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CSotD: Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Dream on, Winslow.

Prickly City (AMS) has been a voice in the wilderness, trying to put forth conservative views without falling into the mire that seems to have taken over things on that side of the aisle.

Trump broke his silence the other day with a rant triggered by his loss at the Supreme Court, in which he whined about his being picked on and repeated his paranoid claim to have been cheated by an unfair election.

By contrast, Nixon disappeared after Watergate and returned only years later, in the guise of a statesman. But for all his personal faults and failures, Nixon was a statesman, leaving behind not simply the stench of the White House Plumbers but also the EPA and the opening of China.

Parts of him were excellent.

Another major difference is that Watergate was largely confined to the Executive branch, as were the excesses of COINTELPRO and other violations uncovered by the Church Commission, though those latter overlapped several other administrations.

 

This time around, the movement begun by Nixon and ratcheted up by Newt Gingrich and gang has taken place largely in the Legislative Branch, with Trump the result, not the cause.

This leaves us with a party of mean-spirited trolls, as Signe Wilkinson (AMS) expresses it, feigning horror over a Cabinet nominee who was equally sharp-tongued on Twitter but who, for reasons they can’t comprehend, acted on behalf of her own party rather than theirs.

Meanwhile, as Ann Telnaes (WashPo) notes, Sen. Ron Johnson spent his time in yesterday’s probe of the Capitol insurrection proposing a batshit conspiracy theory about hundreds, perhaps thousands, of antifa actors gathering to pretend to be Trump supporters.

(A more insane theory than “Elvis is dead,” which a dozen people could have pulled off, this is on the “Fake Moon Landing” level, requiring the cooperation of thousands of tight-lipped conspirators.)

And Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claims he’s never really heard of Q-Anon, though perhaps he forgot he had between the time he condemned it in August and this month, when he was defending Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The phone call is coming from inside the house. And also the senate.

 

One of the ways to undercut an insanity defense is to prove that the person made certain moves that indicate planning, awareness and intent, and Mike Luckovich (AMS) points out that, while state organizations claim to be attempting to address the Election Fraud Fraud, they’re actually working to minimize voter turnout among likely Democratic Party supporters.

Luckovich, who works for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is specifically addressing the most ludicrous, transparent aspect of this effort, Georgia’s attempt to stop Sunday voting, an obvious attack on Black churches’ “Souls to the Polls” efforts.

 

Earlier, Luckovich had attacked a different prong of the GOP’s purity purge, by which state organizations are censuring legislators — their own or on the federal level — who dare to vote their individual consciences or to make decisions based on facts rather than by following declarations of the Central Party like a good apparatchik.

 

There is hope, however, and, as Steve Sack (Star-Tribune) observes, some of it comes from within the free-market system, where private corporations are entitled to preserve their reputations, even against other free-market companies.

Dominion Voting System’s willingness to step up and challenge the liars who have defamed them is reminiscent of that watershed moment when Carol Burnett became fed up with the lies of the National Enquirer and took them to court.

It didn’t stop them from being sleaze merchants, but it stopped them from, to use a legal term, “making shit up.”

Though Pillow Boy may have some sort of diminished capacity claim available, given that he collected all his falsehoods into a two-hour documentary that I’m sure spared Dominion’s attorneys all sorts of investigative digging.

 

And if there weren’t enough stupid in the world, this morning’s perusal of political cartoons sent me to the Internets to find out what the hell Coca Cola had done now, because Tim Campbell (WPWG) was only one of three cartoonists outraged by somethingsomethingsomethingbelesswhite.

Turns out to be one of those things like “Defund the Police” where you don’t have to twist things too much to be upset over poor phrasing of a valid idea.

It seems to be a lot less than meets the eye.

Apparently, a diversity trainer at Coke used the phrase to mean you should try to pull yourself away from seeing things from the dominant point of view and from acting as if that point of view were not simply dominant but “correct.”

As with saying “Defund the Police” instead of “Rethink How We Keep the Peace,” it was a case of blowing a dog whistle that didn’t need to be blown.

When you throw around labels and make generalizations — “white people,” “men,” “women,” “Latinos,” “gay,” “cisgender” — you’d better be clear and you’d better be on firm ground, because you’re opening yourself up for misinterpretation and attack.

 

I saw this on Facebook the other day and it seems to be not only insightful but well-phrased.

For all I know, the person doing that diversity training may have even said something along those lines, and may have also defined what was meant by being “White” in the sense of assuming your experience and your values should be society’s default.

But given the tendency of people to misinterpret and take offense, anyone doing diversity training needs to be a sensitivity ninja.

I mean, come on: If they’re paying you to come in, it’s not because the place has become objectionably mellow.

A half century ago, WNDU South Bend featured a kid-produced comedy half hour called “Beyond Our Control” that was.

They spoofed the “I’d Like To Buy The World a Coke” commercial by having one of the swaying singers spill his drink on the person next to him, who retaliated, spilling on someone else, too, until the entire hillside turned into a brawling mob.

The superimposed message said “On a hilltop in Italy, we assembled young people to remind you of what the world is really like.”

Maybe Popeye should run the next sensitivity training.

 

Community Comments

#1 Christine Lehman
February/24/2021
@ 9:20 am

That pillow in Steve Sacks’ cartoon looks a lot more smooth, plump, and comfy than the actual MyPillows. My husband (then a Trump supporter) got me two for my birthday last year, and boy, are they lumpy and awkward! If it weren’t for the politics, I doubt they ever would have sold one!

#2 Brad Walker
February/24/2021
@ 11:27 am

Popeye did it more convincingly years later…

#3 Mike Peterson
February/24/2021
@ 5:16 pm

Some of us are not easily convinced.

#4 Mike Peterson
February/25/2021
@ 2:30 am

Though the historian in me would note that Florida orange juice makers have not always been so supportive of “brotherly love.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_Bryant

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