Taibbi: The Left Is Incapable Of Introspection

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psk836
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Taibbi: The Left Is Incapable Of Introspection

Post by psk836 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:02 am

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/kansas-should-go-f-itself

A review of a new book by liberal Thomas Frank that tries to explain to liberals WTF is going on, though Taibbi is under no illusions about any liberal actually listening up.

"When I was first sent out to cover the Donald Trump campaign years later, I assumed the editorial concept would be simple: mockery. New York’s infamous “short-fingered vulgarian” had taken over national headlines in the summer of 2015 with a foul-mouthed stream-of-consciousness rap, organized around an impossible Pharaonic wall project and scare tales about rape-happy Mexicans – the Diceman doing Pat Buchanan. If this was taking over the Republican Party, there wasn’t much to report. The enterprise was doomed, and journalism’s only mission was to make sure the silliest bits were captured before being buried under the sands of history.

Twenty minutes into my first Trump campaign event, I knew this was wrong, and was seized by a sinking feeling that really hasn’t left since. Trump in person sounded like he’d been convinced to run for president after reading What’s the Matter with Kansas? His stump act seemed tailored to take advantage of the gigantic market opportunity Democrats had created, and which Frank described. He ranted about immigrants, women, the disabled, and other groups, sure, but also about NAFTA, NATO, the TPP, big Pharma, military contracting, and a long list of other issues.

In 2016, it was clear only a few people in the lefty media world understood what Trump was up to, and why he was a real threat to win. Michael Moore was one, and Frank was another. I don’t think it’s a coincidence both were Midwesterners. Frank released his next book, Listen, Liberal, in May of 2016, just as Trump was seizing the nomination. It began with the following observation:

In the summer of 2014, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting all-time highs, a poll showed that nearly three-quarters of the American public thought the economy was still in recession—because for them, it was.

He noted that workers’ share of GDP hit the lowest levels in American history in 2011 and stayed there, as inequities stemming from the Obama “recovery” became a “quasi-permanent development.”

Most of the press lived in a different America, though, and saw Frank’s warning as annoying, repetitive whining. Cocky reviewers at places like the New York Times bemoaned the book’s “pessimistic note” and berated him for seeing the “uneven recovery” of the Obama years as “a tragedy rather than a triumph.” Listen to what? Hadn’t he read the latest polls? Didn’t he know the rout was on?"

"After Trump’s election in November 2016, the first instinct of everyone wandering amid the smoldering wreckage of Democratic Party politics should have been to look in all directions for anyone with an explanation for what the hell just happened.

Of course the opposite took place. Frank seemed to be put into deep-freeze after Listen, Liberal, largely I think because he was telling a truth no one wanted to hear about the difference between the way the New York Times saw America, and how, say, Iowans or Nebraskans saw it. Trump meanwhile constructed his argument for the presidency atop that difference, and is still doing it today.

Also: the word, “populism,” became a synonym for plague or menace. Post-Trump and post-Brexit, pundits tended to use the term in tandem with other epithets, e.g. the “populist threat.”'

"It’s no accident that the consensus press pumping out these messages spent the last four years denouncing Sanders – whose campaign was a polite promise to restore New Deal values for everyone, Republicans included – as far too radical for America.

Once Sanders was out of the way, those same news outlets embraced a significantly more radical ideology, one that swore a lot, described everyone to the right of Ibram Kendi as a white supremacist, and told small business owners they should put up with their stores being smashed for the cause of progress.

The history outlined in The People, No predicts this. America’s financial and political establishment has always been most terrified of an inclusive underclass movement. So it evangelizes a bizarre transgressive politics that tells white conservatives to #@%$ themselves and embraces a leftist sub-theology that preaches class as a racist canard. Same old game, same old goal: keep people divided. The only cost to the “consensus thinkers” who will likely re-take the White House under Joe Biden is, they will have to join Nike and Bank of America in flying a “Black Lives Matter” banner above a conference room or two as they re-take their seats at the controls of the S.S. Neoliberalism."

"Frank insisted there was both a danger in ignoring those shared concerns, and a huge potential benefit in addressing them. Fifteen years ago, that was an acceptable topic for elite discussion. In the Trump era it’s heresy, and even an eloquently-argued warning like The People, No will likely be denounced, as too much like paying attention to deplorables."
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Re: Taibbi: The Left Is Incapable Of Introspection

Post by brookboy123 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:14 am

psk836 wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:02 am
https://taibbi.substack.com/p/kansas-should-go-f-itself

A review of a new book by liberal Thomas Frank that tries to explain to liberals WTF is going on, though Taibbi is under no illusions about any liberal actually listening up.

