Home / General / What do you do in the wake of a crushing political defeat?

What do you do in the wake of a crushing political defeat?


If you’re Jeff Goldstein, you declare yourself to be way cooler than everyone else; if you’re Darleen Click, you draw a cartoon in which the President rapes a woman, then tells her that he and friends will be back to rape her again later. In the clinical sense, Click is the more interesting case because she thinks that the only problem with her cartoon is that it’s racist. I repeat: she drew a cartoon in which the punch line is a gang rape and the only potential problem with it she can see is that it might be racist. Don’t misunderstand me: it’s plenty racist—plays into tropes as old as slavery and everything—but the punch line is that the President and his associates are going to gang-rape the Statue of Liberty with, I kid you not, immigration reform.

In service of the cheapest of laughs, Click asserts that the statue that symbolizes America’s commitment to the tired, poor, huddled masses of the world is about to be raped because of the President’s commitment to those selfsame masses-yearning-to-be-free. Talk about your industrial grade ideological incoherence—and I would, except for the fact that Goldstein, never one to be upstaged on his own blog, told a woman that the only way she would ever be cool was if someone raped her with an icicle. That’s not true, though. Goldstein never said that. What he said, and I quote, was:

For instance, here’s Nishi, whose only hope of ever really touching cool would be to pay somebody to fuck her once with an ice dong.

Such are the depths to which Goldstein sinks to maintain the illusion that he’s cool, which is sad, you know, because he’s a middle-aged man worried about whether people think he’s cool. Then, in yet another example of just how over me he is, he declares me to be the exemplar of uncool.  Far be it for me, a 32-year-old blogger who sports a backwards Mets cap and is currently writing a scholarly book about comics, to complain when someone says I’m not cool, because honestly, I’m not cool. I grew up, got a job, and am working for the Man; however, forty-something bloggers who alternate between whining about how poorly jobs they don’t have pay and writing 10,000-word-long semiotic screeds about Alinksy and catch-wrestling? Not cool. Doesn’t matter how many people whose favorite film is Mr. Smith Goes to Washington say otherwise, because them? Also not cool. But you know what really, really isn’t cool? Unsubtle threats of politically motivated violence against women:

I predict Nishi will look very surprised the first time she’s knocked down by someone who doesn’t much like the glee she takes in the losses of freedom we’re undergoing.

I predict Nishi won’t have as much fun playing the griefer game once it becomes obvious that while she’s playing a game, many of us are not.

I predict that Nishi doesn’t know who she’s fucking with.

I predict Nishi will soon find it best not to post here anymore.

I predict that I don’t much care about “blogging” anymore; I care about my family and my family’s future, and I see barren narcissists like Nishi as threats to my family—all because they get their kicks seeing how much they can connive their way into control and power.

I predict having such an attitude as Nishi’s will turn out badly.

I’m sure my pointing this out will result in a cool discussion about the coolest of abstruse literary theories—intentionalism—and about how I don’t get what Goldstein intended there, and I’d care, you know, but whatever.

Update. Surprisingly for someone who is so over me, Goldstein just devoted an entire post to refuting my argument—I kid, I kid.  He makes fun of my beard and completely ignores the fact that, as Jay noted, the rape of Lady Liberty trope is so tired that the Onion uses it as a running [insert scary minority here] gag.  He also refers to Click’s depiction of the moments after non-consensual sex as a “metaphor,” which it would only be were it not actually a depiction of the moments after non-consensual sex.  A picture of a cute puppy isn’t a metaphor for a picture of a cute puppy, it is a picture of a cute puppy for the simple reason that things can’t be metaphors for what they are.  Click produced a very literal depiction of what might otherwise be a metaphor, but it’s not a metaphor: it’s a drawing of a callous rapist informing his victim that he’s coming back from more.

Update II. By request, as a few of you mistakenly believe that Click can experience shame and will take down her cartoon shortly, I’ll report it here:

See how that’s a “metaphor” for a violent rape, and not a depiction of the aftermath of one?  Of course you do.

