Black Face On White Supremacy

On September 14th, Californians will cast their vote to either keep current Governor Gavin Newsom or replace him with one of a number of other candidates vying for his job. The leading contender appears to be Larry Elder, who I have mentioned before here on Filosofa’s Word. Elder is NOT a man under whose governance I would wish to live! Clay Jones over at Claytoonz has done a fantastic job of showing us who Elder is … read on!

claytoonz

Cjones09082021

Over the weekend, a speaker at a rally for California governor Gavin Newsome said his Republican opponent, Larry Elder, is a “black face on white supremacy.” Larry Elder is a controversial right-wing Trump-supporting conspiracy-spreading whack job with a radio show who also happens to be black. But black people can be conservative lunatics too, right? Is it fair to accuse one of them, like Larry Elder, of being a “black face on white supremacy?” After all, Larry Elder is totally 100 percent in favor of reparations for slavery.

Of course, it’s not descendants of slaves Larry wants reparations for. No, Larry believe slave OWNERS should be rewarded reparations.

Ya’ see, Larry was talking to fellow black conservative lunatic, Candace Owens (which helps defend him from the charges of racism because she can be his prop for a black friend), and he argued since slavery was legal, slave owners were robbed…

View original post 773 more words

The Good, The Bad, The Hopeful

A few days ago, my dear friend Ellen sent me Maureen Dowd’s column from the New York Times.  She says so much that the topic of the column rather defies description, but her vision of where this nation is today is spot on.  She also gives us hope in a more positive, yet realistic assessment of President Biden’s policies and actions than we’re used to hearing these days.


Drowning Our Future in the Past

By Maureen Dowd

Opinion Columnist

It isn’t a pretty picture.

One coast is burning. The other is under water. In between, anti-abortion vigilantes may soon rampage across gunslinging territory.

What has happened to this country?

America is reeling backward, strangled by the past, nasty and uncaring, with everyone at one another’s throats.

Post-Trump, we let ourselves hope that the new president could heal and soothe, restore a sense of rationality, decency and sanity. But the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be just a firefly.

We feel the return of dread: We’re rattled by the catastrophic exit from Afghanistan; the coming abortion war sparked by Texas; the Trumpian Supreme Court dragging us into the past; the confounding nature of this plague; the way Mother Nature is throttling us, leaving New Yorkers to drown in their basements. And now comes Donald Trump, tromping toward another presidential run.

It feels as if nothing can be overcome. Everything is being relitigated.

We’re choking on enlightened climate proposals but the disparity between the disasters we see, and what’s being done in Washington, makes it feel as though nothing is happening except climate change. We’re so far from getting a handle on the problem, the discussions around it seem almost theoretical.

Joe Manchin, tied to the energy industry, balks at climate change provisions in the reconciliation bill. He should be looking for ways to get West Virginia in touch with reality rather than living in the past.

“Manchin’s claim that climate pollution would be worsened by the elimination of fossil fuels — or by the resolution’s actual, more incremental climate provisions — is highly dubious, if not outright false,” The Intercept reported, noting that the truth is that Manchin’s personal wealth would “be impacted.” Since he joined the Senate, The Intercept said, he has grossed some $4.5 million from coal companies he founded.

With its new abortion law, sending women back to the back alley and encouraging Stasi-like participation from the citizenry, Texas now becomes the capital of American unreason. The law “essentially delegated enforcement of that prohibition to the populace at large,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

There were medieval fiefs more enlightened than the Lone Star G.O.P.

Between putting women in danger by pushing that law and putting children in danger by imposing his anti-mask mania on school districts that want to mask up, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has become a scourge of the first rank.

A cynical slice of the Republican Party — and this includes Trump — privately denigrates anti-abortion activists as wackos, but publicly moves in lock-step with them in order to cling to that base and keep power.

But the anti-abortion forces were somehow clever enough to hijack the Supreme Court and Republicans will have to contend with the backlash when the court tosses Roe v. Wade aside.

