Category Archives: Politics

Trump’s war against Google and other political links

The Justice Department is looking at anti-trust action against Facebook, Google and Amazon. If this were part of a general pushback against monopoly and market consolidation, that would be great; however I’m sure it’s political. Amazon because Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post and Trump doesn’t like anything but adulation from the media. Google doesn’t turn up what some conservatives think are the correct results in searches — i.e., not enough right-wing bullshit — and Facebook is maybe slightly less keen on letting blatantly false narratives circulate. So, I’m cynical. Plus I know from years of watching the right that they can turn on a dime from complaints about how companies should be neutral to demands they suppress liberal speech.

Ditto Republican Senator Josh Hawley’s call to legally restrict our time on a given social network to 30 minutes a day (we’d have to formally request the network allow us more). I’m sure in other circumstances he’ll assure us that he wants government to stay out of our lives.

Trump shows a complete lack of empathy dealing with an orphan of the El Paso shooting.

Over in Ohio, police are investigating whether the explosion that destroyed an interracial couple’s home (with swastika graffiti left behind) was a hate crime.

What is it with this administration? Now they’re greenlighting the use of cyanide-spraying spring-triggered traps for wildlife. Yeah, no way that could go bad.

Billionaire Peter Thiel doesn’t like democracy, but he does like Trump.

Paul Krugman: The Republican Party “remains in lock step behind a man who has arguably done more to promote racial violence than any American since Nathan Bedford Forrest, who helped found the Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist organization if there ever was one — and who was recently honored by the Republican governor of Tennessee.” A look at how Republicans consider white terrorism a fair trade for tax cuts.

I despise a lot of what right-wing pundit Matt Walsh says, but I give him credit for calling a swastika a swastika (so to speak). Fred Clark wishes reporters would do the same instead of trying not to call Trump racist (“To account for his words and behavior with any other explanation requires a great deal of wildly implausible speculation that requires one to ignore most of what one is seeing while dreaming up a host of additional, “secret” facts for which no actual evidence exists. Either what Beto and Beutler say is true, in other words, or you must be willing to leap through the looking glass into the crackpot realm of conspiracy nuttery like QAnon.”)

He’s not trying to excuse white terrorism, gosh no, it’s just “eventually you just run out of options. You read this manifesto, you read what is said in here, and it’s an act of desperation. It says, ‘What else are we supposed to do?’”

Don’t blame Trump for racist shootings, it’s liberal racism’s fault!

Speaking of racist shootings, police keep their cool around a heavily armed white guy much better than unarmed black kids.

Individual donations to Trump’s campaign are a matter of public record. But Republicans are shocked and appalled that they’re being publicized. Isn’t the act of naming them an incitement to violence (I’d say an invitation to contempt and scorn, yes, violence no).

Republicans are also shocked that an upcoming movie shows wealthy elites hunting rural conservatives, even though they have no reason to think the movie makes the conservatives the bad guys (and as noted in comments at the link, right-wing “liberal hunting permits” have been around a while). As Snopes says, “it should be obvious to any mature consumer of culture that a movie that portrays wealthy psychopaths paying to hunt and kill other human beings is not likely to reflect well on the wealthy psychopaths.”


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Trump voters hate being called racist. This is not surprising

In yet another “let’s see what Trump voters are like” article, we learn that while they openly despise Muslims, they are very, very angry that people call them racist. This seems to surprise some people, though I’ve seen articles pointing this out for at least a couple of years.

And beyond that, it’s par for the course. As I mentioned back in 2013, a lot of conservatives hate liberals criticizing them. They have the right to say liberals hate America (and are outright traitors), that homosexuals are pedophiles, that women who use birth control are sluts, that blacks are stupid and Muslims are terrorist. But criticizing conservatives for those views? That’s thought policing! Political correctness! Don’t we realize they are holier than thou? They are entitled to punch down, we are not entitled to punch back! So it’s hardly surprising they still resent being criticized for their views, or for supporting the president (as John Scalzi said, not all Trump supporters are white supremacists, but they’re willing to live with it).

Some of them may just resent the criticism. Some of them may have convinced themselves that they really aren’t racist, like a friend of mine who doesn’t like the way immigrants are treated in the new concentration camps, but it’s Their Fault — they didn’t have to come here! Like the Shirley Exemption, she can tell herself that she’s not really supporting locking children in cage and denying them necessities, even though she is.

It doesn’t help that Fox News imagines Bad People of Color where they don’t exist. And less conservative publications are willing to express racist sentiment, just blaming it on other people. And of course, the belief nonwhites are unfit for equality is deep-rooted.

In other links:

A reporter asks Sen. Rand Paul why he opposes the bill funding health care for 9/11 first responders. Paul’s response: I talked to Fox News, go away!

“One hundred thirty-nine years since Reconstruction, and half a century since the tail end of the civil-rights movement, a majority of white voters backed a candidate who explicitly pledged to use the power of the state against people of color and religious minorities, and stood by him as that pledge has been among the few to survive the first year of his presidency.” And even many anti-Trump conservatives like that part of Trumpism.

The Trump administration has issued rules allowing nursing homes to force residents and their families into arbitration over disputes instead of suing (arbitration works way better for corporations), even when the issue is neglect or elder-care abuse. Oh, Trump also wants to monitor disabled people’s social media to see if they look too abled.

Florida man shoots and kills man for texting in a movie. Here’s the update, several years later.

“If Donald Trump has a theory of anything, it is a theory of American citizenship. It’s simple. If you are white, then regardless of origin, you have a legitimate claim to American citizenship and everything that comes with it. If you are not, then you don’t.”

The Trump administration has amended the birth-control coverage requirement so that employers with moral but not religious objections can refuse coverage. At this point, a court has blocked it; we’ll see what the Supremes do. It’s important to remember that the administration is just as much male supremacist as it is white supremacist.

Fake documentaries do their own kind of damage to our ability to tell true from false.

It’s not a religion, it’s”a Political system, despotic in its organization, anti-democratic and anti-republican, cannot therefore coexist with American republicanism.” That’s what some said in the 19th century about Catholicism.

David French is upset the current Democratic candidates are criticizing past Democratic leaders. More mainstream pundits are worried that the candidates’ policies are too liberal, except for Marianne Williamson.

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Shootings and shooters

There’s nothing I can think of to say about Dayton, Gilroy or El Paso. So I’ll just link to people who are more articulate:

Connor Betts, the Dayton shooter, expressed liberal views but he kept a rape list of women he resented (being liberal and sexist are not incompatible) and tried sending a creepy anonymous letter to an ex-girlfriend (“I don’t remember the exact words, but it was something to the effect of “Welcome to the neighborhood. You can’t outrun your past. Signed, Your Neighbor.””). He was also into the sexist “pornogrind” music scene, though his band mates say they’re shocked he took it literally. Whether his misogyny ties into the shooting or not I have no clue, but it’s remarkable how many shooters have abuse, misogyny or anti-woman violence in their pasts. Or not so remarkable. And it appears the Gilroy and El Paso shooters may have had issues with women.

Patrick Crusius, the accused El Paso shooter, was obsessed with the Hispanic invasion Trump keeps saying is swarming over the border, though Crusius said his views predated Trump. Certainly, Trump’s not the first Republican to scream about it, though he has pushed it hard. As Michelle Goldberg says, our president is a white nationalist who inspires terrorism. Aided and abetted by pundits who insists that while they are not racist themselves, they think we should listen to the racists.

Republican opposition to taking action on firearms is not playing well with a lot of voters. Neither is Trump’s racist rhetoric. For devoted Republicans, though, El Paso, like Dayton, is the work of liberals. Possibly even a false flag or Antifa. Some of them think even restricting mentally ill people from purchasing guns is a plot against white people. Antisemite Rick Wiles thinks it’s a Jewish scheme to kill Christians. Ohio State Rep. Candice Keller blames Dayton on pot, gay marriage and Obama. YouTube crackpots offer more crackpottery.

NYTs Charles Blow says it’s more than just the shooters: “I think a better way to look at it is to understand that white nationalist terrorists — young and rash — and white nationalist policymakers — older and more methodical — live on parallel planes, both aiming in the same direction, both with the same goal: To maintain and ensure white dominance and white supremacy.” Small wonder that,as the NYT notes, there’s more resistance to cracking down on white supremacists than on Muslims.

It’s as if people are getting fed up that the response to school shootings is to institutionalize them. But don’t worry, gun worshippers, Brett Kavanaugh’s got your back.

As for the idea of not giving the killers their ten seconds of fame, No More Mr. Nice Blog says it’s not working.


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Quotes about politics, with links

Slacktivist on MLK’s “I have a dream” speech: “These opening statements set the framework for the entire speech, yet neither they nor that framework — the cashing of this check, the honoring of America’s sacred obligation — is usually mentioned at all when people invoke this speech in an attempt to cloak themselves in the mantle of King’s vision or to claim for themselves his approval as a shield against criticism.”

“On paper, Galicia seems to have done everything right, carrying multiple documents with him that proved he was a U.S. citizen. But that apparently wasn’t enough to keep him from landing in a detention center.”

“The grocery store blares Christian music at their customers and donates publicly to Christian causes, but in Perkins’ logic-free mind, they’re staying out of the ‘political fray.‘”

Who could have seen this coming except literally anybody who thought for 5 seconds about how a Trump/McConnell/Ryan government would work and realized that his many statements committing to standard Republican policies would prove more reliable than his vague gestures at populism?”

“Many people think that more immigration into Western countries leads to more terrorism, because immigrants from non-Western cultures are more likely to be terrorists. My research finds a very different kind of relationship. Immigrants aren’t committing terrorism in Western Europe. Rather, native citizens appear to be committing terrorism because of their hostility to immigrants.”

“Trump’s frenetic female supporters use the same technique for the same reason. In praising predatory men and attacking outspoken liberal women, they reinforce their devotion to the dominant group, the group they subconsciously fear because it controls their fate: Republican men.”

“Whether you view Trump as a David or an Antipas, whether you serve at the court of the resplendent king or stand over against the court from the wilderness, one thing Nathan and John the Baptist held in common was that both were willing to condemn unrighteousness in their rulers—even if it cost them everything.”

“ICE has asked for permission to begin routinely destroying 11 kinds of records, including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and even deaths of people in its custody.”

Florida woman lies about being a doctor and about treating victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting: “As to her claim, recited at Soto’s events and to Florida Politics, that she had removed 77 bullets from 32 Pulse victims while working in the Orlando Regional Medical Center on June 12, 2016, she told Aponte: “It is a false statement. I just made it up.””

“It’s control exercised over the one small part of your environment that you still have the power to affect.”

Rep. Katie Porter to Wells Fargo attorneys: “It’s convenient for your lawyers to deflect blame in court, and say your rebranding campaign can be ignored as hyperbolic marketing, but when then you come to Congress, you want us to take you at your word.”

“This makes them suckers for leaders who assure them they aren’t misfits. What’s really happening—and this can be a very beguiling story—is that women toy with them and laugh at them as part of a deliberate ploy to emasculate strong men and keep them from their rightful leadership positions. Because of this, a bitter resentment of women runs through almost every strain of the alt-right.”

“The drug industry — the pill manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers — found it profitable to flood some of the most vulnerable communities in America with billions of painkillers. They continued to move their product, and the medical community and government agencies failed to take effective action, even when it became apparent that these pills were fueling addiction and overdoses and were getting diverted to the streets.”

“I see Trump as a symptom so powerful that it becomes its own cause, kind of like a political hard drug. Let’s pretend that Trump is political meth.”


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A few quick links

A new high-water mark in predation: Raphael Sanchez, ICE chief counsel, helped build his $700,000 net worth by stealing the identities of immigrants in the ICE files, including murder victims and people his office was deporting

No, Trump is not a political genius and his tweets do not increase his support (except among people who already support him).

President Fistula’s vision of America hasn’t moved on from 1989.

Apparently you can’t play dodgeball while black.

Donald Trump lies about 9/11 (like he does everything).

Mitch McConnell is “arguably more than any other American, doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bidding.” But he’s very, very hurt that people are now calling him Moscow Mitch.

Is the right to teenage sex constitutional? From stuff I’ve read elsewhere, I’d say that’s not a crazy question, but when child-molester Jeffrey Epstein’s attorney Alan Dershowitz (who insists he only got one massage at Epstein’s mansion, and from a really old woman) makes the argument, I don’t think his interest is the abstract principle.

Sex vouchers for immigrants? Fake news.

Hate-mongering attorney Mat Staver comes up with a new theory against gay rights: it will protect Jeffrey Epstein from prosecution (never mind that his jailbait seems to have been strictly hetero).

Catholics grab the headlines but the Protestant ministry has its own share of pedophiles.

Jonathan Weisman of the NYT says it’s ridiculous to describe Reps. Ihlan Omar and Rashida Tlaib as “from the midwest” — that’s like saying John Lewis, born to Alabama sharecroppers, is “from the deep south!” Crazy right?

On Twitter Megan McArdle describes white communities that want to stay white as not racist but having “a preference for ethnic homogeneity.”

It turns out Blockbuster’s online offerings were holding their own with Netflix, until …

A top Border Patrol official refuses to rule out the possibility three-year-olds are security threats.

An autistic woman tells anti-vaxxers she’s not their scare tactic.

Finland is successfully fights back against fake news and Russian disinformation.

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It’s a sick sad world (reprise)

First Ihlan Omar was threatened after Trump launched his attacks on the Squad. Now a cop suggest on Facebook that A-OC should be shot.

According to the Daily Beast, Kristian Brunovich Rouz, a reporter pushing conspiracy theories and bullshit for the right-wing One America News Network is also working for Russian state media.

Yet another attempt to blame Trump on liberals.

“Senator Josh Hawley—a graduate of Stanford and Yale and a former instructor at an English private school—warned the attendees gathered in the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Washington, D.C., about the threat of élite cosmopolitanism. ” Which is usually (and in this case, probably is) a euphemism for Jews.

Nixon blocked LBJ’s efforts to arrange peace in Vietnam to ensure Nixon’s 1968 election victory.

“My otherness is on display every time I open my mouth, but people rarely consider me an immigrant — as if that status were reserved for needy brown or black people who cross borders in large numbers.”

Jeffrey Epstein’s life while nominally in jail: “On July 11, 2009, another deputy drove Epstein to his house, where Epstein stayed for four hours. “I backed into the driveway and provided security to prevent unwelcome guest[s] from entering his property,” the deputy wrote in his report. “I did not go into the residence.”

A Greek orthodox bishop claims mothers who have anal sex will have gay babies.

A woman sues on the grounds her legally emancipated daughter should still have gotten Mom’s permission for trans surgery.

Immigrants hold a 9-year-old Latino U.S. citizen for two days on the grounds her story wasn’t consistent. Yes, how strange a terrified child wouldn’t be clear and linear in her thinking.

Unsurprisingly Mitch McConnell still refuses to protect election machines from foreign hacking. I wonder if a Dem wins in 2020, with Traitor Mich start using hacking as a reason not to concede?

Sorry, Amy Wax, insisting Mexicans should be kept out because of culture is just a cover for racism. Vox suggests part of the problem is the right’s conviction that racism is what other people do. And of course, they choose to believe lies. The Republican challenger to Ihlan Omar is a devout Qanon believer.

A Pennsylvania school district threatened parents who are behind on their kids’ school lunch bills with putting the kids in foster care. A local businessman offered to pay the cost, but the school board refused.

To end on an upbeat note: the Straight Pride Parade listed Netflix on its website as a possible sponsor. Netflix told them no:  “Our legal department is here, it’s queer, and it’s telling you to steer clear.” Anti-gay bigot Michael Brown unsurprisingly freaks out.

Oh, and New York state has approved an anti-revenge porn bill.

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Illegal immigration isn’t the issue

While I have seen several people on FB freaking out over “Democrats want open borders” (which is no more true than “the Squad are Communists” or “the squad are fascists!”), and warning against the threat of illegal immigration, I don’t believe illegal immigration isn’t the real issue. It’s having “too many” Latinos or Muslims.

It’s not just people on FB.  Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, for example, lists legal immigration as one of the reasons that “the America we know and love doesn’t exist any more.” That’s not about open borders, that’s about having too many people who don’t look like her. Law professor Amy Wax argues for white priority in immigration because “our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites” (she pretends this is about “culture,” not race, but polices like that are always about race). Or conservative Latino Marco Gutierrez warning that if we allow more Latinos in we’ll have “taco trucks on every corner.

I’m all in favor of managing our borders better, but if we had roughly the same number of immigrants we do now, and the same racial makeup, but they were all legal, I’d be cool with it. Too many Republicans wouldn’t be. So I part company with them.

