Women’s sports can absolutely take off, if given a chance

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rapinoe

I’m not sure which was the US women’s soccer team’s bigger triumph this year: winning it all in the World Cup again, or news that they’ve recently overtaken the less-fortunate men’s side in total revenue. After another exciting run cap by the first parade down NYC’s Canyon of Heroes since the Giants won it all clear back in 2012, light bulbs began turning on over heads at the other women’s leagues.

Why just sit there and accept second-banana status behind the men?

Now, you can’t talk long about women’s sports long before some conservative chimes in with one of their patented Punchable Smirks: “But women just are worse at sports than men.”

And, you know what? It’s true! If you look at the raw numbers, men can run faster, hit harder, throw farther and jump higher. Serena Williams herself, arguably the most famous American tennis star of either gender, conceded the incredibly obvious point:

“The men are a lot faster and they serve harder, they hit harder. It’s just a different game. I love to play women’s tennis. I only want to play girls, because I don’t want to be embarrassed.”

So that’s that. Since men can easily beat a comparable women’s team, there’s no reason to watch women’s sports, except that reasoning falls apart when you also realize any college football team would get absolutely massacred by the worst team in the NFL. Even Clemson or ‘Bama would get rolled by the lowly Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills or Hue Jackson-era Cleveland Browns. Same thing with Duke or Kansas men’s basketball squaring off against the clown-show Knicks.

I guess nobody watches college sports then, right?

There is a major opportunity here, as the USWNT has proven decisively.

One of the perennial challenges of men’s sports has been attracting female viewers, especially those who aren’t just supporting their husband’s fandom. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, women’s sports has had the reverse problem. The WNBA can’t figure out how to put male eyes on screens or male asses in seats. But another problem: they don’t get enough female fans to make up the difference, perhaps because women aren’t interested in basketball to begin with. But there’s no reason for them to naturally care about soccer either, and the USWNT has taken care of the fan gap quite nicely by dominating the sport (as the US men regularly faceplant). They’ve built a fandom that will last, even after the Rapinoe squad fades into memory. Perhaps most importantly, they’ve got girls interested in the sport. Youth involvement in sports, besides generating more talent over time, also generates more viewership — if you played baseball as a kid, you’ll be more likely to watch MLB as an adult than the average chess club member. In my opinion, girls playing tennis remains the biggest reason for women’s tennis’ unique legacy in this country for being at least in the neighborhood of their male counterparts in terms of viewership.

Other women’s leagues — basketball, golf, hockey and, yes, Legends Football (whose players play hard despite the Hooter’s-approved outfits) can learn from the USWNT, get adult viewers, and more importantly, get girls into the sport, maybe from some combination of exciting dynasty teams (think UConn), better marketing, and the best players getting the Serena-level coverage they deserve. Tennis and now soccer prove there’s no reason for the women’s side to lag behind, any more there’s any reason for college football fandom to fall behind the pros.

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The slide to fascism, the hatred of liberalism, and #MAGA voters

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Kevin Williamson — a writer whom, admittedly, is not to be trusted — has a column out warning against “send her back” and the desire of Trump voters to strip the citizenship of Rep. Ilhan Omar. Her crimes? A) being a brown person born in Somalia, b) her lefty politics and c) being an Israel-obsessed Jew-baiter. All of these things are true: whether c) is bad should not be a matter of controversy; whether b) is bad should by definition be a matter of controversy as much as conservative politics should be, and thinking a) is bad is as contemptible as Omar’s risible anti-semitism.

But none of that should be germane to her citizenship, which is just as valid as the president’s, or his foreign-born wife’s. That is not something the federal government can revoke, nor should it ever be able to. Mass murderers do not lose their citizenship, and neither do pedophiles. And neither has Robert Hanssen, one of the worst traitors in American history.

None of that matters to Trump voters. Not established legal precedent, nor established moral precedent observed over the centuries, even in the face of far worse threats to the country than a liberal freshman congresswoman. No, they just don’t care; they hate lefties such as Omar with such intensity that not only is every election a Flight 93 election; every day on social media must be viewed as a to-the-death struggle against the terrorists. As I once warned years before the rise of Trump: the ultimate threat to America, or any republic really, is what happens when a sizable enough bloc of legal voters vote specifically to end that republic.

