On American Appeasement

"Is white"?

I would borrow a moment to flip a coin:

Heads: Something about whites being biased, along with a dash of self-defeat because the it's-not-pro-racism attack against equal protection advocacy eventually gets around to some manner of self-harm.

Tails: The idea that empowerment majorities are biased toward themselves is unsurprising in history, yet we might wish to remind explicitly that the fact of such bias does not redefine equality according to the prospect of equal protection and equal rights.

↳ Let's start, say, 1962. End of the Long Decade, beginning of the Sexual Revolution: Okay, so ... women are equal. Wait, what? Why does she get to take that pill? Why does she need that special right? Oh, wait, because she wants to have a say in when she gets pregnant? Why does she need that special right? Look, I already said she's equal, why does she keep needing all this special stuff?

By the time it got around to my developing awareness, men were pitching fits about the idea of "women's lib", the prospect of married women having real jobs, and a nasty dispute over whether or not one can force a woman to have sex just because she is his wife. Apparently not being raped is one of those special rights that feminists claim, and these are the sorts of identity politics yadda blah mahoozit.​


Sorry, I. uh, just needed to split a hair. Flip a coin. Whatever.

I would say, Imagine that

Do Democrats need to oppose abortion in order to win in red states?

That question has led to divisions on the left in recent months, as some—including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)—have argued that Democrats may need to compromise on reproductive rights if they want to increase their influence nationwide.

But a new poll calls this approach into question. Just 8 percent of Democrats would be more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes abortion, according to a report released by the polling firm PerryUndem earlier this month, ahead of Roe v. Wade’s 45th anniversary on Monday. Meanwhile, 31 percent of Republicans would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights.

The findings suggest it may be Republicans, not Democrats, who have the most to gain from broadening their approach on reproductive health. That’s something Democrats may want to consider in the runup to this year’s midterms.


—except those who can didn't need to in the first place, and those who can't ... can't.


North, Anna. "Should Democrats run anti-abortion candidates in red states? A new poll casts doubt on the strategy." Vox. 22 January 2018. Vox.com. 22 January 2018. http://bit.ly/2BjH9a1
How's That Appeasement Thing Working Out?

It's never quite as simple as the lede—

Nine months from Election Day, political veterans eyeing the House landscape struggle to even identify a single Democratic House hopeful—of the hundreds running—who openly opposes abortion rights.

Their absence is a significant development for a party in places such as western Pennsylvania, where Democrats even recently would run self-identified "pro-life" candidates (the state's Democratic Senator Bob Casey Jr., in fact, opposes abortion rights in some circumstances). And it's reshaping the cultural agenda of a party that, on everything from immigration to guns, has moved decidedly to the left in the last decade—to the chagrin of some who worry it's reducing their appeal to some right-leaning voters.


—but, still, this one seems pretty straightforward. Democrats for Life executive director Kristen Day recalleed her fifteen years on the job, explaining, "This is the most difficult it's been", and wondering, "I don't know what's going to happen to pro-life Democrats."

It's not quite crickets or tumbleweeds:

[Conor] Lamb doesn't make his support of abortion a big part of his campaign. A Roman Catholic, he says he personally opposes abortion.

But he opposes the GOP-proposed 20-week ban on abortions and has seen his views come under attack during the special election. And in an interview, he emphasized that the country was founded on the principle of separating church and state.

"To me, that means we defend the law as it is," he said.

Lamb's position might surprise some old-school Democrats, especially in a state where men and women for decades have voted for "pro-life" Democrats such as former Gov. Bob Casey, Sr. or his son, the current senator.

But longtime Democratic officials explain the development as part of the party's natural evolution, especially as both parties essentially finish a decades-long sorting that left each much more ideologically consistent. (On the Republican side, there are few—if any—candidates who support abortion rights.)

What was controversial within the party 20 years ago, in other words, simply isn't today.

"For the most part, the things that created real rifts in the party in the 90s are mostly over," said Matt Bennet, a top official at the center-left Democratic think tank Third Way. "No one disagrees, for example, on basic LGBT rights. No one disagrees, fundamentally, on the need for gun safety reform."

"The debate has essentially ended," he continued. "There are matters of small degrees that are tussled over. But it is not causing a rift in the party at all."

If the most part of that reads like famous last words, sure, there is a shelf life to the desperately-smiling pretense of peaceful accord within the Party. To the other, it is also true Republicans make it easy. Sort of.

"Lamb's position might surprise some old-school Democrats", but only according to the Congressional District itself; it is the "pro-choice" marginal answer against outright blue-dogging—or is it red-dogging, now? Old-school Democrats know this particular catechismal parse by rote.

Nonetheless, by the policy benchmarks available, Democrats have every reason to refuse further appeasement of the right wing's persistent disdain toward women and human rights. Indeed, should the party liberalize, these policy benchmarks will, themselves, come to read like the appeasements they are.


