WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2021
Ways to lose elections: This very morning, at 6:22 A.M. Eastern, John Heilemann went there again.
Heilemann was appearing on Morning Joe. He was discussing the outcome of the Virginia gubernatorial race.
At this point, we can't show you exactly what he said. We can paraphrase his remarks with substantial accuracy:
Heilemann returned to an extremely tired old saw. He told Joe Scarborough that Governor-elect Youngkin hadn't been able to name a single place in the entire state of Virginia where so-called "critical race theory" had been taught in the public schools.
Truly, we blue tribe members can't see ourselves! Forgive us, Father, because we know not what we do—and we know not how we appear.
As soon as Heilemann started in with this extremely familiar old saw, Scarborough began to interrupt him. Eventually, Scarborough relented, letting Heilemann recite his Storyline.
What was wrong with Heilemann's recitation? Duh:
In fairness, it's true! The academic framework known as "critical race theory" actually doesn't get taught, in any type of literal sense, in the nation's public schools.
It's also true, as Zak Cheney-Rice says in this new column at the Intelligencer, that "conservative activists...started using CRT as a catch-all term for the supposed excesses of the left."
It's true, as Cheney-Rice says, that conservatives started using the term that way "last year."
Duh! When Republicans and conservatives talk about "critical race theory" in the schools, they're using that as a "catch-all term" for what might otherwise be derided as "excessive Wokeism."
It's dumb when conservatives refer to "critical race theory" that way. Arguably, it's vastly dumber when people like Heilemann insist on going on TV and pretending that they've countered conservative complaints by sarcastically saying, for the ten millionth time, that no one is teaching "critical race theory" in Virginia's public schools.
It's very dumb when our tribe does that—and we do it all the time! It's one of the ways we arrange to lose elections, something we did last night.
Our behavior is obnoxious—but mainly it's very dumb. Heilemann was being very dumb this morning as he recited our mandated talking-point. Scarborough kept trying to show him the error of his ways.
Meanwhile, what has been happening in some of Virginia's public schools? What are some voters talking about when they speak, with a troubling lack of perfect accuracy, about "critical race theory" in those schools?
What has transpired in some of those schools? To answer that question, let's take ourselves back to Loudoun County, but also to yesterday's "Conversation" between columnists Gail Collins and Bret Stephens of the New York Times.
We suffered through the painful attempts at humor issued, on a weekly basis, by Collins and Stephens. Eventually, though, Stephens offered this report straight outta Loudoun County:
STEPHENS (11/2/21): Our colleague David Brooks had a terrific column the other day that touched on this question. He noted that in Virginia’s affluent Loudoun County, near Washington, a training for public school administrators claimed that “fostering independence and individual achievement” was a feature of “white individualism.” No wonder so many parents of any background are worried about what their kids might be taught in school.
Really? Fostering independence and individual achievement is a feature of “white individualism?”
Sadly, inanities of that type have been common in anti-racist training programs in various public school districts across the land.
Red tribe voters hear about such foolishness. In our tribe, the foolishness gets disappeared. We're told that The Others are only concerned about public schools because of their flagrant racism.
This is the story we tell ourselves here in our very dumb tribe. During yesterday's Conversation, Collins offered a non-response response to what Stephens said, and Stephens continue apace:
COLLINS (continuing directly): Parents being worried about what their kids are being taught is hardly new. But thanks to the wonders of modern communication, every worrisome anecdote is now being disseminated from sea to shining sea.
STEPHENS: In New York City, the former schools chancellor Richard Carranza implemented training on “white supremacy culture,” which supposedly includes things like “perfectionism” and “objectivity.” It’s why people like The Atlantic’s George Packer, not exactly a fire-breathing conservative, have also publicly despaired of public schools.
Of course, schools need to teach and explore the shameful sides of our past. But parents have a right to expect that the schools their tax dollars pay for don’t blur the line between pedagogy and ideology. I’ll bet many readers would agree if the shoe were on the other foot and a conservative school district tried to foist, say, a creationist science curriculum on kids over their parents’ objections.
As you can almost surely see, Collins failed to respond to Stephens' statement on the merits. Instead, she offered a rather typical, sniffing remark concerning what These Worried Parents Have Always Done In This Country.
For his part, Stephens proceeded to offer a second example. He cited another example of the sort of ridiculous conduct which gets described, with something less than perfect accuracy, as "critical race theory in the public schools."
