E-mailgate might give Elizabeth Warren an opening

Hillary Clinton Email Servers Home Scandal Private Email Secretary of State

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E-mailgate may not be enough to sink the U.S.S. Billary – and create a fabulous opening for the person who should be the next president of the United States, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren – but the scandal does, at the minimum, demonstrate that Billary Clinton has more baggage than does O’Hare International Airport.

Worse than the fact that Billary never even had a -.gov e-mail address during her tenure as U.S. secretary of state, but used a personal e-mail address instead*, is the fact that Billary’s personal e-mails were stored on her own Internet service entirely under her own control. Reports The Associated Press today (emphases are mine):

Washington — The computer server that transmitted and received Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mails — on a private account she used exclusively for official business when she was secretary of state — traced back to an Internet service registered to her family’s home in Chappaqua, New York, according to Internet records reviewed by The Associated Press.

The highly unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official physically running her own e-mail would have given Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, impressive control over limiting access to her message archives. It also would distinguish Clinton’s secretive e-mail practices as far more sophisticated than some politicians, including Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, who were caught conducting official business using free e-mail services operated by Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.

Most Internet users rely on professional outside companies, such as Google Inc. or their own employers, for the behind-the-scenes complexities of managing their e-mail communications. Government employees generally use servers run by federal agencies where they work.

In most cases, individuals who operate their own e-mail servers are technical experts or users so concerned about issues of privacy and surveillance they take matters into their own hands. It was not immediately clear exactly where Clinton ran that computer system.

Clinton has not described her motivation for using a private e-mail account — hdr22@clintonemail.com, which traced back to her own private e-mail server registered under an apparent pseudonym — for official State Department business.

Operating her own server would have afforded Clinton additional legal opportunities to block government or private subpoenas in criminal, administrative or civil cases because her lawyers could object in court before being forced to turn over any e-mails. And since the Secret Service was guarding Clinton’s home, an e-mail server there would have been well protected from theft or a physical hacking. 

But homemade e-mail servers are generally not as reliable, secure from hackers or protected from fires or floods as those in commercial data centers. Those professional facilities provide monitoring for viruses or hacking attempts, regulated temperatures, off-site backups, generators in case of power outages, fire-suppression systems and redundant communications lines.

A spokesman for Clinton did not respond to requests seeking comment from the AP [yesterday]. Clinton ignored the issue during a speech [last] night at the 30th anniversary gala of EMILY’s List, which works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights.

It was unclear whom Clinton hired to set up or maintain her private e-mail server, which the AP traced to a mysterious identity, Eric Hoteham. That name does not appear in public records databases, campaign contribution records or Internet background searches. Hoteham was listed as the customer at Clinton’s $1.7 million home on Old House Lane in Chappaqua in records registering the Internet address for her e-mail server since August 2010.

The Hoteham personality also is associated with a separate e-mail server, presidentclinton.com, and a non-functioning website, wjcoffice.com, all linked to the same residential Internet account as Clinton’s e-mail server. …

E-mailgate indeed speaks to Billary’s respect for transparency, as well as (further) exposes her apparent issues over power and control. I mean, fuck: she eschewed a federal government Internet server for her own Internet server, as though it weren’t about the U.S. government, but were All About Billary.

Further, as fellow left-wing commentator Ted Rall writes (links are Rall’s):

… Under the Federal Records Act of 1950, which has been amended several times, “all government employees and contractors are required by law to make and preserve records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the agency.”

During his first full day as president in January 2009, President Obama directed federal agencies to preserve all e-mails relating to government business so that agencies could add them to paper and other non-digital records requested as part of Freedom of Information Act requests, subpoenaed by judges for judicial reasons, and for eventual transfer to the National Archives for study by historians.

Clinton served as Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013. So clearly her e-mails and fell under the purview of the law.

It is difficult to imagine that, as a high-level politician and recent presidential candidate, Clinton was unaware of this requirement. In 2007, the scandal over the Bush administration’s dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys centered around precisely the same issue: the destruction of up to 5 million e-mails authored by Bush administration and Republican Party officials, which were either lost or intentionally deleted because they weren’t sent using government e-mail accounts.

Upon taking charge of the State Department, Clinton made the same exact move as the Bush people caught up in the U.S. attorney scandal two years before. Whereas Bush and Republican party operatives created a private domain, gwb43.com, in order to keep prying Democratic and journalist eyes out of their correspondence, Clinton’s staff registered the domain that she used, clintonemail.com, on January 13, 2009 – one week before Obama’s inauguration, on the day of her confirmation hearings.

Millions of Americans go to work at new jobs where, as part of the standard human resources package, they receive a new company e-mail account. This happens at countless federal, state, and city government agencies as well. For some reason, however, Hillary Clinton not only never used her state.gov e-mail address – she was never issued one. …

Rall later asks in his column, which you should read, “The question isn’t how many e-mails [Billary] has turned over; the question is, where are the rest of them?”

Again, E-mailgate shows us, I think, what Billary is all about: power for power’s sake, and more and more power for herself. (Not that we didn’t already know that.)

Is anyone above Billary? Is she accountable to anyone? I mean, as secretary of state she very apparently violated the directive of her boss, President Barack Obama, regarding the retention of e-mails related to U.S. government business.

We know – we have known for some time now – all that we need to know about Billary Clinton. If we let her into the White House, we’ll get the president that we deserve.

*Here is the New York Times reportage from Monday that brought E-mailgate to light: (emphases are mine):

Washington — Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal e-mail account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Clinton did not have a government e-mail address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal e-mails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal e-mails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of e-mails were given to the department. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.

“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

A spokesman for Clinton, Nick Merrill, defended her use of the personal e-mail account and said she has been complying with the “letter and spirit of the rules.”

Under federal law, however, letters and e-mails written and received by federal officials, such as the secretary of state, are considered government records and are supposed to be retained so that congressional committees, historians and members of the news media can find them. There are exceptions to the law for certain classified and sensitive materials.

Clinton is not the first government official — or first secretary of state — to use a personal e-mail account on which to conduct official business. But her exclusive use of her private e-mail, for all of her work, appears unusual, Baron said. The use of private e-mail accounts is supposed to be limited to emergencies, experts said, such as when an agency’s computer server is not working.

“I can recall no instance in my time at the National Archives when a high-ranking official at an executive branch agency solely used a personal e-mail account for the transaction of government business,” said Baron, who worked at the agency from 2000 to 2013.

Regulations from the National Archives and Records Administration at the time required that any e-mails sent or received from personal accounts be preserved as part of the agency’s records. But Clinton and her aides failed to do so.

