Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Keen Political Nuggets

Well, we’re still struggling to find something interesting to write about. I guess that’s just the summer fall holidays. Actually, I think it’s just that our political system has entered a loop and is stuck. Here are some thoughts though.

The Carson Problem: The media is firing its best shots at Ben Carson right now and they can't seem to dent him. The problem is they are using the wrong material. If you want to bring down a candidate, you either need to catch them in a major, substantive lie of the type that makes people cringe ("that was the first time I did blow off the belly of a dead hooker!") or you need to catch them in a thousand little cuts that play into a negative personality trait or stereotype.

For black males, the way to sink them is sexual misconduct. Line up a couple white women, get them to swear that said black gentleman fondled them or left public hair on their cokes, and that’s usually enough to bring down a black dude. No such allegations have been made against Ben Carson. Instead, the media is obsessing over verbal technicalities from when he was a teenager about whether he was a a great guy or just a good guy. Even more stupid, they are attacking the idea that Carson was a bad boy when he was young. “Ha! I have found you out! You were always a decent kid... you monster!” Yeah, that will sink you with America. Idiots. Until they start trotting out the hos he date raped on the bodies of unconscious patients, they won't lay a glove on him.

Obama Loses Again: Yet another court has struck down Obama’s attempts to rule by Executive Fiat. This time it was his vaunted immigration amnesty. The court even used his own words against him where Obama stupidly admitted that he was changing the law with his order. At this point, not a single attempt by Obama to circumvent the Congress has worked. The Imperial Presidency has turned into a dud and waste of seven years.

Petty Minds and Irrelevance: Here are issues that have set the GOP world afire. Hillary Clinton laughed when someone said they wanted to strangle Carly Fiorina. The media is being unfair to the Republicans. Starbucks no longer puts “Merry Christmas” on their cups (which they never did, by the way... this is all made up and the guy who made it up has since admitted he was wrong). That’s fine if that’s what gets the GOP insiders all hot and bothered, but does anybody really think that the public cares about this? Has it dawned on anyone that the way to win the public is to tell them how you will get them jobs, how you will improve the value of their money and assets, and how you will help improve their kids’ education? Nah, keep attacking the red cups.

Keystone Favor: It strikes me that Obama just gave the GOP a pretty big helping hand in the Rustbelt and Midwest by killing the Keystone Pipeline. Think of all the union jobs that just vanished in a puff of smug.

The FBI Wants You: This FBI probe of Hillary is getting rather interesting. When it happened, I saw two possibilities. Either, Obama wanted to burn Hillary and this was his way of dragging her down and possibly even locking her up. Alternatively, he was going to run a quick and dirty “investigation,” and then declare her clean and saintly. Right now, it’s starting to look like the FBI is serious. That is not good news for Hillary.

Cold Turkey: I hear there's going to be a turkey shortage this Turkey Day. Am I the only one who is starting to get skeptical of all these shortages on key days?


tryanmax said...

I read somewhere that there is a severe panic shortage and that there won't be enough to respond to all the media crises. On the plus side, there is an abundance of outrage which can be substituted in a pinch.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, There is no shortage of outrage... or stupidity. We had a bumper crop of that this year!

BevfromNYC said...

I think the real problem is that (as I have said many times before) everyone has an outlet for their outrage now with the internet. But I think we are reaching our peak of indignation and people are beginning to get tired of thei constant outrage.

It is kind of like what I remember in the late'60s and '70's when we had an influx of political refugees coming in from Soviet bloc countries. Many, many of them finally had the ability to speak out loud what they dared not ever do before...and they did it with abandon. You couldn't get them to shut or not express their opinion on all subjects great or small. In one way it was really annoying, but in other ways it was wonderful to see a group of people finally free to express themselves openly without fear. That's when I really understood how special our Bill of Rights really are...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I think it's more a matter of being a small percentage of people who finally have an outlet. These people have always existed and in the past they flooded city council meetings and sent nasty letters to television networks. These day, they go online to Asshole.com and meet other assholes just like themselves. Then they go out and whine about everything as publicly as possible.

I think the venom you see today comes from a combination of (1) living in a bubble because they only associate with other jerks just like themselves, which intensifies their belief that they are right and everyone else is evil, and (2) they realize that no one outside their bubble pays any attention to them, which sends them into a fury.

Anthony said...

I don't think black males are especially vulnerable to charges of sexual misconduct. For single guys of any color, the sky is pretty much the limit (charge a single guy with having slept with 10K women, most voters will just give him a thumbs up :) ) for married guys it depends.

