It’s early December, a Saturday, and it’s been raining all day here in the Bay Area, another cold rain like the storm two days ago. We need the rain; we’re still behind average rainfall for the season. Still, the rain lasting throughout the entire day is unusual here. In California rainstorms last a few hours, typically, and recently in the Bay Area they’ve begun early morning and cleared by early afternoon. Not today.
This has disrupted my walking schedule, which I’ve been doing much better at in the past couple months than before. With a goal of 5000 steps a day set on my iPhone, I’ve achieved my goal for over three weeks currently, even though a couple times they were done by walking around the house, back and forth and around and around, while watching Jeopardy or the news. Today? Well…
I finished reading Stephen Baxter’s lengthy novel THE THOUSAND EARTHS today, a book with immense scope and great insight. Definitely recommended. A grand, Stapledonian novel, of humanity’s future, across a trillion years. Though I have quibbles. I’ll do a group review of the several 2022 science fiction novels I’ve read so far this year, including this one, by the end of the month.
Current Affairs. Aka Politics.
Washington Post, David Von Drehle, 2 Dec 2022: Opinion | The GOP is stuck in a doom loop begun 30 years ago
One cannot be surprised to find the Republican Party adrift. This is what happens to ships boarded by pirates, plundered and set aflame on the high seas.
From Buchanan to Gingrich to Trump, the drivers of the Republican Party have pushed relentlessly toward anger, accusation, isolationism, pessimism and paranoia. In the guise of battling the left, they wage their most effective warfare against their fellow Republicans. Having purged proponents of the overwhelmingly popular ideas of the 1970s and 1980s — strong alliances and free markets, individual freedom and personal responsibility, the rule of law, faith in the future — they offer nothing positive. Literally: In 2020, the GOP did not offer any platform.
Trump’s supper with a Holocaust denier brings Buchanan’s assault on the GOP to its dismal conclusion — at a hateful dead end. Individual Republicans will continue to win races, if only because the Democrats have their own self-destructive elements. But the party will not be popular as long as the dark side’s in charge.
NY Times, Danté Stewart guest opinion, 2 Dec 2022: What White Voters See in Herschel Walker
To be a victim of injustice hurts hard. To be a victim of indifference hurts deeper and longer. And that is what is most gutting about the U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia between Herschel Walker and Senator Raphael Warnock.
How the hell did we get here? I grieve the fact that someone like Mr. Walker actually has a chance at a runoff against the incumbent Senator Warnock. What does it cost us as Black people to see this play out publicly? What does it cost this country?
Mr. Walker is part of a long tradition of Black people willing to distance themselves from the humanity and dreams of their community in exchange for white praise and white power. Black people betraying Black people has a legacy stretching from the plantation to today. Mr. Walker has willingly, as he did in the N.F.L., taken the handoff from the likes of Mr. Trump, Ron DeSantis and Lindsey Graham, shucked and juked and jived over Black people’s real needs, just to hit the end zone and win at the white man’s game.
Facebook exchange about the Georgia senate run-off election that echoes Andy Borowitz’ book:
Gregory Feeley: A theory: Someone decided that white Georgia Republicans will only support a Black candidate they can feel superior to.
Darrell Schweitzer: I have a hunch that this also applies to female candidates. Hence Lauren Bobert, Sarah Palin, Marjorie Taylor Greene. They find smart, tough women (like Hilary Clinton) terrifying, even as they are terrified of a smart, articulate black man like Barack Obama.
They discovered the appeal of stupid with Dan Quayle, but he wasn’t nearly extreme enough. With Sarah Palin, they found the right combination.
Going back a couple weeks, several items noted here without (almost) comments.
Salon, Amanda Marcotte, 22 Nov 2022: It’s not just Trump: Midterms show the religious right is an albatross around the GOP’s neck, subtitled “Republicans went hard with anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and abortion bans in 2022. Even their own voters don’t like it.”
Joe.My.God, 21 Nov 2022: Pompeo: The Most Dangerous Person In The World Is The Head Of American Federation Of Teachers Union (Comment: education is the problem! A common conservative complaint.)
Slate, Alejandra Caraballo, 21 Nov 2022: The Texas Legislature Is Preparing an All-Out War on Trans People’s Existence
NY Times, David French guest essay, 21 Nov 2022: The Pro-Life Movement Made a Bargain With Trump, and It Has Paid Dearly
The midterms were hard for pro-life Americans. In every state where abortion referendums were on the ballot, the abortion-rights side prevailed, even in red states such as Kentucky and Montana and a swing state, Michigan. The overturning of Roe v. Wade helped keep the Senate blue. It almost stopped the Republican Party from taking the House. Exit polls indicate that abortion was just behind inflation as the most important issue for voters — and 76 percent of those who made abortion their top issue chose Democrats.