Nothing that’s recorded is private.  Just look at the Nixon administration.  If you’re on a listserv with 500 other people, you have to assume that you are e-mailing to a public forum.  Even if all 500 folks are sworn to secrecy, what about their e-mails accounts?  Who’s sharing an e-mail account with their spouse, or reading it on a PC their hacker teen has access to, or is at work where every tidbit is being packet-sniffed by paranoid sysadmins?  If there’s only a 1% chance of something leaking, well you got four or five copies of that list gone off to whomever.

If you’re a journalist, someone whose job is to dig up uncomfortable facts about people, you really ought to know better than to engage in violent political revenge fantasies in such a forum.

Then again, some people really want Rush Limbaugh to die or throw people through plate-glass windows. . .

All this shows is that this little clique of people were venal and small-minded and too stupid to realize they were giving hundreds of other people documentary evidence of their venal stupidity.

Congressman Brad Sherman:

Congressman Ciro Rodriguez:

Congressman Pete Stark:

Congressman Bob Etheridge:

Congressman Phil Hare:

The San-Francisco Chronicle has run a hugely offensive opinion piece called “The rise of hugely insufferable women” Of course, you know it’s going to be a misogyny smorgasbord the moment you realize that the blatantly sexist title is being used unironically. The squick starts in the first few paragraphs where the male author spends the first five paragraphs talking about men, giving us polished gems of literary ejaculate such as the following:

Not all grown men are suave, sexy, progressive George Clooney/Viggo Mortensen/Colin Farrell lookalikes with sharp blue eyes, stubbly outgrowths and abs like World Cup forwards, all hearts of gold, full heads of hair and perfectly sculpted genitalia [Dude, there's a difference between manscaping and plastic surgery] custom designed to satisfy a small harem [Promiscuous schtupping of multiple women is a good thing], make birds sing [So your sculpted genitalia makes the birds sing? I think that's illegal in about 47 states] and goddesses purr[Apparently a Bastet fetish, or a furry].

Not all adult men are strong and dependable, loyal and true, able to make you laugh, sigh, moan, buy you a drink[You know, I think most guys are capable of purchasing drinks, I mean even winos manage], jump start your Mini in the rain, smell good all over, build a deck, parallel park a tractor-trailer, and feel sufficiently secure in their masculinity and humanity to champion gay rights and women’s rights and pelican rights. [Pelican rights? I got nothing. Unless this is about those singing birds again. . . let's pretend we didn't go there.]

Conversely, not all men are of the other ilk[So there are only two?] either, the sweaty, overweight[Fatist], woman-hating Republican homophobes[Woman-hating homophobes? So we're talking about self-hating lesbians?] in titanic SUVs, bad marriages[Well of course, if you're a self-hating lesbian. If you just had a Cloonyesque harem of bird-singing furries into sculpted pubes, your marriage would be fine.] and sad comb-overs[Watch my hair emote!], twitchy fearmongers who hate all foreigners and wear their baseball hats and grubby hoodies in fancy restaurants[Hoodies and baseball caps, symbols of the GOP AND gansta rap], men who spit on the sidewalk and blow their noses like open trumpets into the street, immature adulterers[As opposed to those mature sophisticated adulterers with the waxed pubes and birdsong] as eager for a war and a beatdown as they are for 20 minutes with a meth dealing gay hooker[Can you parse this clause? I can't. Do we want war, beatdowns and gay meth hookers, or not? And what does he have against gay hookers?].

Yeah, right. Bear in mind that this guy is writing a political screed about women, and he’s coming across like a kid from the old Our Gang shorts going on about the “He-Man Woman Haters Club,” and does so almost as eloquently.

