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CSotD: One-Eyed Kings in Command

A programming note from RJ Matson: The Jan 6 Committee will hold what is likely to be its last public hearing today at one pm, so set a recording to catch it if you won’t be home at that hour.

And set your expectations at “not too high.” It’s not that they won’t unveil the goods, but what have you seen in the past few years to make you believe anyone who wasn’t already convinced will change their minds?

Those heads in Matson’s piece are buried in concrete, not sand.

I’m tired of being the old guy who remembers when having been treated for depression forced Thomas Eagleton to withdraw as the Democratic nominee for the vice-presidency, and when Gary Hart dropped his presidential campaign after being caught kanoodling with Donna Rice, and when George Romney’s presidential ambitions fell apart after he said his military guides on a visit to Vietnam “brainwashed” him about the war.

That was then; this is now, and decent people may have been shocked when Trump’s comments about pussy-grabbing didn’t doom his campaign, and shocked again when he won, and shocked again at the stream of lies he proceeded to make his trademark, with no pushback from a compliant GOP.

But if you’re still shocked, shame on you.

We haven’t seen the full response yet to the jury award in the Alex Jones case, but there are already conservatives defending him, and the only shock would be if they responded to this “Have you no sense of decency?” moment by acting as if they did.

No Republican loyalist can dig a hole deep enough to even merit criticism, much less rejection.

 

Jack Ohman points out that a GOP candidate can not only prove a liar and hypocrite, but can go against a central tenet of Republican strategy and still remain not only in the race but in the race with full party support.

Herschel Walker is a fabulist and liar on a jaw-dropping level. Trump is a bullshit artist, but his bravado and bluster are part of the brand. The link in their Venn Diagram is the claim of having graduated from college with honors, but at least Trump graduated. Walker did not.

That seems like a fairly plain dividing line between hyperbole and lying, but nobody cares.

 

As John Deering (Creators) suggests, Walker’s appeal is entirely based on name recognition.

I joked here some time ago that, if Honey Boo Boo were old enough to run for Congress, she’d win because people would recognize her name. That was a joke, but, as the phrase goes, “Many a truth is spoken in jest.”

Even the people who remember Walker as a football hero don’t seem to recall that he was a major player in Donald Trump’s greedy, over-reaching destruction of the USFL. Or that Donald Trump destroyed the USFL. Or how many other enterprises he has driven into the ground, walking away as the little man so spic-and-span who was never around when it all hit the fan.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter that Walker lied about his academic record or about serving with the police. Or that he held a gun to his wife’s head, that he committed spousal abuse or that he left a string of unacknowledged children from numerous affairs.

 

Or, as Nick Anderson (Tribune) notes, that he claims to be running as a pro-life candidate, offering no exceptions for rape or incest or fetal viability or life of the mother, but encouraged a woman to abort his child and paid for the procedure.

Which leaves me “old enough” yet again, because I remember when Repubicans took hard-ass positions until something impacted them personally. They were anti-gay until Mary Cheney came out, they were against stem-cell research until Reagan developed Alzheimers, and the list goes on and on.

But the list has stopped. Not only do they no longer change their positions, they don’t even bother to hide their “do as I say, not as I do” hypocrisy.

Morals, like taxes, are for the little people.

Granted, Dana Loesch is, like Alex Jones, like Tucker Carlson, only a media figure, not a Republican official, but, like Jones, like Carlson, she’s in no danger of being slapped down for her heartless comments.

These power-freaks don’t care about the quality of GOP candidates so long as they get control of Congress. And if Loesch thinks of women as “skanks” and “broads,” so what? She means those other women, not “our” women.

It’s all about us vs them.

Once upon a time, this would have signaled the death of the Republican Party. But whatever Herschel Walker says or does, and whatever the Jan 6 Committee reveals this afternoon, it’s all irrelevant to Republican voters.

And whatever the results of the Jan 6 Committee hearings, and of Letitia James’ civil suit in New York, any criminal charges against Trump and his empire will not come to light before the midterm elections and will not likely be resolved before the 2024 Presidential Election.

And, as with the results of Alex Jones’ trials, will be interpreted not as the administration of justice, but as more proof of the conspiracy against our true leaders and our true nation.

 

Jen Sorensen offers a realistic view from the other side of the looking glass, where people fret and complain but take no effectual action.

It’s not simply that the Republicans want power and will do anything to get it. It’s that a whole lot of other people don’t want them to have power but are unwilling to take action to stop them.

