The Widdershins


Posted on: November 3, 2016

Intelligence is recognizing learning when it is offered.  Wisdom is the art of heeding the lesson and applying it.  This campaign has offered us an orange crate of opportunities for wisdom, but none better than the wheezing catcalls from the Republican Cloakroom to deny a President Hillary Clinton any nominee for the Supreme Court for the duration of her term. 8-is-enuf

With Scalia’s seat getting colder by the day, it seems as if the Republicans have conferred with noted judicial philosopher Dick Van Patten and declared, “Eight is enough.”  The despotic thinking goes something like this – the notorious RBG is old, let’s allow the actuarial tables to work and then we are down to seven.

The perfidy of their position is that no justice can be seated that isn’t a Republican justice.  There is no longer any pretense about their attempted subversion of two of the three branches of government.

It isn’t about the rule of law or justice or even any semblance of fairness.  It is about power.  It’s the Maginot Line protecting the interests of the moneyed benefactors of their party.  The Court gave Republicans a President in 2000, manufactured a personal right to weaponry in the Second Amendment, made it more difficult for poor women to gain reproductive health care, and loosed the dogs of obscene campaign spending in Citizen United.

The learning is simple and Trump has proved it in this campaign:  If you are immune to shame, there is no end to what you can do.  Being shameless allows you to ignore precedent, formality, and normal conventions.  Such cheeky impudence allows for the unorthodox to become the new orthodoxy.

Professor Krugman explained the paucity of ideas and the intellectual bankruptcy of the Right like this:

The moral of the story is that appeasing the modern American right is a losing proposition. Nothing you do convince them that you’re being fair, because fairness has nothing to do with it. The right long ago ran out of good ideas that can be sold on their own merits, so the goal now is to remove merit from the picture.

In short, never mind whether it’s right, as long as it’s politically useful.

With a court locked at 4-4, just last session cases concerning the rights of public-sector unions, access to birth control under the Affordable Care Act, and President Obama’s executive action on undocumented immigrants were left unsettled and unresolved.  The last case alone left millions of families in the lurch.

Such concerns are of no consequence if you are shameless.

What is even more sobering is this:  Republicans would not allow their teenage daughters to be alone in the Oval Office with the man they are supporting to fill the office. bad-hair-macaque

The shamelessness of the marauding, MAGA hat-wearing Macaque has laid bare the truth about movement conservatism.  While tax cuts, deregulation, climate denial, and abortion are all boxes to be checked, what ingratiated the Macaque to the party base were his unparalleled racism, sexism, and nationalistic tribalism.  Those are the genetic markers of the base at the primary ballot box.

In a Jonathan Chait New York Magazine article, a study by political scientist Matt Grossman is cited.  Grossman asked voters this question:  Whether or not generations of slavery and discrimination have made it harder for African-Americans to rise. People who support Clinton acknowledge that black people face structural disadvantages. Self-reporting conservative voters simpatico with the Macaque deny slavery and discrimination make it harder for African-Americans.  Here’s a graph – take a look:



In our post-factual world, when two groups see a truism so diametrically different, it isn’t because both sides are hallucinating.  It’s one side.  Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann are two scholars from different sides of the political fence who have studied this issue.  They call it “asymmetric polarization”.  As they put it, “Let’s just say it:  The Republicans are the Problem.” 

Their theory is a simple one:  Extremism is what you get when polemicists are paid to incite rage with few facts and are only held to account for increasing clicks or rating’s share.  This is their money quote:

The Republican Party has become an insurgent outlier in American politics — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

As scholars who had worked for more than four decades with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, we faced a ton of scorn from sitting Republican lawmakers and outside observers for making this argument — and denial from most of the mainstream media. For reporters, professional norms and concerns about accusations of partisan bias dictated that the parties be treated equally, whatever the underlying reality. The safe haven of false equivalence led the press to ignore one of the most consequential developments in contemporary American politics: the radicalization of the Republican Party.


