Four Unethical Post-Mueller Report Op-Eds (Part II)

The previous post continues with the worst of the worst…

3.  Charles M. Blow (New York Times): It’s Bigger Than Mueller and Trump”

18 out of Charles M. Blow’s last 20 columns have been anti-Trump screeds, his ratio since the election is about the same. Not only is this res ipsa loquitur for Trump derangement, it’s also mind-numbingly repetitious. In addition to being consumed with hate and anger over the election of America’s President for nearly three years, Blow was an established  pernicious race-baiter before that, when he assigned that label to anyone who criticized Barack Obama, among others.

Why does a highly-respected newspaper feel that “race-baiting hateful hyper-partisan”—Blow hates Republicans, though not as much as he hates the President—is a niche that needs filling on the op-ed page is a mystery.

In his latest anti-Trump column, Blow, as usual, is absurd as well as misleading. He writes,

“The report did not, however, exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice. I submit that we witnessed that Trump obstructed justice in open view, from the White House and on social media. And while Trump waged a two-year battle of slander and misinformation to defame the Mueller investigation, the majority of Democratic leadership did nothing to make the case that he had already reached the threshold of accountability, even without the report.”

I submit that Blow is a hack, writing to deceive the dim and the biased. Trump’s tweets constitute obstruction of justice? Good luck with that theory, Bozo: why don’t you ask a second year law student—or even George Conway— who would set you straight? And for any member of the news media to complain about slander when so many of his colleagues—and he himself—have routinely stated as fact that the President was a traitor and a criminal when no such facts existed…well, Blow has always excelled at gall.

This time, however, he found a way to combine his two passions in a single rant, while adding several “resistance” Big Lie talking points for good measure. Good job, Charles! Be proud, New York Times!

The best case against Donald Trump and the age of Trumpism has always been, and remains, the moral case. Criminality is only one facet of that, although it is the one that the courts and Congress can use to punish him….

As for the people, the voters, it is the moral abomination of having a racist, sexist, child-caging, family-separating, Muslim-hating transphobe as president that must remain front and center. That is the only way to move beyond Trump in 2020….

The very symbols of Trumpism — the MAGA hats, the wall, etc. — are more than merely physical objects. They have long since transcended their original meaning and purpose. They are now emblems. They are now the new iconography of white supremacy, white nationalist defiance and white cultural defense.

They are a form of white pride credentialing.

In much the same way that the Confederate flag became a white supremacist signaling device, wearing the MAGA hat and self-identifying as a “Trump supporter” now serves the same purpose. The symbols are tangentially connected to Trump, but they also transcend him. They are a way of cloaking racial hostility in the presentable form of politics….

In America, this recent rise of white nationalism follows a historical pattern: Whenever black people make progress, white people feel threatened and respond forcefully.

If you say so, Charles. Count the lies, Big and small, everybody, if you want an ethics tune-up That last bit is Blow’s default cover for Obama’s failure as a leader and a President: it isn’t Obama’s domestic and foreign policy ineptitude voters objected to, or his sanctimonious cons, it was the fact that he was black.

4. David Brooks (New York Times) We’ve All Just Made Fools of Ourselves — Again.”

Brooks is the #1 Stockholm Syndrome conservative among the Times pundit staff, though its other two tokens, Bret Stephens and Ross Douthat, exhibit similar symptoms. Once an ostentatiously reasonable conservative writer for the now-defunct Weekly Standard, Brooks now functions primarily as a device to give legitimacy to the Times’ routine adoption of Democratic talking points: after all, if a conservative like Brooks agrees, then it isn’t bias, it’s truth!