How many e-mails were in Clinton’s account is not clear, and neither is the process her advisers used to determine which ones related to her work at the State Department before turning them over.

“It’s a shame it didn’t take place automatically when she was secretary of state as it should have,” said Thomas S. Blanton, the director of the National Security Archive, a group based at George Washington University that advocates government transparency. “Someone in the State Department deserves credit for taking the initiative to ask for the records back. Most of the time it takes the threat of litigation and embarrassment.”

Blanton said high-level officials should operate as President Obama does, e-mailing from a secure government account, with every record preserved for historical purposes. “Personal e-mails are not secure,” he said. “Senior officials should not be using them.”

Penalties for not complying with federal record-keeping requirements are rare, because the National Archives has few enforcement abilities.

Merrill, the spokesman for Clinton, declined to detail why she had chosen to conduct State Department business from her personal account. He said that because Clinton had been sending e-mails to other State Department officials at their government accounts, she had “every expectation they would be retained.” He did not address e-mails that Clinton may have sent to foreign leaders, people in the private sector or government officials outside the State Department.

The revelation about the private e-mail account echoes longstanding criticisms directed at both the former secretary and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, for a lack of transparency and inclination toward secrecy.

And others who, like Clinton, are eyeing a candidacy for the White House are stressing a very different approach. Jeb Bush, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, released a trove of e-mails in December from his eight years as governor of Florida.

It is not clear whether Clinton’s private e-mail account included encryption or other security measures, given the sensitivity of her diplomatic activity. 

Clinton’s successor, Secretary of State John Kerry, has used a government e-mail account since taking over the role, and his correspondence is being preserved contemporaneously as part of State Department records, according to his aides.

The existence of Clinton’s personal e-mail account was discovered by a House committee investigating the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi as it sought correspondence between Clinton and her aides about the attack. …

As I’ve written before, Benghazigate is bullshit – the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who wish to make the deaths of four Americans in Libya into a huge issue have, puzzlingly, had no problem whatsofuckingever with the deaths of more than 4,000 of our troops in the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War – but it was skeezy of Clinton to use personal e-mail for her public office’s business and then decide which personal e-mails – which very apparently are in her sole possession (with the exception of the recipients of those e-mails) – to ultimately turn over for the record or for any other legitimate purpose.

I am a huge advocate of privacy, and in general I oppose anyone reading anyone else’s e-mails, but most of us never were or ever will be U.S. secretary of state. And Billary apparently did break the law, which apparently her successor John Kerry has not had a problem following.

It’s too early, it seems to me, to know whether or not E-mailgate will grow legs, but for the time being, it seems to me that if E-mailgate is Billary’s biggest scandal between now and 2016 presidential primary season, she probably will be OK in her quest for the White House if she presses on with that quest, as E-mailgate isn’t exactly very sexy. But E-mailgate does demonstrate that Billary is so embattled and so controversial that she might never get to the White House.

And I hope that she doesn’t, of course.

Even if I have to pick between Billary and a Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate on November 8, 2016, at this point – with the Democratic Party having sold out at least since Bill Clinton was in the Oval Office – I can’t see myself ever casting a vote for Billary. I most likely would vote for the Green Party candidate, whoever that is, if my Democratic Party choice for president in November 2016 is Billary.

(Let me remind you that the U.S. president is not chosen by popular vote, but by the Electoral College, and that if Billary is on the November 2016 ballot for U.S. president, she’ll win California and all of its 55 electoral votes, whether I vote or not. [Billary won California over Barack Obama in their protracted fight for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Billary is a DINO sellout, but she wins in California, coasting on her surname.])

I still don’t believe that President Billary is Inevitable. Widespread Billary Fatigue, should Billary win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, just might win the Repugnicans the White House next presidential election, it seems to me, so Repugnican attacks on Billary might backfire on them if Billary doesn’t run after all, if she begins to run but then drops out, or runs but actually is beaten by a challenger, as she was by Obama in 2008.

If a candidate who is stronger than Billary – like, oh, say, Elizabeth Warren (who doesn’t have nearly the amount of baggage and who, entirely unlike Billary, is credible on the issue of boosting the middle class and the working class and tackling the obscene income inequality in the United States) – ultimately is the 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate, the Repugnicans easily could lose the White House that they could have won had it been Billary on the ballot.

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Warren fights for the working class while Walker calls us terrorists

CPAC shows how the GOP’s 2016 strategy of avoiding the MSM could backfire

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Reuters and Associated Press photos

Koched-up Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday, in his braying before the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland (as pictured above), compared the thousands and thousands of Wisconsinites who converged on Wisconsin’s Capitol four years ago to oppose his decimation of the working class and the middle class to the terrorists who comprise ISIS

There is a receptive audience to Wisconsin Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker’s recent indirect but sure comparison of members of the working class and middle class who want union protection from the likes of the Koched-up Walker’s billionaire sugar daddies to the terrorists who comprise ISIS.*

That audience, of course, would be the Repugnican Tea Party.

Anyone who would dare oppose the continued decimation of the American middle class and working class by our plutocratic overlords surely is an anti-American terrorist. The hallmark of the teatards, in fact, is that they do the plutocrats’ bidding for them by bashing the working class and middle class.

I saw this with my own eyes at a pro-working-class rally here in Sacramento that was in solidarity with Wisconsin four years ago, in late February 2011, when Wisconsin’s capital was afire with thousands and thousands of protesters trying to protect their livelihoods and families from Walker’s right-wing, pro-plutocratic, anti-populist assault on their labor rights.

The plutocrats, of course, weren’t there taunting those of us who were there at the rally at California’s state Capitol to support labor rights. No, it was the teatards — people (if you can call them that) who hardly are rich themselves (and who very unlikely ever will be) but who think that it a great idea to help the millionaires and billionaires to destroy what’s left of labor rights and thus to destroy what’s left of the middle class and the working class. These “people” are, of course, in a word, traitors, just as are the plutocrats whom they insanely support against even their own best interests.

This is what Scott Walker represents: Aiding and abetting millionaires and billionaires in their class warfare against the rest of us (while actually claiming that this actually is to our benefit).

So it’s not a huge surprise that Walker recently told the fascistic traitors at the Wingnuts’ Ball (a.k.a. the Conservative Political Action Conference): “We need a leader who will stand up and say [that] we will take the fight to them [he was referring to the members of ISIS] and not wait until they take the fight to American soil. If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same in the rest of the world.”

Wow.