Stephens correctly noted that Packer, a figure of the center-left, publicly despaired over this specific example from the Gotham schools. He went on to say that students should of course be taught about "the shameful sides of our past."
Collins had nothing to say about any of this. Our tribe almost never does.
Instead, we go on TV and sniff about a particular technical term. We've been doing this all year long. In such ways, we rolled up our silken sleeves and arranged to elect Glenn Youngkin.
For the record, something else happened this year in the Loudoun County schools. Kevin Drum referred to it as a "trivial local story." We know he didn't for that to sound the way it did.
We refer to the sexual assaults which were conducted against two different high school girls. We also refer to the way Loudoun County's superintendent and school board handled this trivial matter.
We wrote about this topic last Saturday. We expect to return to the topic before the week is done. But when we wrote about the topic, we were noting the way Michelle Goldberg had failed to mention one of the reasons why so many parents were so upset about what had occurred.
Those parents went out and voted for Youngkin. Our tribe simply muscled ahead, saying there's nothing to look at there except for the transphobia.
Why were some parents upset about the Loudoun County schools? Why did thousands of students take part in protests about the handling of the pair of assaults?
Within our tribe, we all know the general answer. Loudoun County is full of racists (or transphobes). The county is simply crawling with Others. That's why these lessers protest!
In the 1999 film The Sixth Sense, a little boy could see dead people. Here within our failing tribe, we can't see ourselves.
We can't see the ways we behave. We can't hear the things we say. We're unable to see the way we routinely appear to Others.
Tomorrow, we'll return to this topic, exploring the way Rebecca Onion and Assistant Professor Knox advanced our mandated Storyline concerning that "older blond woman." Her complaint was trivial too—and needless to say, the older blond woman was racist, our tribe has endlessly said.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep. Like all human tribes through the annals of time, ours is extremely dumb.
Our self-assured tribe is very dumb, especially those of us who emerged from the finest schools. That little boy could see dead people.
We can't see ourselves.
Tomorrow: Onion and Professor Knox perform The Otherization Rules
We always declaim the other side is dumb. But our own side is dumb. How about you, Bob? By implication, you are saying you are the super-rare and recherché smart person that somehow has defied all of our species's anthropology. (You have to take that stance, of course, because, otherwise, why would any of us read your blog?) The extremity of your viewpoint undermines your credibility.ReplyDelete
It would be more interesting if you directly addressed the substance of what he wrote. Is our behavior obnoxious— but mainly very dumb? Does the TV guest addressing critical race theory by its textbook definition have a valid, important point? Do conservatives use that term improperly as a catch all for excessive wokeism? If so, is it important to address their concerns on that level? Is it politically smart to label these people all as racists?Delete
Let's not argue over who tried to overthrow an election because black people's votes were counted.Delete
With this amazing device, we never have to discuss anything! Just point to an unrelated transgression of the other side.Delete
See... Others bad! Can safely shut brain off again.
Ignore their white grievance, and discuss anything else you want.
Well, I worry that maybe things have always been this way. Did political commentary and journalism once have integrity at some point in history? Or is it the often-held belief that "things used to be better" because we tend to remember the good and forget the bad.
I mean depending where we go and what time in history you look at, it could very well be the case that honest dialogue about politics would quickly earn one's offending head to be separated from one's body.
And now we have all this freedom and what do people want to do? Drink the kool-aid and smile.
There's good reporting out there, it's just not popular.
We don't feel it was always this bad. The last time it was this bad was, in our opinion, the period known as 'mccarthyism'.Delete
And that lasted - what? - less than a decade?
So, maybe this one is coming to the end now... Hopefully...
There's certainly a cyclical pattern in play, Mao. Let's hope.Delete
The parents don't want to pay taxes. It's so unfair, so they'll use any excuse to pretend that's not the issue. Even racism will do.ReplyDelete
FDR - claiming that opposition to the dems, or attributing, e.g., dems losing elections to "racism" is extremely reductionist, basically wrong, and self-defeating. Let's hope that 2022 isn't a slaughter for the dems.Delete
Has Toni Morrison lost any book contracts, her publishing house, or had retailer refuse to sell her book?Delete
Has she been canceled from any speaking gigs or tv appearances?
