June 15, 2017

12 things I learned from the Weekly Standard interview with Camille Paglia.

(Full transcript here.)

1. Paglia hopes to vote for Kamala Harris in the next presidential primary.

2. In the 2016 campaign season, Scott Walker "shrank into a nervous, timid mouse with a frozen Pee-wee Herman smile." (I disagree with this. I think Jeb Bush blocked the flow of money that Walker could have used to get somewhere.)

3. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "doggedly piled up air miles while accomplishing virtually nothing except the destabilization of North Africa."

4. After the election, Chuck Schumer "asserted absolutely no moral authority as the party spun out of control in a nationwide orgy of rage and spite."

5. As President, "Trump seems to be methodically trying to fulfill his campaign promises," but the "mundane GOP leadership" has been "passiv[e]" and "petulan[t]."

6. "[E]lite Democrats occupy an amorphous meta-realm of subjective emotion, theoretical abstractions, and refined language. But Trump is by trade a builder who deals in the tangible, obdurate, objective world of physical materials, geometry, and construction projects, where communication often reverts to the brusque, coarse, high-impact level of pre-modern working-class life, whose daily locus was the barnyard." (This observation is especially funny because Paglia herself obviously belongs in the first group, with the abstract language and the subjective emotion.)

7. Comey is "an effete charlatan" and his testimony was "maudlin."

8. "Political correctness represents the fossilized institutionalization of once-vital revolutionary ideas, which have become mere rote formulas."

9. Liberals have a "usual animosity to religion," and their avoidance of criticism of Islam is "because it is largely a religion of non-whites." Paglia attributes this idea — the racial patronizing of Islam — to "some commentators" instead of taking ownership of the idea. Later she says (in one of her most labyrinthine sentences): "Right now, too many secular Western liberals treat Islam with paternalistic condescension—waving at it vaguely from a benevolent distance but making no effort to engage with its intricate mixed messages, which can inspire toward good or spur acts of devastating impact on the international stage." (If I weren't already so far into making a list, I'd use that sentence for one of my "sentence of the day" posts. I mean, try to diagram that. And my point isn't a technical one about writing. It's: What's motivating you to get so contorted right there? It means something.)

10. There's a theory that "the pharmaceutical industry, having lost income when routine estrogen therapy for menopausal women was abandoned because of its health risks, has been promoting the relatively new idea of transgenderism in order to create a permanent class of customers who will need to take prescribed hormones for life."

11. Paglia describes herself as transgender, but she's "highly skeptical about the current transgender wave," because there are "far more complicated psychological and sociological factors than current gender discourse allows." And she sees the "prescription of puberty blockers... as a criminal violation of human rights," and she "reject[s] state-sponsored coercion to call someone a 'woman' or a 'man' simply on the basis of his or her subjective feeling about it." 

12. Liberals only pose as pro-science. Global warming is "a sentimental myth unsupported by evidence," and: "Biology has been programmatically excluded from women's studies and gender studies programs for almost 50 years now."

139 comments:

Michael K said...

"(I disagree with this. I think Jeb Bush blocked the flow of money that Walker could have used to get somewhere."

Interesting theory. I thought the Koch brothers cut him off. I agree it was a money block.

He was my favorite. I hope he tries again but Pence will have the inside track next time there is an opening.

Michael said...

Paglia is now what was once a liberal. Good to see.

Virtually Unknown said...

doggedly piled up air miles while accomplishing virtually nothing except the destabilization of North Africa."

She forgot the Levant. Paglia, I mean, Hillary remembered to destabilize it.

madAsHell said...

Wow!! Totally conflicted. Why am I not surprised?

Luke Lea said...

About Islam: why is it not ok to say that Islam is a territorial religion and that its territory is not Western Civilization, of which it is the professed enemy? Is this not both literally and historically true? And then there is the matter that once an adherent of Islam, even if only by birth, the penalty for leaving is death. That threat is not an idle one, as witness the experience of this young American ex-Muslim activist named Sarah Haider: https://goo.gl/JPpWyQ

LYNNDH said...

Interesting, but everything she says would be opposed by Harris. How can she then vote for Harris? Trouble and strife.

JohnGalt said...

RE: 11 -- I saw Paglia on TV maybe 20 yrs ago. She claimed to be a lesbian then. Now she's transgender. See your yesterday's post about gender identity and choice.

Matthew Sablan said...

4. After the election, Chuck Schumer "asserted absolutely no moral authority as the party spun out of control in a nationwide orgy of rage and spite."

-- Only three people could, maybe, have exerted control. They were Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Chuck Schumer may have had the moral authority, but no one cared what he had to say. I can't really blame him for this; or the other three. They were hurt, confused and shocked Trump won. They probably never thought things would get this bad, and now they're too far behind the eight ball to soothe the anger.

Virtually Unknown said...

but everything she says would be opposed by Harris. How can she then vote for Harris?

Because she isn't actually a man. As a woman, it's her prerogative.

Francisco D said...

Prof. Paglia is always interesting, whether I agree with her or not.

I appreciate her intellectual honesty, something in short supply in today's academia and the left in general.

readering said...

I think transgender Paglia wants to be Gore Vidal.

Achilles said...

It would be interesting to have discussions with people like her.

Mattman26 said...

God, I love that woman. (And you too, Ann.)

Clyde said...

Kamala Harris? Obama lite. An emptier empty chair, were such a thing possible.

Mark O said...

How does political correctness support Enlightenment ideals?

samsondale said...

My recollection on Walker is that he first took a strong, Trump-like, stance on immigration and then, feeling the tug from his financial backers, backed off from that. His support went to Trump. I have wondered for a while whether, if he had been able to maintain that immigration stance, he'd have been able to hold off Trump.

Rene Saunce said...

