Category Archives: Pop Culture and Politics

Identity Politics

Mother Jones published a small piece on the New Hampshire Republican primary poll done by Monmouth on Monday. It was pretty standard, and the prediction made by the author was a safe one; the spike in the polls will make Marco Rubio a target within his own party. Nothing controversial there, however, the headline caused immediate ripples in the conservative chatterings of social media. It read:

Marco Rubio Wins Coveted Role of Republican Piñata

It is understandable that some would want to chide Mother Jones for what seems to be a culturally offensive headline given the blatant display of media bias in this election cycle, but this tactic has downsides, as all identity politics do.

Imagine you are a Democratic strategist and you see this all unfolding. The finger wagging about Rubio being Cuban, not Mexican; or, the cries of hypocrisy, the accusations of racist dog whistles, and the general displeasure of your opponents. None of which would force a Democrat to stop and reevaluate the optics of the headline. Because you’re a Democrat, you are thinking of how you can hurt Republicans. It’s your job.

As a Democratic strategist, you see hypocrisy in the Republicans outrage. Why? Because the Republicans are selling outreach to all Latinos, with a Cuban-American candidate.

How do you make this work for your party, the Democrats? You tell the American Latino community, which is not exclusively Mexican, that Republicans think Latinos will be fooled into voting for Rubio because he’s Latino too. You tell voters over and over that; it is not authentic outreach to Latinos, it’s merely pandering and Republicans think Latinos are too stupid to notice. Your Democratic strategy is to flip the identity politics back in your favor.

Most complaining today are not Democratic strategists. They are conservative commentators, journalists, and activists. It is a dangerous game to try and play identity politics with Democrats. They are much better at it and have conditioned the American public to think that only they, the party of progress, truly understand identity politics. Which is somewhat true, seeing as how they have won the White House twice using identity politics.

It would probably serve conservatives well to let this one float on by and stick to the party plan of authentically reaching Latino voters. The Democrats may have used it to some success, but identity politics is a fickle beast, the biggest hole in their defensive line, and the most divisive point for their inner-party dynamics. Something the GOP does not need at this stage of the primary process.

**Editorial Credit to Andrea N Ruth


Some Tweets

I recently was given words of encouragement hash tag: humble brag .  So, let’s get to it. 

My Senator, Claire McCaskill made a deceleration of the most moral stature. 

@clairemc: Ok, I’m done Game of Thrones.Water Garden, stupid.Gratuitous rape scene disgusting and unacceptable.It was a rocky ride that just ended.

It’s an odd thing to say, the show is saturated with barbarism, by all accounts. War lording incestuous royals don’t do it for me, I guess I’m odd. However, her subtle commentary did not go unnoticed. She had obviously watched the show. As she follows up here. 

@clairemc: Ok,winter is definitely coming.I just expressed an opinion.Cumulative effect violence & brutality took its toll. Sansa rape last straw. 

It’s absolutely a veiled commentary on the larger sexual assault debate brewing on campuses across the country. Quietly, it’s in her state. Title IX… We will get back to that momentarily. She squeezes this little number in between those two tweets. Natsec, short for national security, is what she wants us to discuss, not her opinion on a show she paid to watch. Not the ridiculousness of her acting as if this was shown on federally regulated networks. No, her concerns with national security. 

@clairemc: We should take up House passed(338-88) USA Freedom Act this week. Important reform of program for national security.

She seems to be juggling.. And this gem

@clairemc: Kinda depressing that so many more people have opinions about  than reform of US intelligence gathering that I also tweeted about ystrdy

Yes, I suppose it is depressing. This comes hour befor Rand Paul’s “stand”. Not a filibuster, but more a rant. So saith the twitter. The reader can search it. It also came around the same time as this story out of The Joplin Globe. A far flung publication in flyover country, with a New York Times contributor writing for it. In it, it talks about another sexual scandal in Jefferson City, et la John Diehl

@Eyokley: Will update w/ Levota statement just got: “I understand the need for universities to look into rumors, even unsubstantiated rumors.” 

Paul Levota, made that statement. I can’t think of a dumber thing to say.. If it is unsubstantiated, than it’s un-fucking-substaintiated. It can’t be supported. It smacks of the vapid hands up, don’t shoot narrative, a democratic dolt falling on the sword in the name of progress. It gives McCaskill an example from her own party to hang on the cross of public crucifixion. Except, he will probably come out unscathed. 

The kicker is the injection of Title IX into an investigation of an elected official. The progressive rot has spread, to steal a phrase from Buchman Sexton, from the campus on to the state capital. 

The most disgusting part is she tried to backdoor a national agenda, that makes her state’s students — and now politicians– lab rats. The tweet, was just a tweet, it’s what she’s fostering on Missouri’s college campuses that should raise eyebrows. This is what George Will speaks out about, over a year ago, it’s what made Noah Rothman clearly declare this was the line to be drawn. It’s a complicated web of federal authority, but isn’t it always? Perhaps these 2 sharp minds saw something coming, that most of the media didn’t, despite, telling the world her intentions. It took a tweet to make more people notice. 

This fight will grow.. Hide and watch. 

Lackey’s Polite Silence

Tragedy befell St. Louis, two-fold tonight. The first, the Cardinals lost a long extra inning game to the villainous New York Metroplitans 2-1, on a close play at the plate on a ground ball in the infield, in the bottom of the 14th inning. The starting pitcher, the 14 year veteran John Lackey, pitched a fine baseball game against the dominant Matt Harvey, with 5 wins in 1 loss, this was his first no decision. So, tip your cap to the wiley veteran for hanging in with the young and up and coming. It should be noted that Lackey has more innings under his belt this season than Harvey. It was a tough loss and all that trite, nauseating bullshit. 

The second couch-fainting moment came after the game when Derrick Goold, the best write in baseball, tweeted this out:

@dgoold: “Not tonight,” Lackey says when approached by the media postgame. He was polite in his decline. “Sorry, guys. Not tonight.”  

It immediately threw the fan base into a tizzy. People demanding he say something. “He can’t give 5 minutes?”, one man wrote. He gave a comment. The comment was, he didn’t want to talk tonight. The team arrived at their hotel at 4 am and then played a long, hard game. “His teammates are answering hard questions.”, one estute observer pointed out. Well — they should, they didn’t hit and struck out a lot.
Sports does this in media, especially the fans, perhaps that’s what drives the media. To his credit, Goold seemed pacified by Lackey’s polite refusal to engage the media. As was I, but others felt entitled. To an intrusive extent. I’m always pondering larger issues and it made me think of the media as a whole, which I actually exclude Goold from, because he sticks to his beat, so to speak. It just made me think of misplaced priorities. What we rabble-rabble about and what we don’t. 
We allow the most powerful people in our country, to not answer our simple questions. Yet, protest too much on non sequitur events, like baseball. One very brilliant woman pointed out she could mange both, which I found impressive, and also rare in the our modern social media paradigm. You see, it is vertically intergrated into our media. Literally, that’s the term for this new way of sharing information. It’s people and publications who drive the narrative, that’s what I realized and was able to articulate tonight. 
At the end of the day, it’s just a game — to the fans. However, it’s a major industry to many others, most of whom we don’t see. That’s true of all types of media. So, I’ll cut them both, players and media some slack and say, all jobs have their pressure. I only wish we put this kind of pressure on differnt jobs. 

Missouri’s Meltdown: A Political Lanscape In Flux

In this humble publication’s previous post, it discussed the unfortunate situation Jon Diehl had found himself in. 24 hours later, he has resigned and will return to his law practice. Which wasn’t surprising, other than most people suspected a quiet weekend resignation. However, that was made impossible by the eagerness —that’s being kind— of the Missouri political journalism class. Intrepid young reporters roaming the capital looking for dirt and wonking out on policy. They tend to lean towards a more progressive agenda, but I digress. 

What made this story really odd was what Jessica Lussenhop reported after the resignation. You can read her work here. In it she notes, that Diehl went out and had drinks with his colleagues, even some on the other side of the partisan fence. Which, isn’t all that surprising if you follow DC politics. This incestuous paradigm is, I’m sure, all too common in all 50 of our states capitols. What did raise a train eyes eye brow, was a savvy political move by republican candidate Cathrine Hanaway, who had been all but written off after the suicide of her opponent, state auditor Tom Scweich. Hanaway took the young, put upon 19 year-old under her wing, so to speak. To what end, remains to be seen. Theories exist, but nothing clear at this point. 

It’s been a grueling year for the state of Missouri — Akin reemerging with a book and then the tragedy of Tom Schweich. In between those two difficult moments for the state GOP, are the many scars of Ferguson that occurred and were inflicted upon the whole state, our piece of flyover country was not accustomed to such national scrutiny. Now, Jason Kander’s entry into the senate race to oppose the incumbent Roy Blunt has assured our political landscape will remain in the national spotlight for sometime to come. It is a politcal landscape in flux. 

Strange bedfellows and major money pouring in, it’s got everything political junkies love. With these recent events, I don’t see Missourians catching a break anytime soon. I don’t know that we can ever return to “normal”. To be frank, it was always weird, it just can’t be hidden any longer, and neither can the fact that the epicenter of the weirdness is clearly Jefferson City. Flanked by two metropolises, Kansas City and St. Louis, both on the far ends of the state, that provide the bodies, for the lack of a better term, to keep the strange charade going. Perhaps, that is why many have high hopes for Jon Diehl’s replacement, Todd Richardson. From neither flanking metropolis, he is from a small town called Poplar Bluff in the southern part of the state. He, and many others, have a hefty task of restoring some semblance functionality and credibility to the state. He seems to be off to a good start by addressing the intern program in Jeff City. I wish him well, because as Ms. Lussenhop so eloquently put, “Jeff City is weird”, he’s gonna need more than well wishes. We shall see… 

Yankee. Tango. Foxtrot. 

That title has a couple meanings, first it’s apart of military jargon, which is fascinating to your writer. It’s the name of a Wiclo album. 

There’s also a call sign Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. (WTF, which we know means “what the fuck”) 

That’s what’s happened last night in Hash Tag: Ferguson. A total what the fuck moment on twitter. Which is the social media platform I use most often. Some say I’m addicted to it, mostly the homeless drug addicts at the park I take my girls to on occasion. They’re good guys, just hit some rough spots, but I digress. 

  • first the protest happened, because the chief announces a resignment? 
  • Then the 2 cops from the county and Webster Groves, were shot
  • Immediate visaral reactions from racist, on both sides. 
  • Then conspiracy theories….
  • Then logical discorce. 

Check my facts. 

But this was said..

@chriskingstl This summer is going to be very bad unless some things change-Antonio French

 An elected local official who has gained exposure, based solely on the unrest in Ferguson. Look I’m not gonna give Deray, the blue vested wonder boy any more time than I have to, but he was pretty lose with his rhetoric last night–and has been since the day he arrived in Missouri. 

But these things also happened. 

A 5 year-old was killed in a random drive by. 

5-year-old is fatally shot in St. Louis… A horrible act of violence and a reminder of the crisis our city is facing. 10:30pm – 11 Mar 15 -@AntonioFrench  

A Black Hawk UH-60 went down just a few miles away from where I’m vacationing. 

(Photo is of the local memorial here in Navarre, Florida very soon after the news of the crash broke) 

Tom Cotton pissed off the democrats by trolling the Iranians over the looming deal nuclear deal they have with the current White House. He even managed to make them jump to such an obvious knee-jerk defense of the President, they were calling for Cotton’s prosecution for treason based on the Logan Act. (You can look that noise up yourself)

It’s a busy world, I know, but seriously… Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.