This is the takeaway for me.  Hillary’s election next Tuesday will take this Republican radicalization to Cat-5 status.  “Hillary hate” will be the glue that holds a splintered and fragile Republican Party together.  Hillary’s hardest work begins the day after her inauguration.

We dare not let the disgracefulness of Republican Trumpism be apologized away by the press through lazy false equivalency.  But we do owe the Orangeloupe a debt of gratitude for making this radicalism so painfully obvious.  There is no shame in that.



73 Responses to "Shamelessness…"

I really don’t see a way forward for the Republican party unless it is completely absorbed by its extremes because the moderates have completely surrendered their ethics, principles and responsibilities. They spent 8+ years watching their party drift and did nothing about it. Often they encouraged it. Now it has eaten them and 99% of them refuse to cut off the infected limb. And so it will devour them. I just really can’t imagine what happens to all of us after inauguration. If they just flat out refuse to confirm Supreme Court nominees – which they’ve already threatened (people like McCain, who we used to view as sane, said so) – how do we move forward?

And just when you thought the shit-show couldn’t get worse – it does. The FBI is at war with itself. It has now become a political weapon. We are how many steps away from being a banana republic?

Prolix and DYB, love the post and comments. I think a lot of sane people are wondering if they can move to New Zealand or Canada these days. I will be so glad when Tuesday is over.

@1 & 2, DYB, I don’t know if you watch The Walking Dead, but that is the perfect Republican analogy. They all carry the virus and only if they do, as you say, cut off the limb will they survive. They are the snake that eats their tail.

Ted Cruz will beat the filibuster like a rented mule to get in the good graces of the Trumpanzees. With him, he’ll drag along Mike Lee, the Pancho Villa, of the Senate. Tom Cotton will mumble something. Rubio will do a water spit take. It will be an absolute crap fest.

@3, Annie, I just find it so tiring that the media are milking the very last cent out of this. They gave the Trumpanzee $2.0 Billion or more in free coverage for the ratings and now they are still playing favorites for the ratings. Just like Krugman says, you can’t placate the Right — they aren’t interested in fairness, they are only interested in all out conquest.

Yes! Shamelessness is what links all these sociopathic leaders together. That, and being “deplorable.”

I totally agree that the Republican Party is no longer a viable political organism; it is now a seething mob that rages at everything normal people love. It has become the dark side of the American dream; and all because of the actions of a few rich, old, white men whose vision includes nothing more than their own self-interest. Yes, make America hate again – that’s his real slogan.

The FBI has got to be cleaned out completely. It’s very clear that partisan hacks are following in Comey’s footsteps and cherry-picking how they investigate and report, what they investigate, and who they investigate. It’s a disgusting and raw abuse of power.

The sure way to avoid the endless blah blah over the Supreme Court is to elect a Democratic Senate. Then they’ve got no shot at denying anything. If somehow that doesn’t happen, I am sure HRC has a plan. It’s not her first rodeo with these *ssclowns.

I liked this from the WaPo article on Repubs being the problem:

The post-McGovern Democratic Party, by contrast, while losing the bulk of its conservative Dixiecrat contingent in the decades after the civil rights revolution, has retained a more diverse base. Since the Clinton presidency, it has hewed to the center-left on issues from welfare reform to fiscal policy. While the Democrats may have moved from their 40-yard line to their 25, the Republicans have gone from their 40 to somewhere behind their goal post.

I might even say that no they aren’t behind the goal post but now and after Hillary is elected, they will have moved on out into the parking lot and the highway.

This is from last Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. Jon Stewart is retelling his Twitter encounter with the Macaque.

Warning: Strong Language so watch that speaker volume

@6, even if the Dems win the Senate, they will have to go to the nuclear option and change the rules to totally outlaw the filibuster. At this point, I don’t think there is an option. Just about everyone I’ve read has said, “Even though it is sad, there’s no option other than going to the nuclear option.”

