Let’s clear the runway; flights are being delayed…
1 Please, somebody do me a favor and read Fattymoon’s Medium piece on why he doesn’t comment here any more. Let me know what it says. I don’t know if it’s another “I hate Jack” web piece, but I have feelings too, and miles to go before I sleep. He should have posted it here, and assuming it is as quirky and thoughtful as many of Fatty’s posts were, I might have made it a Comment of the Day. Posting it elsewhere without a heads up is a Golden Rule breach.
2. Jamelle Bouie’s racialist demagoguery in Slate is an ongoing embarrassment to the once readable web-mag, and in a recent exchange on Twitter, he showed that he’s not too quick on the uptake either. Tweeting about the planned hit job on the President plotted by Rep. Wilson and an angry, grieving anti-Trump Gold Star wife. Bouie wrote,
“Trump and the White House have an unmistakable pattern of going after prominent black women.”
Quick! Hands: who believes that if the Democratic Representative who accused the President of being insulting on his condolence call had been a white male, Trump would have behaved any different? Anybody? This is Bouie personified: he will engage in race-baiting no matter how forced, unfair and absurd it is.
I’m not a Ben Shapiro fan, but the conservative pundit knows a hanging curveball in his wheelhouse when he sees one. He responded,
“Yes, McCain, Hillary, Barack Obama, Cruz, Jeb!, Rosie O’Donnell, Kim Jung Un are all black women”
And he didn’t even mention Bob Corker!
Exposed, owned, embarrassed and squashed, a wiser, smarter progressive would know enough to shut up and allow his idiocy to be gently wiped from cultural memory by the sands of time…like in about ten minutes. But no, Bouie shoots back,
“Nice. A retweet from Honest Conservative Ben “The genocide of Native people’s was Actually Good” Shapiro”
YES! A perfect example of a real, genuine, ad hominem attack, the kind that says, “I have no rebuttal for your devastating argument, so I’m just going to say that you’re personally horrible, so your arguments don’t count.” I’ve gotten so sick of explaining to commenters that their accusations of ad hominem are mistaken and ignorant that I put a warning in the Comments guidelines. “Your argument is idiotic, so I think you are an idiot” is not ad hominem (not nice, but not ad hominem). “You’re an idiot, so your argument must be idiotic” is ad hominem. Now I have a perfect example–from an editor at Slate! (If you think ad hominem is logical, then you are unqualified to be an editor, even if you aren’t a race-baiting anti-white bigot.)
Not surprisingly, Shapiro knocked this one out of the park too, tweeting,
“Thanks for the ad hominem non sequitur, guy who says every Trump voter is an evil racist”
3. If there was any doubt that John McCain’s recent escalation of his anti-Trump, burr-under-the-saddle, “I’m going to make you rue the day your denigrated my prisoner-of-war heroism” campaign is personal and motivated by revenge, his gratuitous swipe at the President’s deferment from the draft almost 50 years ago should eliminate it. That is personal, it is a cheap shot, it is intentionally disrespectful, and it is deliberately throwing raw meat to the President’s enemies.
It is also a Golden Rule breach: how would McCain react if Trump referenced the Keating Five scandal just to impugn McCain?
A lame duck who may well be dying, McCain has apparently decided that he can misbehave, settle scores, and undermine his party’s President with impunity. Somebody should tell him that he is dismantling his own reputation and legacy in the process, revealing himself as petty, vindictive, and willing to place his own vendetta over national interests and his duty as a U.S. Senator.
This is one more reason that he should resign.
4. While we are mentioning embarrassment, it appears that the news media is not yet embarrassed by treating as substantive news the self-evident set-up and subsequent escalation of a non-incident into another manufactured anti-Trump race scandal . It should be. Imagine: yesterday all of the Sunday talking head shows gave far more time to this transparent hit-job than to the revived Russian influence allegations involving the Clintons. ABC and NBC have yet to mention that story at all; CBS, five days after it broke, gave a few seconds to it on “Face the Nation.” The excuses for this from journalists sound an awful lot like “Hey! We buried this story once; she shouldn’t have to report on it now.” FACT: As of this moment, there is more public evidence suggesting that Hillary Clinton was colluding to help the Russians than there is to suggest that President Trump did anything improper in that regard.
