SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 2022
But also, Chris Hayes falls in line: On Thursday afternoon (East Coast time), Kevin Drum launched a short post. Inoffensive headline included, it (remarkably) started like this:
What are the best books for middle schoolers about the Holocaust?
Our story so far: East Bumfuck County¹ in Tennessee—about 20 miles away from the site of the Scopes monkey trial—has banned Maus, a Pulitzer-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust. Outrage is universal.
There was a bit more to the post; for today, we'll leave it at that. Drum was discussing a recent event in a place called "East Bumfuck County."
Less comedically, Drum was referring to McMinn County, Tennessee—population, roughly 53,000. For the record, Drum's footnote about this county made his original snarky remarks even dumber and worse.
We were surprised by what Drum wrote; the comments were appalling. That said, the comments were also highly instructive. We expect to visit those comments in the coming week.
How do we liberals picture the Others? How have we always pictured the Others, stretching back through the annals of time?
Over the years, we've tried to call attention to the dumbness and ugliness of these secret tribal dreams. Also, to the political problems our less-than-secret musings create.
We've also noted a basic fact:
According to experts, nothing is ever going to change this moral / intellectual dumbness. According to experts, the transcendent belief that Others live in places with names like "East Bumfuck" is deeply wired in our deeply flawed, notably weak human brains.
According to experts, nothing can disconnect this deeply primal wiring. And this wiring exists in the brains of our tribe, as it does in the brains of theirs.
Drum's "East Bumfuck" remark was surprising, disappointing—strange. The comments were appalling.
In a somewhat similar vein, we were dismayed on Thursday night by Chris Hayes' treatment of a burgeoning tribal Storyline, in the course of which the cable host fully signed on with the gang.
To what burgeoning Storyline do we refer? We refer to the Storyline involving the "forgeries" submitted by Republican would-be electors in December 2020.
On Friday, January 21, Hayes had offered a segment which added a bit of complexity to this burgeoning Storyline. More specifically, it added a bit of complexity to the childish account of this matter which Rachel Maddow had been spoon-feeding to dumbnified viewers ever since December 2021.
(On Thursday, January 20, Hayes had also offered a segment which added complexity to the standard Storyline about Donald Trump's phone call with Brad Raffensperger. The analysts had almost begun to think that they had their old Hayes back!)
This past Thursday night, Hayes agreed to dumb himself all the way down, adopting The Maddow Framework. Near the start of his opening segment, his treatment started like this:
HAYES (1/27/22): And now, going even further up the chain, federal prosecutors are looking into the phony elector certifications that were sent to the National Archives from multiple states falsely declaring Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 election.
The way I think about this scheme, it's sort of like when you're a kid in school, elementary school, and you get a letter sent home, maybe it's about a bad grade, maybe about getting detention for some misbehavior. You might try to just forge your parent's signature, take it back the next day.
This was like that, but for a coup that would end American democracy.
It was sort of like when you're a kid and you forge your parent's signature to a bad report card! In this way, Hayes publicly debased himself, signing on to the idiot Maddow's framework.
In fact, it wasn't like when you forge your parent's signature to a letter or a report card. Whatever else it actually was, it wasn't like that at all!
Indeed, the now-submissive Hayes knew it wasn't like that! Moments later, he submissively offered this:
HAYES: After the 2020 election, Trump supporters in seven different states that Biden won sent phony certificates to the National Archives claiming that they were the actual electors.
Now in some cases, the documents are signed by the top state Republican Party official. This was not just some like freelance group of wackos. So even though this may sound like sort of flailing, again almost comical attempt to forge your parents' signature, send some fake documents, hope the National Archives won't notice—"Oh look, we got this from Arizona!"—it was actually part of a very coordinated plan by Donald Trump and his allies.
It may turn out that this actually was "part of a very coordinated plan by Donald Trump and his allies." It seems to have come from the law firm of Guiliani, Powell and Trump—from three central players who all seem to be completely out of their minds.
That said, it obviously wasn't like what you did when you forged your parents' signatures to your bad report card! Duh:
As Hayes inferentially noted, these groups of would-be electors didn't forge the signatures of the governors of their states to the documents they submitted. Also, they didn't forge the signatures of their states' attorneys general or secretaries of state.
They signed the documents with their own names. Despite what Maddow has been screeching, no act of forgery like the one Hayes described was involved. And by the way:
There was exactly zero chance that anyone at the National Archives was going to think that these submissions were the official statements from these seven states. Despite what the absurdly submissive Hayes now said, there was exactly zero chance that any such misapprehension would ever occur.
There was zero chance that anyone at the National Archives was going to receive these non-"forged" documents and say, "Oh look, we got this from Arizona!" Despite what Hayes was now willing to tell you, there was exactly zero chance that any such thing would occur.
When Hayes read that copy to his viewers, he was dumbing himself all the way down to the ground. He was dumbing himself all the way down to the brain-damaged place from which Maddow had been broadcasting in the previous weeks.
At present, MSNBC is slow-walking its transcripts again, so we're going to wait to give you a full account of what Hayes said this night. (At one point, it got worse. In fairness, if we produced the types of gong-shows MSNBC does, we'd delay our transcriptions too.)
Concerning our two topics today, we can tell you these things:
Concerning the East Bumfuck post: In 1992, Candidate Bill Clinton said he "believed in a place called Hope."
That's one of the ways you win elections. By way of contrast, many members of our tribe believe in a place called East Bumfuck.
They believe its residents are Others. Our tribe's dumbness and ugliness seize control from there. Our subsequent self-defeating remarks come from a place called West Bumfuck, where many of our tribals live.
Concerning Chris Hayes' submission: On Thursday, Hayes submitted to Storyline, adopting the Maddow Framework. That said, we're sorry, but no:
No, Virginia! What those Republican would-be electors did wasn't like what you did when you forged your parent's signature to your lousy report card! But Maddow has heavily pushed the dumbly enhanced "forgery forgery forgery" line, and as our tribal wars devolve, everyone has to agree to offer the dumbest and most pleasing account of what actually happened.
In the main, your TV shows are pure Storyline now. And no, you really can't believe the things your favorite TV stars tell you. Some are acting in good faith, but you can't assume that they are.
Chris Hayes is much smarter than most of our cable news hosts. He knew that no one's signature had been forged, but so what? On Thursday night, he submissively went ahead and told you that they had been!
Did he believe the things he said? It's hard to believe that he actually did, but he said them anyway.
Also, the Kilmeade rule: We first told you this about Brian Kilmeade of Fox News, roughly two decades ago:
People will do a lot of things to retain the giant salaries paid by "cable news."
People who watch these TV shows don't know that they're being misled and misinformed. They don't know that in East Bumfuck, and we don't know over here in the West.