ARE YOU READY FOR SOME
Started this post in the morning; now, after another wipeout sick day, I’m trying to get it up before midnight. I’m sorry.
1. As a refresher...here’s last year’s Super Bowl guilt trip. I’d write a fresh one, but believe it or not, I’m still sick and in bed. Key quote:
It’s your choice. If you do choose to cheer on the Pats and the Eagles [this year, the Rams], though, don’t pretend that you don’t know that what you’re really cheering, enabling, and ensuring will keep ruining lives.
Incidentally, NFL TV ratings are way up this year. DEE-FENCE!
2. Today’s blackface news...This is not a parody; academics really are this ridiculous: in New York Times op-ed too dumb to link to, headlined ‘Mary Poppins, and a Nanny’s Shameful Flirting With Blackface,’ Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner argues that the scene in the original 1964 film in which Mary cavorts with the chimney sweeps and ends up with her face blackened by soot is racially offensive, because it emulates blackface. Points:
- This utterly deranged PC nonsense was actually seemed worthy of publication.
- This tells us the risks parents of today take by entrusting the minds of their children to irresponsible institutions and educators who have devolved into advocates for racial paranoia.
- Linfield College, in Oregon, employs this lunatic, meaning that its administrators think that someone who watches a fantasy dance number performed by chimney sweeps and sees a racist message can be trusted to teach its students.
Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, who collaborated on the 2004 stage adaptation of Mary Poppins that returns to the West End later this year, explained for the benefit of the Times, the crazy professor, and anyone so gullibve as to take either of them seriously, that Mary’s acceptance of the soot on her face is meant to be a gesture of support for the sweeps. “All she wants to do is join the sweeps and show them she isn’t standing apart – that she wants to belong to that group. It’s a touching scene and it displays a warm friendliness towards the sweeps,” he said. Funny, I was able to figure that out when I saw the film the first time, and I was 14-years old.
3. Professor Volokh in Reason on the Governor Northam scandal (and also the Kavanaugh accusation):
Consider what standard we’re trying to set for the future. If it’s “people who are lying today about their bad behavior from 35 years ago shouldn’t be in high office,” that may be sensible. If it’s “people who committed serious crimes 35 years ago, for which they weren’t punished, shouldn’t be in high office,” that may be sensible. (Again, I don’t believe that Justice Kavanaugh was guilty on those counts, but that goes to the particular facts related to those accusations, and not the general principle of what should have been done if the accusations were accurate.)
But if it’s “people who said or did offensive things 35 years ago shouldn’t be in high office,” or even “people who expressed racist / sexist / anti-gay / anti-Semitic / etc. opinions 35 years ago shouldn’t be in high office,” that’s a very different thing. It’s tarring someone forever for minor misconduct (again, I note that major misconduct would be a different matter), without considering whether he may have developed better judgment and better views from age 25 to age 60. It’s rejecting the possibility that people actually get wiser as they get older — that they grow up — that they improve their judgments, their beliefs, and their conduct. And it’s potentially depriving the nation of many valuable public servants because of a dumb thing they did long ago.
As with the verdict that Mary Poppins wasn’t preparing to sing “Mammy,” this analysis shouldn’t need a distinguished law professor’s authority to be accepted as valid, fair and reasonable.
And yet here we are.
4. Adventures in desperate whataboutism. I wondered how long it would take for the mainstream media to try to find a way to somehow turn Ralph Northam’s humiliation on President Trump. Sure enough, Tom Nichols, a typical “resistance” prof at an institution I am embarrassed these days to admit to graduation from, argues in the Washington Post, that Republican can’t criticize Northam because “they’ve reserved their scorn for one chief executive, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, and have held back when it comes to criticizing a chief executive from their own party, President Trump, for his racially divisive statements and public positions. That is naked hypocrisy.” No, the professor’s lamely reasoned screed is naked whataboutism. Republican are furious with Northam because while running for governor he viciously accused his GOP opponent of being racially biased, knowing that he himself had an unrevealed blackface episode in his past. They think that’s hypocrisy—it’s not, but it certainly makes Northam’s campaign race-baiting even more repulsive. Moreover, Democratic voters didn’t know about Northam’s colorful past. President Trump’s “racially divisive and public positions” were not and are not racist, and they were always front and center, disclosed and transparent.
What I really like about Nichols’ article, though, is that he tries to justify the accusation that the President is racist, a key Big Lie in the Democratic arsenal, and fails spectacularly. I keep thinking there must be something I’ve missed when I hear Democrats and Facebook dupes call the President a racist as if this was established fact. Nope, it’s the same weak array:
- “For years, he fueled birtherism to attack President Barack Obama.”
Trump used the same ‘birther” tactic to attack Ted Cruz, who, you may have noticed, is not black. The fact that many “birthers” were racists does not mean that only racists were birthers , nor does one unfairly attacking a black President mean that the attack is based on race.
- “He once argued that a federal judge, Gonzalo P. Curiel, couldn’t be impartial in a case involving Trump because, as Trump said, “He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico.”
I wrote about this when it happened. Trump was asserting that the judge had a conflict of interest. That’s all. There was nothing racist in that assertion under any definition of the word. He unfairly assumed that the judge’s heritage would interfere with his independent judgment. That means that he doesn’t have proper respect for judges.
- “Early in his presidential candidacy, Trump called for a “total and complete ban on Muslims entering the country.”
I know the Left is in denial about this, but the domestic terror threat in the U.S. is overwhelmingly created by Muslims. Trump’s meat-axe solution of banning Muslim immigration here was an extreme and poorly considered policy, but 1) it was based on religion, not race and 2) is grounded in national security policy beliefs, not any form of racial inferiority.
- “In office, he ruminated on the United States needing more immigrants from places such as Norway and fewer immigrants from “shithole” countries, referencing Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.”
Seriously, professor, this is the best you can do? The “shithole” incident was malevolent and disputed leak from a private meeting, The President was expressing a defensible argument that the U.S. should be accepting better educated, more self-sufficient immigrants from first world nations rather than the poorest and most culturally damaged. Norway is the 26th wealthiest nation per capita in the world. El Salvador is 79th. Haiti doesn’t crack the top hundred. It is fair to call Trump a Western civilization chauvenist, and it is a popular leftist tactic to denigrate those who champion Western values as racists. Nonetheless, that is a slur, not a fact.
- “…polls taken at various times during his presidency that show significant percentages of Americans either see Trump as racist or, at a minimum, someone who has “emboldened” racists.
Significant numbers of Americans have been told for years that the President is a racist by people like the professor and the mainstream media, based on the pathetic evidence the professor just martialed. What they tell pollsters proves nothing. What a brilliant bootstrapping scam! Spread a Big Lie, wait for lazy members of the public to absorb it, then poll them and say, “See? The polls say I’m right!”
And that’s it! Two years of the Trump administration, and Hollywood, academics, black politicians, journalists and pundits state as fact that the president is a racist, and that’s the strongest “evidence” for that position.
5. The CBS Face The Nation interview. It will be picked apart by the mainstream media, of course, but this was one of the President’s better performances. And here is the section on the topic above, race:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Talking about the- the kneeling position you’ve taken and the controversy around it. Do you think that the players who did kneel had a point? I mean did you- are you sensitive at all to players like Colin Kaepernick, who- who point out that the majority of victims of police violence are black?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, you know, I’m the one that had passed judicial reform. And if you look at what I did, criminal judicial reform, and what I’ve done- President Obama tried. They all tried. Everybody wanted to do it. And I got it done and I’ve been, you know, really- a lot of people in the NFL have been calling and thanking me for it…. They have been calling and thanking, you know, that people have been trying to get that taken care of and it’s now signed into law and affects tremendous numbers of people, and very good people. I think that when you want to protest I think that’s great. But I don’t think you do it at the sake of our flag, at the sake of our national anthem. Absolutely.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But you are- do I understand you saying there though, that you still are sensitive though? I mean you- you understand the motivation for the protest … though you don’t like the form of it.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: A lot of it is having to do with reform from what I understand. Whether it’s criminal justice or whatever it may be and they have different versions and everybody seemed to have a different version of it. But a lot of it had to do with that, and I took care of that. I think that people have to, at all times, respect our flag and at all times respect our net- our- our national anthem and our country. And I think there are plenty of places and times you can protest and you can do a lot. But you can’t do that. That’s my opinion.
BRENNAN: In a CBS poll we just took, 63 percent of Americans say they disapprove about how you’re handling issues of race in the US…. What do you think of that?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: What has happened is very interesting. The economy is so good right now. You saw the jobs report just came out. Three hundred and four thousand added jobs, which is a shocker, for the month. A shocker to a lot of people. They thought it was going to be half that number. The African-Americans have the best employment numbers in the history of our country. Hispanic Americans have the best employment numbers in the history of our country. Asian-Americans the best in the history of our country. You look at women, the best in 61 years. And our employment numbers are phenomenal, the best in over 50 years. So I think I’ve been given a lot of credit for that. And in terms of race, a lot of people are saying well this is something very special what’s happening.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So- because when colleagues of yours, even like Republican Senator Tim Scott. He said Donald Trump is not racist. But he said you’re racially insensitive.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I have a great relationship with Tim and certainly with his state, South Carolina, and- where we do very well. And I think if you look at the numbers for African-American unemployment, best numbers they’ve had- literally the best numbers they’ve had in history. And I think they like me a lot and I like them a lot.
- The majority of victims of police violence are NOT black! How can CBS get away with a whopper like that??? Yet aniother Big Lie, and the news media is again complicit in spreading it.
- Watch the news media concentrate on Trump overselling the improved black employment numbers.
- Nope, Trump is not “sensitive.” Being “sensitive” means saying comforting things, pandering to groups who demand pandering to, avoiding offense, even at the price of the truth. It’s an asset in a politician and a leader, but no one should be fooled—though many are—that Clinton biting his lower lip and “feeling our pain,” or Reagan’s professional radiation of CinemaScope empathy proves that either President “cared” more than Donald Trump, who doesn’t do “caring.”
- Althouse on the same point in the interview:
It makes me think about how much of racial politics is a display of sensitivity — the theater of looking like you care. Trump turned down the triple invitation to sell himself as sensitive, and that underscored what he did say: What counts is what you do. Brennan did not challenge his claims of accomplishment. Was she not prepared for his solidly on-track talk about results? If he’d caved and said I really do care, I’m a sensitive guy, would she have flung a bunch of his old insensitivities at him? Perhaps Brennan was prepared for that. The way Trump handled the race issue made Brennan look weak. It felt like she was taunting him for being generally insensitive to black people, trying to get a rise out of him. But time and again, he didn’t get mad — he talked very positively about the things he is actually doing.