Sorry, Abigail, the Culture Wars Are Just Warming Up

Abigail Spanberger: despite winning, not a happy camper.

by James A. Bacon

Having narrowly survived a challenge from Republican Nick Freitas, Virginia’s 7th district congresswoman, Abigail Spanberger, had some sharp words for her Democratic Party colleagues in a conference call yesterday. Reports Politico:

[Spanberger] grew angry as she warned her party against some of the rhetoric she argued hurt moderate Democrats like herself, saying the election results were a “failure.”

“No one should say ‘defund the police’ ever again,” Spanberger said on the call, according to two sources. “Nobody should be talking about socialism.”

Spanberger also warned that if Democrats kept up their tactics in 2022: “We will get f—— torn apart.”

Spanberger has every reason to be concerned. She has narrowly won twice now in a congressional district that had been gerrymandered to vote GOP, and Republicans will continue to field candidates against her. She must stake out the middle ground politically. While Joe Biden might well succeed in ousting the polarizing Donald Trump from the presidency — the outcome is still too close to fall — I see little prospect of Democrats taming their rhetoric, either nationally or here in Virginia.

The ideological roots of the Democrats’ lurch leftward run deep, rooted in identity politics. Democrats have built their coalition around college-educated white elites and “people of color” — blacks, Hispanics, and Asians — confident that an inexorable demographic tide, driven in part by immigration, would ensure their political dominance for decades to come.

Democrats have adopted an ideology to match their political strategy. Early on, they elevated racial and ethnic “diversity” as an ideal to replace the old ideal of assimilation. As that concept became commonplace, they needed new differentiators. Beginning with the Trayvon Martin killing in 2012, the national media began cherry-picking similar tragic incidents and depicting them as if they were typical of everyday reality in America. This consciousness snowballed into the Black Lives Matter movement and the conviction that racism is endemic and deeply embedded in American society. Critical Race Theory, once regarded as an extremist ideology limited to the hot-houses of academe, suddenly sounded plausible to tens of millions of Democrats.

Virginia is no exception to these national trends. After his blackface revelations, Governor Ralph Northam began immersing himself in the literature of Critical Race Theory, which posits that whites are inherently racist and that America is an inherently racist nation. He then proceeded to institutionalize CRT in state government by appointing diversity directors, who then embarked upon “training” sessions and webcasts designed to disseminate CRT perspectives. This effort was most evident in the Virginia Department of Education. Education Secretary Atif Qarni, who openly embraced the concept of structural racism, began implementing policies designed to reduce unequal educational outcomes. These initiatives range from steering extra state dollars to failing schools to altering the admission criteria for the state’s governor’s schools including, most controversially, the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County.

Northam’s endeavors are paralleled by similar initiatives in local public school districts — most visibly in Northern Virginia — and in many colleges and universities. Given impetus by the George Floyd killing this year, the administrations of the University of Virginia, Washington & Lee, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute, and George Mason University have become convulsed with controversies over undoubted racist sins of the past and/or alleged racist sins of the present.

Civil War statues may be coming down across Virginia, but inequalities persist in the criminal justice system and, more broadly, in measures of education, health, housing and incomes. American society is riven over the causes of that inequality — to what degree are economic and political structures responsible, and to what degree are people responsible for their own decisions and actions — and what to do about it. President Trump can pass from the scene tomorrow, but Critical Race Theory isn’t going anywhere. Indeed, the increasing proclivity for Democrats to interpret every disparate statistical outcome and every unpleasant encounter between individuals through the prism of race virtually guarantees that racial sensitivities will rub more raw than ever. Insofar as progressives misdiagnose the causes of inequality, their policy prescriptions likely will aggravate the very disparities they seek to remedy, to which they will respond by doubling down on their rhetoric.

It is impossible to say how this will all play out. Critical Race Theory could hit a dead end. Asian American students (both East Asians and South Asians) tend to excel academically, and policies designed to create equal racial outcomes in elite schools and universities usually occur at their expense. As a consequence, there is a growing backlash in Asian-American communities against identity politics. Also, this year’s election has shown that Hispanics are not the monolithic voting bloc that Democrats once imagined. Many if not most Hispanics (encompassing many different countries or origin) aspire to joining mainstream culture. The Democratic obsession with anti-black racism does nothing for working- and middle-class Hispanics, most of whom identify as white.

One thing we can say with some assurance is that the conflicts engendered by identity politics will not go away. America’s dominant media institutions are as committed as ever to the America-as-racist-nation paradigm, and they still have frightening power to shape public perceptions and shape national narratives. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is stuck with identity politics. Aside from outliers like Abigail Spanberger, most Democrats have drunk the Kool-Ade. They see racism everywhere. Intellectually, they have nowhere else to go.

