Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


That seems to be the hot topic of the day, and there are so many good takes on it I don't know where to begin. So let's go to the always reliable Charlie Pierce first. You need to read this of course, but it offers two main takeaways: what actually happened when Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant; and the history of Republican and conservative "civility." Part the first is that many of the restaurant staff are gay and they didn't like an administration that claims that merchants are within their rights refusing to serve them, and everybody was outraged by the administration kidnapping children. So they had a staff meeting, they talked it over, and the owner went along with the people's wishes and politely asked Sanders and her party to leave. She comped them the cheese plate they had already eaten.

For the second part I'll give you a pull quote:

For the benefit of those people also living in Fred Hiatt’s Land Without History: abortion providers have been stalked. Their children have been stalked. Their places of business have been vandalized. And, lest we forget, doctors who perform abortions have been fucking killed! They’ve been gunned down in their clinics, in their kitchens, and in their churches. They have not been allowed to live peaceably with their families, Fred, you addlepated Beltway thooleramawn. They haven’t been allowed to live at all. I’m no expert, but I’m fairly sure that a bullet in the head is far more uncivil than a complementary fucking cheese plate. What is wrong with these people?
I’m old enough to remember the raucous town halls of 2010, when the AstroTurfed forces of the Tea Party shouted down members of Congress while men with automatic weapons strolled around the perimeter of arenas in which the President of the United States was speaking. I’m old enough to remember when N. Leroy Gingrich, Definer of Civilization's Rules and Leader (Perhaps) of The Civilizing Forces, was working out his Universal Lexicography of Insult for the benefit of a party that ate it up with an entrenching tool. Newt also emerged on the electric Twitter machine over the weekend, leaping to SarahHuck’s defense, and that was nearly enough to make me give up English as a hobby.
Next I'll give you Echidne of the Snakes, who as a feminist blogger is extremely familiar with incivility. "Threats of various types of sexual violence are a fairly common experience of women (even right-wing women) who have ventured into the public sphere.  It's worse if a woman express feminist views, but almost any views suffice for those who are outraged at the very fact that some woman dares to speak or write (2)." The footnote goes to: "Mary Beard has written about the history of suppressing women's voices in the public sphere and about how that history is continuing in the online world." (For those of you who don't know, Mary Beard is a classicist -- a historian of ancient Rome. I just read her latest book SPQR, which I recommend.)

Echidne goes on to point out the obvious, that is the Uncivil One In Chief:

Our Supreme Leader, the Glorious Son of the Orange Sun is the rudest and most incivil of all people in American politics.  He gets away with it, just as he gets away with everything else.  He is the President of Impunity.  Nothing sticks to him.  Not his fraudulent business practices, not his charity debacle, not the Trump University debacle, not his open racism, not his open sexism, not his ridicule of the handicapped, not his adoration of psychopathic dictators who wantonly kill their own people, not his lack of any skills or experience for the job he has.  Nothing sticks to him, because what the Trump brand is is exactly that:

The right to act like an asshole.
 Then there is Mark Sumner, who points out what should be obvious. The issue isn't "civility," it is to whom the "incivility" is directed.

It’s not just that major media sources have settled into a routine where when Donald Trump insults someone, their first instinct is to repeat that insult. Or that they are constantly in search for a comment from the left which, no matter how it is phrased, can be turned into the focus of some serious nose-lifted high dudgeon. It’s not simply that while the right punches, the press plays stenographer, and when the left fights back, they declare fighting out of bounds. It’s not even about the incredible spectacle of journalists who have personally been on the receiving end of both spit and thrown bottles while Trump rants about ending “political correctness,” suddenly chiding the left for refusing to be good little frogs while the water boils.
It’s that the demand being made for “civility” isn’t about language at all. It’s about throwing a ring of protection around the powerful. It’s about pretending that people whose actions wreck millions of lives on a whim, are cocooned from the consequences of their actions, not just because they have money, and connections, and resources, but because their power puts them on a different plane.

I give you also Michelle Goldberg: "We have a crisis of democracy, not civility." And this historian who finds a 1934 New York Times opinion column urging the Jews to be civil to Hitler.

And guess what? In 2012 a baker refused to serve Joe Biden and Paul Ryan invited him to speak at a campaign rally. Gotcha.


Don Quixote said...

Projection and hypocrisy rule the Republican asshole party. Witness D.J. Asshole-in-Chief, who said before the election, "I don't look to closely at myself because I'm afraid I might not like what I see." So the world lives with and tolerates his blindness, ignorance, and assholedom.

Witness Mitch Soulless McConnell, who's "proud" of stymieing the nomination of Merrick Garland, a decent, fair man, in order to install the asshole Gorsuch (he even has an asshole name) so that rich Caucasian mens' policies and privileges can be rubber-stamped.

