The Conscience of Conservatives Is Unconscious

Brett Stephens, writing in the NYTimes:

Fox was always about influence, as much as money, for Murdoch. But, executed well, it could have elevated conservatism in the direction of Burke, Hamilton and Lincoln, rather than debase it in the direction of Andrew Jackson, Joe McCarthy and Pat Buchanan. …

The shame of Rupert Murdoch is that he wasn’t the man to do it. It doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

The shame of conservatives is that not a single one of them is the man or woman to do it.

That Rupert Murdoch failed doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

That the GOP as a whole has no interest in denouncing insurrection and open invitation to sedition means it can’t be done.

When you have zero congressional Republicans moving to expel MTG for her “soft secession” plan, or any of the other Republicans for their various secession plans (:cough: Texit :cough:) it should be obvious to everyone that there is no conservative voice that is not an echo of Father Coughlin: all the rest have gone silent.

We are told that this is a mere case of laryngitis among the ethical and reasonable Republicans — told again and again by people like Bret Stephens.

But this is not that. Whatever the conservatives who consider themselves ethical and rational tell themselves to comfort each other in the night, they have traded their voices to Orange Ursula and are desperately afraid of even attempting to get them back.

There will be no conservative voice of reason, much less intelligence, until the left destroys the new movement for secession and/or fascism.

At that point, voices freed from their magical confinement, Stephens will swoop in and declare victory on behalf of conservative values and lament that trans people don’t pay more honour to the heroes who can hate us even while not quite taking to the streets to murder in the cause of installing a government who would shatter our souls, end our lives, and then blame us — using our deadnames over our dead bodies — for our own genocidal victimization.

Lamenting the imperfections of Murdoch does not make you the man of principle you wish the world to see. Hell, it doesn’t even cause us to see a fragment, a shadow of that man in you.

Go home, Stephens. Hide beside the lintel of your door, one hand on a shotgun, never certain until the conflict is over whom you would shoot if you emerged, but too terrified ever to place yourself in the position where you might have to make that choice. Demonstrate all the bravery and heroism of the white Citizens’ Councils of 1963’s Mississippi, before Newt Gingrich could destroy the party you seek to praise, but we seek to bury.

Ben Shapiro Defends Harlan Crow

Let’s have a conversation about Shapiro’s defence of Harlan Crow:


Well, but you kind of miss the point there, Shapiro, dear boy, don’t you? It’s certainly unusual for people to surround themselves with reminders of the things that they hate, but it’s also something that a human being could do. So far, you’re not wrong.

But here’s the thing: If you surround yourself with things that evoke hatred in you, then your feelings are feelings of hatred and your thoughts are thoughts of hatred. And your hateful thoughts will inevitably spawn hateful ideas. Those hateful ideas will become hateful policies that you invent or support or even adopt because of your hatred.

And that’s the ball game.

If your thoughts are thoughts of hatred and your policies are policies of hatred, then your government is a government of hatred and at that point you can call your movement whatever it is you like. You can even name yourselves the IZANs for all the good it will do. A government of hatred, acting against the people it hates, is a government indistinguishable from Stalin’s or Hitler’s.

Even under your theory, Ben, Harlan Crow is a Nazi.



Marina Zolotova: The Revolution

So the Belarussian journalist who edited and just got sent to jail for a decade+ for the crime of telling the truth when the people in Belarussian power didn’t want her to? Sure as hell looks like a dyke to me.

Okay, yeah, I’m stereotyping, but if she is a dyke, I’m not at all surprised. Why? Well, here’s what I want to say about that:

This is why they’re afraid of us. The dykes, the trannies, the Black preachers from Georgia. We’ve seen shit at it’s pretty damn bad (even if many of us haven’t seen it at its absolute worst), and we responded by speaking up about what was important to us anyway.

When a Black preacher looks a white supremacist in the eye and says, “You don’t know Jesus,” or when a dyke looks a man in the eye and says, “Fuck off, no one here cares about your penis,” or when a trans person says, “No, you don’t get to know what’s in my pants before we start dating. Prove to me you’re kind, trustworthy and attractive and maybe you’ll find out,” we turn entire worlds upside down. White people don’t own Black folk OR Christianity, straight men don’t own women, and trans people aren’t desperately lying to get our ‘nads off, you cis folk are just begging to get in our shorts.

And when we’re willing to tell the truth even when it counters such cherished myths, what else might we contradict? What other lies might we disprove? And how will our masters keep us under control when we’re so obviously persisting in the face of existing mountains of pressure, of intimidation, of outright threat?

What more can they threaten us with? Jail? You think that’s going to stop Marina Zolotova? You think that’s going to stop me?

No, they are desperate and afraid, the right wing, desperate and afraid of change, but even more desperate and more afraid of the people like us. The people who simply won’t shut up when ordered, who won’t even shut up when attacked, when jailed, when brutalized.

They are terrified. And they say that they’re terrified of injustice. Of unjust prison sentences. Of the government being weaponized. But they’re not. They revel in these things. They depend upon these things.

No, in the end, for all their screaming about cancel culture, their most paralyzing fear is that we simply will not shut up.

Sure, they sentenced Zolotova today, but there are a ton more outsiders who don’t depend on the system’s approval for our worth.

And we simply will not shut up.

