Like Bari Weiss, Andrew Sullivan is pro-Biden but worried

January 23, 2021 • 11:00 am

If you didn’t like Bari Weiss’s reservations about potential problems with the Biden administration, which include its truckling to the Woke, you’re really not going to like Andrew Sullivan’s latest piece at The Weekly Dish (click on screenshot below). For Sullivan has a take almost identical to Weiss’s, and yet I sympathize with some of his worries.

Click on screenshot to read it (you’ll probably need a subscription, but I’ll give a few quotes). One note: You are free to say what you want in the comments, including that you’re not worried about this stuff, but please don’t tell me that I’m not allowed to have concerns—that now I should be celebrating rather than nitpicking. I am in fact doing both!

Like Weiss, Sullivan begins (and ends) by expressing some fealty towards Biden and hopes that his administration will succeed. He notes that Biden’s Inaugural speech was uninspiring and in fact anodyne, and Sullivan’s right. But, as I’ve noted before, in those words we saw the real Joe: a decent and straightforward man with a vision, however unrealistic it is. He is not an orator. Sullivan:

But [Biden’s Inaugural speech] matched the occasion: it was conventional, banal even, and anodyne. And how much we’ve missed banality! Biden boldly asked us to be against “anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness,” and to reaffirm the “history, faith and reason” that provides unity. Sure. Okay. At that level of pabulum, who indeed could differ? And a nation united in pabulum is better than one divided into two tribal camps waging an “uncivil war” against each other about everything.

And if Biden sticks to this kind of common ground, it will serve him well. He is lucky, in many ways, to succeed Trump. Any normal inauguration would feel transcendent after the sack of the capitol.

After praising Joe for his pandemic response, economic stimulus package, energy plan, and so on, Sullivan gets down to business. Here are his areas of concern (Sullivan’s quotes are indented, mine flush left).

1.) Immigration.  The Democrats really need to put together a sensible immigration policy that doesn’t say “open borders” to Americans. If they don’t do this, they’re shooting themselves in the foot, and risk big losses in the midterm elections.

But Biden has also shown this week that his other ambitions are much more radical. On immigration, Biden is way to Obama’s left, proposing a mass amnesty of millions of illegal immigrants, a complete moratorium on deportations, and immediate revocation of the bogus emergency order that allowed Trump to bypass Congress and spend money building his wall. Fine, I guess. But without very significant addition of border controls as a deterrent, this sends a signal to tens of millions in Central to South America to get here as soon as possible. Biden could find, very quickly, that the “unity” he preaches will not survive such an effectively open-borders policy, or another huge crisis at the border. He is doubling down on the very policies that made a Trump presidency possible. In every major democracy, mass immigration has empowered the far right. Instead of easing white panic about changing demographics, Biden just intensified it.

2.) Equity versus equality. It behooves all of us to understand the difference. I hope that Biden does! At present he seems to be bowing before Critical Theory in his executive orders:

Biden has also signaled (and by executive order, has already launched) a very sharp departure from liberalism in his approach to civil rights. The vast majority of Americans support laws that protect minorities from discrimination, so that every American can have equality of opportunity, without their own talents being held back by prejudice. But Biden’s speech and executive orders come from a very different place. They explicitly replace the idea of equality in favor of what anti-liberal critical theorists call “equity.” They junk equality of opportunity in favor of equality of outcomes. Most people won’t notice that this new concept has been introduced — equity, equality, it all sounds the same — but they’ll soon find out the difference.

In critical theory, as James Lindsay explains, “‘equality’ means that citizen A and citizen B are treated equally, while ‘equity’ means adjusting shares in order to make citizen A and B equal.” Here’s how Biden defines “equity”: “the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.”

In less tortured English, equity means giving the the named identity groups a specific advantage in treatment by the federal government over other groups — in order to make up for historic injustice and “systemic” oppression. Without “equity”, the argument runs, there can be no real “equality of opportunity.” Equity therefore comes first. Until equity is reached, equality is postponed — perhaps for ever.

