Fox’s Minority Report has lost its collective mind. On Monday night, in an episode called “Memento Mori,” MR attempted to blame the Church for thousands of years of scientific and medical darkness.
Previewing last Monday’s episode of FX’s Fargo, set in 1979, I highlighted a promotional clip in which a man declared “I’m not shaking” Ronald Reagan’s hand because Reagan “made a movie with a monkey. It wouldn’t be dignified.” In fact, the November 9 episode presented Reagan as a charismatic figure whose “shining city on a hill” speech, at a campaign stop in Minnesota, moved the man to tears. And, when Reagan later approached the man, he eagerly shook Reagan’s hand.
The war of words between Bill O’Reilly and George Will over the long-term effects on Ronald Reagan of the 1981 assassination attempt amounts to a loose thread that could eventually cause the unraveling of conservatism, argued Sean Illing in a Friday article.
Illing opined that “conservatism, as a governing philosophy, continues to resonate because of Reagan’s perceived success” -- “perceived” being the operative word, since Illing went on to argue that “Reagan’s policies…made government more bloated, more defense-oriented, more oligarchic, and less democratic. Conservatives never reckon with these facts because the ahistorical canonization of Reagan prevents them from doing so.”
It’s often noted that Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, just as Democrats had lost five of six before that. Dems snapped out of it thanks to a Bill Clinton-led tack towards the center, but Michael Tomasky predicts that the GOP will stay to the right in 2016, thereby extending its slump.
After Michael Dukakis’s defeat in 1988, observed Tomasky in a Tuesday piece, Democrats at last could “say to themselves, OK, we’re screwed unless we change. Welfare reform? Free trade?...Whatever, man…The question for the Republicans is, is this 1988 or 1992? I think it’s 1988, because they haven’t yet lost that third one [in a row]. It’s the third one that drives it home. Especially if it’s to you know who.”
A promo run at the end of last week’s Fargo, to plug tonight’s (Nov. 9) new episode on FX, showed Ronald Reagan, in 1979, shaking hands at a campaign stop as a character out of his earshot declared: “I’m not shaking his hand.” Asked why not, the man explained: “Because the man made a movie with a monkey. It wouldn’t be dignified.”
The heyday of patent medicine, medicine shows, and related phenomena has been over for more than a century, right? Yes and no, implied Esquire's Pierce in a Thursday post. While it’s true that (for example) Coca-Cola no longer is sold as a cure for impotence, political snake oil, Pierce asserted, has become the chief product of the Republican party.
Pierce’s peg was Ben Carson’s involvement with Mannatech, but as far as the GOP angle was concerned, “the process began with Ronald Reagan, the greatest patent-medicine salesman of them all. It was he who marketed the economic snake-oil with a wink and a smile…It was he who gulled the country with tales of Sandinistas driving jeeps across the Rio Grande, and dangerous Cuban adventurism in Grenada, while Marines were being slaughtered in their barracks. He was the best show in town.”
Wednesday is the thirty-sixth anniversary of the seizure of the United States embassy in Tehran, Iran. Moreover, it is the thirty-fifth anniversary of what D.R. Tucker calls “one of the great tragedies in American history”: the election of Ronald Reagan as president. (The two events are, of course, related.)
Tucker asserted in a Sunday post that “Reagan’s election nearly destroyed this country” and commented, “Sometimes you have to wonder if the folks who cast their ballot for Reagan…really knew what they were doing. Did they realize what sort of ideology they would inflict upon this country and world over the course of the next thirty-five years? Did they understand that they were, in effect, voting to hold back the hopes and diminish the dreams of their children and grandchildren?”
In the week when a new James Bond film is coming out, it’s fitting that two lefty writers are both shaken and stirred by recent Republican blasts at media bias. In a Sunday article for Salon, Boston College history professor Heather Cox Richardson charged that “since the 1950s, Movement Conservatives have fought the fair examination of their ideas. They embrace a worldview in which a few wealthy men control the economy and dominate society. This idea repels most Americans…Movement Conservatives have gained power only by obfuscating reality. They make war on the media because it sheds daylight on their machinations. Transparency threatens their power.”
Also on Sunday, Washington Monthly blogger David Atkins declared that the MSM are “facing an existential threat” and urged them to not give in: "Republicans [are] increasingly unashamed to tell grandiose lies and respond to any press criticism with derogatory insults and whines about media bias as well as blackmail threats to cancel appearances if the questions are too tough…If the press chooses to assuage and give comfort to the GOP, it will lose what little credibility it has left."
Blackish celebrated Halloween on Wednesday, and they did so in style, with Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) dressing up as the scariest couple I have ever seen in my life.
It’s a tall order for a black politician to become popular with “the de facto largest white identity organization in the United States,” but DeVega argues that Carson has pulled it off by “betray[ing] the Black Freedom Struggle and assault[ing] the truth in all its forms.” (As you probably assumed, “white identity organization” is DeVega’s description of the Republican party.)
In a Salon article, DeVega attacked Carson for his recent remarks likening abortion to slavery: “Ben Carson and the other conservatives who want to limit women’s reproductive rights and control over their own bodies have more in common with the whites who ran the slave labor rape and charnel camps of the American South than they do with Abolitionists such as John Brown, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, David Walker, Sojourner Truth, or William Lloyd Garrison.” (Italics in original.)
Love, love, LOVE when people born in the mid-90’s liken modern day America to now defunct police states like East Germany. I find that the deep, personal, knowledge and insight that they bring about countries that ceased to exist years before they began to exist never fails to spark both awe and wonder.
Not long before Joe Biden announced that he wouldn’t run for president, he drove Esquire's Pierce up a high wall (think the Green Monster) by saying, “I still have a lot of Republican friends. I don't think my chief enemy is the Republican party…I actually like Dick Cheney, for real. I think he's a decent man."
Pierce opined that Biden’s comments on Cheney were disqualifying (“Anyone who thinks Dick Cheney is a decent man does not have the judgment to cut his own meat, let alone lead the Democratic party”) and asserted, “Decent men do not oversee the outing of covert CIA agents. Decent men do not help deceive their country into a war and then walk away with the profits… Dick Cheney is the closest thing that American democracy has produced to a Goering.”