This time, while pretending to lecture his colleagues on their disgraceful fake-news orgy regarding “Russiagate” and the President’s inevitable exposure as a traitor (“If you call someone a traitor and it turns out you lacked the evidence for that charge, then the only decent thing to do is apologize,” he writes. My response to that is that if you are a self-styled, virtue-signalling, fair, reasonable and spiritual truth-teller who works for a newspaper that was a major player in deceiving the public while undermining the President and you said nothing, you owe everyone an apology. Wasn’t your role to be a whistle-blower? ), Brooks deftly shifts the spotlight from the media-assisted attempted coup to the general moral problem of scandal-mongering. Now he can criticize both sides, excepting himself of course:

And what about the rest of us? What about all the hours we spent speculating about the Mueller report, fantasizing about the Trump ruin or watching and reading speculation about these things? What about the superstructure of scandal politics we have built and live in today?

There it is! The shift! Clever boy…

The sad fact is that Watergate introduced a poison into the American body politic…you can destroy your foes all at once through scandal…The nation’s underlying divides are still ideological, but we rarely fight them honestly as philosophical differences. We just accuse the other side of corruption. Politics is no longer a debate; it’s an attempt to destroy lives through accusation.

No, the sad fact is that rather than honestly deal with the dangerous and unique phenomenon Brooks’ colleagues, and their political allies have been engaged in for three, Brooks is piling on rationalizations to distract from the real issue. “Everybody does it!” “They do it too!” No, in fact no party and no mainstream institution ever tried to do this: A Democratic President’s FBI used a fabricated document, paid for by his party’s candidate to succeed him, to illegally acquire legal authority to spy on the opposition party’s campaign, then used that same document to trigger a  three-year fishing expedition based on a false presumption the now elected-opposition candidate had  conspired with Russia to fix the election, and was now “Putin’s cockholster,” as Brook’s paper led the mainstream news media to support the attempted soft-coup, employing impeachment rather than and election to remove a President for purely political motives) by falsely hyping evidence that in fact wasn’t evidence at all.

No party, now any previous generation of the news media, had ever done THAT before.

Brooks complete’s his epic cover-up exercise that masquerades as a call for accountability with a final, exculpatory lie: no harm was done, really. We can move on! He writes, despicably, because I have to believe Brooks is too smart to believe this:

The Democrats won the 2018 midterms by focusing on the issues, not collusion. For most voters, politics is about their lives, not a self-righteous TV show.

The Democrats didn’t have to focus on collusion by the time election day arrived. It’s objective has been accomplished. This Big Lie turned up every day on my Facebook feed: ‘The Republican Congress is enabling and facilitating a “racist, sexist, child-caging, family-separating, Muslim-hating transphobe” who stole the election and is in Putin’s pocket, so a Democratic majority is desperately needed to save the nation.’ That was the wind in the Democratic sails in the 2018 election. David Brooks, truth-teller, really expects his readers to believe that his paper’s daily assertions (and those of CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post and the rest, of course) that the President would soon be proven a traitor had nothing to do with the 2018 “Blue Wave”?

I don’t even think the Times’ most Trump deranged fans believe that. I think they read that and chuckled, “Good one, Brooks!”

18 thoughts on “Four Unethical Post-Mueller Report Op-Eds (Part II)

  1. My favorite gaslighting headline so far: “No, the Media Didn’t Overhype ‘Russiagate'” (from The Nation.)

    That’s an all-timer in the “just tell them they didn’t see what they saw” category that’s all the rage these days.

  2. This time, while pretending to lecture his colleagues on their disgraceful fake-news orgy regarding “Russiagate” and the President’s inevitable exposure as a traitor (“If you call someone a traitor and it turns out you lacked the evidence for that charge, then the only decent thing to do is apologize,” he writes. My response to that is that if you are a self-styled, virtue-signalling, fair, reasonable and spiritual truth-teller who works for a newspaper that was a major player in deceiving the public while undermining the President and you said nothing, you owe everyone an apology. Wasn’t your role to be a whistle-blower? ), Brooks deftly shifts the spotlight from the media-assisted attempted coup to the general moral problem of scandal-mongering. Now he can criticize both sides, excepting himself of course:

    There is a very simple solution to this apparent puzzle. A major periodical — a periodical of note — has made the choice, for very specific and rational reasons, to deliberately lie and deceive people generally. If it has done this, it stands to reason that it could, for example, cooperate with Intelligence agencies, or with political police, in their efforts to undermine the political support of Trump and to try to influence the next election to get someone more suitable. That is just a minimum. There could also be a concerted effort to weed out, discredit, and otherwise isolate those with political ideas and opinions which will not be allowed in the present.

