SNAPSHOTS OF A CULTURE: Candidate Warren delivers the snark!


Ruth Marcus delivers a warning:
Over the past four-day weekend, we read Chanel Miller's new book, Know My Name: A Memoir.

Last Sunday, Jennifer Weiner's review of the book appeared in the New York Times' Book Review section. Weiner describes Know My Name as “a beautifully written, powerful, important story” which "marks the debut of a gifted young writer."

We aren't here to say that those judgments are wrong. Miller plainly is a writer, though we see remarkable flaws in her approach which Weiner and others move past.

In the larger sense, we also think that Miller's book, and Weiner's review, offer snapshots of a deeply disordered tribal culture—a tribal culture which helped allow Donald J. Trump to end up where he is.

Miller's book involves so many markers of that culture that a commentator will hardly know where to begin. Next week, we'll attempt to offer some reactions to the various things Miller says in her book, and to the various things she omits.

The culture on display in Miller's book is, in fact, a tribal culture which exists at a time of "cultural revolution." In our view, this tribal culture has been, and remains, deeply, destructively flawed.

We'll wrestle with the multitudes in Miller's book next week. In the next few days, we'll wrestle with a few other snapshots from our current tribal culture.

We start today with a warning from Ruth Marcus.

Marcus delivers her warning in a column in this morning's Washington Post. The column discusses a quip delivered by Candidate Warren at CNN’s forum on LGBTQ issues last week.

Uh-oh! Annie Linskey described the quip in this unusual front-page report in last Saturday's Washington Post. Below, Marcus offers her summary at the start of this morning's column:
MARCUS (10/16/19): Elizabeth Warren had a good line, a zinger, deftly delivered.

How would she respond, Warren was asked at CNN’s forum on LGBTQ issues, to a voter who told her, “I’m old-fashioned, and my faith teaches me that marriage is between one man and one woman”?

The Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate couldn’t resist the opportunity for a double dig.
“Well, I’m going to assume it’s a guy who said that,” she began, giving the audience the chance to snicker along about the evident cluelessness of the male gender. “And I’m going to say, ‘Then just marry one woman—I’m cool with that.’”

Warren shrugged, as if to say, no biggie, live and let live. The audience whooped with delight. Warren shrugged again
. Then she went in for the easy kill. “Assuming,” she said, “you can find one.” She turned, clapped along with the audience, nodded in evident satisfaction, put palms up as if to say, what is wrong with people who just don’t get it?
What's wrong with people who just don't get it? We used to ask that question ourselves! Then, a gang of anthropologists began to help us out.

At any rate, Marcus goes on to describe Warren's "double dig" as an example of "bad politics" reminiscent of past bungles by Candidates Obama and Clinton. But "it's something worse than that," Marcus writes. "It reflects an attitude of intolerance and disrespect toward people of faith."

For us, the apparent bad politics of Warren's presentation is bad enough all by itself. This presentation strikes us as the latest way our routinely unimpressive tribe goes about the business of alienating American voters and helping put Trump where he is.

In our view, Warren's presentation was dumb in various ways. For starters, it suggests that only men oppose marriage equality, an assumption which is ginormously bogus.

It ignores the fact that older people are most likely to oppose marriage equality—and older people are the group which is most likely to vote! Beyond that, it ignores the fact that African-Americans have been more likely to oppose marriage equality than other demographic groups—and neither Warren, nor any other Democrat, can afford to alienate black voters as next year's election draws on.

Donald J. Trump is behaving so crazily that he may make his own political survival impossible. But that possibility remains undetermined, and it sometimes seems that Warren will be doing everything she can to "keep hope alive" in this crazy man's camp.

Please understand—in mocking those who don't support marriage equality, Warren is mocking voters who hold the position our own infallible tribal stars held ten minutes ago.

As of Campaign 2012, President Obama opposed marriage equality, as did Secretary of State Clinton. Whether by plan or by happenstance, Vice President Biden broke the logjam surrounding the issue, and our infallible tribe's infallible leaders began to bring themselves in line with the new position.

That was then, and this is now. Just seven years later, people like Warren parade about, mocking the troglodytes who still hold the previous Obama/Clinton position.

Needless to say, Warren herself has always been morally pure. In her original news report, Linskey reported this further exchange:
LINSKEY (10/12/19): Warren’s staff argued that the comments will not hurt her standing. They pointed to the second, less viral portion of her answer.

These additional remarks came after CNN host Chris Cuomo pressed her on whether, in her earlier years as an Oklahoma Republican, she had ever opposed same-sex marriage. She said her position has been consistent, citing her religion.

“It is about the worth of every human being,” Warren said. “The hatefulness frankly always really shocked me, especially for people of faith, because I think the whole foundation is the worth of every single human being.”
Frankly, Warren was always really shocked by the hatefulness of people like President Obama. No doubt she grabbed herself a beer whenever he stated his view.

Just this once, we'll be honest. We like the overall arch of Warren's politics, are less impressed with many of her instincts as a politician.

