THE OTHERIZATION RULES: "A spectacular display of racist signaling!"

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2021

"Republicans pounce on wedge issue:" In our own failing tribe's Blue Towns, we have our mandated Storyline.

We have our mandated Storyline—and we're sticking to it! If some people get otherized in the process, that's always been part of the rules.

In recent years, mandated Storyline has involved the racism of The Others. In this morning's Washington Post, our former and future pal, Karen Tumulty, might imaginably be perceived to be teaching Storyline well.

In her new opinion column, Tumulty was discussing the Virginia gubernatorial campaign. She focused on the strikingly clumsy statement about parental involvement made by the Democratic candidate.

 Eventually, she offered this:

TUMULTY (11/4/21): Public school curriculum, not normally an issue in gubernatorial politics, was gaining currency for some reasons that are legitimate and others that are less so. Parents have been understandably frustrated and worried about what the shutdowns that accompanied the coronavirus pandemic were doing to their children’s education. But these concerns have been rolled into battles in the culture war that are taking place and disrupting school board meetings across the country.

McAuliffe’s gaffe ignited a spectacular display of the demagoguery—and racist signaling—that has accompanied the right’s campaign against the phantom menace of critical race theory, an academic construct that is not even part of Virginia’s K-12 curriculum and is separate from laudable, overdue efforts to assure that students receive an honest and full picture of how race has factored in the country’s history.

According to Tumulty, Candidate McAuliffe's clumsy remark had "ignited a spectacular display of...racist signaling" on somebody's part.

That would almost sound like a serious charge, if it weren't so familiar a part of Standard Blue Storyline.

McAuliffe made his clumsy remark at the second candidate debate. That said, who engaged in the "spectacular display of racist signaling" which followed his clumsy remark?

Who engaged in that "spectacular display"—and in what did that spectacular display of "racist signaling" actually consist? Tumulty never makes any attempt to say. Such claims are so thoroughly standard now that they practically type themselves, with no questions asked.

Presumably, it would have been Candidate Youngkin who engaged in this spectacular racist signaling. We almost feel that we can remember the days when editors would have required a spectacularly aggressive claim of that type to be fleshed out—to be supported—by spectacularly convincing examples.

No editor made Tumulty do that. She never attempted to give examples of the "spectacular display of racist signaling" which supposedly followed McAuliffe's remark. 

Instead, Storyline prevailed again, with our old pal offering this:

TUMULTY (continuing directly): It also mattered that Youngkin, a wealthy former private equity executive, had the resources to amplify McAuliffe’s comments in his ads, forcing the former governor to respond with one of his own, in which McAuliffe claimed his comments had been taken “out of context,” and that he has “always valued the concerns of parents.” To which the Republican quickly hit back with a response spot in which he replayed other instances where McAuliffe had said something arguably similar.

So with just two days to go before Election Day, and early voting already underway, McAuliffe found himself off his own message and dancing to Youngkin’s choreography. “He’s ending his campaign on a racist dog whistle,” McAuliffe complained of his opponent.

According to Tumulty, McAuliffe had made similar statements in the past. In the face of this awkward fact, the next step here was obvious:

Of course! When Youngkin presented the evidence of this, McAuliffe accused him of racist conduct!

Over here, within our flailing Blue Tribe, we simply love accusing The Others of racism! By now, it's our tribe's sole Storyline. It's the one bomb we deploy.

As the campaign neared its end, McAuliffe accused his opponent of "a racist dog whistle." This morning, Tumulty has bumped the general accusation all the way up to "a spectacular display of racist signaling," with no specific miscreant named and no examples provided. 

By now, this is the only game we play, and the only play we know. This is the way we argue our case. These are the "otherization rules" of our embarrassing Blue Tribe.

According to Tumulty, someone engaged in "a spectacular display of racist signaling!" It's amazing to us that an editor at a major newspaper would let such a spectacular accusation go, even in an opinion column. 

That said, consider the front-page report in today's New York Times, written by Lerer and Peters.

