The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    ABC Debate Ad Links Cambodian Genocide w Democrats


    On the debate stage in Houston, Bernie Sanders frustratedly batted away any comparisons between his brand of “democratic socialism” and that of Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro. But that was mild stuff compared with the red-baiting going on during the commercial breaks, when viewers were treated to a commercial in which Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s face goes up in flames, replaced by images of skulls from the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia.


    The clip opens with ominous music and a portrait of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) bursting into flames to reveal a pile of skulls.

    “This is the face of socialism and ignorance,” the narrator intones. “Does Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez know the horror of socialism?”

    The jarring ad, which aired on ABC during Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate in Houston, compares the freshman Democrat’s support of democratic socialism to the communist Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia that killed nearly 2 million people in the 1970s.

    The Ad:



    Yes, ABC ran a Republican ad with AOC's face on fire, comparing her to Cambodian despots and ideological fanatics who murdered 2 million people. And the ad called it socialism. And a major network ran it during a debate when many people who were not lefties, and tuned in as they wanted to hear the Democrats message were obviously watching.

    This is even more bizarre than the 1988 Willie Horton ad Bush One used not only defeat but bury Massachusetts liberal Democrat and Presidential nominee Dukakis.

    Expect more of this from our corporate TV empires as the campaigns roll on.  Clearly, it will not be just Fox News. Corporations, they all like the corporate tax cuts. Fascism and big corporations have often gone hand in hand in the past.

    Expect east coast liberals Warren and Bernie, if nominated, to be so linked with the worst criminals in history, and the worst failed states by Republicans with free airtime on TeeVee news, the Sunday afternoon "news and commentary" shows and everywhere so often you'll get sick and enraged by it.

    The plethora of wordy plans Warren puts out that thrill the left, the more material the media and the GOP have to attack her. Even liberal magazine Mother Jones notes problems with her border plan,

    Are Democrats Now the Party of Open Borders?

    This is a curious plan. As near as I can tell, it recommends no actions to improve border law enforcement in any way. There’s nothing about either a wall or a “virtual wall.” There’s nothing about E-Verify. There’s nothing about “smarter” or “more efficient” enforcement. No one will ever be deported—except, presumably, for serious felons, though Warren doesn’t even say that explicitly. Expedited removal will be ended....I have previously criticized Republicans who accused liberals of wanting “open borders.” President Trump tweets about this endlessly. But I have to admit that it’s hard to see much daylight between Warren’s plan and de facto open borders...



    CNN is better, right? No, they back the socialism slander:

    (the ad) opens with an image of Ocasio-Cortez, whom Heng calls the "face of socialism and ignorance." Ocasio-Cortez's face then burns away to reveal images of skulls.

    Heng, a Cambodian American touted as a young, rising Republican star during her unsuccessful bid for a US House seat in California last year, recounts her family's flight from socialism in Cambodia in the 30-second spot.

    Wikipedia on the 4 year rule of the Khmer Rouge :

    The Khmer Rouge regime was highly autocratic, xenophobic, paranoid and repressive. The genocide was in part the result of the regime's social engineering policies.[6] Its attempts at agricultural reform through collectivisation led to widespread famine while its insistence on absolute self-sufficiency even in the supply of medicine led to the death of many thousands from treatable diseases such as malaria. The Khmer Rouge's racist emphasis on national purity included several genocides of Cambodian minorities. Arbitrary executions and torture were carried out by its cadres against perceived subversive elements, or during genocidal purges[7] of its own ranks between 1975 and 1978.

    The regime was removed from power in 1979 when Vietnam entered Cambodia and quickly destroyed most of the Khmer Rouge's forces. The Khmer Rouge then fled to Thailand, whose government saw them as a buffer force against the Communist Vietnamese....

    No mention of the Khmer Rouge winning an election.

    Mention of Khmer Rouge racial cleansing, torture, repression of human rights, mass murder, arbitrary executions. They were anything but a socialist government. They were a tyranny similar to the worst despots in history.

    Yet most Americans know nothing about the Khmer Rouge, except what they hear from their TeeVee.

    The vast majority will not look it up, or bother to do a little critical thinking about it if they do.