Skip to the nominal reason for this article’s existence:

See, long was it believed, via some utopian/naive vision held by “enlightened” men and women alike, that if and when the feminist movement — all three waves of it, really, from Virginia Woolf to Betty Freidan, bell hooks to riot grrls — finally started to get everything it desired, there would surely be some wonderful sea change in the culture, a new paradigm to replace all the ugly, outdated structures of power and ego erected by old white men, something far more fluid and interesting, liberal and heartfelt and, well, nonmasculine. [Thus the central contradiction of traditional feminist thought: Women and men are the same, and should have an equal standing morally legally and culturally (of which I agree) but somehow, once that happens, all will be unicorns and lollipops because all the cultural evil in evidence is because things were run by old white men. Logic fail. Women are human beings, and are just as capable of being fucked up as those old white men were. We now just have a more equatable gender distribution among people fucking things up.]

A funny thing happened on the way to the cultural revolution.

Turns out that original vision is only about half right. Maybe a third. For as much as we now have cause to celebrate the new female empowerment, there appears to be more than enough reason to cringe and sigh and scream into the Void: “No no no, oh hell no, this is not what we meant at all.” [Wherein we learn, all that equality bullcrap had nothing to do with it, we had a damn statist/socialist/Marxist laundry list of crap that you were supposed to implement. Who the fuck cares if you can be CEO now. . .]

Examples are, sadly, legion. Witness, won’t you, the zeitgeist’s nightmare trifecta of largely insufferable women, the Sarah Palin/Carly Fiorina/Michele Bachmann hydra-headed hellbeast of pseudo-women[The shark has officially been jumped. These people aren't pseudo-feminists, they're pseudo-women. Because they do not ascribe to the social agenda defined by the author, they cannot be women. Just like conservative gays are not really homosexual, and conservative blacks cannot be black. this man is not only denying their gender, the tone of the article is borderline denying their humanity.], one part huge cash reserves, one part evil grammar-abusing ditzball psychopath, one part sassy misinformed moxie, overlaid with wonky ideas of motherhood, love of guns and ignorance of sex and reproductive rights.

The entire diatribe boils down to a snarky thuggish beatdown of women who have the temerity to not know their proper place, that place being where the paternalistic and condescending author would have it be, and damn it woman you will like it. The whole article reads like the rant of a Frank Miller character who just got kicked in the nuts by an angry prostitute.

Congressman Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC):

My first thought, he seems rather touchy about supporting Obama, doesn’t he?

Of course there’s the official response:

“I have seen the video posted on several blogs. I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved. Throughout my many years of service to the people of North Carolina, I have always tried to treat people from all viewpoints with respect. No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response. I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse.”

Funny how politicians always “profoundly regret” getting caught being the vile little asshats they are. And that “poor response” borders on criminal assault. And people were worried about Tea Party violence. . .


When Helen Thomas inadvertently said what she really thought about Jews in Palestine, it’s clear that she had no idea she was saying anything particularly controversial. Even though she was directly channeling classic racial supremacy logic. So, one wonders how the left can tolerate this kind of thinking when they’re supposed to be all about multicultural racial/ethnic/religious tolerance?

It’s because the left tolerates bigotry all the time, just bigotry about the right things: politics and class. The nature of Israel as a Jewish state presents the left with a category problem that they are unable to effectively deal with. All an anti-Semite has to do is remember to replace the word “Jew” with the word “Israeli” and the left would be stymied in any attempt to critique the Protocols of the Elders of Zion— I mean it’s a legitimate critique of Israeli policy, isn’t it?

Why should we worry abouy people saying things like this?

So I don’t—I, I—I’m worried about this, it’s why I have fantasized—don’t get me wrong—but that what if we could just be China for a day? I mean, just, just, just one day. You know, I mean, where we could actually, you know, authorize the right solutions, and I do think there is a sense of that, on, on everything from the economy to environment. I don’t want to be China for a second, OK, I want my democracy to work with the same authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness.

Or this?

It would be good…if (Obama) could be dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly.

Well, the reason is, sometimes the elite intellectual authoritarian fantasizing gets out of hand:


Some people get downright offended when reality doesn’t match their talking points.

But I was promised right-wing violence.