Roarty, Alex. "Abortion debate is over inside the Democratic Party". McClatchy DC. 13 March 2018. McClatchyDC.com. 14 March 2018. http://bit.ly/2IoMtgQ
Oh what is this Conor Lamb won, but he was republican lite, he should have totally lost! He is personally opposes abortion that must mean he would vote for any anti-abortion bill and hte enslavement of women as baby making machines. Pretty sure he wants to take away gay marriage and lynch musliums, etc.

I wonder what Lamb's economic positions are? Tax the rich, protect and expand ACA, expand Social Security, Its a start for me, certainly opposite his republican counterpart.
All you need to know about the Republican Party and current Republican administration is that Mike Pompeo called Hillary Clinton for advice and help in getting confirmed for Secretary of State and handling the job: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/10/pompeo-hearing-state-clinton-512155

And all you need to know about appeasement in American politics is that she took the call and had a nice long chat. She enabled the guy, helped him get done what he wants to do. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/19/us/politics/donald-trump-mike-pompeo-cia.html

A brief recap, in re appeasement:

#211↑: As a matter of conscience, people are free to believe what they will; but as a matter of policy, no, Democrats should not seek to inflict harm with mandatory ultrasounds or a Hyde Amendment for the ACA.

#215↑: [explicit reiteration of the #211]

#372↑: Strike the Hyde Amendment.

#381↑: Well, what does "universal healthcare" mean? And the reason we must ask this question at all is because of identity politics; we have a nasty tendency in this society to carve out exclusions, like the Hyde Amendment ....

And the news:

Alvarado, then 22, was struggling to afford the supplies, like socks, underwear, and boots, she would need for at least six months in the Middle East. She had emptied her apartment of most belongings except for the sleeping bag she crawled into at night and crammed the rest in a storage unit, an expense that would grow over time. Alvarado had two weeks left in North Dakota before pre-deployment training began in Texas. From there, she would go on to serve her country. Alvarado knew she wanted an abortion almost as soon as she experienced her first wave of nausea in the Walmart. But Tricare, the military's health-insurance program, would not cover the procedure.

Alvarado was subject to restrictions based on the Hyde Amendment, a ban on abortion coverage in federal health-insurance programs, most notably Medicaid for people with low incomes. Congressional Republicans have upheld Hyde for more than 40 years with an assist from an unlikely ally: the Democratic Party. For decades, Democrats have typically campaigned on reproductive rights but “compromised” on Hyde.

Their deference ends today. A number of influential Senate Democrats will introduce the EACH Woman Act, uniting the party behind a one-two punch of a bill that proposes to end Hyde and require federal health insurance to cover abortion. Led by Senators Tammy Duckworth, Mazie Hirono, Patty Murray, and Kamala Harris, a 2020 presidential contender, the landmark legislation marks the first of its kind in the Senate and closes the final gap in Democrats' opposition to Hyde. Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus cochair Barbara Lee debuted the original version in 2015; Lee will re-up the EACH Woman Act in the House today, with Jan Schakowsky and fellow Pro-Choice Caucus cochair Diana DeGette.


We might look back to #372, again, because striking the Hyde Amendment, so explicitly stated, was part of answering a demand for legislative suggestions; another part was, "Secure reproductive health within insurance schema", and what the Vogue report describes as, "a bill that proposes to end Hyde and require federal health insurance to cover abortion", would certainly appear to address that notion.

On the House side, one hundred seven Democratic cosponsors have brought a Medicare For All bill that includes the end of the Hyde Amendment (Burns↱).

True, the question of where vision and dental fall in the new scheme, also part of the point about insurance schema, remains to be seen, but more to the point it would seem appeasement isn't on the agenda. Indeed, what has changed, 'twixt now and once upon a time, is that Democrats feel empowered to have the Hyde fight; their voters aren't demanding such compromises.


Burns, Katelyn. "Democrats' 'Medicare For All' Legislation Would End the Hyde Amendment". Rewire News. 27 February 2019. Rewire.News. 12 March 2019. http://bit.ly/2T5yz7G

Grimaldi, Christine. "Senators Introduce Legislation to Finally Repeal the Hyde Amendment and End Wide-Ranging Federal Abortion-Funding Ban". Vogue. 12 March 2019. Vogue.com. 12 March 2019. http://bit.ly/2NYqali
Then and Now

Once upon a time—around twenty months ago, in fact—someone demanded I propose a law; this was part of a dispute over political policy direction, appeasement; I proposed five—see #372↑. With Democratic presidential candidates targeting the Hyde Amendment↑, as noted in March, that's one. The Ninth Circuit has addressed wage history, a point of discrimination that makes no sense, but that decision has stayed because one judge died before its issuance. Wage history was enumerated as the second point among the five suggestions.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a Democratic presidential contender, has proposed close the wage gap between sexes:

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, one of two dozen Democrats vying for the 2020 presidential nomination, on Monday proposed closing the gender pay gap by requiring companies to disclose pay data and secure an “equal pay certification” or be fined.