The trigger for this particular discussion was the “send her back” chant, which seems to have replaced “lock her up” as #MAGA’s go-to motto. And, no, it wasn’t just meaningless words, not when the president himself is fomenting this specific “go back to your country” antagonism towards Omar — as well as three other congresswomen of color who were all born in America. What’s a chant today could easily become the official position of the White House, Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy next year — if enough of their voters demand it. And all it takes is a trip to the comments section of Williamson’s article to prove the point. (It does not appear to allow linking to individual comments.)

For citizenship to be truly valuable, loss must be a possibility. Otherwise the bad apples deflate the value and tarnish the brand. And Surprise Surprise – federal law provides for a number of “potentially expatriating acts”.”

“I have nothing but contempt for Kevin’s puerile and sentimental paean to citizenship…. Words like blood, soil, and memory make the ~bien pensants~ go nuts. Throw in religion, too. These sorts of things characterize successful cultures. Simply put, they mean harmony. Diversity — beyond a certain point — means disorder, hostility, and violence.”

“Put it this way: is there *any* behavior so “anti-citizen”-ish that it warrants public shaming like DT’s, or worse? Traditionally, the answer is No. But: when was the last time a BDS (that is, a blatantly anti-semitic) motion was submitted to Congress?”

king trump

This meme is not used by Trump’s detractors. It’s shared by his *supporters.*

You get the idea. This among the handing out of smelling salts for Williamson’s gross blasphemy against the God-Emperor (which, on Williamson’s part, had been extremely muted in between his rehiring at NRO and now).

The specific invocation of blood and soil is, of course, straight out of fascism, and by that I don’t mean the codeine-fascism of Franco or the Vicodin-fascism of Mussolini. I mean the pure-cut black-tar heroin-fascism of good ol’ you-know-who. “Blood and soil” isn’t just coming from comments-section trolls, either. It was chanted in Charlottesville; it is referenced favorably by mainstream sites like The American Conservative. The concept stains everything recently written by NY Post op-ed chief Sohrab Ahmari, who, like many MAGA converts, loves nothing more than being on the winning side. Deplorable voters are just that done with tolerating no-good liberals sharing space in their country.

And what has provoked this roiling hatred, this utter spite among a third of our population towards anyone and everyone left of center, that makes them want to end democracy altogether and hand total power to Donald Trump? Has a socialist country attacked us? Have California and New York seceded from the union and taken up arms? Are lefty terrorists going on shooting and bombing rampages, as they did in the late ’60s and early ’70s?

No. It’s just that some liberal politicians, pundits, and college students sometimes say stupid or offensive things. But more importantly: talk radio, FoxNews, and the internet are here to tell these voters how much they have to hate these people.

Because liberal politicians, pundits, and college students have been saying stupid or offensive things forever. As have their conservative counterparts. So what? We are in a period of remarkable stability and prosperity. Crime is way, way down from the 1980s. Economic numbers are way up. And while our endless military actions continue, they have leveled off quite a bit since the height of the Iraq occupation. The Boomer Republicans who make up the core of #MAGA have never had it better. Yet they hate their fellow Americans who vote blue with such an intensity that they fantasize about breaking up the country by Article V Convention. They so believe that literally any and everything must be on the table when dealing with Democrats, that come this time next year, they will be calling for their beloved Leader to directly intervene in the electoral process and stuff the ballot boxes. Set your watch to it.

Four years after that, they will call for him to “run” for a third term. Or else, perhaps, hand the regime to his successor, Donald Jr. Because that is what they want. They do not want to be citizens of a republic. They want to be subjects of the Trump Dynasty.