"When I was first sent out to cover the Donald Trump campaign years later, I assumed the editorial concept would be simple: mockery. New York’s infamous “short-fingered vulgarian” had taken over national headlines in the summer of 2015 with a foul-mouthed stream-of-consciousness rap, organized around an impossible Pharaonic wall project and scare tales about rape-happy Mexicans – the Diceman doing Pat Buchanan. If this was taking over the Republican Party, there wasn’t much to report. The enterprise was doomed, and journalism’s only mission was to make sure the silliest bits were captured before being buried under the sands of history.

Twenty minutes into my first Trump campaign event, I knew this was wrong, and was seized by a sinking feeling that really hasn’t left since. Trump in person sounded like he’d been convinced to run for president after reading What’s the Matter with Kansas? His stump act seemed tailored to take advantage of the gigantic market opportunity Democrats had created, and which Frank described. He ranted about immigrants, women, the disabled, and other groups, sure, but also about NAFTA, NATO, the TPP, big Pharma, military contracting, and a long list of other issues.

In 2016, it was clear only a few people in the lefty media world understood what Trump was up to, and why he was a real threat to win. Michael Moore was one, and Frank was another. I don’t think it’s a coincidence both were Midwesterners. Frank released his next book, Listen, Liberal, in May of 2016, just as Trump was seizing the nomination. It began with the following observation:

In the summer of 2014, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting all-time highs, a poll showed that nearly three-quarters of the American public thought the economy was still in recession—because for them, it was.

He noted that workers’ share of GDP hit the lowest levels in American history in 2011 and stayed there, as inequities stemming from the Obama “recovery” became a “quasi-permanent development.”

Most of the press lived in a different America, though, and saw Frank’s warning as annoying, repetitive whining. Cocky reviewers at places like the New York Times bemoaned the book’s “pessimistic note” and berated him for seeing the “uneven recovery” of the Obama years as “a tragedy rather than a triumph.” Listen to what? Hadn’t he read the latest polls? Didn’t he know the rout was on?"

"After Trump’s election in November 2016, the first instinct of everyone wandering amid the smoldering wreckage of Democratic Party politics should have been to look in all directions for anyone with an explanation for what the hell just happened.

Of course the opposite took place. Frank seemed to be put into deep-freeze after Listen, Liberal, largely I think because he was telling a truth no one wanted to hear about the difference between the way the New York Times saw America, and how, say, Iowans or Nebraskans saw it. Trump meanwhile constructed his argument for the presidency atop that difference, and is still doing it today.

Also: the word, “populism,” became a synonym for plague or menace. Post-Trump and post-Brexit, pundits tended to use the term in tandem with other epithets, e.g. the “populist threat.”'

"It’s no accident that the consensus press pumping out these messages spent the last four years denouncing Sanders – whose campaign was a polite promise to restore New Deal values for everyone, Republicans included – as far too radical for America.

Once Sanders was out of the way, those same news outlets embraced a significantly more radical ideology, one that swore a lot, described everyone to the right of Ibram Kendi as a white supremacist, and told small business owners they should put up with their stores being smashed for the cause of progress.

The history outlined in The People, No predicts this. America’s financial and political establishment has always been most terrified of an inclusive underclass movement. So it evangelizes a bizarre transgressive politics that tells white conservatives to #@%$ themselves and embraces a leftist sub-theology that preaches class as a racist canard. Same old game, same old goal: keep people divided. The only cost to the “consensus thinkers” who will likely re-take the White House under Joe Biden is, they will have to join Nike and Bank of America in flying a “Black Lives Matter” banner above a conference room or two as they re-take their seats at the controls of the S.S. Neoliberalism."

"Frank insisted there was both a danger in ignoring those shared concerns, and a huge potential benefit in addressing them. Fifteen years ago, that was an acceptable topic for elite discussion. In the Trump era it’s heresy, and even an eloquently-argued warning like The People, No will likely be denounced, as too much like paying attention to deplorables."
I believe that the incapability to be introspective to be the case with the wing nuts from all sides of the political spectrum.

It's one of the marks of a low-thinking stooge.
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Re: Taibbi: The Left Is Incapable Of Introspection

Post by psk836 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:25 am

And yet Trump used it to win the country while the left rejected Sanders for trying to do the same.
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