January 23, 2021

Will Wilkinson, cancelled for tweeting, "If Biden really wanted unity, he'd lynch Mike Pence."

If cancelling is something that is going to be done, why should Will Wilkinson be an exception? It's got to be that the attempted cancellation of Will Wilkinson reverses the course of cancel culture. 

I'm reading "Cancel Culture Comes for Will Wilkinson/The Niskanen Center fired a senior staffer for tweeting an offensive joke about Mike Pence, and hypocrisies abound" by Robby Soave (at Reason). 
Wilkinson apologized, describing his tweet as a lapse in judgment. "It was sharp sarcasm, but looked like a call for violence," said Wilkinson. "That's always wrong, even as a joke." ...
And thus a noted doubter [that cancel culture exists] has been canceled for a problematic tweet—ironic, but also regrettable, in my view. 
Both the Niskanen Center and The New York Times are private organizations and free to associate with whomever they wish, of course; a think tank that intends to influence public policy by lobbying legislators may find it inconvenient to employ someone who threatened violence against Mike Pence, even in jest.... 

By the way, I once did a Bloggingheads episode with Will Wilkinson, but I don't remember it, and now the video won't play. Here's the audio. It was July 2010, and the topics included: "Re: Shirley Sherrod, Ann defends taking things out of context" — remember Shirley Sherrod? — "Do we deserve to know what was on Journolist?," "Are ordinary people becoming savvier media consumers?," and "Ann’s and Will’s tips for summer road trips."  The road trips bit begins around the 1-hour mark.

123 comments:

Lucid-Ideas said...

Nothing reverses the course of cancel culture. This is not history's first rodeo. Japanese history is quite revealing in this regarding imperial abdication and control (cloistered government), especially early Japanese history (kofun, nara, heian). Publicly or privately, you either have free speech or you do not. You either let the Wilkinsons of the world spout nonsense knowing it's nonsense or you do not.

The milk crate in central park remains. You can always mount it and make a fool of yourself (Trump included), but it stays nonetheless.

Sebastian said...

"ironic, but also regrettable, in my view"

Somewhere, even Saul Alinsky smiles.

Anyway, since Schadenfreude is the only Freude we anti-progs have left these days, we'll take it.

Jupiter said...

"a think tank that intends to influence public policy by lobbying legislators may find it inconvenient to employ someone who threatened violence against Mike Pence, even in jest...."

I think it might be more accurate to say someone who "mentioned" violence. Or "alluded to".

Francisco D said...

...a think tank that intends to influence public policy by lobbying legislators may find it inconvenient to employ someone who threatened violence against Mike Pence, even in jest....

It was not a threat.

When people in power take control of the language, we are truly fucked.

mccullough said...

A lapidary lapse in judgment.

bbkingfish said...

It's everywhere!

Now they're even trying to cancel that poor Liz Cheney. And, really, what is hanging, but for an assertive form of canceling?

Yancey Ward said...

If Will Wilkinson were eaten alive by zombies, it would bring a smile to my face.

Yancey Ward said...

I wouldn't worry about Wilkinson, though. In a week or two he will be rehired by either Niskanen or by another progressive think tank in need of a fake libertarian "thinker". This firing was only for show so that the left can continue to really cancel the right people with minimal blowback

ColoComment said...

I'm waiting for some entrepreneur to publish the Dictionary of Taboo Words & Phrases. Unfortunately it would have to be updated daily, perhaps even hourly.

...even George Carlin had only seven words that were taboo on public media.

William said...

Lynching has unfortunate racial connotations. If he had called for Biden to behead Pence and bathe in his spurting arterial blood, no one would object. It would be free speech, not hate speech. Less lynching, more guillontines under progressive governments. The will of the people rules the land. Not those people.

Lucid-Ideas said...

@baking dish

Liz is being censured and will be recalled and replaced because of her vote, not her speach.

Fernandinande said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

I don't get the joke but it's no reason to cancel somebody. Its chief effect is resetting how you think of the guy. No doubt some rate him up and some rate him down. Why deny anyone of that information.

Fernandinande said...

The guy who fired Wilinkson, Jerry Taylor, speaking of the people whose property was invaded by BLM rioters:

"If I were in that march, and these racist[sic] lunatics[sic] were waiving[sic] guns at me, I'd like to think I'd rush them and beat their brains in. And I wouldn't apologize for it for one goddam second."

Yancey Ward said...

"By the way, I once did a Bloggingheads episode with Will Wilkinson, but I don't remember it"

How many Bloggingheads episodes did you do? And when you write that you don't remember it, does that mean you don't remember the content of the episode, or that you don't remember doing it at all?

rhhardin said...

The lapse in judgment is apologizing.

rhhardin said...

There have been peaceful lynchings. I think the Brits exhumed some important person and hung him.

Yancey Ward said...

"The lapse in judgment is apologizing."

This. The apology, though, perfectly outlines why I want to see Wilkinson eaten alive by something.

Lucid-Ideas said...

"If I were in that march, and these racist[sic] lunatics[sic] were waiving[sic] guns at me, I'd like to think I'd rush them and beat their brains in. And I wouldn't apologize for it for one goddam second."

Why do these people think constantly of bringing fists to a gunfight. What kind of brain produces this assembly of words? Pools of blood from the thorax as they do pointy fingers and ask 'why did you actually shoot me when I charged you!?!?'

Gunner said...

Losing one lame no show job does not mean he has been cancelled. He must be made unemployable anywhere except for minimum wage to be truly cancelled. Like Dems tried to do to the Covington kid but made him rich instead.

stevew said...

Personally I'm not supportive of cancellation, even for such an offensive statement as this one. "Sharp sarcasm", now that's funny. I'd rather have his tweet preserved and available to see, much more effective criticism than making him into a martyr (to some) by cancelling.

Lurker21 said...

Danger, Will Wilkinson!

I have never heard of him before, but from what I have been able to find out, he sounds like a libertarian who moved further out into uncharted "Rawlsekian" ideological territory of his own.

Wikipedia says:

Wilkinson was vice president of policy at the Niskanen Center until January 2021, when he was fired after tweeting an off color joke about former vice president Mike Pence that referenced to the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol.

