Home / General / We Are Really Going to See “Both Sides Do It” Taken to Tragicomical Levels

We Are Really Going to See “Both Sides Do It” Taken to Tragicomical Levels


Shoot me in the face please.

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  • efgoldman

    No, I think this rates a gut shot and slow bleed out.
    Who is that asshole and why should we care what he thinks? Not all twitterati or magazine writers are equal.

    • DrDick

      Have to agree completely with this.

  • Hercules Mulligan

    “Sir, ‘Ellison isn’t a rust belt populist’ is too subtle. Not all our readers know what we really mean.”

    “How about ‘Radical Congressman’? Do we need to add a winking emoji?”

    • No, no–a huge t-bone steak emoji

      • JonH

        Or a bomb with a lit fuse.

      • DrDick

        With a prayer rug.

        • angrifon

          And a black beret.

  • Bootsie

    Keith Ellison, known Maoist Third-Worlder who demands the destruction of color in clothing.

    • nagler

      I was wondering what the Bannon mirror image would be.

    • Gwen

      You know all those Maoist pantsuits Hillary wore? Keith Ellison was her tailor. #KeithEllisonFacts

  • sapient

    Yeah, I heard Josh on the radio Friday. Not who I want to pay attention to in future.

  • rea

    Well, one's a white supremacist, and the other's Islamic--isn't that exactly equivalent?

  • Warren Terra

    With Keith Ellison’s increased profile over the last couple of days, I’ve been considering what I know about him, and it’s this: he’s Muslim.

    That’s it. And it really bothers me – not that he’s Muslim, but that the only thing I know about him, the only thing I’ve picked up on during his years of public life and some national prominence, is this (notable) feature of his religious/cultural/sometimes-ethnic identity. And, yes, obviously, I’m to blame here, I could trouble myself to learn more about what he stands for and what he’s done. I do recall having heard him speaking up on some issues, but not so clearly that I can recall what those issues were. But even so: dude’s been in Congress with national attention for a decade, I’m a political junkie, and the only sense I have of him is that he’s a good guy and he’s a Muslim. Seems like a shame, and I think it reflects the racialized way he gets covered.

    • Brien Jackson

      Assuming you don’t live especially close to his district, I wouldn’t beat yourself up too much over it. The guy was a backbencher in the House minority, and never really carved out a major place for himself until this year by being the reasonable, quasi-establishment guy associated with the upper ranks of the Sanders campaign. Even the leftier places weren’t really aware of him or anything.

      • That is highly unfair! The left has followed Ellison closely his whole career. And has been consistently impressed by him.

        Why would you speak out against Keith Ellison?

        • Hercules Mulligan

          I will confess to not knowing a ton about Ellison until the day after the election. But that just meant I got to read up on him, which was super cool. It’s been ages since I got to read about, like, a “new” politician. Very cool.

          I believe he’s on Chris Hayes tonight. I’ll definitely watch the whole thing once it’s online.

        • efgoldman

          Why would you speak out against Keith Ellison?

          “He’s unknown to me, except for a couple of basic facts” is not at all the same as “speaking out against.”
          I wouldn’t expect anyone from Minnesota, even someone politically aware, to know jack shit about Cicciline or Langevin.

        • Brien Jackson

          Is this sarcastic?

          • DrDick


      • wengler

        Even the leftier places weren’t really aware of him or anything.

        This is just plain wrong. Ellison has been a leader in the Progressive Caucus for years. Just like Bernie had a weekly national radio segment for years, Ellison has been a regular fixture in leftist media outlets.

    • nacorwin

      Here is an interview with him by the podcast Undisclosed. You can learn a bit more about him by listening to him for 30 minutes.


      This podcast is a quasi-spinoff of Serial. They spent their first season talking about the Adnan Syed case (one of the three presenters is Rabia Chaudry who brought the case to the Serial producers). The second case is about a probable wrong conviction in Georgia. Between the two seasons they had a few one-off episodes.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Well, I also knew he was from Minnesota. ; )

      I hardly ever see any cable TV news, but whenever I saw him on a talking/yelling he show, he seemed calm, reasonable, and realiy-based. Why, even positive and nice, too.