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  • dsquared

    The strangest thing:

    You are disco, is what you are. And any day now, Asia or Journey or Joan Jett will be coming around to fuck you back into a handful of cheesy dance clubs catering to Long Island hairdressers.

    Disco isn’t cool. Middle of the road soft rock is cool. Apparently. Errr Jeff mate ….

    • SEK

      Disco isn’t cool. Middle of the road soft rock is cool. Apparently.

      And “gleaming the cube,” a phrase that Neil Blender invented to make the director of the film of the same name look like an ass, now means something, and that something is of vital significance to the future of this country.

      • Rob

        I’m pretty sure Goldstein is saying that he and a bunch of his drunk friends are going to get the Whitesox to forfeit a baseball game any day now.

        And of course, you’re gay while he is a hetero man who likes Journey! OK its breaks down somewhat there but thats the road he started and a few well placed Steve Perry falsettos can cause a bit a road bump for anyone right?

    • Fats Durston

      Disco isn’t cool? Then why the fuck do its bastard children (& grandchildren) rule every young people’s club in the world?

      • Endy

        Dude, I rule. But my parents? Not cool, no.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Don’t forget Christopher Cross and Toto–it didn’t get any hipper than that!

  • Jay B.

    Funny, The Onion has been doing this bit for years. AS A JOKE.

    Self-parody self-parody. Amazing work, PW!

    • SEK

      Not only that, the way it’s used is explicitly racist, in that it takes the very tropes Click claims are incidental and shows that not only are they not incidental, they’re the point.

  • cleter

    Well, if you are Republicans, you shout “Excellent news for John McCain!” and pretend the crushing defeat never happened.

  • Click has snapped.

    And Goldstein makes wastes of skin look useful.

  • NBarnes

    You are disco, is what you are. And any day now, Asia or Journey or Joan Jett will be coming around to fuck you back into a handful of cheesy dance clubs catering to Long Island hairdressers.

    Is Asia or Journey cool now? Did I miss something?

    Also, that Click cartoon is… well, I want to say it’s the craziest thing I’ve seen this week, but it’s been a hell of a week so far. It’s pretty damn crazy, on an absolute level.

  • He’s so completely passive-aggressive. “I am the BEST BLOGGER EVAR but really this is all too trivial for a genius like me to care about.”

    And … disco? Is that really the metaphor that …

    God, what a long week this has been.


  • Daragh McDowell

    I grew up, got a job, and am working for the Man

    *Sigh* As a doctoral student in the final stages of writing his thesis, I sorely miss the days when this was my fallback plan, and not my ambition…

    • SEK

      I’m no reason to sigh: I’m still at the institution that granted me my doctorate working as a lecturer on a semi-permanent basis because the market is, well, you know. So it’s not like I have a real job.

  • DrDick

    In the clinical sense, Click is the more interesting case

    By that I assume you mean that she has her own entry in the upcoming DSM V?

  • Captain Obvious

    Wow. A less than 51% majority vote is the new “crushing defeat”.

    • Yeah, it wasn’t like it was a major issue or anything. Which explains why most of the American right couldn’t care less one way or the other.

      • Captain Obvious

        On a “major issue”, and with the open solicitation of bribery, Democrats couldn’t even convince more than 1% above the bare minimum of their own party to vote for this bill.

        I’m not sweating it. There’s going to be a real crushing defeat for Democrats in November who’ve overplayed their hand.

        • SEK

          Democrats couldn’t even convince more than 1% above the bare minimum of their own party to vote for this bill.

          Because it’s not like the Democrats finagled who voted “yea” or “nay” so that representatives in conservative districts would be in better shape for the midterms. That’s just crazy talk.

        • You caught us on the bribery, sure, but you missed the most important part — Obama authorized ACORN to count every vote cast by a member of the Congressional Black Caucus twice. That’s how we won, just like in ’08. Bwah hah hah, etc.

          • Incontinentia Buttocks

            And all in the same week that ACORN claimed to cease its national operations.

