Bonus Content Wednesday!

« July 2015 »

Memo to Brian Stelter, Wesley Clark, Steve King, and Scott Walker: YOU ARE DUMB.

Yes, I took a day or so off due to sleep deprivation due to a power outage due to old age keeping me from bouncing back from shit like that the way I used to. But I'm making it up to you. Not only does today's column feature FOUR IDIOTS SAYING THE DAMNDEST THINGS, each one gets a little more attention than usual. Don't say I never gave ya nothin'.

"But why only now? I mean I've seen a lot of comments online, here is one I'll read. It says, 'Trump has been calling Mexicans rapists for weeks, but the thing that will finally sink in with journalists is him being mean to John McCain.' You think that's a fair critique, that Trump has said all sorts of things, and it's only now for some reason that this is the line that's been drawn?" - CNN's Brian Stelter, echoing a bunch of comments.

This actually isn't that difficult a question to answer. It's bascially a reflex action. Since 9/11, there's been an instantaneously Pavlovian response by most of political America, including the media, to immediately attack anyone who criticizes anyone who's ever been associated with the military, except for people those self-same groups decree to be "traitors" (Chelsea Manning, Bowe Bergdahl).

John McCain, thanks to being beloved by the Beltway insiders and the punditocracy, was able to successfully parlay that sentiment as a shield against criticism in a way, funnily enough, that John Kerry was unable to. So even though what Donald Trump said about McCain was no more inflammatory or vile than anything else Trump's said (and possibly a little bit less, since unlike his other execrable opinions, this one's at least based upon factual knowledge), the reaction kicked in like antibodies going after tiny Raquel Welch.

The key to understanding the Republican reaction to Trump's attack on McCain is that accuracy and disingenuousness are not mutually exclusive. Republicans absolutely should condemn Trump for being a shitty shit shitheel. But just because they should and did doesn't mean they mean it when they do. And even if they do mean it, it doesn't mean they're not doing it for purely selfish, politically self-serving reasons. One politically self-serving reason for each percentage point Trum gains over his closest opponent.

"In World War II, if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech, we put them in a camp, they were prisoners of war... If these people are radicalized and they don’t support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States as a matter of principle, fine. It’s their right and it’s our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict." - Former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark, with an all-too common reaction to the Chattanooga shooting.

Here's an important tip. If, when expressing a political viewpoint, you use the phrase "we put them in camps" as a positive example to support your point, something's gone horribly wrong, and nobody's going to believe you later when you "clarify" your statement to insist that you would never support putting people in camps based on their religion.

And you know, fairly recently, after a mass shooting inspired by a violent ideology and a symbol that showed a complete lack of support for the United States, nobody suggested putting Lynyrd Skynyrd fans in camps. Or even members of the Ku Klux Klan. No, we just suggested that maybe the government shouldn't fly the anti-government flag, and after decades of pushback, were barely successful in getting that to happen in two places.

And of course, we're now learning that this so-called radicalized enemy combatant was actually a fucked-up kid on a cocktail of prescription drugs, and the only "camps" we put them into are expensive rehab clinics paid for by their politician parents. Unless they're ostensibly Muslim or at least have a Middle Eastern name, I guess.

"What does Julian Castro know? Does he know that I'm as Hispanic and Latino as he?” - America's Stupidest Congresscritter, on Twitter.

You know what the best part of this tweet is? I'll tell you. Nobody has any fucking clue what it means. Julian Castro said something about the GOP kissing the Latino vote goodbye, and King responded with this. Nobody knows why.

People have tried, of course. They've double-checked King's background to make sure that, no, there's no way he's Latino or Hispanic. They've reached out to King for comment and been rebuffed. There's been some idle speculation. But NOBODY FUCKING KNOWS.

The most charitable speculation is that since Julian Castro is American, he doesn't get to be Latino or HIspanic anymore, and thus Steve King, who is also not Latino or Hispanic, is as Hispanic as Castro. This is certainly within Steve King's batshit worldview, but I think it's hilariously telling that a sitting United States Congressman can tweet something that nobody understands and it's not Chuck Grassley doing it.

"I don't have an opinion on every single issue out there. To me, that's, I don't know. I don't know the answer to that question."” - Scott Walker, asked whether or not being gay was a choice.

Scott Walker does this a lot. Lots of candidates do this a lot. It's a way of pretending you don't hate gay people / believe in global warming / believe in evolution while leaving some doubt in the minds of the people you might piss off by taking a stand. The question is, why is this acceptable?

These people are powerful politicians with access to lots of resources and plenty of time. Scott Walker should be given a week to do research, come up with an opinion, and state whether or not he believes being gay is a choice or not. There's plenty of stuff on the Internet on both sides he can read up on. It's not a difficult intellectual exercise. Even if he comes up with the wrong answer, at least he'll have come up with an answer.

"I don't know" is not an acceptable long-term answer in the Information Age. If I don't know something, and I need to know it, I find it out. Scott Walker feels there are thing he doesn't need to know, or pursue knowing, while still getting to maybe be the president. The media is happy to agree with him. And that's why we're all doomed.