      Hey, maybe that is extremism nowadays!

      Nawwwww… we all know what was being implied here.

    • Brett

      He’s supposedly a telegenic, smart, deeply progressive congressman who was a big supporter of Bernie Sanders. Hell, uber-Clinton-supporter Sady Doyle said she thought he was good for this on Twitter.

      Might as well give him a shot, although I wonder if Dean might be better for 2018. A lot of the races in 2018 are not favorable to Democrats and are in reddish states. Dean’s not popular, though, IIRC – and he’s done some bad stuff as a lobbyist.

      • Warren Terra

        I’m not convinced Dean is remotely an effective spokesperson, while I hope Ellison can be. I think some version of the 50 State Strategy is important – we need to fight for state legislatures, for one thing – but Dean doesn’t have exclusive rights to that.

        • joel hanes

          Dean knows how to win elections. *
          He gave us Obama, only to be crapped on by Rahm.
          Let someone else be “an effective spokesperson” while Dean makes decisions about how to build a party organization that wins.
          * Pelosi demonstrably does not.

          • Warren Terra

            Giving Dean the credit for Obama is certainly an interesting take.

            Also: (1) the DNC chair is a spokesperson. So you’re suggesting Dean be given some staff position he’d never take, or perhaps be consulted extensively; and (2) where is the evidence Dean can get someone elected dogcatcher? He was DNC chair in 2006 and 2008, when the combination of Katrina, Iraq, and the collapse of the housing bubble gave the opposition party significant gains, helped in 2008 by the unique political talents of this Obama fellow you seem to think was Dean’s creation. Either of us could have gotten Democrats elected in 2006 and 2008 (and: the Nancy Pelosi you so deride played whatever part she did in 2006 and 2008), and for all the idea of the Fifty State Strategy was hugely important its execution was maybe less impressive.

            • Brien Jackson

              I’ve downplayed how important Dean was, but he (and Rahm!) Did a great job with candidate recruitment. It’d be great if he’d take the vice-chair role and be put in charge of that while helping with the organizational stuff right away too.

  • anonymous

    Steve Banning and Keith Ellison are no way equivalent. This is taking false equivalency to a whole new level. That would be like saying David Duke and John Lewis are equivalent.

    Still the NYT editor was sadly right.

    In a more racially polarized America, Ellison as DNC Chair is only going to accelerate White flight from the Dems. That isn’t an indictment of Ellison but of Whites who are fleeing to the Repugs for racialist reasons.

    Sadly there’s no good solution to White Flight, either in our neighborhoods or in our Parties. The only solution is for the Dems to go Dixiecrat and make Jim Webb/Joe Manchin the face of the Party with its obvious drawbacks.

    • The Temporary Name

      Ellison as DNC Chair is only going to accelerate White flight from the Dems.

      Huh? The DNC position is something nerds like me worry about. It’s way down the list of voter concerns.

      • Dennis Orphen

        Wait until the Right Wing Noise Machine (awful band name, by the way) gets to work on the fact he’s a Black Muslim. Every white wingnut in America will suddenly care a lot about the DNC Chairman. If they’re told to care, they’ll care.

        • Gwen

          Every right wing nut will find a reason to hate whoever the Democrats put up.

          To them, the Democratic Party is a dangerous, criminal cult that sacrifices unborn babies to Satan in exchange for welfare checks and “gay stuff.”

          Sometimes you just have to ignore them.

        • xq

          It doesn’t matter what wingnuts think. Swing voters don’t care.

          • Colin Day

            It doesn’t matter what wingnuts think.

            Facts not in evidence

        • mds

          Wait until the Right Wing Noise Machine (awful band name, by the way) gets to work on the fact he’s a Black Muslim.

