The Weekend Politics Thread States What Matters

♬ Release me from moral assumption
Total rejection total destruction
Nihilistic feelings are moving if I try real hard
I’ll see right through them ♬

Take warning from knowledge about the crowd.1

As Passover, Ramadan and Holy Week coincide, what better time for a bad-faith argument?

Rich Lowry, who edits an entirely separate though equally gaslighting and prevaricating publication titled National Review, aimed to plug the lacuna the lumpenproletariat did not know it suffered by contributing a guest editorial to Politico on April 13, 2022. Lowry, who surely merits headline review and approval, titled his expectoration “Russia Is Not Committing Genocide in Ukraine.”

Your usually link-drunk Weekend Politics Thread host will not make that available to read at the click of a mouse or a tap on a screen. Suffice it to share the disingenuous deck: “Putin’s atrocities are appalling. But Biden’s comments are wrong, and potentially harmful.”

Uvular will now wait as readers2 exhaust their Munchian screams.

*10 minutes later*

As your soul slowly reenters your body, assure yourself that Lowry merely carries the torch that continually adjusts the flame of the gaslight. This same unworthy worthy—defined as a right-winger welcomed at Manhattan dinner parties because they do not froth at the mouth or wear Confederate Battle Flag patches on their jean jackets—has spent the past 30 years tutting Cassandras.

No, a baby Lowry cooed, Newt Gingrich’s Contract for America would not irreparably break the New Deal contract with working-class Americans.

Yes, Lowry averred as he gained his sea legs for inducing everyone else’s nausea, W avenging GHWB would work out fine.

No, gains in health care access and civil rights under an Obama presidency could not benefit anyone, an increasingly mask-off Lowry hissed on good shows for good liberals like NPR’s Left, Right & Center.

Clearly, a complicit Lowry chortled complicitly, Trump and his ravening retinue of revanchists could never unmake nearly 75 years of halting progress toward opening voting booths, job opportunities, education and acceptance in the public square to all people.

Lowry purely maintains pace as he runs chin-up, eyes wide, arms outstretched into the fold of Putin apologists and atrocity deniers. Because the slippery slope never levels out. But also because Lowry and his like believe in nothing beyond convincing themselves that no one else has a correct interpretation of events.

More insidiously, the klatch of kiboshers wish to deflect criticism of obliviously harmful ideas and actions they embrace, endorse or enact. Lowry clucks constantly how judging what he depicts as inconsequentialities and militating against what he paints as inevitabilities makes you3 the nudnik, the person no one invites out for drinks  because you just rain on the parade.

Lowry and his fellow falsifiers also tell a tale of never believing victims. Nothing happened. If something happened, it did not inflict much damage. If it inflicted immense damage, this other thing did worse. If nothing worse ever occurred, then this will never happen again. “Hush up, Chicken Little,” they solemnly and condescendingly intone—all the while hammering on the sky and cheering as ever-larger chunks fall.

Call it nihilism, solipsism or simple pigheaded jackassery.4 the intent and effects remain unchanged. And the tactics rarely change.

Uvular did not read Lowry’s mendacious missive in Politico. No one need do so. The text surely hits the following beats:

  • A dictionary definition of “genocide”5
  • A half-true legal aside
  • A haughty assertion that only the Holocaust during World War II could ever earn the appellation of “genocide”
  • A faux earnest expression of concern for anyone killed, injured or erased by the DEFINITELY NOT GENOCIDE THIS TIME
  • A plea for “Western” restraint lest the genocidaires start really genociding
  • A premature surrender to the worst possible outcome since nothing tried would help anyway
  • A snarky signoff that insults everyone who expresses genuine concerns for the victims of the atrocity

To take a Rich Lowry seriously, to accord his sort a motive other than discouraging attempts to save and improve lives, amounts to letting the bad guys win without putting up a fight. Lowry sows hopelessness. He argues relentlessly that nothing matters. That nothing should. And that even if everything matters and must, what would it avail anyone to do anything?

So, no snark, fuck Rich Lowry. Fuck every publication and broadcast that gives him a platform. Fuck all the people who do what Lowry does. Fuck him like Ronald Reagan.

*whew*

As a more sober riposte, read this translation of a Russian-language editorial stating plainly that, yes, Putin unleashed genocide in Ukraine with malice aforethought.

Telling excerpts include:

  • “No significant distinction should be made between the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the so-called “nationalist battalions,” as well as the Territorial Defense, who have joined the two other types of military units. They are all equally complicit in the horrendous violence towards civilians, equally complicit in the genocide of the Russian people, and they don’t comply with the laws and customs of war. War criminals and active Nazis must be punished in such a way as to provide an example and a demonstration.”
  • “Denazification will inevitably include de-ukrainization — the rejection of the large-scale artificial inflation of the ethnic component in the self-identification of the population of the historical Malorossiya and Novorossiya territories, which was started by the Soviet authorities.”

So, yeah, eff Lowry.

Anyone or anything rubbing sand into your undercarriage?

Image credit where due6