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.

Can we get through the 2020 Democratic primary without losing our minds?

Remember when the Beto boom first got underway a while back, and, like clockwork, Sanders supporters swarmed out of the woodwork to hammer the former Texas congressman as a neo-con stooge? Remember when mostly the same cast of characters launched the “Kamala is a cop” attacks?

Those criticisms had a coordinated feel to them. They originated from Sanders supporters, and sure enough, when Sanders announced he was running, some of those same folks took on significant roles in his campaign. Maybe that telegraphs another scorched-earth strategy in the Democratic primary, though Sanders vows he’ll play nice.

I’ve been thinking about what this means for primary beyond Sanders. I’ll re-state my bias up front: Sanders is a special case, a cuckoo chick hatched in the Democratic Party nest who squawks the loudest and attempts to eject the other eggs when the parent birds turn their backs.

But I worry that the same brand of factionalism has infected politics more broadly. I am concerned that the disinformation and coordinated attacks that were amplified to smear Clinton in 2016 and O’Rourke and Harris more recently are now a permanent feature of our politics. Read more

Late Night Evil Clowns Open Thread: Tucker Carlson Will Not Be Silenced

Millionaire working for billionaires is OUTRAGED that there is no longer room for FREE SPEECH in our public discourse!!!!

Read more

Pelosi: Trump’s not worth impeaching

WaPo Mag just published an interview with Speaker Pelosi. Here’s one snippet that is sure to get a lot of attention:

There have been increasing calls, including from some of your members, for impeachment of the president.

I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.

IIRC, Pelosi had said before that it didn’t make sense to talk about impeachment until the Mueller report comes out. What changed, if anything? Does she know something about the Mueller report, such as that it is going to be withheld from the public or that it doesn’t contain enough clear-cut evidence of the Trump campaign’s conspiracy with Russia to make a convincing case for impeachment?

Is she just facing the political reality that the GOP will carry Trump’s water no matter what the report says? Are the obstructions of justice that have taken place in public just not worth the hassle since the Republicans will never put country before party?

Many Democrats who know that to be true still believe that impeachment proceedings are valuable because the hearings would dominate news coverage and ensure that even folks who don’t follow politics hear the allegations of misconduct and evidence that supports it. There’s some merit to that argument, but taking impeachment off the table (with the caveats Pelosi expressed) doesn’t put a halt to Congressional investigations in any case.

Pelosi is an incredibly skilled politician. Maybe this is how she preempts Republican talking points about “overturning an election” and the metastasizing media narrative about “Democratic overreach” — all without actually changing anything. The hearings will continue, Trump’s corruption and obstruction will be exposed (albeit in a less blockbuster setting), but Trump and his enablers’ whining about impeachment will sound like, well, whining since the Speaker said Trump isn’t worth impeaching.

FWIW, Mayor Pete Buttigieg had a similar take on impeaching Trump during yesterday’s CNN town hall. Here’s the YouTube of the whole thing, which is well worth watching in its entirety — he’s an incredibly impressive candidate, IMO. His comments on impeaching Trump are at about the 33:00 mark.

Buttigieg says, “I would like to see this president and the style of politics he represents sent off through the electoral process — decisively defeated at the ballot box.”

I get that. But losing an election, even in a landslide (which likely won’t happen due to polarization) isn’t enough of a rebuke considering the gravity of Trump’s conduct. He’ll have lowered the bar permanently. What say you?

Gripped by the same madness

Saw this clip on Twitter of former Labour/Respect Party MP George Galloway talking about his vision of Brexit:

I don’t follow British politics closely, but from what I gather, Galloway was part of the pro-Brexit populist left coalition that made common cause with UKIP/Brexit Party member (and Trump booster) Nigel Farage to support the Leave campaign. Galloway said of the relationship with Farage: “We are not pals. We are allies in one cause. Like Churchill and Stalin.”

This upcoming week is crunch time for the UK. I don’t have any idea what will happen, but I’m haunted by the similarities between the situation there and here in the US. We know the same malevolent forces were at work in driving both our countries to the brink of madness: similar species of homegrown nationalists, plus an exchange program that sent British nuts like Farage here to campaign for Trump and right-wing villains like Bannon and the Mercers to the UK to foment nationalism there, with the exact same set of Russians interfering.

Less remarked upon are the lefty counterparts in both countries who helped set the stage for the disaster, whether on purpose or by accident. One thing they have in common is toxic nostalgia of the type Galloway engages in above. It’s the same delusion that is rampant in Trump and his “status anxiety” supporters and certain (invariably white) figures on the left who seem as nostalgic for a time when they were the noble saviors in society as they are for non-achy bones and a full head of hair.

Anyhoo, to repeat, I have no idea how next week will play out for our cousins across the pond, but I’ll be thinking of our British jackal friends. I remember foolishly believing after the shock Brexit vote that we in the US wouldn’t follow the UK off a similar cliff in the 2016 election since our version of Brexit had a human avatar, and he was so odious that the idea of him ascending to the presidency was too absurd to contemplate. Boy, was I wrong!

The impact of those twin disasters is still reverberating across the Atlantic. The same forces are still in place on the right and left, and the narrative is still formed by the same vicious and/or stupid media. May we all wake the fuck up before it’s too late.