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As if there was any doubt that David Cameron is an utter prick:

Cameron, who stood down as an MP on Monday, has refused to give evidence to the select committee. In one of his few reflections on his major military intervention, he blamed the Libyan people for failing to take their chance of democracy.

Probably some humanitarian hawks do actually care about the people they purport to liberate. But then there’s David Cameron, who seemed to have other things in mind. Don’t let the door hit you…

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Lev filed this under: ,  

The irony is that Antonio Sabato, Jr.* is probably actually going to see his career improve as a result of lying about the president’s religion and acting like he’s some sort of martyr of the Christian Right even though, as Sean O’Neal notes, his career dried up about fifteen years ago and two weeks is quite a short period of time to organize a blacklist. But of course he’ll easily find work in the burgeoning Christian film industry, for which this whole thing was probably just an audition all along. Look for him to star in the next film in the God’s Not Dead franchise. He’ll be among the top five most loathsome humans in it for sure.

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The reason John McCain is saying this is because of this. It would be glorious for him to lose on this note.

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The only two groups of any significant size in today’s Republican Party are outright bigots and people who are willing to be led by bigots for their own reasons. I personally think the second group is even worse than the first–bigotry is ignorance, but those folks understand well enough and have made a choice purely out of self-interest. Ordinarily in politics, things aren’t ever so morally simple. Right now, right here, they are.

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Now that it’s going to trial, I have to say that I’m really gratified that Bill Cosby had his downfall while he was still living. It’s very easy to imagine a scenario where Cosby dies in, say, 2010, and none of this stuff ever becomes more than whispers. I remember well when Michael Jackson died and people decided (for a time, anyway) to engage in the uncomplicated hero worship people seem to want to engage in with beloved entertainers. While the Cosby stuff was “out there” it hadn’t been picked up by the media, and had he died before it happened, that silence would no doubt have continued. It’s easy to imagine that happening to Cosby. If they ever had come out–and it’s hard to imagine all those women going to the trouble of getting their stories out there about a dead man–they would have been vastly easier to ignore for all the people who grew up on his shows and loved him with the sort of precritical attachment that one finds among many fans of, say, Star Wars.

 

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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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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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