3:55 It has been the strategy of the Republican party to win by gaining the votes of racists for a long time. It has been a very effective strategy. There are more voters that are Dems or lean Dem than Republicans, but Republican voters tend to be more motivated to go out and vote, not because their racism is called out, but because of their racism. Dems have tried the neoliberal centrist way of the Clintons and Obama, and it has been a failure, but many still cling to these notions. Dems do not have a driving force like racism, so the sooner and the more Dems can motivate via social justice, protests, identity politics, outrage over oppressions like racism, the more likely Dems are to win.Delete
"Dems do not have a driving force like racism"Delete
Oh dear. In reality, racism is their only driving force, their outright obsession. How can you be commenting on this blog and not know it, dear dembot?
When a Republican says the quiet part out loud:Delete
"You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger". By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites."
Republican? No, dear dembot, a political consultant. Same kind of character as Dick Morris, James Carville, or Robby Mook.Delete
Yes, a Republican.Delete
Republicans do not get a pass because one of their own let the cat out of the bag.
anon 4:34, 5:27 & 5:50 (no way to tell if you represent 1, 2 or 3 individual anons) you are proving my point.Delete
Who needs a dembot's pass, dear dembot?Delete
6:17 Your point is wrong, anon is correct. Racism motivates Republican voters, this is trivial and has been known for ages; calling out racism motivates Dem voters. This does not "prove your point".Delete
Your views on electoral politics are wrongheaded; however, it may be the case that you are stuck with them.
If you choose to vote Repub over Dem, so be it and more power to you; we can afford to lose you.
"Has Toni Morrison lost any book contracts, her publishing house, or had retailer refuse to sell her book?Delete
Has she been canceled from any speaking gigs or tv appearances?"
Toni Morrison died of pneumonia.
Do you perhaps see dead people, Cecelia? It would have taken you about a second to Google her and find out whether she is still alive. But you don't care who she was -- she is just a straight line for your stupid attacks on other commenters here.
Anonymous7:37, I don’t routinely google anyone who has been around in my lifetime in orderDelete
to see if they’re still kicking.
I’m sorry Morrison died of pneumonia. I’m sorry when anyone dies of pneumonia.
Your contrived high-horse aside (Oh, how anonymices have glued themselves to that saddle!), my point about cancel culture is unaffected by the fact of her death.
That's right, Cecelia. Cancel culture isn't a problem at all. Now, can the Right kindly STFU about it?Delete
Yup. It turns out all those Right-wing talking heads crying about cancel culture were just bullshitting Republican voters all along.Delete
Some things never change.
Anonymouse 9:14am, cancel culture exists and anonymices constantly reference it on this blog in order to gaslight the issue.Delete
Just another day for you guys.
Repubican-led state legislatures are working overtime to cancel culture the votes of black people.Delete
Of course it exists.
Would you say CRT includes all "general wokist bullshit" or would you say the reverse is true?
So assuming you provided an honest answer, a follow-up question:
Is it "smart" to label a set of ideas with the very specific name of a sub-set of it?
We have no idea what 'crt' includes or doesn't include. We have the impression that 'crt' is a kinda wokie 'science', a formal, structured presentation of the general wokie bullshit.ReplyDelete
It's shorter than "wokie bullshit", and, colloquially, everyone understands what you're talking about. So, we don't see any problem here. This is how languages work, when normal ordinary people use them.
Here's Matt Taibbi for your reading pleasure, dear Bob:ReplyDelete
We'll quote one sentence for you:
"“A lot of immigrant families came here specifically for the school system,” is how one Indian-American parent put it to me yesterday. “When you start messing with that, and say, we don't have a say, that’s when people who’ve always voted Democratic will flip on them.” "
Of all he people being blackmailed by Russia, Taibbi is certainly making the blackmailing of himself the most obvious.Delete
You mean blacklisting, don’t you?Delete
The voting indicates that there were no party-flipping votes; it indicates that Dem turnout was low, that college educated votes were actually up for Dems but non college votes were down. So Taibbi's assessment is a joke, he is a total hack.Delete
Taibbi’s full statement about immigrants (who you assume are not well educated) is this:Delete
“Also complicating the “Lee Atwater” narrative is the role of Asian and South Asian parents in yesterday’s results. “A lot of immigrant families came here specifically for the school system,” is how one Indian-American parent put it to me yesterday. “When you start messing with that, and say, we don't have a say, that’s when people who’ve always voted Democratic will flip on them.” Reporting about Asian and South Asian families upset about new initiatives to deemphasize admissions criteria like test scores has often been dismissive or caricatured, and that certainly seems to have been the case in Loudoun County, where a significant portion of the people seriously being cast today as dupes answering a dogwhistle are immigrant, minority residents who’ve given Democrats their votes for decades.”