Remember, we're citing a front-page news report in the Times' print editions. We were struck by the array of loaded terms which appear in its dual headlines, as it appears online:

Republicans Pounce on Schools as a Wedge Issue to Unite the Party
Rallying around what it calls “parental rights,” the party is pushing to build on its victories this week by stoking white resentment and tapping into broader anger at the education system.

According to those headlines, Republicans are planning to "pounce on" the public schools "as a wedge issue."  They're going to rally around  what they call "parental rights." 

Mainly, though, it seems that the GOP  is  planning to "stoke white resentment." So the headlines said.

So the headlines said! In fairness, though, the headlines follow the framework of the news report quite closely. Eventually, Lerer and Peters offer this account of the Virginia campaign:

LERER AND PETERS (11/4/21):  The message worked on two frequencies. Pushing a mantra of greater parental control, Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate for governor in Virginia, stoked the resentment and fear of some white voters, who were alarmed by efforts to teach a more critical history of racism in America. He attacked critical race theory, a graduate school framework that has become a loose shorthand for a contentious debate on how to address race. And he released an ad that was a throwback to the days of banning books, highlighting objections by a white mother and her high-school-age son to “Beloved,” the canonical novel about slavery by the Black Nobel laureate Toni Morrison.

But at the same time, Mr. Youngkin and other Republicans tapped into broader dissatisfaction among moderate voters about teachers’ unions, unresponsive school boards, quarantine policies and the instruction parents saw firsthand during months of remote learning. In his stump speeches, Mr. Youngkin promised to never again close Virginia schools.

While Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee, and his party allies eagerly condemned the ugliest attacks by their opponents, they seemed unprepared to counter the wider outpouring of anger over schools.

In this passage, we return to mandated Storyline concerning that Youngkin ad.

The ad "was a throwback to the days of banning books," the Times reporters fuzzily said. Through use of their fuzzy formulation, they slithered past the actual nature of the debate out of which the campaign ad had grown. 

(For details, see below.)

The reporters made it sound like the objections by that "white mother" had involved the teaching of slavery. This doesn't seem to be the actual history of this matter, but it's prime Storyline.

Also, alas poor McAuliffe! He and his allies condemned "the ugliest attacks by their opponents," readers were told. But as with Tumulty, so too here:

Lerer and Peters offered exactly zero examples of those "ugly attacks"—the attacks McAuliffe condemned. By now, there is exactly zero need to support such aggressive charges. These charges come from the realm of Storyline, and Storyline is now in the saddle and riding our failing tribe.

Was that Youngkin ad really "a throwback to the days of banning books," as the reporters claimed? (Their claim was suspiciously fuzzy.)  

We'll report and you can decide! In her column in the Post, Tumulty described the matter thusly:

TUMULTY: But sometimes, a candidate’s blunder or miscalculation really does matter. The freshest example was the disastrous declaration by Democrat Terry McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia who fell short in his bid to regain his old job. “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” he said in his second and final debate with GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin. His comment came after Youngkin criticized McAuliffe for having vetoed a bill that would have allowed parents to opt their children out of certain reading assignments.

In fact, the issue hadn't concerned an attempt to "ban books." The bill that Governor McAuliffe vetoed—the bill which resulted from the white mother's complaint—would merely "have allowed parents to opt their children out of certain reading assignments."

No one was trying to ban any books! That ugly, inaccurate, dumbnified claim comes straight outta Storyline.

Tomorrow, we'll return to the ways in which that "white mother"—Rebecca Onion's "older blond woman"—has been aggressively otherized by our repulsive, incompetent tribe.

In this complementary example, Youngkin (or maybe somebody else!) had engaged in "a spectacular display of racist signaling." That said, this spectacular accusation had come to us straight outta Storyline. No examples need apply! 

It's an ugly, ugly tale. But this is who and what we actually are, all the top experts have said.

For ourselves, we're just trying to help you see who we are in our failing blue tribe. Full disclosure:

According to all the major experts, your lizard will try to push back!

