TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2018
Oligarchs play to win: Impressively, we're prepared to admit it:
As of today, we're licked!
Yesterday, we previewed today's report in this award-wining fashion: "Truly, where to begin?"
We were scanning a list of 23 points concerning our own team's performance in the recent fight over Justice Kavanaugh. Over Here on our team, everyone knows how badly Trump and Graham have performed. But then again, what about Us? What about the various ways our own instincts (and incentives) have failed us all over again?
We wanted to discuss the endless overstatements—for example, the claims that Kavanaugh had "lied" in various cases where he pretty much hadn't. (Nicholas Kristof! Good God!)
We wanted to discuss the silliness of saying, as we scriptedly do, that "only 2-10 percent" of rape accusations are false. Did we really fail to see that this claim, which few people could explain, doesn't necessarily help the anti-Kavanaugh cause?
We wanted to discuss the absurdity of saying to Orrin Hatch (or to anyone else), "Do you believe women?" (As some journalist sillily did, after Hatch had rudely dismissed several female protesters.) Can you believe that anyone in our tribe still thinks that question makes sense?
We wanted to discuss the fuzziness of the Ramirez charge, at least as filtered through The New Yorker, with gratuitous undermining courtesy of the Times. Moving to the next disastrous step, we wanted to discuss the latest disgraceful lunacy by Michael Avenatti, who has clowned us again and again.
Most horrifically in this general area, we wanted to discuss the way Rachel Maddow treated that unsigned letter from Boulder, Colorado—the unsigned letter which supposedly put a fourth credible charge into play. Has anyone ever played the fool more perfectly than Maddow did that night? If that's what our Rhodes scholars do, what hope can there possibly be for our tribe's rank-and-file?
We wanted to discuss the way Blasey Ford's accusation became publicly known, despite her request for confidentiality. (In her testimony, she seemed to say that she never wanted her charges to be passed on at all.) We wanted to discuss the way Senator Feinstein waited and waited and waited and waited before finally saying, in fairly ridiculous fashion, that she and her staff didn't leak Blasey Ford's charge to the press.
We wanted to discuss the astonishing way Feinstein tried to pin the blame on Blasey Ford's friends when she finally managed to say that she and her staff didn't do it. We wanted to show you who Ryan Grim's reported sources were when he filed this initial report.
(Quoting Grim: "Democratic sources said." He didn't say he got the story from Blasey Ford's friends.)
We wanted to discuss the gong-show discussion Don Lemon led about the insertion of race into a set of Republican accusations (allegedly by "a bunch of old white men") in a case in which everyone was white.
Has there ever been a dumber discussion than the one Lemon led that night? We wanted to show you what conservatives had been hearing on Fox about this reflexive "racialization of everything that happens on the face of the earth" which has now become a low-IQ trademark of our failing tribe.
(We wanted to show you the ages of the "old white men" in question. Did you know that three of the Republican senators on the committee are younger than Lemon is?)
(One of the "old white men," Ted Cruz, is 47 and Hispanic. In fairness, the census would list him as a white Hispanic. When George Zimmerman was described that way, our liberal tribe spilled over with incredulous souls who had never heard of such a thing.)
Are we supposed to "believe the women," as somebody yelled at Hatch? We wanted to tell you what conservatives have been hearing on Fox about the Keith Ellison case in Minnesota, and about our tribe's alleged hypocrisy in that matter. As liberals, we're shielded from hearing about such matters on our own cable channels.
Beyond all this, we wanted to talk about the widely repeated claim that Blasey Ford was "incredibly credible"—the claim that she was "the most credible witness we could possibly have," the claim by a federal prosecutor turned MSNBC legal analyst that he "never had a single witness anywhere near as effective and credible as she was."
On the channel where We Liberals get propagandized every night, claims like that last one were common—and at least six different pundits said that Blasey Ford was "incredibly credible." At times of tribal war like these, tribes feed on overstatement.
For ourselves, we know of no reason to think or believe that Blasey Ford's account is false in any significant way. But we also can't swear that her account is accurate, and we could spend all day describing possible witnesses who would be more effective, through no fault of Blasey Ford's, in a case like this.
That doesn't mean her account is false. It means we're being endlessly propagandized by corporate hacks on Our Own Cable Channels.
Over on Fox, people are often being grotesquely propagandized. (Often, but not always.) But they're also hearing accurate presentations about how phony and foolish we are Over Here. They're hearing that Avenatti is crazy. They're hearing, over and over, that Democrats outed Ford.
Avenatti undercut Blasey Ford badly. Maddow acted like an unsigned, possibly deranged letter from Boulder actually counted as the latest credible accusation. Could she possibly have believed that? Or were we being fed tribal porridge to make us feel tribally good?
On our channels, no one asked how Blasey Ford's account got released despite her express request for confidentiality. We're not a smart or honest tribe. In truth, we aren't especially rational animals, and we're constantly serviced by hacks.
It's been like this for thirty years, through two generations of bullroar. (For 24 years, we twiddled our thumbs as Hillary Clinton got slimed, often in misogynistic ways by our own tribal gods.) Our decades of lazy indifference and vast gullibility have ended with Donald J. Trump in the White House and Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.
That said, to what did we return last night on our own cable channels? To feel-good piddle about the upcoming election—the same kind of piddle we got dumped on our heads back in 2016.
Back then, Hillary Clinton couldn't possibly lose. Last night, the hacks were saying there was no way we could lose this election.
We're silly and hapless and not very smart. The oligarchs are happy to see us like this. As Plato understood all too well, oligarchs play to win.