Back to the Rep. Frederica Wilson smear-job: The Congressional Black Caucus called for Chief of Staff John Kelly to apologize for his remarks defending the President. “We, the women of the Congressional Black Caucus, proudly stand with Congresswoman Wilson and demand that General Kelly apologize to her without delay and take responsibility for his reckless and false statements,” the female lawmakers said in a statement.
The wife of the late La David Johnson, meanwhile, has been making the rounds of talk shows. To recap: a woman who was determined to hurt Trump made sure that a Congressional Black Caucus member who had boycotted the President’s Inauguration was listening in on his condolence call, then collaborated on accusations of disrespect. When Trump denied their characterization–at best an example of likely confirmation bias if there ever was one —he was accused of racism, since both women are black. Then other members of the Caucus expanded the attack to Trump’s Chief of Staff, implying that he is racist as well.
This might have been a bit more convincing if the entire Caucus hadn’t declared their revulsion at Trump before he took office. Who believes that any criticism from this quarter is anything but cynical, political, and unfair? Meanwhile, as this was going on, esteemed CBC member Maxine Waters declared that she was going to “take out” the President, presumably not meaning that they were going on a date.
I note that even many of my Democratic, anti-Trump Facebook friends are rolling their metaphorical eyes at this one. Some of them—many, in fact— are still capable of feeling sympathy when a President is being mistreated.
5. I’ve been getting better at suppressing my head explosions, and just in time: Harvey Weinstein has supposedly completed rehab for his sex addiction already. What was that, less than a week? What an insult to everyone’s intelligence for Weinstein to say he was getting “help” for his “problem.” It couldn’t have been too much of a problem if it could be fixed in few days. The other side of the ethics coin is this: going into rehab has been the routine PR response whenever a Hollywood figure misbehaves. We should thank Harvey for making it clear for all time that this is often, perhaps usually, a cynical sham.
6. Jimmy Carter is on a roll. In addition to correctly noting that the news media has applied a different standard to President Trump than to previous Presidents, he said this when asked if the Carter Foundation and the Clinton Foundation were similar:
“Rosie and I put money in the Carter Center. We never take any out.”
7. Here’s a smoking gun, though none is needed: choosing the most unethical, dishonest, untrustworthy conservative website is a tough chore, but it’s hard to beat The Gateway Pundit for misleading headlines and shameless clickbait. Yesterday it ran this headline:
NFL HELL: Several Stadiums Nearly Empty As Anthem Protest Backlash Rolls Into Week 7 (PHOTOS)
The site’s own photos disproved the headline. The stadiums shown were not full. Some appeared half-full. None, by any possible definition of the phrase, were “nearly empty.”
I don’t understand why a site that repeatedly does this kind of thing has any readers at all.
8. Finally, there is this article at the PBS site.
What’s happening at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting? First an ex-NPR exec admits (ten years too late, but still) that it might be just a teeny bit biased , and now an unapologetic Trump critic is making the same point Ethics Alarms has been making for months:
In effect, what many Democrats would like, whether explicitly declared or privately hoped for, is the criminalization of behavior that the “smarter” or “rational” among us deem unacceptable, racist, or evil. But, the great thing, and sometimes the scariest thing, about democracy is that it explicitly allows people to be, well, evil, as long their “evil” is expressed within the law. Democracy is not meant to protect us from other Americans we don’t like…Perceiving our fellow citizens, endowed with the same rights as the rest of us, as fundamentally “irrational” in a way that, in effect, excommunicates them from society, leads us toward other dangers…
It just happens to be that the right to be wrong is at the core of the democratic idea. Without it, there isn’t much left. We might not be able to control Donald Trump, nor should we expect to, but America will survive Trump. It is less clear whether we will find a way past some of our own darker impulses, however well-intentioned they might be. Once the door to the criminalization of political and ideological disagreement is opened, it may be near impossible to close it.
This, in large part, why I decided that I could not responsibly or in good conscience vote for Hillary Clinton and the increasingly censorious and totalitarian-minded party she led. I’ll always take one democratically elected incompetent over giving power to the champions of an undemocratic philosophy.