The Widdershins

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May 19, 2092

It has finally happened. The last Trump supporter has died on the banks of the Licking River in the sleepy hamlet of Urethra Hollow, Kentucky. While he had long ago forgotten his name, town folk affectionately referred to him as Trumpameatus Johnson – TeeMeatus to his friends. TeeMeatus held the record for over 3 million interviews about his undying support of the 45th President. Mr. Johnson’s longevity is ironic given the relatively short tenure of the President who, next to William Henry Harrison at 31 days, served the shortest tenure.  

While the details will vary, I have little doubt some enterprising reporter will still be scouring the landscape for Trumpanzee supporters 75 years from now. The story will be the same as it is now, the support never wavered in the least.

Besides the fact that it bugs the crap out of me, why bring it up?  First, all the polling on this issue is worthless. The entire premise is wrong. As a pollster, you can’t ask someone, “Since you were stupid when you voted, do you now regret being stupid?” No one answers that question in the affirmative. There is great social desirability in seeing oneself as better than knuckle-draggingly ignorant.

The other reason I mention it is to introduce “motivated ignorance” – it is a real thing. It’s a process described as, “Avoiding facts inconvenient to our worldview isn’t just some passive, unconscious habit we engage in. We do it because we find these facts to be genuinely unpleasant.”

The studies conclude, “People on the left and right are motivated to avoid hearing from the other side for some of the same reasons: the anticipation of cognitive dissonance and the undermining of a fundamental need for a shared reality with other people.” This shared reality is tribal in nature and translates to a shared transactional truth.

This is true for about 60% of the people. It is true for both those on the right and left. It is just the way our brains work. Before you burn me at the stake for equivalency heresy, let me point out, as does the article, you can engage in confirmation bias and still be right. Better said, “You can feel like you are right before you have confirmed your righteousness with science.”

One reason I wanted to write about this was it seemed safe since it is impossible to stay ahead of the hourly “Breaking News” alerts on the latest Dolt-mania. The other reason was the death of Roger Ailes.

Roger Ailes was a loathsome creature. He terrorized not just the workplace for his atavistic hedonism, but he threatened the families and children of his perceived enemies.

Ailes did more to alienate, stagnate, and denigrate our political culture than any other individual in the last 75 years. He knew how to frighten, how to anger, and how to indict through innuendo left dangling for want of context. He had a talent and an appetite for destruction.

Ailes created a laboratory for “motivated ignorance” at Fox.  He perfected an atmosphere of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin called, “inverted totalitarianism”:

Antidemocracy, executive predominance, and elite rule are basic elements of inverted totalitarianism. Antidemocracy does not take the form of overt attacks upon the idea of government by the people. Instead, politically it means conditioning an electorate to being aroused for a brief spell, controlling its attention span, and then encouraging distraction or apathy. Citizens are encouraged to distrust their government and politicians; to concentrate upon their own interests; to begrudge their taxes; and to exchange active involvement for symbolic gratifications of patriotism, collective self-righteousness, and military prowess. Above all, depoliticization is promoted through society’s being enveloped in an atmosphere of collective fear and of individual powerlessness: fear of terrorists, loss of jobs, the uncertainties of pension plans, soaring health costs, and rising educational expenses.

We are living through a period of inverted totalitarianism. We can be certain those who labor under motivated ignorance will not know or even care what it is called. People like Ailes who profited from it, would never admit it. There are a couple of bright sides.  One: The philosophy surrounding this negativity is one of destruction. Like all forms of destruction it cannibalizes itself — eventually there is nothing left upon which for it to feed.

The other bright side: Ailes is off the battlefield as a contagion of motivated ignorance. Living through the Trumpian mess he bequeathed us is our retribution.  Coming out better on the other side is our legacy.

 

On a completely unrelated note, I wanted to remind everyone that “lie” is part of Joe Lieberman’s name. Here’s a short clip of him explaining himself:

 

What’s on your mind today?

 

One hundred thirteen days and the sun still peeked over the eastern horizon this morning. The way things are going, I’m not betting on where, or if, the sun will set.  Writing about current events during the Ides of Orange is like playing Jinga in a windstorm. Not the best idea.

