CARLSON SHRIEKS: "Not really part of my life at all!"

FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2022

Lost Child, invested with power: We start today with text messages sent by Ginni Thomas in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Ginni Thomas is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. There seems to be no doubt about the authenticity of the text messages, which are being widely discussed.

This morning, a front-page report in the New York Times quotes some of the texts. The front-page report begins as shown. We highlight one key point:

HAKIM ET AL (3/25/22): In the weeks between the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sent a barrage of text messages imploring President Donald J. Trump’s chief of staff to take steps to overturn the vote, according to a person with knowledge of the texts.

In one message sent in the days after the election, she urged the chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to “release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down,” invoking a slogan popular on the right that refers to a web of conspiracy theories that Trump supporters believed would overturn the election.

In another, she wrote: “I can’t see Americans swallowing the obvious fraud. Just going with one more thing with no frickin consequences.” She added: “We just cave to people wanting Biden to be anointed? Many of us can’t continue the GOP charade.”

Question: Did Ginni Thomas really believe that Candidate Biden's apparent victory in the 2020 election was actually the result of an "obvious fraud?"

(Also this: If she really did believe that, is it accurate to say that she was urging Meadows to "overturn the vote?")

Ignore that second journalistic point. Let's focus instead on the question of belief. 

Did Ginni Thomas really believe that the 2020 election had been built upon fraud? In all honesty, it isn't clear that there was anything Thomas wasn't prepared to believe. Later, Hakim and two other reporters quote another text message:

HAKIM ET AL: In one text exchange right after the election, she tells Mr. Meadow that he needs to listen to Steve Pieczenik, a onetime State Department consultant who has appeared on Alex Jones’s Infowars to claim, among other things, that the Sandy Hook school massacre was a false-flag operation.

She also quoted language circulating on pro-Trump sites that said, “Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.” She added: “I hope this is true.”

If we can believe the Times' reporting, Thomas vouched for someone who was crazy enough to have claimed that Sandy Hook was a false-flag operation. 

Astonishingly, she also thought it might be true that members of "the Biden crime family" were being arrested even as she texted Meadows. Also, that they might be transferred to "barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.” 

Did Ginni Thomas really believe that? If so, what wasn't this highly-placed person able to believe? 

The revelation of such text messages creates a rare and spectacular "teachable moment" in the annals of anthropology. We're given a chance to take a long, deeply instructive look at The Things We Human Beings Are Able to Believe.

Anthropological insight can also be served by watching Tucker Carlson—by watching Tucker Carlson himself, but also by watching the predictable way our failing liberal / progressive tribe reacts to the various things he says, to the bait he lays out.

Is it true that our liberal world is a failing world? Briefly, we'll cite a frightening passage from a recent guest essay in the New York Times, frightening headline included:

While Democrats Debate ‘Latinx,’ Latinos Head to the G.O.P.

...From Hispanics’ 71 percent support for President Barack Obama in 2012 to 66 percent for Hillary Clinton and 59 percent for Joe Biden in 2020, Democrats find themselves slowly but measurably losing hold of Latinos, the fastest-growing segment of the electorate. As Latino voters grow in number in key battleground states, they are increasingly rejecting the minority construct promulgated by the media, academia and Democratic politicians and consultants.

The party that is able to express the values of a multiethnic working class will be the majority party for the next generation. As we continue to watch the country’s culture war increasingly divided by education levels, it is quite likely that Latino voters will continue to trend, even if marginally, into the ranks of Republican voters. The country stands on the precipice of a significant political shift. 

The essay was written by Mike Madrid, "an expert in Latino voting trends" and a member of "the board of directors of the League of Minority Voters." 

Correctly or otherwise, Madrid paints a frightening picture of where presidential politics may be heading as Carlson engages in his nightly hysterics. Also, as we liberals continue to infuse this pitiable "Lost Boy of La Jolla" with tons of political power.

We'll guess that Carlson was never crazy enough to believe that the Biden crime family was, perhaps, about to be sent to the barges. That said, it's blindingly obvious that he is, in psychiatric and anthropological terms, a deeply failed "lost boy."

Yes, that's a technical term, and the use of such terms can create journalistic complication. But Carlson is completely unable, on a nightly basis, to hide the extent of his inner damage, to disguise his obvious profile.

Consider a relatively minor example—an example he offered last night.

We didn't watch Carlson's program last night, but we've read the carefully proofread transcript of his opening monologue

(By way of contrast, MSNBC's most recent error-strewn transcripts are those from the TV shows the channel aired on Tuesday, March 15 [sic].)

Carlson went on, at considerable length, expressing the view that Senator Cory Booker is one of the world's biggest phonies. He portrayed Booker as "a faker" and "a fraud"—as another "Jussie Smollett."

Over the years, observers have taught that story flat and round. By Carlson's remarkable standards, his denunciation of Booker comes in fairly low on the scale. 

His deep sense of grievance does briefly appear when he throws Greta Thunberg into the mix—when he can't even stop himself from mocking an astonishing teenage girl.  

That said, this lost child's endless sense of grievance cuts all the way to the bone. Viewed on a nightly basis, it isn't normal in any way—and inevitably, his sense of grievance leads him, on a nightly basis, to make such statements as this:

CARLSON (3/24/22): It's just so funny. If you were to take a survey of the people most likely to give you a moral lecture about your own moral shortcomings, they would be the people whose personal lives could withstand the lightest scrutiny, if you know what we mean. That is a very consistent standard. 

Anyway, no one has used language like that to describe opponents of Ketanji Jackson, even though she let, to restate, industrial scale pedophiles out of jail with three-month jail sentences. Nor has anyone subjected her to questions about her high school drinking habits. Remember that? 

For the record, we're prepared to guess that Judge Jackson had very few, if any, "high school drinking habits." You'll have to peruse the Carlson transcript to see where that comment led.

More relevant is this lost boy's perpetual complaint about being given moral lectures. He's extremely sensitive about such matters, and it leads him to mock high-achieving ("white") teenage girls who know their subject much better than he does.

Also, to make the kinds of inaccurate factual claims we've chosen to highlight above.

We're sorry, Virginia and Greta, but no! As a judge, Ketanji Jackson didn't "let industrial scale pedophiles out of jail with three-month jail sentences."

There was one (1) defendant to whom she gave a three-month sentence. He was a high school student at the time he committed the crime to which he pled guilty. That said, he wasn't an "industrial scale" offender, and it isn't clear that he was a pedophile at all.

If anything, we'd argue that Judge Jackson's sentence in that one case may have been too harsh. But we'll discuss that matter tomorrow, when we'll focus on the remarkable way Judge Jackson kept refusing to explain why she gave that one (1) three-month sentence to that one (1) teenaged boy.