Williamson correctly observes the parallels to the end of the Roman Republic. But at least the Romans allowed one of the greatest statesmen and leaders of all time to take over, one that, at least while he lived, brought stability, order, and economic success to the strife-riven former Republic. Sure, the bill eventually came due when the empire fell into the hands of the Neros and Caligulas, as all empires, monarchies and dictatorships must. But at least they had the short-term wisdom to hand power to Augustus Caesar.

We’re handing power to the only buffoon who could lose at the casino business during Atlantic City’s boom years.

Every 80 years, America faces an existential crisis. Around 1780, it was the Revolution itself. Just after 1860, we had another one, and then again just after 1940. It is now almost 2020. It’s going to get a whole lot worse, as this time, we don’t have a president trying to save the union.

As a physician, I see no rational choice other than fundamental change to the system.

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A bit of a rambling post here, so forgive me.

First, I would invite all rock-ribbed anti-socialists to read the replies to this Twitter post. Then think about what you would tell these average Americans. Not Pelosi, not Schumer, not AOC, not the fake news liberal media or any of the other usual bugaboos. What would you tell these normal, regular people when they ask you why it must remain like this?

health care costs

This is insane. Completely insane.

We all know how unhappy regular people are with our current disaster of a healthcare “system,” from liberals to ardent #MAGA conservatives. (Again, I don’t mean members of congress or cable-news hosts who don’t have to directly worry about any of this. I mean regular people.) After all, hospitals and insurance companies don’t check your voter registration before dumping massive bills on you. People are in such fear of hospital bills that they ignore their symptoms, staying away until it’s too late. Or else they ration their insulin with their exponential, totally inexcusable cost hikes.

But enough with the horror stories — does anyone actually *like* the way it is in this country?

There are two main constituencies who do, though. One are the stake-holders in large for-profit hospital chains, insurance companies, and others who directly profit off patients’ misery, as well as the Republican politicians they generously donate to.

The other are people 65 and older.

Think of a retired, Trump-loving right-winger who is on Medicare. Ask them if they’d be willing to forego their government-sponsored plan. After all, it’s the ideologically consistent thing to do. See how far you get with that conversation.

The only workable solution is Medicare for all.

I’m not a lefty or a socialist. I’m anything but one of these nutcases holding up an Assad-clone like Nicolas Maduro as a hero of the worker, believe me. But I do not see any other option that is both achievable, and also an actual improvement for regular people.

Now, for Medicare for all to work, everyone’s taxes would skyrocket, no question. But here’s what they don’t want you to know: overall, the tax hike would be substantially less than the money you get back, whether it’s in your paycheck, or the money you’re no longer paying for an ACA plan, on top of all the thousands you may stand to pay out in outrageous copays, deductibles, and those surprise hospital fees unscrupulous hospital doctors and employees do their best to conceal from you until after your discharge. No more worrying about sending your spouse and kids to financial ruin if you decide to get that mysterious lump in your breast checked out.

Or let’s say you’re an employer, a stern believer in free enterprise and paying your fair share. Just imagine if you were no longer responsible for your peoples’ health care plans. What a colossal burden off the bottom line! Also, your people would be happier and healthier without you lifting a finger — and as a boss, you must be acutely aware of the effect of morale in the workplace.

“But muh socialism,” some of your buddies you rode with to the last Trump rally admonish you. Oh, please. This from the party that wants the federal government to take over Facebook and Twitter because they were mean to Alex Jones. Who’s more socialist, Trump and his wanting every private company that displeases him to answer to the feds, or the people who just want a health care system vaguely resembling the rest of the industrialized world? I dunno about you, but if I had to choose between two systems the government should intervene with, I think I’d go with access to hospitals, clinics and pharmacies over my Twitter account.

And the thing is, M4A isn’t even socialist in the slightest! I realize that conservatives increasingly use the term “socialist” the same way they use “fake news”: to just mean something they don’t like. But socialism means government ownership, and under M4A, the government *does not take over a single hospital or clinic.* What they’re thinking of is the British NHS, which M4A is emphatically not. Instead, all medical enterprises, from solo docs to massive hospital chains, remain privately owned (assuming they already were beforehand). All that’s changed is that instead of billing a constellation of insurers as well as the patient, they bill one entity: Medicare. Which is where the term “single-payer” comes from.

