Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Last Call For The Party Of Caitlyn Jenner

America met Caitlyn Jenner (nee Bruce) Tuesday, and it took less than 24 hours for the Republican party she supports to turn on her completely.  Brendan O'Neill at the Spectator:

The worship of Caitlyn, and the hectoring of anyone who refuses to scrape before her icon, has graphically exposed the intolerant edge to trans thinking. The insistence that we not only refer to Bruce/Caitlyn as ‘she’ but also project this backwards – recognising, in the words of the Guardian, that she has ‘always been a woman’ – is borderline Orwellian. It’s a rewriting of history, a memory-holing of old inconvenient facts. Strikingly, the Guardian writer says people like Bruce/Caitlyn have ‘always been women… even when they were “fathering” children’. Notice it’s the ‘fathering’ bit that is in scare quotes, suggesting it wasn’t real, while the description of Bruce as a woman is treated as an incontestable truth. War is peace, freedom is slavery, man is woman.

Nice.  And then today, El Rushbo went on the offensive:

Limbaugh said on his radio show Tuesday that liberals are trying to “redefine normalcy” in an effort to stigmatize conservatives and that conservatives shouldn’t agree to their terms by accepting Caitlyn Jenner as a woman.

He likewise dismissed a conservative blog that wrote that Republicans should embrace Jenner as one of their own to seem more humane, saying that doing so would constitute falling into a liberal trap. 
Under this system, “conservatives and Republicans are the new weirdos, the new kooks,” the pundit said, “and that is part of the political objective here in normalizing all of this really marginal behavior. I mean, if less than 1 percent of the population is engaging in it, it’s marginalized behavior. It isn’t normal, no matter how you define it.” 
“We should not be celebrating this, we should not be lionizing this, we should not be encouraging this. These people have a very serious problem, and they need treatment,” he said. “They need help, not encouragement.”

You didn't honestly think that with Bruce being a long-time Republican that Republicans would accept Caitlyn, did you?


Horace Boothroyd III said...

"in recent decades the Republican Party has moved to the right much faster than Democrats have moved to the left."

Don't mention this to the hysterical ninnies at the Daily Kos, but I actually agree with them that the problem since 1968 has been Republicans moving to the right much faster than the Democrats moving to the right. The prime difference is that where they place moral odium on the neoliberal Third Way New Democrat corporate shill sellouts, I prefer to invoke structural changes in the world political and economic systems that we have failed to understand and to counteract.

The only way that I can make sense of the Poole & Rosenthal graphic is that they depict The Center as this unwavering straight line about which the two parties fluctuate. But really: the 40's as the high water mark of Democratic Centrism? Maybe polarisation has increased, but only around a centerline that itself is all over the map.

Also, too, the two parties swapped geographical centroids with a process beginning in the late sixties and only now coming to a conclusion. With the defection of the Dixiecrats to the GOP and the slow backwash of disgusted moderates to Team D, the ideological homogeneity of the two sides is in fact greater even without any marked change in individual preferences.

Jim 'Prup' Benton said...

I agree with your position far more than with the charts you use to back it up. Those seem to totally ignore the 'post-Goldwater shift.' We forget how fast the parties shifted, how, almost as late as the beginnings of the Johnson Administration, the 'big thing' in PolSci was the 'Deadlock of Democracy' and the '4-party system.'
It was true. Both parties had two wings, a more liberal "Presidential" wing and a conservative 'Congressional' Wing. ("Eisenhower Republicans" vs. "Taft Republicans" -- and we forget how comparatively progressive Eisenhower actually was, at least compared to current members of both parties -- and "Northern" vs. "Southern" Democrats.) The situation was more complicated because of the 'seniority system' where survival brought you to the Chairmanship of Committees. There were, since FDR. more progressive Democrats than conservative/racist Southerners, but a Southern Congressman could, in about 50% of the Districts, count on serving for life, and gathering in the power of seniority. So the Democratic Houses of Congress -- particularly the House -- had committees mostly controlled by the most conservative and racist Congressmen.
That's just one question I have for the chart maker. From 1900-1916, the center of Progressivism was in the Republican Party, with the Democrats mostly being the conservatives -- and racists, always until 1964. (They had a split much like the later Democratic one after Teddy succeeded to the Presidency.) This turned, in ways not shown by the charts, with the Harding election ushering in the largest group of Conservative Republicans -- so large that they lost 100 seats in the midterm and kept their majority.
So what you say is accurate, the charts are simply a mess.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

James McGregor Burns made a big deal out of that, presidential v congressional crossed against republican v democrat. Sadly, he passed away last year. He helped me get my start in life, all those decades ago.

Jim 'Prup' Benton said...

Quite right, I had meant to mention and credit Burns. Of course, this was pre-Goldwater and pre-Vietnam (and pre-Nixon/Agnew), after which everything changed, as the Democrats became so scared it took decades for them to even begin to reach for Progressivism again -- and some of them are still afraid that if we say what we really mean, the "Silent Majority" and Buchanan's "Pitchfork Army" will arise and 'smite them mightily.' (Little things can cast large shadows in fearful minds.)
It is really amazing, looking back, at some of the people we have run in the intervening time. Once Chappaquiddick put Teddy out of the running, there wasn't a visible Progressive with a chance -- remember we even had Vance Hartke as a semi-viable candidate one year (was that 76?) and the best person running might have been Harold Hughes, until he switched to the ministry, or that obscure Georgia governor. Then we managed to come up with Geraldine Ferraro -- who turned out to be the most racist Democrat nominated since Sparkman -- the incredible Michael Dukakis, the Southern Baptist Boys (and Clinton was hardly seen as even center-left), and the sad absurdity of Al Gore (despite his climate change crusade still one of the least effective people of the century -- and remember electing him would have given us Joe Lieberman as VP during 9/11).
It seems like we might finally have grown out of our fear -- and (to my surprise and against my expectations) Hillary seems to be willing to express the authentic positions we should have been fighting for for years. She DOESN'T seem to need a Bernie to push her to the left and she's going just about as far as America will let her (they still have residual fear ingrained as well.)
And hearing myself say this is a shock, but a pleasant one for someone who had been a full-scale 'Hillary-hater' in 2008 (one who *blush* almost fell for the Edwards-con, speaking of some of the candidates who crawled out from rocks) and expected to be vainly hoping for 'someone better' -- or as I felt, more electable.

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