Carlson was once a teenaged boy himself. During that period, he attended Collège du Léman, a Swiss boarding school, but managed to get kicked out. 

Before that, he was a 6-year-old child. And when he was just six years old, an unusual event occurred:

Carlson was born Tucker McNear Carlson in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, on May 16, 1969...

In 1976, Carlson's parents divorced after the nine-year marriage reportedly "turned sour." Carlson's father was granted custody of Tucker and his brother. Carlson's mother left the family when he was six, wanting to pursue a "bohemian" lifestyle.

When Carlson was in first grade, his father moved Tucker and his brother to the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, and raised them there. Carlson attended La Jolla Country Day School and grew up in a home overlooking the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.

According to the leading authority on the subject, Carlson's mother left the family when Carlson was 6 years old. A childhood of material affluence followed—but, according to a profile in the New Yorker, he never saw his mother again:

SANNEH (4/3/17): His father, Richard Carlson, couldn’t afford college, so he enlisted in the Marines, and then forged an eventful career in journalism, working in California as a reporter and as a television anchor. (In a 1976 local-news report, he outed the tennis player Renée Richards, who had recently transitioned from male to female.) Tucker Carlson grew up with his brother in La Jolla, nurturing a rebellious streak that he never turned against his father, perhaps because his father shared it, and perhaps because he had no one else. His mother, a bohemian, left the family when he was six and ultimately settled in France; the boys never saw her again. “Totally bizarre situation—which I never talk about, because it was actually not really part of my life at all,” Carlson says. 

If we can trust the New Yorker's reporting, Carlson never saw his mother again. Beyond that, you can read the remarkable quote, in which Carlson says that this passing event "was actually not really part of my life at all." 

It was never really part of his life. That's why he doesn't discuss it!

Richard Carlson, the gonzo reporter, "outed" Renée Richards. This might suggest that Carlson, like Donald J. Trump, had the misfortune of being raised by a father with unfortunate social attitudes.

That said, we rarely watch the shrieking, screeching Carlson these days without thinking of the 6-year-old boy whose mother ran away. 

Night after night, his performance is journalistically clownlike, as it was back on March 9. But as he screeches. shrieks, declaims and yells, we think we may be seeing the 6-year-old boy whose mother went to France.

Given Carlson's notoriety and influence, it's amazing how little attention has been paid to his remarkable two-generation family story. 

The father went from an orphanage to the head of PBS, with a stint as a "gonzo reporter" along the way.  

The son descended from La Jolla Country Day to the pathetic place in which he now sits, a place in which he tortures elementary facts every night and ridicules brilliant teenaged girls who have inspired the world and who never got kicked out of anything on their road to this brilliance.

Carlson sprinkled in quite a few valid points last night. It isn't especially hard to do. Our failing tribe is almost as pathetic and hopeless as Carlson's failing tribe is.

(For the record, Carlson's valid points are almost always undermined by his subsequent shrieking and screeching.)

Over There, on the extreme, Ginni Thomas apparently thought that the Bidens might be on their way to the barges. Over Here, we keep performing in the ways which—if Mike Madrid knows what he's talking about—may be paving the way toward an electoral future full of winners like Trump.

We already got him elected once. If Madrid knows what he's talking about, we may get there again.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our tribe just isn't real sharp. When we attack Carlson as a liar and as a racist, we're only building him up.

It seems to us that he's a Lost Boy; all major experts agree. He shrieks and screeches, night after night, in a type of primal wail.

Is it possible that this flailing figure is Richard Carlson's abandoned boy? Our own tribe—unforgiving, heartless, roboticized, dumb—just keeps taking the bait, and reciting the scripts, as we head down the road to perdition.

Tomorrow: Why wouldn't Judge Jackson explain?


  1. "Question: Did Ginni Thomas really believe that Candidate Biden's apparent victory in the 2020 election was actually the result of an "obvious fraud?""

    But do you really NOT believe it, dear Bob? Knowing what you surely do know about the establishment's massive coordinated campaign to install your tribe's figurehead, including outright suppression of critical info, such as laptop content of the Most Brilliant Cokehead Painter in the World?

    Do you, dear Bob? Seriously, do you?

    "During that period, he attended Collège du Léman, a Swiss boarding school, but managed to get kicked out. "

    How awful. Indonesia would be great, but Switzerland? Tsk. No, that's too-too much.

    But don't worry, dear Bob: when we're a senator, and Mr. Carlson, undeniably the best talking head in the establishment media, is nominated for SCOTUS, we shell remember to vote against...

    1. I got a post card from Q that was addressed to you for some reason. He says if you don't jump of a cliff in the next week, you will broke down to RINO status.


    2. "That said, we rarely watch the shrieking, screeching Carlson these days without thinking of the 6-year-old boy whose"

      Creeping Dowdism is their calling card and it never sleeps.

    3. Tucker didn't deride Thunberg in the show, he made the point that she yet one more person chosen so that any pushback is considered to becout of bounds:

      "YAMICHE ALCINDOR: There are a lot of Black women who watched Cory Booker and said, "This is someone who came to really give her the sort of flowers that she deserved."

      You should know that not one of the people you just saw is a poor person. Not one of them is oppressed. Not one of them has anything at all in common with the people they claim to speak for. So, they are to a person every bit as fraudulent as the people on stage, telling you from the peak of the fake meritocracy that they're somehow fighting against the current. Of course, the opposite is true, but you're not allowed to say it, but imagine the reserve of energy it takes as a newsman to pretend, having shown the clips that we just did, that that was anything but horrifying, anything but so fake that the hair on the back of your neck goes up at the fraudulence.

      That's honestly like telling you that, Lia Thomas is it deeply accomplished female swimmer who's winning because she just practiced harder than the other girls. A lot of the Black women who watched that loved it, said one NBC journalist—a person who can't define what a woman is. The problem with all this is easy to make fun of, but the problem is they are praising a sitting United States senator (Remember the Judiciary Committee) for asking zero questions during a confirmation hearing, during which we're choosing the next Supreme Court justice.

      They're saying it is immoral because of the way that she looks, to ask her real questions, to know what we're getting before she takes the seat for life and of course, this was the whole point. It's the Greta Thunberg play. You throw someone up there who represents your views, who can't be questioned because anyone who questions the person is, of course, mean or racist or sexist or whatever. You know, pick your attack, but the person is immune from sincere questions."

    4. Somerby works extra hard to portray Carlson as a victim. His whiney, pouty pinched face helps further that image. But his tantrums are about assaults on his sense of white privilege, not actual trauma of any kind. Perpetual outrage makes Carlson look ridiculous, like a giant baby who has lost his pacifier. If Somerby feels sorry for Carlson, that is Somerby's problem. Most adults look at Carlson and feel contempt.