I’m not sure that Biden’s definition adheres to the equity limned by Lindsay. All we can do is wait and see what Biden proposes. His executive order does seem to conflate “equity” and “equality of opportunity,” so someone should at least tell Joe the difference.

I think that for the near future the Democratic policy should be a combination of both equity and equality: some affirmative action but with the real work—and the hard work—being done on the level Sullivan notes in the paragraph just below. For the truth is that until equality is reached, equity won’t follow except though some kind of affirmative action. Like Sullivan, my goal is equality: equality of opportunity for all, which means removing the barriers to achievement that have impeded oppressed groups for decades. That takes a huge influx of effort and money into poor communities, and I’d hope we have the will and the funds to do that. But I’d throw some equity in there, too, for a government that at least doesn’t in part include representatives from all groups loses its credibility. Sullivan sees Biden adhering to the Ibram X. Kendi view of racial equity. I’m not yet sure of that, but Biden does seem to be going in that direction.

Sullivan saying, correct, what we really need to do:

Helping level up regions and populations that have experienced greater neglect or discrimination in the past is a good thing. But you could achieve this if you simply focused on relieving poverty in the relevant communities. You could invest in schools, reform policing, target environmental clean-ups, grow the economy, increase federal attention to the neglected, and thereby help the needy in precisely these groups. But that would not reflect critical theory’s insistence that race and identity trump class, and that America itself is inherently, from top to b

3.) Gay and gender issues. Like me (I think), Sullivan is in favor of equality based on sex and gender (including transgender people), but has some worries that the Biden administration will neglect those issues in which sex and gender issues mandate some inequality:

Biden’s executive order on “LGBTQ+” is also taken directly from critical gender and queer theory. Take the trans question. Most decent people support laws that protect transgender people from discrimination — which, after the Bostock decision, is already the law of the land. But this is not enough for Biden. He takes the view that the law should go further and insist that trans women are absolutely indistinguishable from biological women — which erases any means of enforcing laws that defend biological women as a class. If your sex is merely what you say it is, without any reference to biological reality, then it is no longer sex at all. It’s gender, period. It’s socially constructed all the way down.

Most of the time, you can ignore this insanity and celebrate greater visibility and protection for trans people. But in a few areas, biology matters. Some traumatized women who have been abused by men do not want to be around biological males in prison or shelters, even if they identify as women. I think these women should be accommodated. There are also places where we segregate by sex — like showers, locker rooms — for reasons of privacy. I think that allowing naked biological men and boys to be in the same showers as naked biological women and girls is asking for trouble — especially among teens. But for Biden, this is non-negotiable, and all objections are a function of bigotry.

And in sports, the difference between the physiology of men and women makes a big difference. That’s the entire point of having separate male and female sports, in the first place. Sure, you can suppress or enhance hormones. But you will never overcome the inherited, permanent effects of estrogen and testosterone in childhood and adolescence. Male and female bodies are radically different, because without that difference, our entire species would not exist. Replacing sex with gender threatens women’s sports for that simple reason.

Now people have said these are “quibbles” I’m less worried about locker rooms than about sports, prisons, rape counseling and women’s problems. Granted, these are not as pressing as are issues of inequality, climate change, and economics.) But they’re not quibbles, for a). they bear on issues of fundamental fairness, and those issues won’t go away; and b). the way Biden’s administration works this out will have consequences for the acceptance of the Democratic Party as a whole—for our continuing control of the House and Senate (the Supreme Court is already lost for several decades). And remember, Biden casts himself not as a messenger of Wokeness, but as a healer. If he’s to heal, he has to realize that most Americans want a sensible immigration policy, want equality but only a temporary remediation of inequity via affirmative action, and don’t want untreated biological men serving time in women’s prisons or participating in women’s sports. So far Biden’s policies seem to me way too conciliatory towards Critical Theory. That is to be expected if he’s clueless about Critical Theory and also keen to not be called a racist by more leftist Democrats.

Sullivan ends this way:

I wonder if Joe Biden even knows what critical theory is. But he doesn’t have to. It is the successor ideology to liberalism among elites, a now-mandatory ideology if you want to keep your job. But Biden’s emphatic backing of this illiberal, discriminatory project on his first day is relevant. He has decided to encourage “unity” by immediately pursuing policies that inflame Republicans and conservatives and normies more than any others.

And those policies are obviously unconstitutional. . .

. . . I want Biden to succeed. I want Republicans to moderate. I want to lower the temperature. I want to emphasize those policies that really do bring us closer together, even though many may still freely dissent. Biden says he wants to as well. But none of that can or will happen if the president fuels the culture war this aggressively, this crudely, and this soon. You don’t get to unite the country by dividing it along these deep and inflammatory issues of identity. And you don’t achieve equality of opportunity by enforcing its antithesis.

I’ve quoted too freely here, and you should pay the $50 per year to read Sullivan (and perhaps Bari Weiss), because they’re good writers, because they may have views that don’t exactly jibe with yours, and because you need to read something besides the New York Times and Washington Post, which have already caved to Critical Theory. Actually, I pay $4 per month to read the NYT, so I’m paying more to read Sullivan (and Weiss, if I subscribe) than to read whole newspapers. I’ll live.

Yes, we can and should celebrate the unexpected victory of the Democrats as well as their takeover of Congress. But remember too that Biden promised to heal, and you won’t heal America by imposing Critical Theory on it.


45 thoughts on “Like Bari Weiss, Andrew Sullivan is pro-Biden but worried

  1. I noticed many folks here stumbling over themselves yesterday saying that since they don’t like Bari Weiss they don’t have to consider her arguments or that they are just too happy that the orange ass-pimple is finally gone that they don’t want to think too hard about what Biden is proposing.

    It’s whistling past the graveyard. Wokeism can’t be stopped, certainly not by a kind, decent 80 year old man, no matter his authority. It is too deeply entrenched and will take a generation (or more) to overcome. Sullivan and Weiss may be saying things some don’t want to hear, or at least saying it when people don’t want to hear it, but the warning signs are clear. Or they ought to be, anyway. Whatever one hopes from the Biden/Harris administration, it is best to hope they can get it done in the next two years because the Democrat’s inevitable embrace of Wokist idiocy will cost them the Congress.

  2. I do not really like to agree 100% with our host, since it appears so echo-chambre-like, but here I have to concur 100%.
    I’d like to add that, although ‘genuine’ trans women undoubtedly exist, I’m suspecting that a lot of the present bunch follows a fashion of ‘failed males’ to get back at women, raping them in jails or shelters, beating them at sports, etc.

  3. The languages of the left and right have diverged so sharply that we can’t even talk to each other now. Did you see the videos embedded in Frank Luntz’s tweet? Truly depressing. I hold Trump and the media responsible for spreading their common wallow of mud.

    1. Well yes, but one should never wrestle pigs – both get covered in shit, but the pig likes it. We have only ourselves to blame; Trump is a symptom, not a cause.

    2. i disagree–the left and right can certainly talk, but neither the left nor the right can talk to 45ers…

  4. I still think Biden is doing a little here to just mollify the Far Left. I have a hard time imagining that Biden will fully (or even partially) embrace Wokeism. As to him opening up the borders, I hold my opinion until we see what he proposes. He is also very up-front about the fact that, whatever is proposed by his administration, it is just the start of a negotiation involving both parties and all sides.

    1. Mollifying the Far Left is the wrong tactic. They managed to win, but only by a rather narrow margin (52:48) against the worst opponent imaginable (so how would they perform against a capable and charismatic opponent?). They should not be caring about the Far Left of their party, they should be appealing to the moderate, centrist minded voter.

      1. It’s a matter of degree. So far I don’t think Biden has done much of substance to mollify them. Using “equity” instead of “equality” can be regarded by the CRT folks as crucial but everyone else can easily ignore it.

  5. I just finished listening to Sullivan’s podcast with David Frum. They have known each other for some years and their respect for each other’s opinion comes through. They actually disagree on whether the outrage over Trump and Russia was justified. Sullivan has often stated that he thinks the MSM was overly obsessed with this. Frum thinks it was all justified and that we never did get to the bottom of it. I got the feeling that Sullivan gives some ground on this but it might have just been the mutual respect showing through. There’s also a good discussion of immigration and its effect on American society. Frum makes some important points.

  6. “it is just the start of a negotiation involving both parties and all sides.”

    And that’s his mistake. The only “unity” for Republicans is to fully embrace their agenda, a lesson Obama learned too late. If Biden wastes as much time as Obama did in trying to mollify Republicans, so that little gets done, then Democrats will surely pay the price in the next election.

    1. Biden was there during the Obama years so I’m sure he knows that the Republicans may give him nothing. Still, I think he is taking the right stance. If they cooperate, fine. If they don’t, then make it as obvious as possible that they are obstructing progress. It’s the best he can do. Based on Biden’s reversal of Trump’s Executive Orders, it doesn’t seem that Biden is overly respecting Republican positions. They are already complaining that he’s gone too far.

  7. I’m paying more to read Sullivan (and Weiss, if I subscribe) than to read whole newspapers.

    That’s my reason for not subscribing (it’s a factor-ten too much for me), even though I readily read both with interest.

    … equality of opportunity for all, which means removing the barriers to achievement that have impeded oppressed groups for decades. That takes a huge influx of effort and money into poor communities, …

    Unpopular, heretical and perhaps wrong opinion: the US is actually pretty close to equality of opportunity now, isn’t it? Evidence: the fact that Asian Americans score better than whites on most indicators, and so do groups such as immigrant Nigerian Americans.

    Biden: “the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including … Asian Americans …”

    So that’ll include admission to Harvard based on race-blind individual merit, not limited by a quota, then?

    1. “The US is actually pretty close to equality of opportunity now, isn’t it?”

      Well, yes and no. Certainly we don’t have de jure segregation anymore, with “colored only” water fountains or movie theater entrances or what have you. And many people are tripping all over themselves to place more people of color in prestigious jobs in academia, media, etc.

      However, without sounding like a woke SJW, I do think there’s a lot of de facto discrimination. It’s not so much that white people actively hate black people; it’s more than many white people have a “black people = high crime/low academic achievement/underclass” association in the back of their mind. This does affect black people’s opportunities vis a vis education, jobs, mortgages, etc. It’s not really fair to compare native-born blacks with immigrants of color, because immigrants are a self-selected group of highly ambitious and motivated individuals.

      1. … many white people have a “black people = high crime/low academic achievement/underclass” association in the back of their mind.

        OK, yes, likely they do.

        This does affect black people’s opportunities vis a vis education, jobs, mortgages, etc.

        But does it? A lot of the evidence is that, yes, people are indeed aware of stereotypes, but actually that makes little difference to their decision making when faced with individuals. Thus, Implicit Association Tests reveal that people have intuitive biases, but the evidence is that actually that makes little difference to how they act in real-life situations (so that the evidence is that IAT results don’t correlate at all with real-life behaviour).

        It’s not really fair to compare native-born blacks with immigrants of color, because immigrants are a self-selected group of highly ambitious and motivated individuals.

        But that reply concedes that what makes the difference is culture, individual attitudes and a person’s motivation, not discrimination or “systemic racism”.

  8. Are identity politics the fig-leaf the the Biden administration will use to cover neo-liberal economic rapaciousness and inequality? Note that the purge is of economic leftists, not identity politicos who are largely just fine with business models.

    “On Friday, Facebook carried out a purge of left-wing, antiwar and progressive pages and accounts, including leading members of the Socialist Equality Party. Facebook gave no explanation why the accounts were disabled or even a public acknowledgement that the deletions had occurred.”

  9. The business of equality of opportunity does not necessarily mean equality of outcome from what I understand. Basically because of one individual’s genetic spread as opposed to another individuals.
    No two are the same and expecting the same result is setting up a failure not warranted and all that means.
    Good luck adjusting for this but not impossible. “Problems are inevitable”
    I can see making a level ground for genetic dispositions to make headway coupled with environmental resources, mentors etc., could lead to more productive and wellbeing outcomes.
    The rewards of that type of policy seems apparent in the long term.
    Weiss, Sullivan concerns are warning lights not lit up YET, but a wary eye monitor is valid. Wokeism should not be tolerated like cow bloat..

    “a trochar and cannula punched through the side into the rumen will relieve gassy bloat when a stomach tube has not worked…”

  10. The problem will be that old-fashioned Liberals of the Biden variety entertain the illusion that the wokies are just another variety of “Liberal”, except just a little over-enthusiastic. This mirage leads them (for example at several colleges and several city governments) to a policy of indulging the most vociferous woketivists. One transparently silly recent example was the Seattle City Council’s decision to meet the “defund the police” idiocy halfway
    by half defunding the police. An earlier example was those Russian Mensheviks in 1917 who insisted that they would have “no enemies to the Left”. The Mensheviks’ subsequent fate should have taught a useful lesson, but evidently it did not.

  11. If you mollify the far right you will lose the centre. If you mollify the far left you will lose the centre. So far Biden has not shown a willingness to avoid mollifying the far left.

    Looking on from the outside, it doesn’t look good.

  12. … Biden’s Inaugural speech was uninspiring and in fact anodyne …

    Most of ’em are. I mean, except for Lincoln’s second (with its ringing biblical allusions regarding slavery and the Civil War), FDR’s first (“fear itself”), and JFK’s (“Ask not …”), from how many others can anyone recall so much as a single quote?

    I refuse to include “American carnage.”

      1. Okay, I’ll give you that that was a striking moment for us irreligious folk. But there was nothing in either of Barack’s inaugural addresses as memorable as the lines from, say, his 2004 DNC keynote address or his 2008 “A More Perfect Union” speech in Philadelphia regarding race.

  13. Other than the absurd level of victim pandering, does anyone really think these are Biden’s policies? He didn’t know what he was signing during the Executive Order blitz on Wednesday.

    1. We don’t know what Biden does or does not know, and I wouldn’t say that he was unaware what he was signing on Wednesday. That more or less presumes a level of ignorance or even dementia that I don’t think we can’t assume.

    2. “He didn’t know what he was signing during the Executive Order blitz on Wednesday.”

      By what “way of knowing” (not available to me) are you able to know that?

    3. Well, they had two months to prepare these, once they knew they had won. It was surely a teamwork, but there is no reason to assume that Biden was left out from months of groundwork and saw these orders the first time on his first day as president.

  14. Good to see democratic politicians have learned nothing from their losses in 2016, the failure to trounce Trump in this election, and their reprehensible behavior for the last four years. But hey, it’s worth it to get Trump out of office.
    But is it worth it, really? The fact is we can’t really know. For the past four years I have seen Democratic politicians and their friends in media and education act reprehensibly, giving Trump far too much attention, allowing big tech companies far too much power over public conversation, and treating 45 like some supervillain that must be stopped at all cost. Perhaps that is true, at least partly. But it’s also at least partly true that he is ephemeral, an epiphenomenon. Woke politics, however, is here to stay and shows no sign of doing anything but seeking power over every part of our lives. But hey, it’s worth voting woke in order to get Trump out of office.
    Once he’s out of office and Biden is president, Woke policies will stop or slow down because….why exactly?
    The only people who can probably legitimately resist it are center-leftists and so far their sensible voices have been drowned out by the shrieking identitarians or they have kept their mouth shuts out of fear of being attacked or cancelled.
    To say that one should vote for Biden and then ‘hope’ thinks get better seems very naive, although I understand and sympathize with it. (And no, I did not vote for Trump.)

    One more thing: I also think in our everyday lives it would help to distinguish between liberal/conservative politicians and policies and the people who vote for democrats or republicans. The politicians and policies should be scrutinized and criticized, loudly, when found wanting. None of them care about us, you and me, the average or even below average, the poor or the middle class. They care about themselves. We, the voters should not rage against each other because of whom we may have voted for or supported. Doing that seems only to drive people further apart and lead politicians to accumulate more power than they deserve or can intelligently wield.
    One thing I miss about the pandemic is the ability to meet in person with my friends of all political persuasions and talk and argue about this stuff in person. Doing so makes it easier to see the other person as a person rather than an avatar voicing a political opinion on the internet.

  15. “Biden boldly asked us to be against ‘anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness,’ and to reaffirm the ‘history, faith and reason’ that provides unity. Sure. Okay. At that level of pabulum, who indeed could differ?”

    Who could differ? Well, as to the above words (and to those in Biden’s address criticizing “white supremacism”), much of the rightwing for one, including the talking heads on Fox News’s evening line-up.

    But then, how’s that saying go, “hit dogs holler”?

  16. “On immigration, Biden is way to Obama’s left, proposing a mass amnesty of millions of illegal immigrants …”

    Jeez, know who else gave amnesty to illegal immigrants? St. Ronnie Reagan, whom, last I checked, had not yet been cancelled by today’s GOP.

    Biden and the congressional Democrats are well-capable of proposing sensible comprehensive immigration-reform legislation (as they did in 2013, until the Republican senators who had voted for the bill went sideways on them, under pressure from the “deport ’em all” hardliners in the House).

  17. The Biden administration has put a woman in charge of the CIA. Avril Haines is a torture-apologist queen of drone strikes. If the CIA wanted someone dead, Avril Haines was the woman to sign it off as legal. She’s now herself running the list who gets tortured or murdered without trial, and someone else signs it off. That’s apparently a progressive move by Biden. To make it a bit simple: put women or people of colour into high offices, it’s left wing, according to American media. The rest are details of lesser concern.

    Such Biden picks come with a bit of diversity rhetoric, and Sullivan and Weiss associate that with some twitter mob who say similar things. They then call that “the left”, or “woke” — which is the same thing, the usual refrain goes. However, Bernie Sanders is also considered the most iconic US left wing politician, but he’s a white guy. Sanders is also hardly woke. This confuses the heck out of American commentators, and they tend to ignore the apparent confusion away.

    The US right (and mainstream Democrats) are additionally playing tricks with the term “left wing”. It somehow never means what it means in virtually every other modern democracy. The meaning reflects what America’s elite want it to mean at any given moment. They can then make moves such as promoting a woman into a high office, tick the “left thing duty done” box and demand that leftists enthusiastically vote for them in the future, as if everyone is stupid.

    In reality, Sanders had a lot of hype behind him, and as you’ve certainly seen, is going viral presently in memes. Sanders’ direction of politics was also starkly contrasted with Clinton’s in 2016, and Biden’s in 2020. However, the latter two where championed by the wokesters, who opposed Sanders. If Sanders is left wing, but not woke, but woke is also left wing, then who — exactly — should be happy now, or disappointed? And how will it affect future elections?

    What we have here is a situation akin to the Hungarian Phrase Book in a Monty Python sketch. Sullivan’s and Weiss’ writings, and that of many commentators, sound like the gentlemen asking another man on the streets to “please fondle my buttocks” to which he replies “ah yes! pass the first, then 200 yards down on the left, near the traffic lights”. Some kind of agreed-upon, but bizarre use of terms.

    To sum this up. Biden’s administration may be a bit woke, but it is very much not left. If Sullivan or Weiss expect that leftists will vote him (or Harris) next time, since they’re their people, they seriously misdiagnose the situation. They voted Trump out, and got a slap in the face from Biden as the first thing. They wanted some left wing politics, but got the usual corporate, neocon/neolib hawks, or lobby people, Avril Haines, Neera Tanden, Kamala Harris, or Lloyd Austin.

    1. Avril Haines [is] now herself running the list who gets tortured or murdered without trial …

      Citation needed.

      1. Sure, though this falls into simple searches. You’ll find lots of articles from about any major outlet, and I glanced over but a few.

        “The executive summary [of the torture program] was about 525 pages long, just a fraction of the nearly 6,000-page complete report. […] In the end, the public heard a few details of what the CIA’s prisoners underwent at secret prisons around the world. But the full story was never made public. It likely never will be. And that’s thanks to Avril Haines.” — John Kiriakou, Jan 21, 2021

        “Haines does have critics, particularly over her role in Obama’s aggressive use of assassination-by-drone abroad. She also was at the CIA when it was found to have hacked the computers of Senate Intelligence Committee staffers. She recommended no disciplinary action be taken.” — NPR, “Biden Pick For Intel Chief: ‘Biggest Challenge Is Building Trust And Confidence’”

        That’s right, intelligence organisation hacked into computers of members of a senate commitee, in a democracy, Haines deemed it fine. And so on. Simple type in her name in combination with any of these things and you’ll find reports.

        * “The law of war does not shield the CIA and John Brennan’s drone kill list”, Guardian, Feb 8, 2013 (that assessment didn’t age well)
        * “Avril Haines appointed first female CIA deputy director”, Telegraph, June 13, 2013
        * “Biden Pick For Intel Chief: ‘Biggest Challenge Is Building Trust And Confidence’”, NPR, Jan 19, 2021
        * “The Dark Past of Biden’s Nominee for National Intelligence Director” by John Kiriakou, Ronpaulinstitute, Jan 21, 2021
        * “A Legacy Of Torture Is Preventing Trials At Guantánamo” NPR, November 14, 2019.

        1. You accuse Avril Haines of currently being involved in plotting torture and murder — both international war crimes in the context alleged.

          That’s the type of allegation that ought not be made lightly, without hard evidence, which you’ve utterly failed to provide.

          1. What are you on about? It’s alright to have tuned out of any reporting on the “War on Terror” in the last decades. But I gave you a few pointers, which you didn’t read. That’s not so nice.

            The existence of drone strike and torture programs are widely reported in virtually any outlet, even Obama himself discusses this in his memoirs. It‘s also widely called a “kill list”, e.g. “Brennan’s kill list”.

            What does John Brennan consider to be a “legal framework” within which the American government can decide whom to torture or to assassinate?

            That was then. How oversaw the “legality”?

            Haines was President Barack Obama’s top lawyer on the National Security Council from 2010 to 2013 and CIA deputy director from 2013 to 2015, where she authorized using drone strikes to carry out extrajudicial assassinations.

            Source, DemocracyNow

            When and how even an American citizen can be killed is outlined in a document called “whitepaper on targeted killing”. Below an ACLU report on this. Below that, another entry level link on torture conducted by the US.

            You also seem to have no idea about war crimes. The USA does not recognize the human rights court. To prevent that Americans could be tried there, the USA has put the “The Hague Invasion Act” into place, officially titled “American Service-Members’ Protection Act” which sets the framework to …

            use “all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any U.S. or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court


  18. Hmm, I dunno in re ” Equity versus equality.
    It behooves all of us to understand the difference, ”
    cuz, for instantiation, when men envision an uprising
    by human beings who are female ones,
    they imagine a World in which women rule men
    as … … men have long and long ruled women.

    Over my time upon the Planet, it is apparent to me
    that most of its human beings who are male ones
    cannot truly imagine equality. What they envision
    is having the existing power and controlling structure
    … … inverted.

    Does this demonstrate unimagination or
    does this show how aware very many men are
    of what they do … … that
    there be such deep fear of
    … … its being turned upon them ?


      1. Yeah, Mr tomh, I recognize the mocking and
        the sarcasm here. We Feminists get this
        rampant response ( read that: excusing )
        almost every time … … including when
        we ‘ve clearly stated that, ” Hmm, I dunno. ”

        IF certain persons wanted Us
        to write … … warmly … … about them,
        THEN they should ‘ve behaved better.


  19. I feel like Biden is going to have a rough way to go on crime and the economy… I’m glad he’s President but I won’t say the four years ahead don’t worry me. On culture war issues – people who are biologically XY-chromosomed (for want of a better descriptor) in the same intimate spaces as people who are XX-chromosomed; programs for equity; CRT, and so on – I don’t know. If you look at the cultural norms around race and gender 50, 100, 200 years ago, clearly things can rearrange to a huge degree in a relatively short timespan. Perhaps they will rearrange again, or perhaps the government’s involvement in such issues will end up being deeply unpopular – either way, I think those will be somewhat secondary issues, while the issues that determine the ascendant party in the next election cycle will likely be the core issues of crime / economy / Covid recovery.

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