From Jackasses to Sad Sacks: Democrats Struggle in The Culture War

Adam Bass

Adam Bass is an aspiring reporter and broadcaster from Massachusetts. He graduated from Wheaton College in Norton MA. Bass was general manager, and head of the political news coverage department of WCCS Wheaton College, where he did extensive coverage of the Massachusetts Senate Primary Race and The Massachusetts 4th congressional district primary race, as well as reporting on other National and local news. He now works as an intern for Newton News at NewTV where he has covered the 2021 municipal elections, hosts and produces The Cod Cabin where he and three of his colleagues podcast about Massachusetts politics and news, and has been working part time at WCRN 830 AM in Worcester Mass.

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422 Responses

  1. Philip H
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    says:

    I’ve said for two decades that Democrats prefer to take charts.and graphs to a bazooka fight. In the 2016 election I made a lot of comments here at OT that Dems loose – particularly in red states – because they are not perceived as fighters. What ever his many other faults, Donald Trump is seen as a brash fighter. This is spot on.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Philip H
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      says:

      It also seems you are not the only OP-Ed writer thinking along these lines:

      Beyond making 2022 a referendum on Republican radicalism, Democrats should also embrace being woke. After all, what would you call people who ended slavery and Jim Crow, championed the 19th Amendment ensuring women had a constitutional right to vote, protested leading to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act and more, all in an effort to perfect our nation? They were woke.

      https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/24/opinions/democrats-gop-2022-election-obeidallah/index.htmlReport

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        I’m not sure whether you think we’re too stupid to notice the swindle here, or just can’t see it yourself. Abolitionists, civil rights activists, and first-wave feminists were liberal, not woke. The key difference is that liberalism is about fighting against real oppression, in these cases slavery and law that denied people certain basic rights on the basis of race and sex.

        Wokeness is premised on the idea that liberalism is not enough, and may actually be actively harmful because liberalism’s focus on equal rights prevents the use of allegedly remedial discrimination like affirmative action or reparations. The idea is that one is “woke” to hidden oppression not visible through the lens of the liberal worldview.

        While this has a certain a priori plausibility, and there is likely some small kernel of truth here, in practice wokeness is dominated by what we might call vulgar critical theory: The idea that systemic oppression is the only possible explanation for disparities in outcomes. However, this idea crumbles under the weight of any kind of serious scrutiny. The “woke” are not so much awake as hopped up on hallucinogens, seeing all manner of oppressions that aren’t really there.

        You smugly talk about your charts and graphs, and that’s a good first step, but you have no idea how to interpret them.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Philip H
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      The growing wonk-activist base of the Democratic Party places it in a really difficult position when it comes to speaking ordinary voters. Coming across as a street level politician seems crass and possibly even insensitive to many of the movers and shakers within the Democratic Party. It is one reason why the Very Online couldn’t stand Joe Biden. His avuncular street level persona as a politician really turned them off while Warren’s charts, graphs, and white papers spoke to them if they were wonks at least. Basically by wanting to be the smartest people in the room, they can’t speak to ordinary voters.

      For activists, using meathead/fighter language to advance liberal causes is basically an oxymoron because the right terminology isn’t used. In fact you might speak in a way that could, at least in their minds, make a vulnerable group feel uncomfortable. So you get terms like Latinx being used a lot even though actual Hispanics are unaware of the term or actively hate it. You have to use the right terms so nobody gets hurt. This creates an English language at least two degrees removed from how people actually speak.

      To give a more concrete example, look at the popular “In this house” poster. While it is a fine statement of principles, the language is definitely not that of street fighter. In fact, the language is rather anti-fighter. To be a street fighter you need rage and some negativity and pessimism. This goes against the positivity culture in many rank and file Democratic voters.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Philip H
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      Democrats lose in red-states because they don’t support Herrenvolk democracy that treats white, heterosexual, nominally Christian men as the center of the universe that everything else revolves around. I know you live down South and have a big that all these people can be brought into the Democratic fold somehow but that assumes a lot of facts not in evidence.

      The New Deal Coalition is dead and gone. It is not coming back. Democrats focus on charts and graphs because they want to make things work and better and this requires actual expertise and knowledge. The Democratic Party is a multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-sexuality coalition party. Each part of the coalition has very different ideas and priorities and no part of it is large enough to be dominant (but every part of it does think it is large enough to be dominant). The way this works is through compromise, compromise, compromise. Sometimes some very frustrating compromise. So you argue through expertise. If red-staters confuse Trump’s belligerent, resentment filled, clown show as good advocacy, that is on them.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        I absolutely *ADORE* the whole “Democrat in San Francisco yelling at Democrat in Mississippi to be more realistic” thing.

        I mean, if I wanted to come up with an example of stuff that wasn’t working? I couldn’t have possibly come up with a better one than this.

        “Too on the nose, Jaybird.”
        “That’s a strawman.”
        “Nobody is arguing that.”Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
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      says:

      I like charts and graphs.Report

  2. Jaybird
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    says:

    Part of the problem is that the old playbook had, as it’s number one most important play that worked all the time, every time, was “Nobody is arguing that.”

    Some crazy right winger would show up and yell “Democrats want (some crazy culture war outcome)!”
    A Democrat wearing a suit could show up and roll his eyes and say “Nobody is arguing that.”

    Everybody laughs.

    But there was a tipping point somewhere.
    “Nobody is arguing that” became “I remember people arguing for that in college.”

    For a little while, the whole “college students are idiots. You shouldn’t take into consideration what some 19 year old with a Communications Major thinks about Real Estate Policy” counter worked pretty well.

    But now we are in a place where the Democrat in the suit shows up and says “Nobody is arguing that” and, suddenly, there are dozens of people showing up not only arguing “WE’RE NOT ARGUING THAT BECAUSE IT DOESN’T GO FAR ENOUGH! WE NEED TRIPLE THAT!” but a handful of people pointing out that they are sick and tired of Republicans wearing suits doing what they can to undermine *REAL* Democrats who are actually fighting for something rather than just holding the status quo forever and ever while PEOPLE are DYING and we cannot wait for the Fake Republicans to solve the problem. We need to elect Pete Buttigieg.

    Or whatever.

    The play that always worked has stopped working. I’m not surprised that they’re a little bit paralyzed.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      I’m not surprised either. I do think the OP missed a little on AAOC – she’s brash because she’s a fighter. She just needs her fighting hones a little. And she needs to learn how to write bills.

      And well written sir.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        AOC is great. She’s the Democrats’ Trump. She seems to be a fast learner, which is good, because she took it on the nose a couple of times in her early days.

        The Green New Deal debacle taught her an important lesson.
        Going head to head with Jeff Bezos and watching him shrug and say “okay, I won’t go there” taught her an important lesson.

        I think she could grow into being a national powerhouse instead of merely a New York/California powerhouse. But that’ll take time. (And, let’s face it, Pelosi has done a bang-up job of not having a protégée so as soon as she retires/dies, there’s going to be one hell of a food fight… and I’d put AOC on the list of the people who lose *BUT* are obvious shoo-ins for after whomever wins crashes and burns.)Report

        • InMD in reply to Jaybird
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          I don’t see her as the Democrats’ Trump. She’s just the most progressive member of the House which makes sense since she’s from one of the most progressive parts/districts in the country. If it wasn’t her it would be someone else and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.

          To the extent there’s an issue, and I’m not always totally sure there is, I’d say it’s about letting her brand building, which she is good at, be painted as representative of anything other than her brand.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to InMD
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            says:

            She’s a totem. She is a brand. She is a consumption good. She gives you endorphins just by looking at her!

            And, oh, how she makes the opposition howl.Report

            • InMD in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              She does those things, but this is where I point to the asymmetric nature of the fight. There is certainly negative partisanship on the Democratic side but I just don’t think it’s the same motivating force as it is on the right.

              Like we would not take anyone seriously who says Fox News has not been an incredibly important development in the way the GOP interacts with its base. MSNBC on the other hand, as insightful as it can be at times into the psyche of a certain Democratic constituency, does not really do the same thing.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD
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                says:

                I suppose I could also point to non-fundraising-related accomplishments…

                (Stuff that would be done by Generic Dem doesn’t really move the needle.)Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Maybe? But I would say that since gay marriage has become the law of the land there are really major questions of whether the Democrats own voters support the most prominent left of center culture war causes.* We’ve all seen the articles from Yglesias to David Shor to Ruy Teixiera, not to mention the highly guarded, often hand-waved concessions in legacy media (think Liz Warren and her consultants) that this stuff just doesn’t make a lot of practical sense from an electoral perspective. Some of it is class, some of it is education, some of it is just the difference in what it takes to motivate people against change as opposed to for change, but it’s real.

                *Abortion as always is its own can of worms but it’s issues like that which I think prove the rule.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD
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                says:

                All of Trump’s accomplishments were pretty much accomplishments that would have been accomplished by Replacement-Level-Republican. Judges, laws signed, etc.

                Okay, maybe moving the embassy to Jerusalem. That might be the one thing that he did that any other Republican in the chair wouldn’t have done.

                He was a totem though. A brand. A consumption good.

                And, oh, how he made the opposition howl.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                But what does that really say about Trump in terms of success though, if all he did at the end of the day was piss off the right people, but was still just a tool of the plutocrats and Zombie Reaganites with no signature accomplishments? One who ultimately was only able to beat an incredibly compromised candidate then lost his bid for re-election to the definition of the Average Democrat?

                There’s certainly a salient critique in there of the people who voted for Trump but I don’t think your median Democrat can reasonably look at it and conclude it simply has to be emulated. A smart one certainly wouldn’t.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to InMD
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                says:

                He wasn’t particularly successful.

                Well, I suppose he reframed a handful of things. He was pretty good for fundraising.

                But, for the most part, he was *NOT* particularly successful.

                The old question of “What is best in life?” has an three-part answer. Trump provided the third part.

                AOC seems to be similar. Defeating your enemies? Nah. Seeing them driven before you? Saying “no, I ain’t gonna put my HQ2 there” isn’t driving them before you.

                The lamentations? Oh, my gosh. The lamentations.

                Same for Trump. He didn’t accomplish a whole lot. But if you know what is best in life? He provided you lamentations galore.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Yea but that just goes back to the asymmetry issue. I won’t pretend to know what motivates the voters in the Bronx but I feel good about my sense of what does in, say, the Richmond suburbs.Report

              • North in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Disagree Jay on AOC riling up the opposition. Conservatives love her. She doesn’t make them howl- she makes them chortle and if she didn’t exist they’d simply put someone else in her slot. Frankly I’m not sure it’d be easy to find many politicians more dissimilar from Trump than AOC.Report

              • Pinky in reply to North
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                says:

                They’re identical in intelligence, self-reflection, and press appeal.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to North
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                says:

                They love her the way CNN loved Trump. The way Acosta did. The way Brian Stelter did.Report

  3. InMD
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    says:

    I’m actually lost on the core thesis here. Maybe there was an event I missed? If not this seems like something that could have been written in Obama’s second term at absolute latest. Since 2016 I’d say there’s been plenty of culture war from the left, up to including situations where it may have cost some elections and certainly seems to be undermining competitiveness in the Midwest.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to InMD
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      says:

      “Democrats are losing culture war fights here or there. Therefore: They are not really fighting.”Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to InMD
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      says:

      The thesis is that the Democratic Party is going to be tarred as the modern equivalent of “Rum, Rome, and Rebellion” anyway, which I guess would “Drugs, BLM, and Trans Rights so we might as well give a full throttled defense of social liberalism rather than run on wonk policy grounds. Essentially when Republican politicians introduce anti-trans legislation, just speak out about it directly.Report

      • InMD in reply to LeeEsq
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        says:

        Got it. So it’s not so much a thesis, then, as it is doubling down on things that seem to not work.Report

        • North in reply to InMD
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          says:

          The further left, unlike the further right, is not a cheap date.Report

          • InMD in reply to North
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            says:

            Pretty much.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to North
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            says:

            There is also very little evidence that the Democratic Party is being a shrinking violet on culture war issues. Blue states are increasing the strength of their abortion laws. Biden has not shied away from being supportive of transrights or LBGT rights in general. I’m not sure what the post is about to be honest except for the idea that wanting a media career demands strictly following Murc’s law.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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              says:

              Adam Bass is on your side, Saul! He’s trying to *HELP* you!Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
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              says:

              What a lot of punditry refuses to accept is that there isn’t any One Weird Trick to secure liberal democracy.

              That in fact, America is deeply divided on the proposition that all people are created equal with just under half of the electorate either hostile or ambivalent.

              There isn’t any clever way to solve this, whether by Green Lanternism from the POTUS or another round of charts and graphs.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to InMD
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          says:

          No, it’s a claim that Dems actually have to present a _defense_ of things and try to argue points to the public, instead of just constantly ceding the discussion to the right, and then turning around and trying to justify things with ‘the polls’ and nonsense like that.

          The voters do not magically create political beliefs out of thin air. They get political beliefs by people showing up on their TV and arguing forcefully and convincingly for them.Report

    • DavidTC in reply to InMD
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      says:

      I’m actually lost on the core thesis here. Maybe there was an event I missed?

      I think the fact you missed the event is sorta the premise of this post?

      Republicans have, very recently, ramped up massive attacks on LGBTQ rights. They started with trans rights, but when they got no pushback they moved to gay rights.

      And the elected Democrats have not acted anywhere near as outraged as they should be. They could be making this national news, they could literally be running on this, and they are letting Republicans frame the issues, and keep it local for Red States.

      Part of the way that you _win_ on the national stage is taking some random extremist position that a state party has done, or is just pushing, and present that as the opposition’s side.

      It’s literally the premise of Republicans complaining about California, you take the most liberal possible thing even vaguely hinted at happening in a place that is really liberal, and claim it is everything.

      The Dems need to do that. They need to start running around in purple and blue states yelling about how the Republicans are trying to get gay teachers fired and even arrested. They need to start yelling about how they’re banning books.(1) Yes, right now, that’s local, but claim they’ll clearly do it at the national level if allowed.

      Of course, ‘The Democrats need to actually treat things as serious as Republicans’ is pretty much the defintion of American politics.

      …and people need to notice in my post that I didn’t actually suggest any policy or anything. This is not ‘What the Democrats should do with policy’, this is ‘What the Democrats need to get on talk shows and rant about’.

      1) Have we actually _had_ a post about a major political party descending into banning books? Because we _did_ actually have a post here when a random queer tiktoker burned her own copy of Rowling’s books to symbolically leave the fandom, and it seems _really weird_ that somehow that was so horrific, whereas elected Republicans actually pulling books from library shelves is, uh, unmentioned?Report

      • InMD in reply to DavidTC
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        You’re assuming symmetry where it does not exist.Report

      • Koz in reply to DavidTC
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        says:

        The Dems need to do that. They need to start running around in purple and blue states yelling about how the Republicans are trying to get gay teachers fired and even arrested. They need to start yelling about how they’re banning books.(1) Yes, right now, that’s local, but claim they’ll clearly do it at the national level if allowed.

        I don’t want to put people on the spot too much, but there’s a really interesting dynamic among libs here at the League (I’m thinking in particular of Inmd and North) which illustrates why you’re wrong on this point.

        The point being is that normie libs are at their lowest level of esteem for public schools and other establishmentarian quasi-authorities than at any time in our lives. So when push comes to shove and some teachers or administrators get fired, you might be surprised at whose side various people are on.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Koz
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          Yes! I’ve worried about this before, that our back-to-normal thinking leads us to forget all the changes that happened during the pandemic, including the massive loss of faith in public school teachers.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Pinky
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            Could either of you please post the SLIGHTEST evidence that teachers have had any loss of faith at all, because I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

            What are you talking about? Any polling, whatsoever. Any reason they would have lost faith, whatsoever. I’ve been sitting here googling this for like ten minutes, literally cannot find a single thing about it.

            Or have you just conflated a drop in confidence for _schools_ with _teachers_? Which…hasn’t actually dropped either, it just had a bump in 2020 while all parents were learning how hard education was, which they instantly forgot the next year:

            https://news.gallup.com/poll/352316/americans-confidence-major-institutions-dips.aspxReport

        • DavidTC in reply to Koz
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          Koz, liberals are not going to be supporting gay teachers getting fired for being gay. That idea is complete nonsense. Even if we assume that for some reason liberals have decided that teachers are ‘establishmentarian quasi-authorities’, liberals aren’t going to be in favor of the government punishing _gay people_ for _being gay_.

          I don’t quite know what you think liberals thinks, but I promise you, they’re against that.

