civil rights

Speculation on Murmur and Buzz (HRC Horizon Remix)

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks to the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church during their annual convention at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 8 July 2016. (Photo: Charles Mostoller/Reuters)

And yet this is all about me. Should I apologize, or can we just admit that’s an inherent aspect of this valence of the blogosphere?

Because the truth is that the great “candidate” post is something you always want to get around to but somehow gets put off because any starting point leads to seemingly daunting prospects.. Whether it’s Ezra Klein’s article about how, “It’s time to admit Hillary Clinton is an extraordinarily talented politician”―and it’s a very good article, but still you want to argue about what do you mean “it’s time”?―or perhaps reminding my Sanders-supporting neighbors why he’s endorsing Hillary Clinton, it’s actually a really big pitch; there’s a lot going on.

But the post need not be some grandiose presentation; nor is that a repudiation of the basic idea of pitching the campaign.

Let’s try it this way: Steve Benen considers the murmur and buzz around Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential shortlist, mainly reports that the leading contenders are Tom Vilsack, presently Secretary of Agriculture and formerly governor of Iowa; and Tim Kaine, presently the junior U.S. Senator from Virginia, previously serving as that state’s governor, and in between managing an overlapping gig as chairman of the Democratic National Committee:

Clinton seemed to tilt her hand a bit on Monday during an interview with Charlie Rose, which included the presumptive Democratic nominee emphasizing “experience” as the key factor. “I am afflicted with the responsibility gene,” she added.

The interview turned into a sort of word-association game. Asked about Kaine and his self-professed “boring” personality, Clinton said, “And I love that about him. I mean, he’s never lost an election. He was a world-class mayor, governor and senator, and is one of the most highly respected senators I know.”

Asked about Hickenlooper, Clinton said, “First class.” Asked about Warren, she added, “Amazing. I mean, what she has done in relatively few years to put the agenda of inequality front and center is something that I think we should all be grateful for.”

Sanders supporters, of course, will be disappointed; I would in turn suggest that hope is not yet lost. While it is true that on this occasion I can read the conventional wisdom as well as any other, it is similarly true that this is a year in which I presume the conventional wisdom unstable. To wit, while it is unlikely, Hillary Clinton is perfectly capable of turning the screw in order to mean the manner, relative dimension, and quality of experience, thus turning to the essential newcomer, Elizabeth Warren.

Yeah, it could happen.

(cough!)

(ahem!)

But there is a hidden gem, there.

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That Sinking, Sickening Irony

Kamon Dreams and Stranger Things: Detail of frame from 'FLCL' episode 5, "Brittle Bullet".

“Indeed, we need a whole lot of refusal to cooperate with these tyrants, just as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and their fellow civil rights champions refused to cooperate with the Democrats who were trampling freedom and the Constitution.”

Bob Ellis

In truth, it probably is not a healthy amusement we feel upon witnessing bigots such as professional propagandist and Tea Party organizer Bob Ellis appealing to the heritage of Civil Rights icons such as Dr. King and Ms. Parks.

Although, for the moment, we will certainly take the pause―

As I have pointed out before, there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that supports counterfeit marriage. The U.S. Constitution is completely silent on marriage. Why? First, the founders of our country would not have even imagined that a culture could become so insane as to consider that two men sodomizing each other might be considered “marriage.” Further, regulating marriage is not found in the enumerated powers granted to the federal government in Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Also, the Tenth Amendment makes it clear that any powers not specifically delegated to the federal government are retained by the states and the people (and the people of the vast majority of the states have made it clear that they believe what every civilization in human history has always recognized: that marriage can only be formed by a man and a woman).

―to wonder at the difference between left- and right-wing extremism. While revolutionary speech from the left is still disdained as dangerously undignified, we are for reasons never really explained expected to treat this kind of right-wing tantrum as a valid component of the discussion. Remember, these are people who think their free speech is violated if you simply disagree with them.

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Image note: Kamon the Would-Be. Detail of frame from FLCL episode 5, “Brittle Bullet”.

Ellis, Bob. “AL Judges Demonstrate Leadership Against Federal SSM Tyranny”. BarbWire. 4 March 2015.

An Example of the Problem

The Tennessee State Capitol building, 6 May 2012. (Photo: Andre Porter/ImagN)

They really don’t get it.

They?

Well, that’s the really hard thing, right? Because it cannot simply be a characteristic of being Republican, can it?

But they really don’t get it.

There is a strain of thought infecting the American discourse in which a point makes sense in the context of all things being equal but is offered under circumstances in which all things are observably not equal.

Like a bigot calling for a Civil Rights analogy in hopes of rallying troops to the cause of discrimination, hatred, and oppression.

Or, if you will, Samantha Lachman’s lead for Huffington Post pretty much sums up the problem:

A Republican-led Tennessee legislative committee failed to extend funding Wednesday for the state’s Economic Council on Women, with some of the lawmakers asking why there isn’t a similar council for men.

No, seriously―be honest: Who needs this one explained?

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Image note: The Tennessee State Capitol building, 6 May 2012. (Photo: Andre Porter/ImagN)

Lachman, Samantha. “Tennessee GOP On Economic Council For Women: But What About The Men?” The Huffington Post. 5 March 2015.

A Discussion That Needs to be Had About a Point That Shouldn’t Need to be Made

Not-All-Man to the rescue!

Okay, so here’s the tricky part:

It’s a sharp, damning satire of a familiar kind of bad-faith argument, the one where a male interlocutor redirects a discussion about sexism, misogyny, rape culture, or women’s rights to instead be about how none of that is his fault. And it struck a nerve.

(Zimmerman)

Okay, right. It’s not really all that tricky, is it?

Is it?

Okay, show of hands: Who needs this one explained? Anybody? Anybody?

A’ight, then.

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Zimmerman, Jess. “Not All Men: A Brief History of Every Dude’s Favorite Argument”. Time. April 28, 2014.

Image credit: Detail of cartoon by Matt Lubchansky.

A Prediction: Gillespie on Eternity

“I’d remind the Republican establishment that forever is a long time.”

Steve Benen

One can certainly call it a bit pedantic to pick on casual rhetorical use of the word “never”; indeed, it might also seem a bit childish. But as Steve Benen explains of the former RNC Chair and Bush administration White House Counsel’s response to Chris Wallace’s question about marriage equality:

Gillespie replied, “I don’t see the Republican Party or most Republicans, obviously, changing in terms of believing that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Ed Gillespie and George W BushThe host pressed further, asking, “But looking at the polls, and, particularly, looking at where younger people are going, would you have any problems in 2016, with a Republican Party platform saying that marriage is between a man and a woman?” Gillespie noted that the platform currently calls for a federal constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality, and going forward, “there may be a debate about that.”

I suppose this is what qualifies as social progress for today’s GOP.

But before the discussion moved on Gillespie added this:

“I don’t think you would ever see the Republican Party platform saying we are in favor of same sex marriage.”

Never? Gillespie may well be right, but I’d remind the Republican establishment that forever is a long time.

And as one commmenter noted, “We had the debate. You lost.”

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