@7, out in the parking lot is a good visual for the Republican von Clownsticks.

@9: Yep, pretty sure they’re going to have to do the nuclear option, but if that’s what it takes so be it. I just hope Schumer is on that same page as Harry Reid is about it.

@8: F*kface von Clownstick has a facebook page. 😜

@12, whoever is the curator of that site has a full-time job on their hands. Did you see all of the stuff? Amazing! Did you see the “Trump locker room”?

@13: Nah I couldn’t see a lot since I don’t have a facebook acct anymore, just what I could see on the front page of it.

Great post, Prolix. I think I’ve said this before – one of the criticisms I had about Obama was he wouldn’t come out and make his case to the American people when an important bill needed passing. It really irritated me that he seemed to be stuck on bipartisian crap so much he forgot that Democrats are who put him in office. I felt like, if nothing else, he could shame some of these people into addressing the issues. Now I see why he didn’t bother. (He still should have) They have no shame.

If you can’t shame them into sending money to Flint to help kids who have been ingesting toxins… If you can’t shame them into sending money to slow/stop the Zika virus so women don’t have worry about microcephaly pregnancies, while at the same time trying to cut funds to Planned Parenthood there (which would be the first line of defense for these women for birth control or abortions)… They can’t be shamed.

Look at KellyAnne Conway. Fast talking out both sides of her mouth with no shame that I can see.

@15, I agree with you 110%. Politicians must be teachers first. They must educate before they can motivate.

There are few people who get under my skin faster than chatty KellyAnne. I see her and I switch the channel before she starts her rant. I just can’t abide her. I think it was Dan Rather who said, “She can talk the legs off a table.”

Here it is:

According to people intimately familiar with CNN’s finances, the network and its related media businesses will approach $1 billion in gross profit in 2016, a milestone unseen in its 36-year history. The internal estimate reflects a double-digit increase over 2015.

Fox News, the longtime ratings leader among cable-news outlets, was already in the billion-dollar profit club before 2016. Despite a tempestuous patch this summer, when its parent company ousted Fox’s chairman and co-founder, Roger Ailes, Fox News is projected to have its most financially lucrative year: Its gross profit will top $1.67 billion.

Third-ranked MSNBC, which falls under the larger NBC News umbrella, will have projected earnings of $279.6 million this year, according to Kagan. MSNBC is growing faster in percentage terms than its two much-larger competitors: Its projected profits reflect a 19 percent growth rate over 2015, compared with 14 percent for CNN and 11.3 percent for Fox, according to Kagan.

Any questions about why they are hyping the Trumpanzee?

I remember after the last debate, when KellyAnne appeared on MSNBC, Chuck Todd raved on the air what a lovely woman KellyAnne is… I wasn’t sure why he was saying it, but there he was.

Profit-driven news is why our news coverage is what it is. Sadly that won’t change.

@16 Something has happened to KellyAnne. She has been speaking very slow and quietly today. She either took a Xanax or watched some clips of herself at her unhinged finest. She’s using her “inside” voice now.

My Governor, Nathan Deal is in hot water for using the old quaint term ‘colored people’ in a speech. He said ‘If you want to advance the state of colored people, start with their children.’ This is about an amendment on the ballot to allow the state to go in and take over failing schools. Not to assist, but take complete control away from the local school system.

Of course, what it’s really about is cronyism and starting for-profit charter schools. His spokeswoman said he just didn’t use the entire name of the NAACP who oppose it. She actually had to read her notes to keep from screwing up the name National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The FBI is being exposed in the press. This needs to get louder. And the FBI needs to be cleansed.