          In fact, let’s _ask_ North or InMD: Would you be okay with, say, teachers being investigated because they mentioned they were going to be out for a few days because they were getting married and mentioning their new spouse’s name?Report

          • Koz in reply to DavidTC
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            says:

            No David, obviously your frame of reference is neurotic bullsiht and irrelevant.

            As it applies to Inmd, I am corresponding with him briefly on this very thread, and if you could be bothered to read it you’d find out we’re talking about the caveats whereby he will or won’t be the 260th vote in my shiny new House majority.

            And most of that has to do with the credibility of our team and Rufo-associated people toward fulfilling the basic education mission of the schools. And at the risk of stating the obvious, in the context of the basic educational mission of the schools, your anxieties are a distraction. And as your power base in this situation is lost or weakened, it’s a distraction that becomes easier and easier to ignore.Report

  4. LeeEsq
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    says:

    At least from casual observation, many Democratic voters do not have the right sort of demeanor for a culture war fight even if they really want to. Like I pointed out above there is an idea that you need to be positive and use the Care Bear Stare rather than go into full out negativity and aggression when it comes to advancing liberal values. You can’t use meathead language apparently. But waging a culture war does require negativity.Report

    • dhex in reply to LeeEsq
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      you should check out twitter sometime. it has a, uh, “robust” expression of “negativity and aggression” for any topic or position you might like.

      (protip: don’t do it)Report

  5. Chip Daniels
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    says:

    Democrats do need to embrace their core message and fight, because Republicans couldn’t resist ripping their own mask off and telling us what they are really saying.

    They want gay people back in the closet and to treat trans people as mentally ill.
    They want abortion to be a crime everywhere.
    They want contraception to be a privilege dispensed at men’s control.
    And of course, non-white people pushed aside as second class citizens.

    All the moral panics and hysteria are designed toward this goal.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      They want gay people back in the closet and to treat trans people as mentally ill.

      Fact check: Mostly False. They don’t want gay people back in the closet. Many/most consider trans people to be mentally ill but don’t want to limit their actions after they reach adulthood.

      They want abortion to be a crime everywhere.

      Fact Check: Mostly False. Many do, including myself, but most would support exceptions.

      They want contraception to be a privilege dispensed at men’s control.

      Fact Check: False. There is no evidence in support of this statement.

      And of course, non-white people pushed aside as second class citizens.

      Fact Check: False. There is no evidence in support of this statement.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
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        says:

        “Nobody’s arguing that!”Report

        • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          To which one?Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
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            My argument is not to you, but everyone else here, to look at the totality of the Republican tribe and tell me if those charges don’t seem accurate.

            The reason is, this ties to my other comment about how the Republican brand is built on lies.

            It isn’t possible to take the Republicans at face value- everything is code, hidden behind a veil.

            E.g. They scream about an instance of overwrought DEI, then quickly pivot to banning books by black authors, and even math textbooks mentioning black mathematicians.
            That is, they were lying.

            They scream about a teacher making an inappropriate comment, then pass a law prosecuting parents for providing support for their trans children.
            That is, they were lying.

            And so on.Report

            • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              Specifics: How often have Republicans banned books by black authors? I doubt that has ever happened, but I’m going to assume you’re talking about library access or recommended or required classroom reading for public elementary and secondary education. Even then, I haven’t heard about any authors’ works being blocked because of their skin color. You’ve cited a few cases where some books have been proposed for being removed from reading lists for containing criticism of white slave-owning society, and that’s wrong assuming there’s no more to it than that. But that’s nothing like the general statement you’ve made.

              How often have Republicans prosecuted parents for providing support for their trans children? I doubt that has ever happened, but I’m going to assume you’re talking about chemical and surgical treatment or, in some cases, telling children to dress and act like the other sex. That also is nothing like the general statement you’ve made, and nothing at all like the claim that Republicans want gay people back in the closet.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
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                While a number of the books on these lists are being banned and challenges for LGBTQIA+ and or sexual themes, and least 4 of every 10 are by people of color.

                https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
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                Out of the five books that have LGBTQ+ on there, four of them also mention “sexually explicit”.

                I’m curious. Are we talking the level of sexually explicit as is found in Winesberg, Ohio? Or are we talking about, like, for real levels of sexually explicit?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                Since you brought up, maybe you tell us.
                Who is making the charge of them being explicit?
                Is it true, or yet another lie, like teachers grooming children for sex?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                NOW I HAVE TO READ A BOOK?

                THIS IS BULLSHITReport

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Hi, I see that you’re new to the site. It might interest you to know that we’ve already had substantial debates about the term “groomer”.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
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                One thing that I’d be curious about is if there is a level of sexual explicitity that we’d get him to agree beforehand would be, okay, maybe we shouldn’t have people who have not yet reached the age of majority read this.

                I mean, jeez. I went out of my way to sneak Stephen King books but that’s different from having it *ASSIGNED*.

                If I heard that a sixteen year old snuck a copy of IT out of the library, I’d nod and say “well, that’s how I did it.” Probably start talking about how the book had an amazing start and an amazing middle but sort of petered out at the end there.

                If I heard that the English teacher *ASSIGNED* it?!?!? GOOD LORD DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THE LAST THIRD OF THE BOOK??? WHAT THE HELL

                As such, I’d be interested in knowing if there is a level of bad that we’d agree ought not be assigned to people who have not yet reached the age of majority.

                And if the answer is “No”, then that’s his answer.
                And if the answer is “Yes”, well, now we’re haggling. And I’m going to have to google something and then we can start pointing to paragraphs.

                (For the record, Winesberg, Ohio was pretty good. The sex scenes were more of the form “fade to black, and then they had sex, and now he’s smoking a cigar” which strikes me as perfectly appropriate. If a parent teacher organization started screaming about Winesberg, Ohio, I’d probably roll my eyes. If a different PTO started talking about stuff around the level of IT, however, I’d say that, yeah. They got a point. And I don’t know which it is.)Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                This is another lie from Republicans.

                “We simply don’t know! Are there teachers grooming children for sex, or being assigned pornography?
                Are children being secretly castrated without parental knowledge? We don’t know!”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Is there a level of sexual imagery that you would consider explicit enough to say “okay, I can understand how a non-prude might think that that was getting pretty close to the line”?

                I won’t even make you say where the line is.

                I said that my line was somewhere between Winesberg, Ohio and Stephen King’s IT.

                Do you have a line? Is there anything on the other side of it when it comes to assigned reading to people who have not yet reached the age of majority?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                You’ve spent more time “just asking questions” about children being assigned pornography, than it would have taken to follow the link and answer your own question.

                YOU introduced the subject of sexual explicitness, so let’s address your concerns.

                What are the objectionable passages from the books in question?
                What age level are they being assigned?
                Can you find them and place them here so we can all see for ourselves?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Philip raised the subject with his link.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                Yeah, and I’ve also answered the questions I’ve asked you so I’m not merely asking them, I’m answering them too.

                Do you have answers for them?

                Here, I’ll ask the important one again:

                Is there a level of sexual imagery that you would consider explicit enough to say “okay, I can understand how a non-prude might think that that was getting pretty close to the line”?

                Because, if the answer to that is “No”, then it doesn’t matter what’s in the book, does it? Whatever I dig up won’t cross your line because you do not have one.

                I just want to know what your answer is.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                You’re trying very hard to avoid showing us the offending passages.

                Show us so we can all see for ourselves.

                Otherwise I’ll assume the Republicans are lying, yet again.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You accused Republicans of specific things. You failed to demonstrate those things. You still want to assume that you’re correct, go ahead.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                No, Chip. I haven’t even *LOOKED*.

                It’s because if your answer to *MY* question is “No”, then there is no point for me to go and look because you have already hammered out that it is not possible for the books to have offending passages even in theory.

                So I’ll repeat my question:

                Is there a level of sexual imagery that you would consider explicit enough to say “okay, I can understand how a non-prude might think that that was getting pretty close to the line”?

                Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “How can I accuse liberals of grooming children with pornography without evidence? Ah, let’s turn this conversation into an examination of Chips attitudes towards sex!”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Is it possible for the books to have offending passages even in theory?

                I’m not making the accusation. I’m just wondering if there is any level of sexual explicitness in these books that would get you to say “okay, yeah, maybe those books could have been replaced with one that was a little less sexually explicit. Something like Winesberg, Ohio.”Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Only one way to find out.
                Show the offending passages.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                No, the first way to find out is to hammer out that you agree that there *COULD* *POSSIBLY* be something that would get you to say “okay, maybe that shouldn’t be assigned to children”.

                If you believe that there is nothing that could get you to say that, then any effort I’d put into looking and finding this or that passage would be a waste of time because NO MATTER WHAT THE PASSAGE WAS, it wouldn’t be bad enough to get you to agree that it was bad.

                Because there is nothing that would be that bad. Nothing at all.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The more you backpedal, the more convinced I am that the “explicit” passages were entirely benign.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not backpedalling!

                Again: I HAVE NOT EVEN LOOKED AT THE PASSAGES!

                I’m just asking you if it is even theoretically possible for a passage to be too sexually explicit for you to defend it being assigned to children

                If it is not theoretically possible for a passage to be too sexually explicit to be assigned to children in your view, what difference does it make whether I pull a passage from Winesberg, Ohio or whether I pull it from American Psycho?

                We’ll have already hammered out that you don’t think that the American Psycho book is too explicit either!Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, and let me just say that my own, personal, line is such that if I encounter something in the book that I wouldn’t want to excerpt and leave in a comment, I’ll rot13 it.

                Rot13 is a simple back-and-forth encryption protocol. It turns “The butler did it” into “Gur ohgyre qvq vg” and vice-versa.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                “The more you backpedal, the more convinced I am that the “explicit” passages were entirely benign.”

                i think what Chip is doing here is squirming every which way he possibly can think of to avoid actually answering Jaybird’s questionReport

              • Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                If the accusation is that teachers are assigning pornography, why is Chip’s taste for Japanese tentacle sex hentai important?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I was addressing the issues that Chip raised. I did notice that among the list of reasons on the link provided, none of them said “written by non-white”.Report

              • North in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                How often have Republicans prosecuted parents for providing support to their trans children? Isn’t that both public policy and law in Texas now?Report

              • Pinky in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                We differ in our definitions of “support”.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Parents in Texas were being investigated for working with doctors, psychologists and other medical professionals to pursue complex, multi-year treatment and supports plans for their transgendered children. Mercifully, a judge stepped in and blocked it for now.

                from up here in the cheap seats that prosecuting for supporting. That’s interfering in parental rights and responsibilities for their won children. That’s the state seeking to impose its own judgement about both moral and medical issues on parents, doctors and psychologists it disagrees with.

                What do you call it?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                “We differ in our definitions of “support”.”

                Passing legislation doesn’t qualify as supporting it?Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                How often have Republicans prosecuted parents for providing support for their trans children? I doubt that has ever happened, but I’m going to assume you’re talking about chemical and surgical treatment or, in some cases, telling children to dress and act like the other sex.

                …I cannot figure out if you’re unaware this is literally what Texas Republicans are trying to do or not.

                Or if you’re trying to split hairs over ‘how often’ or ‘prosecute’. Yes, it hasn’t happened ‘often’, in fact it hasn’t happened once that we know of because this is very new, and the parents are merely being threatened with losing their children for ‘child abuse’, instead of ‘prosecuted’, so is this some sort of technicality you’re arguing?

                Or do you just not know this is happening?

                And no, it’s not ‘chemical or surgical treatment’, which sorta shows you don’t know much about this. Children don’t get surgery for that, or random ‘chemicals’, they get puberty blockers at best so things can be delayed until they are older…and the Texas AG’s office seems to just think parents supporting their child’s gender identity is child abuse, literally just using the pronouns and names their kid wants.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                They also are promoting guidelines forbidding trans teens to dress how they want.
                They are screaming out loud what they want, which is to force their idea of gender roles onto everyone and punish dissent.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Is this where Jaybird sweeps in to point out when we’ve gone from, “THIS NEVER HAPPENS!!! SHOW ME ONE TIME THIS HAS HAPPENED!!!” to “Well, okay, maybe it happens but those aren’t representative of anything.”

                Or does that only apply to liberals?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird and I are different people.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I would always prefer to see a link to the legislation in question but, in this case, I already know that the legislation is particularly toxic and I don’t need a link to it.

                But I’m pleased to see that we agree that “This never happens” transition to “This isn’t representative” is troublesome when other people do it.

                Imagine how frustrated you’ll feel when someone points out that this only happened a couple of times.

                Or, one of my favorites when discussing the Big Gulp Ban, “That doesn’t count because a judge blocked it before it actually went through.”Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                But I’m pleased to see that we agree that “This never happens” transition to “This isn’t representative” is troublesome when other people do it.

                Do you not understand that things are _gradients_? The complaint is not that ‘behaviors of individuals cannot be used to show group behaviors’, the complaint is always ‘things said by random internet people whom we often know literally nothing about are not the same as public statements or proposed legislation by actual elected officials and political leaders and you cannot hold them up as equally representative of their sides’.

                And who said ‘the soda ban doesn’t count because it was blocked’?

                Of course, I have no idea what you think it would ‘count for’, anyway. You know Bloomberg was originally elected as a Republican, and was at no point during being mayor a Democrat?

                And he was pretty soundly rejected by the Democrats when he showed up in the primary, despite massive massive spending. So, no, the Democrats do not have to take any blame for him or his soda ban.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Do you not understand that things are _gradients_?

                Sure.

                But I still recognize “I don’t have to talk about this” when I see it.

                And who said ‘the soda ban doesn’t count because it was blocked’?

                It shows up in comments from time to time.

                It was primarily used as a defense against “libertarians” rather than “real political parties”, though.

                You know Bloomberg was originally elected as a Republican, and was at no point during being mayor a Democrat?

                True enough, but Bloomy is generally my go-to for an example of busybody government nannyism and thinking that government has an obligation to get really granular in your life rather than an example of “Democrats”.

                And he was pretty soundly rejected by the Democrats when he showed up in the primary, despite massive massive spending.

                He got more delegates than the VP, I tell you what.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                True enough, but Bloomy is generally my go-to for an example of busybody government nannyism and thinking that government has an obligation to get really granular in your life rather than an example of “Democrats”.

                You understand how that is logical nonsense, right?

                To assert that Bloomberg is an example of a group of a people, you’d have to demonstrate that those people are as in favor of ‘busybody government nannyism’ as him.

                Basically, your theory appears to be ‘I can just claim that what a random politician is doing is the same as what Bloomberg did, because they are doing a thing that I consider nannyism, and he did nannyism, ergo, it’s the same, and this proves my claim it’s nannyism’.

                Yeah you get pushback on that. Because it’s nonsense. It is obviously begging the question by the assumption of that whatever is under discussion _is_ nannyism.

                Which is almost certainly the actual disagreement and thing that needed proving to start with!

                And it is completely different than arguing ‘This named political group, which has organized as an entity for the purpose of doing politics, has high-level and important members that are trying to do X in government, ergo, it is reasonable to claim that the group is trying to do X’. I’m not saying that such a claim is completely clear cut, groups can indeed have out-of-sync outliers, but it is at least a _reasonable_ starting claim.

                These are completely different things.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                To assert that Bloomberg is an example of a group of a people, you’d have to demonstrate that those people are as in favor of ‘busybody government nannyism’ as him.

                Eh. I generally just point to all of the people who are either defending what Bloomberg did, who explain that they’re not *DEFENDING* what Bloomberg did, but provision of public health care does put a lien against the behavior of others who are engaging in pleasurable self-harm that raises healthcare costs, and the general anti-anti-sentiment that bubbles up when the implication is that the government should not be regulating the size of Big Gulps.

                Seriously, there are people who come out of the woodwork.

                Basically, your theory appears to be ‘I can just claim that what a random politician is doing is the same as what Bloomberg did, because they are doing a thing that I consider nannyism, and he did nannyism, ergo, it’s the same, and this proves my claim it’s nannyism’.

                While I do appreciate that particular trick, I prefer to start by calling something nannyism and then going from there.

                However, in this particular case, the move was about the whole anti-anti- thing where a particular politician does X. Judge blocks X. Argument goes that we shouldn’t worry about X because no politician has successfully did X.

                “What about the politician who did X?”
                “Why do you constantly bring him up?”

                In this particular case… what’s X?

                Removing books from the curriculum due to explicit content (yet to be defined or even conceded to be something that has grounds to be removed from a curriculum)?Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird, something _Bloomberg_ did is not representative of anything in politics because Bloomberg is a weirdo that absolutely no one likes and literally has only ever been elected because he is extremely rich and voters are stupid and if you blanket political ads, you might win.

