Patterico's Pontifications

10/20/2017

Kevin Williamson on the Perils of Celebrating the White Underclass

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:19 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Up until now I have adhered to a policy of not blogging about President Donald J. Trump. In fact, I believe this is only the second time I have typed out his name (I have been willing to use it when pasting in a blockquote), with the other time being somewhat by accident. We know that he is a lightning rod for fierce argument here, as he is throughout our entire country and, indeed, planet. I did not vote for him (I voted for Evan McMullin which I have frankly come to regret), though I have family and friends who either gladly voted for him or who held their noses and pulled the lever for Trump, and I have family and friends who absolutely loathe the man and want him out of the White House post haste. So, with all that out of the way, I am going to cautiously dip my toe into the pool.

Kevin Williamson at National Review Online is one of the conservative media’s best known and most emphatic Never Trumpers. As such, I realize that many on the right have disdain for him. I confess that I greatly admire his writing, which I think stylistically is always engaging, mordantly witty, and consistently forceful and direct. As an opinion columnist he has, well, opinions and he is not shy about sharing and vigorously defending them. Even when I don’t agree with him or I think he is trying to stretch a single into a triple, I respect him as a virtuoso in his craft.

So I was thus struck by Mr. Williamson’s column today in which he locks all torpedos upon the dysfunction and self-defeating behavior of the white underclass, from which he himself escaped. To begin with, he is careful to differentiate the white underclass from the white working class:

White people acting white have embraced the ethic of the white underclass, which is distinct from the white working class, which has the distinguishing feature of regular gainful employment. The manners of the white underclass are Trump’s — vulgar, aggressive, boastful, selfish, promiscuous, consumerist. The white working class has a very different ethic. Its members are, in the main, churchgoing, financially prudent, and married, and their manners are formal to the point of icy politeness. You’ll recognize the style if you’ve ever been around it: It’s “Yes, sir” and “No, ma’am,” but it is the formality of soldiers and police officers — correct and polite, but not in the least bit deferential. It is a formality adopted not to acknowledge the superiority of social betters but to assert the equality of the speaker — equal to any person or situation, perfectly republican manners. It is the general social respect rooted in genuine self-respect. [emphasis in original]

That’s a pretty nice encapsulation of the difference between the two. I grew up in a town where there was a large working class, both white and Latino, and the habits that Williamson describes provide a clear dividing point between those who remained in the working class and those who slipped into the underclass. My own background is middle class, but I recall that my father always treated men and women of the working class with respect and dignity, believing that anyone who provides food and shelter for their family is worthy of it. Mr. Williamson then contrasts the mores of the white working class with the anti-elite populism seen in the modern right:

Its opposite is the sneering, leveling, drag-’em-all-down-into-the-mud anti-“elitism” of contemporary right-wing populism. Self-respect says: “I’m an American citizen, and I can walk into any room, talk to any president, prince, or potentate, because I can rise to any occasion.” Populist anti-elitism says the opposite: “I can be rude enough and denigrating enough to drag anybody down to my level.” Trump’s rhetoric — ridiculous and demeaning schoolyard nicknames, boasting about money, etc. — has always been about reducing. Trump doesn’t have the intellectual capacity to duke it out with even the modest wits at the New York Times, hence it’s “the failing New York Times.” Never mind that the New York Times isn’t actually failing and that any number of Trump-related businesses have failed so thoroughly that they’ve gone into bankruptcy; the truth doesn’t matter to the argument any more than it matters whether the fifth-grade bully actually has an actionable claim on some poor kid’s lunch money. It would never even occur to the low-minded to identify with anybody other than the bully. That’s what all that ridiculous stuff about “winning” was all about in the campaign. It is might-makes-right, i.e., the politics of chimpanzee troupes, prison yards, kindergartens, and other primitive environments. That is where the underclass ethic thrives — and how “smart people” came to be a term of abuse.

I confess that I am often guilty of this anti-elitism myself, but here I think Mr. Williamson gives short shrift the damage that our largely self-appointed elite — the kind of people who view themselves as the modern heirs to Ward McAllister’s “The Four Hundred” — has done to our society, especially over the last quarter century. From convoluted and ineffective social programs to misadventures overseas to a relentless undermining of the bourgeois middle-class values upon which this country was built, the academic/media/bureaucratic/political/entertainment elite of this country has had a considerably negative impact over that period. But putting that aside, I think there is a great deal of truth to the analogy of President Trump to the fifth-grade bully. The white underclass, of course, usually sees itself as the victim of the bully — the bully being all of those intellectuals and bureaucrats who fail to appreciate the needs and (more accurately) wants of that community. President Trump’s supporters of all social classes understandably think of their guy as being the one to finally stand up to the bully and punch back, and they expect that the bully will now slink away and stop bothering us, just like our dads promised us they would. But of course what we seem to have instead is just an old-fashioned donnybrook in which both sides are punching away at each other, and it would appear that the brawl won’t end until one side is knocked out.

There’s a reason beyond grandstanding politicians and petty score-settling for why we can’t get an Obamacare repeal or serious entitlement reform: it’s because so much of the white underclass (and, let’s be honest, a significant portion of the white working and middle classes) loves government programs whose benefits vastly exceed whatever little they pay in federal taxes. GOP politicians understand this and realize that reforming these costly programs will prove to be unpopular, and they are aided by an incurious and unserious (at least policy-wise) President who inexplicably promises an even more lavish entitlement. Something for nothing has always been a popular political platform and it is not limited to progressives. It’s why, as our host reminded us this morning, the ostensibly conservative party is incapable of coming up with a reasonable budget. There has always been an element of annoying hucksterism within the Republican Party, but this seems to be the moment where it has completely taken over the party. More from Mr. Williamson:

The populist Right’s abandonment of principle has been accompanied by a repudiation of good taste, achievement, education, refinement, and manners — all of which are abominated as signs of effete “elitism.” During the Clinton years, Virtue Inc. was the top-performing share in the Republican political stock exchange. Fortunes were made, books were sold by the ton, and homilies were delivered. The same people today are celebrating Donald Trump — not in spite of his being a dishonest, crude serial adulterer but because of it. His dishonesty, the quondam cardinals of Virtue Inc. assure us, is simply the mark of a savvy businessman, his vulgarity the badge of his genuineness and lack of “political correctness,” and his pitiless abuse of his several wives and children the mark of a genuine “alpha male.” No less a virtue entrepreneur than Bill Bennett dismissed those who pointed out Trump’s endless lies and habitual betrayals as suffering from “moral superiority,” from people on “high horses,” and said that Trump simply is “a guy who says some things awkwardly, indecorously, infelicitously.”

Thus did the author of The Book of Virtues embrace the author of “Grab ’Em By the P***y.”

I know many of you are tired of our harping on the crass vulgarity of the President. It’s like continually pointing out the zit on the homecoming queen’s forehead: yes it’s ugly, but you would much rather focus on the more attractive parts of her. He’s not the first, nor will he be the last, loutish buffoon to occupy the Oval Office. But for as much as we rightfully blame Bill Clinton for inuring us to the tawdriness of the President being orally serviced by a college-aged intern, we owe it to ourselves not to get comfortable with Donald Trump’s crude insults and boorish behavior. Nor should we celebrate or defend the destructive behavior of some of his most dysfunctional supporters. The glamorization and mainstreaming of ghetto culture hasn’t worked out too well for the black community; let’s not repeat that mistake by celebrating the white underclass.

Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.

– JVW

242 Responses to “Kevin Williamson on the Perils of Celebrating the White Underclass”

  1. Open the floodgates, Pa.

    JVW (42615e)

  2. I forgot the requisite “read the whole article,” but I encourage you to do so. Especially interesting is Mr. Williamson’s mention of his own upbringing. If you hate the article and hate this post, read the comments at NRO to see that you have lots of company.

    JVW (42615e)

  3. The whole reason harvardtrash are called harvardtrash is cause they don’t add value.

    And their track record in this is better-documented than are the contributions or lack of same of any other demographic group in America.

    They gave us that $20 trillion debt, the silly monstrous Bush wars that wantonly killed and are still killing so many of our young people (of all ethnicities.) They gave us bedbugs for christ on a cracker’s sake.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  4. oh c’mon swidt

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  5. Well, this is wonderful JVW. Thank you. You are much more perceptive than I thought. All Trumpers should read this.
    There are issues with our government, and always have been. But this jackassery is no way go about resolving them.

    If Trump keeps it up, both the left and the *real* republicans will team up against him and throw him out of office. Well, we can hope…

    Tillman (a95660)

  6. I voted for Trump. Voting for him was the hardest electoral decision I ever made. I still wonder if I did the right thing.

    My buddy called me soon after Gorsuch was added to the Supreme Court. He said that his decision to vote for Trump was justified by the Gorsuch pick alone, even if Trump accomplished nothing else. I tended to agree with my friend at the time, but now I’m not so sure.

    I know one thing for sure. I’m not proud to have Trump as my President. He was the worst of all the candidates seeking the Republican nomination.

    A moral populace, and the ability to disagree in a civil manner, are the bedrocks of a thriving republic. Trump undermines both of these elements.

    norcal (2adf03)

  7. I think Mr. Williamson gives short shrift the damage that our largely self-appointed elite — the kind of people who view themselves as the modern heirs to Ward McAllister’s “The Four Hundred” — has done to our society, especially over the last quarter century. From convoluted and ineffective social programs to misadventures overseas to a relentless undermining of the bourgeois middle-class values upon which this country was built, the academic/media/bureaucratic/political/entertainment elite of this country has had a considerably negative impact over that period.

    Until the elite comes back down to earth and realizes that they, too, owe a great deal to America and its values, you are going to have to deal with the grievances of these marginal workers. They can only thrive in a culture that includes and protects them, and for the last 20 years there has been no thought to them, unless it is “how can I not employ these folks.”

    As much as I dislike the classlessness of Trump’s crowd, I also know that these were people that in my youth were included as contributing members of society. High-school graduates, if that, maybe good with their hands or able to wait tables, supervise parking lots or stock stores. And they’ve been replaced by immigrants, illegal immigrants and machines.

    Why? Because those elites look to the bottom line and see right past the people working for them. It is, I guess, a form of the Prisoner’s Dilemma — each of those employers would argue they’d lvoe to employ elevator operators, but they have to be competitive.

    This is a problem that will only get worse as more and more unskilled, then semi-skilled, then skilled labor is taken by machines. There’s a computer now that can beat any human at Go.

    Now, Trump is just a symptom, a reaction by frustrated folks. He us unlikely to see or solve any of today’s problems. But someone has to or there will be more Trumps until it breaks.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  8. Williamson can’t see the forest for the trees. Trump is not the problem, he’s a symptom.

    The entire world is more coarse, elites included.

    To blame Trump is to ignore the decades of rot inside the Republican party. They needed both sides of the Congress to undue Obamacare, then they needed both sides and a President…..then…oh yeah go f**k yourselves people who have voted for us for decades. What? you’re holding us accountable? You uncouth rubes! YOU’RE the problem!!

    Anyone who thinks ousting Trump will change the level of the swamp is dreaming. The elites are scared and so they seek to divide and stir up the base……I would yawn if it wasn’t so destructive.

    harkin (10a18c)

  9. decades of rot yes yes

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  10. This Williamson?

    https://www.nationalreview.com/nrd/articles/432569/father-f-hrer

    No thanks. He can take his bigotry elsewhere.

    Just replace the word white everyone you see it in his post with another race. You know the rest.

    NJRob (336bc4)

  11. Everywhere*

    NJRob (336bc4)

  12. Do conservative thinkers run away from the term intellectual in a manner similar to those who pretend Trump isn’t the fulfillment of what the Republican Party has become post Goldwater?

    Who or whom would you credit with that demise? Tea Party? Voters? Certainly not yourselves…

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  13. Williamson describes the characteristic misbehavior of Democrat constituencies, then disingenuously declines to pin the tail on the donkey.

    It’s the old switcheroo: denounce the unwashed and their uncivilized, boorish and transparently selfish behavior, then pretend that’s how Trump and his supporters comport themselves.