I get it: Walker was trying to make the bullshit claim that somehow his experience as the pro-plutocratic, anti-populist governor of Wisconsin has qualified him to be a leader on the world stage as president (and commander in chief) of the United States of America.

But in so doing, of course Walker compared members of the middle class and working class who have dared to stand up to him and his plutocratic puppeteers to terrorists. That’s probably how he views them personally. If not, at the very least, that’s how his main plutocratic puppeteers, the Koch brothers — whose millions are behind Walker’s political success (well, “survival” probably is a better term than “success”) in Wisconsin — want him to portray those of us who oppose treasonous plutocracy.

(And it’s funny — in a sick and fucking twisted way — that the teatards have attempted to appropriate the American Revolution, which was fought against the oppressive monarchy and aristocracy of Britain, yet the teatards fully support the oppressive plutocrats and aristocrats of the United States of America today. These hardly are revolutionaries. They actively aid and abet the enemy, the oppressors of the masses, which makes them not revolutionaries but traitors.)

It’s interesting that Walker would compare members of the American working class and middle class to the terrorists of ISIS, because I see Walker and his ilk and their plutocratic patrons as evil. They don’t behead people or burn them alive (yet), but the harm that they nonetheless cause to millions and millions of Americans (and millions and millions of others abroad) is incalculable, and, just like the terrorists of ISIS, they sociopathically feel no guilt or remorse over the grave harm that they cause others for their own benefit. And that, of course, is the very definition of evil.

I’ve written before (more than a year ago) that I’d love to see a Scott Walker-Elizabeth Warren matchup in 2016. (I’m not saying that it’s going to happen — I’m saying that I’d love to see it happen.)

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s words for the members of the middle class and the working class are diametrically opposed to Walker’s. Walker & Co. blame the victims; Elizabeth Warren actually stands up for the victims. For instance, I recommend that you watch this video of Warren’s recent opening statement for the Middle Class Prosperity Project (I’m glad that progressives have taken back the true meaning of the word “prosperity,” as opposed to the Koch brothers’ “Americans for Prosperity,” which more accurately should be named Billionaires for More Prosperity for Billionaires, and Repugnican Tea Party Pretty Boy Paul Ryan’s bullshit “Path to Prosperity,” which, of course, was only a blueprint to further destroy the middle class and the working class):

Wow. It’s a rare member of Congress — which for years and years and years now has been dominated by the corporation-loving duopoly of the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party — who speaks like this. Billary Clinton (who, if the Repugnican Party is the Coke Party, is Diet Coke) certainly never speaks like this (or, if she ever does, given her coziness with the weasels of Wall Street and other corporatocrats and plutocrats, her credibility on the issue is nil).

While Koch, Walker & Co. continue to blame our nation’s ills on the members of the working class and middle class who only want to staunch the flow of their — our — blood to the Olympic-sized private swimming pools of the plutocrats, Elizabeth Warren, by stark contrast, correctly identifies and emphasizes the fact that beginning in the 1980s, under the treasonously pro-plutocratic, anti-populist Repugnican President Ronald Reagan, the once-robust middle class and working class have been under continued, decimating assault by the treasonous plutocrats who scream “class warfare!” when the members of the middle class and the working class attempt to protect ourselves from the actual class warfare that the treasonous plutocrats started against us decades ago.

Elizabeth Warren fights for the middle class and the working class when no one else (save only a few others) in Washington, D.C., dare to actually do their fucking job, which is to fight for the greatest good for the greatest number of Americans; Scott Walker, meanwhile, compares the middle class and the working class who are fighting for their lives and their families’ lives to the terrorists who comprise ISIS.

This is a fight in which I’d love to participate. To Scott Walker and the treasonous teatards who support him, I can only say: Bring! It! On! Traitors! We are beyond ripe for another, actual American revolution!

*If you are wondering where I stand on ISIS, I oppose ISIS not for the religion that its members claim they adhere to, but I oppose their continued and multiple acts of terrorism, such as their slaughter of scores of those who don’t share their fascistic religious ideology and their destruction of valuable pieces of art, artifacts and architecture that they deem to be “idolatrous” or the like.

In short, the “Islamofascists” of ISIS are doing exactly what the “Christo”fascists here at home would do if they could. It’s not the exact religion (Islam, Christianity, Judaism, etc.) that is the problem, but the theofascism that is the problem. (And if you want to further reduce that to fascism in general, religious-based or not, that’s fine with me, but fascism tends to have at least some degree of religious backing. It certainly does here in the United States, big-time.)

I can’t deny that I’d like to see the smug, punk-ass “Jihadi John’s” theofascist head on a silver platter, but, again, evil in the form of theofascism certainly isn’t limited to Islam. (“Jihadi John” — seriously. What, did this virgin nerd [whose real name is Mohammed Emwazi] go from being on his computer in his underwear in the basement of his parents’ house to being a “bad-ass” terrorist overnight? And could you be a bigger fucking coward than to tie someone’s hands behind his back, rendering him defenseless, and then behead him, or put him beneath an iron cage, rendering him defenseless, and burn him alive? This isn’t bad-assery. This is fucking cowardice to the nth degree.)

And no, I don’t let the United States off of the hook, either. The treasonous, unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War, which I vehemently opposed before it was launched in March 2003, has resulted in the wholly preventable and unnecessary deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocents in Iraq, and the U.S. military continues to slaughter innocents in the Middle East (via drone and other technologically advanced lethal methods, which one certainly could call cowardly) and continues to prop up the terrorist state of Israel, which treats Palestinians much like how the Nazi Germans treated the Jews, including slaughtering them by the masses.

(Despite the Israelis’ non-stop claims of being oppressed victims, the body counts always have been insanely lopsided, with far more Palestinians dying than Israelis; the United States of America’s blind support of Israel, with detractors of this deeply insane and deeply immoral foreign policy knee-jerkingly slanderously branded as “anti-Semitic,” is a huge factor behind this evil. [Yes, the Judeofascist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can kiss my fucking ass, as can all of the “Christo”fascist members of the U.S. Congress who believe that it’s perfectly OK to do a treasonous end-run around the democratically elected president of the United States of America by inviting the stinking piece of fascistic shit that is Netanyahu to speak in what is supposed to be the American people’s house, not Netanyahu’s for his campaign purposes.])

U.S. actions in the Middle East, such as the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War (whose perpetrators should be put on trial for their war crimes and crimes against humanity and punished accordingly, Nuremberg style, as that would be the only fair and just thing to do) and the continued coddling and arming of Israel, provide ISIS and the like-minded with all of the recruitment material that they could ever need.

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There is no greater love than NOT reproducing

Pope Francis waves as he arrives for a special consistory with cardinals and bishops, in the Synod hall at the Vatican, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. Pope Francis met with cardinals and bishops who will take part in the upcoming Feb. 14, 2015 consistory during which he will elevate 20 new cardinals. Francis will formally elevate the 20 new cardinals at a ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica in the second such consistory of his pontificate. Like the first, Francis looked to the "peripheries" for new cardinals, giving countries that have never before had one — Tonga, Myanmar and Cape Verde — representation at the highest level of the Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Associated Press photo

Pope Smiley Face (pictured above at the Vatican yesterday) recently pontificated that “The choice to not have children is selfish.” Of course, Pope Smiley Face himself has never reproduced (that we know of, anyway).

Pope Smiley Face is all over the map.

First, he proclaims to heterosexuals that they don’t have to breed “like rabbits.”

Now, he says that to not have children is “selfish.”

What we need from Il Papa now, I suppose, is the Goldilocksian number of exactly how many children one “should” have. You know, that magic middle between being “selfish” and breeding like a rabbit.

In my book, most if not practically all instances of having a child are incredibly selfish acts.

This is quite a taboo thing to say in a heterosexist world, but I look to science, to truth and to reality, not to “scripture” written by ignorant men eons ago.

You see a little bundle of joy; I see yet another carbon footprint.

Fact is, most heterosexuals who have children (I’m being charitable and politically correct here by not referring to reproducing heterosexuals as “breeders,” by the way) do so mindlessly — they’re blindly obediently following the script that society has handed to them (be born, reproduce, die, repeat) and have no eye toward the larger picture at all.

That’s at best.

At worst, heterosexuals have entirely egotistical reasons for having children: they care what others think and say, and so they want to fit in by having children; they want to live through their children, who are only little extensions of their own outsized egos; they want someone to take care of them in their old age (which is, of course, a crapshoot anyway, isn’t it?).

More children means more mouths to feed, more schools and hospitals and roads to have to build, more food and drinking water to have to produce, more poverty, more disease, more starvation, more misery, more carbon emissions, more pollution, more land swallowed up for human use, more species that go extinct because of humankind — all in all, a worsened quality of life for everyone.

Births today significantly outstrip deaths today, and the planet isn’t going to expand magically to accommodate all of these new human beings. The results are quite predictable. I think of it as putting more and more fish into an aquarium or more and more rats into a cage. Again: The results are quite predictable.

When the ignoramuses of ages ago wrote that “God” commanded that we should be “fruitful and multiply,” there were far, far, far, far, far, far, far, fewer people on the planet than there are today. There still was plenty of room ages ago to be fruitful and to multiply.

Now, however, at more than 7 billion human beings on the planet (and counting), not only is the species Homo sapiens nowhere near being on the endangered species list, but, ironically, the long-term survival of Homo sapiens is endangered if human reproduction doesn’t slow down.

The most loving thing that one could do for the world is not to have any children, yet the backasswards Catholick Church — and others, of course — insist that to not have children is “selfish” (or, at least, that to have children actually is virtuous).

Of course, the Catholick Church, as well as humankind in general, apparently, always has loved misery, and misery loves company, and thus, overpopulation…

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NO ONE actually is shoving bacon-wrapped shrimp down your throat

Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee compares the legalization of same-sex marriage to forcing Jewish delis to serve bacon-wrapped shrimp, but a more apt comparison would be a bacon-wrapped shrimp restaurant refusing to serve non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals because the owners hate non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals…

Weren’t the Repugnican Tea Partiers going to be kinder and gentler after Mittens Romney lost to Barack Obama in November 2012?

When it comes to non-heterosexuals and the non-gender-conforming, the Repugnican Tea Partiers are demonstrating amply that they don’t care whether they still can win presidential elections or not.

Repugnican Tea Party Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (whose surname always has struck me as a bit, um, Brokeback…) recently reinstated allowable discrimination against non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming state employees (such discrimination had been outlawed in 2007 by his Democratic predecessor). There was no reason to do this (in Brokeback – er, Brownback’s – fifth year into his governorship) except for hatred, bigotry, mean-spiritedness and spite.

Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee (former governor of the wonderful state of Arkansas [cue the banjo; the lynching is about to begin!]) recently declared that expecting “Christo”fascists to accept others’ same-sex marriages is like forcing Jews to serve “bacon-wrapped shrimp” in their delis.

Wow.

How does ordained Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee know about the gay sex act that we faggots call wrapping the shrimp in bacon?

Anyway, Huckabee, of course, compares apples to oranges.

Same-sex marriages aren’t literally being forced upon others. If your own backasswards religious belief is that same-sex marriage is contrary to God’s wishes, then don’t marry someone of your sex (which, of course, no one is forcing you to do). It’s pretty fucking simple.

However, you don’t get to fucking force your fucktarded, backasswards, Dark-Ages-era religious beliefs upon others, and you don’t get to claim that others exercising their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, such as the freedom to marry whom they wish to marry, because such an exercise of such a freedom is offensive to you, somehow violates your rights.

I find “Christo”fascists to be dangerous. I see little difference between these theofascists here at home and the theofascists of ISIS. The only difference between American theofascists and the theofascists of ISIS is that the theofascists of ISIS are doing what the “Christo”fascists would do here at home if they could.

I find “Christo”fascists to be incredibly offensive, but do I get to claim that because I find their very existence to be deeply offensive to me, they lose their First-Amendment right of the freedom to be religious fucktards?

No, I don’t. And it works both ways.

As far as businesses serving the diverse members of the public goes I bring this up because of the same-sex-wedding-cake “controversy” and Huckabee’s having brought up a Jewish place of business, the deli – it long has been established (by Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) that businesses serving the general public legally may not refuse to serve customers based upon those customers’ race, color, religion or national origin. (Yes, sexual orientation needs to be added to that list of protected classes, and so should gender and gender expression. [That said, if you refuse to treat others as you would want to be treated because they’re not on the list of protected classes, you’re not much of a Christian, are you?])

If you hate Jews or Mormons or atheists, if you find their beliefs to be offensive to your own religious beliefs, you may not legally refuse to serve them in your place of business if it’s open to the public because of their beliefs. Does this prohibition against discrimination violate your First-Amendment rights? The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which has not been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court as unconsitutional, says that it doesn’t.