The rich and seeming-rich Caucasian mens' club is on its way out. But it's going down screaming entitlement.

These motherfuckers can't own up to ANYTHING. Everything is someone else's fault.

Anonymous said...

"We Reserve The right to Refuse Service to Anyone"

When's the last time you saw that sign in a restaurant?

Cervantes said...

Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or any other intrinsic characteristic of a person that is irrelevant to their ability to do a job, their presence in a community or place of public accommodation, or the receipt of a service generally available to the public is wrong.

Discrimination against a remorseless liar who defends the kidnapping of children, and yes, discrimination based on sexual orientation, and a malignant narcissist who is bent on destroying our democracy is not wrong. No, you can't refuse service to people because they are black, or Muslim, or gay. But if you want to refuse service to a flaming asshole, I say go right ahead.

Don Quixote said...

He isn't just a flaming asshole, he is a malignant anal conflagration.

Anonymous said...

It’s very easy when it’s someone you hate.

Don Quixote said...

What an idiot you are, "Anonymous," as usual ... you love to irresponsibly and inaccurately place words and ... now, emotions! ... in others' mouths.

Nowhere did I mention hate. It is a statement of observation that Trump is a malignant anal conflagration. Such a man--and I use the term recklessly loosely--has no business running ANYTHING, not a family, company, etc. ... much less a country.

Write what you think and feel, as invalid as it is. But stop this stupid business of taking pot shots at others when your own views are so profoundly invalid, unoriginal, and baseless.

Use "I" statements. Jackass.

Anonymous said...

All of that might be meaningful if I was actually responding to you.

Don Quixote said...

Oh, so you can interpret CERVANTES's emotions! You're still a genius, then :-)

Anonymous said...

There is always room for honest debate about policies.

However, when that criticism constantly turns to personal attacks, mocks, ridicule of personal appearance and exclaiming what a terrible person one is, it's called HATE.

There's no way to sugarcoat it.

Don Quixote said...

Oh, it is good to know you've been appointed the arbiter and judge of other people's behavior.

I can't think of a worse choice! Kind of like putting Neil Gorsuch on the opposite-of-Supreme Court.

Find another job.

There is not "always room for honest debate about policies," Asswipe. Not when the government is a fascist one. There were guys like you in Nazi Germany going on and on about "room for debate." And in Stalinist Russia.

You don't have to look further for what you call "personal attacks, mocks, ridicule of personal appearance and exclaiming what a terrible person one is [it's called HATE]" than ...

Donald J. Trump!

Whether he's MOCKING a reporter with cerebral palsy ...

or PERSONALLY ATTACKING people every day ...

or RIDICULING people's appearances and women's menstrual cycles ...

and going on about how amazingly talented athletes and movie actors HAVE NO TALENT (he's projecting all the way) ...

there's your lack of civility, your vulgar zhlub baseness.

These are not normal times. Abnormal responses are called for. With the Supreme Court in the Rich Caucasian Mens' Club pockets, and a #MeToo horror like Clarence "Long Dong Silver" Thomas on the bench ...

You get the idea. Your words are empty, null and void. Keep appearing sensible and calm. I know you're completely full of shit.

Anonymous said...

If you wish to discuss policies, I'm up for it. Cuz that's all that really matters.

Don Quixote said...

You don't discuss policies ... you lob empty name-calling and make ridiculous, specious assertions. You have no gravitas. I suspect no one takes you seriously. And you're apparently in denial of the fact that an ignorant, mentally ill, would-be fascist is in the Oval Office. So sorry, we won't be debating anything. I don't "debate" people who lie and whose reasoning is faulty. I't a waste of my time. I have a very good bullshit detector. The fact that you sometimes piss me off lends you no substance ... that's my problem, not yours :-)

Cervantes said...

Nobody said one word about Sarah Sanders' personal appearance. She is a remorseless liar, a racist, a homophobicc hate monger, and th lickspittle servant of a malignant narcissist fascist. She can't eat in my restaurant, but she can most definitely eat shit.

Don Quixote said...

Why are there so many unhappy overweight Caucasian women?

She is a piece of shit, so if she ate shit that would be cannibalistic. I wouldn't put it past her. She violates every other norm of decency.

Don Quixote said...

But seriously ... I have eight-year-old students who see things so clearly. And sometimes one will say, "I hope Trump dies."

I've said it before, but ... out of the mouths of babes.

Our collective frog is reaching the boiling point. And the bought-and-paid-for congress and the corporate media are focused on anything but reality.

From an evolutionary standpoint, Cervantes, does anyone ... e.g., Marvin Harris ... have anything to say about the extraordinary power of denial in human survival?