The Widdershins

Archive for April 25th, 2014

Here’s hoping this Friday is yet another good Friday Widdershin friends.

Never stop questioning

Last weekend I reread the long story in The Washington Post of Lee Atwater’s deathbed confessions. Like several members of his family, Atwater was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor at the young age of 39 and lingered just a few days over a year with the debilitating pain of his medical death sentence.

Atwater was stricken just at the time when he was at the top of his game. In Republican circles, he was the amoral engineer of modern-day wedge issues. Giving us such 60-second slam dunks as Willie Horton and ads where white hands wadded up a job rejection letter while black hands held a job offer, he was the Picasso of divisive politics. Atwater defensively said he didn’t create the art form, but without fear of contradiction, his too short life was spent perfecting the technique.

Atwater spent his last year writing gracious letters of apology, shopping religions, and trying to reconcile both his open affair and his marriage. I don’t know if he succeeded in his personal absolution, but undoubtedly his quest was earnest and forthright.

Scratching HeadI was reminded of Atwater by the story about Charles Cooper, the attorney who argued in favor of California’s ban on same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court. It seems he is now in the throes of an earnest and forthright personal quest to “reconcile his beliefs” since he now finds himself planning his lesbian daughter’s wedding.

Then I read of Oklahoma’s ongoing bid to become the most crimson of the red states by making it illegal for local communities to enact raises in the minimum wage. Fearing this would not be enough to secure uber-infrared conservative status, Oklahoma has also enacted a tax on the sun via anyone who dares utilize solar panels.

Then I read about Georgia’s new “guns everywhere” legislation allowing guns in churches, schools, bars, government buildings, almost everywhere — that is except the state Capitol building. The Capitol is still off-limits for random pistol-packers since the sponsor of the legislation said, “We have some ongoing security concerns here in the Capitol.”

Then I found myself thinking about the states where making it harder to vote is all the rage to combat fictional voter fraud. And also thinking about the states where they are spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to prevent 5 million poor people from getting Medicaid coverage.

Then I found myself scratching my head about those who are opposed to both an increase in the minimum wage and food stamp expenditures. If ever there was a self-defeating Möbius loop this is it since an increase in the minimum wage would reduce spending on food stamps by $4.6 Billion a year or $46.0 Billion over the usual 10-year budget cycle.

Color Doubt

How to make sense out of this disparate group of facts and issues? It was then that I ran across an article about marketing and the genius of asking just the right question. Within the article was a quote from Descartes, “Doubt is the origin of all wisdom.”

Given that most of the tea party types have never before been part of the political process — never having sat through school board or city council meetings in seats of authority — they have no reason to doubt what imbued them with their new-found “power” in Congress and statehouses.

No compromise, no respect for another point of view, disrupting town hall meetings, being enthralled by conspiracies fomented by infotainment buffoons — why would they have any reason to doubt? They have ridden a tidal wave of unfocused anger to lead a band of voting pitchfork and torch wielders.

In the arena of politics for profit, doubt has zero purchasing power. Likewise, in a world where opinion has replaced reality, how could the seeds of doubt ever be sown? They can’t be sown in a media echo chamber where even a glimmer of doubt could foster the guilty pangs of responsibility.

Wisdom is rarely a spontaneous event and never is it found by those not seeking it. It took a medical death sentence for Lee Atwater and a father’s love for his lesbian daughter in the Cooper family, but inevitably their doubts led toward seeking wisdom and greater personal truth.

Sky question markIn those states where gun deaths, heightened hunger, deprived healthcare, or impoverishment wages are the spiteful answers for muddled questions of gossamer fictions, there is little hope for curative wisdom creeping into policy decisions. In the near term, the best we can hope for is the enlightenment of doubt.

This is an open thread.

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Blog Archive

April 2014
« Mar   May »

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
22 months to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan


Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put


Awrite! Here’s your damned wall

Dems are coming for ya