No, an "off-color joke" would reference something Pence could do to a llama or a trombone or one of them could do to him. Whether or not what he tweeted was a joke, it wasn't "off-color."

And the guy did have a point. By the last year of Bush-Cheney, the country was truly united in wishing they were gone.

JPS said...

Did any person in good faith think Wilkinson was calling for Pence to be lynched? I'm trying to calibrate the ratio of willfully obtuse to genuinely obtuse.

Some on the right seem to be saying, Ha ha, your rules, assholes, I wish you joy of them. Goose, gander, and so forth.

They're not wrong. But I'm for rebuilding a norm where it goes like this:

A: "[dickish statement]
B: "Wow, you're kind of a dick for saying that."
A: "You know what, you're right. I was. Sorry."
And then we all move on. finis

And if that means giving the benefit to an insipid, mostly harmless lib like Wilkinson, who basically says, "Cancel culture? I don't believe it exists" right before the huge rodent pounces on him, so be it.

MadTownGuy said...

"If cancelling is something that is going to be done, why should Will Wilkinson be an exception? It's got to be that the attempted cancelation of Will Wilkinson reverses the course of cancel culture."

More like a sacrifice to the deity of virtue signaling. See also: Al Franken. Some people are dispensable.

Drago said...

This will amount to nothing in the end.

In about 6 months Will Wilkinson will quietly be returned to his job.

Cacimbo said...

WW doubts the existence of cancel culture.I thought we were to the point of being for or against cancel culture.Seems impossible that any well informed person would question that it is a thing.

Zach said...

Are ordinary people becoming savvier media consumers?

Apparently not, since a one day outrage cycle is enough to get people fired.

True media savvy is realizing that you won't care about this story in a week.

Big Mike said...

Wilkinson apologized, describing his tweet as a lapse in judgment.

Joking about lynching someone because one disagrees with his politics is not a lapse in judgement. It shows that one has no judgement whatsoever.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Only a deranged nutjob would think, “this lynching joke is hilarious and I need to tell it to the world”.

Thinking it in the first place is bad enough, but then shouting it from the rooftops?!

The sheer number of such people in our culture who think like this — and are proud of it — is staggering and unnerving.

Talk about needing re-education camps ...

Ann Althouse said...

"How many Bloggingheads episodes did you do? And when you write that you don't remember it, does that mean you don't remember the content of the episode, or that you don't remember doing it at all?"

I mean I didn't remember that I'd ever done a Bloggingheads with him. Listening to it now (I just listened to the road trips part) I have no memory of saying any of those things. I think it wasn't memorable episode for me.

I have no idea how many Bloggingheads episodes I did, but I haven't done any since Trump got elected. I have not been asked.

A.K said...

"Like Saturn, the Revolution devours its children." - Jacques Mallet du Pan

daskol said...

So the joke was that progressives and Trump supporters hate Pence, and the way he put it is not that terrible for a throwaway tweet, but even I know a lynch joke is dangerous. My 8th grader is absolutely the word lynch is necessarily racist, even though it's an age-old way of dealing with criminals when law enforcement or other means of government fails its security mission. I was trying to explain the concept that cops are there as much to protect criminals from mob justice as they are to protect citizens from criminals, perhaps more the former even, and got tripped up by using the "lynch" word.

Anyway, Wilkinson seems a mild enough sort, so mild he refused to take cancel culture seriiously as a concept and routinely suggested it was being exaggerated by those decrying it, if it existed at all. So this should offer him an opportunity for personal and intellectual growth, and hopefully he'll come out the other side with a better idea of the world he's inhabiting.

daskol said...

I would love to see Althouse with Loury or McWhorter do some bloggingheads stuff on controversial topics, but Bob Wright went increasingly deranged as a result of his politics.

Roughcoat said...

"Lynch" is a good, and not uncommon, Irish surname.

narciso said...

Of course his employer the niskanen center was all for the rioters that destroyed tens of billions of property killed hundreds of cops.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Wilkinson apologized, describing his tweet as a lapse in judgment. "It was sharp sarcasm, but looked like a call for violence," said Wilkinson.

No, it was a call for violence. I keep getting this impression from people like Wilkinson, and his fellows at Niskanen, that they've never actually been in a fistfight. Not even a schoolyard tussle when they were kids. If they had been they might understand how such "sarcasm" can be perceived in a totally different way by people who have actually been in a fistfight. I'm quite convinced that if anything drives us to civil war it will be these types of people.

Ken B said...

The comments here are pretty funny, since about half the regulars here argue entirely by ad hominem, and cancel culture is merely the social application of argument as hominem.

The idiots will sneer at this comment and tell me to shut up because I’m Canadian!

tim maguire said...

That Will Wilkinson was a cancel culture denier is neither here nor there. A curiosity, I suppose, for the irony angle, but only if he was aggressive with cancel culture alarmists. But in that case, if he was aggressive with cancel culture alarmists, then it's not regrettable that he was cancelled. In that case, it's just funny.

Ken B said...

“ Did any person in good faith think Wilkinson was calling for Pence to be lynched? I'm trying to calibrate the ratio of willfully obtuse to genuinely obtuse.”

Exactly. It’s another example of playing dumb to look smart. That’s ubiquitous in our culture right now.

For example Northofthe101 here is pretending it was a real call for violence. How? By an indirect argument intended to show how insightful he is. Fraud.

Roughcoat said...

The idiots will sneer at this comment and tell me to shut up because I’m Canadian!

Not me, Canadian.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

And thus a noted doubter [that cancel culture exists] has been canceled for a problematic tweet—ironic, but also regrettable, in my view.

Wrong. Every single "cancel culture doubter" should get cancelled.

Because they don't doubt that it exists. they just doubt that it will harm anyone they care about.

Crucify them all

Greg The Class Traitor said...

“ Did any person in good faith think Wilkinson was calling for Pence to be lynched? I'm trying to calibrate the ratio of willfully obtuse to genuinely obtuse.”


“ Did any person in good faith think Trump was calling for Congress to be lynched? I'm trying to calibrate the ratio of willfully obtuse to genuinely obtuse.”

