Beto O'Rourke joins the Widow Steavens!

SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2019

Those People are all just alike:
In our view, the current field of Democratic candidates is extremely weak.

Consider the current top five. Two are so old that, by any traditional norm, they shouldn't be in the mix for so demanding a (four-year) job. A third is way too young.

Of the two top contenders who remain, one inaccurately "list[ed] herself on various forms as Native American over two decades as a law professor"—and this is a point which Donald J. Trump says he would revisit, early and often, during a White House campaign.

(We're quoting from today's Washington Post. The New York Times seems to avoid producing such specific accounts of this hopeful's peculiar past claims.)

We're so underwhelmed by the fifth top contender that, at this point, we'll move on. But below the top five, a person could claim that matters get even worse. One candidate, a senator, recently made this ridiculous claim:

“We have Democratic candidates running for president right now who do not believe necessarily that it’s a good idea that women work outside the home. No joke.”

This candidate seems to have based that ludicrous claim upon an antique op-ed column written by one of the aged contenders—a decades-old column she had rather plainly misconstrued.

So it goes as the more liberal party tries to unseat Mister Trump. Then too, we have Beto O'Rourke, who strikes us as under-qualified, but who recently made a good statement.

O'Rourke guested with Lawrence on Thursday night's The Last Word. He was speaking from Jackson, Mississippi, where he'd gone in the aftermath of the arrests of unauthorized residents in several meat-packing plants, with their children left in tears.

Lawrence slimed the bad people found Over There, the very bad Trump voters. O'Rourke responded as shown:
O'ROURKE (8/15/19): You know what, I was just talking to somebody here in Jackson, and they were telling me about going to church in a conservative community, yes, that most of the congregation are Republicans, and the pastor there pointed out what you just did, and said, "This is not right, this cannot be us, this is not America. And instead of hating on these people or judging those parents or leaving these kids to their own devices, defenseless in the wealthiest, the most powerful country on the face of the planet, what if we came together and provided for these kids?"

And this person told me, almost to a person, that congregation erupted in applause and then gave of themselves and of their wealth to make sure that those kids and those families are OK.

I believe in America. I believe in Republicans and Democrats and independents alike. Yes, there are some hateful people in this country, and yes, we've seen a rise in white supremacy, in white nationalism and white nationalist terrorism brought home to El Paso, Texas, on August 3rd.

But I'm confident that, if we tell that full story of that child and their parents, we're going to call on the hearts of our fellow Americans, we're going to galvanize the conscience of a country that needs to act.

And if we don't, we're going to see more attacks like those in El Paso, more raids like we saw just outside of Jackson, Mississippi. We will lose the genius of America, this foundational idea that we are all created equal and that the people of the planet can find a home here in the United States of America and make us better and make us great for the fact that they chose us and are here.

I said today in this speech, if we do not wake up to this challenge, to this threat, then we as Americans, as this idea of America, will die in our sleep. And we cannot allow that to happen.
So said Candidate O'Rourke. To watch the exchange, click here.

"I believe in America," the candidate said, repeating the opening words of The Godfather. But then, he made a very unusual statement:

"I believe in Republicans and Democrats and independents alike." So said this relatively under-qualified candidate, making the type of statement you won't often hear these days.

We live in highly partisan times—and, in highly partisan or tribal times, we humans are hard-wired to loathe The Others en masse.

We're hard-wired to loathe such bad people tens of millions at a time. We're wired to lump them all together as we offer the least attractive possible account of their action, beliefs and motives.

We're hard-wired to believe that They're All Just Alike! Our species is wired to see things that way, or so say the top leading experts.

O'Rourke took a different approach. Some of the others are "hateful," he said. But he almost seemed to be saying that some of the others are not!

According to major professional experts, our species ain't wired to see things that way. We're hard-wired to think, and say, that Those People are all just alike.

Some will say such things about members of "racial" or ethnic groups. Some, like the Washington Post's Colbert King, will aggressively make such claims about large political groups.

In this morning's Post, King denounces Those People, The Others. He does so in the sweeping, time-honored way.

King lists an array of bad acts by Trump, then wonders why his supporters refuse to disown him. As he tries to puzzle this out, he moves directly from an imperial wizard of the Klan to Trump's "loyal base of supporters."

This is the way it's always been done. It's always been done this way:
KING (8/17/19): What about those acts, you might ask? Shouldn’t they prompt folks in Trump’s camp to start striking their tents?

The answer might be found in an interview that NBC affiliate WWBT in Richmond conducted during the 2016 presidential campaign with a man identified only as the “Imperial Wizard of the Rebel Brigade of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.” Declaring his support for Republican candidate Trump, the imperial wizard said: “The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes, we believe in.”

What he believes in, they believe in. Trump’s loyal base of supporters rejects or ignores any charge of bias.
They stay locked in, because they see things his way; he is speaking for them.

So, don’t waste time trying to convince them that Trump has a dark side.