    5. There is a difference between attacking someone on a personal basis and attacking their arguments.

    6. Senator Tom Cotton's very serious important questions:

      Does the United States need more police or fewer police? ... Is someone more likely or less likely to commit crime if they're more certain they're going to be caught, convicted, and sentenced? ... Do you know what percentage of murders are solved in America? The answer is about half—54 percent in 2020. Do you think we should catch and imprison more murderers or fewer murderers? ... So is that a yes, we should catch more murderers, specifically the 46 percent of murderers who get away with it? ... Let's turn to assaults. Do you know how many assaults were solved in this country in 2020? 44 percent. So 56 percent of all assault victims did not receive justice. ... Do you know what percentage of sexual assaults and rapes go unsolved in this country? 77 percent.

      ...that have diddly squat to do with the job of Supreme Court Justice. I am sure perpetually
      aggrieved Tucker will get right on it.

      Who the fuck says you can't ask Greta Thunberg sincere questions, Cec? Maybe you don't have any sincere questions. Maybe fuckface Tucker just wants to cancel Greta?

    7. Anonymouse10:51pm, here you are implying that a question about law and order is specious in a confirmation process when such matters of public policies and their consequences might well come before SCOTUS.

      Here you are with an example before you of Somerby accusing Tucker of mocking an "extrordinary teenager" (or Blasey-Ford...) simply by Tucker making the point that because of particular demographics, questions in general are considered suspect-a form of disrespectful abuse.

      You tell me who's canceling what.

    8. Maybe if KBJ was being confirmed for Attorney General?

      Do you think we should catch and imprison more murderers or fewer murderers?

      You think that is a serious question for a SCOTUS nominee, Cecelia? That's because you're an idiot.

      As part of his law-and-order routine, the Arkansas senator blasted American law enforcement..

      LOL, Cecelia.

    9. Ask away. I've been asking the name of the Republican voter who cares about something other than bigotry and white supremacy for decades. No one gives me crap for it. Nor do they provide an answer.

    10. Anonymouse11:32am, I think all these questions have much more to do with her future role than anything Corey Booker said or asked of her.

      BTW: That was Carlson's point.

      I think they were better questions than asking KBJ about anything in her high school yearbook. Remember those sorts of questions?

      Spare me your "LOL, Cecelia". We've all seen your boys and girls at play.

    11. Hmmm... Cecelia... your answer to the question about Cotton's question is more evasive than anything I heard from the Judge. How come you can't answer it without grade school Whataboutism?

    12. Anonymouse1:56pm, here's an interesting case that effects law and order that recently came before the court:

      No, the suggestion isn't that it's "black women" who love criminals, it's that liberals do.

      Cotton is asking KBJ if she is one of those "police reform advocates". One of those Democrats.

      That's how the game is played, is it not? That what Anonymices do here daily in your less than generous denunciations of your political contrarians en masse and it's what Anonymices do to the entire country in your declarations of the country as being racist from the floor up.

      In the setting of confirming a SCOTUS Justice, Cotton is asking KBJ where she stands on such matters and making suggestions about her inclinations that have to do with her politics... Her Liberality...

      Anonymices say far worse about their fellow citizens and their country on blog boards daily as just a matter of course.

    13. It's laugh out loud hilarious that you still claim the mantel of supporting law and order. Absolutely laugh out fucking loud that the party that attacked capital police and circled the wagons around the most corrupt president in our history still believes they have the right to claim to be the party of law and order. You have some fucking balls, Cecelia. You forfeited that right although you don't realize it yet.

      I notice you could not find any similar questions of any SCOTUS nominee in the past last half century or so.

      The joke, Cecelia, since you apparently are too dense to understand was that Cotton was indicting law enforcement.

      Cotton probably thinks this is down to efforts to Defund the Police—which hasn't actually happened—and excessively lenient judges. (The point of the questioning, in theory, was to paint Jackson as the latter.) It's a product of the First Step Act, he might say, or efforts to cut down on the number of nonviolent offenders we throw the book at. But this is a downward trend since the 1980s, when the Marshall Project tells us police cleared around 70 percent of all homicides. The '90s saw Democrats in the Bill Clinton mold adopt law-and-order proclivities to match the Republican Party, and put in place a policy regime that by-and-large persists today. (The First Step Act was meant to be the beginning of a since-stalled bipartisan criminal justice reform effort.) There have been some movements towards bail reform and other local measures in recent years, but that does not account for the trend. At no point has Cotton ever grappled with the fact that the United States throws more people in jail than any other country, yet this has not yielded his desired results.

    14. Anonymouse8:38pm, I'm not too dense to see that you've had to move from your suggestion that Cotton was merely suggesting KBJ was soft on crime because she's black to making an argument that the country has traditionally been wrong in its approach to law and order.

      Just like those police reform advocates.

      I'm not too dense to see...that what you say I'm too dense to see... is a far more abstract argument than Cotton's approach and so would be of little effect in a SCOTUS hearing and not easily elucidated to the public.

      Cotton got his message across with no borking required. That's impossible for you and your peers as seen in microcosm by your invariable hair on fire tone.

    15. Anonymouse9:58pm, the answer is I don't know. What I do know is that SCOTUS just decided a case that directly involved police and policing.

      The case was brought in an era where such matters have been of particular interest and the cause of billions of dollars in unrest and calls for revamping of the whole system.

      Get a more germane and relevant to the times bug up your posterior.

    16. Has there ever been a SCOTUS nom who was asked the definition of a woman.

      If KBJ had answered the question as someone with a minor in biology would she have made liberals (rather than Republicans) happy with an answer based UPON biology?

      Embrace your new era, Anonymices.

  2. "That said, it's blindingly obvious that he is, in psychiatric and anthropological terms, a deeply failed "lost boy."

    Yes, that's a technical term, and the use of such terms can create journalistic complication. "

    No, it is not a technical term. In anthropology, it has been used to refer to the orphan boys in the Sudan conscripted to fight. It has no meaning in the USA outside of a Vampire movie franchise.

    Somerby claims this is a technical term in anthropology or psychiatry. He is lying. He is making shit up. And he is doing this in an essay about the lies that Clarence Thomas's wife believes as a full-fledged member of Q-Anon.

    And he is hinting once again that if you genuinely believe something to be true, that lets you off the hook for things like undermining democracy and trying to overturn a valid election.

    This needs to stop. Somerby is doing harm by repeating these lies. He is furthering the Republican lie machine by pretending that liberals are persecuting Ginni Thomas and destroying our country -- as Tucker Carlson keeps claiming. This is irresponsible, to say the least and certainly evil in a nation with a deep division and a segment of the population whispering about civil war.

    It is time for Somerby to stop this garbage, act like an adult and stop abetting disinformation, propaganda, and the filth spewed by the right.

