To Have Heroes, You Must Have Villains

 

https://davereaboi.substack.com/p/a-few-good-reasons-to-hate-liz-cheney

Liz Cheney’s martyrdom is catnip for a dwindling number of Republicans who, unable to recognize what time it is, prioritize performative virtue in politics. These people–nearly all suburban, moderate, establishment Republicans employed as conservative columnists–seek their reflection in the politicians they support, because their heroes’ supposedly superior virtue reflects back on them.

It has long been obvious to me that there is a difference in how invested we are in having a President who reflects our class, our aspirations, our style, and mostly our virtues. Or those that want certain things done or followed and are more forgiving of personal and social differences.

We’ve had the heroes, and they haven’t come through.

We’ve supported the nice guys, the Romney moral-pillars too.

They seem to hold a passionate belief that a President is our highest moral Avatar.  It’s not altogether wrong that we should always want some perfect American ideal to represent us and make us proud. But it isn’t wise.

And they will forgive him from not doing anything real and will worship him, liken unto Reagan, as long as he makes fine inspirational speeches and has never cheated on his wife or spoken crudely.

Politics is something of a hobby to these people,  it doesn’t affect their lives much in that circle.

Meanwhile, out here where politics affects us,  we are ignored, or dismissed as unschooled rubes who don’t see what’s best for America….. the Western Alliance, world bank, WHO,  CDC,   Pizzer and something they read in the Wall St. Journal…..

This allows them to flatter their own egos without feelings of shame or self-aggrandizement. “Mitt Romey is a good man,” they’ve repeated, mantra-like since the Utah Senator’s spectacular loss in 2012—even as that assessment is based solely on a carefully-crafted media campaign that hardened, through much repetition, into conventional wisdom. (Of course, Romney is a stand-in for any number of political figures the media has assured us are “good, honorable men,” from Volodymyr Zelensky to John McCain. Just ask them.)

They were overly enamored of John McCain’s service and hero-status, and were blissfully unaware that McCain’s usefulness to the media would abruptly end as soon as he faced a Democrat.

They are naturally attracted to the hero/villain model of politics and reportage.

Creative Writing 101: How do we make our heroes look better? Create better villains.

Hence Donald Trump. He makes a great villain. And they are so good at framing him – an apt term – as such an oaf.

Every popular drama, all of these Netflix serials, and Marvel Comic movies are trying to create more despicable villains. It drives everything.

Trump is the ‘heel’ in wrestling. The guy everyone loves to hate. He certainly has played into this if not consciously.

They are what holds the audience’s attention and they drive the story.

But in our reality tv world, they needed another one, and Putin (previously the under-villain of Trump) now elevated to top world villain.

I remember discussions here about how to deal with the ‘biased press’ ( how quaint) where one faction advocated for Republicans to shrug it off and take it as a challenge. And just don’t give them ammunition. (!)

They couldn’t see the blatant animosity and partisan dedication of these entrenched media people, and they never understood how easy it is to craft a narrative against anyone. Just stupid.

.…write a rambling column at National Review like the sad Jay Nordlinger. These people—especially these people—require heroes on the political stage to reflect their heroic self-conceptions back at them. And for this gig, Liz Cheney is perfect; she is their square-jawed truth-teller, a paragon of “honor.” The jeers from low conservatives make it all the more potent and thrilling.

It comes in large part from the Clinton years, when Republicans (myself at the time) were appalled and many felt that this is cause for impeachment.

More than political positions, moral conduct became a focus.

Now, any errant misstep in youth can now scuttle a bid for office, and so we got the squeaky-clean, empty-suit Ken Doll as nominee in 2012. It’s amazing he got as many votes as he did. But that’s over.

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  1. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Sorry for the formatting here. Any tips?

    • #1
  2. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Well put Franco! I was under that delusion in the ’90s and early ’00s. Then Barry took office and I saw the Dems just have will to power and don’t let things like anti-Semitism, corruption, racism, etc., get in the way.

    Not saying the Repubs should have racist candidates or anything like that. But those accusations should be ignored anyway. Any Republican candidate is going to be called a racist, traitor, a neo-Nazi, what have you. Hell, they called old Mitt all of that. Shrug it off and just win, baby!

