Comment Of The Day: “A Brief But Significant Addendum To “I’ve Looked And I’ve Tried And I Believe In Civility, But The Only Fair Descriptive Word For These People Is ‘Asshole’”

Steve-O-in-NJ has given us his thoughts on the continuing assault on the President of the United States as he does his best to deal with the unprecedented Wuhan virus crisis. (Reader Pennagain has expressed a preference for “Pangolin virus.” The prejudice against scaly anteaters is wide and deep, and when we start hearing reports of thugs beating up pangolins while shouting anti-pangolin slurs, we’ll know who to blame. )

The inspiration for Steve’s Comment of the Day was Hillary Clinton’s mocking tweet that put her on the current Ethics Alarms Asshole List, though I’m not sure she ever left it. I’ll also mention here that no less a luminary than John Kerry has apparently joined those of us who believe that “asshole” is sometimes the only description that will do.  Commenting on GOP House member Thomas Massie’s absurd stand temporarily blocking passage of the epidemic emergency legislation, the former Senator and Secretary of State tweeted,

Breaking news: Congressman Massie has tested positive for being an asshole. He must be quarantined to prevent the spread of his massive stupidity. He’s given new meaning to the term #Masshole. (Finally, something the president and I can agree on!)

Here is Steve-O’s Comment of the Day on the post, “A Brief But Significant Addendum To “I’ve Looked And I’ve Tried And I Believe In Civility, But The Only Fair Descriptive Word For These People Is ‘Asshole’”:

I am not at all surprised. I’m also not surprised at Joe Biden’s recent tweet in which he said that when he was president he would put science first, implying what many have stated outright, that Trump disregards science and is afraid of smart people (which all liberals are, of course, they only wouldn’t be liberals if they weren’t). Basic decency went out the window on the left when Trump was elected, although it had been hanging out the window for a while.

A lot of the open rudeness and contempt seemed to start in the Clinton era, maybe together with the rise of the internet. Now anyone could say anything he wanted and send it around the world in a few seconds. A lot of people did just that, no matter how dumb, how rude, or profane, or how unfair what they had to say was. Then the refrain was that your character didn’t matter as long as you were successful and had the right views. The other side of that, though, was that if you had the wrong views you were beneath contempt.

As we moved into the administration of Bush the younger a whole “anger industry” developed. I know, because my bookshelves are groaning under the weight of a huge number of anger-based books that I gleefully devoured at the time to feed my contempt of the other side. I’m not just talking Ann Coulter, either.

David Horowitz’ “Left Illusions: An Unholy Odyssey” and “Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left,” Daniel J. Flynn’s “Why the Left Hates America” and “A Conservative History of the American Left,” John J. Miller’s “Our Oldest Enemy,” and a lot of similar materials have all made my night table. On the other side there’s Al Franken’s “Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them,” Michael Moore’s “Stupid White Men,” and so on. People paid money to have their anger stoked and their reasons for being angry confirmed.

After that we moved into the blogging age, where angry people on both sides could not only post their thoughts and add whatever anger-stoking they picked up, but they could build whole sites devoted to pushing their own point of view, sometimes liberally spiced up with trash talk, yelling, insults and profanity. Then there’s the issue of every single article on yahoo, youtube, or whatever having a comment section where anyone could and can say anything, and usually did or does. If someone, or several someones, isn’t willing to go low, then someone else usually is, resulting in the usual downward spiral, which we’ve seen a few times here, and which I will plead guilty to sometimes being a very big part of.

Given this climate, where no one really respects the other side, and someone is always willing to work blue or drag the discussion into the gutter, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that this kind of behavior has bled over to the people who are supposed to be setting the tone. Why make an articulate response when a snarky insult or a sarcastic poke will do just as well? Why be polite when cursing someone out will hit three times as hard? And WHY on this green earth would you be even a little respectful to those you don’t agree with, when they hate you and you hate them right back? After all, your hatred of them is fully justified, because they’re not just people you disagree with, they’re not just people who have a vision for the future you don’t share, they’re not just people who interpret things in a different way than you. At best, they’re idiots, because anyone who CAN’T see things your way is an idiot. At worst, they’re evil, because anyone who WON’T see things your way is evil. Either way, you have no use for them, you have important and significant things to do, and you don’t have time to teach idiots or deal with the evil and obstructionist. All they merit is a quick dismissal, or an attack if they can’t be dismissed.

