January 23, 2022

"Some senators get so whacky in the national spotlight that they can’t function without it."

"Trump had that effect on Republicans. Before Trump, Lindsey Graham was almost a normal human being. Then Trump directed a huge amp of national attention Graham’s way, transmogrifying the senator into a bizarro creature who’d say anything Trump wanted to keep the attention coming. Not all senators are egomaniacs, of course. Most lie on an ego spectrum ranging from mildly inflated to pathological. Manchin and Sinema are near the extreme. Once they got a taste of the national spotlight, they couldn’t let go. They must have figured that the only way they could keep the spotlight focused on themselves was by threatening to do what they finally did last week: shafting American democracy."

Writes Robert Reich in "Where egos dare: Manchin and Sinema show how Senate spotlight corrupts" (The Guardian). 

Is it "whacky" or "wacky"? The author of "Common Errors in English Usage" says:

Although the original spelling of this word meaning “crazy” was “whacky,” the current dominant spelling is “wacky.” If you use the older form, some readers will think you’ve made a spelling error.

But the OED has the oldest example as "wacky," in 1935, though "whacky" also appears early on, in 1938. "Wacky" looks predominant, but "whacky" is also good. Still, a "whack" is a hard hit, so you might think about whether you want that image infecting the meaning which is just "Crazy, mad; odd, peculiar." 

The OED tips me off that "wackier" appears in John Irving's "World According to Garp." I'm printing it here because to me it's much more interesting than Reich's going on about the mental aberrations of Sinema and Manchin:

There was also a bad but very popular novel that followed [spoiler deleted] by about two months. It took three weeks to write and five weeks to publish. It was called Confessions of an Ellen Jamesian and it did much to drive the Ellen Jamesians even wackier or simply away. The novel was written by a man, of course. His previous novel had been called Confessions of a Porn King, and the one before that had been called Confessions of a Child Slave Trader. And so forth. He was a sly, evil man who became something different about every six months.

I like the phrase "drive [them] even wackier or simply away." There must be a Greek word for that structure, the intentional and surprising lack of parallelism ("wackier" being an adjective and "away" an adverb).

122 comments:

Lucien said...

Good thing Reich hasn't applied this analysis to Schiff, AOC, Elizabeth Warren, or Mitt Romney.

Irving's invention of Ellen Jamesianism is a great satire of the Woke, but before its time. Like the scene in "Life of Brian" where one character tells the others that he wants to be called "Loretta" and live as a woman.

David Begley said...

Shafting American democracy?

Rhodes Scholar Reich should know that America is NOT a democracy. We are a democratic republic. And the Senate filibuster is key to our republican form of government.

Small states like Nebraska don’t want to be ruled by the urban hordes in NY, MA, CA and IL.

Scot said...

I hear tell the youngsters use "wack" to describe something inferior. Probably derived from "wacky".

Re RR: Bless his heart.

iowan2 said...

Riech lives a life without mirrors.

rhhardin said...

Syllepsis (or zeugma).

Ann Althouse said...

"I hear tell the youngsters use "wack" to describe something inferior. Probably derived from "wacky"."

Whitney Houston famously said "Crack is whack" — video here. Who knows how she would have spelled it, but that's how ABC News transcribed it.

There is also a Keith Haring mural titled "Crack is wack" — with the words spelled out like that in the mural — here.

Scott Gustafson said...

Is it the Senators that go wacky or is it the media. In the case of John McCain it was probably both.

Jefferson's Revenge said...

John McCain. Heroic maverick. Manchin and Sinema. Wacky egos

Leland said...

Politicians aren't egomaniacs. That's wack.

Owen said...

Reich knows all about narcissism. He was a classmate of Clinton at Oxford (both Rhodes ‘68). Check out the literature produced by Rhodes House or, if you can, visit it. Self-congratulatory doesn’t begin to describe it.

Bilwick said...

Robert Reich, High Priest of Statism, thinks anyone who is even a moderate dissenter from his religion, must be, by definition, "crazy."

ga6 said...

Pot Kettle

rehajm said...

How is Reich still around? Is the bench that empty?

Saint Croix said...

Democrats are constantly threatening people. They use fear to keep people in line. You disagree with me? You're a white nationalist, you're a segregationist, you're a racist.

It's been their m.o. forever. Democrats have been calling Republicans Nazis and racists for decades. "Mitt Romney wants to bring back slavery." No, wait, Romney's okay. But "Donald Trump is Hitler."

You'd think they'd be embarrassed by this. And yet they can't stop doing it. Now Democrats are so hysterical, they're calling people in their own party racists and white nationalists. Sinema is a white nationalist. Manchin is a racist.

This is actually getting close to the truth. It's the Democrat party that has always used race (and fear) to gin up votes. They demonized black people for decades. Now they're demonizing white people.

I suppose the Republican party is just as bad. But the media is so dominated by Democrat voices, that all we hear is Democrats issuing threats, and Democrats calling people names. We hear their meanness and their anger all the time.