Also, this article from 2012 at WaPo popped up in my newsfeed. It caught my eye because last weekend my mother was telling me about this Bulgarian prophet! So the article remains valid in many ways. Russians love psychics. And this woman is a legend. She died recently (a great tragedy, my mother said.) Before her death she predicted that her heir would be born under water in Italy. I thought Venice! But naturally Russian news found this heir in France (I don’t know why, don’t ask.) She’s an 11 year old girl, also blind, and she’s become a massive celebrity in Russia. Now her prophesies are spoken of as fact. At one point in one of her interviews the “reporter” placed some photographs before her. She pointed to one photo and said “Bad.” It was a photo of Obama. She pointed to another photo and said “Good.” It was Putin. Anyway, this 11 year old (my admiring mother’s impersonation of her clearly illustrates she is autistic…) predicted that Hillary would be president, but that she would start WWIII and bring about the annihilation of the world. This would be funny if the Russians did not take this very very seriously.

@21, the FBI better get a new press agent. This story is about how Rudy was able to fluff the Comey announcement two days early and how the NYC office has gone rogue.

@20, isn’t it amazing how often Republicans want to help other people by taking away their power?

Things like the Bourne movies or “Enemy of the State” about dirty federal agents pursuing dark missions are supposed to be fiction. But we are literally watching the unmasking of just such a thing in real time.

@25, IMHO, and of course I’m not exactly neutral here, but if I were Hillary, I would immediately find a need for FBI agents with the exact skills of those the NY agents have to open an expansive office in Prudhoe Bay. Just sayin’.

Oh but we’ll be relieved to know that Tim Robbins says he will vote for Hillary because it’s time of insanity. Susan Sarandon, though, thinks Trump is better.

@22: That’s fascinating, DYB. I love stuff like that. Of course, not that I believe it or anything. What else does she say???

DYB said: Russians love psychics.

No chit! Let’s talk about Rasputin. 😛

@23: I caught just a mention of that on Chris Hayes. Joy Reid seemed livid about it.

@26: Along with Prudhoe Bay and it’s oil infrastructure, likewise it’s the same for Port Fouchon. Even better, said agents should spent two weeks in Alaska followed by two weeks at a little nub on the La. coast. And that rotation should continue, oh say, for the next four years.

@18, KAC not my idea of a “lovely woman.” Ick. So right about profit driven news. The Reagan era destroyed everything I think. Greed really took over then.

@22, these things always seem staged to me, but I’m skeptical and untrusting by nature.

@26, LOL! I hope she does something about this. If she can’t boot any of them out, tell them they better cut the crap.

@32, I was just reading about the Amelia Earhart investigation on Gardner Island in the far western Pacific. It’s an atoll about 3 miles long around a large internal lagoon. I think these agents would be the perfect people to spearhead the search.

This is not about the Weiner computer. It’s about the batches of emails that the State department is still releasing because of Judicial Watch.

The State Department on Thursday released 357 of the 15,000 Hillary Clinton emails uncovered by the FBI during its investigation into the former secretary of State’s personal email server.
Many of the documents — comprising about 1,250 pages — are “near duplicates” of documents Clinton provided to the State Department in 2014 and have already been made public, according to the agency.

Clinton deleted about 30,000 emails from the private server setup she used while serving as secretary of State, saying they were not work-related, before turning over thousands more to the government. But while examining her machines, the FBI recovered some additional emails that could be relevant to the FOIA lawsuit.
A preliminary review of the 15,000 emails revealed that about 60 percent were of a purely personal nature. Around 37 percent — or 5,600 documents — were deemed work-related, but of those, a “substantial number” were exact duplicates of the 30,000 emails that Clinton turned over to the agency in December 2014, according to State Department lawyers.

All that time and money spent searching to come up with 60% personal and 37% duplicates.

@35: Excellent idea! And they can’t return until they find Amelia’s bones.

Looks like Tucker Carlson will get another chance to flop on teevee.

