aid and abet

The Donald Trump Show (Business Acumen)

Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference [CPAC], 6 March 2014, at National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“Trump hiring Steve Bannon might go down as the worst campaign hire of all time.”

Eric Kleefeld

This is a point worth considering.

First off, it opened up the field for Hillary Clinton’s blistering speech yesterday against the alt-right, as well as the Clinton campaign’s other attacks linking Trump to not just Breitbart, but to Klansmen and other sundry white supremacists.

Next, the Trump campaign’s clumsy efforts to deny its alt-right connections has become utterly impossible. In the latest example, Trump himself got tripped up by Anderson Cooper. After the candidate claimed, “Nobody even knows what it is … this is just a term that was given that—frankly, there’s no alt-right or alt-left.” Cooper had only to point out that Bannon himself proclaimed Breitbart to be the voice of the alt-right. Trump’s reply: “I don’t know what Steve said.”

Certainly, it makes for a neatly-packaged talking point to call Donald Trump the candidate of the internet trolls, but the label also happens to be true. And in that context, there really is a method to the madness.

(more…)

Advertisements

An American Disgrace

Justice is blind ... just kidding. No, really, did you read the Sixth Circuit ruling? Jaded eyes, jaded eyes ....

“Almost seven years ago, a troubled 11-year-old girl reported that she had been raped―twice―in her Northwest Washington neighborhood. Despite medical evidence of sexual assault, records show that no suspects were arrested and the cases were given only sporadic attention by the police. Instead, in the second case, the police had the girl ... charged with filing a false report.”

Joanna Walters

Let us be blunt: Why do we try so hard to aid and abet rapists?

Try it this way: Every rape survivor is a victim; not every victim survives. There are enough in our society who resent the survivors so deeply that they will labor to continue victimization.

Perhaps law enforcement in D.C. envies the rapists, since the best police seem able to do is taking part after the fact.

Consider that this one case has been going on for seven years

Last fall, after inquiries from The Washington Post, the department launched new investigations into the cases and the way they were handled, according to the Bests and a law enforcement officer familiar with the matter.

―but it’s only when the press is sniffing out the trail that―

The Bests say that after The Post approached the police, [DC Police Chief Cathy L.] Lanier telephoned the family to apologize.

Still, the department refusess to confirm any of this is going on.

It is a hard story to read. It is a discouraging story, too. The thought occurs, “And yet we are expected to give law enforcement our unequivocal support”, but then dances away in shame because, really, are we really going to dredge up the bit about how the police expect “unequivocal support” for their actions?

And, yes, this is a discussion Americans need to be having.

What support do we owe law enforcement when it aids and abets rape?

And, yes, this becomes political, too. What happens in D.C. falls under Congressional purview. Let us see if the Republican bicameral majority has what it takes to govern, or if they will just let this one go as their silent―(“We gave at the office”)―contribution to rape culture.

This is unacceptable. Yet this is what we do, and this is how we do it.

A child is raped, throw her in jail. How do we begin accounting for everything wrong about this outcome?

This is America. And this is a disgrace.

____________________

Walters, Joanna. “An 11-year-old reported being raped twice, wound up with a conviction”. The Washington Post. 12 March 2015.

Baltimore police union releases statement on NYPD shootings”. 21 December 2014.

Another Look at Voters and What They Just Voted For

The U.S. Capitol is pictured at dawn in Washington D.C. on Oct. 15, 2013. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA)

And that’s where the confusion kicks in. The American mainstream strongly backs the same policy agenda Democrats want, but that same mainstream just elected a Congress that will make it impossible for Americans to get what they say they support.

Steve Benen

It might seem to need some unpacking, but in truth the point holds.

There is, for instance, the temptation to point out the Senate shift, and remind that this was the “mainstream” in places like Iowa, where voters clearly prefer uneducated, tinfoil trash and threats of sedition from elected officials. Or Kansas, where voters are cheering on the destruction of the state government. Or Colorado, where 2010 saw Sen. Michael Bennet win a narrow victory, but only because it was a statewide election, and just enough voters were offended at the idea of sending a prosecutor who aids and abets rape to the U.S. Senate; it should be noted that in the state’s Fourth Congressional District, Colorado voters had no qualms about sending the abettor to the House of Representatives. Of course, voters in the states’ Fifteenth Legislative District also sent a paranoid, homophobic exorcist to the legislature, and in the overlapping Fifth Congressional District, returned Rep. Doug “Tar Baby” Lamborn to the House in celebration of ignorance and hatred. Looking at the Senate swing, it’s easy enough to fall back to the comfort that, for the most part, Democrats lost where they were expected to lose.

But a broader picture of voters can also be found in the midterm election; Republicans made enormous gains in state government across the nation. Certes, in a state like Washington, where ballot measures were the only statewide votes, things went about as expected; we don’t match the national trend, but that in part is because we had nothing to do with the question of Senate control.

But it seems this will be the defining legacy of the 2014 midterms. Voters said they want something, and then voted against it. At this point, we cannot begin to explain the result without accounting for irrationality in the psychopathology of everyday life. A dialectic of neurosis might explain the preference of party labels over real results, but is it a twisted identity politic or something deeper, like a craven need for perpetual Manichaean dualism? Close, low-scoring contests are the height of professional sportsα, but disastrous for political outcomes.

It’s easy enough to express what just happened in the sense that Republicans just won big in an election. The harder answer is to figure just what that actually means in terms of voters. As to governance, the answer is clear: The ability of governments in the United States to function appropriately will be further degraded as Republicans move forward feeling empowered to prove their thesis that government just doens’t work.

It is, furthermore, easy enough to say we want nice outcomes. It is harder to accomplish those nice outcomes, though, and nearly impossible for voters to admit that, no, they don’t really want that stuff. And that, too, might well emerge from a dialectic of neurosis, that people only say they want good outcomes because they fret about what the neighbors would think if they came right out and admitted what they’re really after.

____________________

α The basic principle: Offense wins games; defense wins championships. Football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer … you name it, the principle holds. And let’s face it, outside the SEC, most American football fans are pretty much sick of sixty-point blowouts.

Benen, Steve. “NBC poll: Public attitudes clear as mud”. msnbc. 20 November 2014.

Arkansas? (Really?)

Arkansas

What the hell is wrong with Tom Cotton?

It would seem the Congressman from Arkansas’ Fourth Congressional District is so desperate for a U.S. Senate seat that he will aid and abet terrorism in order to do so.

Does that sound a little strange? Well enough; it ought to. Andrew Kaczynski brings the underlying lede:

An ad from Republican Arkansas Senate candidate Tom Cotton about his military experience and national security issues uses footage from an ISIS propaganda video as B-roll.

And Steve Benen brings the blistering critique:

In recent months, most of the Republicans incorporating ISIS propaganda into their commercials have relied on the ISIS video in which James Foley was murdered. Foley’s family has pleaded not to even watch the footage, but in a few cases, politicians on the right have ignored those wishes ....

Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR4), candidate for United States Senate, is willing to help Daa'ish in order to win..... I honestly never thought I’d see the day. Far-right politicians, eager to seem “tough” on terror, are deliberately putting terrorists’ propaganda on the air, on purpose, to advance their personal ambitions.

Keep in mind, there’s no shortage of available footage that the Republican campaign could have included in the commercial. There’s plenty of background video of combat in the Middle East, for example, which Cotton could have used to make the same point.

But, no. Cotton instead used ISIS propaganda, putting the same footage on the air that the terrorists want to see on the air.

And while Benen might wonder about who on the campaign thought this was a good idea, there is perhaps a more important question.

Really, Arkansas? This is okay with you?

(more…)