    Williamson insults the intelligence of his readers with cheap shots and misdirection, the goto tools of propagandists and guttersnipes.

    And, Williamson knows better, but can’t help showing his red rear end to all those dumb rubes in the White Underclass he dispises so much, but who have no idea who he is and won’t ever care what he thinks.

    BTW, Honey, while you’re up, get me a cold beer and a meatloaf sammich. Will ya?

    ropelight (bbe920)

  14. Greetings:

    One of my father’s bits of wisdom (and he was a cement truck driver in New York City’s construction industry) went like this, “It’s not the kind of neighborhood where you see menfolk during the workday.” Empty-barrel racist, I know, but it makes its point.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  15. It’s just nuts to compare Trump to people who don’t work. Trump worked very hard, for a very long time, and very successfully. He working at an age when many others (such as moi) chose to stop working and take it easy.

    David in Cal (2b55d5)

  16. Thoughtful post. Thanks, JVW. This x100:

    There’s a reason beyond grandstanding politicians and petty score-settling for why we can’t get an Obamacare repeal or serious entitlement reform: it’s because so much of the white underclass (and, let’s be honest, a significant portion of the white working and middle classes) loves government programs whose benefits vastly exceed whatever little they pay in federal taxes. GOP politicians understand this and realize that reforming these costly programs will prove to be unpopular, and they are aided by an incurious and unserious (at least policy-wise) President who inexplicably promises an even more lavish entitlement. Something for nothing has always been a popular political platform and it is not limited to progressives. It’s why, as our host reminded us this morning, the ostensibly conservative party is incapable of coming up with a reasonable budget. There has always been an element of annoying hucksterism within the Republican Party, but this seems to be the moment where it has completely taken over the party.

    Dana (023079)

  17. #10 What “bigotry”? I’m guess you are referring to this part: “The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die.” He said nothing that any person should die, but that the communities should die, that the people living there should get out and go somewhere else and escape the place (as he had) rather than continue living on government handouts moaning how unfair life is (sounds familiar?). If you are referring to the title of the article, my understanding is that it’s some editor that usually comes up with these titles. It’s possible you are one of those people who willfully distort the meaning of someone else’s words so you have something to be butthurt about, not unlike so many SJWs.

    dlm (a4eb00)

  18. And this is why these so called experts are nit listened too, galena zitos piece about the impact of the first wave of steel mill closing in 1977, was more insightful, so what is the answer
    when even white collar professionals are being undermined by h1b visas, restoring some jobs in the mineral extraction fields, which wet targeted by the last administration, moves the needle somewhat

    narciso (d1f714)

  19. John McCain straight out the cage understood other people’s money was the kind what spent best so he started playing the field and soon divorced his gimped-up wife for a wealthy but dim beer wench

    this is your white overclass for you

    it’s pretty classy

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  20. Nah, I prefer Senator Byrd. What kind of white (fillintheblank)s did he say he had known lots of? Come on, like it’s a real big secret that Trump’s base is what would have been Wallace Democrats 50 years ago.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. Now this problem is nit unique to the states, there the city midlands dynamic in the UK, which mirrors the remainder/ brexut, a similar dynamic between the coast and the interior of France, same as in germany, particularly in the east, where the alternative chipped at the csu, a bigger welfare state is nit the answer.

    narciso (d1f714)

  22. a robust republicanism then

    but John McCain does love his yummy healthcare welfare so

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  23. The new York times operates on a stipend from your friendly neighborhood oligarch, why I’ve shirt handed a Carlos slims, which leads to painful bouts of ventriloquism.

    narciso (d1f714)

  24. When they have figured that out, which is why theresa may seems destined to turn the country to a full fledged trotskyite in corbyn, conversely the jupiterian macron is plymetting to earth, the part of democracy is losing out to the five star movement.

    narciso (d1f714)

  25. Williamson , who I used to like and bought a book of his, has made despicable comments about the people he came from.

    I don;lt think I could justify the time to read anything longer than he address.

    He is in the same zoo as Bill Kristol as far as I am concerned.

    Mike K (b3dd19)

  26. It dies seem an exceedingly shallow and insulting column, what is a lavish entitlement a health care plan that you don’t have to sell the house to use.

    narciso (d1f714)

  27. does Bill Kristol’s deeply racist wife get her own exhibit

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  28. Capitol residents with a few exceptions live in their own bubble. Speaking of the fact that northam memoryholed his own African American running in promotional literature?

    narciso (d1f714)

  29. I like white undershirts. The only kind I wear. Short-sleeve, not dago or wife-beater, and I prefer crew neck even with an open collar. White lets me use chlorine bleach in the laundry for extra sanitation.

    nk (dbc370)

  30. yes

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  31. Trump’s base is composed of those smart enough to spot a real champion in their corner and back him all the way to the White House. Those who’re fed up with two-faced GOPe empty suits who say anything to get elected and then suddenly get amnesia once safely inside the beltway.

    Or, perhaps you missed all those campaign rallies with tens of thousands of highly motivated and wildly enthusiastic voters who ignored the deceitful media, Democrat smears, GOP leaders, and the idiot fantasies of NeverTrumpers (some quite prominent right here).

    So, now Trump’s supporters are obviously nothing but low-brow white trash because they won’t kowtow to the dictates of their highly educated and classy betters. You know, the ones looking down their noses at you while they pick your pocket.

    These elites are the ones who preach the virtues of free and fair elections, the rule of law, and representative government – very high minded – right up to the point voters actually pick a leader Big Brother can’t control.

    Suddenly, democracy is a dirty word, how dare those White Trash ingrates vote against “their own interests.” (Interests as defined by our social and intellectual betters, don’t ya know.)

    You can always tell just how classy our marxist betters are by how cleverly they promote class divisions between regularly employed white workers and those trashy bible thumping, gun clinging, deplorables, you know, the ones who voted Trump for President.

    ropelight (bbe920)

  32. You know what’s emblematic of the white underclass? Baseball. All these guys, they lounge around on a bench or loiter out on the grass. Once in a while they scratch themselves. Then they spit. Then they scratch themselves again. If a ball comes their way, they try to catch it or hit it with a stick. On occasion, one or more will sprint 90 feet, mostly for no apparent reason — boredom will get to anybody I suppose. They do this for maybe three hours, then they go home thinking they’ve put in a day’s work.

    nk (dbc370)

  33. baseball’s at least something quite like a genuine meritocracy

    perhaps these silly generals should study the sport

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  34. It’s about time that conservatives start pointing out that the disgusting white trash act no better than there own stereotypes about anyone else. They are the ones asserting out on heroin and mixing from productive people. Any immigrant is worth 100 of these junkie animals

    Libarbarian (0ce447)

  35. perhaps if you were to point this out for us, we might carry the torch so to speak

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  36. Of your kids or grandkids ate on opioids is is YOUR FAULT. We should take away the right to vote from anyone with junkie offspring. They want to make America great again but can’t keep their own blood of junk. Disgusting

    Libarbarian (0ce447)

  37. @32. While the elite nibble on shrimp ocktail watching from multi-million dollar skyboxes and rifraff sit outside in $200 seats drinking $15 beers.

    Multi-millionaires swinging their bats and playing with their balls it quite Trumpian.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  38. Oh look, a new lefty troll pretending to be something else.

    Anyone recognize the style yet?

    NJRob (336bc4)

  39. I agree, in general, with the critics. I’ve known a fair number of good old boys. Crude rude no aversion to spiritous liquors and easy women sometimes bigoted sometimes not immune to saying scr*w work I need to stay home and watch football. But when needed, work their coccyx off, superpolite to everyone, and the most loyal friends imaginable. What Williamson calls underclass are really the same people as those he calls working class.

    They voted for Trump out of frustration.
    Woe to us when they realize Trump is not going to do a d*mn thing to actually help them.

    kishnevi (4a5f25)

  40. No argument, but what kind of work ethic do those baseball players instill in our impressionable youths just a nickel bag away from being opioid junkies, is what worries me.

    nk (dbc370)

  41. What Williamson calls underclass are really the same people as those he calls working class.

    YES!

    nk (dbc370)

  42. Actually the people who best exemplify what Williamson calls working class are Latino immigrants.

    kishnevi (4a5f25)

  43. Relentless Moral Crusader Is Relentless Gambler, Too

    William J. Bennett, author of ”The Book of Virtues” and one of the nation’s most relentless moral crusaders, is a high-rolling gambler who has lost more than $8 million at casinos in the last decade, according to online reports from two magazines.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/03/us/relentless-moral-crusader-is-relentless-gambler-too.html

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  44. I liked Reagan, but Bill Bennet (that’s the first drug czar, right?), even his own bother, Bob, did not want to be identified with him. “I have enough problems”, is the way he (Bob) put it to an interviewer.

    nk (dbc370)

  45. I grew up in Lubbock, the same town Williamson is from and the town he talks about in his columns. I am older so we don’t know the same people, but I “know” all the people he describes. They are real people and his descriptions are accurate.

    For years, I would have thought what Williamson seems to think — that there are people like this everywhere. I don’t think that anymore. In fact, I think the people he describes are primarily in the Texas Panhandle and West Texas, but maybe not East Texas or South Texas (let alone people from other states and regions). We Americans aren’t alike anymore, if we ever were.

    DRJ (0280d9)

  46. Too elitest to be a lefty. I just hate trash and refuse to cut some slack just because they share my skin color. Humans have self control. Those who lack it are animals

    Libarbarian (0ce447)

  47. Yes getting all the white collar within a 100 square miles poses a problem, the rot had begun to set in the 80s when kirktrick and schlafly were barred from college campi, but it turned viral and younhave for example at random Dana milbank who would make elihu Yale, reconsider the while project.

    Deinstruliazation, really is the ultimate underwear gnomes project, did they consider the middle step,
    What happened to a city like Detroit where its raisob D’ re was gone, lets leave what a Coleman young did to it.

    narciso (d1f714)

  48. So you tell me, is it laziness only or are there deeper economic and social forces. Say one moves to Houston then you have mayors Parker and now telling you the beliefs you grew up with are not only retrograde but they are dangerous too people.

    narciso (d1f714)

  49. @40. nk– it’s an old dilemma. An ol’nickel-beer baseball bum, who was a neighbor of my late grandfather’s and my late father’s two aging temperance league aunts, were upset when my Dad played catch with him on occasion fearing he’d have a bad influence on the kid being a ball player and a beer drinker as well. Apparently nothing bad rubbed off from Honus Wagner– except tobacco stains. As Dad used to tell it, my late grandfather would take him to ball games and have seats along the first base line at old Forbes Field. Gramps kept a package of RedMan in his pocket and in between innings ol’ Honus, who was coaching first base, would waddle over, grab a chew from gramps, say hi to my Dad and then tussle his hair– cleaning the tobacco off. Rotten influence– but Dad never smoked or chewed tabaccy.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  50. Showing the us flag, or singing the anthem is anathema, acknowledging that the confederacy existed is crimethink. What else is out of bounds,

    narciso (d1f714)

  51. This stuff Mr. Williamson says about his white underclass is what they were saying about the “hardhats” in 1970.

    nk (dbc370)

  52. It begs the question, who is this column written for. Putting it another way would Buckley have commissioned such a piece say in the 70s.

    narciso (d1f714)

  53. Honus Wagner. Impressive.

    nk (dbc370)

  54. I’m confused arecwe supposed to have appalled with what bill Clinton actually did, S opposed to some boorish language. Although what he wrought onnthe subprime markets, the multary and out overall security posture is much more offensive.

    narciso (d1f714)

  55. The manners of the white underclass are Trump’s — vulgar, aggressive, boastful, selfish, promiscuous, consumerist. Except a lot Trump’s lifestyle pals are well to do residents of Palm Beach and the like– and hardly ‘underclass.’ Good manners isn’t exclusive to any class. Just classy.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  56. vulgar, aggressive, boastful, selfish, promiscuous, consumerist

    He could be talking about 90% of the entertainment industry as it is these days, as well.

    nk (dbc370)

  57. Wait(raiding hand again) we’re supposed to be too puritanical, although if you each Salem, it makes you wonder.

    narciso (d1f714)

  58. @53. nk- well, Pgh was a ‘small town’ when it came to that stuff a way back when and ball players were more ‘working class’ as baseball was working class entertainment back then– it wasn’t a millionaires sport when beers were a nickel.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  59. Promiscuous and consumerist, I’ve never quite managed to be good at, no matter how hard I’ve tried; but I can be vulgar, aggressive, boastful and selfish with the best of them, given a chance.

    nk (dbc370)

  60. Of course the UK has a related problem, the folks they imported to their worj0kforce, becausecof the Eli elite, are not enamored of the swinging London life style, in fact they are pretty much appalled andcwant to tear it down. The same to varying degrees in Paris Bonn and Amsterdam, what happenscto those who still abide by the traditional ways?

    narciso (d1f714)

  61. Speaking of those in a parcel marceau box, how about megyns situation, this was entirely the wrong iceflie she swam on to.

    narciso (d1f714)

  62. I know its a gilded cage, but it is one nonetheless:

    http://.vulture.com/2017/10/megyn-kelly-dances-with-hoda-kotb-on-megyn-kelly-today.html

    narciso (d1f714)

  63. So, now Trump’s supporters are obviously nothing but low-brow white trash because they won’t kowtow to the dictates of their highly educated and classy betters. You know, the ones looking down their noses at you while they pick your pocket.