It truly is impossible to try to summarize the news. Therefore, I’m not even going to try. What I am going to do is marry up my behavioral psychology and legal viewpoints to provide a wild guess on where we find ourselves on the 113th day.

First, a disclaimer: I am not going to opine or even guess about Dolt 45’s mental health.  I’m not qualified. What I can do is give you an idea of his behavioral patterns and why he does some of the things he does.

With that said, for recollection, you can go here for Crazy, Stupid, Hate and here for 604,800. The Orangutan makes this stuff so easy. To summarize, he gets every ounce of his self-esteem from the way others perceive him. He is emotionally fragile. Stress enhances that fragility. We are seeing all of these patterns play out.

Next, we need to disabuse ourselves of a few things. The sanctified Office of the Presidency means very little to Dolt 45. It is merely a means to an end. Where any normal human would be awestruck at the otherworldly honor of serving, the ambulatory Cremesicle deems himself entitled to the office.

What Dolt 45 holds dear is money. It is the measuring stick of his self-worth. It is his Superman’s cape. It is his reason for being.

Guys from the home office doing a grab and grin with their franchisee…

If you accept these jumping off points, the rest of this post will be easy to swallow. The Dolt is nervous about having his “fortune and things” taken from him. For the longest time, I have been convinced RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) would play a part in Dolt’s downfall.

It seems certified good guy, Sen. Ron Wyden is of a similar mind. Sen. Wyden has put a hold on a Treasury nominee until certain documents from the Treasury’s financial crimes unit are produced. Follow the money. In a related event, grand jury subpoenas have issued to associates of Michael Flynn for financial records.

This, to at least my way of looking at things, gives a pretty big incentive to fire Comey. Remember, Dolt and his quislings are political neophytes who have no more insight than the last drunk at the end of the bar.

A few words about Comey:  Zealots clad in self-righteousness have committed more injustices than all the despots in history. Comey is, and has always been, a self-righteous arsonist moonlighting as a firefighter.

Nate Silver has done some amazing work and the last installment was published last week. It is definitive. Comey cost Hillary the election. There is no other way to parse the numbers. In a biting indictment of the media, Nate asks a simple question, “Why is the media in denial about it?”

Another point is this: The Comey letter, after duplicate emails were parsed out, was about 12 emails – none of them new and 10 of them were from auto-syncing. That is the legacy of the self-righteous Jim Comey, but I digress.

Now that we know the financial motivation of Dolt 45 to protect his assets, why did he write the letter? It was a strange letter wasn’t it? All the language about Comey telling the Dolt on three occasions he was not a target of any investigation. All the talking heads have talked themselves into a lather about it. Here’s my answer.

Enter Don McGahn. The guy is White House Counsel. A few words about Mr. McGahn: He graduated from either a non-rated law school or the 143rd rated law school in the U.S. since through some mitosis process his law school split into two. Here’s another data point: McGahn was Tom DeLay’s ethics attorney. One final data point: McGahn also defended DeLay in some nasty business regarding Russian oil tycoons making illegal contributions. Ring a bell?

So Don McGahn is one to watch throughout these coming weeks. My bet, he’s not too bright, but for what he lacks in intelligence, he makes up in sleaze. So why would Dolt 45 put that strange language into the Comey termination letter?

To a legal mind like McGahn, he was building a defense to obstruction of justice, i.e., you can’t have intent to obstruct if you know you aren’t under investigation. It’s dumb, but it is the only plausible explanation from a legal standpoint. One clue: When you see Don McGahn’s name in any article look for a whole lot of stupid to follow.

That brings me full circle with all the actors. Dolt 45 made such a horrendous mistake by firing Comey and then lying about it. He’s torpedoed his press office. He’s torpedoed his own credibility. And his most achingly stupid move is crossing Comey. Remember, Comey is the guy whose reputation was built in a hospital room over the pained and protesting body of John Ashcroft by getting in the face of Alberto Gonzales and Andy Card.  Now who do you think leaked that little vignette?

