Why Red State's Streiff is Right About Going Low & Dirty

How safe is our seat? Will we win in November anyway? If the answer is yes, keep the primary winner in the race, despite the abuse allegations.

Which party uses this algorithm?

The answer is the Democrats of course. Because Keith Ellison won't be MeToo'ed out of the race. Strieff - who writes at Red State - can get a little fiesty and more than a little prejudiced on occasion, as in a recent post at the conservative site (even if it was riffing on the Left's view of the supposed racism of conservatives). But he makes a good point about Ellison's clear primary win. Here's what he said:

Nothing is going to happen to Ellison for two reasons. First and foremost, Ellison is black and Muslim and identity politics drives the Democrat party. Not only is he a double minority, white guilt is going to keep the Democrat power structure from forcing him out of the race because that would mean they were racists for oppressing a black Muslim. Plus, the women involved don't appear to be rich or prominent or highly educated and, as we learned from the Bill Clinton experience, to the Democrats those women are throwaways. Secondly, Democrats realize that elections are not about virtue signaling, they are about winning. If you don't win, your virtue can just go screw itself. Al Franken was pushed out because his seat was safe and Doug Jones would not be a senator if Roy Moore's old white butt had been a Democrat. That doesn't make us better than them, it just makes us stupider than them. It means is that when the whistle blows to start the football game, the GOP is guaranteed to be the team on the field wearing ice skates and tutus.

Yes, identity politics determines just about everything for Democrats nowadays. And yes, virtue-signalling or rather shouting-down-conservatives while maintaining a hypocritical silence when electorally convenient is seen as a logical strategy by the party's activists and strategists, obviously.

But what the GOP faces in the next election will be accusations of corruption dressed up in identity politics. It's so convenient!

Of course Chris Collins is corrupt! He's an old white male! And: how dare you accuse Maxine Waters! She's a fighter for minority rights (and a woman, and African American). Never mind the scams she and her husband have been involved in.

Signal the virtue by talking about identity. Ignore the scam by being tactically hypocritical.

So when old white men in the Democratic party insist that Collins NOT give up his seat - all in order to boost their chances to flip it in November - maybe Streiff is right. Maybe all that's left for the GOP is to use Trump-style tweets and get down into the mud. Hell, Democrats are explicitly renouncing Michelle Obama's go-high advice.

Let's hear from GOP members of Congress, something about Ellison's previous abusive situations. Let's hear something every day. Let's talk about the women he apparently mistreated. Let's keep it alive.

It's hard for me to want to follow that advice. I'd rather talk about the cost of Medicare For All, and why trade barriers have to be managed carefully. But it looks like Streiff is right. At least in the short term.

Posted by Keeley at August 16, 2018 6:21 PM
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Posted by: ruhikhan at August 17, 2018 9:42 AM
Comment #430348

“Identity politics” = “how dare those minorities not assimilate to our interests instead of looking out for themselves!”

As far as Ellison goes, there’s a growing sense that Franken was railroaded out of office, and the objective proof of the accusation for Ellison is conveniently missing. The accusation didn’t gain any ground, BTW, because reporters couldn’t check out the accusation, especially with no police report and the video the young man said he watched not available for people to view.

As for “virtue signaling?” It’s an anthropological term, and it means more than just bad-faith variation on that theme. Many of us do want to reassure others that we’re good people, and the research shows that the need to reassure others of this is perfectly natural. In fact, it’s part of what maintains law and order in society. We care about our reputations.

Which brings me to another point about it: the GOP does it all the time. We call it litmus tests. When’s the last time you saw a GOPer publically say they were pro-choice, and not get hell for it? Or talk well of Obama? Or, if they were wanting to get re-elected, ill of Trump?

It used to be standard for GOPers to say they favored free trade. Now they have to hem and haw about Trump’s tariffs. The modern GOP centers on virtue signaling, and the problem is, their definitions of virtue center on the interest of the party and the President. That’s a rather unstable star to orbit your virtue around.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2018 1:35 PM
Comment #430350

I think Trump stands on his own and it is the organized parties who are wandering in the wilderness. Trump, if you haven’t noticed, does things differently. People who agree with his progress are growing larger with each hurdle he conquers. I’m getting tired of the left’s petty arguments, but they can continue to make them. The left’s petty tantrums provide a kind of pathetic amusement.

Isn’t it usually Democratics who are giving the Republican hell for being pro-choice? I remember the accusation of being a hypocrite for being a Republican and pro-choice back when the term “litmus test” was coined. I don’t think it matters either way. Every special interest has them.

Long time, no see, Stephen Daugherty! Thank you for the brevity!

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A philosophy of teleology sees purpose in ends rather than stated causes, making the outcome the actual, or “final” cause. When you see things in terms of teleology, you explain actions by their results. We can trace the origin of teleology to the Greeks: to teleos, meaning “complete,” and its root telos, meaning “result.” Then we add the suffix -logy, which means “logic,” or “reason.”

The scope of teleological thinking in preschool children:


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