    1. Weren't the Lost Boys characters in the Peter Pan stories?

  3. "Carlson's father was granted custody of Tucker and his brother. Carlson's mother left the family when he was six, wanting to pursue a "bohemian" lifestyle."

    This is the plot of the film Kramer vs Kramer, which came out in 1979. There were mothers who reevaluated their marriages during that time and decided to leave. It happens with fathers more frequently in cases where they simply disappear, sometimes without warning. Less so with women, perhaps because of the stigma against women leaving their children (as opposed to losing custody of them during divorce). There is no evidence whatsoever that a mother leaving her children will cause them to become 50 year old nutcases in later life, spouting Republican disinformation for pay. Nor is there any evidence that having a father who "outs" Renee Richards causes such a reaction either. In fact this suggestion is beyond ludicrous.

    And if this report is dripping in irony, please quote the words where Somerby signals his ironic intent. I don't see any, but I do see a continuing effort to let Republican wrongdoers off the hook -- today's examples, Tucker Carlson and Ginni Thomas (why not Clarence?).

  4. Of course, truly deep down Ginni Thomas believes fraud won Biden the election, because she's a Republican, so she doesn't think those black votes should have counted.

    1. Bob has tried to legitimize a religious fanatic with "genuine belief." He has tried to the same thing with Trump, who obviously has zero faith of this nature. Bob hates left wing people so much, he will try anything.

  5. "Is it possible that this flailing figure is Richard Carlson's abandoned boy?"

    Richard Carlson didn't abandon Tucker, by Somerby's account. His mother did. That happens to quite a few young boys, if you include those whose mothers abandon them by death, drug addiction, and other calamities. It doesn't cause Republican craziness. It doesn't cause anything psychiatric, except grief and the need to adjust to new life circumstances. It is an aspect of growing up, not a form of child abuse.

    "It's estimated that 1.5 million children (5% of children in the United States) have lost one or both parents by age 15."

    It is an insult to the children who go on to lead normal lives to insist that Tucker Carlson must be excused for his bat-shit Republican advocacy on the grounds that his mother went to France and didn't come back, while his father gave him a life of relative luxury in La Jolla, CA.

    And Somerby's entrenched idea that childhood circumstances inevitably dictate adult pathology is also questionable. Childhood trauma doesn't work that way. It is despicable that Somerby would attempt to USE the misfortunates of childhood to excuse Republican misbehavior this way.

    And if he is being "ironic," he should stop this farce because there is nothing funny about what the wife of a Supreme Court Justice did in the aftermath of the 2020 election, which was won by Joe Biden.

    1. Tucker would not be the first messed up conservative with trauma. Remember Glenn Becks mother committed suicide. There's even a whole right wing subculture called "the red pill" that's based on blaming your parents for everything. For example, I noticed the world was run by cosmopolitan lizard people when my mom told me my shoes needed to be tied. It is not only backed up anecdotally, it's become part of their reasoning.

      What Tucker is doing here is a version of the Koch divide and conquer. He's saying only white progressives complain and so we don't have to listen to the Left on race equality.

      The formula I use is

      Loneliness + ideology = cult

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. You have to believe more and more idiocy to get into the Republican cult nowadays. Used to be you just had to not know how economics and basic math worked.

    1. One great unexplored Country... W broke conservatism by giving it every opportunity to succeed, and it failed. The party, after eight years of lazy scandal mongering against Obama, brought them another Bush. They went nuts with stupid rage.

  8. Combing through a media description of someone's life looking for clues to why that person is today messed up is an example of the kind of narrative storyline that Somerby says he dislikes.

    1. There is no evidence that being "bohemian" causes divorce or causes mothers to leave their young children.
    2. There is no evidence that reporting on the sex-change of a professional tennis player (Renee Richards) by a professional journalist demonstrates a "bad attitude" of any kind. It was obviously news at the time, just as Lia Thomas's adventures in NCAA swimming are now news. And why on earth would Tucker Carlson have been aware of it at all, as a child?
    3. The idea that a child's past "causes" future dysfunction as an adult is highly questionable, generally regarded as a legacy of Freudian analysis with little empirical evidence. See the debates over attachment theory and discussion of myths of childhood by Jerome Kagan, a renowned expert on childhood temperament and a giant in developmental psychology.
    4. Perhaps Somerby seeks to discredit all types of cause-effect attribution by ridiculing the process of explaining the present in terms of past events in a person's life. If so, he has not signaled that intention, but is doing a good job of illustrating the foolishness of such an approach in the hands of someone utterly ignorant of psychology.

    Once again, Somerby perhaps hopes to ridicule all expertise by attributing his own nonsense to top experts, randomly, since anthropologists do not study what Somerby attributes to them.

    Perhaps Somerby finds this bullshit amusing. If so, he is showing an extremely juvenile side of himself, displaying considerable hostility, and the beneficiary is still Tucker Carlson, someone who doesn't deserve anyone's excuses for what he continues to do to credulous viewers.

    Somerby should be ashamed of what he has written today. It is callous toward those with genuine tragedy in their lives, mocks the mentally ill by equating them with Carlson, and totally evades the serious questions about what Ginni Thomas has been doing. It matters to our democracy that a member of the Supreme Court has behaved unethically.

    If we accept that Somerby is not serious about today's essay, what kind of person does that make him? Not anyone I can have any respect for. Life is not performance art. If you doubt that, look what happened to Andy Kaufman.

  9. Is it accurate to say that these people are not smart?

    1. You left out the word Trump. This article is about the dumbness of TRUMP voters, not all voters.

      Can't you tell whether these people are smart or not just by listening to them talk?

      How smart is Somerby for listening to Tucker Carlson?

    2. While I did not specifically say so, I thought that my inference was about Trump supporters, not liberals.
      I hope that I have now made that "perfectly clear".

    3. Where does it say anything about Trump voters in your comment @11:53?

      And then you ask whether it is accurate to say that these people (=Trump voters) are not smart. I think we all had plenty of warning about what Trump was like and someone who voted for him was certainly not smart. It doesn't take a study to show that.

      Do you think someone is smart who votes (on purpose) for a: (1) con artist, (2) habitual liar, (3) proven perpetrator of frauds, such as misuse of charity donations, (4) accused perpetrator of 27+ assaults against women, including rape, (5) person with deep business and personal attachments to Russia, an enemy state, (6) semi-literate person who doesn't read anything and is thus unlikely to be able to do the work, (7) demonstrated bigot with a bigot for a father, who was sued for racial discrimination while managing apartment rentals, (8) person who doesn't know where places are in the world, (9) person who cheats at golf, (10) person who owns no pets, ignores his son and cheated on his wife while she was pregnant, as he did with past wives, who he subsequently divorced, (11) person who won't release his taxes or health status, (12) person who treats women with disrespect, in tweets and in person, (13) person with multiple business bankruptcies who cheats his contractors and suppliers, (14) hate-monger with ties to white supremacist organizations, who encourages violence at his rallies, including against the press. And so on...