    For instance, which Party is trying to racially cleanse America?  Which Party is torturing kids in cages? Which Party is OK with our President "loving" despots like Kim Jong Un who murdered the American student Otto Warmbier., and who is developing ICBM's and has threatened to use them against the United States or its territories?

    If Democrats have to start saying they are not the Khmer Rouge, then the Democrats have already lost the election. The GOP is hoping the Democrats nominate a candidate who they can fit into that smear campaign.

    That slander has been around for years. Socialists have to defend themselves when ever some crazy dictator calls himself a socialist. It's not like anyone has to defend democracy or a republic just because NK is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Everyone knows it's not a democracy, a republic, nor in any way the people's. Conservatives don't have to defend capitalism just because a brutal dictator, shah Pahlavi of Iran, claimed to be a capitalist and led a so called capitalist revolution. I don't know how we fight that level of stupidity which is why I like that Warren clearly calls herself a capitalist instead of Sanders claiming the socialist label. The reality is we're all socialists now. We've just decided not to call the socialism we now have socialism. The argument is how much socialism do we want.

    Slander against Democrats has been around for years because more often than not it works. They even slandered Kerry for his purple heart,  "swift boating" him.

    In most nations of educated, informed citizens who trust and expect rational policy by government to serve the people, the wonky east coast liberal with a plan for everything, Warren, would be 20 points in front of Trump. The Senate would have been controlled by Democrats for 20 years. But I don't see her winning the electoral college to become the first female president.

    There's a lot of ignorant people in this country and without knowledge I don't know what criterion they use to choose who to vote for. Since I don't know how they decide I never make predictions about who they'll choose. I read those who predict and think about their reasons but I don't trust any of their verdicts.

    Let's look at for example Michael Moore who is making a big fucking deal about predicting a Trump win. Well he was wrong. Trump lost by 3 million votes. Only a weird fluke in the electoral college gave him the presidency. No one predicted that so it's hard for me to see Moore as prescient. In a zero sum game like a presidential election one can flip a coin and get just as lucky with their guess. I respect Moore for being right as much as I'd respect you if you called heads and, lo and behold, the coin toss came up heads.

    Agree. It's still a stunner that Trump was elected, although he has at least exposed the total amorality of the Republican Party. That so much big money and so many still support this obtuse adulterous lying idiot is jawdropping, he is poison for not only this nation's future but the world's. He even stole from his own charity, for Barron's miniscule scout fee, and personal portraits for chrissakes. Not to mention 3500 lawsuits for stiffing "little people" and contractors, and Trump University students.

    The Slate article is quite good. 

    This explains the facts of what's going on:

    The ad was produced by New Faces GOP, Heng’s new PAC, which was created in March and touts itself as trying to bring younger voters and people of color into the Republican Party. Who is Heng, you might ask? She’s a former staffer for Rep. Ed Royce, worked on Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, and ran unsuccessfully in the 2018 election against Democratic incumbent Jim Costa in California’s 16th Congressional district. As a young, minority woman, and the daughter of refugees, running as a Trump supporter, Heng attracted some national media attention during the midterms, with the Wall Street Journal even suggesting she could bean Ocasio-Cortez for the GOP.” There was also some controversy when Facebook blocked one of her campaign ads, which told her parents’ story, because it featured graphic imagery of the Cambodian genocide.


    The Daily Beast reports that “New Faces GOP appears to be purely a Heng-related venture,” with many of its funders and staffers carried over from her congressional campaign. After the ad aired, the GOP’s AOC carried on a brief feud with the original AOC on Twitter:

    Then it sums up the possible motive with this

    In 2018, Heng ran as a relative moderate, focusing on issues like clean water, education, and supporting a legislative solution to give legal status to young immigrants covered under DACA.


    The Daily Beast reports that “New Faces GOP appears to be purely a Heng-related venture,” with many of its funders and staffers carried over from her congressional campaign. After the ad aired, the GOP’s AOC carried on a brief feud with the original AOC on Twitter:

    and this final sentence, summing it all up 

    If the goal of the ad was to get people talking about Elizabeth Heng, it was a rousing success.

