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Currently viewing the tag: "Assholes!"

Kathleen Kane should resign from office, as should Rick Snyder and Rahm Emmanuel. But they won’t, of course. It used to be the case that people in public office after being disgraced would quietly resign and move on. While that still occasionally happens sometimes it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that things that would have led to immediate resignations a generation ago (getting exposed as an aficionado of prostitutes and diaper play, say, or taking a couple of weeks off to “hike the Appalachian Trail”), while they may well destroy political careers, don’t actually lead to resignations as often as they used to. Why is that? I think there are several possible reasons, none mutually exclusive:

  1. Distraction. A generation ago the media was much less fractured, now even when something is major news, it’s not as impactful as it used to be when the media was more top-down. There are always a bunch of other stories coming out at the same time, and still more to come shortly, leading to the temptation to ride it out.
  2. Polarization. The swing voter is dead, so regardless of how awful you are, you’ll still probably be able to count on quite a lot of your own party members bailing you out because the alternative is unthinkable. (And no, I don’t think partisanship is bad per se, but it does have some bad affects no doubt.) Mark Sanford even managed a second life after scandal back in Congress, after all, in large part due to this.
  3. Shamelessness. Part of the post-resignation era is part of a post-shame era in general, as recently exemplified by the ascendancy of Donald Trump among a large portion of voters. The oversharing era means some things just don’t shock like they used to, for better and worse. And the fracturing of media also makes avoiding tough questions a whole lot easier as well.
  4. Sunk cost. It’s never been more expensive to mount a campaign, which is why our politicians spend most of their time fundraising. The greater ascendancy of money also means you have backers with a lot invested in you that may not want to cut you loose. Or, if you’re a super-wealthy dude like Rick Snyder, you don’t want to have wasted the money to buy yourself a political gig.

Any others?

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Lev filed this under: ,  

People talk a lot about white and male privilege, as is fair since this is the predominant form and has all sorts of major implications. But sometimes it feels as though it’s forgotten that there are other sorts, and there are. When black conservatives talk about how abortion is like slavery, how Social Security is like slavery, how black peoples’ support for Democrats is like slavery, et al., although that is not often recognized as such it is very much an abuse of privilege. Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign–which is fundamentally based on her being able to say vicious and often gendered bits of nastiness against Hillary Clinton with the implicit understanding that her gender will protect her from the drubbing that a male politician would get for saying the same–this is very much an abuse of privilege. Deploying abusive language in such a way that your identity makes outright criticism more difficult or complicated is the essence of privilege. Admittedly, a day-away-from-being-a-failed presidential candidate and some random idiot who appeared on FOX News are trivial examples of this. But they are also obvious ones: the more powerful ones are more subtle.

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Does 13 Hours refer to how long Michael Bay’s latest film ran in theaters, or is it how long Chris Christie spent running his state during the blizzard?
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I fully second Cole here. Also, too, Schumer is a moral coward who equivocated on torture. He represents much of what is wrong with the modern Democratic Party, from corporatism to playing into the hawks’ state of fear. Following Cole’s example of withholding donations seems like a great first step.
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Leave it to bargain-bin conservative pundit Marc Thiessen: he could have read up and offered an informed take on how the racist killings in Charleston led to a movement to re-evaluate Confederate symbolism in America, or he could have just made a bunch of shit up–arguments nobody is arguing, demands nobody is demanding–and then just asserted that this is what it’s all about. Guess which one he did? It’s a piece of shoddy work even by the Post‘s nonexistent op-ed standards, and probably should get the guy fired, but if we know anything it’s that no amount of bad writing and trivial pageviews will get a conservative fired from the Post, while no amount of healthy pageviews or quality writing will save a liberal. It’s just business, you see. Can’t ignore that large group of Tea Partiers who just devour the Post, along with other mainstream outlets.

Incidentally, I think this piece about Bill Kristol’s halfhearted Confederate defense–in service of a wholehearted trolling job–misses the key point. Heer’s historical perspective of neoconservatism is interesting, but I’m not so sure I’d give Kristol the benefit of the doubt of having much to do with any of that just because his father was involved with it. Kristol may buy into the precepts of neoconservatism, but he’s no intellectual, merely a party-hack troll who has, for reasons unclear to me, managed to amass a tremendous amount of power in the Republican Party, to the point of being a legitimate leader within it. This is despite his having no real talent or vision, and a long history of blown calls and counterproductive tactics. One supposes it’s his ironclad reputation as a cultivator of Republican talent: I’m sure Tom Cotton’s near-certain Vice Presidential nomination next year will accomplish what Sarah Palin couldn’t!

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It basically destroyed Libya, so that a large number of people in the 212 area code could feel good about themselves four years ago. If Clinton, Rice, Power, Obama, et al., not to mention the war hungry press actually cared about the Libyan people, then maybe we’d be talking about this stuff. They don’t, however, so we’re not.
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Human garbage Tony Blair trying to defend his role advising dictators on how to spin the media about their repression (via):
“I’m a private individual, I’m not a government department! One of the things people are going to have to get used to is: you are going to get leaders leaving office in their early 50s,” Blair says. “I have a lot of energy. I feel extremely fit. There’s no way I’m going to retire and play golf. You look at someone like Henry [Kissinger]. He’s 91 and he’s still going strong. I love that. Or Shimon Peres! These are my role models.”
Yeah, Henry “finish the genocide quickly so that the media doesn’t take notice” Kissinger really is a perfect role model for this guy.
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