And of course it’s nothing new, even though they think it is. In the 19th century it was about keeping out the damn Irish (subhuman, barely better than black!) and the damn Catholics (America is Protestant! Catholics are sheeple whose first loyalty will be to the Pope, not America!). By the end of the century it was the damn Asians (forcing demographic change on the west coast! Outbreeding us! Taking over parts of the country! Always loyal to their emperor, not to America!)

In the 20th century it was also the damn Poles, the damn Italians, the damn Germans, the damn everyone-who-wasn’t-a-WASP. Speaking foreign languages! Not learning English fast enough! Inferior culture and genes! And in every era it was the Jews. Never really American. (rootless cosmopolitans with no loyalty to anything but each other).

Astonishingly enough, they all adapted just fine. They all became American. Our “culture” didn’t collapse. It won’t collapse from the presence of Muslims, Middle Easterners, Latin Americans.

The people who oppose immigration are on the wrong side of history. And given so many of them think “more Latinos” is worse than “immigrant children kept in cages” they’re on the wrong side of justice too.

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The women of early Star Trek

A few weeks back I started doing something I’ve wanted to do for a while: rewatch the original Star Trek series. It was very much a part of my teen years as I watched episodes over and over in syndication, but it’s been years since I caught any of the episodes, except in passing when TYG was rewatching them. When I began, I discovered Netflix’s run includes the original pilot episode The Cage preceding the first episode, Man Trap. The difference between them was interesting.

Gene Roddenberry has rightfully taken crap for a vision of the future in which women, even though qualified to serve on a space ship, are primarily eye candy. The Cage is a step up from that. The ship’s first officer, Number One (Majel Barrett) is competent; Captain Pike’s female yeoman, Colt (Laurel Goodwin) is much more tomboyish in demeanor than ST: OS’ Yeoman Rand; the show emphasizes that having a female yeoman on the bridge is a novel thing.

The show does make it clear that the woman are attracted to Pike, so who knows how they’d have been written if the original pilot went to series. But having a woman as first officer, and clearly competent, is still striking, particularly in that era.

A little too striking for the network, which told Rodenberry to either dump Number One or get rid of Spock; he opted to keep Spock, believing viewers needed to see an alien on board. Colt got replaced by Rand.

The opening episodes of the regular series do feel much more sexist. Yeoman Rand is mostly there to be pretty and smile and run errands (watching as a teenager, I thought “yeoman” must be something like a valet). Uhura flirts quite a bit with Spock. It’s disappointing to compare.

But then we get to the second episode, Charlie X. This gives the Enterprise it’s first encounter with a cosmically powerful foe, a teenage boy raised by disembodied intelligences who taught him their ability to transform matter. It’s apparently a limitless power, and Charlie’s a teenager, full of raging hormones and completely unused to dealing with other humans. He reacts viciously to slights or hurts and winds up a lot like Billy Mumy’s demigod on It’s a Good Life.

He also looks like the embodiment of the #metoo villain. Once he meets Yeoman Rand she’s all he can think about, and he can’t tolerate being told no. She tries introducing Charlie to a girl his own age; he treats the girl like dirt. His feelings, his needs, are all that he cares about; he thinks he loves Yeoman Rand but she’s just a means to an end, the end being his own satisfaction.

Watching in my teens, I knew he was out of line, but I saw him mostly as a tragic figure, screwed up by his own lack of experience dealing with people. Now I see him as much creepier.

I don’t think I’ll have more to say about the series until I finish S1, but you never know.

#SFWApro. All rights to image remain with current holder.

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Right-wing defense: telling women of color to go “back where they came from” isn’t at all racist

Yeah right. Even if some in the media don’t want to say so.

As you’ve doubtless heard, Trump blasted four women of color in Congress, including Ihlan Omar, and said they should go back where they came from (and that they call Jews evil, which is a lie). Never mind that they’re all US citizens and three of them are born here. As Adam Serwer says, Trump’s harking back to the old days when it was accepted by white America that nonwhites couldn’t be real Americans: “Trump’s demand is less a factual assertion than a moral one, an affirmation of the president’s belief that American citizenship is conditional for people of color, who should be grateful we are even allowed to be here.”

This is far from the only horrible thing Trump is doing. For example, the Justice Department has redefined spousal abuse and sexual assault and not for the better (though this doesn’t actually change state laws). Abuse is only abuse if it involves physical harm rather than mental abuse or coercive control. Assault is now non-consensual acts banned by law (including assault of unconscious victims) whereas the previous definition was broader (““Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behaviour that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.”).

But as Serwer says, the president’s attack on “the Squad” is still horrific. And unsurprisingly his worshippers have picked up on it, chanting “send her back” at an NC rally, the way they chanted “lock her up” about Clinton.

But not to worry! Trump bootlicker and NC Senator Thom Tillis assures us the chants weren’t Trump’s fault, telling reporters “any one of y’all that have been to a rock concert or other venues, somebody starts up, somebody else thinks . . . I mean, to be fair to the audience, they’re in a mode where they’re energized.” Right, senator. Trump says we banish a US citizen, the crowd takes his side, total coincidence. Tillis, I should add, is all-in on Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda despite occasional hand-wringing. To his credit, he did co-sponsor a bill to end family separation at the border but his latest newsletter announced his current goal is a bill to ban sanctuary cities from not cooperating with ICE. Because you know, he’s totally concerned with breaking the law ! Our other senator, Richard Burr, is even worse.

No surprise Tillis considers North Carolina’s traditional population to exclude blacks and Hispanics.

And then we have Rush Limbaugh, who bigotsplains that this totally isn’t about race, it isn’t even about Omar: “Our founding is being stolen. Our way of life is being stolen. Our resources, our middle-class status, middle-class incomes — our goodness, our morality — is being stolen, and it’s being stolen by people like those four women in ‘the squad’ and the Democrat Party at large. So these reactions are totally understandable to me.”

No, Limbaugh, it’s not the Squad or Democrats that are causing the erosion of the middle class. If that was the issue, they’d be targeting Trump and the Republicans, not singling out a Somali Muslim immigrant who’s just one member of Congress. And Trump voters are motivated much more by status anxiety than economic hardship — as many pundits have pointed out, black and Latino working class Americans are just as economically stressed as whites, but they’re not swinging to Trump the same way. Limbaugh, as usual, preaches bullshit.

And if they’re that miserable, why aren’t they going back to the countries their ancestors came from? It’s the same logic Trump’s using on the squad, after all but no — it’s almost like his supporters feel they have more right to be here than Omar or A-OC do. Or that white immigrants have more right than non-whites. Even though, as someone said on FB last week, we probably have at least as much in common with Mexican culture than, say, France.

And we’ve still got a year before Trump’s campaign gets really cutthroat.


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Mississippi pol can’t be close to another woman without risking his marriage

So the Mississippi Today newspaper has been arranging for reporters to “shadow” the candidates in the gubernatorial race, following each candidate around for a day or so to see them in action. Only when state Rep. Robert Foster learned his shadow would be Larrison Campbell, a married gay woman, he freaked out and refused. His stated reason: if anyone photographed them together, they could smear him as an adulterer. Either the paper sent along a male reporter as chaperone or no go. The paer decided the requirement was too sexist, and using another reporter was impractical, so they said no.

Foster’s argument seems awfully implausible: it’s not like he and Campbell would be meeting at a cheap motel. And why should it be the paper’s responsibility — doesn’t Foster have a male staffer he can tap for the gig? And why would a chaperone help — couldn’t the paper claim they’re having a threesome? Or photograph him with a man and start a whisper campaign he’s gay — I have friends who assume any anti-gay pol (and Foster is ultra-conservative and anti-gay) is fighting down his own urges.

Tellingly, Foster’s shifted the goalposts to invoke the Pence Rule: it’s not that he’s worried about a smear campaign, he just refuses to be alone with another woman so as not to risk his marriage. As someone who’s been alone with a beautiful woman more than once since I married (friends in both cases) the only reason to worry about the effect on your marriage is if you can’t keep it zipped. Foster, however, implies Campbell’s at fault for not valuing her marriage as much, and charges “the liberal left lost its mind” because of his Christian purity.

Yeah, right. I imagine the changing rationale is pure politics — the first story didn’t play so he’s switching gears — but what’s the real reason? Is it that she’s gay?  Or that he’s uncomfortable about being shadowed and this is an easy way out? Or is it that he’s really worried he’ll do something appropriate?

Depressingly I don’t know any of this will hurt him in Mississippi.

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