Tomorrow: Onion and Knox and Goldstein, oh my! Our rules for invention of Others


96 comments:

  1. Is Bob seriously trying to make the argument that Republican voters care about something other than bigotry?
    How low can he go?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. anon 11:30 you (and other anons? who knows how many) keep flogging this. I'm pretty sure a lot of independent voters voted for Youngkin - probably a certain number of registered Democrats also. Were all of them only caring about "bigotry" (though I suppose "caring about bigotry is something good, though I don't think you meant that). You seem to be saying that "Republican voters" don't care about anything except "bigotry." a rather sweeping statement, which seems to be extremely tendentious. Say if someone characterized all "Blacks" as "lazy", that would be an indication of bigotry on their part, and being really stupid, because it is obviously untrue. Your characterization of "Republican voters" is just as dumb.

      Delete
    2. So to boil this down AC/MA, you are saying that this Anon's comment itself was an example of

      obstinate or unreasonable attachment to a belief, opinion, or faction; in particular, prejudice against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group.

      So his comment was an example of bigotry... amazing.

      Delete
    3. The problem with Somerby's (and his fanboys) analysis is that it is demonstrably wrong. Republican turnout was not higher than what historical trends indicated, and conversely Democratic turnout was lower.

      Republicans use race to effectively motivate their voters, and they keep their promise in that nearly every action they take in terms of policy has a racial component that hurt people of color.

      Whites outpace Blacks on almost every metric; one can think this is due to genetics, but if not, then it is due to racism. Those on the Left are not particularly concerned about individual racism, as disgusting as they think that is, the real concern is over institutional and systemic racism, which clearly happens on a large scale as the disparity between white people and people of color is startling.

      Race is a function of racism, broadly speaking, it started with slavery in America; when Republicans stop using race to maintain their power structure, society will stop calling out their racism.

      Delete
    4. Calling blacks lazy is undermined by all the black p3eople who work hard in society.
      Calling Republican voters bigots is emboldened when they tried to overthrow Congress because black people's votes counted in an election.
      But you knew that, Right?

      Delete
    5. If all the Republicans in Virginia cared about was bigotry the wouldn't have elected a Black woman as lieutenant governor and a Hispanic woman as Attorney General.

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    6. 1:21 are you kidding? Few things excite a Republican like a person of color that supports their racist and plutocratic policies. That is about as ugly as tokenism gets, but it is nothing new.

      Delete
    7. I guess the Democrats are in trouble for a long time then. With all the rampant tokenism and bigotry running amok around the noble and moral focus on the common good coming from the Democratic establishment. ;)

      Delete
    8. 1:45 we shall see. Dems outnumber Repubs, but Repubs have had more effective messaging and motivation via identity politics, culture wars, racism, sexism, and xenophobia.

      Are you mocking "common good"? So edgy!

      Delete
    9. Repubs have gerrymandered and suppressed voting to the point where the Democratic majority cannot win elections they should win. It isn't about messaging but about misuse and abuse of the democratic system.

      Delete
    10. So sad for Dems. One day maybe you will win elections consistently with your brilliant "They are worse than we are" platform.

      Delete
    11. 3:32 Not opposed to a revolution but it does not seem likely. "Lesser evil" politics will rule the day for a while as we slowly replace our neoliberals with progressives and leftists.

      Be patient, and remember Dems have out-voted Repubs in all presidential elections since 1994.

      Delete
    12. So it's only been over a quarter of a century out voting Republicans and getting nothing done for the country. Great.

      Delete
    13. 5:44 there have been advances and setbacks, this is the process. It is frustrating, hang in there.

      Delete
  2. Amazingly, wildly McCuliffe's campaign sent out postcards FOR Youngkin.

    https://twitter.com/_GEN_STRIKE_/status/1455855617692733442?s=20

    These people are just completely dumb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Youngkin won because he was laser-focused on helping the financially struggling Republican voters by promising CRT won't be taught in Virginia schools.
      Good luck to any Democrat who thinks they can possibly be more condescending to Republican voters than Republican politicians are.

      Delete
    2. Who said anything about condescending? That was stupid and insane.

      Delete
    3. Bob. All the time. In service to Republican voters, who he thinks won't vote for Democrats because Democrats are condescending towards them, and not because Republican voters are bigots.
      Yes. That is stupid and insane.