    Nope, you’re missing the point. Neither Kevin Williamson nor I am trying to claim that all of Trump’s supporters are white trash. What he is asserting, however, is that Trump’s supporters are adopting many of the worst traits of the white underclass: the vulgarity, the crudeness, the bullying, the persecution complex, the disdain for conventional morals, all in the name of punching back at the progressive elite. It’s quite true that Trump simply cannot make a coherent and cogent argument for his health plan, his tax plan, his immigration plan, or his foreign policy plans without having a prepared text in front of him, yet that sort of indifferent ignorance is being celebrated as a virtue. Sorry, but I don’t see this ending well for conservatives.

    JVW (42615e)

  64. Sentences I wish I’d written:

    Are we supposed to pretend that a casino-cum-strip-joint is a civilizational contribution up there with Notre-Dame, that the Trump Taj Mahal trumps the Taj Mahal?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  65. Admittedly there is a conflict between high demand fir health care services and high cost, but has anyone cut that Gordian knot yet, western Europe was able to build their welfare state behind our umbrella, yet they regard us as the delian league regarded Athens, yet they really can’t side with soarta (Russia) the immigration plan is fairly straight forward.

    narciso (d1f714)

  66. Who said it was, one might say a casino is a service business of a sort, but the problem is there isn’t enough meaningful work to go around.

    narciso (d1f714)

  67. As practice for straw man arguments, Beldar?

    Who is “supposing” us to pretend such things, or anything?

    nk (dbc370)

  68. I wonder if a Celt in Athens at the time of Pericles — and there were some there — looked at the Parthenon and asked: “Are we supposed to pretend this trumps Stonehenge?”

    nk (dbc370)

  69. That would seem highly unlikely now if they had been captured like boadicea by claudius’s men, theyn
    might have thought that.

    narciso (d1f714)

  70. JVW,

    no one is missing the point. We dispute the entire strawman.

    Now answer this, if you swapped white with any other race, would Williamson still have a job tomorrow?

    NJRob (7f4bec)

  71. The Greeks named them Celts, Keltoi, and even created a myth that they were descended from Hercules’s dalliance with a serpent woman named Kelte. They were ubiquitous, all along northern Greece and the Mediterranean, and could have been both to Britain and Athens as soldiers, sailors, merchants, mercenaries, or even bards and musicians.

    nk (dbc370)

  72. Well you learn something newcevery day.
    akrokorinthos.blogspot.com/2011/12/celts-and-greeks-acquaintance-of-two.html

    narciso (d1f714)

  73. The DNA marker is the bagpipe. Every place where it is a folk instrument, it means Celts stopped there. That includes northern Greece and many of the islands including Crete.

    nk (dbc370)

  74. Now answer this, if you swapped white with any other race, would Williamson still have a job tomorrow?

    I don’t see the point of this question. Kevin Williamson is a white dude writing about the white underclass, with whom he is very familiar having grown up among them. If Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote this article we would all be rolling our eyes and ignoring it, since it is well outside of his own experience. If Mr. Williamson wrote about the black underclass or the ghetto chic problem, there would no doubt be plenty of people who would say that he had no business writing about a different racial group apart from where he lives. I get that this article rubs some people the wrong way, but I think it’s as good an explanation for what many of us dislike about Trump’s influence on conservatives as any that I have come across. It’s fine by me if you want to see his arguments as one big strawman, but I too am familiar with these types of people (there were plenty of them in Southern Colorado during my boyhood) and I think it rings true.

    JVW (42615e)

  75. And all of them are, or would be, Trump supporters? Half? Or maybe one-third, which would be my guess based on my acquaintance with poor white trash and who they think butters their parsnips. Of course, I’m in Chicago, not Lubbock.

    nk (dbc370)

  76. Having just had to help move my friend’s daughter and her son-in-law — who most definitely qualifies as part of the white underclass — out from their Hurricane Harvey-damaged home to West Texas (but south of Lubbock to the oilfield area of Midland-Odessa, where the jobs are right now), I definitely saw up close the point Williamson’s trying to make. Even with oilfield jobs going at $30 an hour right now, son-in-law (with three kids) has developed so much negative baggage and anti-social behavior, even in in area desperate to pay young adult males to work, he may never have a stable job, and will blame the world for his own failures.

    On the other hand, having lived in New York City 40 years ago when Donald Trump first hit the public spotlight, I think Williamson does let the elites, then and now, off way to easy on how their actions and their indifference to the misery it was causing, created the world where Donald Trump could succeed.

    The David Dinkins years aside, 1977 may have been New York’s worst year, with the near-bankruptcy, blackout riots, Son of Sam murders, etc., and it was affecting the entire city. But the Manhattan elites of the day were safe in their well-protected buildings and relatively safe neighborhoods. Trump made his name with the Grand Hyatt project tied into the efforts to save Grand Central from demolition, and almost immediate was adopted by Rupert Murdoch as the celebrity-business voice for the Page 1 headlines of his newly-acquired New York Post. The tone was that Donald Trump gets things done and the New York City politicians and the other elite don’t.

    That resonated with the bridge-and-tunnel crowd in New York. As the elites shunned Trump as merely the son of a Brooklyn-Queens apartment builder, the working class saw the elites as also shunning them through their indifference to the hell-hole they had made of the city, and Donald Trump was now their voice to call the elites out on it (Trump’s persona was actually cloned by the Post from their back page, where George Steinbrenner’s antics were crude and rude, but the Yankees were about to win back-to-back World Series).

    Trump has both over-sold his success and gone back on his word when it suited him (the guy who helped preserve a historic building at Grand Central in ’77 tore down a historic building on Fifth Avenue two years later to build Trump Tower). But Trump doesn’t become who he is politically if the elites had responded to the masses, first in New York City 40 years ago, and then nationally over the past decade. Their indifference fed his crude style, because enough people outside of the white underclass became convinced that his crude style was the only way to make the elites pay attention — if not care — about their problems.

    John (f82589)

  77. Compare thr way, Charles Murray talks about the working class, and the structural issues and williamson, there is no comparison. He admits now that welfare reform was not the only solution.

    narciso (d1f714)

  78. 29.I like white undershirts. The only kind I wear. Short-sleeve, not dago or wife-beater, and I prefer crew neck even with an open collar. White lets me use chlorine bleach in the laundry for extra sanitation.

    That t-shirt under a short-sleeved collared shirt used to be the default uniform of engineers.

    harkin (10a18c)

  79. 42 – “Actually the people who best exemplify what Williamson calls working class are Latino immigrants.”

    What about their race/ethnicity makes them best?

    harkin (10a18c)

  80. I don’t see the point of this question. Kevin Williamson is a white dude writing about the white underclass, with whom he is very familiar having grown up among them. If Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote this article we would all be rolling our eyes and ignoring it, since it is well outside of his own experience. If Mr. Williamson wrote about the black underclass or the ghetto chic problem, there would no doubt be plenty of people who would say that he had no business writing about a different racial group apart from where he lives. I get that this article rubs some people the wrong way, but I think it’s as good an explanation for what many of us dislike about Trump’s influence on conservatives as any that I have come across. It’s fine by me if you want to see his arguments as one big strawman, but I too am familiar with these types of people (there were plenty of them in Southern Colorado during my boyhood) and I think it rings true.

    JVW (42615e) — 10/20/2017 @ 11:21 pm

    The point is pretty obvious. He could’ve focused on just poor people in general (who don’t vote for Republicans), but instead took the time to bash those he considered poor whites. He did so because it’s a safe target that will earn him praise from the DC establishment that he hobnobs with. You can always insult poor white people without repercussion.

    I grew up in NYC in a poor area. It was minority majority to such a degree that my sister and myself were the only fair skinned people in school. Does that give me some special insight into how minorities live and how they interact with other races? Am I allowed to speak on such issues or because I’m white I still must bite my tongue and only speak about other whites who didn’t grow up where I did? Being white granted me no special insight nor privilege growing up.

    Thankfully, my father worked multiple jobs to get us out of there and taught me the value of hard work. I would never want to return to the area I grew up in. But I don’t look down upon the people who grew up there with me. It’s about the choices we make as individuals that define us.

    Instead, Williamson just prefers to tar a group of people with his safe racism. He still doesn’t understand why people voted for Trump.

    NJRob (7f4bec)

  81. Having just had to help move my friend’s daughter and her son-in-law — who most definitely qualifies as part of the white underclass — out from their Hurricane Harvey-damaged home to West Texas (but south of Lubbock to the oilfield area of Midland-Odessa, where the jobs are right now), I definitely saw up close the point Williamson’s trying to make. Even with oilfield jobs going at $30 an hour right now, son-in-law (with three kids) has developed so much negative baggage and anti-social behavior, even in in area desperate to pay young adult males to work, he may never have a stable job, and will blame the world for his own failures.

    On the other hand, having lived in New York City 40 years ago when Donald Trump first hit the public spotlight, I think Williamson does let the elites, then and now, off way to easy on how their actions and their indifference to the misery it was causing, created the world where Donald Trump could succeed.

    The David Dinkins years aside, 1977 may have been New York’s worst year, with the near-bankruptcy, blackout riots, Son of Sam murders, etc., and it was affecting the entire city. But the Manhattan elites of the day were safe in their well-protected buildings and relatively safe neighborhoods. Trump made his name with the Grand Hyatt project tied into the efforts to save Grand Central from demolition, and almost immediate was adopted by Rupert Murdoch as the celebrity-business voice for the Page 1 headlines of his newly-acquired New York Post. The tone was that Donald Trump gets things done and the New York City politicians and the other elite don’t.

    That resonated with the bridge-and-tunnel crowd in New York. As the elites shunned Trump as merely the son of a Brooklyn-Queens apartment builder, the working class saw the elites as also shunning them through their indifference to the hell-hole they had made of the city, and Donald Trump was now their voice to call the elites out on it (Trump’s persona was actually cloned by the Post from their back page, where George Steinbrenner’s antics were crude and rude, but the Yankees were about to win back-to-back World Series).

    Trump has both over-sold his success and gone back on his word when it suited him (the guy who helped preserve a historic building at Grand Central in ’77 tore down a historic building on Fifth Avenue two years later to build Trump Tower). But Trump doesn’t become who he is politically if the elites had responded to the masses, first in New York City 40 years ago, and then nationally over the past decade. Their indifference fed his crude style, because enough people outside of the white underclass became convinced that his crude style was the only way to make the elites pay attention — if not care — about their problems.

    John (f82589) — 10/21/2017 @ 1:59 am

    You’re older than me, so I’ll take your word that the 70’s were as bad as they were, but I lived through the Dinkins years and can concur with your assessment as to the degree of failure he brought to the city. Thank God Giuliani showed what good leadership could do. It’s just too bad that successful leadership encourages people to vote for failures like the current communist in office.