FIFY.

Sorry, not sorry. But no one who claims that Trump was inciting riot on 1/6 gets to complain about leftists being nailed for their violent talk.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

JPS said...
Some on the right seem to be saying, Ha ha, your rules, assholes, I wish you joy of them. Goose, gander, and so forth.

They're not wrong. But I'm for rebuilding a norm where it goes like this:


The only way you "rebuild a norm" is by making the people who destroyed it pay more than they got for its destruction.

Because no one sane lets people hide behind a norm that they violated when it benefit them.

"But that means we're going to spiral into death and destruction."

Well, yes, we are.

Have you personally refused to vote for any Democrat, anywhere, because of their destruction of norms? No?

Then you, personally, rewarded people for destroying norms. You, personally, are responsible for the death and destruction to come.

And we are not going to listen to you when you call fo "both sides to be reaonable." Because you voted for the death and destruction.

Yancey Ward said...

Fire Swamp has many dangers, even if you don't believe in them.

Achilles said...

Ken B said...

The comments here are pretty funny, since about half the regulars here argue entirely by ad hominem, and cancel culture is merely the social application of argument as hominem.

The idiots will sneer at this comment and tell me to shut up because I’m Canadian!


You are a liar that attaches motives to people they never had and you lie about what people say and believe.

We merely point out you are a piece of shit attacking straw men you build.

And we point out you are stupid.

Gahrie said...

I was trying to explain the concept that cops are there as much to protect criminals from mob justice as they are to protect citizens from criminals, perhaps more the former even, and got tripped up by using the "lynch" word.

Black Americans are the only people who have ever been enslaved or lynched.

Achilles said...

"Will Wilkinson, cancelled for tweeting, "If Biden really wanted unity, he'd lynch Mike Pence.""

Thought experiment:

"Will Wilkinson, cancelled for tweeting, "If Trump really wanted unity, he'd lynch Joe Biden."

Gahrie said...

But I'm for rebuilding a norm where it goes like this:

You might be, but the Left definitely is not. And they won't be until the are forced to endure the pain of their idiocy.

Achilles said...

rhhardin said...

The lapse in judgment is apologizing.

If the left was honest sure.

But Democrats are still carrying out violent attacks to this day and have been attacking political opponents violently for years that they justify.

And they must also claim that Trump supporters are violent and that must not be tolerated.

They have a very difficult double standard to uphold.

Temujin said...

I have to keep asking: Why would any thinking adult continue to use Twitter?

Or Facebook?

Achilles said...

bbkingfish said...

It's everywhere!

Now they're even trying to cancel that poor Liz Cheney. And, really, what is hanging, but for an assertive form of canceling?



Liz Cheney is going to be recalled because she betrayed the people that voted for her and lied to them.

She represents Washington DC, not Wyoming. She will get a cushy job for some globalist in DC as a shill.

She is not being cancelled, just removed from a position she lied to get into. She lied in a job interview and should be immediately fired.

Achilles said...

Temujin said...

I have to keep asking: Why would any thinking adult continue to use Twitter?

Or Facebook?


The number of actual people is much smaller than reported.

I was actually considering making some bots to make a mess on twitter.

Gunner said...

“Did any person in good faith think Wilkinson [Trump] was calling for Pence [The 117th Congress] to be lynched [overthrown]? I'm trying to calibrate the ratio of willfully obtuse to genuinely obtuse.”

Openidname said...

I don't get what Wilkinson was even trying to say.

How would lynching Pence bring about unity (even as a thought experiment or a metaphor)? There would still be 70 million Trump voters. Or does he mean they should all be lynched, starting with Pence?

Asking seriously, because I want to understand.

JPS said...

Greg the Class Traitor:

"no one who claims that Trump was inciting riot on 1/6 gets to complain"

I don't recall claiming that, but whether I did or didn't, I get to complain about whatever I want. It's a widely popular form of recreation.

"Have you personally refused to vote for any Democrat, anywhere, because of their destruction of norms? No?"

I have refused to vote for any Democrat, anywhere, because I disagree with pretty much all their preferred policies and I detest their combination of ruthless will to power with sanctimony and remarkably selective outrage.

"Then you, personally, rewarded people for destroying norms. You, personally, are responsible for the death and destruction to come."

Here you are responding to someone who isn't me.

"And we are not going to listen to you when you call fo 'both sides to be reaonable.' Because you voted for the death and destruction."

Listen, don't listen; suit yourself. Again, the guy you are talking to who is not me may have voted for death and destruction. The closest I get to calling for both sides to be reasonable is agreeing with David Z. Hines:

"Lord knows there are people I'd love to beat the shit out of in the street, but if I don't get to do that then neither do you. No, I don't give a flying fuck who they are, you don't get to do that."

JPS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JPS said...

Openidname, 1:21:

I took him to be saying, Everyone who hates Trump already hated Pence for being his VP. Now lots and lots of Trump supporters are angry with him for doing the dull, decent thing and going along with what they see as a fraud, a theft. So anger at Pence becomes that rare thing that 80+% of Americans can agree on.

Not a good joke, not well executed. Not an actual call for a lynching either. Poor Will Wilkinson, who didn't think cancel culture is a problem, and who never expected to lose his job just for saying something that offended someone, somewhere, because he knows he's one of the good guys.

Rabel said...

Or it could be that Mr. Wilkinson manipulated his firing in order to justify and publicize his move to the highly remunerative Substack paid subscription model.

"Model Citizen" at Substack - It's only $6.00 a month folks and was up and running within 24 hours of his termination. Strike while the iron you heated is hot.

MayBee said...

Is this cancel culture, or is it a call to insurrection?

Amadeus 48 said...

Something we quickly learned in client's reviewing emails and texts for litigation: jokes and irony don't come through in print. Something you might say in a live conversation or over the telephone comes across terribly out of context and in print.

Amadeus 48 said...

"I have no idea how many Bloggingheads episodes I did, but I haven't done any since Trump got elected. I have not been asked."

Althouse, you were great on Bloggingheads. Your demolition of Michelle Goldberg --twice-- was awe-inspiring, particularly the episode where you were both assigned to talk about Sarah Palin's book. Plot-spoiler: after extreme provocation, you posited that it was better than Obama's autobiography. You had your reasons, but Goldberg couldn't deal with it. You kept going. It was instructive.

