158 Comments

Thanks so much for your deep dive. I get it now and agree with your assessment.

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Great interview with Michael Fanone. I've listened to many and I wonder how much he is re-traumatized every time a clip is played of him being attacked. Yet, in spite of it, he keeps marching on trying to share the truth of the event with a growing proportion of Americans who obviously can't handle the truth.

On a side note, Charlie, I'm surprised you haven't said anything about the Frontline Doc that dropped this week "Michael Flynn's Holy War". I'd love to get your perspective on it. I just keep asking myself over and over "WTF happened to Michael Flynn?!?". Looks like the Fallen Three Star is now a Cult Rock Star - and he's apparently raking in a shit ton of cash in the process. I'd love to see a diagram of his various PACs and front groups.

To me, what makes him dangerous is that compared to Pillsbury Dough Boy DeSantis, Buddha Belly Bannon and Trump's Big Mac Big Butt - Flynn actually physically personifies the strong man - chiseled jaw and presumably abs, former general with a background in psy ops - I think he's positioning himself for '24. Yet, all of them are sniveling victims - they poke others in the eye and wonder why no one likes them. To quote TFG "sad".

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You're absolutely correct. Rush was a plague in this world before Fox, but did not have the multiplier that Fox provides, especially when combined with social media. The bottom line is that the right wing media spreads violent, virulent falsehoods with absolutely no downside. For Fox, the more preposterous the lie, the higher the ad revenues. Capitalism at its finest (I'm ex-Wall Street so this is irony/sarcasm). Thanks.

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I read the entire piece in that Charlie alludes to in the Federalist. The author, once again, is oblivious to the radical in his own party. He proposes a plan that, while completely hard right, has some emanations of ration thought (i am really using that term loosely). However, there is a 60% plus majority in his party that do not use rational thought in the slightest. For ideology is easier to hold then reassessing and question your long held beliefs. The Republican 2.20 party cannot discard its notions of small government and hope to prosper because it fits too naturally into the cynicism of its Qanon wing. The Republic party is mostly made up of 3 factions, White Nationalists, Evangelical Christians, and Conspiracy Theorists nut jobs. While I would not trade any of them for Putin Loving Russians. They have created a cohesive group around the singular threat of democratic government. At the very least a cynical view of it altogether.

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Thanks to Republican gerrymandering, Andrew Clyde will be my Congressman come next January. I plan to leave a lot of blanks on my ballot, but for this one I WILL actually cast my vote for the Democrat. Not that it will matter.

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Don't forget Trump's threat about the Jews.

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Where and When will this be available?: "replay of the panel discussion with Amanda Carpenter, Sarah Longwell, and Tim Miller". Have scoured Bulwark site?!? Please advise!

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And the Committee has subpoenaed Trump. Wait for the S*** to hit the fan.

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I see that, but I thought that happened already. Is it just now official?

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I didn't read very well. Prior reports were just that they voted to subpoena him, not that it had been done.

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Yup. NYT, CNN, Politicususa reported it. Likely others too. And they really lit into him, telling him, among other things, that SITTING presidents had testified before Congress, and a whole bunch of non-sitting ones as well.

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Great to hear the in-person Bulwark was a success!

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Apparently Newsmax's antisemitism has its limits.

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Yeah like you can be only half anti demerit 🤭🤭🤭

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Here's the relevant excerpt from the Federalist essay:

*Calling oneself a conservative in today’s political climate would be like saying one is a conservative because one wants to preserve the medieval European traditions of arranged marriage and trial by combat. Whatever the merits of those practices, you cannot preserve or defend something that is dead. Perhaps you can retain a memory of it or knowledge of it. But that is not what conservatism was purportedly about. It was about maintaining traditions and preserving Western civilization as a living and vibrant thing.

Well, too late.*

The essay is basically a rehash of Glenn Ellmers's recent Claremont screed disqualifying half the US population from being real Americans and advocating resort to government coercion as a solution to modern cultural conflicts and a means to "rebuilding" an acceptable society.

Though, by that logic, why brute government force couldn't similarly "rebuild" support for arranged marriages and trial by combat escapes me. Who's to say those quaint customs are truly "dead?"

But apparently it comes down to breaking up Big Tech, prosecuting all abortionists and outlawing gay marriage. Oh and treating Drag Queen Story Hour as child abuse. (Nothing about Kari Lake's past attendance with her child at such events.)

The underlying premise is that there is still a vestige of traditional mores and taboos to which most people allegedly adhere, but which it's fatuous to imagine an impotent classical liberalism or Goldwater conservatism can salvage.