I disagree with her strange political affiliation, but what I love most about Paglia is her fearless ability to climb over the top of the D-group-think and speak her mind.

David Begley said...

Completely agree regarding Sen. Harris. A completely untested - and not very smart - Senator from a one party state. But a good looking bi-racial woman. The ticket to winning!

David Begley said...

Does she change her name as a transgender? Cam?

Clyde said...

If Obama was a Michelob Ultra Light beer (95 calories, 2.6 carbs) then Harris is a watered-down version of the same. And if the last beer from that six-pack was skunky, why would you grab another bottle?

exiledonmainstreet said...

I agree with most of her points. However, she is inconsistent.

In Sexual Personae, she said charisma is a dangerous quality in a politician and it is better for the public weal when our leaders are plodding, colorless types. Yet she herself a sucker for charismatic pols (of the Dem variety). She initially gushed over Bill and Hill and then became disillusioned with them. She strongly supported Obama in ’08 and then voted for Stein in ’12. The same is bound to happen with Harris, who is basically Obama in a dress.

And that tortured sentence about Islam was written because while Paglia recognizes the danger of radical Islam , she remains too much of a leftist to condemn its’ basic tenets.

I love Paglia, but she is a maddening mix of common sense and 60’s silliness – ie her belief in astrology. That said, she makes far more sense than the vast majority of her colleagues in academia.

Rick said...

There's a theory that "the pharmaceutical industry, having lost income when routine estrogen therapy for menopausal women was abandoned because of its health risks, has been promoting the relatively new idea of transgenderism in order to create a permanent class of customers who will need to take prescribed hormones for life."

So we can oppose left wing positions as long as we blame a politically correct scapegoat. Your theory on the effect of feminism is growing beyond its original boundary.

Rene Saunce said...

Kama Harris? ugh - she's embarrassing.

M Jordan said...

Paglia is a mess. She is able to see clearly through much liberal fog but she remains one.

Achilles said...

"12. Liberals only pose as pro-science. Global warming is "a sentimental myth unsupported by evidence,"

They aren't liberals or scientists. They are stalinists.

Achilles said...

Blogger Clyde said...
"Kamala Harris? Obama lite. An emptier empty chair, were such a thing possible."

Harris is much more corrupt.

MikeR said...

"Of course this rousing speech [about federal permits and infrastructure] (with its can-do World War Two spirit) got scant coverage in the mainstream media."
Not true. It got no coverage at all - I had actually never heard of it.

Rene Saunce said...

The left will excuse and ignore any amount of corruption on their side as long as they keep their focus on the big prize. Single Payer- tax payer funded health care.

Rene Saunce said...

4. After the election, Chuck Schumer "asserted absolutely no moral authority as the party spun out of control in a nationwide orgy of rage and spite."

Media still stirring the rage pot.

Achilles said...

"9. Liberals have a "usual animosity to religion," and their avoidance of criticism of Islam is "because it is largely a religion of non-whites.""

They aren't liberals. They have more in common with intolerant Islam than with liberals.

This is the block in her paradigm. The left is no longer the party of JFK. They are soviet style Marxist at this point.

Dude1394 said...

"1. Paglia hopes to vote for Kamala Harris in the next presidential primary. "

I agree, we should all begin to vote our tribe.

Static Ping said...

Kamala Harris, huh? Another minority political neophyte from a dysfunction blue state? Lovely.

I get the impression that they watched the Star Wars prequels and the lesson that they learned was to support only candidates least similar to Palpatine. They tend to forget that the opposite was more or less Anakin Skywalker....

Nonapod said...

Paglia is brutally honest about most of the shortcomings of the Dem party and the modern left in general. I assume that cynicism has come from decades of observing Democrat politics and the results of their policies. But strangely I think she still has a romantic attachment to some of the hopeful ideas of the old left. She's afflicted with saudade for liberalism.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I think a lot of Paglia’s inconsistency comes from the fact that while she despises (and has valiantly fought against) PC on campus, she romanticizes the generation which introduced PC on campus - her own. I don’t know how many times I’ve rolled my eyes when reading or listening to Paglia rhapsodize about “my generation of the ‘60’s.” They were genuinely revolutionary, and creative, and free-thinking, and truly multicultural, and Christ, 1967 was a cultural high point in the history of mankind! But the good ones all ODed or got AIDS or dropped out, and the Bad Boomers – the PC careerists who weren’t like the Good Boomers at all and weren’t true radicals – took over and everything went to hell. Sorry, as much I enjoy reading her, I’m not buying her “No true Scotsman” argument. It’s like she can’t abide the thought that those radical free-thinkers of the ‘60’s really weren’t all that free-thinking even back in 1967 , that they were in fact rigid leftists then who became more authoritarian than the WASP Establishment they replaced. Since I’m a bit younger, I find her relentless ‘60’s mythologizing tiresome.

Rene Saunce said...


9. Liberals have a "usual animosity to religion," and their avoidance of criticism of Islam is "because it is largely a religion of non-whites."

A start. I'd say that leftists hold the same variety of hatred as radical Islamists. Self-righteous in their anger. (See yesterday's shooting as exhibit A) I'd say that faux-feminist left will never condemn the subjugation of women by Islamic men - because leftists feel Islam is exotic - and yes "Because brown skin, or something."

Islam is often silent about crimes committed in the name of their religion. Leftists are OK with that. The entire realm of Christendom is to blame for the Crusades, and a 1980's abortion doc killer and Timothy McVeigh (who was not a Christian). but why let facts get in the way of a narrative?

Islam seeks a caliphate, total theocracy, and the left laugh. The left are afraid of actual Judaeo-Christian values, and instead find comfort in appeasing a death cult.

In Germany, radical Islamists are being given socialist monetary assistance by the state, and they laugh all while they preach total annihilation of their hosts.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/816687/isis-news-syria-raqqa-germany-welfare-benefits-jihadi

exiledonmainstreet said...

