Television

Experts Agree That Massively Popular Roseanne Reboot Shouldn't Be Popular at All

The only proper popular entertainments are those that conform with my politics, don't you know?

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Robert Trachtenberg, ABC

Oh, Roseanne Barr, can you ever win?

Sure, the reboot of your wildly popular and long-lived eponymous 1990s sitcom is a ratings hit, but all the smartest people are acting like you just finished singing the National Anthem at a San Diego Padres game circa 1990. Or dressing up like Lady Hitler and burning cookies. Or pushing Pizzagate, the most-batshit-crazy Hillary Clinton conspiracy theory of them all. Or recovering memories that your parents molested you and then retracting them.

How can you come from low-class roots, become massively successful in show biz, and then be pro-Donald Trump and pro-abortion at the same time? It just doesn't make sense, say all the smartest pundits in the country and at least one of your former co-stars? Can't you see that you're tearing us apart! It's not news that real-life Roseanne, who ran for president herself back in 2012 with anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan as veep, is a Trump supporter, but the shock of someone being funny on network television and playing an unapologetic, unironic Trumpista at the same time is just too much for some of us to bear. To paraphrase Nixon, we're all snowflakes now.

But who gave you the right, the person who popularized the once-ironic term domestic goddess before it was glammed up by Nigella Lawson and before being down-classed by Charlie Sheen, to be messing with our social-political-cultural categories yet again?

Here's Roseanne's case for The Donald over Hillary Clinton way back in June 2016:

I like Trump because he financed his own [campaign]. That's the only way he could've gotten that nomination. Because nobody wants a president who isn't from Yale and Harvard and in the club. 'Cause it's all about distribution. When you're in the club, you've got people that you sell to. That's how money changes hands, that's how business works. If you've got friends there, they scratch your back and blah, blah….To me, he's saying that the order of law matters. When a president can just pass laws all on his own, that is a little bit different than [Trump's] saying what America was supposed to be about. And Trump is saying people will have to be vetted, we'll have to have legal immigration. It's all a scam. I mean, illegal immigration. When people come here and they get a lot of benefits that our own veterans don't get. What's up with that?

Bradley Meinz, Heeb.com, Snopes.com

What's up, indeed? Roseanne has called herself a socialist at various points, by which she seems to mean a redistributionist rather than a latter-day Rosa Luxemburg, but she also has long trafficked in populist sentiments too. In her new sitcom, her titular character avers that Trump won the election because he at least talked about jobs. Her character and real-life counterpart, like most Americans, are finding fewer and fewer touch-points with traditional political categories of Republican and Democrat, conservative and liberal. I don't presume to understand, much less agree, with Roseanne's political or comedic agenda but the plain fact is she's connecting with contemporary audiences and voters precisely because she no longer feels constrained by two political parties that have been around since before the Civil War. Roxanne Gay, who says she won't continue viewing the reboot even as she admits to laughing during its first two episodes, says that Roseanne's views are "muddled and incoherent." Which is to say they are merely reflecting new possible groupings in the body politic. Why shouldn't there be a political party that is pro-abortion and pro-lower taxes, say? Or pro-free trade and pro-union? Anti-war and anti-immigrant?

I'm not arguing for any of those particular configurations, I'm simply stating that the conventional groupings we've inherited and revised endlessly from the mid-1960s on are pretty much as played out as the Comstock Lode. As political scientist Morris P. Fiorina writes in Unstable Majorities, the political groupings pushed by party activists and media elites can no longer cobble together sustainable coalitions that can hold power for extended periods of time. Those coalitions, after all, were created for very different times and places (the Cold War, for instance, and before Japan and China emerged as economic powerhouses).

The results of our faltering political coalitions also include an incapacity for trenchant cultural criticism from conventional right- and left-wing perspectives. In the end, what we get instead of explanations of why the Roseanne reboot might be popular are castigations of its popularity. On Twitter, author and television writer Daniel Radosh (follow him!) posts threads from lefty professor Jared Yates Sexton and conservative wunderkind Ben Shapiro and shrewdly observes, "Fascinating that these two completely agree with each other on everything about Roseanne except which side it's propaganda for":

Twitter
Twitter

On a slightly different axis, Matthew Continetti of The Washington Free Beacon, casts Roseanne (real-life and fictional) as "the type of swing voter who decides elections." Democrats, he avers, are failing "the Roseanne Test," by talking about immigration instead of health-care costs. Republicans can lose the midterms and more if they reject Roseanne (real-life and fictional) as not worth the trouble of courting when ballots are being counted.