They have heard what you heard; have seen what you’ve seen. The difference: They delight in the Trump thoughts, words and deeds that you denounce.
Don't waste your time speaking with Others. Those People are all just alike!

Those 63 million are all just alike—and they're like that Imperial Wizard! All around the world, since the dawn of time, our wars have been scripted this way.

The more hopeful O'Rourke seems to reject this ugly, hard-wired approach. So did "that good woman, the Widow Steavens," a memorable character from Willa Cather's My Antonia, an homage to immigrant families in the Nebraska of the 1880s.

"That good woman, the Widow Steavens" buys the farm of the narrator's grandparents when they decide that advancing age means they should start living in town. The narrator, who's 13 at this time, seems to have heard the description he quotes within his grandparents' home.

This purchase means that the Widow Steavens is now the nearest neighbor to the Shimerdas, a Bohemian immigrant family. Because she doesn't reflexively hate, she comes to admire the moral goodness of the book's title character.

Within the town, many native-born Nebraskans look down on the immigrant families. Out in the country, the Widow Steavens achieves a more nuanced outlook.

When Antonia Shimerda, then perhaps 24, returns to her family's farm after going away to be married, the Widow Steavens goes to ask her why she has returned. It turns out that she has been abandoned by the man who promised to marry her. She's returned home unmarried and pregnant.

Some time later, the Widow Steavens tells this story to the narrator, who's now 21. She describes the way she reacted when she heard Antonia's story. As she does, we see why she was called "that good woman" earlier in the book:
‘I asked her, of course, why she didn’t insist on a civil marriage at once—that would have given her some hold on him. She leaned her head on her hands, poor child, and said, “I just don’t know, Mrs. Steavens. I guess my patience was wore out, waiting so long. I thought if he saw how well I could do for him, he’d want to stay with me.”

‘Jimmy, I sat right down on that bank beside her and made lament. I cried like a young thing. I couldn’t help it. I was just about heart-broke. It was one of them lovely warm May days, and the wind was blowing and the colts jumping around in the pastures; but I felt bowed with despair. My Antonia, that had so much good in her, had come home disgraced...
"I was poor comfort to her," this good woman says. "I marveled at her calm." (We'll pause while the tragically woke explain that Antonia shouldn't have felt disgraced.)

In this passage, we see that a range of reactions obtained among the book's native-born Nebraskans. Some simply couldn't see the virtues of the immigrant families. Others very much could.

The Widow Steavens wasn't alone in this capacity. During Antonia's first year in this new, very difficult country, her despairing father takes his own life.

At the modest funeral, Mrs. Shimerda conveys, through a fellow Bohemian, that she would like a prayer to be spoken in English so the native-born could understand. The narrator's grandfather accedes to this request:
Grandmother looked anxiously at grandfather. He took off his hat, and the other men did likewise. I thought his prayer remarkable. I still remember it. He began, ‘Oh, great and just God, no man among us knows what the sleeper knows, nor is it for us to judge what lies between him and Thee.’ He prayed that if any man there had been remiss toward the stranger come to a far country, God would forgive him and soften his heart.
Top philosophers tell us that we're all "strangers come to a far country" in the most elementary sense. Beyond that, they say that we have all been remiss toward others at some point in time.

Within that context, like Lincoln before him, the narrator's grandfather urged his neighbors not to be quick to judge.

In his remarks to Lawrence, O'Rourke urged cable viewers to seek a constructive way forward. He said he's confident that people of all persuasions will be able to see the moral beauty of that crying child, and of that crying child's parents, if we tell their story in an appropriate way.

This morning, King takes a different approach. Briefly being remiss, he helps us learn to loathe en masse. This raises a basic question:

When we liberals loathe The Others en masse, does our tribe's high-minded loathing differ from the types of loathing we like to say we hate?

We're hard-wired to believe such tales, several top experts have said.

59 comments:

  1. "Of the two top contenders who remain, one inaccurately "list[ed] herself on various forms as Native American over two decades as a law professor"—and this is a point which Donald J. Trump says he would revisit, early and often, during a White House campaign."

    Somerby apparently doesn't know that Elizabeth Warren is 70. His general cluelessness about women misleads him because he is no doubt judging her age by her looks instead of taking her seriously and looking it up, which anyone can do.

    Who cares what small % of DNA is Cherokee? She wrote her ethnicity on a card, just as I consider myself Irish despite having more English DNA. If she were adopted into a Cherokee family would Somerby be joining conservatives in playing this game? She believed a family story -- who doubts what they are told about their family history by parents and grandparents?

    How on earth can Somerby believe that any negative claim Trump makes during the campaign will have any impact on anyone when Trump routinely lies through his teeth about everything? He has been calling her Pocahontas so often that no one cares about this anymore, if they ever did.

    But it matters to Somerby, because a female candidate must be 100% unblemished or she is entirely unfit to run, too weak for him to consider.

    What an ass Somerby is!

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    1. Somerby apparently doesn't know that Elizabeth Warren is 70. His general cluelessness about women misleads him because he is no doubt judging her age by her looks instead of taking her seriously and looking it up, which anyone can do.

