Politics postsSunday February 25, 2018
Or The Children's Crusade
In the wake of the high school students in Parkland, FL leading the charge against the NRA, a friend posted the following on Facebook last week:
Seveal movies have been made about Sophie Scholl and the White Rose group—non-violent intellectuals at the University of Munich who opposed Hitler in the midst of World War II—most recently in “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days,” from 2005. And wasn't there some line in there that really resonated with me, and that I'd posted about before? No, I hadn't posted about it before. But there was a line. I found it in an old Word doc full of potential ideas for MSNBC.com, although, really, it's not much of an idea. It's just a condemnation, by comparison, of the previous Republican administration.
The powers-that-be want Sophie to sign an apology after she's caught passing out anti-Hitler leaflets at the university:
Nazi official: Following our talks, have you come to the conclusion that your action together with your brother can be seen as a crime against society, and in particular against our hard-fighting troops, and that it must be harshly condemned?
Conflating attacks on a political entity with attacks on the soldiers following the orders of that political entity: Never goes away, does it?
The day Sophie Scholl was killed for speaking reason to tyranny was Feb. 22.
Under the Influence
He really is just an astonishing piece of shit.
Paul Ryan's Jerk Reactions to Mass Killings
‘It doesn’t seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day'
“Nothing has been done. It doesn't seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day in schools. It doesn't matter that people are being shot at a concert, in a movie theater. It's not enough, apparently, to move our leadership, our government, people that are running this country, to actually do anything. That's demoralizing.
”But we can do something about it. We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people's lives and not just bow down to the NRA because they‘ve financed their campaign for them. So, hopefully we’ll find enough people, first of all, to vote good people in, but hopefully we can find enough people with courage to help our citizens remain safe and focus on the real safety issues. Not building some stupid wall for billions of dollars that has nothing to do with our safety, but actually protecting us from what truly is dangerous, which is maniacs with semi-automatic weapons just slaughtering our children. It's disgusting."
“Back when he was president, Barack Obama told me that only two people treated any interaction with him as a zero-sum game. One was Vladimir Putin, the other congressional Republicans. Both behaved as if there was no such thing as a win-win situation: Any gain for Obama was a loss for them, and any gain for them must also entail a loss for Obama. The moment that the Russian president or congressional Republicans saw he wanted something, they went to work trying to keep him from getting it even if it was something they might otherwise have approved of.”
Michael Lewis, “Has Anyone Seen the President?,” Bloomberg News
I‘ve long loved Lewis, and much of the piece is Lewis, George Plimpton-like, or maybe Joan Didion-like (“Insider Baseball”), giving the unvarnished, vaguely absurd details of the process from within the process: a White House Press briefing; a late night, cursory press conference after Trump returns from Davos, from which Lewis gets off a great line, playing off one of Trump’s idiot lines: “I try and fail to imagine anyone in Davos saying to Trump 'I want to bring my money to your country.'”
But much of the piece is about the when and where of Steve Bannon. He's still in D.C. Is he on a lone island now? He's got a Man Friday anyway. He's also got acolytes, and thoughts and ideas; he sees where the country is heading. “Anger and fear is what gets people to the polls,” he says, and maybe his fear is that the anger is now on the other side, particularly with the #MeToo movement. He says as much. But nowhere does Lewis mention the Mercers, who bankrolled Bannon's 11th-hour triumph, and who, after the release of Michael Wolff's book, have supposedly cut him off. How is he doing all this without them? How is he living in Georgetown, with his Man Friday, on his island of Regnery books, without them? Not a word.
But the lede above is killer: a good distillatiion of where we are. Putin and Republicans: together again.