Harris' proposal aims to shift the burden from workers, who now must prove pay discrimination by employers, to corporations, which would have to show they eliminated pay disparities between men and women doing work of equal value ....

.... Under Harris' proposal, which would require approval by the U.S. Congress, companies with 100 or more employees would give their pay data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

They would also have to prove existing pay gaps were not based on gender but merit, performance or seniority, and commit to policies barring mandatory arbitration pacts for job disputes and questions about salary history during hiring.

Companies falling short of the criteria would be fined 1% of their profits for every 1% wage gap found after adjusting for variables such as experience and performance.


What will be interesting, of course, is to see who complains of identity politics, since that is the underlying question of policy and appeasement. Seriously, try to imagine nonunionized men complaining that equal pay is a violation of their rights, and, really, it might seem there ought not be any question. To the other, the fact of the #trumpswindle presidency reminds the absurdity of our American heritage. Meanwhile, Sens. Gillibrand (D-NY) and Warren (D-MA) have been pushing equal pay legislation, which of course got the latter inaccurately attacked according to an inaccurate hit report by the conservative Free Beacon newspaper, which achieved its disparity by excluding several women from its data. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D-VT) is even willing to pay lip service, and sign his name to cosponsor legislation, which in turn many Democratic presidential candidates have. Gov. Jay Inslee, running on a generally environmental platform, signed equal pay legislation into law last year; the Washington state Democrat has also signed family leave legislation, which, also, is addressed by various Democratic candidates, and would be the third point of five on that list.

And in terms of those five points, the securing of reproductive health within insurance schema is currently at stake, to some significant degree, in questions of anti-abortion laws presaging a Supreme Court showdown. Still, in terms of health insurance particularly, we'll have to see who comes up with what for a general approach, much as we will with police accountability.

It does not appear, however, that Democrats are willing to sit by and hope that explicitly avoiding certain issues will somehow compel those problems to magically find resolution.


Becker, Amanda. "Kamala Harris proposes equal pay measure to close gender gap". Reuters. 20 May 2019. Reuters.com. 20 May 2019. https://reut.rs/2VVspNL

How It's Going

There is this:

Appeasement didn't work in the 1930s and it won't work now. That doesn't mean that people have to be angry or hate back or hostile, but it does mean they have to stand on principle and defend what's under attack. There are situations in which there is no common ground worth standing on, let alone hiking over to. If Nazis wanted to reach out and find common ground and understand us, they probably would not have had that tiki-torch parade full of white men bellowing "Jews will not replace us" and, also, they would not be Nazis. Being Nazis, white supremacists, misogynists, transphobes is all part of a project of refusing to understand as part of refusing to respect. It is a minority position but by granting it deference we give it, over and over, the power of a majority position.

Rebecca Solnit↱ considers our American moment, and if it's not quite that every paragraph is must-read, neither is the critique piling on. There is a point to make, and recent history has distilled it powerfully. She opens—

When Trump won the 2016 election—while losing the popular vote—the New York Times seemed obsessed with running features about what Trump voters were feeling and thinking. These pieces treated them as both an exotic species and people it was our job to understand, understand being that word that means both to comprehend and to grant some sort of indulgence to. Now that Trump has lost the 2020 election, the Los Angeles Times has given their editorial page over to letters from Trump voters, who had exactly the sort of predictable things to say we have been hearing for far more than four years, thanks to the New York Times and what came to seem like about 11,000 other news outlets hanging on the every word of every white supremacist they could convince to go on the record.

The letters editor headed this section with, "In my decade editing this page, there has never been a period when quarreling readers have seemed so implacably at odds with each other, as if they get their facts and values from different universes. As one small attempt to bridge the divide, we are providing today a page full of letters from Trump supporters." The implication is the usual one: we—urban multiethnic liberal-to-radical only-partly-Christian America—need to spend more time understanding MAGA America. The demands do not go the other way. Fox and Ted Cruz and the Federalist have not chastised their audiences, I feel pretty confident, with urgings to enter into discourse with, say, Black Lives Matter activists, rabbis, imams, abortion providers, undocumented valedictorians, or tenured lesbians. When only half the divide is being tasked with making the peace, there is no peace to be made, but there is a unilateral surrender on offer. We are told to consider this bipartisanship, but the very word means both sides abandon their partisanship, and Mitch McConnell and company have absolutely no interest in doing that.