    I never cared for Trump growing up. Just seemed like a typical Hollywood type who was all about self-promotion and celebrity culture. But it didn’t bother me because there were so many of his ilk in NYC. It really is amazing how the people he wined and dined for years now spit on him because he dares to have an “R” after his name.

    NJRob (7f4bec)

  82. More pearl clutching.

    gahrie (d51b5b)

  83. #80 – Safe racism….what a perfect description. There will always be an underclass unconstrained by racial boundaries. But did the white underclass put Trump in the White House?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/06/05/its-time-to-bust-the-myth-most-trump-voters-were-not-working-class/?utm_term=.76b2cd73154d

    By income, Clinton won among voters with a 2015 family income under $50,000 — a group that included 36% of the voters in the exit polls.

    Williamson’s a dime-store sociologist whose shilling for GOP Inc. is always good for a laugh. His self-loathing is palpable. I’d like to see him explain why almost 90% of Americans – notice I did not slice and dice the electorate – have an unfavorable view of Congress. Maybe, just maybe, there’s something besides lack of good manners and habits behind that statistic.

    Lenny (5ea732)

  84. PShaw why rely on statistics when straw men burn so readily.

    narciso (d1f714)

  85. Sorry, but I don’t see this ending well for conservatives.

    So? It was never going to end well for us. The GOP establishment was never going to allow a conservative to win the nomination. Early support for a Cruz or a Rubio would have stopped Trump, but the GOP Establishment hated them more, and saw them as more of a threat, than Trump.

    We tried politeness and decorum first. Tea Party protests were peaceful and left the area cleaner than when they got there. We worked within the system, nominating and supporting candidates in Republican races. However we were met with hostility, disdain and open opposition from the party “leaders” almost as bad as that we got from the Left. The only reason the GOP Establishment didn’t call us Deplorables is because they never thought of it, they certainly believed it to be true.

    Trump is us still working within the system…just no longer politely…politely brought us nothing as we watched Republican leaders savage us and roll over for the Democrats.

    So yes Trump is rude and crude, and more effective than well mannered Jeb would have been…assuming you actually believe in what the Republicans ran on…which is a big assumption when it comes to the GOP Establishment.

    gahrie (d51b5b)

  86. @ John, who wrote (#76):

    Having just had to help move my friend’s daughter and her son-in-law — who most definitely qualifies as part of the white underclass — out from their Hurricane Harvey-damaged home to West Texas (but south of Lubbock to the oilfield area of Midland-Odessa, where the jobs are right now), I definitely saw up close the point Williamson’s trying to make. Even with oilfield jobs going at $30 an hour right now, son-in-law (with three kids) has developed so much negative baggage and anti-social behavior, even in in area desperate to pay young adult males to work, he may never have a stable job, and will blame the world for his own failures.

    Halfway between Lubbock and Midland one finds my hometown of Lamesa. Like DRJ (#45), “I ‘know’ all the people [Williamson] describes. They are real people and his descriptions are accurate.”

    In fact, in some ways, those three middle-sized Texas cities — respective populations: Lubbock 252k, Midland 135k, and Odessa 118k — themselves skew a bit in class directions that he mentions, although each certainly contains large elements of multiple classes, as he write. DRJ surely also has some perspectives on the three and might disagree with me, but I’d hazard these observations, having lived equa-distant from the three, each being places where small-town families from towns like mine would go for fancy shopping, advanced medical care, or a night on the town.

    Lubbock hosts Texas Tech University, from which my mother graduated with a home-ec degree in 1946 when it was Texas Technological College. Tech has long given Lubbock a genuine “town-and-gown” society writ in miniature (the “gown” evidenced directly in Williamson’s essay via the professors whom his mother so resented). But Lubbock is far enough from the Permian Basin that it has almost no oil by comparison, and its mixed economy has instead relied on Tech, Reese AFB (long a major pilot training base for the USAF), a sizeable stockyard (which gave the town a notable fragrance when the winds were from the north), and other agricultural and ranching businesses (mostly cotton, but some other crops as well).

    Midland and Odessa, by contrast, have long been major oil-producing towns. Midland, nicknamed unironically “the Tall City” when I was a child due to its relatively startling cluster of tall(ish) office buildings rising out of a flat prairie, doesn’t have that, but had (and has) a relatively larger concentration of banks, insurance-related businesses, and wealthy ranchers than Odessa.

    And Odessa in turn had a higher percentage of blue collar workers who actually worked those oil fields. “Oilfield trash” was a derisive term I heard growing up from time to time, but certainly not constantly, because everyone in the region certainly knew where its bread was buttered. Those jobs boom and bust with the price of oil, causing the population of Odessa to fluctuate considerably compared to more sedate ranching and farming communities. The first place in my life I ever saw sprawling cheap apartment complexes was in Odessa, I think. Midland and Odessa have a continuing low-level rivalry somewhat like Pittsburgh and Philly or Dallas and Fort Worth.

    I enjoyed reading Williamson’s essay, although it would have benefited, I think, from heavy editing and less wandering in the themes. The man can craft a phrase.

    When I adopt DRJ’s words and write that “I ‘know'” those people, I’m saying, in effect, that the stereotypes didn’t spring from Williamson’s imagination but from his direct experience and observation. That experience, recounted via memories that are doubtless very painful for him to recall, makes this essay quite raw and consequently effective in triggering an emotional chord from the many readers (including me) in response.

    Nevertheless: He’s dealing in the rankest of stereotypes. I don’t think he’d disagree with that, and I think his essay would have benefited from at least a passing disclaimer to that effect. It’s not just for propriety, or even just for accuracy: That there are conspicuous exceptions to these stereotypes is important not just to outsiders trying to assess these places and their people, but to the people themselves in their daily lives.

    Moreover, not only do the class descriptions and resulting predictions have many exceptions, they very, very frequently change within a single generation — and not infrequently within a single lifetime. I can easily name a handful of my and my siblings peers who grew up in Lamesa as children of the locally privileged class — the doctor’s kids, the richest farmer’s kids, not that they got sent off to Princeton often, but they’d at least gotten their prom dresses from Neiman Marcus in Dallas — who promptly turned themselves into drunkards or addicts working oilfield jobs irregularly. They turned themselves into the “white underclass” Williamson described, but then they clawed their ways back into the “white working class,” and perhaps (depending on whether they’d been altogether disinherited before their parents’ death) even back into quote-unquote “respectability” and white-collar status. The fluidity of these class descriptors, in other words, is as important to keep in mind as the frequent exceptions to the general rules.

    So I end up thinking he’s mostly kinda right, but he’s overgeneralized — at least in this essay. (I think Williamson is generally an honest writer but not necessarily a self-consistent writer, a flaw I identify with actually.) When kishnevi (#39) wrote, and nk (#41) seconded, above, “What Williamson calls underclass are really the same people as those he calls working class,” I am therefore inclined to agree with that too, except that sometimes, for long periods of time (measured not in generations necessarily but at least in decades on average), there really are meaningful distinctions that can — and are in practice — amongst such folks.

    They’ve always been relatively more inclined to populism — hucksterism, con-men, Bible-thumping fast-talking backdoor-deal-doing scammers the likes of Pappy O’Daniel or Donald Trump.

    But yet, as a whole, despite swings in that direction from time to time, Texas is not a populist state overall over time. I find hope in that fact.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  87. Losing with class is not an effective strategy.

    gahrie (d51b5b)

  88. I voted for Trump mainly because he is a fighter. I watched Bush, McCain and Romney take it on the chin with false accusations from the press and others, only to see them ignore or respond in a tepid, gentlemanly way. Bush had Dan Rather’s phony documents, McCain his mistress, served up by the NY Times and Romney was a murderer. All were utterly false and designed to sink their chances for election.

    The press has operated unchallenged by the Republican candidates for years. Unlike the Reagan years when the President could ask and get time on the three TV networks, today’s President gets a firm no. It is refreshing to see the liberal media challenged. The press always has the last word when they say, “We stand by our story”. I listened Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post say just that when the Janet Cooke story was challenged by the mayor of DC. The upshot of that shoddy journalism had the much vaunted Post forced to return the Pulitzer it should never have received.

    But shoddy, biased journalism continues. At some point you must fight fire with fire.

    Corky Boyd (6d3297)

  89. I don’t see the point of this question. Kevin Williamson is a white dude writing about the white underclass, with whom he is very familiar having grown up among them. If Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote this article we would all be rolling our eyes and ignoring it, since it is well outside of his own experience. If Mr. Williamson wrote about the black underclass or the ghetto chic problem, there would no doubt be plenty of people who would say that he had no business writing about a different racial group apart from where he lives. I get that this article rubs some people the wrong way, but I think it’s as good an explanation for what many of us dislike about Trump’s influence on conservatives as any that I have come across. It’s fine by me if you want to see his arguments as one big strawman, but I too am familiar with these types of people (there were plenty of them in Southern Colorado during my boyhood) and I think it rings true.

    JVW (42615e) — 10/20/2017 @ 11:21 pm

    Excellent comment, JVW.

    DRJ (15874d)

  90. I love and embrace your comment 86, Beldar.

    DRJ (15874d)

  91. Willuamson likes to pretend that he is raylan givens and everyone else is boyd ccrowded.Elmore Leonard understood people are more complicated then that. People have their good bad and indifferent in any community, the problem is the culture celebrates the second group, makes the first ones out like chumps. This is my complain with much of the evening bloc on Latin prime time, it was better when they were bodice ripping soaps ala delia fiallo (the Barbara cartland of the genre)

    Now this not strictly a us problem, look at the sidebar on the daily mail, which is counterpart to the post The telegraph serves a similar attitude to the journal, but with a shinier veneer. Both were the leading voices for brexut.

    narciso (d1f714)

  92. this boy’s just butthurt cause a bunch of people he thinks are white trash don’t want to put sleazy snotty harvardtrash filth like ted cruz in charge

    here’s where we are:

    respect has to be earned, and that takes work

    especially when that respect that has to be earned back because it was squandered

    this ruling class williamson fancies so much

    they’re not respected, and instead of going about the hard work of earning respect and confidence

    they want to whine and pout about how the problem must be with the culture not with themselves, and they want to sneer at white trash

    i abjure this

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  93. ugh

    especially when that respect that has to be earned back because it was squandered

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  94. It’s a new day, and I just got back from Le Depot de Maison [that’s how we elites say Home Depot], so I’ll stick my neck out and even say that Trump Taj Mahal is superior in every respect to the original Taj Mahal. In the manner it was constructed, its suitability for human habitation, its purpose and use it has been put to, and as a monument to its builder.

    nk (dbc370)

  95. The trouble with democracy is that a majority of the people can be misled as to what is in their best interests.

    The trouble with the alternatives to democracy is that a ruling minority usually understands all too well what is in their best interests.

    Phil Ebersole

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  96. Does anybody believe that if by some miracle Jeb had won that the MSM and the rest of the Left would be acting any differently?

    gahrie (d51b5b)

  97. casinos are nasty disheartening places but sometimes you can find a super-fun lounge act

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  98. This really has been a sh*try year. I wish I could blame Obama.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  99. big deal people are building more and more expensive delicate crap on the coasts and then electing democrats who prefer to wear titty tee-shirts in lieu of governing

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  100. @ Mr. Boyd (#88): Yours is a familiar argument, as is my response: Being confrontational isn’t the kind of “fighting” that’s needed.

    Trump hasn’t vanquished CNN, he’s merely energized the most radical elements of the pro and con crowd; and because he’s entirely caught up in the kind of superficial drama-queen fights you reference, he hasn’t gotten any major legislation passed through Congress, either. This makes him a pugnacious failure so far.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  101. Cleek’s Law

    Today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today, updated daily.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  102. Where’s an inept Republican-controlled Congress in all of this, Beldar? What’s their level of culpability?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  103. Lol, I wasnt even aware till a summer resident from the UK, left copies of it. Your choices are relatively circumscribed, otoh, you can have Anne Richards who drove the state back the Persian era, she made the o’daniels seem like the ewings.But that’s what they got because Clayton Williams was too crude. Did you learn the lesson yet. Then came w. On paper he had all the right credentials. But he had the wring beliefs he had struck as many dry wells as trump at times. Then he had some success which translated into ownership of rangers and the givernordhip.