            The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that, poof. He’s gone.

            Also: I hadn’t realized that only 51% of House and Senate Democrats had voted for what my Junior Senator yesterday called the greatest assault on liberty in the history of this country (slavery is relieved to finally be in second place). Since 51% of Senate Democrats= 29 Senators and 51% of House Democrats = 129 Congresspeople, clearly the vast majority of both houses must have opposed this measure. What appalling parliamentary tricksiness must they have used to get it foisted on a public? Especially when an overwhelming majority of around 40% of Americans oppose it!

            • Yeah, I was operating on the assumption that 100% of Senate Democrats voted for the bill together with 86.5 percent of House Democrats. But it turns out that math is hard. It’s hard!

    • Fats Durston

      Don’t tell Glenn Beck, since it was Pearl Harbor, Normandy, and Custer’s Last Stand all rolled into one! And maybe Arbor Day, too, I forget.

  • MB

    Actually, we are all wrong. The worst thing about this post is the “I made it a cartoon and not a photoshop” defense at the last line. Now excuse me, I have to go yomit in my hat.

    • Linnaeus

      The part about how “the ‘woman’ is green” was quite rich as well.

  • Proper Gander

    That Darlene Click cartoon needs to be posted and attributed all over the blagoblags. It’s time for a good shaming.

  • John

    I can’t tell if this is actual stupidity on display or purposeful stupidity, Beavis and Butthead-style, for the sake of humor. The former, I suppose, could be forgiven, but the latter, well, fuck me, you assholes not only don’t get it, you’re not the least bit funny either. Either way, pitiful.

  • commie atheist

    Dar-leen sez:

    Like the sign at one of the TEA parties that said “it doesn’t matter what this sign says, you going to call it racist anyway.”

    Oh, and Obama is an ungracious, uppity…you know.

    Thanks, Darleen. You’re a fucking racist.

    • Thlayli

      So her reasoning went: “If I’m going to be called ‘racist’ anyway, I might as well earn it.”


  • commie atheist

    Hey, maybe Godlstein will come over here and start commenting? Who knows, it could be another million-comment thread, like one of the ones in TBogg in the halcyon days of yore.

    Then again…fuck, no.

    • SEK

      Doubtful. He’s a broken down bully who only ventures where his reputation for fierceness lingers, i.e. his backyard.

      • timb

        He’s like Eastwood in Gran Torino if only Eastwood STILL hated everybody

  • Proper Gander

    Oh I don’t believe that Click can be shamed… I’d suggest she permanently go Galt with a .45, but it’d be a waste of good lead. However, that cartoon is so over the line, it might shame someone who was just over on the other side of the fence… just maybe. If not, it should drive home once more for everyone else how disgusting teabaggers can be.

    • SEK

      I’d suggest she permanently go Galt with a .45, but it’d be a waste of good lead.

      This? Also not cool.

      • Proper Gander

        Apologies, it would only have been a suggestion. It’s hard to express how angry that cartoon made me feel, but I’ll shut up now.

        • SEK

          No need to shut up, let’s just refrain from venting anger with 16 shells from a thirty-ought six. That said, you’re absolutely correct: Click’s drunk so deeply of the anti-anti-racist Kool-Aid that she’ll never feel shame again.

  • Wait. Godlstein is still blogging? I thought he was losing his house and going to move into a refrigerator box in the alley all because, instead of getting a job and helping his poor wife out these past five years, he was gonna get rich blogging and when that didn’t happen he instead adopted man-wrasslin’ as a simulacrum of his lost manhood.

    Bless his heart…

    • Marked Hoosier

      I imagine he cries himself to sleep every night thinking that Erick Erickson stole his life…

    • SEK

      TBogg, you know as well as I do that eventually the market that pisses and pisses and pisses on Goldstein will realize that he’s gold, not in for a golden.


  • DocAmazing

    I can’t tell you how much I miss Creek Running North’s “Love Song of J. Edgar Goldstein”…

    • SEK

      Chris moved, but he didn’t disappear. I wonder why he didn’t migrate that. To the Facebook!