As a gay man, I’d never hire a (known-to-me) homophobe to make my wedding cake (the Old Testament has no prohibition against the serving or the eating of wedding cake, I’ll add), but what does it harm a wedding-cake business to make any wedding cake for anyone? You’re not forcing the wedding-cake business owner or employee to make a cake for his or her own forced same-sex marriage, are you? The wedding-cake business gets to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples and be homophobic at the same time. The wedding-cake business’ precious homophobia is not threatened at all; it gets to remain intact.

And in Alabama (cue the banjo again), which is just a hop, a skip and a jump from Huckabee’s Arkansas, state Supreme Court Chief “Justice” Ray Moore claims that Alabama does not have to follow a federal court’s recent ruling that the U.S. Constitution mandates that the state must allow same-sex marriages.

Wow.

Every state in the Union must follow the federal judiciary’s rulings. That’s how our constitutional government is set up. For a lesser jurisdiction to refuse to follow the federal judiciary is tantamount to treason. While I doubt that we’ll end up sending in the troops to Alabama, as we’ve had to do before* when an elected official (a stupid white man, of course) defied a federal court’s civil-rights-related order, Alabama does not get to remain in the Union and defy the orders of the federal judiciary. (And if we need to send in the troops again, in Alabama or in any other treasonous state, we should.)

Roy Moore needs to be removed from his post – again. (Yes, he was removed from the bench before, in 2003, for refusing, as state Supreme Court chief “justice,” to follow a federal court’s order to remove an illegal/unconstitutional monument of the Ten Commandments – a monument that he commissioned – from the grounds of the Alabama Judicial Building, which contains the state’s Supreme Court and other courts. He never should have been allowed back on the bench.**)

And, again, because it’s worth repeating: No one is forcing anyone to serve or to eat bacon-wrapped shrimp. If you don’t want to serve or to eat bacon or shrimp or bacon-wrapped shrimp, whether because you believe that a non-existent, Zeus-like deity prohibits it, whether because you are a vegetarian or whether because you just don’t like these food items, then by all means, don’t.

But those of us who want to indulge in bacon-wrapped shrimp have the freedom and the right to indulge in bacon-wrapped shrimp whether our indulgence offends you or not. You don’t have to indulge – you remain perfectly free not to – but nor may you discriminate against us because we do.

That is the issue here, and until and unless the Repugnican Tea Party fucktards get a grip, they’ll continue to lose presidential elections.

P.S. As to why the “Christo”fascists remain so opposed to non-heterosexuality and non-gender-conformity, I think these are the reasons:

  • Haters always have to have at least one group of people to hate, and non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals are the last class of people who do not have widespread federal legal protections against widespread discrimination.
  • The “Christo”fascists are terrified that once you start pulling on a thread (such as the thread of homophobia) of the tattered tapestry that is their bullshit belief system, the entire tapestry will come unraveled (because it will – but then again, it already has).
  • In a patriarchy, the male is valued and the female is devalued, and for a society’s males to be (or to be considered to be) feminine thus makes them devalued, and also “weakens” the patriarchal society because the patriarchal society needs a critical mass of he-men to survive. (We no longer exactly live in tribal groups that need a critical mass of warriors, and the patriarchy has been killing this nation slowly, but that’s another blog post.)

P.P.S. Since we’re on the topic of bacon-wrapped shrimp, I will comment further that I believe former Barack Obama adviser David Axelrod’s assertion, in his new book, that Obama had fully supported same-sex marriage when he was elected president in 2008 and only pretended that he had “evolved” on the issue to the point that he finally publicly came out in support of same-sex marriage in May 2012.

“Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church,” Axelrod reportedly wrote in his book, “and as [Obama] ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage.”

This is entirely believable. As I’ve noted here, in 1996, when Obama was running for the senate of the state of Illinois, he responded to a questionnaire, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” And about 60 percent to 70 percent of black voters in California reportedly voted against same-sex marriage in 2008 (with Proposition Hate). And California is a blue state. So rampant homophobia within the black community has been a very real phenomenon. (Black homophobia apparently has eased up some since Obama’s May 2012 pro-same-sex-marriage announcement, but at the same time, bigotry dies hard, and it’s hard to know to what degree Obama’s pronouncement actually changed hearts and minds within the black community and to what degree his pronouncement just decreased public homophobic pronouncements from the black community.)

At least Axelrod very apparently takes responsibility for his share of the blame for the very apparent lie about Obama’s “evolution” on the issue of bacon-wrapped shrimp.

*As a writer for the Christian Science Monitor put it:

… At this point, there is no difference between what Roy Moore is advocating here and what George Wallace did when he stood before a doorway at the University of Alabama in an effort to prevent African-Americans from enrolling in the school notwithstanding a federal court order that this must happen. In both cases, we have a politician – and make no mistake about it, Roy Moore is acting far more like a politician than a jurist here [Alabama’s Supreme Court “justices” are elected, not appointed] – who is appealing to outright bigotry and openly defying a federal court order.

Ultimately, the Supremacy Clause [of the U.S. Constitution] tells us that the federal courts will win this dispute, but it’s rather obvious that Moore and others like him will exploit this matter as much as they can before it’s over. Meanwhile, though, at least some of Alabama ’s gay and lesbian citizens are able to take advantage of the equality under the law they are entitled to. Let’s hope it isn’t too long before that expands to the rest of the state.

If same-sex marriage doesn’t expand to the entire state of Alabama quite soon, I say: Bring in the troops. Just like we (probably) should bring in the troops against ISIS. Theofascists must never be allowed to prevail in their oppression of others.

** Moore should have been disbarred in the state of Alabama for life, in my estimation. Such disbarment would have prevented his re-election to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2012 after his 2003 removal from the post by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

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Walker might walk away with his party’s nod for the White House (Part 2)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker participates in a panel discussion at the American Action Forum in Washington

Reuters photo

Wingnut Scott Walker (photographed above about a week ago in Washington, D.C.) tops recent polls of Repugnican Tea Party presidential preference in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Those traits of his that his party’s base sees as bonuses, however, would be deadly to him in a national race. 

Sure, it’s still just a bit less than a year before the first 2016 presidential primary season contests begin in Iowa and then New Hampshire (Iowa’s caucuses will be on January 18 and New Hampshire’s primary will be on January 26), but Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is maintaining his momentum for his party’s nomination.

In a recent poll of New Hampshire voters, Walker came in at No. 1, with 21 percent, followed at second place by Jeb of the Bush Dynasty, with 14 percent.

After a first-place win in Iowa and/or New Hampshire, the front runner’s momentum exponentially snowballs, so Walker must be happy about how he is polling in Iowa and New Hampshire right now (No. 1 in both states).

Prognosticator/god Nate Silver, meanwhile, gives Scott Walker and Jeb Bush each a 25-percent chance of winning the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination.

(Silver also, unfortunately, gives Billary Clinton a 78 percent chance of winning the Democratic Party’s 2016 persidential nomination, with Elizabeth Warren at a distant second place, with a 7-percent chance. [If Warren actually were to announce, I think, we’d see her polling jump.])

Jeb Bush’s challenges, of course, include the fact that the last “President” Bush (I have to use the quotation marks, since George W. Bush never was elected legitimately in the first place) was one of the worst presidents in our nation’s history (we still are recovering from his debacle in Iraq, replete with the resultant blowback that is ISIS, and from the economy that he thoroughly wrecked) and the fact that Jeb is considered to be too liberal by his party’s far-right nut jobs.

Also, Jeb’s been out of elected office for a bit more than eight full years now, adding weight to the argument that he’s running primarily because of his surname.

Walker’s biggest challenge (aside from the fact that he is an evil, heartless, soulless, lying, thieving, colossal asshole bought and paid for by the Koch brothers and other plutocrats) is his lack of charisma; however, none of these qualities that we sane individuals would consider to be negatives (such as being evil, having no charisma and being the plutocrats’ puppet) should harm Walker in the Repugnican Tea Party primary season (where, in fact, these qualities are considered to be bonuses).

Walker tosses around the word “God” enough and mouths enough 1950s-era platitudes about Capitalism, God’s Chosen Economic System (despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary), to keep his party’s deeply fucktarded base of “Christo”fascists, pro-plutocrats and jingoists happy (and, of course, his whiteness appeals to his party’s white supremacists, of which there are many).

And while Walker is despised by many if not even most in Wisconsin, to the majority in his party, even though he’s just yet another stupid white man running for the White House, as a presidential contender he has that fresh-car smell (as Barack Obama might put it).

But can Walker win the White House?

Oh, hell no. Very most likely not.

The fairly-charisma-free Billary Clinton (who, indeed, very most likely will win her party’s 2016 presidential nod if Warren stays out) is a giantess of charisma compared to Walker, and the national electorate as of late has been rejecting right-wing white men, such as John McCainosaurus and Mittens Romney. Those of us who aren’t right-wing white men (and that’s most of us Americans, and a growing number and percentage of us Americans) are sick and fucking tired of these stupid white men running the show. (Which is why it’s necessary for the millionaires and billionaires to buy elections and for the Repugnican Tea Party to pass legislation in the states ensuring that only the “right” people are able to cast a vote.)

Also, the centerpiece of Walker’s politics has been his relentless attacks against the working class and the middle class, to blame them (us) for his state’s (and, presumably, the nation’s) economic ills. He has been able to make this work in Wisconsin, with the help of his billionaire sugar daddies, but in a nation that still is recovering from the economy that the last Repugnican occupant of the White House destroyed, a candidate whose political history has consisted of blaming the victims of our economic problems for our economic problems won’t go over very well on the national level.

And, of course, there is, I believe, a hunger for our first female president. While I wish that our first female president were an actual progressive, and not a sellout DINO-weasel like Billary Clinton, with a Billary Clinton presidency, at the minimum we could say that finally, a woman was in the Oval Office (and not as a secretary or as first lady).

The fact is that our system of “democracy” has become so corrupt, and our collective political imagination has become so fucking bankrupt, that it indeed is fairly easy to predict, a year out, how things are going to pan out in Iowa and New Hampshire in January 2016.

Scott Walker will, I believe, emerge as his party’s 2016 presidential candidate. While Nate Silver gives Walker and Jeb an equal chance, no one, that I can see, has the appetite for a third Bush presidency — except, perhaps, for those whose surname is Bush.

And Billary will, I believe, emerge as her party’s candidate — unless Elizabeth Warren jumps in soon. If she does, she has a fighting chance, but if she doesn’t, it’s all Billary’s, for better or for worse.

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Walker might walk away with his party’s nod for the White House

Associated Press photo

Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Scott Walker (photographed above last week) came in at No. 1 for his party’s 2016 presidential nomination in a recent poll of Iowa voters. Funded by the Koch brothers and beloved by the anti-working-class teatards, Walker apparently has a real shot at his party’s nomination. (At the White House, not so much…)

First off, I loathe Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. The recording of him telling a radio host (whom he’d thought was one of the Koch brothers) — among other things — that he also had thought of planting fake labor-union troublemakers among the throngs of protesters in his state’s capital in 2011 in order to discredit the protesters (who were fighting for their collective-bargaining rights) was more than enough to end the slimy Walker’s political career forever, but, alas, Walker the Teflon weasel apparently has a grip on Wisconsin’s voters (well, he has an awful lot of help from his sugar daddies, of course).

Not that the charisma-free Walker’s Koch-fueled political shtick will do well on the national stage, but what does make Walker an attractive presidential candidate to the Repugnican Tea Party set, apparently, is that not only is he a “tea party” darling, but nationally he’s largely unknown. (I have paid a fair amount of attention to what has been going on in Wisconsin ever since Walker took the wheel, gave hundreds of dollars toward the Wisconsin cause [since it has nationwide implications], and I even went to a pro-Wisconsin-working-people and pro-labor-union rally here in Sacramento in early 2011 [at which there was a teatarded attempt to manufacture labor-union “thuggery”], but I’m in the minority of Americans who don’t live in Wisconsin, I’m sure.)

Walker’s biggest draw within his party is that his surname isn’t Bush or Romney or Christie. He is tarnished locally, but in politics, what does tarnish mean if you keep winning your elections? (Walker first was elected as governor in 2010, survived a recall election in 2012, and was elected to a second four-year term this past November. Unfortunately, Wisconsin has no term limits for its governor.)

And as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors hate the working class — even the teatards who are members of the working class (which is, I understand, most of them, if they indeed actually work) hate the working class, just like chickens supporting Colonel Sanders — Scott Walker is a very appealing candidate to them. He took on the labor unions and he won! Woo hoo! More socioeconomic misery for more working-class people!!! Gooooo plutocracy!!! U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!!

Bloomberg reports of Walker that

[A] Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, taken Monday through Thursday, shows Walker leading a wide-open Republican race with 15 percent, up from just 4 percent in the same poll in October. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was at 14 percent and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, stood at 10 percent. [Links are Bloomberg’s.]

So, at least for now, Walker has a bump, barely edging out Rand Paul for No. 1 in the top three in Iowa (the first state to hold a contest in the presidential primary season) — a top three that doesn’t include Jeb Bush or Chris Christie. (Mittens Romney, as you probably already are aware, had threatened to run for a third time but recently ruled out a third charm.)

I knew that Walker had presidential aspirations when he put out a book in 2013, and the fact that Elizabeth Warren put out a book last year perhaps — well, probably — similarly has fueled the speculation that she’ll run for president, if not this time then in the future. In November 2013, in fact, I speculated that the 2016 presidential race just might come down to Walker vs. Warren, and I stand by that speculation.

Warren, like Walker, has freshness as a candidate, especially compared to the beyond-stale Billary Clinton. And Warren consistently maintains a No.-2 spot in most recent polling for Democratic presidential preference. Were Warren to announce for 2016, we’d see her poll numbers shoot up dramatically, because the actual progressives who form the base of the Democratic Party (or at least a good chunk of it) are starving for a 2016 presidential candidate who is inspiring and genuine and truly populist, and that candidate isn’t Billary Clinton.

As I noted in November 2013, a Warren-Walker matchup would have my full attention and engagement. It would be a bad-ass battle between an actual populist and a Koched-up pseudo-populist. (And, of course, it would be an exciting opportunity to have our first female president [just not Billary!].)

True, in the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary season, Scott Walker just might go the way of those in his party who briefly led in the polls in the 2012 presidential primary cycle but who then sank back into relative nothingness, but again, the fact that he’s largely unknown and thus fresh to his party — and, of course, the fact that he is funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, who infamously have pledged to spend almost a billion dollars in the 2016 election cycle — make him, in my estimation, the strongest candidate for his party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Could Scott Walker win the White House? I doubt it, regardless of who the 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate turns out to be.

But if Walker wins his party’s presidential nomination and it appears that he might actually win the White House, that probably would be enough to induce me to hold my nose and support even Billary Clinton, should Warren not run this time and Billary emerge as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

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Jonathan Chait got it mostly right on the toxic identity politics of today

Jonathan Chait's epic race fail: How a story about racism and Obama goes horribly wrong

Left-of-center writer Jonathan Chait has committed the sin of telling the truth about our self-appointed political-correctness police, those who use their membership within an historically victimized and oppressed group to victimize and oppress others (men, mostly, and mostly white men, but sometimes white women as well). It indeed in so many quarters is open season on all white males, who are deemed automatically to be oppressors and victimizers because of their immutable characteristics of being male and being white. (As a gay white male, my non-heterosexuality gives me only so much cover for being a member of a class of victims, as homophobes widely consider homosexuality to be mutable. [Of course, it doesn’t fucking matter whether it’s mutable or not; we all should have the freedom to express ourselves sexually as we please, as long as we do so consensually.])

New York magazine writer Jonathan Chait started a shitstorm when he wrote about toxic PC (political correctness) police. Had he been completely wrong, he probably would have been ignored, but since he spoke so much unflattering truth, I’m one of only a handful of Internet commentators who have yet to comment on his comments.

First off, it’s necessary to describe the environment in which all of us Americans operate: to such a large degree stupid white men (emphasis there on “stupid”) still rule, as evidenced by the popularity of “American Sniper.” Not only is the Clint Eastwood film still No. 1, despite Eastwood’s penchant for talking to a vacant chair (actually, for “American Sniper’s” target audience, I’m sure that was in Eastwood’s favor), but the book American Sniper is No. 1 on amazon.com, and in amazon.com’s top-100-selling book titles there are no fewer than four different versions of the same fucking book (as I type this sentence) – plus an apparent knock-off book about yet another American sniper called The Reaper.

So mindless, blind worship of stupid, murderous (or at least violent or at least aggressive) white men widely misconstrued as “heroes” continues. (This could be its own blog piece, and indeed, was going to be, but I’ll get it over with here: “American sniper” Chris Kyle, who died by the sword as he lived by the sword, was no “hero.” He was part of an illegal and immoral occupying force in Iraq. As part of that illegal and immoral occupying force, he slaughtered a bunch of people who were, at least in their own eyes, defending their nation from a foreign occupying force [duh]. As Iraq had posed zero threat to the United States, as Iraq had not killed any Americans and had had no capability of killing Americans en masse [yeah, those Iraqi “WMDs” claimed by the war criminals who comprised the illegitimate Bush regime have yet to be found], there is no valid argument that Kyle was “protecting our freedoms” or some other jingoistic, Nazi-like bullshit. Kyle very apparently just really, really liked to slaughter people, and if he were Muslim instead of “Christian” and weren’t taking the big dirt nap, he probably would be a member of ISIS right now, slaughtering people left and right with gleeful abandon.)

So that is the nasty backdrop (part of it, anyway) against which those of us who aren’t stupid white men (again, emphasis on “stupid,” not on “white” or on “men”) or one of their worshipers must live in the United States of America.

That is the kind of background and context that Jonathan Chait’s piece is largely if not wholly missing, and I fault him for that fairly glaring omission, as well as for apparently not having allowed his piece to gestate long enough before birthing it upon the nation. (I often if not usually let something gestate for at least a few days before I finally give birth to it, such as this piece.) Further, the gravity of the topic — political correctness (which falls under the umbrella of identity politics) — could merit its own book, so no magazine article or blog piece (not even this one) could do it more than partial justice.

But Chait describes fairly well the phenomenon in which so many members of historically oppressed groups identify so much with being oppressed (whether these members as individuals actually have been very oppressed as individuals themselves or not) that they are hyper-vigilant about any signs of oppression.

Seriously — it used to be that people were just oppressed. And oppression was a bad thing. You didn’t want to be oppressed.

Now, being a member of an historically oppressed group is très chic. And apparently maintaining your membership in your très-chic group of oppressed people means constantly finding fresh meat, fresh new examples of how you have been oppressed, so if there aren’t any actual examples of how you have been oppressed, you’ll wildly exaggerate or even fabricate such “examples.”

Since you haven’t been (very) oppressed yourself lately, you’ll gladly piggy-back on to others’ (real or exaggerated or fabricated) oppression. That’s always fun.

If you didn’t jump on the Michael Brown bandwagon, for instance, to many that means that you are a white supremacist who supports the gunning down of black men, especially young black men, by white fascist cops who enjoy killing black men.

Never mind that it still remains quite unsettled as to whether or not Michael Brown actually went for the cop’s gun before the cop shot him dead. The cop claims that Brown did, and not only was the cop not indicted by a grand jury (which, indeed, might have been a bogus process), but the U.S. Department of Justice also declined to bring charges against the cop for civil-rights violations (granted, proving a civil-rights violation can be a high bar to clear, I know from personal experience).