At times of moral panic and cultural revolution, tribes like ours are strongly inclined to blow past all such matters of nuance. We're strongly inclined to create moral fables which separate the Good People, people like us, from the Very Bad. We're strongly inclined to dismiss The Others, propping up the moral self-assessments of Determined Losers Like Us.

For more than thirty years, our thoroughly unimpressive tribe has slumbered, slept, burbled and snored as our various interests and values were thrown under various buses. We aren't very smart and we aren't real alert. We've rarely missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity during those long, gong-show years.

Despite these facts, we're deeply invested in our belief in our unsurpassed brilliance and moral greatness. Trump is trying hard to lose. We often seem amazingly eager to deny him his shot at this pleasure.

Coming: The New York Times gets letters


  1. For once, TDH says something sensible.

  2. Somerby doesn't understand Warren's "dig" because he doesn't understand the problems of women in our society.

    He says: "In our view, Warren's presentation was dumb in various ways. For starters, it suggests that only men oppose marriage equality, an assumption which is ginormously bogus."

    No, the remark as described by Somerby suggests that only men are religious leaders, translating traditional religious views for women. Most "traditional" churches are headed by men, as have been most religions going back for millenia. That is what Warren means when she says she is going to assume that this person's religious leader is male.

    Beyond that, Warren is "suggesting" that people who are uncomfortable with gay marriage because of their traditional religious views, let others live according to their own beliefs and not impose their traditional religious views on other people. That is the meaning of "live and let live."

    Somerby says outright that Warren's remark was politically stupid, as does Marcus. It may be "politically" stupid, but it is morally the right thing to say, and it conforms with decisions of the Supreme Court and thus is legally correct as well. I am pleased that Warren was willing to take such a stand in strong terms, as are perhaps many other men and women who do not hold "traditional" religious views and who expect our government to stand up for the rights of all citizens.

    Marcus is wrong that our politicians should kowtow to those who wish to oppress sexual minorities in our country by prohibiting the things the traditional religions oppose. That would make us like Gilead, not a country that offers religious freedom to all.

    No one is suggesting that the traditionally religious must embrace gay marriage if they do not believe in it. Warren suggests that she will not oppress gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and gender non-normative people in order to get votes. Good for her!

    Meanwhile, Somerby doesn't understand Warren and distorts her "quip" in order to put forth his blighted views about women. He implies that if Warren supports the rights of all people, she is repudiating Obama (who didn't walk on water with this issue). He is being an ass.

    1. I respectfully disagree with your first point. I re-read warrens' comment after reading your comment and I think it's a stretch to assume that she was referring to the hypothetical voter's religious leader and not directly to the hypothetical voter, who's gender was not mentioned.

  3. "Despite these facts, we're deeply invested in our belief in our unsurpassed brilliance and moral greatness."

    Whenever ever Somerby says this, he is accusing liberals of "virtue signaling" instead of holding sincere views. That is just another right wing meme that Somerby has eagerly embraced. It stinks.

  4. Jeez, Bob. Talk about "behaving crazily".

    Denouncing your zombie cult's hateful culture wars, while repeating five times the bullshit zombie battle cry "marriage equality"? The slogan that exemplifies just that, your zombie cult's hateful warfare?

    It's getting hard to avoid the conclusion that you might be some sort of mentally ill, dear Bob...

  5. "Marcus writes. "It reflects an attitude of intolerance and disrespect toward people of faith."

    When people of faith are trying to impose their views on others, they are the ones who are showing intolerance and disrespect toward others, not the people who oppose such efforts.

    The religious right has been trying to prohibit gays from marrying their loved ones. No one has been trying to force those with so-called traditional religious views to marry gay spouses. THAT was Warren's point.

    Somerby apparently thinks Warren should have not made a joke at this person's expense. But her "quip" illustrated the problem with such complaints -- that it is the religiously intolerant traditionalists who have been trying to force others into their views, and not vice versa, since no one has objected to them continuing their religiously traditional practices (minus the stonings).

    Somerby should understand this and not play dumb the way he does today, if he were any kind of liberal. But he is not. He joins sides with the right, who pretends to believe that inability to persecute others is an interference with traditional religious practice.

    And while we are at is, coopting the term "traditional" to refer to repressive religion is a misnomer too. There are many churches that practice traditional beliefs in ways that do not and have never put gays in jail or otherwise ostracized, shunned or tried to "cure" those who are gay. These too are "traditional" churches with "traditional" beliefs according to their own faiths. Calling the oppressive churches "traditional" legitimizes practices that never should have been happening.

    Where is the Dimmesdale label when Somerby needs it? It turns out Somerby is the Dimmesdale on this one (although he never used that name correctly, as it is portrayed in the novel, since Dimmesdale is the father of Hester's child and not one of the zealots who made her life miserable).

  6. Democrats are hardly the party of "live and let live". E.g., here are some examples of LALL policies that Democrats would strongly oppose.