          Sure, but the only other contender I’ve heard mentioned is Howard Dean. Who once screamed. Into a microphone. At a political rally.

    • Warren Terra

      In a more racially polarized America, Ellison as DNC Chair is only going to accelerate White flight from the Dems.

      This is why we need to keep Donna Brazile in the post.

      • Dennis Orphen

        We need Robert Brazile in the post. No more fucking around.

        • Bill Murray

          Dr. Doom is too busy teaching middle school special needs kids in Mobile

    • Gwen

      I think we’re overestimating racism post-Trump, or at least the number of people who are active bigots as opposed to passive ones.

      Many white folks voted for Obama because he was smart and charismatic, indifferent to him being black. And these same people voted for Trump because they didn’t trust Hillary, and just thought all the “deplorable” stuff was a mostly-harmless prank.

      These are the people who, if seated on a plane next to a woman wearing a Hijab, would not necessarily feel threatened. But also wouldn’t show any courage in defending her if some racist f*ck decided to make a scene.

      A big chunk of white America just wants to be left alone and not be bothered by “other people’s problems.” The fact is that a big chunk of white people just *don’t care*. Sure that might be tacit approval of racism (and I agree with the sign we had at our Austin pro-immigration rally yesterday: “White Silence IS Violence”). But if you call these people racists, they’ll have a legitimate reason to feel offended. And if you think they’re going to change their whole way of life because of who the DNC chair is… you’re probably wrong.

      • rhino

        I think it’s unfortunate that you are so correct here.

    • DrDick

      There really are not that many hardcore racists left in the Democratic Party. The mostly left in the 90s, when the South went red.

      • rhino

        No, but I think Gwen, above us, has it called pretty accurately. They aren’t actively racist, but they simply don’t give a shit about racism. It’s someone else’s problem as far as they are concerned.

        Now, can we *make* racism their problem somehow? And in such a way that it makes them hate racists instead of turning on POC and *becoming racists? Because the current system of *scolding* these people doesn’t seem to work very well. Looks like something else needs to be tried.

  • LeeEsq

    This false equivalency is giving me a queasy feeling in my stomach. Many people are going to spend the entire next four years with this feeling.

  • Keith Ellison, Malcolm X; who can tell them apart?

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Mr. Rogers, John Wayne Gacy, both entertained chidren, right?

      • Dennis Orphen

        Here’s a fun trivia question for you: What do GWB, Adolph Hitler, and John Wayne Gacy have in common?

        • BiloSagdiyev

          Painters of average skill? Liked to eat raw dough?

          • Dennis Orphen

            Thank you for making me laugh out loud in public for the first time in quite a while.

            • BiloSagdiyev

              I know how you feel. Last Friday night I watched the Late Night with Colbert, which I think was a repeat of what had been done on Showtime on election night. It featured a segment with cartoon Donald Trump, showing his childhood, Batman-style.

              It looked like a fairly accurate guess to me. And I don’t think I laughed at all.

              Now this morning, I had an involuntary expulsion. Was walking through the lobby of an office building, saw a big new flat screen TV on the wall showing nonstop news (because we gotta have that!) and the headline near the bottom of the screen said Trump was considering Laura Schelsinger for press secretary.

              Liquid-free spit-take came out of my mouth as I reached to cover it. I found it hilarious and stupid, and a few seconds later, realized, why yes, of course, it’s all part of the rich mosaic of turds.

              (And then I contemplated how much I can keep my mouth shut and face blank and stay safe, down here in the Ungovernable Tribal Regions.)

              • Dennis Orphen

                We’re all crapping giant turds of anger and despair.

  • XTPD

    Oh for fuck’s sake…

    OK, if this election has taught us anything, it’s that the mainstream press is too fucking incompetent on its own to even perform moderate pushback against the most manifestly unqualified candidate to ever run for office, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost when it comes to holding the media accountable. To that effect, I’ve compiled a partial list of main media players, in descending order of workability-to-malevolence:

    1. WaPo. David Fahrenthold deserves a medal of honor for his Trump coverage. And its editorial page is currently about on par with the Times, so it makes a solid replacement.

