Patterico's Pontifications


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

A tale of two Foxes…

Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe’s reason for not getting the COVID vaccine:

I, as a 36-year-old woman with no underlying conditions, have a 99.97 percent chance of survival against Covid. So I was on the fence because it didn’t make sense to get vaccinated for a virus that is not a threat to my life, nor one that I fear. But now, I’m doubling down as a giant middle finger to Joe Biden’s tyranny, because now it’s a fight for freedom. Now it’s a fight against tyranny in America and that’s what this is all about. We are literally fighting right now for the future of this country.

Fox News host urges viewers to get a COVID vaccine:

Fox News host Neil Cavuto, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, returned to the air on Sunday to urge viewers to get vaccinated—hours after Fox contributor Lisa Boothe bragged that she is not getting the shot in some kind of twisted protest of the Biden administration. Cavuto, who has multiple sclerosis and is fully vaccinated, said the shot probably stopped him from getting severely ill. “It’s not about left or right, not who’s conservative or liberal. Last time I checked, everyone, regardless of political persuasion is coming down with this,” he said. “Life is too short to be an ass. Life is way too short to be ignorant of the promise of something that is helping people worldwide… Stop the deaths. Stop the suffering. Please, get vaccinated.”

Coming to Cavuto’s defense and condemning the death threats he received after imploring viewers to get vaccinated:

Second news item

Tribal warfare:

As probably will surprise no one, the polarization spiral between the left and the right has only gotten more intense in the last three years. Most alarming is the growing acceptance of political violence as a justifiable method for achieving political goals. A survey in 2019 found that approximately one-fifth of partisans in both parties believed that violence against the opposing party would be at least “a little” justified if their party lost the 2020 election. Between 2020 and 2021 the share of students surveyed who said violent protest was “never acceptable” dropped from 82% to 76% and at most elite schools it was even lower.

…The Hidden Tribes study, published in 2018…surveyed 8,000 Americans in December 2017 and used a statistical technique to identify groups of people who had similar core beliefs. They found seven groups. The one furthest to the right they labeled the “Devoted Conservatives.” This group makes up 6% of the population. Its members are “deeply engaged with politics” and hold “strident, uncompromising views.” Devoted conservatives see themselves as the last defenders of traditional values that are under threat from the far left. This group was clearly overrepresented in the attack on the US Capitol in January 2021.

The group furthest to the left were the “Progressive Activists.” This group, which makes up 8% of the population, is “highly sensitive to issues of fairness and equity, particularly with regards to race, gender and other minority group identities.” Progressive Activists talk frequently about “power structures” and how they cause and maintain inequality. They are the most active of all groups on social media. This group is clearly overrepresented in campus protests and in mass marches for progressive causes.

Although the Devoted Conservatives and Progressive Activists make up just 14% of the US population, they wield enormous influence on American political discourse as they passionately express their hatred for each other—despite their unexpected similarities. It may not surprise you to learn that the Devoted Conservatives were the whitest of all seven groups (88% white), but would you have expected that the Progressive Activists were the second whitest (80%)? Likewise, it may not surprise you to learn that the Progressive Activists—who were the most highly educated—reported the highest annual income, but would you have guessed that the second wealthiest group was the Devoted Conservatives?

[Ed. This is an excerpt from a report by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff (from Persuasion). Sign up and you too can receive thoughtful and challenging writing like this.]

Third news item

Challenging “wokeness”:

Another sign of this dis-enlightenment: the modern fashion that treats stereotyping as sophisticated analysis. We’re told much about a vague monolith of white people ever ready to circle the wagons and defend white interests. Robin DiAngelo’s best-selling “White Fragility” is Exhibit A of this trope, and her latest book, “Nice Racism,” includes a chapter titled “Why It’s OK to Generalize About White People.” But the existence of racism does not, as DiAngelo suggests, make it valid to propose that there is a kind of undifferentiated body of white people with indistinguishable interests.

White America consists of myriad groups and individuals, whose actions and non-actions, intentional and not, have a vast range of effects whose totality challenges all thinking observers. Writers like DiAngelo, who wield enormous influence in our current discourse, encourage the assumption that white people act as a self-preservationist amalgam. This notion of a pale-faced single organism stomping around the world is a cartoon, yet smart people hold this cartoon up as an enlightened way of thinking, and it has caught on.

I also suspect I am hardly alone, when hearing the term “systemic racism,” in quietly wondering how useful it is to use the same word, racism, for both explicit bigotry and inequality, even if the latter is according to race. In his similarly best-selling “How to Be an Antiracist,” the Boston University professor Ibram Kendi begins by defining a “racist” as “one who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea.” He then defines an “antiracist” as “one who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea.”

Fourth news item

If Trump is your standard of measure, you’ve given your hand away:

“He is just not in any way the kind of toxic waste dump that Trump became,” said Matt Bennett of the center-left group Third Way. “I would guess that even if Biden isn’t over 50 [percent public approval] next year, you’re going to see him campaigning with a ton of congressional Democrats.”…

One Democratic strategist who manages House and Senate races said that given Biden’s dismal polling, he would advise his candidates not to get anywhere near the sitting president.

“There’s just no evidence that Biden is a net positive in the suburbs,” he said.

But Biden, so far, has not been shunned. In Virginia, where Biden beat Trump by more than 10 percentage points last year, many of the state’s most prominent Democrats participated in a photoline with the president Tuesday, including five House Democrats from across the state.