Well, sure. But partisans rarely step away from political tribalism. As fewer people consider themselves Rs or Ds, those that remain (or carry their water in the press) tend to get more and more emphatic that only true believers need apply. There's a reason that Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) is retiring and it's not because the observant Mormon, reliable tax-cutter, believer in fiscal responsibility, and reliable-if-reluctant supporter of military action is way out of line with GOP sensibilities. It's because he colors outside the lines when it comes to a few issues (such as immigration reform and trade with Cuba). If the Republican Party casts Flake into the darkness, it's pushing a purity test straight out of medieval catechisms.

Writing at Bloomberg View, former Reason editor Virginia Postrel does what most observers fail to do: She helps to explain why viewers, most of whom presumably don't share Roseanne Barr's love of Trump or belief that John Podesta was molesting children at Comet Pizza, are nonetheless digging her show:

It is a family sit-com, with the fundamental sweetness that typifies that genre. Its politics are the politics of recognition and empathy. It belongs not with Fox News but with ABC's other family comedies, including "Black-ish," which enjoyed a big ratings boost from its powerful, new lead-in, and "Fresh Off the Boat."…

Most Americans aren't blue-collar midwestern whites, affluent West Coast blacks, or Taiwanese immigrants living in Orlando. But most do have families and enjoy a laugh. The radical premise of "Roseanne"—and of these family sit-coms—is that recognizing diverse viewpoints and voices, including those that don't assume that what we take for granted is the norm, can in fact showcase the things we share. What we have in common is at least as important as what divides us.

We are flocking (so far) to Roseanne not because of its politics but because it gives us a place where we might actually be able to disagree without declaring total war on one another. The show's original run took place in another deeply divided decade, one in which three presidential elections failed to yield a winner who carried a simple majority of votes, a president was impeached, and a speaker of the House resigned under pressure from his own party. Somehow, the nation not only persisted but thrived economically, technologically, and socially. Crime started dropping and TV, along with all other forms of popular culture, suddenly got great. By the end of the decade, politics had receded from front and center of daily life, even as strong disagreements persisted. The return of Roseanne might be occasion for nostalgia for the decade-without-a-name, but that would be a mistake. What the reboot affords us is the occasion to relearn how we might figure out not just how to disagree with each other but also live with each other. After nearly two decades of increasing vitriol, hate, and contempt for one another, no wonder we're tuning in.

NEXT: Operation Odessa Turns '90s Drug War into a Black Comedy

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  1. I didn’t like it the first time around.

    Progressive levels OVER 9000

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    2. Not a Roseanne fan. If it give libtards heartburn – great. I won’t watch it anyway.

  2. Roseanne’s views are “muddled and incoherent.”

    That’s an unusually realistic portrayal of the American voter.

    1. The “muddled and incoherent” comment from that review came off as hilariously pretentious, almost as if it were satire.

      1. As opposed to Roxanne Day’s views, which are no doubt just as muddled and incoherent, but are espoused with blind confidence and the full approval of her chosen social group.

        1. Key difference right there.

    2. That quote is dead on. “Journalists” tend to consider anyone who doesn’t tow the party line hook, line, and sinker must be “muddle headed” “deplorable”, etc. I’ve had a few libertarians go bat shit insane because I didn’t agree with them on 20% of the things they believe in, though we agreed on 80% of the other stuff. People are just in their own personal silos and don’t like being challenged with other opinions. It’s universal across parties.

    3. “muddled and incoherent.”
      Including the POTUS too apparently.

    4. This is true. Few people have a coherent set of political beliefs.

      Do these writers actually believe that the sets of positions and beliefs put forth by the two parties are coherent and related? Why, other than blind partisanship, would anyone think that being pro-abortion, anti-immigration and pro-trade-restrictions is incoherent or muddled? There is nothing inherently incoherent about being pro-life and pro-welfare state, or being pro-legal-abortion and opposed to gay marriage. But it seems to confuse a lot of people because if you do that you aren’t picking a team, so you aren’t playing the game right.

  3. Nuanced conversations about politics and social issues that don’t squarely fit people into boxes that we can slap a label on? We can’t have that.

