Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Republicans turn their party into a newt

"Monty Python and the Holy Grail"

      Early in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” there’s a scene where filth-spattered villagers gleefully drag a woman to their lord, shouting “We’ve got a witch! Burn her! Burn her!”
     “How do you know she is a witch?” trills Sir Bedevere, a particularly dim-witted future knight of the Round Table.
     “She looks like one!” the villagers say.
     “They dressed me up like this!” the woman objects.
     Bedevere tries again.
     “What makes you think she is a witch?” he says.
     “She turned me into a newt!” exclaims a large peasant, played by John Cleese.
     The assembled look at him. Cleese glances down at his shoulders, as if detecting a flaw in this line of reasoning.
     “I got better...” he ventures, in a small voice.
     Which illustrates a problem with insisting on ludicrous lies. Even in the outrageous world of Monty Python, at some point you may get called on it.
     Donald Trump delivered two main messages to the Conservative Political Action Committee in Florida Sunday: The 2020 presidential election was stolen; and his followers must defeat every Republican who spoke out against him. A pair of propositions that scream for somebody to draw a line connecting the two.

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  1. Pretty soon we'll have a broadcast channel where at noon everyday there will be an Orwellian 30 minute "HATE" featuring a picture of Nancy Pelosi next to President Obama superimposed on a video of a Black Lives Matter march. Nevermind. We already have a 24 hour version on Fox News.
    Repeat the lie often enough and...................

  2. The mindset that embraces Trump's lies and his shameful conniving is beyond fiction -- it could only happen in real life.


  3. My perception from watching all this over the past five or so years can be boiled down to six words: Donald Trump appeals to stupid people. They don't necessarily know they're stupid, and I don't think Trump himself is stupid, but that he (correctly) realized years ago that stupid people in general were both underrepresented and easily led. Years earlier, Rush Limbaugh had realized the same thing, and thus became extremely popular among people who preferred to have their thinking done for them (referring to themselves as "dittoheads" in gratitude).

    So the root problem here seems to be trying to use facts and logic to persuade people who don't use those tools in the first place. I've patiently read or listened to folks spewing the most ridiculous rubbish, ignoring everything we would classify as common sense, and the only response I can come up with in return is, "What? Are you stupid?" (or perhaps "What are you: stupid?"). And the sad fact is yes, they are.

    That's not to say that they deserve to be disenfranchised or barred from voting, but that we need to come up with a different approach that will work better than what they're gobbling up now from the other side, which is a mixture of lies, conspiracy theories and bafflegab. I don't know what that might be (I have already ruled out calling them "stupid" as a strategy), but when we look at the number of people who actually voted for Trump last time, we can see that the current approach does not seem to be working.

    1. Precisely. Although there are people who aren't stupid, but callous, or indifferent, or fixated on one thing, or mentally ill, or arrogant. They're part of it too.

    2. They are absolutely part of it too. A big part of it. Self interest goes hand in hand with callous, indifferent and intolerant. Fits like a glove.

  4. Good column. Much wisdom in Monty Python, and I wish PBS would bring it back. One segment, probably from The Holy Grail, gives the best insight into life in Medieval times. John Cleese, all arrayed in white, comes riding through the forest and one peasant says to the other "Here comes good King John." To which his companion asks "How do you know he's the King?" "because he's not all covered wi shit like us." is the retort.


  5. Heres a thought: If you think the election was stolen, go work as an election judge. God knows they are looking for them all the time. Then work it from the beginning, usually the day before with the setup, all the way through election day and help close the polls and drop off the ballots etc...if you still think the election was stolen, at least you'll know how the process works and you'll know what you're talking about. And you'll get paid for your time. (Of course when I say "you", just talking in general, not referring to the honorable person that does this blog) You know, to the people that still think it's stolen, go educate yourself, and get paid while you're at it.

  6. The Munich Putsch./Insurrection on Capital Hill on Jan. 6th. Then Hitler did what Trump, etal, are doing now. Fell back and reformed the plan.

  7. Excellent blog as usual. Love your insight as well as your response to the fella who wrote in to “agree to disagree.”


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