STARTING TOMORROW: Fury versus forgiveness!


A tale of two dueling columns: This morning, it's Kim Potter who we want to lock up.

No one alleges that she intended to shoot Daunte Wright. The prosecutors want 25 years all the same.

A few weeks back, it was the teenager, the one who lives "across state lines" from nearby Kenosha. Having been forced to drop his fire extinguisher, he'd shot and killed a mentally ill man who was chasing him through the streets, having threatened to kill him.

From there, we moved on to the 15-year-old in Michigan, but also to his parents. We're hoping to lock all three of them up. Can we possibly charge the high school counselor too? 

Increasingly, more and more, this is the way we function. We've been drifting in this direction for years. Along the way, a lot of disappeared information helps keep our anger on track.

Also this morning, it's Joe Manchin who is the focus of our tribe's righteous anger. It isn't clear that this makes perfect sense, in part because he represents (massively pro-Trump) West Virginia, but also because of this:

COCHRANE AND EDMONDSON (12/20/21): Mr. Manchin outlined the conditions for his vote in a July 28 memo signed with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, which became public in late September, saying that [the Build Back Better bill] must be fully paid for and that any revenue over $1.5 trillion must go toward lowering the federal budget deficit. That memo also included limits on who could benefit from new programs and a ban on repealing fossil-fuel tax credits—and a warning that his vote would not be guaranteed if his conditions were exceeded.

However, Mr. Manchin has largely focused his attention on what he does not want in the package and has been vague about what programs and policies he might support.

In recent weeks, he has continued to insist that the bill shrink, and that it refrain from short-term budget gimmicks, which would most likely require lawmakers to fund fewer programs over the long term.

So it says, though only as a reminder, in today's New York Times. You can see the detailed memo here—but it was duly delivered, and jointly signed, way back in July.

That formal memo constituted a fair amount of notice. With respect to those "short-term budget gimmicks," yes, they're very much there, though you may have not heard a lot about them at our favorite liberal sites, or from our tribe's cable news stars.

Despite these facts, Manchin is being widely name-called today—except by AOC. For our money, the tweet she offered makes more sense than some others do:

OCASIO-CORTEZ (12/19/21): People can be mad at Manchin all they want, but we knew he would do this months ago.

Where we need answers from are the leaders who promised a path on BBB if [the infrastructure bill] passed: Biden & Dem leaders. They chose to move [the infrastructure bill] alone instead of w/ BBB, not Manchin.

So they need to fix it.

In fairness, no one "knew" that Manchin was going to do this, but there were plenty of reasons to think so. If people feel the need to be mad at someone today, we think AOC's suggestion may be worth considering.  

(In the larger sense, it does seem that someone misjudged this whole shebang from the start. Sometimes that can happen.)

By the way:

Why are we name-calling Manchin alone, when 50 other senators—including the other senator from his state—have opposed every part of this thing every step of the way? That includes the less reliable Republicans who sometimes vote with the Democrats. Why aren't we yelling at them?

Given the unfortunate way our electoral system works, it's increasingly hard for Democrats to assemble an actual Senate majority. That isn't anybody's fault, but along the winding road to this day, have we possibly chosen to keep ignoring that fact?

Have we perhaps been living in a bit of a fantasyland? If so, why aren't we mad at ourselves?

A lot of anger has been floating around; we'd call it free-floating fury.  As our system comes apart at the seams, it's understandable that this anger exists, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's helpful or right.

This week, we want to suggest that we within our struggling tribe should take a look at our anger. Should we really want to lock everyone up? Should we loathe so many Others?

Tomorrow, we'll start with a pair of columns. One of them appeared last week; one appeared a few years back. 

Earlier this month, Charles Blow said he was "infuriated," as he frequently is. Back in 2019, Kirsten Powers suggested that our fury might not be helpful.

Blow spoke in favor of fury; Powers spoke for forgiveness. We'll also speak in favor of pity this week.

That includes pity for the apparently dangerous man who threatened to kill Kyle Rittenhouse, then chased him through the streets. Joining the ghost of Christmas past, we'll show you the history of his childhood. We'll show you how his very substantial difficulties seem to have gotten their start.

There but for fortune, we may even say! Along the way, we'll show you some of the actual facts, about various issues, which were talked about on Fox more than on our own channels.

Under current arrangements, information is frequently withheld from our tribe too. Whichever side of the current divide you may be on, it's happening every day of the week. This tends to make all of us angrier, and perhaps less helpful and wise.

Tomorrow: Fury v. regrets 


  1. "Increasingly, more and more, this is the way we function."

    Hmm. Actually, the way you function, dear Bob, (you and your liberal comrades that is) is to jail Others while letting real criminals (presumed to be your cult's disciples) roam the streets. No bail, no charge, no nothing.

    Garden variety political repressions.

