Echoing Christopher Hitchens, pm carpenter describes the sexual harassment scandal as “a hand I’d prefer not to play“:
It is for that reason I find the Cain Affair(s) profoundly objectionable as a reason to politically object to Cain. One can, and in my opinion unequivocally should, protest the man’s candidacy because of his sweeping, manifest ignorance and thus utter unsuitability for the land’s highest office — or, for that matter, one of its many lower ones. But to bombard him because of his lusty boorishness tips a remarkably transparent and rather tacky partisan hand that I’d rather not play.
Once you accept that it’s all one, the epiphenomena are a lot less annoying. It’s the completely insane insubstantiality of Cain-ism that summons forth its own seemingly insanely irrelevant (except to the accusers and Cain) negation. Yet, if we understand Cainism as the political equivalent of sexual harassment – a harassment of the national body politic, a mediatized aggression against our self-respect, then the form its dissolution is taking seems natural and inevitable. If it had ever been possible to reduce Cain simply because he says nothing and is ignorant, then he never would or could have arisen in the first place. Our disappointment in having to turn to “this stuff” indicates that the implicit indictment or diagnosis, as expressed and confirmed in the mere existence of Cain and his supporters, will stand, whatever happens to whichever particular human vehicle for its enunciation.
Reagan representing the generational response to post-war imperial liberalism, it took another generation for a post-Reagan liberalism to mature, on schedule with the economic exhaustion of imperial financialism, an ideology and system of decline and diminishing returns. So Obamaism as a negation of Reaganism is also its excrescence, as inevitably during the inherently uncertain and drawn-out transition between a macro-system (aka, financialize neo-liberalism) and its unnameable successor. The Republican candidates express the exhaustion and irrelevance of Reaganism in and to that context, except as the active expression of that exhaustion and irrelevance, in the familiar zombie format. None of which is to suggest that the electoral system, or we ourselves through the electoral system, are precluded from placing the exponent of an exhausted and irrelevant ideology as the placeholder, the empty spot, for a kind of slow-motion collective auto-decapitation.
We can perhaps discern most of the elements of the next phase, but its timing, its organization of pasts and futures, which each of us will tend to interpret differently, from each other and at different times, is a subject for struggle, as are the very forms of that struggle.
a nationwide test of a nationwide emergency alert system. The first stirrings of Colossus? Skynet? Wintermute/Neuromancer? Mike? Or maybe the coming to self-consciousness of the great mediatized Hegelian national-universal us?! (Maybe that’s what the world-destroying super-computer entities express in alienated form…)
Oh here it is – 30 seconds of unity!
We were one so we are one…
Was it as good for you as it was for me?
The Tea Party’s Fatal Delusion – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast
the recession’s damage to an incumbent president’s party merely put a misleading mid-term gust behind sails rigged for winds that were blowing in the 1970s, not the 2000s. The 2010 mid-terms were what might be called a “fatal success.” Yes, there was a backlash among older, whiter voters against the 2008 tide. But to conclude from that that there was a widespread, general support for further moves to the furthest right in an economy where many are struggling to get by and where economic inequality is still soaring, was a huge over-reach. And so we see the staggering results of last night’s votes.
The Ohio law against collective bargaining rights for public sector workers did not just go down. It went down in a landslide. Yes, the unions poured money into the battle and outspent opponents. But the scale of the victory is hard to gainsay. In a critical swing state, the GOP is in full retreat. In Arizona, the recall of the official who had pioneered the anti-illegal immigration measures is another remarkable event. Ditto even Mississippi’s rejection of a ballot initiative that is a theocon’s wet dream (if theocons are allowed such things), and takes the concept of personhood at conception to new, bizarre heights and exposes the stealth theocon campaign against contraception as well.
We’ve seen the polls showing a shift in Americans’ views of inequality and their support of higher taxes for the wealthiest as part of a debt-reduction package. We’ve seen the accelerating moderation on marriage equality and marijuana. We’ve noticed the Tea Party’s further alienation of minority voters, and now, with the Cain circus, possible intensification of the gender gap. We’ve noticed that increasing numbers of voters, including independents, regard the GOP as potentially sabotaging the economy purely in order to defeat Obama. Now we are seeing the effect of all this in actual elections. And the GOP primary campaign has also underlined just how marginal, ideological and inexperienced many of the presidential candidates are. A party that gives a motivational speaker ten times the support of a two-term governor of Utah, re-elected with 84 percent of the vote, with strong bipartisan credentials and an even stronger tax reform plan … well, it’s a party in free-fall that also doesn’t understand that it is.
Look at PPP’s polling in Ohio right now:
Obama continues to suffer from poor approval ratings in Ohio with only 41% of voters approving of him to 49% who disapprove. But voters don’t seem to consider any of his opponents to be viable alternatives … On our weekend poll, which got the final result of Issue 2 correct to within a point, Obama led all of his Republican opponents in the state by margins ranging from 9-17 points.
Obama led Mitt Romney 50-41 on our poll. He was up 11 points on Herman Cain at 50-39, 13 on Newt Gingrich at 51-38, 14 on Ron Paul at 50-36, 14 on Michele Bachmann at 51-37 and a whooping 17 points on Rick Perry at 53-36. It used to be Sarah Palin’s numbers that we compared to Barry Goldwater, but Perry’s deficit would represent the largest Republican defeat in Ohio since 1964.
For this party, Herman Cain is the perfect nominee (since Palin simply couldn’t overcome her lies and pathologies). Because it is increasingly clear he is the master of complete denial of reality and has no actual experience in any public office.
Seems to me that if the Cain thing isn’t over now, it can only be because it never actually was.
…seen now at a couple of the usual places, our old friend Cyriak’s new vid, “Kitty City”:
It expands on, not sure it really improves on his net classic…
Read more ›
The New Inquiry – Redefining the Right Wing
An exchange between Daniel Larison and Corey Robin about conservatism and reaction.
In The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism From Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin, political theorist Corey Robin frames right-wing ideologies as impulses “to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality.” These fighting words were taken up by Daniel Larison, writer and editor at the American Conservative, and their email dialogue is reproduced here, with some edits and informative links added.
Had no idea that the phenomenon shown in the videos below existed…
…much less that it went by the lovely name “murmuration.”
Not a very high quality video, obviously, the second one, but the expression on the girl’s face at the end is a wondrous natural phenomenon in its own right.
h/t to and more at The Daily Dish