    2. Booktastic Busmobile. Yes, it is and was one of the worse EMAILZ chickenfuckers, but besides being a key media player it seems especially pliable to criticism – note that it started running much more Trump-critical articles near the end of the election season (due to both sustained criticism and possible institutional wariness about putting him in the White House) . And FWIW, barring Chunky Reese Witherspoon, their columnist stable is merely dumb rather than evil (Blow & Krugman, of course, are neither of those things).

    3. NPR: Don’t have a great feel on this, but my impression is that its viewpoint is more or less “whatever people are saying.” May be susceptible to pressure, but not as essential to the dialogue as the WaPo & NYT.

    4. Piebald Knights of the Equine Order: Granted, Bill Scher is solid, but for the most part it serves as an exemplar of everything wrong with Beltway media. (It’s also the only mainstream outlet that could run a piece framing George Wallace’s candidacy in terms of media SUPERGENIUS, which would itself be sufficient grounds for liquidation).

    5. NBC: Keep Kornacki, Reid and the afternoon staff. The rest deserve to be fired into the sun.

    6. Jeff Zucker’s Daily Derphole: You could hand total editorial control of all non-Anderson Cooper-related programming to these assholes, staff the political consultant spots with their friends & weed carriers, and replace The Situation Room with an audio stream of the members’ discographies, and you would still not possibly be any less-informed about general world affairs than if you were watching the real thing. At this point it’s so far gone that anyone not named Van Jones or Anderson Cooper deserves to be mauled by rabid clowns.

    Feel free to add any suggestions.

    • postmodulator

      I mean this to be a constructive criticism: the density of nicknames is beginning to affect the readability of your comments.

      • XTPD

        What, you actually think my comments are readable?

        That said, I’ll keep your comment in mind for future comments, although describing POLITICO and/or Halperin in terms of horseracism is too good to discontinue from further use.

        • Origami Isopod

          I think the nicknames are great, but it would help to link them to their sources. It takes a moment to figure out from context which news org you’re talking about. That’s why I suggested a blog of your own. Here, I guess you could do faux footnotes.

          • XTPD

            Thanks. I actually had a blog in middle school, but I haven’t visited it in forever and the writing now strikes me as rather embarrassing. If I started working on it again, it’d most likely be for music-reviewing purposes.

            • Everyone’s middle school writing should strike them as embarrassing no later than sophomore year of high school.

              (I thought figuring out the nicknames was half the fun.)

            • J. Otto Pohl
              • XTPD

                The format would actually be track-by-track, with hip-hop being the predominant genre. I actually listen to a lot of world, library, jazz, alternative, soul and classical music (and while I don’t usually seek it out, can enjoy good rock & pop), but hip-hop is the genre which I’m on solid enough ground to review critically.

                • rhino

                  What is ‘Library’?

          • q-tip

            AKA also works if you don’t have DFWallace-levels of obsessiveness!

    • Donnaquixote

      I think you’re all wrong on whom to keep or not at NBC. In the first place, you’re not talking about NBC you’re talking about MSNBC. Joy Reid is very very good and has guts and backbone. Kornacki, though, is way down my list of likes. He’s all about the process and never about the meat of an election. It’s the sort of coverage that was way overdone during election season and helped to “normalize” Trump.

      As far as I am concerned, Hayes, Maddow, and O’Donnell deserve to keep their slots. They’re keeping me sane and hopeful and O’Donnell did some of his best work ever last week.

      • XTPD

        You’re right; that’s actually what I meant by “afternoon/weekend staff,” and all the great pundits this cycle were on MSNBC (although I assume O’Donnell’s style is an acquired taste, as I’ve never really warmed up to him).

        That said, NBC proper (and Morning Joe) is completely expendable.