JohnGalt said...
RE: 11 -- I saw Paglia on TV maybe 20 yrs ago. She claimed to be a lesbian then. Now she's transgender"

I think she means it in the sense that she was aggressive and uninterested in playing with dolls as a child, which made her feel like a freak in the 1950's.

In other words, what we used to quaintly call "a tomboy."

Freeman Hunt said...

I just read this and thought, "That had all kinds of interesting bits in it. Surely Althouse will blog it." So I came back here, and sure enough!

Jack Wayne said...

The point where Walker lost me was that he had immature ideas about foreign policy. He even said that he needed to learn more. Not a feature in a president, a bug.

Nonapod said...

The point where Walker lost me was that he had immature ideas about foreign policy. He even said that he needed to learn more. Not a feature in a president, a bug.

At least he was being honest. I'd rather have someone admit that they don't know something and are willing to learn more about it than someone who bluffs and evades when they get out of their depth on a topic.

James K said...

One of those 12 items seems completely at odds with the other 11. (Hint: It comes very early in the list.) I give up trying to understand how seemingly intelligent people choose candidates to support.

Rene Saunce said...

Each and every "flawed" member of the GOP is a million times better than a corrupt power-obsessed money-obsessed Private Server liar.

dreams said...

Yeah, she makes a lot of sense until she reveals her voting choice.

Ralph L said...

Someone should tell her (or is it the Left?) that Arabs and Persians are Caucasian, almost by definition. They've just been left out in the sun longer than us pasty European whites.

Michael K said...

"then, feeling the tug from his financial backers, backed off from that."

That's why we got Trump. He was his own "backer." The donor class hates him.

Rae said...

I always find Paglia to be interesting to read. She always says something that surprises me, and this probably fits, but...

Kamala Harris???

n.n said...

Sex is binary. Gender is a normal distribution of phenotypes and behaviors closely centered on the male or female sex. Paglia is a female homosexual on the transgender spectrum. So are bisexuals, crossovers, and variations.

As for transgender conversion therapy, it's not limited to medication and surgery. It's also carried out be activists who target adolescent and prepubescent children, notable in captive audiences at schools. Also their parents at work and throughout society.

From Africa to the Middle East to Ukraine... and globally through catastrophic anthropogenic immigration reform. Obama and Clinton secured their legacies in elective wars, elective regime changes, and forcing CAIR.

Political Correctness has evolved as progressive corruption, progressive confusion, and progressive control.

The problem for Muslims is that their religion is married to a left-wing, imperialistic ideology spread through the sword. It's a variation of social justice that leave hundreds of millions of people dead and displaced, and hundreds of million babies aborted and/or cannibalized.

Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is a prophecy inferred from circumstantial evidence past, unskilled models present, and dreams of redistributive change future. There are anthropogenic effects, even warming, observable in local and regional frames, notably in high-density urban population centers.

Rene Saunce said...

Shock as Germany continue to pay welfare for a year to ISIS jihadi fighting in Syria

try again with link?

n.n said...

Progressive (e.g. generational) liberals have a twilight faith and Pro-Choice, selective and opportunistic, religious/moral/legal philosophy, which is perceived as tolerant through a lack of principles a la "living" Constitution, reformed this, that, and other.

Gahrie said...

I agree with all of Paglia's points except the desire to vote for Harris. But i have been saying since November that the next democratic candidate for president will be either Harris or Gavin Newsome, and Newsome will probably ended up running for governor of California.

Rene Saunce said...

nah. - The left will run Hillary again. Hillary or Clinton surrogate Terry McAulliffe.

The Clintons never go away.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Funny thing about Islam being the pet religion for progressives because most of its practitioners are darker skinned people.....the whitest religion out there is Atheism.

gregq said...

Ann wrote:

2. In the 2016 campaign season, Scott Walker "shrank into a nervous, timid mouse with a frozen Pee-wee Herman smile." (I disagree with this. I think Jeb Bush blocked the flow of money that Walker could have used to get somewhere.)


Sadly I have to agree with Paglia on this. When faced with the issue of immigration Walker punted. Yes, this put him in the same "fund raising space" as Bush, and he lost that fight. But if he'd had the balls to be pro American, and especially pro American worker, he wouldn't have been trapped in that space.

It was a huge moment of spinelessness, and a serious disappointment.

n.n said...

Rene Saunce:

Each and every "flawed" member of the GOP is a million times better than a corrupt power-obsessed money-obsessed Private Server liar.

Beware overlapping and convergent interests.

That said, the issue that should concern us is if the majority have a suitable religious/moral/legal philosophy with reconcilable principles and there are sufficient competing interests to prevent the rest from running amuck. In that respect, it must be noted that each individual is defined by a constellation of characteristics, and that there is value across a broad spectrum.

Big Mike said...

I'm disappointed in Paglia's embrace of Kamala Harris. I would have thought that Barack Obama showed the danger of voting for the candidate with the empty resume. Other than that gaffe, Paglia displays unusually good common sense for a liberal (classic liberal, not the modern progs who violently attack defenseless citizens). I like that she exposes the scientific ignorance of the allegedly "pro-science" Democrats.

Autocorrect kept trying to turn "Paglia" into "Pablo's."

Marc Puckett said...

I'd like to read Dr Paglia on Gwyneth Paltrow's Goopfest or whatever it was called.

traditionalguy said...

DJT on live with apprenticship announcement, and Scott Walker is the head to his left. Scott smiles and looks good, but then reverts to Pee Wee Herman's face.

At least we get to see Ivanka's new dress. She is an attention getter that not even Paglia can ignore or cast shade on.

Gahrie said...

nah. - The left will run Hillary again.

I honestly don't expect Hillary to still be alive in 2020.

