Let the experts decide what gets taught!


Wallace's favorite friend speaks: For starters, we're inclined to view Ron DeSantis as a demagogue and as a bully. 

On the other hand, we're inclined to see Nicolle Wallace as being perhaps a bit "demagogue adjacent" herself. 

Long ago, even before Covid, we noted Wallace's description of the way she understands her role as "a political communicator." By her own account, it involves making statements she knows to be inaccurate, thereby forcing the people she opposes to explain what's wrong with her claims.

(To recall one such instance, you can just click here.) 

So runs the instinctive demagoguery for which our tribe now seems to be grateful. In Wallace's case, it comes to us from someone who once used her formidable skills to demagogue on behalf of everything our blue tribe opposed.

Today, Wallace uses those same skills to feed us the porridge we like. She'll often be joined by her friend Tim Miller, the self-described former Republican hit man. 

Today, we love love love these talented people. We love them for reciting the inaccurate claims our blue tribe wants to hear.

Yesterday's program began with a claim which was ridiculous even for Wallace. With an air of high excitement, she launched this pleasing claim:

WALLACE (2/10/23): It is 4 o'clock in New York. Like a high-speed collision, a pair of exceedingly consequential stories breaking this afternoon. Intersecting in real time at the center of today's convergence, an emerging tension between Vice President Mike Pence and the United States Department of Justice.

Incredibly, one of those "exceedingly consequential" matters turned out to be the fact that the FBI had conducted a search of Pence's Indiana home, where they had found exactly one (1) document with classified markings.

Given the nature of recent events, that was about as consequential as the presence of squirrels in Pence's trees. 

That said, Wallace was selling the cable food product known as high excitement. Soon, she added this:

WALLACE: This was a so-called "consent search," which means it's one that was agreed to by both sides, without the need for a search warrant issued in advance. But Donald Trump's vice president was not exactly eager to welcome the investigators. The New York Times has reported this: Negotiations on such a search were a source of, quote, rising tension between the two sides.

Was that an accurate statement? Is it true that Pence "wasn't exactly eager" to permit a search of his home—a search that could uncover as many as one (1) classified document? 

It's the sort of claim our blue tribe loves, but was it "completely accurate?"

We don't know exactly how "eager" Pence may have been. But in this morning's print editions, the New York Times reports the matter as shown:

HABERMAN AND THRUSH (2/11/23): The search, while the result of an agreement with the Justice Department, has engendered suspicion and anger within the small circle of advisers close to the former vice president.

Mr. Pence’s team had been quietly negotiating the terms of a search when reports of the talks were leaked to the news media. His aides blame the Justice Department, and that experience is likely to influence future interactions related to the department’s inquiry into Mr. Trump, said a person familiar with the situation.

We can't vouch for the accuracy of that account. But does it suggest that Pence "wasn't exactly eager" to permit a search of his home?

It doesn't suggest that to us, but Wallace may tend to embellish. More generally, traditional journalists know what we the people need, but our cable stars know what we want.

(To review the earlier report from Haberman and Thrush which Wallace was quoting, you can just click here. That report also doesn't suggest the conclusion Wallace supplied.)

No, Virginia! The fact that the FBI found one (1) classified document in Pence's home wasn't an "exceedingly consequential story." That's just the kind of tribal food product Wallace sells us every day, using her formidable skills to convince us of her sincerity.

In fairness, it may be that Wallace is completely sincere in the conclusions she voices. It's just that you, as a serious citizen, can't exactly believe the things she tells you day after day.

At the start of yesterday's second segment, the highly erudite Andrew Weissmann very politely shot Wallace's opening premises down. This takes us beyond what we've cited above, but if you want to see him perform that service, you can click here and proceed to hunt about.

For ourselves, we move to the program's second hour, after the forty-plus minutes Wallace and her "favorite reporters and friends" burned away on Nothing But the Possibility of Pence Sending Trump to Prison.

Now, Wallace's topic was Ron DeSantis, who we're inclined to regard as a bully and demagogue. More specifically, the topic was DeSantis' position on the College Board's Advanced Placement course on African American history.

(At this point, none of Wallace's guests were journalists, so she merely said that she would be speaking with "some of our favorite friends." Democracy dies in the manifest dumbness of such pathetic remarks.)