Like Sorensen, I’ve heard too much talk about how messed up things are, and plenty of sturm-und-drang about how we can’t go on like this, without hearing from very many volunteers willing to bell the cat.

The Kansas vote on choice offered hope, but it came in the immediate aftermath of the SCOTUS decision, and, given that we have the attention span of mayflies, I wonder how many will feel the same need to step up in November.

It’s not hopeless. I have been impressed with the grassroots engagement I’ve seen from Gen Z. They’re already making a difference.

But they can’t do it alone, and Sorensen’s last panel should haunt us all.

 

Community Comments

#1 Nicholas Merritt
October/13/2022
@ 7:24 am

While I’m not quite young enough to have never needed to use a check, I still don’t understand the implication of using the phrase “cancelled check” rather than “receipt” or equivalent, because what that says to me is the claim is that he gave her a check to be used for the abortion and then cancelled it before it could be deposited, while the reported story has her claiming to have a deposit receipt for it and no mention of any cancellation. Likewise, the other half seems to imply the the devil got republican’s souls and cheated them out of their pay, which, uh… not seeing hardly any of the fallout any of these decisions should be causing, as you point out.

#2 Robert Osterman
October/13/2022
@ 8:07 am

the little man so spic-and-span who was never around when it all hit the fan.
I don’t know if you intended it, but it’s a great little,rhyme.

#3 Brian Fies
October/13/2022
@ 9:42 am

Ah, Nicholas, gather with me around the warm glow of a black-and-white TV that only has three channels and I’ll tell you a tale. It used to be that when you wrote a check, the person who received the check deposited it in their bank, which sent it to your bank, which stamped and perforated and marked it all up to clearly indicate that it had been cashed and couldn’t be cashed again. That’s the cancellation. Then your bank actually sent it back to you so you could see your payment had been made. So a cancelled check is one that’s been deposited and paid.

Good column today, Mike. Depressing, but good. What have we become?

#4 Tom Gillespie
October/13/2022
@ 12:44 pm

“Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:
There must be in-groups whom the law protectes [sic] but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect. There is nothing more or else to it, and there never has been, in any place or time.” — Frank Wilhoit
https://crookedtimber.org/2018/03/21/liberals-against-progressives/#comment-729288

#5 Mike Peterson
October/13/2022
@ 1:41 pm

Robert: I used the phrase without realizing that it was another case of my being old enough to get what others might not.

The actual quote is the bartender’s question, “Little man, so spic and span, where were you when the sh*t hit the fan?”

And here’s the context:
https://daily.jstor.org/the-linguistic-case-for-sht-hitting-the-fan/

But, if I ever use the expression, “Your turn in the barrel,” don’t ask. And don’t Google it.

#6 Mary McNeil
October/13/2022
@ 4:46 pm

I recently learned another useful phrase (I already knew FUBAR and SNAFU); BOHICA.

#7 Tara Gallagher
October/14/2022
@ 9:36 am

Brian’s response to Nicholas might be even more confusing to the young-uns.
Presumably the woman Walker paid off deposited the check remotely, and therefore still has the original check. It can’t be deposited again (one could try, but it won’t go through); so technically it is cancelled in the sense of deposited and paid out, but not in the physical senses that those of us old enough to remember passbook banking would know.

In general, Nicholas raises an excellent point that if the term is not as familiar as it once was; saying “check” would be a better choice.

(The cartoon further confuses things by having the woman keep the check written to her, but Satan having the canceled check written from his account. Yes, in Hell you likely have to go to the bank in person and stand for eons in a long line behind a slow customer rather than banking on your phone, but that eschatology is beyond the scope of this discussion.)

Thus ends the over-thinking for this week.

#8 Andréa Denninger
October/15/2022
@ 7:01 am

Any check that had gone thru the system to be cancelled would have been returned to HIM, not to HER, so . . . ????

My credit union stopped sending cancelled checks back to the account holders YEARS ago; today, if you want to, you can access a scan of your check. However, SHE couldn’t do so, as it’s not her account, so . . . ????

Has anyone actually SEEN this ‘canceled check’? Or is it as ‘real’ as the so-called badge Walker pulled out to show the Rev. Warnock during the debate? Which turned out to be an honorary something-or-other which meant about as much as the sheriff’s badge I had as a child, from the Kresge’s 5- & 10-cent store.

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