    His brother, the Medici because he started in banking then branched out, was my god a developer, my god what do you think that entailed in the early 80s. Recarey, corona. Some of the bcci crew. Jefferson motley was snuffing around in the 90, and some of that stink was used by Mr. Cornpone lawton chilies to slamdunk him.

    narciso (d1f714)

  104. Where’s an inept Republican-controlled Congress in all of this, Beldar? What’s their level of culpability?

    the craven unseriousness of the cowardly war hero trash in Congress combined with the truly massive and endemic rot and corruption evidenced by the fbi/clinton/russia scandal

    it’s a perfect distillation of the oh-so-spiffy white ruling class our snotty-assed friend Kevin Williamson so obscenely fetishizes

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  105. They really don’t think their droppings don’t stink coronello, that budget was an atrocity, it belibgs in a circus, under a tarp. So as not to scare small children.

    Cnn, snorfle@ Rachel Lucas. They drove off Jeffrey lord and they keep ana navarto, Msnbc double, they hire Dr. Evil and norma desmond. The coyote plunge team of 2008.

    narciso (d1f714)

  106. he hasn’t gotten any major legislation passed through Congress, either.

    Funny..the Republicans in Congress aren’t doing a very good job of that either…I wonder if they’re related?

    Why could Congress pass Obamacare repeal when they knew Obama would veto it, yet now with bigger majorities they no longer can when Trump would sign it?

    I believe the answer helps explain Trump.

    gahrie (d51b5b)

  107. I’d like to talk about this part of Beldar’s comment, which I think is distinctly Texan and the heart of Williamson’s essay (even though Williamson never said it, but IMO it’s one of his premises):

    The fluidity of these class descriptors, in other words, is as important to keep in mind as the frequent exceptions to the general rules.

    So I end up thinking he’s mostly kinda right, but he’s overgeneralized — at least in this essay. (I think Williamson is generally an honest writer but not necessarily a self-consistent writer, a flaw I identify with actually.) When kishnevi (#39) wrote, and nk (#41) seconded, above, “What Williamson calls underclass are really the same people as those he calls working class,” I am therefore inclined to agree with that too, except that sometimes, for long periods of time (measured not in generations necessarily but at least in decades on average), there really are meaningful distinctions that can — and are in practice — amongst such folks.

    They’ve always been relatively more inclined to populism — hucksterism, con-men, Bible-thumping fast-talking backdoor-deal-doing scammers the likes of Pappy O’Daniel or Donald Trump.

    But yet, as a whole, despite swings in that direction from time to time, Texas is not a populist state overall over time. I find hope in that fact.

    Beldar (fa637a) — 10/21/2017 @ 7:42 am

    In reverse order: First, I suspect Texans are both infatuated with populism but, thankfully, ultimately reject it.

    Second, I try not to but I can be inconsistent, too. I like to think of it as I evolve.

    Third, I love this sentence so much that I’m going to repeat it:

    The fluidity of these class descriptors, in other words, is as important to keep in mind as the frequent exceptions to the general rules.

    To me, the fluidity and the exceptions — which I view as the ability to redefine yourself in one lifetime — is the essence of West Texas and the reason I said last night (comment 45) that what Williamson writes about can’t be translated to the rest of America. Many American communities were never known for letting people redefine themselves, but more and more seem to be enforcing class divisions now.

    Implicit in growing up in West Texas is the notion that we can be whatever we want to be. It used to be an American notion but we seem to be the only ones who still believe it. It’s why NJRob can’t even accept the premise and thinks his view should be obvious, while Williamson’s point is obvious to Beldar and me — because we’ve lived his West Texas life. It’s why John’s son went to West Texas when he needed a fresh start. It’s not just because some jobs are there. It’s because everyone is welcome, not just the hometown kids.

    DRJ (15874d)

  108. This makes him a pugnacious failure so far.

    The mere fact that Hillary is not president means that Trump’s presidency is a success no matter what happens over the next three years.

    gahrie (d51b5b)

  109. Permian era, the era of a sensible democrat like a mark white is gone, they cater to the mob. Consider there vampire like reaction to the redistricting. Copied almost exactly in Wisconsin half a dozen years later. With the same lawfare chaser, Ronnie earle meet John chisholm.

    narciso (d1f714)

  110. harvardtrash lickspittle barack obama got very very little through congress in the last 6 years of the time in office white-ass billionaire george soros bought for him

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  111. why do people insist on pretending jeffy sessions is the attorney general

    that’s just silly

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  112. The mere fact that Hillary is not president means that Trump’s presidency is a success no matter what happens over the next three years.”

    You don’t mention the stellar accomplishments of the past 10 months .

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  113. So as you see, I take a rather cynical view of things, because want the perfect, then they get the passable and they kvetch all the time. W didn’t promise to be a budget hawk and borders guard, so why did rhwy pretend he did?

    narciso (d1f714)

  114. I want to discuss 3 economic reforms that deserve to be priorities for this Congress.

    We must balance the federal budget. We can do so without raising taxes. What we need to do is impose spending discipline. We set a goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009–and met that goal three years ahead of schedule. Now let us take the next step. In the coming weeks, I will submit a budget that eliminates the federal deficit within the next five years.

    The time has come to end the practice of earmarks. So let us expose every earmark to the light of day and to a vote in Congress; and cut the number and cost of earmarks at least in half.

    To keep this economy strong we must take on the challenge of entitlements. Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are commitments of conscience–yet somehow we have not found it in ourselves to act. So let us work together and do it now. With enough good sense and good will, you and I can fix Medicare and Medicaid–and save Social Security.

    Source: 2007 State of the Union address to Congress , Jan 23, 2007

    bush lied a lot

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  115. Implicit in growing up in West Texas is the notion that we can be whatever we want to be. It used to be an American notion but we seem to be the only ones who still believe it. It’s why NJRob can’t even accept the premise and thinks his view should be obvious, while Williamson’s point is obvious to Beldar and me — because we’ve lived his West Texas life. It’s why John’s son went to West Texas when he needed a fresh start. It’s not just because some jobs are there. It’s because everyone is welcome, not just the hometown kids.

    DRJ (15874d) — 10/21/2017 @ 8:25 am

    Facts not in evidence. Nice job slandering my words. Where did I say that people CANNOT be whatever they want to be?

    I’m direct proof that we can grow from humble beginnings to become successful individuals. It requires hard work and grit, not excuses and name calling.

    I’ll await your apology with bated breath.

    What I am saying and have said repeatedly in response to Williamson’s acceptable racism is that he thinks it is acceptable to dismiss and ignore those who aren’t living his kind of lifestyle. He finds these people beneath him and holds them in contempt. I begin to wonder if you do as well.

    The people he denigrates are Americans and have their own concerns. They aren’t asking for handouts (unlike the left’s lower classes), but are demanding a responsive government that doesn’t promise them one thing on the campaign trail, then just return to business as usual which consists of enriching themselves at the expense of the future of America.

    NJRob (7f4bec)

  116. Williamson has insight to share, but his self-important style usually leaves many thinking this is a guy that needs to be taken down a few notches.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  117. No iikophobia nit nearly the same thing, Buckley’s father was a wild catter who got into a spot of trouble in Mexico and Venezuela, but he didn’t show contempt, may he was a little too pattinizing of 5he southnin his early years

    narciso (d1f714)

  118. NO EXPERTISE…just in case you need glasses too.

    legislation introduced this week by Senator Rand Paul (R–KY) would fundamentally alter how grant proposals are reviewed at every federal agency by adding public members with no expertise in the research being vetted. The bill (S.1973) would eliminate the current in-house watchdog office within the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Alexandria, Virginia, and replace it with an entity that would randomly examine proposals chosen for funding to make sure the research will “deliver value to the taxpayer.” The legislation also calls for all federal grant applications to be made public.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/10/rand-paul-takes-poke-us-peer-review-panels

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  119. Legislating infrastructural ignorance since 1964

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  120. One job was pretty good accept for ignite, that his brother Neil handed him, that the parkay type cinstructivist template and the no offshore drilling ban.

    narciso (d1f714)

  121. NJRob,

    I will gladly and swiftly apologize. I am impressed with your story and commend you for what I’m sure has not been an easy path. I know you can redefine yourself because you’ve done it, and I did not intend to suggest otherwise.

    My point was that too many communities make it hard for people to redefine themselves, and I think you’ve also experienced that. Perhaps you’ve seen it so much that you may not realize that there are places that are different, and society let’s you redefine yourself if work at it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  122. Further, NJRob, consider this: If you lived in a place where redefining yourself was as easy as deciding to do it and working at it, then is it racism to criticize people who don’t make the effort?

    DRJ (15874d)

  123. If there’s malfeasance here, I want someone to find it, and if Fox finds it first, then good for Fox. But a close look at the story’s evolution and trajectory from 7 p.m. on Wednesday to 7 a.m. on Thursday indicated that investigative journalism is not the network’s only aim and that some of its personalities are far more interested in deflecting attention from President Trump’s troubles than in getting to the bottom of whatever this story actually is. Somehow, I don’t think the next few days of coverage will make it any clearer.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/watching_fox/2017/10/19/why_fox_news_is_obsessed_with_a_story_about_obama_clinton_uranium_and_russia.html

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  124. if snotty kevin were arguing in good faith there would be no need to implicate President Trump in any of his musings

    but he’s a snotty nevertrump and his agenda is to pathologize President Trump by aligning him with filthy disgusting white trash what don’t work or bathe and have too many tattoos

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  125. They nabbed a goldfish or two and let the whole shark infested tank alone, worse than that they threw in a whole boat full of tuna.

    narciso (d1f714)

  126. Let me amend something I said above. It’s not just that, in some places, society let’s you redefine yourself if you work at it. It’s that, in some places, society helps you redefine yourself and improve your economic and social status in life.

    DRJ (15874d)

  127. Relentless Moral Crusader Is Relentless Gambler, Too

    I shouldn’t bother responding to this, but the story linked is over 14 years old. And Bennett never made a secret of his gambling, nor did he ever say gambling was immoral.

    1. It’s not hypocritical to do something when you’ve never told anyone else not to do it
    2. There’s nothing immoral about gambling for entertainment. It’s harmless fun. It would be serious if someone is risking his family’s well-being, but that wasn’t the case with Bennett. He played video poker with his own money, and his family never suffered as a result of his losses.
    3. If you know what you’re doing, you can make your money last a very long time playing video poker. Most pay tables are in the 95-99% range for RTP (return to player). In the long run, you will lose your money, but it’s entirely possible to have rather profitable winning streaks. Again, the player just needs to set his limits, and not lose money he can’t afford.

    This post by you just cements in my mind that you are not a serious commenter.

    Chuck Bartowski (211c17)

  128. Fair enough DRJ.

    First thank you for your correction. I do appreciate it and apologize for my own cheap shot.

    I mention racism because he didn’t need to single out poor whites for denigration, but did so to make sure no one would call him a racist. He knew it was safe to insult poor whites (and in turn make sure everyone knew he wasn’t talking about poor hispanics in Texas) and did so with ease and without thought.

    As for my own experiences, it is why I hold people accountable for their actions and expect more from them than they probably do themselves. I’ve seen enough from both ends of the spectrum to know that I do not care to identify with groups, but instead with individuals.

    P.S. I’ve been blessed to have interactions with people at all ends of the spectrum. I grew up where I mentioned, had the academic ability (thank you dad for pushing me) to get into one of the best high schools in the country, and interacted with the elite at that school. I excelled in college and have enjoyed success in my adulthood.

    I’ve interacted with NJ politicians and it’s clear, no matter the party, that they don’t care about people other than for their votes and their money. So Trump promised something different and people voted for him based on that hope. Were they foolish? Probably. But who else (other than Cruz who I supported) offered anything else other than business as usual.