    One has to take a look at a larger picture of opposition that is developing to a very large and very powerful (entrenched) social, economic and cultural management-system. Now, they are going to work to defeat and dismantle the opposition that exists and is working to spread its message. We are just at the beginning.

    But there are complexities that are hard to sort through. There are American identitarian nationalists and those who are simply advocates for Whites and white rights, all the way up to White Nationalists who saw Trump as a ‘friend’. Trump is no more a ‘racist’ than any one of the readers of this Blog are racist, yet he is slandered with that label, as any of you will also be slandered when the time comes, by that or a similar label.

    It is not without a rational purpose though. Charles Blow is not irrational. He is very rational in his use of every tool of slander and guilt-by-association that he has at his disposal. But then this describes, horrifyingly, a developing Hyper-Liberal Totalitarianism Lite that is showing its real face. One must look more closely at what this is, what it desires, and what it is setting out to achieve.

    • Charles Blow is not irrational

      “We must take as a sign of states of character the pleasure or pain that ensues on acts; for the man who abstains from bodily pleasures and delights in this very fact is temperate, while the man who is annoyed at it is self-indulgent, and he who stands his ground against things that are terrible and delights in this or at least is not pained is brave, while the man who is pained is a coward. For moral excellence is concerned with pleasures and pains; it is on account of the pleasure that we do bad things, and on account of the pain that we abstain from noble ones. Hence we ought to have been brought up in a particular way from our very youth, as Plato says, so as both to delight in and to be pained by the things that we ought; for this is the right education.”

      – Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

      Might I quibble that his rationality is the sort that leads asymptotically to that human state in which being regarded as an irredeemable mad dog is fair, just, and merciful treatment?

      Pretentious quibbling aside, yes. It would be hard to motivate a populace to reject the entirety of an influential aggregate body-within-a-body without showing its unstated, active hatred of that populace. It’s clear by now how difficult it is even when that hatred is stated openly. A medical degree and science-fiction-grade imaging devices might be necessary just to determine which portions of that body need to be cut off and burned in the street while the spreading still continues apace. I fear all of this would be inevitable if the momentum could be turned around (indicating that it still isn’t). Though Rome admittedly wasn’t reestablished and gloriously surpassed in a day, it all happened so naturally.

      • Sure. And I’ll quibble that Nicomachean Ethics is useless, navel-gazing twaddle that is one of many reasons the vast majority of the public pays no attention to ethics any more.

        • Perhaps the low regard for Natural Law, virtue ethics, and all moral philosophy wasn’t a hard conclusion arrived at through honest deliberation but an easy pill to take to avoid some of the more difficult implications. Perhaps subsequent utilitarian ethical systems to follow fell prey to the same mechanism, slowly ground down to dust in the engine of social deconstruction we call progress. Plato could tell you why it is better to suffer evil than to commit it and defend the position from what can be observed of human nature. Now we just say so and leave it at that, but we say so to lesser and lesser degrees by the day – all to progress toward easier social demands. Why not? It’s all just an agreed-upon arrangement aiming at arbitrarily-valued benefits, right? But to think otherwise might be to think there might be something to some of that twaddle, and moral conclusions can be arrived at by rational means.

          • Ethical clarity is gained over time and experience. Would Plato argue that we should have tolerated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan? I doubt it: he was a smart guy. He just couldn’t possibly imagine that degree of evil. Abstract philosophy is of limited values, and ancient philosophy has about the same value today as ancient science. It’s good perspective, but it no longer can be seriously called “truth.”

