Harvey Weinstein and the problem of collaborators

Dworkin helped to popularize the speak-out as a way of combating sexual violence by breaking the silence that surrounded it. Since the 1970s, speech has been a traditional feminist weapon against sexual violence: It was women telling their stories, and other women agreeing to believe those stories, that first brought rape, incest and other forms of violence against women out in the open and on to the policy table.

.. Dworkin developed her theory that men “collaborated” with each other to maintain gender supremacy through violence against women.

Dworkin employed a sweeping definition of what men did to deliver women into the hands of their abusers, acts that were both active and passive

.. This loss had consequences for Dworkin’s reputation. Her activism left her, and other feminists, stigmatized as anti-pleasure and anti-sex. MacKinnon, to this day a distinguished law professor with numerous achievements, survived the smears, but Dworkin did not. A woman whose first books had been supported by major presses in the 1970s scrambled to find anyone willing to publish her in the 1990s.

.. But were Dworkin with us today, her sharpest criticism might be reserved not for Weinstein himself, but for his collaborators.

.. There were those who actively collaborated, and those who, for their own calculated reasons, colluded through their silence.

  • There were the people who claim not to know that the “casting couch” is alive and well in Hollywood.
  • There were the assistants who delivered young actresses to suites where Weinstein waited for a “massage” in a bathrobe.
  • There were the agents who accepted these assaults as just another rite of passage for their female clients.
  • There were the husbands and boyfriends who shut up, even after confronting the producer.
  • There was his brother and business partner, Bob Weinstein, who claims to have been completely in the dark about his brother’s “depraved” assaults on women.
  • There were the politicians who accepted campaign contributions.
  • There were the lawyers who negotiated the hush money.
  • And there were the editors who killed stories that they knew were true.

Trump vs. the First Amendment

the hallmark elements of the president’s political style:

  • ignorance,
  • stupidity,
  • pettiness, and
  • malice.

.. the FCC does not license networks or cable channels. NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox News, etc., do not have FCC licenses to review or revoke. The FCC licenses individual stations.

.. Bill Mitchell, the Trump sycophant whose comprehensive lack of self-respect makes Paul Begala look like Cincinnatus, went on to argue that print publications such as Vanity Fair and the Washington Post should have their licenses revoked, too

There is no such thing as a newspaper license in the United States. There is the First Amendment.

.. Gutting the First Amendment is one of the top priorities of the Democratic party, which seeks to revoke its protection of political speech — i.e., the thing it’s really there to protect — so that they can put restrictions on political activism, which restrictions they call “campaign-finance reform.”

.. They abominate the Supreme Court’s solid First Amendment decision in Citizens United, a case that involved not “money in politics” but the basic free-speech question of whether political activists should be allowed to show a film critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the days before an election. (Making a film and distributing it costs money, you see, hence “money in politics.”) They lost that one, but every Democrat in Harry Reid’s Senate — every one of them — voted to repeal the First Amendment.

.. Right-wing populists, too, are an illiberal bunch

.. They are repeating the progressives’ mistake: imagining what their guy could do with vast new antidemocratic powers while never bothering to consider that the other side’s guy is probably going to get in there one of these days and enjoy the same powers.

.. Free speech is extraordinarily unpopular on college campuses, and California has just enacted a flatly unconstitutional law that would empower the government to put people in jail for failing to use the preferred pronoun of a transgender person.

Steve Bannon Declares ‘Season of War’ Against GOP Establishment

In his speech Saturday, Bannon basked in that victory and warned McConnell that his position was more precarious than ever.

“Up on Capitol Hill, because I’ve been getting calls, it’s like before the Ides of March. They’re just finding out who’s going to be Brutus to your Julius Caesar,” Bannon said. “Yeah, Mitch, the donors aren’t happy, they’ve all left you.”

He told the crowd that Moore’s victory has spooked the establishment elites as it shows that money doesn’t matter, even going so far as to say that the more money they spend, “the fewer votes they get.”

.. Bannon warned Republicans who think they can hide from backing President Trump that their failure to support him will haunt them in the midterm primary seasons.

“No one can run and hide on this one, these folks are coming for you,” he warned. “The day of taking a few conservatives votes and hiding is over. These folks aren’t rubes, these folks aren’t idiots.”

.. Bannon also argued that the power of the Alabama vote can be shown in recent developments from the White House. He noted that since Moore’s Alabama victory, the Trump administration has issued an executive order on religious freedom, stopped the Obamacare insurance bailouts, pulled the U.S. out of UNESCO, decertified Iran’s compliance with the Iran nuclear deal, and pushed for a middle-class tax cut.

“Those are not random events folks, that is victory begets victory,” he said.  “We owe that to Judge Roy Moore and the good men and women in Alabama because that all came from them.”

.. He urged Republican lawmakers who were on the fence on Trump to be more vocal in their support of his agenda as a way to avoid the populist storm brewing ahead of the 2018 midterms: “You can come to a stick and say ‘I am not going to vote for Mitch McConnell for Majority Leader’ and you can come to a stick and you can say ‘I’m going to do away with the filibuster so the president can implement his program.’”

“But until that time, they’re coming for you,” he warned.

The Ezra Klein Show: How the Republican Party created Donald Trump

Mitch McConnell promised bipartisanship in his speech about healthcare and delivered the exact opposite.  The speech had very little “truth content”.  (38 min)

The Koch brothers announced that they had 360 million dollars to spend on the next election if the Republicans passed healthcare and tax cuts.  (48 min)

Tucker Carlson condemned the right wing media ~6 years ago and said the right needs its own institutions comparable to the New York Times.  He started the Daily Caller which now makes money putting up bikini pictures, and then plays a host on Fox News that does nothing to challenge his audience, preferring to embarrass guests and make its visitors feel good. (1 hr 25 min)

Ezra: I think many of the criticism of the mainstream media are right.  It has a cosmopolitan bias.

Tucker Carlson is all about business model.  Dinesh D’hsousa is doing well because the Ann Coulter principle — the more extreme you are, the better you do.  Authors always check their Amazon ratings.

Many Conservatives don’t consume mainstream media.

The media knew that the John Podesta leaks were coming from the Russians, but the business is comptetitive and people were concerned about appearing biased.  (1 hr 38 min)

 

Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein have studied American politics for more than three decades. They are the town’s go-to experts on the workings of Congress. In 2012, they rocked Washington when they published It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, a book that marshaled their considerable authority to argue that the dysfunction poisoning American government was the result of “asymmetric polarization,” notably a Republican Party that “has become an insurgent outlier in American politics — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

This was a controversial diagnosis then. After Trump, it’s closer to the conventional wisdom.

E.J. Dionne is a columnist at the Washington Post, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and the author of the classic book Why Americans Hate Politics. He’s one of the sharpest political observers alive.

And now, like a Canadian indie-rock supergroup, the three of them have come together to write One Nation After Trump, a dive into how the Republican Party created Trump, how Trump won, and what comes next.

As Dionne says in this interview, the American system was “not supposed to produce a president like this,” and so a lot of our conversation is about how the guardrails failed and whether they can be rebuilt. Mann, Ornstein, and Dionne may be political sages, but they’re also a lot of fun, and they have a lot of fun together. You’ll hear that in this conversation.

Books:

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal by William Leuchtenburg

Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr.

The First Congress by Fergus Bordewich

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Democracy for Realists by Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels