Documentation. Witnesses. Facts. Truth. That's what they're afraid of.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Let Me Correct You Politically

Because of all of this protesting and a need for a Star Wars fix, I've fallen way behind on my DVR. I probably wouldn't have gotten to this Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher until at least next weekend if someone who I met yesterday hadn't leaned over to me at an event and asked, apropos of nothing, "Hey, did you see Bill Maher this week? He said something we've all been thinking for a long time -- Democrats lose because they're defensive and tell people what they can and can't say about each other."

While cooking dinner, I tuned to this week's Real Time to see the segment so I could respond to the comment. Essentially, after I got home from protesting the prick in the White House, I made it a point to watch Maher behave like a prick in L.A..

A major fallacy in marketing is assuming that many people feel a certain way about something because that's how you feel about it (if that were the case, Halt and Catch Fire wouldn't be ending after only four seasons). Bill Maher has made his ENTIRE CAREER from telling people to "get over it." And yes, people sometimes overreact to perceived slights. But who has changed his or her vote because they didn't like that Steve Martin had to take down a Tweet or Hillary Duff had to apologize for taking a selfie with a dude dressed as a stereotypical Native American at a Halloween party?

There's no evidence that a little bit of opprobrium towards Hollywood figures for expressing questionable sentiments affects our elections at all.

First, the type of people we're ostensibly trying to win over (racist-adjacent white men in East Sisterfuck, Arkansas [thanks, Driftglass]) HATE Hollywood. Seeing Democrats attack a Saturday Night Live writer for a tweak against Barron Trump (yes, kids are off limits, but Katie Rich was really throwing shade at Barron's father for his parenting skills -- or lack thereof). Fox News, where said relative-copulator gets much of his news, rests on a pillar of outrage against Hollywood liberals. Some years back, Lewis Black did a bit on the Daily Show about how the Fox channel airs things that Fox News later condemns without acknowledging the connection. It's so true. That's their sweet spot.

Second, have you seen any polls indicating that slight "political correctness" is tilting any elections? Yes, Trump voters do tend to be racist and sexist (I'll always be the first to tell you that), but it's significantly deeper than something they clicked on about some actor's Facebook post from their AOL homepage:

Third, that study that Maher cites about 90% of Native Americans not being offended by the name "Washington Redskins," aside from probably not being highly scientific, also is irrelevant. The name "Redskins" IS offensive from a generally human perspective:
Spencer Phips, a British politician and then Lieutenant Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Province, issued the call, ordering on behalf of British King George II for, "His Majesty's subjects to Embrace all opportunities of pursuing, captivating, killing and Destroying all and every of the aforesaid Indians." They paid well – 50 pounds for adult male scalps; 25 for adult female scalps; and 20 for scalps of boys and girls under age 12.
I'm pretty sure that the guy who brought this up to me yesterday, who was Jewish, would be pretty offended by a German billionaire buying a Southern California MLS team and renaming it the "Los Angeles Lampshades" (and heck, given that we put Steve Bannon in the White House, it's not a trivial concern). Pretty much the same thing.

Finally, these little stories aren't really distracting Democrats from running on more important issues. For one thing, we do convey a lot of the right messages. It wasn't the Democrats' fault that the press would rather fill hours of airtime with panel discussions about Hillary's e-mails instead of Hillary's economic policy. Democrats aren't losing school board elections because they're arguing over semantics. They're losing because Republicans figured out that those seats were important 40 years before Dems did and because they have donors who are willing to pay to put their flunkies in those seats so they can plunder the education system and local government.  And anyone in the media who isn't already wasting ink on frivolous topics is writing about this stuff at the expense of serious journalism. Do I care if Maureen Dowd pens 800 words on something Kanye said instead of insinuating that Al Gore is a pussy? Paul Krugman is still going to use his column-space on wiser subjects.

Bill, admit it. You're just pissed off because back when you were doing standup in a leisure suit, someone withheld a dollar from the collection jar by your mic stand because you called a woman a "cunt." It's not that much better than when your crazy uncle drunkenly slurs, "Why do only black people get to say it?" Why would it hurt to err on the side of being a little nicer to people? I happen to think people who aren't assholes are pretty cool. Mean People do, in fact, Suck.

It's not liberals who need to get over it. It's YOU. That particular schtick has been old hat since this tie was in fashion:

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