            • Ah, but to point at what has worked over time in order to establish an abstract understanding of the behaviors necessary for human flourishing, phrased in that way at least, isn’t distinct from Natural Law Theory. I see shades of it even in your rejection of it.

              Abstract philosophy is of limited value, and ancient philosophy has about the same value today as ancient science.

              The Good is transcendent and therefore, in a sense, abstract. If we don’t know the Good, we don’t know what we want or what we’re fighting for. Without that knowledge to guide us, we’ll just go about burning the witches we regard as more evil than ourselves for aligning themselves contrary to the ends we’ve chosen. That abstract theory is the foundation of a sane and stable culture. Sure it’s abstract, but it has to be to be true on that abstract (transcendent) level – to inform and animate everything built on it. It’s been previously possible to leave a lot of that Theory of the Good unspoken, because it was agreed upon in common. How will we get that agreement back without articulating a theory, though, while even what remains of those old unspoken, abstract consensuses is actively eroded? Maybe an ancient philosophy could be developed much like we’ve developed that ancient science.

        • I have been trying to think how your statement might be responded to. In the politest of terms of course.

          Yet as you know: I aspire to knowledge and therefore what the ‘masses’ do or don’t do is not of great concern to me. I can’t base what I do on what their level is. I would rather speak to higher echelons of people anyway. I would rather be in a higher echelon of person (if I could).

          I think that the more that I read and the farther I go into it, the more that I notice that a greater majority of people do not wish to do this, do not have the time, have other pressing things to do with their time, or simply do not discover ‘value’ through conquering intellectual territories. I can sympathize with all of that. At times it seems that things have to be delivered to them simply, in small bits, and then one even has to help them to masticate and then to swallow.

          If one only spoke, all the time, in Aristotelian language and with those tones, one would rapidly lose one’s audience. But then that is true in all realms of ‘higher culture’. The audience is already lost. We are members (so it has been said) of an Aristotelian intellectual culture, or we were at one time. It is too bad that this is becoming no longer so.

          In my own case pretty much all that I have been reading lately deals in one way or another with ethics.

          Be it Nietzsche, Ernst Junger, Carl Schmidt, Hilaire Belloc, GK Chesterton, Julius Evola, Corneniu Codreanu. I have to admit that I even read up a little on Alistair Crowley.

          You would be very right to say that many people would be turned off by the whole notion of ethics, and the importance of grappling with the most difficult questions, if they encountered difficult material at the start, but I don’t imagine you would say that there is not things to be gained in more detailed study?

  3. I note your reference to “political police” coming as an alternative to intelligence agencies. I can only assume you were talking about the FBI. I had not previously thought of them as such, but, upon reflection, it seems that this is exactly what they have become. If, in fact, this is not what they have always been. J. Edgar Hoover kept extensive files on the major players in this country for years. We were assured that those files were destroyed, but now I have to wonder. And, the recent actions of the FBI certainly lend credence to the construct of a ‘shadow government’.

    • It is a strange thing, I have been reading a little on the political theory of Carl Schmidt. One of his primary ideas is that, at all costs, the State must ensure its survival. Obviously, a State cannot allow infiltrators to undermine or topple the State. I am embarrassed to say that some Left theorists have referred to say that the FBI is — was from the start — a political police force. But there would be a necessity of such a political police, and a para-military internal army, in the advent of a real threat to the state.

      I know that this will not go over here very well, but there are all sorts of tracks and traces of para-governmental hands all over the Oklahoma bombing. If this is true, it indicates (in my view) that the State felt threatened by the rise of those militant, militarized groups. They set them up to then be able to go after them, entrap them, stimulate them to commit illegal acts, you know the route.

      If it happens that now, in our present, there does develop a significant threat to the status quo, one must simply grasp that the State will take every and any action that it deems it must to defeat the threat.

