Harsh Your Mellow Monday: What Did You Expect? Edition

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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51 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    1. Insider v. outsider is a false dichotomy. An insider can be a person with institutional knowledge, a firm sense of civic responsibility, and expertise in their field. An outsider can be a buffoon who acts as a wrecking ball, breaks shit, and demoralizes everyone.

    2. There is no strategy in the Trumpian ID only chaos. Pompeo’s actions reflect this.

    3. I get COVID-19 fatigue, I really do. We are not psychologically equipped to be thinking like this for the long term. I thought this article on the subject of being “over” COVID:

    https://slate.com/technology/2020/11/coronavirus-psychogy-moral-decision-making.html

    I like Thanksgiivng a lot. It is one of my favorite holidays but we are in the mist of a deadly uptick in the disease across the globe. I don’t think people need to cancel Thanksgiving but they need to maybe scale it back a bit and crack open some windows.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      My feeling is that the only way you get everybody to scale back on the holiday Season rather than just a plurality is with troops on the streets. That’s the typical way quarrantines were enforced rather than moral suasion. The type of moral suasion that people are doing online, “A Zoom Thanksgiving is better than an ICU Christmas” is going to only work on the converted.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    comment in modReport

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    Re: Ted Cruz, Mike Pompeo, Rod Dreher, Donald Trump and the entire Republican Party:
    Trumpism Is More About Culture Than Economics
    https://thedispatch.com/p/trumpism-is-more-about-culture-than

    Nut graf:
    If we look a bit deeper at Trumpian populism, it becomes clear it is mostly a bundle of cultural sentiments. It is rooted in anti-elitism, which does not necessarily mean support for industrial policy, protectionism, or restrictive immigration. Large national surveys conducted by the American Enterprise Institute suggest Trump’s supporters are actually quite content with American economic life but highly reactive to elite dominance of American cultural life.

    What makes this so dangerous is that there is no political cure for cultural resentments. There isn’t any governmental policy that can make cultural conservatives happy, other than the wholesale suppression of things they find unpleasant, meaning the equality of others who don’t share their culture.

    This is what I was getting at with my questions about what an imagined conservative dystopia might be, and asking for a specific list of grievances they want cured.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      Dreher!Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          There ya go!

          “influential voices such as Yosemite Sam and Marshall McLuhan” – wrong
          “influential voices such as Marshall McLuhan” – rightReport

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
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            says:

            I’m not sure what your argument is here.

            That Dreher isn’t influential? I’d say he is.

            Or maybe that he isn’t an accurate representation of the cultural right? He is unique in his calls for withdrawal, but in his set of grievances with contemporary culture he represents a large majority of the Trumpist faction.

            And as Carl Bernstein pointed out, even the “sane and responsible” figures like Romney, Collins and Murkowski may speak the words of moderation but in terms of ultimate outcomes, they share everything that Dreher and the writers of Crisis do.Report

            • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              I’ve talked about this before on the site: I’ve never heard Rod Dreher cited by anyone on the right, only by people on the left who think he represents the thinking of the right. If I want to know what smarter lefties are thinking, I’ll look at The Atlantic or Mother Jones, because those are the sources they refer to. If you want to understand what the smarter conservatives are thinking, you should read the people we read.

              I’m pretty sure you were part of that conversation. I’d hate to think that my advice was in vain, because the unfamiliarity of OT’s lefties with rightward thought is a running issue.Report

            • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              Yeah, I just checked, and you were part of that mini-thread. Are you noticing a pattern? How many times have you claimed to understand conservative thought, only to be told by me and others that you don’t get it, and yet you don’t follow up on our suggestions? Isn’t the point here that we’re supposed to be moving closer to understanding?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                You don’t think you might be doing a Pauline Kael thing here where you don’t read Dreher so you assume no one on the right does?

                Dreher writes for the American Conservative magazine, which is Pat Buchanan’s old turf.

                He has 64K followers on Twitter;

                The WaPo in 2017 described him as “An influential and prolific blogger for the American Conservative — he averages 1.3 million monthly page views on his blog — Dreher is credited with helping introduce J.D. Vance of “Hillbilly Elegy” to a larger audience. He founded the “crunchy con” ideology — another book, back in 2006 — wedding cultural and moral conservatism with an organic, co-op-and-Birkenstock lifestyle.”

                His latest book “Live Not By Lies” is reviewed in the current issue of Commentary magazine.

                Dreher has been published in Time and National Review.

                Do I need to go on? He seems at least as influential a figure on the right as anyone.

                For us to assert that Dreher is a good example of How Conservatives Think seems perfectly reasonable.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                On that thread I linked to, only one of our local conservatives said they had heard of him. On the other hand, there’s you, Saul, and the Washington Post to tell me how conservatives think. There’s a Kael thing happening here, all right. I don’t remember if I used this example on the other thread, but imagine if I told you that Juan Williams was an influential liberal because he was on FNC a lot.