    Progressives need to realize that a big cost of political correctness and politically correct police is adding to toxicity and stress in society. It's meant to make people feel bad about thoughts and language that may have been generally acceptable only recently. Through peer pressure.

    Though it's a big stretch to compare that kind of pressure on people with a Stasi run society or with Khmer Rouge re-education camps, it is on the same spectrum! This is why people are scared of the "socialism" word.

    I happen to think AOC has been wrongly labeled with doing that. She's a bit savvier about how she handles this kind of thing. She's made a few mistakes like braying that she's proudly Socialist. That's just a dumb soundbite to let go out to the wind without nuanced context.  But I see her making up for the mistakes she makes, she learns fast  To me, the other squad members are a different story

    But if you are going to have politically correct police scattered all over a political party, and no one is applying any peer pressure against them but just letting them shame and blame wily-nily, you can't naively expect someone like Heng to use it against you. She gets it. Because of her own heritage, she gets it. She's using it cynically but I have no doubt she has never liked it and that's why she became a Republican and ran for office as one.

    What's going on here is that her original moderation was not working for her, P.R. wise. And she has been advised that because she is anti-socialist and has a natural inclination to dislike the downside of political correctness because of her heritage, that she should play that up. Because there are a lot of independent minded among this group  touts itself as trying to bring younger voters and people of color into the Republican Party that she could pick up that way.

    The culture wars non-ending and divisive and used as a wedge. Nothing new here. But you NCD, seem to think it all a plot of the GOP to hurt poor innocent Dems. As an Independent long fed up with that shit, and coming originally from flyover where I lived under age 29, here's what I see: I think you got your chicken and egg problem mixed up here. I think the political correctness of the 60's and 70's brought forth Reagan Dem world as a counter reaction. "Progressives", the far left started it and they keep starting it over and over and over. I was part of them in college, I know. I was all for socialism and over the top slurs like "baby killer" and "fascist pig" and "partriarchal pig". Until I got to 4th semester German and my T.A. assigned us current "literature" from the GDR. And I couldn't believe how it sounded just like Orwell in German.

    Really I don't think this is ever going to be solved until the left stops stoking it and gets more tolerant of people who don't feel the same way about culture, and more wise about counter-productivity and blowback in a democracy There's always going to be blowback, the right is just going to use it against all liberals when they don't all deserve it. Just say no to culture wars and political correctness. It's where swings live. It's the perfect being the enemy of the good. More and more I see this as a reason Biden's numbers are staying so strong. Because in his "gaffes" he does exactly that.

    And I don't think one can blame Heng for deciding to jump in and use the situation for political gain in the same way Drumpf does every day for narcissistic purposes. It's there, the anger about the culture wars the left plays is there and they are going to use it.

    I don't count AOC out yet, though, in being able to handle this all far better than your average leftie. She's very savvy about this, probably because in her gut, from a young age, she gets culturally conservative Latino mamies and papies mindset which is similar to many others. She knows how to calm culture warring far better than some of her colleagues.

    So Democrats hate freedom, and are socialists like the Khmer Rouge who killed 2 million?

    Or are you saying savvy AOC will smother the "socialists are genocidal killers" culture war, making such fear mongering lies irrelevant?

    AOC's got the media attention, like it or not, therefore, the responsibility has been laid upon her to soothe the savage beasts on both ends. She seems talented at this so far to me. "They", the rightie counter reactionaries, may have made the wrong pick in making her a symbol. We'll see. One thing I can clearly see: she gets cultural conservatism of the Latino/Latina variety, she really gets it.

    While I pay some attention I don't follow in depth every senate race in states I don't live or vote in so I have no opinion in this race, but it's interesting that AOC endorsed the incumbent.

    Ocasio-Cortez, who shot to fame after mounting an insurgent primary run against the then-No. 4 Democrat in the House last year, endorsed Markey in a video posted to his campaign account.

    I would like to add that I noticed the whole meme of "poltically correct policing" and culture warring doing serious damage in Astead Herndon's report from Trump's NC rally, And that Herndon stressed that Trump seemed to be doubling down on stoking the identity politics wars and culture wars and there are many that don't care what else he says because HE SPEAKS LIKE ME.  I.E., Trump doesn't have politically correct police checking his every utterance. Unsaid and coming from my interpretation: As if advised by some GOP operatives, just like the ones advising Elizabeth Heng: double down on the lefty culture warring, that's what you do best and that's the part of your shtick that works with the independent-minded voters we need to win.