      I am applying this view — am I wrong? am I paranoid? is this ‘conspiratorial thinking’? — to what I understand of the Hyper-Liberal Semi-Totalitarian State in its ‘global’ form. This is America, now, and it is also Europe: an area of government, of significant interests, of ‘social engineering’ as I often say, and it is an area that will be controlled. It is tyrannous, that is obvious. But in certain senses we ‘agree’ to it. Their designs are not necessarily our designs, and yet we might eventually decide to grant them the right to destroy the State’s enemies.

      (If one day I just no longer appear, you will know that *they* got me!) 🙂

  4. The best case against Donald Trump and the age of Trumpism has always been, and remains, the moral case. Criminality is only one facet of that, although it is the one that the courts and Congress can use to punish him

    I just loved this so much. “The moral case”! Like he and his audience even know what that means!

    I heard the outrageous assertion by a loud radio-Republican that the scrutiny being heaped on Trump by the Democrats in congress – raiding his accounting firm to fish for financial irregularities, &c. – should be turned on them. I saw it as the mechanism by which we’ll descend into total, head-smashing anarchy, and I laughed. We could watch as Pelosi and the rest of the go-into-politics-to-get-rich party are exonerated mysteriously in spite of proven, deliberate fraud while in office and Republicans left and right (heh, because they’re unprincipled) are packed into prisons for everyday decisions, made prior to entering public service, now interpreted in a negative light for utility’s sake. Imagine the calamitous and loud complaining that would happen as these villains deserving of violent overthrow cement their power further before our very eyes as they pass further beyond any reasonable doubt of their villainy, a thing now already beyond the horizon in our rearview mirror. No, the willingness to smite evil wherever it sits is gone, if the last few months have taught us anything. It was probably the first part of our culture to be surreptitiously removed, though I’d allowed myself some hope that we had a shed of it stashed somewhere. Where is the inflamed peasantry or principled aristocracy demanding the common law? The “moral case” won’t be made in the halls of power until we’ve had a generation or two of Solzhenitsyns. Our understanding of that which stands under the paper laws is too far gone. They’re not so limp when they lay flat against the infinite bedrock.

    Very well. We should advance those unreasonable searches aimed at Democrats. Let’s hurry this along so my grandchildren have some sort of chance. We only maximize future suffering by holding back the inevitable with a less-than-half-hearted will to actually avert it. Now, if you want to rise up and carve sic semper tyrannus onto the barrels of our guns, let me know; I’ll go buy a gun, my sword being impractical for such an endeavor (etching a quality, tempered carbon-steel blade smacks too much as a self-defeating act of dishonor, of course). If there’s a movement to form an anti-anti-establishment educational system and media industry, better still. We’ll carve sic semper tyrannus into our pens and be remembered by generations of people capable of remembering and preserving their heritage, and they’ll be preserved for the sake of it. This would be the better rebellion. It would establish the foundations on which the new Republic(?) could stand, in stark contrast to that contagious, still-ongoing French Revolution. It would also call for a complete rejection of unfounded radical doubt, not just post-modern but modern, “”Enlightened””, and State-Church “”Reformed”” in nature. It would be comprehensive, filling the whole person, making him immune to the immaterial slings and arrows of his enemies even should he die a meaningful death at their hands – bringing about their own, more complete, meaningless deaths. Such a race of truly progressive and angelic men would transcend race in ways that would make our race baiters of today put out their own eyes and scream at the sky until they suffocate. Then again, demanding that citizens accept not just the laws and not just nominally, but, holistically, the philosophical foundations of those laws, might result in racial disparity across national borders – or not. Perhaps these enemies, forced back into their crippled ideological home of Venezuela, could hang their hats on that, if there were still walls from which such a nail could protrude. Then again, such worthy human experimentation, nearly the only kind of which I would approve, is nearly the only kind they would disapprove, given that it would definitively prove or disprove one of their pet theories. Hell forbid that we ever get a real answer at the expense of injustice, the converse being its eternal goal.

