Sunday, July 22, 2018

More summer reruns from the usual suspects

By A.J. Liebling
Meta-Content Generator

Those of us old enough to remember “picture tubes” will recall that summer was known as the season of reruns on network TV.   When there were only three or four channels and viewership declined, the three networks would simply rerun episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies on the theory that if you were stupid enough to watch it the first time, you'd watch it again.

And they were right, because there wasn't anything else on, unless you wanted to watch Frank Malzone take his swings against the Washington Senators.

With 500 million channels now on offer, networks have grown hungrier, so reruns have been replaced by cheap reality TV like talent shows, buff guys and girls climbing walls, and the Helsinki summit.  At least it's first run stuff.

The newspapers are apparently a different story, because they seem to love rerunning the same lame crap over and over again.  In today's New York Times and Washington Post, you can, um, enjoy reruns of two of the print media's longest-running hits:

1.  Dems in Disarray; and

2.  Middle of America's Wild Trump Supporter Kingdom.

There it was the lead story in the Sunday New York Times, at least in the lamentable early edition that reaches the front steps out here in the wilds of Massachusetts:

Far to the left, eh?  Cue audience: “How far to the left is it?”

Why do you ask?

We read on, eager to find out what crazy far-left ideas these Democrats were pushing?  As National Lampoon used to speculate, was it taxing bowling balls?  Giving Puerto Ricans three votes each?  Or was it ideas that Republicans had smeared as far-left for decades, until somehow they weren't, like universal health care, gay marriage, equal treatment for trans people, or legalizing marijuana?

Despite the torrent of verbiage, the poor reader never finds out what wild ideas these crazy-ass Democrats are pushing.  Apparently the fact that some of them are young, female, brown, Latina, Muslim, or otherwise reflective of the true diversity of America is far left for a newspaper that never acknowledged the existence of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez until she, um, won an election in the Bronx.

The article does make a half-assed effort, although it's too ashamed to say so explicitly, to tar two ideas as the second coming of Emma Goldman:  single-payer health care (known to those over 65 who are entitled to it as Medicare) and folding the out-of-control ill-managed immigration enforcement machinery back into the agency that was in charge of it prior to 2003.  And we all remember what a Communist nightmare that was.

The fact that some Democrats run as progressives and others as moderates depending on their tendencies and the appetites of their districts would be as newsworthy as the excretory habits of wild bears except that the Times is desperate to push a story of Democrats at each others' throats.

The only problem: the Democrats won't play ball.  Ocasio-Cortez has refused innumerable times to rubbish the older generation of Democratic leaders, and for the most part more elder and moderate Democrats are trying to make nice with the progressives, because all segments of the party, with the exception of alter kocker Joe Lieberman, understand that the future of the Republic depends on Democratic success in the midterms.

At bottom the Times is trying to incite fear and outrage over some Democrats running as Democratic Socialists, or, in other words, the branding used by every mainstream left-wing party in Europe.  Last we looked, none of those countries were run like a collective farm.

If the Times is really looking for ideas wildly out of the political mainstream, perhaps it would do well not to patronize energetic young progressives like AOC.  Instead, it might take a gander at the other supposedly mainstream political party, and its not at all extreme ideas like abolishing birthright citizenship and due process, destroying what's left of our planet, slashing the social safety net to ribbons, including food stamps, denying women access to family planning services, turning schools into free-fire zones and transforming government into a get-rich-quick scheme for Republican hacks, including President U Bum.

Those seem like pretty far out ideas to us, even if they do come out of the mouths of white men.  And their Russian girlfriends.

Speaking of far out of the mainstream ideas, let's glance at the second big summer rerun: what do U Bum supporters think about the treasonous bigot now?  We last dissected this chestnut, three weeks ago.  Last week, though, The Washington Post gave us the Jersey Shore edition, featuring young conservatives supposedly struggling with their stalwart support of of the Grifter-in-Chief.

After 500 days of a flaming circus clown car running in circles, has the faith of these young deplorables in their Grifter-in-Chief been shaken, or at least stirred?

If you've read the previous dispatches from whitest America, reader, you know the answer:
Most see Trump as an imperfect means of implementing their favored policies. They’ve been pleasantly surprised by what he has delivered: Gorsuch, the tax law, deregulation. They wish Trump wouldn’t tweet like that. Almost none cared about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into possible Trump campaign-Russia collusion. . . .
For young conservatives, it became clear to me, the problem with Trump essentially boils down to his meanness. 
It's not the corruption, the treason, the lying, the destruction of the environment, the racist assaults on immigrants and persons of color, the destruction of the postwar liberal order, or the effort to further immiserate the poor and direct all social rewards to a tiny white plutocracy.  These young thought leaders are copacetic with all that.  They don't like the meanness.

The safari leader, one Eliza Gray, tells us that these splendid young Trumpistas are troubled or suffering from buyer's remorse, but not a one of them seems to have the wit or character to say that the Tangerine-Face Grifter is an evil cancer on American democracy or even that they will not vote for him in 2020, should we live that long.

Do today's young conservatives still love U Bum?
Wtf do you think?
The guy who paraded around his college with a cardboard wall (an unequivocal symbol of racism and bigotry, if you came in late) and the gal who grew up poor in Chicopee but managed to attend Mount Holyoke thanks to the taxpayers of Massachusetts (that's me) and the liberal alumnae of MHC may not be “gaga” about President U Bum, but they're still gaga even as they cash in on their loathsome views by working for dark money funded reactionary websites.

And lest you think that the intrepid Ms. Gray interviewed 50 young white people, in fact she found 2 (that's 4%) people of color willing to support the Traitor-in-Chief and his works, one of whom is the son of Obama aide Susan Rice.  She must be so proud!  We're not going to dwell on their particular grievances, but suffice it to say that people of color, like at least 63 million white folks, can hold horrible political views.

None of what any of them says makes any sense at all.  Take the guy who gained attention by “us[ing]  theatrics to get students’ attention — like building six-foot-tall digits to represent the $21 trillion national debt.”  So why does he support the party that rammed through a $1,500,000,000,000 tax cut for the rich, financed by borrowing from our children and grandchildren?  It's hard to avoid the conclusion that today's youthful reactionaries are interested in getting attention, but in paying attention – not so much.

There's a lot more but really none of it adds up to anything worth reading, and of course, the author never tries to probe how it's possible to approve of U Bum's hateful and corrupt views while disliking their expression.  She claims conservatives are fond of young faux-intellectual Ben Shapiro, who tries to use “cognitive dissonance” in a sentence.  But there's no cognitive dissonance between an anti-democratic ideology of hate, bigotry, and misogyny on the one hand and expressing that hate in terms that even the meanest and most vindictive intelligence can grasp.

The only thing this piece makes clear is that the Bigot-in-Chief has succeeded in grabbing 50 more young pussies.  

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