Whether President Trump leaves the White House in January or stays, the culture wars engendered by the culture of victimhood and grievance will guarantee hostility and conflict for years to come.

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109 responses to “Sorry, Abigail, the Culture Wars Are Just Warming Up

  1. She might have had some harsh words for the Speaker of the House in particular, but she will still be voting with the Speaker 92% of the time – or farther to the “left” of her, whatever that is…

  2. There is an old saying: “Actions speak louder than words.” Any Democrat claiming to be a moderate or a centrist needs to do more than use the words and phrases of moderation or centrism during election years; they need to demonstrate by concrete actions and meaningful deeds that they really are moderate or centrist, especially on the difficult issues facing America today.

    Too many so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats, “moderate” Democrats, and “centrist” Democrats have failed to live up to their campaign rhetoric. If they truly want to demonstrate that they are what they claim to be, they need to represent the interests of their constituents, not just meekly toe the line when Speaker Pelosi and the dominant left-wing of the Democrat Party tell them that they have to support the party agenda.

    If they can’t live up to their campaign rhetoric, then they should show respect for their constituents by leaving office.

  3. I think ya’ll are once again, getting ahead of yourselves on the boogeyman narrative.

    Congress pretty much reflects the hard split in the country. Nothing will get through that does not get at least some bipartisan support AND even then if the Senate doesn’t like it – it’s toast.

    Are we going to spend 4 more years with the Dems passing dead-on-arrival stuff in the House while the Senate justs says no-no-no?

    Conservatives now own the SCOTUS to boot.

    Biden might be reduced to doing what Trump did – EOs.

    • EO’s modify existing laws and how they are enforced, that newly minted SCOTUS majority may very well stop ruling by Fiat in its tracks for a Biden Administration.

    • Or will the GOP pass dead-on-arrival stuff in the Senate when while House just says no-no-no? Why should we assume that what the House does is the right thing?

      One thing that needs to change irrespective of which party is in power is to change the laws so that a single district court judge cannot enjoin executive action or an agency rule nationwide. The Hobbs Act, 28 U.S.C. section 2342, needs to be amended to put all challenges to new rules or orders before the Courts of Appeal only.

      Today, the law does this, with certain exceptions, for the following agencies: FCC, Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation, Federal Maritime Commission, Atomic Energy Commission, Surface Transportation Board, certain orders under the Fair Housing Act and certain railroad safety order.

      The rule or order stays in effect unless the appeals court grants a stay.

      • I wasn’t familiar and don’t recall it taking place before (perhaps I wasn’t watching) but is the use of lower courts to providing injunctions across the entire county the norm?

        Seems like Washington wouldn’t really have standing for a Law or EO in another state.

  4. Rep. Spanberger just admitted the root of identity politics, they could care less about you and your plight. They just want your vote to stay in power, lets see how actually listens.

    However, Speaker Pelosi who also on that call indicated to her members that the press aren’t your friends. They’d do best to heed her words, as they aren’t. They got a taste of power and huge bottom lines leaking Trump Administration disfunction, you don’t think they’ll stop now do you.

    • Matt, you raised an interesting issue about the role of the media during a Biden administration. Here’s my take on it. The mainstream media is not a monolithic entity. Like the Democratic Party, it has an establishment wing and an anti-establishment wing (a Biden wing and a Bernie wing). I expect the establishment wing to fawn over Biden just as it fawned over Obama. But the anti-establishment wing is a different matter.

      Here’s what I expect to happen. Upon assuming office (as it appears that he will), Biden will enjoy a honeymoon just because he’s not Trump. We’ll see a sudden reversal in how the media treats the COVID-19 virus. We’ll see a sudden emphasis on vaccines and other medical advances that reduce the severity of the illness. Whatever Biden does, he will be hailed as a virus-conquering hero.

      Beyond that, the relationship gets more problematic. Biden is suffering cognitive decline. At some point that decline will be impossible to ignore. The same media that argued for replacing Trump on the grounds of mental incapacity will have to face Biden’s mental incapacity. Also, the Hunter Biden scandal will not go away. While the establishment media will continue to sweep the scandal under the rug, the anti-establishment media will see an opportunity to dump Biden and elevate Kamala Harris to the presidency.

      When Biden becomes president and Donald Trump is no longer there to unify the media, intramural antagonisms will come to the fore. As you observed, the media abandoned any pretense to objectivity in their coverage of Trump. I suspect the media will find it possible to restore the old norms. Blue-on-blue fights could get very ugly indeed.

      That’s my prediction. You read it here first.

      • ya’ll might get disappointed if Biden reaches out to some moderate Republicans, maybe even appoints some?

        Ya’ll are so spun up on Trump’s way of doing business, you may have forgotten what normal folks do especially when they don’t have a majority in Congress.

