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Showing posts from March, 2023

Making Fun of Republicans Keeps Getting Easier

It took them long enough, but after roughly forty years, Democrats have finally come to understand that the best weapon against Republican gaslighting is not dialogue, not compromise, not logic, not "working across the aisle," not any sort of appeal to civic duty, social need, or the greater good. The best weapon is ridicule. It's not that hard. Whenever Republicans open their mouths, they open themselves to mockery. Reporters, pundits, talk-show hosts — and, above all, Democratic legislators — are finding it increasingly hard to keep a straight face at the things these clowns are willing to put on the public record. Biden clearly gets it, finally, that Republicans are barely toilet-trained. He must marvel at the sheer scope of their ineptitude, at their ham-handed efforts to subvert a legislative process they know nothing about.  And which he, of course, knows everything about, having been a legislator most of his life, starting well before a lot of them were born.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Get Pregnant in Texas

More and more, it seems, we must look to Texas for the worst that government has to offer. Texas is where Republicans get to be all that they can be. A place where there’s no right they can’t take away, no policy they can’t make crueler, no institution they can’t demolish and remake for the benefit of white Christian men, and the servitude of everyone else. But it’s on the abortion issue that Texas truly overachieves. Yes, Wyoming legislators can ban abortion pills. Yes, South Carolina legislators can propose the death penalty for both the woman and her doctor. But it’s to Texas we turn for real leadership in the subjugation of women. In Texas, anti-abortion legislation is old news. The laws are in place, and now it’s time to implement them. We’re just starting to see what Texas judges, prosecutors, and police have in mind — what they’re prepared to do to force women to either give birth or die trying. As expected, most of the action is in civil cases, at least for now, and it’

Dominion is Hitting Fox Where it Hurts

There’s a lot to like about the bombshell revelations coming out about Fox News. So much, to be sure, that it’s easy to lose sight of the actual lawsuit that has set those bombshells off. But Dominion Voting Systems, with its $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox, is in the process of blowing a gaping hole in Fox’s entire business model. Seeing the discovery materials that have come out in court filings, we can now get a good look, not just at the depravity of Fox’s hosts, but also at the strength of Dominion’s case. This is surely the most serious challenge Fox has ever faced. Dominion, a company with deep pockets and an extraordinary set of grievances, is going for the throat. They’re calling Fox out in court, for the wanton spread of disinformation and propaganda, and they’re spelling out, in their filings, what that means for democracy. Let’s not be distracted by the salacious revelations themselves. Seeing Fox hosts exposed as snakes, liars, hypocrites, and haters of th

Ron DeSantis and the Rise of Nuisance Legislation

I feel slightly foolish putting out yet one more Ron DeSantis article in a week that already seems saturated with them. But as it happens, I was in Florida last week, in the company of people shell-shocked at DeSantis’s recent flurry of clumsy but nasty attempts at fascist activism. His double-digit reelection by a duped constituency has apparently gone to his head. He has taken it as a mandate to out-Trump Trump, to go where Trump might have gone if he’d had a longer attention span. In recent weeks, DeSantis and his cronies have emitted a noxious cloud of legislation, each bill more ludicrous — and more gleefully cruel — than the one before. Just while I was down there, his pet legislators introduced a bill to ban the Florida Democratic party. Really. They declared it a racist organization under the pretext that — you can’t make this up — it had a pro-slavery plank in its platform in the years before the Civil War. They wrote another bill that would require bloggers to regis