The people who don’t want the system to change are the people profiting off of it. Plain and simple. And most conservatives are not executives at Cigna or at Kaiser. Most conservatives are as screwed by the system as everyone else.

M4A is not socialism. This is not the Green New Deal, this is not a $15 minimum wage, this is not electing AOC president-for-life. If anything, this is taking away a key campaign issue from the Democrats. Stop listening to Rush, Hannity and Trump who all have their personal health care needs taken care of for life. Start listening to your own friends and family. Do what’s best for you and yours. Vote for Medicare for all.

How to get caught up with the MCU in time for Endgame

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So the worst has happened. You’ve been able to avoid the biggest movie franchise in history so far. You ignored the Avengers hype, you were able to dodge the Captain America movies, you even passed on Black Panther. But now, finally, a friend or loved one has lowered the boom and is dragging you to see Avengers: Endgame over your loud and frequent protestations.

The problem is, with almost two dozen movies already lodged into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, walking into Endgame cold is like starting watching, say, Breaking Bad from the middle of season 4. You’d have no idea who these people are, where they are coming from, or whose power is punching really hard and whose power is meth. Endgame won’t just expect you to have seen Infinity War (Endgame was originally named “Infinity War Part 2”). It will draw from most or all movies from the MCU, from Iron Man 1 on.

On the other hand, you don’t want to torture yourself with 48 hours (or whatever we’re up to) worth of superhero movies, so here’s a quick how-to on getting caught up and without resorting to plot synopses from Wikipedia. These are not only the most important movies in the MCU’s world-building; they are also among its best, so don’t worry: you won’t be steered into stinkers like Thor: Dark World.

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Preserving a Twitter meltdown for posterity

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DC McAllister has long been one of the more vituperative and emotionally unstable Trump-worshipping writers of the Right, which obviously made her a perfect fit for sites like The Federalist and The Daily Wire. No matter how hateful or how completely insane her ravings, her bosses had her back because she was, in their opinion, owning the libs.

To my surprise, some lines that may not be crossed still somehow exist on the post-morality New Right. In an undoubtedly alcohol-fueled frenzy, McAllister of “You were at my wedding, Denise” infamy sailed right over one (and it’s crucial to note that insulting the wife of Federalist boss Ben Domenech was *not* over the line). I’ve decided to screencap the epic meltdown before she wakes up and, through the hangover, cold realization suddenly punches her in the gut, and she deletes her tweets / her account.

It began the day before when McAllister decided to tweet this.

denise meltdown 1

Let me just say that being married to a woman like this would absolutely be hell on earth. Anyway, after spending a day being mocked online for her tweet, and her responding with her usual grace and equanimity…

denise meltdown 2

…journalist Yashar Ali (who should be noted to be gay, for narrative reasons that will become clear shortly) decided to also get a dig in.

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By the time Yashar tweeted, it seemed that cocktail hour had arrived at McAllister’s North Carolina home.

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This tirade, and in particular the “another man’s asshole” pontification, attracted even the attention of mainstream conservatives such as S.E. Cupp. At this point, you may ask, did McAllister realize that she may have messed up? That maybe she should perhaps log off Twitter until the tequila was out of her bloodstream? Or did she decide to tweet through it? Did you even need to ask?

denise meltdown 5

And finally, the hammer dropped. First Ben Shapiro and then, apparently prodded by his wife because he didn’t see a problem, even Ben Domenech let McAllister know her services were no longer required.

denise meltdown 6

McAllister’s final tweet, before passing out, phone still clutched in hand, was more right than she knows. She, along with the rest of her erstwhile Federalist allies, certainly made their choice when it came to principles, morality or truth.