      • Linnaeus

        Part of me wishes that Chris Hayes had never left Up; I think the show’s format was better suited to his style than his current program (although he’s not bad in that one either). I stopped watching Up after Kornacki took it over.

    • geniecoefficient

      Wait aren’t you super young, like still-growing-adult-teeth, eats-a-lollipop-daily young? I’m impressed you know about Chunky Reese Witherspoon, since her eponymous incident came to light awhile ago, and these days few can summon the intestinal strength to talk about that revolting business.

      • Dennis Orphen

        Just to clear the air here, and eliminate any misunderstandings, Chunky is a thick, square chocolate bar (if my 70’s childhood memories aren’t false and planted), Reese is a chocolate/peanut butter cup, and Witherspoon is Jimmy, a blues shouting vocalist. Accept no substitutes.

        • Bill Murray

          no, Witherspoon is a big bodied power forward from Southern Mississippi, who played with the 76ers and a few other teams in the NBA

          • rhino

            No, Witherspoon was a competitive downhill skier, who starred in several Warren Miller movies, briefly played NFL football in a completely forgettable career, and was charged with drunk driving.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Feel free to add any suggestions.

      Jam the transmitters and tell people to read a book?

      • Dennis Orphen

        Begin with Vladimir Nabokov’s short story Cloud, Castle, Lake. He lived in Germany in the 20’s and 30’s and it is the only work of literature he wrote that was directly inspired by the experience. It is very general, vague allegory, therefore far more relevant to understanding the current situation than anything specific to Nazi Germany.

        I haven’t read it for a long, long time, but I believe it’s right on the money.

    • Origami Isopod

      My suggestion is that you start a blog, X.

      • Bill Murray

        If not X, then We’re Desperate or The Once Over Twice

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      The Fix and especially Chris Cillizza at WaPo are bad. I think he may have literally came in his pants when the Comey letter dropped.

      • Cillizza is slime. Remember when he and Dana Milbank had those cretinous “political satire” videos where they dressed up in smoking jackets and made catty jokes? It got canceled after they joked that Clinton would drink “Mad Bitch Beer” at a hypothetical “beer summit”. (Remember the “beer summit”???? COMEDY!!!)

        The epitome of a glib, smirking nihilist.

    • DrDick

      3. NPR: Don’t have a great feel on this, but my impression is that its viewpoint is more or less “whatever people are saying.” May be susceptible to pressure, but not as essential to the dialogue as the WaPo & NYT.

      I get the impression that it is pretty much “whatever does not piss off the Koch brothers” these days.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Or maybe just, “Please don’t hit me!”

  • mnuba

    Kraushaar appears to be quoting noted asshole John Podhoretz. Commentary is, I guess, his venture. Ellison was extremely critical of Bush and Iraq so I’m betting that’s the source of at least some of Podhoretz’s animosity.

    Also the scare tactic re: Ellison appears to be to try to tie him to the Nation of Islam via some articles he wrote while a law student 30 years ago and some work organizing the Minnesota contingent of the Million Man March. It’s pretty weak tea in my opinion but I admit to not having any idea what kind of attacks stick (or don’t!) to politicians anymore.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      I think law review articles might stick better than mythical “whitey tape.”

    • Lasker

      Surprisingly the bulk of the quoted article is Podhoretz describing how awful Bannon is.

      • I’m not exactly shocked that the neoconservative journal put out by the American Jewish Committee doesn’t take kindly to a white supremacist anti-Semitic publisher of yellow journalism.

        • Barry_D

          Note that they actually tried to excuse it. Their first talking point was a false claim that there was nothing to tie Bannon personally to antisemitism. Their second talking point was to point out that Breitbart is a cesspool of antisemitism.

          When successive paragraphs contradict each other, they’re not even trying.

        • mds

          I’m not exactly shocked that the neoconservative journal put out by the American Jewish Committee doesn’t take kindly to a white supremacist anti-Semitic publisher of yellow journalism.