As botched as the withdrawal from Afghanistan was, at least Joe Biden was trying to move into the future and do triage on one of America’s worst mistakes.

And unlike other presidents — J.F.K. with the Bay of Pigs, L.B.J. with the Vietnam War and Barack Obama with the Afghanistan surge — Biden did not allow himself to be suckered by the generals, the overweening Ivy Leaguers and the Blob, the expense account monsters who keep this town whirring and always have a seat at the table, no matter how wrong they were, and are.

The Afghanistan tragedy, as James Risen wrote in The Intercept, was just two decades of Americans lying to one another, and it “brought out in Americans the same imperial arrogance that doomed the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.”

Unlike his three predecessors, Biden risked Saudi ire by directing the Justice Department and other agencies on Friday to review and declassify documents related to the F.B.I.’s investigation into 9/11. Families of 9/11 victims had been pushing for the release of the secret files to learn more about the role the Saudis played in the attacks.

The enablers of our misbegotten occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have been shrieking like banshees at Biden, trying to manacle him to their own past mistakes as he attempts to lift off.

With peerless chutzpah, Tony Blair called Biden’s decision to depart cynical and driven by an “imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars.’”

But Biden knew enough not to spend more lives and treasure to prop up a kleptocracy. He oversaw some bad weeks in Afghanistan but George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld should be blamed for 20 bad years.

Remarkably, as Jon Allsop pointed out in The Columbia Journalism Review, the word “Bush” was not mentioned once on any of the Sunday news shows the weekend Kabul was falling.

“He looks like the Babe Ruth of presidents when you compare him to Trump,” Harry Reid, the former Democratic Senate majority leader, told The Washington Post’s Ben Terris, for a story this past week on Bush nostalgia.

With a memory like a goldfish, America circles its bowl, returning to where we have been, unable to move forward, condemned to repeat a past we should escape.

Perhaps We Trusted Too Much

If you were born with pale skin in the United States in the last 150 years, you have led a life of great privilege, though you might not realize it.  You might begin to realize it if you could exchange brief life stories with someone your age born in Ghana, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Brazil, Iraq … most any other non-democratic nation.  But here’s the thing … we are so used to that life of privilege that we no longer appreciate it, we take it for granted.

Since you were old enough to talk, you’ve understood that this is a mostly free nation, that people have certain ‘unalienable’ rights.  You can choose your own career path, can choose to be well-educated … or not.  You can choose, within the confines of your economic status, where to live, what sort of car to drive.  You are not told who, or even if you must marry.  You are not forced into any religion.  And perhaps most importantly of all, you have the right to vote in order to keep people in government who are dedicated to preserving your rights.

You were told when you first learned about the founding of the U.S. and the U.S. Constitution that this document was the foundation of our nation and was the primary safeguard against the country ever becoming a Nazi Germany ruled by a madman.  You were told that the Constitution guaranteed that religion and government would always be kept separate, that you would never be beheaded for not believing in any religion.  It is your right, you were told, to be a Jew, Muslin, Hindu, Christian, or atheist.  It is your right to marry whomever you choose.  It is your right to have the final say over your body.  And you thought all this was guaranteed, that those ‘rights’ could never be taken away from you.

It may just be that you were wrong.

We became lazy, we became complacent, we became inured to the little things that were chipping away at our lives, our freedoms, as we didn’t even realize it.  We trusted in our government and its foundational separation of powers that would always keep any one branch of government from having too much power.  We never asked ourselves what would happen if two or even three of those branches plotted to join hands and become all-powerful.  We had the utmost faith in the impartial, non-partisan, 9-member Supreme Court that would always rule in favour of ‘right’.  We trusted in the ‘Separation of Church and State’ doctrine to keep us free of bigoted, restrictive rules imposed by religious sects.