      Someone would have to be majorly stupid to vote for such a person based on what was known about him before his election. "Did you vote for Trump?" could be the single question on a highly reliable IQ test. The study described by Salon is redundant.

    4. Someone would have to be majorly stupid to vote for such a person based on what was known about him before his election.

      May I introduce you to David in Cal.
      He has no problem with any of those completely accurate items you've listed.

    5. Anyone who isn't a bigot, or isn't perfectly fine with bigotry, left the Republican Party more than two decades ago.

    6. A voter who feels like both parties only pretend to represent their interests would vote for a person like that. As a way to throw a Molotov cocktail into system. They probably think the fool is the one who doesn't yet realize both parties only pretend to represent their interests and still think the party they vote for isn't corrupt and completely bought and paid for by corporate interests.

    7. And when the system crashes, the marginalized will take the brunt of the coming suffering. Not the white privileged douchebgs who voted for Trump.

    8. Yes, like I said, a person would have to be majorly stupid to vote for Trump.

      Think about what you just said. What would our country look like if it were run only according to corporate interests? Much of the legislation actually enacted by Democrats would not exist, because that stuff doesn't coincide with corporate interests: (1) social security, disability, workman's compensation, unemployment insurance, IRAs and pensions; (2) civil rights legislation of all kinds; (3) ACA and other health care, Medicare & Medicaid; (4) subsidies to the arts and humanities; (5) taxes at any level and of any type; (6) national and state parks, monuments, Smithsonian Institution, library systems, public funding for schools and universities (other than trade schools); (7) non-toll roads and bridges, public infrastructure; (8) regulatory agencies such as the FDA, EPA, agricultural practices, protected status for animals, CDC, FEC, FAA, (9) investigatory agencies such as Treasury Dept, secret service, FBI, CIA, postal fraud investigators; (10) weather service, NASA, ERIC clearinghouse for education research, National Library of Congress, (11) patent administration.

      Things that would be true if the government were run by and for corporations: (1) compulsory trade education, (2) suspension of privacy protections for individuals, (3) required consumption, (4) jail for destruction of property, interference with corporations in the performance of their activities, corporate espionage, theft of office supplies, refusal to accept relocation or promotion, disloyal communication about corporations and their secrets, sabotage of work efforts, whistleblowing; (5) lack of employment opportunities for those who are old, disabled, have learning disabilities, are unattractive or otherwise don't fit corporate image (more than now).

      To the extent that many resources and activities exist now that are against corporate interests, we can see that your premise about both sides kowtowing to corporations must be incorrect. Nor are all of the resources serving the common good and public interests past accomplishments -- plenty are recent.

      But do take a look at which existing resources were supported by Republicans and which by Democrats and you will see why your argument about both-sides being bought and paid for cannot be correct. Look at who supports unions, schools, medical research, the arts, and you will see who is marching in step with corporations and who is not.

      This isn't rocket science. Think of it as a confirmatory IQ test, a follow-up to the one about voting for Trump. If you are ignorant enough to believe what you just posted @3:03, you deserve what the corporations would begrudgingly give you, should the Democrats ever truly sell out to them.

    9. Which candidate's platform included campaign finance reform? Hint: Not Trump, not Republicans. Answer: Hillary & the Democrats.

      What does campaign finance reform mean? No money from Russia or untraceable small donors from Russian oligarchs. No more treatment of Corporations as individuals for purposes of campaign donations. No more dark money (from Republican billionaires with corporatist agendas or kooky libertarian ideas). No more Russian money laundered through the NRA to candidate campaigns. No more humongous piles of small donor contributions whose origins no one keeps track of, including candidates such as Bernie. No more huge disparities in funding across candidates, no more time wasted engaging in fund-raising activities instead of doing the job of an elected official. Only the Democrats are for any of these changes.

    10. Both sides have introduced campaign finance reform bills. Both sides let them wither and die. Both sides run billion dollar campaigns with corporate cash and dark money. Both sides reward their constituent donor blocks with whatever they want, legislation written by the lobbyists. Both sides. Both sides both sides both sides. Both sides.

    11. Both sides is another Republican big lie. If any Bernie supporter is spreading it, shame on him.

      Reform bills introduced by Republicans over the past 10 years have been blocked by other Republicans, not Democrats. You can point to a few Democrats such as Manchin and Sinema, but this is a false equivalency if you try to pin it on the entire Democratic party or party leaders such as Biden or Clinton.

      Repeating a phrase such as both sides doesn't make it any more true. Some of us here have been around longer than a few years and know what has been happening, unlike the kids you can fool with these comments.

      For example:

      "The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation that, if enacted, would not only expand access to the ballot box but also overhaul campaign finance laws to reduce the influence of big money and foreign interests in elections.

      The Democratic-backed bill, which combines two separate measures already passed by the House, faces long odds. Senate Democrats need a supermajority to pass voting rights and election reform, meaning they will need to either win over 10 Republicans or eliminate the filibuster, the longstanding chamber rule requiring legislation to secure 60 votes to advance. "

      Then there is the Better Deal for our Democracy bill in the House:

      "The Better Deal for Our Democracy will:

      Empower the American Voter to Ensure Responsive Government. We must protect every citizen’s right to vote, safeguard our election infrastructure from hostile actors and put an end to partisan redistricting.
      Strengthen Our Nation’s Ethics Laws to Fight Special Interests. We must end the revolving-door in Washington and rein in the influence of high-powered Washington insiders, lobbyists and big-money donors – and the special interests that are driving Washington’s agenda.
      Fix Our Broken Campaign Finance System to Combat Big Money Influence. We must break the stranglehold on our democracy by wealthy and well-connected campaign donors by empowering everyday Americans and ending the scourge of unaccountable “dark money” unleashed by Citizens United."

      If this is a both sides issue, please post the equivalent bills that the Republicans have introduced this year to deal with campaign finance reform. I'll bet you cannot find any.

      Here are the stats for the McCain Feingold bill (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2005):

      "The bill passed the House on February 14, 2002, by a vote of 240-189. Of the 240 votes in favor of the bill, 198 came from Democrats, 41 from Republicans, and one from an independent. Of the 189 votes against the bill, 12 came from Democrats, 176 from Republicans, and one from an independent. Six members did not vote."

      No both sides there. No surprise either. Take your lies someplace else.

    12. That's 2002 not 2005.

    13. I think we basically agree. One side has trotted out more bills than the other but as we both know, the undeniable fact is both sides have not achieved any meaningful legislation on the campaign finance reform issue. Both sides.

      It's really silly to me to think that the Democratic party is going to give up the billions of dollars they get from corporations to fund their elections.