Early in this new discussion, Wallace turned to Danielle Holley-Walker, dean of the Howard University Law School. Holley-Walker is a good, decent person, but she proceeded with what we regard as an extremely strange presentation.

As she started, she commented on DeSantis's criticisms of the College Board's AP course. Where should public school curriculum come from?

Holley-Walker offered this:

HOLLEY-WALKER (2/10/23): I think what it is demonstrating is this larger national trend of states having their government assert power over individuals and over institutions in a way that we traditionally think of as over-reaching and very disturbing. 

So for example, with the African American AP course, that is something that would traditionally be left to academic freedom, to curriculum. So when the College Board came up with that curriculum, that would be the curriculum. And instead, we see the government reaching into our classrooms in a way that should really alarm people.

On its face, that seems like a very strange statement. According to Holley-Walker, if a bunch of unknown people at the College Board devise a curriculum for public schools, that should be the curriculum, full stop, with no further questions asked!

Instead, we currently see a second entity "reaching into our classrooms," Holley-Walker says. Very disturbingly, "the government" is now "asserting its power" over the public schools!

That's one of the strangest constructions we've seen since the Tea Party days! We refer to the time when a couple of regular people said they wanted the federal government to get its hands off their Medicare, which is of course a federal program. 

We liberals mocked the lesser breed at that time. Medicare's a government program, we correctly said—but so are the public schools! 

Good God! Should elected officials simply defer, with no further thought, to the judgments made by a bunch of anonymous people at the College Board? 

The notion is utterly daft on its face. (So is the idea that public school teachers should be able to teach whatever they want, thanks to their "academic freedom.")

Every state defines the parameters of what will be taught in its public schools. You may not like what DeSantis is doing, but Holley-Walker's formulation seemed to make no sense at all.

Perhaps that wasn't what she meant! Later, she went there again:

HOLLEY-WALKER: We know that this course had been under development since 2007. There were a whole group of professors who were brought in, I think almost 30 professors, who really studied and looked carefully. These are all experts in African American studies. 

I think my main question is, has [the] College Board treated any other AP course in the way that they are treating this course? So we know that there are courses in European history, there are course in world history, there are courses in Spanish culture, in Japanese culture, many other studies... 

Has African American studies been singled out? And that is one of one of the central questions that has to be answered. Because really, this is about turning curriculum decisions, decisions that should be made by experts in the best interests of students, into a political football, and into a political football that really targets, targets African Americans, and so that is really the question that I have. Is there any precedent for this? Is there any other course that has been treated as a political football at the expense of curriculum that is studied by experts in the area?

Democracy dies in the dust when people like Wallace encourage their friends to offer such presentations. So do the electoral possibilities of the Democratic Party—and with them, progressive interests.

According to Holley-Walker, the curriculum of the public schools should be put in the hands of the College Board. The Board may decide to consult with a bunch of "experts"—experts of their choosing. 

Once the Board has made its decisions, no one else should try to turn their judgments into "a political football." Parents of children should keep their mouths shut. So should the public officials those parents may have elected. 

The professors have spoken, and that should be that! Anyone who disagrees is just creating a football!

That very strange claim takes us back to the dawn of the west. Plato said the power of the polis should lie in the hands of a philosopher king.

It almost sounds like a great idea, until you consider the basic problem. Who is going to decide who this ultimate "expert" should be? 

Holley-Walker was suddenly back beside the Aegean, saying we should let a bunch of unelected people at the College Board select a group of unelected professors, and once those experts have reached their decisions, no one should feel they have the right to disagree or complain.

It's very, very, very hard for our tribe to stray farther afield. But in this age of cable propaganda, we'll surely continue to try. 

We're inclined to regard DeSantis as a bully and a demagogue. That said, on this morning's Washington Journal, C-Span played videotape of DeSantis' explanation of Florida's objections to the original AP course. 

To see those remarks, click here, then move to the 42-minute mark. We'll transcribe those remarks next week. We'll also show you what the state of Florida requires with respect to the teaching of African American history.