      I'll bite. What would make you think Somerby doesn't know Warren's age?

      Delete
    2. Warren's age is 70, Hillary's is 71 and she is considered too old. Biden's age is 74. Bernie's age is 77. Trump's age is 73 and folks have been talking about dementia. There is no reason for Somerby to lump Warren in with the youngsters when she is pretty much the same age as the too old cohort. Age 65 is not like age 70, as anyone who is that age can attest. Somerby is around 70 himself.

      If he does know her age, perhaps he left Warren in with the younger group so that he could denigrate her with that reference to DNA. She has a serious chance of challenging Biden and Sanders, so perhaps he is motivated to take her down more actively than just mentioning her age, given that she is nearly the same age as Hillary, but Hillary ran in her 60s, not 70s.

      Harris is 54, O'Rourke is 46, Gillibrand is 52, Buttigieg is 37, Inslee is 68, Williamson and Sestak are 67, Steyer is 62, Klobuchar is 59, DiBlasio is 58, Cory Booker is 50.

      If Somerby thinks any of these candidates in their 70s are too old, he should be consistent about it. When he excludes the female candidate there is probably a reason for doing so.

      Delete
    3. Warren's age is 70, Hillary's is 71 and she is considered too old. Biden's age is 74. Bernie's age is 77. Trump's age is 73 and folks have been talking about dementia.

      Biden is 74? Actually, he's 76, fourteen months younger than Sanders. I take it your "general cluelessness about [men] misleads [you] because [you are] no doubt judging [his] age by [his] looks instead of taking [him] seriously and looking it up, which anyone can do."

      What Somerby said was that Sanders and Biden "are so old that, by any traditional norm, they shouldn't be in the mix for so demanding a (four-year) job." Should Warren be elected she would be younger at the end of her first term in January 2025 than Sanders and Biden are today, nearly a year and a half before the scheduled presidential inauguration in January 2021.

      For sure Trump won't be able to make an issue of Warren's age, as he's older than she is, and for sure he will be making an issue of Warren's former claim about her heritage.

      All this is pretty obvious as is the fact you've chosen Somerby to serve as a stand-in for whoever it is who is the object of your anger.

      Delete
    4. Sorry, typo. I did look Biden up.

      Age 70 is no picnic, even if you are in good health. Whoever is elected will not take office until 2021.

      Trump lied about his health and has never released any accurate info about his own functioning. We should not permit that in any Democratic candidate, no matter who it is. Trump's 6-8 hrs of TV time are not the standard for any candidate seeking the presidency. I don't believe that any 70 year old should be seeking this office because it needs to be done right and that demands more energy and better cognitive functioning than any 70 year old has (and yes, I know many are still sharp).

      We should not lower our standards to the level of performance Trump has set for himself.

      Probably Trump is the object of my anger. But I feel betrayed by Somerby, who pretends to be liberal but daily writes ridiculous columns that do nothing but promote conservative interests while deriding liberals. He has the right to write whatever he wants, but we have an obligation to expose his charade, if only because he used to have some credibility in the blogosphere.

      By the way, you should also realize that it is a sexist trope to call a woman emotional ("why are you so angry?") when she participates in a discussion.

      Somerby has no right to talk about loving The Other out of one side of his mouth while complaining out of the other about trivialities that supposedly disqualify the female candidates (Harris, Warren, Gillibrand). Any of the female candidates, at their worst, would be better than Trump on his best day.

      You've read deadrat and mm, but you consider me angry? Don't be ridiculous, CMike.

      Delete
    5. By the way, you should also realize that it is a sexist trope to call a woman emotional ("why are you so angry?") when she participates in a discussion.

      Not only am I aware of that card, I expected to see you play it.

      And yes, I think you're angry. If you want to cloak that, just make your case against what Somerby has argued in a given post without your ongoing accusations that he's driven by misogyny or some other inexcusable motivation.

      Delete
    6. Ironic sexism isn't a thing. If you recognize the trope, don't use it. I will write my own comments, thank you. If I think you, or Somerby, is being a sexist asshole, I will say so. That IS a thing.

      If you know why Somerby changed from being a thoughtful media critic and supporter of Democrats like Al Gore into someone who can stomach defending Roy Moore, Trump, and similar scum, please tell us all. It may head off more speculation about his motives.

      We are hard-wired to try to understand the people in our environment and to assign causes to what happens in the world. Somerby can end any mystery himself by explaining his switch from being an actual liberal to being a pretend one.

      Delete
    7. You believe that Bob has "defend[ed] Roy Moore, Trump, and similar scum." I believe that your conclusion is in error. I have not read anything by Bob, in the case of Moore, or anyone else, other than to point out that inaccuracies, deliberate and otherwise, in recounting events, give rise to tribal narratives and propaganda that are ultimately bad for our side.
      You read Bob with a prejudice that is stifling your ability at comprehension and understanding.