If one has made a big show out of devotion to one's wife or one's faith, the revelation of an affair is devastating (nods towards John Edwards), if one is married but a known scoundrel (nods towards Bill Clinton) not so much.

None of the attacks on Carson have had a real chance of doing any damage and I doubt any substantial scandals will crop up. His supporters are the same types of people that support Trump, so they are more interested in the here and now that what happened in the past.

I've yet to see convincing signs Carson has much political support in the black community, though he is known there (as I've mentioned before, both my daughters have written book reports on him and one school nurse's office is named after him).

As I've observed before, the slavery talk many black conservatives tend to favor thrills conservatives and guarantees them a spot of Fox News if they fail to achieve elected office, but I doubt it impresses most blacks so its counterproductive if one's goal is to make inroads into the black community.

Unfortunately Democrat/rapist Bill Cosby is the guy who talked most convincingly about the merits of conservatism (personal if not partisan) for the black community.

Anthony said...

There are students at Yale who can't debate, but can scream and spit. I'm sure life has great things in store for them.


Earlier in his remarks, Lukianoff mocked those who were hysterical about Associate Master Erika Christakis‘ email about Halloween costumes. “Looking at the reaction to Erika Christakis’s email, you would have thought someone wiped out an entire Indian village,” he joked.

Someone posted Lukianoff’s joke about how Yale students were comically overreacting to speech they disagreed with on Facebook. Yale students responded by, well, comically overreacting to speech they disagreed with.

According to the Yale Daily News:

Around 5:45 p.m., as attendees began to leave the conference, students outside chanted the phrase “Genocide is not a joke” and held up written signs of the same words. . . . A large group of students eventually gathered outside of the building on High Street. According to Buckley fellows present during the conference, several attendees were spat on as they left. One Buckley fellow said he was spat on and called a racist. Another, who identifies as a minority himself, said he has been labeled a “traitor” by several.

Mitchell Rose Bear Don’t Walk ’16, a Native American student and one of the leaders of the protest, said she has spoken to the fellow who said he was spat on. She emphasized that spitting is “disgraceful” and not the message the protestors were looking to convey, but she confirmed that it did happen.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Politically, the attacks I've seen used on black males (those that have worked) have almost always been sexual misconduct bordering on rape. I think the charge is the easy way to scare white liberal women, and it plays into a racist stereotype. It's also impossible to defend because it becomes he said she said, so each side can firmly believe they are right.

As an aside, the attacks on women that have worked best seem to be (1) stupidity and (2) being a witch to underlings (e.g. Leona Helmsly, Nancy Reagan, Hillary, Madame O, etc. -- In "The Devil Wears Prada," this became the most recognized form of female villain), though stupid is much more likely to bring you down.

In terms of Carson's support in the black community, I doubt he has any. His real benefit to the right is the ability to neutralize the race issue and to lob "truths" at blacks, not to bring out black voters.

The whole Cosby thing is a tragedy.

tryanmax said...

I thought of the line about being a great guy or just a good guy when I heard NPRs fact check of the Republican debate this morning. In it, they declared a claim made by Carly Fiorina to be false about the length of the tax code. She apparently cited something like 74,000 pages, which is the length of some document related to the tax code, but isn't the "actual" tax code. Instead, the intrepid fact-checker determined that the "actual" tax code is a mere 5000 pages. No, that doesn't support Fiorina's -- or many other tax-reform Republicans' -- point one bit.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Those students are in for a very rough life. They are whiny shits and whiny shits live unhappy lives. And as they age and enter the real world, they will discover that their whole worldview is a fantasy and that the rest of us will not listen to them like these school administrators will.

Anthony said...


If liberal white woman were scared by charges of sexual harassment, Bill Clinton's support base would be very different (among white women he soundly beat two guys without a rep for being sexually aggressive).

I agree that its damn near impossible that a black Bill Clinton would happen, but I also doubt a white Bill Clinton would happen. Voters sided with Bill during the impeachment, but they have shown no inclination to relive the drama again. Its telling that he has carefully stayed out of sight during Hillary's campaign.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's media gotcha for you. For one thing, anything references is part of the code, even if it isn't technically printed as part of the code. For another, it's amazing how they can attack a lack of precision in wording and miss the big picture when they want to.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I think it's more racist than that. Liberal white women still see blacks with heavy doses of old stereotypes. In this case, the stereotype is an out-of-control sexual animal. So when you get a black male, it's effective to attack them with charges of sexual harassment/assault, because it invokes that stereotype. That's why they have used it against a bevy of black males they couldn't otherwise discredit... like Clarence Thomas. It's also why Thomas's counterattack of calling the charges against him a "lynching" were so effective, because it called his attackers racists.

With white males, the charge isn't the same. With white males, the charge is only effective if the male falls in the category of creepy or a father figure or someone who has sold himself as a family man. If the white male is seen as a rogue to begin with (like Clinton), then it gets dismissed as part of his appeal, probably from the school of "you should have known what you were getting when you dealt with this man." That's why Clinton can take all the hits you can give him on this, but Edwards couldn't.

As another side, I am not aware of sexual harassment charges ever working against an Hispanic man in our politics. Odd.

Anthony said...

Women everywhere still see blacks with heavy doses of old stereotypes. If I had a dollar every time a woman (white, Hispanic, Arab, Asian, what have you) asked me if it was true what they said about black guys...

IMHO Thomas's claiming of racism was effective not so much because using allegations of sexual misconduct to bring down a guy is a racially tinged strategy but because crying racism was (at the time) a novel strategy in that particular arena. Nowadays that card is so familiar it has to be played with more sophistication in order to be effective.

As for the power of the stereotype, keep in mind that despite his race, the allegations floated around Cosby for years without damaging him in large part because he was a popular public figure whose public image didn't fit the allegations and who didn't have motivated enemies among either the conservative or the liberal chattering classes (neither side completely loved him, but he was useful to both on occasion).

AndrewPrice said...

Wait a minute! That's not true? ;-)

The Cosby thing is fascinating in many ways to me. For one thing, it's so hard to believe. It just doesn't seem like he's capable of that, which shows how easy it is to fool people with a public image. He's also apparently being using a lot of lawyers over the years and has managed to keep this really quiet until recently. That should make those lawyers reconsider their own characters!

On Thomas, I think it helped that his outrage felt genuine too. He wasn't lobbying this charge just for fun or as the first thing he said, it took time to get there and with a bunch of condescending old white guys staring at him and throwing obnoxious questions at him, it was very effective.

Anthony said...


Coincidentally, one of my coworkers was watching the Cosby show dvd during lunch (I guess I should say breakfast since we were working a midnight shift). Never my favorite show, but very wholesome.

I remember when I was a small kid who inbetween listening to disco records with my mom, would listen to records containing Bill Cosby's family friendly monologues about his childhood (going to the dentist, getting in trouble and punished by his father).

My daughters used to enjoy cartoon named Little Bill which came out maybe a decade ago.

All those pleasant memories have been tainted (at least for me) by the ugly reality. What a shame.

Good point about Thomas's (apparent) sincerity. That no doubt helped him quite a bit.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I feel the same way about Cosby. I loved his monologues and I used to quote parts of them all the time -- "dad is great... give us chocolate cake!" and "Noah! What?" But since this rape stuff came out, it just feels tainted.

Kit said...

One comedian has called on other comedians to start stealing his jokes.

Anthony said...

That Missouri thing is getting steadily nuttier. Professors who try to teach being pushed to resign, students fleeing campus because of fake sightings of the KKK on campus. Sounds like the whole semester is a loss.

Anthony said...

The police killing of the six year old and the wounding of his father in Louisiana initially sounded like the police doing something a reckless jerk of a father forced them to do (they claimed he was a wanted man who had tried to run them over when they sought to stop his vehicle) but its looking more and more like the cops were in the wrong. How wrong is truly impressive.

Shooting a stopped vehicle where the guy raised his hands is bad enough (though not shocking) but the guy they were going after wasn't a wanted man, but simply a guy who had told one of the cops to stay away from his fiancée.


One of two Louisiana cops jailed over the death of a 6-year-old boy and the wounding of his father had a threatening confrontation with one of the victims before, a family member says.

Megan Dixon, who is engaged to the wounded father, Chris Few, told The Advocate that officer Norris Greenhouse had started messaging her on Facebook before the shooting. Greenhouse, her high school classmate, also showed up to see her at the house she and Few were sharing, the site reports.

"I told Chris and Chris confronted him about it and told him, 'Next time you come to my house I’m going to hurt you,'" Dixon said.

BevfromNYC said...

Sorry guys...no post from me today. I got unavoidable kidnapped last night by relatives who made me do unspeakable things like drink martinis at the 21 Club and Rainbow Room.

Kit said...

By the way, the newest South Park season has been awesome. Watch it.

BevfromNYC said...

Kit - I agree. Each episode has been golden. I can't wait to see "Ninja Cops".

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