For today, our warning will come in the form of a guess:

We'll guess that, to a wide range of voters, DeSantis' remarks will seem to make a great deal of sense, as did his decision concerning what should be taught in Grades K-3 concerning gender identity. 

We're inclined to regard DeSantis as a demagogue. Even so, we can't tell you that what he says on that videotape is obviously wrong. We'll guess it would seem to make a lot of sense to a wide range of voters.

By way of contrast, Holley-Walker's theoretic—We should just let the experts decide!—is about as implausible as it can possibly get. So it goes as our flailing blue tribe insists on dividing the cosmos into an Us and a Them.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our massively self-impressed, flailing blue tribe is just extremely limited.

Meanwhile, Wallace seems to be demagogue adjacent; she's certainly very wealthy. On the even more dangerous side, she has an extremely pleasing manner, and she seems to have a clear idea of what our blue tribe wants to hear.

The FBI came away with one (1) document. It was an exceedingly consequential, breaking news event!


  1. tl;dr
    "On the other hand, we're inclined to see Nicolle Wallace as being perhaps a bit "demagogue adjacent" herself. "

    Meh. Nicolle The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation Wallace is a good-decent person. By definition.

    ...and don't you forget it, dear Bob. Or your dembot license will be revoked...

    ...but thanks for the laughs all the same, dear...

  2. Bob rightly focuses on how trivial a story it is that the FBI found 1 classified document at Pence's house. unfortunately, my local paper was not a fair. the San Jose Mercury picked up a story from the New York Times. It ran about 2 half columns on page 4. The headline said

    "SUBPEONA ENFORCED" (in red, medium sized, all caps)
    Then, in large black letters the headline said
    "FBI finds classified document at Mike Pence's residence"

    1. Trivial, fuckface? Weren't you the ones who put Secretary Clinton through a living hell over one email, out of 10's of thousands, with the small letter "c" in the body of the text? That was you two-faced fuckers, am I right?

    2. The Pence story is no more or less trivial than the Biden/classified documents story, yet David obscures the truth about the Pence story in his sad attempt to “own the libs”.

    3. A question for the two anonymice above. The ex-VP had one classified document. How many did the sitting President have?

      You won't know the answer, because the media didn't report this figure.

    4. David, like Somerby, is playing the game of only counting the classified documents and not the non-classified documents that also should have been turned over to the National archives.

    5. David, you lie!

      Pence had already found a “small number” of classified docs at his other house, you dope. The new classified doc and other inappropriate docs are in ADDITION to the classified docs he found at his other house. So the number is about he same as Biden.

      You’re so wrapped up in owning the libs you keep tripping over your own lies.

    6. How utterly incompetent is a person who schedules a search at his home after delaying the process, to have such documents on site when the feds arrive? How ludicrously naive is one to think that the documents found on that date corresponded in number to those on the property at the outset? This little show and tell is pure theatrics apart from the bungling which is very real. And DIC is, as accurately portrayed here, a liar about all this.

    7. David, you lie!

      And this is where DinC disappears and crawls back under his rock.

    8. “They found one additional, new document. Pence's total documents are now about the same as Biden's.”

      What are the odds.

    9. I'd say the odds of making a similar mistake under similar circumstances with similar results are pretty high (i.e., likely).

    10. I’d say that you would.

      When do we search obama’s house?

    11. Already done, nothing found. They don’t tell you that on Fox huh?

  3. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. David is a good, decent, person.

  4. Right wingers like Somerby and his fanboys can’t exist without, in a charitable manner, misrepresenting the corruption and missteps of their right wing leaders.

    The Florida bill is not merely a prohibition of teaching sexual identity in K-3. This is a moronic misrepresentation.

    Pence admitted to having a “small number” of classified documents at his one mansion, so one of his other mansions was searched where they found an additional classified doc as well as 6 other docs he is not supposed to have possession of. So essentially about the same as Biden. Yet here we see Somerby take quite a different stance than with Biden, obscuring the truth and shrugging and saying what’s the big deal.

    Somerby’s goal of manufacturing ignorance just never seems to get off the ground, he is roundly debunked daily, all he really is achieving is sharpening the skills of those who fight against the toxicity of right wingers. Still, Somerby is a wounded lost soul, lacking a moral compass; it’s sad.

    1. You credit this cesspool of a comment section with sharpening your skills?

    2. Biden and Pence had classified documents inadvertently; Trump purposefully took and kept top secret docs and then covered it up.

      The point is Trump’s actions are corrupt.

    3. Congress has asked the intelligence community for a threat assessment.

      Also, these news reports count number of docs varying in size not number of pages.

  5. Certainly Bob is correct that the shows on
    the 24 hour news cycle demand a constant
    fury of “breaking news” to keep the eyeballs
    in place, and this hasn’t done our politics
    any good.
    But since Donald Trump could rape
    and behead a child on fifth avenue and
    Bob’s response would be a snotty
    “Trump Trump Trump Jail Trump,”
    before explain to us that the poor
    man is disordered, and speaking just
    for himself, he doesn’t like to send
    people to jail unlike the rest of our
    tribe, he really cannot be trusted to
    not mislead his readers.
    Bottom line: Wallace’s general sense
    of revulsion at her former party is
    utterly valid.

  6. “we're inclined to view Ron DeSantis as a demagogue and as a bully.”

    It’s just that we[sic] can’t seem to cite any examples.

  7. The College Board has been around since 1900. They, with the input of experts, help develop and administer nationally standardized tests such as the SAT and CLEP with the goal of preparing students for college.

    Should parents overrule the experts and decide what is in the SAT?

    Are parents necessarily qualified to decide what should or shouldn’t be taught in AP courses? Do “parents” represent a unified opinion? Do those who object outweigh the ones who don’t object? How many hundreds or thousands of opinions, many of them contradictory, do parents all across the country hold? How feasible is it to design nationally standardized courses this way? What about the parents who were pleased with the African American AP course? Just SOL? Should Florida get to decide the curriculum for the entire United States?

    Advanced Placement courses are taught at the high school level and are voluntary. High schools do not have to offer them.

    Henry Louis Gates helped design the African American AP course.

    Did any parents in Florida have any objections to the African American AP course? From what I read, it was DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education who objected. And, of course, publicized their “concerns”. I might charge DeSantis with demagoguery here, but Somerby would accuse me of listening to my lizard brain because I dared to disagree with him.

    1. mh, your lizard didn’t vote for DeSantis.

      Florida did.

    2. “we're inclined to view Ron DeSantis as a demagogue and as a bully.” Earth to Cecelia … he’s still a demagogue.

    3. The SAT was not intended to prepare students for college. It was intended to measure their ability to succeed at college.

    4. Cecelia’s ancestors 312 million years ago were reptiles.

    5. The AP, in contrast to the SAT, IS designed to prepare students for college and many colleges recognize that and offer college credit for passing the AP exam (for which students take the AP course in their classrooms).

    6. AP = Advanced Placement
      SAT = Scholastic Aptitude Test

    7. Thanks for the quibble, 9:37. My point in mentioning the SAT was 1) to show the long-standing activities of the College Board and 2) to suggest the possibility that a “parent” or a Florida DeSantis functionary might object to some question or other on the SAT, because it was too “woke” or some such thing and 3) to get Somerby’s readers to think about his disparagement of the experts who design things like the SAT and the AP program. One measures college readiness and the other helps enhance college readiness.

      Maybe you thought about the points I was making about the AP as a rebuttal to Somerby, or maybe not.

    8. "The College Board has been around since 1900."

      This is false.

    9. It was established in 1900 in New York.

  8. The Republican Party now hates America as much as they've always hated Americans.

  9. "By her own account, it involves making statements she knows to be inaccurate, thereby forcing the people she opposes to explain what's wrong with her claims."

    When you go to the link Somerby provides, you find that Wallace did not deliberately say something that she knew to be inaccurate -- she said something that Somerby disputes, that he disagrees with. Somerby has no knowledge of Wallace's mental state when making such statements. And this is his basis for calling her a demagogue. That is very flimsy, so flimsy that it amounts to nothing but name-calling on Somerby's part.

  10. "Is it true that Pence "wasn't exactly eager" to permit a search of his home—a search that could uncover as many as one (1) classified document? "

    This is a stupid quibble. The lack of eagerness is supported by the lengthy negotiations needed to achieve the consent needed for the search. The searchers had no idea how many additional documents would be found. As it turns out, it was 1 (but that was not known in advance) plus 7 additional documents that were not classified but should have been turned over to the archives when Pence left office. Shall I call Somerby a bunch of names because he omitted those additional non-classified documents, which are property of the U.S. government and not Pence?

  11. "(At this point, none of Wallace's guests were journalists, so she merely said that she would be speaking with "some of our favorite friends." Democracy dies in the manifest dumbness of such pathetic remarks.)"

    What is wrong with civility? Being nice to one's guests strikes me as pretty inoffensive. Is Somerby suggesting that Democracy dies when people are nice to each other? I just don't see anything dumb about Wallace's intro.

  12. "The professors have spoken, and that should be that! Anyone who disagrees is just creating a football!"

    Notice how Somerby puts his thumb on the scales by leaving out the word "political" before the word "football", to make it clear that this is a metaphor and not a literal football being discussed. This is how Somerby dumbs down the discourse. He won't discuss the politicization of curriculum -- he just wants to make someone sound stupid with making any actual arguments.

    One question he left out of his litany: Should Ron DeSantis be making decisions about high school curriculum for political purposes? I want to know what Somerby thinks about that one, since he really doesn't say.

  13. "We can't vouch for the accuracy of that account. But does it suggest that Pence "wasn't exactly eager" to permit a search of his home?

    It doesn't suggest that to us, but Wallace may tend to embellish."

    Or maybe Somerby is being deliberately obtuse. I don't see embellishment by Wallace. I think it is OK to infer from the facts of the negotiation what Pence's level of eagerness may have been. The baseline is that someone who is eager to cooperate might not require any negotiations at all. Why would they?

  14. "By way of contrast, Holley-Walker's theoretic—We should just let the experts decide!—is about as implausible as it can possibly get."

    Somerby calls this implausible, but he never explains why. I don't see what's wrong with leaving education to the teachers, administrators, and curriculum developers, who all have training and experience in their jobs. If parents care about their kids, I think they won't interfere in things they know little about, just as they don't second-guess their kids' dentists and pediatricians or even the guy who fits their kids new shoes.

  15. This is just plain dishonest:

    "The FBI came away with one (1) document. It was an exceedingly consequential, breaking news event!"

    The FBI actually came away with 1 classified document and a bunch of non-classified documents that were the property of the American people, not Pence. Notice how Somerby disappears the unclassified findings in order to pretend that only 1 document was found. He wants to minimize what was recovered in order to make the search seem inconsequential, but does anyone think the lawyers for Pence and for the DOJ would spend time planning and obtaining consent for this search if those documents didn't matter or were inconsequential to the people involved?

    Ask yourself why Somerby wants his readers to think this is unimportant. Why does he want to malign Wallace so badly that he invents (manufactures) an excuse to name-call her? And why does Somerby think this was a trivial story when no one else agrees with him? What does Somerby have to gain by convincing readers that taking classified documents is no big deal?

    1. It’s even worse, Somerby pretends to not know that Pence had already turned over a batch of classified documents from his other house.

  16. Bobby is flailing away here. It's not pretty. Judging from the reception he gets here routinely, anyone paying him for this prattle has a laughable ROI.

    1. You think someone pays?

    2. Granted, you couldn't pay me to almost daily rattle off a few thousand words only to be mocked and berated by 90% of my responding audience, but I sure as hell wouldn't do it for free. It would be like doing stand up comedy to a room full of hecklers. Then again, maybe that's how Somerby got the stomach for this gig.

    3. Anonymouse 7:58am, definitely.

      The anonymouse horde is paid.

    4. Cecelia, I would like to answer your point on guestbook posters not creating a handle, as I feel it contains some merit. Way, way back when at the inception of
      the daily howler’s message board
      I used to complain about it myself.
      It makes meaningful exchanges more
      difficult and hard to follow. In those
      days, I think it’s very clear that
      Bob had many more serious
      readers and commentators.
      As his own work became shoddy
      and unserious, this tapered off
      I used a handle and rather than
      having my points answered I was
      subjected to lame jokes and
      personal abuse. Having had
      off the record exchanges with him,
      I have serious reason to believe
      these came from Bob. Does it
      really make sense that Bob
      follows other letter and comment
      sections and not his own?
      So, I make life a little easier
      by not using a handle. So as
      you taunt those of us who chose
      this imperfect option, please
      remember the undeniable: yours
      has become a party of cranks
      and bulliys. While that is everyone’s
      problem, it is yours most of all,
      If your desire for serious exchanges
      is at all sincere. . The denigration
      of the State of the Union is of
      course more serious, but
      essentially it’s the same thing.