  2. The straw man that we want “lock everyone up” is a lazy scarecrow even for Bob. The woman who on trial this week will probably get off, though I agree it’s dumb this is even a case. Rittenhouse got of because even if you find his family deeply creepy, he had a plausible self defense case. The wack job judge, who seems to represent Fox America, is infuriating and naturally a subject Bob doesn’t want to look at. The obviously guilty white killers in the recent high profile killings were convicted and probably only went to trial because the State offered them nothing to plead down on. The Georgia defense lawyers made a mockery of Bob’s “What Me Worry?” Take on race.

  3. the way, here's good media criticism, dear Bob.

    It's right on the money and it's fun to read. Howie Carr, for you reading pleasure:

    Howie Carr: Biden’s pandemic makes more miss Donald Trump

    1. Hey Bozo, we’ll miss Trump when Biden calls the pandemic “a Republican Fraud.”

    2. Today, Trump urged all his supporters to get a vaccine booster shot.

    3. Won’t much help the ones who booed, they still think it’s a Democratic Hoax, as many who have died.

    4. Meanwhile, some Q-Anon members think that vaccine is going to be hidden in food, so that everyone will be forced to consume the vaccine when they eat.

    5. That's wonderful, David. You want us to give him a cookie? Unfortunately, you can't get a booster if you haven't gotten the first shots. You really are pathetic. Your sad devotion to that corrupt monstrosity is astonishing.

  4. "That includes pity for the apparently dangerous man who threatened to kill Kyle Rittenhouse, then chased him through the streets. "

    Notice how Somerby dutifullty repeats the supposed facts spread by Fox News about Rittenhouse. He says he dropped his fire extinguisher. And yet there is no footage of Rittenhouse putting out any fires or helping anyone medically. There is also footage of the mentally ill man's behavior and he was not the menace Somerby portrays him as. Rittenhouse was apparently terrified by a man who yelled at him and threw a plastic bag containing a sandwich and his underwear. If Rittenhouse were not a frightened boy, he wouldn't have run and would have ignored the man, as others were doing. But he was armed with an AR-15, so he shot an unarmed mentally ill man, despite supposedly being a medic interested in nursing. Yeah, right.

    Fifteen year old boys who kill two unarmed men and wound another need to be removed from the circumstances that led to their behavior so that they can be helped to engage in more normal, prosocial behavior. It is not OK for teens to use guns to shoot people, no matter how many fire extinguishers they may own.

    Somerby doesn't like anyone to be locked up, but society cannot allow teens to go back to their lives after commiting such acts. They need help and society needs protection. Look what happened when that teen in Wisconsin was permitted to go back to class despite brining a weapon to school and engaging in other behaviors that were an obvious warning and cry for help.

    Rittenhouse is speaking to other teens at the conservative Turning Point AmericaFest rally. He is receiving the message that his behavior was acceptable, when it was not. Somerby doesn't care about the damage being done to that teen by those using him for political purposes (as he was used in Kenosha).

    Somerby pretends to care about kids, but he shows no regard for what actually happens to them after commiting heinous acts. He has expressed no concern about the teen who shot and killed 6 classmates at his high school, with a similar gun.

    Today, he shows no concern for children when he fails to talk about the demise of the child care tax credit, which Manchin torpedoed. Somerby doesn't give a damn about kids. That is obvious from his choices of what to mention and what to ignore in his daily essays.

    Democrats must live with the fact of Manchin's obstructionism. Just as Democrats live with the 50 other senators who block government accomplishments and needed legislation. No one on the left is calling for Manchin's removal or yelling that he should be put in jail, or even suggesting anything other than that the voters are not being well-served by their senator. Democrats work within the system -- we do not try to overthrow it when we dislike the results. Somerby seems to be rubbing it in that conservatives are obstructionists. That's nothing new and it certainly isn't the fault of Democrats.

    When Hillary lost the nomination to Obama, she cried -- not because she wasn't going to be the nominee, but because of the missed opportunities for the country. Democrats weep for the loss to our people, not their personal goals. Hillary would have been a wonderful president, unlike the abomination Trump, who is personally responsible for hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths. The loss is not to Hillary, who is enjoying her retirement, but to our country, which is still suffering the after-effects of Trump's sabotage.

    And the greater tragedy is that so many people on the right don't see what has happened, don't understand their own loss and tragedy.

    That is what Somerby should be sad about. Needless to say, he is not obsessing over that, the way liberals do. He is still trying to convert liberals to his conservative cause by making democrats seem unappealing. And I don't really know whether he is pathetic or evil -- or perhaps both.

    1. Where was Somerby's pity before the guy was shot and killed?

    2. Rosenbaum did not threaten to kill Rittenhouse, in fact the dynamic was just the opposite; Rittenhouse, in a classic right wing move, taunted Rosenbaum into chasing after him, then turned suddenly and shot him dead, then galloped away in glee.

      Somerby is just lying.

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