I still can’t believe anyone would choose Trump over Hillary. If the media and the FBI have thrown this election, it’s the most criminal thing I’ve ever witnessed. I stood in line for 1 1/2 hours to vote yesterday and heard no talk about either candidate, though I assume the majority were voting Trump. Even though I voted straight Democrat I filled in every bubble because I needed the satisfaction of choosing Hillary for my next president.
While I was in line, a news report broke that our state superintendent was being charge with campaign fraud. “Investigators obtained emails and text messages that led to the charges of campaign finance violations.” 49th in the nation in education and there is a state Q that will give teachers a raise – if we agree to pay more on sales tax, which hurts the poor more than others. That’s all the hope we have. Our republican legislature has done nothing for our budget crisis. And I bet everyone of the republicans on the ballot gets re-elected.
Where are the emails and texts incriminating Trump of rigging this election?
And Hillary has done nothing

@31 and 36 – Rachel Maddow was on that story too. This is absolutely horrifying.

DYB, we now know the VRWC is alive and well, and has metastasized into not just the Breitbart and “mainstream media” world, but also the FBI. I was wondering why in the world they were looking into the Clinton Foundation! I’m pretty sure I remember New York’s Nosferatu fluffing that story before it happened, as well.

I think these FBI revelations might actually be the craziest thing in this election. And this has been a crazy election. But that FBI agents have been using their considerable power to bring down the Democratic nominee for President – and have either bullied the director of the FBI or he is working with them – to sabotage the campaign right before an election… it’s really just astounding. When Trump said he’d throw Clinton in jail and his apologists laughed it off – now we know that really wasn’t hyperbole on his part, and we know how he plans to do it. Use the FBI where some agents now serve his ideologies and interests. This is something that happens in Russia. It really boggles the mind and should be the leading story in every newspaper and on every newscast. It’s a really terrifying revelation. But it’s only sort of registering in the news and certainly its significance is not being appreciated by the media. And Comey is either part of this conspiracy or he has no control over his own agency and has been blackmailed by them and the Republicans in Congress.

Oopsie, it turns out if you close down a bridge, endanger the lives of citizens, and generally waste hundreds of thousand hours of human life waiting in car lines, it is against the law and you can go to prison for decades. Seems like when citizens hear the facts by sitting on a jury, they don’t like it. Go figure.

Bye bye Chris Christie! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Next up: Rudy.

The Krugman column was fantastic.

But it seems to me this story should be bigger and looking at the headlines right now – it doesn’t seem as if the press agrees.

@45 – The mainstream press is burying a lot of very important stories right now. They want the ratings, as Prolix pointed out, and they also want a horse race. Which it hasn’t been, ever. HRC’s firewall was always going to be difficult for Drumpf to break. It was always very unlikely that he would get to 270. And, we all know that he is a truly awful person who shouldn’t be running a Gap, much less the most powerful country in the world.

One story that’s being completely buried is the child rapist lawsuit. If voters are really worried about a President under indictment and that’s why they “trust” Drumpf, they should be aware of the actual, criminal, no-politics lawsuit against the Mango Macaque, and how it’s going for him.

Me @46 – Here’s a much better link. There are so many lawsuits against this piece of sh*t, yet he gets away with calling HRC “corrupt” every. single. day. And no one in the media EVER calls him on it or confronts Mistress of Darkness Kellyanne Conway with this irony..

Here’s an excellent story from Matt Yglesias at Vox. It is so precise and detailed. He calls BS on why the email story has dominated the campaign. It highlights my personal complaint — Hillary did one thing wrong, the Trumpanzee has done 1,000 things wrong — you hear Hillary’s one thing 1,000 times and you hear the Trumpanzee’s 1,000 things one time. A fitful exercise in false equivalence.

The Vox story reminded me of this Seth Meyers “Closer Look” bit a couple of days back. He really is, with the exception of Samantha Bee, about the best observer of this campaign.

The most bullshit apology from Fox about their fake report that Clinton was about to be indicted and 5 foreign nations hacked her computer.

@50 – the fact that they apologized at all is amazing. Megyn Kelly did too. No apology will be coming from Schmoe, I’m guessing.

