Just can’t think about what to say

I can usually figure out what I want to say pretty early in the week, but this week I just couldn’t get excited about any particular topic.

It’s not that there wasn’t any news worth discussing or topics worth pontificating on. It’s that sometimes I wonder if we’ve lost the ability to have a good, honest discussion. You know that “honest conversation” this country is always wanting to have about race or poverty or abortion? Is that even possible?

This time out, my thoughts on not having a topic.

Mentioned links:

None of You Idiots Is Spartacus

Sen. Kamala Harris Condemned for Leading Kavanaugh Smear with Deceptively Edited Video

Hillary Clinton repeats anti-Kavanaugh talking point debunked by fact checkers

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Show transcript

Usually, my prep for this show follows a predictable path. During the week, I peruse a number of news sources looking for interesting articles. As I find them, I bookmark them for later. When I think I have enough for a show, I write up a commentary using those stories as launching points. Whether I have enough for a show – whether it’s going to be 1, 2, or 3 topics – depends on how much I think I want to say about a subject. Once I have enough material, I record it, and then sometime later, usually Saturday morning, I deal with all the post-production; editing out the mistakes, sound editing to get the volume even, and then mixing in the music.

But the driving force is, of course, the material; what I’m going to talk about. Sometimes I get inspiration from current events. Sometimes I find an article that really speaks to one of my pet topics, those I keep going back to; things like the failure of gun control in places like Chicago, the failure of socialism…well, everywhere, religious liberty, things like that. If you’re a longtime, or even medium-time, listener, you’ll recognize these topics.

This week, however, as chock full of interesting and insane news as it was, I just couldn’t get excited or bothered enough to write about it. Let me give you an example of why.

Let’s take the confirmation hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for his nomination to the Supreme Court. Senator Cory Booker (Democrat from the region of Thrace; yeah, where Spartacus was born), got his Presidential campaign off to a grandstanding start by insisting that he was breaking Senate rules by releasing emails written by Judge Kavanaugh. In doing so, he acknowledged he was breaking Senate rules. But he was willing to pay the price to get the truth out even if he had to break Senate rules to do it. He called it his “I am Spartacus moment”. Thing is, he wasn’t breaking Senate rules because the emails were already cleared. More so, Booker knew it. But he wanted to appear to be standing up for what’s right, even if he was breaking Senate rules, because he knew his base would believe he was actually breaking Senate rules.

And those emails? Booker was suggesting that they showed that Kavanaugh approved of racial profiling. Thing is, in those emails Kavanaugh talked about arguments for racial profiling that others would be making post-9/11, contrasting them with the non-racial-profiling security solutions he supported. But Booker wanted to appear to be standing up against racial profiling because he knew his base would just eat it up because this evil judge used the phrase “racial profiling” in a sentence.

And yet I saw people in my social media feed just going bonkers over Booker, so excited that he was breaking Senate rules to expose this “racial profiler”. And it got me so discouraged. Never mind the short-attention-span voters that I’ve joked about before; these were actual no-attention-span sheep, They don’t have time to get the facts; they just take whatever they’re being spoon-fed and gobble it down with gusto.

And then we had Senator Kamala Harris. She was not beyond slicing up his words to make him sound like he was saying something he didn’t. In response to a question about one of his judicial opinions, Kavanaugh said this about the plaintiffs, Priests for Life, in a religious liberty case, “They said filling out the form would make them complicit in the provision of the abortion-inducing drugs that they, as a religious matter, objected to.” So he was relating the argument that the priests were making. When Harris tweeted out the video of that line, the first two words – “They said” – were left out. Doing that made it sound like Kavanaugh himself believed that to be true. You can try to make a case as to whether he does or not, but that statement does not say that if it’s honestly presented. In her tweet, Harris was dishonest, claiming that this was some sort of “dog whistle” proclaiming his true beliefs to those who could hear it, when it was no such thing at all. She tried to make him sound like he thinks all birth control is abortion.

Worse, the Huffington Post, and Planned Parenthood were complicit in this bit of fake news by spreading the lie. Harris was criticized enough to tweet out the full answer later, but still insisted that using the phrase “abortion-inducing drugs” in a sentence, as properly descriptive as it is, is still a “dog whistle”. And I’ll also note that long after this charge was debunked, Hillary Clinton continued to spread it. Mark Twain would consider this further proof that “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” How did she lose that last election?

And yet I saw people in my social media feed just going cuckoo for Kamala, so excited that she was exposing this man for what he supposedly was. They didn’t care that she did it dishonestly. In all likelihood, they didn’t know she did it dishonestly. And it got me so discouraged. Again.

Are there sheep on the Right side of the aisle? Yes. But to be honest, I don’t think I’ve seen or heard quite the concentrated and blatant dishonesty from either side as we got this past week from Democrats desperate to smear someone, and it’s especially heinous when it looks so clearly to be a setup for personal advancement to the highest office in the land.

What’s discouraging is that so many people hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe. Some of the many protesters in the hearing seem to fit that description as well, since they were actually getting paid to turn the hearings into a circus with more smears. I can get behind a microphone and explain all this, but does it make a difference? I enjoy hearing from you who agree with me, but I often hope that there are those who disagree with me who begin to consider this. Seeing the reactions to Booker and Harris, though, it makes me wonder if that’s just a pipe dream. I’ll definitely keep doing this podcast, though, in the eternal hope that the cure for their sort of speech is more speech. I have a pipe dream, and I hope you do, too.

Well, for having nothing to talk about, I certainly talked a lot about why I had nothing to talk about. Y’know, I’m aware that lies are told on both sides. The Left certainly calls it out when Trump lies, but so does most of the Right as well. And as much as is made of his lying, you’d think the Left would be especially sensitive about avoiding smear campaigns in the era of Trump, right, Mrs. Clinton?

Filed under: JudiciaryPartisanship