Monday, October 30, 2017

Oh, shut up John Boehner!

You know, I really figured we'd heard the last of John Boehner. What reason could anyone have to ever interview him or put him on camera or ask his opinion about anything? He was gone. We were rid of him. And no matter how much everyone despises Paul Ryan, no one wants him back. B

But for some reason, some Politico reporter felt like it was a good idea to help Boehner rehabilitate his image and put the blame for America's current political state on, well, pretty much everyone except John Boehner.

Boehner worries about the deepening fissures in American society. But he sees Trump as more of a symptom than the cause of what is a longer arc of social and ideological alienation, fueled by talk radio and Fox News on the right and MSNBC and social media on the left.

No. Do not do that. Do not pretend that MSNBC is somehow the left-wing analogue to FOX. Do a good portion of MSNBC programs come from a "liberal" point of view? Sure. But you can not compare them to FOX. Sure, Rachel Maddow and, um, I can't think of any other MSNBC hosts, but Maddow et al definitely approach the news from a center-left perspective. But MSNBC also begins their broadcasting day with what, like 5 hours of former Gincrichista Republican Joe Scarborough who, despite his current personal beef with Il Douche, has always always always approached every story from a right-wing perspective.

Contrast that with the parallel alternative-fact universe that FOX has constructed, where truth means nothing, facts are optional and advancing the agenda overrides any concerns about ethics, morals or common decency. What parallel is there at MSNBC for the conspiracy-therory-mongering  that goes on daily at FOX? Who has MSNBC had on their programs that compares to the king and queen of birtherism Orly Taitz and Cheeto Mussolini? How long after everyone had seen President Obama's actual legal official birth certificate did they keep trotting those two out to pretend that it had yet to be seen? And how much airtime does MSNBC devote to anything remotely similar to the bullshit you hear every day on FOX about every already-debunked theory from Fast & Furious to Uranium One? They are not similar networks, there is no comparison, stop spreading this bullshit!

“People thought in ’09, ’10, ’11, that the country couldn’t be divided more. And you go back to Obama’s campaign in 2008, you know, he was talking about the divide and healing the country and all of that. And some would argue on the right that he did more to divide the country than to unite it. I kind of reject that notion.”

 Wow! really? You're really going to admit that it was not President Barack "bend over backwards to compromise" Obama who was responsible for dividing the country? You're actually going to admit that this lies at the doorstep of the right? Well, I'm impressed!

Why is that? “Because it wasn’t him!” Boehner replies. “It was modern-day media, and social media, that kept pushing people further right and further left.

 Yes, the Dems got pushed so far to the left that they nominated the epitome of middling moderate incremental centrism, Hillary Rodham Clinton. They totally went just as far left as conservatives die when they nominated an unqualified unintelligent malignant narcissist with fascistic tendencies and a history of racism and misogyny to be their David Duke-endorsed standard bearer.

He continues: “I always liked Rush [Limbaugh]. When I went to Palm Beach I would always meet with Rush and we’d go play golf. But you know, who was that right-wing guy, [Mark] Levin? He went really crazy right and got a big audience, and he dragged [Sean] Hannity to the dark side. He dragged Rush to the dark side. 


 What the fuck? Are you seriously going to sit there and pretend that there was a time when Limbaugh and Hannity were NOT huge right-wing assholes? Dragged them to the dark side? That's like saying that when Ted Bundy arrived in Hell, he really  had a bad influence on Satan. Satan used to be a cool guy, but he's really gotten kinda dark lately.

 What happened to you, man? You used to be cool.

And these guys—I used to talk to them all the time. And suddenly they’re beating the living shit out of me.” Boehner, seated in his favorite recliner, lights another cigarette.

Ooooohhhh, now I get it. The difference isn't they used to be decent human beings then they turned into dicks. The difference is they used to be dicks to OTHER people, then they turned on you. Now it makes sense.

“I had a conversation with Hannity, probably about the beginning of 2015. I called him and said, ‘Listen, you’re nuts.’ We had this really blunt conversation. Things were better for a few months, and then it got back to being the same-old, same-old. Because I wasn’t going to be a right-wing idiot.”

Oh, no. Not you. Not a right-wing idiot.

You know, just because you can find guys who are nuttier doesn't mean you're not a nut. Just because there are guys who are righter-wing and idioticer doesn't mean you aren't a right-wing idiot. I mean, it's like just because there are guys out there who are bigger drunks than you doesn't make you not a drunk. Just because you were willing to allow the government to function, just because you were willing to settle for getting 90% of what you want, doesn't mean you're not a right-wing idiot. It just means the Freedom Caucus is baboon-ass crazy.

Boehner believes Americans are ill-informed because of their retreat into media echo chambers, one of two incurable causes of the country’s polarization. Another is inextricably related: the unwillingness of lawmakers to collaborate across the aisle, for fear of recriminations from the base. Boehner says the fact he and Obama golfed together only once—and agreed that it was usually better for him to sneak into the White House—speaks to how the two parties punish compromise
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No. The "two parties" don't punish compromise. ONE party does that. The party whose network brought a washed-up brain-damaged drunkard of a country singer on to compare your round of golf with Obama to "Netanyahu golfing with Hitler." There is ONE party that is infested with loony billionaires who will fund primary challengers to any member who dares think of compromise. You know this.

You know how I know you know this?

Boehner often felt more welcome among Democrats than he did within his own party. When he made his retirement announcement, he told me, Obama called him and said, “Boehner, you can’t do this, man. I’m gonna miss you.” Biden feels the same way. “The only way we’re going to get this back together again,” he says, “is with some more John Boehners.”
So I don't know where you get off pretending that both parties are equally polarizing or disdainful of compromise or whatever.

The starkest divide in recent Washington has been between longtime pols like Boehner and Biden who yearn for a more amicable time, and newcomers who view the bitter acrimony of the Bush and Obama years as normal. The fever might have broken in 2016, Boehner says. But the parties chose the two most polarizing nominees in modern history.

For fuck sake!

I mean. . . one candidate bragged about committing sexual assault. One candidate said that Mexicans are rapists and criminals. One candidate promised to commit war crimes.One candidate urged violence at his rallies.  And somehow the other candidate, the epitome of moderation, is somehow equally polarizing? I mean, yes, there are a lot of people who hate Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am not one of them, but I know a lot of people do. Mainly because conservatives have spent the past 25 y years demonizing her at every turn. And the press has been all too eager to pile on. ( The Clinton Rules)
So ONE party nominated the most polarizing figure imaginable, and that same party has spent years painting the other candidate as polarizing, even though she is the poster girl for middling moderates. And we're supposed to pretend that both parties are guilty of polarization?

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