  4. Well, if everyone who is stupid and hateful hates it…

    It’s probably still garbage, but keeping it around pisses them off, which is enough

  5. Oh, and Ben Shapiro is trash.

    1. Not understanding the sudden draw of Shapiro. His positions seem rather 80s-00s social conservative standard fare.

      1. He’s very well spoken, and is a very good debater with the TV Pundits. He’s generally conservative, in a way that has become a lot less common as well. So he appeals to that group.

        1. He wrote a whole book about how porn is destroying our society. He is a total nutjob.

          1. Because you don’t see the downside of porn?

      2. On Ben Shapiro I agree with the far left, he’s a Nazi

        1. Because?

          1. He opposes legalizing chicken-rape.

            1. Ben Shapiro would be ok with SIV getting all carnal with a chicken, as long as they get married first.

        2. @SIV Uh Ben Shapiro is JEWISH, dumb ass.

  6. Shapiro and Sexton should go ahead and fuck.

  7. I watched it, and didn’t agree with everything, but it wasn’t bad. I remember my family was always blue collar, union for the most part. Grew up in logging, farming and mining town on the west side of the Rockies. My parents didn’t much care for Rosanne while I was growing up. Felt she didn’t portray blue collar in a positive light. So while I did watch it some growing up (we only ever got three channels, so viewing was limited) it wasn’t one of our favorite shows. I was ehh when o heard about the reboot. But I honestly enjoyed it and found it funny.

    1. It’s 2018. We’re supposed to end it after “I watched it, and didn’t agree with everything” and then retreat into an ideological cul-de-sac.

      1. Oh I thought we were first supposed to try and force it off the air then retreat to our corners.

  8. Those 2009 Nazi uniform photos should be enough to ensure that Roseanne never works on TV again. Kurt Eichenwald said so.

    1. I am actually crying

      Weird, the image is static and not a gif.

      I assume he feels the same way about nazi pugs.

    2. “That magazine should be shut down and she should be taken off the air,” says Eichenwald on Twitter.

      Eichenwald embodies hysteria.

    3. She is Jewish. I think this would have been an important thing to point out.

      I probably need to destroy my computer, nearly everything I read from any social media website annoys the shit out of me. People are such a bunch of fucking pussies.

    4. Wikipedia:
      Hitler photoshoot
      Barr elicited criticism in July 2009 when she posed as Adolf Hitler in a feature for the satirical Jewish publication Heeb magazine, called “That Oven Feelin'”. The Nazi theme was reportedly her suggestion, and featured her with a Hitler mustache and swastika arm-band, holding a tray of burnt gingerbread man cookies the article referred to as “burnt Jew cookies”. The magazine’s publisher, Josh Neuman, said that the photos were taken for “satire” and “shock value”, while Barr defended herself by saying that she was “making fun of Hitler, not his victims”.

      Then there’s Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel putting “Spring Time for Hitler” up on Broadway.

    5. I guess Kurt is no longer on board with Je suis Charlie Hebdo?

  9. Nice one, Nick. Almost made me want to watch it once, even though I never watched much of the first one.

  10. Yes, good article, Nick.

    1. He lost me when he said Roseanne was funny.

  11. “[Maybe it was] being so offended by Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton’s legacy that you turned on her,” the actress suggested. “Or feeling inadequate, feeling like how can somebody be so educated? How can somebody who brought themselves up from their experience and gone to the top? Educated herself, fought for rights, civil rights, and equality. And I think that is threatening to a lot of women.”

    The Bernhard interview is worth the price of admission. Anyone who hasn’t should watch it. It’s almost as though she was doing self-parody performance art.

    1. Sounds like a must-read.

    2. I value my eyeballs too much

    3. I don’t need to hear from someone who almost ruined Hudson Hawk.

      Almost.

  12. I find it odd that in order to produce a tv show that’s anything right of center, the power behind that show must also be right of center. Seems that the Roseanne show and Last Man Standing had to have a star with some power in order to get on the air. I assume that there actually are one or two conservatives in Hollywood, so is it that Leftists are unable to act “conservative” (at least in comedy)? Or is the point of view in H-wood is so skewed that it really does take an overt political stance to get a show like this on the air?

    1. I think Hollywood’s extremely ideologically limited. They wouldn’t even know how to convincingly portray such a character. It’s probably been years since they talked to a conservative.