        We were going nowhere with Trump. Who calls the Majority Leader that they have to negotiate with to get legislation, “Crazy Nancy”?

        You can be sure that kind of talk is going to go away and Twitter will no longer have POTUS “storms”.

        • Larry,

          He can’t, he will get crucified by the far left of his party.

          “Ya’ll are so spun up on Trump’s way of doing business, you may have forgotten what normal folks do especially when they don’t have a majority in Congress.”

          I live in reality Larry, this downward spiral of absolute partisanship proceeded Trump. He was the symptom of it, which started with Bush 43.

          • No more daily lies and conspiracy theories? What WILL we do?

            The “left” will “crucify” Biden? For what? They don’t have a majority of Congress … any legislation that has a prayer of just passing the House will have to have the support of the moderates.(Yes, they do exist).

            I think some of ya’ll actually want to see more discord, honestly.

            I’ll be more than disappointed if Biden veers hard left and I’m not alone by a long shot.

            Biden/Harris will be a one term , one trick pony, if they just continue on with a left version of Trump and company.

            Of course some consider Biden a “leftist” from the get go, so there’s that also! 😉

          • “No more daily lies and conspiracy theories? What WILL we do?”

            You have no idea how the media works, they aren’t your friend. There are far more adversarial now, than they were when FPOTUS was in office. They driven by clicks and they just realized they get more click when they don’t fawn over someone.

            “The “left” will “crucify” Biden? For what? They don’t have a majority of Congress … any legislation that has a prayer of just passing the House will have to have the support of the moderates.(Yes, they do exist).”

            If PE Biden were to nominate a moderate, the very premise you tried to float.

            “I think some of ya’ll actually want to see more discord, honestly.

            I’ll be more than disappointed if Biden veers hard left and I’m not alone by a long shot.”

            No, I don’t want discord I just again understand reality. No, they party doesn’t want moderation. The moderates were all defeated in their elections, Larry. The parties identity is being pushed far left, like the Republicans was pushed far right.

            PE Biden is a standard Washington Politician, he sways whichever way will keep him in power. He doesn’t care about you, your plight or your ideals. You’re a vote and nothing more (hence 47 years in DC with only a crime bill to his name).

          • Larry asked: The “left” will “crucify” Biden? For what?

            Have you read the Biden-Sanders unity task forces’ policy recommendations? (I seriously doubt you have.) It reads like an modern day communist manifesto.

            The hard left is already at work. They may not represent the majority of the country or even their own party, but they are the most vocal and so far nobody in the party has been willing or able to stand up to them.

            “Sanders Urges ‘Squad’ to ‘Make Sure Biden Becomes the Most Progressive President Since FDR’”


          • eh…. this is starting to sound like Biden Derangement Symdrome!

          • Larry – “eh…. this is starting to sound like Biden Derangement Symdrome!”

            Thanks for confirming that you have not read the policy outline recommendations for the guy you voted for.

            I know Larry won’t read it, but if others are interested, check this out. It provides a link to the “Blueprint For A Progressive Presidency”.

            “Democratic Task Forces Deliver Biden A Blueprint For A Progressive Presidency”


          • See, here’s the deal Nathan. Reading through the “progressive” report – how much support do you think there is for these things?

            Most of them seem to be strongly supported by a majority in the polls.


            This seems to be the problem with what Conservatives want – like killing the ACA without a replacement. The polls show the majority want health care coverage for all. This is how the GOP got voted out of the majority in Virginia.

            The majority of voters believe we must deal with global warming,no?

            You seem to think that if Conservatives oppose something, that is the “correct” position no matter what the voters want?

          • Thanks Larry. More references to opinion polls and no effort expended on your part to read something to acquaint yourself with the facts. Got it.

          • Well, more references to what VOTERS want. Right?

            How many votes did Biden get over health care?

            How many service workers and people of color with service jobs voted to have access to health care?

            That question already answered in Virginia. It cost the GOP their majority in the GA.

      • I agree, and I honestly don’t think he makes it 100 days before they 25th Amendment him. They install a very unpopular candidate in Harris who won’t follow in LBJ’s footsteps and win re-election.

        The media follows the rabid dog theory, once they get that taste for human blood they will crave it. They’ve got the revenue from the Trump clicks, they aren’t going to do a 180.

        Just like the group of people who think Trump will face criminal consequences post Presidency. It was a pipe dream to drum up base support, it would create the Constitutional crisis that Ford envisioned and why he pardoned Nixon.

        • I still think they are going to try to get him to last a little over two years before they oust him or force him to resign. Only by having him serve more than half of his term will they be able to potentially maximize the length of a Kamala Harris presidency. If the dems play their cards right she could be president for very close to 10 years.

          • That’s possible they could do the shadow Presidency how like Eleanor Roosevelt was most likely running the shower for the last 3 years of FDR’s administration.