There are no good guys here. There are only degrees of bad. Dolt 45 will resign. It won’t be dramatic. The incentive will be keeping his money. He has no shame so that is not even an inkling of a consideration. He knows he will be able to command headlines for the rest of his miserable life just like Nixon did. A good person to ask about that might be Henry Kissinger – oh yeah, didn’t he visit the White House this week?

So put on your orange-tinted glasses and watch Dr. Evil talk about his life.  Does he remind you of anyone?

What’s on your mind today?

 

Okay, okay, I know we have been stewing like ceviche in the citrusy juices of the imPOTUS Tangelo for 106 days now, but the allusion to 101 Dalmatians was just too good. If only the birthing of my new googling machine had cooperated, I could have used the title last week.  

The head fake to 101 Dalmatians does serve a purpose though. Taken individually, pups are adorable, even two or three at a time is manageable, but 101 all at once is a herd of pooping madness. It’s like the sophisticated engineering of a single locust, but multiply that evolutionary design by millions and suddenly we are breaking out the Old Testament for gardening tips.

My point is this – no matter if you are an American who sees the daily onslaught of issues as adorable Dalmatians or plagues of pestilence, something alarming is happening in the country.

As disconcerting as yesterday was, with one-sixth of the economy and perhaps 24 million gleefully sentenced to Republican indifference in order to provide the largest historical wealth transfer from the poorest to the richest, it isn’t yet benedictory.

Likewise, it doesn’t even worry me that the poor souls who voted for Dolt 45 are doggedly clinging to him like dung-beetles to an elephant with acute diarrhea.

And not even the extinction level event of me linking to something George Will writes causes my alarm bells to chirp.  Yesterday while describing one of the Trumpanzee’s many disabilities, Will wrote, “[T]he problem isn’t that he does not know this or that, or that he does not know that he does not know this or that. Rather, the dangerous thing is that he does not know what it is to know something.”

What bothers me most was paraded in full view of the world on Tuesday. It is the reason we were denied the most qualified President in history. We were denied not because of hacking or Putin or Wikileaks or gerrymandering or voter suppression or not going to effing Wisconsin enough.  We were denied our rightful President because we have allowed aberrant behavior to be normalized. Not just normalizing Dolt 45’s behavior, but normalizing the wholesale disregard for shared values and expectations.

Notice in GOP Crazyland, Breitbart is larger than Fox in terms of creating a narrative…

That’s how we are punching the clock in our little piece of history. For the past thirty years there has been unparalleled asymmetric polarization. The Right has gotten more philosophically turgid while the Left has stayed philosophically consistent. When the intellectually lazy say, “Both sides do it,” tell them there are library ranges straining under the weight of sociological studies proving they are stupid and should be castrated to improve the gene pool. Both sides don’t do it. It is the Right that has gone off the page in any diagram of philosophical leaning.

To service and empower this time-reversing way-back machine, an epistemic closed loop has extinguished fact and replaced it with tribal truisms.  Tribal truism is a simple construct: Does whatever is said or heard help my tribe or hurt my tribe? If whatever is said hurts my tribe, I ignore it, deny it, or engage in “whataboutism”. I neutralize whatever hurts my tribe since it can’t be true.

For instance, Paul Ryan didn’t want to hear what the independent Congressional Budget Office had to say about the AHCA so he ignored it, called a vote before the CBO score, and for good measure, the Michelin Man doppelganger, Newt Gingrich, called for the abolishment of the CBO altogether. Protect the tribe!

Used to be the press enforced the rules by shaming offending politicians. Not anymore. There is no longer shame on the Right. When you get to the outer reaches of the philosophical spectrum, there is no longer the gravity of shame.

As DYB has so eloquently pointed out, access journalism has rendered the First Amendment a toothless lap dog. When I see Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman, Frick Halperin, Frack Heilemann, or “rock hard abs and Employment Whack-a-Mole” Andrew Sullivan, I’m reminded the only appreciable talent these people have is balancing both pen and paper in one hand while they are otherwise engaged on the business end of a journalistic glory hole.

Even birds are skeptical…

So what does all this have to do with Tuesday’s hearing with the almighty King of the Fibbies? Simple. Comey made a decision to violate DoJ procedure and write his misleading October 28th letter because there were no consequences. The bad consequences for him would have come from complying with the rules and not writing the letter.