When supposed journalists sink to "I met someone that said..." "according to one person...", their credibility is wrecked, their incompetency exposed.Delete
The facts remain:
The voting indicates that there were no party-flipping votes; it indicates that Dem turnout was low, that college educated votes were actually up for Dems but non college votes were down. So Taibbi's assessment is a joke, he is a total hack.
Thank you for your opinion, dear dembot. Please rest assured that it will receive all the attention it deserves.
5:44 In other words, you tip your king.Delete
Anonymouse 5:40pm, you should thank me for facilitating you in reading at least one paragraphs of the piece you were assailing, Even if that paragraph does belie your point.Delete
I read the whole piece, it is a joke, Taibbi's assessment is inaccurate.Delete
Mao is too "woke" to not "cancel culture" CRT from being taught in schools.ReplyDelete
Somerby is so desperate to manufacture ignorance, he posts one of his dumbest blog entries.ReplyDelete
To conservatives CRT means excessve wokeism? There is no evidence for this. There is evidence that conservatives do not know what CRT is nor can identify excessive wokeism. Saying that CRT is a catch-all for another thing that conservatives also do not understand is a nonsensical thing to claim. Remember, the key architect to Republican strategy over the last several decades, Lee Atwater, laid it out plainly: you can't say the n word anymore, you have to use coded language. That coded language is "CRT" and "wokeism", and to conservatives, it means Blacks might gain a millimeter closer to equality, at the risk of their white privilege.
Somerby offers two examples: the one about some obscure training is notable in that there is zero evidence any votes were generated by this; the other about NYC, the conservatives lost that one.
Voting in VA was down over a million votes vs the last election in 2020, what happened was Dems did not come out to vote - their candidate was a bland neoliberal.
Will Somerby further discuss the phony outrage over the Loudon County sexual assault case, which likely did motivate conservative voters? The teen convicted was not transgender, but that is besides the point since the two teens were engaged in a consensual sexual relationship and the hookups in the girls bathroom was the idea of the girl, nothing to do with the transgender bathroom policy, which was not even in place at that time. When the superintendent said there were no assaults in school bathrooms, he explained he was responding in the context of the transgender issue. Maybe Somerby will claim mind-reading abilities and push the conservative narrative. The assault allegation was handled by the book, by the conservative playbook, as conservatives have fought and won protections for those accused, against the wishes of those on the left, see Betsy DeVos' change in the regulations in 2020 to increase protections for those accused. A person was tragically victimized, and yet Somerby goes against his normal take on these cases and tries to weaponize it against liberals/progressives who have nothing to do with this case, other than fighting for victim's rights as opposed to conservatives that fight for the rights of the accused.
“The teen convicted was not transgender, but that is besides the point since the two teens were engaged in a consensual sexual relationship and the hookups in the girls bathroom was the idea of the girl, nothing to do with the transgender bathroom policy, which was not even in place at that time. When the superintendent said there were no assaults in school bathrooms, he explained he was responding in the context of the transgender issue.”Delete
The kid who assaulted the girl is gender fluid.
Isn’t gender…fluidity…fairly silly enough without your adding to it by minimizing forced sodomy and defending a principal who, at the most generous interpretation of his comments, was more concerned about a political issue than he was for his students?
The kid does not claim to be gender fluid, he may be, that was what the parent of the girl claimed, and gender fluid is not the same as transgender. It does not matter if the kid was transgender, since the two had been having sex in the girls bathroom for months, this was not a case of a bathroom predator, which is a myth anyway. Gender fluidity may tickle you as silly, but it is natural and common; you may giggle at the notion but that just shows your ignorance of biology.Delete
The only people minimizing this case are conservatives using it to play politics. What you call "generous" is merely not mind-reading, a trait you typically shun.
The school removed the student and had an investigation started, that is the procedure, particularly since DeVos changed policy to protect the rights of those accused.
It is somewhat normal for kids in their early teens to wonder if they are gay. They are just learning the social roles assigned to the sexes. Cecelia, there has always been "gender fluidity".Delete
The allegations against Trump being a rapist are not proven, believable as they might be; but yes, it is not surprising that under Trump's leadership Betsy DeVos changed the regs to protect rapists.Delete
Anonymouse 6:02pm, you can do the best that you can in convincing people that things would somehow be different if it had been a plain ole heterosexual kid who forced sodomy on someone in a public bathroomDelete
You can try to mediate public outrage as being conservative bias and mythology after he was transferred to another school and then did it again.
