Late Night Open Thread: Media Village Idiots, Projecting Harder Than An Octoplex of IMAXes


Read more



So fucking stupid

The Atlantic has gotten so bad it makes me long for the days of Douthat, McArdle, and Sully:

It’s 2020, four years from now.

[….]

As the presidential primaries unfold, Kanye West is leading a fractured field of Democrats. The Republican front-runner is Phil Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame. Elected governor of Louisiana only a few months ago, he is promising to defy the Washington establishment by never trimming his beard. Party elders have given up all pretense of being more than spectators, and most of the candidates have given up all pretense of party loyalty. On the debate stages, and everywhere else, anything goes.

I could continue, but you get the gist. Yes, the political future I’ve described is unreal. But it is also a linear extrapolation of several trends on vivid display right now.

What possible purpose could this kind of sub-Borowtiz material serve?

Yes, our political system has gone crazy but someday it may be sane, and Jonathan Rauch will still be a pompous idiot.



Tiny fingers you almost feel

I realize that saying “peak this” has become a joke, but I think Halperin may have a hard time topping this one, where he says Trump is one of the two most talented politicians he’s ever covered (the other being Bill Clinton). The friend who sent this asked: “Halperin believes nothing, what’s in it for him to pretend to believe something so stupid”.

I was going to joke that Trump was paying him, but I guess it’s more likely that the money’s coming in cash payments from the Ukraine.



Peak Both Sides was a lie

Zeke Miller making Ron Fournier look like Paul Krugman. Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 6.20.36 PM

These idiots will be screaming “both sides do it” as Trump drags them to the gulag.



I had a dream, I had an awesome dream

It looks like the media has decided to resume its regularly scheduled Hillary bashing. Got to have a horse race to cover!Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 3.03.40 PM

In a way, maybe it’s just as well, given that the alternative is two months of Paul Ryan white knight fan fiction:

That basically allows the RNC to come up with any reason to declare the spot vacant. For example, they could, following President Obama, deem him unfit for office – as in, mentally unfit. Or they could hold a vote of no confidence. No doubt, if Trump is fighting them, that would be a bumpy road, possibly involving litigation. It might be easier for leaders to endorse Gary Johnson and move on. But because of that word “otherwise,” it’s likely within the RNC’s power to dump Trump even without his consent. Then they would be able to fill the “vacancy” by majority vote.

Interestingly, that person could be anyone. Mike Pence does not automatically move up the ticket. On the contrary, unless Pence drops out (or is similarly found to be unfit, which seems impossible), he remains the nominee for Vice President, which, after all, is a separate office and a separate nomination. Most likely, the GOP’s knight in shining armor, House Speaker Paul Ryan, would be a leading candidate for a last-minute substitution.



Only love can break your heart

I’ve been impressed by how many right-wing pundits — George Will and Robert Kagan stand out — are so freaked out and upset about Trump that they’re willing to be anti-Trump all the time and note devote any columns to fragging Hillary. Meanwhile, the professional centrists continue to treat Trump and Hillary as two sides of the same coin:

Why is the convention so negative? For the same reasons next weeks’ Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia likely will be an anti-Trump orgy.

[….]

Shouts of “fascist” from the convention floor, for example, would be the Philadelphia analogue of “Lock her up!” Smug dismissals of Trump’s populist approach and policies might be viewed by undecided voters as an indictment of them.

Ron Fournier and Matt Bai aren’t upset that the country could devolve into a fascist dictatorship under Trump (note: I don’t think it probably would, but some on the right make a good case that it might). It would just be further proof of the corrupt duopoly derp derp and, anyway, they have plenty of money so it probably wouldn’t hurt them much.

A lot is made about how the country has become too polarized and angry. Well, fury can be misdirected but being mad as hell is at least a sign that you give a fuck.

In the comments a few times, some of you have mentioned studies that show that people can’t make decisions if the part of the brain that deals with emotion is incapacitated. I hate to go into Boboish pseudoscientific gibberish here, but I do think that sober-minded, nonpartisan, objective blah blah blah analysis has its limits. That it’s not just that Ron Fournier is a sociopathic asshole but that the whole nonpartisan project is doomed to failure.



Tell that fucking bullshit to the tourists

I often tell people that national American politics primarily about race, that no one cares about smaller government or individual rights or any of that crap, and that the proof of this is that white southerners voted overwhelmingly for Democrats before the Civil Rights era and now vote overwhelmingly for Republicans. This George Wallace quote tells you all you need to know:

“You know, I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been part of my career, and nobody listened. And then I began talking about niggers, and they stomped the floor.”

There’s other stuff around the edges, people like a good economy and dislike disastrous wars, but when it comes to basic party allegiances in the main, everything boils down to race and attitudes about it. The end.

The southern strategy was the smart move (Nixon was always smarter). But it was a strategy and let’s not pretend it’s a coincidence that the Republican party became dominated by white identity politics.

When I say this out loud in real life, anyone who has even a little bit of totebagger in them looks at me like I was Ward Churchill. I don’t mean just the “David Brooks has a good point” dead-enders, I mean even the moderate totebaggers (the ones we should arm).

So fuck all that “oh no, Donald Trump is such a sad turn for the party of Lincoln”. Atrios says it well:

You know, they haven’t actually been hiding it. Even that nice Mr. Brooks isn’t, you know, nice. Respectable demeanor is not the same thing as nice. They’ve been all about kicking the poors and the blahs and the gays and the whoever they can get the press to see as a “sides disagree” issue (are black people stupid? the two sides disagree) that week as long as I can remember. Trump just isn’t as well-trained and he does not give a fuck. There are plenty of reasons to dislike Trump, but most of those are reasons to dislike most Republicans. With Trump, the people who think they should and do run the country worry they’ll lose control. That’s the main difference.