CSotD: The Dysunited States

I wish I could disagree with Clay Bennett (CTFP), but, yeah, that’s pretty much the State of the Union, and the only quibble I can add is that the pieces might perhaps be more bent from being pounded into places where they don’t fit.

But maybe he’s right. Maybe the pieces fit perfectly without spelling out a clear message, because we’re refusing to face the reality of our situation.

I’m thinking that perhaps my next major reading assignment should be a history of the 1850s, leading up to the point at which the dissenters broke from the Union.

I know that Americans began killing each other in Kansas, for example, and that a member of the House entered the Senate chamber and beat Charles Sumner with a cane, seriously injuring him, in that decade before the election of Abraham Lincoln sparked secession.

But I also know that — forgive me for bringing Black history into the conversation, Gov. De Santis — the secessionists left specifically over slavery, despite the Lost Cause mythology with which they have since covered themselves.

This provided the practical advantage of grouping the secessionists into a geographic area, an advantage we cannot expect to enjoy the next time around, which heightens my fear that they never will leave, that the New Confederacy will remain in Washington indefinitely, a gnawing canker rather than a distinct, definable enemy.

I do not expect President Biden to address this directly in tonight’s speech, though I suppose Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) might repeat his 2009 shout of “You lie!” if Biden says anything with which he disagrees.

For the record, if it matters, Obama had not lied, or even been innocently mistaken. Wilson’s outburst was simply a prelude to the introduction of alternative facts which have since come to rule our dialogue.

And Wilson is still around, committee assignments intact and demanding that Biden and Harris resign for having failed to shoot down the Chinese Balloon while it was still over land.

Seth Meyers had some fun with the overwrought reactions to the balloon, and I appreciate the power of satire in holding up powerful fools to mockery, but — all kidding aside — this image from his rant stands out as evidence of the performative lies being foisted on a trusting citizenry.

It’s hard to know whether these nitwits honestly think they can fire a bullet 11 miles into the air or are simply providing ammosexual pornography to thrill the gullible dimbulbs who support them.

I don’t suppose it matters.

Bill Bramhall makes the point that a matter that might have momentarily united the parties was used, instead, to provide the GOP with an opportunity to counter the good economic news.

Don’t expect facts and logic to bail us out, either. If you string together the attacks, it’s plain that this isn’t a problem that will yield to intelligent analysis.

The critics, for instance, began calling it “the Wuhan balloon” and declaring it full of biochemical agents, but then insisting it be shot down over land, which, if their paranoid fantasy were real, would have been the equivalent of “Yikes! It’s a hand grenade! Quick, pull the pin!”

And the lack of honest discussion only got worse, as Rob Rogers notes, with the GOP tangled up in their desire to support the fellow who stated that such a thing would never have happened while he was president, only to learn that it did happen, at least three times, while he was president.

Well, what’s another alternative truth among loyal fans?

They’ve already been told that the FBI is a tool of the Democratic Party, so why wouldn’t the Defense Department lie about this? After all, Trump just reaffirmed his preference for Russian sources over the US Intelligence community, which he first declared after his 2018 Helsinki lovefest with Putin.

It is possible to have honest differences among fellow Americans. Michael Ramirez (Creators) attacks Biden for praising his administration’s gains in infrastructure funding, accusing him of ignoring the national debt.

That’s a reasonable conflict, though it could be countered by, first, noting the rise of the debt during the Trump administration and, second, by asking what the alternative is to collapsing bridges, a failing power grid and deteriorating water systems?

But not all dialogue is honest, and Andy Marlette (Creators) asks that Biden opponents at least refrain from taking credit for the benefits his administration has yielded, a political jiu-jitsu movement we’ve seen others execute as well.

Still, the normal twists and turns and spins of political dialogue might at least be kept within the bounds of objective honesty. Lisa Benson (Counterpoint) insists that gas, food, energy and housing prices continue to rise when the data shows the opposite.

“Alternative Math” is a hard position to defend, and her argument echoes the familiar passage in 1984 in which Winston Smith is tortured in order to make him believe the math the Party insists is true.

Some people still insist, as Julia had told him, that “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

However, you still need to be careful what you say, as RJ Matson notes, if you expect the Party to let you continue to speak.

Ilhan Omar did say some unfortunate things with anti-Semitic implications. Called upon it, she apologized and even supported a Democratic resolution denouncing her for the remarks. Nonetheless, she was purged from the Foreign Affairs Committee on a party-line vote by, as Matson notes, the party that has been loudly railing against politically-based “cancel culture.”

The same party that appointed Marjorie Taylor Greene to the Homeland Security Committee, despite her having accused the Rothschilds of using Jewish space lasers to start wildfires, her denial that an airplane flew into the Pentagon on 9/11, her conviction that school shootings were staged and her insistence that Muslims do not belong in our government.

After all, it’s not as if she had shared an anti-Semitic video claiming that “‘Zionist supremacists’ are conspiring to flood Europe with migrants in order to replace the white populations there.”

Well, okay, she did.

But unlike Ohmar, she explained that she has nothing to apologize for.

And that Kevin Smith was most definitely holding up five fingers.

4 thoughts on “CSotD: The Dysunited States

  1. I don’t get the comment, “And that Kevin Smith was most definitely holding up five fingers.”
    Can anyone help me out?

  2. The Marlette panel reminds me of the people someone (Jordan Klepper??) interviewed who hated Obamacare but loved the Affordable Care Act.

  3. My wife has never seen that classic Sesame Street song, and now she’s totally in love with it. Personally, I don’t think I’ve seen it since it was contemporary. Thank you!

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