The Revolution is Eating its Own

Jonathan Chait's article on progressive intolerance both describes and illustrates the problem.


Jonathan Chait has a stunning article in New York Magazine describing and criticizing what has become known as (but he doesn't refer to as) the cancel culture on the far left and its seepage into the mainstream left.

The aritcle stunning in its description of people on the left going after fellow progressives for perceived wrongthink. It's also stunning because Chait, while standing up for traditional "marketplace of ideas" liberalism as essential to democracy, spends an extraordinary amount of effort trying to make the entirely unreasonable gross intolerance of budding Torquemadas sound reasonable, likely because he too fears "cancellation." Here's an excerpt that illustrates both sides of the coin, about an incident involving Intercept journalist Lee Fang:

A few days later, Fang recorded several interviews with participants in a Black Lives Matter rally in Oakland. One of his interview subjects, a young African-American Black Lives Matter supporter, told Fang he wished the movement devoted more attention to non-police violence faced by minorities in his community. Fang posted the exchange without comment, other than labeling it a "measured critique."

It is easy to understand why somebody — especially one predisposed against Fang — would view this comment with suspicion. Bringing up crime in black communities to deflect away from systemic racism is a conservative trope so familiar and clichéd it is often summarized with the mocking shorthand "what about black-on-black crime?" And the simplistic comparison of deaths at the hands of white police versus minorities fails to acknowledge both the broader patterns of mistreatment by police that falls short of outright murder, and the fear this creates, so that a single police murder can terrorize thousands and shape their view of the state in a way that a local murder cannot.

Fang's interview subject probably lacks familiarity with the history of this issue being used as an excuse for racism, and almost surely didn't realize the cruel resonance of the phrase "black-on-black crime." Still, he was not arguing for focusing on violent crime as an alternative to demanding reform, but as an addition to the agenda of a movement he supports. ("It's stuff like that I want to be in the mix.")

Read more generously, his comment expresses a not-uncommon concern within the black community, where police abuse and neglect are often two sides of the same coin. White law enforcement has a long tradition of ignoring black crime victims as an expression of discounting the value of black lives. In "Worse Than Slavery," a history of the Mississippi criminal justice system being used to functionally re-enslave African-Americans after the Civil War, David Oshinsky wrote, "because the great bulk of this crime was black on black, the Negro community suffered most of all. As one white man noted: 'We have very little crime. Of course, Negroes knife each other … but there is little real crime. I mean Negroes against whites or whites against each other.'"

It seems likely that the man Fang interviewed simply wanted the movement to address an issue that has understandable importance in his life, without abandoning its core commitment to confronting racism, and that Fang posted the interview because he found it provocative and interesting.

But the interview became the match on the kindling. Lacy called him racist in a pair of tweets, the first of which alone received more than 30,000 likes and 5,000 retweets.

A journalist friend of Fang's told me he felt his career was in jeopardy, having been tried and convicted in a court of his peers. He was losing sleep for days and unsure how to respond. "All of us were trying to protect his job and clear his name and also not bow to a mob informed by an attitude that views that you disagree with are tantamount to workplace harassment."

The outcome of this confrontation was swift and one-sided: Two days later, Fang was forced to post a lengthy apology.

So (1) Fang tweeted an interview with a young African American BLM supporter who said that he wished BLM would also pay some attention to violence internal to the black community; (2) a Twitter mob descended on Fang for spreading wrongthink; (3) Fang, fearing for his job, had to issue a Maoist-style apology for reporting wrongthink. And Chait, while appalled at the mobbing of Fang, feels the need to discuss in excruciating detail (including, ironically, some old-fashioned whitesplainin' of the interviewee's lack of wokeness) why it's not unreasonable for people to so strongly object the rather anodyne sentiment expressed by the interview subject. One assumes this is insurance against being Twitter-mobbed like Fang.

Also interesting to note: Chait's article fails to mention a perhaps too-close-to-home example of the cancel culture at work. His own New York Magazine has banned columnist Andrew Sullivan from writing about the recent protests.

NEXT: "Vocational Training Is Speech Protected by the First Amendment"

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  1. The dark cloud of fascism is forever descending upon Trump and Republicans, but always manages to land on progressives and Democrats.

    1. Well, it is the Progressives and Leftist Democrats who *are* fascists.

      1. Progressives and Lefists Democrats aren’t gassing peaceful protestors for photo ops in front of a church.

        1. It is long established policy that the President can go anywhere he wants to and that the area gets cleared for him. Bush ’41 routinely shut down the Maine Turnpike for his motorcade between Pease AFB in NH and Kennebunkport. Obama shut down most of Downtown Boston during rush hour so he could go somewhere. Clinton shut down LAX for a haircut.

          We won’t even get into what the 2004 Dem Convention did to Boston — shutting down North Station for a party (screw the people who would have ridden those trains), etc, etc, etc…

          The Secret Service has the right to do whatever they want to do — protest *that* if you wish, but do it independent of which President they are doing it for.

          1. Sorry, I don’t believe that the President simply can just go wherever he wants and everyone else has to leave. He can’t walk into my home and ask me and my family to leave (we’re a potential danger). He can’t clear Yankee Stadium because he wants to see a baseball game. He can’t remove peaceful protesters who silently and legally protest his policies.
            If there’s a security danger, sure; but show the danger. There has to be a cause. He’s the president not a king.

            1. “I don’t believe that the President simply can just go wherever he wants and everyone else has to leave”

              Sorry, that got changed on November 22, 1963 and then enhanced on March 30, 1981. The USSS has the authority to clear outside public venues on short notice, via force if necessary. Take it to court….

              1. The courts will rule that he simply can’t do whatever he wants. Or the Secret Service.
                There has to be a legitimate need. It can’t be a whim.
                You backtracked a bit with the “if necessary.” Yes, there has to be a reason; it can’t be simply whatever the president (or SS) wants.

                1. Like Obama shut down a wedding because he wanted to play golf?

                  Clinton shut down LAX because he wanted a haircut?

                  Explain the necessity of all the examples you’ve been given.

                  Statists always pretend to be shocked when their beloved State does something heinous.

                2. I’d certainly agree Presidents shouldn’t have this power. I’d even argue that it violates the nobility clause.

                  But you’d lose on legal precedent, unfortunately.

                  In this instance you’d lose on multiple grounds, since the rioters in question were violating curfew and throwing rocks at the time they were dispersed.

          2. Bit of a straw man argument though since the President wasn’t just going “anywhere he wants”. He wanted to walk through a park which was scheduled to be closed due to the curfew, and the protesters in the park were throwing stuff at the park police. You have a right to protest right up until the time you start assaulting people, including the police, then you can be cleared out.

            1. He should have read this — the 23rd Psalm

              The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

              He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

              He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

              Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

              Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

              Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

            2. The protesters weren’t throwing anything.

              1. But the rioters were. Too bad they were mixed with the protesters.

                1. No, it was completely peaceful. It’s caught on tape.

                  It was also before the curfew.

                  1. It’s easy to catch people being peaceful and toss any footage of them being violent. I’ve seen the media with my own eyes choosing camera angles to avoid documenting something they want to lie about. More than once I’ve seen them doing it.

                    If the press had a track record of being honest, they’d be better positioned to dispute the Park Service’s account of what happened. But they don’t.

                    1. And the Trump administration and Park service have a track record of honesty?

                      William Barr lied about tear-producing and pain-inducing chemical agents, on the dubious grounds that chemicals derived from peppers aren’t “chemicals”. Check the dictionary. They are.