Hillary or Clinton surrogate Terry McAulliffe.

McAulliffe will probably run, and the party will probably support him...but I expect the Democratic base to be as unruly as the Republican base was this time, and that they will reject all White male candidates.

Fernandinande said...

Dave from Minnesota said...
Funny thing about Islam being the pet religion for progressives because most of its practitioners are darker skinned people.....the whitest religion out there is Atheism.


That's because most of the people whose religion consists of not believing in Zeus and Odin at the same time are Asians.

exiledonmainstreet said...

BTW, Christina Hoff Sommers is another example of a politically inconsistent academic. Nobody, not even Paglia, has been braver about questioning the various and sundry idiocies of Third Wave feminism and facing down howling mobs of demented students. Yet Hoff Sommers says she remains a Democrat and voted for Hillary. Why? Well, because her family was Democrat and voting Republican is just unthinkable! What would her late parents say? So she continues to vote for the party which condones campus speech codes, pushes the gender pay gap lie (which Hoff Sommers knows is a lie) and has allied themselves with the young fascists who scream at her and threaten her.

She confirms that for many people, even highly intelligent and educated ones, party identification is more like staying loyal to the Packers or the Dodgers – a matter of tribe, nothing more. As a former Democrat who switched sides, I find that very dismaying.

exiledonmainstreet said...


That's because most of the people whose religion consists of not believing in Zeus and Odin at the same time are Asians.

6/15/17, 10:35 AM

It's true that Zeus and Odin are not very popular in China, but Christ seems to be:


"The growth of Christianity in China has been astonishing. At this point, it's no longer a question of if China will become a Christian nation, but when. The ramifications of this religious shift are massive, and will shake China's culture and economy to their cores.

Since 1979, Protestant Christianity has been growing in China at a compound annual growth rate of more than 10 percent. There were 3 million Christians in China in 1980, compared to 58 million in 2010, according to Fenggyang Yang, director of the Center of Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue University. By 2025, that number could swell to 250 to 300 million."

http://theweek.com/articles/635668/christianity-save-china

Will Cate said...

I was sad to see her showing support for Kamala Harris, who to me is like a distillation of the worst qualities of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, at least two of which I don't think Ms. Paglia really cares for.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Excile, I understand much of that growth started with Chinese students coming to the US for education. Getting exposed to Christianity.

Brando said...

"(I disagree with this. I think Jeb Bush blocked the flow of money that Walker could have used to get somewhere.)"

That's a weak excuse. Walker would have done great if not for Jeb taking all the money? No, if you're a strong candidate you'll get the money you need. Money follows the candidate.

As for Trump's agenda, for the most part it seems he's been following what Paul Ryan wanted. He could easily oppose it--it would have kept with his campaign promises if he denounced the AHCA as a mess, and a solid majority of the public would have agreed. Like Obama, Trump has largely let his Congressional party do the lifting, and that's where we are now.

Yancey Ward said...

Jeb Bush was the problem- Paglia is right about that. He sucked up so much money from the donors that everyone else who needed it didn't have it from the end of 2015 until March of 2016. Walker, was just the first to bow to that reality. I always gave Walker credit for recognizing what had to be done as early as September of 2015 if your goal was to have a candidate other than Trump, and that effort was sabotaged by the Bush family's utter tone-deafness about the political climate.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Those other comments don't seem to equate to a vote for Harris.

Yancey Ward said...

That she says she is transgendered doesn't really surprise me- I have always considered her someone with whom I would love to share a pitcher of beer.

TML said...

What's wrong with her sentence? Just that it's longer-ish?

samsondale said...

Is there a Straussian reading to her saying she looks forward to voting for Harris in the primary (to channel Tyrone Cowan)?

MaxedOutMama said...

I don't find it surprising that Paglia would vote for Kamala Harris. Readers here do because the right edge of the internet just features Harris' more extreme vignettes.

After the bit about the Trump speech (which was excellent, and so was her contextual commentary), Paglia says
In summary: to have any hope of retaking the White House, Democrats must get off their high horse, lose the rabid rhetoric, and reorient themselves toward practical reality and the free country they are damned lucky to live in.

So you are surprised, because Kamala Harris is not that. Or so you think. But Kamala Harris is a seasoned trial attorney who rivals Christie in the ability to be abrasively evocative when it's useful. She is also perfectly capable of changing her style, message and rhetoric to fit the needs of the moment. See, for example, her visit to the Coronado base and the Seals, featured on her website:
https://www.harris.senate.gov/content/senator-harris-tours-ca-naval-base-expresses-support-military-and-discusses-threats-and

Harris has a pragmatism that appeals to Paglia, whose particular brand of leftism is not at all about virtue signaling, but rather about victory and achievement. In addition, Harris is a woman and Paglia will vote for the woman.

Harris has way more potential than most want to believe. And, in a sad commentary on Balkanized American politics, her ethnic background is very favorable for Dems. But she's also a competent and seasoned campaigner who towers above Hillary Clinton in political ability, would do very well in debates, and has the ability to stake out moderate positions with a seeming sincerity when needed. That was Obama's great ability.

If Harris is the Dem candidate, I bet Ann Althouse will vote for her in 2020.

Sam L. said...

#1: She's waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off her meds. Unless she wants a Dem in office to say off-the-wall things for her amusement.
#4: Whenever DID Chuck Schumer have "moral authority"?
#11: She's odd.
#12: Nailed that one!

TosaGuy said...

Think in the Dem primary lense and stack Harris up against

Tim Kaine
Kirsten Gillibrand
Al Franken
Cory Booker
That guy from MD who ran last time but no one remembers his name

chuck said...

> Excile, I understand much of that growth started with Chinese students coming to the US for education. Getting exposed to Christianity.