You sparkle in back and forth with opinionated people.

JaimeRoberto said...

I'd normally be ok with accepting the apology and moving on, but the joke was lame, so off with his head.

Narayanan said...

Will Wilkinson, cancelled for tweeting, "If Biden really wanted unity, he'd lynch Mike Pence."
….

he should have been smart enough to add : as previously done to Clarence Thomas.

Readering said...

Lynch definitely a bad word. Should have written shoot on fifth avenue.

Yancey Ward said...

My God, who would pay 60 dollars/month to read anything Will Wilkinson writes? I wouldn't pay that to read Althouse's blog, or anything else.

Joel Winter said...

Absurd demands are place upon one group, causing the desired effect.
That group starts to enforce those demands upon the demanders, causing an undesired effect.
The demanders now recognize the absurdities, and the demands are now seen for what they were by everyone.

Rinse, repeat.

Night said...

Its much better if people develop their own personal conscience based on their people interactions. Melding into a corporate or institutional conscience lessens the quality of a society.

Night said...

I've never used the word lynch in an actual conversation except to discuss lynching. Words do precede actions but we depend on people to get a grip on themselves. Listen to the calm of reason. Apply the 24 hour rule to themselves and re read what they wrote. If they still want to lynch someone and haven't been physically threatened in some wrongful immediate matter I would question their sanity. And they need a pill.

Night said...

Yancey Ward said...
My God, who would pay 60 dollars/month to read anything Will Wilkinson writes? I wouldn't pay that to read Althouse's blog, or anything else.

** Hulu was just $2 a month. Prime and Netflix less than $10 a month. Better stories also.

Iman said...

This is ripe for a “Will Wilkinson fucks himself” bloggingheads...

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

Make stupid jokes, get stupid rewards. Will Wilkinson embarrassed his Niskanen Center bosses with a joke calling for the lynching of the former VPOTUS. Will Wilkinson's too stupid to be kept on, so he's been given the opportunity to explore other life choices and spend more time with his family.

Meade said...

Narayanan said...
"he should have been smart enough to add : as previously done to Clarence Thomas."

Good point. The attempt to cancel Wilkinson is analogous to the attempt by then-Senator Joe Biden and the Democrats to destroy Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings in 1991.

Thomas: "This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It's a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree."

Old and slow said...

>Blogger Ken B said...
>The idiots will sneer at this comment and tell me to shut up because I’m Canadian!

No Ken, you misread the tone. We sneer at you because you are a sanctimonious twit. The fact that you are Canadian is just an extra bit of fun. Besides, I've always quite liked Canadians. Just not French Canadians... Maybe I've had bad luck in that regard.

Meade said...

What isn't analogous is that Wilkinson apologized.

Jim at said...

Lynch definitely a bad word. Should have written shoot on fifth avenue.

You know, when you have to take everything out of context to make a snark, it's not good snark.

Big Mike said...

Now they're even trying to cancel that poor Liz Cheney.

First, she isn’t poor.

Second, she chairs the House Republican Conference, which is supposed to support the Republicans in presenting a unified message. Besides her, there are 210 other Republicans in the House of Representatives. Nine voted with her to support impeachment, 201 voted against. How can she chair the Conference when she is that far out of line with her fellow Conference members? Does her position not obligate her to vote consistent with the position of most of the rest of her Conference.

Mikio said...

For those here who don’t get the joke…

- "I don't get the joke but it's no reason to cancel somebody."
- "...even for such an offensive statement as this one. 'Sharp sarcasm,' now that's funny." (doesn't get it - sharp sarcasm is exactly what it was)
- "Joking about lynching someone because one disagrees with his politics…" (didn’t happen)
- "Only a deranged nutjob would think, 'this lynching joke is hilarious and I need to tell it to the world'”. (clueless as well)
- "I don't get what Wilkinson was even trying to say. How would lynching Pence bring about unity[…] Asking seriously, because I want to understand." (kudos - hope the following helps)

…the context is there were Trump-supporting rioters who chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!” (sidenote - there was a literal make-shift gallows on the site)

Will Wilkinson tweeted: "If Biden really wanted unity, he'd lynch Mike Pence."

The joke is so obvious, I can’t even think how to dumb it down enough to explain it. There’s too much other context missing in someone’s head who doesn’t understand it. (Do I need to explain sarcasm?) But Wilkinson is zero calling for Pence to be lynched.

Yes, it’s cruel irony for him, who tweeted about a year ago, “Cancel culture, lol,” to eventually become a victim of it, and I have to say, I’m right there with him. I had that same attitude, but this hits hard, angering me as so utterly stupid. His employer who fired him is a false accuser and a coward. This is a shame of the left and I don't know what it's going to take to end it.

Meade said...

"…the context is there were Trump-supporting rioters who chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!” (sidenote - there was a literal make-shift gallows on the site)"

I get that. But what's the other variable in the equation so that x+y = UNITY? Is there a small deranged group of Biden-supporters who condone mob violence and want to literally hang Mike Pence? Or is it that ALL standard liberals want Mike Pence executed for treason?

Amadeus 48 said...

"Yes, it’s cruel irony for him, who tweeted about a year ago, 'Cancel culture, lol,' to eventually become a victim of it."

What did Wilkinson think would happen when he Tweet-snarked about cancel culture? If he didn't think this might happen, he wasn't very astute. No one cares about his stupid joke. They care about the power they have. I don't see anything ironic in his situation. I see someone very smug who thought they would never come for him.

I wonder if he has read "Darkness at Noon"?


Amadeus 48 said...

"Or is it that ALL standard liberals want Mike Pence executed for treason?"

As near as I can tell, most of the stupider Democrats think that all Republicans are guilty of sedition, and all of the smarter Democrats think that is a fine state of affairs. As to standard liberals, Adlai Stevenson and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. were liberals. These folks are progressives with a taste for repression.

Should they read more about the French Revolution and about Stalin? They might see themselves--or they might get ideas.

Sternhammer said...

