Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Con Way

When Kellyanne Conway says, "I'm not in the job of having evidence," she is, we all should admit, one hundred percent accurate. However artless her phrasing tends to be when she gets wound up, the fact is that facts are not her job. She is not in the business of disseminating information, or providing knowledge or insight.

She is nothing more nor less than a spreader of manure, a mechanism dedicated to the unholy task of fertilizing the media landscape with gin-you-whine, honest-to-Bannon, industrial-grade bullshit. And when the media play this tedious can you believe this shit? game with their readers and viewers, they are playing the game she wants them to play. Her goal, obvious as it is unstated, is to distract, to deflect, to muddy the waters and confuse the lines of questioning.

The easy slam would be to say she's "evil" like her boss, but the reality is that there are different shades and flavors of such a thing. The error in trying to categorize Clownstick's clear authoritarian tendencies is in trying to lump him in with other infamous political animals -- Hitler, Stalin, Mobutu, etc. And to be sure, Clownstick has the ethics of a termite and the soul of a banana republic caudillo.

But he's no Hitler or Stalin; at worst, he might be a Rafael Trujillo sort. Clownstick's moral perversion is closer to that of a Jim Jones than any dictator. You can see this dynamic at play when you watch the rallies, see how the attendees react, the stupid things they say and do and believe quite sincerely. When the time comes and he tells them they need to go meet the comet, they'll castrate themselves and eat the applesauce unquestioningly.

This is very much at odds with all contemporaneous records of Hitler, Stalin, et al; while the bastards in the inner circle may have been true believers, many ordinary Germans and certainly most Russians were just trying to stay alive without getting dimed by their neighbors. They might not have put up much resistance, but it wasn't exactly voluntary in many cases. But these Clownstickers -- again, maybe it's a selection bias from the articles, but it's pretty damned consistent; the body language, the incoherent jabber, the wild-eyed devotion. There's something creepy and mindless about all of it.

And that's ultimately who Conway is reaching out to with her defiant schtick. She knows they're not watching Press the Meat, but she also knows that it will dominate the media cycle for the day, and carry out to the usual agitprop outlets they do read.

And all the gauze-filter puff pieces trying to whitewash Conway's LIES add nothing to the mix. I couldn't give less than a fuck-and-a-quarter what sort of old-lady knick-knacks Conway's mom keeps on her shelf. What I know is that I've been watching her daughter peddle her LIES and poison for about twenty years now, mostly thanks to the likes of Bill Maher, since he and Conway have been happy to use each other as a "some of my best friends are ______" vessel for panel arguments.

Check this shit out:
A few days earlier, Conway had appeared on Meet the Press and coined a term that neatly encapsulated the administration’s relationship with the truth: alternative facts. The phrase spawned dozens of think pieces, the British prime minister used it to accuse a political rival of lying, and sales of George Orwell’s 1984 spiked.

When I asked Conway about the incident, she insisted that it was no big deal in Trumpworld—a blip, a trivial error, virtually a typo. “What I meant to say was alternative information,” she said, giving an example: Three plus one equals four, but so does two plus two.

Now, I've read enough of Molly Ball's writing to understand that in the overall context of the article, Ball is letting Conway's dopey lie and her idiotic explanation of it sit there on its own merits, like the steaming pile of manure that it is. (Which, let's recall is Conway's job.)

But additional context should be pointed out on the "alternative facts" meme, and whence it generated, since the lies move faster than our collective ability to keep up with them, and what happened less than two months ago might as well be two years. That bullshit phrase came from Clownstick's inaugural weekend, where we all saw the yuuuuge difference between his crowd and either of Obama's crowds.

Clownstick felt it was important to LIE about the comparative size of these crowds, and thus proclaimed, against all photographic evidence and common sense, that the opposite was true, that suddenly we were also counting streaming into the mix (even though, of course, there is no way to know at all how many people were streaming the festivities). Clownstick forced his spokes-tool, Sean Spicer, a man clearly already living his private hell (and deservedly so), to flack for this nonsense, which no one outside the rampant buttfuckery of Breitbart buys into. The administration is not saying that three plus one equals four, they're saying that it equals twelve, or purple, or KFC, and insisting that that is the One True Reality For Us All.

(Incidentally, speaking of weird inauguration lies, Clownstick has also lied multiple times about whether it rained or not during his inaugural speech. Clownstick has insisted repeatedly that the "rain stopped....and god smiled" at the moment The Exalted One took the podium. As if the video didn't exist to contradict all that.)

Now, do these particular -- and comparatively small -- LIES make any real difference in the scheme of things? Not as such; even if he had left those things alone, Clownstick would still be a lazy, ignorant, incompetent pud, a fake alpha who would have been saved from an empty adulthood of needy narcissism if his daddy had given him a fucking hug once in a while. But it's weird that these things are important enough to him to lie about over and over, when we can all easily refute it with our own eyes. This is precisely, by the way, how true authoritarians and dictators cement their rise to power, by creating their alternative reality merely by insisting on it until their cult base lashes out to defend the illusion. Remember what I've always said about how it's impossible for rational people to adequately respond to irrational people? Yeah, that. It's not a problem yet, but if it ends up becoming one, you can look back and say that these are the sorts of incidents that add up to a violent cult of personality.