Visiting Xi'an in 1989 I met a touring missionary from the Philippines who had been there during the Xi'an incident in 1936, also as a missionary. He assured me that there was a large underground Christian movement in China even in 1989 and spoke of the martyrs of the Mao period almost with pride.

Michael K said...

He assured me that there was a large underground Christian movement in China even in 1989

My Chinese medical student ten years ago told me her father had trained as a Physicist but worked as an auto mechanic because he was Christian and barred from the university where her mother was a professor. Her mother had been told not to marry him.

She was going to medical school in the US so she could take care of her parents when they were older. She went into surgery, I understand , and is probably now in practice. We had many conversations about China.

LarsPorsena said...

Kamal Harris? Stands for everything Mexifornia has become. From the the Golden State of the American Dream to a borderline third world nation. From the envy of the nation to a punchline.

TosaGuy said...

You don't need to be the best candidate, you just need to beat the others.

Michael K said...

"Harris has way more potential than most want to believe."

Harris is/was Willie Brown's mistress and worked her way to the top the old fashioned way, at least for women.

TosaGuy said...

"Kamal Harris? Stands for everything Mexifornia has become. From the the Golden State of the American Dream to a borderline third world nation. From the envy of the nation to a punchline."

That is a sizable, nationwide base on which to build a campaign for the Dem nomination.

TosaGuy said...

"Harris is/was Willie Brown's mistress and worked her way to the top the old fashioned way, at least for women."

Unlike the others I mentioned, Harris has proven she will do anything to get what she wants.

Still nobody mentioning anything that would disqualify her in a Dem primary.

St. George said...

Paglia is always fun, but like many academics she gets lost in her verbosity.

Consider this sentence:

"But Trump is by trade a builder who deals in the tangible, obdurate, objective world of physical materials, geometry, and construction projects, where communication often reverts to the brusque, coarse, high-impact level of pre-modern working-class life, whose daily locus was the barnyard."

A builder does not deal in the "obdurate" (something that stubbornly refuses to change). He changes things, obdurate or not, through the force of his will.

When she says that people in construction, presumably a senior-executive levels on multi-million projects, "revert" to "the barnyard" in their "communication," she's as guilty of stereotyping as anyone else.

Richard said...

St. George,

WRT "obdurate". That's the point. Those who change the obdurate despite the obdurate resistance are different from those whose world is ideas. I think that's her point.

Virgil Hilts said...

Kamala Harris is not very smart (my god she went to Hastings Law and apparently did not even graduate with honors (at least as far as I can tell) and seems corrupt (I doubt Camille is aware of KH's disgusting failure to reign in proprietorial misconduct and other corruption in CA, and KH's own efforts to weaponize the CA justice system against political targets). She is not even a decent speaker.
I absolutely hate to say this, but without her looks she never would have gotten this far. She is the left's Sarah Palin!

TosaGuy said...

"KH's disgusting failure to reign in proprietorial misconduct and other corruption in CA, and KH's own efforts to weaponize the CA justice system against political targets)."

Everyone keeps mentioning things that Dem primary voters either like in a candidate or don't mind if the actions were directed against non-Progs.

These are qualifications, not disqualifications.

Achilles said...

dreams said...
Yeah, she makes a lot of sense until she reveals her voting choice.

I think Pagila is saying this out of subconscious fear of ostracization and bodily harm. She knows what has happened to the left.

Achilles said...

TosaGuy said...
"KH's disgusting failure to reign in proprietorial misconduct and other corruption in CA, and KH's own efforts to weaponize the CA justice system against political targets)."

Everyone keeps mentioning things that Dem primary voters either like in a candidate or don't mind if the actions were directed against non-Progs.

These are qualifications, not disqualifications.


This.

Just look at the leftist posters here. The democrat party is textbook Stalinist from top to bottom.

Notice only one leftist, Sunsong, has a soul and is ashamed of what the left has become.

Virgil Hilts said...

I think Paglia likes style and thinks KH has it. If KH had the intelligence or experience of Hillary she would be a formidable candidate, but she doesn't. Once the republican war machine decides to focus on her she will be destroyed.

n.n said...

"Biology has been programmatically excluded from women's studies and gender studies programs for almost 50 years now."

Replaced by sexual education. Because given the scientific facts, boys and girls may make the wrong Choice, and that would be catastrophic.

LordSomber said...

Amorphous meta-realms of subjective emotion tend to confound.

And Eris smiles.

Clark said...

More on "obdurate": When I (someone who primarily works one way or another within the realm of ideas) take on some do-it-yourself construction project it is precisely the obdurate nature of the materials that strikes me and frustrates me. Swinging a sledgehammer with all my might against a recalcitrant piece of old plywood I'm always thinking how much easier it is to wrestle with an idea.

Bob Ellison said...

KH is not going to be a POTUS.

She's kinda pretty, sort of, but getting worse. Things worsen over time. Hillary could've been POTUS if she had run when she was still pretty.

It's not like Wonder Woman running for POTUS.

How did Trump get elected? (This is a trick question.)

Michael K said...

KH is getting some bad advice, or is ignoring good advice. I assume she wants to be the Obama in skirts but she is much nastier, as evidenced in the Sessions testimony, and Obama kept his nastiness out of sight until elected.

Her performance in that hearing was not going to be any help. Obama avoided all votes and rarely got out of character, as he did a few times like his vote to bar attempts to revive babies born alive in abortions.

She may be just too caught up in her own ego but Hillary should be a warning for that.

Scott M said...

10. There's a theory that "the pharmaceutical industry, having lost income when routine estrogen therapy for menopausal women was abandoned because of its health risks, has been promoting the relatively new idea of transgenderism in order to create a permanent class of customers who will need to take prescribed hormones for life."

If true, that would cause a Krakatoa-level event on the left, from the first explosion to the shockwaves and resulting fallout.