    "If you don't want to serve gays in your business, then don't serve gays. but leave me alone when I do discriminate."

    "If you don't like guns, don't own one, but don't interfere with my gun ownership."

    "If you like recycling, then go ahead and recycle, but don't force me to recycle."

    "If you want special pronouns based on sexual preference, go ahead and use those pronouns, but don't tell me what words I need to use."

    1. "If you want to use your own money to defend yourself, go right ahead, but don't force me to spend on your military."

    2. "If you like private property, go right ahead and own it, but don't force to to accept that the property is yours".
      Hey, this is fun! We can go on like that forever!
      David -- you're all over the map with your examples:
      1. Discrimination. If you substitute blacks or Jews or Muslims or Christians, for that matter, then the answer becomes obvious. Yes, there are arguments about what should constitute a protected class. But as a society, we decide that it's not good to discriminate on certain characteristics.
      2. Guns are dangerous weapons that kill people. Gar marriage typically doesn't. Clearly. Clearly, a society has to regulate what weapons its citizenry can possess.
      3. No one is forced tor recycle. Plainly, there are no laws forcing people to recycle.
      4. Same as (3).
      Do you see how your arguments are weirdly twisted to create some alternate reality?

    3. "then the answer becomes obvious"

      Meh. I don't think so, dembot. As far as I know, Title II remains controversial.

      "Clearly, a society has to regulate what weapons its citizenry can possess."

      The society regulates all kinds non-lethal activities, while leaving many dangerous objects perfectly legal and readily available.

      So, David's objections are perfectly sensible, while your dembottery is, as usual, a pure fallacy, I'm sorry to say.

    4. Civil rights, I am sure, are controversial in the white supremacist circles. However, the rest of the society -- dembots that they may be -- has squarely accepted non-discrimination in public accommodations.

      As far as you know, restrictions such as "No Dogs or Jews or Negroes Allowed" should be acceptable. The rest of humanity has moved on.
      PS: I am sure 13th amendment is also controversial in some circles.

    5. Yes, dembot, everyone who disagrees with your zombie cult is a doubleplusungood "white supremacist". That we know.

      But that's neither here nor there.

      Title II was enacted to rectify a very specific problem that existed in a specific place at a specific time. Once rectified, arguably "No Dogs or Jews or Negroes Allowed" on an occasional front door of a privately own store is not more unacceptable than "No Dogs or Jews or Negroes Allowed" on the front door of your private house.

      But hey, what am doing arguing with a dembot.

    6. Look who Somerby is making common cause with!

    7. Ilya - I am forced to recycle. It's the law in San Mateo Count.

      People in Canada are required by law to use certain pronouns. Jordan Peterson got into a big, big fracas over this issue. E.g., see


    8. David -- you're forced to recycle how? What city ordinance forces you to recycle? And some vague law in Canada that has to do with hate speech is non-consequential. Again, it's the price of living in a society.
      Again, just because you believe in private property, doesn't mean everyone does, yet you enjoy the protection of the government.

    9. Mao said: " Once rectified, arguably "No Dogs or Jews or Negroes Allowed" on an occasional front door of a privately own store is not more unacceptable than "No Dogs or Jews or Negroes Allowed" on the front door of your private house."
      If you are renting a room in your house, you're exempt from all non-discrimination laws. If you're running a public business, you are not. It's not an insignificant distinction that, again, most non-white supremacists understand; sure, there's a bat-guano insane libertarian contingent that believes that such things are solved by the free market. They are not. Nor do we want to put up with this as a society. It's the price you pay for living in society that protects your private property and does many other things on your behalf.

      PS: Mao, note how I am responding to your obtuse posts politely, without calling you names, you fucking ignorant dimwit with reasoning capacity of a gently-stewed rhubarb.

    10. Ilya,

      Mao is a self-described troll, who only wants your response, the more outraged the better. The only reasonable response to Mao is that of the anonymous commenter who says "mao mao *" and then calls Mao a jerk in Chinese.

    11. Ilya -- I didn't say that all these restrictions on LALL are bad or wrong. My point was that there are a great many of them. We lived in a LALL society 200+ years ago. We don't live in one today. And, it probably wouldn't work today.

      However, I do have strong feelings about discrimination against Jews. Being Jewish, I think it's wrong. However, I do not necessarily support laws against it. The insurance industry discriminated against Jews. But, Maurice Greenberg took a tiny company and hired a lot of Jews. AIG became the largest insurance company in the US. Other companies discovered that they were harming themselves by not hiring capable Jews. It's better to be hired because the company wants than than to be hired because the company is forced to do so.

    12. "Nor do we want to put up with this as a society."

      Dear dembot, I'm sorry if it upsets you, but nobody cares what you dembots do or don't want to put up with.

      Seriously, dembot. Everyone understands that you dembots dream of a wholly totalitarian dembot state, where everything said or done - and indeed every thought - would have to be approved and authorized by your zombie politburo.