Wilkinson is stupid enough (or dishonest enough, but that's stupid too) to deny the existence of cancel culture. An twit like that getting canceled isn't unfortunate or ironic. It's hilarious.

Amadeus 48 said...

Here's a reporter roughing up new press secretary Jen Psaki at the press briefing the other day:

"Has President Biden ever been at all wistful about sort of missing the fun parts about being a candidate?”

Wow. Talk about afflicting the comfortable! They are not going to let Biden get away with a thing.

Matt Sablan said...

It wasn't a call for violence.

But, if the tweet had come from, say, Trump, or Cruz, the reaction would have been different. Once everyone is willing to go back to one set of rules, I'm willing to as well. But, I won't change the rules solely to prevent collateral damage one side deems unpleasant, only to reactivate the rule the moment they see it as advantageous. I, too, would like to see this to be the end of cancel culture.

But, I don't see that happening.

pacwest said...

They might see themselves--or they might get ideas.

I think they already have the ideas. And they've got the basics pretty well nailed down. Steal the election, occupy the capital, destroy the economy, burn the cities, kill the cops, call for reeducation camps. The execution of the finer details will be critical, but if they run into any snags I'm sure China will be willing to help. The Long Dark Winter approaches.

Mikio said...

Is there a small deranged group of Biden-supporters who condone mob violence and want to literally hang Mike Pence? Or is it that ALL standard liberals want Mike Pence executed for treason?

I don't understand. What treason is it you think Biden-supporters think Pence committed?

Pence gavelled into ceremonial officialdom that Biden won the electoral college count and Trump lost. That's why Trump said he was "going to be very disappointed in you (Pence)" in his pre-riot speech.

Why do you think Trump-supporters were chanting, "Hang Mike Pence!"?

Mikio said...

Correction on that last line. (Why do you think Trump-supporters were chanting, "Hang Mike Pence!"?) You said you got that.

Banjo said...

I never heard of Will or the organization that gave him the boot until moments ago. I looked up both. He seems like a standard-issue liberal perhaps posing as something else and so does it. Let them return to their obscurity now.

Matt Sablan said...

I mean, I remember in 2016 to 2020 when Pence was accused of being a traitor for being in the Trump administration and for unspecified work with Russia. Now, granted, the vocal, overly political left also assumed practically everyone who wasn't part of their group was a traitor doing unspecified work for Russia... including Tulsi Gabbard being a well-known "Russian asset."

I can understand how some people might have forgotten how often in the last few years people were accused of treason and people said that said traitors should suffer the full penalties of treason.

bbkingfish said...

"But, if the tweet had come from, say, Trump, or Cruz, the reaction would have been different."

I agree with this take. A POTUS or U.S. Senator advocating the lynching of the Vice-President is much more serious than an obscure journalist advocating the same. Much more a cause for alarm, I would think.

stephen cooper said...

When trash talking AOC was incommoded by public protests on January 6, she immediately reached out to Twitter to take down her previous support of pro-leftist protesters, about whom she had said -before she was personally incommoded by a protest - that they, the violent pro-leftist protestors, were doing a good thing by making people uncomfortable by their violent riots. When she was made uncomfortable, she changed her opinion, as selfish people always do.

Contempt for the safety and well-being of others, the kind of contempt poor sad AOC, with that unpleasant selfish face of hers, indulged in month after month while BLM and Antifa were harming people, is not the greatest of faults in a human being, but it is a very very sad thing.

Paul Doty said...

Your first mistake is calling Wilkinson's statement a joke. It isn't a joke, it's what he thinks. It's how all the lowlife, smarter than you, better than you, kinder, more accepting, diversity embracing leftists that fill their Facebook feeds with "love will find a way, all you need is love, and give peace a chance" alternating with horrid vitriol, vicious hatred, death wishes, and death threats.

PM said...

And now there's nation cancelling: Google threatens to leave Australia if it dicks with its profit margins.

Paco Wové said...

"What treason is it you think Biden-supporters think Pence committed?"

For somebody lecturing others about missing jokes, you appear to be missing half of this one.
Presumably, in Will-Wilkerson-joke-land,
Trump supporters want Pence lynched because of {fill in reason A here}.
Biden supporters want Pence lynched because of {fill in reason B here}.

We've pretty much established what reason A is. What is reason B?

Thus Meade's comment.

friscoda said...

William Niskanen would not recognize the Center named after him (thankfully he did not fund it). If you read the policy prescriptions on the center on any economic issue and know his life's work, he is probably spinning in his grave fast enough to power travel to the moon.

h said...

Respectable public figures should not endorse violence. If they do endorse violence they should lose the respect of the public at large (even the respect of those who agree with them on most political positions). Why is this so hard to understand? And it is not a hard rule to abide by, unless the public figure has lost all self-control and self-discipline. (In which case, why should the public figure be respected?)

We've gotten to a point where endorsing violence is regarded as a badge of courage (certainly by antifa BLM supporters on the left) and now by many Trump supporters on the right who are saying (more or less) we're not going to unilaterally disarm and allow people on the left endorse violence while we remain polite and civil. In my opinion, we are at a point where the impasse can only be broken by respectable people on the left who are willing to stand up against violence by antifa/BLM. Then they can join people on the right who have already taken the position against violence.

stephen cooper said...

Well, lots of people like AOC, a great supporter of violence, have left public life and chosen to be simple ordinary citizens.

I like the poor young woman and I hope she makes such a choice. It might be a difficult choice to make, she is obviously narcissistic and cold-hearted - I am not saying that God created her that way, but right here and right now, that is what she is. For the last year she has cheered on evildoers who assaulted good people, who caused pain and misery to poor families who lived in poor neighborhoods, and has rejoiced in the suffering of good Americans.

She does not like ordinary Americans, right now, and the best thing she can do is grow up a little, leave behind the coldness of her heart, and realize that she has been a cold-hearted villain, realize that she has been enchanted by power: while also realizing that she is still a human being, and, with love in her heart, while realizing that the best thing she can do is to withdraw from her great ambitions of power, and become a better human.

I'm Not Sure said...

"and become a better human."

Not a very high bar to clear.

Mikio said...

Biden supporters want Pence lynched because of {fill in reason B here}.
What is reason B?
Thus Meade's comment.


You tell me! That was my question to Meade.

If his was a rhetorical question, that's unfortunate, but it's telling that he's yet to provide an answer to what seems to me a straightforward question:

I don't understand. What treasonous act is it you think Biden-supporters think Pence committed?

I reworded it a tad to try to make it clearer. I'm curious what the answer would be. If it's because he, and you, think we Dems want Pence executed simply for being a Republican, you're frankly insanely projecting. But then, at least be honest and say that's what you guys think. Unless it's too embarrassing. Which'll be my takeaway with no answer. Unless he's got a good excuse like "fish tank broke" or something, which I actually called into work and said one time when I was 18-19 saying I was lifting weights and one slid off. Bosses smiled at me the next day. They were good-humored about it luckily.

stephen cooper said...

According to C.S. Lewis, all of us are either getting a little bit better every day, or getting a little bit worse. Either the getting better goes on, or the getting worse goes on.

Me and C.S. Lewis are very different people, but he was right about one thing: getting a little bit less compassionate every day IS A VERY BAD THING!

I have seen it happen again and again and again and it has saddened me, I often think I failed to pray enough for the people who got less compassionate every day ---- WHO KNOWS?

Even God might not know, remember, there is nothing God likes more than for someone who has been more or less a creep to wake up and REALIZE GOD LOVES US ALL and stop being the creep they used to be.

Lurker21 said...

Democrats hated Pence as a matter of general principle.

That some die-hard Trump supporters hated him as well led Wilkinson to make his tweet.

It's not that people think Biden supporters actually want to hang Mike Pence (or that most Trump supporters actually wanted to hang Mike Pence either), rather it was, as John Kerry said on another occasion, a "botched joke."

I feel like people need to put emojis on everything to save us from those who are excessively literal.

Maybe that will be Kerry's job in the the new administration: Secretary of C'mon It Was Only A Stupid Joke.

Mikio said...

It's not that people think Biden supporters actually want to hang Mike Pence (or that most Trump supporters actually wanted to hang Mike Pence either)... I feel like people need to put emojis on everything to save us from those who are excessively literal.

(Ugh. Internet cliche coming, but...) Nice strawman. Who said MOST Trump supporters wanted to hang Pence? Point to the quote. Or stop making a fool of yourself.

Your conservative bias is making you dance around the fact that SOME Trump supporters literally did want to hang Mike Pence. It's on video, ffs. And why wouldn't they? Pence turned traitor to them and their orange god-emperor to their feeble, angry minds. "Excessively literal"?

Be better. Or, wait, no. Be best. *eye-rolling emoji*

Lem said...

Apparently I quoted the now cancelled guy (I don't remember) thusly...

"When you are trying to communicate (says Will Wilkerson) you should understand the perspective of the people listening to you. Who your audience is. And if are saying something, if you are picking out a quote knowing or expecting that it is going to be misunderstood in some way, or something will be inferred from it that would be incorrect to inferred from it, but you do it anyway, I think thats wrong."

And, apparently he didn't follow his own advice. That probably happens a lot to people who do what these people do for a living.

Achilles said...

Meade said...

"…the context is there were Trump-supporting rioters who chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!” (sidenote - there was a literal make-shift gallows on the site)"

I get that. But what's the other variable in the equation so that x+y = UNITY? Is there a small deranged group of Biden-supporters who condone mob violence and want to literally hang Mike Pence? Or is it that ALL standard liberals want Mike Pence executed for treason?

Don't forget the re-education camps for Trump supporters.

The most used term is "re-programmed."

Mikio said...

I get that. But what's the other variable in the equation so that x+y = UNITY? Is there a small deranged group of Biden-supporters who condone mob violence and want to literally hang Mike Pence? Or is it that ALL standard liberals want Mike Pence executed for treason?

Okay, Meade, I get your question now. I didn’t understand what you weren’t understanding. But now I think I do.

Here's the first thing I didn't get which now I do. Your meaning of unity means members from both sides (Dems and Repubs) get something each side wants from the deal – in this case getting to kill Mike Pence. See, now right there that is so absurd it's kind of funny. Not seriousness in any way to me and Wilkerson and everyone else who got his joke that he was being 100% sarcastic and 0% literal. Now maybe you don’t find it all that absurd or funny. And so you thought it had to be partially literal. Well, since sarcasm means conveying contempt in an ironic manner, I assure you Wilkerson has complete contempt for those violently invading Trump supporters, therefore the joke was 100% sarcasm and contempt aimed at them and no literalness whatsoever bleeding over to anyone else.

Part of the misunderstanding, too, seems to be that you think some/most/all Democrats must hate Pence enough to want to kill him. Hate, sure. Kill, no. We're anti death penalty, remember, and I think the voting record shows we sincere about it. Now, there's always a few extremists, so, stipulated. But I’m not even sure most Dems think he deserves prison. Again, you’ll have to remind me why. I’m personally drawing a blank. He's just kind of been there, in the background, as a lapdog.

A third point (maybe, lost count) going back to the start before I got sidetracked, is this: Unity does not require members from each side getting what they want given the understanding of an icebreaking sweet first deal for one side to get the ball rolling leading to more deals overall. That's the unity.

jaydub said...

"My 8th grader is absolutely the word lynch is necessarily racist..."

For heaven's sake don't tell him the Senior VP of the Niskanen is Jerry Coon.

Paco Wové said...

"That was my question to Meade."

Seems like it ought to be your question to Wilkinson, the guy who made the 'joke'. It's certainly not up to me to explain, defend, or agree with its premises.

Sam L. said...

How many crazed Democrats are out there....?

Lurker21 said...

Again. Just a joke. A botched joke. Too much analysis makes it lose whatever humor there was in it. Maybe that's the point, though, and it shouldn't be funny (if it ever was funny).

Meade said...

Mikio,

Sincere thanks for attempting to explain. I encourage you to continue thinking about it a little more.

The opposite of sarcastic is not, as you suggest, literal. It's sincere.