—and it's true. It was easy enough to underestimate rightist warnings that people really were upset by the prospect of civil rights for homosexuals, or human rights for women and African-Americans; after all, people weren't really so supremacist, and that wasn't how our society went. Except to the degree it was, and what Solnit describes is part of the reason why. She continues—

Paul Waldman wrote a valuable column in the Washington Post a few years ago, in which he pointed out that this discord is valuable fuel to right-wing operatives: "The assumption is that if Democrats simply choose to deploy this powerful tool of respect, then minds will be changed and votes will follow. This belief, widespread though it may be, is stunningly naive." He notes that the sense of being disrespected "doesn't come from the policies advocated by the Democratic Party, and it doesn't come from the things Democratic politicians say. Where does it come from? …"

—and while it is easy enough to point to an "entire industry … devoted to convincing white people that liberal elitists look down on them", it was also an easy sell. Tim Wise noted, in 2019↱, that if he wrongly accuses a casual drinker fo being an alcoholic, "they don't go binging just to 'show me'". Over the course of decades, it's easy enough to accept the priorities of an argument that requires everyone to pretend it's not really what it is. Solnit describes a "devil's bargain" in which we "flatter and, yeah, respect these white people who think this country is theirs by throwing other people under the bus—by disrespecting immigrants and queer people and feminists and their rights and views"; this pandering, in turn, reinforces the supremacists' "sense that they matter more than other people", and we might beg leave to consider even centuries worth of trouble for the sake of "this sense of white people being more important than nonwhites, Christians than non-Christians, native-born than immigrant, male than female, straight than queer, cis-gender than trans".

Conservatives have served it up for so long that we hear it from the Supreme Court:

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito just complained that "you can't say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Now it's considered bigotry." This is a standard complaint of the right: the real victim is the racist who has been called a racist, not the victim of his racism, the real oppression is to be impeded in your freedom to oppress. And of course Alito is disingenuous; you can say that stuff against marriage equality (and he did). Then other people can call you a bigot, because they get to have opinions too, but in his scheme such dissent is intolerable, which is fun coming from a member of the party whose devotees wore "fuck your feelings" shirts at its rallies and popularized the term "snowflake."

Yet, still, Solnit notes, we endure "this hopelessly naïve version of centrism, of the idea that if we're nicer to the other side there will be no other side, just one big happy family"; and here she nails an important point:

This inanity is also applied to the questions of belief and fact and principle, with some muddled cocktail of moral relativism and therapists' "everyone's feelings are valid" applied to everything. But the truth is not some compromise halfway between the truth and the lie, the fact and the delusion, the scientists and the propagandists. And the ethical is not halfway between white supremacists and human rights activists, rapists and feminists, synagogue massacrists and Jews, xenophobes and immigrants, delusional transphobes and trans people. Who the hell wants unity with Nazis until and unless they stop being Nazis?

And this is an extraordinary iteration; I cannot stress its value enough. We can recall Sartre, how supremacists "have the right to play", and "give ridiculous reasons", because "it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly". This is a long tradition among supremacists; there is mockery in what they claim according to their disdain. The muddled cocktail of moral relativism and quack validation is an angry joke, an habitual, perhaps even reflexive, dimunition of what one disdains. A basic idea is to excuse or justify one's own behavior not according to another's, but according to one's own disdainful mockery of another. It even turned up in a kill list↱ targeting journalists, last week. What Solnit describes, is a familiar refrain: "I've spent much of my adult life watching politicians like Bill Clinton and, at times, Barack Obama sell out their own side to placate the other, with dismal results".

It's like an old joke about Republicans and compromise: Republicans tell you what to do, and you do it; everybody has their part to play:

Among the other problems with the LA Times's editor's statement is that one side has a lot of things that do not deserve to be called facts, and their values are too often advocacy for harming many of us on the other side. Not to pick on one news outlet: Sunday, the Washington Post ran a front-page sub-head about the #millionMAGAmarch that read "On stark display in the nation's capital were two irreconcilable versions of America, each refusing to accept what the other considered to be undeniable fact." Except that one side did have actual facts, notably that Donald J. Trump lost the election, and the other had hot and steamy delusions.

This is not some new condition. Details matter. Function matters. The equivocation Solnit laments is yet another example in the absurd history of an alleged liberal media conspiracy that just can't stop appeasing conservatives.


It is one thing to observe that "that lots of people don't believe climate change is real", but neither is it unfair to wonder, "is there some great benefit in … listening, again, to those who refuse to listen to the global community of scientists and see the evidence before our eyes?"

Here, again, we encounter the coincidence of an industrial sales pitch and a hungry audience:

A lot of why the right doesn't "understand" climate change is that climate change tells us everything is connected, everything we do has far-reaching repercussions, and we're responsible for the whole, a message at odds with their idealization of a version of freedom that smells a lot like disconnection and irresponsibility. But also climate denial is the result of fossil fuel companies and the politicians they bought spreading propaganda and lies for profit, and I understand that better than the people who believe it. If half of us believe the earth is flat, we do not make peace by settling on it being halfway between round and flat. Those of us who know it's round will not recruit them through compromise. We all know that you do better bringing people out of delusion by being kind and inviting than by mocking them, but that's inviting them to come over, which is not the same thing as heading in their direction.


That is to say—

1) This right-wing argument is not separated from political identity.

2) When there is an observable correct and incorrect answer, it is not proper compromise to settle on a different incorrect answer imagined halfway between the two.

3) It works better to try to be nice when asking the people with the incorrect answer to just stop being wrong.​

—even if that last does skip over the point of antisociality; it's probably better to ignore them as much as we can, because patience is not infinite, as those who would mock flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, or climate change deniers can easily attest. If the LA Times spoke of both facts and values, how often have those values risen to violence? "Do we need to bridge the divide between Nazis and non-Nazis?" Solnit asks. "Because part of the problem is that we have an appeasement economy, a system that is supposed to be greased by being nice to the other side."

It's not reciprocal. That's why, "Appeasement didn't work in the 1930s and it won't work now" Solnit observes—

—the whole Republican Party, since long before Trump, has committed itself to the antidemocratic project of trying to create a narrower electorate rather than win a wider vote. They have invested in voter suppression as a key tactic to win, and the votes they try to suppress are those of Black voters and other voters of color .... Having failed to prevent enough Black people from voting in the recent election, they are striving mightily to discard their votes after the fact. What do you do with people who think they matter more than other people? Catering to them reinforces that belief, that they are central to the nation's life, they are more important, and their views must prevail. Deference to intolerance feeds intolerance.

—and then reflects on Lakoff, who likened Democrats to nurturing mothers and Republicans to disciplinarian fathers. "But the relationship between the two parties is a marriage, between an overly deferential wife and an overbearing and often abusive husband", Solnit suggests, recalling "an era where wives who were beaten were expected to do more to soothe their husbands and not challenge them, and this carries on as the degrading politics of our abusive national marriage".

Some of us don't know how to win. Others can't believe they ever lost or will lose or should, and their intransigence constitutes a kind of threat. That's why the victors of the recent election are being told in countless ways to go grovel before the losers. This unilateral surrender is how misogyny and racism are baked into a lot of liberal and centrist as well as right-wing positions, this idea that some people need to be flattered and buffered even when they are harming the people who are supposed to do the flattering and buffering, even when they are the minority, even when they're breaking the law or lost the election. Lakoff didn't quite get to the point of saying that this nation lives in a household full of … coercive control, in which one partner's threats, intimidations, devaluations, and general shouting down control the other.

This is what marriages were before feminism, with the abused wife urged to placate and soothe the furious husband .... It didn't work in marriages, and it never was the abused partner's job to prevent the abuse by surrendering ground and rights and voice. It is not working as national policy either.

Three years ago, K. T. Nelson↱ considered an important question: "How do you engage with someone who doesn't just not care if their aggressive political stances upset you, but wants you to get upset—someone for whom 'this makes people upset' is actually the whole reason to have that stance in the first place?" But even then, "How do we bring disciples of such a deluded school of thought back to the table?"

That is to say, it might work better being nice when asking the people with the incorrect answer to just stop being wrong, but many of them just haven't been interested in that discussion for a long, long time.

Or, as Solint put it: "There are situations in which there is no common ground worth standing on, let alone hiking over to."

What, really, is the compromise? What appeasement can we possibly give? "The El Paso anti-immigrant massacre," Solint reminds, "was only a year ago." It isn't as if the whole invading-army fearmongering was new. What did we get from appeasing white supremacists over the last decade and longer? Louder, angrier, more violent white supremacists. That is, about what we might have expected, save for mitigation by ritual appeasement in wringing and fretting over the delicate feelings of cruel people.

Thinking back, we might wonder at those who thought they could bargain with this insatiable hatred the Trump years have indelibly enumerated among American virtues. We ought not appease such hatred, and owe the human endeavor that we should no longer attend such depraved appetites.


@timjacobwise. "Tired of people saying, 'Calling people racist (when they don't feel like 1) is what makes them racist.' Bullshit. If u use that as an excuse 4 being racist it's bc u already were one. If I call a casual drinker an alcoholic they don't go binging just to 'show me.' Own your shit". Twitter. 24 August 2019. http://bit.ly/2NATYWS

@luistheleftist. "@GregoryMcKelvey @TheRealCoryElia @1misanthrophile y'all made the list -". Twitter. 18 November 2020. Twitter.com. 21 November 2020. https://bit.ly/3ff1e6P

Nelson, K. T. "Trump Fans Are Owning Libs by Losing All Their Friends". Vice. 21 November 2017. Vice.com. 21 November 2020. http://bit.ly/2oXBZwM

Sartre, Jean-Paul. Anti-Semite and Jew: An Exploration of the Etiology of Hate. 1944. New York: Schocken Books, 1995.