      Tsk. Well, what can I tell you? Keep dreaming.

    13. ...and now back to David's excellent observation. Here's a quick look at some recent activities of liberal zombies on Airstrip One:

      "Earlier this year, a 38-year-old woman was arrested in front of her own children and locked up for 7 hours after referring to a transgender woman as a man online.

      A man was also interrogated for 30 minutes by police for liking a limerick on Twitter (he didn’t even write it) that made fun of transgender people.

      A Christian doctor in the UK was also fired from his government job earlier this summer after he refused to refer to a 6 foot bearded man as “Madam.”

      I don't know how to characterize this, other than: inmates are running the asylum.

      Liberal zombie cult is aggressively totalitarian. Consequently, Fake Indian's quip "...then just marry one woman—I’m cool with that" is just another dembot lie, I'm afraid...

    14. "Liberal zombie cult is aggressively totalitarian.

      Mao and I are getting six abortions today, just to troll the aggressively totalitarian Left.

    15. Deadrat -- True enough, but sometimes Mao shows some glimmers of sentience and then, being a parent to a teenager, I want to gently guide him. However, he always reverts to his trolling self.

    16. David -- Being a Jew myself, I have strong feelings about discrimination and persecution of....every minority group.

      So, 200 years ago, in the age of slavery, indentured servitude, extermination of the native population, we were in the golden age of LALL? I assume you mean this ironically, or tongue-in-cheek.

      You need to learn to differentiate between legitimate intrusion of government into an individual's behavior vs. ideological laws, based on religion or similar personal beliefs. Marriage being confined to one man and one woman is an example of the latter.

    17. "I have strong feelings about discrimination"

      Cool, dembot. In that case, as the fake Indian suggested: don't discriminate.

      And perhaps we should send a few homo- and trans-sexuals your way, for you to suck their dicks. Just as an opportunity to demonstrate your laudable commitment to non-discrimination.

    18. Fake Indian. Ha ha ha, get it?
      She wants to hold Mao and Trump's Establishment pals accountable for their felonies.

      Sure it's stupid and makes zero sense, but it's also the most clever thing ever spoken by a Conservative. No doubt.

    19. Ilya,

      Parent to a teenager? You're braver than I could ever be. I hope your familial efforts have more effect than your work with Mao.

  7. Awesome. Somerby, Marcus, and the rest of the Right-wing are upset because Warren wasn't being politically correct.

    Anyone who takes the whining from Right-wingers seriously is a gullible idiot, who deserves to be ripped-off by scams.

    1. Oh, I’d venture there were more than a few Democrats who thought it was a bad idea to potshot men and orthodox Christians/Jews/Muslims.

      Who considered it ill-advised if only out of recognition that some of this constituency might otherwise slither down to the polls and vote on you.

    2. I'm so glad Warren doesn't waste time worrying about pissing off men.

    3. 4:35pm, Along with my two brothers, I was raised by my widower father.

      Men are folks too.

    4. "Men are folks too."

      Folks, like treason, are in the eye of the beholder.

  8. Somerby doesn’t like Warren’s so-called snarky answer. He also doesn’t like her longer more detailed answer.

    Why doesn’t he like her longer more detailed answer? Because Obama once opposed gay marriage.


    Warren has her own beliefs. She has been a vocal critic of Obama and the Democrats in the past, particularly on economic issues. She shouldn’t have to filter her answers through some focus-group-tested lens of deference to all sides of the issue, nor does her answer need to acknowledge every contrary opinion ever held historically by Democrats, ex-Presidents or not. (By the way, nowadays Obama agrees with Warren on gay marriage. Was his original opposition merely tactical?)

    Ridicule can be a very effective way of dealing with a position that you find intolerable, and so can a clear unequivocal statement of one’s beliefs. Warren’s responses did both.

    Would you ask a candidate to be respectful of the belief that global warming is a Chinese hoax? Better to dismiss it as folly.

    A candidate ought to have clearly held and articulated beliefs, particularly on issues that they view as fundamental. Warren’s funny but cogent remarks are more likely to gain her respect than someone who gives some bloodless long-winded “I understand how you feel...” claptrap. Too much of that, and you risk diluting your own views and turning off your supporters.

    1. What is Warren's position on whether the earth is flat or not? I demand that she respect the views of us flat-earthers! Every time she says the word "globe," she pisses us off and we are getting tired of it.

  9. Somerby never talks about it (who knows why?), but Bernie, and to some extent Warren, often clearly and unequivocally attack rich people, and call for tax increases. Does Somerby think that that message, as opposed to Warren’s response about gay marriage, plays any better in the Land of Trump Voters?

  10. In order to fight for progressive causes, progressives need to fight unashamedly and forcefully to persuade all, or at least a good chunk, of those “Others” and win them to the cause. Bernie does that, and so does Warren. But Somerby seems to want the Democratic candidates to stay at the mealy-mouthed political center. He thinks they will lose without that. Possibly. But then with centrism comes a continuous abandonment of the left, because the center keeps moving rightward because of the increasing extremism of the GOP.

