CSotD: Name-calling

Clay Jones (Ind) strikes the right note on the ridiculous question of whether people deserve the titles they’ve earned.

Spoiler: Yes.

Plenty of people have noted that the term “dottore” was applied to educators before it was applied to physicians. For that matter, it was applied to educators before there was such a thing as a Phd to give it formal, technical meaning.

As the cartoon points out, the “controversy” is simply an example of how rightwingers plan to undercut the president by insulting his wife, which is not a new technique: They previously hated a First Lady for encouraging kids to exercise and eat healthy foods.

And referring to a Democratic president’s daughter, as she was at that awkward early-teen stage, as a “dog” not only didn’t get Rush Limbaugh fired, but didn’t even prompt an apology.

It did spark a response from Molly Ivins, an excerpt of which is on that link but which I am providing here in its entirety, because she’s always worth a read and, in this case, was absolutely on target.

FLOTUS, mind you, will need to toughen up anyway, but far more powerful women have been the targets of misogynistic, dismissive attacks by people who not only should know better but do, and only pretend that they don’t.


It is, of course, part of the next stage of the Republican revolution, as John Branch (KFS) points out, in this commentary on the late-and-reluctant admission of reality by Mitch McConnell.

McConnell may have stalled on the concession because he couldn’t figure out how to boast about making Biden a one-term president, since he likely will want to be one anyway.


Or he may have been waiting for an announcement by someone who outranks him and has only recently, as Patrick Chappatte (Boston Globe) observes, chimed in.

And I wish I could embed this, but have a look yourself. It’s not a matter of whether Putin is pulling the strings so much as it is that, until recently, absurd targets of derisive laughter never included the President of the United States.


And then there’s this: Michael Ramirez (AMS) takes note of the just-disclosed Russian hack of our systems, which is certainly serious, but conservatives were mostly silent in 2017 about Trump’s buddy-buddy conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak behind closed doors, during which he reportedly chatted away about sensitive top secret information.

Having ordered out of the room the White House stenographers who normally track presidential conversations.

And, going back to Dr. Biden and the gossip attacks on the new president, the mean kids are now picking on a Biden aide for — gasp! — dropping an F-bomb in describing how some Democratic supporters felt about Republicans, though she was, in context, saying it wasn’t a useful or productive attitude.


Another intelligent, accomplished woman (Don’t ya hate them?) observes the utter hypocrisy of having let Dear Leader off the hook so many times and now fixating on Bad Language as a grievous fault.

Again, O’Malley Dillon wasn’t even saying how she felt, only how others felt, while Trump was boasting of vulgar things he had actually done. Call me back when you find that O’Malley Dillon is paying to have her adultery covered up.

Or, for that matter, when Dr. Biden threatens the University of Delaware in order to keep her academic records sealed.

It’s gonna be a fun four years.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Tim Campbell – WPWG)


(Kirk Walters – KFS)

Elsewhere in the “What is in a name?” universe, the owners of Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team have finally agreed to drop the race-based name of their team.

A lot of the coverage has noted that the team has had the name for more than a century, but that ignores the fact that, for about half that time, they’ve been under pressure to change it, marking, as Campbell says, the end of a process and, as Walters suggests, a surrender after a shameful fight to avoid the obvious.

We can expect the usual chorus of people who can’t understand why a college whose students are predominantly Irish Catholic would adopt an Irish Catholic mascot, or why an NFL team in a state  culturally dominated by Scandinavians would have a Viking as its mascot.

And they’ll explain that the Indians were named to honor a man who played there for the better part of three seasons about 15 years before the name change.

Anyway, when you show me the reservations in this country where leprechauns and vikings live in abject poverty with shortened life expectancies and poor health care resources, I’ll protest those mascots, too.


But let’s not blame it all on racist fascisti; there’s enough foolishness out there to go around.

I don’t often feature A.F. Branco (Creators) here, given how far out on the fringe he generally dwells, but I check out his work regularly and this one sent me scrambling into Google News.

It seems a committee in San Francisco really has recommended renaming a number of schools in the city because of racial problems with people like Jefferson and Madison, who owned slaves, and Balboa, who killed natives.

But their list also includes Lincoln for his admittedly bad Indian policy, and Diane Feinstein, who, when a Confederate flag was vandalized, approved its replacement.

It’s only a proposal at this stage, and committees recommend a lot of things that never get past that point.

As critics have suggested, we wouldn’t be able to name anything for anyone from the past if we tossed them aside for every aspect of their lives that doesn’t meet current standards.

Not that Feinstein is exactly from the past, yet.

Then again, what if Harvey Milk had rubberstamped that invoice?

Ah, well. Given that I’m not a big fan of the Great Man school of history, I wouldn’t fight too hard against a proposal to drop names entirely and go back to numbers.

Just so long as, when PS 42 calls their team “The Fords,” we know that it’s Ford Prefect, not Henry Ford.


4 thoughts on “CSotD: Name-calling

  1. Maybe the “Great Man” theory is overblown.

    But don’t I wish we could’ve had FDR in 2016.

  2. I never credited V. Putin with having a sense of humor, but his question in that clip you linked to, “They have a kraken?” made me laugh out loud. Yes, America’s new top secret weapon is a kraken.

    Speaking of FDR, Brad, one of the school names the SF district would like to change is Roosevelt, but I understand their problem is they’re not sure which Roosevelt it was named after, so they don’t know which historic crimes to pin to him.

  3. The Great Man Theory assumes that some incredible person walks onto a bare stage and makes magic happen.

    The Right Moment Theory assumes that it takes someone of vision to capture what must happen next, but that it’s the moment — how we got there, what happens after, who and how it impacts — that matters.

  4. The biggest protests of the name” Indians” got going in the 1990’s when the team finally got good ! The name was more insulting when they were terrible in the previous 25 years, when they could legitimately have changed their name to “The Cleveland Inept White Guys.”

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