                ETA: 64K Twitter followers? Is that a joke?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                He was on NPR *ALL THE TIME*.

                Until he got fired for racism.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                That’s so unfair. He’s a bigot for sure, but against LGBTQ people, liberals, and especially the religiously non-orthodox (you know what Episcopalians are like), not non-whites.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                So @Pinky a question – is Dreher wrong conceptually? Whether anyone has heard of him or reads him is irrelevant if he gets the ideas right . . . and that aside who would you rather @Chip Daniels read?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                You all miss the point. For reasons Pinky won’t articulate, Dreher is embarrassing to someone who holds the views Pinky self-identifies as “conservative.” It is to Pinky’s credit that he finds Dreher embarrassing. But rather than explain what he finds embarrassing about Dreher and why Dreher is not properly regarded as an example of conservatism, he writes him off as some unknown weirdo, despite his regular gigs in conservative magazines, two books, and profiles in the mainstream media. Just because he, and a couple of other people here, claim not to have heard of him. And then takes refuge in “Pinkyism” when he wishes to disclaim anything specific that Dreher says, however consistent with widespread understandings of the various branches of “conservatism.”
                To be sure, Pinky is authoritative on the tenets of Pinkyism, but if he wants to disown Dreher he should tell us how Dreher’s views differ from his own.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                ***** ***** off.

                I tried to think of a better comment, but if you’re questioning my motives, then ****** ** a *****.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Well, that certainly tells us all we need to know.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                I’ll talk to anyone about this stuff if they’re willing to listen. If you want to accuse me of deception, why should I respond?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Another reading comprehension problem. Whatever else I may “accuse” you of, it isn’t “deception,” unless, perhaps, it’s self-deception. The only reference to your “motives” is to the embarrassment you feel being associated with Dreher, which I explicitly assert is to your credit. The rest is an account of your public comments distancing yourself from embarrassing associations with Dreher, what you have said and what you have not said, and an invitation to explain how you differ from Dreher, if you do, and why he is not a fair representative of one prominent strand of actually existing conservatism, beyond that you hadn’t heard of him, if, indeed, you hadn’t.
                So in the words of Frasier Crane, “I’m listening,” and so are others, like Chip and Philip H., who have wanted the same questions answered.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                Good reading comprehension is an admirable goal. Show me where I distanced myself from Dreher’s ideas. I don’t know what his ideas are, because I’ve never read him. Joridor Planecko may describe conservatism perfectly, but I’ve never read him either, so I’m not going to comment on his strengths and weaknesses. But I will comment if every liberal considers Planecko to be essential conservative reading, and I’ll do so all the more enthusiastically if those liberals can’t describe conservative thought accurately. If you want to know where I differ from Planecko, I comment here frequently.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Exactly. You haven’t distanced yourself from Dreher’s ideas; you’ve distanced yourself from Dreher. And you feel the need to do so for some reason. If it’s not his ideas, which you say you don’t know, is it his reputation, or his personality, or his easy mockability, or some other reason? When people here cite Dreher, they usually cite something he has said or written. You obviously don’t want that albatross hung around your neck, and nobody can blame you, but you can’t have it both ways, asking us to take your word for it that Dreherism and Pinkyism differ from each other and that Dreherism isn’t properly part of actually existing conservatism and Pinkyism is when you won’t engage.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                I’ve explained this. I don’t know what Dreherism is. I visit this site for entertainment, but mainly for information-sharing in both directions. If you don’t want information from the mainstream right, that’s fine, and if you want the last word, go for it.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                I’d very much like information from the “mainstream right.” and I think I get a fair amount of it from the usual sources. I also get a fair amount of information from other rightist sources that may or may not be “mainstream,” but are sufficiently prominent in the overall rightist ecosystem to be taken seriously as representing significant tendencies in actual existing conservatism.
                I’m quite sure that Pinkyism is a far more reasonable viewpoint than Dreherism — admittedly a low bar to clear — but Pinkyism isn’t the whole rightist ecosystem, and Pinky isn’t the Pope of Conservatism, empowered to excommunicate embarrassing co-religionists, if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor. If it really bothers you that people who have read Dreher cite him, point, and laugh, feel free to ignore them. Your saying you don’t know who he is or what he stands for (though you seem to know enough not to want to be associated with him) doesn’t advance the ball.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Janet Yellen for Treasury, Avril Haines for Director of National Intelligence, Jake Sullivan for National Security Adviser, Alejandro Mayorkas for D.H.S., Linda Thomas-Greenfield for U.S. Ambassador for the United Nations, John Kerry for special envoy on Climate Change.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/11/katie-porter-did-not-question-emily-murphy-because-the-gsa-head-blew-off-todays-biden-transition-briefing/