    As for the crassness of the people Williamson denigrated, they’ve seen it work successfully for the left so they are emulating in hopes of equaling that success. Can you blame them? Has he insulted the left’s poor the way he continually does the right?

    NJRob (7f4bec)

  129. What ibwas referring tonearlier:
    http://donsurber.blogspot.com/2017/10/megyn-it-hard-for-nbc.html?spref=tw

    The people who had to reach for air, every time trump said something, may nit have the clearest perspective, like I suggested earlier trump supporters have certain expectations, what is striking is very few care to even consider them. And dismiss them or worse.

    narciso (d1f714)

  130. I don’t see it as an insult to tell people you think they are making a mistake that will hurt them and society.

    DRJ (15874d)

  131. And, frankly, in West Texas, this behavior is characteristic of some whites, not Hispanics. Hispanics are generally family-oriented, religious and courteous.

    DRJ (15874d)

  132. And it’s certainly not pervasive among whites. Most of them are family-oriented, religious, and courteous, too. And almost everyone works, of every color.

    DRJ (15874d)

  133. Hispanics are generally family-oriented, religious and courteous.

    This is true especially with many immigrants from below our border.

    Agrarian work ethic and strong family values..religious too.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  134. Like I say, lets be precise in our terms, but if you diagnose theronlem wrong then you are going to do the same with the solution, that goes double for gerson Rubin and douthat.

    narciso (d1f714)

  135. Hey Burnie,

    Looks like you’ll need to eat crow and apologize.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/921716470140325889

    NJRob (7f4bec)

  136. So why is Roy Moore popular, because he sees that things have gone dangerously off kilter, where are as lither strange thought most everything was alright. Except fir a few tweaks here and there.

    narciso (d1f714)

  137. Heh! Somehow I find it hard to believe that that’s the real GenJohnFKelly, though.

    nk (dbc370)

  138. One thing that’s not easy to do in West Texas is to redefine yourself if you have a reputation as a conman, a cheat, or for insolvency. The handshake deal is a big part of Texas history, and your word is your bond. You will have problems redefining yourself if you are not reliable.

    DRJ (15874d)

  139. I’m not authorized to read twats Nob.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  140. Like nk, I think someone is pretending to be Gen Kelly on Twitter.

    DRJ (15874d)

  141. Poor Burnie. Trump gave you what you wanted and you still have your panties in a bunch. So sad.

    NJRob (7f4bec)

  142. I have noticed, perhaps due to overpopulation issues in country of origin, that Asians and the French are rude and arrogant about it. Plus you have to keep female dogs away from the Frogs.

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  143. Why would I need to apologize for Trumps activity?

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  144. Can’t you Trumpets do an intervention? Clearly his twats have gone over the Falls..
    https://shareblue.com/trump-viciously-lashes-out-as-gold-star-family-lays-sgt-la-david-johnson-to-rest/

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  145. NJRob,

    One could view this Williamson essay about blacks as racist, but to me he is doing the same thing there as he did in the essay the post about whites. He is commenting on life decisions that don’t help people have better lives and don’t help society either.

    DRJ (15874d)

  146. Why would you think Ben was,serious.

    narciso (d1f714)

  147. The military mission that resulted in Sgt Johnson’s death and the difficulty in retrieving his body are not things the government wants the public to notice. I sometimes wonder if there was a concern that Rep Wilson was going to focus on and publicize that, given her long-term efforts to push government to help the Boko Haram girls in Niger (where Sgt Johnson died) and the region.

    DRJ (15874d)

  148. DRJ,

    I don’t see how anyone could interpret that article as racist. He keeps referring to others and their conspiracy theories to show how he’s not racist. See, he’s not just targeting one group. Something he clearly neglects to do when he attacks those that deserve to die or are low class whites.

    I really think he just hates where he came from and wants to show everyone he isn’t one of the unwashed masses from yesteryear.

    NJRob (7f4bec)

  149. I don’t narciso. I just like poking the doughboy’s pudgy belly and hearing him squeal.

    NJRob (7f4bec)

  150. I understand your commitment to The Ministry of Propaganda comrade Ben!, but you nee to stop flogging the “General Kelly” angle. Most everyone other than Frederica and her band of Mad Hatters has lost interest. You may be hoping the Empty Barrel becomes the radical lefts candidate for president but I don’t see that happening. There are other intellectual Democrats of Color who would be far more suited for the post. Maxine and Sharpton come to mind they are after all the “brain trust” of the Democrat Party and it is their turn. Keep up the good work The Motherland thanks you for your efforts.

    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KDF9O3aaF_I/WefSWLF7CtI/AAAAAAABl-A/Yo6Msx2x2jobXjoan8w1NuA8apleXw0QACLcBGAs/s1600/QqcYQzf.jpg

    Rev.Hoagie® (6bbda7)

  151. Ok, fair enough, Rob. I don’t read him that way and I don’t see either essay as racist.

    DRJ (15874d)

  152. @ Col. H, who asked (#103):

    Where’s an inept Republican-controlled Congress in all of this, Beldar? What’s their level of culpability?

    Considerable, especially in the Senate, as I argued in comments here recently when I credited Trump for being right about abolishing the filibuster, but inept and entirely inadequate in making the public case for that which in turn might sway Senate Republicans. Note that those same Senate Republicans were indeed swayed to do exactly the right thing for purposes of the Gorsuch confirmation — which means that they could be again if, but only if, the POTUS had more tools in his rhetorical arsenal than ad hominem insults and threats to primary his should-be allies. So this too I lay principally at Trump’s feet, while acknowledging blame to go around.

    I adopt for the record and associate myself with DRJ’s remarks in #108, and thank her for her kind words.

    @ NJRob: We’re speculating about someone else’s feelings — obviously an undertaking fraught with peril (but nonetheless fun). Do you genuinely think Williamson holds his own mother in contempt?

    I don’t think that’s either an adequate or accurate description of the impressions given in his essay. I read indications of vast pride (in her virtuosity with an IBM Selectric despite her physical handicap, in her ability to win responsibility beyond her job title even though it was from professors whom she despised), mixed with vast hurt (seeing the home to which he could not go, daily, yards away), mixed too with clear-eyed, adult, and unsentimental assignment of causal responsibility to her and his step-father for the hurts then inflicted on him and themselves. “Contempt”? No, I actually don’t think that’s there, for I can’t imagine how that coexists with the obvious compassion and pride which is also there. “Disappointment” is certainly accurate, though, although not a word he chooses to use.

    (Also: How ’bout those ‘Stros! This has been a gem of a series, with both teams seemingly slumbering at home for a few innings before realizing that yes, they had a home-field advantage to exploit, at which point there’s been a continuing momentum shift that’s lasted through the rest of the home-stand. That favors the ‘Stros, if it continues tonight, but I take nothing for granted against the Yankees.)

    Finally, also re something DRJ wrote (#141), re handshake deals and reputations:

    My granddad’s and then dad’s retail store (first hardware, then radios & TVs & home appliances & furniture) sold to everybody — all races and classes, including Latino migrant workers who only lived in Lamesa seasonally, but long enough certainly to benefit from a Maytag wringer washing machine or a Frigidaire icebox (and their later counterparts). Probably two-thirds of our sales were on credit, on an open-account basis in which there was no finance agreement, no disclosure statement, no monthly payment coupon book, nothing but an 8″ x 6″ index card in a metal box on which was typed neatly each customer’s name and address along with a running account balance, because he did sent out regular statements monthly. As long as payments were reasonably current, he didn’t charge interest — preferring instead to account for that in very general adjustments of our retails prices (which we did by offering discounts to cash customers).

    My dad wasn’t exactly Equifax, but he thus had a pretty good handle on the changing creditworthiness of most families in Dawson County, Texas. There were a very small handful of customers whom we would not extend credit to based on past bad experiences, but they stayed payment-over-time customers via lay-away plans.

    Occasionally we had to do repossessions; I went along on enough of those to learn that it was important to be very polite and sympathetic, because those customers were typically very hangdog; some few ended up redeeming their repossessed purchases, and others would get their acts together well enough to become cash customers.

    My dad thoroughly understood all these types of people, and I delivered mattresses and TVs and air conditioners to their houses and saw their families at times of great excitement. We were clear-eyed about whose word meant what, who was doing his best, who’d slipped, and who’d never managed to have two nickels to rub together. But we didn’t have contempt for any of those people, not the migrant worker nor the town surgeon’s wife.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  153. … or elitist. To me, he’s just describing what he sees.

    DRJ (15874d)

  154. The “Kelly” twitter reads like a Trumpkin trolling lefties. I assume the real Gen Kelly has enough on his plate to leave that to others.

    kishnevi (682c47)

  155. BTW, those really, really, really, really smart Democrats of color have been assigned the name iDOCS by the Commissar of Nomenklature. I think it’s catchy, don’t you? That’s how The Party attracts high school and colleges kids by being on the cutting edge of “dialogue”.

    Rev.Hoagie® (6bbda7)

  156. What Beldar said.

    DRJ (15874d)

  157. Beldar: despite the continuing bizarreness and increasing vulgarity of the comments section, comments like yours made my day. I look for comments by Patterico, DRJ, and yourself in particular. Thank you.

    Simon Jester (d856de)

  158. “Note that those same Senate Republicans were indeed swayed to do exactly the right thing for purposes of the Gorsuch confirmation — which means that they could be again if, but only if, the POTUS had more tools in his rhetorical arsenal than ad hominem insults and threats to primary his should-be allies.”

    At some point, Beldar, these clowns should do what’s right for the country, which is what they were elected to do. Playing “the Dozens” is amusing and can be very entertaining, but refer back to the previous sentence. Trump included.

    Colonel Haiku (cdb06f)

  159. The point is pretty obvious. He could’ve focused on just poor people in general (who don’t vote for Republicans), but instead took the time to bash those he considered poor whites. He did so because it’s a safe target that will earn him praise from the DC establishment that he hobnobs with. You can always insult poor white people without repercussion.

    I guess we’re at an impasse then. I’m not sure why you think that yet-another-white-guy writing about dysfunction in the black or Latino communities would do any good. He writes about the white underclass because those are the people he knows well, not because he expects praise from progressives. It’s as simple as that. And he actually does make reference to the anti-education (“acting white”) attitude and other social pathologies that has manifested itself in the black underclass, he just doesn’t dwell on it seeing as how it is well-trod territory. For what it’s worth, I mentioned that my town had both a white and a Latino underclass, and the problems between the two were fairly similar, though the Latino underclass seemed slightly more susceptible to joining organized criminal gangs whereas the white underclass’s criminal behavior was more freelance.

    The people he denigrates are Americans and have their own concerns. They aren’t asking for handouts (unlike the left’s lower classes), but are demanding a responsive government that doesn’t promise them one thing on the campaign trail, then just return to business as usual which consists of enriching themselves at the expense of the future of America.

    This is exactly where we disagree. I didn’t read the essay as Williamson attacking the people who legitimately want to work and are prepared to be productive and dependable employees, he is talking about those people who have either lost or never developed a work ethic and who instead really do think that the government ought to be taking care of them. It’s the attitude of “well, the people in Washington and New York sent all of our jobs to Mexico, so I should be getting an unemployment check, food stamps, and a housing voucher” We conservatives have always criticized this attitude when we see it in urban minority communities, and Williamson is pointing out that it exists in rural white communities as well, even if they do vote GOP.

    JVW (42615e)

  160. Simon Jester,

    The very best Texas lawyers are known for their story-telling ability. We have one here today in Beldar.

    DRJ (15874d)

  161. If someone says and idea is Trump’s it is automatically B-A-D. But what if it’s from Bernie? Watch these brainwashed dumbass college kids.

    https://youtu.be/Ctz_dHfYfb8

    Rev.Hoagie® (6bbda7)

  162. Well said, JVW 164. What an interesting post and comment thread this has been.

    DRJ (15874d)

  163. Maybe this is something more likely to occur in red states.

    DRJ (15874d)

  164. In blue states, the people who chose not to work or who have trouble finding work probably aren’t voting Republican, but they might in red states.

