer lies within various public agencies.
But we'd start by saying this:
There will never be an answer until a serious discussion occurs. That said, it's obvious that we the liberals quit on this topic a long time ago, and that we don't have the slightest intention of returning to it, except to give voice to silly bromides designed to make us feel good.
The Times seems to know what readers want. With respect to our Los Angeles story, what do American kids really need?
That won't be discussed in the New York Times. Also, don't ask too often!
Basic question for the day: As we laugh and enjoy The Chase, how dangerous might Donald Trump be?