                People arguing that the ban is ‘not representative’ because it was blocked…well, they’re arguing something stupid. But the ban indeed isn’t representative, not because it didn’t go into effect, but because it was, in fact, made by an independent political weirdo in circumstances that cannot be mapped to anything else.

                It’s like pointing at that town with the cat as a mayor.

                However, in this particular case, the move was about the whole anti-anti- thing where a particular politician does X. Judge blocks X. Argument goes that we shouldn’t worry about X because no politician has successfully did X.

                Did you read those examples?

                One of them had someone comparing the _results_ of that soda ban to the results of prohibition, and the response pointed out that as the soda ban did not go into effect, it did not have ‘results’ in any meaningful sense. That is an entirely valid thing to point out.

                The other claimed the country was going downhill partially due to the soda ban, and someone snarked that a soda ban that never went into effect was surely as detrimental to Gulf War II, a war we had been fighting for years. The mention of it not going into effect is just part of the snark about how it was clearly a thing destroying this country.

                I.e., both of them are mentioning the fact that it didn’t go into effect as part of a response to an extremely weird claim that it had horrific effects…which it didn’t, because it didn’t go into effect.

                There are, in fact, people defending the soda ban…but no one is trying to dismiss it as ‘not a real thing someone did’ because it was blocked.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Sadly, what you think makes Bloomy not particularly representative is what makes me see him as more of a “pulling the curtain back” kinda guy.

                I think that the soda ban DID have results. Even though it was blocked and never went through.

                For one thing, it pulled the curtain back.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Pulled the curtain back on what exactly?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Also, you REALLY shouldn’t call it a soda ban because you could still buy soda.

                I mean, if we aren’t going to use the term “book ban” unless a book is impossible to get, you shouldn’t use the term “soda ban” when soda’s availability was never in question.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Sodadomor was already shot down and I know better than to go for… you know… *THAT* one.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So it’s okay to call a not-soda-ban a soda ban but not okay to call a not-book-ban a book ban? Cool.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Okay fine. If you want to put a fine point on it, we can agree that it should be called “removing the book from the assigned curriculum” rather than a ban.

                That’s probably more accurate anyway.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Cute. I’ll assume that is your way of admitting you’re wrong.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                It wasn’t a “ban”. You could always get a 16 ounce soda. You just couldn’t get a 32 ounce one.

                You could buy two 16 ouncers, of course. You could go to Starbucks and buy a frazzolioli iced coffee with two shots of caramel.

                You just couldn’t get 32 ounces of Diet Coke.

                That wasn’t a ban. It was more of a limit.

                A “fence”, if you will.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                The real admission here is that, in the eyes of conservatives, banning a large size soda is comparable to banning a book that is politically unpleasant to the government.

                I saw something floating around to the effect that “tyranny” is privileged people experiencing what previously was only experienced by the unprivileged.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                We should loosen the things binding the unprivileged, don’t you agree? Give them the same equity under the law as enjoyed by you?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think you agree with that, is my point.

                I mean, think of how your comments on this matter appear to us.

                You’ve brought up this soda ban, like what, a dozen times?
                And the Dr. Seuss book, half a dozen?

                Not “responding” to it, but dropping it into a conversation, repeatedly.

                These things are very obviously important to you and loom large in your thinking about injustice.

                Yet, in the topic of censorship, never a peep about actual book bans by the government for political reasons, much less the campaign of terror being waged against LGBTQ people.

                So it seems entirely fair and accurate to say that for conservatives, banning a large size soda and a book with racial caricatures is a terrible injustice, while banning a book because it has black people in it or threatening to take children away from loving homes merits a shrug.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Would you say that my comments on this matter appear to people as being an obvious dance between phrasings that are in my own interests where I describe some events in absolutely clinical language and demanding precision while, in others, I feel free to engage in histrionic moral language and imply bad motives to anyone who doesn’t agree with me?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                No, I’m saying that conservatives are keenly aware of the most trivial inconvenience to themselves while being callously indifferent to injustice to others.

                A soda ban = children being ripped from their homes, ffs.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                As someone who believes in limits to government jurisdiction, I agree.

                For what it’s worth, I think expansion of government into jurisdiction that is not theirs is something that should be opposed even when it’s something as silly as when poor people want a large-sized drink.

                Rather than wave it away and point out that, well, we have an obesity crisis and maybe if we’re on the hook for health care provision, people could meet us halfway when it comes to being healthy…Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I can’t parody this.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m sure you won’t have to.

                Just wait for the Next Big Moral Event and follow wherever your heart takes you.Report

              • Greg In Ak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Are CRT and Groomers done allready?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Greg In Ak
                Ignored
                says:

                According to the polling, they probably should be.

                But they probably won’t be until November 9th or so.

                Then we can pick up “Nobody was ever arguing that!”Report

              • Greg In Ak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                By “we” you mean “you” right?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Greg In Ak
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m pretty sure that I’ll be saying something about “getting over your skis” and “the important thing is to not double down after the cards have already been flipped”.Report

              • Greg In Ak in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                And if any of that meant anything i’d have a pithy reply.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Greg In Ak
                Ignored
                says:

                It’ll make more sense on November 9th.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                The choice of shiny objects that the Magpie pecks at is far more revealing than the actual pecking could ever be.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I saw this comment and figured someone had butchered the name of the Associate Justice.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                The whole issue of how he is extremely rich and voters are stupid and if you blanket political ads, you might win.

                And then enact policies that any normal person would be able to see was dumb, dumb, dumb.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to DavidTC
                Ignored
                says:

                Republicans are afraid we’ll take their Big Gulps.
                Democrats are afraid they’ll take our kids.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve been told that any “it’s for the children” argument can be immediately discounted.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Isn’t that the primary defense of all these recent education bills?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I didn’t think I was being too subtle there, but let me explain myself. I’ve been reading on this site the idea that Republican arguments about the Florida bill should be rejected on the basis of the claim that it’s for the children. Just now, Chip used a similar argument, so I decided to make fun of it by throwing the claim back. The goal was to expose a fallacy.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I think there is room to question whether Republicans really have the interests of children at heart when they pursue such legislation under such guise.

                Though, as I’ve noted elsewhere, I’m seeing increasing language about “parents’ rights” and less language about “for the children” so even Republicans do seem to be abandoning the notion that this is in fact for the children.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I think they’re making it more specific, which is a good thing. Either side can claim to be for the children (although apparently your side gets a free pass), but when it’s framed as teachers’ rights versus parents’ rights, it’s clearer what’s being debated. I’ll grant that anything the teachers have been doing except for the covid-related school closings have been with the intention of helping the children.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        They don’t want gay people back in the closet.

        Uh, they do. At least, gay kids. The law they passed in Florida had an amendment, which was withdrawn, that said some mandatory reporters (like teachers) must tell parents if they learn those kids are gay.

        This would require any kids who are closeted from their parents to stay closeted at school, also, which is pretty much their entire social circle. If it had passed, they couldn’t risk being out _anywhere_ their teacher might learn about it, because those people would be required by law to tell their parents.

        And you’re about to say ‘That didn’t get in the final bill, so somehow it doesn’t count’, except…um, putting that forward _as_ a law has an incredibly large chilling effect that gay kids are certainly aware of, and any gay kid who knows their parent will react poorly has to now consider ‘Will Republicans legally require this person (or anyone they tell) to tell my parents in the future?’ when considering outing themselves to _anyone_. They can’t magically take back that knowledge if the law passed.

        Florida Republicans have _successfully_ closeted a bunch of gay kids until they reach adulthood. Some percentage of kids are, in fact, going to stay in the closet, period. They can’t risk it. We can’t measure the amount of kids exactly, almost by definition, but it has happened, it’s not a hypothetical.

        In fact, one might think it works out _better_ this way for Republicans, who don’t have to worry if the actual law would pass muster or get signed. They can just put forward as a fact ‘If you tell anyone, even someone like a doctor (not included in this bill but maybe in the future) that is supposed to keep this in confidence, we _might_ make them tell your parents in the future’.

        A reminder: LGBT kids are _extremely_ overrepresented in the youth runaway population, precisely because their parents either were abusive towards them or kicked them out. It’s often not some mere ‘parental disapproval’ that causes them to keep their orientation from their parents, but a threat of actual physical violence or disownment.Report

  6. Pinky
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t see the Democrats doing anything but fight the culture war for most of my lifetime. Maybe they don’t “fight” in the sense that they assume they’ve already won, or maybe in the sense of the party not pushing national policies. But what aspect of the culture haven’t they turned on its head with the promise of doing even more?Report

  7. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    I dispute this. I think Democrats are holding fairly firm on the culture war when and where they can. There is a bit of Murc’s law in this. “Why haven’t Democrats been able to stop what is happening in Florida even though Republicans hold the governorship and significant majorities in the legislature?” You could look at states like Maryland, Colorado, Connecticut, California, etc. that are streghtening their abortion laws in advance of the Supreme Court potentially overturning Roe. The Connecticut law specifically seeks to offer safe harbor against Texas style abortion laws.

    The Democratic Party has not retreated on trans rights either.

    But wanting a media career means blaming Democrats for everything so here we are.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      Its not a policy thing. Its a perception thing. We don’t “fight” because we aren’t brash and we don’t brag.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        Being brash and bragging are typically traits of people with inferiority complexes, such as conservatives have grown to have on social issues. Entitlement and condescension are more traits of superiority complexes which I think fit the current liberal mindset.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        I disagree. The whole thing on the Fox and other right-wing propaganda outlets is that Democrats are extreme radicals who want to enforce a mandatory education on how to be trans with enforced roleplay. Of course this is far from the truth but it is the basis of the “don’t say gay” bills which are already resulting in LBGTQ teachers having their employment terminated and the end of gay-straight alliances at many schools.

        You can’t have it both ways. I don’t think Democrats being more vocal is going to turn right-wingers into social liberals because they now see us as street fighters.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
          Ignored
          says:

          I think a lot of pundits see Republicans as a force to be compromised with and placated, rather than defeated.
          So they look for a solution that leaves justice intact and Republicans mollified.

          But no such solution exists or can exist since the core of Republicanism is injustice.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw
          Ignored
          says:

          Prior to Trump’s win I used to hear a LOT from people down here that “No one is fighting for us in DC anymore” even as they reelected their own favored trash talker. Now what they wanted fought for is another thing, and I agree a good many Southern Whites are back to fighting the Civil War 2.0 to preserve their perceived status in a number of ways. You will recall, however, that a LOT of republicans who took to Trump’s banner in 2016 did so because the GOP establishment wasn’t fighting for them either.Report

  8. John Puccio
    Ignored
    says:

    The Left successfully executed a Culture War for decades. Nothing is more emblematic of that success than gay marriage which went from being rejected by the voters of CALIFORNIA to almost universal acceptance in a matter of years.

    So what has gone wrong for them now?

    Simple. They shifted from Defense to Offense. From protecting their rights to asserting cultural dominance. And the offensive playbook features the hearts and minds of people’s children. A bigger third raill than social security.

    That’s it. That’s the difference. If you cannot grasp that, you will continue to spin your wheels with essays like this one.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to John Puccio
      Ignored
      says:

      Yes I agree.
      We want your children to be loving and accepting of nonwhite, gay and trans people.

      That is, in fact, what this is all about. It is, as you say, the third rail.Report

    • Slade the Leveller in reply to John Puccio
      Ignored
      says:

      Cultural dominance? I think we’re going to need some expounding on that. Taking the bleatings of Rufo and his ilk as a truism is how we got to this point.Report

      • InMD in reply to Slade the Leveller
        Ignored
        says:

        Not to speak for John but I believe if you look at the trends of secularization of the culture it’s basically been a complete rout of the right.* But paradoxically that success has created its own skepticism of the new shamans, when they come to town.

        *Again abortion being the outlier.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          The big issue here is that this is not like arguing about the marginal tax rate though where there is a potential for compromise. Full civil rights for minorities is full civil rights for minorities. There is not a well “maybe here but not there”Report

          • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            Yes there is and we’ve been working it out for a long time. Simple as I won’t use the state to force my religion on you/your kids and you won’t do the same to me and mine. Insanely enough this was the left of center mantra well within living memory, very recent memory even. These are the truces a big, diverse society like ours needs to find to function.Report

            • Philip H in reply to InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              Who broke the truce?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                *THIS* is an important question.

                Because it feels like the iterated game has a lot more people playing “defect” as a tit-for-tat move and it might be important to hammer out when we moved from tit-for-two-tats to tit-for-tat.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Jaybird,

                The Supreme Court is hearing a case today about school prayer even though the decision outlawing it is 60 years old.

                The right-wing has been waging an unconditional war for decades to turn back every single non-Lochner economic decision and every single liberal social decision. Can we stop the lie on the liberals starting it unless starting it = advocate for change in which case the term starting it is so overbroad that it is meaningless.

                You sure like to carry the water of right-wingersReport

              • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                Put more succinctly – he’s not going to get Marijuana legalization under Republican rule.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe I’ll get it under Democratic rule!

                Oh, next term? Fair enough, I guess.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                A liberal parent offered love and affirmation to their trans teen.

                This was a clear provocation and defection. Can you blame them for wanting to arrest these people?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                Golly, I hope the Supreme Court makes the right decision, one that is based in Originalism and not based in a weird “Living Constitution” idea where we look at the First Amendment and say “Well, can we really say what words mean in the first place?”Report

              • Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                so the original rulings weren’t culture wars…Report

              • Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve got to take another shot at this comment in the hopes of starting a conversation. You contend that the right started it, unless someone takes the absurd position that “starting it = advocate for change”. Well, why would that be absurd? The left since the 1960’s hasn’t been advocating for random changes, they’ve been advocating for specific changes that promote their ideology. If something was unchanged before, then someone comes by and starts trying to change it, he’s the one who “started it”. Maybe if there had been no right wing, and all those things had been accepted by everyone, you could make the argument that the right is now “starting it” by creating conflict where there wasn’t any. But that’s not the case at all.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                This is about right, that the left advocated for change and the right resisted it.

                Abolition of the monarchy in 1776?
                The left advocated it, the right resisted.

                Abolition of slavery?
                The left advocated it, the right resisted.

                Women’s suffrage?
                The left advocated it, the right resisted.

                Racial desegregation?
                The left advocated it, the right resisted.

                Voting rights?
                The left advocated it, the right resisted.

                Women’s rights?
                The left advocated it, the right resisted.

                Gay rights?
                The left advocated it, the right resisted.

                Same sex marriage?
                The left advocated it, the right resisted.

                Trans acceptance?
                The left advocated it, the right resisted.

                So yeah, it’s totally fair to say that the left has consistently been advocating for change that promotes our ideology.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                1) Now do socialism. Cabrini Green. CHOP Seattle and the Occupy sex assaults. San Francisco’s homeless crisis. The US public education system. Everything about Detroit.

                2) Again, this idea that anti-racist credentials make you correct on everything else.

                3) The question being debated was who started it. You need to debate Saul on that point.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Also – the first stretch of the list was advocated by the left guided by Christian principles. The break comes right around “women’s rights” depending on which wave we’re talking about. That’s the line where the old, “Nature and Nature’s God” thinking was replaced by sex stuff.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Depends on which Christians were talking about.

                There is for example, an entire branch of Christianity formed specifically to defend slavery.

                And another couple branches that enthusiastically support women’s rights and LGBTQ rights.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Religion is a tool to get what you want. “God wants this” is a more forceful way to say “I want this”. Ergo God is on every side of every ethical issue.

                After the dust has been settled and society 100% thinks X-is-ethical, religion will take credit and pretend it was always the motivator rather than a tool for the motivated.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                “Women’s suffrage?
                The left advocated it, the right resisted.”

                really? as I recall the KKK was a pretty big supporter of suffrage. although it is true that at the time the KKK was mostly Democrats.

                and I guess it’s true that the right resisted suffrage, if only because suffragettes wanted to ban alcohol and most of the people who owned the distilleries were right-aligned Jews.Report

              • InMD in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think it matters as long as the goal is to establish one that is workable.Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              I dissent. I can think of two people who were openly gay in my high school years from 1994-1998. As adults, many more of my former classmates are openly LBGT. However, a frequent right-wing complaint is “why are all these teenagers coming out as LBGT?” and they seem thunderstruck.

              The answer isn’t anything dark or nefarious. The answer is that societal attitudes towards acceptance of LBGT people changed and these kids did not feel like coming out would result in them getting the tar beaten out of them.

              A lot of people want to reverse time on this. There is no socially acceptable truce of “openly gay kids in California is okay but kids in Texas and Florida get to have the tar beaten out of them, sorry.”