            Yeah they’ll keep up the façade as long as possible, the noted decline is real regardless of who wants to deny it. It’s just a sad state of affairs.

          • They’ll try to get through the 2022 mid-terms before they jettison him. It’s hard to explain to the voters how a political party ran a candidate with signs of dementia without doing any cognitive capability testing.

          • Roosevelt was dying when he was re-elected for a fourth term. Acute congestive heart failure. His doctors knew he was dying during the campaign and so did he. Yet despite being in a World War and coming up to a major conflict with the Soviet Union the Democrats ran him anyway. His own vice president didn’t know about the Manhattan Project even though the Democratic president was terminally ill.

            Woodrow Wilson had a severe stroke while president. Instead of stepping aside Wilson’s wife ran the country for the year between the time he had the stroke and his last day in office.

            Over the past 100 years the Democrats have twice allowed a man to stay in the office of president who had no business being in office.

            Don’t think for a second that the Dems won’t prop up Biden even if he becomes incapable of performing his duties as president.

          • Hey , what about Reagan?

          • James Wyatt Whitehead V

            Hey Mr. Wayne. Do you know about the 20 year or zero year curse?
            1840: William Henry Harrison. Lasted 31 days. In the campaign Henry Clay picked on him for being so old. Harrison decided to give a record 1 hour and 40 minute inaugural address in a driving cold rain with sleet to prove he was still the tough old Indian fighter. No hat. No coat. Bad cold. Dead in 31 days.
            1850: Zachary Taylor. Old Rough and Ready. A hot day, a pitcher of unpasteurized milk, a bowl of cherries, and serious case of dysentery finished him off faster than Santa Anna could. Lasted 16 months.
            1860: Lincoln. Well everybody knows the Booth story.
            1880: James Garfield meets Charlie Guiteau.
            1900: William McKinley: Shot at the Worlds Fair in Buffalo.
            1920: Warren Harding: massive heart attack.
            1940: FDR elected to a 3rd term. Dead from a stroke in 5 years.
            1960: JFK elected. 1000 days later….
            1980: Reagan elected. 1981 Hinckley is within 1 inch of continuing the curse.
            2020: Look I don’t want anything bad to happen to whom ever is inaugurated.
            Strange things happen in US History.

          • Mr. Rippert,

            Weekend at Biden’s haha.

      • I see that Jim and others have joined Rippert as psychologists, diagnosing Biden’s cognitive ability from afar.

        • You don’t need a weather man
          To know which way the wind blows

          Biden is slipping and he will soon have the launch codes.

          “The percentage of people with Alzheimer’s dementia
          increases with age: 3 percent of people age 65-74,
          17 percent of people age 75-84, and 32 percent of
          people age 85 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia.”

          Biden turns 78 in two weeks. He’s confused, gaffe prone, forgets what office he’s seeking, confuses his wife and his sister. Even without those symptoms he’ll start his first day in office with about a 20% chance of cognitive disability.

          Sorry but that’s too high a probability for the man who has the launch codes. The Democrats were completely negligent in running Biden without testing him for dementia.

      • Mr. Bacon,

        Biden has never been very bright, even before dementia. Now he’s probably surrounded by Progressives and lost touch with reality almost completely.

        Biden will be their puppet, until he’s no longer beneficial to the cause. The minute he becomes a liability, he’ll be cast aside like yesterday’s newspaper.

        If the Hunter Biden and “Big Guy” scandal gets too hot, they will finally acknowledge Biden’s dementia and use that to remove him from office with the 25th Amendment. After that, all efforts to link him to corruption will be dropped since “he has dementia” and is unable to defend himself.

        That’s my prediction. You read it here first.

    • Been waiting for 8 years on that imminent replacement for Obamacare…..

      • So you’re unable to acquire insurance through work?

        If that is the case, I’m sure you can purchase it through a provider in your state. That or if you income is low enough qualify for Medicaid which is where the vast majority of success stories from PPACA came from.

        It didn’t drop premiums or copays, that’s a byproduct of the Federal Government interjecting themselves into a place that they were never meant to be. It’s also a byproduct of having insurance companies write the law that benefits them, after all. They are in the business of making money.

        • Matt, I’m fine. I have insurance. But I have kids with pre-existing conditions that I have not had to worry about since 2010; they can get health insurance too.

          The Rs have been promising a great beautiful plan since at least 2011; Trump has said for 4 years its “two weeks away” from being announced. It’s not; they don’t have any plans, nor any desire to try to make one.

          Jim, you need a sarcasm font on this site….

      • They have to Repeal first. They are incapable of just doing Replace.

        There was never a promise to reduce premiums from the ACA, just a reduction in the rate of increase, and in that, they succeeded. The ACA was a patch on a system destine to collapse without it.

