Thursday, June 23, 2016

These comments are in support of Betty Cracker's brilliant blog post today "Quibbling Over The Script."  ">Christ! Between the bernie leftists for whom no democratic initiative is effective if it doesnt involve birds, giant puppets, or farting and the ACLU’s crack team of concern trolls worried that the democrats will lose the commanding heights of the moral hillock if they once stoop to noisy street theater, cruel manipulation, broad strokes, politics even (faints!)Or anything that smacks of stooping to conquer its no wonder we can’t have nice things. if the various flavors of left purity trolls could stop stabbing us and each other in the back perhaps hillary clinton and the kick ass dems could start to commit some god damned political winning up there.
Oh, ok, I think I should take this one. I referred to the ACLU (and I’m a member, by the way) because djw, over at LGM, in a staggeringly stupid thread, referred to himself as an ACLU’er at heart. The ACLU are not concern trolling us here–but concerned citizens are behaving like concern trolls and using the ACLU’s issues and concepts as the method by which they do it.
Here’s the thing–and stay with me for a moment–the ACLU does a very specific kind of legal work. Their opinion on a matter of politics, and especially electoral politics, is not dispositive. For one thing they tend to think in terms of end products (a law) with a specific set of possible precedential outcomes in a court battle. But a politician, even one who is engaged in potentially writing a law has a different set of priorities, a different understanding of the stages by which an idea becomes a law and then gets submitted for review when challenged in a court case. For one thing a legislator has to deal with time, committees, negotiations, trade offs, gestures, outside pressure, tv, as well as the bald language of the legislation. All of these things intervene between the proposal (we should do something about something) and the execution (this is the thing we are going to do). Short circuting that process for fear that the Democrats are going to turn into the Republicans on minority or muslim rights, or that their very proposal gives aid and comfort to the Republicans is absurd and, frankly, insulting.
And the proof of the pudding, by the way, is in the eating. The Republicans are so terrified of linking gun rights (constitutional right, fetishized idol) to the NFL and the Terrorist Watch List that they literally had to shut down congress to escape debating it.

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    I always know when a thread is over–because that’s when I really get started posting! I want to say something else about the ACLU/naysayers group of commenters. There’s a whole lot of accusations floating around that people who applaud the Dem sit in are “acting like Republicans” and “using Cheneyite” language, or blurring a necessary distinction between our essential Democraticness (goodness, honesty, openness, purity of speech and deed) and their essential Republicanness (ugly, lying, mean, etc…). Politics–the art of the possible, always local, etc..etc..etc… is, in this model, irremiediably filthy and therefore not becoming to Democrats. Because politics always involves a lot of stuff that seems kind of wrong. Like accusing your opponent of pig fucking just to make him deny it. Or putting your oponent into the position of telling you when he stopped beating his wife. Or drawing his policies out to their absurd conclusion and making fun of him. All these things are certainly very messy, and involve passion (and faking passion) and involve arousing the passions of the voters. They are not the platonic ideal of rational debate of a subject on the merits.
    Well–boo fucking hoo. If that is what it takes to get stringent gun laws passed I’m for it. I’m not for extra scrutiny for Muslims, the no fly list, or stripping my fellow citizens of their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness but I am for damned sure pro getting guns out of the hands of ordinary citizens.
    Time is what makes kittens into cats, and what keeps everything from happening all at once. The Democrats are fighting just to get the chance to talk about gun laws at all. After that we can argue about how new legislation gets drafted. And if you think anyone is listening to the details and will throw in the Democrats faces that they once, for a day, argued that “terrorists” should not be able to buy guns, well–you really don’t know the first thing about the American Public which would have to be hit in the face with a two by four, repeatedly, day after day before they woke up and said “huh? Whuh hoppen?”

    1. I would really, really like to ask the purity trolls: Did MLK expect to overturn segregation and oppression with his first sit-in? No? Then it was all just useless grandstanding, wasn't it? By your standards?

      Gah! And they're so arrogantly dismissive of anyone who raises your pragmatic points. No, no! It's a POS bill they're sitting in about, anyone who supports this is a fascist enabler, et bloody et so drearily predictably cetera.

      And then they moan about why, oh, why won't people listen to them.

    2. How sweet of you to come over and comment, Never Ben Better. I appreciate it.

    3. Oh, aimai, I love everything you write, and am a damn fool not to have added your blog to my list of "Check these out regularly, dammit" links! Especially when I know how much work it takes to write a good entry. My own blog, erratically updated, is all eclectic, more or less personal stuff, and yet even that is added to only sporadically in large part because it demands concentrated work to come up with something worth writing about and then dig into getting one's thoughts organized, drafted, edited, proofed, and finally good enough (though never quite good enough!) to go ahead and post.

      By the way, I'm J/janicket at other blogs where you might encounter me, though I don't comment a lot.

      1. You're my truest friend at the Frogpond! The Internet is like a masked ball sometimes.

      2. You're my truest friend at the Frogpond! The Internet is like a masked ball sometimes.

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