      Delete
    8. 11:43
      Meh. In 1933, Somerby would have been telling Hitler’s opponents to try to “understand” his supporters, “The others”. Some folks just like them a little Gestapo with their law and order, and it was sincere economic anxiety that led to a perfectly understandable concern about non-Aryans replacing them. In 1957, he would have told liberals to try to see it from the perspective of the mob shouting down the Little Rock nine. They were just interested in preventing their schools from becoming shitholes. In 1964, he would have been there urging the civil rights marchers to empathize with Bull Connor, who was only trying to maintain order, which that rude bunch of tribal liberal protesters were intent on destroying. Those clueless progressives had to resort to rabble rousing cause they couldn’t win at the ballot box.

      “Our side.” Nice touch.

      Delete
    9. Bob was one of the only people brave enough to point out that Roy Moore was not an accused "child molester" and that only two out of the seven or so young women ever said he had bothered them sexually.

      The one woman -- represented by the odious Gloria Allred -- actually had her case totally fall apart when she was forced to admit that she'd later forged the time-documentation in her yearbook. And, then repeatedly lied about not doing so.

      Delete
    10. Bothering young women is OK as long as you don't bother them sexually? In your dreams!

      "odious Gloria Allred" should be "effective Gloria Allred" FTFY

      The girl added the date and lied about it, but that doesn't change the fact that Moore did sign her yearbook. The yearbook itself is dated by the fact that she was in it, limiting it to her school years.

      What business does any 30 year old man have hanging around with 14-17 year old girls? As an Asst. DA, he obviously knew they were not legal.

      The word odious should be reserved for child molesters like Moore, and the people who defend him, like you and Somerby.

      Delete
    11. If you recognize the trope, [that women are by nature too emotional] don't use it.

      You’re not being accused of being emotional because you’re a woman. How would anyone here know which sex you are? You’re being labeled as angry because you make irrational accusations. Now I can’t tell whether you’re actually angry or not, but if I take your comments at face value, you can’t think straight. I don’t think that trait is sex-linked. It’s just an intellectual deficiency common to both sexes.

      Case in point: you say you “feel betrayed” by TDH, but he’s just a blogger. At what point did he pick up some undefined fiduciary duty to you?

      Another case in point:

      Somerby has no right to talk about loving The Other out of one side of his mouth while complaining out of the other about trivialities that supposedly disqualify the female candidates (Harris, Warren, Gillibrand).

      In fact, TDH has every right to talk about just about anything he damn pleases. He doesn’t hate the trio of women you mention; he just doesn’t think they’re electable.

      Any of the female candidates, at their worst, would be better than Trump on his best day.

      Pretty low bar, one a dead woman could clear.

      Probably Trump is the object of my anger.

      Probably? Don’t you know?

      Delete
    12. My husband and I have been married for about 7 yrs now. We were happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn't even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the Internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr Great can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he did a spell for me. Two days later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Great . If you need a spell caster that can cast a spell that truly works, I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you. This is his E-mail:

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      My husband and I have been married for about 7 yrs now. We were happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn't even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the Internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr Great can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he did a spell for me. Two days later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Great . If you need a spell caster that can cast a spell that truly works, I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you. This is his E-mail:

      infinitylovespell@gmail.com or infinitylovespell@yahoo.com

      WhatsApp +2348118829899

      website http://infinitylovespell.website2.me/






      My husband and I have been married for about 7 yrs now. We were happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn't even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the Internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr Great can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he did a spell for me. Two days later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Great . If you need a spell caster that can cast a spell that truly works, I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you. This is his E-mail:

      infinitylovespell@gmail.com or infinitylovespell@yahoo.com

      WhatsApp +2348118829899

      website http://infinitylovespell.website2.me/

      Delete
  2. "We're hard-wired to believe that They're All Just Alike! "

    I'd be more impressed by The Other if Beto had heard folks at a Trump Rally pitch in to help those kids in Mississippi.

    When someone proclaims that he is an asshole, by wearing a red hat that means he endorses every foul effort and statement of Trump's awful administration, it is fair to take him at this word and assume that he is a major fuck.

    The people Beto describes were in church and they were being reminded of their duty to humanity by a respected pastor. What is happening at a Trump rally? Folks are being given permission to engage in hate, greed, and they are being released from shame, not shamed by their lack of caring for their brothers and sisters on earth.

    If people do not fall into categories, as Somerby suggests they do not, then they are easily led in whatever direction the wind is blowing at any particular moment. They have no character and are formless in their morality and there is no hope for the world because it is in the interest of bad people to lead us to bad places.

    Which is it, Somerby? Somerby is plainly trying to lead us away from condemning the evil that some men do, so that they can continue doing it unfettered by the nuisance of another election. Somerby is as bad as the people Democrats routinely condemn, because he condones the things The Others do, from their red hats to their mass shootings, because you can't approve of one without saying yes to everything else, and The Other (and Somerby) do say yes.

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  3. Blah, blah, blah, said Candidate O'Rourke, and now he's the Bob's hero.