    I was hoping for a less partisan source but Emily Murphy ignored the Congressional request to testify and offered a subordinate for 30 minutes next week instead. The burn everything down technique lives on.Report

  6. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh, that Commentary review of Dreher’s new book really gets to the heart of what is causing the radicalization of conservatives:
    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/abe-greenwald/soft-totalitarianism-hard-truth/
    Anyone who’s ever been admonished for asserting that, say, only women have periods or that looting and arson do not a peaceful protest make, can attest to the efforts of our radical reality tinkerers. And precisely because the new totalitarianism is so different in appearance from that of the Soviet Union, it goes unrecognized by most Americans, including conservative people of faith. What’s more, the soft totalitarianism Dreher describes is less overtly intimidating than it is therapeutic. “It masks its hatred of dissenters from its utopian ideology in the guise of helping and healing,” Dreher writes. “In therapeutic culture, which has everywhere triumphed, the great sin is to stand in the way of the freedom of others to find happiness as they wish.”</i.

    Lemme extract that last part:
    "… the great sin is to stand in the way of the freedom of others to find happiness as they wish."

    This then, is what is so alarming and terrifying to Dreher and American conservatives. Liberal American society is not allowing Dreher to stand in the way of the freedom of others to find happiness as they wish.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine Rod Dreher standing in front of a women's bathroom. Forever.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      I’m old enough to remember when Commentary sneered at the majority of Americans Jews for being opposed to the free market allegedly. Or at least our support for the welfare state was wrongheaded.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        I know that living members of my family have personal memories of having to remain indoors in the mid-1920’s for fear of the Klan nightriders.
        Due to a shortage of dark skinned folk in the upper Midwest, in those days the Klan was as virulently anti-Papist as anti- anything.

        So like American Jews, one might think that American Catholics should have a keen grasp of where the kulturekampf leads.

        But I guess its part of human nature to think that “this time it will work in our favor!”Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      Celebrating the pursuit of happiness is so un-American.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      “If you want a vision of the future, imagine Rod Dreher standing between a mob of left-wing rioters and a small business, forever,” didn’t quite have the same punch to it, I guess.Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/23/politics/transition-biden-gsa-begin/index.html

    Looks like the the transition will begin formally.Report

  8. Avatar Marchmaine
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    says:

    I like the Cruz/Dad reference… I still laugh every time I remember that. Douthat made a similar observation.

    Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    One of the funny dynamics I’ve seen between The Left and The Far Left has to do with Elizabeth Warren’s place in the cabinet.

    “She was supposed to be X!”, The Left cries out.
    “Yeah, I guess she stabbed Bernie in the back for nothing (snake emoji)”, The Far Left rejoins.

    (food fight ensues)Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Actually a lot of us never wanted her in the cabinet. She will be far more effective on the Hill in her current job. I just wish she’d unseat Chuck Schumer as Democratic Lead. That man can’t inspire dryer lint.Report

      • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        Warren is a Democratic Senator from a state with a Republican Governor. She was never going to be in the Cabinet as a simple matter of arithmetic. That was always obvious. Maybe someone somewhere will get into a food fight over that. There are 350-odd million Americans, after all. But that it will be either interesting or dynamic I seriously doubt.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        Schumer is another politician who is much better at his job than he is given credit for because people think the position Senate Minority Leader has super magic powers. It does not. Schumer’s main work is in backrooms and this involve getting DiFi to announce she will not be in the chair or ranking Democrat on the judiciary committee depending on the outcome of the GA special elections.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Your dedication to D-minus trolling is impressive especially with its firm commitment to thinking twitter is real life and the basis for all Democratic Party action despite all evidence to the contrary. Most people in the real world want Warren to remain in the Senate because she is more effective in the Senate and she would be replaced by a Republican if on a cabinet.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        I can easily see how centrists would want that.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          Us leftists want it too.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H
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            says:

            MOLOTOV: Is not the True Leftist position to want Warren in the Cabinet?

            *Rose Twitter members begin to raise their hands in unison*

            MOLOTOV: “On the other hand- Perhaps the True Leftist position is to have Warren remain in the Senate, thereby thwarting any attempt by the revanchists to install a counterrevolutionary Senator!”

            *Rose Twitter members lower, then begin to raise their hands in unison again*

            MOLOTOV: But no! The most True Leftist position is to have Warren in the Cabinet and accept a counterrevolutionary in the Senate as a way of demonstrating our unwavering commitment to the sacrifices needed for the revolution!”

            *Rose Twitter members exchange nervous looks then begin to raise their hands in unison once more*Report

  10. Avatar Kolohe
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    says:

    Pompeo is so politically toxic that he had to be strong-armed out of running for senate in Kansas out of fear he would tank a vital seat in Republican’s efforts to hold their slim majority.

    In hindsight he probably would have won.Report

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