Friday Evening Open Thread: All Too True

Urban Dictionary attributes the original usage to Rahm Emmanuel in 2009.

The article, by “founding editor of POLITICO” John F. Harris, absolutely lives down to its original title:

It is too early to tell what will come of House Democrats’ decision to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, but not too early to conclude that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has failed to revive the concept of solemnity in American politics.

That was the obvious intent Tuesday, when she stood in front of a bank of flags, invoking the Founding Fathers and Constitutional Convention of 1787, as she announced the impeachment inquiry.

But the reaction, underway even before she started speaking, made clear that for much of the country, it was just another day in what Rahm Emanuel, when he was Barack Obama’s chief of staff, called the metropolis of “Fucknutsville.” The news may be important, it may be swerving wildly in surprising ways, but never these days is it something that commands reverent attention.

People below a certain age may not have firsthand experience with news events that did indeed command that reaction — and impeachment proceedings against a president unambiguously would have been one of them…

He blames — you will no doubt be shocked! — what he calls ‘the Lewinsky Affair.’ The beclownification of which, of course, was very much a boon for the men who would later found Politico, but then irony is dead and therefore cannot sue for libel.

Because this remains the internet:

DC Press Corpse Open Thread: President As CEO vs. President As Cultural Phenom

Many years ago, when I subscribed to a dead-tree Washington Post weekly, a friend who’d grown up in the area explained that Washington DC is a company town where the monopoly industry is national politics. Which means that the Post treats every President as a CEO analogue — someone responsible for keeping the local industry running on an even keel, so that government workers and the hundreds of thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on those workers prosper.

The NYTimes considers itself as the national financial capitol; what interests them about any President is how he’s perceived by global business interests. The current Oval Office Occupant, however disastrous for individual Americans and the larger world, has *so far* been satisfactory as a novelty performer whose directors have not, to date, interfered in the ever-burgeoning prosperity of the oligarchs who support the NYTimes

Thing is… when the profit-taking fails, the performer’s zany antics no longer disguise the smash’n’grab, there’s nothing left to loot… what becomes of the NYTimes? Or at least its most public face?
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Open Thread: Speaking of Media Village Idiocies…

Bernie-sympathetic media figure speaks to Sanders supporters, hears what he wants to hear…

All the top campaigns are taking the possibility of a contested convention seriously and have begun wooing the party’s 700-plus super delegates, who thanks to a new rule will only get to weigh in on a nominee if next year’s primaries and caucuses fail to produce a clear winner.

On the sidelines of the DNC meeting, senior campaign aides charged with hunting for delegates could be seen stalking the halls and schmoozing with super delegates into the wee hours of the mornings, keeping close track of lists of people they wanted to connect with in person. Behind the scenes, candidates have been making calls to super delegates for months and took time at the meeting to make the rounds to gatherings of delegates…

The last time Democrats went into their convention without a presumptive nominee already having a majority of delegates was 1984. And you have to go all the way back to 1952 to find the last time it took multiple rounds of ballots to pick the standardbearer.

But this time, it might happen again, according to many of the nearly two dozen state party chairs, DNC members, campaign delegate counters and other officials surveyed here by NBC News, most of whom did not want to speak for the record about the sensitive subject…

While Republican primaries are winner-take-all, Democrats’ are not. Any candidate who gets at least 15 percent of the vote can earn delegates from a primary or caucus, so its not uncommon for candidates to split each state’s delegate haul.

Some worry that the first four states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina) will deliver a split decision, and California and other Super Tuesday states will fracture, giving multiple candidates a reason to stay in the contest and the money to do so, thanks to energized grassroots donors…

BREAKING NEWS: Professionals prepare for possible outcomes, no matter how slim the chances.

The actual “news” here, IMO, is that Bernie Sanders will once again hang on until & after the convention, even after it’s mathematically impossible for him to win, even if that means guaranteeing a Repub win. Or, if you prefer to be as kind as possible, Sanders’ staff and supporters intend to keep Bernie in the race until & after the convention, because that’s where their checks & egoboo are. This is my (not hardly) shocked face, people.

Who’s Who of Reasonable Centrist Enablers

Mark Halperin sat out his #MeToo issues for almost two years (14 dog’s years, people!) and now he has another book with interviews of 75 Democratic operatives, including this list of co-conspirators:

Jill Alper, David Axelrod, Bob Bauer, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Tad Devine, Anita Dunn, Karen Dunn, Adrienne Elrod, Jennifer Granholm, Ben LaBolt, Jeff Link, Jim Margolis, Mike McCurry, Mark Mellman, Amanda Renteria, John Sasso, Kathleen Sebelius, Bob Shrum, Ginny Terzano, and David Wilhelm.

Fuck all those people, collectively and individually.

It has been nearly two years, so it’s worth recalling what conduct Halperin was accused of in 2017. Back then, I spoke to multiple women who said that Halperin sexually harassed or assaulted them. The stories of harassment ranged in nature, from him propositioning employees for sex to kissing and grabbing one’s breasts against her will.

Three women who spoke to me described Halperin as, without consent, pressing an erection against their bodies while he was clothed. One woman told me Halperin masturbated in front of her in his office, while another told me that he violently threw her against a restaurant window before attempting to kiss her, and that when she rebuffed him he called her and told her she would never work in politics or media.

Halperin apologized in 2017 for some of his behavior, but he denied grabbing a woman’s breasts, pressing his genitals against women, masturbating in front of anyone, and threatening the career of a woman.

I’m trying to imagine the inner dialog that caused these folks to talk to Halperin:  On the one hand, we have women risking their careers to report a sexual predator.  On the other hand, some of my friends/competitors are getting quoted in a DC insider’s book.  Nobody reads those things anyway, so I’ll talk to this guy, even though he’s personally despicable and political poison for Democrats.

Halperin’s strategy is painfully obvious:  apologize for the less awful things, deny the more awful things, hide and resurface like a turd you can never flush. If it succeeds for Halperin, then it’s going to succeed for a bunch of other predators.

Racism: The Very Gross Elephant in the GOP’s Room (Part I)

(Tom Toles via

Answer: A vestigial sense among the keepers of St. Ronnie’s legacy that the time for public celebration of blatant racism was not yet ripe.

Historical documentation is always nice, but anybody with the most nominal political awareness knew Ronald Reagan was a racist. He famously started his campaign in a Mississippi town best known for the KKK murder of civil-rights activists. It was widely reported during the campaign that his father-in-law’s John Bircher cronies deliberated groomed Reagan as a prettier, more trainable version of Pat Buchanan or Bill O’Reilly — the ‘old-fashioned blue-collar working-class guy’, aka, someone who’d promote racism as a public virtue.

By the time he was in the Oval Office, the openly racist ‘conservative’ media like National Review were publicly exulting that ‘Morning in America’ was code for ‘send the colored and their commie-liberal supporters back where they belong’, and the squishy-moderate publications like Fred Barnes’ New Republic were half-heartedly suggesting that Ronnie wasn’t *really* a racist, he just pretended to be one to please the ‘hardcore’ Republican voter.

Nixon’s infamous ‘Southern Strategy’ was the HIV infection of the Republican party; Reagan’s success, followed by the Bush terms, was the emergence of full-blown political AIDS; Trump is just the Kaposi’s sarcoma that announces the disease in the most public way possible.


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