Friday, November 10, 2017

For Your Consideration

It really sucks to find out that your comedy/music/film/political idols are bad guys who victimize women. Consider that women have been living with this disappointment our whole lives.
I'm not trying to be snotty. Really consider it.
When I was a kid, my grandmother was dating a nice, older gentleman who was kind to me. Then he exposed himself to me while we were at the pool.
As a teen, I fended off the advances of a family friend.
When I was in college, the department head, who cast me in his play, burst into my dressing room while I was in my underwear and thought my discomfort was hilarious.
In grad school, a brilliant professor treated me like I was special. And then he sexually harassed me, in class, for a year.
I had a boss who told me that I could run the business one day. Later, he grabbed me in the store room and forced kisses on me while I fought him off.
It goes on.
If you're a woman, you figure out that you should always temper your admiration of men, because a sizable percentage of them are going to prove themselves unworthy of your admiration. You learn to distrust men who tell you that you are smart, or independent, or talented, because there's a good chance they're trying to trick you into something.
Consider how this affects us.
Consider it, because I know you have never done so before.
Consider it, and while you're doing that, I'll be waiting for the next monster in my life to reveal himself.

Friday, August 18, 2017

I voted for Trump. And I think I can get a New York Times opinion piece out of it.

Kittens, I have been inspired by Julius Krein's incredibly dumbass opinion piece in the New York Times to revive an old tried-and-true Bells On genre: making fun of what stupid people write.  Let's jump right on in, shall we?
When Donald Trump first announced his presidential campaign, I, like most people, thought it would be a short-lived publicity stunt. A month later, though, I happened to catch one of his political rallies on C-Span. I was riveted.

You were riveted.  You were riveted by Donald Trump.  
I supported the Republican in dozens of articles, radio and TV appearances, even as conservative friends and colleagues said I had to be kidding.
What generous friends and colleagues you have.  I would say that you clearly do not deserve them, but they probably voted for Trump so fuck them.  
As early as September 2015, I wrote that Mr. Trump was “the most serious candidate in the race.” ... I saw the decline in this country — its weak economy and frayed social fabric — and I thought Mr. Trump’s willingness to move past partisan stalemates could begin a process of renewal.  
Well, at least he got the big lie out of the way at the beginning.

Anyone who claims to understand how our economy is weak: the vanishing middle class and the lack of well-paying jobs, would understand that Trump clearly does not give a shit about either.  He made his reputation by screwing over labor and small businesses, for fuck's sake.  And anyone who claims to understand what "frays" social fabric, would also understand that Trump was wielding scissors, not a needle and thread.

It is now clear that my optimism was unfounded.
Yeah.  That's what's clear, is that your "optimism" was "unfounded."  How many different ways can this genius spin his support for a dangerous, corrupt, racist moron as a open-hearted act of faith?

My guess is we're about to find out.
I can’t stand by this disgraceful administration any longer, and I would urge anyone who once supported him as I did to stop defending the 45th president.

Yeah, stop defending Trump and start defending yourself for defending him!
What, you may wonder, especially in the wake of Charlottesville, Va., did I possibly see in this candidate?
(Editing out a 200 word defense of Trump. I'm not kidding.)
 ...His statements on immigration were often needlessly inflammatory...

I'm going to edit out the rest of that sentence, too.  I think that characterizing Trump's stance on immigration as "needlessly inflammatory" really says all you need to know about that paragraph.  
...Yes, Mr. Trump’s policy positions were poorly defined, but these days, most candidates’ positions are.
What?  No they're not.
And yes, he had little support from the Republican Party leadership. But many of us thought even this might be a positive if it forced him to focus on “making deals” rather than on Washington’s usual ideological posturing.
Because what Washington needs, is someone who knows how to "make deals."  Politicians have no idea what "deals" are.  No "deals" are ever going on in Congress, and that is the source of our problems.  In fact, I'm pretty sure each member of Congress introduces their own bill, and then they arm wrestle over which one they send to the President.
He was never going to fulfill all of his over-the-top promises...
Again, to characterize the racist and dangerously ignorant platform of Donald Trump as "over-the-top" is really all you need to know about that paragraph.
I founded a quarterly journal, American Affairs, largely to question elements of what is often called the neoliberal policy consensus — totally open borders for capital and labor; transferring power from national governments to transnational technocracies; unfettered markets; and democracy promotion as the sole premise of foreign policy. In other words, the disappointing legacy we inherited from the Bushes and the Clintons that helped pave the way to Mr. Trump’s election.
Right.  Because the Bushes and "the Clintons" (reminder, Hillary was never president) were totally the same on economic and foreign policy even though both Bushes started wars for oil in Iraq, and Clinton used military force to try to rescue people in non-oil-rich countries from genocide.
...For months, despite increasing chaos and incoherence, I have given Mr. Trump the benefit of the doubt: “No, I don’t really think he is a racist,” I have told skeptical audiences. “Yes, he says some stupid things, but none of it really matters; he’s not really that incompetent.” Or: “They’ve made some mistakes, but it’s still early.”
He says this as if his "benefit of the doubt" were a unique reaction, instead of being identical to every other Republican's reaction. 
It’s no longer early.
Well, thank god the clock on dangerous malevolent incompetence has run out!
Not only has the president failed to make the course corrections necessary to save his administration, but his increasingly appalling conduct will continue to repel anyone who might once have been inclined to work with him.
Because what Trump needs to do is make "course corrections."  "Whoopsie!  Made a mistake, divulging top secret information to a hostile nation that I colluded with in order to win the election.  Need to issue a course correction!"
From the very start of his run, one of the most serious charges against Mr. Trump was that he panders to racists. Many of his supporters, myself included, managed to convince ourselves that his more outrageous comments — such as the Judge Gonzalo Curiel controversy or his initial hesitance to disavow David Duke’s endorsement — were merely Bidenesque gaffes committed during the heat of a campaign.
Oh, did you "convince yourself" that he was not a racist?  How on earth did you "manage" that?  Please do let us know, and also, go fuck yourself for characterizing racism as "Bidenesque."