But a funny thing happened as we travelled through the decades.  Men became intoxicated by power and the smell of money. And then they lied to us.  They lied about little things, they lied about big things.  They manipulated us, told us that those who try to help people in need are ‘socialists’ and ‘communists’, even though the majority of people do not even understand what those terms mean, but these greedy men gave us their interpretation and … we were too lazy to educate ourselves with facts, to learn the truth of the matter.

I won’t go through the entire scenario of the past twelve years or so, but here we are today … dangerously close to the precipice, to that thin line that separates a democratic republic from an autocracy.  Even now, when we nearly lost our voices and our freedoms on January 6th, far too many people believe that the men lying to them on a near-hourly basis are the good guys, the guys in the white hats.  They have allowed themselves to be brainwashed into believing that white folks like themselves are being pushed into a minority and that … somehow this is not a good thing.  They have been convinced that climate change is a hoax, that the pandemic is but a minor blip on the radar, and that somehow all evil stems from one side of the political spectrum.

A quote by Nelson Mandela speaks volumes here …

The United States is at a crossroads.  We can continue to allow the politicians, our elected representatives, to lie to us, to rob us, to cheat on us, as we take comfort in the fact that we have a job, a comfortable home, a ‘happy’ life, or we can educate ourselves, wake up and realize what could happen, how drastically our lives could change over the coming few years if we simply do nothing, continue to believe that somehow it will “all work out in the long run.”  A lot of people in Germany 90 years ago made the same mistake.

Jolly Monday Rides Again!

Good Monday morning, dear friends!  I wasn’t feeling well last night, so I asked Jolly ‘n Joyful to take over and finish up Jolly Monday for me.  Now mind you, I had visited Phil’s Phun earlier in the day and harvested some good ‘toons and such, so all the kids had to do was pull it together, add in some cuteness factor, and find a cute animal video.  Well, long story short, I sat in my lounge chair and read for a few hours, had a bit of a snooze, and when I woke up, I went in search of Jolly ‘n Joyful to see if they had finished.  It sat right where I had left it in the early afternoon, and I found the kids playing ping pong in the basement!  Kids today!!!  But anyway, I’m not complaining … I needed to get up and do something anyway.  So … how was your weekend?  Did you do anything interesting?  We were thankful to see cooler temperatures, finally, with highs only in the upper 70s.  The air quality is still horrible, though.

Joyful tells me it’s pizza week this week and she assures me there are enough pizzas with bacon for our bacon lovers!  So, let’s go find something yummy to feed our bellies, then we’ll find something funny to feed our spirits!

             

And for a special friend …


Since ‘toons is just about all we have today … let’s start out with a few of those …


And some memes …


I really like this ‘chore chart’ I came across!  Why, I think I could live by this one!


And now, the best part of Jolly Monday … a cute animal video!!!  It’s a short one, but oh so cute!


Well, my friends, the time has come for you to go do your things and for me to try to do mine … now where is that chore chart … ???  I hope you’re leaving with a full belly and a smile on your faces, and please, my friends, share those smiles this week.  The world is a scary place these days … we all need a smile.  I hope you have a wonderful week ahead.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly ‘n Joyful!

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Texas’ Abortion Ban

I haven’t re-blogged TokyoSand’s Saturday cartoon post for the past two weeks, for there is so much deeply wrong in this country today that the cartoons seemed to somehow fall flat with me.  However, given my own malaise and the primary topic of this week’s cartoons — women’s rights, which is near and dear to my own heart — I’ve decided to re-blog this week’s post.  The main topic, of course, is the new Texas law, currently upheld by the white-male-dominant Supreme Court, that has set women’s rights back a hundred years or more.  And then, there’s climate change — no longer is it possible to reject the science of climate change when we’re had uncontrollable wildfires, floods, and mega-storms, not to mention killer heat all summer long.  So, sit back and enjoy the ‘toons … you’ll find the entire collection over at Tokyo’s place (link at end).