The school system’s kids protested this.
No one likes that tactic when it’s done on behalf of Catholic priests either.
Anonymouse 6:26pm, gender fluidity is not about being gay or straight. It’s about being male or female at whim.Delete
"They are just learning the social roles assigned to the sexes."Delete
This part of the comment was about gender, not sexual orientation. Calling other people's identity "whim" is one of the ways you are not a nice person.
"Anonymouse 6:02pm, you can do the best that you can in convincing people that things would somehow be different if it had been a plain ole heterosexual kid who forced sodomy on someone in a public bathroom"Delete
Tell that to Kobe Bryant...
Corby, treating confusion over one’s gender identity as though that in itself is a “gender identity” is nonsense and does not make you a good person for espousing it.Delete
Bryant was arrested and investigated. The case was dropped after his accuser refused to testify against him.Delete
She later sued him in civil court and they settled the suit.
If Kobe could have bought his way out of two rape investigations, it wouldn’t have been because he was heterosexual.
Yes, she was being intimidated by Bryant's fans and didn't want to be the focus of public attention. They settled because Bryant was guilty.Delete
I have no interest in whether Bryant was heterosexual or not (his wife and daughter may have had some interest). This is another aspect of accepting people as they are -- it is no one's business what his orientation was, just his behavior. His fans excused his behavior and he got off because he was famous. That isn't justice.
Your belief that you should get to dictate how other people think of themselves is ridiculous. You don't know anything about them, and you don't know anything about biology either. This might be an example of why ignorant people dislike expertise -- those who know something tend to contradict their favorite notions about the world.
Binary categories don't make sense when it comes to continuous dimensions, such as gender. According to such categories, a creature must be either fish or fowl, can't be anything else, much less a flying fish or a bird that swims under water. You are thinking in too black and white terms, and nature doesn't conform to binaries like this. There are many ways to be somewhere between male and female or to be both, not one or the other. Language and thinking is catching up to something that doctors and biologists have always known, because they've seen the cases and they understand how messy nature can be, and how science thinks about gender.
"Someone who is fluid -- also called gender fluid -- is a person whose gender identity (the gender they identify with most) is not fixed. It can change over time or from day-to-day." And there is a distinction made between expression and identity.
And then there is the rudeness of trying to tell another person how they have to be. That is never OK, always wrong. Both kindness and politeness dictate that you accept people on their own terms, whatever those might be, regardless of your own opinions. And this is another reason why you are a horrible person. You don't know how to treat other people. Calling a person "nonsense" because they think of themselves differently than you do, is horrible. And yes, I am a better person than you are if I treat people better than you do.
Anonymouse 8:36pm, thank you. You’ve now convinced me that distinctions in species, let alone the sexes, are superfluous.Delete
I referenced Bryant’s sexuality because an anonymouse brought him up as a counter to a statement I had made earlier concerning the gender fluid rapist.
Yes, and what do you then call a wolf/coyote hybrid?Delete
What do you call a wolf and dog mix?Delete
What equipment must a pregnant wolfdog possess?
What do you call the offspring of a cat and a fish?
answer- Good eats.
I think the kid rapist claimed he was gender palpable.Delete
There’s not a woman on earth who hasn’t heard that before.Delete
It's fluid from one moment to the next. Like Republican support of freedom and liberty, depends on who's wailing it.Delete
When you want to attack or oppose something, it's smart to give it a name. That's Persuasion 101. E.g., "McCarthyism" and "Racism".ReplyDelete
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"In the 1999 film The Sixth Sense, a little boy could see dead people. Here within our failing tribe, we can't see ourselves."ReplyDelete
The dead people in Sixth Sense were ghosts. Is Somerby implying that our failure to "see" JFK Jr. (who Q-Anon promises is coming back to run with Donald Trump) makes us failures? Is this a veiled death threat? Somerby does seem to be ratcheting up his language, all aimed at liberals because The Other are presumably all OK guys that Somerby would enjoy having a beer with.
Thanks for the laughs, dear dembot.Delete
“Gender fluidity may tickle you as silly, but it is natural and common; you may giggle at the notion but that just shows your ignorance of biology.”ReplyDelete
No one would say this with a straight face if not to facilitate more and more minority victim status groups to whip into political outrage.
Let's hope they don't try to overthrow Congress because black people's votes counted in an election.Delete
That's only one, of many, reasons Republican voters should be called "Nazis".ReplyDelete
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