              And you are proving Chip’s point about seeing Republicans as a force to be mollified.Report

        • Slade the Leveller in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          Maybe we should start with a definition of cultural dominance, which, I must admit, I don’t have. Or, perhaps the problem is that everyone is trying to establish what it sees as cultural dominance when no one really wants what the other guy is selling. It’s not enough that people want to live their own lives. They want to live everyone else’s, too.

          To address your point more directly, I’d say if the right wanted to hang on to their religion, church doors have been and will continue to be open. Amendment no. 1 expressly forbids the state from adopting the tenets of any religion.Report

          • InMD in reply to Slade the Leveller
            Ignored
            says:

            I think the below part of your comment really gets at the nature of what we’re dealing with:

            Or, perhaps the problem is that everyone is trying to establish what it sees as cultural dominance when no one really wants what the other guy is selling. It’s not enough that people want to live their own lives. They want to live everyone else’s, too.

            I would say that the culture of the United States for much of its history was fairly characterized as broadly Protestant in nature. The big notch in the belt of small-l liberalism has been to successfully drive that out of the public square, with no small help from religious conservatives due to constant hubris and discrediting themselves. But now that it’s gone, and it isn’t coming back there are various visions of what should replace it.Report

      • Koz in reply to Slade the Leveller
        Ignored
        says:

        Cultural dominance? I think we’re going to need some expounding on that. Taking the bleatings of Rufo and his ilk as a truism is how we got to this point.

        A lot of Rufo’s credibility comes from his critics, at least for me.

        I see a lot of stuff like “Nobody is teaching CRT” from woke Twitter and lib cable nets, and I wonder what exactly they are trying to argue.

        Clearly, at at least some level Rufo has the goods, considering he routinely publishes DEI/CRT consulting contracts, curriculum documents district discipline policies, school board minutes, etc etc. I wonder if libs are simply trying to argue that no pupils go to CRT class like they do for geometry.

        Is that the libs’ point, or do they have something else?Report

        • Slade the Leveller in reply to Koz
          Ignored
          says:

          Personally, I don’t find DEI/CRT to be the boogeymen that some people think they are. Rufo is starting with the premise that they, or whatever watered down examples he can find, are prima facie bad. Near as I can tell, the only reason he can give for opposing them is they make him feel bad. Now he’s making bank and a name for himself on the right wing promoting his antics.

          I’m as white as they get and I’ve never felt threatened by learning the faults of our nation. They in no way diminish our country. It’s kind of odd to me that a purported practicing Catholic, as Mr. Rufo professes to be, is that unaware of original sin.Report

          • Koz in reply to Slade the Leveller
            Ignored
            says:

            Personally, I don’t find DEI/CRT to be the boogeymen that some people think they are.

            Yeah, obviously that’s true for a lot of libs such as yourself. But it’s also true this isn’t responsive to what I was getting at above.

            If libs actually want to advocate on behalf of CRT on its merits, I’d be perfectly happy for them to do it, and I’d be on the other side.

            But what’s going on here is clearly not that. It seems that libs don’t want to _advocate for_ CRT, but they want to underhandedly _defend_ it. Or to be more precise, defend the education establishment which implements/buys/practices CRT etc.

            Therefore prominent lib media, ie liberal nets and legacy media, have tried to pretend that CRT _doesn’t meaningfully exist at all_ in the public school, in spite of Rufo repeatedly producing the goods that plainly it does. Typically, the formation that I have heard is “The public schools don’t teach CRT.”

            It’s the sort of maneuver you’d expect, but at a level of gaslighting (or sometimes pedantry) that’s too crude to be credible. Unless I’m missing something, and maybe I am.Report

            • InMD in reply to Koz
              Ignored
              says:

              The gaslighting is annoying but the core of what it does if left unchecked is destroy the quality of public education. This is a major reason people live in the blue, high cost of living parts of the country- good public schools. It is also why (I hope) coalitions of parents continue to get rid of it but also why Rufo et al with his own vision has already to some degree misinterpreted the situation and will inevitably overreach.

              So for the Republicans to get their 260th or 270th seat they should look at the concern as:

              -eliminating blind testing, testing generally, student tracking, and advanced math for ‘equity’

              -keeping schools closed while focusing on school names, as notoriously was the case in SF. Extrapolate from this all of the instances of focusing on nonsense at the expense of the core mission of educating children.

              -pedagogy and administrative practices emphasizing pseudo-religous concepts related to race and now gender magic, as we have been discussing recently. This includes characterizing habits that lead to academic success as ‘white supremacy’ or some other negative thing.

              -endlessly wasting time, resources, and taxpayer money on DEI grifters, none of whom have any educational value

              -the seeming anti-transparency attitudes that for whatever reason tend to go hand in hand with it.

              All of these things together, which are funded by property and state taxes, are a problem that can mostly be solved by negation. All they need to do is stop and it is resolved.

              Now Rufo went in depth and very candidly into his own vision in his interview with Andrew Sullivan, which is a sort of opposing, but also highly politicized set of values. He’s accepts the basic premise of his opponents that there is no truth, there is no right way to do things, there is only power, and so he is destined for a similar defeat, just like the Discovery Institute he used to work for was with Intelligent Design. I think the same will eventually happen where conservatives, as John P put it, are attempting to play offense. That’s allowing for private lawsuits in FL, and the CPS investigation of parents obtaining medical treatment for children with gender issues. It’s all a violation of the Normie principles at issue, which is pro good public services and simultaneously pro being left alone and out of various crusades. There may be points where these things come into tension but the direction of this debate is a failure to get the easy stuff right, and it’s rapidly becoming bipartisan.Report

              • Koz in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                This is a great response, especially this part:

                The gaslighting is annoying but the core of what it does if left unchecked is destroy the quality of public education. This is a major reason people live in the blue, high cost of living parts of the country- good public schools.

                If you didn’t write this, I probably would have wrote something similar. Because this is the link between the frustrations related to the public schools and the political consequences I was talking about before.

                At a reasonably deep level, this is why places like Maryland, Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, etc are blue states. People like you don’t like and don’t trust Anita Bryant/Phyllis Schafly/Tom DeLay types, and you’ll gladly empower your local teachers’ unions and Democratic Party to keep them out of the nearby public schools.

                That has put people like you on the opposite side politically from people like me for the better part of thirty years and to a significant extent that has defined the frontiers of our political divide that we see today.

                But if the public schools aren’t working, as determined by you, there’s nobody left to support the public schools and its bureaucracies and our political geography looks a lot different.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Public schools have the flaws that they’re easily highjacked and their top priority isn’t educating my kid.

                CRT seems more a political ideology than a core educational goal like math/English.

                The odds are against you so you should work hard, not do drugs, and not have kids before marriage is a fine message to which no one would object. CRT doesn’t seem to be that.Report

              • Koz in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Public schools have the flaws that they’re easily highjacked and their top priority isn’t educating my kid.

                Yeah, obviously. That’s the “Critical” part of CRT.

                Besides the fact that nobody has to follow CRT down its academic, anti-colonialist rabbit hole, the bigger picture is that to a large extent Rufo and the like are the means where education establishment and libs in general are prevented from “going meta” at all.

                The public schools have a mission. If they are failing at that mission, we need to do things to improve performance, not give administrators and libs a platform to bytch about things they don’t like in wider society.Report

            • Slade the Leveller in reply to Koz
              Ignored
              says:

              Why do you find it so offensive? To me it’s a way of explaining a world someone lives in that I’m not really a part of. I’m not going to dismiss out of hand a worldview of my fellow countrymen just because it doesn’t fit with mine.Report

              • Koz in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                Because it’s teaching things that are bad on their own terms, not age appropriate, and irrelevant to the mission of public schools. That seems pretty sufficient to me.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                Saying something is bad because it’s bad seems to be the argument du jour.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                The criticisms of CRT are pretty damning. It’s a narrative trying hard to disguise itself as a fact… to the point where it’s academic proponents need to redefine the definition of “truth” to make it work.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_race_theory#Academic_criticismReport

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh. Truth in politics. That’s a good one.

                Politics and social science seem like poor fields in which to discover truth. If CRT was to deny truth in math or physics, I might be worried.

                What I’m getting from this discussion is that CRT can be all things to everyone. Love it, hate it, it’s there with welcoming arms to become what you want it to be.Report

              • Chris in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                The “narrative” critique, and the “alternative conception of truth” critique, have both been common for 30 years, and have frequently been answered by CRT scholars (e.g., by pointing out that, while narratives and storytelling are an important part of the CRT literature, the overwhelming majority of it is more traditionally academic in form, consisting of the presentation of arguments and evidence, and the answering of counterarguments).

                The criticisms would only be as damning as you believe if they were accurate, and your assumption (from a Wikipedia article citing another encyclopedia’s article citing one pair of critics) that they are suggests you haven’t engaged the ideas at all. And of course you haven’t. Why would you? But knowing that you haven’t, maybe you shouldn’t make such sweeping claims, which such certainty.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Even if all of that is true none of it makes the case for it being a good basis for K-12 level education, especially as that sausage is made by local elected officials, education bureaucracies, teachers, and admins.

                You start with an argument between university academics about whether certain behavioral and performance expectations might be influencing macro level racial inequalities. Fine, whatever. But then it gets run through the DEI consulting grift and the bureaucracy and possibly some local politics and activism and comes out the bottom end with a message that enforcing attendance policies or pushing students to get the right answer are white supremacy.Report

              • Chris in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Absolutely no one is teaching critical race theory, as it’s talked about in academic circles, in K-12. Are there ideas that have been influenced by critical race theory being taught in those grades? Maybe, I don’t know. I have yet to see a coherent argument about why CRT-influenced ideas shouldn’t be taught to those students. Simply associating them with CRT isn’t enough. You’d have to flesh out why, in particular, and the arguments I’ve seen (e.g., race essentialism, treating individuals as responsible for systemic issues, etc.) are in fact pretty much the opposite of what CRT itself says.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                I am sure you’re right that no one is teaching a CRT seminar, as it would be done in a grad school course, at K-12. But that’s not what I said. I said a bizarre bastardization of some of the ideas is being filtered down through activism, and consultants, and a game of telephone on the grad school to education bureaucracy pipeline. The result is a sudden appearance of ideas in the K-12 space ranging from meritless to anti-education to downright racist themselves.Report

              • Chris in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Which ideas are racist themselves, specifically?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s a great video here. It’s queued up to the right moment and everything. Seriously, it’ll brighten your day.

                Now, you may be tempted to say, “that’s not how it’d be taught in a graduate school seminar! That’s only how it manifests after it has worked its way through the snake down to the Karens! AND YOU KNOW WHAT KARENS ARE LIKE!”

                And, oh my gosh, I do.

                But if the criticism is of what it looks like on the other side of the snake, that video requires us to either agree or to pivot back to something about Scotsmen.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The link goes to a previous article, not a video.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s about halfway down the page.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The baby on the leg thing? Explain to me how that relates to CRT, either in the academic form or the ideas its influenced that are in ed schools and such?

                Or is there a different video where I’m supposed to see someone teaching/being taught CRT or ideas influenced by it?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                This why I’m calling these out as lies.

                They can’t ever just come out and speak clearly and show us what is objectionable.
                Instead it’s always “hey look at this video” or some furious backpedaling of “oh, well, that bit of historical trivia may not be necessary in a math book”.

                The Republicans explicitly campaigned on the claim that teachers and books were promoting harmful ideas, and when challenged, they collapse into mumbling incoherence.

                That is, they were lying.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You’ve used that word a lot today, but you haven’t presented a documentable lie. At some point the assumption that you’re a truthful person who may be mistaken starts to look questionable.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, the baby on the leg thing.

                Explain to me how that relates to CRT, either in the academic form or the ideas its influenced that are in ed schools and such?

                The problem is that CRT is *CLEVER*.

                Bertrand Russell covers this:
                “A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.”

                This is what it looks like after the aforementioned game of telephone.

                And at this point, I get to repeat myself:

                Now, you may be tempted to say, “that’s not how it’d be taught in a graduate school seminar! That’s only how it manifests after it has worked its way through the snake down to the Karens! AND YOU KNOW WHAT KARENS ARE LIKE!”

                And, oh my gosh, I do.

                But if the criticism is of what it looks like on the other side of the snake, that video requires us to either agree or to pivot back to something about Scotsmen.

                Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So is the concern that the people yelling about the baby on the knee are going to be leading DEI training in schools?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Let’s say that you need a volunteer to help with DEI training in schools.

                Who’s most likely to show up? Who’s most likely to fight for the job?

                Her? I’m guessing her.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So now the claim has shifted from “They’re teaching harmful and inappropriate ideas to children!” to “Its possible that someday in the future a volunteer may show up who has bad ideas!”

                The original claim was a lie.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip, there are other examples available in the linked post. Including examples of teachings that were dropped or modified when exposed to sunlight.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Can you use your words and tell us what the harmful teachings were?

                For bonus points, tell us how the new laws apply to them.

                Or can we expect another pivot to something else?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I can’t measure harm, just backtracking and corporate apologies.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                But you can understand how the original claim is seen as a lie, right?

                Because even after a few dozen tries, no one can actually present support for it, but instead they just keep backing away and changing the subject.

                Which is what happens when people lie and get caught.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh! Wait! I just remembered! I *DO* have evidence of harm!

                However, it comes from an actual Person of Color so you probably won’t want to read it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So, once again, a backpedal and shift of direction.

                Oh, we were never claiming that these math textbooks had harmful ideas in them, instead, here is a black person questioning whether we should improve the portrayal of black people!

                The original claim was a lie.

                Not a mistaken opinion, not a good faith error, but a deliberate lie, told by people with a history of lying, and repeated by people who knew it was a lie, and repeated it anyway.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not a backpedal. On the drive home I remembered Dennis’s essay and so I linked to it because it’s what you said you wanted.

                There it is. Evidence of harm from CRT (or, more likely, Bad DEI) taught in schools.

                What are you asking for now? I’ll see if I can find you a link to that too.

                “Oh, so now you’re answering my *NEW* question?”Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                No, nothing in Dennis’ essay supports the Florida law either in spirit or letter, and in fact, Dennis’ essay itself would likely be banned in Florida.

                But your desperate attempt is why I use the term “lie” because it is so transparent.

                The Republicans have been given about a hundred opportunities to provide support for the Florida law, and every time behaved like kids trying to sell a whopper about the dog and the missing homework.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                So we’ve gone from “SHOW EVIDENCE OF HARM!” to “NOW DEFEND THE FLORIDA LAW!”?

                I’m not sure that your accusations of others lying come from a house built on solid rock, Chip.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I started with noting how the Florida Republicans banned a math textbook without offering any support.

                And now we’ve come right back to that.

                What is offensive about the books being banned in Florida?
                No one can seem to find any.

                After a hundred or so attempts at misdirection, goalpost shifting, evasions and countercharges, not one person has been able to present any passages from the banned books which support them being banned.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                This comes not a half-hour after accusations of others backpedaling and shifting direction.

                I’m beginning to suspect that I should google “projection”.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                While you’re doing that, maybe search for evidence of harmful passages in the Florida books.

                Maybe its on the deep web or something, because no one can find it. Especially the people who keep telling us its there.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t know about the books.

                When it comes to the ones removed for being sexually explicit, I never got you to agree that there could *POSSIBLY* be something too explicit to assign to children.

                Without you agreeing to that, I’m not sure that we share enough of a common language for me to find something.

                (Also I leave for Iceland tomorrow. I won’t really be able to do research for a week. I’m sure we’ll get back to this, though. But, for a week, you can claim “NOBODY EVER GOT ME A SINGLE OFFENSIVE PASSAGE!” without anyone pushing back saying “you never agreed that there was something that could possibly be offensive in the first place”.)Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I do know about the books.

                I know that they were written and reviewed by professional educators.
                The state of Florida banned the books claiming they contained harmful ideas.
                Yet, no one has ever been able to find a harmful passage in them.

                So, the original claim was a lie, told by liars, and repeated by more liars.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve not left yet! So, once again, I need you to confirm whether there could, in theory, exist a passage that could get you to say “okay, I can see why someone might say that this book could be replaced in the curriculum with another book that did not have such passages in it.”

                I mean, if the other choice is talking to 14 year olds about such topics.

                I could see why one would not want to commit to saying “YES! I WOULD TALK TO A 14 YEAR OLD ABOUT THIS!”

                I mean, jeez. It’d probably just be easier to get Watership Down and talk about Hobbes.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So it isn’t related up CRT. That’s all I needed to know, but it’s about race, and it’s still, therefore it is a condemnation of CRT.