      • Josh E.

        I went looking for it months ago and there was a note on his blog to the effect that it was mean and he wished he’d never written it.

    • Eve

      Damn, it is gone. I’m glad I saved it while it was still up.

  • Kyle

    writing a scholarly book about comics

    I write about comics sometimes. What’s your book’s focus, if I might ask?

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  • Scott Lemieux

    In fairness, now that the Most Powerful Group in America is closing its doors the Dems will be reduced to -34 seats in Congress and the Supreme Court will side with Orly Taitz and make Sarah Palin president for all infinity.

  • Guest

    Time to stop piling on Goldstein, who’s been crushed about as flat as a person can be tonight:

    I just received the following email. It comes from a former writing professor of mine, the novelist Brian Kiteley:


    Would you mind taking my name off your “about” page on Proteinwisdom? I’ve always liked you and your fiction, and your and [name redacted] impetus to make that conference happen, at that moment in time, did a great deal to speed this program along. I was also simply grateful to have you in the program when you came along, because you were–and are–a very smart and intellectual fiction writer, a rare commodity still, to this day. But I am more and more alarmed by the writings in this website of yours, and I do not want to be associated with it.

    Brian Kiteley

    Here’s the context of that mention on my “about” page: “Some of the writers Jeff studied under are Rikki Ducornet, Beth Nugent, Brian Kiteley, and Brian Evenson.

    My reply was terse:

    Are you asking that I pretend I never studied under you?

    And what, precisely, are you so “alarmed” by?

    Me, I’m increasingly alarmed by the number of academics — in particular, those who teach writing — who find speech alarming. But then I guess I’m old fashioned that way.

    Thanks, Brian.

    This is, in effect, a repudiation of everything I’ve done here. And yes, it hurt me very much.

    I checked over my recent entries, and I saw a discussion on the expansion of the commerce clause by Scalia; a discussion of “process” and how it dovetails with the content of thought; a bit on language; a repudiation of the idea of cultural evolution as a move toward some progressive singularity; a discussion of the potential longterm political ramifications — particularly, the growth of a client class — that could arise in the wake of a law that nationalizes healthcare; a short fiction; a Leif Garrett post; and a couple of Corey Haim dispatches from the after life.

    No doubt people like SEK will see such a note as befitting a person so foul as me. They will rejoice that others in academia see me as they do. Me, I see the email as a rebuke to everything I try to stand for — especially, that last ditch effort to engage in debate as one of a number of would-be public intellectuals.

    Instead, what I write is evidently a cause for “alarm”; it represents some sort of worrisome disease of the mind and the soul that good righteous academic folk must necessarily distance themselves from — to the point that even someone who praises me for my intellect fears the taint of my name and words.

    Presumably, academics like Mr Kiteley will continue to associate themselves with intellectualism. “Pragmatic” conservatives will continue to push GOP talking points, and secure their places as influential voices on the right. For my part, I am a pariah on both sides of the divide.

    And my biggest failing seems to be that I take the debates seriously.

    Quite a legacy I’ve carved out for myself, eh?

    Bully for Jeff.

    Nothing anyone here will ever write can top that.

    • Man, that’s so sad that only the world’s smallest violin playing “Cry Me a River” could do justice to it.

    • timb

      He forgot the obscenely racist cartoon and the threats to hurt Nishi…..

      but, I guess that’s editing and, as any good writer would know, editing is VERY important

      • Scott Lemieux

        who find speech alarming

        Again, I wasn’t aware that free speech means that people cannot respond to particular acts of speech with disgust and a wish not to be associated with the speaker (or, in this case, the individual who provides a forum for and defends said disgusting speech.) Another innovation in his unique “classical liberalism,” like the value of arbitrary detention and torture…

        • Jay B.

          That’s funny Scott. I’m no law-talkin’ guy like you, but based on my interpretation of what conservatives say about the First Amendment, it’s that the simple invocation of “freedom of speech” forces everyone to agree with the sentiment expressed. Opposition to what was said, clearly, is an infringement to and of said speech.