People often forget the power of social media. It’s too easy to think of your Twitter or Facebook account as just a latter-day LiveJournal, where you’re just shouting into the void and/or speaking only to a small, select audience. All it takes is one rant (that you no doubt feel is “justified”) to end your career. (Not that a scumbag like Domenech cares about homophobia. He does care about bad press from his fellow conservatives and his wife’s hectoring, however.) And social media apps most certainly do not breathalyze you first. Take care and, if you enjoy imbibing more than one adult beverage on the weekend, make it a rule not to use any social media apps any time you don’t trust yourself to drive, either.

Also, as terrible as things can get in the Age of Trump, at least we can appreciate the progress made in our attitude of gay and lesbian people. Twenty or even ten years ago, as libertarian writer Elizabeth Nolan Brown has noted, McAllister’s bromides would’ve barely warranted a slap on the wrist from a conservative site or magazine. Instead, even a culture-war conservative stalwart like Ben Shapiro is rightly horrified. Of course, this could all change if Trump starts listening to his vice president and declares war on every letter of “LGBT” instead of just the “T.” But until then, (cis) queer people and their allies can remain proud of the progress our society has made.

If Trump pressed the button

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Given the recent Mattis resignation, conventional wisdom holds that the last adult — or, at least, the last senior official willing to question their president’s wisdom — has left the building. Ominously, there are reports that Mattis had a system where he would be notified if the president attempted to use his gravest power of all to initiate a nuclear attack, a protective system that is now presumably defunct. So where does that actually leave us? Is there any way he would ever actually go down that road?

Now on the one hand, it’s not like he makes nuclear threats nearly as often as Putin. Happily, it’s just not one of his obsessions the way his wall is. I can’t recall any nuclear threats since he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea long before the current best-buds relationship with dictator Kim Jong-Un. And on that note, whom would he even target, since he loves America’s enemies so much? It’s not like even he would try to nuke CNN’s headquarters, no matter what Ann Coulter tweets, right? Nuclear fears are just more fake news from biased liberals trying to whip up panic. That’s just gotta be the case.

Let’s hope it stays that way. On the other hand:

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DJT, natural philosopher

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I too-briefly touched upon a peculiarly Aristotelian character trait on my subtly-named Aristotle: Wrong About Everything piece, when I really should have expended a thousand more words on this true legacy of that poisonous old Macedonian bastard. You see, almost everything Aristotle came up with was fundamentally, ridiculously, often immorally wrong, whether we’re talking about his absurd views on astronomy, anatomy, biology, or the arts — but few people in history were more assured of their own greatness and correctness than Aristotle, and that towering conviction, the utter lack of any self-doubt or reservation, no matter how half-baked the idea he was espousing, convinced succeeding Western generations for over two thousand years into making him the #1 guiding light of Western civ on the basis of gee, if that guy is that convinced he’s right, there must be really something to him.

bustFew men in history had the raw, animal dominance, and the resulting reception and excitement among more submissive people, of Aristotle. And this unique trait would go along way to explaining our current politics.

Now, both sides have been hammering Mitt Romney for his recent op-ed and its quite accurate assessment of our president’s moral character; but #MAGA in particular has been hammering him with a viciousness outdoing anything liberals ever came up with in 2012. One of NRO’s more Trumpified acolytes, Victor Davis Hanson, came out with his own rebuttal which, surprisingly, avoided most of the personal attacks, thereby providing some illumination as to why these guys are so enthralled by such an oafish, blundering buffoon.

VDH starts by rolling out the cliche’d but-Gorsuch and but-Hillary routines, and the what-about-that-endorsement bit, as if those had anything to do with the question of Trump’s personal character. Because the president’s ethical and moral self, which lands somewhere in the spectrum between “vile” and “pondscum,” is what we’re talking about, not the damn judges. Neither Mitt nor conservative stalwarts with impeccable lib-owning street cred like Jonah Goldberg, David French, Alexandra DeSanctis, Amanda Carpenter or Kevin Williamson have one cross word to say about Gorsuch or Kavanaugh. As I sonorously repeat over and over, it’s all about his moral character. And as VDH’s colleague Goldberg notes, the fact that our president makes your average mob boss look like a model citizen most likely spells disaster for his presidency — and the country. In real-life, practical ways — because, as conservatives used to believe until two years ago, character is destiny. For instance, the brewing recession stupidly triggered by his clumsy trade wars were only possible from someone too profoundly ignorant of economics and too convinced of his own half-assed opinions, someone who is only enraged when a subordinate offers disagreement.

And recessions don’t care who you voted for when the layoffs start hitting your firm.

But VDH really gives the game away here:

And given that Trump was a known quantity (and known often to be abrasive) for decades, why would Romney have sought out and accepted his endorsement in 2012 for his own presidential run? The obvious answers are that in a world of political pragmatism, all candidates are foolish to turn down endorsements from celebrities and sitting presidents. But is not the bar higher for ethicists who argue that traditional definitions of character adjudicate successful or unsuccessful governance? (emphasis mine)

There you have it. A different set of standards applies to you, me, and Mitt than they do to Trump. The bar is higher, the penalties harsher for us plebes, as opposed to, and forgive me for bringing in another philosopher, a beautiful Nietzschen Übermenschen like Donald Trump (try not to laugh).

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Trumpkin declare this so baldly, but that has been the bedrock of their arguments, such as they are, since Trump descended on his escalator. It’s the basis of the Fifth Avenue rule, and they would never attempt the same outrageous defense with anyone named Bush or Cruz. VDH and his peers truly believe the laws and morals that govern regular people should not and do not apply to Donald Trump, as he is history’s true greatest genius, its towering figure from whose shining brow all the gifts of Western Civilization arise.

All that, of course, we already knew. But the big question remains: why?

Why do people believe this, especially over someone as laughably incompetent, dull-witted, uncreative and amoral as our president, who ol’ Friedrich would have had a good chuckle over? Perhaps VDH’s “Trump is above your petty laws and codes” stance gives us a clue.

I believe the answer is how Trump’s magnetism has the same ferrous core as Aristotle’s, that absolute, unshakable faith in his own genius, one that somehow becomes stronger the wronger he is — and drawing in everyone around that narcissist, especially those of weak and/or submissive temperament like VDH’s confederate, Rich Lowry. (It also naturally attracts the perpetually-furious subsection of #MAGA including the likes of Kurt Schlichter, Dan “Roid Rage” Bongino, and John Nolte, guys who see Trump as a useful battering ram against civilized society and who’ve always thought Jesus and his Golden Rule were for cucks, anyway.)

Not everyone is drawn in — those of solid moral backing are left confused and wondering what just happened with their former friends. But that doesn’t change the fact that Trump has totally dominated his own party to an extent unprecedented with either party since WWII, to the point where the GOP chairwoman denounced Mitt Romney, her own uncle — and it isn’t from the president ever being right about much of anything. It isn’t from his spectacular failures as a businessman, one who couldn’t even succeed at running a casino during Atlantic City’s boom years. It isn’t from any kind of genius policy proposal. His only success came from convincing others he was some kind of business virtuoso (i.e. the basis his old reality show), despite his track record proving otherwise. And his political success came from convincing the same kind of rubes and suckers that, in his words, “I alone can fix” the nation’s troubles.

The problem is that, despite what conservative moral relativists like VDH and Roger Kimball believe, not only can the president be wrong in an absolute sense, but that wrongness can and will have deleterious real-world consequences, just as Aristotle was more responsible for the European Dark Ages than any single other person in history. Besides the recession, we have a world looking down on America as a kind of joke, the insulting of allies (or outright betrayal, with the Kurds), the emboldening of the world’s worst dictators, ever-more-division between American citizens to the delight of both Trump and Putin, and a Republican Party that has formally renounced character and family values.

That last isn’t an exaggeration. “Railing about character hurts the president, and Republicans know that,” wrote Henry Olsen in another op-ed, getting straight to the point. Caring about morals hurts the Great Leader; therefore, we should not care. This has always been a tenet of the New Right, along with there being a different set of rules for their ochre overlord; they’re just getting more brazen in admitting it.

Would any of that have happened under Jeb! or Little Marco?