    Politics, dear Bob, is not about saying nice things. It's about economics. Pursing economic interests of one or several allied groups, and, along the way, defeating the opposition.

    What particular words to say while pursuing your objectives, is a matter of tactics. IOW, they utter whatever words help them achieve their objectives.

    Anyhow, the globalist establishment will soon decide (if they haven't yet)) which particular clown the DNC, self-described private corporation, should nominate. You've got no say in it, dear Bob, so relax.

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    1. No, he's not Somerby's hero because he is too young and inexperienced. He is Somerby's stick to beat the other candidates (and us) with.

      You can't tell the players without a program. (Sorry, you won't understand this reference, being from Moscow and all.)

      Delete
    2. Establishment ass kissers, like Trump and Mao, will call Warren "Pocahontas" because she has the temerity to call for consumer protections from the thugs in the corporate boardrooms.
      The native American part means nothing to them.

      Delete
  4. "We're hard-wired to think, and say, that Those People are all just alike. "

    The category of "Those People" is formed by placing those who are alike all in one group.

    To say we are hard-wired to do this simply means that people form categories as a matter of everyday thinking. But complaining that the people who have been placed into a category with one-another because they are alike, happen to actually be all alike, is a tautology.

    Wasn't Somerby taught to avoid those in his philosophy classes?

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  5. "During Antonia's first year in this new, very difficult country, her despairing father takes his own life."

    I suspect the Clintons.

    Once again, Somerby borrows a quote from some classic source and then distorts it to fit his own agenda, instead of respecting what the author was communicating.

    Antonia's grandfather is asking for forgiveness because her father had committed suicide. People who did that were thought to have sinned against God and were treated harshly. They were not permitted any church rites, were buried in non-consecrated ground (at a crossroad traditionally). They and their family were disrespected, shunned, not included in the community. They were treated as if the suicide were contagious. Grandfather is asking for better treatment for the remaining family, for mercy from the harshness a suicide death might bring on the family.

    Somerby's out of context reading of his plea is inappropriate and disrespectful of the author. He needs to shut the book right now and stop imposing his own meanings on events that need to be seen in their own context.

    Life was very hard in the middle ages. It was hard for peasants in Bohemia in the 1800s too. If people were permitted to commit suicide whenever things were too hard, the fabric of society would unravel. If a person was told that they would forfeit all future promise of heaven and better things in an afterlife, if they were promised by example that their family would suffer greatly if they were abandoned by death, it might serve as a deterrent to people whose lives were often unimaginably bleak. That's the pragmatic reason for such church teachings and social practices. The grandfather absolves the community of guilt and asks God to forgive those who were remiss in the past as a plea to be helpful and compassionate to the remaining family in the future.

    It should also be said that the larger community didn't pick on Antonia's father or her family. Her father was prone to depression and he missed his social life in Bohemia, and he didn't share his wife's goals or take any comfort from her attitudes. He was cut off from sources of interest and pleasure in life and miserable in their circumstances. He didn't die because anyone in the community was mean to him.

    So this is a spectacularly inappropriate quote and just doesn't support anything Somerby is saying.

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    1. Man, you a idiot.

      Delete
    2. Do they have mirrors where you're from, dumbfuck?

      Delete
    3. By "dumbfuck" I meant 11:46.

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    4. @4:46A, Thanks for clarifying @4:57A because I had this image of you talking into a mirror, Travis Bickle like, saying, ""You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me, dumbfuck? Then who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you're talking to?"

      Delete
  6. Hey Bob, dear, would you address the M.O. of your favorite zombie "news" organization, please. As outlined here:
    New York Times chief outlines coverage shift: From Trump-Russia to Trump racism.

    Would you categorize it as 'crazy', 'crackpot', 'some sort of mentally ill', 'sociopath', or merely not 'not high'?

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    1. Mao,
      You and DinC are lying sacks of shit.
      Enjoy

      Delete
  7. King’s op-Ed is called “Don’t waste your breath trying to convince Trump supporters he’s repugnant”.

    It is an interesting problem. Trump, who seems objectively repugnant to “us”, is enthusiastically cheered at his rallies. All of his worst traits and his horrible hateful speech meet with approval from those crowds. How do you convince those cheering masses that he is “repugnant”? King suggests, and it is hard to disagree, that it isn’t possible, based upon all of the evidence we have.

    I can imagine a similar op-Ed, penned by B Somerby, entitled “Don’t waste your breath trying to convince Trump supporters he’s mentally ill.” Of course, the word “repugnant” could just as easily be replaced with “sociopathic”, a favorite word of Somerby’s he uses to describe Trump, and it’s hard to see how the op-Ed would be any different.

    It should also be noted that Somerby says “Those 63 million are all just alike”, implying that King is talking about every single person who voted for Trump, whereas King restricts himself to “Trump’s loyal base of supporters”, which aligns approximately with his rally attendees, perhaps, but not the entire universe of 63 million.

    There is a further consideration. If a demagogic leader becomes so repugnant (think Hitler) that he cannot in good faith be supported by right-thinking people, then it is nearly impossible at that point to sympathize with his followers. Perhaps we aren’t there yet with Trump, but people can in good faith feel that way.