      Delete
    4. He's 100% right. He's also right about you being dumb.

      Delete
    5. "Republican voters are bigots"

      Look, another example of bigotry (and total lack of self-awareness).

      Delete
    6. 12:39

      I see, so calling out bigots is itself bigotry. You must be very smart.

      Delete
    7. You called a whole group bigots based on their membership to a group.

      Delete
    8. 1:24 nope, based on their actions.

      Delete
    9. This works when you are talking about Republicans or male voters, but it doesn't work when you are talking about bigots. When the group is defined as being a group of bigots, then calling them bigots is a tautology, not any kind of bigotry. Unfortunately, the term Republican has become associated so closely with bigotry that calling any Republican a bigot is a tautology too, and not bigotry. Any exceptions have come out against Trump and many have left the party. That leaves only the bigots in the group (Republicans). So we are talking about a matter of fact, not bigotry.

      But nice try. What you are claiming as bigotry is actually over-generalization. But if you cannot find a single example to falsify the generalization, it is not even that. It is just truth. This is especially true when you consider that anyone who is upset by bigotry would choose not to be associated with such a group and would leave it. That leaves the party full of the stone cold bigots and no one else. Trump weeded out anyone reasonable back in 2015.

      You think of yourself as Rational, but I don't see much evidence of that.

      Delete
    10. Wall of words not-withstanding, you're still wrong. And I love the insults tossed in when someone is wrong, I find that amusing.

      You are stating that Republicans are bigots, by virtue of them being Republicans. You did not say most Republicans, you did not say a lot of Republicans.

      So if I find one Republican who isn't a bigot, it makes you wrong and yourself a bigot. Think I can do it?

      Delete
    11. No, I am saying that Republicans have driven all of the non-bigots out of their party by being blatantly and embarrassingly bigoted. So Republicans are bigots by virtue of being bigots. I did not say "most" or "a lot" because that would be untrue. It is all of them now.

      If you find a Republican who isn't a bigot, it might mean I need to say "nearly all Republicans" but it wouldn't make me a bigot. And I don't think you can do it because staying in the party means buying into the party's bigotry, which makes anyone who is still there pretty much of a bigot, regardless of denials.

      Delete
    12. 1:48 demonstrating that Republicans are racist has been done to death (even by themselves!), unless you can counter that or demonstrate otherwise, you have no argument, you just have bad faith discourse.

      Delete
    13. The idea that every single Republican is a bigot is ridiculous on its face. We're done here.

      Can you rename yourself Bigot so I can easily identify you and avoid you in the future?

      Delete
    14. Woke folks don’t limit the epithet of racist solely to Republicans. They heave it at anyone who gets in their way.

      They have in fact labeled the entire country as being predicated on racism and still being racist from the ground up.

      No one gets particularly excited over being called that by these people, unless they’ve been accustomed to being considered as the salt of the earth heretofore going off script.

      Delete
    15. 2:10 The bad faith nature of discourse that you and the other TDH fanboys engage in, discourage acquiring comment nyms, which aside from that factor is a childish and servile action.

      There are a number of us calling out Republican bigotry, we are not all the same person, we just have similar values.

      Delete
    16. I think Cecelia about nails it: Republicans are not motivated by being called racists; calling out racism only excites Dems, it is a net positive for Dems.

      Delete
    17. Anonymouse 2:29pm, implicit in choosing to be anonymous is the desire to be indistinguishable from any other anonymous.

      It’s not as though a nym links to your drivers license and social security card. It only serves to make you accountable for what you say under that name.

      Delete
    18. There are timestamps if you want to engage in discourse, but you have no interest in ideas, just identity. What you want to do is attack someone for their identity, not hold them accountable to what they say. Being anonymous forces the focus onto the ideas.

      I agree with 2:36, this is the most lucid and coherent Cecelia has been. See what I did there? I learned it from you!

      Delete
    19. Anonymouse 2:36pm, being inured to being called racist and fnding it essentially devoid of any real judgment or truth, is not the same being unmotivated to vote against the morons who use the concept in the same manner as they do toilet paper. .