The cost/benefit analysis was clear: He would be hounded unmercifully by the Fox/Breitbart/Drudge/Limbaugh/Hannity/PeeWeeHerman infotainment complex if he didn’t write the letter no matter if Hillary won or lost. There were only upsides to feeding the shameless nutjobs of the far, far Right. There were no concomitant upsides from adhering to the shared values and expectations.

Contrary to Comey’s statement, at no point in the criminal justice process, beyond basic fairness, is the reputation of the investigator of any consequence. Comey knew the Democrats would play according to the rules, but he knew the Republicans would not. In reality his contrived self-serving dilemma of “reveal versus conceal” should have been “violate and copulate” since he broke established procedure in order to f*ck the country in order to please himself.

Good government, efficacious policy, and the republic itself is under attack, we will be lucky if it is only 101 predations.

A case of the “bigly sads”…

If you’ve noticed, I’ve purposefully kept the links to a bare minimum today in order to emphasize one superb Vox article:  Donald Trump and the Rise of Tribal Epistemology by David Roberts. It is a few weeks old, but it is a wonderful synopsis of a very complicated web of problems. If you read nothing else today, take the time or bookmark it. It is truly exceptional.

One last thing – thanks to Fredster, DYB, and GAgal for covering during my technological convalescence. I appreciate them.

What are you thinking about today?

Operator:  Hello, this is the Spitefulness Hotline for Inhumane Troglodytes, S.H.I.T., how may I help you?

Caller:  I just called because I’m scared.  Really scared.

Operator:  Why are you scared?

Caller:  I’m a Republican and I’m having doubts.

Operator:  Doubts about what?

Caller:  Doubts that we are running out of ways to actually hurt people.  The only thing that helps me is drinking. Drinking a lot. Well, and the cocaine. That seems to help.  Then there’s the sex with my congressional staff.  Then there’s the sex with the spouses of my congressional staff.  And occasionally there’s the sex with their kids, but…

Operator:  Okay, I get it.  You’re just an average god-fearing, family values Republican trying to make a difference by delivering spitefulness to those hateful hordes back home.

Caller:  You are incredibly perceptive.

Trump ties: For the man who ate everything…

Operator:  Thank you.  I used to work as a Planned Parenthood protester.  I could spot those pregos at 50 paces.  Everyone said, “If pigs had a nose for truffles, I had a snout for amniotic fluid.”  Now, what seems to be the problem today?

Caller:  I’m just worried and depressed.  What if we can’t come up with new ways to hurt people?  I mean how else are we going to hypnotize the bloodthirsty Tea Party types?  What are we going to rant and rave about?  What if Ann Coulter couldn’t buy that cheeseburger she needs?  And how is it fair that Ailes and O’Reilly only got $65 Million?

Operator:  Is this the first time you’ve felt this way?

Caller:  No.  I had a bad case of the sads when we softened up on Civil Rights and the lunch counter thing.  And that Bush prescription drug plan!  Don’t get me started.  The only thing that kept me going during the Bush years was bombing some brown people.  Now those were some good times.

Operator:  That’s why we’re here.  If you are feeling charitable or bighearted, we are here to put the Freon back in your veins.  Why’d you want to S.H.I.T. talk today?

Caller:   It’s like what happens when you are coming down off a really good coke high.  You know no matter how good it gets, it won’t get any better than nose sledding through that pure white snow.  I mean really.  How does it get any better than charging cancer patients $142,000 more a year for piss poor insurance coverage?  How’s it gonna get better than hitting minimum wage working mothers with $17,000 more a year just because they might have a kid at some point?  If we don’t have that to look forward to, is life worth living?  Can you feel me bro?

Operator:  I can feel ya.

Trump’s Wimminz Advisory Council…

Caller:  I mean we made sure mentally ill people could get guns.  We finally got more mercury back where it belongs – in our air and water.  We even said, in our out-loud voices, that cutting Meals on Wheels was the compassionate thing to do.  Does it get any better than that?  Amirite?

Operator:  Have you tried talking with anyone else about these feelings?