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    1. Thank you for saying this! I feel that way now, and not because I hate "The Other," but because I abhor what Trump, his appointees and the Republican party is doing. I do not understand why he has any followers at all. Their shared humanity isn't a good enough reason to look away from what they are doing.

      Delete
    2. @4:10 and @3:47 I agree with @3:47 that Trump is repugnant, but he is doing an excellent job. Trump and his appointees are making life better for all American, particularly for the underclass. Wars are winding down. Average wages are finally increasing faster than inflation. Near-record low unemployment. Millions lifted out of poverty. One doesn't need to be Hitler to appreciate these things.

      Delete
    3. Don't sleep on getting yourself a new hat, and pretending you've never been a Republican, David.

      Delete
    4. David is willing to tolerate an extraordinary amount of repugnance as long as on balance with putter along at 2% growth, double the national deficit and create continual wild instability in the stock market, spend 3 years working tirelessly to take away health insurance from 20 million Americans, abscond funds from military families to pay for an insane "wall" that Mexico was going to pay for, completely fuck up any infrastructure bipartisan budget deal because he's a fucking lunatic child, and bring this country to the brink of civil war.

      Of course any old off the shelf mentally stable republican would have happily passed a massive wet kiss tax cut for the rich based on false premises. So why do we have to endure a repugnant Acting President, who has now spent nearly a third of his time in office playing golf at his resorts? David will have to explain that.

      Delete
    5. Hitler got the trains running on time, so any criticism of him was just nitpicking.

      Delete
    6. "A mounting number of voter polls show that, despite shrill denunciations of the President by the Democrats for his alleged racism, Trump is enjoying a dramatic increase in his approval ratings among minorities... The trend began showing up in surveys early this year and appears to be gaining momentum."

      Trump-haters can pretend that he's a bigot, but blacks and Hispanics can see for themselves that their lives are getting better.

      Delete
    7. Except in shithole rat-infested cities like Baltimore, right David, you fucking lying sack of shit.

      Delete
  8. Enforcement of immigration law is a difficult moral question. On the one hand, we all feel sympathy for these people. OTOH laws passed by your legislators elected by all of you demand that the President expel illegal immigrants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laws demand that immigrants be treated humanely no matter what their status. Laws demand that those seeking asylum be allowed to do so. Trump has not been following the law. That's why he keeps losing so many court cases involving immigrants.

      Delete
    2. Fuck you, David, you treasonous bastard.

      If Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, wants to expel undocumented workers, he needs to start with his own goddam properties, you wretched creature.

      ‘If you’re a good worker, papers don’t matter’: How a Trump construction crew has relied on immigrants without legal status

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/if-youre-a-good-worker-papers-dont-matter-how-a-trump-construction-crew-has-relied-on-immigrants-without-legal-status/2019/08/09/cf59014a-b3ab-11e9-8e94-71a35969e4d8_story.html

      Delete
    3. mm - you have provided a quote without including who you are quoting. I don't subscribe to WaPo, so I am unable find the answer.

      Delete
    4. David, you scum sucking dishonest piece of shit. Are you seriously contesting the documented history of Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, using undocumented workers in his businesses and on his properties?

      Suck on this one, you phony lying bastard.


      In a 21-page finding, Judge Preska wrote that “the Trump Parties have failed to identify any interests that can overcome the common law and First Amendment presumptions of access to the four documents at issue.”

      On the campaign trail and as president, Mr. Trump has made curbing immigration one of his top priorities, seeking to close the borders to people from certain Muslim-majority countries and to deport immigrants who are here illegally. The settlement serves as a reminder that as an employer he relied on illegal immigrants to get a dangerous and dirty job done.

      ....

      The documents show that Mr. Trump paid a total of $1.375 million to settle the case, known as Hardy v. Kaszycki, with $500,000 of it going to a union benefits fund and the rest to pay lawyers’ fees and expenses. According to the documents, one of the union lawyers involved asked the judge to ensure “prompt payment” from Mr. Trump, suggesting “within two weeks after the settlement date.”


      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/27/nyregion/trump-tower-illegal-immigrant-workers-union-settlement.html


      Go fuck yourself, you lying whore. You're interested in the quote but are "unable" to find the quote? Is that right, you lying sack of shit? Google it, fuck face.

      President Trump “doesn’t want undocumented people in the country,” said Jorge Castro, an Ecuadorian immigrant without legal status who left the company last spring after nine years. “But at his properties, he still has them.” He added: “If you’re a good worker, papers don’t matter.”

      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/08/trump-organization-undocumented-workers

      On Friday, the Washington Post published a report about how President Donald Trump relies on an itinerant construction crew that includes undocumented immigrants to work on many of his resort properties.

      The Post spoke with two former employees of the construction crew that operates under Trump’s company, Mobile Payroll Construction LLC, and performs repairs and small construction jobs on Trump properties.

