WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2022
What Greg Sargent said: We still hope to get to what many have said about the Vice President Pence. Here it is, in a recent iteration by Ed Kilgore:
KILGORE (2/20/22): But perhaps the most jarring example of selective memory about Trump’s election coup comes from the man he has singularly and relentlessly blamed for spoiling it all: former vice-president Mike Pence. To be clear, the evidence suggests that Trump’s trusty and sycophantic veep vacillated until the very last moment before he “betrayed” the boss by refusing to abuse his position as the presiding officer of the January 6 joint session of Congress by denying confirmation of Biden’s Electoral College victory. According to the latest insider account, he was shown a tweet by conservative legal luminary Michael Luttig denying any vice-presidential power to change the results before completely making up his mind the very morning of the planned heist.
Somewhat sadly, Kilgore starts with the words "to be clear," then issues a mandated howler. That said, we'll skip this comforting groaner today in favor of what Sargent said.
We've seen people say it a million times. Here it is again, in the latest report about "the latest GOP restrictions on race teaching:"
SARGENT (2/23/22): Tennessee parents objected to the teaching of a book that portrayed the Jim Crow era in blunt and graphic terms, insisting it would make kids “hate their country.” Tennessee law prohibits teaching “concepts” that might make someone feel “discomfort” due to their race.
Oddly, Sargent provides no link to the Tennessee law in question. Last September, a pair of scribes at CNN offered this account of a Tennessee law they were willing to link to and name:
MCMORRIS-SANTORO AND EDWARDS (9/29/21): In May, Gov. Bill Lee signed HB 580, a law aimed at banning so-called critical race theory from schools. Educators argue that critical race theory is not taught or included in the K-12 curriculum and is usually an elective class in college or law school.
Section 51, part 6 of the Tennessee law makes lesson plans illegal if students "feel discomfort, guilt, or anguish."
You can assess the overall law as you like. But is that what the law actually says? Does Section 51(a), part 6 really say that you can't teach something if it makes students feel discomfort? Or does that section of the law really say something different?
You can judge that matter for yourselves simply by clicking here. But as a general matter, it's impossible to have a serious discussion of any topic or any claim under current tribal arrangements, in which it's script all the way down.
Meanwhile, how about Pence? In the run-up to January 6, did he "vacillate until the very last moment before he 'betrayed' the boss?"
By now, that pleasing claim is sacred writ within our embarrassing tribe. But is that what "the latest insider account" really says?
Kilgore links to this Politico report by Ryan Lizza—but that simply isn't what Lizza's report really says. Also, that isn't what Woodward and Costa said in their ballyhooed book, Peril—and it was selective treatment of that book's contents which started this Storyline.
Remember, it's all anthropology now. We'll offer this overview:
The pandemic has seemed to lead to many adverse effects. Homicide is up; reckless driving is up; so are crackpot airline incidents.
Some are now saying that the stress of the pandemic has perhaps driven Putin half-nuts! To appearances, the stress of seeing our nation fail is also having adverse effects on the tribunes of our own tribe.
To appearances, leading members of our tribe no longer know how to make accurate statements. Nuance and accuracy are almost completely gone. Round the decay of our tribal wreck, only recitation of script remains.
Anthropologically, we no longer seem to know how to make accurate statements. On the other hand, a question arises:
Did we humans ever possess that skill? A wide array of scholars and experts say the answer is possibly no!
Tomorrow: Luttig and Pence and Woodward and Costa and precision and nuance oh my!