    1. You don't win votes by throwing parts of your constituency under the bus. In this case, it is not only LGBTQ people who would be abandoned but also women and liberal churches, who have embraced gay rights and feminism. All of these groups are more mobilized this year because of the jerk in the White House and the atrocities occurring daily, so they are unlikely to accept abandonment of their issues without making a big fuss, and I don't blame them.

      Somerby is no liberal. He keeps trying to shove Joe Biden down our throats because Trump's plan to discredit and investigate the Bidens won't work unless he is the nominee. So, Somerby is a good soldier working for the right and everything he says is suspect.

    2. 1:14

      Abandonment of what about the left? Moving rightward away from what policies and what values?

    3. Key aspects of centrism: (1) opposing Medicare for All because it is too expensive, (2) unwillingness to tax the rich to pay for legitimate common services and infrastructure, (3) avoidance of inclusion and support for progressives who have been targeted by the right (e.g., AOC, Omar, Pressley) and those who use the word Socialism to describe their views, (4) avoidance of support for abortion rights and feminist issues, (5) avoidance of social justice issues such as BLM, (6) reluctance to impeach Trump, desire to run out the clock on him instead.

  11. The whole exchange may have been planned, though I can’t imagine campaign personnel considering that exchange and not saying that it needed to be softened more than a little.

    1. “May have been”? You “can’t imagine?”

      Meanwhile, Trump’s “campaign personnel” amplify his every vile, coarse utterance.

      Dems have to be focus-grouped to death, any honest statement might upset some group of dimwits, but the GOP must never be hemmed in by any consideration of decency, honesty, or fairness.

      What utter bs.

    2. I think people react differently to a politician being caustic with the media, another politician, or some other public person, than with their being that toward an average joe.

      When I watched the footage, I thought the questioner was someone off the street, perhaps religious, and her response seemed inexplicably dismissive and disdainful.

    3. You “watched”, but did you pay attention? The event was an LGBTQ town hall. The questioner asked about a *hypothetical supporter* asking her a question.

      And why wouldn’t someone who finds discrimination offensive respond dismissively and disdainfully to someone who supports that discrimination? There really isn’t much of a middle ground here.

    4. If you’re saying that Warren must respond dismissively and disdainfully toward those who hold traditional views on marriage, or else be compromised in the eyes of her supporters, she has a tough road ahead.

    5. I don't see anything dismissive about telling someone who doesn't believe in gay marriage not to engage in it.

      The tragedy is that these hypothetical fundamentalist religious people have sons and daughters, aunts and uncles or perhaps even married relatives who are gay and cannot tell anyone because they would lose the "fellowship" of their own family -- I don't believe anyone's God wants that.

      There is tragedy here, not humor, but it doesn't come from anything Warren said. She essential said, in so many words, that she didn't intend to change her opinion to suit religious fundamentalists (or presumably anyone else).

      Remember that marriage equality is the law of this land. It should be a no-brainer that anyone running for public office must uphold this country's laws, whether religious dissenters like it or not. I think it is refreshing to hear that a politician will uphold the law, but I realize that idea might be foreign to the right.

    6. When Cecelia used the word "softened," I found myself wondering whether any male politician has had to soften his responses to anything. When a woman says something forcefully, does she make some people nervous? I think that is the root of Somerby's discomfort, not what she actually said, which seems not only unobjectionable, but not particularly original either. It seems to me that her strength of expression is what is being challenged, and that makes it a matter of sexism, akin to calling Hillary shrill and nagging. Women have earned the right to speak forcefully and I am happy to see Warren do it because people do want a strong leader, not a warm, sweet, fluffy leader.

    7. The difference is that I know a potshot when I hear it, no matter what leader is issuing it.

    8. I think we should all soften our responses a little, both men and women...political discourse in the country is in the gutter. I don't know much about him but I really like Buttag...whatever his name is... cause most of the time i have hear him he is often responding in a calm and respectful way even if he is disagreeing. after 4 years of trump it would be a welcome change...

    9. What profanity did Warren utter? What did she say that was remotely uncivil? She said that someone who was opposed to gay marriage shouldn't engage in it. It is almost a slogan within the gay community. By using their words, she signals not only support but also familiarity with gay culture and political issues.

      Someone who finds another person's culture offensive, "in the gutter," needs to rethink their own sense of what free speech and tolerance are about.

      I find it ridiculous that you cannot spell or look up the name of the gay candidate you say you like.

      Better trolling please.

    10. Of course Cecelia is going to support political correctness. She's a Right-winger, and political correctness is a tenet of their faith. I know this, because they accuse the Left of being too politically correct all the time.
      Every Right-wing accusation is a confession.

  12. Who knows? Democrats might get more votes if they take Marcus’s advice. But what did Marcus forget to note?

    Democrats have won the popular vote in four of the last five White House elections! In three of those elections, they won by fairly large margins. In 1992, 1996 and 2008, they won by six to eight points.