                That’s an extremely silly argument, but it seems par for the course in the discourse on CRT.Report

              • Chris in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                To be clear, it’s not just silly, but because all the connecting premises are necessarily missing, there’s no way to argue against it. I could just add easily say that anti-vax conspiracy theories are Hayekian libertarianism. You’d say, “What? How do you connect those two,” and I’d say it’s filtered down, and you’d say, “That’s ridiculous,” and I’d say, “You’re just saying that because you don’t have a counter,” and we’d all be the stupider for it, as we are for watching that video and arguing over whether it’s CRT.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                It is related.

                But now we’re having the “that wasn’t REAL socialism” conversation for the umpteenth time.Report

              • Chris in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You can’t simply say it’s related. You’d have to show how. You have just answered “how is it related?” by restating that it’s related. You can’t dismiss the question with reference to no true Scotsman or anything like that, either.

                Hell, I could start you off. You could link it to standpoint epistemology. I’d say, meh, not everything that’s about a person’s feelings on race is standpoint epistemology in action. You’d say but this is! And I’d say how? And you’d restate the proposition in answer. There’s no there there.

                This is a ridiculous game that I have no intention of playing. At least the other people criticizing CRT in this thread are trying. You’re just doing sophistry, and doing it poorly. Gonna have to play it with someone else.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                How is it related?

                Well, it’s because of a motte and bailey. The bailey is “Bad DEI”. The motte is “CRT”.

                CRT is an obscure legal theory from the 1970s that questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.

                Bad DEI? Heck, Bad DEI is something that you can pick up with a few minutes of watching a youtube from Robin DiAngelo. Educate yourself!

                And there are people who are doing Bad DEI and the Bad DEI gets called CRT.

                For what it’s worth, I agree that CRT is a prototype of Bad DEI. It’s, like, an obscure legal theory from the 1970s.

                It’s just that, after a few iterations through a few social strata, it ends up being Bad DEI.

                And, just like with pointing out the East Germany wasn’t particularly Marxist, I suppose that the argument is that, sure, it’s not. Read Kapital! Read the Manifesto! Don’t read Zur Judenfrage!

                But East Germany is what you get after it goes through a handful of iterations and comes out the other side of the snake.

                And I’m pretty sure that any version of CRT that gets dumbed down enough from the obscure legal theory appropriate for grad students to the pop version that is appropriate for a best seller is going to equally have it pointed out that, no, that’s not *REAL* CRT.

                It’s just Bad DEI.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                And so in conclusion, this is why we have to ban Toni Morrison’s book.

                But I concede one point. It really is just like East Germany.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                I don’t think that it should be banned at all.

                I think that anybody who wants to read it should be able to.

                I was confused by the sudden inexplicable nudity at the end of Beloved… I mean, I have no idea why that was there. Symbolic? I guess?

                But I think that anybody able to rent an ‘R’ should be able to rent it.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Do you think the passage where Cholly rapes his 11-year-old daughter into unconsciousness might be a reason, as well?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                No, you’re thinking of the Bible.
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levite%27s_concubineReport

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Nobody was dismembered, so no it isn’t any worse than the Bible.

                More seriously, I’m comfortable discussing what age is appropriate or not. This sounds like its appropriate for 15 and up.

                And if the Republicans had started and ended with something like this, we wouldn’t be having this discussion in the first place.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                But you didn’t check, did you? You’ve been bringing up that Toni Morrison book for a while now, and you didn’t check.

                I shouldn’t have looked up that passage last night. It really messed up my sleep. I just kept thinking, that description of an 11-year-old’s rape was written by a black person. That’s what really angered me.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Let me ask you your question, but about the Toni Morrison book: Do the actions of the Republicans appear like those of people who are genuinely alarmed at harmful matter?
                Or do they appear more like the actions of people desperately seeking any pretext to suppress books they don’t like?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                No, because this is the first I’m hearing of it, and there are 850 other books they have banned, without bothering to explain why.

                Did they find one that has adult passages? Sure!

                Does that make the rest of their actions defensible?

                Nope.

                Again, when a party earns a reputation for racism and lies, the burden of proof is on them, and the bar is high.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                No, because this is the first I’m hearing of it

                We’ve already established the Pinky Rule and you’re breaking it.

                For what it’s worth, Donnie Darko (2001) had a plot point that involved parents freaking out about teachers teaching this book instead of that one.

                So this has been going on for a while.

                Until recently, Libraries were delighted to advertise “READ BANNED BOOKS”. (i.e., not Dr. Seuss.)Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                See how easy this is?

                I asked for evidence of a book that should be withheld from students, and Pinky showed me a passage that was very adult, and I agreed, yes, this book should be reserved for older teens.

                Easy!

                No need for dark conspiracies about pedophile teachers, no long-winded talk about Marxist plots to destroy the family, just a simple exchange of question and answer.

                If the Republicans would just stop lying we might get somewhere.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                I’m just pleased that we’ve established that it is possible for a book to contain scenes that are inappropriate for children.

                And that at least one of these books has been demonstrated to have those.

                Huh. So they weren’t lying about that one.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Whether they were “lying about that one” depends on why they did what they did, not just whether an honest process would have come to the same result.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                But it does reveal why they should be assumed to be lying until proven otherwise.

                If 9 of their 10 statements are lies, then they are in fact, liars.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Not just 9 out of 10. Actually 849 out of 850 statements are lies, using the dictionary definition of lies: “things no one has shown Chip yet”.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                But it does reveal why they should be assumed to be lying until proven otherwise.

                In another part of this page, we have figured out why those books were removed (the GOP told us in general at the press conference and your own links have given us sample text) and are arguing over whether or not it’s appropriate.

                This is more informative than just assuming that anything which doesn’t agree with your priors is a lie.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I’m not sure what the Pinky Rule is, but I’m glad someone’s enforcing it. It will be the first of many such rules.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chris
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                says:

                The first that comes to mind would be the Tema Okun ‘white supremacy culture’ stuff that seems to have bled out into random corners of society, including educational spaces, and most famously at the Smithsonian. I would say the worst part of it is more that it’s self evidently stupid but it’s also pretty racist.Report

              • InMD in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Just adding, non-paywalled and well sourced Yglesias piece on her which while not ‘CRT’ specific gets at the core problems if anyone is interested. I’m sure someone will say ‘well she’s not CRT’ and maybe not but she’s definitely reflected in the DEI at issue.

                https://www.slowboring.com/p/tema-okun?s=rReport

              • Chris in reply to InMD
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                says:

                How is it racist?Report

              • InMD in reply to Chris
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                says:

                Two ways immediately come to mind though I am sure there are many more. First it attributes a number of attributes to ‘whiteness.’ That’s racism, with any race.

                Second, and frankly more insidiously, is the straightforward deduction that things like ‘objectivity’ or ‘the written word’ are not things valued by non-white people. That’s like, 19th century level stuff. Like if instead of the double negative I said ‘black people aren’t objective’ or ‘black people can’t appreciate the written word’ I’d be very rightly excoriated for it. Yet here’s something widely circulated in the DEI world, including training for educators, saying just that.Report

              • Chris in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Do you know that whiteness is in this context? It’s not about being white. It is not about people being racist because they’re of a certain race. It’s meant to label certain attitudes towards race that are often implicit in society and our culture. You’d have to point out to me how that’s racist, independent of simply disagreeing with it, because I don’t see it.

                And no one is claiming non-white people don’t like objectivity or the written word. They’re critiquing certain ways of thinking about objectivity. This is trivially easy to see if you read what they write (without taking quotes out of context).

                A good heuristic to use is, if looks like this critique of racism actually says black people are inferior, I should probably read more, because that’s unlikely.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chris
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                says:

                Maybe there’s something to that in the rarified air of academia (I have my doubts, but maybe), but that’s just not a credible explanation in the actual context of this discussion. You can see in the links that those kinds of assertions are made without whatever larger theoretical picture may or may not be in academic journals, all of which I think we can be fairly confident your average grade school teacher isn’t reading or familiar with. Kids certainly aren’t going to get that either, especially since as you concede, they aren’t being taught CRT where I assume they’d learn the terms of art. All of which is exactly what I said in my previous comment, that whatever merit this may have in the realm of high theory, it makes its way down the chain as reductive and offensive nonsense.

                What makes it doubly annoying of course is when this stuff is pushed by an activist movement that sees racism in literally everything, including where it isn’t intentional. But with their stuff we’re supposed to split hairs and apply nuance and read the obscure academic literature so that we know it’s really good actually? I’m not buying that and I’m certainly not seeing how it translates into value in K-12 education.Report

              • Chris in reply to InMD
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                says:

                I think you have to read the quotes and summaries in that Yglesias piece pretty tendentiously to get racism out of them. You might not like them, but they’re not in any way saying that non-white people are inferior (though it does acknowledge differences in access to education).Report

              • Chris in reply to Chris
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                says:

                I think a humorous (in an all too dark way) aspect of this discussion is that until a couple years ago, conservatives accused liberals of labeling any idea about race they didn’t like as racist, and now conservatives are labeling any idea about race they don’t like as racist.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chris
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                says:

                If “Racist” becomes the new “Check Your Privilege”, that would be bad.Report

              • InMD in reply to Chris
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                says:

                First I am not a conservative.

                Second, the irony of trying to turn this around into a ‘you’re seeing racism in everything’ is just too much. I guess racism is everywhere until you read the magic journals that say it isn’t in this specific thing you happen to agree with… but it’s everywhere else so gotcha! It’s certainly a hell of a philosophy I’ll give it that.

                I guess we can also forget about the obviously stupid ways this philosophy would play out as applied to education or any kind of organization for that matter. Certainly none of that would be remotely relevant to the way children are educated.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Chris
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                says:

                I wonder how many folks here have participated in DEI trainings in schools.

                Show of hands?Report

              • Chris in reply to Kazzy
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                Definitely not I.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                I haven’t. The again, in my day the language of instruction was Latin, and there weren’t any materials in Latin.
                I have participated in workplace DEI. Like a lot of workplace requirements, it was a boring waste of time, particularly since much of my practice is employment law and I already know this stuff, but not particularly objectionable. I can think of a lot of mandatory workplace stuff that was worse.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                I’m speaking specifically of the training teachers receive in regards to address matters related to DEI in their work with students and families.Report

              • InMD in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Never in a school but being in-house I’ve had some exposure to the corporate flavor out there on the market.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Corporate trainings are for adults interacting with adults in a professional setting, often with at least half an eye on liability.

                Ed trainings are on what and how to teach children.

                Apples and tomatoes. Sure, they’re both red with seeds, but you’d rarely replace one with the other.Report

              • InMD in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Fair enough. I can take your word for that.

                Out of curiosity have your trainings ever included stuff from Tema Okun? The article I linked to includes its own links to educational trainings and resources that apparently reference it.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Not that I’ve had explicitly told to me. Totally possible trainers were influenced by their work.

                Most trainings are focused on making curriculum and resources more inclusive and representative, how to account for one’s own biases, and/or addressing cultural differences between different constituent groups.

                I had a colleague read and talk about “White Fragility.” I’ve never had an admin or trainer ever quote, reference, or assign it.

                And my school is WokeAF.Report

              • InMD in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Well that’s reassuring at least.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to InMD
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                says:

                There seems to be a common assumption that teachers use adult language with young children. On the one hand, I get it… we all use adult language all the time so we naturally continue to think in those terms. On the other hand, I mean, obviously we don’t talk like that to children.

                So, for instance, yes the topic of micro-aggressions has come up in trainings that I have been in. And part of that has been focused on trying to avoid micro-aggressions ourselves. I have never been told to teach children about micro-aggressions. The most I have been advised to do is watch for what might be hurtful — what adults might call a micro-aggression — that I might have otherwise missed and to respond by treating the situation as a “teachable moment.”

                An oft-cited example is a while child asking a Black child if their skin color will wash off in the bath. Is the white child being racist? No. But is what the white child said potentially offensive? Certainly. And if they maintain the mindset that Black people’s skin color is somehow related to dirtiness — a not unreasonable thing for a young child to think — they can certainly find themselves in some hot water down the road. So in a situation like that, we’d be given strategies for how to respond in the moment and, if needed, beyond. And none of them would involve using the term “micro-aggression” with the child.

                I could give countless more examples of just how banal this stuff is the vast majority of the time. And I’m confident folks could give counterexamples of terrible trainings or teachers totally botching this stuff.

                So, yes, in a training we might talk about social justice and equity and systemic racism. But what that means in practice is we look at our bookshelves and see if we have characters of color in non-stereotypical roles and we consider our curriculum and we reflect on our practice and try to make sure we’re doing right by ALL our kids, not just some.Report

              • InMD in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Actually that is an excellent example for a couple of reasons and thank you for sharing it. First it does make sense to me that you’d have some kind strategy for dealing with racial insensitivity, particularly the inadvertent kind with small children. Obviously with older ones who should know better it becomes a disciplinary issue. But sure it makes sense to me that teachers would want to have thought out how to react instead of shooting from the hip, so far so good.

                But here’s where I get lost. Why on Earth is anyone using high academic theory (or pop academic theory) as a guide for that? Is there evidence that it works? Because it seems to me that it relies on a set of jargon designed to be confusing and incendiary. And given our interactions here I always assume good faith from you but I really don’t from some of these resources. For an example of what I mean you can see me and Chris’ exchange above on ‘whiteness.’ It’s all just way too cute.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to InMD
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                says:

                I could suggest a whole host of reasons why that occurs, some more legitimate than others, some more infuriating than others (and various relationships between how legitimate and how infuriating specific ones may be), but I’d rather not get into all that right here right now (perhaps another time).

                But, to the extent you can derive any kind of trust in a broader group of people and larger systems from me, I’d say that resisting DEI training in schools because some of it gets souped up with “high academic theory” risks throwing out the baby with the bath water.

                Like, I’ve known good, caring teachers who’ve said things like, “Add pretty colors to your painting… don’t add black,” to a Black child who explicitly identifies as being Black. Did that teacher mean anything other than some stupid appeal to some very narrow aesthetic preference? No. But holy crap… what the hell did she just say to that kid?! So I want to make sure THOSE situations hopefully get reduced dramatically in frequency and DEI training is, right now, the only way to really get there so… it is what it is.

                But, as I’ve said here before… trust me… if you actually went into these trainings and then saw what actually came of them, most people’s responses would be somewhere between a “Huh… that’s interesting” and an eyeroll.

                So I have no idea why we are where we are in terms of the “national conversation.”

                And, again, I’m someone who was once the Diversity Coordinator for his school and whose gone to (and even presented at!) DEI conferences many, many, many times. So I’m not exactly out of the loop on these things.Report

              • InMD in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Your description of the trainings themselves aren’t shocking to me. As I said I have some insight into the corporate version (which again, conceded, not the same), but also some of the fallout from it over the last two years. Which is kind of unfortunate because I’d say what was being done just over 2 years ago on the corporate side, back when it was just ‘diversity training’ was just fine. Way better for CYA too, which as we all know, is the real reason behind it in the private sector.

                Every time you and I have an exchange on the issue I’m left thinking that there really must be a better way.Report

              • Koz in reply to InMD
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                says:

                And given our interactions here I always assume good faith from you but I really don’t from some of these resources. For an example of what I mean you can see me and Chris’ exchange above on ‘whiteness.’ It’s all just way too cute.

                Yeah, this.

                In fact, anything that talks about ‘whiteness’ with a straight face is straight-up bullsiht from the get-go, without any exceptions at all that I can think of offhand.

                The fact is, we don’t have to allow ourselves to be distracted by the iniquities of structural racism, redlining, racial disparities in drug-related law enforcement, whatever. We can simply insist that libs and education administrators are not allowed to go meta, and that solves most or all of the problems we’ve been talking about in the last couple of threads.Report

              • Koz in reply to Koz
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                says:

                We can simply insist that libs and education administrators are not allowed to go meta,…

                And to be more clear on this, these issues are surfacing now, in the aftermath of the virus, where education in general is in the middle of a crisis of accountability in general.

                Particularly in blue states, even more particularly in Maryland IIRC, there’s been tremendous difficulty in getting teachers to show up at all for in-person instruction.

                Whereas before teachers were allowed to assert their professional autonomy and a certain sort of parent was willing to acquiesce to that, now there is clear need to dial down teachers’ autonomy and refocus toward mission.Report

              • InMD in reply to Koz
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                says:

                I had a longer response but I’m just going to leave it at getting rid of the meta would go very far. It would be a lot better than this preposterous game where we pretend that these theories are totally normal (and which are totally backed up by the work of all the bestest academics in the field!) where switching a word or two would turn it into some trash from Storm Front or the nastiest race science that should be left to the dustbin of history.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                I wonder how many folks here have participated in DEI trainings in schools.