So I think you might want to ask yourself if the "humor" you think you were getting is even humor at all. I don't think it is. I think what you were getting was actually nothing more than contemptuousness wrapped in cringe and extremism. It wasn't amusingness, drollness or playfulness and it wasn't good-humored, good-natured or even the least bit clever. It was poison.

Wilkinson, in his apology, tried to explain that he had used acceptable "sharp sarcasm" in his regrettable tweet. The common definition for the adjective sarcastic is: "marked by the use of wit that is intended to cause hurt feelings." And so his use of the adjective "sharp" was meant to intensify, not modify, his failed attempt to use wit with the intention of causing hurt feelings.

daskol said...

Meade is making me feel bad for chuckling at the dumb joke.

daskol said...

Instead of reacting with moral clarity and seriousness at the contemptuous pencil-neck hack who made it. But if I had to get my hackles up at every display of contempt for me and mine, living as I do in the world capital of contempt (Paris is in the rear-view mirror and London has retains a vestigial actual civility), well, they'd never go down. And a man has to rest his hackles.

Rick said...

Your conservative bias is making you dance around the fact that SOME Trump supporters literally did want to hang Mike Pence. It's on video, ffs

It's revealing he's continuing his left wing bias even as he complains about others' bias. He insists those on the right must be taken literally eliminating political theater as a possibility. Then he turns around and grants Wilkerson exactly that possibility.

It is true that Wilkerson didn't make a death threat, but this just shows how normal it is to accept that such statements are not true threats. Even Wilkerson's boss understands the need to insist the standard is to refuse this possibility which meant Will had to be fired to protect the attack on Trump. This fool can't even understand that.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Mikio said...
Your conservative bias is making you dance around the fact that SOME Trump supporters literally did want to hang Mike Pence.

"Some. it's the word of bullshit artists, everywhere.

There are over 330 million people in America. 75 million of them voted for Trump.

How many is "some"? 5? 10? 10,000?

"Some" Biden supporters wear shirts with Che on them, demonstrating that they are evil murderous scum.

"Some" others wear Mao paraphernalia. Celebrating the man responsible for the murder of 80 million people.

"Some" Biden supporters support and supported the Khmer Rouge. Who murdered 1/3 of their country.

Which of those "some Biden supporters" are more than the "some Trump supporters" who wanted to hang Pence?

I would guess the answer is "all of them".

Mikio said...

Meade -

Are you more offended by the lynch mob or Wilkerson's tweet about the lynch mob? That's not meant as an insult. I honestly can't tell.

Mikio said...

Meade -

That's not specific to you, by the way. I would ask the same of all ostensible Trump supporters here, but I suspect most of their responses I wouldn't find interesting.

Meade said...

"Are you more offended by the lynch mob or Wilkerson's tweet about the lynch mob?"

Wilkerson's tweet doesn't offend me, it annoys the gods of Humor. But it apparently offended Wilkerson's erstwhile employers who now need to quickly cover up their own biases, bigotry, hypocrisy and tracks of murderous hatred, now that Biden/Harris safely occupy the White House and Trump may soon be on trial. Mustn't allow their own deplorable prejudices to show when their valuable tool of dividing up Americans and sticking their enemies into baskets of hate has been such an effective weapon for them for so long.

And I don't know what you're referring to when you say "the lynch mob." If your question is in earnest, you'll need to be more specific and clear about what it is you presume offends me. What is it that offends you, Mikio? I recommend you start from there.

You also lose me with "ostensible Trump supporters." Are ostensible Trump supporters people who seem to support Trump but in fact don't support Trump? If you place me in your category of "ostensible Trump supporters," why would you suspect my opinion to be any more interesting to you than the opinion of any other "ostensible Trump supporter?

Mikio said...

And I don't know what you're referring to when you say "the lynch mob." If your question is in earnest, you'll need to be more specific and clear

It is in earnest and the lynch mob I’m referring is group x

"I get that. But what's the other variable in the equation so that x+y = UNITY? Is there a small deranged group of Biden-supporters who condone mob violence and want to literally hang Mike Pence? Or is it that ALL standard liberals want Mike Pence executed for treason?"
x =
a small deranged group of Trump-supporters who condone mob violence and want to literally hang Mike Pence OR all standard conservatives who want Mike Pence executed for treason
y =
a small deranged group of Biden-supporters who condone mob violence and want to literally hang Mike Pence OR all standard liberals who want Mike Pence executed for treason
x+y = UNITY

What is it that offends you, Mikio?

Group x offends me.

You also lose me with "ostensible Trump supporters." Are ostensible Trump supporters people who seem to support Trump but in fact don't support Trump?

No, it has nothing to do with that. You may have noticed I’m not exactly a regular here (I commented off and on from about 2010-2016, then left when you-know-who got elected - too depressing - then resumed maybe five days ago as sort of a stranger come back to town who recognizes a few names, but I don’t see garage_mahal, unfortunately – really enjoyed his terse wit which you no doubt disagree, heh – anyway, let me get out of this parenthetical already), so by “ostensible Trump supporters” I mean commenters who appear to me to be Trump supporters, but aren’t necessarily. Other commenters make it much more obvious one way or the other; they therefore aren't in the category of ostensible Trump supporters. It's halfway between conscious and gleaning I'd say.

why would you suspect my opinion to be any more interesting to you than the opinion of any other "ostensible Trump supporter?

Well I see a fair amount of angry vomiting of Che, Alinsky, Mao… or similary unhinged invective from a few others, so you seem to clear that bar, heh. And express your thoughts efficiently - a big plus - which stay decently on-topic and pose an interesting challenge which I would say puts you above most other ostensible Trump supporters here (and probably elsewhere - I've honestly rarely talked politics online these last four years). But it’s not like I’ve done a study. I’m just going between skipping and focusing like everyone else.

Meade said...

"Group x offends me."

I'll state for the record: real lynch mobs, real mobs, and real mob violence are about the worst phenomena of human society.

"so by “ostensible Trump supporters” I mean commenters who appear to me to be Trump supporters, but aren’t necessarily. Other commenters make it much more obvious one way or the other; they therefore aren't in the category of ostensible Trump supporters. It's halfway between conscious and gleaning I'd say."

I see. Put me in the category of non-ostensible Trump supporters then. Though I never sent him money, I voted for him twice. I'll probably be happy to vote for him a third time if the opportunity arises. His demeanor and personality quirks aside, based on his accomplishments in office, I think he is the best American president since the time I began voting in 1972.

I agree: garage mahal was great and I miss him. But characters here come and go and sometimes come again. Garage sometimes does stop by to share his avian/nature photography. The dude has first rate talent.

Welcome back, Mikio. Make yourself at home. Contribute as you wish. Don't be a troll and you'll always be welcome.

Mikio said...

I was going to walk away, let you have the last word, but I can’t let it be mocking.

I'll state for the record: real lynch mobs, real mobs, and real mob violence are about the worst phenomena of human society.

“Real” – riiiight. Aaaand I’ll state for the record: you just contradicted yourself.

“Real” is an unnecessary modifier put there by you to mock as not real the very real and disgusting Trump-supporting lynch mob. (Even if only a handful of them were serious enough to be killers to physically drag him out and put a rope around his neck, or beat him up inside, a cop got beaten to death who got in the way to Pence, Pelosi, Schumer, etc. Oh, but they were just like chanting sports fans, right? No. Violent. Angry. What was the end goal? How did they expect to undo the electoral college official result without violence and hostages?)

You already logically stipulated the "group x" entity as real in your first post:

["…the context is there were Trump-supporting rioters who chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!” (sidenote - there was a literal make-shift gallows on the site)"

I get that. But what's the other variable...]


Did you mean the Biden-supporting lynch mob seriously? Yes. And you needed two mirror images or complements for x + y = UNITY. It doesn’t make sense to mix-and-match unreal + real or unreal + unreal. It only makes sense with real + real. So, you contradicted yourself by mocking as unreal/unserious above.

I had to get that off my chest. A bit sloppy, but I feel better now. I'll see ya around, Meade.

Meade said...

Mikio, you purport to know that I was trying to "mock as not real the very real and disgusting Trump-supporting lynch mob." But you are seriously mistaken. By using the modifier "real," I was not trying to mock but trying to find a point where you and I could agree. You portray me as a person who is for some reason interested in mocking what is real. But I am not. I'm a person who is for *suspending* judgement, for weighing *all* of the evidence, not just what is seen on first blush (such as what you yourself described as a "make-shift gallows on the site." I am for due process. I am for justice under the law.

Are you?

Mikio said...

Okay, Meade, “suspending *judgement.” I get ya. Not mocking, then. So when you said, “I get that” in your first post, you weren’t acknowledging it was, for all intents and purposes, a real/serious lynch mob of Trump supporters, rather you were allowing for the possibility it was—i.e., it would first have to be determined by the justice system before you would call it a lynch mob if I'm understanding you correctly. That actually makes logical sense. I missed that interpretation. Hmm, so it appears you didn’t contradict yourself. I take it back, then. See? Interesting!
(*judgment or judgement, I can go either way, but in the spirit of finding common ground, I’m hustling on over to team “e” here high five)

I think that concludes that part, then, and I don’t see any further argument. I mean, I kind of do, but let’s not argue over the dividing line before which it’s unfair to call something a lynch mob and after which it’s fair because I don't even know. In the abstract it gets tricky.

For example, you said “suspend judgment,” “due process,” and “justice under the law.” Again, you seem to be saying (I could be wrong, you can clarify) that it’s unfair to call anything a lynch mob until it's been determined by the justice system. But I doubt you'd say that back in the 1920s, if a lynch mob was broken up at the last minute by the cops and the victim cut down, then they let the crowd scatter and go home that you’d say that wasn’t a lynch mob even though the aforementioned strict interpretation would force you into such an absurd position.

But let's not go into the weeds on it. Unless you want to take a couple steps, it's fine. I’m all ears (eyes, whatever).

I do, however, have one final point. It's a realization I arrived at after some thought a few days ago and even wrote what turned into a damn intro to philosophy essay or something that slammed into the character limit and required yet more time editing before I ended up deleting it to spare you. (Not before saving it into a document, of course. That took a long time!)

But here's the gist of it. Regarding humor, but particularly political humor, it seems to me the two ways of looking at it – subjectively and objectively – are both there and equally valid. (I struggled with if it can be said there's any objectivity in humor and came to the conclusion it can, at least in some cases.)

Ben Garrison’s cartoons, for example, I could argue are objectively not funny because the premises are false. The thankfully few I've seen are factually wrong and don't resemble reality. They're in some bizarre looking-glass dimension that isn’t Earth.

Meanwhile you would argue - and already have - the same for Wilkerson’s joke. You said in so many words it's objectively void of humor.

But here's the thing: I can and do acknowledge that humor does exist subjectively in Ben Garrison’s cartoons for his fans. It’s invisible to me, but I acknowledge it is there. So, I can argue (but have better things to do) that there's objectively no humor in the cartoons of his I've seen. But there exists subjective humor for others. And both are true at the same time (stipulating that I and many others can prove it objectively, but we don't feel like it).

And I think you should acknowledge this with Wilkerson’s tweet, or at least think about it.

Mikio said...

Oh, man. Rereading it after it's already been posted – I mean, invariably I always seem to get a typo or two, but this time it happened to be forgetting to opt for the "e" in the next occurrence of judgment/judgement right after I said I'd joined your “e” team, making me look like a liar or backstabber. That's embarrassing. Like the other team made an offer and I wasted NO time.

Mikio said...

Two more corrections (I am so sorry):
"...wrote what turned into a damn intro to philosophy [CLASS] essay or something..."
I meant a STUDENT’S assignment. Without the word “class” there it looked too ambiguously like I loftily thought I had earlier written and deleted a comment to spare you that could qualify as a textbook preface essay or something. As if. Which looked so cluelessly smug.

Also I’ve been calling him Wilkerson. It's Wilkinson. And I even got you doing it, heh. He’s thin, Wilkinson. A guy in my army unit was named Wilkerson. It’s just… brain wires crossed.

Sorry for the postscript pollution. I mean, I proofread these things before hitting the orange submit button, but, I need to double or even triplecheck apparently.