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CSotD: Don’t bother. They’re here.

As we come within two weeks of the midterms, Paul Berge riffs on GEICO’s riff on cheesy horror movies to show where we stand.

It’s funny as a riff on cheesy horror movies, less so as a riff on a cheesy electorate, but he’s right: The right-wing media bubble has been effective enough that those in it behave only within the bizarre logic of that alternative, fictional universe.

Even with Twitter and Facebook feeds curated to eliminate the most toxic lunacy, I’ve been pounded for the past few days with a flood of groundless accusations from people I hope are having staff send out this stuff.

That is, maybe Don Jr. has nothing better to do, but MTG and Jim Jordan have regular jobs, though it’s been eight years since Jordan got anything passed, and Taylor Greene is still introducing bills that go nowhere, perhaps because they tend to be about eccentric fixations on impeaching her enemies and opposing vaccines.

 

While, in the race for NY Governor, Bill Bramhall offers the reminder that New York City and New York State are not the same place, despite Lee Zeldin apparently campaigning on promises to halt crime in Gotham, which is the mayor’s problem, not the governor’s.

As a long-time resident of the state, I’m well aware that everything north of Yonkers is “Upstate” and irrelevant, but I also remember that Hillary Clinton was elected to the Senate largely by going on safari to the far reaches of that unknown, amorphous territory where 57% of the people live.

But it’s been nearly 20 years since I moved away, and all I know now is that New York’s football team could easily beat either of the New Jersey football teams.

Meanwhile, I’ve been wondering if I’m not equally in a media bubble, since I ignore Fox, OAN and Newsmax.

However, Daniel Patrick Moynihan was once my senator, and I still believe his dictum about being entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

 

Besides, while Clay Jones and I are generally on the same page, I often disagree with him on specifics.

This is not one of those times, since he answers my question: However you feel about Republican attacks on John Fetterman’s halting performance in this week’s debate, it’s clear that they have all sorts of tolerance for the verbally disadvantaged in their own party.

Let’s face it: A major advantage on the right side of the aisle is that they remain in solid lockstep, while the left continually asks questions of its own leadership.

A prime example being the difference between how the GOP rallies behind the rantings of Don Jr. and Gym Jordan and Marjorie Peachtree Taylor, while the Democrats were publicly horrified when their leftwing released an inexplicable call for a negotiated peace in Ukraine.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Bill Day)

(Andy Marlette — Creators)

That solid GOP wall is showing a few cracks, and two cartoonists from the Sunshine State both noted a moment in their gubernatorial debate in which Ron DeSantis found himself momentarily unable to answer a challenge from his opponent, Charlie Crist.

Marlette is more specific, suggesting that DeSantis was more afraid of his probable opponent in 2024 than of Florida’s voters in 2022, and current polls suggest that he’s justified in that, holding a double-digit advantage despite his unwillingness to commit to serving a full term.

 

DeSantis is wise to be concerned over challenging Trump, because, however GOP solidarity may waiver here and there, Trump remains the hero.

Adam Zyglis suggests that the Jan 6 Committee’s subpoena could force him to go on the record under oath, but that’s a dubious assumption.

Trump attorney Alina Habba told Newsmax “I would recommend that he cooperate because, when you have nothing to hide, that’s what I always recommend.”

Say what?

Trump has long since gone through his best legal advisors, in part because he doesn’t listen to them anyway, and Rolling Stone reports that most of his staff disagreed vehemently with Habba’s confident advice.

Though I enjoyed Pelosi’s gamesmanship in saying Trump “wasn’t man enough” to testify, a case of grabbing him by something-or-other.

Still, even if he did show up, and even if he didn’t simply take the Fifth, it would happen after the midterms and would be unlikely to shift the needle with his worshippers.

The hope, rather, lies in the potential Ann Telnaes holds out for quiet fury and a major turnout, based in large part on Mehmet Oz’s bizarre saying-the-quiet-part-out-loud statement about abortion.

Oz’s exact remarks have been spun to, as Telnaes and others have depicted it, the prospect of a government official being involved in each woman’s individual decision. His exact words were “I want women, doctors, local political leaders letting the democracy that’s always allowed our nation to thrive to put the best ideas forward so states can decide for themselves.”

In other words, he was simply citing states’ rights, the same doctrine that allowed our nation to thrive by keeping slavery in place and preventing nationwide suffrage for women.

The fact that other Republican candidates are promising federal restrictions is simply a rare case of a major player failing to toe the party line.

 

As Jen Sorensen suggests, liberals would do well not to try to parse those small differences among Republican faithful and consider their positions as a whole, and I would note parenthetically that she accurately encapsulates the trend of GOP candidates to speak largely in terms of restrictions rather than positive policies.

The hope indeed seems to be in quiet fury and a large turnout, which early voting suggests, despite rightwing goons trying to intimidate voters at ballot drops. Given that early voters tend to be more liberal than conservative, this may bode well for preserving democracy and ensuring that we’ll get to vote again in 2024.

But don’t count those ballots until they’re tabulated.

 

As Matt Wuerker (Politico) warns, the “Great Replacement Theory” we should worry about is not the speculative, racist fiction of neo-nazi conservatives, but the very real replacement of principled American politicians with a parade of authoritarian clowns.

Not funny clowns. The scary kind.

Stephen Sondheim was part wrong, part right: No, there ought not to be clowns. But, yeah, they’re already here.

 

Community Comments

#1 Paul Berge
October/27/2022
@ 7:09 am

Thanks a million, Mike!

#2 Mary C McNeil
October/27/2022
@ 5:51 pm

What Paul said.

#3 George Paczolt
October/27/2022
@ 5:51 pm

Am I unreasonable in my increasing desire to just dig a hole, dive in it, and cover myself over with the dirt for the next two weeks? (The wife an I early voted last week.)

Bottom of the barrel was a mailing I got today from some right wing group, talk about racist! Different only in that it was purporting to stand for both whites and Asians. I posted it to Facebook under Syke George Paczolt, if you’re curious.

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