      “If you’re a good worker, papers don’t matter,” said Jorge Castro, an Ecuadoran immigrant who works at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., said.


      How about a quote from young Eric Trump, related to Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President.

      This is not the first time undocumented Trump employees have come forward. Earlier reports in December 2018 prompted Eric Trump to respond saying that the corporation would begin using E-Verify to confirm employees’ legal status “on all of our properties as soon as possible.” And, after an audit of all employees, the organization said it fired at least 18 people. But the construction crew appears not to have been touched by those changes. And while Mobile Payroll Construction LLC claims to use the E-Verify program, its name does not appear in the E-Verify database as of July 1.

      Go the fuck away, David, you are not wanted in polite society. Enjoy your ride into eternity with your head firmly planted up DJT's fat corrupt lying ass.

      Delete
    5. Thanks, mm, for explaining that the source of the quote is Jorge Castro, an Ecuadorian immigrant without legal status who left the company last spring after nine years.

      Delete
    6. No problem, troll boy.

      Delete
    7. mm,
      If Trump wasn't giving David the bigotry he craves, I could see David having mild concern about what you posted here.

      Delete
  9. 'When we liberals loathe The Others en masse'

    What Somerby clearly means here is that 'We Trumptards', since Somerby is a clear Trumptard, his sole goal in life to attack liberals and defend Trump, Roy Moore and others.

    One could call him a 'useful idiot' for Trump, but he lacks the audience to be truly useful, so he is better characterized as a 'useless idiot'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You lack the capacity for comprehension.

      Delete
    2. I can comprehend that Somerby ignores right wing media, and spends his time defending the likes of Roy Moore and DJT. And attacking liberals.

      Therefore Somerby is a Trumpanzee, a 'useless idiot' for Trump.

      Delete
    3. Bob never defended Roy Moore.

      All he did was point out that the media was seriously misstating the allegations, and that this Moore-like behavior was quite common back then-- if not actively encouraged at the time by the girls involved?

      Don't think so? Get a time machine and go back to that period.

      Delete
    4. Somerby quibbled about the more normal behavior as if that were all that Moore had done, but he also was accused of this stuff:

      1. Attempted rape of a girl who he promised to give a ride to.
      2. Rolling around on a blanket with a 14 yo while both of them were in their underwear.
      3. Using his authority as Asst DA to pull a girl out of her high school class because he wanted to ask her on a date and she had avoided him.
      4. Stalking 14 year olds at the local mall to the point where they asked security to help them evade him.

      This stuff isn't so common and was definitely not actively encouraged. His DA's office colleagues considered his behavior abnormal at the time.

      Somerby tried to whitewash Moore by focusing only on his activities with those girls were of age, the 18 year olds. But they weren't the only girls making accusations. His troubling behavior was with the 14 year olds and Somerby pretends they didn't exist.

      That's why we say Somerby defended Roy Moore.

      Delete
  10. There is a significant, and growing, number amongst the “63 million” who are outraged or disgusted with Trump. The 2018 midterms are evidence of that, in which the GOP suffered serious losses in the suburbs, traditionally Republican strongholds. These types of voters, and not Trump’s hardcore base, are the most likely to be gettable by Democrats. So, Democratic outreach to these voters is a reasonable strategy.

    But where Somerby gets it wrong is to act as though pointing out Trump’s racism and his racist policies is a bad thing. If a voter is told “a vote for Trump is a vote for racism”, which is a true statement, then that should give that “gettable” voter pause. Why would decent people support racism?

    Apparently, Somerby would rather pretend there is no racism at work in Trump’s rhetoric or his policies for fear of offending Trump’s voters. But only his most hardcore voters will be unmoved by an appeal to their conscience which says, truthfully, that “a vote for Trump is a vote for racism.”

    Of course there are other arguments against Trump, including his baroque lying and, yes, his mental instability, and these arguments are also being made and should have the same effect on the aforementioned gettable voters. They all point to his unfitness for office.

    And it makes no sense to temporize about Trump’s policies, such as his border policy, or his violations of the public trust, such as his refusal to submit to Congressional oversight. Once you entertain the possibility that these are not driven by hatred, racism, xenophobia, demagoguery, paranoia and arrogance, but rather are simply normal differences of opinion on a traditional spectrum of beliefs, then you legitimize all of Trump’s horribleness.

    ReplyDelete

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    ReplyDelete
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    https://www.mjfortexas.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Remember when Somerby was supporting Roseanne Barr because he met her once and she was nice to him?

    Biden says he thinks Mike Pence and Dick Cheney are nice guys. He says Dick Cheney was helpful to him when he moved into the VP's residence, so he thinks Cheney is a good guy.

    This is not much different than Trump liking Kim Jong Un or Mohammed bin Salman because they are nice to him.

    We need a president who will assess these men by their deeds, not their personal demeanor. Cheney committed war crimes. He has forfeited any right to be called a nice person. A president must treat these adversaries with politeness and civility but if he mistakes that for liking a good person, something is wrong with that person's fitness for the job.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Biden said: "“There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there. I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but the truth of the matter is, every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me. Because they know I respect the other team.”