If we had more Republicans in the media, the Democrats would behave a lot better, I think. But the media is so lopsided, it gives Democrat voices the insane idea that everybody agrees with them. And so they get worse, and worse, and worse.

John Borell said...

Manchin and Sinema hold the same position on the filibuster that most Democrats held two years ago, but they are the crazy ones?

Minority voting participation has steadily increased since the 90s, but “democracy is at stake?”

Biden ran as a moderate, but once elected, decided he wanted to be transformational, despite no mandate to do so, but the fact that 52 Senators oppose these transformational changes make those Senators the unreasonable ones?

Gaslighting at its highest.

Temujin said...

I don't know why this guy irritates me more than most of the career political hacks posing as professors or experts, but he does. I cannot believe companies still pay him for his words, or young people still pay to sit in his classes. He is like one of those guys you met on campus years ago who was really into socialism. It was so cool and he seemed to know all about it, how it works, how it would be better for us all, and how capitalism is the evil in our lives. Most of us heard this stuff and grew past it. Reich is still that guy. Still on campus. Still being adored by young 'fellow' students with his wise words.

But he's a nothing, intellectually. I've read some of his works and I cannot believe this guy makes a living on what he thinks. Oh well. It's a big world. There's a market for all of us, I guess.

Mr Wibble said...

Miss Lindsey has been a problem for a long time, since he got elected to the Senate. It's a mystery on the right what changed, but he seemed to follow McCain around like a lapdog for the strangest reason.

Iman said...

The Imp doesn’t have much to say that’s of interest.

tcrosse said...

It's seldom seen in print, but many men and boys whack off, with or without the silent h.

iowan2 said...

. Probably derived from "wacky"

The Iowa ag culture I've spent my life, living, "out of wack" discribed something not aligned, off, askew.

Whacky is is nuts, crazy, goofy to the extreme.

wendybar said...

He also said that Democrats should BACKHAND Sinema for not voting in lockstep with all the other slaves on the Progressive plantation. He has WHACKING on his mind. He needs help.

Iman said...

Reich is trite.

Iman said...

The Imp is a simp.

Iman said...

And they’re always after his Lucky Charms…

Iman said...

Reich did have that sweet role as Kramer’s friend Mickey on “Seinfeld”…

RoseAnne said...

According to my understanding, people communicate in order to share a message with someone(s) else. If you haven't shared the message, then you have failed. If the recipients are spending more time on "how" you communicated rather than "what" you communicated, you have also failed because the attention is not on what you were trying to get across.

Rober Reich is a good example of those making the latter mistake.

A few days ago, he said:

“Tonight, Republican senators lined up to shake Kyrsten Sinema’s hand. Democratic senators should have given her the backs of their hands.”

Later, he deleted the tweet because: "Last night I deleted a tweet because it was widely misinterpreted and distorted by conservative media. "Back of the hand" is an idiom for rebuke. I wholeheartedly condemn violence against women."

If he wanted to communicate "rebuke", then he could have said "rebuke". If he specifically wanted to communicate a visual, he could have said "turn their backs" which is widely attributed as a sign of "rebuke".

Instead he chose, and defended the choice, to use, at best, a rather obscure "idiom" whose more common reference is one of violence - in this case against a woman who did not do what the Democrats wanted her to do. (He did not use it against Manchin.)

Is he just ignorant enough to not know how to communicate? (Doubt it) Does he see himself as so much smarter than everyone else that he deliberately uses obscure idioms and less known spellings so that he can come back to tell the listener how much smarter he is when they challenge them (My view) Or was he deliberately trying to introduce the concept of violence against Sinema (but not Manchin) in a way that gave him plausible deniabilty. (Possible)

Ann Althouse said...

"Whack" is a hard hit (such as with a baseball bat to the head), but "wack" has meant "An eccentric or crazy person; a madman, a crackpot" going back to the 1930s, according to the OED.
1938 ‘E. Queen’ Four of Hearts (1939) i. 9 All you wacks act this way at first. Them that can take it snaps out of it.
1951 E. Paul Springtime in Paris (U.K. ed.) xi. 198 The show place, the rendezvous of eccentrics, Bohemians, playboys, sightseers and international whacks is the St. Germain des Prés quarter.
1959 R. Graves in Lilliput Dec. 48/2 ‘I don't get the joke,’ Len grumbled. ‘That wack gave me the creeps! One of those “creative artists” who create chaos’.

There's a 1997 "draft addition" for "wack" — "Bad; harmful; unfashionable, boring. Esp. in the anti-drug slogan crack is wack and variants."
1986 N.Y. Times 19 Sept. b3/5 Keith Haring, creator of the ‘Crack is Wack’ mural in East Harlem.
1989 Chicago Tribune 22 Oct. iv. 1/1 A brightly colored mural painted on a handball court carried the succinct message, ‘Crack Be Wack, Jack.’

Ann Althouse said...