      Delete
    20. "fnding it essentially devoid of any real judgment or truth" definitionally means their motivation lies elsewhere.

      So it's genetics then?

      Delete
    21. "So if I find one Republican who isn't a bigot, it makes you wrong and yourself a bigot. Think I can do it?"

      Not a chance, but I'm okay with you wasting time trying.

      Delete
  3. So, dear Bob, your liberal-hitlerian cult loses, and, instead of examining its own failings, it resorts to spewing more hatred.

    Yawn. We've already seen it, from 11/9/2016 forward. Why would anyone expect anything different?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trump said the Virginia election was rigged.
      Stop the Steal!

      Delete
    2. Actually, CNN spent yesterday engaging in analysis that echoed what Somerby said a week ago.

      Not the last link, but certainly all the others.

      Here are the video links. I give an “amen and amen!” to the third one:

      Anderson Cooper. “It seems annoying to a lot of people” pic.twitter.com/htNI89luii

      The Democratic Party has become “moralizing” and “self-righteous” agree ⁦‪@davidaxelrod‬⁩ & ⁦‪@VanJones68‬⁩pic.twitter.com/ZdBZ99Rqje

      “Voters are being brow-beaten in being told they’re voting for racists. People do not believe that about themselves and do not believe that America is full of the hateful kind of people that McAuliffe & Biden told us Virginia was full of” pic.twitter.com/6WRGSzDsGd


      “Moderate Democrats feel put down by pundits & progressives when they express an opinion that maybe schools should open, teachers should listen to parents, or Joe Manchin has a point when he says 1.7 trillion is a lot of money. They don’t want to be insulted by progressives” pic.twitter.com/4nPwCemH6W

      The elections were a repudiation of the progressive agenda across the country pic.twitter.com/YYMTjFIU17

      Delete
    3. Moderate Democrats and the Right have spoken. It was NEVER about the phony "economic anxiousness" of the electorate.
      If it was, they'd want the government to work for the people, and not corporations.

      Delete
    4. "It was NEVER about the phony "economic anxiousness" of the electorate."

      The things you learn about voters when you pay attention to what they're saying.

      BTW, I'll be here all day today, accepting mea culpas from those who tried to tell me I was wrong about what motivates voters.

      Delete
    5. The problem with Somerby's (and his fanboys) analysis is that it is demonstrably wrong. Republican turnout was not higher than what historical trends indicated, and conversely Democratic turnout was lower.

      Republicans use race to effectively motivate their voters, and they keep their promise in that nearly every action they take in terms of policy has a racial component that hurt people of color.

      Whites outpace Blacks on almost every metric; one can think this is due to genetics, but if not, then it is due to racism. Those on the Left are not particularly concerned about individual racism, as disgusting as they think that is, the real concern is over institutional and systemic racism, which clearly happens on a large scale as the disparity between white people and people of color is startling.

      Race is a function of racism, broadly speaking, it started with slavery in America; when Republicans stop using race to maintain their power structure, society will stop calling out their racism.

      Delete
    6. Charles Blow said:

      "You could argue that the Democrats made missteps in Virginia. Absolutely. But, to win, Democrats also needed to tamp down white people’s fears, which is like playing Whac-a-Mole.

      Some of the very same people who voted against Donald Trump because they were exhausted and embarrassed by him turned eagerly to Youngkin because he represented some of the same ideals, but behind a front of congeniality.

      Youngkin delivered fear with a smile."

      Delete
    7. You cannot open schools in the middle of a pandemic, no matter how far behind the kids fall academically. Until now, there has been no vaccine for children and yes, they do catch it and they do die from it. Parents should think first about that. But, yes, I have been reading analyses that say that the anger of parents against schools is based on covid policies and not Beloved.

      I am a Democrat and I heard McAuliffe interviewed, and I wouldn't have been very enthusiastic about voting for him (if I lived in Virginia) either. I didn't like him as a person. Now maybe that is how I would feel about any Virginian, but he didn't inspire me to want to support him. I would have held my nose and voted Democratic, but maybe the candidate is the reason he lost.

      Delete
    8. 1:00 exactly, Dem voter turnout was low because their candidate was a boring neoliberal.

