25.5.17

EVERYBODY LOSES.

An annoying Guardian reporter barges in on a private conversation between a Montana candidate for elective office and other reporters and the candidate, Republican Greg Gianforte, reacts badly.

Charlie "Never Trump" Sykes uses the opportunity to comment on the coarsening of the culture more generally.
Without prejudging this case, there is no question that Donald Trump is the role-model-in-chief. And clearly you have a lot of people who have been modeling their behavior on Donald Trump who has declared the media to be the enemy of the people. I think this is going to be fascinating to see how this plays out,. Will the conservative media decide that, oh, beating up on a liberal reporter is somehow is not that big a deal? Will it divide along those lines? I can't say what was going on inside this guy's head.

But there's no question about it. You can't not notice the coarsening of the culture and of the political dialogue. I'm in Wisconsin. You know one of our big rising stars is Sheriff David Clarke who has become kind of a superstar in right wing circles for threatening to put people on the ground. He's actually facing lawsuits now for actually threatening to beat up somebody who talked to him on an airplane. And this is kind of this macho, testosterone, fired-up style that has become popular.
There's enough of this no-platforming, or using of muscle, going around in politics that the predictable tu quoque exchanges are burning up the web.  I'll confess that a Guardian reporter complaining, "You body-slammed me and broke my glasses," provokes thoughts about annoying sanctimonious dweebs getting what they deserve, which may or may not help Mr Gianforte as voters go to the polls.

But Mr Gianforte is Right Wisconsin's Winner of the Day for today, and not for body-slamming sanctimonious dweebs.  "Republican Greg Gianforte has to be thankful for early voting."  The Law of Unintended Consequences bites Democrats again. "Democrats are very protective of early voting. We wonder how they feel about early voting today, at least in Montana."  But if Mr Gianforte wins today, we'll see if the House seats him.

Shall we be grateful there haven't been fistfights or canings in the Capitol itself?

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