Caller:  Well, we have cheerleading sessions down in the basement of the Capitol.  After we sacrifice some goats, the anime-eyed granny starver gets up and promises to take Medicare away, but he’s just talkin’.  Daddy won’t deliver.

Operator:  How do you know?

Caller:  He’s actually going to give the old folks vouchers.  Vouchers, I tell you.  Like grocery stores won’t take vouchers for cat food?  Of course they will.

Operator:  There are always wars.  Think about that.  Those young Bernbrained bros are about to get a camo-clothing allowance.  That’s something to look forward to.

Caller:  I know, but how many times can you watch chemical weapons and still get that cold fuzzy feeling?  I love the smell of Sarin in the morning.

Operator:  Do you have a family?

Trump: Bigger is more better — right?

Caller:  No, I ICE’d ‘em last year.  Had them deported. It was just a little early Christmas present I gave myself.

Operator:  Hey listen, like all good conservative think tanks we run an intellectual support group for those who might be feeling a little too altruistic and not getting their venom on.

Caller:  Really, what’s it called?

Operator:  S.H.I.T. for Brains.  Can we count on you?

Caller:  You bet.

Operator:  We like to keep anonymous data on our callers for statistical purposes.  We have a few questions.  Just exactly how white are you?

Caller:   I was the centerfold for Cracker Quarterly.

Operator:  What sign were you born under?

Caller:  Tuscaloosa 12 miles.

Operator:  Who has been your greatest influence?

Caller:  Porn stars.

Operator:  Why?

S.H.I.T. for Brains Board Meeting…

Caller:  On camera, no one changes positions faster.

Operator:  That’s all I need.  Thanks for calling.  Spread S.H.I.T. around.

Caller:  I feel better.  Here’s a little virtual fist bump just like the one Kush, ever so gently but firmly, gave me as we reached for the same Egyptian 1,500 thread count sheets.

End of recording.

What’s on your mind today?

 

Released on: April 18, 2017, 9:01 am (EDT)
Author: Prolixous
Industry: Fashion Press Release

38th Parallel, DMZ, South Korean side — /M.A.D./ — From the world’s greatest designer lacking both perspective and a hint of humility, comes Don Saint l’Orange, who is thrilled to announce the Spring 2017 opening of MADwear – Mission Accomplished Duds.

This is not virginal MADness. The world has seen Mission Accomplished Duds before. These are the duds for the man who longs for big things that come easily to those who have long toiled in the vineyards of wealth and privilege. MADwear gear was first spotted on a carrier dick deck in 2003.  Fast forward to yesterday with Powder body double and Oedipal Complex support group dropout, Mike Pence, sporting a MADwear bomber jacket as he squinted longingly and menacingly toward North Korea.

Don St. l’Orange, much like all things in his life, retroactively appropriated the design and recently sported the gear on his bulbous rind. After he went missing and a Golden Alert was issued, Don l’Orange was found roaming the naval carrier Gerald R. Ford. When told about the Golden Alert, DoLo wondered aloud, “Will there be pee?” and “I thought Carrier made air conditioners.”

You may know DoLo by his other sobriquets – the Incredible Papaya Limpet and the Vermillion Versace, but he is best known in the business world for being an unmitigated FOCKer (Fiend of Carbon Kibitzing).

MADwear is thrilled to announce the opening of its e-tail shop with its inaugural photo shoot, MADness Amid Chaos.  DoLo has always coveted e-tail and wanted to take advantage of its vulnerability by grabbing it. Along with rot gut wine and inedible offal marketed as steak, the shop will feature MADness as a wearable metaphor for the pre-dementia psychopathic narcissist living out a lifelong fascination with strong military-types. MADwear is homage to these “manly men” and the supple brown, Barcalounger pleather bomber jacket is a natural follow-up to the original jumpsuit codpiece sported by the unmanscaped raging Bush.

Based in Mexicali, Mexico, MADwear showcases a unique clothing perspective by providing Duds for Dudes (Duds for Duds will be a subsequent marketing push).  Just as the MAD jackets are reversible, so is the name — Duds Accomplishing Missions Naturally (DAMN) is a brother label and given the fraternal bro popularity, the movement has become known as DAMNation. 