          Really? Despite “private outrage,” AIPAC appears ready to line up and lick Bannon’s ass on command, ’cause Donald Trump will put the boot to the subhuman Muslim filth. So I am shocked that neoconservatives at the AJC consider a guy whose appointment was hailed by the American Nazi Party as a bridge too far.

    • Origami Isopod

      Ellison was extremely critical of Bush and Iraq so I’m betting that’s the source of at least some of Podhoretz’s animosity.

      There are dicksplats in the Twitter conversation linking a nine-year-old article in which Ellison compared Bush to Hitler as “proof” that he’s as bad as Bannon.

      • mnuba

        One of the cruel ironies of this “Ellison is so extreme!” narrative is that immediately after he was elected to Congress he was paraded around by the Bush administration as a symbol of How Much America Loves Muslims while people like Glenn Beck were literally asking him point-blank if he was “working with the enemy.” Dude has more than earned a few swings at those morons.

    • Dennis Orphen

      If you’re a Democrat every attack sticks and if your a Kleptocrat none do, silly rabbit.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    So, is it just me? Commentary is like, part of the intellectual pinnacle of the conservative movement, right? And yet this is just a slightly polished version of ARGLE BARGLE SHARIA DNC CHAIRMAN!!! ?

    • The pinnacle of a dungheap is still dung.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Just as I suspected! It’s doodies all the way down!


    “Both sides do it” means different things coming from different people though. While it’s an axiom for the High Broderist MSM type, for a (bowel) movement conservative, it’s an act of desperation, the very last thing they’ll say when they can’t think of anything else. They’d much rather say, “Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Muslims/Women/Homosexuals/Black People only do this thing, while we are as pure as the wind driven snow.”

  • jpgray

    He’s my congressman. I met him at a showing of The House I Live In.

    Not only is he smart (really smart), he’s personable and decidedly not a nutjob of any kind.

    The pathetic thing about this is that most (all?) of us here could not name the hate-spewing anti-Bannon of the Left. This is because none exists.

    To find one, you must either lie about a sane Democrat’s extremism, or lie about a Left nutjob’s prominence/influence.

    • Warren Terra

      I can’t name the Bannon Of The Left, but I’m pretty sure they publish in Counterpunch.

      • mongolia

        that’s the closest, but who other than a few loons care about counterpunch? the fact that we have to scrape the literal bottom of the barrel, to find people that have been irrelevant since the ’90’s, to have a left equivalent to the next goddamned chief strategist to the molester-in-chief is extremely instructive as to how awful asymmetric polarization has gotten

  • wengler

    The link goes to a shitpiece by a rightwing tool. I’m not sure why it’s worth even responding to when the first sentence mentions ‘our mutual friend Breitbart.’

  • Bothsiderist assholes or not, all the Beltway journos will flock like sharks to the infighting and scandals that the Trump “administration” will manufacture like a GM production line in the good old days.

  • mds

    The bright side is, if they try to point out that Ellison took his first Congressional oath of office on (Thomas Jefferson’s copy of) the Quran, a lot of people will be confused, because in 2009 multiple people repeatedly insisted to me that it was Barack Obama who did that.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      (Shhh… let’s not tell them about Jefferson’s bible that he cut the mumbo jumbo out of with a knife.)

      • mds

        With the presumed re-ascendancy of David Barton (because why the fuck not at this point), your point will be declared absolutely false. The only reason devout fundamentalist Christian Thomas Jefferson would have done such a thing is if it weren’t the original King James Version of the Bible.

  • Heron

    WOW. Just by existing, just by being Muslim, Ellison gets labeled an “extremist”. Well, everybody who predicted that Trump winning would get all the quite stuff out into the open come collect your prize; Muslims are now, to the USian Right, “Extremists” and “Terrorists” by definition. Sickening.

  • blackbox

    Reliable sources have assured me that Bannon is not literally Joseph Goebbels. Comparisons to Ellison are definitely fair.

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