Note to readers:  I have been having health issues for some 3 weeks now and my energy levels are on a roller coaster ride, mostly at the bottom of the track.  Therefore, I have not posted much and have not responded to comments at all, nor am I likely to try to catch up at this point.  I have read all comments, and appreciate those of you who have helped out by keeping the conversations going.  I shall pick up here and try not to fall behind again.  I appreciate your patience and apologize for my laziness.


See The Rest Of The ‘Toons Here!

Outraged!!!

There are so many competitors for my anger these days that I am often simply overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin.  This one, however, robbed me of a night’s sleep and nearly wrote itself in my head last night as I tried counting sheep, counting backward by 2s from 200, and played countless games of Sudoku on my phone.

The target of my acerbic tongue today?  Women’s rights … women’s rights that in the last two days have been set back by 100 years or more in the not-so-great state of Texas.  No, folks, this isn’t just about abortion as many would have you believe … this is about women’s rights.  Now that we are told we cannot decide for ourselves whether we are financially and emotionally ready to have a child, the rest of our rights will be as a house of cards.

The Texas legislature passed a draconian bill that was signed into law by the clown of a governor, Greg Abbott (the same man who is trying to kill the children of Texas by banning vaccine and mask mandates).  This bill prohibits abortion after 6 weeks … many, if not most women do not even know they are pregnant before six weeks!  And, long story short, if a woman has an abortion and a friend or neighbor report it, the reporter is eligible for a reward of up to $10,000 and the woman and the abortion provider can be sued by the state.

Worse yet … there are no exceptions in the cases of incest or rape.  Imagine this scenario …

16-year-old Chloe comes home late one night from a party dressed … well, rather scantily.  Her father, who has been tippling a few drinks, sees her, says he’s going to teach her a lesson, rips her clothes off of her and brutally rapes her on the living room sofa.  Chloe screams for her mother, but the mother claimed she heard nothing.  Chloe misses her next period but doesn’t think too much of it.  By the time she misses the second and seeks a medical consultation, it is too late for Chloe to seek an abortion.  With advice from her friends, she invests in a few packs of gauze and a pack of wire coat hangers, for she is not going to carry her half-brother or half-sister in her body for the next nine months.  Long story short, Chloe is now dead.

Variants of Chloe’s story will play throughout the state of Texas in the coming months/years.

The United States Supreme Court, our last bastion of hope for protecting our rights, has refused to block the Texas law.  Late last night, the Court announced it would not block the new Texas law while the legal challenge made its way through the federal courts. Amazing, even for this conservative court. It’s a sad day for women, but also for the rule of law.  I was pleased that Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the rights of women, even though he is not a fan of Roe v Wade.  But the other five – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Amy Barrett, and Samuel Alito – took an axe to women’s rights, ultimately throughout the nation.

This is a dark day for women in the United States.  If you think other states, emboldened by Texas’ easy success, won’t follow suit, then think again.  What’s next on the chopping block?  Our right to equal pay for equal work?  Our right to vote?  Our right to own property in our own name?  Our right to divorce our husbands?  All of these rights have come as a result of long, hard fights, and even today … the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that was first proposed in 1923, has not passed!  This amendment would solidify women’s rights in many areas including healthcare, housing, and the workplace, but … it seems doomed to fail.  WHY???

In 1972 Congress passed the ERA and it was sent to the states for a vote.  Simple, right?  Of course … 1972 … the world is enlightened, women have contributed in every area imaginable … a no-brainer!  HAH!  What happened?  In a word, the dishonourable Phyllis Schlafly.  A wolf in sheep’s clothing, Schlafly mounted a campaign to stop states from passing the ERA.  She warned women that if equal rights were enshrined in the Constitution, the heterosexual world order would collapse. Morality would fall by the wayside and women would be at risk of losing their femininity and the opportunities presented by marriage.

If the amendment passed, she wrote, women would be forced to go to war, would lose their right to child support and alimony, and society would fall apart. “The women’s libbers are radicals who are waging a total assault on the family, on marriage, and on children,” she said.

