Wednesday Morning Open Thread: “Frolicking”

Looks to me like Chewbacca is pondering the evanescence of beauty… and the perky cluenessness of the human animal. (Also, as the Spousal Unit pointed out, those are magnolia petals… )
Speaking of the deliberately obtuse:

The New Math

OMFG, make it stop:

Maybe media outlets keep shuffling a vacuous incompetent like Cillizza around in high-paying jobs because he’s such a delightful addition to the weekly poker game: “Four kings you say? That makes my chances of completing this royal flush look that much better! Hit me again!” [Shoves all his chips into the pot.]

But then there’s this:


So maybe there’s an outbreak of dyscalculia that only affects pundits with last names containing the letters “lizza”? Nope:

So yeah, as we suspected, the media coverage of the 2020 Democratic primary will be as appallingly stupid and biased as it was in 2016. I recommend working the refs — decades of Republican whining paid off.

But babbling idiocy like the above is built in, and any candidate who isn’t a white man will be required to overcome it. That’s unfair, and unfairness sucks, but here we are.

Open Thread: Sen. Warren Charms Stephen Colbert — And His Audience

It seemed to have been an excellent episode… and just possibly, some portion of the viewing public seems to be ready for a ‘schoolmarm’ president who at least we’re sure can read!

Monday Morning Open Thread: Why We Keep Fighting

(If you click on that second image — that’s a Wonder Woman pillowcase!)


Election 2020 Open Thread: Elizabeth Warren Is Not Lisa Simpson

Unless, of course, you’re the type of ‘edgy’ media village idiot who thinks Bart Simpson is the president America really needs:

Warren is bursting with what we might call “charisma” in male candidates: She has the folksy demeanor of Joe Biden, the ferocious conviction of Bernie Sanders, the deep intelligence of fellow law professor Barack Obama. But Warren is not a man, and so those traits are framed as liabilities, rather than strengths. According to the media, Warren is an uptight schoolmarm, a “wonky professor,” a scold, a wimpy Dukakis, a wooden John Kerry, or (worse) a nerdier Al Gore.

The criticism has hit her from the left and right. The far-right Daily Caller accused her of looking weird when she drank beer; on social media, conservatives spread vicious (and viciously ableist) rumors that Warren took antipsychotic drugs that treated “irritability caused by autism.” On the other end of the spectrum, Amber A’Lee Frost, the lone female co-host of the socialist podcast Chapo Trap House, wrote for The Baffler (and, when The Baffler retracted her article, for Jacobin) that Warren was “weak” and “not charismatic.” Frost deplored the “Type-A Tracy Flicks” who dared support “this Lisa Simpson of a dark-horse candidate.”…

There’s an element of gaslighting here: It only takes a reporter a few sources — and an op-ed columnist a single, fleeting judgment — to declare a candidate “unlikable.” After that label has been applied, any effort the candidate makes to win people over can be cast as “inauthentic.” Likability is in this way a self-reinforcing accusation, one which is amplified every time the candidate tries to tackle it. (Recall Hillary Clinton, who was asked about her “likability” at seemingly every debate or town hall for eight straight years — then furiously accused of pandering every time she made an effort to seem more “approachable.”)…

Warren is cast as a bloodless intellectual when she focuses on policy, a scolding lecturer when she leans into her skills as a rabble-rouser; either way, her intelligence is always too much and out of place. Her eloquence is framed, not as inspiring, but as “angry” and “hectoring.” Being an effective orator makes her “strident.” It’s not solely confined to the media, but reporters seem anxious to signal-boost anyone who complains: Anonymous male colleagues call her “irritating,” telling Vanity Fair that “she projects a ‘holier than thou’ attitude” and that “she has a moralizing to her.” That same quality in male candidates is hailed as moral clarity.

Warren is accused, in plain language, of being uppity — a woman who has the bad grace to be smarter than the men around her, without downplaying it to assuage their egos. But running in a presidential race is all about proving that you are smarter than the other guy. By demanding that Warren disguise her exceptional talents, we are asking her to lose. Thankfully, she’s not listening. She is a smart woman, after all.