Fifth news item

False flag, my ass:

The Fox icon has previously suggested Jan. 6 was a possible FBI set-up, through critics have “dismissed this idea as a conspiracy theory,” writes Newsweek. On Wednesday, Carlson said he believes the documentary “answers a lot of the remaining questions from that day.” The trailer says the project will tell “the true story behind the War on Terror 2.0 and the plot against the people,” writes Vice News.

To which Liz Cheney said just shut-up already:

Sixth news item

Let’s see this in every high school across the nation:

A group of about 40 dads who roam the campus of Southwood High School and refer to themselves as “Dads on Duty” say they have the momentum to take their efforts nationwide.

“No matter what side of the political end that you’re on, we all have a love for children,” LaFitte said. “We all have a love for doing what’s right.”

With the high school’s permission, the group of dads showed up after 23 students were arrested in a rash of fights. The students said there hasn’t been another incident since.

“We stopped fighting and people started going to class,” one student said.

“You ever heard of ‘a look?'” another added, describing the firm stares from the men.

It was the dad looks and the dad jokes that helped turn things around, the men said.

“Nothing is more important than being a father,” LaFitte said.

“So just to be here makes a big difference,” another dad Tracy Harris added.

Never, ever underestimate the powerful presence of a dad.

Seventh news item


The Lincoln Project took credit for a stunt in which a group of people wielding tiki torches in the style of a 2017 “alt-right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, showed up outside a Glenn Youngkin event.

“Today’s demonstration was our way of reminding Virginians what happened in Charlottesville four years ago, the Republican Party’s embrace of those values, and Glenn Youngkin’s failure to condemn it,” the Lincoln Project, a political action committee made up of ex-Republicans, said in a statement.

Before the source of the stunt was known, former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s campaign portrayed the group as genuine supporters of his Republican opponent.

Eighth news item

To each his own, I guess:

A social media influencer defended herself Wednesday after she was criticized for sharing photos of herself posing in front of her father’s open casket.

In the photos, Jayne Rivera, 20, was wearing a fitted, black one-sleeve blazer dress as she stood by her father’s coffin, which was adorned with an American flag. She posed with her hands in prayer in one picture.

Rivera…told NBC News in an interview that she “understood the negative reception,” but clarified that the photos were taken “with the best intentions in a manner my father would have approved with had he still been alive.”

“Everyone handles the loss of a loved one in their own ways; some are more traditional while others might come across as taboo,” the content creator said in a statement Wednesday. “For me, I treated the celebration as if my father was right next to me, posing for the camera as he had done on many occasions prior.”

And because Patterico appreciates photographic confirmation of a story:


Ninth news item

Enes Kanter is at it again. Good on him:

Have a great weekend!


Rep. Adam Kinzinger Decides Not Seek Re-Election

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:04 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Kinzinger made the announcement on Twitter today:

A few quotes from his announcement:

As a country, we must unplug from the mistruths we’ve been fed. In Congress, I’ve witnessed how division is heavily rooted. There’s little to no desire to bridge our differences. And unity is no longer a word we use. It has also become increasingly obvious to me that in order to break the narrative. I cannot focus on both a reelection to Congress and a broader fight nationwide.

This isn’t the end of my political future, but the beginning. Serving six terms in Congress, has been an honor of a lifetime.

Clearly, Trump will be checking this off on his payback to-do list:

Trump referenced the political consequences of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him in a statement reacting to Kinzinger’s announcement, writing “2 down 8 to go!” GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, who also voted to impeach Trump, announced last month his plans to leave Congress.

Kinzinger had demonstrated loyalty to the Constitution and voted to impeach the former president, as well as voting for the contempt resolution against Steve Bannon. When he made the decision to sit on the Jan. 6 commission and explained why he was compelled to do so:

“For months, we have searched for answers and what process we should use to get them. For months, lies and conspiracy theories have been spread, threatening our self-governance. For months, I have said that the American people deserve transparency and truth on how and why thousands showed up to attack our democracy, and ultimately, what led to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Complex on January 6, 2021.

“Self-governance requires accountability and responsibility. My faith requires the same of me, truth is necessary for order, and that’s what I will do. Let me be clear, I’m a Republican dedicated to conservative values, but I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution—and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer.

“This moment requires a serious, clear-eyed, non-partisan approach. We are duty-bound to conduct a full investigation on the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814 and to make sure it can never happen again.

Due to recent redistricting, Kinzinger would have faced an uphill re-election battle:

The reshaping of congressional districts was likely a factor in the decision. Because of Illinois redistricting after the 2020 census, GOP Rep. Darin LaHood and Kinzinger’s district would be in the same district, according to an updated map released hours earlier Friday. If that were the case, LaHood and Kinzinger would have had to run in the same June 2022 Republican primary. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign it into law.

If the LaHood name sounds familiar, it should:

LaHood, a native of Peoria, Illinois, is the son of Ray LaHood,[3][4] the 16th United States Secretary of Transportation and before then seven-term U.S. Representative for the district his son currently represents.

LaHood, a Trump supporter, obviously did not vote to impeach Trump. Amusingly, he claimed that to impeach the president would have been divisive:

“I oppose impeachment. Pushing articles of impeachment days before the inauguration will only inflame and further divide our country.”

These days, MAGA owns the GOP, and Republicans who are vocal in their opposition to Trump and his influence and want to see the GOP completely cut ties with the former president find themselves in increasingly hostile territory. So the question now is: who’s next?


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