                Not schools but I did at work. And micro-aggressions. I’m sure there’s been others.

                They hit the radar as either HR fads or corporate virtue signaling. My strong expectation is to the degree we have problems they’re focused on the sales department in combination with alcohol.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chris
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                says:

                suggests you haven’t engaged the ideas at all. And of course you haven’t. Why would you?… maybe you shouldn’t make such sweeping claims, which such certainty.

                This is like saying I need to have a lot of research into God before I can announce that I don’t believe the central claims.

                The core problem I see with CRT is it seems to claim inequality of results can only be the result of discrimination, i.e. inequality of opportunity.

                Those results can’t be the result of bad cultural choices (low marriage rates, etc).

                Narratives are a reflection of what people want to believe. Statistics are a measure of what’s real.

                When I ask for measurements of inequality of opportunity I’m either given stats of results or stupidly trivial things.Report

              • Chris in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                If you said you don’t believe in God without even knowing what the central claims are, I’d think you were silly in theology, too.

                What you’ve said in the rest of that comment shows you don’t know what the central claims are. No, they don’t say inequality can only be the result of discrimination. No, as I’ve already said, they don’t rely entirely, or even mostly on narratives (and even when they do, use statistics fairly extensively).

                I will say that as someone who used to conduct disparity studies, it’s trivially easy to find evidence of inequality of opportunity in everything from education to law to home financing. Like, you wouldn’t have to google hard to find the data, and the analyses.

                What I’m hearing, then, is that you reject CRT not because of the central claims, which you don’t know (and in fact have grossly misrepresented), but because you do not want to believe that racial disparities exist except in outcomes, or that if they do exist, you don’t want to believe that they exist for structural and historical reasons (even if they have other causes as well). I would be tempted to assume you therefore believe that racial disparities in outcomes are the result of innate factors. Is that not true? If not, to what do you attribute racial disparities in outcomes?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chris
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                says:

                ‘you reject CRT not because of the central claims, which you don’t know (and in fact have grossly misrepresented)”

                I’m sorry, but what you’re saying doesn’t match the historical roots of critical theory, nor does it match the practices within the school systems and business seminars that claim to be rooted in CRT. It’s nice to hear that there’s some element of CRT in academic circles that is becoming more evidence-based, but that doesn’t change the state of the debate.Report

              • Chris in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                How does it not match?

                And note, the “evidenced based” part goes back to the 70s. This is not a new development; nor are the misguided criticisms. Bell, for example, was discussing the need for statistics, and then using statistics, in some of his earliest works.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chris
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                says:

                If not, to what do you attribute racial disparities in outcomes?

                I believe that I have had a very strong, very positive influence on my brood of children. Money, time, repeatedly stepping in when the educational system has failed, setting good examples, having conversations about the world and why I do what I do, and so on.

                Airbrush me out of the picture and there is no volleyball, there is no one stepping in when my daughter was poorly matched in her class, there is no moving the family to great school districts, there is no stem magnet school, there is no world class first robotics team, and there is no internship in computer engineering at a Fortune 500. College becomes a real problem for various reasons. Whatever mentors replace me will be less interested and less capable.

                There are various ways to airbrush me out of the picture; Car accident 15 years ago would do it… or if I was from a community that largely didn’t have marriage, that would also do it.

                So, are there big racial disparities in marriage rates? Yes, there are.

                Should we expect that cultural choice to have big disparities in outcomes simply from that? Yes, we should.

                So, what do we do about this? How can we get the typical kid from a single parent family have the same outcomes as mine? I can’t think of anything because I’ve already spent a lot of time trying to maximize outcomes for my own kids.

                If you’re going to measure racism by outcomes without even attempting to look at cultural choices then you get absurd answers.

                OK, so maybe we look at outcomes for other races that have different cultures but also face whatever racism is left in the country? How are the Asian’s doing? Or how about the Africans who are from Africa? Really, absurdly well?

                The proponents of CRT need to keep bringing up redlining (outlawed two generations ago), or talk about how affecting someone’s grandparents affects them, or increase the microscope to find microaggressions, because the big problems currently are cultural choices and not racist created inequality.

                That doesn’t mean that the level of racism is zero, but lion’s share of the creation of inequality starts with whether someone’s parents were married, skilled, and involved.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Redlining may be illegal but it’s effects are still measurable.

                https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/redlining/

                That aside, much of what you call cultural choices (like marriage rates) have historical roots as well as economic drivers; both of which exist independent of culture, but with critical influence over it. Pretending its just culture is at best myopic.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                That aside, much of what you call cultural choices (like marriage rates) have historical roots as well as economic drivers;

                Not lost on me.

                We’ve had a huge uptick in lack of marriage in the poor (white and black)… probably because we had massive social programs which enabled that.

                When we rolled these programs out, blacks were disproportionally poor. So in addition to racism and the legacy of racism we also decided to pay them to not get married.

                Not getting married to collect gov benefits is a good thing in the very short term, it has long term problems.

                Big picture all of the sub-cultures have cultural habits which propagate themselves. Culture is HARD to change, and it’s hard to walk away from.

                But if we’re going to label cultural problems “racism” (i.e. it’s not their doing) then imho that makes things harder to deal with, not easier. It prevents having a discussion on the issue when it’s the primary driver of inequality now days.Report

              • Chris in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                So you have a narrative, built on one statistic? Interesting, given your criticism of CRT.

                The black father narrative is both unable to account for racial disparities (as has been repeatedly shown, and not by CRT scholars), and objectively racist.

                At least we got where we needed to be to end this conversation, then.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chris
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                says:

                So you have a narrative, built on one statistic? Interesting, given your criticism of CRT.

                Marriage is a breathtakingly good prediction of future success of children.

                Every now and then someone publishes something to this effect and then we flinch and ignore it or make massive excuses on why it’s really something else.

                The black father narrative is both unable to account for racial disparities… and objectively racist.

                And there you go. That’s why we can’t progress on this issue. Pointing out that marriage has a massive positive influence on children is seriously racist.

                Even if me refusing to help my children would be something akin to child abuse, it’s racist to point out that this is a problem in other communities.

                Culture isn’t allowed to have any impact on future success ergo marriage can’t either.

                And if culture does have an effect, then it can’t possibly be that the people who have that culture have any responsibility in their own culture and choices. The only acceptable answer is racism, ergo anyone who points to anything else is a racist.Report

              • Koz in reply to Slade the Leveller
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                says:

                Saying something is bad because it’s bad seems to be the argument du jour.

                It seems that is something that’s been went over at length, here and elsewhere.

                But in any event, this is an odd bone to pick. If you want to defend CRT on its merits, you are certainly at liberty to do that.

                Otoh, clearly you were never part of the motive force against CRT in the schools in the first place. So the fact that your apprehensions haven’t been directly addressed shouldn’t be a surprise.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Koz
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                says:

                My kids went to public school here in Chicago through high school. There was plenty of touchy feely stuff going on there, but they walked out unscathed, and are most likely better people because of it.Report

          • Brandon Berg in reply to Slade the Leveller
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            says:

            I oppose schools teaching CRT for the same reason I oppose schools teaching creationism: It’s bunk.

            Note that CRT is not history. People who are telling you that it’s “just teaching history” are either lying or speaking with reckless disregard for the truth. We already have a word for history. It starts with h- and ends with -istory.

            CRT is a framework for producing hypotheses about why the world is the way it is today. However, it explicitly rejects the idea that it’s necessary to subject these hypotheses to rigorous analysis and testing, and as a result the claims advanced by CRT practitioners are often incapable of withstanding even basic sanity testing. They have only the most superficial plausibility that vanishes upon closer inspection.

            Imagine that Merck has some chemists sit in a meeting room and come up with chemically plausible cures for a bunch of diseases. No test tubes, no clinical trials, just talking it out. Then, after ten years of this, they take a bunch of drug candidates that sounded good on paper and bring those directly to market.

            When a few people point out that this isn’t the right way to do drug development—that you actually have to do clinical trials to make sure drugs are safe and effective, and that anyway this drug can’t possibly work because it’s designed to hit a target that is now known to be downstream rather than upstream of the key part of the disease process, and this other drug’s target isn’t part of the disease process at all—Merck and a bunch of bluechecks conduct a smear campaign accusing them of being pro-cancer, and they get fired for expressing ideas that make their co-workers feel unsafe.

            This is how the CRT/DEI grift works.

            Also, I had a bit of a chuckle over your mention of original sin. I’ve been saying for fifteen years that this stuff is a secular version of original sin, and getting leftsplanations about how it’s totally different.Report

            • Philip H in reply to Brandon Berg
              Ignored
              says:

              Slavery and all its attendant derivative impacts are original sin. I have no qualms saying so, and trying to put it in a Christian context as well.

              CRT is dissected all the time on professional literature, but most people won’t really get to that – in no small measure because its badly and dryly written.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s not a Christian understanding of the theological concept of original sin.

                My statement is not meant to endorse any form of slavery. If someone said that rust could damage your radiator because of slavery I’d correct them, and I wouldn’t be saying that rust is good for your radiator. It’s just the concept is mistaken.Report

              • Greg In Ak in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Calling slavery the OS of America is an old and common metaphor. It may not be technically accurate based on your reading of the Bible but that isn’t relevant to the use of the metaphor.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Greg In Ak
                Ignored
                says:

                It appears that Brandon is referring to the concept in its theological meaning. I don’t know what meaning Slade was using. Philip was apparently using the concept in a metaphorical way but referring to it as a theological concept. All in all it seemed worth clarifying the matter.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I was using it as a metaphor. Slavery was legal for 1/3 of this nation’s history. Calling it a minor blip when it was written into the Constitution is a major glossing over of reality. We’re still dealing with it, and its aftermath, 150 years after its abolition.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                What’s interesting is that if you just ask people if schools should teach the history of slavery and how it affects our current laws, institutions and society, the majority agree.

                Rufo-esque propaganda is powerful but only when it works under a cloak of lies.Report

            • Slade the Leveller in reply to Brandon Berg
              Ignored
              says:

              “However, it explicitly rejects the idea that it’s necessary to subject these hypotheses to rigorous analysis and testing…”

              Please back this statement up.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Thanks. That’s not what I get from the linked paragraph. What I’m reading is that critical theorists hold that scientific progress cannot be an end unto itself.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s more that scientific progress is a framework that has been used to control people in the past, and as such shouldn’t be treated as objective. “It can’t be an end unto itself” means that its only legitimate end is the balancing of power. So a scientific study that disproves a claim made by a critical theorist is out of bounds. It’s like, of all things, the Soviet ice-skating judge. The Soviet system was superior to capitalism, so the Soviet skater must be superior to capitalism, which meant the Soviet judge couldn’t rate a Western skater higher than the Soviet skater.

                Beyond that, any claim of objectivity is always going to be questioned by critical theorists. The truth lies in our experiences, unfiltered by any ideology, and understood via critical theory. Objectivity is an imposition of a Western framework on a lived experience, and as such is colonialism.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Ah, now I understand why a math textbook which mentions black mathematicians must be removed.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Specifics? Book title? The names of those who are trying to remove it?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t know anything about SEL, social-emotional learning.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                A decade ago it was values education. The point is Republican politicians are looking for excuses to remove textbooks and other books from educational and public settings because they believe the books teach things that threaten their political power.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Eh, I see what SEL is going for. You have multiple ways to approach something.

                However, I can also see how it can be misused because it can be interpreted as being learning that has no wrong answers.

                Which might be a problem later in life because there are situations in which there are, indeed, wrong answers.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                At this point in the conversation, I’ll reiterate that I have no idea what SEL is. If a textbook has Flurbalel content in it and two pictures of black people, and the governor wants to get rid of Flurbalel content, I’m just not going to automatically assume that the book was banned for the two pictures of black people. SEL does sound like it’d be worth a deeper dive than that, but not right now.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Remember the Pinky Rule.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                CJ, I understand that there are places where it is *EXCEPTIONALLY* important to communicate that you know everything.

                This is not one of those places.

                It’s okay to admit to not know something here.

                (It might be bad to use one’s own ignorance of a thing as an argument, of course… but Pinky didn’t do that here.)Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                My preferred method of dealing with what I don’t know is not to expound about it. Others’ mileage may vary.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Thank you for your example!

                But, in this case, Pinky wasn’t expounding. He was saying that he didn’t know what a thing was.

                Here, let me copy and paste his comment (it’s short!):

                “I don’t know anything about SEL, social-emotional learning.”

                Like, that was the *WHOLE* comment.

                Your expound-o-meter is calibrated improperly.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Pinky, who made two comments, not one, can explain himself — perhaps.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                It took longer for you to write the question than it did to google the answer:
                https://popular.info/p/inside-the-dangerous-math-textbooks?s=r

                The textbook also includes short write-ups of mathematicians from throughout history. Two write-ups spotlight African American mathematicians––Elbert Frank Cox, the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics, and Dorothy Johnson Vaughan, an African American mathematician who led a NASA unit.

                See, this is the point, that Republicans contrive these elaborate, totally-not-racist theories, but then immediately pivot to totally-racist actions.

                Will the respectable totally-not-racist Republicans who only wanted to pump the brakes on “Bad DEI” and “CRT” object to the totally racist actions by DeSantis?

                Ha ha.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Popular.info? *THAT* is your source?

                Oh, Chip.

                Chip, Chip, Chip.

                Spend some time finding a link that actually is from a reliable source.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I wanted to make sure we’d be talking about the same thing. The article indicates that no reason was given for removing the book, and that it has content that could be interpreted as SEL. So this can’t be used as proof that math books are getting pulled for having writeups of black mathematicians.

                Or was this an incredibly clever demonstration on your part of how critical theory doesn’t believe in evidence and facts unless they uphold the narrative?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                The fact that the government offers no reason for banning the book, is itself the problem.

                No one has yet to offer any rational reason for banning the books.

                Which itself is proof of bad intent.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Your article said that the book could be interpreted as containing SEL, and the governor has said that he’s trying to remove SEL. That sounds like a rational reason. I agree with you that it’d be better if the specific reasons were given for each book though.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                No, even that is insupportable.

                But look at what you’re doing here.

                You haven’t read the books, haven’t heard which passages are offensive, but weakly mention “could be interpreted” as your reason.

                You have no real reason to object to the books being banned, but desperately searching for some exculpatory evidence that can be thrown up to defend the government.

                Try this- Google “Help us Chris Rufo, you’re our only hope!”Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Come on! Have you read the books? Do you know which passages are labelled offensive? Do you have any reason for assuming that it was the two pieces on black mathematicians? What we know is that 54 math books were rejected, and one of those had two passages about black mathematicians. That’s it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Right.

                So I assume the books are harmless until shown otherwise.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not sure what you meant by that, but ultimately, you and I do have different assumptions, and they’re behind most of our discussions. I see Republicans as consistently following their principles. You see Republicans as consistently following their bigotry. This book thing is another case where we’re looking at the same facts with different assumptions, and neither of us know enough to present a compelling case that we’re right.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                If the government can’t offer a valid reason for banning a book, the book should remain.

                This isn’t some strange new idea, it’s a foundation of a liberal society.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                We’re not talking about banning here, though. If a government can’t explain why they’re banning a book, they shouldn’t do it, sure. If a government can’t explain why they’re not approving a textbook for public schools, that’s weird but not necessarily anything more. And just because they *haven’t* doesn’t mean they *can’t*. I’d love to see an enumeration of the problems in each textbook, and I hope they release it.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                These books were already in use in approved curricula. They are being actively removed after teachers started teaching from them. With few if any coherent examples, and a lot of hand waving. The few examples shown publicly – which have been linked to here – are of SEL passages, which are now being described by Republican politicians and pundits as the manifestation of CRT in the schools.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                And they can’t explain, so they lie, again and again.

                They lie about teachers grooming children for sex, they lie about their motives for banning books, they lie about the content of the books.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Identify one of the lies.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                The big lie is that the 2020 election was stolen.
                Some 80% of Republicans repeat this lie, meaning that 80% of Republicans are liars.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Weird that you had to change the subject. I would have thought if there were so many lies on this subject that you’d be able to give one specific lie.

                What is the latest survey data on that question, though? Is it 80%? I’m not asking as a setup; I’m just having trouble finding it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                They lied about books having objectionable content.

                They lied that this has even to do with objectionable content

                Republicans have lied so often about so many things that the most reasonable approach is to assume they are lying until proven otherwise.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                That last sentence demonstrates the trap you’ve fallen into. You’re just assuming that everything they say is a lie, based on your reading of everything else they’ve said, which you’re also assuming was lies. What if you assumed they weren’t lies?

                I see this as an Occam thing. You need the assumption that Republicans are liars in order to negate their explanations, and you need to do that in order to support your primary assumption that Republicans are acting on bigotry. I see the Republicans acting (imperfectly) on their stated principles. That’s two fewer assumptions and equal explanatory power.

                I also note that the assumption that “they” are lying is the same assumption that fortifies conspiracy theorists when they dismiss obvious explanations.

                This whole thing results in a cycle where you say they’re lying about books, and when you’re asked about which books, you say oh, you know them, they’re the type who lie about things like books, and you insist that someone else demonstrate that you’re wrong. You can’t win an argument my making an assertion and insisting the opponent disprove it. You’re not disproving your side, either, though. You’re just reasserting it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m talking to everyone who isn’t already a Republican.

                Do the actions of the Republicans appear like those of people who are genuinely alarmed at harmful matter?
                Or do they appear more like the actions of people desperately seeking any pretext to suppress books they don’t like?

                Look at their actions, and judge them accordingly.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                If the government can’t offer a valid reason for banning a book, the book should remain.

                If we’re talking about CRT, then “not age appropriate” is typically the reason given and imho it hits the radar as college so there’s that.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                No one can seem to find any offensive passages in any of the books.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Can you support that statement?Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I agree with you that it’d be better if the specific reasons were given for each book though.

                His link has a sub-link where it goes over “the specific reasons for each book”.

                https://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5574/urlt/2122MathInstructMatNotRecList.pdf

                There are 26 books in that excel sheet, and the two problems it keeps coming back to is “Subject-Specific Standards Score” (any number lower than bright green seems like a problem) and “Inclusion of Special Topics Y/N”.

                For all the squeaking about how “all they did was showcase that these two blacks were the first to get math degrees in the US”, why does that even come up in a math book?

                History of technology and science is a fascinating thing. I highly encourage it. However history is not math.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m still waiting for someone to find the offensive passages.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                But you’re 100% sure there aren’t any, without looking.

                (and I did notice you switched to “offensive” which wasn’t where the goal posts used to be)Report

              • Pinky in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Huh. One might be left with the impression that we’re fighting without knowing what we’re talking about.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Florida Reveal Math Grade 5… “What can I learn from others’ thinking about the problem?” and “What can you do to help all classmates feel comfortable in math class?”

                The textbook includes a section entitled “Learn Together” which outlines the importance of “shar[ing] your ideas,” “valu[ing] ideas from others,” and “listen[ing] with an open mind.”

                “How did you show others that you value their ideas during class today?”

                This is math. There are correct answers, and there are incorrect answers. All of the empathy and sympathy and emotion in the world can’t change whether an answer is right or wrong.

                OK, moving on… we have opposition to “stereotyping” and some basic use of race and racial inequality used to illustrate mathematical concepts.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                All of this is from Chip’s link.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, everyone look at this.

                This is what so horrifies Republicans that they need to ban it.

                Please share this far and wide.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You might not think this is much, but it does make everything you’ve said so far appear to be false.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Empathy and caring about feelings has a place in the classroom.

                Math doesn’t care about feelings. In Math, the answer is right or wrong, it’s a binary thing.

                So yes, I’m fine with tossing a math book that’s worried about feelings and not facts.

                Worrying about feelings is a distraction and waste of time in this context.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                It would be nice if the word problems didn’t all assume a suburban lived experience.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                There was a book published some years ago. I believe the title was Twice as Less, which made the case that a significant portion of what seemed to be math deficiencies in black students actually stemmed not from problems with the math, but problems understanding the word problems. In tests that relied less on word problems, the gap narrowed. And when people revised the word problems to make them more comprehensible to students whose primary linguistic competence was in African-American vernacular English, the gap also narrowed.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I have a minor in elementary math education. The ideas espoused in the quoted text (which I haven’t looked at beyond) are likely an outgrowth of an increased focus on communication in math.

                Increasingly, it isn’t enough to just get the right answer… in math class or in life. How you got it and your ability to communicate the answer and your process for getting it are increasingly important. So, many curriculum have added standards designed to improve students’ ability to communicate about math. And because that communication contains an inherent social component, you need to create a classroom culture that supports the growth and development of these communication skills.

                I can say more if anyone is ACTUALLY interested in understanding what that means and why it’s there.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                From the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics:
                “Communication
                Instructional programs from prekindergarten through grade 12 should enable each and every student to—

                Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication
                Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others
                Analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies of others;
                Use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely.”

                Link: https://www.nctm.org/Standards-and-Positions/Principles-and-Standards/Process/Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                This makes sense to me as a goal. And if the students are just getting the right answers but failing to communicate, I can see it as a high priority. But the educational system (for many reasons) hasn’t been producing great results in math. It also hasn’t been producing well-socialized children. There are a lot of reasons for this, I understand, and I’m not putting all the fault on teachers or even most of it, but it makes it harder to treat teachers’ associations as unquestionable authorities. It’s not obvious to me that the priority shouldn’t return to teaching the math.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                “But the educational system (for many reasons) hasn’t been producing great results in math. It also hasn’t been producing well-socialized children.”

                What do you base this on?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Test scores & mental illness stats.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                IMHO it’s asking too much of the educational system to take responsibility for inequality related issues (which can include education).

                I’ve looked into paying a ton more for education for private schools and decided that it’s not value added.

                To a first approximation, the rich, poor, and middle classes each send their children into the system and the children come out in the same class that they started with.

                If cultural habits and training does the heavy lifting in terms of which class you end up in, and we’re not willing to actually teach culture (i.e. destroy existing cultures) in schools, then class determination mostly happens outside the classroom.

                The educational system is a tool that I use to help my children. It does not change that their uplifting and training is my responsibility.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Mental illness stats is on schools?

                Do you see how this type of thinking makes it impossible for schools to succeed? You have simultaneously insisted they should stick to the curriculum and aren’t trained psychologists and their is too much fluff and also blame them for mental illness stats.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                If the school only taught math, then no, the mental health problems aren’t on the schools unless they’re teaching math in a way that injures people. But you’re the one who wanted to include social development as a priority for math class, right? So now proper appraisal of the system’s success includes mental health issues.

                I did say, before anyone else did, that the schools are not mainly or even mostly to blame. And I stand by that. But if my car mechanic was also my therapist, and fixed my car poorly and I started cutting myself, it wouldn’t be a recommendation.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I said that experts in math education advocate for the inclusion of communication skills alongside computation skills in math.

                If you interpret that as “social development as a priority for math class” than I’m just going to bow out now.

                So many of these conversations have boiled down to me, an educator, saying, “Here is how things generally work in schools,” and folks like you saying, “Yea, no, let ME tell YOU how it really works.”

                A math teacher saying, “How did you get that answer?” to one student and, after they respond, asking another student, “Do you agree or disagree with their thinking? Why?” is not having any impact on mental illness stats.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I wonder if you ever got partial credit on a math problem where the method was at least partially followed, but the wrong solution was gotten.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s a bad analogy. He’s not getting points for the emotional state or his communication, he’s getting them for a partial ability at math.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                He’s getting points because he effectively communicated his thinking and process enough that the teacher could see what he got wrong and right.

                If you simply wrote an answer down and it was wrong, the teacher would have no idea how or why it was wrong and how much you do or do not know.

                This isn’t frickin’ complicated. But you keep wanting to make it so. You’re acting like you never had a teacher say, “Show your work.”Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                “He’s getting points because he effectively communicated his thinking and process enough that the teacher could see what he got wrong and right.”

                Back in my day (oh no, I crossed that line!), you had to show your work. You wouldn’t get full credit for a correct solution without the work flow. So, something like 3 points for the setup, 3 points for the calculation, 4 points for the proper interpretation leading to the final answer. You can call that communication, but I think it’s a stretch.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                More and more these days, you have to communicate your work in various ways: writing, numerals, pictures, words. So I think it really just represents a slight shift from “show your work” to “communicate your work” with a broader sense of communication.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                One thing I’m trying to find is the context for Dark Matter’s quote:

                Florida Reveal Math Grade 5… “What can I learn from others’ thinking about the problem?” and “What can you do to help all classmates feel comfortable in math class?”

                If it’s advice to teachers, asking them how they can help all classmates feel comfortable in math class, that’s reasonable. If it’s for students, that seems like it’s more socially oriented.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t know the specifics of Florida standards which is why I quoted NCTM. I’d interpret it as offered as: “Create an environment wherein students feel comfortable sharing their thinking and aren’t afraid to take risks and make mistakes.”
                We know how many people are math-phobic and how early that can settle in. How many people will just not participate in a math class because they don’t want to get snickered at if they say something wrong? Fifth graders are pretty good at snickering. So I could see a middle school teacher setting a tone for what is and is not acceptable behavior for discourse in the math class so that everyone feels encouraged to participate since participation is supportive of growth and learning.

                I’d agree that particular phrasing feels a little more touchy-feely than it needs to be but that tends to be the way in schools so I wouldn’t think too much of it.

                My math teacher in grad school had a really cool document that identified the characteristics of a responsible communicator in a math context, and it included things like saying, “I disagree with that because…” instead of “You’re wrong.” I think stuff like that is probably the best-lived version of that sort of standard, though think there are lots of ways to skin that cat that would be pretty hard to find disagreeable.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                You’re acting like you never had a teacher say, “Show your work.”

                The part the politicians are objecting to isn’t the “student must be able to communicate with the teacher” part.

                It’s the “How did you show others that you value their ideas during class today?” (That’s me quoting the link).

                Timmy had the wrong answer. We need to… what? Value his feelings over correcting him?

                I am probably taking this out of context, but this seems from the “everyone is valued and valued” build-self-esteem school.

                And at the end of the day, Timmy is wrong, his ideas are wrong, and he has the wrong answer. No “value his ideas” pep talk can take away from that central problem.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, this is where I have to say (again) you just don’t understand the work that teachers do.

                “Timmy, I think you’re wrong because you forgot to apply the distributive property properly. It said 4(X+) and you only multiplied the X and not the 1 so you ended up with the wrong answer.”

                versus

                “Timmy, ugh, the answer is obviously 12. You got 8. That’s just wrong.”

                This standard tasks teachers with helping children do more of the former and less of the latter.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                https://www.the74million.org/article/vetting-new-math-textbooks-in-florida-some-books-got-high-scores-but-mysteriously-were-rejected/

                Okay, I dug in a bit and from what I can tell, the quoted language is NOT from the state standards but from a specific text book which has since been rejected for unclear reasons (quite possibly because of the supposedly offending quotes).

                If you think these books — which apparently scored very highly — should have been rejected because they supported students developing the skills I’ve identified above, well, I don’t know what to tell you.

                I have a friend who writes math textbooks. I can probably ask him more about this but, again, if folks here are going to insist they know more about the subject than he does, I won’t waste his (or my) time.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                More digging:
                “The textbook also features an occasional section called “Pause and Reflect.” Students are asked questions like “How did you show others that you value their ideas during class today?” and “Where in the lesson did you feel most confident?””

                From: https://popular.info/p/inside-the-dangerous-math-textbooks?s=r

                So, otherwise good textbooks got thrown out because they contain some additional features that most kids will never look at and which encourage them to be thoughtful members of their class community.

                Like, seriously, this is what we’re talking about.Report

              • Chris in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Being thoughtful and kind is CRT.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Not being an asshole = being a lib. Unacceptable.

                Honestly, how far away are we from, “My kid should be allowed to tell Timmy he’s dumb for not applying the distributive property properly and you’re racist for not letting him.”Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                “Timmy, if you keep mocking that disabled child , you’ll never grow up to be President!”Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                And here is why this stuff is so insidious: someone can take a picture of one square inch of a text book and blast it completely out of context and say, “WHY IS THIS NONSENSE IN A MATH BOOK?!” and politicians can rally support by saying, “THEY WANT TO TURN MATH INTO A BUNCH OF TOUCHY-FEELY NON MATH BS!” and here I am patiently explaining why that’s there and where it came from and how it works in practice but it doesn’t matter because the narrative is already “TOUCH-FEELY NON MATH BS IN A MATH BOOK!” and now the books are gone and students will have worse books and will suffer as a result and in 5 years when test scores drop everyone will wring their hands and point fingers in all the wrong directions and things will just keep getting worse for kids.

                But, hey, at least no one had to endure the thought of their being a square inch of a math text book they’d never interact with focusing on something other than what they think is most important for a middle school math classroom.

                FFS, teaching is hard enough as it is and these folks want to force teachers to do their job with a hand tied behind their back all while claiming they’re doing the exact opposite of that.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                +1

                And thanks for the “explains patiently” part.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think it’s the most important thing in the world, or in the top million. If taxpayers are having to replace textbooks that are in usable condition because of this, it seems pretty dumb to me. I’m sufficiently happy with your acknowledgement that this is not merely showing your work on a math test, along with Chip’s recognition that The Bluest Eye gets pretty rough. This is the way back to level-headed conversation.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                This is a little frustrating because I never said it was the exact same thing as showing your work but that the two things are connected and if you can understand the importance of one of them, than the other one shouldn’t seem so alien.

                I mean, this is something the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics have been advocating for since I was in college (20ish years ago). This isn’ some now cockamamie thing.

                Why was that alone insufficient for you to say, “We should probably listen to those folks?”Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I mean, I’m sharing my life’s work with you AND quoting experts and you musta up, “Well, I guess we can say you’re reasonable because you at least acknowledged something you never said was wrong.”

                I mean, what are we even doing?Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                “math is a process it doesn’t care about your feelings it’s just right or wrong IT IS JUST RIGHT OR WRONG YOU DONT GET ANOTHER CHOICE IT IS EITHER RIGHT OR IT IS WRONG!!!

                (turns around)

                “wow, it sure is weird how kids can’t seem to think these days, they’re just like mindless robots who only know how to follow procedures…”Report

      • John Puccio in reply to Slade the Leveller
        Ignored
        says:

        Cultural dominance equates to compelling others to align with your ideology outside the scope of your own rights. Here’s an example:

        I not only have the right to marry someone of the same sex, you must make me a cake celebrating that union.

        The Left conflates both of these things as a civil right, but they are not the same thing.

        Now this is a fringe issue, really, so not a hill to die on, but a pretty clear example of spiking the football, imo.

        But now the stakes are much higher. If I do not believe a biological man can be a woman just because they think and say they are – and you are teaching my children otherwise (and perhaps doing so covertly) – we now have a hill to die on.

        Someone can respect the rights of a person to transition and call them what they wish to be called, and still have a problem with what is being taught to their children. Again, this is where conflating the two issues becomes an issue.

        People’s kids are the third rail.Report

  9. bevedog
    Ignored
    says:

    Jamelle Bouie, “Democrats, You Can’t Ignore the Culture Wars Any Longer”: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/22/opinion/red-scare-culture-wars.htmlReport

  10. Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    All I’ll say is that conservatives have clearly learned how to use culture war issues to not only rile up voters, but to actually affect non-culture war issues (e.g., the effort to create distrust in public schools and teachers as a means for moving public opinion on “school choice”), whereas liberals not only haven’t figured out how to use culture war issues to motivate voters, they haven’t figured out any way of doing anything on non-culture war issues.

    In general, I think making elections about culture war issues plays right into conservatives’ hands, but that’s even more true today, when the culture war issues are meant to set the non-culture war political agenda. Unfortunately, liberals haven’t got anything to run on but “We’re not conservatives on culture war issues!” so here we are.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Chris
      Ignored
      says:

      What are you defining as culture war? School choice falls within my definition, and always has.Report

      • Chris in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Schools are one of the battle grounds of culture wars, and always will be as we, as a society, work out the content of education, but schools themselves are more basic social, cultural, and even economic institutions, and working out who has access to those institutions in what ways is, to me at least, a more basic social and political issue than culture wars.

        School choice in particular has a culture war component, but the ultimate motivations are economic and political, not cultural (that is, it’s less about what ideologies drive the content of education than it is about what ideologies drive how education is distributed and administered).Report

        • Philip H in reply to Chris
          Ignored
          says:

          In the 1980’s in the south. “school choice” was also known as white flight.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            That’s not true. That was people moving to an area with better schools. School choice is moving better schools into an area.Report

            • Philip H in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              I lived through desegregation in the South in the 1980’s White parents took their kids out of public schools in large numbers and put them in religiously based private schools so their kids wouldn’t have to mingle with black children. No one moved houses, neighborhoods or even public school assignment boundaries. Then the started agitating to lower their won property taxes to keep from supporting schools their kids didn’t attend.