It’s disturbing that so many people jumped to conclusions and have held fast to them. If your identity politics is that of the oppressed black American, then of course Michael Brown was innocent, a “gentle giant,” and was gunned down by whitey primarily if not solely for his race, and if your identity politics is that of the right-wing white person whose worldview at least verges on white supremacy if it isn’t already fully there, then of course Brown was a thug (and the phrase “black thug” would be redundant) and of course the white police officer only did what he had to do.

Either Brown went after the cop’s gun or he did not. (If I went after a cop’s gun, I’d expect to get shot.) The cop, under our existing (deeply flawed) legal structure, used deadly force against Brown legally or he did not. But whatever actually happened on that August day in Ferguson, Missouri, has little to nothing to do with identity politics, yet for many if not most Americans, their identity politics dictates the “facts.” That’s scary.

(The Eric Garner case, as I have written, at the bare minimum was a clear-cut case of manslaughter by the thuggish white cop, and, entirely unlike the Brown case, we have video of Garner incident, so “I can’t breathe” is an apt slogan of protest, whereas I never was on board with the “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” meme because there is no evidence that Brown ever put his hands up in surrender — there are only biased claims that he did.)

The case of Woody Allen, too, also wasn’t about the actual knowledge of actual facts but was about identity politics.

Women whom Rush Limbaugh might call “femi-Nazis” have asserted that of course Mia Farrow, being a woman, told the truth that Allen had molested their adopted daughter, even though the allegation came during a nasty custody battle — and that of course Allen, being a man, was guilty as charged. Never mind that none of us was there and has any actual knowledge of what did or what did not happen; we have only the claims and counter-claims of the members of a deeply broken family whose dirty laundry has been scattered all over the public square.

This is some highly toxic shit.

The case of Bill Cosby, though, and that of Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger when he was running for California governor in a bullshit recall election in 2003 that had amounted to a do-over election since the bumbling Repugnican candidate had lost the election in 2002: When several women have come forward publicly to state that a man has sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them, to call all of them liars (as so many did to the at-least six women who came forward about the past deeds of the future Gov. Groper) very most often is a misogynist, patriarchal thing to do.

I have little to no doubt in my mind that Bill Cosby (and Baby Daddy Schwarzenegger) serially sexually harassed and sexually assaulted women.

But actual victimization is diminished when victimization is falsely claimed or is claimed whether or not there is any evidence to support the claim of victimization — usually out of identity politics. Perversely, many if not even most members of an historically oppressed group very apparently want the latest example of possible victimization (such as the shooting death of Michael Brown) to be true victimization because, in their eyes, it strengthens their political power as claimants of oppression.

It’s perverse that oppression has morphed from something that no one wanted into something that so many cherish to the point that they’ll happily fabricate it if they deem that to do so will advance themselves somehow.

(In his piece, Chait correctly notes that “It [identity politics and its concomitant claims of perpetual and ubiquitous victimhood] also makes money. Every media company knows that stories about race and gender bias draw huge audiences, making identity politics a reliable profit center in a media industry beset by insecurity.” Indeed, both Slate.com and Salon.com, two of my favorite websites, have resident identity-politics writers, taking the feminist and the black angles, mostly, and I routinely read these writers’ pieces, and often if not usually I agree with them [Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie rocks], but sometimes, yeah, it’s apparent that they’re really milking it. [Sorry, Salon.com’s Brittney Cooper, but in his article Chait calls you out on your frequent hysteria and hyperbole fairly fairly.])

This professional “victimhood,” is, I suspect, what has eaten at Chait, but that he perhaps did not articulate well enough in his now-infamous article.

And of his article, this paragraph, I think, is the money shot:

If a person who is accused of bias attempts to defend his intentions, he merely compounds his own guilt. (Here one might find oneself accused of man/white/straightsplaining.) It is likewise taboo to request that the accusation be rendered in a less hostile manner. This is called “tone policing.” If you are accused of bias, or “called out,” reflection and apology are the only acceptable response — to dispute a call-out only makes it worse. There is no allowance in p.c. culture for the possibility that the accusation may be erroneous. A white person or a man can achieve the status of “ally,” however, if he follows the rules of p.c. dialogue. A community, virtual or real, that adheres to the rules is deemed “safe.” The extensive terminology plays a crucial role, locking in shared ideological assumptions that make meaningful disagreement impossible.

The emphasis there is mine. In the most rabid “p.c. culture,” indeed, “There in no allowance … for the possibility that the accusation [of an act of oppression or victimization] may be erroneous.” Within this toxic, tightly closed-off atmosphere, facts and evidence have no place at all; the politics of group identity rules supreme. Woody Allen molested his adopted daughter. Period. If you disagree with this, then you hate women and/or you are a pedophile yourself. Michael Brown was a “gentle giant” (never mind the very inconvenient video footage of him roughing up a convenience store clerk while he stole cigarillos from him on the day of his death) who was gunned down in cold blood by a white supremacist police officer. Period. If you disagree with this, then you are a white supremacist.

And indeed, as Chait writes, “A white person or a man can achieve the status of ‘ally,’ however, if he follows the rules of p.c. dialogue.” Yup. That means going along with all manner of blatantly bullshit groupthink in order to get along, lest you be called a misogynist or racist/white supremacist or worse.

The goal of “p.c. culture” as it stands today indeed so often seems to be to push all white men into a corner, indeed, to destroy all white men or, minimally, to make all white men feel perpetually guilty (and thus perpetually disempowered) because, of course, merely by their having been born white and male, they inherently are the evil victimizers and oppressors of others (of women and of black people, mostly, but of other groups, too, of course). It’s not their individual deeds that make white males automatically-guilty victimizers and oppressors, but their mere membership within the group of white males, you see.

This is the sorry state of affairs even though the origin of “p.c. culture” was the fact that white men were pushing too many others into a corner due to those others’ immutable differences from white men, and pushing others into a corner based upon their immutable differences from oneself is a bad thing to do.

To such a large degree, the victims (well, in so many cases, the “victims”) have become the victimizers, and today the victims don’t even have to be actual victims to call themselves victims, and their actual victimization of others isn’t victimization because they are victims, and a victim cannot also be a victimizer, you see.

Get it? These are the new rules.

These new rules have got to go.

Jonathan Chait got it (mostly) right, which is why we’ve seen the reaction to him that we’ve seen.

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