Except that most people are not hard line Right to Lifers - not even Ron DeSantis - nor do they stridently oppose either gay marriage or, er, Drag Queen Story Hour. So that leave Big Tech. How will Elon Musk feel if the Antitrust Division goes after Twitter?

This is performative polemics by a mutual admiration society of wannabe Falangists. The danger is that an apathetic electorate and go-along-to-get-along politicians will tolerate mounting governmental incursions by self styled "counter-revolutionaries" who - rather like the hard Left - have persuaded themselves that they're saving America in spite of itself.

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I love Timmy's pink hat and pearls...quite a statement.

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Do you mean to tell me that Lara Logan is nuts? Poor Newsmax to be so blindsided by this totally unexpected fact.

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founding

Big thumbs up for Officer Fanone speaking truth to power, or rather, to the ungrateful cowards like McCarthy that Fanone risked his life to protect. A hero in every sense of the word.

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I have maintained for years - since Roger Ailes took over Fox News - that Fox would ultimately lead to the downfall of our republic. Unfortunately it appears that is going to be the case. Facts do not matter. The constant drum beat of lies, blatant racism and now purveying of outright fascism is taking its toll. The America that I grew up in with sane political discourse is long gone and now in large part reflects the Germany of the early 30's - with all that implies. Not all Fox's doing, but in large part they have provided the platform and accelerant at every stage. Of course, Twitter, Facebook, et al have served the same falsehoods and propaganda and are as at fault as Fox. It is interesting that immigrants - the Murdochs - rather than contributing to the betterment of the society that welcomed/accepted them (money does talk and loudly), are the prime movers of our fading into history as a failed experiment. I know that outlook is pessimistic and I hope - truly hope - that I am proven wrong for the sake of my children and grandchildren. Lastly, I once again, as I often do, refer to Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here" written in 1935 and how especially prescient he was. We are on the cusp (or perhaps over it) of what he predicted and it is not a pretty picture.

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I wonder how much the multiple crises and constant drumbeat of lies and threats and violence has just made a silent majority numb, comatose, unable and unwilling to think about where it is leading. Your brain can only take so much before it starts to shut down. Perhaps it is a form of national Stockholm Syndrome that we feel so helpless and won't try to escape.

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I recall a political cartoon during Trump's first election campaign: from inside a large hall the crowd is chanting USA, USA, USA. The sign at the entrance says "check your brain at the door."

Since then, endless 3-syllable slogans, countless lies, opportunistic enablers and apologists, propaganda posing as news, bat-shit crazies like Marjorie Taylor Greene about to become key players in the government: yes, the brain wants to shut down.

But that will be fatal. In 1935 Sinclair Lewis wrote "It Can't Happen Here," a novel about a populist leader who rides to the White House on depression-era discontent, lies, and anti-semitism, then installs a fascist government and suspends civil liberties. But Lewis put the blame on a complacent "sleep walking" populace for literally voting away their democracy. How many Americans will cast their vote on Nov. 8 based on this week's price of gas rather than saving their democracy. Timothy Snyder said it best in On Tyranny: "each election could be the last."

https://neofascism.substack.com/

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Well done, you! Brilliant. I agree. And i doubt the ability of the American voter so i tend toward gloom, fatalism and consequently distraction from the visible oncoming loco-motive.

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Stop giving them a rational or excuses … your brain took just as much as they’re did & didn’t shut down. A big percentage of USA citizens (mind you NOT a majority but a lot) have decided to ignore (or believe) the lies, want the threats & violence and just don’t see the danger or care enough.

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I was educated and lived among thinking, connected people. And I was taught all people are equal in the eyes of God, in religious terms. So i believe in a bedrock principle of equal opportunity (not outcome).

I dont think that holds true for all America anymore, or even 70% of us. I wondered in the 60s what the drug culture long term would produce. I wonder if the long unraveling of a sense of collective culture beyond Me Me Me and identity politics has caught up to the underlying bigotry and jealousy that stirs 40% of the population and always has but was kept in check by those in leadership roles of both parties (who all have outsized influence and power). That check is gone and trump unleashed the worst in the population so that the hatred fueled by fear of the Other fused with the violence of uneducated rootless wastrels. And down we go.

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Rush, et al, predated Fox and proved that there was an avid audience for this. The loyal and ever growing radio audience justified the massive investment in forming a new network. Unfortunately for the country, it paid off.

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founding

I laughed so hard at Chuck's "Tim Miller (he wore a hat)" comment this morning.

I can't even tell you how much remarks like that help me stay sane. Thanks Chuck.

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