Anyway, Conway's "explanation" to Ball about the origin of the phrase is not only a LIE, but a DOUBLE LIE. It is a LIE compounded upon itself. Because from an empirical standpoint, it does not matter if she "meant" to say "alternative information" instead of "alternative facts" -- it is neither "facts" nor "information" if it is not verifiable and accurate. Conway is either too stupid to understand that important distinction, or (just as likely) she just doesn't give a fuck because (again) as she points out, that's not her job.

So here is the real point (and yes, I do have one): why would any media outlet that considers itself serious and responsible have Kellyanne Conway on their show for anything? It's bad enough that she is a shameless hack and LIAR, but in fact she seems completely incapable of uttering anything that might be factual or accurate, if it happens to run contrary to whatever boom-boom Grampa Walnuts is rage-tweeting in his old-man diapers this morning. She's a slightly less obnoxious and slightly more coherent Sarah Palin. If the hacks at Morning Joe can ban her, then why can't the rest of them?

[Update 3/18/17 3:00 PDT: Oh look, the usually reliable New York Magazine had to me-too their way into this with another puff piece on Conway. They keep trying to figure out what the "secret" to her "success" is. The answer is much simpler than they seem to know: Conway, like Clownstick, looks at her job and role in all this as just a big show. A lot of what she and he do day-to-day is kayfabe designed to rouse the rubes, who are obviously not encumbered by anything resembling an empirical fact. When a good chunk of your audience's reasons for voting literally boil down to "drink libtard snowflake tears," you win just by telling a blatant, obvious lie and telling them all to suck on it.

Media people are not trained, either professionally or experientially, to deal with such a dynamic; in past iterations of political journamalism, the subjects at least make a half-hearted attempt to keep up the wink-and-a-nod appearance of hewing to conventions and norms. They will at least pretend to care about being honest and direct.

This quote from the NY Mag puff piece says more about who and what Conway really is than all of the lame attempts to portray her as some sort conservatard Sheryl Sandberg, just trying to lean into the boys' club the best she can, while bringing home the bacon and frying it up for her man:

“Anybody who pretends I’m not smart or not credible, it’s like, ‘Excuse me, I’ve spoken 1.2 million words on TV, okay?,’ ” Conway told me before the Flynn mishap. “You wanna focus on two here and two there, it’s on you, you’re a fucking miserable person, P.S., just whoever you are.”

Yeah, that sounds about right. I think you could focus on all "1.2 million" of the words that have poured forth from her lying cakehole, and draw the same conclusion. She simply does not tell the truth about anything, she defends the LIES emanating from Grampa Walnuts and his rage-tweets and his creepy press secretary with the most ridonkulous spin imaginable, and does it with an insouciant "fuck you" that is deliberately intended to both encourage supporters and infuriate those "fucking miserable" people who, for some weird reason, insist on at least some semblance of reality from these fuckers, some signal that, beyond the bullshit and kayfabe, they actually want to do something that will help someone outside their little billionaires' club, that they might make some effort to lead the people who weren't enlightened enough to vote for their magatopia.

Conway enjoys what she does, and she enjoys the way that she does it, and that is what makes her an awful human being. That she couches her whole act in the guise of a sheltered suburban housewife (NSFW), with empty smiles and the veneer of politeness, doesn't change a goddamned thing. Funny how she used the exact same "three plus one equals four" riff (which, again, is a LIE used to muddy another LIE) on Olivia Nuzzi that she used on Molly Ball. Can't say she doesn't stick to the script. I don't give a fuck if she buys her own groceries or not, she's fucking awful. That she apparently doesn't know the difference between a scallion and asparagus is just gravy.

Again, I have come to think that the best course is diligence and patience. Many media folks (obviously not the ones sucking up to the likes of Conway) are starting to get the picture, and are being more diligent and dogged in harassing them for some accountability for the words the say and the LIES they spew. The patience part will (as one might assume) take some time, but odds are high that it will happen. Arrogance and stupidity are a dangerous combination, and these people are both of those things, to a very high degree. They will fuck up bigly, and they will try their usual evasive parsing, which makes Bill Clinton's tedious musings on the meanings of "is" and "alone" look positively forthright and direct. And it will only work on what is already starting to be a slowly but steadily attenuating flock. And people may start showing up to the fucking midterms. How about them apples?

And Clownstick is seventy years old, so only has so many good years left, and all his money won't another minute buy, as the song says. But Conway just turned fifty, and if these stupid puff pieces have any accuracy to them, she is hard-wired to do what she does, in fact has done some form of it all her life. No wonder she and Clownstick are so simpatico; they are birds of a personality-disorder feather. But her dark orange master will be gone, retired in disgrace, and she will spend the rest of her career trying to explain away her role as propagandist for what is almost sure to be the most nakedly, crudely destructive administration in American history. Couldn't happen to a nicer person. I hope she loses her house and ends up having to move in with her aging mother.]

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