    5. Cecelia, where do we sign up to get our paychecks?

    6. Cecelia, is Bob paid? Are you paid?

    7. anonymouse 10:25am, yes, it’s such a mystery why Bob wouldn’t read his commenters.

    8. @10:25 There are kooks in cyberspace and they will dox you and even stalk you in real life if you give them personal information, such as a consistent name. Notice that Somerby does not have his email address listed at this site and provides no way to contact him here.

      Stalking has happened to me twice. In one case, a stalker used my email address to identify me, then contacted my work supervisor to complain about me, visited my workplace and called frequently on my work phone, even several years after I had stopped commenting online. Fortunately, my boss recognize that she was unhinged and laughed it off, but I was frightened for a while. The stalker eventually went to jail for firing a gunshot through another online person's front window at their home. The stalker never did take down a hate webpage and I had to explain it when I changed jobs years later. But I learned not to be identifiable online.

      Later, during the primaries between Hillary and Bernie, someone objected to what I was writing on a website, used my nym to stalk me across several websites and announced personal info online that might lead to my real life ID. I was banned at places I was commenting (where my politics were not the same as the blog owner's). So, again, even using a consistent nym can allow those who dislike your comments to take retribution beyond the confines of legitimate discussion.

      Cecelia has shown a willingness to persecute those she disagrees with here, without engaging in actual substantive argument. I wouldn't trust her to stick to the topics, which she cannot discuss intelligently, and would expect her to try to make life unpleasant in personal ways, if you give her the ammunition to make such attacks on you. But there are also more dangerous people out there -- as those who were targeted during Gamergate found out.

      The right wing has many MAGA extremists who don't understand boundaires of political discourse. Someone is making those death threats to poll workers and public officials, targeting teachers and librarians, and look at how MTG harrassed the kids who were anti-gun after the Parkland shooting. These are not people who understand boundaries or have their emotions under control. There are right wing nuts with guns who think they are fighting literal wars when you talk about a culture war. It would be foolish for anyone to make themselves a target for them.

      I explained this to Cecelia but she persists in calling anonymous commenters mice and goading people over their nyms. Why would they care what anyone calls themselves if they did not have a purpose for asking for names? They want to track people down across blogs, engage in personal attacks, piece together fragments of identity to trace commenters who are saying things they wish to suppress, and use the info to silence critics of their opinions. At a minimum, that is anti-social behavior, but it is also anti-democracy because it seeks to deny people their ability to express dissenting viewpoints at a forum that should be open to all.

    9. Anonymouse 10:54am, I have a dacha in the Urals and a chalet in the Alps.

      Or maybe it’s the other way around.

    10. Yes, this is all so funny, funny, funny. Too bad you have to share it with the 25 other troll farm members.

    11. Anonymouse 11:07am, you haven’t seen them.

    12. “Consider that if you have real cause to fear crazy people online, it may be because of the sort of character assassination you engage in. “

      Somerby: “we're inclined to view Ron DeSantis as a demagogue and as a bully.”

      That is just one example of Somerby engaging in what some (DeSantis supporters for example) would consider “character assassination”. He called Nicolle Wallace “demagogue adjacent.”

      He routinely accuses liberals of not caring about anything, being purely virtue signalers. He said they “exuded a moral squalor” at one point.

      I would say that he opened the door to these kinds of judgments himself, so he is merely reaping what he sowed. To put it another way, consider that if he has real cause to avoid critical commenters in his comment section, it may be because of the sort of character assassination he engages in.

    13. See, you ask Cecelia nicely and you explain why you want her to stop calling commenters rodents and stop demanding you use a nym, and this is what you get back.