Eventually, the now-expired ERA will come back into the limelight and someday it may even become a Constitutional amendment, but likely not in my lifetime or yours.  Meanwhile, there is Texas and other states will follow.  My response to the draconian law in Texas is this:  Okay, fine, but no longer can a male walk into a doctor’s office and walk out with a prescription for Viagra.  No longer will men be given penile implants to extend their pleasure at our expense.  In fact, women should be much more discriminating about letting a man within 15 feet of her body!  Keep your wee willy winkies to yourself … buy yourself an inflatable doll!

The Texas law and the Supreme Court’s refusal to block it are the first step in what I predict will be a major setback for women’s rights across the nation.  What is it that makes us inferior in the eyes of so many – both men and women?  Is it that we weren’t born with that all-important anatomical part?  Is it that we don’t have deep voices and chest hair?  Or is it just that all that testosterone makes the male of the species need to feel superior over someone?  Either way … look out, guys, ‘cause one of these days we’re gonna rise above all this.

Differences

A view from across the big pond. Why is it that our friends outside the U.S. can so often see our situation with far more clarity than we can? Thank you, David, for an open-eyed view of what is happening here.

The BUTHIDARS

Kevin McCarthy’s statement

Image

In response, representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted the legal code: 18 U.S. Code § 1505: “Whoever…by any threatening letter or communication…endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede…the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any…investigation is being had by either House…Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned…”

My Response.

Kevin McCarthy, Marjie Greene, Matt Gaetz, and even Mitch McConnell’s attempts to gag private companies with undisguised threats puts every American at risk of not knowing the naames and degree of involvement certain politicians had in the attempted insurrection of January 6th 2021. Without this information American citizens are in danger of becoming subjects of a new form of dictatorial Government possibly under an already failed leader Donald Trump where a large part of the population would not even be allowed to vote. The words Surveillance State are used with the purpose of scaring the…

View original post 245 more words

Thoughts

What I’m about to say may earn me no brownie points, but … I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em.  I have been criticized and called on the carpet by one reader for not addressing the 13 U.S. military men and women who were killed last week during a suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.  The attack was perpetrated by a branch of daesh, ISIS-K.

Yes, I am deeply saddened by the deaths of these 13 men and women, all of whom were loved and important to many people.  However, another 100+ (numbers are uncertain at this time) or more Afghanis were also killed in the same attack, some of them young children.  How can I write a tribute to the U.S. military dead without also memorializing those innocent Afghani civilians?  Can anyone reading this tell me that the military staff were somehow more important, more valuable people than those Afghanis?  If you can, I would very much like to hear your reasoning.

A life.  No, not all lives are equal in what they produce during their time here on earth.  You have people like Dr. Martin Luther King who did so much good in his short 39 years here on earth, then you have the average John Doe who makes many friends over a lifetime, but his contributions are mainly small, local ones.  Does that make John Doe’s life worth less than MLK’s?  Certainly not to his spouse, children, grandchildren, and the friends he made over the course of his life.  Yes, there is a day set aside every year to honour Dr. King but not John Doe.  But you know John’s family has a special day of remembrance for him.  He was important, too.

When the evacuation from Afghanistan is complete, when final tally is in, I will likely write about all those who died this month, including the 13 soldiers.  But folks, it ain’t over yet.  The Taliban, the U.S., and some 96 other nations have agreed to allow the evacuations to continue past the August 31st deadline.  At least twice in recent days, additional attacks, presumably by ISIS-K, have been thwarted by U.S. drone attacks, the most recent of which killed Afghan children.  As of today, we have no idea what the final tally will be.  The end of the story has yet to be written.