      But I get that you disagree and still have faith that they will make meaningful changes once the dumb racists come around to seeing how dumb and how racist they are and join us in voting for Democratic candidates who will then stand up to the corporate dominance that long ago overtook our government and country.

    14. I do not agree with you. The Democrats have introduced legislation and the house has even passed it, but the Republicans are not supporting it. That does not make both sides guilty. It makes the Republicans obstructionists, even on bipartisan bills.

      I didn't call anyone dumb or racist -- those are your words.

      Democrats are not introducing bills to "give up" campaign funding. They are limiting the influence of corporations by replacing corporate funding with government funding. Every year, candidates do exactly that by pledging to limit themselves to only public funding of their campaigns. Why is it hard to believe that candidates will give up corporate funding when many are doing exactly that, voluntarily?

      Some people may be attracted to a cynical stance like yours. I suggest that everyone review the evidence before accepting nihilist statements at face value. In my opinion, consumers are best suited to stand up to so-called corporate dominance, just as they stand up to corrupt elected officials.

    15. Yes, 2:56, I voted for Trump, and I've got plenty of smart credentials. It's a mistake to think that either side is smarter. There are very smart conservatives, like Senators Cruz and DeSantis. There are very smart liberals, like Sen. Schumer.

      A number of years ago, liberals were shocked when a survey found that Rush Limbaugh listeners were considerably more knowledgeable than the average person. They shouldn't have been shocked. Even if Limbaugh was wrong, his listeners were paying attention to government and polices. The majority of people were following music, sports, sitcoms, quiz shows, etc.

    16. Congratulations to Rush for finally kicking his terrible drug addictions. 13 months is impressive.

    17. What makes you think a Trump toady like Ron DeSantis is smart, David in Cal? He is a shitty integrity-less politician, much like his mentor. Last week he named two health professionals from my city to a statewide task force on Alzheimer's disease. The Mayo Clinic here has a widely regarded neurology department with nationally recognized expertise in this condition. Your smarty pants governor chose two members of the local community for the task force: a young Caribbean- trained family practitioner who hung out a shingle here about a year ago advertising his concierge medical marijuana business, and a PhD nutritionist with a local college, likewise with little or no credentials. Ron DeSantis is perhaps not an idiot as these choices would surely attest. He is as likely to be a contemptible asshole who has decided to sabotage any efforts by the medical community to grapple with this problem, having developed an animus to them, perhaps out of a deep seated sense of inferiority. Here's a little homework assignment for you, David in Cal: get back to us when you are able to ascertain what heroic acts allowed a paper pushing Jag lawyer to be awarded the Bronze Star Medal? Because you would be the first to do so.

    18. David has "smart credentials". He learned how to count beans and made a career out of it helping insurance companies screw their customers and cheat on their taxes. Bravo, David. Very smart credentials. Unfortunately David's judgement is rotten to the core.

      David, answer the very smart Senator Cruz's question. Can he declare himself to be Asian? We are all hanging on the answer to this very critical question.

    19. "Liberals were shocked"... oh really? What, did you take a survey? We liberals were too busy reading multiple surveys showing that Fox viewers are less well informed than even those who claim no viewership of any cable news media, and certainly less well informed than those watching CNN, MSNBC, or the major networks. Murdoch's own son, Charles, described his old man's business model as peddling in misinformation. So now that Limbaugh is gone, and you find yourself watching the pontifications of such intellectual giants as Ted Nugent and Kid Rock on your favorite media outlet, don't try to convince us that you are any smarter than your right wing prejudices allow you to be.

  10. Bob makes a liberal post - and insane, nothing-is-liberal-enough-for-me anon #1 goes absolutely batshit crazy!

    Could it be their goal is to sabotage whatever Bob writes because they are actually a right winger trying to play an unhinged liberal and turn people off the viewpoint?

    1. Where is Bob's so-called liberal post? Not this piece of shit he posted today!

      You aren't pretending to be any kind of liberal, are you? People will see through that right away.

  11. Percentages of Latino voters supporting Democrats in exit polls have not changed from 2016 to 2020, and are nearly the same as when Al Gore ran. This analysis is based on a fluctuation of a few points that do not indicate any kind of trend and may not be anything but statistical noise.

    I cited studies to that effect last time this topic came up in comments. This is Republican wishful thinking and another version of "Democrats in Disarray," a game played by the mainstream media to denigrate Democrats.

    And then Somerby conflates the mainstream media with the left and liberals, as if the media were not traditionally and systematically engaged in distancing itself from Democrats by attacking them. Recall the stories generated by the mainstream media about Biden's huge deficit, which turns out to be no different than is happening in the rest of the world and not due to covid relief or any other Biden policy at all.

    And do consider the source. Just because Madrid helped found the Lincoln Project doesn't make him any kind of Democrat. This is a Republican attacking his political opponents, Democrats.

    And why does Somerby, a supposed liberal, quote Madrid today? To show that Democrats are flailing. What kind of liberal does that? Maybe a Bernie bro, but not someone supportive of Democratic candidates in the midterm elections. But then, Somerby didn't support any of the Democratic candidates in the past presidential election either. It is fair to ask whether Somerby himself is friend or foe.

    Someone in comments suggested that this is Somerby's idea of humor, irony. But if it is, is it actually funny? What purpose is it serving? It isn't as if humor were not a longstanding device for camouflaging hostility and expressing negative emotions toward emotionally charged topics. Does humor really excuse what Somerby has been writing here -- for years now? I don't think so but YMMV.

    1. Bob may be a liberal, but his comedy is as unfunny as any conservative.

    2. anon 12:07 - TDH is a "liberal" but you aren't

  12. Ginni Thomas isn't crazy. She's a standard-issue Republican, who tried to overthrow the U.S. government because black people's votes counted in an election.

    1. Lots of bad impulses and learned self importance go into the making of a Ginni. It's doubtful She has ever apprised the sad racial history of the US with much seriousness. But She's a crazy religious fanatic, and no one ever really tried to discourage this. Race is only one factor in a nut of her decline.

  13. When Meadows wrote to Thomas on Nov. 24, the White House chief of staff invoked God to describe the effort to overturn the election. “This is a fight of good versus evil,” Meadows wrote. “Evil always looks like the victor until the King of Kings triumphs. Do not grow weary in well doing. The fight continues. I have staked my career on it. Well at least my time in DC on it.”

    Thomas replied: “Thank you!! Needed that! This plus a conversation with my best friend just now… I will try to keep holding on. America is worth it!

    Apparently I have given these people far too much credit. They are much more stupid than I realized. This reads like something off a QAnon message board.

    Of course them being stupid does not make this harmless. Trump was trying to get SCOTUS to hear his election challenges, and sending this crazy bullshit to someone in the White House is really problematic. Thomas needs to go.