        • The repeal first then replace is hypocrisy at it’s finest. The reality is they KNOW that if they do that – that people WILL lose their insurance. The lies know no limit and get worse when they say – “We will cover all pre-existing conditions” but never say how they will – are they promosing more Govt sanctions on health insurance companies? If you have a pre-existing condition but insurance costs 5 times what it does for youug and healthy, then is that “covering” pre-existing conditions? How does employer-provided “cover” pre-existing condtiions and yet keep the premiums more or less the same for all in the pool?

  5. In other words, Dems probably need to realize lot’s of the Trump votes are not pro-Trump as much as anti-the-liberal-religion. But it’s like we need a whole new party called the Moderates. Can Larry Hogan be our Savior?

  6. Well, we’re about to find out who supported Trump “secretly” – and a little later, some folks who will say “I never really supported Trump, I just disliked the alternatives”.

    But will we see a “Trump” Party to replace the “tea party” ?

    The 7th District – was rated as R+5 for some time and Spanburger was considered the recipient of GOP dislike of Brat (Who got elected becuse of GOP dislike of Cantor). It was always thought if the GOP turned out, even for a mediocre candidate, that Spanburger would be history – and she knew this – and spent her whole term trying to buid support from more than just Dems.

    Culpeper didn’t like Spanburger, nor did most other rural. Spotsylvania which loved Trump actually showed some support of Spanburger (not much down ballot), but the real shocker (in my mind) is Henrico and Chesterfield which ae suburbs of Richmond and one might presume folks who have ties to Richmond Region employment but don’t want to live in Richmond City, i.e. what some used to refer to as “white flight”.

  7. I doubt that many who voted for Spanberger in the suburbs have much to do with Richmond. Many are corporate move here’s like me. The folks in the little towns may stick to their conservatism but they are irrelevant. One problem with this blog is that every right winger wants to paint “the left” as an army of AOCs but wouldn’t know a “leftist” if one walked into their house

    • Well some of them think anyone to the left of Attila the Hun is a “leftist”, besides how else can they explain why they are so far right?


    • The folks in the little towns may stick to their conservatism but they are irrelevant.

      Statements like this say more about you, than they say about those “evil constatives”.

      “One problem with this blog is that every right winger wants to paint “the left” as an army of AOCs but wouldn’t know a “leftist” if one walked into their house”

      I don’t think you have a clue what you’re talking about and frankly, not everyone can be a card carrying member of SDS like yourself.

      You’re not a liberal, Petey. Despite what you tell yourself.

  8. The little towns don’t have the votes. Since when was I in the SDS? You have no clue what you are talking about.

  9. The lady doth protest too much, me thinks.

    This is mirror behavior. The Right preliminaries to the extreme right, then tries to run to the center. If it kills a moderate Republican, well, oops.

    The extreme left screaming “Defund the Police” is no different than the dog whistles on the right.

    • “The extreme left screaming “Defund the Police” is no different than the dog whistles on the right.”

      Your Rep. just admitted that notions like that almost cost her an election. She doesn’t care about your plights or ideals, she cares about being in power.

      • It’s the game Matt. If she doesn’t like it she should make clear she doesn’t play that way, but bitching about it won’t change it. Ain’t my rep.

        • “It’s the game Matt. If she doesn’t like it she should make clear she doesn’t play that way, but bitching about it won’t change it. Ain’t my rep.”

          Umm she’s a politician, she’ll never make a statement she can be held to.

          She bares the name of the party to which you vote.

          • Her statements differ very little from what Romney and McConnell have just stated about the Trumpery in the Republican party.

          • “Nancy_Naive | November 6, 2020 at 2:22 pm |
            Her statements differ very little from what Romney and McConnell have just stated about the Trumpery in the Republican party.”

            Trump is no longer the standard barrier of the Republican party, you’re going to have to grow up and Governor now, or is it going to be BDS all over again?

  10. Make up whatever, but you can’t prove anything. Maybe you could show me where I was a member of the SDS. Got a photo? An ID card?The problem with people like you is that you are fast growing more irrelevant as the state modernized and changes.

    • I don’t have to prove anything Petey, your words prove all they need too.

      Your descriptions of the former Soviet Union when you were there indicate all that is needed.

      The problem with people like you is that, you send the following direct e-mails to people because you’re a supercilious twaddle and you can’t validate your uneducated opinion completely devoid of facts:

      Peter Galuszka
      Wed, Oct 28, 5:44 PM (9 days ago)
      to me

      A personal note. Fuck off. Peter”

    • He is a Wikixpert. Looks up things on Wiki and spouts it back. I think he’s confusing your discussion of the SDS being on your campus as an admission that you had joined them. He’s correct about the discussion turning on the WU though. There was some chain yanking by him as to whether it was Weathermen or Weather.