      1. It’s weird when I meet people who are shocked that one goes to Church. That’s a bubble to me. Especially in LA, the most religiously diverse city in the world. But there still manages to be a sub-bubble within that that seems to encapsulate much of Hollywood.

    2. That is why the cancellation of Last Man Standing makes so little sense. It had star power and pretty decent ratings. And was funny. And filled a niche that no other show addressed.

    3. I think it is more like Microsoft having to invest in Apple to show they were not a monopoly. Run a sore for a season or two and cancel it regardless of the ratings.

    4. Never mind right of center. Libertarian shows are just as rare. But to progressives, libertarians are the same as conservatives – if you’re for limited government, low taxes and free trade you are a raging conservative Neanderthal. Just listen to progressives speak of the Koch brothers. They are always called conservatives.

      1. Yeah, I have a progressive friend who always lists Reason as one of the “conservative” websites he reads.

        1. I believe that kind of thinking was described quite well by the great philosopher, Forrest Gump:
          Progressive is as Progressive does!

  13. So, once again, both sides are arguing over who gets to use this particular something as a weapon against the other side. And when it’s no longer useful to them in that way, they’ll pretend they never liked it to begin with.

  14. My big takeaway here was the dueling 5-tweet opinions. Is that a common thing? WTF is the point of twitter if you have to string 5 together to make a point?

    1. You talk pretty tough for a guy who needed 155 characters to make his point.

        1. If this were a better site, you could have narrowed that down even further by simply posting the shit emoji.

          1. That is an odd way to define “better.”

            1. Yeah, I don’t even want to think about what this commentariat would do with a shit emoji.

              Comments section would literally

              1. be turds all the way down.

                Accidentally hit a button and prematurely posted. I’m sure it happens to all of us as we get older.

                1. I swear this is the first time that’s happened

                2. Legend has it that once upon a time, long before any of us happened to post here, there was once one day when images and gifs were accidentally allowed in the comments. The ensuing mayhem ensured that such a thing would never ever happen again. Ever.

                  1. I was here for the day of the commenters. It was beautiful. Blink tags, gifs and images everywhere.

              2. Would a caricature of Shikha pass as an emoji for c_nt

            2. We’re just living in the world that Devo warned us about.

    2. The medium has increasingly become more about broadcasting and less about conversations, what with all censorship from Twitter

    3. I’ve seen that form used in many forms of writing although it appears to have become more common with articles and transferred to Twitter as a by product.

  15. Is it okay to not watch because Roseanne is a talentless hack who’s long ago exhausted any of the shock value that gave her any attention at all?

    1. She’s not that shocking. More crass than shocking.

    2. Is it okay to not watch because Roseanne is a talentless hack who’s long ago exhausted any of the shock value that gave her any attention at all?

      Well – that would by my reason, but I’m curmudgeonly.

      1. Where is William Shatner when you need him

    3. The rest of the cast is actually quite talented. It is not a one woman show you know. Don’t worry Susan have virtue signaled your status in the smart set.

      1. Oh please. I’m hardly a stranger to shock comedy. I just can’t stand Rosanne and I never could. Even if the “formerly crass liberal comic turned crass conservative comic” shtick wasn’t already played out I still couldn’t stand her.

        1. The smart set often likes shock comedy

          1. I am the model of erudite serfistermication…

            https://youtu.be/lH07qf87swI

  16. More likely Roseanne is doing the show as a joke to Trump supporters. did she support trump or does she just like to say shit to f with people much like her show. I don’t know and won’t be watching

    1. She is an actual Trump supporter, but that doesn’t make the show any good.

      1. See this is how John knows you’re a lefty poser.

    2. She supports Trump, in the way many others did, to throw a wrench into the political system.

  17. The same people surprised by Roseanne‘s popularity were surprised by Hillary’s loss.

  18. You’re either on team Roseanne or you’re on team Will and Grace.

    1. What if you think they both suck?

      1. Both Will and Grace? seems correct.

  19. I haven’t seen it, but I might watch some purely because Norm MacDonald is a writer on this show.

    1. So are Wanda Sykes and Whitney Cummings for what it’s worth.

      1. That’s worth an awful lot less to me.

      2. Not even the legend that is Norm can overcome that.

      3. Needs more A. Whitney Brown.

    2. Really? Once again proving Germans love David Hasselhoff.

  20. How long before the calls for boycotts of “Roseanne” advertisers start?

    1. What do you mean how long?

      1. Well, that didn’t take long. Sadly, not surprising.

      2. What does that link have to do with Roseanne? All I saw was a thumbnail about a topless Kate Upton.

        1. And why would that be something to complain about? However, it worked for me, the link that is (however, a topless Kate Upton would have been better).