Solnit, Rebecca. "On Not Meeting Nazis Halfway". Literary Hub. 19 November 2020. LitHub.com. 21 November 2020. https://bit.ly/3pUh4c6


Among what the day brings is discussion of the liberal media conspiracy, in this case the New York Times, calling Roosh Valizadeh for an explanation of particular right wing anger, which in turn goes that Fox News is wrecking Tucker Carlson's credibility.

No, really. The piece on the dangers of being Tucker Carlson even includes a player named Snerdley:

The president's allies in conservative media and their legions of devoted Trump fans quickly closed ranks behind Ms. Powell and her case on behalf of the president, accusing the Fox host of betrayal.

“How quickly we turn on our own,” said Bo Snerdley, Mr. Limbaugh's producer, in a Twitter post that was indicative of the backlash against Mr. Carlson. “Where is the 'evidence' the election was fair?”


The backlash against Mr. Carlson and Fox for daring to exert even a moment of independence underscores how little willingness exists among Republicans to challenge the president and his false narrative about the election he insists was stolen. Among conservative media voices and outlets, there's generally not just a lack of willingness—they have proved this month to be Mr. Trump's most reflexive defenders.


What seems strange is that there were plenty of reasons to wonder if FOX News was early in calling Arizona, but the narrative that doing so was an act "daring to exert even a moment of independence" really is a kindly shine. And while, sure, there is a ratings and adrate game to play that might influence how early an enterprise like FOX News is willing to draw attention to itself by calling a state for the Democrat, the Carlson question is even stranger. After all, what the FOX News entertainer did was invite Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell to his show in order to present her evidence and destroy the Biden presidential victory, and then reported to his audience that she angrily refused.

The NYT article spends a couple paragraphs recalling Trump's disinformation campaign against mail ballots, early claim of victory, and refusal to accept defeat. If Republican disagreement is limited mostly to former officials, with only a few elected office holders speaking out, "The same fear that grips elected Republicans—getting on the wrong side of voters who adore Mr. Trump but have little affection for the Republican Party—has kept conservative media largely in line." This is not incorrect; the implications are grave, but lack their relative gravity according to the compensation of false equivocation. That FOX News was not surprised in Arizona is its own thing; that President Trump pushed outfits like Newsmax and One America on his Twitter feed is about what we expect.

In the hours after Mr. Carlson's monologue, word of which spread quickly across social media, Mr. Trump's supporters not only went after Mr. Carlson but also Fox News. The network has become a source of particular frustration with many on the right after taking a more skeptical view of Mr. Trump's claims about voter fraud and refusing to reconsider its call on election night that Mr. Biden would win Arizona.

Roosh Valizadeh, a writer and podcast host who supports the president, summed up the anger aimed at Fox by many on the right, saying, “As long as Tucker Carlson works for Fox News, he can't be fully trusted.”

All week on networks like Newsmax and OANN and talk radio programs, the president's supporters have been given a steady diet of interviews with Trump allies, campaign officials and news stories that promote allegations of fraud with little or no context.

Still, check out that liberal media conspiracy: Roosh is "a writer and podcast host who supports the president", says NYT, and we would have to ask reporter Jeremy W. Peters how he feels about that, since that's how his article describes an infamous pua, self-described hate-fucker↗, and literal rape advocate↗ whose trajectory↗ warranted passing mention in a journal paper on radicalization pathways. And, yes, when we take the moment to consider that this is who NYT calls to help explain why some right-wingers are angry at FOX News and its fishstick entertainer, it is not unfair to wonder at the implications. For instance: This is who NYT calls to explain rightist cult behavior? Yes, that ought to be significant in and of itself.

An easy sell. A hungry audience. The right-wing argument is largely an identity argument. Inasmuch as function matters, it's true there comes a point at which these people are up against the basic definitions of words. This is a long neurotic tension; these are not free unless someone else isn't, and therein we find both their freedom and equality, and at some point even they know it doesn't work according to the basic definitions of the words they're using. Over the course of years, this tension will exert effect.

As shattered institutionalists such as Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) or Rich Lowry of National Review scrabble after comfort, a question looms over observable circumstance: Conservative journalism "can try to pull back from the abyss", noted Yochai Benkler of Harvard Law School, "But the audience is going to get what it wants and reward those who give it to them."

And here is an occasion when particular differences matter. Despite conservative lamentations through the decades, institutional Democrats are much more capitalist than socialist; Republicans, however, are capitalist beyond capitalism, dallying in Galtian and Machiavellian fancies justifying greed and cruelty. This more conservative assertion of capitalism is not without a whiff of baked-in market demand: Selling nihilistic relativism to an audience that will destroy itself for gratification is an easy call in the Republican context.

For an entertainer like Carlson, the question becomes one of calculating a pathway; the son of privilege will likely land on his feet. For capitalists of the FOX News sort, there's always sucker for selling to. But in a question, as Solnit has it↑, of meeting Nazis halfway, we need to remember that appeasement was our pathway to disaster.