"THE CREEPS WERE LOOKING AT THE WINDOWS BECAUSE SUPER MOP-TOP WAS PLAYING THE DRUMS! ULTRA-BEAN WAS PLAYING THE TRUMPETS!!! THE CREEPS HAD THE TAMBOURINES!!! THEY WERE LOOKING AT THE WINDOWS!!!"

MikeR said...

Mind-reading. Rejection should be automatic.

Bob Boyd said...

You can spell rhunty with or without an h too. And you can roll the r when you pronounce it. Rrrrrrhunty. Try it.

Rrrrrhunty.

Rrrrrobert Rrrrrreich.

Rrrrrrhunty.

Kinda fun, huh.

EH said...

You would think after the back of the hand episode, he would be a little more careful about how words can be interpreted. Shafting has multiple connotations...

Mark said...

What is the egomaniacal Robert Reich blathering on about?

tim in vermont said...

Robert Reich is not very good at writing propaganda. His suggestion that Sinema should be slapped around was kind of ham handed, so to speak, but the whole concept that it's wrong for a Senator to represent his or her constituents against the will of the Maximum Leader, Joe Biden, is, not to put to fine a point on it, creepy.

hawkeyedjb said...

The astonishing level of hyperbole generated over the Democrats' failed-for-now festival of vote fraud is both appalling and comical. They say "our democracy" will fail if we don't spray absentee ballots all over the countryside, or if we ask for ID to vote, or if we fail to register 16 year olds, or if anyone, anywhere ever attempts to remove dead people, citizen or not, from the voting rolls. It is dreadful that our debate has descended to this level of inanity. What nation on earth allows their franchise to be so degraded? How can people utter this frivolous and mindless nonsense without being laughed (or thrown) from the public sphere? This is truly an exercise in national depravity.

Big Mike said...

Reich thinks Graham is an attention whore? Everyone in DC knows that the most dangerous place is between Chuck Schumer and a TV camera.

What's emanating from your penumbra said...

""Some senators get so whacky in the national spotlight that they can’t function without it.""

I'm guessing Robert Reich's addiction to attention is different.

tim in vermont said...

When you accuse the other side of whatever it is that you are doing, it creates a kind of cognitive blindness. The response then sounds like "so's your mother," so it's hard to respond to these kinds of bumper sticker accusations in a bumper sticker way. That's why all the right has in terms of rhetorical weaponry is clarity and common sense. But that's not nothing.

Michael said...

Shafting American democracy is done by voting? What the fuck have these people done with language, with reason, with logic.

Butkus51 said...

the perfect Troll he be

tim in vermont said...

"La Coso Nostra" means literally "our thing" which is how you should interpret the Democrats talk of "Our Democracy," it's La Coso Nostra" and the "Just Us" department's enforcement arm, the FBI, makes sure nobody makes any trouble for them, and as long as the vigorish on every bill they pass flows, everything is copasetic.

BTW, did you know that Nancy Pelosi's father was a mob figure in Baltimore and associated with NYC's "Murder Incorporated"? It's right there in Snopes. The more you know.

cassandra lite said...

Reich's speculating about other people's egos is peak 2022--already to be known as the year irony was beheaded, staked through the heart, and cremated.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Robert Third Reich would prefer if everyone but his precious corrupt Hillary - would all willingly shut up for the totalitarian corruption queen.

PB said...

I think I can say of Robert Reich, even people with PhDs can be idiots and hysterical fools. What he said of senators can also be said of him. He once had high office, but leaving it has left a void which unfortunately has been filled with delusion.

tim in vermont said...

Remember when Reich lobbied the Bush Administration on behalf of Enron?

It's "La Democrazia Nostra"

MadisonMan said...

Robt Reich is 75, I note. He writes as if he wants to be relevant. A wish to be relevant does not make it so.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Everything the Reich-class left threatens can be distilled down to one option:
Obey the democratic authoritarians with blind loyalty, or shut up.

Robert Third Reich tweeted that Sinema deserves the back of a hand.
Violent misogyny on display from the little loyal(D) Soviet.

richlb said...

The same Robert Reich who wished physical violence on a female Senator?!

hawkeyedjb said...

"The same Robert Reich who wished physical violence on a female Senator?!"

Vote my way or I'll give you a slap in the knee.

Roger Sweeny said...

Ironically, Reich is a good example of, "Once they got a taste of the national spotlight, they couldn’t let go." He started as a left-liberal academic, one of those people who feels it his obligation to provide ideas and facts to the good people. He became Secretary of Labor in the first Clinton administration and has since been a shouter, making speeches, writing a column, and trying to remain in "the national spotlight".

Marty said...

Ah, another fragrant example of what James Lindsey calls "the iron law of woke projection."

Bruce Hayden said...

They are desperate. They stole the election - the Presidency and at least three Senate seats. Maybe even the House. They then stole hundreds of billions of dollars, shoveling it to scammers in this country and around the world. The butcher’s bill is coming due. They cannot legally avoid being massively repudiated and their ill gotten power reclaimed, this coming November, unless they massively change election laws to allow industrial level election fraud, which is what they did in those 5-6 states in 2020 (we are possibly talking well over a half million illegal votes in AZ alone, to get Biden his 10k winning margin).

One thing that they know for sure, if they can’t pull off enacting their massive election fraud enabling legislation, is that their J6 fraud of an investigation is going to explode in their faces. It violates House rules. That doesn’t matter, since Pelosi has her bare ruling majority. But it was a setup job from day one. She is sitting on over ten thousand hours of video. Crowd source it, and let’s actually see who was instigating the comparatively little bit of violence that day. Realistically, I expect to have her try to erase it all before vacating her Speaker’s office.

If Biden had been competent (which was unlikely, even before his senility set in), this wouldn’t have been as much of an issue. But they stole the election, and installed a bumbling senile fool as the token leader in this country, then blew up our economy, shipping a trillion dollars all around the world, tried to sneak out of Afghanistan in the middle of the night, destroyed our military, destroyed our energy independence, our distribution system, and our Rule of Law. And now, if they can’t federalize rampant election fraud, they face epic losses in the election later this year.

narciso said...

ah one longs for him being bested by jim west (miguelito lovelace is the reference point)
now a self proclaimed wiccan lesbian (her words) has managed to do the deed that the 'true blue' (sarc) mormon republican has not,

narciso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadTownGuy said...

Saith Reich: "They must have figured that the only way they could keep the spotlight focused on themselves was by threatening to do what they finally did last week: shafting American democracy."

He's the guy who suggested setting up a "'Truth and Reconciliation Commission" to go after Trump supporters. Projection, much?

Dude1394 said...

Robert reich is such a dishonest partisan that I do not waste a minutes time on him. Coming to Althouse’s is normally enlightening, but not today. Every sentient being on the planet knew what he was going to say before he opened his yap.

Roger Sweeny said...

@RoseAnne - "Give someone the back of your hand" is an old expression meaning rebuke. It fit in perfectly with his shake her hand/back of her hand. But, as you say, in the present day lots of people don't know that old meaning but take it more literally as "hit with the back of the hand". I think Reich got carried away with his syllepsis. He didn't mean any violence. But it was as tone-deaf as writing niggardly (with an "a") when you mean overly frugal.

Sebastian said...

"shafting American democracy"

Progs really are shameless, aren't they.

Douglas B. Levene said...

It’s almost refreshing to see Mr. Reich writing about politics instead of economics. He’s always wrong, whatever he’s writing about, but his economics is pitifully weak, whereas his politics is just stupidly wrong.

Michael K said...

For a midget, Reich is pretty loud.

Howard said...

If you're in politics and all of a sudden you can grab the spotlight you would be a fool not to.

dbp said...

It's a bit unseemly to psychoanalyze from afar, not just because almost all of it is done by people with no training in the field but also, people with such training would be committing professional malpractice. So nobody should do it.

Still, it's fair to hold people to their own book of rules. Reich seems okay with musing on the psychological motive of senators, so maybe little I, can put little Reich on the couch for a bit.

I think Reich is an egomaniac. If you look at the comments from a random Tweet of his, many of his 1.4 million followers will shamelessly stroke his ego. I think he says intemperate things like his assertion that Democratic senators should give senator Sinema the back of their hands, to get attention. It works. How many minor cabinet secretaries from 30 years ago have 1.4 million followers on Twitter? He serves up the red-meat so craved by the soygentsia.

Drago said...

rehajm: "How is Reich still around? Is the bench that empty?"

Reich fits comfortably under the bench, which is appropriate.

Gerda Sprinchorn said...

“Tonight, Republican senators lined up to shake Kyrsten Sinema’s hand. Democratic senators should have given her the backs of their hands.” Later, he deleted the tweet because: "Last night I deleted a tweet because it was widely misinterpreted and distorted by conservative media. "Back of the hand" is an idiom for rebuke. I wholeheartedly condemn violence against women."

This is another (weirder) example of anti-parallelism (for which there should be a Greek word).

Reich used an obviously parallel structure: physical handshakes contrasted with physical "back of the hand" slapping. But, when called on this, he claims he was using an ANTI-parallel structure: physical hand shake versus metaphorical hand-slap.

I don't think there should be a Greek word for this. Way too rare and dishonest.

Old and slow said...

When I was a child, my sister and I were often threatened with the phrase "back of my hand". I can say with some confidence that it did not mean a verbal rebuke...

Fred Drinkwater said...

I heard (well, overheard. I was just in the next room.) Reich speak to a bunch of incoming students at Berkeley a few years ago.
It was jaw-dropping. A 30 minute exercise in question-begging.

RoseAnne said...

@RoseAnne - "Give someone the back of your hand" is an old expression meaning rebuke. It fit in perfectly with his shake her hand/back of her hand.

Since I had never heard of the reference before, I did an Internet search. The first reference was to his meaning but it also a reference to him saying it. Several search pages later, I did find other references that were much older.

I think Reich got carried away with his syllepsis

I think Reich is love with the sound of his own voice and his own written word. So I agree his response was tone deaf - both the original and the immediate follow-up.

He didn't mean any violence.

Possibly.








Amadeus 48 said...

Robert Reich? Is he still alive? That tiny, perfectly formed beardie who used to be somebody or something in the Clinton years? In the Guardian?

Well, I never...!

A friend who knew Reich at Dartmouth said that at a class reunion in the nineties, Reich's wife would spout Reich's CV, expatiating on his honors and achievements, while Reich stood there, silent but beaming as she sang his praises, like a female troubadour heralding a knight gallant.

Skeptical Voter said...

At the towering height of 4 feet 11 inches, Reich suffers from an advanced case of the short man's disease. He may be less than five feet tall, but his ego is enough for twenty feet.

Having sought the limelight as often as he has (and no doubt there is real talent in the man and he's served in a lot of high level slots) he's in no position to criticize others for seeking and or enjoying the limelight.

I will give this "wackobird" a hat tip though. Both he and Joe Biden were born in Scranton.

SteveWe said...

Robert Reich's highest thoughts start at the elevation of their source and float lower like fluff to the ground.

wendybar said...

Roger Sweeny said...
@RoseAnne - "Give someone the back of your hand" is an old expression meaning rebuke. It fit in perfectly with his shake her hand/back of her hand. But, as you say, in the present day lots of people don't know that old meaning but take it more literally as "hit with the back of the hand".

Sure...but we all know if Trump or any of his supporters said this about Liz Cheney or any other progressive.....the press would have a field day.

Wince said...

What about the term “wackadoodle”?

To me, it sounds patriotic: “I’m a wackadoodle dandy…”

whack-a-doodle
an eccentric or fanatical person.
"an alarming number of wackadoodles predict the world will indeed end"

mikee said...

These two are MAVERICKS, dammit, just like McCain when he kept Obama are alive all by himself.

Freder Frederson said...

Rhodes Scholar Reich should know that America is NOT a democracy. We are a democratic republic. And the Senate filibuster is key to our republican form of government.

Small states like Nebraska don’t want to be ruled by the urban hordes in NY, MA, CA and IL.


Well, this is just bullshit. Nowhere in the Constitution is the filibuster mentioned. Besides the Nebraska Senate Delegation (state population just under 2 million) has exactly the same number of senators as California (population just under 40 million), which is why Republican senators represent about 44 million fewer constituents than Democrats. You don't need the filibuster to defend small states against the "urban hordes" (besides, maybe the urban hordes don't want to be ruled by the rural residents of Nebraska, or West Virginia, which essentially is the case).

Joe Smith said...

WTF is Reich talking about?

In the past couple of years I have seen only one or two brief clips of either senator.

Do they even go on the Sunday shows?

Sinema is famous for hiding in a bathroom.

Reich is a communist asshole, who is most likely wealthy beyond words.

loudogblog said...

There's an internet meme that says "that's wiggity wack, yo." It's based on a line from the video game Persona 4. (2008) I remember in the Josie and the Pussycats movie, one of the characters said to their manager, Wyatt, "That's wiggity wack, Wyatt." That was in 2001, so it's been around for at least twenty years.

Lurker21 said...

They all crave attention. Sinema and Manchin are getting it now, but it's foolish to think that the attention is the reason they're holding out. Don't the voters back home have something to do with it? Maybe the folly and deceptiveness of the Democrats' claims and plans?

"Wacky" is right, but "whacky" is whackier. It looks like something that is whackier than the usual wacky, like you needed to find a word so rare that nobody knows how to spell it or even pronounce it. We had to learn about the "wh" sound (which is actually an "hw" sound) in grade school. Nobody uses it in real life, do they? Maybe more "wh" words should make the switch to "w."

Drago said...

Field Marshall Freder: "Besides the Nebraska Senate Delegation (state population just under 2 million) has exactly the same number of senators as California (population just under 40 million),..."

What an epiphany!

Yes, that is PRECISELY how the founders designed the system.

The Senate represents each of the states on an equal basis.

If you want to destroy the constitutional republic we live under, or what remains of it, then just say so.

Its not as though we dont already know you do. Team Dem with a chunk of GOPe-ers have made that quite explicitly clear.

Joe Smith said...

Anybody remember these?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Bruce Hayden 9:41
That.

Big Mike said...

If Robert Reich attempted to give the back of his hand to Senator Sinema, she’d beat the crap out of the little pissant.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Let me guess, there were no words in there attacking the "Maverick" John McCain, or the current ego hog Mitt Romney.

It must really suck, to be from the Party that requires you not to think

Big Mike said...

Oh, Freder, it gets worse. Tiny Rhode Island, with a population only half that of Nebraska’s, also has the same number of senators as California. Oh! The shame!

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Freder Frederson said...
Well, this is just bullshit. Nowhere in the Constitution is the filibuster mentioned.

No, what is stated is that the Senate gets to make their own rules.

Now, when Democrats were glorifying the filibuster 2017 - 2020 (while hating it in 2016 when the GOP used it against Garland), were you saying "those are really stupid arguments! The filibuster isn't in the US Constitution, and getting rid of it will not destroy democracy!

No?

Of course not.

Because you don't have principles, you just have a lust for power.

is the Senate filibuster "key to our democracy"? No, it isn't. It's a way to make individual Senators power powerful and relevant than individual House members.

Do I favor the Republicans nuking it next time they're in charge?

Yes, I do.
Manchin and Senima aren't supporting the filibuster because of great principles, they're supporting it because they oppose the bills it's blocking, but supporting the filibuster lets them hide that.

I'm going to make another guess here: Reich didn't say anything about the Democrats filibustering Cruz's NordStream 2 condemnation bill just last week.

Because it's every Democrat who is utterly lacking in principles, not just Freder

The Vault Dweller said...

The most reviled people are those perceived as traitors to the cause. I think this is a natural human instinct. After all wasn't the innermost circle in Dante's Inferno reserved for traitors? Also those people who come over, are only appreciated by the other side so long as they are useful. McCain, Romney and Liz Cheney only get nice treatment from Democrats when they are hurting Trump or Republicans. Similarly I suspect the Right's appreciation for Manchin and Sinema will wane once they start doing more traditional Democrat things. While it is possible to make a living as a political traveler who has had the scales removed from their eyes, you will never truly be liked and accepted as one of the new tribe members. If you are bucking your team it is best if done because your principles dictate it and you don't expect anything other than that as the outcome.

As an aside I heard some Democrat spokesperson on NPR say that the Democrats need to Primary Sinema and Manchin. Arizona is not a blue state so primarying her doesn't seem the best idea, and in 2020 West Virginia went for Trump 68.6% to 29.7%. If there were licensing for being a Political Strategist a person should be disbarred for advising a primary movement against Manchin.

Earnest Prole said...

You can conceivably posit attention-seeking as a motive for Sinema’s behavior, but Manchin hails from one of the least Democratic states in America (Trump over Biden by a 40-point margin) and his behavior can best be described as representing the interests of his constituents. Which is another way of saying Robert Reich is a tool.

Iman said...

Words you’ll never hear Robert Reich speak:

“I’ll keep this short…”

Michael K said...

Republican senators represent about 44 million fewer constituents than Democrats. You don't need the filibuster to defend small states against the "urban hordes" (besides, maybe the urban hordes don't want to be ruled by the rural residents of Nebraska, or West Virginia, which essentially is the case).

Constitutional scholar Freder has discovered the "Connecticut Compromise."

Now quote to us from Madison's record of the Convention. You know you can do it. You probably went to Harvard Law like Obama. Just as well educated.

The problem was referred to a committee consisting of one delegate from each state to reach a compromise. On July 5, 1787, the committee submitted its report, which became the basis for the "Great Compromise" of the Convention. The report recommended that in the upper house each state should have an equal vote, and in the lower house, each state should have one representative for every 40,000 inhabitants,[5] counting three-fifths of each state's slave population toward that state's total population,[5] and that money bills should originate in the lower house (not subject to amendment by the upper chamber).

You knew that, didn't you Freder?

Jon Burack said...

Best to focus on language here, as in the term "wacky," etc. Otherwise, it might seem one is supposed to take Reich's ravings seriously. What Manchin and Sinema did was what they said from the first they would do. No one paying attention to them could be surprised by the fact that they followed through. They explained perfectly clearly why they were doing what they did. Only a very wacky pundit could resist that clarity. Sinema was so enamored of the "spotlight" Reich says she caved, that when they followed her into the bathroom, she went into a stall and closed the door. Maybe she should have kept it open, and invited them in to talk it over? That would have been some spotlight.

Mikey NTH said...

Whacky or Wacky. I have seen both over my reading life.

Rabel said...

Roger von Oech says it's "whack."

You've still got a ball of them somewhere.

Anthony said...

I have been reliably informed that this type of behavior makes them Mavericks.

rhhardin said...

Metaphor drives its point home on a two-way street. - Richard Harvey Brown, might have been quoting Erving Goffman

hombre said...

Maybe Reich along with the lefmediaswine at the Guardian deserve a huge thank you for making us aware that Senators, not the media, decide who will get the play. Also, the implication that Sinema and Manchin likely enjoy, nay thrive on, the race-baiting slurs and other denigration heaped on them by left wing toadies is an astonishing revelation. Who knew?

Or, possibly, Reich and the lefties at the Guardian are the real wackos. History does militate in favor of that conclusion.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I once sold Robert Reich a CD at Tower Classics in Berkeley. I didn't realize until then exactly how short he was. If he actually tried to "back-hand" Sinema, he'd have to reach up considerably.

Reich (pronounced with a soft "sh" at the end, so as not to be confused with anything Hitlerish) has been waaaay off the deep end for decades now. He used to have a column in the SF Chronicle that I read with a kind of appalled fascination. I don't think it's there any more.

MountainMan said...

I get sick and tired of the talking point that seems to come from all progressives about state representation in the Senate not being proportional to population. People who express this view don't seem to have ever had a basic civics class, which used to be common across the country in the middle school or early high school grades. Freder and people who think like him could probably not have passed my eighth grade civics final exam nor the current State of TN civics exam required for graduation from high school. The general lack of civics knowledge I see among people today on Facebook and Twitter is appalling. These kinds of questions should not even come up.

Narayanan said...

@RoseAnne - "Give someone the back of your hand" is an old expression meaning rebuke.
----------
Jesus [?] saying turn your other cheek has been recently explained as = slappee asking for backhanded slap by slapper

Greg The Class Traitor said...

The Vault Dweller said...
As an aside I heard some Democrat spokesperson on NPR say that the Democrats need to Primary Sinema and Manchin. Arizona is not a blue state so primarying her doesn't seem the best idea, and in 2020 West Virginia went for Trump 68.6% to 29.7%. If there were licensing for being a Political Strategist a person should be disbarred for advising a primary movement against Manchin.

At the moment, it looks like some "Progressive" will be able to successfully primary Sinema in 2024, before getting blown out in the race that November. And then Sinema will try again in 2028, against whatever Republican beats Kelly this year.

Dear Chuckie Chumer: Thank you for forcing Kelly to vote to nuke the filibuster. I'm sure the moderate voters in AZ will love that move

Anyone who tries to primary Manchin will get crushed, because not even WVa Democrats vote "Progressive".

Clyde said...

There's probably a Bob Dylan lyric that's appropriate for someone like Robert Reich. Maybe a snippet of "It's All Over Now Baby Blue" or a stanza of "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall."

rcocean said...

Robert Reich is such a tiresome party line leftwing hack. Same ol'crap. Anyone who doesn't hate Trump is somehow Trump's propagandist and sold his soul. Anyone who disagrees with the current Liberal/left party line is a crank & out for attention.

While Trump was in office, any Senator on TV attacking him was "brave and noble" -per the homely dwarf. And definiately NOT "Wacky".

rcocean said...

Wacky also brings to mind the "Wacky Neighbor" one always found on old sitcoms. Or "whack" as in mafiaspeak for "Rub out".

rsbsail said...

Reich calling anyone wacky is like the pot calling the kettle black. He is a true loon.

Freder Frederson said...

I get sick and tired of the talking point that seems to come from all progressives about state representation in the Senate not being proportional to population.

And I get sick and tired of people (and michael k, drago, and Achilles are much worse offenders than you) deliberately mischaracterizing what I wrote in order to hurl insults. My only point is that considering that low population states have plenty of power in the senate, the filibuster is just piling on.

Big Mike said...

The news media want to focus on Sinema, and whether she is going to face problems in the 2024 election. Are they focusing on the right race? This November Mark Kelly will be running for re-election in Arizona. Will it help him or hurt him that he voted for getting rid of the filibuster in a state that’s rated R+3? Will his opponent, whoever it is, be able successfully to portray him as a stooge for Chuck Schumer? Could it be that the Arizona senator whose career is at risk after the vote in not Sinema? Especially since he no longer will have the benefit of running against Martha McSally.

Sinema is up for re-election in 2024. But so is Jon Tester of Montana, and Montana is rated R+11. In 2018 he rode a blue wave. What color will the wave be in 2024?

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I once sold Robert Reich a CD at Tower Classics in Berkeley. I didn't realize until then exactly how short he was. If he actually tried to "back-hand" Sinema, he'd have to reach up considerably.

Was it Randy Newman's "Short People"?

Actually, at 4' 11" he'd probably smack her on the behind. The she could claim sexual harassment and we'd never have to hear from the little pinhead again.

Michael K said...

I am honored that a towering intellect like Freder is unhappy that I linked to the Connecticut Compromise, even though I assured him that I knew he had to know about it.

Mason G said...

"besides, maybe the urban hordes don't want to be ruled by the rural residents of Nebraska, or West Virginia, which essentially is the case"

Those urban hordes are free to disband their police, allow however much rioting they think they can endure and limit what's sold in their markets to sustainable products raised in windowboxes if that's what they want. The rural residents of Nebraska or West Virginia aren't going to be getting in the way of that, they're just insisting they don't want to go along for the ride.

Drago said...

Field Marshall Freder: "And I get sick and tired of people (and michael k, drago, and Achilles are much worse offenders than you) deliberately mischaracterizing what I wrote in order to hurl insults."

LOL

The inevitable modified limited hangout when all previous Freder nonsense becomes inoperative...to put it delicately.

Thoughts and prayers in this difficult time Freder.

effinayright said...

What David Begley said.

Manchin and Sinema performed EXACTLY the function the Framers intended for the Senate: to restrain hyperpartisan majorities from lurching the country this way and that every time they take power.

As for their positions being anti-democratic, ask any Dimocrat to justify the presidential veto. Why should the POTUS have ANY power to thwart legislation passed by majority votes in both houses of Congress?

And why should those houses have to line up super-majorities to override his dictatorial veto?

Frederer/Arturo: wanna try answering those questions?

Drago said...

Field Marshall Freder: "My only point is that considering that low population states have plenty of power in the senate, the filibuster is just piling on."

"Plenty of power"
"Just piling on"

The language of a child.

How much is "plenty"?
What is the demarcation line between "piling on" and not piling on?

I believe I will pass on "The Constitution And Senate Practices According To Freder" option.

Chris Lopes said...

While the filibuster is not in the Constitution, it is well within the spirit of what the Founders had in mind. The Senate is supposed to be the deliberative body where the temporary passions of the masses (or in this case the slight majority) are held in check while the issues of the day get soberly debated. The filibuster helps in that end. It forces the majority in the Senate to seek consensus to resolve an issue.

effinayright said...

Frederer?Arturo held forth learnedly:

(besides, maybe the urban hordes don't want to be ruled by the rural residents of Nebraska, or West Virginia, which essentially is the case).
*********

Have you ever considered how unlikely "The United STATES of America" would never have been formed if the colonies with small populations were left with NO political power in the Congress, from the start? That maybe they didn't want to be ruled in perpetuity by the colonies with large populations and commercial/financial power?

And did you ever consider how legislation passed by Congress represents the collective votes of ALL the states' elected representatives? So...how are large states "ruled" by small states, if the legislation applies to all of them?

What are YOUR solutions? Do you want a country "from sea to shining sea" or not? Or would you reduce WVA, Nebraska and RI, and the Western states with small populations, to bantustans?

Yeah, that'll work.

SNORT

Big Mike said...

My only point is that considering that low population states have plenty of power in the senate, the filibuster is just piling on.

@Freder, it’s not our job to figure out what you meant to write; it’s your job to review what you what wrote prior to hitting the “Publish” icon and be certain that your point is clear.

And, no, the filibuster is not “piling on.”

Zev said...

Always wacky, never whacky.
Reich is just grotesque in his obsessions.

rcocean said...

If you want to make the senate more in line with the number of voters per state, just merge New England in to One state, merge Deleware into MD and split Calf and Texas into 2 states each.

Problem solved. No more postage stamp states like RI or Del or Vermont having 2 senators while Texas has 2.

rcocean said...

Of course Dumbo-cons never suggest that. instead they impute Good faith to the Left, and drone on about how "The constitution says..." and "As you can see by my 3 page memo on the History of the Senate...blah, blah, blah".

Which the left simply laughs at.

TaeJohnDo said...

Robert Reich is a crazy man, small and ugly on the inside, where it counts.

effinayright said...

rcocean said...
If you want to make the senate more in line with the number of voters per state, just merge New England in to One state, merge Deleware into MD and split Calf and Texas into 2 states each.

Problem solved. No more postage stamp states like RI or Del or Vermont having 2 senators while Texas has 2.
************

OK, just tell us what the mechanism would be for doing that.

Put it right here>>>>>

effinayright said...

rcocean said...
Of course Dumbo-cons never suggest that. instead they impute Good faith to the Left, and drone on about how "The constitution says..." and "As you can see by my 3 page memo on the History of the Senate...blah, blah, blah".

Which the left simply laughs at.
********

Yeah. Dumbo-cons like Mark Levin and Newt Gingrich always impute Good Faith to the Left.
Mcconnell et al spend all their time writing tutorials to "correct" the errant-but-Good Faith partisan positions of the Left.

Always.

Snort.

Achilles said...

Freder Frederson said...

And I get sick and tired of people (and michael k, drago, and Achilles are much worse offenders than you) deliberately mischaracterizing what I wrote in order to hurl insults. My only point is that considering that low population states have plenty of power in the senate, the filibuster is just piling on.

We don't mischaracterize what you say.

What makes you "sick and tired" is we don't have to do that.

Your words are all we need to make you look silly.

And the fact that your positions on any subject depending on the day are completely detached from any principles and merely reflect your desire to tell other people what to do.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Freder Frederson said...
My only point is that considering that low population states have plenty of power in the senate, the filibuster is just piling on.

You stop saying stupid things, and we'll stop calling you stupid. Deal?

CA and NY just helped filibuster Ted Cruz's condemnation of the NordStremII pipeline from Russia to Germany.

Everyone gets to use the filibuster, both big and little States. The current escalating filibusters of judges came because the Dems decided to start filibustering PoC judges who engaged in wrongthink, when the GOP controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House

The filibuster is not a "small State" tool, it's a"minority empowerment" tool. You stop stupidly pretending otherwise, we'll stop insulting you for it

GRW3 said...

Oh, please...

McCain - Brave Maverick

Manchin and Sinema - Wacky to a Pathological Extent

Eric said...

In my past life as an academic, we rated grad students on their "self esteem-ability ratio." Politicians routinely score very high on this measure. Consider Biden.