This comment is not about the murders of MtF trans people

But I think you cissies can learn something from our experience.

The murders of MtF trans folk are very often rage-filled, with multiple stab wounds or gunshots, and these assaults preferentially target our breasts and our genitals. Our murderers wanted, as it were, to erase our transness along with our lives. They wanted to rid the world of transness. It’s a genocidal impulse made viscerally personal.

It is, of course, hideous enough that trans people have been subjected to such murders, but historically the media outlets reporting on those murders would deadname victims, would call us men in women’s clothing when our names weren’t to hand, and in other ways would work to portray us as anything but ourselves.

In short, our murderers attempted to erase us, and the media chose to complete the erasure. This wasn’t neutral reporting, news outlets were choosing to assist our murderers, even to the point of completing their genocidal work.

The United States and a number of other “Western democracies” are in crisis because would-be fascists are attacking democratic governance itself. To say, as Biden has, that such people are anti-democratic is to tell an obvious truth that the fascist-leaning themselves tell each other every day. The more outrageous and ambitious among them then pass that on to the rest of the US:

We do not trust elections

they say.

We will not tolerate the general rule of law, but we will use the law to attack our political opponents,

they say.

And in the face of these things, the media chooses to admonish the anti-fascists, the leftists, even the Democrats and other institutionalists for language that the media insists will sow distrust and spark violence.

Do not accept this narrative. Do not tolerate this narrative to be spread in your presence. The fascist and fascist leaning are working with vigor to blame their own division, hatred, and violence on anyone but themselves, and this media narrative does not report on fascist violence: it completes the fascists’ task of delegitimizing government and justifying its overthrow by any means necessary.

Apparent neutrality is not the same as actual neutrality, and the media have a particularly shameful history of adopting a guise of neutrality while forwarding the cause of violence.

When the authoritarian, anti-democratic mob assaulted the US seat of government on 6 January, 2021, it was with the intent of preventing democratic rule. When two thirds of House Republicans voted to oppose certification of the 2020 presidential election this seemingly separate event was another effort with the same goal: to end democratic rule. They may make noises of protest to dissociate themselves from the insurrection, but their own actions show them attempting to complete it.

Even now our media treat McCarthy and the other House Republicans who voted to oppose democracy as if they are correct to be offended when Biden calls out “extreme MAGA republicans” as anti-democratic and semi-fascist. Like the House Republicans on the night of 6 January, the reporters and commentators who accept and repeat this framing are not neutral: they are working to complete the fascists’ goal of delegitimizing the Democratic Party and of democracy itself.

What will you do to call the media to account? Will you be as outraged and as active as the trans people who protested the coverage of our murders? You should be.

Time is short. Choose to act.

Mano’s Optimism, Solnit’s Reassurances and Progressive Momentum

Mano has a new post up quoting extensively (and agreeing with) a Rebecca Solnit essay in The Guardian that would have us believe that January 6th is not the sign of a rising movement which requires effort to oppose, but the last gasps of a dying political faction drowning under the waters of an unstoppable progressive flood. From the signing of the Declaration of Independence until victory in cases she mentions (Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, and Obergefell v. Hodges) to others not mentioned but surely in her thoughts (Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Texas v. Johnson, and Bostock v. Clayton County), accompanied by scores of other victories in major social arenas and uncountable victories on the individual level, Solnit sees a steady direction of flow in the waters of history, and imagines this is entails a liberatory momentum which seemingly cannot be reversed (“The right is trying to push the water back behind the dam.”) Here is a small portion of her argument:

Michelle Alexander wrote a powerful essay arguing that we are not the resistance. We, she declared, are the mighty river they are trying to dam. I see it flowing, and I see the tributaries that pour into it and swell its power, and I see that once firmly grounded statues and assumptions have become flotsam in its current.

… You have to remember how different the past was to recognize how much has changed.

[Read more…]

Oh my god, I’m Chidi.

So I had never seen a single episode (or even outtake) from the TV show “The Good Place”. I knew it was a show about a hypothetical heaven & that they explored morality, but… that was about it.

Today I finally popped on an episode and now I’m halfway through the third. Turns out, as both of you probably already know, that the conceit of the show is that there’s a mixup and someone who doesn’t belong in heaven gets there. Wanting to stay, she enlists the help of someone who was introduced to her as her soul mate, but who quite obviously isn’t.

[Read more…]

Fucking Latvia. I bet this is rq’s fault somehow.

Apparently there was a secret plot hatched in Latvia 5 millennia ago to release Yersinia pestis into the world in order to take down Constantinople, usher in the Dark Ages, and then prolong them by sweeping through the entirety of Europe in the 14th Century. Per Agence France Presse:

Researchers said Tuesday they had found its first known victim: a hunter-gatherer who lived 5,000 years ago in what is now Latvia, whose remains carried the Yersinia pestis bacteria that causes the disease.

“The analyses of the strain we identified shows that Y. pestis evolved earlier than thought,” Ben Krause-Kyora, head of the aDNA Laboratory at the University of Kiel in Germany, told AFP.

Notice how they aren’t even investigating the possibility that Y. pestis escaped from an early Latvian virology lab? Yet more evidence of widespread conspiracy. The only way to combat this is to rename the Black Death. From now on, we’re calling it the Latvian Plague.