    There are many Democrats who were frustrated with Obama's inability to get things done, his compromise before any compromise was demanded of him, his inability to stand up to Republicans. Biden is promising more of the same. It is not enough to simply put a Democrat into office if he or she will not use the power of that office to effect meaningful change. Biden's promise to "make nice" with Republicans is NOT what this country needs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LINK

      QUOTE
      ...“I wanted to go over the cliff,” said Reid, the Senate majority leader at the time. “I thought that would have been the best thing to do because the conversation would not have been about raising taxes, which it became, it would have been about lowering taxes.”

      In other words, let all the rates go up, and then bargain with Republicans to reduce taxes just for the middle class and the poor. Then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell similarly knew the difficult position going over the cliff would put him in, and in preliminary talks with Reid, he agreed to let rates on people making more than $250,000 per year go back up, if to slightly lower levels to pre-Bush. (McConnell aides would later say that McConnell had not firmly conceded anything, and that negotiations weren’t finalized.)

      McConnell had a strong sense that Reid intended to go over the cliff and put Republicans up against a wall. Told that Reid had since confirmed that he indeed wanted to go over, a Republican operative said he found the admission unsurprising. “That’s consistent with his body language at the time,” said the operative, who wasn’t authorized to talk on the record about the negotiations. “He knew he could blame it successfully on the hard right in the Republican Party. Negotiations had reached an impasse. It wasn’t just spin, Reid was ready to go over.”

      Reid felt like he had successfully pushed McConnell to the brink, buoyed by House Speaker John Boehner’s inability to get his unruly conference to agree to anything. It was now Sunday, December 30, and Democrats only had to hold out until Tuesday to find themselves in a dramatically improved political position, as the dawning of the new year would mean the tax cuts expired and automatically reverted to pre-Bush levels. At that point, it would be Republicans left pleading for rate cuts.

      In desperation, McConnell reached out directly to Biden, calling him on the phone and explaining that Reid was refusing to be reasonable. Over the course of the day, McConnell and Biden struck a deal. “Biden gave Republicans everything they wanted in exchange for fixing the fiscal cliff problem,” the GOP operative recalled.

      Biden, who served in the Senate from 1973 to 2009, and as vice president from 2009 until 2017, is now locked in his third Democratic primary contest for the presidential nomination. “The reason he has such good relationships with Republicans in the Senate is he never hesitates to put aside the highest priorities of his base in the interests of compromise,” the Republican operative said....
      END QUOTE

      Delete
  15. I wonder if someone could explain how to take seriously, someone who believes Obama allowed millions of illegal immigrants voted in California in 2016? How do you talk to someone who believes the Clintons are murderers? How do you convince a Trump supporter, that Trump sexually assaulted women, etc. I could go on. So what would convince these people not to support Trump? Certainly not facts, logic, and reason. So excuse me if I look down on people who are factually challenged, I cannot respect these people!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Somerby fails to distinguish between relations between people on the personal level and the abstract.

    When Americans travel in countries that revile America, those American tourists are invariably treated with personal warmth and friendliness. People in those other countries do not blame individual Americans for the deeds or failings of their country.

    Similarly, people tend to be nice to members of groups they may despise. They may disapprove of gay people in general but treat a gay friend with kindness. That doesn't mean there is any acceptance for LGBTQ people in general, just that they are nice to others on a personal level.

    Somerby doesn't need to lecture Democrats about being nice on the personal level, as Widow Steavens was to Antonia and Cheney was to Biden. That seems to be how people are built. But Somerby wants to extend interpersonal acceptance to the abstract level and he urges acceptance of characteristics of other people that are abhorrent. That just isn't going to happen because it requires a suspension of important values.

    Antonia was beautiful, friendly, expressive, hard working and capable. What was not to like? It took no special virtue for Widow Steavens to be nice to her. It is when people define others as subhuman that they become unworthy of civility and can be mistreated with impunity.

    The danger is not in defining people as The Other. It is in defining other people as less than human and using eliminationist language to talk about them, as Trump does routinely with immigrants and those he scapegoats. That's when it becomes likely that people who might otherwise be friendly become monsters who can ignore the suffering of children and beat up protesters and otherwise mistreat others in the name of some cause (e.g., MAGA).

    So Somerby is railing against the wrong thing. Democrats are not calling for Trump supporters to be expelled from the country, put in camps, fired from jobs, etc. We are not persecuting them in real life. The lecture needs to go the other direction and it needs to talk about how immigrants are being treated by those Others. Because they are the ones who need to change how they treat other people, not Democrats or liberals or progressives.

    But this seems to be another effort to turn the strength of our party into a weakness, to pretend that Democrats are intolerant, when that is a defining characteristic of the right. And once again, Somerby is doing the right's work for it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. If we are going to vote for someone really old for President, I would rather vote for Al Gore, or Hillary, or even Bill Clinton again. These are people with a proven track record of doing good things for our country.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
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