    DRJ (15874d)

  165. FWIW I think some of us tend to comment while we watch sports.

    DRJ (15874d)

  166. FWIW I think some of us tend to comment while we watch sports.

    Are you watching OSU-Texas too, DRJ?

    JVW (42615e)

  167. Working now so I’ll be commenting sporadically, but your last insight might be telling DRJ. I’ve grown up in Democrat strongholds so most of the people I see who just look for handouts from the government and blame the other side for all their ills are from the left. You, by contrast, come from a Republican stronghold and see the reverse. That colors our experiences as well as the way we interpret these articles.

    Just a thought.

    Beldar,

    I’m looking forward to tonight’s game and will be biting my nails on every pitch. It’s been a fun series and worthy of the spectacle of playoff ball. May the best team win and go on to defeat the evil Dodgers.

    NJRob (336bc4)

  168. Of course, JVW! I’m a 3rd generation Longhorn and the parent of the 4th generation. I’ll also be watching both the TCU game and the Astros game tonight, with lots of channel flipping this afternoon. I love this time of year.

    DRJ (15874d)

  169. I think that’s true, NJRob. Geography matters.

    DRJ (15874d)

  170. Thanks, Simon & DRJ and others, for your kind words.

    A last (for the moment) pair of factoids about west Texas towns and their peoples:

    I mentioned above the stockyards north of Lubbock. South of Lubbock, along US 87 as it leaves town in the direction of my hometown of Lamesa just outside the Lubbock city limits, were all those liquor stores that Williamson said his dad was too drunk or lazy to get to. Lamesans joke that we got the better of that bargain in terms of proximity to scarce resources, and while Williamson’s dad had to drive to just outside the city limits, Lamesans had to drive to the nearest “wet” counties, meaning either Lubbock, Midland, or Big Spring (pop. 28k), all an hour away even at typical west Texas driving speeds on our long, straight, flat roads.

    Second: I had a wonderful civil case going in Ector County a couple of years ago which I very much hoped to get to try to a jury there, but things didn’t work out that way. Nevertheless, during a series of trips to the Midland-Odessa area for that case, I was told by several locals that the worst crime problem they were facing among the oilfield workforce was crystal meth — which totally surprised me! Apparently the meth labs were in and around Big Spring, longtime home to major Chevron operations and again booming in this era of horizontal drilling and fracking and enhanced recovery techniques.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  171. We’re again agreed on something, NJRob! Down with the Dodgers!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  172. I have to go work awhile so I won’t be around for awhile. Enjoy this wonderful day, everyone.

    DRJ (15874d)

  173. The story is very complicated, Wilson doesn’t seem that aware. Of the particulars.

    narciso (d1f714)

  174. Clown Town of Trump genius weaves whole cloth out of gossamer orange rug.

    “He has no earthly idea of whether he’s coming or going,” Bannon said, implying that Bush had mindlessly given a speech written for him by a speechwriter, “just like it was when he was President of the United States.”

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  175. We’re again agreed on something, NJRob! Down with the Dodgers!

    And here we disagree. I’ve been a Dodger fan since my dad took me to see Koufax pitch (he broke Bob Feller’s season strikeout record that day).

    I’ve seen every era’s team play since then (I was at the stadium when Gibson ended Game 1 of the ’88 series) and the current team is the best Dodger team I have ever seen.

    As for who they play, I’ve mixed feelings. I’ve got a friend in Houston who’s a big Astros fan, and I’d love to bet him a dinner. Then again, there’s something traditional about a Dodgers-Yankees WS.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  176. As for the Yankees, every time I see that team I think: Boy, do they look juiced!

    Kevin M (752a26)

  177. In blue states, the people who chose not to work or who have trouble finding work probably aren’t voting Republican, but they might in red states.

    That depends. If they are young, you are probably right. If they are over 50 or 60 and having trouble finding work due to age, they will vote as they always did.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  178. @180. Ben, look long term; remember, Trump is a transient. His victory has effectively neutered the modern ideological conservative movement, which is the real Trump triumph. A Hillary win would have energized them and never have accomplished this. Let the dinosaurs dance with the fossils and have their civil war for the next 4,8– 25 years, refight old battles and gaze backward to a mythical Reagan, out of office three decades and passed on.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  179. Then again, there’s something traditional about a Dodgers-Yankees WS.

    The yankees can go to hell.

    Today is the 13th anniversary of the Red Sox completing the greatest comeback in MLB history, beating the yankees in the Bronx by a 10-3 score for their fourth straight win after falling behind 0-3. A big part of me wants to root for the Dodgers because Dave Roberts made the most important single play in franchise history when he stole second to put him in position to score the tying run with the Red Sox down by one in the ninth.

    I like the Astros too, though. Justin Verlander has been marvelous, and it seems like he has a cute girlfriend too. A seven-game series between the Dodgers and Astros would be awesome.

    JVW (42615e)

  180. You know, what? I’ll start a sports thread since we’re winding down this particular topic.

    JVW (42615e)

  181. @ Kevin M: I had to re-tool all my alliances when the moved the Astros to the AL. I confess that it still feels odd.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  182. I confess that it still feels odd.

    To me as well.

    Today is the 13th anniversary of the Red Sox completing the greatest comeback in MLB history

    The wife and I watched all 7 games of that series. It had so many fantastic moments and knife-edge situations that it belongs in Cooperstown, lock, sock and barrel.

    As was said on Lost: “They lost the first 3, then won the next 8.”

    Kevin M (752a26)

  183. 140, if that’s the case, then many of those 3am tweets may not be PDT either.

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  184. Totally for Astros tonight, it will be the “brown” version of Hawks – Wizards

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  185. 182 – “I’ve been a Dodger fan since my dad took me to see Koufax pitch.”

    In 1963, all the cool bigger kids who played baseball had pictures of Mickey Mantle in their wallets.

    I asked my Pop to find a pic of the Mick so I could put it in my Frankenstein wallet. Instead he gave me a pic of Sandy Koufax and informed me we were Dodger fans. The Dodgers swept the Yanks in the series and I’ve never looked back.

    My friend’s dad had use of Robert Petersen’s (Hot Rod, Motor Trend) box seats at Chavez Ravine and they were awesome.

    harkin (10a18c)

  186. When I think of all the classic baseball cards I clothes pinned to the spokes of my Schwinn, it makes me wince.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  187. I wish I knew what happened to most of my comic books from the 60’s. Effing house money now.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  188. Trump is us still working within the system…just no longer politely…politely brought us nothing as we watched Republican leaders savage us and roll over for the Democrats.

    So yes Trump is rude and crude, and more effective than well mannered Jeb would have been…assuming you actually believe in what the Republicans ran on…which is a big assumption when it comes to the GOP Establishment.

    Effective at what? If you mean his rudeness and crudeness is more effective at winning the votes of people who admire the pathological personality traits that Trump embodies, I suppose I can give you that, although we might disagree on whether that is a net positive or negative. But what policy goals has he accomplished that were a function of his rudeness and crudeness? Was the nomination of Neil Gorsuch accomplished by dint of rudeness and crudeness? Or does primary credit for that go to the maligned Mitch McConnell, who you guys all confidently predicted would cave on Garland when I told you he would not? Where, other than earning the admiration of people who equate crass behavior with “fighting,” does Trump’s rudeness and crudeness actually help him accomplish a policy goal?

    Patterico (9bc0cd)

  189. Yeah. Trump is good at throwing red meat to his legions, but (except for judges, which he delegates) he’s not really done much else that will last. Some regulations, but President Harris will overturn all of them in 2021. Of course his cronies will reap what they can for the next 3 years.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  190. Or does primary credit for that go to the maligned Mitch McConnell, who you guys all confidently predicted would cave on Garland when I told you he would not?

    Not caving on Garland was existential for the GOP.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  191. In the vein of American Gods, I’d suggest Trump as talk-radio incarnate. Both the hosts and the callers.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  192. The Sawx will always be Satan’s team. They clearly cut a deal with the devil to overcome the curse.

    NJRob (336bc4)

  193. Former CEO of NPR embeds in rural/red state America. He doesn’t find what he thought he’d find…

    http://nypost.com/2017/10/21/the-other-half-of-america-that-the-liberal-media-doesnt-cover/

    Lenny (5ea732)

  194. the trashiest thing about white people is how they’re always all up on the facebook and the twitter

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  195. And yet wevknow about what actually happened, it doesn’t appear to be have been a flashpoint, like ramadi or fallujah, then again from the menastream link there seem to be more activity near the malian
    Border: http://menastream.com/jihadist-groups-sahel-region-formalize-merger

    narciso (d1f714)

  196. @196. =Haiku= Gesundheit.

    Indeed. A lot of good cards- mostly Phillies in our case- were Schwinned to shreds. When we moved to Europe, all our kids stuff, baseball cards, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Corgi crap and such from the 1960s, was boxed up and put into storage stateside– not worth shipping overseas. They sat hidden away literally for years. A decade or so later we came across them in a move– like a time capsule. ‘Course condition varied greatly for played with cars and cards but a few Black Beauties, Batmobiles, Mantles, McCoveys, Mays and Clementes survived in fairly good shape so we unloaded them to collectors for the kids schooling. Comic books from those days were forbidden by the folks- more’s the pity.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  197. No the right has mostly nipped itself with sheering clippers,

    Re majority leader, you have to go back to bob dole twenty some years ago.

    narciso (d1f714)

  198. But the members of the Trump Administration haven’t stopped at denying the existence of a carbon bubble; they are also, perhaps unwittingly, working to inflate it. Although they have so far failed to get many of the President’s signature initiatives off the ground—the border wall, the Obamacare repeal, tax cuts for the middle class—in this arena, at least, they have been ruthlessly efficient. A few days before Pruitt announced the C.P.P. repeal, Rick Perry, the head of the Department of Energy, proposed a new rule that would force utilities in certain markets to cover the operating costs of some coal and nuclear-power plants. The measure would guarantee these aging facilities “a fair rate of return,” regardless of whether they are able to compete with cheaper alternatives such as natural gas, wind, and solar. Perry couched the new policy in terms of national security, but it amounts to a subsidy. (David Roberts, writing in Vox, called it “the crudest imaginable intervention on coal’s behalf.”) Many energy analysts have condemned the proposal, and even petroleum companies have questioned its legality. If passed, the rule would cost American taxpayers an estimated $1.4 billion per year.

    https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/theres-a-dangerous-bubble-in-the-fossil-fuel-economy-and-the-trump-administration-is-making-it-worse

    Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  199. Lenny 203 – great link. Thank you. These sections caught my eye:

    I also spent time in depressed areas of Kentucky and Ohio with workers who felt that their concerns had long fallen on deaf ears and were looking for every opportunity to protest a government and political and media establishment that had left them behind. I drank late into the night at the Royal Oaks Bar in Youngstown and met workers who had been out of the mills for almost two decades and had suffered the interlocking plagues of unemployment, opioid addiction and declining health. They mourned the passing of the old days, when factory jobs were plentiful, lucrative and honored and lamented the destruction and decay of their communities, their livelihoods and their families.

    20 years is not left behind, it’s choosing not to change. That is on them.

    Some may take pleasure in the discomfort of the media, but it is not a good situation for the country to have the media in disrepute and under constant attack. Virtually every significant leader of this nation, from Jefferson on down, has recognized the critical role of an independent press to the orderly functioning of democracy. We should all be worried that more than 65 percent of voters think there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media and that our major media institutions are seen as creating, not combatting, our growing partisan divide.

    I agree, but I also think it’s a good thing for those in the public arena — politicians and the media — to deal with criticism.

    DRJ (15874d)

  200. thank you for the snippet Mr. burn i was curious when i saw that link at realclear but didn’t wanna give that hooch a click

    i still have no idear wtf a carbon bubble is though

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  201. Perry seemed to be a fan of government boondoggles in Texas, Ben burn. Some thought it was because they enhanced government control and some thought it helped him pay off his buddies. He always made a credible case that he was acting out of the public good, and he certainly could be here, but he isn’t the small government champion someone like Ted Cruz is.