Richard Dolan said...

Terrific. She's the best polemicist working today, right up there with such great predecessors as Christopher Hitchens and George Orwell.

Richard Dolan said...

This was especially good:

"[C]omparative religion [should] be made the core curriculum of higher education. (I am speaking as an atheist.) Knowledge of the great world religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Judeo-Christianity, Islam—is the true multiculturalism. Everyone should have a general familiarity with the beliefs, texts, rituals, art, and shrines of all the major religions. Only via a direct encounter with the Qu'ran and Hadith, for example, can anyone know what they say about jihad and how those strikingly numerous passages have been interpreted in different ways over time.

Right now, too many secular Western liberals treat Islam with paternalistic condescension—waving at it vaguely from a benevolent distance but making no effort to engage with its intricate mixed messages, which can inspire toward good or spur acts of devastating impact on the international stage."

roesch/voltaire said...

As usual she loves strong men, gravitates towards sexy women and avoids mentioning what contradicts her or that she is simply unaware of starting with Malady of Islam by Adelwahab Meddeb or The New Threat by Jason Burke to name just a few, all of which look at the two sides of Islam one of which is the dark vengeful side-- yes written by liberals. I enjoy her work, and I had a chance to talk with her when she visited Madison, but find her to be a scattered shooter who likes the image of the lone gunwomen.

PB said...

Camille is a national treasure.

PB said...

She packs more into a single spoken paragraph than most PhDs do in an entire career of peer reviewed papers.

Birkel said...

Yes, that other person "avoids mentioning what contradicts her" unlike everybody everywhere on the Left who doesn't do that, ever.

/sarc

johns said...

Leftists do not criticize Islam because in their view Muslims are victims of the U.S., as are all nations and peoples who are not explicitly U.S. allies, such as England and Israel.
My experience with radicals is that they are enraged by the traditional message given to American school children, which used to be:
--America is the land of the free and the home of the brave
--Manifest destiny
--America is more just, more equal, and is out to do good in the world

The Left has been angrily contradicting that supposed naive view of America since forever. So whenever any criticism of other countries arises, their response is always "yes, but", or more likely today "you're racist and you see the world that way only because of white privilege." Leftists would rather have their tongues cut out than say anything positive about America.
Psychologists can address why leftists are so angry about the positive view of America, such as why so many of them are the children of the wealthy. But psychologists won't take up that issue, because 95% of psychologists are leftists.

Martin said...

I agree with other commenters, hard to see why Paglia would favor Harris, esp. this early. Harris seems opposed to most of what Paglia talks about re gender issues, and is certainly a leader of the irrational anti-Trump crowd; maybe Paglia knows or assumes this is a front to pander to her base, but it is certainly visible and real.

Paglia strikes me as someone who would be very comfortable with the kind of liberal who hardly exists any more-- a Humphrey, maybe JFK or HST, FDR for sure. Maybe Joe Biden before he sold out as Obama's VP.

I just read a quote from Midge Decter, "There comes a time to join the side you're on." I would respectfully offer that thought to Ms. Paglia. Not that she should be a Trump-ist, she seems not pro-Trump as much as anti-anti-Trump. But Kamala Harris?

MaxedOutMama said...

Note - I totally agree with the comments about KH's shocking lapses of ethics in connection with bad prosecutions, bad evidence etc. How anyone can go into court and even argue that a prosecution involving perjury by the prosecutor in conjunction with false or withheld evidence is not tainted! Anyone with a conscience could not do that.

However, let's get real. That would be fatal for a white candidate. In a minority candidate it is not a big issue, as you can see from the record of campaigns she has won. It is no bar whatsoever.

Also, if the last Democratic primary didn't clue everyone in about a lack of ethical preoccupations at the higher Democratic levels, all I can say is "Get real."

Do I think she should be the Democratic nominee in 2020? No. But I am not seeing much in the way of new ideas from the DNC or higher-level Dems. They are still stuck on the demographic theory of winning campaigns, and KH fits into all the slots. They are still stuck with the theory that raising money is the most important thing, and for that they want to trot up with a "plausible" candidate. And as to her lack of experience - well, compared to Trump or Obama, she has more political experience.

Their problem is that if she does not win the nomination, and say, McAuliffe does, there may be disaffection in some demographic quarters. But they know they have a lock on CA, so. ...

FleetUSA said...

Despite complex sentences Paglia is always a worthwhile read. Thanks.

epador said...

AA vs CP

Intellectual Cage Match of the Century!

Ann-alysis vs Camil-locution

I give Althouse 3:1 odds.

gregq said...

Virgil Hilts said...
If KH had the intelligence or experience of Hillary

Wow, now THAT is a low bar!

GrapeApe said...

While she is not someone with who I often agree, she is someone whose opinions I respect because they make sense from her perspective. Still don't agree, but at least she makes sense unlike the crazy leftists running rampant all over the landscape.

Fen said...

Harris and McAuliffe are the 2020 favorites? What happens if they are shot dead? Who is next in line? Bernie Sanders?

I only ask because the social compact we once had about respecting the outcome of elections has been broken by the Democrats. I think it's just a matter of time before Republicans begin playing by the new rules.

William Chadwick said...

As much as I've admired and quoted her over the years, Paglia's endorsements of Kamala Harris and other lefty State-f*ckers remind me of a photo-cartoon I saw online somewhere (probably the "IMAO" blog) showing a woman and a man seated across from each other at a restaurant, and obviously on an intimate dinner date. The woman says, "I believe in socialism." The man says: "Yeah, I don't know that much about economics, either."

Known Unknown said...

I think Paglia will re-think her Harris attachment once things actually heat up for 2020. She will probably vote 3rd party again. She could even support a Libertarian ticket provided it's someone other than a fraud like GayJay/Weld.

Known Unknown said...