So, this Liberal columnist goes to a Tea Party to report on the racism everyone at the Times knows is there. Problem. He doesn’t find any. How do you report on racism when no one is shouting epithets or holding nasty signs? Here’s how; you mock and denigrate any people of color unfortunate enough to be there.

I had specifically come to this rally because it was supposed to be especially diverse. And, on the stage at least, it was. The speakers included a black doctor who bashed Democrats for crying racism, a Hispanic immigrant who said that she had never received a single government entitlement and a Vietnamese immigrant who said that the Tea Party leader was God. It felt like a bizarre spoof of a 1980s Benetton ad.

The juxtaposition was striking: an abundance of diversity on the stage and a dearth of it in the crowd, with the exception of a few minorities like the young black man who carried a sign that read “Quit calling me a racist.”

I see what you did there.  Sure, there’s a few colored folks there, but they don’t count. They’re shills, tokens, Uncle Toms by another name.

I found the imagery surreal and a bit sad: the minorities trying desperately to prove that they were “one of the good ones”; the organizers trying desperately to resolve any racial guilt among the crowd. The message was clear: How could we be intolerant if these multicolored faces feel the same way we do?

The Tea Party is, at its core, about macro-economic policy, federal government spending, and an expansive bureaucratic state.  So of course it is about race.  The gall is almost admirable, the ability to present, without even a hint of irony, the bald assertion that the key aspect of all this is some unstated invisible racist agenda.  The sad fact is, the only way you can make it about race is to just admit that to you everything is about race, which means that race is only the meaningless shibboleth you happen to use to define those who agree with you on policy and those who do not.

Then the money shot:

Thursday night I saw a political minstrel show devised for the entertainment of those on the rim of obliviousness and for those engaged in the subterfuge of intolerance. I was not amused.

So that’s the bottom line. These Tea Party people are intolerant and bigoted because you say they are intolerant and bigoted, and because you have proclaimed them as such, the unenlightened people of color who dare to stray from the accepted political boxes you have defined for them must be objectified as props, demeaned as unintelligent water-carriers, or mocked as sellouts.

I wonder what the poor black folk there think of your assessment of them?

Oh, wait, here’s one of them now. Mr. Rachel, what do you think of Mr. Blow’s column?

(Also here you can hear Mr. Blow fail to explain himself to Laura Ingram.)

I shall quote Anita Dunn:

“The fact that they’ve chosen to become enablers of people posting lies on their site tells us where the journalistic standards of CBS are in 2010.” She said the network was giving a platform to a blogger “with a history of plagiarism” who was “applying old stereotypes to single women with successful careers.”

Wow.  Harsh.  The agnst and fury shows up at the Huffington Post:

The comments come a day after CBS published a blog by Ben Domenech, a former Bush administration aide and Republican Senate staffer, in which he asserted that choosing Kagan would help Obama “please” much of his base, because she would be the “first openly gay justice.” The White House reacted strongly to the assertion, relaying that Kagan is, in fact, straight. It was the first public pushback by the administration in defense of any potential Supreme Court nominee.

The Obama message machine is obviously on target and on message, and the message is. . .  It’s a nasty thing to be a lesbian?  Ok, it probably is fair game to call out someone if they invented something about someone’s sexuality, but the hostile tone from the White House suggests that there is something uniquely horrible about being “accused” of being gay.  Then, of course, the other problem is that this “charge” wasn’t invented by some right-wing propaganda machine.  Unless this site is part of the right-wing propaganda machine.

Now, of course, there is certainly some element of the socially-conservative right that would use  Kagan’s sexuality as a weapon, but even so, you can’t “out” a public figure whose sexuality is already a matter of public comment and speculation on the effing internet.  I am sorry, but has anyone involved heard of Google?  And, you aren’t helping by reacting as if you’re the reactionary neanderthals who scream ebil when someone talks about teh gays. (No, no, gay cooties!  Get them off!  GET THEM OFF!)

Of course, there could be a deeper psychological reason for Obama’s reaction.