    DRJ (15874d)

  202. Personally, I think Trump picked Perry because he looks the part and he has good hair.

    DRJ (15874d)

  203. Its right up there with the Russian Rihanna conspiracy, pikachu.

    narciso (d1f714)

  204. On a total dollar basis, wind has received the greatest amount of federal subsidies. Solar is second. Wind and solar together get more than all other energy sources combined.

    and remember solar and window are crappy low-quality non-baseload power sources

    Baseload plant, (also baseload power plant or base load power station) is an energy station devoted to the production of base load supply. Baseload plants are the production facilities used to meet some or all of a given region’s continuous energy demand, and produce energy at a constant rate, usually at a low cost relative to other production facilities available to the system. Examples of baseload plants using nonrenewable fuels include nuclear and coal-fired plants. Baseload plants typically run at all times through the year except in the case of repairs or maintenance.

    Perry’s absolutely correct to foreground the unique contribution nuclear and coal make to america’s energy security. This is one aspect of what a hardened stable grid looks like. Allowing eco-pigs to destabilize power generation and delivery by preferencing pansy-assed resources like solar and wind has been a hugely expensive folly for many of our trashy fascist NATO allies in europe, and one that they may never fully recover from.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  205. remember solar and *window* are crappy low-quality non-baseload power sources

    precisely.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  206. The saving grace of my local paper is its thinner than the sentinel (which is of the same family as the la tomes, how is it with the statesman or the star telegram.

    narciso (d1f714)

  207. “When Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg walked into the Coalition party room with his energy policy earlier this week he faced a sea of hostile faces. But they left the room shocked. At last, the government politicians understood that Australia faces a long term blackout power crisis the like of which has never been seen in modern times.

    It’s one thing to read commentaries warning of what is ahead but another to see a minister use confidential information from independent power authorities and regulators to show the desperate state of affairs that is looming for the nation. And then Frydenberg went to the ALP and showed them the same material.

    Frydenberg was, if anything, even more alarming than me … [says Gottleibsen who wrote about how the “Energy crisis risk is criminal. March 2017″].

    Between 2012 and 2017 Australia has built 1,850MW of weather-linked “intermittent capacity” and only 150 MW of “dispatchable capacity”.

    At the same time “dispatchable capacity” has been reduced with the closure of coal and gas fired power plants and the failure to maintain existing coal fired plants.

    According to the Australian Energy Market Operator back in 2012-13 we had 20 per cent “reserve capacity”— power generation capacity above maximum demand. Currently that’s down to 12 per cent and if the Liddell power station is shut there will be a big shortfall. We therefore face the clear certainty of frequent and long blackouts in all our cities if we do not invest in “dispatchable capacity”.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2017/10/politicians-shocked-at-the-power-crisis-waiting-in-the-australian-electricity-grid/

    harkin (be4c6e)

  208. The Sacramento Bee is now as thin as the local Pennysaver but my Pop quit subscribing years ago.

    Every time they call up to get him to re-subscribe, he tells them he can’t support a PR firm for the CA Democratic Party. It was a dishonest fish-wrap 15 years ago, it’s even worse now.

    I remember they had a TV critic who called The West Wing “the nation’s hour of healing”.

    harkin (be4c6e)

  209. yes yes these are the treacherous rocks

    Mr. Perry wants to help America steer clear of them

    nevertheless you can count on snotty “i got mine” nevertrump republicans to spew dogma and turn up their nose at Mr. Perry’s efforts

    they don’t care if real people get hurt

    they got theirs (think harvardtrash senate pension pig ted and his sacky breadwinner)

    and they got their warm gooey dogma all up in it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  210. here’s a good link for #218

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  211. “Now Dick DeGuerin… he is a very good lawyer… if there is such a thing”

    — Kinky Friedman

    Now that’s funny stuff.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  212. America’s energy sector has reached an interesting crossroads. After eight years of the Obama Administration working to dismantle the nation’s coal fleet, the Trump Administration has swept into office and upended the apple cart. Earlier this year, Energy Secretary Rick Perry commissioned a study to assess the health of America’s power grid. His subsequent report noted a sizable decline in America’s “baseload” power, and urged steps to improve the reliability of the nation’s electric grid.

    Overall, the Trump Administration is advocating an “all of the above” mix for the nation’s power sector. And this is an eminently sensible position. But in attempting to secure the nation’s power grid, Secretary Perry is now facing criticism because he’s chosen to prioritize reliable, practical power generation over political expediency.

    this was written by someone what didn’t go to harvard like grubby, snoot-nosed ted cruz and his flipsy-flopsy sacky, so one should take it with several grains of salt

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  213. Securing the grid or picking winner and losers?

    DRJ (0280d9)

  214. Like you, I hope it’s the former.

    DRJ (0280d9)

  215. coal plants are number one guess what?

    they’re sunk costs

    them babies is paid for

    the only reason they can conceivably be construed as “losers” is because the eco-pigs have burdened them with so many gratuitous unnecessary costs – the same way Rick Perry likes to do on abortion clinics

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  216. What color is the moon in their sky, you can’t write that with a straight face.

    narciso (d1f714)

  217. 209 DRJ

    I travel a lot in rural areas of the northeast, particularly NY and PA; the latter is home to some relatives of mine. I have met hundreds of truly wonderful people that are stereotyped by Williamson. One of my cousins in rural PA, a roughneck for a large provider of the high tech drilling pipes used to frack, made me aware of Williamson’s depiction of Hillary’s deplorables in his infamous “Father Fuhrer” piece for National Review, where he wrote:

    “The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin.”

    and

    “…..the truth about these dysfunctional downscale communities is that they deserve to die.”

    See https://www.nationalreview.com/nrd/articles/432569/father-f-hrer

    Fracking is just one example of how our political class can and should do better for rural America. In PA and many other rural areas of the U.S., fracking has been a godsend for local economies. Contrast that with NY state, however: fracking is banned based on the misinformation and lies of “environmentalists”. A close friend of one of my sisters was born, raised, and was a successful entrepreneur in New York City. She sold out then bought a large farm in upstate NY, where she leads the charge with other modern day carpetbaggers against fracking upstate. She and her fellow activists moved into communities in which they’ve neither invested nor built and proceed to deprive, through legal means, the ability of the people who’ve lived there their entire lives a well-paying job.

    My cousin and his friends in PA know precisely who Williamson and his fellow know-nothing pundits are. They are capable of reading. They know that these pundits have absolutely no credentials to back up their opinions on matters affecting their lives and communities. Contrast Williamson with these two well-respected policy wonks from Vanderbilt and Duke, and you will then understand the lunacy of listening to people whose bona-fides include only the ability to write clap-trap.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/06/05/its-time-to-bust-the-myth-most-trump-voters-were-not-working-class/?utm_term=.678eb540067e

    Lenny (5ea732)

  218. I don’t read Williamson to say that at all, Lenny. I agree with JVW’s analysis:

    I didn’t read the essay as Williamson attacking the people who legitimately want to work and are prepared to be productive and dependable employees, he is talking about those people who have either lost or never developed a work ethic and who instead really do think that the government ought to be taking care of them. It’s the attitude of “well, the people in Washington and New York sent all of our jobs to Mexico, so I should be getting an unemployment check, food stamps, and a housing voucher” We conservatives have always criticized this attitude when we see it in urban minority communities, and Williamson is pointing out that it exists in rural white communities as well, even if they do vote GOP.

    Your cousin would be among the people Williamson describes as the productive and dependable people.

    DRJ (15874d)

  219. I consider myself one of those people, too.

    DRJ (15874d)

  220. DRJ, Williamson says that these communities “deserve to die”. Individuals making poor choices may be found everywhere, especially in urban areas. Do those cities deserve to die?

    Should people who are not invested or live in a community make or influence decisions that condemns its citizenry to a life that doesn’t meet Williamson’s standards?

    Williamson makes a connection between the “underclass” and Trump voters….which is debunked by those who have the credentials and have actually studied the demographics. Williamson’s larger premise is false and is precisely what Hillary did with her deplorables comment. It is stereotyping and is not helpful to a discussion of policy prescriptions to address the issues.

    Lenny (5ea732)

  221. trump a nasty white trash person y’all should vote for them fresh clean-smelling white people like Ben Sasse

    – the perspicaciousness of Kevin Williamson

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  222. So the stigma of “acting white” has finally tricked up to white people.

    Pinandpuller (a15741)

  223. nk

    I like Dave Chappell’s bit with John Mayer re White people: guitar; Black people: drums; Latino people: organ and megaphone.

    I don’t need ancestry websites to tell me where I come from. Celtic music flipped one or more of my genes “on”.

    I’m also German. I think Ranchero music is one of the little known tragic legacies of colonialism.

    I do love just about any Bach piece played on a grand piano, harpsichord or church organ.

    Either I got a double shot of Celt or I’m an elitist.

    Pinandpuller (a15741)

  224. DRJ, Williamson says that these communities “deserve to die”. Individuals making poor choices may be found everywhere, especially in urban areas. Do those cities deserve to die?

    Yes. While individuals may make bad choices, it is a much bigger problem when cities of states choose an unsustainable path. They deserve the consequences of their choice in paths. Why should other communities be forced to subsidize them?

    Should people who are not invested or live in a community make or influence decisions that condemns its citizenry to a life that doesn’t meet Williamson’s standards?

    Are you are talking about Williamson? He is entitled to his opinion, as are you and I, no matter where we live. of course communities are free to make their own choices. No one has made Williamson dictator but he does make good points

    Williamson makes a connection between the “underclass” and Trump voters….which is debunked by those who have the credentials and have actually studied the demographics. Williamson’s larger premise is false and is precisely what Hillary did with her deplorables comment. It is stereotyping and is not helpful to a discussion of policy prescriptions to address the issue.

    Lenny (5ea732) — 10/22/2017 @ 8:50 am

    We disagree regarding who Williamson is talking about. Can you accept that he might be talking about the people JVW described? If so, would that change how you feel about his thesis?

    DRJ (15874d)

  225. Trump voters aren’t mindless drones, Lenny, and (as you know) they aren’t all the same. IMO Williamson isn’t lumping all Trump voters into one deplorable basket. Williamson is addressing a subset of voters in red states who are resentful and expect government to fix their problems. Most working people are different — they just want a fair/level playing field and for government to get out of the way.

    DRJ (15874d)

  226. obviously Williamson loses a lot of points for failing to write with precision and clarity

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  227. It’s a team effort between writers and readers. Even the world’s greatest book has been the subject of disagreements and misunderstandings.

    DRJ (15874d)

  228. i’m a write an article one day about the different varieties of white people and it’s gonna be a marvel of clarity

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  229. …I confess that I am often guilty of this anti-elitism myself, but here I think Mr. Williamson gives short shrift the damage that our largely self-appointed elite — the kind of people who view themselves as the modern heirs to Ward McAllister’s “The Four Hundred” — has done to our society, especially over the last quarter century. From convoluted and ineffective social programs to misadventures overseas to a relentless undermining of the bourgeois middle-class values upon which this country was built, the academic/media/bureaucratic/political/entertainment elite of this country has had a considerably negative impact over that period. But putting that aside, I think there is a great deal of truth to the analogy of President Trump to the fifth-grade bully.

    Maybe we got the fifth-grade bully because we got tired of the second-grade bullies Clinton and Obama and, yes, Bush, getting their @$$es handed to them by third and fourth-grade bullies Kim and Putin and Ayatollah what the h3ll. Our second-grade bullies keep seeing all this nuance and grey areas that don’t exist while, whoa! The third-grade bullies get nukes that do exist.

    This is not the future I would have willingly voted for. Not for your kids, Pat, not for my nieces and nephews, not for me. But apparently I voted for it, and so did you you. This is the hole we *&^%ing dug for ourselves and we need not to point fingers but climb out of it.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  230. You’d have to go back to Reagan to find someone different. Most Americans don’t go back to Reagan. Fact of life.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  231. DRJ, no, I do not accept that. He drew a straight line from the white underclass to Trump. The majority of the white underclass do not vote so why care what they believe?

    Lenny (5ea732)


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