@36, thank GAgal! Very interesting and confirms what I thought.

I read the article about Amelia. It was interesting, but sad. I think sending the rogue fbi agents there is too good for them. They belong in in a fed pen.

I’ve gotta push back on this latest idea that Trump has done a thousand things wrong and Hillary has only done one thing wrong with her emails. I don’t believe setting up her private server was wrong at all. It was not illegal. The regulations at the time did not say she couldn’t. She chose to continue using the same system she had used as Senator. (She had certain clearance as Senator being on the Armed Forces committee) She had been warned the State Dept communications systems were crap and she was trying to be more efficient.

When everyone was pitching a bitch for her to come out, admit wrong doing and explain herself, she hesitated. You know why? Maybe it’s because she did not feel she had anything to apologize for! Plus all this BS about how she did it to hide something. Think about how it feels when people are demanding an apology from you just because you made a decision that THEY think is wrong but you don’t. Women have been asked to apologize for their whole lives for things that were not wrong.

Just because she did something different than what was usually done doesn’t make it some crafty, under the table, secret maneuver. People seem to think that every single communication going on at State is some big super confidential memo that should not leave the walls of the building. Bull. As for true classified, that’s why Hillary also had that system set up in her home. Some people ignore that and insinuate everything went through her regular email so it was more hackable. Again, bull.

I wonder if John Roberts will notice the results of his Voting Rights Act decision. More than 400 polling places have closed in Texas alone. In minority districts of course.

While new statewide voting restrictions like voter-ID laws and cuts to early voting in places like Texas and North Carolina have received national attention, the polling place closures could have as big of an impact in 2016—the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the VRA.

@ 55 > I doubt he would notice or care if someone brought it to his attention.

Melania Trump Modeled in US Illegally Without Work Visa

She actually paid taxes and the Macaque didn’t. She would have been deported. And what is really rich is that she could be the first First Lady to be deported for immigration fraud. The irony just won’t stop.

National Enquirer Shielded the Macaque from Story about Affair with a Playboy Model while Married to Illegal Foreign Worker Melania

Note: Reported by Murdoch’s WSJ

The company that owns the National Enquirer, a backer of Donald Trump, agreed to pay $150,000 to a former Playboy centerfold model for her story of an affair a decade ago with the Republican presidential nominee, but then didn’t publish it, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the matter.

The tabloid-newspaper publisher reached an agreement in early August with Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playmate of the Year. American Media Inc., which owns the Enquirer, hasn’t published anything about what she has told friends was a consensual romantic relationship she had with Mr. Trump in 2006. At the time, Mr. Trump was married to his current wife, Melania.

Quashing stories that way is known in the tabloid world as “catch and kill.”

@57: LOCK HER UP! 👮

@ 57 + 58 > Well that’s awkward!

@60: There’s gonna be a lot of sh!flinging in these last few days.

This makes me feel a lot better. Some really good reports on early vote in Nevada too.

@62, that is great news!

Re: Melania, I never believed that she waited to get a work visa. In fact, I believe worse things about her than that.

From John Ralston in NV — the preeminent political reporter in the state:


Clark County is Las Vegas. This number is going to surpass 2012.


The one on the right looks like Melania, but it ain’t.



@57 Ah… the Slovenians. They just don’t send us their best people. They send plagiarists and illegal models and some – I assume -are good people.

All those early voting numbers look so good! Now we watch the media try to ignore it.


Despite the coordinated efforts of Steve Bannon, “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweitzer, Rudy NineEleven, the FBI and the Republican Senate and House, Republican governors purging tens of thousands of people from the rolls, WikiLeaks and Pooty-Poot’s hacking, the American people will elect Hillary Clinton POTUS on 11/8.

Even Drumpf said “She doesn’t quit.” She is an inspiration and a heroine to all of us women who have had to fight and fight for a job that a man is assumed to be qualified for automatically because, you know, p*nis.

Great closing ad:

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