    1. I think you should reflect on what would make you doubt these people talk and think like this. Now go forward, my son, and sin no more.

    2. Sounds like you want to indoctrinate me into some kind of cult mindset! No Thanks. I judge people individually.

    3. So... you are really surprised by these texts, and that doesn't make you feel dumb at all?

    4. Hmmm... well, you really shouldn't feel so bad. Trump caught most of us off guard. I was sort of joking, but a little self appraisal never hurt anyone.

  14. Jeffrey Dahmer had a problematic childhood too. Pointing that out doesn't mitigate or excuse his crimes. Some of the thinking in these comments is bizarre.

    1. 1. Correlation is not causation.
      2. There are many many more people with problematic childhoods who did not become serial killers.
      3. It was Somerby who said that Carlson's problem might have been caused by his mother leaving or his father being a bad dad. No one in comments has said that was true, just Somerby.
      4. If you find something bizarre, it might be helpful to discussion if you pointed out what it was. Otherwise it is just name-calling. That is true for Somerby too, who likes to call people things without providing any evidence that they deserve it -- such as Carlson's mother, who is described as being bohemian, as if that were what caused her to leave or were even a bad thing to be.

      Somerby is definitely trying to "mitigate or excuse" Carlson's crimes. Why do you think he keeps calling him a "lost boy?"

    2. Comments seem to have been arguing against Somerby, not in support of what he says. How did you get that turned around, Rationalist?

  15. How surprising is it that Somerby, who built a one-man show around what his mother did to him, would empathize with Tucker Carlson, whose mother left him at age 6. Blaming mothers is apparently what mothers are there for. And Somerby gives no kudos to Carlson's father for remarrying, nor for sending him to good schools, nor for being there for him. It is implied that his father too was shit.

    It seems likely that Carlson's mother had an inkling of what he would turn out like and despaired of being able to prevent it. At least Somerby's mother didn't give up on him. And he has never forgiven her for that.

  16. According to Saletan at Slate, Somerby used to attack the biases and lies on the right. Saletan accused Somerby of missing the biases of the left.

    No one would ever say that today because Somerby only criticizes the left these days, not the right. Today's pretend attack on Carlson is specious. First her claims that Carlson is a lost boy because his mother left the family when he was 6, then Somerby claims that Democrats are flailing because of Latino voting stats, and Ginni Thomas should be excused because maybe she genuinely believes those Q-Anon lies that justify her attempts to overturn a presidential election.

    How far Somerby has drifted from his original stance:

    "If you want to see the tricks of the right exposed, read Somerby. If you want to hear the tricks of the left exposed, listen to Limbaugh. But if you don’t want to get trapped inside either wing’s echo chamber, read Slate."

    When was the last time Somerby exposed any "trick" of Limbaugh's? He is still attacking Slate though, just as Donald Trump used to attack anyone who mentioned his small hands.

  17. Well, for the matter of Ginny, we must call in Captain Obvious.

    As with President Trump, what a person like Thomas believes is immaterial. She is a cheater, and She believes what suits her. If She believed that Biden had actually won by two million more votes, and ignored all evidence to the contrary, we could say She has a mental problem that is at least... interesting. But her freakish contentions of what is obviously NOT true always will fall in line with what her massive ego, egged on by crackpot religion, wants at a given moment.
    Jails are full of people with this defect, Better Call Bob!!
    Indeed, Bob's even raising the issue of the validity of these texts is a canny bit of trickery on his part. Much more valid speculation would be if these texts are even more appalling when they don't appear in drips and drabs. But I would expect this is the last time Bob will address this subject....SO... we should note all the coverage has raised the point that if the texts throw shade on Thomas's curious vote to keep them hidden. It's probably not that unusual for Clarence to be alone in a dissent. He's a bitter, stupid idealogue who's shameful career is the perfect contrast to Jackson, whose abuse this week would be a natural subject for Bob. Plenty of weak kneed liberalism in the coverage (and by the Dem Senators), but I guess he doesn't have his Bullshit together yet on this one.
    Note: the Parkland shooting was memorialized this week. Bob's crass treatment of the students who came forward for sane gun legislation was one of his truly ugly moments.
    I'll go "half full" on Carlson. At least Bob is not pretending Fox isn't there.

  18. "It seems to us that he's a Lost Boy; all major experts agree. He shrieks and screeches, night after night, in a type of primal wail.

    Is it possible that this flailing figure is Richard Carlson's abandoned boy? Our own tribe—unforgiving, heartless, roboticized, dumb—just keeps taking the bait, and reciting the scripts, as we head down the road to perdition."

    Thus we are supposed to feel sorry for lost boy Carlson, not hold him accountable for what he screeches, since it is his primal wail, not political disinformation?

    And Somerby says the left has "taken the bait." I am wondering who is stupid enough to take Somerby's bait today, besides Rationalist.

  19. Thunberg's as real as a three dollar bill. It'd be tough to name a more astroturfed figure, though I suppose those Parkland kids are close.

    1. That says nothing about the issues these kids support.

    2. 1:38,
      The difficulty is choosing one. How about every non-parent yelling at school committee meetings about banning CRT from being taught to their preschooler? Those people are unbelievable.

    3. 2:16,

      Good one. How about all those silly jackasses who started holding rallies wearing Revolutionary War garb and tri-corner hats about 5 minutes after the country elected a black man president?

  20. I'm picturing Carlson in a t-shirt that says, "My parents divorced, and all I got was a job supporting fascism".

  21. Meanwhile, Somerby has never said a word about the Republican war against women:

    "Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “Should Texas punish abortions by putting teenage girls and women to death? Or not?”

    “That’s the current debate in the Republican Party of Texas, where outlawing abortion is no longer a question of ‘if’ or ‘when’ but a question of whether to kill women for getting one.”

  22. The Democrats are behaving as if they believe in the election fraud. They consistently resist election audits. If they thought the election was clean, they would support audits, which they'd think would prove the integrity of the election.

    1. There are no audits whatsoever that have provided any evidence of election fraud by Democrats. Insisting on more is a waste of resources. It is time to end this charade. Stopping waste is not a plot to keep Republicans from finding out the truth -- Republicans know the truth already and they are just trying to set aside a legitimate result and cast a pall of illegitimacy on the legally elected president.

      Today you hint that you are just as far gone as Ginni Thomas. I have just lost whatever small shred of respect I held for you, David, largely due to your civility. You have just placed yourself among the terminally stupid, treasonous seditionists who think that a giant lie will get them a redo. It isn't going to happen but hopefully Ginni Thomas and her traitor husband will lose their jobs.

    2. As you grasp for those straws, it's impossible to believe your ego allows you to care about your Country.

    3. Clearly the IRS should audit everyone. Those who don't agree, are most likely committing fraud.

    4. audits were done, no fraud found.