                      Also, there is substantial evidence that OC gas was used, though perhaps not by the particular agents who Barr denied having used OC gas. The article you cites indicates “The night prior, officers repeatedly used tear gas nearby. ” So it is conceivable that the canisters recovered by journalists were from the previous night, but, at the least, it is a bit of an open question and somewhat irrelevant given the use of tear-producing, pain-inducing chemical agents that may not be what is commonly referred to as “tear gas” but produces substantially similar effects.

                      William Barr claimed 150 officers were injured, implying that the injuries happened on the Monday of the park clearing. In fact, those alleged injuries (because: old man tripped, no injuries to Breonna Taylor, etc., etc., etc.) occurred, if at all, prior to Monday, i.e., the Sunday protest was peaceful until federal agents and others began amassing in riot gear.

                      Brett, from your own article: “officers advanced around 6:33 pm and ‘violent protestors on H Street NW began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids.'”

                      Even the Park Service acknowledges that there was no violence until officers engaged the peaceful crowd. You might also notice that the curfew was 7pm but “officers advanced around 6:33pm”. So, the upthread suggestion that the protestors were violating curfew is false.

                      Your own article supports the assertion that the protest was peaceful until officers instigated violence to solve the “problem” of a peaceful protest.

                      So, disbelieve the press all you want, but the article you cite supports the original claim: This was a peaceful protest that was turned violent by the acts of provocateurs who, in this case, had badges.

                    2. So, your position is that they were peaceful protesters who just happened to have all those projectiles handy.

                      The destination was a church that had been set on fire, in a town that had absolutely seen rioting, and you’re absolutely convinced the crowd had to be peaceful, and the Park Service lying about being attacked, lying about finding weapons pre-staged in the bushes along the way.

                      Because a percentage of rioters being present in an otherwise peaceful protest is an unknown phenomenon, it never happens, right?

                      The media are gaslighting us, and people like you want to be gaslighted.

                    3. They were peaceful protesters who didn’t throw anything, and Barr’s folks are asking you to trust them and not your lying eyes.

                      And you, who see lying every time a liberal speaks, are pretty down with believing the government in this case.

                      The media is backed up with video and eyewitness accounts. The government is backed up only by your own desire that they not look bad.

                    4. OC is not tear gas, it is pepper derived. I have been hit w/ both CS and pepper spray, and if given the choice, will go w/ pepper. As for ‘concievable’ use of tear gas because it was used nearby the night before, that is a ludicrous argument. As is the flat denial of any violence on the part of the protesters. It was a peaceful protest until they pried up pavers & threw them; threw frozen h2o bottles. If either side is to be trusted on that detail.

                    5. 1. Gas used to disperse people by making them tear up is tear gas; your semantics just look sad.

                      2. There is live footage from multiple angles. Nothing Hank baseless asserts was happening appears on those tapes. In fact quite the opposite.

          3. Don’t forget the Hawaii wedding Obama derailed at the last minute. Did they get any refunds or apologies?

            1. Yes. They got a personal letter from the president. No idea about money changing hands. (I remember Bill O’Reilly doing a segment on this, and his follow-up at the end of Bill’s show, a week or two later, after Obama had sent his regrets to the affected party.)

        2. No, instead they’re gaslighting people about rioters throwing rocks and bottles of caustic liquids being peaceful protesters.

          1. Actually, they’re gaslighting people about riots throwing rocks and bottles of caustic liquids being law enforcement officers. (Hint: you’re confused about which side was being violent.)

            1. My disagreeing with you doesn’t constitute confusion.

              1. No, it doesn’t necessarily constitute confusion, but it is based on confusion. From your own article: “officers advanced around 6:33 pm and ‘violent protestors on H Street NW began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids.’” (emphasis mine).

                Or are you going to now disavow the article you cited as authority?

                1. Wait, your point of contention is that they obviously wait to start clearing crowds until the curfew actually arrives? I take it you’ve never, ever been present someplace where a curfew is being enforced?

                  You think there’s something hinky about the Park service, a half hour before the curfew arrives, directing people to start leaving?

                  1. You are avoiding the point: the article you cite states that the people who threw water bottles, etc., didn’t do so until the agents advanced on them. Who were the provocateurs?

                    1. The supposedly peaceful protesters who came prepared to respond with force if they weren’t permitted to over-stay the curfew, that’s who. Which I am perfectly willing to admit wasn’t all of them, probably not most of them.

                      But in the last couple of weeks we’ve seen a regular pattern of peaceful daytime protests turning violent at night as the peaceful participants left. This was no different.

                    2. Brett,

                      They came prepared with water bottles, yes.

                      Someone upthread says they pried up pavers (i.e., the bricks), which suggests they didn’t come prepared with those.

                      Caustic liquids? I haven’t seen that in the videos and I don’t know what your evidence for that is other than people who we know have lied to us.

                      But the game is over when you are “perfectly willing to admit” that it was “probably not most of them.” But most of them got pushed, hit with projectiles, gassed with something (OC, pepper spray, pepper balls), or otherwise attacked. We live in America. We don’t preemptively punish a wholly peaceful crowd because some minority of that crowd plans to either respond to violence with violence or even instigate violence. It’s just unAmerican to hit journalists covering this episode, to gas peaceful protestors as if they are the enemy. The episode was shameful, particularly because the best evidence is that (a) Trump was embarrassed by the taunts he hid in the bunker (and his inane lie that he was just inspecting it…lol) and (b) he wanted a show of force followed by a pander to his religious followers. Neither (a) nor (b) are sufficient reason to violently confront largely peaceful protestors prior to a curfew. And that is bleeding obvious, because the White House adamantly denies they just chose 6:33pm to clear the park for the Presidents walk that followed, but instead claim they just happened to decide 6:33pm was a good time to move the fence.

                      “This was no different.”

                      This was very different. The bullies with badges started this one for the purpose of facilitating an inappropriate photo-op.

            2. Hey, David…if you can take a moment from accusing others of being confused…are you ever going to work up the courage to admit you were wrong about that whole “Hands up, don’t shoot!” thing?

        3. So what, this type of revolutionaries “eating themselves” as well as demanding “purity of expression and thought” is centuries old. Simply recall the details of the French and Russian revolutions. Right now it is professionally dangerous to express any opinion that could in any manner be considered a criticism of the BLM thought leaders. Is far safer TO REMAIN SILENT.

        4. The district and the Secret Service have both denied that tear gas was used. Quit propagating that lie.

          1. OK, he’re I’ll actually defend the gaslighters for a moment. They didn’t use “tear gas”, which was obvious from the fact that the cops weren’t wearing gas masks, which use of tear gas would have required. But they did use pepper balls, ” a frangible projectile containing a powdered chemical that irritates the eyes and nose in a manner similar to pepper spray.”

            So, not quite right, but not entirely wrong, either.

            1. Paint balls of capsaicin and grenades of 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile are worlds apart.

              1. Worlds? Bah. Counties apart, at most.

                1. I appreciate your honesty about this and correction of mad kalak propagating, at best, half truths.

            2. Well, I appreciate the sorta correction. I suppose “chemical dispersant” is to wordy for the press these days anyway.

            3. No, entirely right. They did not use CS. CS is just one form of tear gas. Pepper balls are another.

              1. No, but, you get to share your ignorant in-group opinion. Go to a PD & ask to be pepper sprayed, CSed. You are completely full of shit. The use may be similar, this does not make them the same thing.

          2. The district and the Secret Service have both denied that tear gas was used. Quit propagating that lie.

            As far as I know, neither group did; the Park Police did.