Paglia is a rare bird. One who can describe logic with visceral wordsmanship.

She writes emotionally, but makes sense.

Known Unknown said...

She also loves Feinstein and Pelosi, so her ideal candidates have probably never matched her true political philosophy.

Big Mike said...

For those of you who admire McAuliffe, be aware that in response to the attack on the Republicans in Alexandria he asserted that "we lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence." Since the total US population is 327 million, all we have to do is wait four days and there'll be no one left but spotted owls.

You don't have to be stupid to be a Democrat, but it helps.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Fen said...
Harris and McAuliffe are the 2020 favorites? What happens if they are shot dead? Who is next in line? Bernie Sanders?

I only ask because the social compact we once had about respecting the outcome of elections has been broken by the Democrats. I think it's just a matter of time before Republicans begin playing by the new rules.

6/15/17, 2:47 PM


You're fighting the last war. Next step is a truck bomb at NYT or Reuters.

sdharms said...

some of what she says has a ring of sanity. But then she hopes to vote for Kamala Harris -- insanity.

tcrosse said...

You're fighting the last war. Next step is a truck bomb at NYT or Reuters.

Still the last war. CNN or MSNBC, Salon or HuffPost.

Matthew Blaine said...

Paglia took a sack on her first snap with that Kamala Harris bit. When she was San Francisco District Attorney more than 600 drug cases were dismissed due to her malfeasance. Then there are the stories about how she slept to get to the top, as Michael K noted.

I guess women like Paglia and others admire a woman whose sexual endowment allows them a foothold in the world.

MayBee said...

The way Harris bulldozes her way through Senate hearing questions and then gets praised/defended from the evil male senators is enough for me to never want to see her as president.

I only want presidents that Sunsong won't call us racist if we think they are "pieces of shit".

SukieTawdry said...

Oh, Camille, Kamala Harris, really? I don't believe I've ever heard her refer to herself as transgender before. Is lesbian now passé? Western liberals frequently regard people "of color" with paternalistic condescension. Especially when trying to "preserve" their "traditional lifestyles" for them by denying them modern conveniences and technological advances.

Terry McAuliffe scares me a bit. He's a very personable fellow. Hugh Hewitt used to have McAuliffe on his radio show occasionally and against my better judgement, I found him on the surface to be quite likable. And he, apparently, has thrown Hillary under the bus as he denied in a Politico interview knowing anything about her new "Onward Together" PAC even though he still talks to Bill daily and said further that Hillary should stop talking about the election. On a purely superficial basis, a McAuliffe/Harris ticket might be formidable. And how many voters delve beneath the superficial?

0_0 said...

Kamala Harris is mostly unknown outside the Bay Area. She is only considered becasue she isn't on record with controversial opinions or positions.
Yes, like Obama.
Obama wasn't as bad the the frothing-at-the-mouth opponents feel, but KH would be.

Bad Lieutenant said...

tcrosse said...
You're fighting the last war. Next step is a truck bomb at NYT or Reuters.

Still the last war. CNN or MSNBC, Salon or HuffPost.

6/15/17, 3:37 PM

OK OK, "and."

NYT is kinda the head of the snake, though.

Comanche Voter said...

I'll go with Camille's description of Big Jim James Comey as an effete charlatan--and spot her the rest of her views.

urbane legend said...

St. George said...
Consider this sentence:

"But Trump is by trade a builder who deals in the tangible, obdurate, objective world of physical materials, geometry, and construction projects, where communication often reverts to the brusque, coarse, high-impact level of pre-modern working-class life, whose daily locus was the barnyard."

A builder does not deal in the "obdurate" (something that stubbornly refuses to change). He changes things, obdurate or not, through the force of his will.

A builder cannot change physical materials, geometry, and construction projects through the force of his will. He can't demand concrete and 2x4s be flexible and still be strong in compression. He can't stop rectangles deforming unless braced. He can't make water flow uphill. He has to live in and with the real world if he is to survive. Builders who force their will on buyers don't stay in business long.

Paglia's comparison is as clear and straightforward as anything can possibly be.

SukieTawdry said...

Comanche Voter said...I'll go with Camille's description of Big Jim James Comey as an effete charlatan...

Nauseated, queasy, hiding in the drapes, begging not to be left alone with the president, concerned, uneasy, pained, disturbed, confused, troubled--that's Big Jim. I wonder if big & tall men's shops carry onesies.

tcrosse said...

NYT is kinda the head of the snake, though.

So that makes Carlos Slim the snakehead.
Although Mark Twain said never to pick a fight with somebody who buys ink by the barrel.

rightguy2 said...

Paglia is fascinating- she has so many interesting, valid, and original observations to offer, but when it comes time to vote, she forgets every thing she knows -or just said- and plumps for foolish leftists like Sanders or Harris.

Bill said...

I love her, but sometimes think that her parading of political bona fides in every interview (voting for Jill Stein, having high hopes for the execrable Kamala Harris) are a way of immunizing her from criticism by the left.

Bill said...

@Marc Puckett, here's Camille writing about Gwyneth Paltrow at the 1999 Oscars:

For the entire evening, big-jawed Paltrow, with her nasal, teeth-clenching Lisa Kudrow style, looks like a Green Bay Packers cheesehead tottering atop a mushy pink Hostess cupcake.

Bad Lieutenant said...

"obdurate"

I don't know why everyone's choking on the word. It seems fit for purpose to me. To Camille Paglia, or the people in Camille Paglia World, "obdurate" is anything that isn't affected by talk.

tcrosse said...

And if you remain callous and obdurate, I
Shall perish as he did, and you will know why,
Though I probably shall not exclaim as I die,
"Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!"

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Sounds like she's officially lost her mind.

Paul Snively said...

