CSotD: The slouching rough beast of Fear Itself 

Pat Bagley reached the same conclusion just before it apparently dawned on Congress that Tommy Tuberville’s precious stunt was providing aid and comfort to our opponents, who could become our enemies.

Fortunately, even the lockstep Republicans have begun breaking ranks to begin approving the promotions Tuberville has been blocking in his one-man crusade to deny full medical benefits to military members.

Bagley has Putin and Xi thanking Tuberville for his service, a nod to the traditional phrase offered to people who, unlike Tuberville, have served in the US military. But Tommy loves veterans and started a foundation to raise money for them, of which nearly 20 percent of reported funds have been spent on their behalf.

No word on what happened to the other 80 percent, and Tuberville’s office has also remained silent about his pledge to donate his Senate salary to veterans’ causes.

However, the Senate did partially break the impasse to approve the appointment of Gen. Charles Brown as chair of the Joint Chiefs. Tuberville was one of 11 senators voting against the appointment, but it had nothing to do with his opposition to reimbursing military members for travel to seek medical services unavailable in the states where they are stationed.

Rather, Tuberville explained that Gen. Brown, who is African-American, was “woke” and wanted to make the military an equal-opportunity employer.

At least he didn’t say “uppity.”

Ward Sutton cautions against getting too excited over any apparent weak points in the GOP’s MAGAt solidarity, as two more Republican legislators who refuse to remain in lockstep have decided not to seek re-election.

Adam Kinzinger, another Republican of independent mind, has also stepped away from the muck, as much out of pragmatism as conscience, given the likelihood that those who do not play the game are apt to be primaried by those who do, or get gerrymandered out of their districts. Kinzinger has a book out and was interviewed Tuesday by Terry Gross, which you can either read or listen to here.

Assuming you oppose the movement away from democracy and into authoritarianism, you can’t sit back and expect this mess to resolve itself, and, though Matt Wuerker (Politico) here addresses the specific issue of mass murder in America, his point is also applicable to our overall political shift.

The outcome of the next election is likely to hinge not on how people vote, but whether they vote at all, and the relentless media drum beat about Biden’s age and the self-fulfilling prophecy of endlessly publicizing poll results seem likely to discourage lukewarm supporters from showing up in November.

There is a mathematical difference between voting against him and not voting at all, but there’s little pragmatic distinction.

The latest distraction is the candidacy of Dean Phillips, who is running in the New Hampshire Primary, which Biden is not. Dave Granlund suggests that he’ll pop Biden’s balloon and sink his chances, and it’s true that, when LBJ sat out the NH Primary in ’68, it allowed Gene McCarthy to make a strong bid, gaining 42% of the vote, though LBJ still won by write-ins, with 50%.

That brought Bobby Kennedy out of the shadows and led to Johnson’s decision not to run again.

But it’s hardly the same situation: McCarthy had already mounted an extremely significant grassroots campaign, with thousands of college students cutting their hair and going “Clean for Gene,” while Dean Phillips is a nonentity, and not a particularly adept one.

Meanwhile, the first Bobby Kennedy was not only popular but sane, two claims his son — another would-be candidate — cannot seriously make.

Even as a third-party spoiler, Phillips has nowhere near the public recognition of Ralph Nader, Ross Perot or even Dr. Whatsherface, much less George Wallace, while Bobby Jr would likely draw as many Q-Anon supporters from Trump as swing voters from Biden.

Jeff Danziger illustrates a far greater threat to Biden’s reelection, which is his having been dragged into the war between Israel and Hamas. While nearly nobody supports Hamas and their ghastly terrorism, Israel’s attack on densely populated civilian areas is drawing massive condemnation, with the US seemingly isolated from the world for supplying weaponry.

Whatever Biden and Antony Blinken may be doing on a diplomatic level to bring about a pause and redirect Israel away from massive attacks, the blame for what people see on the news rests on their shoulders.

It’s not that anybody is going to switch from Biden to Trump over this, but the discouraging atmosphere seems likely to keep a number of swing voters home. It is the opposite of the enthusiasm that drew voters to the polls and vaulted Obama into the White House.

Mike Luckovich takes an optimistic view in urging readers to come together and help boost the world past this toxic moment.

Steve Breen (Counterpoint) takes the pessimistic view, noting the rise of hatred towards at least one side of the conflict, though there’s certainly a second group being singled out by bigots and thugs.

But with only a dismal observation and no call to action, he suggests that coming together is not in the cards.

I suspect Luckovich and Breen are on the same wavelength, but Luckovich takes a more direct, utilitarian approach that does not risk being misinterpreted by the “It’ll never work, Lippy” crowd.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Bob Gorrell — Creators

Michael Ramirez — Creators

Meanwhile, whether or not you believe that all Black Lives Matters members are fat and ugly, the fact remains that some loudmouthed members of the group have presented a juicy gift to those who oppose progressive causes.

BLM is barely more organized than Antifa, but, yes, one chapter of BLM made a statement in support of Hamas.

It was, Newsweek reports, quickly and emphatically disavowed by other supporters of the movement, but when people are looking for excuses to divide the nation, you can’t disavow quickly or emphatically enough.

Phil Hands (Tribune) updates the Book of Revelations to show the merchants of death and destruction at work in the Middle East, and if you think their toxicity is confined to their geographic arena, you aren’t paying attention.

People repeatedly quote two lines of Yeats, but the entire poem is both relevant and prophetic, and the revelation surely at hand is nothing the world needed then nor that we need now:

4 thoughts on “CSotD: The slouching rough beast of Fear Itself 

  1. Wow, I hadn’t thought about Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har Har in years. Watching them on Youtube then led to Snagglepuss, Quickdraw McGraw, El Kabong, etc. 🙂

  2. Again with the “if you’re against Israel that means you must support Hamas” BS
    Their bag of tricks isn’t very deep, huh

  3. Would a serious Democratic challenger start in New Hampshire, or hit the ground hard in South Carolina, the DNC’s choice for first primary (or Nevada, second-in-the-nation alongside New Hampshire)? Presumably going the traditional route of campaigning in New Hampshire is easy press, but if Phillips is trying to be established as an alternative candidate in case Biden suddenly drops out (the only real hope), wooing more delegates would seem to be helpful.
    As would, of course, being able to handle a simple town hall meeting

    For those not following the 2024 primary schedule shakeup:

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