And while I’m on that topic, I will also not point fingers of blame at either President Biden, or any of the former presidents who made mistakes that cost lives in Afghanistan.  There will be a time to assess what we might have done better starting back in 2001, how we might have prevented the deaths of 2,400 U.S. military and countless Afghanis who have been killed over the past 20 years as a result of our occupation of Afghanistan. But first we must finish the task at hand.  There will be plenty of blame to go around, I’m sure, and it must be analyzed, and the entire story told.  In time.  But the blame is far less important that the lessons for the future we must learn from the mistakes of the past. Today, we get as many people out of Afghanistan as we possibly can, bring them to safety, then figure out how best to help them assimilate into our country, our culture.

I am not being heartless.  My heart aches for the families of the men and women who are coming home in body bags, but it also aches for the mother who just lost her child in Kabul, the father who lost his entire family.  A human life is important no matter what clothing covers it, no matter what skin colour, no matter what religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Sixty-Six Years Ago …

It was sixty-six years ago today that a 14-year-old boy, Emmett Till, was brutally murdered for the crime of being Black in a town called Money, Mississippi.  You all know the story, but allow me to just quickly refresh your memories …

Emmett was from ‘up north’ in Chicago, but his mother had sent him to Mississippi to spend the final two weeks of summer with his beloved grandfather before returning to school.  One day he went into a small store to buy some candy and as the cashier returned his change, his hand accidentally and briefly touched hers.  That, my friends, was all it took to get this young man killed.

By the time the story had been spread and embellished on, it was said that he caressed the clerk … a woman much older than Emmett who he would likely have seen as being the age of his own mother … had wolf-whistled and flirted with her.  While none of these are crimes, more importantly, he did none of the above as witnesses would later recall.  But this was Mississippi in the 1950s, the Jim Crow era.

Long story short, his assailants—the white woman’s husband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother, John Milam—dragged young Emmett from his grandfather’s home and made him carry a 75-pound cotton gin fan to the bank of the Tallahatchie River and ordered him to take off his clothes. The two men then beat him nearly to death, gouged out his eye, shot him in the head and then threw his body, tied to the cotton gin fan with barbed wire, into the river.

In September a trial was held for the two murderers and on September 23, the all-white, all-male jury deliberated 67 minutes before acquitting Bryant and Milam. Jurors later admitted in interviews that although they knew Bryant and Milam were guilty of Till’s murder, they did not think imprisonment or the death penalty were appropriate punishments for white men who had killed a black man.  The white woman, Carolyn Bryant, later recanted her testimony.

Why do I rehash this story today?  This is one of thousands of tragic stories from that era, but it is one that has received the most attention, one that we can point to and say, “That is who we used to be.”  Or … can we?  I have fairly recently come to believe that it is still who some of us are today.  I don’t think it’s a long stretch of the imagination to think of a similar atrocity happening in 21st Century Mississippi … or Alabama … Louisiana … Texas.

This is why we MUST teach about Emmett Till and the others in our schools today.  We must open the eyes of our young people to the past in order to ensure we don’t repeat that sordid past.  Just a few weeks ago, before Afghanistan took the spotlight, there was a big brouhaha about teaching ‘Critical Race Theory’ in the schools.  There is an element of our society who would have future generations believe that the U.S. was founded only on compassion and altruism, that the nation’s history is all rosy and beautiful.  It isn’t.

Every single schoolchild by the age of 12 should be aware of the story of Emmett Till, as well as Thomas Moss, Will Stewart, Calvin McDowell and thousands of others. Don’t recognize those names?  Look them up!  Some 6,500 Black people were lynched in the United States between 1865 and 1950 – and that’s only the ones we know about.  No, this is not the ‘pretty’ part of our history BUT … it IS part of our history, part of what has made this nation what it is today.  To hide it, to sweep it under the carpet, is criminal and ultimately will lead us right back to that dirty, dark place of the Jim Crow era.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go back there.

It Should Be Humanitarian, Not Political!

The 24/7 press about the situation in Afghanistan wears on one’s psyche, especially in light of all the finger-pointing, mud-slinging and everyone putting their own coat of varnish on the situation and its political ramifications.  I am a forever supporter of a free press, but … in return, I expect them to be responsible in their reporting.  This responsibility seems to be largely lacking at the moment.

Nobody can sum up a situation quite like New York Times’ Frank Bruni, so I shall leave it to him to unpack the current chaos …


Stop Politicizing the Misery in Afghanistan

By Frank Bruni

Opinion writer

26 August 2021

Democrats are panicked that the debacle in Afghanistan will shake American voters’ confidence in not only President Biden but also the rest of the party, potentially costing it control of the Senate and the House in 2022. They’ve said as much — to me, to other journalists, to anyone who will listen.

I wish they’d stop, because their political fate is nothing next to the fate of Afghans on the wrong side of the Taliban. And every time they communicate as much concern with the party’s near future as with Afghanistan’s, they inch toward the very destiny they dread.

To review: There were explosions today outside the airport in Kabul, underscoring how gravely dangerous the situation there is. Afghans have been crushed to death in stampedes to that area. Many who took considerable risks to help us now justifiably fear brutal reprisals from the Taliban and cannot count on us to get them to safety. Refugees have traded one hell for another: fetid, sweltering, rat-infested camps unfit for even fleeting human habitation. And some of our allies have struggled to rescue their own citizens and lost yet more faith in the United States.

But, sure, let’s talk about domestic politics and the midterms — which, mind you, are more than 14 months away.

I’m not minimizing the stakes of those elections. Given the Republican Party’s capitulation to conspiracy theories, its contempt for democratic norms, the paranoia of Marjorie Taylor Greene, the depravity of Matt Gaetz, the cowardice of Kevin McCarthy and the stubborn pull of their orange overlord, a Republican takeover of Congress would likely be disastrous.

But you know how Democrats and the media can increase the odds of that? By framing too much in those terms. By conspicuously keeping score: This event works to our advantage, that development works in theirs, we drew blood here, they drew blood there. When everyone seems equally political, everything is reduced to politics, and voters have a harder time seeing who’s on their side. They see only a contest with contestants out for themselves.

Republicans are goading Democrats, that’s for sure. Donald Trump is mocking them and Fox News taunting them — by politically weaponizing the misery in Afghanistan and casting it as an illustration of Biden’s and Democrats’ unfitness to govern.

Let them. They look parochial at best, callous at worst and opportunistic through and through. They’re right to demand more of the country and its president than what we’ve seen in regard to Afghanistan, and it’s fine to discuss that, but not in a tone so nakedly partisan and not with a memory so audaciously selective.

Trump would have done us prouder? Hah. The United States was humiliated repeatedly and spectacularly under his, um, leadership, as he gleefully trashed our most cherished ideals. What’s more, there was nothing in his magnitude of ignorance, self-consumption and neglect to suggest that he would have accomplished a withdrawal from Afghanistan — which, mind you, he was insistent about — with more grace. Any assertion otherwise charts the confluence of runaway revisionism and pure fantasy.

But if Democrats want to be sure to beat Republicans, their best bet is to be not like them: to focus on the substance of problems rather than their political implications, to talk about solutions without calculating their political benefit. In these jaded times, a little genuine earnestness could go a long way.

That holds true for the media as well. In an excellent column in The Washington Post recently, Margaret Sullivan rued the fact that reporting on government has become reporting on politics, although the two aren’t — or at least shouldn’t be — the same. Her prompt was the fight between Democrats and Republicans over a congressional investigation into the events of Jan. 6. She implored journalists to “stop asking who the winners and losers were in the latest skirmish. Start asking who is serving the democracy and who is undermining it. Stop being ‘savvy’ and start being patriotic.”

Amen. A similar plea has a place in the coverage of Afghanistan. I’ve pretty much given up on Republicans for the time being, but I’m still rooting for better from Democrats, who should focus on how the United States honors the promises we made in Afghanistan, limits the suffering there and reclaims a place of honor and reliability in global affairs. I don’t want the handicapping of the 2022 horse race, at least not right now.