    Marcus thinks the Democrats should move back toward the “middle” in the hope of attracting more votes.

    Who knows? Maybe Democrats would get even more votes if they took Marcus’ advice—if they became more “centrist/moderate.”

    In our view, Marcus offers lousy advice. That said, her pitch is cued by a comical failure—a failure to note an obvious fact:

    Democrats have won the popular vote in four of the past five elections! Did this fact cross Marcus’ mind? How about the mind of her editor?

    (How times have changed.)


    1. Whoever the wins the nomination will then move back toward the middle.

    2. Which Somerby is right about Marcus? His 2012 incarnation, or his 2019 incarnation?

    3. That may be but that doesn't matter because we have an electoral need to play the game as it is, not as you would like it to be. one could argue that the electoral college is not appropriate, but at this point it is what it is...

    4. Sombery doesn't realize that she is just pandering to be crowd. Just like Hillary was when she made her deplorables comment. Just like all politicians do.

      No one should expect her to be straight with the people she wants to vote for her.

    5. The game doesn't include hacking into voter data bases in the key states lost to Trump, nor does it include hacking campaign emails and leaking them to the press, nor does it include permitting Russia to fund campaigns by laundering contributions through the NRA, nor does it include coordination between the Russians who hacked the Democrats and Trump's campaign to achieve maximum impact, nor does it include Russian infiltration of social media and saturation of certain target demographics to suppress votes for Clinton, nor does it include propagation of disinformation via social media to hurt Clinton, nor does it include pressuring Comey (by right-wing FBI agents in upstate New York) to release statements right before the election that would damage Clinton.

      None of this is how you play the game. None of it is how the game has been previously played. This is an unprecedented subversion of our electoral system perpetrated by a foreign enemy (Russia) in support of the least qualified candidate ever, who has since been a puppet of Russia and corrupted every agency, committing atrocities against immigrants and now against the Kurds.

      It is what it is, but it doesn't have to remain this way. Fortunately Democrats are taking back our nation.

    6. "None of this is how you play the game. None of it is how the game has been previously played"

      Umn. Yes it is how the game has and always has been and always will be played. What are you in 4th grade? Wake the f up.

    7. Bill Clinton interfered and disrupted the Russian election in 1996 and bragged about it! They even put it on the cover of Time magazine.

      This is a full-contact sport honey, this is the toughest game there is. It's not what they taught you in grade school.

    8. Spoken like a true sociopath with both Machiavellian and narcissistic tendencies -- in other words, troll.

      It may be that politics attracts such people too, but leadership shouldn't or we get the kind of trouble we find ourselves in.

    9. @3:35
      You do realize that Somerby, disagreeing with Marcus back in 2012, claimed that Democrats didn’t need to move to the center because they won the popular vote in 4 out of 5 elections, and this despite having lost the 2000 election in the electoral college, which is precisely what happened in 2016...

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  14. I suspect that both Obama and Clinton opposed marriage equality as a political necessity, since both depend on church constituencies. They needed the public to change before they could express different views. Warren is not in the same situation, since her "base" is liberal and expects her to take a strong stand in favor of civil rights, including those for LGBTQ people.

    But the problem here is that Somerby has chosen to beat up Warren using this stick, one that will not be consistent with liberal values. And, he calls liberals intolerant for not "respecting" the attitudes of the religious right, as if those attitudes were sacrosanct because they are supposedly grounded in religion and not prejudice.

    But what does respect mean? Warren didn't call them ignorant throwbacks to the dark ages or anything similarly demeaning. She merely suggested that they not marry a same-sex partner. That's all, and that is an eminently sensible suggestion to someone who seems to feel that they are being coerced into being tolerant, against their will.

    But intolerance is not part of any legitimate Bible teaching or church. It is historically the worst that religion has to offer and those who wish to engage in it need to study what has been done to hurt other people in the name of religion, and clean up their act. They are wrong and there is no reason for Warren to humor them just because she is a politician. This is what is meant by speaking truth, not just to power but also to bigotry and hate.

    1. But intolerance is not part of any legitimate Bible teaching or church.

      Intolerance is the basic message of both testaments and the Koran. It is also the long-standing foundational institutional practice of Christianity and Islam.

      It is historically the worst that religion has to offer

      But not much worse than the best that religion, at least in the west, has to offer.

      and those who wish to engage in it need to study what has been done to hurt other people in the name of religion, and clean up their act.

      There’s a lot to study. Atheism is the only way to “clean up” this act. Anything else is carrying a sign that reads “God hates fags” while muttering, “I don’t hate the sinner. That’s God’s job. I just hate the sin.”

    2. How could one quote Paradise Lost and advocate atheism?

      How could one stand being an atheist, the most banal of all the beliefs?

      Try mysticism or satanism. Rationality will drive you crazy.