      Few things are stranger than the gap between how wealthy America is and how shitty our lives are, neoliberalism has been a horrible mistake.

      Delete
    9. "Dem voter turnout was low because their candidate was a boring neoliberal."

      As opposed to who - Rapist Joe, the Vegetable?

      Delete
    10. 3:10 exactly, "Finger Joe" campaigned on a number of progressive policies such as a public option for healthcare, school loan forgiveness, a version of a green new deal, tax on the wealthy, etc. Fox news calls him a socialist. But overall the 2020 presidential election was about giving Trump the boot, so completely different dynamics.

      Delete
    11. As we remember, Rapist Joe didn't campaign at all. Which is why no one voted for him.

      Delete
    12. 1. Biden is not a rapist, 2. he got way more of the popular vote than Trump and also won the electoral college, so who do mean by "no one"?

      Delete
    13. Outta curiosity, dear dembot: assuming that by 'Biden' you mean Brandon from "let's go Brandon", how do you know, with such certainty, that he is not a rapist?

      Do you fancy yourself as an omniscient being, or do you claim perfect knowledge only in this particular case? We (not being omniscient, alas) would like to hear more, please.

      Delete
    14. Without a doubt, "Let's Go Brandon" is by far the best economic idea to ease the anxiousness of voters the Republicans have ever, or will ever have.
      It's at least twice as good as their second best economic idea, which was "I pooped my pants".

      Delete
  4. Conservatives point out a long-running "Republicans pounce" trope, whereby media outlets hift the focus on GOP reactions to events that reflect negatively on Democrats.

    Virginia parents care about whether their schools teach that race is all-important. They care about whether their schools teach that today's whites bear guilt for slavery and Jim Crow. Rather than explore these important issues, the media focus on "Republicans pounce".

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    1. Teaching them CRT would show that racism is systemic, not that each individual white person is a racist.

      Unfortunately, CRT is only taught at the graduate level.

      Delete
    2. @12:16 the term "CRT" has more than one meaning. You may be right about its original definition. However, the term is being used today by critics to denote a range of ideas, including the ones I mentioned.

      Delete
    3. Of course, those against CRT are lying about what it means. The Right-wing has it's marching orders.

      Delete
    4. @12:21 - You're arguing semantics. The important question is what the schools actually teach, not what you call it.

      Delete
    5. Speaking of semantics.
      The actions of right-wing state legislatures is most assuredly working to suppress the votes of black people, even if they call their actions "Election Integrity".

      Delete
    6. David,
      Was that "semantics" the other day, when you spent a couple of minutes pretending meritocracy was vital to a functioning society, until someone pointed out what that would really mean (the 100% Estate Tax rate)?
      Or was that just straight-up bullshit you were peddling, until you got called on it?

      Delete
    7. If minorities voted primarily for Republicans, do you think Democrats would work as hard to make voting as easy as possible?

      Delete
    8. Voting is a Right in the U.S. Constitution. It should be easy for everyone, even if they are minorities.

      Delete
    9. The people you call "minorities" vote for their and society's interest, Repubs con many of their voters to vote against their own interests and for the interest of corporations and the wealthy, they achieve this by appealing to their racism.

      School curriculum in VA has not changed, and VA parents elected Dem governors before - even McAuliffe, so supposed concern over CRT is utter bullshit.

      Delete
    10. Rationalist,
      If Republican voters were motivated by "economic anxiousness" would Republican politicians pass legislation to ease that anxiousness, or would they make it harder to vote in urban areas?

      Delete
    11. David in Cal,
      Can you please explain "semantics" to Rationalist, using 1:02's question?

      Thanks in advance.

      Delete
    12. Meritocracy is a garbage notion because what society calls success is entirely due to a combination of privilege and happenstance.

      Delete
    13. Anon 1:02

      I don't particularly care for either side, and I can freely admit they both play politics and only have a good moral compass when it conveniently aligns with the political play.

      So if you want me to say Republicans also suck, done.

      I'm primarily here to discuss how to improve Democratic messaging and media coverage.

