Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. does not stand a chance of succeeding in his campaign for the presidency — he’s weird, he’s loony, he’s a crackpot. If he were a greedy sex-pest and liar, maybe he’d do better, but Trump has a lock on that niche. Now he’s running as an independent, which means Joe Biden is probably a bit relieved. Not that he had cause to worry, but at least the wacky anti-vaxxer isn’t tainting the Democratic ticket, and now maybe it’s Trump’s turn to be concerned.

Could Kennedy pull votes away from Trump? Trump’s campaign team certainly seems to think so, at least according to Shelby Talcott at Semafor. She reports that “internal campaign polling suggests his expected third party bid could draw more votes from Trump than President Joe Biden in a general election.” In their typical self-aggrandizing style, a Trump campaign member told Semafor they plan on “dropping napalm after napalm on his head reminding the public of his very liberal views.”

They may find that this is a more difficult task than their belligerent rhetoric suggests. Because the slice of voters Trump and Kennedy could be competing over aren’t defined by political beliefs that map neatly onto concepts like “liberal” or “conservative.” Instead, they’re fighting over the crank vote: People who are addicted to gobbling down kooky, bizarre and above all, false information. The QAnon crowd, in other words.

Splitting the crank vote and diminishing their ability to poison the election sounds like good news to me.

It’s also good to see the words of WB Yeats apply to the far right. Fracture away!


  1. hemidactylus says

    RFK Sr was one of the players in the chess game of the Cuban Missile Crisis which happened during an October years before I was born.

    RFK Jr is an embarrassing shameless jackass.

    In somewhat related news another twit has spoken:

    “New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers challenged Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce to a debate Tuesday on the topic of vaccine safety, with Rodgers saying presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and former top infectious disease official Anthony Fauci should also be involved, after the two football stars spent the past week exchanging jabs over their positions on Covid vaccines.”

    Though injured early in the season so not playing, the Jets may want to rethink adding him to their roster. Will they care? Is he still doing the hallucinogens?

    I’m no Swiftie but am growing quite fond of Travis Kelce. He should ignore the misinformed ideologue dingbat Rodgers. A “debate” will do no good and will merely add hot air to RFK Jr’s sails.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    …with eleven billion covid vaccine doses distributed, if vaccines really were more dangerous than the disease itself we should have seen an apocalyptic die-off
    (BTW I got a vaccine dose today. I am looking forward to turning into a zombie).

  3. wzrd1 says

    Well, just as long as it’s mere anarchy. No advanced anarchy, the GOP can’t withstand the competition.

    hemidactylus, I never could figure out the fascination some people have for the opinions of someone who rams his head into other players heads. I mean, if I need surgery, I’m not about to ask a linebacker to perform it, I’ll ask a surgeon to do so. It’s nearly as bad as asking an actor for their professional opinion on something far outside of their education and experience base.
    Which ends up like asking an onion what it’s like to be meat.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    We need another independent right-wing candidate that mimics what Republicans think billionaires behave like. RFK is not vulgar and boorish enough to be up there with serial sexual assaulter Trump (SSAT).

  5. drsteve says

    So RFK Jr is literally a falconer, does that make the non-loony electorate the falcon that can’t hear his cry?

  6. wzrd1 says

    birgerjohansson, good for you! My physician’s office isn’t offering the vaccine, instead referring patients to their local pharmacies.

  7. wzrd1 says

    hemidactylus @ 6, thinking of three at once myself. RSV, flu and COVID.
    Had a nasty version of flu once, as in six months to recover from moderately. Had COVID, modulated by the vaccine and only resulting in a moderate heart murmur.*
    RSV killed my older brother.**
    Death follows us all, it’s part and parcel of life. But, when it comes for me, it may win, but it’ll remember meeting me quite well.
    Likely by being issued a new pair of shoes, with the laces tied together.

    *Moderate, my balls. Sounds like one’s blowing on a microphone when listening to that valve location.

    **Not confirmed, as there were no tests available at that time, but entirely consistent with his symptoms.

  8. robert79 says

    This is why I’m in favour of multi party (coalition) governments. The loony fringe tends to get obsessed about adhering to just the right conspiracy-theory/ideology/racial-group-to-hate, everyone else are obviously crazy, so they just splinter up and never get a majority. I wonder how many votes Trump would get if the US were a 4 or 5 party country instead of you’re with us or against us rep/dems.

  9. wzrd1 says

    GerrardOfTitanServer @ 12, nope!
    No fucking parties that’ll simply reestablish the idiocy.
    Frankly, go for full communications to all of the populace and total democracy and the anarchy that ensues until a new, better homeostasis is established.
    Well, right after killing off all who want a scarcity economy…
    I suggest starving them to death by removal of all servants.
    Yeah, horrific, but entirely natural selection.

    Well, back to watching the film “Hanna”.
    Previous film, “Becky”.
    Exceptional films in US culture, reality in the real world.
    But, as the man crooned, “Oh, what a wonderful world…”.
    Well, according to mankind’s desires, anyway.

  10. KG says

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world

    It’s a nice line, but consider the irony of the final lines of the same poem (“Second coming”):

    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    When the “rough beast” of fascism was born, Yeats, always an anti-democrat, was an enthusiastic cheerleader for it, a supporter of the Blueshirts, Ireland’s fascist movement.

  11. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 16

    I’m pretty sure that Yeat’s was referring to those terrifying Bolsheviks, women suffragettes and “Free Love” practitioners that were threatening his Cat-lick* values of theocratic autocracy and sexual repression.