    3. What do you think I’ve quoted from Paradise Lost? Are you under the impression that “Love the sinner; hate the sin” is Milton’s? Or do you think Milton wrote that God hates fags?

      But why couldn’t I quote Paradise Lost? I believe that Paradise Lost exists.

      And, Sparky. Atheism isn’t a belief; it’s a lack of belief, specifically in gods. And one “stands” by that refusal of faith-based claims by examining evidence. I recommend it to you.

      If rationality will drive you crazy, what will irrationality do?

      Mysticism, satanism, religion — all names for superstition.

    4. Irrationality will keep you sane. Man's insanity is heaven's sense.

      But it sounds like you feel atheism is serving you well.

      For me, it's like - who am I going to believe - Sam Harris or the Wu Tang Clan?

      Easy answer.

    5. Is it rational to take comments in blogpost's comment sections personally and angrily?

    6. Irrationality will keep you sane. Man's insanity is heaven's sense.

      How’s that workin’ for ya, Cap’n?

      But it sounds like you feel atheism is serving you well.

      Atheism is a lack of belief. It can’t “serve” anyone.

      For me, it's like - who am I going to believe - Sam Harris or the Wu Tang Clan?
      Easy answer.

      At least both parties exist.

    7. Is it rational to take comments in blogpost's comment sections personally and angrily?

      Absolutely. Just not this blog.


  15. But intolerance is not part of any legitimate Bible teaching or church. It is historically the worst that religion has to offer and those who wish to engage in it need to study what has been done to hurt other people in the name of religion, and clean up their act. They are wrong and there is no reason for Warren to humor them just because she is a politician. This is what is meant by speaking truth, not just to power but also to bigotry and hate.”

    Warren couldn’t have articulated those ideals without suggesting that they are sheerly the stuff of the flawed male psyche and not also the religious tenets of more perfect creatures [chicks]?

    1. Some people get it Cecelia, it's not what she said its how she said it that is alienating. the comments on here oftentimes just go to prove what somerby is writing about...

    2. The people who would be alienated by what she said or how she said it are not people who would ever consider voting for her. She is right to go after actual votes and not pander to people who will always dislike her.

    3. Jimmy Carter said:

      "The truth is that male religious leaders have had -- and still have -- an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world."

      Don't take my word for it. Warren is right to say what she did. Religious fundamentalists need to understand their role in the persecution of others worldwide. A free country, as we aspire to be, must ensure that religion is not permitted to persecute women and minorities in the name of faith.

    4. "But intolerance is not part of any legitimate Bible teaching or church."

      in the words of 4:48 PM above:
      "You're naive. Bye sucker!"

    5. Traditional Christian doctrine teaches that God is longsuffering, NOT “tolerant”.

      He will not stop trying to perfect us until such a time comes where he judges that we will never accept more of him and that his striving has become sheerly an infringement of our will.

    6. He will not stop trying to perfect us….

      Except that “traditional Christian doctrine” teaches that God is omniscient, so he already knows which of us will never accept him. So there’s no need for him to longsuffer, now is there?

    7. God didn't make a universe in his head. He made actual beings and actual matter that are outside of himself. Events happen. Actions take place. A history is generated to living witnesses.

    8. Cecelia,

      Your last three sentences are indisputable; your first three clauses are superstitious nonsense.

      But how do any of them bear on the conflict between our alleged free will and your God’s omniscience?

    9. "But how do any of them bear on the conflict between our alleged free will and your God’s omniscience?"

      Foreknowledge doesn't necessarily conflict with free will.

      God strives with me while knowing me. Knowing me better than I know myself. Knowing that in the end it will be for naught, and yet he does so because in order for my rebellion to be "real", the fact of it must move from God's omnipotent foreknowing into the revelation of my will via my action/decision.

    10. Cecelia,

      I enjoy reading your comments even when I disagree with your claims and conclusions. But reading the word salad of your last comment is like finding out that a friendly but casual acquaintance is an Herbalife distributor.

      Foreknowledge doesn't necessarily conflict with free will.

      The foreknowledge of your god stands in direct contradiction to free will. If your god knows the state you will occupy at some future point in spacetime, then you have no more choice to end up in a different state than you have of changing a past state. In fact, since your god is omniscient, he knows the path you will take to the endpoint and your state at every point along the path.

      Tell me how you choose a different outcome (or even a different path) from the one your god knows will obtain. Let me try an analogy:

      Your god has put you in a maze and told you to pick a “good” strategy or a “bad” strategy to find your way to one of two doors. He says one opens into a lit furnace; the other opens into an eden. Based on revelation or a book you’ve found on the floor of the maze, you decide to go with “right hand on the wall; turn right if you can, left if you must.” Sure enough, you eventually find yourself at a door. (Spoiler alert: it opens to oblivion.) But if you could have lifted yourself above the maze, you’d have known all along there was only the one door. Your god knew ahead of time the strategy you’d pick and thus what door you’d find, so he had need of only one. You only thought you were free to choose, but there never was and never could have been any choice.