It feels very nearly quaint to recall a mere three and a half years ago↑, when we had occasion to wonder what Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) or DNC Chair Tom Perez were thinking they might gain by sacrificing women in acts of appeasement, but it remains relevant: "Always one more," goes an old song°, "you're never satisfied." And of course it's about a woman: "Tell me, 'One for all', with you, it's only, 'One for me'. So why draw the line and meet you half the way, when you don't know what that means?" Also ironic, the second verse gives sympathy to politicians. But as the sun sets on the Trump administration, we might reflect on what appeasement wins, which really isn't much of anything. Who keeps needing one more? This is not unrelated to an underlying current in the cancel culture↗ complaint, or, as Jacob Hamburger↱ noted two years ago, of the "Intellectual Dark Web" lamentation:

It would take a short memory, however, not to notice that these sorts of polemics over political correctness are anything but novel: they have been around for at least 30 years, ever since a strikingly similar set of media debates centered around college campuses took off in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Toward the end of the Reagan years, political correctness became a favorite bugbear of conservative intellectuals, who believed that college professors had latched onto illiberal or totalitarian notions of equality, and were indoctrinating their students with a subversive view of American society. Today's "dark web" provocateurs rarely mention these predecessors, who not too long ago occupied a similar place in national media debates. But the comparison suggests that the "iconoclastic" ideas of these figures are actually a well-established institution in American discourse: an institution whose home is on the political right.


The intellectual dark web does not only recycle conservative theories explaining our supposed wave of left-wing irrationalism. The ideas they claim to defend from politically correct opponents of truth are themselves a longstanding part of the United States's conservative tradition.


[Progressives and liberals] should not indulge the intellectual dark web's veneer of novelty or appeals to transpolitical reason. These thinkers ought not to be allowed to pretend that its ideas are, historically speaking, anything other than conservative.

No wonder the liberal media conspiracy is down to asking Roosh to explain right-wing anger.


° Van Halen, "5150"↱, 1986.​

Hamburger, Jacob. "The 'Intellectual Dark Web' Is Nothing New". Los Angeles Review of Books. 18 July 2018. LAReviewOfBooks.org 22 November 2020. http://bit.ly/2zP6VXX

Peters, Jeremy W. "Tucker Carlson Dared Question a Trump Lawyer. The Backlash Was Quick." The New York Times. 20 November 2020. NYTimes.com. 22 November 2020. https://nyti.ms/2USdkcM
american appeasement will only come with consistancy of the Truth .

Consistancy of the Truth , because it is true , consistintely we know this because we know the Science . We All understand the Science .
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Matt Negrin↱ called out Poppy Harlow, the other day:

Hey @PoppyHarlowCNN you did an entire segment (below) about how Democrats eroded "civility" because Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant. Any plans to cover the Republican Party celebrating the guy who shot and killed protesters or does it only apply to mild Dem behavior

The four images accompanying the inquiry are a headline that the mother of Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse received a standing ovation from Wisconsin Republicans; a screenshot of Tucker Carlson's interview with Wendy Rittenhouse earlier this month; a Twitter screengrab of Elijah Schaffer, of The Blaze, celebrating the shooter's branded coffee t-shirt, and then pushing for the company, a sponsor of his show, with a discount offer for using the code "offensive"; and the infamous tweet from Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R-FL32) encouraging a Rittenhosue congressional run. That last, of course, is seven years away, at least; the comparative civility in question is a different manner or behavioral context; moreover, the idea that a cultural-political heritage of deliberate incivility might put on a grotesquely uncivil spectacle is hardly surprising. On balance, challenging Harlow as such is probably unfair; everyone knows the civility trope is a one-sided whine.

Still, Rebecca Solnit↱ observed, of the Los Angeles Times pandering to Trump supporters: "The implication is the usual one: we—urban multiethnic liberal-to-radical only-partly-Christian America—need to spend more time understanding MAGA America. The demands do not go the other way."

For CNN, appeasement is a market necessity. As a societal question, it's a known danger. These two considerations are not unrelated.


@MattNegrin. "Hey @PoppyHarlowCNN you did an entire segment (below) about how Democrats eroded 'civility' because Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant. Any plans to cover the Republican Party celebrating the guy who shot and killed protesters or does it only apply to mild Dem behavior". Twitter. 21 November 2020. Twitter.com. 23 November 2020. https://bit.ly/39cwIJX
It really did seem strange, a couple months back↑, when the New York Times decided to check in with Daryush Valizadeh in order to understand conservative anger. Of course, with the question of appeasing the American right so frequently involving the human rights of women, perhaps it a stroke of inspiration to ask infamous Roosh V. The "writer and podcast host who supports [President Trump]" is also an infamous celebrity misogynist, pua, and rape advocate. And while so much conservative emotionalism has to do with deciding the proper station of women, perhaps it seems all the more appropriate—though, in truth, not exactly surprising—that we find our intersection with antisemitism. David Futrelle↱ explains:

Two years ago, the infamous pickup artist Roosh Valizadeh announced that he was giving up his life of sinful fornication and getting himself right with God. Or at least right with a right-wing God, whom he apparently met in person after taking a megadose of ‘shrooms. (No, I'm not kidding.)