9 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “A Brief But Significant Addendum To “I’ve Looked And I’ve Tried And I Believe In Civility, But The Only Fair Descriptive Word For These People Is ‘Asshole’”

  1. What Joe Biden knows about science would probably fit in a thimble. My guess is that he was much more interested in figuring out out how to get elected to be class president in high school or homecoming king than seriously studying some tedious subject like chemistry or physiology.

    • Is science “truth” or “facts”? Which one did he say he preferred? His (unofficial) bio indicates he was a mediocre student at best. He did play football in high school and some in college, but managed to get a draft deferment for “childhood asthma”. That takes away another couple of cards a better candidate might have had to play against Trump.

  2. Thanks, all. The question now is how do we put this genie back in the bottle? In the end we’re all accountable for our own actions, and maybe the best we can do is NOT be the guy who drops the first f-bomb, or accuses the other guy of deviant sexual behavior, or who otherwise drags the discussion down into the gutter. Unfortunately, once a discussion hits the gutter, it’s almost impossible to redeem.

  3. The New York Times is blaming the coronavirus epidemic on Christians.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/new-york-times-op-ed-blames-coronavirus-on-conservative-christians

    Now, everyone seems to be bashing Trump for slow action, or inaction. On Jan 31, Trump implemented travel restrictions with China. He was widely criticized for it. This is what enlightened New York was doing. They have shown the way in scientific and wise leadership in this crisis.

    Feb 2. Health Commissioner Barbot tweeted, “As we gear up to celebrate the Lunar New Year in NYC, I want to assure New Yorkers that there is no reason for anyone to change their holiday plans, avoid the subway, or certain parts of the city because of coronavirus.”
    Mayor de Blasio said in a press release the same day: “People should be very clear about what this disease is and what it isn’t, and New Yorkers, I always say, are not intimidated easily. New Yorkers should go about our lives, continue doing what we do. . . . We understand some things about this disease. As I said, others are still unclear. But what is clear is the only way you get it is with substantial contact with someone who already has it. You don’t get it from a surface. You don’t get it from glancing or very temporary contact based on what we know now.”

    Feb 5.
    Health Commissioner Barbot declared on Twitter, “Today our city is celebrating the Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown, a beautiful cultural tradition with a rich history in our city. I want to remind everyone to enjoy the parade and not change any plans due to misinformation spreading about coronavirus.”
    Feb 6. Barbot appeared on TV and said …”We’re telling New Yorkers, go about your lives, take the subway, go out, enjoy life, but practice everyday precautions. . . . If it were likely that it could be transmitted casually, we would be seeing a lot more cases.””

    Feb 9. AM Magazine described the NYC Lunar New Year Festival “Surgical masks were nearly absent from this parade as organizers, elected officials, costumed characters, and visitors alike showed none of the fear caused by news of the virus’s spread in China. Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials jammed a stage on Hester Street on Mott Street — the heart of Chinatown.”

    “We know in China, so many of our loved ones are facing the challenges of the coronavirus, but we stand together,” de Blasio said. Senator Chuck Schumer was also in attendance, and he declared, “We love the fact that so many people come from all around the globe and make our city and our country a better place.”

    Councilman Mark D. Levine stated on Twitter, “In powerful show of defiance of coronavirus scare, huge crowds gathering in NYC’s Chinatown for ceremony ahead of annual Lunar New Year parade. Chants of ‘Be Strong Wuhan!’ If you are staying away, you are missing out.”

    Feb 15: De Blasio said in and interview: “We have an extraordinary public health apparatus here in New York City . . . and what became clear to me was it was really about telling the people of our city, this is something we can handle, but you got to follow some basic rules. . . . This should not stop you from going about your life. It should not stop you from going to Chinatown and going out to eat. I am going to do that today myself.”

    March 2 https://twitter.com/BilldeBlasio/status/1234648718714036229 Telling New Yorkers to get out on the town.

    March 6: NYC makes its first order for protective gear while the mayor states your can’t catch the coronavirus from casual contact.

    March 11: At a press conference, Bill de Blasio told people to go out to restaurants
    https://ny.eater.com/2020/3/11/21175497/coronavirus-nyc-restaurants-safe-dine-out

    The same day, he criticized Donald Trump for not taking the situation seriously enough.

    Yup, definitely the evil Christians in Trumps inner circle causing all the problems in New York.

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