      God strives with me while knowing me.

      Who talks like this? The answer is that today, nobody. You can check google’s ngram viewer if you don’t believe me. This archaic phrasing is from your holy book (Psalms, prominently) and you parrot it without understanding it. I’m guessing you mean that God fights at your side in the contentions of your life. But the Hebrew word that the translator chose “strive” to represent is רִיבָה (reevah) meaning to fight against, not fight alongside.

      (I don’t read Hebrew; I use interlinear translations and Hebrew-English lexicons.)

      Knowing me better than I know myself.

      I don’t know which is sillier, how low the bar is or how great are the powers which your god applies to hurdle it. We are notorious for not knowing ourselves. One half of our nervous system is beyond our conscious control, our unconscious brain lurks in our dreams just out of reach, and our memories are faulty. It’s amazing that any of us understand ourselves as well as we do. But your god knows everything, starting with the outcome of every quantum state of every particle in your body.

      (con't ->)

    11. (<- con't)

      Knowing that in the end it will be for naught, and yet he does so because in order for my rebellion to be "real”

      I know every word in that clause but I have no idea what it means, not least because of the scare quotes on the word real. Does that mean your rebellion is real or not really real? And if the end is for naught (and known to be from the start), what does it mean to rebel? Against what?

      the fact of it must move from God's omnipotent foreknowing into the revelation of my will via my action/decision.

      You must realize that these words convey no meaning in English. Fact of what? Facts don’t move, even in a metaphorical sense. Do you mean the realization of some facts? What is “revelation of my will”? Will isn’t something that reveals; it’s something that motivates or propels. Via your action? What is your action the conduit for? The movement from God’s foreknowing or the movement into your will? If you met someone who talked like this in any other context, you try to get them to start taking their meds again.

      Your only refuge that I can see is, “God is beyond human understanding.” Which leaves you to base your belief on personal revelation, the argument from authority of ancient texts, and faith.

      Tell me what could not be believed by faith.

      Tell me why your personal revelation is any more valid than anyone else’s. Say the person who tells you he has had a revelation from his god to kill everyone he meets tomorrow. That last, by the way, is attested to in your holy book. You just have to add “in battle” after the word meets.

    12. I’m happy to know that you enjoy my comments, because I get such a kick out of yours. I don’t preface posts with warnings about my not being a particularly lucid writer (or speller). Though you and Bob inspire me to try and be better, reader beware.

      I don’t mean to parrot Christian teachings as much as to relay them. I don’t assume that they are based on a foundation that you would regard as being intellectually compelling. I do assume you understand that I reckon this and that this is not that sort of discussion. I understand the huge assumption that prefaces my statements.

      God’s foreknowledge is not similar to clairvoyance and God does not operate in time. Every minute of past, present, and future is his “now”. God is lifted above that maze and we do operate under the constraints of his design of it, just as we do in all of the physical world, whether it is derived from God or from randomness. If there is only one door then that is the limit of our freedom (and it may reflect the “limit” of God’s freedom of design too, if there are to be any physical laws, just as such things effect architects.)

      God did not perceive our progress thru the maze as step-by-step on a timeline. It’s not plotted in such a way. Past, present, future are an eternal NOW with him. They are all in “real time” to his viewing. That is what we call his foreknowledge, because that is the limit of our dimension.

    13. I don’t mean to parrot Christian teachings as much as to relay them.

      Fair enough. I do that sometimes when discussing religious dogma I don’t hold to.

      God is lifted above that maze

      It is possible to consider spacetime as single entity called a manifold, which is a topological space with mathematical structures. (These structures allow us to define things like the distance between points in the manifold.) Mathematicians and physicists like to attach the names of various of their worthies to these manifolds. Minkowski, for instance. This can all be done without considering there’s some higher-order space in which a manifold is embedded, i.e., somewhere for an intelligent entity to inhabit and view anything.

      If there is only one door then that is the limit of our freedom

      So that means there is no free will?

      (and it may reflect the “limit” of God’s freedom of design too,

      Wait. So that means God is not omnipotent?

      if there are to be any physical laws, just as such things effect architects.)

      Physical laws aren’t things. They’re mathematical descriptions of the regularities we find in our investigations of the universe, i.e., they’re descriptive abstractions of human minds, not prescriptive diktats.

      (Affect architects? I can’t be sure.)

      They are all in “real time” to his [god’s] viewing.

      The scare quotes again. There is no “flow” of time in this view, so real time makes no sense here. I have no idea what the quoted real time could mean.

      And I have no idea why anyone would suspect that such a god exists or if he does, how he could be detected. Maybe it’s just me.

  16. Speaking of writers who are women, Circe, by Madeline Miller is luscious in its descriptions.

  17. From the Right-wing playbook which says Hillary is a phony, who will say anything to get elected, we bring you "Warren not pandering to religious extremists is a big mistake during election season."

    Listening to the whining of the Right is the biggest mistake any candidate can make.

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