      • “He is a Wikixpert. Looks up things on Wiki and spouts it back. I think he’s confusing your discussion of the SDS being on your campus as an admission that you had joined them.”

        I think you’re confusing me with Larry and yourself. After all, you’ve quoted Wikipedia verbatim before.

        I’ve not once sourced Wikipedia, nor would I. It’s open source and can be modified by any user, and that mod stands until it’s reivewed.

  11. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    I’m glad I don’t have to watch any more anti Spanburger commercials. Something about a cocktail party instead of helping the starving. Mind numbing.

  12. ““No one should say ‘defund the police’ ever again,” Spanberger said on the call, according to two sources. “Nobody should be talking about socialism.””

    I’m going to play one of the left’s favorite games they use against conservatives. Instead of accepting her statements at face value and giving her the benefit of the doubt, I’m going to interpret what she said based on unsubstantiated assumptions and my personal opinions about what she “really meant” and what she was “secretly” communicating to her colleagues:

    1) She said the democrats needed to stop SAYING “defund the police” – she did not say the police should not be defunded, or did she adequately denounce efforts by certain democrats to defund the police.

    2) She said no one should be TALKING about socialism, she did not unequivocally denounce socialism, nor did she say the democrats should turn away from socialism. Her lack of a firm denouncement was actually a “dog whistle” for her supporters, letting them know, with a wink and a nod, that she is still “onboard” with their socialist philosophy.

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      That’s pretty good Mr. Wayne. I approve. I think both tags are going to be hard to pull off now. George Washington was wise to carefully consider the impact of every spoken and written word. It was a useful trait. It was always hard to use Washington’s words against his own reputation. This, I think, explains why he was a man of few words in public life.

  13. Facts: I first visited the Soviet Union as a college student in 1971. I worked there as an accredited foreign correspondents when it was still the Soviet Union from 1986 to 1989. From 1989 to 1993 I was an editor in New York helping direct our coverage of the collapse of the USSR and visited on reporting trips several times as well. From 1993 to 1996 I returned to the Russian Federation (the former USSR) to report for the same magazine. Does this make sense to you? Want me to send anther personal email?

    • Again, your LinkedIn profile is public information for all to see.

      None of that changes the romanization you displayed for a Nation ruled by a brutal regime.

      Sure, go for it. We can exchange recipes, than I can quote it in a comment again showing everyone how childish you really are.

      If you don’t have the intestinal fortitude to make that comment publicly, you shouldn’t send it in an e-mail and abuse the powers you’ve been provided.

  14. Guys, guys, guys… this conversation has degenerated into expressions of personal animus. Please dial it back.

  15. Really. The “ad hominem” and nasty nature on this blog just becomes worse. I just hope Trump, an awful president, is ousted as seems likely and we can all start over and repair the damage. This used to be a good useful and fun outlet but why waste time with it anymore?

  16. Any more comments in this ad-hominem thread will be deleted. Only comments that address substantive issues relating to the original post will be accepted.

    • I like it! A little twisted, but I like it. Only no dissing nobody’s mothers. Even the Pope said that he’d knock the block off anyone who dissed his mom.

  17. Hey! What about me?

  18. I agree with you completely. The time is long last due. It’s time for us to become serious people. And to reject without compromise 6o years of vicious, destructive, insulting and grossly irresponsible misbehavior. Our cowardice has to date has done irreparable harm to generations. Now we have no choice. We must put these ideologues that seek to destroy our nation, its history, and legacy in the place they belong onto the trash heap of history, out of reach of our children, our ancestors, and our nation that they seek to destroy and erase from the earth.

  19. Lots of thoughts on this, but I’m first and foremost curious who everyone voted for: all cards on the table, I went Biden-Harris, Warner, McEachin.


    “Sorry, Abigail, the Culture Wars Are Just Warming Up”

    This sets the tone for the rest of this piece and the obvious implication that this is A) a new phenomenon and B) the fault of liberals. But neither is true – cultural shifting and deciding what values a culture should reflect is as old as human society; as to the idea that liberals are uniquely at fault, I’m old enough to remember the infamous Gingrich Memo from GOPAC ( which is predated itself by governmental actions like COINTELPRO, the assassination of Fred Hampton, etc. And that doesn’t even touch the actions of individuals like the people in The Order who killed Alan Berg, or those responsible for the murders of abortion clinic employees.

    “The ideological roots of the Democrats’ lurch leftward run deep, rooted in identity politics.”

    Republicans practice identity politics, too, it’s just that since whiteness and maleness are unmarked categories they can pretend otherwise. Lee Atwater will set you straight on that score, though. To say nothing of the current president and by extension leader of the Republican party.