          I think that’s clearly in the Constitution. Just below the ad for Pepsodent.

          • Scott Lemieux

            I believe Sarah Palin advanced this interpretation as well…

    • commie atheist

      Maybe it was all the dick-slapping threats that finally sent Mr. Kiteley over the edge.

      And, does anyone else see a similarity between this:

      This is, in effect, a repudiation of everything I’ve done here.

      …and Megan McArdles’s personalization of the HCR bill passing as simply another opportunity for liberal scum to to feel great happiness at her expense?

      I’m glad that this could bring so much joy to peoples’ hearts, and of course to know that for many people, the happiest part of passing health care reform seems to have been knowing that it made people like me unhappy.


      • daryljfontaine

        And this is where people like McMegan just don’t get it. The happiest part of passing health care reform is laying the groundwork for getting millions of uninsured Americans insured, eliminating rescission and pre-existing condition exclusion, etc. The fact that we get to point and laugh at Teatards and glibertarians is extra mashed potatoes, with the sweet sweet gravy of their bitter tears.


        • Eric

          Thanks for illustrating McMegan’s point, Daryl.

          I definitely believe that you couldn’t give a shit about uninsured Americans; pointing and laughing gives you the real pleasure.

          • daryljfontaine

            You can believe whatever cartoon nonsense passes for thought in your brain, shitheel, but it doesn’t make it true. HCR (and my personal support for it) was always about providing assistance to those who needed the help, which is a principle that the glibertarians like McMegan and her followers just plain don’t believe in.

            With the passage of the bill (and impending passage of the reconciliation package), I take pleasure in the fact that despite the best efforts of those who would tear it down, our society just edged a little further away from “I got mine, so fuck you.” That I get to laugh at those who uphold that repugnant principle, and their pathetic lamentations, satisfies my appetite for schadenfreude. Sweet, sweet gravy.


          • Hogan

            Believe whatever pleases you, based on any evidence or none. Entire days go by when I don’t think about the Megan McArdle tribe and their happiness or otherwise. I call those “good days.”

        • timb

          How about stopping the trend of government backing the “haves” and economic bullies against the “trying” and economic wimps.

          Now, if only, someone, ANYONE, will propose public financing of campaigns, we might be able to take our government back from bank lobbyists and “conservatives.”

    • SEK

      Given that crowd’s shady history with emails, I wonder how long it’ll take them to claim that I sent Kitely an email about—who am I kidding? I’m sure they already have.

    • btwnrt &lft

      This is just sad.

      He’s down to 15-20 regular commenters and can only think of his glory days of yesteryear.

      There really is a place for him on the right. I’ve seen it. There are plenty that haven’t abandoned his ideals, they’ve abandoned him. And his site. And for very good reasons.

      The persecution complex is troubling. The visions of past grandeur are troubling. There very may well be something more than ego here.

      I don’t mean to sound sappy, but piling on to someone with very serious issues is, well, serious.

      • timb

        Yeah, I know I feel terribly about it….almost as badly as I felt when he threatened to beat me up and insulted me to a group of people who enjoy unmasking opponents and sending emails to their employers.

        I just feel so much guilt that wherever he goes, be it academia, the blogosphere, frekin’ catch wrestling forums, the place is always full of terrible assholes, who attack him without provocation! Just a terrible situation for him to be in….I believe the Buddhists call it Karma.

  • NBarnes

    Are you asking that I pretend I never studied under you?

    No, he’s asking that you take his name off your about page.

    I guess it was a writing course and not a reading comprehension course, after all.

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  • giantslor

    Darleen Click is such a liar. It was totally consensual.

  • LanceThruster

    Yeah, but since the statue is French, doesn’t that pretty much mean she is asking for it?

  • manwith7talents

    Also, the rapist in the cartoon looks nothing like Obama. Apart from having lousy senses of humor, are there any conservative cartoonists who can even draw properly?

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