  21. Going all-in on the Podesta-isn’t-a-child-molester position?
    I don’t think that’s a smart choice.

  22. My God Ben Shapiro is a douche bag. If you are reading deep political and social meaning into a sitcom and using it as a way to attack your political enemies or convince your allies not to watch it, you are a shallow moron no matter what your politics. Can’t these people just go away? I am offended I have to know who Ben Shapiro is.

    1. If it’s true that this show’s version of courage is showing a pro-abortion, LGBLT-friendly Trump voter, and if even this much deviation from PC causes outrage, then yes, it does say something about how narrow Hollywood’s focus is.

      1. I suppose but that is hardly news.

  23. If Parker and Stone made guest appearances, I’d watch.

    1. Sarah Jessica and Sharon?
      Pass.

      1. How about Alan and Oliver?

        1. How about Posey and Phillips?

          1. Parker Posey. Ha! We just watched Best In Show last night. She’s a hoot

            1. That really is a funny movie all around. Ann Lynch is fucking hilarious.

  24. So, the self-appointed gatekeepers of popular taste don’t like the show? I might actually have to watch the thing.

    They aren’t always wrong (few reviewers are, though it knew one and he was a treasure) but they can be good indicators.

    1. They love Will & Grace though.

  25. “Her character and real-life counterpart, like most Americans, are finding fewer and fewer touch-points with traditional political categories of Republican and Democrat, conservative and liberal.”

    I’ve met people who were genuinely confused by the suggestion that “left” and “right” was about socialism and capitalism.

    Kick that metric off the island, and it’s no wonder people get disoriented.

    The battle may have always been between those who would force us to do one thing vs. those who would force us to do something else, but at least there was an ideal in the past that politicians could fail to live up to.

    With no clear division anymore, not even between “left” and “right”, it’s no wonder if people are a convoluted mess of contradictions. Seems to me that the next division is likely to be individualists vs. collectivists–it seems to be the way technology is pushing the culture anyway.

    1. It’s authoritarian and authoritarian-er, depending on whether we’re at was or peace with Eastasia.

  26. Good article Nick.

    Can’t wait to see the episode where the grandkid brings home his best friend who just happens to be an undocumented immigrant!

  27. Too bad Pizzagate wasn’t real.

    Does anybody know of a DC pizza joint where a 7-year old girl pissed on a slice of sausage, mushroom and black olive thin crust?

    Thanx!

  28. “If the Republican Party casts Flake into the darkness, it’s pushing a purity test straight out of medieval catechisms.”

    That’s a little tone deaf there. The Republican establishment and Mitch McConnell and the RSCC would back Flake to the hilt in his re-election campaign. The problem is that Arizona voters think he doesn’t represent their views. If Arizona Republican voters followed what the “Republican Party” wanted then Flake would win the primary and the general election. You can’t blame the party because the voters don’t want to buy its dogfood.

    Trump and the Republican Party backed Luther Strange in Alabama, but the voters didn’t want him. If Roy Moore’s problems surfaced during the primary, or never came up they wouldn’t have lost that seat.

    Wasn’t that the biggest lesson of 2016, with both Bernie and Trump, that the voters are not going to listen to the party anymore, and the party better start listening to the voters if they don’t want disasters like Roy Moore and Hillary on their tickets? Roy was the red meat conservative that the voters wanted with a teenage girl problem from 40 years ago, Hillary was the dogfood the marketers were convinced that they could make the voters eat whether they wanted it or not.

  29. That’s not what “paraphrase” means.

  30. There’s little that’s conservative about Roseanne, and almost nothing Libertarian. She is a populist. But because she ardently supports another populist who happens to have an ‘R’ behind his name, the TEAM R’s and D’s will pick sides an that basis alone.

  31. I had no problem with the politics, the show though seemed old-fashioned and stale, but what the hell do I know.

    1. What the hey … it seems to be working for Will and Grace, which none of the Hollywood circle is boycotting because, well … it has attractive gay cast members.

      1. Which are whom?

  32. How does Shapiro know who the typical Trump voter is? Besides, the socially liberal, blue-collar type was the critical type of voter that put Trump over the edge in key states, in the manner of soccer moms or whatever.

  33. Nick, you are becoming increasingly intellectually disingenuous if not downright dishonest. You write:

    “she no longer feels constrained by two political parties that have been around since before the Civil War” You clearly intend to convey the message that the parties are equally old and therefore out of touch with current American concerns.

    I agree that the two parties are out of touch with current American interests, but think the “since before the Civil War” line is still disingenuous. It is true the Democrats have been around since before the Civil War; though dates are uncertain, the party was formally started in 1792. The Republicans, on the other hand, was founded in 1854 — certainly pre-Civil War but contemporary, and in the context of the conflicts over expansion, state’s rights and slavery that were at stake in the Civil War.

    I know you have become more or less a Democrat Party apologist, but please try not to paint the parties as equally antiquated. The Dems have been behind the curve for over 200 years now. Own it.

    1. lol, is this a serious post?

      At best this is whataboutism, at worst you are taking issue with the implicit contention that 1854 was “before the civil war”.

  34. Nick’s purpose here is apparently to troll.

  35. Ted Nugent mumbled something today.

    Waiting to hear what Randy Bachman has to say.

  36. “On Twitter, author and television writer Daniel Radosh (follow him!) posts threads from lefty professor Jared Yates Sexton and conservative wunderkind Ben Shapiro and shrewdly observes, “Fascinating that these two completely agree with each other on everything about Roseanne except which side it’s propaganda for”:”

    Da Fuq? Different groups can like something for different reasons. Now, whether they are correct in their assumptions is a different matter entirely, but the conclusions are in no way mutually contradictory. Daniel Radosh should perhaps have taken more time to think over his argument.

    *looks at twitter page*

    Oh… he works as a writer for the Daily Show. Well that certainly explains the superficiality of his comment.

    1. They in this case being Shapiro and Sexton, in case anyone finds that unclear.

  37. I used to watch re-runs of the original in the 90s. I recall it being mildly funny, but not even my favorite crappy sitcom. I do find it amazing that people are flipping over somebody basically being a 1990s Bill Clinton style Democrat though!

    Although I actually hate Bill Clinton, on paper, if you don’t know much about him, he doesn’t seem so bad. So I use him as my “Democrats are fucking nuts nowadays!” example by pointing out that Bill Clinton would be burned at the stake by Democrats in 2018. This is my soft way of telling people that not everybody to the right of them has to be a nut job or extremist. I just lie and say Bill Clinton wasn’t so bad, and I’d be okay with a Bill Clinton from the 90s style president, and explain that a lot of people just don’t want a 2016 version of Hillary or Bernie Sanders, because they’re fucking crazy extremists. It sinks in with some folks, others it flies right over their head. But that’s really how far we’ve come in this crazy game. Their “hero” president from not even 20 years ago is now a heretic by policy stances, yet they still somehow worship him. LOL

    Any which way, I’m just glad Rosanne is pissing off shit libs. Anything that does that is a plus in my book!

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  40. “There’s a reason that Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) is retiring and it’s not because the observant Mormon, reliable tax-cutter, believer in fiscal responsibility, and reliable-if-reluctant supporter of military action is way out of line with GOP sensibilities.”

    Mostly true statement. He’s bailing because he’s a Progressive Republican, like McCain, and knew that unlike McCain who had been hiding longer, he would be beat in the Primary by Kelly.

    BTW: the real internal fighting in the GOP is between the base and Progressive takeover of the Party. They’ve seen how Progressives have taken over the Democratic Party away from the Liberal base.

  41. Wow….I didn’t realize a TV sitcom could be so FUCKING IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for letting me know……guess I need to get a TV…..

  42. The real problem with ascribing any motive or ideology to Roseanne it that she is and always has been crazy as bedbug. Sometimes those antics are funny, other times not.

  43. I didn’t watch Roseanne the first time around. Too much of her screechy voice.

    But the new version is quite good. It captures the experience that a lot of us are having as mutual incomprehension of our various viewpoints strains long time relationships. It seems quite even handed to me, in that everyone is a little silly and a little wise. And its essence is empathy: realizing the people come to different views honestly and almost always without malice.

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