It is now clear that we were deluding ourselves. 
Ya think?
Either Mr. Trump is genuinely sympathetic to the David Duke types, or he is so obtuse as to be utterly incapable of learning from his worst mistakes. Either way, he continues to prove his harshest critics right.
Hey, let's not sell Trump short.  He is both a racist AND stupid.
Mr. Trump once boasted that he could shoot someone in the street and not lose voters. Well, someone was just killed in the street by a white supremacist in Charlottesville. His refusal this weekend to specifically and immediately denounce the groups responsible for this intolerable violence was both morally disgusting and monumentally stupid. In this, Mr. Trump failed perhaps the easiest imaginable test of presidential leadership. Rather than advance a vision of national unity that he claims to represent, his indefensible equivocation can only inflame the most vicious forces of division within our country.
You're disillusioned NOW because he promotes "the forces of division?"  Dude, he did that EVERY SINGLE FUCKING DAY of his campaign.  Not sure where you were during all that, maybe thinking up ways to define racism as "sympathetic to David Duke types."
If Mr. Trump had been speaking about the overall political climate, he might have been right to say that “many sides” are responsible for exacerbating social tensions. Yet during the events in Charlottesville this past weekend, only one side — a deranged white nationalist — was responsible for killing anyone. To equivocate about this fact is the height of irresponsibility. Even those concerned about the overzealous enforcement of political correctness can hardly think that apologizing for neo-Nazis is a sensible alternative.
While condemning Trump for saying "many sides" are responsible, he also reminds us that, you know, many sides are responsible.
Those of us who supported Mr. Trump were never so naïve as to expect that he would transform himself into a model of presidential decorum upon taking office. But our calculation was that a few cringe-inducing tweets were an acceptable trade-off for a successful governing agenda.
Yeah, what's a few cringe-inducing tweets?  I can take it!  Trump tweets lies about NATO in order to undermine our defense against Russia, I cringe, and then Whew!  Glad that's over!
...Nothing disastrous has occurred on the foreign policy front — yet — but the never-ending chaos within the administration hardly inspires confidence. Many senior-level appointees are still not in place, including the assistant secretaries of state, for example.
Yes, the failure to appoint assistant secretaries of state.  That is definitely the most prominent example of what does not inspire confidence on the foreign policy front.
And too many of those who are in office appear to be petty, clueless, and rather repulsive ideologues, like Steve Bannon, who seem to spend most of their time accusing one another of being “swamp creatures.” It’s pathetic. No wonder an increasing number of officials are simply ignoring the president, an alarming but understandable development.
Pretty sure "repulsive ideologues" was Trump's brand from the get-go.  Not sure how you missed it?
Effectively a third-party president without a party, Mr. Trump has faced extraordinary resistance from the media, the bureaucracy and even within the Republican Party. But the administration has committed too many unforced errors and deserves most of the blame for its failures. Far from making the transformative “deals” he promised voters, his only talent appears to be creating grotesque media frenzies — just as all his critics said.

You know, I'm going to say that the "resistance" followed the failures, and not the other way around?  But sure, dude, yeah, I'm sure the reasons for his failures have "many sides."
Those who found some admirable things in the hazy outlines of Mr. Trump’s campaign — a trade policy focused on national industrial development...
National industrial development?  Is that economic wonk speak for "bribe industry with tax breaks but forget to require actual jobs in return?"
a less quixotic foreign policy...
"Less quixotic" I think means give Putin whatever he wants.
less ideological approaches to infrastructure, health care and entitlements — will have to salvage that agenda from the wreckage of his presidency. On that, I’m not ready to give up.
I think that in order to salvage something from a wreckage, it has to be present IN the actual wreckage.  There's no "less ideological" anything in Trump's wreckage, but, you know, as long as white men who voted for Trump keep assuring us that they can find it, the New York Times will keep telling us that it's important to listen to them.  Certainly it's more important than every single Hillary Clinton voter who predicted every single fucking thing that he somehow failed to.