    Perhaps we’ll find that the majority lives an unexamined life and accepts whatever will allow them to get along without much interference. Perhaps forcing them to do otherwise as a condition of citizenship would result in a perfect angelic nation with a relatively low population density to start. To this I say, good riddance. Let them do what they may in opposition to my principles far from me, so I can avoid the consequences. That they clearly don’t think the same of me proves the validity of the idea. They would (and do!) crave to pour into such a city-state and abuse its privileges.

    These unguided tangents end up in fun and unexpected places.

      • On the contrary, I’m quite tired of watching the dogs fight and look forward to the day they’re domesticated. That obedience school is going to require some tough, dedicated trainers though. It could be a good project for Marines once they’ve ended their active military service.

        Think how packed your blog and ethics seminars would be after a few years of that!

  5. They cannot win on facts or face reality. Their solution? Drive the nation to the precipice of outright civil conflict based upon disagreeing with and exposing their lies. Nice.

  6. “18 out of Charles M. Blow’s last 20 columns have been anti-Trump screeds, his ratio since the election is about the same. Not only is this res ipsa loquitur for Trump derangement, it’s also mind-numbingly repetitious. ”

    Of course it is:

    “You are an aberration and abomination who is willing to do and say anything — no matter whom it aligns you with and whom it hurts — to satisfy your ambitions.”

    “So let me say this on Thanksgiving: I’m thankful to have this platform because as long as there are ink and pixels, you will be the focus of my withering gaze.”

    Charles on the Thanksgiving after the election, before the President was even sworn in or had done anything.

    “Pause This Presidency until we can get to the TRUTH !!
    No bills signed !
    No SCOTUS nominee !
    No more twitter rants !”

    Charles 46 days into the President’s term.

    “The best case against Donald Trump and the age of Trumpism has always been, and remains, the moral case. Criminality is only one facet of that, although it is the one that the courts and Congress can use to punish him…”

    Charles now.

    The folks at Fox never liked Obama. The folks at National Review never liked Obama. I never liked Obama, and I don’t think history will be kind to him. However, all of us took it down a notch now and then. All of us changed the subject now and then. All of us grasped the fact that we had to work with a duly elected president and that the office was due a modicum of respect, even if you disliked the man who held it. None of us, or at least very few, spewed open hate, personal hate, or unworkable ideas that, if implemented, would throw this nation into chaos. In the days of George W. Bush, who was roundly hated by the left, the same was true for the most part on Charles’ side of the fence as well. Those who said things like GWB should be hauled of to the Hague to be tried as a war criminal were justifiably greeted, even by their lefty fellow travelers, with a “Huh?” a “don’t kid yourself,” and occasionally “Quiet, crazy talk like that is counterproductive.” Charles himself was rapped on the knuckles (but not much more than that) for comments about Mitt Romney’s faith.

    Winston Churchill, deadpan snarker extraordinaire and master of the trenchant quip as well as one of the four or five greatest statesmen of the 20th century, said once that “a fanatic is someone who CAN’T change his mind and WON’T change the subject.” Jack, you dignify Charles Blow too greatly by calling him simply a hack. A hack is usually a mercenary, simply taking his direction from whoever pays him to obey. Charles Blow is an anti-Trump fanatic, who would still spew this ridiculousness even if he weren’t employed by a paper whose editorial board agree with it almost reflexively (the NYT last endorsed a Republican for president in 1956 and has since endorsed cipher Walter Mondale, hapless Michael Dukakis, Al “I invented the internet” Gore, bumbler John Kerry, and Bill “swallow the leader” Clinton), and whose editor has neither the brains nor the fortitude to pull him in an office, not invite him to sit, and tell him plainly “find another hobby besides Trump-bashing or find another job.”

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