    5. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was established by Trump and ran from May 2017 to January 2018. It was run by Mike Pence and a strong proponent of the voter fraud theory, Kris Kobach. When it was disbanded for lack of any evidence of voter fraud, Trump handed the work over to the DHS; the agency was likewise was unable to establish any evidence of evidence of such. Highly partisan Republican investigations into voter fraud in a variety of states, most notably Arizona, after the last presidential election, were likewise unable to uncover any significant evidence of such, although maybe Mark Meadows will supply them with such. It is unlikely, David, that you are aware of such facts, because they are not printed on the inside of Rupert Murdoch's rectum.

    6. And here you see the very polite reasonable David as he politely comes to these message boards, make a foul stupid accusation. After carefully weighing all the evidence he comes to the conclusion a year and a half after the election that Democrats believe there was election fraud. You can't make this shit up.

      And then David will politely ignore any reasonable factual response.

      David, what kind of audit would you like to see? Another one by the republican partisan Cyber Ninjas looking at ballots under a microscope for traces of Chinese bamboo? That's the kind of audit Democrats are afraid of? That one cost the taxpayers of Arizona over $12 million dollars.

    7. D in C, I'm a life-long Democrat, but I think TDH, and others on the left side, are right - Dems & liberals have gone off the rails in the last few years with identity politics, wokeness, 'gender' politics etc. But I think on top of everything else noxious about Trump, this movement he is leading attacking the electoral system, with pure demagoguery, e.g., voting machines controlled by Hugo Chavez. Maybe the worst is his going after Pence because Pence wouldn't declare Trump president. This is unspeakably bad. You're smart (as you've just pointed out); how can you stomach this? It's scary.

    8. So AC/ MA thinks protecting equal rights for those who aren't straight white males is "going off the rails".
      Let me take a gigantic guess, AC/ MA, you're a straight white male? Am I right?

    9. The going off the rails has gone way beyond "protecting the rights for those who aren't straight white males."
      I'll plead guilty though to being a "white male."

    10. AC/MA you pass off lies here, yet you return as if we do not recall.

      Your "race" is of no consequence, it is your lack of integrity that we take note of.

      You make a claim, and then provide no evidence to back your nonsense claim when questioned. So not only do you show you have no integrity, you have no substance to back up what you claim. Even worse, you are a known liar.

  23. Ben Collins said on Twitter:

    "There we go. Russian propaganda is now saying Hunter Biden is the man funding the Ukrainian biolabs.

    Sputnik is citing Russia's head of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Troops, so it's the government line."

    And Somerby himself helped promote this disinformation yesterday.

  24. "Over There, on the extreme, Ginni Thomas apparently thought that the Bidens might be on their way to the barges. Over Here, we keep performing in the ways which—if Mike Madrid knows what he's talking about—may be paving the way toward an electoral future full of winners like Trump."

    This is a false equivalence by any measure.

  25. There are reasons why people become right wing and fascist, and it is becoming more clear that a fundamental part of these reasons is unresolved childhood trauma. Unresolved, being a key part.

    Right wingers also have different sizes of certain brain areas, and this is most likely not genetic, but a function of suffered trauma.

    Causes are not excuses, but are more important than holding individuals personally responsible.

    Why is there so much more unresolved childhood trauma in American society? America discovered it could create the world's most significant empire simply through racial oppression. American society is the most stratified by wealth, by class, by race, by gender; it is the society most invested in capitalism and religion.

    We can solve a lot just through better parenting; there seem to be two main categories of parents: the majority of parents want to raise their kids to be successful, as defined by current social norms; a minority of parents want to raise their kids to not be assholes. It is the second category of parenting we need to shift to, we need to provide a society that incentivizes parents to focus on not raising assholes.

    Somerby has become a garbage blogger, writing garbage posts; today's post has a germ of a good notion (the dark roots of right wingers growing out of childhood trauma), but it is just as likely Somerby will try to weaponize it to bash those on the left. For example, in today's post there is a weird tangent about Latinx voters that seems to be straight up bigotry, drawing a line from Q Anon right wingers to increased Latinx Republican voting.

    1. "the majority of parents want to raise their kids to be successful, as defined by current social norms; a minority of parents want to raise their kids to not be assholes."

      The great majority of American parents want their kids to be happy. Success may be equated with that but not all parents define happiness in material terms. Some see it in terms of fulfillment. Other societies include goals for kids involving duty to family and community, competence and contribution to others. These tend to be collectivist rather than individualist countries. For example, Russian parents would consider happiness to be for children whereas adults should pursue goals of duty and sacrifice. Although there is now some dispute over whether Russians feel less happiness or only express it less.

      Studies of the effects of trauma on child brains show an enlarged amygdala but ongoing development of the prefrontal cortex as children age permits control of emotional response, also known as coping. Kids in favorable environments learn such control. Others not so much. Republicans show increased fear and negative affective responses to death and threat. That makes sense if you think of them as preoccupied with safety and risk avoidance. Maintaining the status quo, the essence of conservatism, is consistent with that. Cynical Republican leadership appeals to the greater sensitivity to fear stimuli of their base.

      To connect the dots, we have Ginni Thomas who is afraid of biolabs and evil aliens, a report on how immigrants are undermining liberal aspirations, and a discussion of a scary black justice who will let pedophiles loose to attack our kids, coupled with speculation of Tucker Carlson's terrible child abuse. This is all fear-inducing stuff designed to elicit anxieties, just like Fox News's fear-mongering, because that is what draws voters to the right wing. And this stuff is all hand-selected by Somerby.

    2. anon 7:58, how is this "science" different from how "science" explained blacks' alleged inferiority due to their allegedly smaller brains? I\You don't like "racism" but you use the same type of steerotyping that is "racists" use.

    3. Black people do not have smaller, nor inferior, brains. Your question is blindingly dumb. This is science, not "science".

      Right wingers are not inferior due to brain size, it, in part, explains their behavior; furthermore it is not genetic nor racial, but brought on by generational cycles of abuse. The roots of the abusive behavior lie in hundreds of years of propagating racial oppression and the knife-edge quality of life borne from capitalism.

      A right winger can claim to be right wing all day long, but if they act in a manner that indicates a leftist philosophy, no one is going to buy it; the opposite is also true, there are many fake "liberals" here.

      After repeatedly passing off claims based on falsehoods, AC/MA, you have no credibility here, yet such is the way of "liberals" we will still offer you edification on your nonsense.

      "The great majority of American parents want their kids to be happy."

      There is no way to quantify this accurately, but if you are a parent, and thus surrounded by other parents, this claim is clearly false.

      Collectivism vs individualism contrasts are too reductionist to be useful when categorizing societies.