Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Judge Moore

It seems that highly credible reports of molesting a 14-year-old girl are enough to make some conservative pundits and maybe a couple of senators think that the subject should not be a U.S. senator. On the other hand a lot of them don't think so. However, Roy Moore was obviously not qualified to be a U.S. senator long before we found out any of this.

He is a raging bigot and a Christian dominionist whose political objective is to impose religious tyranny on the nation. He has twice been removed from the bench for flouting the constitution of the United States. All of that was more than fine with the majority of Alabama voters, it's what they want in a Senator. As DR Tucker reminds us, they live in an alternative reality. The allegations can't be true because they were reported by the Washington Post, and anyway they can't be true because the voters don't want them to be true. As David Roberts writes (and as quoted by Tucker):

The US is experiencing a deep epistemic breach, a split not just in what we value or want, but in who we trust, how we come to know things, and what we believe we know — what we believe exists, is true, has happened and is happening.
The primary source of this breach, to make a long story short, is the US conservative movement’s rejection of the mainstream institutions devoted to gathering and disseminating knowledge (journalism, science, the academy) — the ones society has appointed as referees in matters of factual dispute. 
In their place, the right has created its own parallel set of institutions, most notably its own media ecosystem. But the right’s institutions are not of the same kind as the ones they seek to displace. Mainstream scientists and journalists see themselves as beholden to values and standards that transcend party or faction. They try to separate truth from tribal interests and have developed various guild rules and procedures to help do that. They see themselves as neutral arbiters, even if they do not always uphold that ideal in practice. . . .
But the right did not want better neutral arbiters. The institutions it built scarcely made any pretense of transcending faction; they are of and for the right. There is nominal separation of conservative media from conservative politicians, think tanks, and lobbyists, but in practice, they are all part of the conservative movement. They are prosecuting its interests; that is the ur-goal.
Indeed, the far right rejects the very idea of neutral, binding arbiters; there is only Us and Them, only a zero-sum contest for resources. That mindset leads to what I call “tribal epistemology” — the systematic conflation of what is true with what is good for the tribe.
Hear, hear. This is not symmetrical. No, both sides don't do it. They exist in different epistemological universes, one the legacy of the Enlightenment, the other the legacy of the 12th Century. That's where we are in this country.


Gay Boy Bob said...

Your post demonstrates the frustration the American liberal left has, especially academia, with the loss of control of the national political narrative. They no longer get to make the social rules about who plays and who doesn't.

Frustration with those who won't convict Roy Moore on decades old unsubstantiated accusations arising just weeks before an important national election.

Part of America is the presumption of innocence for those accused.

I don't particularly like Moore and I like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey even less. However, I resist tribalism and the temptation to act with the mob.

I'd hoped you would as well.

Cervantes said...

Moore is the scum of the earth, even without knowing about these allegations. That is my point. But you can't read.

Gay Boy Bob said...

I can't wait for your soon to be published post on Robert Menendez.

Don Quixote said...

Cervantes, I know you're into freedom of speech. But this is your blog. GBB is obviously a malignant piece of shit. Why not ban him from your blog? How do you know he's not a conservative plant? I know he's malevolent, ignorant, etc. Why allow him to trash-talk in your comments section? He's just more scum, like Moore, O'Reilly et. al so...why not kick his ass outta here? He's a waste of your time, and he seems to be on your site to do the same thing Fox Propaganda Network and Trump and Sessions and Bannon and all the other scum do: lie, and destroy fact and normality through the Hitlerian Big Lie.

Kick the motherfucker off your site. He is nothing but a full-of-shit scumbag who writes lies and perpetrates malicious ignorance. How does that serve any of us who aspire to fact, truth and who enjoy your blog? He ain't goin' away...I think he's been put up to the task of writing his ignorant bullshit to get a rise out of you. That's how the right-wing scumbag media apparatus works; it's what your blog was about today. Gay Boy Bob is not just gay, he's an infiltrator. And ignorant. And pointless. Kick him off. I'm sick of his shit. He has nothing--NOTHING--to say that is true or that can edify any of your readers.

I suspect you see him as a harmless idiot. But I think he's a malicious idiot.

Kick him off.

Gay Boy Bob said...

This race is one of the most interesting I can remember.

Democrats, Republicans and the media are all doing their very best to undermine his candidacy at all costs.

Roy Moore's brand is defiance. Defiance of the liberal Democrat's efforts to portray him as a horrible person(both before and after these latest accusations)and even the desperate efforts of the current ruling class Republicans to keep him out of office.

Outsider, reviled by both parties. media bombshell drops just before the election, etc...Doesn't this election remind you of the last presidential election, the election of Ted Cruz and the election of Mike Lee just to name a few?

Roy Moore appears to be just one more outsider candidate that the established ruling class of both parties will do anything to keep out of office.

Win or lose, the fact that Roy Moore has made it this far, against all odds, demonstrates that the phenomenon of recent Tea Party populism (silent majority) still has some steam.

kathy a. said...

Roy Moore is objectively unqualified, because he does not believe in the Constitution of the United States. I'm at a loss to understand how he became a candidate. Yes, he has rejected the separation of church and state; and rejected the supremacy of the federal courts on questions of constitutional interpretation.

There is no "presumption of innocence" here, because he is not charged with crimes. But, a 30 something year old stalking malls, diners, and high school football games to score teen girls? Being sure that everybody knew he was a District Attorney, so they wouldn't talk? That, my friend, is predatory behavior. Even the people in his town found it really weird and creepy. Wouldn't anybody?

For what it's worth, "defiance" is also the "brand" of preschoolers and those with certain neurological disorders. He does not observe the boundaries of law and decent behavior. This is not a good selling point in a potential Senator.

Gay Boy Bob said...

Here's something interesting. It's a great read.

Be sure to read and scroll down to the picture, it's worth a thousand words.