    “Democrats have built their coalition around college-educated white elites and ‘people of color’ — blacks, Hispanics, and Asians…”

    How devious of them to build a coalition that represents the majority of Americans.

    Republicans used to do this, too, Nixon and his amigo buses jump out in particular. But that began to erode with Goldwater and by the time Nixon started ignoring Jackie Robinson’s letters it became clear the Republican party was no longer interested in building a cross cultural coalition.

    “Beginning with the Trayvon Martin killing in 2012, the national media began cherry-picking similar tragic incidents and depicting them as if they were typical of everyday reality in America. This consciousness snowballed into the Black Lives Matter movement…”

    You really don’t understand causality – BlackLivesMatter started as a result of the acquittal of George Zimmerman as a completely organic social media movement and through drawing attention to these cases caused the media to chase along after because that’s where the page views are.

    “…and the conviction that racism is endemic and deeply embedded in American society.”

    You keep coming back to variations of this – the idea that the media and elites distort reality to get people to believe the United States is a racist country – and it really is you at your most condescending. People who live in and experience racism in this country don’t need to be sold on the reality of their own experiences. If you don’t believe them that’s fine and just say that, but insisting that they’re being manipulated into the idea that what happens to and around them is racist is insulting to their agency and intelligence.

    “…in the literature of Critical Race Theory, which posits that whites are inherently racist and that America is an inherently racist nation…”

    I could write an entire set of posts about the various misunderstandings about CRT to perpetuate this blog space, but in the interest of space I’ll try to keep it brief.

    Sherlock is right that CRT is rooted in Marxist origins, but all that really means is that it’s an analysis theory based in materialism. And materialism – in the simplest, shortest way to describe it – holds that the perceptible, material world is objectively real (not the manifestation of our consciousness, for example) and that all things are the result of material conditions and interactions.

    To interrogate your claims in reverse order: a society has no inherent anything, all that it is results from the decisions made by the people who form and then perpetuate it. Given this, critical race theory holds that racism was part of the origin of this country and has been perpetuated structurally and legally since then in ways that have never been fully redressed. Chattel slavery based on race – there from the start. Black slaves counting as only 3/5 of free whites – there from the start. Generations of Black labor expropriated into the hands of white capitalists that was never even attempted to be paid back. Slavery was ended in name, but continued on in spirit under the sharecropping system and Jim Crow. Then there was exclusion of Black citizens from large parts of the New Deal – including Social Security. The redlining and racial covenants denied Black veterans the full benefits of the GI Bill and the chance to grow wealth through home ownership. All of this subsidized by taxes they paid same as everyone else. Then there was the disparity in sentencing for crack versus powder cocaine, and the fact that Black and white Americans use drugs at similar rates but are not punished for it in similar measure. The setting up of segregation academies and white flight to the suburbs to avoid school integration.

    Black Americans were systematically and legally either robbed of their labor or then later denied full participation in American society in ways that have lasting effects. So, yes, this country was designed with racism in the blueprints and has never fully excised that part of the design. And certainly hasn’t redressed the damage.

    And CRT doesn’t hold that white Americans are inherently racist – such an absolute term for what is a spectrum of beliefs and behavior responses – rather that because of the racist nature of the systems described above all Americans (white or otherwise) are inculcated with anti-non-white prejudices (anti-Blackness first but not last among them) and because whites are both the current ethnic majority and make up the majority of decision makers it is incumbent on them to understand their implicit biases.

    On a related note, you speak of assimilation, but this is not available to everybody, not even everybody of European ancestry as is shown with every synagogue shooting or defilement of Jewish cemetery.

    “These initiatives range from steering extra state dollars to failing schools…”

    I love the idea that in a capitalist society money somehow can’t be used to fix what’s broken. I mean, I agree that spending money directly on “failing” schools hits its ultimate utility fairly quickly, but using that money to ameliorate the nastier effects of poverty would help school performance a lot. We could also bring back busing – the positive effects of school integration are known.

    Which brings me around to the last.

    “Intellectually, they have nowhere else to go.”

    This is utter nonsense, not just on the subject of race, but on everything going on in this country right now. And that’s why I really wish conservatives would give up on their dead end, do nothing, admit nothing philosophy.

    All of the important intellectual debates are happening in the Democratic party right now because the answer from the right is to refuse to acknowledge reality.

    Climate change? According to the right either it’s not happening or it is and it’s not going to be that bad or it will be but there’s nothing to do about it, depending on the day. That is completely ceding the policy discussion to the left. And that sucks because I actually agree with conservatives that nuclear needs to be an important part of the non-hydrocarbon energy portfolio. But because conservatives refuse to talk in good faith about these issues (instead it’s War on Coal!!!1!) the advocacy for that is atrophying. The only time the right ever brings up nuclear is as a reason to NOT do solar and wind, instead of proactively working on selling it on its own terms. The right has also pretty much abandoned cap and trade, too, in favor of talking about dead birds and the maintenance cost of wind turbines.