            But it’s not clear why their denial makes allegations to the contrary a “lie,” as opposed to the denial being a lie.

            Especially since the Park Police walked back that denial, and the fact that people saw and felt it being used, and WTOP found the actual evidence.

            1. I just feell, like, when reporting a story, it reads more easily to say “tear gas” instead of saying, “Well, a tear-gas-like mist was used. It was actually dispersal from pepper balls, which–when ruptured–spread out in a way (and with a disabling effect) roughly equal to tear gas. So, there are not significant differences between tear gas and this gas-like substance, especially since both work to non-lethally incapacitate humans, and/or forces groups to disperse.”

              The latter just doesn’t roll of the tongue. Accuracy be damned…here, I think that a difference that makes no difference is no difference.

              1. That’s because you don’t care about actual facts and prefer narratives.

                1. Says Jesse? Really? ROFL.

                  The better view is “tear gas” is a colloquialism for a chemical agent that is tear-producing and pain-inducing, which the agent used here indisputably was. For instance, what you apparently would have “tear gas” refer to isn’t a gas either. It also is a particulate-based mist, not an actual gas.

                  1. You summarized my point much more clearly than I did. Won’t matter for Jesse…the most rabid of Trump supporters simply won’t get logic and common sense. It’s like their Kryptonite.

                    1. At this point, it seems they actively eschew logic and common sense. Which, given the things they feel compelled to defend….I guess they haven’t much choice.

                  2. CS does not produce pain, the coughing & choking can be painful. OC does cause pain. So, your colloquialism is bullshit. As for Trump & followers, as the santamonica dipshit rambles about, who cares? You folks are the group engaged in rigid denial of fact & mutually supporting each other. And, as is your wont, making this us vs them. Accept it pepper balls, if those are what was used, are not tear gas. They are an irritant agent, yes, but not the same. Any attempt to make them the same thing as CS is sophism.

                    1. Hank,

                      You are the one engaged in sophistry. You talk like you know things, but you don’t.

                      Wikipedia (there are other sources, but this is easiest):

                      Many types of tear gas and other riot control agents have been produced with effects ranging from mild tearing of the eyes to immediate vomiting and prostration. CN and CS are the most widely used and known, but around 15 different types of tear gas have been developed worldwide, e.g. adamsite or bromoacetone, CNB, and CNC. CS has become the most popular due to its strong effect. The effect of CS on a person will depend on whether it is packaged as a solution or used as an aerosol. The size of solution droplets and the size of the CS particulates after evaporation are factors determining its effect on the human body.[12]

                      The chemical reacts with moisture on the skin and in the eyes, causing a burning sensation and the immediate forceful and uncontrollable shutting of the eyes. Effects usually include tears streaming from the eyes, profuse coughing, exceptional nasal discharge that is full of mucus, burning in the eyes, eyelids, nose and throat areas, disorientation, dizziness and restricted breathing. It will also burn the skin where sweaty or sunburned. In highly concentrated doses, it can also induce severe coughing and vomiting. Most of the immediate effects wear off within an hour (such as exceptional nasal discharge and profuse coughing), although respiratory and oral symptoms may persist for months.[13] Excessive exposure can cause chemical burns resulting in permanent scarring.[14] Clothing affected by CS gas will need to be washed several times.

                      Hank, CS causes pain and tearing of the eyes, the chemical agent actually used in this case causes pain and tearing of the eyes. You obviously are not an expert, having proclaimed that CS does not cause pain when it quite obviously does, but chide others for failing to make fine distinctions between types of “tear gas” and whether “tear gas” is the best term.

                      Moreover, people who were there collecting OC containers, so it was used at some point unless they are lying. The Park Service admitted that their denial of using “tear gas” should not have been made, because the denial was based on the technicality you are pursuing that hid more than it revealed. And, most importantly, if you look upthread, the initial statement was “gassing” and you and others immediate started claiming “no tear gas!” Well, that’s a thin reed. Tear gas isn’t typically a “gas” either, as it is particulate matter in mist form. So, colloquially, the protestors were gassed as it is pretty standard to call a particulate mist used for crowd control as a gas, so the initial statement was accurate. And, again, colloquially, most people don’t really care about the fine distinctions between types of crowd control chemical agent is being used when the point is the use of a chemical agent was unnecessary and escalated the confrontation. So address that point, if you wish, but stop getting the facts wrong about “tear gas”.

        5. Progressives and Lefists Democrats aren’t gassing peaceful protestors

          No, instead you’re the ones shattering widows, looting small businesses, tearing down statues of abolitionists and painting your symbols on the doors of religious buildings… you know, like you guys did back in 1938.

          During your Beer Hall Putsch that awful Weimar Chancellor had police and soldiers gas your ‘peaceful protests’ too, didn’t he.

        6. Police all over the country have been gassing protestors and many of those departments answer to Democrats.

        7. “Progressives and Lefists Democrats aren’t gassing peaceful protestors for photo ops in front of a church.”

          Yes, you have, and worse, you won’t even let people go to church based on false pretenses.
          Nice try, dummy, do spin again.

        8. The story of the peaceful protestors and the church.

          Fire set at St. John’s church in D.C. during protests of George Floyd’s death – The Washington Post

          A fire was set in the basement nursery of historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Square from the White House, during demonstrations Sunday night expressing outrage at the death of George Floyd in police custody.

          Although the protests were largely peaceful in the afternoon and evening, small groups of people began setting fires and smashing windows once darkness fell.

          Shortly after 10 p.m., someone tore down the American flag that hangs outside the butter-yellow church and appeared to toss the flag into a nearby fire. A glass door or window was shattered.

          A person sprayed graffiti: “The Devil is across [the] street.”

          D.C. police said a small fire was deliberately set in the basement. Under police escort, D.C. firefighters quickly extinguished it.

          1. Your timeline is wrong. This was the day before.

            This is a very bad look for the government. You seem to know this, and are lying to cover it up.


            1. Of course it’s a bad look for the government, it was designed with malice aforethought to be a bad look for the government.

              It’s a standard protest technique: Set things up so the government will pretty much have to do something you can make look bad, and then document it, while avoiding documenting the setup. Heck, any elementary school bully knows how to slug you just before a teacher comes around the corner, so the teacher only see’s you defending yourself, and thinks you’re the attacker.

              So you’ve got a protest going on, you infiltrate it with people having deniable weapons, like frozen water bottles. Film the peaceful protest. When the curfew is approaching and the cops tell you to disperse, attack them, and film the inevitable response.

              Don’t film the throwing of the water bottles, of course.

              If the day before a church hadn’t been set on fire, if there hadn’t been all that vandalism, if there hadn’t repeatedly been riots as night came, you might have good reason to doubt the Park Service account. But since they were just saying “Same thing happened as the last three days.”, well, you need motivation to doubt it.

              1. it was designed with malice aforethought to be a bad look for the government.

                Jesus, your’re paranoid.

  2. What they fail to realize is that once a critical mass of moderates is banned, all of those who have been banned will become legitimate again — including the true racists & bigots.

    As a college freshman, Hillary Clinton was a Goldwater Girl — and four years later, she was an outspoken leftist. Change can come that quickly in this country and I’m thinking/hoping that it will happen again, in the other direction.

    What scares me is how far it might go.

    1. My theory was that Clinton realized quickly that if you wanted a career in government and politics that the Left was the way to go. That is especially true if you don’t have any morals or ethics.

      1. “My theory was that Clinton realized quickly that if you wanted a career in government and politics that the Left was the way to go”

        In 1969 when she graduated from Wellsley — but not back in 1964 when she was applying to it. Society changed in those four years and lacking morals and ethics, she changed too.

        1. A Trump supporter is talking about ethics and morals? Also:

          List of national legislators convicted of crimes from 2017 to the present:

          Robin Hayes (R-NC), was convicted of lying to the FBI (2019).
          Chris Collins (R-NY), pleaded guilty to insider trading (2019).
          Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA), pleaded guilty to misuse of campaign funds.

          Also, Flynn.

          Also, Manafort. (And before you say his crimes were before…whatever, the point is a Republican running for President enthusiastically took on the notoriously morally and ethically challenged Manafort….as well as the aforementioned and also notoriously morally and ethically challenged Flynn (who indisputably has committed perjury before the court (his multiple statements under oath are irreconcilably inconsistent with each other) as well as lied to the FBI).

          And will it be Burr soon?

          From 2008 to 2017, there were 11 members of the House convicted of crimes, 5 Democrats and 6 Republicans.

          The data does not support that Republicans have more morals or ethics than Democrats.

          1. Lying to the FBI. How cute. You obviously haven’t kept up with current events like the FBI withholding exculpatory evidence, my dog ate the 302, and other prosecutorial abuse.

            1. The FBI was under no obligation to share any info with Flynn at the time he committed the crime to which he pleaded guilty: lying to the FBI.

              If there was misconduct later, that doesn’t absolve Flynn of the crime to which he pleaded guilty, under oath. And then later perjured himself by saying he didn’t do it, because there are transcripts and recordings proving that he did, in fact, lie to the FBI. No amount of (alleged) after-the-fact misconduct by anyone, FBI or otherwise, changes the fact that Flynn committed a crime.

          2. Clinton didn’t get prosecuted largely because she was a leftist. Remember Holder being held in contempt of Congress. Same deal. Citing things like criminal convictions are only compelling when the law is applied equally.

            1. Yes, because Republicans didn’t control all three branches of government in 2019 when three Republican members of Congress were convicted of actual crimes. Jimmy, cry to someone else.

              (And my point wasn’t that Democrats are necessarily less corrupt, more moral, or more ethical, but, again, if the data shows Republicans are being convicted more often (when Republicans control the government) you have a lot of work to do to show that Democrats are less moral/ethical/law-abiding than Republicans. How about, just don’t speak or think in such baseless generalizations? There are good people who are Republicans. There are good people who are Democrats. And there are corrupt people in both parties. Reality is messy. Deal with it, don’t perpetuate lazy stereotypes.)

    2. Which shows how effective a college education can be.

      I remember people telling me that if I voted for Goldwater, there would be riots in the cities, the economy would collapse, and we would be dragged into a ground war in Asia.
      Yet I voted for Goldwater anyway, and to my surprise, all that DID happen.

      Just for the record, from 1964, although it could have been said yesterday;
      Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.

      1. That sounds more like Johnson than Goldwater….

          1. What I meant was being said *about*, not by.
            That was a great speech — and speaks to today.

            I am way too young to have heard it, but here is the whole thing:

            1. Goldwater, the most principled advocate of freedom and the rule of law the Republicans have run since, well, ever. And got their heads handed to them, and resolved never to try THAT again, unfortunately.

              1. And, having failed to convince their fellow Americans to follow a principled conservative in Goldwater, Republicans turned to the criminal Richard Nixon. Their morals and ethics have never been the same….

                1. Nixon was a piker compared to his predecessors. The only reason you found out about him was that he promoted the wrong guy.

                  1. The main thing Clinton learned from her involvement in the Nixon investigation was, “Never stop stonewalling. Ever. And records you don’t create/retain can’t incriminate you.”

                    One of the first things the Clintons did when they started their administration was to terminate a lot of former record keeping, turning the White House into something of an informational black hole. During the Obama administration this spread throughout the executive branch; For instance, one of the problems in investigating IRS targeting was that their former well designed data retention system had been replaced with what would be better described as an evidence destruction system; Backups were automatically erased after a relatively short period of time!

  3. The Revolution is Eating its Own

    Next hot pandemic: Progressive Spongiform Encephalopathy

  4. A review of history, especially the French Revolution and Russian Revolution is enlightening.

    1. More scary than enlightening.

      1. And don’t forget the German Wiemar Republic — the Nazis were viewed as the lesser of two evils, as things had gotten that bad.

      2. And at the end they got a dictatorship.
        Lincoln’s Lyceum speech is really chilling, especially reading it now. He said that no army – or all of the armies in the world combined – could defeat the US. But that if the US fell, it would be because the people would lose confidence in their political institutions as others ignored the laws of the land (at that time it was pro-slavery mobs). So they too would turn their backs on the political institutions – free press, elections, an independent judiciary – to restore order.
        Our liberal traditions are under assault. Yes, from some on the right as well. But it’s the left that has the upper hand right now. Chait sees this, I think, but he’s afraid to openly take it on. I think a lot of other liberals are fearful too.

  5. Ha ha. You love to see it.

    1. No, Bob…you really don’t love to see it.

      There are reports of 911 calls for rape coming out of the “Seattle Autonomous Zone” that the police cannot respond to because they aren’t “allowed” in the area.

      Really, consider this. There decent size chunk of a major city in the United States where rape is de facto legalized because they police aren’t “allowed” in to respond to emergency calls.

      This is what is going on. And it’s a disaster. And the Mayor of Seattle should be up on criminal charges for allowing it. As well as potentially the Governor as well. Their inaction directly and negligently put their citizens lives at risk of violent harm, and continues to do so.

      1. The police are allowed in the Seattle Autonomous Zone. They are still responding to 911 calls. Response times have tripled. You’re just scare-mongering. It’s an unforced error, too, since the autonomous zone is a joke to most people everywhere else. The thing will teeter over itself soon.

        1. The Seattle Police Chief literally says “These are responses to emergency calls — rapes, robberies, and all sorts of violent acts that have been occurring in the area that we’re not able to get to.”

          Maybe it’s a “joke” to you. But for the innocent civilians being raped within the “Seattle Autonomous Zone” who can’t get the police? Is it a joke to them?

          1. It’s a hostage situation. Anyone there who doesn’t like the Autonomous Region has been kidnapped. We told everyone Antifa is terrorists but all the dumfux wouldn’t listen.

            1. It’s a good thing this is an election year. Anyone who votes Democrat knows what they’re voting for — there’s a good chance that the Democrat leaders they vote in will order law enforcement to “stand down” and let the mob take over.

              1. Law enforcement are the mob.

                1. Economists measure statistics precisely to take the hot air out of it. Which mob realizes worse outcomes?

                  Don’t answer. Let’s wait and see. The experiment is not over.

                2. Once we switched to reasons, the libertarians got a lot less principled and a lot more big government conservatives who didn’t want to admit it.

          2. Well the police aren’t legally obligated to help people who call 911 at all, something the police unions are very thankful for. What’s your stance on that?

            1. It’s just common sense, the police can’t be everywhere at once, so there can’t be a legally enforceable right to police response. Not every tradgedy is an opportunity to sue.

              That said the police are very responsive to 911 calls and keep detailed statistics about response times.

              1. It is common sense.

                But for the police to be unable to respond to calls of rape isn’t right. Even if they don’t have a “legal obligation” to respond.

                And to respond to the fact that there are physical and political barriers preventing the cops from responding to rape with “well, they don’t have a legal obligation to do it” is…wrong. On many levels.

            2. I’m sorry, THAT’S your response? There are 911 calls of people being raped in the Seattle Autonomous Zone that the police CANNOT get to because of this leftist-revolt, and your response is…

              “Well the police aren’t legally obligated to help people who call 911 at all, something the police unions are very thankful for.”

              That is…monstrous. Do you have no empathy for the victims of rape? Do you care at all? Or do you just “not have a legal obligation to care” so it’s all OK…

              1. “That is…monstrous. Do you have no empathy for the victims of rape? Do you care at all? Or do you just “not have a legal obligation to care” so it’s all OK…”

                No, the opposite. I’m not the one who advocates as “common sense” a world in which the police aren’t liable for failing to protect people. What’s curious about your position is that you think the cops shouldn’t be liable, but the mayor should be brought up on criminal charges. Could you explain why you think the cops should be treated differently than the mayor?

                There are police in the autonomous zone. They are still responding to 911 calls. You can google a video of police in the zone right now, on Fox News. The title of the article is “Seattle officers face ‘autonomous zone’ crowd, say 911 response times have tripled”.

                By the way, drop the performance art bullshit. “monstrous. . . no empathy . . . Do you care at all?” Who are you fucking kidding? GMAFB.

                1. What “Performance art”….?!?!

                  I was complaining about the police being unable to respond to 911 calls of rape, and your response was

                  “Well, they’re not legally obligated to, so, they’re happy”.

                  You sound like an unempathetic asshole. The type of person who would see a woman being raped in an alley and say “Not my legal obligation to do anything, have a nice day Mr. Rapist”. Get it?

                  The police cannot be physically everywhere at once, and cannot stop all crime. That’s why not having them be legally liable for crimes committed by others makes sense. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to prevent or stop them to the best of their ability. And the type of argument you appear to be making where “Well they’re not legally liable so, they’re happy” is asshole-ish at best and evil at worst.

                  1. You want to be a theater geek, that’s fine. I’m not participating in Act II. Get a life.

                    1. I am amazed that that you think my caring about people being raped and unable to get the police is “being a theater geek”

                      Do you hear yourself? Seriously?

                    2. AL, you’ve accused me of some awful thinking for disagreeing with you as well.

                      Your melodramatic personal accusations do indeed belong in a theater, not in a debate or discussion.

                    3. Sarcastro,

                      When you act like a antisemite, I will call you out on it. Don’t be surprised. If you don’t want be called antisemitic, don’t act antisemitic.

                      If your response to people getting raped is “Well, there’s no legal obligation to stop it, so it’s good for the police”…it’s insensitive as hell, and I’ll call you out on it.

                      You don’t hesitate to call anyone else a racist if they say things you disagree with that you think are racist. I’ve seen you do it repeatedly.

                    4. AL,

                      Your accusations that people who disagree with your position “don’t care about X” are theater and, frankly, unbecoming this comment section, as irrational as it can be. Your comments are too unhinged even for this.

                      You are engaging in the tactics you profess to hate when extremist lefists do it: shouting down your ideological opponent with unfounded accusations.

      2. A_L,
        The police should not respond. Nor should they report for duty in Minneapolis or any other city in which they do not have the full-throated support of the mayor.
        If the public want to defund the police, then the police should give them an object lesson.

        Having said that, one observes that even PC leftists buy in to the rhetoric of politicization of police work. They talk about “civilian” review board. The public are NOT civilians and the police should not be confused with the military. What is needed are third-party, independent review boards, with ideologues carefully weeded out.

        1. The police should not respond. Nor should they report for duty in Minneapolis or any other city in which they do not have the full-throated support of the mayor.

          There are 40 million unemployed Americans. I think police do not want to find out how replaceable they actually are.

          1. I’m an experimentalist.
            I’d say let’s have a look at how well the untrained and unprepared can do.
            In Italy we are used to one and two day strikes. A coincidental police strike for a couple of days would teach us a lot.

      3. “the Mayor of Seattle should be up on criminal charges for allowing it”

        The Mayor of Seattle is going to be wishing she done a lot of stuff differently next month, as she waits with Gov. Inslee in Chaz’s revolutionary square for her kiss from Madam Guillotine.

      4. The citizens voted for the mayor and Inslee.

        “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” Mencken

        1. They did, but simply because you vote for someone, if they do something criminal, then they should be brought up on charges. With their authority and privilege comes responsibility.

          1. They did, but simply because you vote for someone, if they do something criminal, then they should be brought up on charges. With their authority and privilege comes responsibility.

            I agree, but Mueller deferred to a questionable OLC opinion that it’s unconstitutional to indict a sitting POTUS, so what are we supposed to do?

            Don’t go all TDS on us. Individual 1 will get his legal comeuppance soon enough.

      5. “There are reports of 911 calls for rape coming out of the “Seattle Autonomous Zone” that the police cannot respond to because they aren’t “allowed” in the area.”

        You can bet your sweet sweet ass that if me and the Proud Boys showed up to clean up the Autonomous Region of Seattle that the police WILL BE THERE TO FUCK US UP GOOD!!!

        The Autonomous Region is a big fat lie. It is fully supported by the state and local government, the CIA, the FBI, and the rest of the captured agencies.

  6. It’s a remarkable look into how a liberal journalist is going to have to navigate this new “woke” world, of trying to defend the liberal tradition against the illiberal left while, well, keeping his head. Or at least his job (must repeat throughout piece: “Conservatives are the real evil” and “The Right is getting increasingly dangerous”). The failure to mention Andrew Sullivan’s experience is telling.
    The mention of NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen was particularly interesting since he’s openly advocating for and defending this new “Resistance journalism.” For Rosen, the principles of objectivity, balance and fairness are outdated (unless Fox News violates them). Since Trump is so awful, for Rosen, they can be discarded for the greater cause. There’s always a greater cause if you look hard enough. It’s an odd definition of principle but these are very odd times.

    1. I think what is now referred to as ‘traditional liberals’ have forgotten that the first group up against the wall contains those with higher education.

      1. Yep, regexp, Sarcastro and David Nieporent will be first ones up against the wall once the Jacobins they are rooting for win power and can dispense with the useful idiots.

        1. “the Jacobins they are rooting for”

          Please share more of your unique insight into DMN’s politics.

          (No slight intended to regexp and Sarcastro. For entertainment value I simply went for the lowest hanging fruit.)

    2. And Chait’s already on the list of a lot of people pissed he isn’t further to the left.

  7. Couldn’t happen to a nicer lot of people.

    1. No, this isn’t happening in some far off country. It’s here and will have consequences for all of us.
      Chait wants to both criticize and excuse it; he wants to thread the “woke” needle but at some point you can’t. You can only yell “But Trump!!” so many times. He may or may not know this – he’s a very smart writer so I think he does – but he’s just buying time.

  8. The revolution is fighting to establish a left-wing dictatorship. You can see that from everywhere the revolution has actually succeeded. Eating it’s own is built in, unavoidable. Like in Highlander, in the end there can be only one.

    They can’t publicly admit that, and many of them won’t be able to admit it to themselves, but that’s what is driving this: A desperate fight to end up on top when the music stops.

  9. “His own New York Magazine has banned columnist Andrew Sullivan from writing about the recent protests.”

    Has Andy found Trig Palin’s real mother yet?

    He shouldn’t be allowed to mix with decent human beings.

    1. The Trig Truther controversy is so dumb in light of Bristol Palin having multiple out of wedlock children and making money as a reality star. The controversy is just as dumb as Republicans wanting Elian Gonzalez to stay in America or Democrats wanting Terry Shiavo off the respirator…looking back years later everyone should agree that these events should not have become some type of national controversy. Water boarding is another one—obviously enhanced interrogation is morally justified in order to gather intelligence in a war on terror.

      That said, I think Joe Biden knocked up that stripper in Arkansas and Hunter is taking the fall so as not to derail Joe’s presidential bid. 😉

      1. Joe’s too old, he just shoots a puff of dust.

  10. And Chait, […] feels the need to discuss in excruciating detail […] why it’s not unreasonable for people to so strongly object the rather anodyne sentiment expressed by the interview subject. One assumes this is insurance against being Twitter-mobbed like Fang.

    Or perhaps Chait honestly believes the sentiment, depending on the context, can be a toxic red herring.

    1. So a journalist should, what?, censor that sentiment out from a person he or she interviews? Not include it? Fang didn’t say it; one of the black people he interviewed expressed it.
      “Woke” journalism is supposed to include black voices but then censor those voices if they express a non-Woke view? How is this supposed to work?
      It’s not journalism; it’s a direct assault on the liberal tradition of reporting that’s been developed. Chait sees it, he wants to condemn it but he’s clearly afraid to do so openly.
      Afraid. He’s afraid.

      1. I suspect had Chait been the interviewer, he would have asked the BLM activist’s opinion if there are contexts in which his comment could rightly be viewed as a toxic red herring.

        1. So liberal/left journalists CAN challenge black voices? Or not? Fang simply turned on his recorder and asked black people their views on police violence and what they wanted done. One mentioned black on black violence.
          If that view potentially can be used by others than it can be challenged? Why? Isn’t that a contradiction: we must listen to black voices on the one hand but challenge them at another? Where are these rules?
          Fang violated them. And for that he was threatened with the scarlet “R”. This is highlighting these dangers. This isn’t journalism in any sense of the word.

          1. The same rules apply to everyone. Challenge what people say when you have a legitimate basis for doing so.

    2. Quite possibly. It’s amazing how people who want to see the police as the bigger threat can just totally blow off the actual ratios, where almost all the acts of violence in black communities are between non-police.

      1. Brett has kindly given us a stellar example of how this sentiment can be used as a toxic red herring.

        1. You have kindly demonstrated how the left reacts to context the way a vampire does sunlight.

    3. Yes quite true. But too nuanced a concern for some people to understand. David has a sensitive ear for anti-semitism but not for racism.

      1. There is no accusation here that the interviewee was being racist. The accusation is that the interviewee was not cognizant that the sort of sentiment he is expressing may also be expressed by racists to undermine anti-police-violence sentiment, and therefore Fang was racist in simply retweeting the interview in which those sentiments were voiced. The underlying notion is that journalism is solely good for ensuring that a particular cause be furthered, and that any journalist who isn’t (a) on board with that perspective; or (b) is on board, but doesn’t recognize that his journalism is harming the cause, at least when the issue is “racial justice” is in effect contributing to white supremacy and must be silenced. It’s a breathtakingly authoritarian take on the responsibility of journalists.

        1. I’m not following how your reply addresses my critique of your criticism of Chait.

          1. That’s because I was replying to Captcrisis. As for your comment, regardless of whether Chait believes the sentiment or not, if he wasn’t walking (typing) on eggshells, there would be no reason to spend many paragraphs explaining why the interviewee’s comments were problematic. He could have dispensed with that in a sentence, such as “while I understand that one may be concerned that the interviewee is expressing sentiments that conservatives sometimes express to excuse or change the subject from police violence against African Americans…”

            1. Chait covered the red herring issue in one paragraph, and then went on to explore an interesting aspect I was not aware of (“White law enforcement has a long tradition of ignoring black crime victims as an expression of discounting the value of black lives.”) in the next two paragraphs.

              Perhaps you are prejudicially predisposed to seeing political correctness?

              1. Josh, the column was about progressives policing other progressives on flimsy grounds. A long aside on how many a black interview subject was actually contributing to white supremacy but mentioning that he’s concerned about non-police violence in the black community not only is a significant digression, if anything it undermines his point.

                1. I thought Chait’s aside was an on-point defense of the interviewee and Fang.

            2. One has to be aware of how it might come off. A journalist who is quoting someone can’t just supply the quote. He has to provide context. I think Chait is seeing all sides of this.

              You can acknowledge black people’s knowing laughter when they see Chris Rock’s “I love black folks” bit or his “how not to get your ass beat by the cops”
              bit. But you should also note that he is giving ammunition to white racists.

              1. Captcrisis, Fang was quoting someone, he literally just posted a link to the interview. And the notion that a journalist real calling is not to let an actual person speak for himself but to “contextualize it” for readers/viewers so they will be enlightened to the fact that the interview subject was engaging in wrongthink? Nope.

                1. You must agree with me to some extent. You and I can both think of many examples of people being quoted out of context, and because the context was not given, the quote was misconstrued and followed them forever after.

            3. Chait’s problem is that he does not live in west Oakland as does the interviewee.

        2. But it’s at odds with itself. It demands that we listen to – and not criticize or disagree with or challenge – black voices but if that black voice doesn’t express the correct “woke” view – or gives a view that racists support – that that view must be censored.
          Or what? How is this supposed to work? It’s not surprising that Fang was afraid. What was he supposed to do? To say?

        3. “…and that any journalist who isn’t (a) on board with that perspective…”

          It’s the Intelligencer, writing about leftist readers of the the Intercept policing a fellow traveler. I don’t know why anybody would find this “shocking”. But if you really are shocked, you better sit down for this next part. Breitbart readers exercise editorial power over the authors and editors of that site, too.

          The story should be fun, not shocking. Lee Fang is getting hoisted with his own petard. And then somebody slightly less left-of-center notices and starts wondering if maybe things have gone too far. This is how pendulums swing. If that day ever comes, maybe you will have an opportunity to write about Redstate’s self-reflection on its own worst excesses. In the meantime, I’d suggest to you that most Americans aren’t following closely inside baseball/journalism discussions at the Intelligencer or the Intercept.

      2. It’s your white privilege speaking.

        Being free from Black on Black crime is the ultimate white privilege. As an example about 5 years ago in Seattle’s Columbia City -Rainer valley there was an epidemic of young black males being killed by other Black Males. Columbia city is a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, and during this murder spree the white and Asian residents could go about their lives totally oblivious of the dozens of murders that occurred around them because they weren’t targeted.

        1. Asian residents have white privilege?

          1. They’re generally relatively successful. What other possible explanation could there be?

    4. Or perhaps Chait honestly believes the sentiment, depending on the context, can be a toxic red herring.

      So the available alternatives are:

      (1) Chait is a disingenuous coward.

      (2) Chait is an utter imbecile.

      I confess I am prepared to embrace the healing power of “and” in this particular case.

      1. Not surprisingly, I strongly disagree that is imbecilic to honestly believe bringing up non-police violence, depending on the context, is a toxic red herring. To the contrary, I think such a belief is spot-on correct in many cases.

        1. Agreed.

          One difference that hasn’t been mentioned is that, unlike private violence, police violence is being done with our tax dollars. This makes the analysis clearer. To take an especially egregious example from real life, I was watching a parade (this was in 1984 or so) when a drunk driver plowed into the crowd, badly injuring a few children (fortunately nobody got killed). The police pulled the guy out of the car and beat him with clubs, to some cheering. My friend noted that they should have just arrested him. Someone said, “You can’t blame the cops for beating him up after what he did.” My friend said, “But we pay them not to.”

        2. Why wasn’t the response to Fang simply, “Hey Lee, shouldn’t you have mentioned that this is used by racists?” Or, “Lee, should you have given some background on this?”
          Instead he’s called all sorts of names, his character and name challenged. They want his career ended.
          You seem to be completely overlooking the problem here.

          1. I think Fang was unfairly treated.

            1. Okay, but why wasn’t that the reaction or response? A “good faith” type of criticism?
              This is an additional part of the danger here that Chait fails to adequately take on. It’s not just the rejection of free speech, of a free exchange of ideas, of due process, of these liberal traditions. It’s this lack of “good faith” willingness to disagree.
              If a person has the wrong view, or expresses the right view incorrectly, or in this case doesn’t give the right context he or she is driven out of society. They’re not just wrong, they didn’t just make a mistake: no, they must be, well, destroyed.
              This really, at bottom is the great threat to the liberal tradition. That is men and women can come to an agreement, that we can argue in good faith, without having one’s character destroyed.
              And yes, Trump and his merry band of fanatics also do this.

              1. Look, the left never were actual “liberals”, they nicked the name off the actual liberals of the time, who we now have to call “classical” liberals to avoid confusion. It wasn’t even accidental linguistic evolution, it was a deliberate tactic, pioneered by the Fabian society. (Whose emblem is a wolf wearing a sheep’s skin, naturally.)

                A similar theft is being pulled off right now with “Originalism”, by the way.

                So the left, not actually being liberals, only made a show of valuing freedom of speech so long as they thought their foes would be the censors. (Like the ACLU defending the speech of despised political minorities because it was run by communists.) Once they realized that wasn’t the case, that THEY were positioned to do the censoring, they abandoned that pose almost overnight.

              2. And, ironic as it may be, Trump gets accused of wanting censorship because he’s got the nerve to complain about it using his own free speech. Read that executive order of his: It’s actually anti-censorship!

  11. Jonathan Chait is an asshole. It’s really hard not to enjoy these people getting it good and hard by their own as it always occurs. Too bad everyone else is next.

  12. A word for Mr. Fang, from that great philosopher Captain Nathan Cutting Brittles:
    “Never apoligize, Mister. It’s a sign of weakness.”

    1. I never saw the movie, but perhaps Trump did (*)? He sure seems to live by that motto even when it comes to something like renaming forts.

      (*) I thought he learned it from Roy Cohn when faced with Fair Housing Act lawsuit.

  13. Some context, please. The United States, compared to the entire Western world, is so far to the right that it practically falls off the charts. We still have serious arguments about teaching evolution in public schools. We don’t have national health care, even though it’s standard everywhere else. We allow private citizens to pack military-grade weapons. We have the greatest wealth disparity between rich and poor in the Western world. Oh, and we elected a president who can’t bring himself to criticize racists.

    And so, our progressives react by moving further to the left. Earlier this morning I was banned from a progressive blog for saying that social policy needs to take into account the fact that sometimes people are in bad circumstances because of their own bad choices. That was mainstream Democratic party until not so long ago.

    The consequence of that type of polarization is that it makes it that much more likely that at some point, there really will be a bloody civil war. Maybe not tomorrow or next week or even next year, but the preconditions for it certainly exist. And as our politics becomes ever more polarized, to where for some people it’s now a religion, it will only get worse. Whether the dear leader in charge once the smoke clears will be right wing or left wing remains to be seen.

    And if you don’t want to end up with a dear leader, encourage the growth of the middle. There will always be left and right extremist fringes; the problem is that they are now firmly in control of both parties. As one becomes increasingly shrill and moves even further to the fringe, so does the other. It’s far from clear which side would win if there were to be a civil war, and it’s not a risk I care to take. Turn down the volume on the vitriol, and try to build a polity that everyone can live with. Because what we have now is not working, and has the capacity to get a whole lot worse.

    1. Cure your own house first. Your post is just “both sides” garbage

      Leftist banged on the right for decades [abortion on demand, gay marriage, unlimited immmigration], a somewhat crude guy comes into office who mainly talks and its mass hysteria and Communes in major cities.

      1. “Cure your own house first.”

        Is that not what Chait is attempting to do? I understand Prof. Bernsetein says he apologized too much, but per you he’s not allowed to clean someone else’s house.

        Since when do you have a problem with “both sides” garbage? That’s your M.O. I thought we had established dozens of times that you’re one step away from a nihilist, and that ends justify the means. Suddenly whataboutism is a problem for you?

        And shouldn’t that be obvious to the rest of us? Immediately after saying “‘both sides’ garbage” your next comment is “Leftist banged…” You can’t even finish a breath without returning to whataboutism.

        1. “Is that not what Chait is attempting to do? ”

          I wasn’t referring to Chait but to Krychek who is now realizing he is a Girondist and wants the right to save him from the Mountain.

        2. “nihilist”

          Small minds often mistake cold-eyed realism for nihilism.

        3. “I thought we had established dozens of times that you’re one step away from a nihilist, and that ends justify the means.”

          Check the clock on your flux capacitor, NToJ. In this timeline Bob took that step years ago.

      2. I couldn’t agree with Bob any more. He is correct, that the left has been saying “fascist” for every Republican, moderate or not, since Ike. Oh, but suddenly like the boy who cried wolf, *this* time it’s for real? Bah!

        Though I do, in honestly appreciate that the left maybe going to far. That’s a start I suppose.

    2. “Oh, and we elected a president who can’t bring himself to criticize racists.”

      Oh, that’s bullshit. He got accused of that because he wasn’t willing to pretend everybody on the right in Charlottesville was a racist. But he absolutely has criticized racists, on multiple occasions.

      He just won’t take that next step and pretend that everybody on the right, and nobody on the left, is one.

      1. Krychek, you have been conned by the Fine People Hoax. It was so easy for you to believe what you wanted to hear.

        The “Fine People” Hoax Funnel

        The press created the hoax by consistently and intentionally omitting the second half of President Trump’s comments about Charlottesville. If you only see or hear the first half of what the president said, it looks exactly like the president is calling neo-Nazis “fine people.” But in the second part of Trump’s comments, he clarified, “You had people in that group who were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of the park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”

        In other words, the president believed there were non-racists in attendance who support keeping historical monuments. To remove all doubt, the President continued with “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay?”

        1. As usual, Scott Adams is FOS.

    3. I blame the divide on our two party system that we call American Democracy. Both parties find advantage to driving wedges between the two sides. Neither side is interested in moderates.

      IMO, John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Juan Williams were 3 prominent moderates in recent times. All three were crucified.

      We didn’t learn anything from the 2016 election. We are teeing up to run two extreme candidates for the 2020 election. No matter who wins, he will be hated by the losing side. I fear post-election violence as the losing side refuses to admit defeat. It is Americans who are weary of American Democracy.

      1. “We are teeing up to run two extreme candidates for the 2020 election.”

        What is “extreme” about Joe Biden, of all people? Hillary Clinton was a centrist, too. There were moderates (Jeb Bush and John Kasich) in the Republican primary in 2016. Who was more centrist in the 2020 Democratic primary than Joe? Pete Buttigieg? Bloomberg?

        We’ve learned a lot since the 2016 election. Despite its utter failure to produce a candidate who could beat the electoral college in 2016, the Democratic Party didn’t abandon itself entirely to its worst fringes. The Republicans lose two elections to President Barack (LITERALLY HITLER) Obama with moderates and immediately turn to Donald Trump.

        1. This is the correct — as in accurate, but also appropriate — response to so f’ing many comments in these threads.

    4. We allow private citizens to pack military-grade weapons

      Your understanding of the Constitution is surpassed only by your understand of the country. We don’t “allow” private citizens anything. It is their right to pack military grade weapons.

      And after a couple of weeks of watching your fellow travelers maraud, destroy and kill – 18 deaths so far! – millions of private citizens are “allowing” themselves to buy deadly weapons so that they don’t end up as useful idiots up against the wall like you.

    5. The U.S. is not more “right” on all issues. We limit choice in public education much more than most Western democracies; we have a crazy, populist civil justice system matched nowhere else in the world; we have a much vaster regulatory apparatus than many European “social Democratic” countries; and we have much stricter antidiscrimination legislation than anywhere except perhaps Canada. Compare, for example, Sweden. We are far, far to the “left” of Sweden on each of these issues.

  14. Chait says, “Bringing up crime in black communities to deflect away from systemic racism is a conservative trope so familiar and clichéd it is often summarized with the mocking shorthand “what about black-on-black crime?”

    OK, I’ll play. How many conservative tropes were there in Chicago last weekend? I’m sure those families are feeling the pain of tropes right about now.

    1. I think Rand Paul’s attempt to appeal to the black community proved that any attempts at reconciliation or dialogue between conservatives and African-Americans are futile. Let the blacks lord over their urban empires of dust.

    2. “trope”

      Its never about the merits when conservatives say something about an issue, its all “conservatives pounce” because libs don’t want to deal with their own problems.

  15. Did David post the wrong URL to the first link?

  16. Reason Magazine is also part of the problem. Reason Magazine is not much different from Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Reason Magazine is just more stealthy and sly about it.

    1. Agitprop for a politically irrelevant billionaire?

  17. Both links in the post go to dailymail. Neither link points at New York Magazine.

  18. “Fang, fearing for his job, had to issue a Maoist-style apology for reporting wrongthink. And Chait, while appalled at the mobbing of Fang, feels the need to discuss in excruciating detail (including, ironically, some old-fashioned whitesplainin’ of the interviewee’s lack of wokeness”

    Maoist. Wrongthink. Whitesplainin’ (with the folksy dropped g). Wokeness.

    Welcome to the world of enlightened academic discourse. I am sure Prof. Bernstein is working very hard to persuade people; I mean, look at the comments! Just chalk full of people being persuaded.

    1. I could hypothesize any number of reasons David blogs, and persuasion isn’t among them.

  19. Who is this ‘Lacy’ person who appears in paragraph 8 without introduction?
    Sorry if I’m missing something obvious…

    1. It’s a reference to one Akela Lacy, a reporter at the Intercept. Lacy had already been mentioned several times in Chait’s article, prior to the segment which Bernstein excerpted.

  20. “Also interesting to note: Chait’s article fails to mention a perhaps too-close-to-home example of the cancel culture at work. His own New York Magazine has banned columnist Andrew Sullivan from writing about the recent protests.”


    Sullivan’s weekly column just appeared on the site, at its usual time. It is topped with a photo of a protester and the column discusses the protests, though that is not its main focus.

  21. the push against “Cancel Culture” is fascinating from a libertarian position. The whole point of the marketplace of ideas is that people can choose not to listen and invite other people to do the same and that the ideas and speakers worthy of attention get seperated from the chaff.

    Everytime it happens though, libertarians stop talking about a free marketplace of ideas, and instead wish for some sort of regulated area of ideas where each idea is deemed equal to every other idea, and no idea is ever derided in public, but is handled through back channels to the idea sphere.

    Do you want a marketplace of ideas or what? This is like if the government forced people to buy microsoft zunes, because it isn’t right to condemn a bad product.

  22. Which libertarian has argued for some sort of intervention from the government?
    How does the “Cancel Culture” supports the free exchange of ideas? That culture doesn’t say opinion “A” is dumb or wrong or stupid; it says opinion “A” must not be expressed. The person expressing it is denounced and demands are made to fire him or her from whatever job he has.
    That’s not supporting a free exchange of ideas to me. Yes, they have a right to call for that person to be fired; but that sure doesn’t seem to be in the spirit of the marketplace of ideas concept.

    1. Cancel culture seems to say that “A” can be expressed like a product, but we won’t buy it, and if you are the type of person that sells such product, we won’t be buying any of your products in the future. Which seems like a very marketplace thing to happen.

      The alternative is to demand that something like a Zune stay on the shelves, because people deserve the option to purchase it, which would be ridiculous. Or something like the Hummer series stay in car lots because to cancel it, isn’t in the spirit of the marketplace concept.

      1. Again, which libertarian here or elsewhere has argued that the state should intervene in these matters?
        As to your analogy: “Cancel culture” is saying that not only they won’t buy the product but nobody else can too. They want the product cancelled even if someone else wants it. They don’t want it and they don’t want it to be purchased by anyone else. Hence the name.
        In the Cotton controversy, these critics are not saying they won’t read Cotton, that they don’t like Cotton’s view, that they hate them; they are saying Cotton’s views shouldn’t even be allowed to be disseminated.

        1. They say that noone should buy the product, not that noone can. That’s fair, it happened with the zune, and other products all the time.

          It’s also fair to say that if the NYT published an op ed by Com Totton that said unicorns were real, people would say that Com shouldn’t have a platform in the NYT.

          1. What do think the “cancel” in “cancel culture” means? It doesn’t mean I won’t watch it; it means nobody should watch it. That is, the ideas being expressed are hateful and dangerous and need to be suppressed.
            The article above cites several examples of people being fired because they said the wrong thing. People didn’t say nobody should read or listen to “X”, they said “X” shouldn’t be allowed to disseminate his views.
            As to Cotton’s piece: the critics said his idea were promoting violence against black journalists and were a danger. And because of that they shouldn’t have run in the paper. They didn’t say reject those ideas; they said the ideas should not be published at all.

            1. Sometimes in the marketplace of ideas, people will be fired. If i tell my boss that he sucks,or even if i tell a coworker they suck in the wrong way, I would get fired. And libertarians generally would be okay with that.

              But somehow the discourse has shifted to where you argue everyone should be given the same platform, and words should have no consequences, even in the private sphere. Its bonkers and I haven’t been able to square it, except that these issues only come up when certain conservative people are saying certain things.

  23. “Bringing up crime in black communities to deflect away from systemic racism is a conservative trope so familiar and clichéd it is often summarized with the mocking shorthand “what about black-on-black crime?””

    Because black people killed in their communities are way less dead than those killed by systemic racism, no doubt.

  24. The U.S. is not more “right” on all issues. We limit choice in public education much more than most Western democracies; we have a crazy, populist civil justice system matched nowhere else in the world; we have a much vaster regulatory apparatus than many European “social Democratic” countries; and we have much stricter antidiscrimination legislation than anywhere except perhaps Canada. Compare, for example, Sweden. We are far, far to the “left” of Sweden on each of these issues.

    See, this is interesting substantive thoughts versus the ‘liberals are fighting haw haw’ stuff.

    Don’t know much about educational choice in Europe, but what’s our ‘crazy populist ‘ civil justice system?

    Under what metrics are you judging our regulatory apparatus?

    In what way are our antidiscrimination laws are stricter than, say, Sweden.

    Note that I do not doubt this. Sweden’s fame as a lefty country is largely their social safety net, I believe.

    1. ” but what’s our ‘crazy populist ‘ civil justice system?”

      Trial by jury of one’s peers, I assume. Maybe the grand jury system, too. Even the European countries that have jury trials do it rather differently.

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