"Paglia hopes to vote for Kamala Harris in the next presidential primary. "

So her cultural and even political analysis continues to be dead on, but she continues to plan to vote for the candidate who stands most starkly in opposition to them.

Well, at least Dr. Paglia is consistent.

traditionalguy said...

Important people are where you find them. By 1990 I had come out of some 20 years of concentrating on a law career and marrying women and raising children and pleasing rich clients every way possible, but had quit intellectual development.

Reading Sexual Personae reopened my eyes to the value of a Liberal Arts education, which I had experienced at a high level.

Paglia put it all together. And she still does. But I have met better than her. Ann Althouse is the best.

But this week is John Steinbeck time. Great weather in Carmel. We had lunch at Doris Day's Cypress Inn on the terrace. Good food and good canine company too.

Gospace said...

Matthew Sablan said...
-- Only three people could, maybe, have exerted control. They were Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. ... They probably never thought things would get this bad, and now they're too far behind the eight ball to soothe the anger.


They are the cheerleaders for things to get this bad, and for it to get worse. They're pushing for complete destabilization of the government, because they think if chaos occurs, they'll control then outcome and be on top.

They fail to understand what chaos means, and have failed to learn from history that once it descends upon a land, the outcome is unpredictable.

John said...

Blogger Michael K said...


Pence will have the inside track next time there is an opening.

You surprise me Michael! Pence may seem to have the inside track on the nomination. Both parties seem incurably stupid about nominating VPs.

But the vice presidency seems to be close to an absolute disqualification to the presidency. Especially for a sitting VP. Lots of examples. Let me see: GHW Bush, then, then, Oh yeah, Van Buren of Van Buren Boys legend.

When VPs and former VPs do get into office, they tend to be disastrous. See Bush, Nixon, LBJ, Truman. Coolidge and perhaps T Roosevelt might be exceptions to the horribleness. I am not even sure about TR.

Nope. VP should always be viewed as a terminal office. Pence should serve his 8 years than go home to retire.

John Henry

chickelit said...

Paglia muses: How do Democrats imagine they can ever expand their electoral support if they go on and on in this self-destructive way, impugning half the nation as vile racists and homophobes?

I don't understand why she's so keen on Harris. Kamala Harris and her supporters are exactly the sort of people who impugn half the nation as vile racists and homophobes. Has Kamala Harris ever said or done anything to distance herself from the radical fringe?

Jives said...

setting aside the culture wars for a sec...CP is a registered Dem probably because of economic policy reasons. Throughout history, the US economy has overall performed better, expanding and producing more jobs, under Democratic stewardship. That's just a fact. The Republicans would be unstoppable if they could produce a practical, working, economic policy, instead of all the retrograde, supply-side bullshit they keep proffering.

Unknown said...

Paglia lost me here: "But that was not the reaction of a vast cadre of Democrats shocked by Trump's win. In an abject failure of leadership that may be one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the modern Democratic party"

Slavery
Civil War
Jim Crow
KKK
Lynching
Inner City
...

This is what they do, This is what they have always done.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Throughout history, the US economy has overall performed better, expanding and producing more jobs, under Democratic stewardship."

Right. The Carter economy was such a glowing success. Then Reagan took over and ran it into the ground.

CP doesn't know shit about economics.

Jives said...

Right. The Carter economy was such a glowing success. Then Reagan took over and ran it into the ground
Big picture, exiled. Can you find someone proving (not just asserting) the opposite?

Link: https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/aa8a57a8-ac12-45c8-8f72-b3261c4c798a/jec-fact-sheet---the-economy-under-democratic-vs.-republican-presidents.pdf
"In fact, a recent paper by economists Alan Blinder and Mark
Watson states: “The superiority of economic performance under
Democrats rather than Republicans is nearly ubiquitous; it holds
almost regardless of how you define success.” Fact-checking
groups have investigated similar statements and have found time
and time again that they are true. Moreover, past research shows
that stock market returns are also higher under Democrats. "

Jives said...

AND "exiled" Reagan DID run our economy into the ground. Ran up enormous deficits, and his term ended with a sharp recession, which is why HW Bush did not get re-elected. Clinton administration came in, raised taxes incrementally and managed to curb deficits and make progress on the debt itself, almost too fast, if I remember correctly.

After Clinton, what do we get? Big tax cuts from Bush, rampant financial deregulation, (never mind the two wars) followed by a collapse of the economy rivaled only by the Great Depression. Obama admin policies have brought us out of it, imperfectly. But now, what has Trump got teed up? Surprise! a big tax cut, hooray, we can do it all over again now.

Republicans really do SUCK at economic stewardship, because this generation of them are complete ideologues on the issue. They definitely have a controlling effect on the worst Democratic impulses, though, which is why I appreciate the Republican point of view. But when their actually in charge, like right now, they can't seem to govern. Circling back, that, I should think, is a good reason to vote Democratic, like Camille Paglia.

tom swift said...

Paglia is a strange, sort of ... I don't know, maybe an "inside-out" intellectual. She'll start with a conclusion, rather than reaching one by reasoning from first principles, and it's far too often a real dilly. Seriously flip-city. Like supporting that horrifying monster Harris. Then she'll dress that in fairly sound reasoning ... which all remains superficial, without foundation. And while doing it she'll talk very fast; this tends to mask the evident fact that she doesn't think particularly fast. (Not that that's any great crime; it's just interesting, once one notices that no matter how fast she talks, she doesn't actually say all that much.)

So, she almost comes across as a sort of leftish Wm. F. Buckley. Which she is not. Buckley could obscure pretty much anything under flowery verbiage as well as anyone, but beneath it all were some sound ideas. And sound ideas are where Paglia falls flat.

So, all-in-all, just another waste of time. But some think she's a major cut above the usual pile of liberal deadwood because she rejects a few of liberalism's more outrageous tenets. Meh, big deal.