    14. No empathy, what did you expect?

    15. Anonymouse 12:16pm, I’d say that you have an odd opinion of what “nicely” means, but that would not be true. Distortion is a tactic of political operatives like you.

    16. "Distortion is a tactic of political operatives like you."
      Cecelia learned that in her 2nd Grade CRT class.

  17. mh, there’s a difference. He’s blogging on political matters and making a judgment on people who have a lot of power, influence, in their station and/or are also highly paid.

    It is not an ad hominem attack to say that you find Greg Gutfeld unfunny and belligerent or that you thought Ronald Reagan was an addled putz.

    However, calling Pres. Biden a pedophile is ad hominem. There’s a difference between attacking ability, professionalism, or the type of character that is needed for the well-paid job, from personal insults that levied just to be as nasty as possible.

    1. BTW:mh, you would not be offended at all if Bob was critical of conservative personalities.

      What you find offensive is that he’s bipartisan with it.

    2. No one here has ever called Somerby a pedophile. I have said it is creepy when he fawns all over Anne Frank or Malala or defends Roy Moore. He did do those things and I am stating how it makes me feel, which is about me, not Somerby. You go straight to pedophile name-calling because that IS what Republicans do. They call everyone a pedo because it is the worst name they can think of and they don't want to pull any punches in their name-calling. They called Hillary a pedo, which is a hugely ridiculous accusation.

      Ad hominem means you are attacking the person instead of their arguments and ideas. It doesn't have anything to do with attacking the person's job instead of their proclivities (look that word up). You don't get to make up your own definitions of ad hominem, nor do you get to split hairs so that what you do is on the right side of some imaginary line you choose yourself.

      ad hominem definition -- "(of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining"

      Cecelia, some of us don't spend a lot of time among Republicans. You could do your red tribe a service if you were to explain why you believe the things you, or even clearly state what your positions are. Instead you use your time here making quips and attacking other people without engaging their positions. Instead of understanding Republican ideas better, I come away from encounters with you feeling like you must be like Marjorie Taylor Greene without the nice coat. And that is not a compliment.

    3. Anonymouse 1:15 pm, anonymices don’t have to say pedophile. Just because you couch it in rhetoric such as fawning on young girls, it’s evident what you’re saying when you remark upon Bob’s approach to girls.

      Here’s another distortion, Bob did not defend Roy Moore, he commented upon the sudden aversion to male attraction to “of age” girls.

      Later Roy Moore won a degradation case against political operatives, and by golly that George Zimmerman was declared not guilty.

      There’s all sorts of outrage when Bob asks the wrong questions about the wrong people.

      Far more often than not, his questions turn out to be highly salient ones.

    4. Anonymouse 1:15pm, I am a conservative. I am not a Republican in the sense that you are a lefty Democrat.

    5. Cecelia, at 10:25 here. I let this get a little murky, my bad. If Bob takes an interest in the comments section or not, or if he was the one who started signaling me out for abuse is not the main thing. My point was to explain to you why someone who didn’t use a handle here might not want to (when I did, I was one of the few who did). I don’t think it can be reasonably argued the the basic civility of your Party does not stink from the Head of the Trumpfish down, and I think that is relevant. So when you jeer that those who don’t use handles are frightened mice, you really are insisting that people open themselves up for abuse. And that’s not very good of you.

    6. Cecelia, there is a difference between a pedophile and someone who fawns over young girls. A pedophile may be attracted to young girls, but the main difference is that he acts of his sexual attraction by engaging in sexual behavior with them, and that may be illegal. No one is suggesting that Somerby does that -- and how would any of us know what he does in his private life? The key is that it takes real-life behavior with children to make someone a pedophile, not lustful thoughts and not even saying creepy things. Further, it is a serious term that involve criminal behavior, and it is irresponsible to use such a term without some evidence, preferably proof of wrongdoing. That's why you tossing it around here when no one else has said it, does an extreme disservice to Somerby.

      The Republican habit of calling anyone they dislike a pedo ignores behavior and just tosses the label around without regard to meaning. That dilutes the meaning to the point where anyone who is really a pedophile will be lumped in with the many who are not, and the word will be useless.

      If you are suggesting that we are thinking pedophile but not saying it, then you are mind-reading. You have no idea what any of us are thinking, especially not Somerby who is your favorite target for mind-reading.

    7. Anonymouse 4:25pm, No, I’m not suggesting that you’re thinking it. I’m saying that you imply it whenever you can possibly work it in.

    8. And you are lying.

    9. If anyone here is insisting that Somerby must be a pedophile, it is Cecelia.

      Oct 14, 2013: "Who is Malala Yousafzai? She has always struck as an other-worldly figure, of a type one rarely encounters. Is this how Jesus seemed to the elders when he spoke in the temple? It may be that Malala Yousafzai will simply turn out to have a 300 IQ..."

      Oct 29. 2013: "Is it possible that this extremely unusual person is the latest of the Great Souls? It may seem strange to ask such a question about someone so young. But when the Great Souls appear, they tend to present at an early age. By tradition, Jesus amazed the elders when he was only 12."

      Somerby is gushing and fawning over Malala. I find it creepy. Does he sound like a pedophile? Not so much.

      Above, Cecelia says "degradation" when she most likely means "defamation". I'm not sure she is very good at language skills. But this is unfair to
      Somerby and to my comment that it is creepy when Somerby gushes over young girls like Malala and Anne Frank.

      Cecelia has a mind that hears "pedophile" when no one has said it. But she isn't shy about affixing that label on others, no sir.

    10. Anonymouse 4:58pm, no, it doesn’t sound creepy. It sounds like a guy who cares about his nieces and nephews, and now their children. A former school teacher who had high hopes for his students (who were not born with every advantage)and was thrilled at their progress and successes.

      He still feels that way about kids.

      Yes, you try very hard to suggest his interest is much darker.

      I corrected degradation in a comment below my post.

    11. Somerby does gush over young girls, did defend Moore; indeed his published thoughts on such matters are creepy. This is trivial and uncontroversial.

      Till’s murderers were also found not guilty; Zimmerman’s despicable actions after the trial made it clear he is guilty. Rittenhouse also got away with murder. The list of white people getting away with crimes is dark and long, but not lovely.

      There is no such thing as “conservative”; in America originally Conservatives were people fighting against slavery, to conserve decent notions in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but that didn’t last long, and later, post New Deal, a group arose to reverse the New Deal, those are “Movement Conservatives”.

      In reality, politics can be reduced to two sides, left vs right - egalitarianism and equality vs hierarchy and dominance.

      Somerby and his tiny cohort of fanboys support the right. When they write here, they have no interest in discourse, their singular goal is to attain some sense of dominance.

    12. “Somerby and his tiny cohort of fanboys support the right. When they write here, they have no interest in discourse, their singular goal is to yattain some sense of dominance.”

      “There is no such thing as “conservative”; in America originally Conservatives were people fighting against slavery, to conserve decent notions in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but that didn’t last long, and later, post New Deal, a group arose to reverse the New Deal, those are “Movement Conservatives”.

      “In reality, politics can be reduced to two sides, left vs right - egalitarianism and equality vs hierarchy and dominance.”

      If anyone figures out how a person on earth can “discourse” with this outlook, you’ll win the Nobel Prize.

    13. Try discoursing on Somerby instead of always knee-jerk defending him.

    14. Great point, Cecelia.

    15. The Right goes straight to calling their critics pedophiles, because every Right-wing accusation is really a confession.

  18. I am a paid operative. I attack ad hominem, but never ad hominem sapientem. I hope Cecelia soon emigrates ad Russiam.

    1. Anonymouse 3:34pm, I’m not jeering you, I’m saying that you don’t use nyms because it keeps you unaccountable from one day to the next and as a tool to keep the atmosphere grim and impersonal.

    2. Pull the other leg...

    3. I, too, am a paid operative. I read Cecelia's comments ad nauseam.

    4. I add a steamer trunk of salt when reading yours.

  19. Well, I think we politely explained to Cecelia the
    downside of using a handle. Speaking just for myself, I am only fearful of being annoyed by cranks. Beyond that, we must sympathize with her being stuck with the impossible task of credibly defending the Right in the Trump era, which only leads to this dull, evasive horseshit.

  20. I am a bot. I am a baaaaad bot.