  12. christoph says

    @birgerjohansson, #3: Careful-it might turn you into a hideous rampaging mutant instead.

  13. hemidactylus says

    christoph @18
    Nah, the only hideous rampaging mutants after vaccination are our B-cells, more finely tuned to match their targets, until said targets mutate too and then they aren’t as much. But even then the antibodies should satisfice, though not optimized. The world is a much better place with the vaccines than without them.

  14. wzrd1 says

    numerbois, all are equal zero targets to me. Still get killed before they even think of performing surgery on me.

    Howard Brazee, agreed, that doesn’t mean we hire another lunatic to rule the insane asylum.

    Now, do excuse me, my vaccine induced antibodies are arming my heat seeking moisture missiles.
    Or well, an early dinner is nearly done, being largely leftovers boiling alongside a chicken leg, which is reality, rather than some magic missiles.
    Pity, nukes was my first notion, chili con carne, with nukes.
    Trust me, me and beans, other than oddly, soybeans, that’s a nuke.
    And dinner has a fuck ton of edamame, which I quite like.

  15. numerobis says

    Are you drunk?

    Anyway, I think you’re saying you’d ask your surgeon whether they played football and if so refuse to let them go ahead with the operation?

  16. wzrd1 says

    numerobis, I’ll ask a surgeon anytime surgery is indicated. I’ll not ask a fucking football player or actor.

  17. hemidactylus says

    wzrd1 @23
    Would you abide by the legal opinions of former NFL defensive tackle Alan Page if you were a resident in Minnesota up until 2015?

  18. numerobis says

    I think their opinion is quite clear: if they have been a football player whose has had sexual relations, then wzrd1 will not allow them to provide surgery.

    Personally I don’t usually perform pre-operation interviews to decide whether the surgeon is qualified, relying instead on the medical board to do that, but wzrd1 is what wzrd1 is. I’m unclear why the particular combination of sexual activity and a particular sport is disqualifying but oh well.

    As for Kelce and Rodgers, they don’t seem to have any medical qualifications, so sure, don’t seek them out for such. And Duverney-Tardif seems to be aiming more at public health than surgery despite his earlier training, seems to have changed his focus in the pandemic.

  19. numerobis says

    (I’d be interested to know whether past acting, or past playing football and having sex, excludes more surgeons.)

  20. nomdeplume says

    Bobby Kennedy was one of my (very rare) political heroes.

    His appalling son shares with Trump the ability to allow, encourage, his followers, to be their worst selves.

  21. bcw bcw says

    Seth Meyers:
    “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced yesterday he is dropping out of the Democratic primary and running for president as an independent.”

    “Cos’ like his vax card says, he never had a shot.”

  22. whheydt says

    As regards surgeons… After I had surgery for a broken leg (“displaced fracture of the right tibial plateau”; I don’t recommend getting one), the surgeon was late for one follow up visit. It was on a Monday and he’d had to go see a patient he’d operated on over the weekend for a compound leg fracture. There had been a football game in Oakland. One of the visiting players had the break. The doctors with the visiting team asked the local doctors who they would recommend to put their player back together. The name of the surgeon that operated on me was first on the list. So, for people for whom money was no object, he was–apparently–the “go to” guy. And, yes, he did a fine job on my leg. Even closed everything up so one can barely see the scar.

  23. bcw bcw says

    Someone did point out that this will be the first season for Aaron Rodgers without any embarrassing fumbles on the field.

  24. birgerjohansson says

    NitricAcid @ 32
    “Queen of Canada” has a nice “last king of Scotland” ring.

  25. Louis says

    I might not take political opinions from a football player, but I would from the lead guitarist of Rage Against The Machine.

    I will also happily discuss chemistry (and have been privileged to do so) with a former bandmate of said guitarist, from the days when they were both at Harvard.


  26. KG says

    Akira McKenzie@17,

    Yes, I agree, but the poem (particularly the lines already quoted, and “the worst are full of passionate intensity”) fits fascism at least as well as Bolshevism, and far better than anythnig else – and it was written in 1919 and published in 1920, after the Bolshevik seizure of power, but before Mussolini’s “March on Rome” in 1922.

  27. numerobis says

    As regards the centre not holding; David Duke without the baggage and more recently open traitor Scalise has the support of just barely more than half the GOP, and can’t seem to get the gavel.

  28. Rob Grigjanis says

    KG @35:

    the poem (particularly the lines already quoted, and “the worst are full of passionate intensity”) fits fascism at least as well as Bolshevism, and far better than anythnig else

    When he wrote it, WWI had recently ended, the bloody struggle for Irish independence was in full swing, and the flu pandemic had nearly killed his wife. What inspires great poetry? Who cares. It’s brilliant, resonant imagery for dread and impending doom. That transcends ideology.

    PS Akira: Yeats was certainly an elitist, but his family was Protestant Anglo-Irish, while he had mystic leanings. Not “Cat-lick” at all.

  29. KG says

    What inspires great poetry? Who cares. It’s brilliant, resonant imagery for dread and impending doom. That transcends ideology.

    I disagree – I can’t read it without remembering what an utter shit Yeats was.

  30. Rob Grigjanis says

    KG @38: Fair enough. One’s personal reaction to art could be coloured by knowledge of the artist’s life. I imagine Picasso, Caravaggio, Gauguin, Wagner (among many) could induce similar feelings in some.