              School choice – at least as its been enacted so far, has been taking public school money with the kids when they are kept out of public schools. In very, very few places has it been moving better schools into an area.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve only ever seen the term “white flight” refer to white people moving out of areas.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                A secondary, non-geographic consequence of school desegregation and busing was “cultural” white flight: withdrawing white children from the mixed-race public school system and sending them to private schools unaffected by US federal integration laws. In 1970, when the United States District Court for the Central District of California ordered the Pasadena Unified School District desegregated, the proportion of white students (54%) reflected the school district’s proportion of whites (53%). Once the federally ordered school desegregation began, whites who could afford private schools withdrew their children from the racially diverse Pasadena public school system. By 2004, Pasadena had 63 private schools educating some 33% of schoolchildren, while white students made up only 16% of the public school populace. The Pasadena Unified School District superintendent characterized public schools as “like the bogey-man” to whites. He implemented policies to attract white parents to the racially diverse Pasadena public school district.[94]

                You are not wrong in the history of that term, but you were not fully right either. That’s what I witnessed. That’s what a lot of people in the South witnessed as there wasn’t a more white “better” option for people to flee to geographically.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_flightReport

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Would you have used the term in its secondary meaning if it didn’t have a racial connotation? Looking at Chris’s comment, there wasn’t any racial connotation, but then you added a word that would have led people to associate school choice with southern racism if I hadn’t drawn this out.

                You know that to be associated with southern racism is a bad thing. I assume you know that there’s nothing racist about the school choice debate – school choice seems to have had the biggest, most positive impact on poor minority kids. So, did you try to blur the issue to make it seem like this policy that particularly helps non-whites was in some way bigoted?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I also just noticed you did the same thing under Saul’s comment above. He was talking about identification as LGBT and cultural trends, and you added:

                “Same for People of Color IMHO”

                It doesn’t even make sense. Chip has done this as well on this thread, trying to say “race” right next to “gender” so often that we’ll think this is all about racism. But in this case, what’s it even supposed to mean? That people used to be afraid of identifying as black?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                1). School choices has not helped the majority of black kids in districts where it’s been tried, which is only a very few districts in the US.

                2) What Chip and I are both doing is pointing out that you can’t compartmentalize the issues or approaches or desired outcomes. The desire to turn LGBTQIA+ persons back into closeted third calss citizens is the exact same desire to keep people of color out of certain neighborhoods and from voting easily in large numbers. Both of those desires, and the increasing number of out right laws being passed in the sates to make them happen, stem from the desire to protect cisgenered, heteronormative white male political and economic power.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                North, InMD, and anyone else – I can’t do any more than get them to say this out loud.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                We’ve said it outloud quite frequently, and some of us for years. Did you doubt us then or were you not paying attention?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Your side says that everything they do, in general, is vindicated by anti-racism. It’s just good to have this particular claim in writing.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                yes well, you’ve had that claim in writing from me for a LONG time. But yay for you getting me to repeat myself I guess.Report

              • North in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Hmm? Yes, I believe Philip H has made those assertions before. Is that surprising?Report

              • InMD in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I know what their position is. I just also fall in with the parents and pro-functional government people who, per Saul’s article, thankfully still seem to exist as a potent corrective, even in the bluest of blue places. Which isn’t to say I didn’t have my gripes with the Democratic party prior to the Great Awokening. Just that I’ve been a pretty comfortable part of the coalition in meat space where it matters most, even with my little heresies on this or that issue. Maybe one day that will stop being the case but no one here has chased me off yet.

                And besides you really don’t want them to. Without Democrats like me (not to mention North) we’d be as bad as the damn Republicans.Report

              • Koz in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Just that I’ve been a pretty comfortable part of the coalition in meat space where it matters most, even with my little heresies on this or that issue.

                These recent threads over the last month or so are really interesting for me, in terms of who stands where.

                I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but my sense is the difference between you and North is that if you don’t get what you want from the teachers’ unions and other Demo leaning authorities wrt schools and the like, you are willing to tactically support Republicans. Not that you’ll do it necessarily, but at least you’re willing to based on this or that.

                Whereas that idea really never appears on radar for North.

                The point being is given what has happened in American politics for the last 20-25 years, you represent the 260th/270th whatever GOP vote in the House of Representatives. Which is another way of saying that the GOP is going to win a big landslide long before your vote comes into play, which it might.Report

              • InMD in reply to Koz
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve strategically defected before in state and local elections. The context of that though is in an overwhelmingly blue state and locality where the GOP might as well not exist. So where I do it it’s really as a moderating force, not an endorsement of the GOP’s national agenda. I’d happily throw out woke liberals for non-woke, good government liberals any day of the week, as has happened in other places. It’d be really hard to get me to vote for a Republican for Congress though and because of where I live it wouldn’t even matter if I did.

                But sure, I voted for Larry Hogan when the Democratic nominee was a clown and I voted for the 3rd party YIMBY Democrat who lost the primary then ran as an independent for county exec last time around. The converse though is if I lived in the Midwest like North does and the median Democrat was more like Amy Klobuchar my approach would also be different.

                Re: the schools if it gets bad enough I’ll just enroll my kid and any future kids in Catholic or private school. None of that means I’m in a rush to see another round of tax cuts for the rich, or spend another 4 years watching Donnie or one of his acolytes careening around, which is all I’d be voting for if I supported the Republicans at the federal level. All of my decisions are based on my principles and observations of how the world seems to work, not partisan loyalty, but I consistently find myself back in the same place I’ve always been.Report

              • Koz in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, pretty much what I’d guessed.

                And to complete the thought, even if you aren’t the hardest case ideologically, in terms of demographics you represent the core of the Democratic Party, specifically in terms support for public schools. If the Demos lose you (and they might), it’s hard for me to see what they think they have.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                School choices has not helped the majority of black kids in districts where it’s been tried

                Intuitively I’d guess telling the middle class they need to move out of the city if they want a good education for their kids impoverishes an area. They move, they take their tax dollars with them, and the area ends up with concentrated poverty.

                More importantly, what does help “the majority of black kids”?Report

              • Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Well funded public schools in the places black children actually live, staffed by trained and well paid teachers who deliver great educations so kids become actual functioning productive citizens.

                Which is the goal of public education, or so teachers keep telling me.Report

              • Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                If memory serves, the Detroit schools get more funding than my (previous) local ones did.

                Typically when people claim that they’re underfunded they compare them to money-hose schools where I seriously doubt the money is well spent.

                More interesting are the local schools across the tracks. Same treatment for the whites and blacks. They’re about 50/50. The blacks walk away with something akin to Detroit and the whites walk away with something akin to my area.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I think this was a goal-post shift, or at best a misunderstanding of my phrasing. I said:

                “school choice seems to have had the biggest, most positive impact on poor minority kids”

                and Philip replied:

                “School choices has not helped the majority of black kids in districts where it’s been tried”.

                I wasn’t saying that the majority of the black kids were helped by school choice; none of the programs are particularly big. I was saying that school choice’s biggest impacts seem to be on poor minority kids.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Remember, the rule is whatever Pinky doesn’t know about doesn’t exist.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Chris
      Ignored
      says:

      You may not be interested in culture war, but culture war is very interested in you and your life.

      Are you gay, or have friends who are? Are you looking forward a visit from Department of Family Services to explain why you exposed your impressionable children to possible grooming by your trans friend at a Christmas party?

      The women in your life, do they use birth control? Do they like the idea of being forced to explain their miscarriage to a tribunal of clerics? Do they want to ask you for permission to buy birth control?

      You want to be allowed to live your life as you see fit.
      The Republicans find this infuriating.Report

      • Chris in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        I don’t mean to imply that the culture war does not have real impacts on people’s lives. It certainly does.

        I also don’t think reproductive justice is an actual culture war issue, though it certainly plays out that way. It is an issue of basic rights, and it is unfortunate that liberals don’t talk about it as such.

        It is important to counter cultural reactionaries, but making culture war issues the issues plays right into the reactionaries’ hands.

        To be clear, I also think that gay rights and racial equality are basic rights issues, but conservatives don’t want to talk about them on that level, so they argue over how we should talk about slavery or whether we can mention that Johnny has two mothers.Report

  11. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Meanwhile, at the Bulwark, Tim Miller writes about the return/revenge of Obama Democrats in SF: https://www.thebulwark.com/in-san-francisco-revenge-of-the-obama-democrats/

    I don’t fully agree with his framing because Haney is pretty progressive and YIMBYism is a progressive stance but once again, even in this deepest blue of cities, Democrats are far less firebrand than people think they are.Report

    • Koz in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      I really dislike the Bulwark and Tim Miller is pretty dim, but tbh this piece was perceptive and useful.

      One thing that hardcore libs (including Saul and the OP) never get is that the things they really really hate about our team come from the Democrats as well. In particular, the silver bullet of Demo primaries basically everywhere is that lib activists don’t get to be in charge. Obviously that applies differently in SF than it does in other parts of America. But as the piece argues, if progressive governance degrades quality of life to the point where the normies are fed up with it, they’ll dump the the progressives and put in normie Demos, even in SF.

      SF governance by itself may not be that important, but in the bigger picture the consequence is this: progressives, normie Demos and Republicans for that matter may support or oppose any kind of policy for this or that reason, but for anything that _empowers_ lib activists, normie Demos will oppose it.

      The sort of Democrats who win primaries are simply not the sort of people who are into politics for the purpose of hating or purging Republicans, at least not until normie Demos or public opinion swings in that direction. Therefore, progressives are always going to be left outside in the cold.

      Progressive lib activists desperately want to beat our team in the culture war. They think normie Demos are insufficiently motivated for the fight when the reality is that in crucial circumstances normie Demos might not be on their team at all.Report

  12. DavidTC
    Ignored
    says:

    Okay, I’ve done this before, and I’m doing it again, and maybe me doing it again will work this time: This post, like many before, completely fails to mention or explain the actual thing under discussion.

    To explain the thing: The actual thing under discussion here, in case people aren’t aware is, (as best I can figure it out) is the _massive_ attack on LGBTQ+ rights by Republicans in the last two months, a huge ramp-up and outright assault, not just in bills, but in how ‘their people’ talk about queer people, including bringing back the fun ‘pedophilia’ and ‘grooming children’ attacks that last were in vogue in the 80s.

    And that’s just one focus there, it also could be including the book banning, and all sorts of other things. State-level Republicans, along with their media cheerleaders, have suddenly gone completely masks off and reverted what appears to _two decades_ (or more) on social issues in an _incredibly_ short amount of time.

    And the Dem’s response to Republican overreach has been absysmal, but I feel that’s a very redundant statement and I probably didn’t need to say it.

    Regardless: This is something we could, quite reasonable, be talking about here…except the article didn’t bother to explain any of this, or reference what was going on. This resulted in a completely confusing conversation where half the people don’t seem to have basic facts about the issue or even be aware of what exactly is being talked about.

    And I’ve complained this happening before, where posts here just sorta vaguely talk about ‘a thing that is happening’ without laying out any of the facts of that thing or even what the thing specifically is…but I think, because I happened to be on the other side of the issues from the author, people thought I was just complaining to attack the author.

    Well, here I’m not. Here I agree _completely_ with every part of this post …and I wish it had, you know, actually bothered to explain what was happening or even what it was talking about so we could start the discussion from there.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to DavidTC
      Ignored
      says:

      This reeks of Murc’s law and Green Lanternism.

      Republicans hold significant legislative majorities in Texas and Florida along wiht the governorships. Various parties including the DOJ sued to stop enforcement of the Texas abortion law but the Supreme Court refused to put an injunction in place by a 5-4 vote. The special jurisdiction that Disney World has is a creature of Florida, not federal law. It is also up for Disney to enforce it.

      Meanwhile, I wrote about that numerous blue states such as California, Colorado, Maryland, and Connecticut are writing laws to enshrine and expand abortion access in their states in advance of a potential overturning of Roe.
      Maryland did it over the veto of its governor.

      So I just am not sure what people want Democrats to do given the fact that we have a highly federalized government and in states where they are not in control of the legislature and governership.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        Well they could start with ditching the Filibuster in the Senate – which I fully expect McConnel to do at his first opportunity. Then pass an national abortion rights law, a renewed national voting rights law, finish ratifying the ERA, and Build Back Better. Off the top of my head.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          They tried this and were blocked by West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania’s Robert Casey. It is rather frustrating that Green Lanternism can never die no matter how many times it is disproved. Democracy is long, hard, slow, and boring. The Democrats are a very fractionalized coalition and the Senate is anti-majoritarian as an institution. Joe Manchin is not great but he is the last Democratic candidate who can win statewide in West Virginia. Saying otherwise just proves a massive disconnection from reality. He barely won reelection in 2018 and that was because of a libertarian spoiler candidate. Things would be a lot worse now if he was not in the Senate.

          Government is not just magic and ponies and rainbows. But everyone wah wah wahs for it.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            If he’s the last Democratic candidate who will get elected in West Virginia, then he needs to start acting like a Democrat. He’s to the right of Joe Fishin Biden on nearly everything I can think of, and the President is a classic neoliberal centerist. There’s also the not very minor problem that Democrats spent two decades focusing only on the White House and allowing their down ballots for Senate, House and governors to whiter so there was no bench.

            That aside, democracy is at a point where long, hard, slow and boring won’t cut it anymore. Americans are scared. Americans are overly propagandized. Half of Americans have embraced Facism. We can’t keep plodding along and hoping it all works out somehow. Because History – even modern history – tells us that’s not how this plays out.Report

            • North in reply to Philip H
              Ignored
              says:

              Hate to pick on you here Philip but ragging on Manchin for what he does is a fools errand. He is acting exactly like a WV Democrat. Of course he’s not going to sign onto the lefts high flying expectations of transformation? What the fish would you expect. He’s voted for Democratic Judges, he helped with the BIF and covid relief bills, he’s kept Schumer in power as majority leader. Frankly it’s beyond me why people would expect more from him than that as a matter of course. I wish I could find whoever coined the idea that Biden’s admin was going to be transformational (it rolled out right after we barely won the GA Senate races) and kick them in the boiled eggs. What an imbecilic notion.

              I think your vitriol should be focused at Sinema- she is the inexcusable and likely bought traitorous hack. Manchin is just Manchin and no one you could replace him with from that region could reasonably be expected to be better than Manchin.Report

              • Philip H in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                My ire is for a Party that thinks either of them is the best they can do in those states, because said Party has had too much focus on a single national office which they think was supposed to be transformational somehow. Had democrats focused hard on governorships and state legislatures, and even the House we’d be in a different place.

                Its like my continued and public distaste for the Greens Party and the DSA. In all but a very, very few places they keep trying to get on the Presidential campaign ballot without doing ANYTHING to get elected to local or state offices, and then wondering why they can’t win elections, much less get enough votes to matter.

                You can’t do national level policy leadership from a single source. Republicans have proved this over and over since at least Reagan. And its why they are poised like never before to dismantle our democracy.Report

              • North in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I respect your ire and agree with it to a large extent. Liberals need to focus a lot more on sub-federal races. But on Manchin I think you’re flat out wrong. Show me a dude who’s better on our issues than Manchin and I’ll show you a dude who loses that Senate seat by 20 points or more. Hate on Sinema, hate on Cal Cunningham, hating on Manchin? That’s a fool’s errand. The only logical thing to do with Manchin is find out exactly every cent of what we want that he’ll support and then pass all of it. That is it.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to North
                Ignored
                says:

                It will always be an article of faith among various political types that a true leftist or a true conservative would curb stomp the opposition to oblivion. Inconvenient facts and events are to be denied.

                Sinema is a replacement level Democrat and replaceable.Report

              • North in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                And should be replaced and then mocked mercilessly and shunned from all polite company. From your lips to God(ess?)’s ear Saul.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            It’s like the neverending hunt for that One Big Reveal that will, at long last, expose the Republicans as racist corrupt misogynists and then you betcha, the American public will rise up and throw the Republicans out!

            But of course, some 70 million people see the corruption, racism and misogyny and enthusiastically cheer for more.

            It’s like how the Greatest Generation memory holed the fact that even as the Third Reich was marching into Paris, some 10,000 Americans assembled in Madison Square Garden to salute the swastika and say Sieg Heil.

            The idea that Americans might willingly and knowingly choose the side of evil is just too painful.

            So they must be made to be ignorant and misguided.Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              It is more that socialist leaning types seem to think they can use economics to revive the New Deal coalition and then no one will get heated about culture war red meat anymore. This ignores that for many people dominance might be the point and that they want to win on social issues even if it means losing hard on economics. It also doesn’t recognize that they might only want a Herrenvolk welfare state.Report