Says owner l’Orange, “our MADness Amid Chaos photo shoot is a metaphor for how treasonous incompetence can masquerade as persimmon perfidy only until the spring when the pleather rash blooms. Without fail, 2017 will be a year of MADness — a fashion forewarned trend.”

Please note:  MADwear does not own the trademark to Mutually Assured Destruction and any similarity to the elements of thermonuclear war are entirely coincidental.

What is on your mind today?

As sure as orange is the color of prison jumpsuits, these days monumental events fall prey to the 140-charactered immaculate misconceptions of POTUS (Putrefaction of the Umber Scrotum). As the King of Siam said, “So let it be written. So let it be done.” The Umber Scrotum took this to heart and added his dribbling drivel of, “I only regret that I have but 140 characters to tweet for my country.”

In the list of shortest reigns, at 84-days the “Persimmon Putintate” is fast approaching the record of Emperor Pertinax of Rome. Pertinax lasted 86-days before being beaten to death by the Praetorian Guards. His passing was fortuitous since shortly thereafter the Praetorians separated his head from his body, placed it upon a pike, and led a parade with it.

These tangerine-hued 84-days have not been without palace intrigue. Much to the chagrin of all ground beef-faced Americans, it appears Steve Bannon’s sell-by date has come and gone. Even his dead-eyed mini-me, Steve Miller, has broken pucker and in true remora fish symbiosis firmly attached himself to the Kingdom of Kushner.

Many progressives believe the devolution of Bannon into yogurt is positive. Color me unconvinced. Dolt 45, while not yet starting a war, is liable to leave devastation just as formidable in his wake.

Let’s review. If Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is beating the nativist tribal drums, while Scott Pruitt is figuring out how to incorporate asbestos and pesticides into our diets, with Budget Director Dick Mick Mulvaney proclaiming a goal of high inequality, and Gary Cohn running the economy as an asterisk to the Goldman Sachs balance sheet, the Dolt 45 administration is a conservative Cialis-palooza.

For instance, Granny Sessions, a man who was too racist to be confirmed as federal judge 30-years ago, has in the last few weeks:

Indicated a desire to roll back civil rights oversight of abusive police departments, stampeded over states’ objections to immigration enforcement raids at courthousesdropped efforts to improve forensic science, directed federal prosecutors to dedicate a larger share of their resources to deporting immigrantslaunched a new crackdown on high-tech guest worker visas, and indicated a desire to bring back old-school “war on drugs” policies, including a stepped-up federal crackdown on marijuana use.

Or let’s look at the influence of Goldman Sachs. Here’s the picture of the Mar-a-Lago ersatz Situation Room last weekend surrounding the Syrian deserted airfield cafeteria bombing.

In this picture, not counting the soldier at the door, there are fourteen people. Of those fourteen, eight have either worked for or borrowed money from Goldman Sachs.

These things alone will not add Dolt 45 to the Emperor Pertinax list. It will be the cold hard reality of numbers. Since I have trouble counting to 21 with my shoes on, here’s a picture.

 

Now for some perspective – in the United States there might be 12,200 lobbyists nationwide. We have a better idea of foreign agents since by law they must register. By a recent count, there were about 1,700 registered foreign agents.

So in a country of 320 Million souls, the odds of running into a free-range lobbyist are really slim, like 0.00004. The odds of running into a registered foreign agent on the hoof are even slimmer, 0.000005.

By their own admission, the OrangeCursed campaign had only about 40 key staffers and barely 100 advisers. The question becomes:  How did the campaign have, not one, but two retroactively registered foreign agents? And how, out of 320 Million people, did eleven putrid peons with ties to Putin’s Russia find their way to Trump Tower just in time for this hootenanny?

In their conclusory paragraph on Russian collusion in the 2016 election, The Guardian says:

One source suggested the official investigation was making progress. “They now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion,” the source said. “This is between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.”

So let it be written. So let it be done.

 

 

What’s on your mind today?

 

Overheard at the Widdershin water cooler this week – we are fed up with: (A) Anthropological stories about down-on-their-luck rural Trump voters; (B) Blind hypocrisy by Republicans; and (C) Craven, cowardly, chicken-hearted Democrats.

