Esquire magazine's resident Chekist, Matt Miller, whose official job title is Associate Culture Editor, is now engaged in a culture war against celebrities whose high crime is that they haven't joined in the liberal hate fest against Donald Trump by openly denouncing him. Not only does he condemn them generally but Miller goes so far as to list their names along with their social media following. It doesn't matter if these celebrities are silent even though they really support Hillary or they are just apolitical or if they secretly support Trump but don't want to alienate a portion of their fan base. To Miller it is an outright Thought Crime if they don't loudly become as openly psychotic over Trump as he is.
President Obama spent a fairly large chunk of his Thursday speech in Columbus, Ohio needling conservatives and Republicans, alleging, among other things, that GOPers have “been feeding their base all kinds of crazy for years.” Esquire’s Pierce called it the speech he’d “been waiting for someone to give ever since Donald Trump became the Republican nominee” and gushed, “There were no words minced and no quarter given. By the time [Obama] left the stage, there was no ass he aimed for that went unkicked.” Republicans, Pierce charged, “have become a chronic danger to American democratic government and it's time for a serious intervention.”
Commentators on the right gave Mike Pence high marks for his showing in the vice-presidential debate, largely because he, unlike Donald Trump, articulates straight-no-chaser conservatism. To Pierce, however, the ideological divide between Pence and Trump is about as wide as a crack in the sidewalk. In a Wednesday post, Pierce predicted that even though Trump represents the “obvious culmination” of movement conservatism, Republicans will instead treat him as “an aberration,” and that in the VP debate, “Pence gave us a vivid peek at how” GOPers will reorient themselves after the election (“this is where the talk radio, Fox News base is going to go”).
Bill Clinton has told the truth. I repeat. Bill Clinton has told the truth. And it this case it was a truth about Obamacare which is sure to make liberals very uncomfortable. So how can they explain it away? Simple. By claiming that Bill Clinton has lost his political abilities.
Such was the argument of Esquire politics writer, Charles Pierce, who claims that Bill Clinton has lost his political chops much in the same way that Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Steve Blass lost his ability to pitch:
To borrow the title of a Clint Eastwood movie, liberals are having trouble with the curve -- specifically, the curve which they claim the media are using to grade Donald Trump. President Obama and Paul Krugman are among those who’ve raised that objection. Esquire blogger Pierce agrees with them, but he also asserted in a Sunday post that the media’s supposedly lenient treatment of Trump is “nothing new…Hell, we've been grading Republicans on a curve for decades. We graded Reagan on a curve when he burbled about trees and air pollution…We graded [George W. Bush] on a curve for the whole 2000 campaign when he didn't know Utah from Uzbekistan, but Al Gore knew too much stuff and what fun was he, anyway? We graded Republicans on a curve when they attached themselves to the remnants of American apartheid.”
Plenty of journalists saw Hillary Clinton’s Thursday speech on Donald Trump and white nationalists as an attempt to further separate the GOP nominee from Republicans who aren’t #NeverTrump but are leery of voting for him. Kevin Drum of Mother Jones “propose[d] a different explanation”: that Hillary “was giving the press permission to talk about Donald Trump's racism." But Esquire’s Charles Pierce has no confidence that pundits and reporters will deal properly with the racism issue. The media, Pierce says, have "normalized [the] candidate" who "normalized hate groups."
During a recent interview with Clint Eastwood -- and his son, Scott -- on the Esquire magazine's website, the popular actor and director criticized the current atmosphere of political correctness, telling writer Michael Hainey that when he was growing up, people could say a lot more and not be called a racist.
When the Cable News Network decided to discuss that topic, one of the panelists chosen to take part was Graham Beckel, an actor and the brother of liberal CNN pundit Bob Beckel, and the person who dominated the discussion by asserting such notions as the concept that Eastwood “transcends political correctness” and people should “just get over it.”
The Republican Party needs to be soundly thrashed, or maybe even euthanized, believes Esquire’s Pierce, who wrote in a Friday post that “it long has been the duty of the Democratic Party to the nation to beat the crazy out of the Republican Party until it no longer behaves like a lunatic asylum. The opportunity to do this…never has been as wide and gleaming as it is right now." In Pierce’s view, Donald Trump took advantage of an ideologically intoxicated GOP: "Modern conservatism has proven to be not a philosophy, but a huge dose of badly manufactured absinthe. It squats in an intellectual hovel now, waiting for its next fix, while a public madman filches its tattered banner and runs around wiping his ass with it…Trump doesn't need an intervention. His party does."
They’re calling it the feel-good romantic hit of the summer, or at least of the Democratic convention. Bill Clinton’s long, granular tribute to Hillary Rodham Clinton had several liberal pundits swooning. Dahlia Lithwick of Slate wrote that it was during this speech that “for the first time…most of us met” Hillary, whom “we have all been following and misunderstanding and cartooning for decades now.” Rebecca Traister of New York magazine gave Bill big props for reminiscing about how Hillary turned him on: "One of the roadblocks for women is objectification and sexualization, but when it comes to Hillary Clinton, whose ambition and brains have long rendered her bloodless in the American imagination, hearing her described as an object of desire could feel corrective and bizarrely just. So he did it."
There’s the entertaining kind of irascible old guy (e.g., Grampa Simpson) and there’s the scary kind, which several liberal pundits thought they beheld Monday night as they watched Rudy Giuliani speak at the Republican convention. Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall remarked that “ever since the late and great Molly Ivins quipped that she thought Pat Buchanan's speech at the 1992 GOP convention sounded better in the original German it's been sort of a parlor trick to compare a 'hot' Republican speech to one from this or that fascist dictator. But this speech was really febrile and unhinged." Fred Kaplan of Slate claimed that Giuliani “spew[ed]…rank nonsense” and “delved into the shallowest realm of Trump’s attack on Obama’s (or Obama-Clinton’s) counterterrorism policies—the refusal to call our enemy by their name."
Much like Phil Mickelson took a big early lead in the British Open, Esquire’s Charles Pierce has taken a big rhetorical-excess lead in early blogging about Donald Trump’s VP pick, Indiana governor Mike Pence, calling him a “very strange and completely unreconstructed wingnut” whose paper trail contains “a rich deposit of sweet crude crazy.” Kevin Drum of Mother Jones described Pence as "not especially bright or quick on his feet, which means he might have trouble defending Trump's frequent idiocies and backflips. It should be fun to watch him squirm.”
Plenty of liberals who detest Donald Trump nonetheless thought Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recent blasts at Trump were “ill-advised,” as Ginsburg herself eventually admitted they were. Some left-wingers, however, were down with RBG and believed that it was ridiculous to criticize her for getting political. Daily Kos writer Armando asserted that the SCOTUS “has acted politically through out [sic] its history, and particularly since the conservative Republican branch of the Court gained ascendancy in the last 30 years." Esquire’s Charles Pierce commented, "We are now at the end of a 30-year process in which a well-financed conservative infrastructure restructured the federal court system from top to bottom, seeding it with reliable judges who supported dubious interpretations of laws…[Ginsburg has] seen what's happened to the courts first-hand, and she is right to warn us that a Trump administration is just as likely to put the gardener at Mar-A-Lago on the bench as not."