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May 31 2018

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Karen Tumulty: There’s an election wave you probably haven’t heard of yet — and it’s important

A decade ago, Colorado entrepreneur and philanthropist Jared Polis made history as the first openly gay man elected as a nonincumbent to Congress. But most voters did not get a glimpse of his longtime partner Marlon Reis until the night Polis won the Democratic primary, when the couple created a sensation by sharing a hug onstage at a victory party.

“It was kind of zero to 60,” Reis recalls. He had initially been reluctant to be visible in the campaign because “we didn’t know if it would somehow negatively affect Jared’s chances of getting elected.”

This year, Polis is running for governor, and the family he has created with Reis is very much a part of the effort. Their 6-year-old son, Caspian, narrates a campaign ad on Polis’s plans for universal prekindergarten. A Facebook video shows the couple huddled on a bunk bed with Caspian and their scene-stealing 3-year-old daughter, Cora, reading an iPad storybook — which happens to be “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver’s” best-selling parody of one about Vice President Pence’s pet. In the parody version , the rabbit falls in love with another boy bunny.

Charles M. Blow: On Race: The Moral High Ground

 

Racist comments don’t hurt my feelings. Not at all.

However, I find that people assume that they are hurtful, both the persons spewing them and those empathic about the perceived pain.

But I register no such pain. I’m from the Toni Morrison school of morality on the subject of race. As she once told Charlie Rose:

“I always knew that I had the high ground, all my life. I always thought those people who said I couldn’t come in the drugstore, and I had to sit in this funny place, and I couldn’t go in the park — —”

Rose interjects:

“You felt morally superior to them from Day 1.”

Morrison continued:

“I did. And I thought they knew that I knew that they were inferior to me, morally. I always thought that, and my parents always thought that.”

You see, racism is a moral corruption built on an intellectual fallacy and exists as a construction invented for the very purpose of violence. So, when people demonstrate that they subscribe to theories of racism, they have shown their hand, and I am immediately roused by the euphoric understanding that they are compromised, diminished and assailable.

 

John Atcheson: Sides, Balance, and the Death of Truth

Something I’m hearing a lot from thoughtful people these days is how we have to learn to communicate with the other side. They bemoan the degree to which the US has sunk into two camps, each entrenched in their own reality and separated by a chasm of ideological intolerance. “It is critical that we reach across the aisle; that we meet them halfway,” they’ll say. Well, in point of fact, it’s mostly liberals who say this. Corporations and rich folks, and the politicians they’ve bought and paid for, are more than happy with the status quo because it’s working just fine for them.

Then, of course, there’s been the decades long demand for “fair and balanced” reporting—something that was a key point in the infamous Powell Memo—a conservative manifesto that served as a blueprint for the conservative takeover of our national political narrative and that was designed to make the country more “business friendly,” which in point of fact meant less friendly to the people, the environment, and democracy.

With all due respect, what we need to do is to take on those who use hate-filled ignorance to advance their cause and make it—and them—something to be ashamed of again. To chase it into the dark shadows where it should remain in shame with its brethren, fear, greed, jingoism, racism, and sexism, rather than being celebrated as it is now.

And, while we’re at it, we need to throw out the notion of so-called “balance” in the media.

E. J. Dionne Jr.: Call out his lies. He depends on them.

By now, we know that President Trump is a lying demagogue. Because this is not said often enough, he has been allowed to routinize lying and enshrine the vilest forms of divisiveness as a normal part of our politics.

Lies do not deserve deference just because a president tells them.

We thought that the media learned during Joseph R. McCarthy’s heyday that “We report the lies, you decide” is not a responsible approach to journalism. Trump’s egregiousness requires everyone to take a refresher course in the lesson of McCarthyism.

At the same time, just calling out deceit is insufficient. It is essential as well to understand why Trump tells particular lies at particular moments and to be hardheaded in judging how effective they are. This is a precondition to turning back the smears and the falsehoods.

 

Shira A, Scheundlin: Trump’s hard-right judges will do lasting damage to America

Last Tuesday, President Donald J Trump addressed the Susan B Anthony List at its 11th annual Campaign for Life gala. His theme was the many successes of his administration and, most importantly, the need to rally voters to be sure that Republicans successfully maintained control of the House and the Senate in the November 2018 midterm elections. In speaking to this audience of faithful supporters identified as “pro-life” voters, he stated: “Now, for the first time since Roe v Wade, America has a pro-life president, a pro-life vice-president, a pro-life House of Representatives, and 25 pro-life Republican state capitols.”

In the same speech he touted his great success in judicial appointments with the following words: “We’ve appointed a record number of judges who will defend our constitution and interpret the law as written. And we’re putting on to the bench a record number of judges. And in a short period of time, we are going to have probably the all-time record for the appointment of judges. And I’m very excited about that.”

This speech tells you exactly what you need to know about this president’s goal and his desire to define his legacy. As is well known by now, what he says yesterday he reverses tomorrow. At one time, Trump supported a woman’s right to choose. That is long gone. His goal today is nothing less that the undoing of Roe v Wade, the US supreme court decision that allowed a woman the right to obtain an abortion. He will not be satisfied until he can stack the lower federal courts – and eventually the supreme court – with judges who will overturn that precedent.

 

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