      Delete
    14. 1:28

      I too do not have a horse in this race. I'm primarily here to promote integrity in discourse.

      The problem with your primary raison d'etre is that your ideas weaken Democratic messaging and media coverage.

      I get that you are in love with your ideas, and I hope you do not take offense when those ideas are challenged.

      Delete
    15. Challenge away, that's why I'm here.

      Do you think the strategy of saying parents shouldn't have a say in school curriculum was a sound strategy? Do you think it played a part in the Virginia results?

      Delete
    16. Democratic messaging is doing fine. Somerby's reasons for attacking Democrats here is to help Republicans, not to improve effectiveness of Democratic messaging. If you take him at face value, you are being naive.

      Delete
    17. I'm not arguing with Mr. Bigot here too am I? Crap.

      Delete
    18. 1:51 No and no.

      As has been noted here already, McAuliffe's quote was taken out of context and then weaponized by those who want to manufacture ignorance. Did you not know that there already exists a school policy for students to opt out of reading books that make them uncomfortable? Are you not aware that Republican voters want a say in school curriculum in order to promote their two religions - Jesus and white supremacy?

      As has been noted here already, Republican turnout was not higher than expected and Dem turnout was low. So no it did not play a significant role.

      Since Carter, Democratic messaging has not been great, promoting neoliberalism did not do us any favors. Of late, Dem messaging has turned progressive, and that is an improvement.

      Delete
    19. "Virginia has the fourth-best public schools overall in the United States, ranking fourth for quality and third for safety. Virginia public schools were found to have the fourth-highest math test scores in the country. Virginia schools also have the fourth-lowest bullying incidence rate and have "no significant shortcomings" when assessed for safety from violence, bullying, harassment, and substance use."

      And the media praised Trumpkin for running on "education". Bwahahaha!!!

      Trumpkin is a goddamn demagogue who ran a campaign full of lies, misrepresentations and coded racist appeals. The media applauded him for being so sophisticated and how he managed to have it both ways with the Trump Magat crowd. The Monday before the election Trumpkin held a rally with Trump speaking which was closed to all media because Trumpkin didn't want the world to see him kissing Trump's ass. The media praised him.

      There was a time when Somerby would have found the media's behavior despicable.

      Delete
  5. Somerby spends an entire column talking about McAuliffe's gaffe without ever telling readers what McAuliffe said! How is that fair or good media criticism?

    Here is what McAuliffe said:

    “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” he said in his second and final debate with GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin. His comment came after Youngkin criticized McAuliffe for having vetoed a bill that would have allowed parents to opt their children out of certain reading assignments."

    He later said that his remark was being taken out of context -- the bill to require schools to let parents opt out of specific assignments.

    Most teachers and many parents would agree with McAuliffe. But Somerby doesn't want his readers to consider the validity of McAuliffe's remark -- so he omits it entirely and instead only focuses on the complaints against him and whether his so-called gaffe (which is a reasonable opinion) lost him the election.

    Note that Youngkin revived a long-settled dispute from EIGHT YEARS AGO in order to issue his racist dog whistle against Toni Morrison's Beloved. That makes this a Republican culture war issue -- not something wrong that McAuliffe said, and certainly not a legitimate debate over school policy -- any more than Somerby today wished to engage in substantive discussion of school policy.

    Youngkin did this to signal his allegiance with racist Republicanism and to shift focus away from Democratic issues. That is clearly racist and conservative behavior, not valid discussion of any current issue.

    And notice how Somerby joined in! Somerby is a bigger asshole than Youngkin, in my opinion. Youngkin at least has that big R next to his name, whereas Somerby pretends that he is liberal and is only telling the truth when he claims that Democrats are big fat losers who cannot win an election because of their hubris, despite having held the Governor in Virginia for literally decades.

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    Replies
    1. and i would just add that there already exists a school policy for students to opt out of reading books that make them uncomfortable.

      Delete
  6. "According to Tumulty, Candidate McAuliffe's clumsy remark had "ignited a spectacular display of...racist signaling" on somebody's part.

    That would almost sound like a serious charge, if it weren't so familiar a part of Standard Blue Storyline."

