Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Today's Random Comments: from Liberals to Conservatives, from Tennessee to Twitter, plus a little Joan Baez

I'm seeing a lot of good comments lately on the substacks and on Twitter - here's a selection:

First up, here's Scrimshaw on why the NDP and the Liberals need to remain as separate parties:
The left benefits from being able to pitch two visions in two different parts of the country to two different sets of voters. The NDP gets to use their anti-establishment message to win regional cities and towns, and the Liberals get to use the NDP as a rhetorical triangulation point to seem moderate in the suburbs. It’s a relationship that maximizes the left’s vote share, which given the two parties have 50% of the vote and 54% of the seats, is a win.
A merger is an unserious proposition that even on political terms would fail, ignoring all the policy ramifications and the political fallout of a party that would be at war over internal control at the start.
Moving on to the US:
Atrios comments on the liberal tendency to try to find so-called "reasonable conservatives":
A mystery to me is why so many liberals are desperate for there to be good conservatives, and often became very angry if you inform them that their favorite good conservative it not, in fact, good.
Here is Jonah Goldberg, at The Dispatch, about today's young conservatives:
With no other frame of reference, young conservatives are starting to think it’s normal to be jerks.
...Because they have no frame of reference, no meaningful political experience or memory of politics prior to this shabby era, they think being shabby is normal and smart. Last week, the New York Republican Club issued a moronic and monstrous statement in solidarity with Donald Trump. In response to my criticism these domestic birds of prey behaved monstrously and moronically. (I won’t link to it because attention is the currency they covet.) I’ve since learned that the D.C. chapter of the Young Republicans is equally asinine, embracing the goons and dupes who stormed the Capitol as martyrs and political prisoners.
Indeed, they’ve literally ditched the Republican elephant in favor of a silhouette of Donald Trump.
I don’t call attention to this because I think they are somehow worthy intellectual adversaries or anything like that. Rather, I call attention to it because it’s evidence that the corruption of conservatism isn’t just bad for conservatism—which it obviously is—but because it’s bad for these kids. Surrounding yourself with people who think it’s a sign of courage and strength to be coarse or bigoted is how you become coarse and bigoted.
Greg Sargent at the Washington Post writes about the Tennessee Three:
...this hysterical GOP overreaction was triggered, as it were, by mass citizen dissent over the ugly realities of right-wing rule. Before the shooting, Tennessee Republicans had been weakening gun laws every which way. After it, one Republican went viral for declaring that “we’re not going to fix” the problem, which for many protesters typified GOP pro-gun mania and helped inspire their response to it.
Those legislatures are also finding onerous ways to use power to tamp down on the unexpectedly ferocious dissent their culture war has unleashed among numerical minorities, largely concentrated in cities and suburbs inside red states. As analyst Ron Brownstein argues, this often pits an overwhelmingly White, older, rural and small-town Republican coalition against an increasingly diverse, younger and more urban coalition.
“These Republican legislatures are stacking sandbags against a rising tide,” Brownstein told CNN. Call it the GOP retreat into Fortress MAGA.
All of this mirrors a larger story. Red states are sinking deeper into virulent far-right culture-warring — banning books, limiting classroom discussion of race and gender and prohibiting gender-affirming care for transgender youth. GOP legislatures passing these things were of course legitimately elected by majorities, though in some cases gerrymanders increase their power.
Turning to the latest Twitter news, Brian Feldman writes In a way, this is how it should be, about Elon Musk and about why his attempts at twitter tweaks are just making such a mess now:
Here's my fuzzy understanding of where things are at: everyone thought Twitter was going to vanish instantly shortly after half the company got laid off, but what's actually been happening is it's kinda like the site's brakes got cut and it's just coasting along trying not to run anyone over....
My current theory of Musk is that he's a guy who did a lot of coding many, many years ago and it made him very rich and confident, and so nobody who still works at Twitter has the energy to correct him when assumes, "If we go into the tag and change twitterbird.png to doge.png, we'll have ourselves an epic prank." ...
....But that's not really how it works anymore. The way the web works now is: You have to compile your Node.js bundles into the dockerized Kubernetes, and once the Redis caches are asynchronously flooberized into your AWS Red Hat instances with optimized SQL queries, you can start distributing JWTs, interpolating string literals, and distributing content over CDNs with performative grombulations at 10x, assuming you've A/B tested correctly and the user doesn't have AdBlock enabled. This ever-growing heap is why software engineers are paid $1,000,000 per annum and get 180 days of vacation (with rollover).
Fundamentally, I think people are mad and freaking out about this because they have spent the last decade slowly ceding all of their creative power and infrastructure to some other guy. Everything's moved a layer or two up in terms of abstraction. Whereas a web user could once change an tag, and font size, and page layout, and what happens when you click a button, they can now only get the instant gratification of changing the web by updating their profile pic on someone else's thing. Makes you think.


Cap said...

So Jonah Goldberg, failson of author Lucianne Goldberg who advised Linda Tripp to tape her conversations with Monica Lewinsky, is complaining that kids these days have no respect for their conservative elders? Would that be the same Jonah Goldberg whose main contribution to the nation's political discourse was a bestseller called "Liberal Fascism" that said Nazi stands for National Socialist, and liberals are socialists, so liberals are fascists? Look, Jonah, you shit the bed, now lie in it.

Trailblazer said...

Yes, the Liberals and the NDP need to be separate.
It's the closest Canada will ever be to promotional representation.


Cathie from Canada said...

Hi Cap - yes, I couldn't remember Goldberg's history but it rings a bell now. Seems somewhat hilarious that he's now complaining about how rude those young guys are...
And thanks TB, I think Scrimshaw would agree too!