    • #2
  3. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Well put Franco! I was under that delusion in the ’90s and early ’00s. Then Barry took office and I saw the Dems just have will to power and don’t let things like anti-Semitism, corruption, racism, etc., get in the way.

    Not saying the Repubs should have racist candidates or anything like that. But those accusations should be ignored anyway. Any Republican candidate is going to be called a racist, traitor, a neo-Nazi, what have you. Hell, they called old Mitt all of that. Shrug it off and just win, baby!

    Yeah, I hope that everyone on Ricochet saw Tucker Carlson tonight.  He gave the Republicans (including Mitch) a well-deserved reaming because of the way they’re about to blow the 2022 elections.

    • #3
  4. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Franco (View Comment):

    Sorry for the formatting here. Any tips?

    What formatting error?  It’s very readable.

    • #4
  5. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Yes, I am not Mitt Romney. I am not a Hollywood profile of a politician. But I came from the streets and I know the real people of this country and I fight for them. Whoever gets in their way is my enemy and I will fight them whether they are China, the DOJ, RINOs or whomever. Bring it on. I am the Batman!

    • #5
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    I read this bit a few days ago, and yes the whole thing is quite good.

    Also, really biting.

    Cheney has a seriousness and sobriety about her, which is key to her appeal as a martyr. The martyr fetish is something that overlaps with the sexual or political cuckold: the humiliation that comes from rejection is the thrill.

    This is best exemplified by perforative martyr David French, the Atlantic writer who, for the last half-decade, has seemed eager to play out his psychosexual fantasies publicly. Since 2016, he has lashed out in vicious and brutal columns about Trump voters, especially Christians—and then, of course, he gets to wave his own bloody shirt, writing almost erotically about people saying nasty things to and about him on the Internet. Like a martyr or a cuckold, the hatred he engenders proves the rightness of his cause and, more importantly, his superior virtue.

    But not everyone can be a martyr as an Atlantic columnist, or get a donor’s sinecure to write a rambling column at National Review like the sad Jay Nordlinger.

    . . .

    No, it didn’t begin with January 6th. For four years on the Hill, Cheney–together with the remnants of the failed Weekly Standard–relatively quietly indulged in the Democrats’ most absurd Russia conspiracy theories. They circulated now-discredited opposition research, listened to maniacs hawking books and podcasts to Democrat hyper-partisans, and nodded sagely when discussing absurdities like Jon Chait’s 4000-word claim that the ex-president has spent nearly four decades as a deep cover KGB agent of influence.

    Cheney and the boys who send her love notes at the Dispatch and Bulwark aren’t necessarily dumb or unsophisticated people; they’re just broken. They are blinded by a hatred that deforms their ability to properly assess situations. The bottomless evil they saw in Trump, they believed, made him capable of anything. And, if he was capable, he was surely guilty of anything the most fevered imagination could concoct.

    It’s no surprise that, after years of mounting obsession—and the frustration of not being able to kill-shot and drive Donald Trump from public life, both the rhetoric and the regime’s actions have escalated into frightening, Late Republic territory. Summoning all the gravitas she could muster, Cheney—and then her father, the former vice president—referred to Donald Trump as “the greatest ever threat to our Republic.”

     

    • #6
  7. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    And when they talk about Trump (and his voters) as the greatest threat to the United States (see General Hayden’s insanity this week), that simply gives them pretext for justified assassination.

    Sort of like how if you call everyone on the right Nazis until even your grandma believes it, it makes it so much easier to just shoot them in the streets. Because who cares if you shoot a Nazi.

    • #7
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Franco: These people—especially these people—require heroes on the political stage to reflect their heroic self-conceptions back at them.

    I think this is right, although it might not go far enough.

    I’m no psychologist, but I’ve listened to Jordan Peterson, so. . . On the Left this phenomenon goes under the heading “white savior complex.” This is why we on the Right recognize the racism inherent in Democrats and their policies. Whatever they *say*, they *act* as if blacks can’t succeed without them, and their policies reflect their sense of white racial superiority. Blacks *need* (white) Democrats. Just ask them.

    The same is true of Trump haters. They’ve convinced themselves they’re the ones who have to save “our democracy,” “the party,” “the republic” from Ultra MAGA King Trump. And they go so far as to say they’ll do *anything* to keep Trump from entering the Oval Office again (paraphrasing Liz Cheney). Even going so far as to campaign for and vote for Democrats. That would be the Democrat party of baby killers, pervy groomers, police defunders, America haters, terrorist appeasers and cancel culture — the true threat to the Republic. Anything to be the savior of “our democracy,” including disenfranchising and silencing half the country. Seize our guns and bank accounts? What *wouldn’t* they do to save America from MAGA extremists? Or, as I like to say, regular Americans and patriots.

    The other resemblance to the Left is projection of their own vices onto their fellow countrymen enemies. There’s such a deep lack of self-awareness that one might even conclude there’s a spiritual, not just psychological, element to it. But, that’s just my unprofessional assessment.

    • #8
  9. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    I hear Liz Cheney make more than $33 million dollars in Congress — current total worth: $44 million.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/08/17/tucker_carlson_how_did_liz_cheney_make_40_million_during_only_six_years_in_congress.html

     

    • #9
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I hear Liz Cheney make more than $33 million dollars in Congress — current total worth: $44 million.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/08/17/tucker_carlson_how_did_liz_cheney_make_40_million_during_only_six_years_in_congress.html

    Pretty sweet gig being a “public servant.” Who knew going into “service” was so lucrative? 

    • #10
  11. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I hear Liz Cheney make more than $33 million dollars in Congress — current total worth: $44 million.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/08/17/tucker_carlson_how_did_liz_cheney_make_40_million_during_only_six_years_in_congress.html

     

    As I commented on a different post, financial disclosures for Congress-critters are in ranges that are surprisingly wide. The one Cheney reported is something like $10.6 million to $44 million. So she could be worth “up to $44 million” or as “little” as $10.6 million. Quite a difference (at least to them).

    • #11
  12. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I hear Liz Cheney make more than $33 million dollars in Congress — current total worth: $44 million.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/08/17/tucker_carlson_how_did_liz_cheney_make_40_million_during_only_six_years_in_congress.html

     

    As I commented on a different post, financial disclosures for Congress-critters are in ranges that are surprisingly wide. The one Cheney reported is something like $10.6 million to $44 million. So she could be worth “up to $44 million” or as “little” as $10.6 million. Quite a difference (at least to them).

    Tucker is quoting Center for Responsive Politics, saying that she had “$7 million” when she took office six years ago, and now has “more than $44 million”.  I don’t think they’re talking about just the top of a bracket.  At the vary least she made 3.6 million in 6 years, which really beats the mean American income.

    • #12
  13. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Flicker (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I hear Liz Cheney make more than $33 million dollars in Congress — current total worth: $44 million.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/08/17/tucker_carlson_how_did_liz_cheney_make_40_million_during_only_six_years_in_congress.html

     

    As I commented on a different post, financial disclosures for Congress-critters are in ranges that are surprisingly wide. The one Cheney reported is something like $10.6 million to $44 million. So she could be worth “up to $44 million” or as “little” as $10.6 million. Quite a difference (at least to them).

    Tucker is quoting Center for Responsive Politics, saying that she had “$7 million” when she took office six years ago, and now has “more than $44 million”. I don’t think they’re talking about just the top of a bracket. At the vary least she made 3.6 million in 6 years, which really beats the mean American income.

    Where is the Center for Responsive Politics getting their data? If it’s from the financial disclosures required of Congress, then it’s a range and they’re being deliberately deceptive.

    If they’re getting it from somewhere else, well, that implies the CRP is doing a lot of other research that would probably require some sort of illegal/unethical disclosure by brokerages/banks/etc.

    • #13
  14. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    I read this bit a few days ago, and yes the whole thing is quite good.

    Also, really biting.

    Cheney has a seriousness and sobriety about her, which is key to her appeal as a martyr. The martyr fetish is something that overlaps with the sexual or political cuckold: the humiliation that comes from rejection is the thrill.

    This is best exemplified by perforative martyr David French, the Atlantic writer who, for the last half-decade, has seemed eager to play out his psychosexual fantasies publicly. Since 2016, he has lashed out in vicious and brutal columns about Trump voters, especially Christians—and then, of course, he gets to wave his own bloody shirt, writing almost erotically about people saying nasty things to and about him on the Internet. Like a martyr or a cuckold, the hatred he engenders proves the rightness of his cause and, more importantly, his superior virtue.

    But not everyone can be a martyr as an Atlantic columnist, or get a donor’s sinecure to write a rambling column at National Review like the sad Jay Nordlinger.

    . . .

    No, it didn’t begin with January 6th. For four years on the Hill, Cheney–together with the remnants of the failed Weekly Standard–relatively quietly indulged in the Democrats’ most absurd Russia conspiracy theories. They circulated now-discredited opposition research, listened to maniacs hawking books and podcasts to Democrat hyper-partisans, and nodded sagely when discussing absurdities like Jon Chait’s 4000-word claim that the ex-president has spent nearly four decades as a deep cover KGB agent of influence.

    Cheney and the boys who send her love notes at the Dispatch and Bulwark aren’t necessarily dumb or unsophisticated people; they’re just broken. They are blinded by a hatred that deforms their ability to properly assess situations. The bottomless evil they saw in Trump, they believed, made him capable of anything. And, if he was capable, he was surely guilty of anything the most fevered imagination could concoct.

    It’s no surprise that, after years of mounting obsession—and the frustration of not being able to kill-shot and drive Donald Trump from public life, both the rhetoric and the regime’s actions have escalated into frightening, Late Republic territory. Summoning all the gravitas she could muster, Cheney—and then her father, the former vice president—referred to Donald Trump as “the greatest ever threat to our Republic.”

     

    Cuckservatives.

     

    I find it so rich when they accused the everyday Americans of worshipping Trump. It was so obvious that their hang up with Trump was THEY couldn’t worship the President. No leg tingles, no perfectly manicured hair, no moral paragon.

    I am so sorry we deprived you of a new god for the Pantheon of American Republican Presidents. Olympus has truly fallen, and good riddance. I’m totally ok without needing to build a shrine to Trump.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Inactive
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Stina (View Comment):
    I am so sorry we deprived you of a new god for the Pantheon of American Republican Presidents. Olympus has truly fallen, and good riddance. I’m totally ok without needing to build a shrine to Trump.

    Yet they are trying mightily to build their shrine to HATING Trump.

    • #15
  16. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I hear Liz Cheney make more than $33 million dollars in Congress — current total worth: $44 million.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/08/17/tucker_carlson_how_did_liz_cheney_make_40_million_during_only_six_years_in_congress.html

     

    As I commented on a different post, financial disclosures for Congress-critters are in ranges that are surprisingly wide. The one Cheney reported is something like $10.6 million to $44 million. So she could be worth “up to $44 million” or as “little” as $10.6 million. Quite a difference (at least to them).

    Tucker is quoting Center for Responsive Politics, saying that she had “$7 million” when she took office six years ago, and now has “more than $44 million”. I don’t think they’re talking about just the top of a bracket. At the vary least she made 3.6 million in 6 years, which really beats the mean American income.

    Where is the Center for Responsive Politics getting their data? If it’s from the financial disclosures required of Congress, then it’s a range and they’re being deliberately deceptive.

    If they’re getting it from somewhere else, well, that implies the CRP is doing a lot of other research that would probably require some sort of illegal/unethical disclosure by brokerages/banks/etc.

    It’s possible.

    • #16
  17. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    I think we need to see the president as head bureaucrat and nothing more.  The problem is the progressive movement was to push all of congresses responsibilities to the executive branch. Now we live by “the phone and pen” executive where the policies of the federal government is setting policy by executive orders rather than through the legislative branch.  I do not think this will end anytime soon. The members of congress would rather be pundits than legislators.  

    • #17
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