No can of Pepsi delivered by a Kardashian will cure these ills, but if you can tolerate the next 600 words, what’s say we start a conversation about it?

Everyone and their dog have written about the poor rural Trump voter. You’d think they are forgotten indigenous tribes being described by Sir Stanley as he plundered the jungles of Appalachia looking for Livingstone. The money-shot quotes are as cheap and unrevealing as assisted living porn.

Capturing a chronically ill Trump voter is crazy good copy, but it does nothing to explain the highest truth of political science: Humans are complex creatures.

Stories about individual voting patterns are useless. They are not actionable. People may vote on God, guns, or gays. They may vote based upon what they divine from chicken entrails. Who knows? You can’t divorce someone from their experiential data. You can try to expand it by education, but you can’t bleach an imprinted brain.

For instance, we can accurately say 2 out of 3 of these woebegone Trump voters believe “discrimination has become just as large a problem for white people as it has for blacks and other minorities.” We can also accurately say such a belief is highly correlated to bigotry and racism, but that doesn’t mean everyone who voted for Trump is a racist.

Keeping two competing truisms in one brain at the same time is impossible for many people. It can result in exploding heads, but realizing such complexity is just the beginning of trying to understand voting patterns.

I live amongst Trump voters. My county went 80% for Trump. They aren’t all unemployed ignorant hillbilly coal miners. While some are, if you asked the vast majority, they believe the “liberal media” portrays them that way. There is no chance of starting a conversation around those two data points.

Likewise, I catch myself in perpetual agony over Republican hypocrisy until I remind myself, “Those who ride high horses are always above hypocrisy.”

For instance, there is no Republican guilt over 78 filibusters in the first five years of the Obama administration compared to only 68 in the entire previous history of the country.

The most recent act of hypocrisy doesn’t even seem to register. During the Obama years, almost 100 Republican members of Congress threatened impeachment if he dared attack Syria. Then Dolt 45 chucks $80 Million in cruise missiles closing an abandoned airfield for about twelve hours and it is time for ticker tape and Mt. Rushmore sculpting. Obama was excoriated for following the Constitution and Dolt 45 basks in his glistening orangey-ness.

Which leads us to the feckless Democrats who always seem to find a chicken-hearted way to react? The Gorsuch debacle is a prime example.

Utah acne cream model and Senator Mike Lee implied that Justices Kagan and Sotomayor are wild-eyed liberals. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth, but this, like so many other issues, demonstrates how unanswered hyperbole sets the narrative.

Republican appointees to the Supreme Court have been so far to the right you can’t even see the center from where they are perched. Proof of this: Justice Kennedy is the swing vote and he’s one of the most conservative justices in the history of the court.

Mitch McConnell has broken the Senate in an ultimate power play after denying Merrick Garland so much as a hearing or a vote. Such an act will rank up there in all time political slime, but he did it because he could.

Democrats have made it easy for Republicans to beat them like rented mules. There is no punishment for a Manchin or Heitkamp other than the broken legs they get from jumping to the Republican side on issues. There is no punishment for a non-Democrat to waltz into a Democratic primary and harm the eventual nominee.

Because of this behavior voters see one party as definitive and the other as milquetoast. Republicans take incredibly asinine positions, but they stake out ground for their voters and never look back. Democrats bathe everything in lukewarm timidity. As my old boss once told me, “In politics if you try to get away with being half-assed, you aren’t even good at being an ass.” I wish more Democrats understood that.

This brings us full circle – when it comes to voters, you can’t replace catnip with broccoli and expect the same result. Democrats are coming to understand that, but the understanding is being driven by the grassroots. We need to keep it up. Call congressional offices. Write letters. It makes a difference.

What’s on your mind today?

 

 

 


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Our 2016 Ticket!

Our girl is gonna shine

Busted: Glass ceiling

HRC bumper sticker

She’s thinking “Less than 2 weeks I have to keep seeing that face”

Yeah I can make it

The team we’re on

Women’s March on Washington!

Right-click the pic for more info

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

So similar