    Same thing with our post-industrial labor force. The minimum wage is part of that, and here again the response is NO either to an increase or to the idea of a minimum wage at all, which are not popular options for working people since you’re asking them to either effectively or literally make less than the previous generation. The right also has no answers for automation other than to pay current workers as little as possible to slow its inevitable rise. The left is at least debating UBI (Player Piano) versus Guaranteed Employment (The Jetsons).

    Other than Radley Balko there is no one on the right is taking the issues of police abuse and civil liberties seriously. It’s just the same law and order drum beat that’s been going on since Nixon. You can say BLM is a racially divisive group all you want, but they’re the only reason I heard about the killing of Daniel Shaver.

    And even on the subject of race the right has no new ideas. You may not like CRT, but at least it’s new and interrogatable. The right just keeps recycling the hierarchy of races first as ordained by God, then by genetics, and now by culture (suited for the knowledge economy)…whatever it takes to keep saying NO we don’t need to do anything. I’m not a capitalist myself, but the right claims to be and as such you think they’d be all over some of this – do you know how many new consumers and potential business owners would be created by even partial reparations? Or just even excluding descendants of slaves from federal taxes would be super popular among a lot of Black voters. Instead it’s arguments about why we need to treat Stonewall Jackson different from Benedict Arnold and rehashing the Moynihan Report.

    As a leftist, I generally speaking don’t care if conservatives never hold so much as the office of dog catcher ever again. But where the Republican party is right now is bad for them and bad for the country. If you can only consistently appeal to the majority of only one ethnic group in the country, that’s a problem. And it’s started to ossify the Republican party as home to little else besides white reactionaries, which should give party leaders pause. I want a party that can offer robust and legitimate debate with the Democrats – we don’t always get everything right. But increasingly people like Spanberger who 30 years ago would have been a natural Republican are finding themselves over here and leaving the Republican party to the Donald Trumps of the world.

    • Well.

      I’m more optimistic on the fate of the Republicans vis-a-vis trumpery of Trump. Several are actually, at this moment, beginning to chide him… now that the body is beginning to cool. Soon they may even go so far as to condemn his entire term, some decades from now. But History will be kind to Trump. Historians are hesitant to use terms such as dumb ass and effing idiot.

      But, they shall always be a party of meddlesome busybodies. Human nature, I guess, willing to accept/apathetic to the injustice done to others, especially so, when they benefit from it. It’s the same reason they accept the stream of lies from the WH. It benefits them.

      But this place is comical, if not trite. Old white men proving they are old white men.

      Biden-Harris, Warner, Scott, No, No.

    • That was an excellent rant and totally the reality. Thank You!

      Employer-provided health care is government-provided health care. The govt REQUIRES the insurance company to insure you – guaranteed issue – no matter your health or age AND they mandate that thepremiums NOT be adjusted for age and health. No such “deal” for market insurance and if that was the only choice – i.e. no ACA where would people in the service industry get their insurance?

      We stand around and blather about government and the “market” and some are perfectly willing to pretend that employer-provided is essentially not the same as Obamacare in terms of government involvement (including subsidies).

      Every developed country on earth the govt does health care. The countries that have true free markets in health care are called 3rd world.

      If health insurance were truly “market” in the US , no matter where you got it – even from employers, if you are 50 or 60 or have a chronic condtion – you’d pay 5-10 times as much for it, IF you could get it.

    • UpAgnstTheWall, thanks for your lengthy reply. I appreciate the fact that you participate in the blog and clarify the leftist viewpoint, which tends to get a bit oversimplified in a blog that mainly espouses conservative ideas.

      However… I so thoroughly disagree with your fundamental assumptions and premises that I don’t even know where to begin. The only thing it seems upon which we can agree is that the U.S. does have a long history of racial injustice that influences the state of affairs today. After that… I don’t think we agree upon much of anything at all.

  20. James Bacon – “However… I so thoroughly disagree with your fundamental assumptions and premises that I don’t even know where to begin.”

    True. It would take several pages to unpack all the nonsense. Here’s one item, however.

    UpAgnstTheWall – “But increasingly people like Spanberger who 30 years ago would have been a natural Republican are finding themselves over here and leaving the Republican party to the Donald Trumps of the world.”

    Increasingly, it’s the Democrats who rule with and iron fist and crush dissenters. Republicans tolerate a wide spectrum of views and I believe this election results will demonstrate are doing better with minorities.

    Who was in fact the last representative to switch parties? I believe it was Jeff Van Drew, who by the way was just reelected.

    “NJ Republican Jeff Van Drew beats Dem challenger in race for House seat”

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