    This charge is familiar because it is a part of standard Republican campaigning, not "blue storyline." If the Republicans stopped doing this shit, Democrats would not complain about it.

    Pointing out what Republicans do should be convincing to anyone who is not racist themselves. The best evidence that a substantial percentage of the electorate is racist is their voting Republican. Someone who is not racist wouldn't be caught dead voting for a Republican after hearing their racist dog whistles.

    For example, how could anyone in their right mind vote for Lauren Boebert short of racist dog whistles? She has absolutely nothing substantive to recommend her as a candidate. That people do vote for her is all the evidence anyone needs that Republicans are not only racist but full of shit in their reasons for what they do. But Somerby thinks we should listen to them, when they are just telling lies and doing destructive things? No way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By "racist dog whistles" of course, we are also referring to the cute way they pose with automatic weapons in their campaign ads. What do you suppose that implied threat is about? Hint: it isn't about the 2nd Amendment.

      Delete
    2. One reason they would vote for her would be to spite the people who falsely call them racists.

      Delete
    3. 1:38 can you demonstrate the "falsely" aspect of your claim?

      That racism continues to have a large impact on contemporary society is fairly easy to demonstrate.

      In the unlikely event that it exists, do you support "spiteful" voting? Is that helpful for society?

      Delete
    4. It's not a claim.

      Delete
    5. Your turn tail admission is admirable.

      Delete
    6. 1:38,
      GTFOH, with your nonsense claims.
      They threw a violent temper tantrum for the ages because black people's votes counted in an election.

      Delete
  7. "According to Tumulty, Candidate McAuliffe's clumsy remark had "ignited a spectacular display of...racist signaling" on somebody's part.

    That would almost sound like a serious charge, if it weren't so familiar a part of Standard Blue Storyline."

    The problem wasn't the bill to allow parents to do something they already were able to do. It was that Murphy singled out the book Beloved by Toni Morrison, a Nobel-prize winning author who wrote about black enslavement by describing the way white people treated blacks as animals. And she had the nerve to complain about the "bestiality"! That is dog-whistling based on race. She might have chosen some other book to complain about, but it was one about race explicitly that she was seeking to exempt her 18 year old child from learning about in a college-level AP course.

    Somerby is wrong to complain that it is Democrats who have made this a racial issue when the whole point of Murphy's activism was to exempt white boys from learning about America's history of slavery. Youngkin's willingness to support that exemption is the racist part. And it was blatant and gratuitous, since he revived this 8-year old issue specifically to raise race issues in his campaign. And that is what made this "signalling".

    Is Somerby really so deaf, dumb and blind that he cannot see what Republicans are doing? Is he really that big a moron?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bob,
    I believe republicans are racist bastards. Why? because they are racist bastards.
    Check with your best buddy Tucker Carlson.

    ReplyDelete
  9. If Carlson was not a racist Murdoch would not hire him.
    You know it; I know it. Murdoch knows it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Being called 'racist' is the best compliment and endorsement from a dembot. We certainly wouldn't listen to anyone who isn't called 'racist' by dembots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was that so hard?
      Makes you wonder what all Bob's cry-babying is about.

      Delete
    2. Dear Bob thinks that you and his other comrades are dumb. It makes him upset. What's so complicated here?

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    3. 3:48 but as you point out, Bob is the dumb one. Maybe old age diminishes self awareness, maybe manufacturing ignorance pays his bills.

      Delete
    4. Dear Bob, in our opinion, is not dumb. He is merely naïve, regarding dembots as conscious humyn beings. Rather than seeing them for what they really are: talking points-spewing brainless bots.

      We sympathize with dear Bob, and hope he will come to a better understanding of objective reality.

      Delete
    5. Mao,
      You were funnier when you pretended you weren't the premiere kisser of Establishment ass.

      Delete
    6. It's so cute how Mao, the populist defender of the common working man, is delighted that a former CEO of the Carlyle Group billionaire, jokingly referred to by the media as a "businessman", has bought himself a governorship in the Commonwealth of VA.

      Delete
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    8. The only thing Mao loves more than the Establishment, is pretending Republican voters aren't bigots.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete