GOP might get to continue to wage war on women by lying that they are doing that

04 Nov 2014 03:22 am
Posted by: Donna

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough offers this insight on the 2014 midterm election:

What an asshole. This is a guy who rose to prominence vigorously defending the murderer of an abortion doctor and subsequently voted for harsh anti-choice legislation when he got elected to Congress. Here’s what Scarborough had to say about that, on Morning Joe, after Dr. George Tiller was murdered in 2009:

“We’ve got to learn to sit down and talk,” said Scarborough at the climax of this morning’s several minute segment including co-host Mika Brzezinski and Pat Buchanan…
“People who are pro-life like myself can’t call people who are pro-choice murderers, and people who are pro-choice can’t call people who are pro-life — can’t claim they don’t give a damn about women and want women to die in back alley abortions. That is the sort of angry, heated rhetoric over the past quarter century that’s gotten us to where we are today.”

Oh, okay, it really is a problem on both sides, what with one side pushing for laws that treat abortion patients and doctors as if they are murderers constantly and sometimes, you know, actually killing doctors. Where does the other side get these ridiculous ideas about anti-choicers hating women? Gosh, why are pro-choicers so hysterical and ham-fisted?

Scarborough’s reference to the Denver Post was about their idiotic endorsement of Republican Cory Gardner over incumbent Democrat Mark Udall for US Senate.

Rather than run on his record, Udall’s campaign has devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control despite the congressman’s call for over-the-counter sales of contraceptives. Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision. His obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince…

For that matter, his past views on same-sex marriage are becoming irrelevant now that the Supreme Court has let appeals court rulings stand and marriage equality appears unstoppable. And contrary to Udall’s tedious refrain, Gardner’s election would pose no threat to abortion rights.

Despite how shocked the Denver Post is by Udall so obnoxiously emphasizing Gardner’s record on reproductive rights, the fact is that Gardner is a major league anti-choicer who signed on to a Personhood bill in Congress and supported the Colorado Personhood ballot measure until he changed his tune just in time for the general election. Furthermore, the Post has no basis on which to claim that Gardner poses no threat to abortion rights in the US Senate. The Senate approves federal judges and Supreme Court Justices, after all.

There is clearly conventional wisdom forming that reproductive rights are now a losing issue for Democrats, because Republicans have had it drilled into them to avoid it and obfuscate about it, which many are doing successfully. Also, mockery is playing a big role in the strategy:

A tinny guitar intro leads the show. After a beat of introduction, Caldara cuts right to the issue that has defined the race. “I didn’t know you were that uterus crazy … so let’s just get it out of the way: personhood,” he says. He’s talking about bills put forward by anti-abortion groups in Colorado — bills Gardner supported until he announced he was running for Senate — to define fertilized eggs as people, which doctors warn would make abortion and some forms of birth control illegal. “Go.”

Pundits have taken to calling Udall “Mark Uterus”, which is super droll and really drives home how trivial the important people in the country consider women’s rights to control their bodies and reproduction to be. Then, there’s just straight-up lying about their positions Republican politicians are doing, as Cory Gardner does here:

“Well, I oppose the personhood amendment. Years ago I’d said that I’d supported it— it was the wrong idea. Looking at it, talking to people of Colorado, I don’t support it.” It’s just after 1 p.m., and at least the second time today he’s answered this line of questioning. Earlier, I asked what the federal bill was meant to do, if it wasn’t a personhood bill. “It’s a statement that I support life,” he said. But what’s the point if it doesn’t do anything? “Again, I think you have people who agree with it, and people who disagree with it. It’s a statement of people who support life.”

The Personhood bill in Congress is not a “statement”, it is a proposed law. Furthermore, Gardner’s new-found support for over-the-counter birth control sales means nothing, since it’s the FDA that would determine that, not Congress. That, and Gardner’s seeming reversal on personhood laws are designed to fool mid-term voters and lazy political reporters. It just might work for this election.

But at least in Colorado they are forced to have the conversation, due to the unique political forces there, such as a ballot measure to, um, give personhood rights to fertilized eggs. In Arizona, lucky Doug Ducey has not had to make a single public statement defending his views on abortion in his attempt to win the Governor seat as a Republican. The MSM here are famously squeamish about the issue, so Ducey gets a pass despite agreeing 100% with the Center for AZ Policy on their (practically) no exceptions abortion ban stance.

Whether the conventional wisdom-peddlers are joking about women’s rights or ignoring them, the message is the same: Women, you don’t matter, so don’t even bother. That should not be taken to mean that conservative anti-choice positions have suddenly become popular or that Democrats should stop making an issue of them. If conservatives win by lying they will go right ahead and attack women, leaving the pundits gasping to explain it. Who could have predicted that they would double-down on that stuff? Not us!

Well, we pro-choicers have predicted it, all along.

Fascism has come to America and it is wrapped in slut-shaming

03 Nov 2014 05:09 pm
Posted by: Donna

With the election coming soon I didn’t have time to address this shocking story out of Gilbert:

Apparently, in 2012, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed into a law a measure that requires public schools to present child birth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion.

What’s wrong with that? In Gilbert, the honors biology class uses a textbook with a page that told students, “[C]omplete abstinence, avoiding intercourse, is the only totally effective method of birth control.” The same page includes information – rather clinic information – about the morning-after bill and medically-induced abortion. The procedure, the text says, “requires a doctor’s prescription and several visits to a medical facility.”

The state Board of Education and its lawyer said the paragraph in question isn’t a problem – it doesn’t advocate or encourage abortion – but apparently that didn’t matter. Conservative activists and local Republican officials insisted the textbook is illegal under the law created by Brewer two years ago.

So the Gilbert school board voted to excise the offending paragraphs from the books. Apparently even knowing of existence of abortion, or the morning after pill, is a slap in the face to motherhood and adoption and it might give impressionable girls scandalous ideas about how they don’t have to either mother children or produce infants for adoptive parents. Also, too, because no women who are already mothers ever have abortions or use birth control.

Where is the outcry over this? When the right wingers got Ethnic Studies banned in Tucson, which was a total travesty, there were big protests about it and Pedagogy of the Oppressed was neither banned from the school library nor had parts cut out of it. But this type of blatant censorship doesn’t seem to elicit much outrage when it’s being done by people eager to inflict punishment on sexually active girls and womwn, does it? If Scientologists got the Gilbert school board to approve excising portions of textbooks relating to mental health treatment, then folks might be a tad more alarmed. But, you know, sluts, that’s different amirite? Just remember that what starts out as an infringement on liberty to shame the sluts can have a way of bleeding over into other areas, including stuff that pertains to men.

The cheeky folks over at the Rachel Maddow show created a website where Gilbert students, and everyone else, can read the missing portion of the biology textbook.

Gov. Brewer’s top adviser slams CAP mailers

02 Nov 2014 03:48 pm
Posted by: Donna

HighGround, of course, is the political consulting firm run by Chuck Coughlin, who is widely known as Governor Jan Brewer’s top adviser. Here is HighGround’s blog engaging in some rather scathing criticism of the Center for Arizona Policy and their legislative endorsements.

When it comes to CAP however, if you are in the womb, you are truly blessed with their favor and support. However, once you are born – particularly if you are from a low income demographic or don’t happen to attend the right church – you are most definitely on your own.

One only needs to look back to Medicaid Restoration to see how much CAP really cares about the “most vulnerable.” During the debate, Center for Arizona Policy did not support restoration. When Governor Brewer, the most pro-life governor ever in the history of Arizona, claimed that being “pro-life” meant taking care of all of the most vulnerable in our society, CAP balked.

Additionally, in an even more ironic twist of fate, CAP also ignored the “will of the voters” argument for restoration (Prop. 204 in 2000), only to roll it out when it more suited their ideological leanings during the recent court decisions about gay marriage.

At the end of the day, CAP was more than willing to allow 63,000 Arizonans, including 5,000 cancer patients in the middle of treatment, to be removed from AHCCCS when the federal authority was set to expire. They were also willing to cut off healthcare for over 10,000 of our veterans who had returned from war and were not yet receiving their VA benefits. We would argue, along with Governor Brewer, that these Arizonan’s certainly were some of the “most vulnerable members of our society.”

The anonymous author, who employs the royal “we” and is probably Mr. Coughlin, took issue with a mailer (pictured above) that he got supporting Shawnna Bolick for LD28 House and paid for by CAP. His pique is no surprise considering how Bolick defeated primary opponent Mary Hamway, who was supported by Brewer’s PAC, along with the GOP incumbents (including Rep. Kate Brophy-McGee in LD28) who broke with the caucus to support the restoration of Medicaid to Arizonans through the Affordable Care Act.

I appreciate HighGround going after CAP, and particularly after Shawnna Bolick (who really, really needs to lose on Tuesday, serious business you guys). I will, however, point out that radical right wingers like Bolick in the Legislature don’t pose the only threat to keeping the Medicaid coverage of all adults in poverty in place. There is also the prospect of a Governor Ducey, who took a hard line against the expansion before soft-pedaling that in time for the general election. Once elected, he will surely be open to at least cutting if not dismantling poor people’s health coverage. Ducey is also even more anti-choice than Governor Brewer was, meaning that he would attack women’s reproductive rights savagely if elected, while “going line by line through the budget” (his campaign catchphrase) to gut safety net programs that would help the babies he wants to bring into the world by force in the name of passing the savings on to taxpayers and “promoting economic growth and opportunity”.

There is also the matter of Doug Ducey wanting to appeal the education funding decision, wasting millions of dollars in court while Arizona ranks at the bottom of the nation in school funding. It’s worth noting that Ducey’s position on that is also in direct contravention to the will of the voters.

AZ Blue Meanie at Blog for Arizona calls Ducey “Cathi’s Clown”, which is a reference to his close relationship to and perfect alignment on culture war issues with CAP President Cathi Herrod. If you thought Herrod had the run of the 9th floor when Brewer was in office, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet if Ducey is elected.

Voter ID pushers are completely full of it

31 Oct 2014 07:07 pm
Posted by: Donna

The Arizona Eagletarian has already dealt with TownHall columnist Mona Charen’s pile of malarkey defending voter ID laws that appeared in Thursday’s Arizona Republican. I would add that the study that right wingers have been passing around like a doobie at a Willie Nelson concert that purportedly “proves” that a significant number of non-US citizens are registered to vote has been fact-checked and found to be lacking in conclusive evidence.

Voter ID laws are clearly a form of voter suppression targeting minorities and others likely to vote Democratic. It’s been described as similar to the poll taxes that were outlawed decades ago but they’re actually worse than that. You could at least pay the $10 poll tax and be able to vote. If you don’t have the required ID, however, you are not just possibly having to pay a fee (though the ID pushers insist that the IDs are always free), you may also be looking at having to take time off work and a long drive or several trips of public transportation to get whatever government agency dispenses the IDs, which may be oh-so-coincidentally located far from where you live. Voter ID laws are essentially a poll test for would-be voters who lack the privileges that make obtaining an ID a simple matter for people like Mona Charen.

If conservatives are truly concerned about ineligible people voting then why don’t they embrace the obvious solution for that? That would be a national ID, issued for free to all US citizens at age 16. It could be distributed through the schools, libraries, and post offices. The purpose of the card would be to determine eligibility to work and, at age 18, to prove US citizenship for voter registration. Local jurisdictions can then require other documents proving the voter’s address but there would be no doubt that the voter was an American citizen. (Please note that my proposal has nothing to do with immigration policy and it would have no impact on a non-citizen child’s ability to be enrolled in public school. Also, don’t annoy me with paranoid black helicopter conspiracy bullshit about a national ID. We already have forms of it, such as military IDs and passports.)

Conservatives pushing for voter ID laws have never embraced the simple solution of a national ID card because their goal is to deny the franchise to anyone who might disagree with them. Period.

No country for austerity-pushing Democrats.

29 Oct 2014 05:47 pm
Posted by: Donna

My biggest problem with centrist establishment Democrats has been their insistence on trying to prove they’re the bigger grown-ups in the room by embracing punitive conservative economic ideas and more successfully implementing them. Welfare reform was a perfect example of this. Democratic support for it, including President Clinton’s, was supposed to neutralize the issue for Democrats forever. Oddly, though, I never noticed the tendency of voters to associate Democrats with “welfare” to diminish. What happened was that the idea of “welfare” simply expanded to include any public assistance whatsoever, whether or not the recipient worked for wages, and then further to mean 47% of the country. People still defend welfare reform to me on the policy merits but no one can reasonably argue that it was a long-term political success for Democrats, unless they want to make the perverse case that Mitt Romney lost because at least half the country was offended that he thought they were on welfare.

President Obama embraced deficit reduction from the beginning of his presidency. And he did succeed in shrinking the deficit. Does he get any credit for it? Nope.

At the same time, the size and trajectory of the U.S. deficit is poorly understood by most Americans, with 62 percent saying it’s getting bigger, 28 percent saying it’s staying about the same this year, and just 6 percent saying it’s shrinking. The Congressional Budget Office reported Feb. 6 that the federal budget deficit is getting smaller, falling to $845 billion this year — the first time in five years that the gap between taxes and spending will be less than $1 trillion.

Even more weirdly, Americans currently trust Republicans more on the economy:

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows why the Republicans are doing so well in the polls right now.

“Recovery” Or Not, The Economy Sucks For Most People

Q: Would you describe the state of the nation’s economy these days as excellent, good, not so good or poor?

Positive 27%
Negative 72%
Excellent 1%
Good 26%
Not so good 44%
Poor 28%
People Think The Economy Is Rigged To Favor The Wealthy

Q: Do you think the U.S. economic system (generally favors the wealthy) or (is fair to most Americans)?

Generally favors the wealthy 71%
Is fair to most Americans 24%

People Think Republicans Will Fix This

Other polls show something ironic: People trust Republicans more than Democrats to fix this and make the economy favor regular people again.

An October 13 Gallup poll: “On the No. 1 issue, the economy, Republicans have more than doubled their April lead over Democrats, to 11 percentage points.”

Strange how Democrats are incessantly accused of excessive spending, despite not doing that at all, while Republicans reap the electoral rewards of austerity. If you’re always going to be painted as “spenders” why not just push for more spending in ways that improve everyone’s lives? When you do do it, as with the Affordable Care Act, why not brag about it, with nonstop ads of people who are ecstatic over having health coverage for the first time in years? The vast majority of Americans couldn’t care less about “bending the cost curve”.

Democrats should definitely not ever trash the momentous progressive accomplishments of the New Deal and Great Society. There is no good in that, as evidenced by the pounding upon Democrats who (stupidly) signed on to cuts to safety net programs:

Cutting federal health and retirement spending has long been at the top of the GOP agenda. But with Republicans in striking distance of winning the Senate, they are suddenly blasting the idea of trimming Social Security benefits.

The latest attack came in Georgia, where the National Republican Campaign Committee posted an ad last week accusing Rep. John Barrow (D) of “leaving Georgia seniors behind” by supporting “a plan that would raise the retirement age to 69 while cutting Social Security benefits.”

Crossroads GPS, the conservative nonprofit group founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove, has run similar ads against North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D), Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor (D) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.). Crossroads accused Hagan of supporting a “controversial plan” that “raises the retirement age.”

Republicans totally want to end Social Security and Medicare but want Democrats to take the blame for it, which is why they’re constantly trying to trick Democrats into these “grand bargains”. I have encountered centrist Dems who seem genuinely shocked that liberals didn’t eagerly embrace Simpson-Bowles. My guess is that they believe (wrongly) that liberals are so enamored of the possibility of tax increases on the wealthy that we’ll gladly trade our own and everyone else’s retirement security for them. We did warn them that Republicans would hang any cuts, actual or proposed, to Social Security and Medicare right around Democrats’ necks, which is exactly what is happening to the Democrats who signaled support for them. There truly is no upside to Democrats pushing austerity. None.

Doug MacEachern is yelling at a cloud again

28 Oct 2014 01:58 pm
Posted by: Donna

Oh my, they let Doug MacEachern go off on a tear again.

One day before the primary elections ended, on Aug. 25, a young fellow wearing a Citizens for a Better Arizona tee shirt walked into Maricopa County elections headquarters carrying a box. It was filled with hundreds of mail-in ballots, which he merrily delivered to county election workers.

A Republican activist who happened to be there filmed the CBA worker delivering the ballots. His video recently went viral on YouTube. Conservative groups and media picked up the story. For conservatives, it was a true “ah HA!” moment. It was, to them, evidence of “ballot stuffing.” Of fraud.

And, a lot of those conservative media noted the fact that all the “fraud” was being perpetrated by “Mexicans.”

Say what you like about leftist machine politics, but they know how to do damage control.

They leaped in with press releases declaring that Citizens for a Better Arizona is nothing but a “civic engagement group” helping out befuddled voters.

The CBA is a union-backed, Alinsky-ite activist group whose aggressive tactics in past elections have infuriated and embarrassed even other union-backed activist groups. To call the CBA a “civic engagement group” is akin to calling Rush Limbaugh a political-issues analyst. True, but, well, just gross.

Befuddled? Hey, Doug must read this blog since that’s how I’ve described him a time or two! And I’m pretty sure as “gross” as well. Anyway, isn’t it neat how conservatives can screech about – oh wait, “note” – that “Mexicans” are committing voter fraud all over the place sans any actual evidence of said fraud but the real race hucksters are the people pointing out that the conservatives are being racist? Also weird how MacEachern has nothing to say about (likely) Republican voters being instructed to bring ballots to a Doug Ducey rally last week. Yeah, of course that’s different.

Here’s MacEachern having further thoughts on the matter:

No different? Again, a thought experiment:

You are a poll watcher on Election Day. A person wearing an “I am a political radical” tee shirt walks up to a voter who is marking her ballot, and instructs her on who and what to vote for.

What do you do? Once upon a time, League of Women Voters poll watchers would call the cops. Now? They cheer lead for “ballot parties.”

Someone over at the Republic should pull Doug aside and explain the concept of consent to him because that passage above was just embarrassing.

Hypothetical scenarios conjured up in Doug MacEachern’s overheated imagination are not a rational basis upon which to ban ballot collection. Sadly for Angry Grandpa, the GOP-led Legislature had to overturn HB2305, which would have stopped those Mexicans from having their wild ballot parties and whatnot so those (perfectly legal and legitimate) efforts continue apace this election. I was recently told by a person involved in field operations in what are normally low turnout parts of Phoenix that canvassers are bringing a healthy number of ballots from low efficacy Dem voters. Whether it will be enough to turn the tide of some statewide races remains to be seen but it’s clearly got at least some conservatives nervous, hence the frantic, paranoid whining about “ballot harvesting”.

UPDATE!! MacEachern continued his pathetic tirade on Tuesday, with a rebuttal to Citizens for a Better Arizona chairman Chad Snow’s response to his column. It’s time for him to retire, Arizona Republic. He’s an embarrassment.

Polarization Schmolarization

24 Oct 2014 12:55 pm
Posted by: Donna

Pew (and others) discover the SHOCKING TRUTH that people who pay attention to politics are polarized! You won’t believe what happens next!

Here’s Vox‘s Ezra Klein on a research paper by Pew analyzing “polarization” in the American electorate:

Perhaps the single most important fact about American politics is this: the people who participate are more ideological and more partisan, as well as angrier and more fearful, than those who don’t.

The finding emerges from Pew’s massive survey of 10,000 Americans, which concluded that “Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines — and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive — than at any point in the last two decades.”

But everyone already knew that. Here’s the real kicker: “these divisions are greatest among those who are the most engaged and active in the political process.”

You don’t say! The Pew report itself finds that Republicans and Democrats have grown quite far apart on the conservative-liberal scale and Klein correctly points out how that’s largely the result of the parties realigning over the decades.

People talk of political polarization as if it’s one thing. It isn’t.

In April 1947, the American Institute of Public Opinion Surveys asked voters a question that sounds very odd to modern ears:

It has been suggested that we give up the present Republican and Democratic parties and have two new parties – one for the Liberals and one for the Conservatives. Would you favor this idea?

“Today, this question might seem absurd,” writes the political scientist Hans Noel inPolitical Ideologies and Political Parties in America. “For most practical purposes, the present Republican and Democratic parties are parties of conservatives and liberals.”

But that wasn’t true in the middle of the 20th Century. The Democratic Party was home to lots of conservatives. The Republican Party had a vast liberal faction. “Ideology and political parties were two separate ways of organizing political conflict,” Noel writes. But not any longer. Even since the 1990s, the shift towards a political system in which party and ideology are one has been stark:

Perhaps if the reactionaries and progressives/liberals were more evenly distributed between the parties we’d see the kind of momentous bipartisan legislation, such as Medicare and the Civil Rights Act, that got passed five decades ago. But the movement to make the GOP the comfortable home for all right wingers began in earnest after Goldwater lost and isn’t going to be undone anytime soon, if ever. The infamous hippie-punching Powell Memo kicked off the Faustian bargain of business leaders with religious zealots angry over desegregation and the sexual revolution to usher in Republican electoral victories. The propagandizing was so smashingly successful that many of today’s “business leaders” and major funders of Republicans are, themselves, rabid reactionaries.

As Klein also correctly observes, “People often assume “polarization” is a synonym for “extremism.” It isn’t.” That is why while most liberals tend to vote Democratic, the party itself as not become the leftist mirror image of the GOP. Many disgruntled lefties attribute this to corporate donor influence but, while they are not wrong about the existence of that, the Democratic electorate is comprised of liberals and people who consider themselves moderate. Furthermore, Pew found a very big difference in news consumption between conservatives and liberals/moderates.

Respondents were asked whether they had heard of each of the 36 outlets listed in the accompanying graphic. For those they had heard of, they were asked about their trust – or distrust – in each source.

Liberals, overall, trust a much larger mix of news outlets than others do. Of the 36 different outlets considered, 28 are more trusted than distrusted by consistent liberals. Just eight earn higher shares of distrust than trust. Still, among those eight, the levels of distrust can be high: fully 81% of consistent liberals distrust Fox News, and 75% distrust the Rush Limbaugh Show.

Among consistent conservatives, by contrast, there are 24 sources that draw more distrust than trust. The same is true for 15 sources among those with mostly conservative views. And, of the eight outlets more trusted than distrusted by consistent conservatives, all but one, on balance, are distrusted by consistent liberals.

This chart shows the trusted news source patterns across the spectrum:

Yes, we liberals have our preferred lefty sites but liberals and moderates really aren’t getting our information from as hermetically sealed an echo chamber as conservatives are. That’s not likely to change any time either, and that’s not even addressing the multitude of foundations and think tanks set up by well-heeled right wingers to make their bullshit look like it’s got intellectual credibility.

So I find all this fretting the political class and mainstream media constantly do over “polarization” to be aggravating and useless. Of course the country is polarized but how is that our biggest problem? Say there were a place where the people who lived in it were roughly comprised of one group of people who thought it was awesome to smash puppies to death with hammers and they were armed with reams of “information” proving that smashing puppies to death regularly ought to be required of every citizen, and another group who were all, “no, we oppose that because we’re not puppy-smashing monsters kthxbai.” Would you say the problem with that place was that is was too polarized? Or would you say the first group needed to take it down several notches and not be let near any puppies? Why isn’t that same basic sense applied to the many, many absurd and awful real policy positions that reactionaries hold and relentlessly try to make into law in this country?

Jeff Sharlet, who has written several books about religious conservatives in the U.S., including his bestseller The Family, wrote a series of tweets criticizing liberals and academics for what he described as “fetishizing dialogue” last year.

The assumption that “dialogue” solves all problems is profoundly paternalistic — & naive.

The fetish for “dialogue” above all — including legit anger & actual inquiry — is a politics of presumption.

Fetish for “dialogue” assumes those you disagree w/ lack only your insight; assumes they want to “compromise.” As if they have no agency.

I hear this from students all time; they forgive bigotries on assumption bigots lack approp “culture.” Cant believe hate can be chosen.

David Creech, a religious studies scholar at Loyola University Chicago, wrote: What alternative to dialog do you propose?

Demand for alternative to “dialogue” assumes solutions always at hand. Sometimes whats needed is diagnosis, nt prescription.

Student fetish for “dialogue” a form of technocratic optimism based on free market myth of “exchange” as end in itself.

Creech wrote: Dialog for me implies also listening, the possibility that I might be changed by your insight and experience.

That’s great when it’s an option. But it assumes a desire for common ground. Which is a form of paternalism.

Creech: Desire for common ground as paternalism… Intriguing suggestion… I will have to chew on that for a bit.

The desire for common ground isn’t paternalim; the assumption that others share it is.

Take the example of Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” activists. Some assumed they needed dialogue. They thought that funny. 1/2

2/2 because they knew the arguments against homophobic genocide. Knew them & rejected them. Not looking for my “insight.”

Defenders of “dialogue” as end in itself see only other option as brutality. They fail to imagine possibility of open-ended problem.

A perfect example of chosen bigotry: Heritage Foundation’s Harvard-powered, race-based, anti-immigration “study.”

Well-intentioned liberals always ask how we can “educate” haters. Elite haters don’t need “education”; they need to be challenged.

Sharlet is exactly right. Just as the Ugandan bigots were aware of the opposing arguments, so too are the American ones. Americans in their Rush and Fox News bubbles are regularly presented with empathetic and egalitarian arguments, but it’s so they scoff at and mock them. Coming from two decades of pro-choice activism and regularly encountering the toxic misogyny to be found on the other side, I am keenly aware that some disputes are just not amenable to dialogue and need to be polarized until the forces of hate and irrationality are defeated.