Now, instead of penning rapey pickup manuals, he writes posts on his blog with titles like "I Lived Most of My Life Under Demonic Influence," "There is No Identity Without Christ," and (somewhat unexpectedly) "Why I Don't Trust American Dentists."

Guess who else he doesn't trust? The Jews.

Roosh has hated on Jews for a while now, and at one point he even got one of his tweets banned in France for promoting an antisemitic ASMR video. But he's now getting serious about his antisemitism, blaming Jews for "most modern evils" from fornication to the Reformation.

Apparently, the latest episode is that Roosh reviewed a book. And if the book is called, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit, and is penned by a known Catholic antisemite, that might have something to do with Roosh's title selection; the review is titled, "Why Are Jews Behind Most Modern Evils?"↱, and Futrelle describes "basically a series of long quotes from Jones' book interspersed with relatively brief bits of editorializing from Roosh" blaming Jews "for everything from the Russian revolution to internet porn, and even for Roosh's own fornication-heavy previous life". Roosh really does lament, "I fell for the Jewish trick of sexual liberation and paid dearly for it." Indeed, he "must conclude that Jews are God's punishment" for those of insufficient faith. "If you stray too far from God," he continues, "you in essence become a Jew."

And if we should want a better glimpse at the intersectionalism of Roosh's hatred, we might consider such nearly mysterious nonsense as:

The Catholic Church had major problems at the time of the Reformation, but if we cruise by any American city today and see what's on the front of Protestant churches (gay flags, "Refugees Welcome" signs, "Black Lives Matter" propaganda, female pastor names, etc.), we can conclude that they did not ultimately bear greater fruit than the Catholic Church.

Moreover, when we consider that Roosh, in assessing, "With the fanatical Zionist beliefs that so many modern-day Protestants hold, I would say that the Jews made wise investment choices to aid the Reformation," makes the same mistake so many modern-day Protestants do in failing to recognize the genocidal antisemitism of premillennial dispensationalism.

That is to say, the religious zealot's broad-spectrum hatred reads about like American conservatism.

The thing about Appeasement is that one expects to achieve something by bargaining with evil. What we find, four years later, is that no sacrifice would have been enough to appease American conservatives.


Futrelle, David. "Roosh V blames The Jews for 'most modern evils,' including his own". We Hunted The Mammoth. 15 January 2021. WeHuntedTheMammoth.com. 15 January 2021. http://bit.ly/3bLdKLM

Valizadeh, Roosh. "Why Are Jews Behind Most Modern Evils?" 4 January 2021. Archive.vn. 15 January 2021. https://archive.vn/nsXcn
Started | Going


There is actually a lot to say about an episode once upon a time at Sciforums, but it requires actually having paid attention and, probably, giving a damn in the first place, to understand. It's an old thread↗ about American civil rights law, when Trump-appointed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos sought to "review" Title IX, pertaining to sex discrimination¹. There is a lot to say in part because the thread was largely an ahistorical masculinist playground such that, four days in, someone had to remind the topic poster↗, "you started this thread, and that the subject is essentially DeVos's efforts to turn the accused perpetrators into the 'victims'".

Anyway, how it started includes promoting an actual rape advocate↗ along the way while complaining about Title IX itself in response to Sec. DeVos reviewing the civil rights legislation and the Department civil rights chief attacking rape survivors.

And the grim news, i.e., how it's going:

• "Man Accused Of Dismembering Girlfriend Was Posterboy For Betsy DeVos' War On #MeToo" (Wonkette↱)

• "He Said He Was Falsely Accused of Sexual Harassment. Now This Ex-Republican Official Allegedly Dismembered His Fiancée" (SF Standard)

It's not so much that we see what Appeasement brings, but, rather, what we Appease.


¹ A note on rhetoric: Sometimes, a line might read as a common reference point, such as observing↗, "it seems logic and common sense has flown the coop", but we can only wonder what that means if the flight was thirty-eight, or maybe forty-five years prior, and possibly even before the observer was born. It's worth noticing when lines like that are on the table, as they sometimes make clear that the inquiry itself is bogus.​

Barba, Michael. "He Said He Was Falsely Accused of Sexual Harassment. Now This Ex-Republican Official Allegedly Dismembered His Fiancée". The San Francisco Standard. 29 September 2023. SFStandard.com. 30 September 2023. https://bit.ly/48BTFCw

Pennacchia, Robyn. "Man Accused Of Dismembering Girlfriend Was Posterboy For Betsy DeVos' War On #MeToo". Wonkette. 30 September 2023. Wonkette.com. 30 September 2023. https://bit.ly/3tel6lw