There have been other world leaders with the same Aristotelian core, and with the same resulting cadre of awe-struck submissives serving as yes-men, as our dear leader. Napoleon comes to mind, although he at least also had some real-world military genius to carry him through. That said: how did his story end for France and for himself? How many were left dead by the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution instituted by Mao, a man completely immune to the self-crticism he demanded of his subjects? And I hate to go there, but: how did a certain mid-century leader’s unassailable conviction of his own genius end for Germany, especially compared to his counterpart Stalin, who by contrast was at least aware of his own lack of genius in military strategy and who was therefore able to delegate effectively?

Our president may be many things, but he is neither new or unique, and neither is the almost erotic submission of men like VDH, Lowry, Lindsey Graham, and Rand Paul to their self-declared alpha, the latter two engaged in a chronic, catty, and repulsive one-upmanship with each other to be the dominant’s favored submissive of the moment.

One core tenet that conservatives used to believe in is the immutability of human nature, across the world and across time — and though the Right is abandoning this along with every other principle, it has never been more true than now. The vulnerability to dominance by the alpha male is the same as it was two thousand years ago, as is the completely dominant personality eager to exploit this. It may be fascinating that our current-day president has relearned the same nefarious lessons discovered by Aristotle so long ago, but it is also disheartening that it still works so well. Few things Aristotle ever uttered endured as truth, but the man himself is evidence of a hard truth of human nature. Our institutions were carefully constructed to protect against this, among other human frailties — which is precisely why the Alinskyite New Right aims to tear our institutions down.

 

The brewing right-wing revolt against their conman president

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It’s common and lazy journalism to mistake the hurlyburly of Twitter as anything more meaningful than the equivalent of bathroom-wall scrawlings, so I’ve been hesitant to read too much into this for a while…

…but it’s clear that a discontent among right-wingers against a POTUS who, quite obviously, sold them a bill of goods is growing. And by this I mean deep-red, hardened, Neanderthal arch-conservatives. We’re not talking ex-conservatives like Max Boot, or moderate #NeverTrumpers like Tom Nichols. We’re also not talking about mercenaries at FoxNews or the Federalist who are purely in the #MAGA business for the money. This is the praise-the-Lord-and-pass-the-ammunition kernel of the president’s base, and it’s increasingly easy to say: he’s losing them.

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To reiterate: These are not RINO squishes selling out to the liberal media. These are among the most hardcore wingers among us today, as the appearance of Ann Coulter should suggest. They do not back down one iota on their stances on the 2nd Amendment or the Wall. All were vocal and loyal Trumpistas before the election, and all are as dedicated to owning the libs as your average Breitbart editor. Their anger toward Clintons and Obamas is unequaled by anyone employed by the Daily Wire or Daily Caller.

But the key is: None of these people enjoy cushy, coastal-media sinecures. They are not buffered from the passion of the right-wing base the way elite, well-compensated pundits are. They don’t have studios on Sixth Avenue. They don’t have social-media assistants who filter out all the negative tweets before they begin another lazy rehash of an hour-long show they already did in early 2017 or before collecting another easy paycheck from a foreign owner who couldn’t give a shit what Americans think about their president.

Politically, I may disagree quite strongly with, say, Shannon Joy on most issues. But I do not believe for one second she doesn’t say what she means, unlike craven sellouts like Rich Lowry or Mollie Hemingway who are directly paid by billionaires. The billionaires couldn’t care less about a wall or about guns, so neither do the NYC, LA, and DC-based conservative media elite. Joy, Deace, and Horowitz, on the other hand, live or die by their fans in flyover country. They literally cannot afford to ignore their listeners or viewers. Their livelihoods depend on it.

And they’re increasingly saying that Donald Trump has sold them a bill of goods.

To which I say, of course he did. Googling “Trump Roy Cohn cufflinks” should tell them all they needed to know about the moral character of our president. Oh sure, yeah, I’m just a NYC coastal elite myself, so my saying this is irrelevant.

But the right-wing base saying this? The bedrock of the party wising up to the president? Oh, that is relevant. One could say, that will be quite relevant in 2020.