    Excerpts from Herndon's article to my point, how some Trump fans are tired of feeling guilty for being politically incorrect, and I think they might speak for many out there who are not so noisy as they:

    Brian Kelly of Fayetteville said he felt Mr. Trump understood “the people who experience most discrimination right now are us, Christians.” “I hate this racist nonsense. It’s just a political ploy,” Mr. Kelly said. “You can say anything you want if you’re a Muslim or an atheist.”

    Among the most popular of Mr. Trump’s supporters at rallies are the black attendees, who are frequently stopped by people asking to take photos, or personally thanked by white attendees. A traveling group of about a dozen black Trump supporters wear shirts that read “Trump and Republicans are NOT racist!” and often enter the rally to cheers.

    Osigah Kakhu, 23, a North Carolina Trump supporter who is the son of Nigerian immigrants, wore a signed hat from Vice President Mike Pence. Like his white counterparts, Mr. Kakhu said he agreed with Mr. Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants, including his infamous insult of African nations.

    The president “tells things blatantly, and he’s rude, but he’s also right,” Mr. Kakhu said. “Can you name a white country that’s a” dump, he asked, though he repeated the vulgar language the president used.

    So in the end, NCD, this is where I disagree with you on the whole theory that he is the grand demagogue and they are all sheeple. It's the opposite, they feel they should be able to speak their discomfort with liberal culture wars, and society won't let them, that there's Stasi informers all around, but Trump won't only let them, he'll lead them in some "up yours" chants. It's all blowback to leftist overreach, it works on the schlumps and they then vote for the GOP which leaves all the establishment rich (who ironically happen to partake quite willingly of liberal leftie culture and mores and would never use the wrong words) laughing all the way to the bank. This is quite simply the result of pushing Joe Sixpack too far with the culture warring in politics. You have to leave culture wars to pop culture, not politics. Nobody ever changed a culture with politics. Look at China now vs. the Mao method for an example writ large.

    If Trump isn't a demagogue, he's using well understood and historically practiced demagoguery.  Creating social coherence with the grievance,  blame and hate game, which group appears to include you. They are even mad about light bulbs, are you? (joke)  Rule by demagogues doesn't end well, even for the faithful. 

    No, you misunderstand me. I think Trump definitely fits the description of demagogue. But demagogues don't create the grievance or desires they manipulate out of whole cloth, they are already there in some form.

    Since you bring it up, though, I have the thought that demagogues have different motives and modus operandi. I think Trump's is solely to feed his narcissism, he seems to have no other goals. Compare someone like Chavez., where the egotism and delusions of grandeur grow along with the power. and the initial intentions were to help an aggrieved majority. Trump started out with Trump as the goal, it's all he has ever been selling. He's not even selling how to run things like a business, we've learned he actually doesn't even know how to do that.

    Let's bring it back to Heng and her PAC. Right now, looks to me like she's just looking to cynically exploit grievance and is using a meme which Trump demagogues. But the meme is real, people do get angry about being called racists and the like because of identity politics. And I don't doubt that there's some genuine sympathy there with grievance, that she has chosen to go into politics as a Republican because she's for individualism because of her innate famillial dislike for another populist movement that ended up horrifically. The last line of her commercial says it all: my skin in not white i'm not outrageous, racist or socialist, I'm a Republican. Her grievance is with the political correctness police. She is unfortunately cynically manipulating partisan culture wars games by targeting AOC, who actually doesn't pump political correctness very much at all. All lefties do not do the demonization thing, but she's implying they do. All socialism does not lead to totalitarian communism, but she's implying it does. Etc.

    I wouldn't call what she's doing demagoguing yet. Would you? She's just exploiting grievance for partisan purposes. Political partisans label each other with names and seek to demonize opponents forever. If that's demagoguing, it's not going away without getting rid of politcal parties and demagoguing has little special meaning apart from partisanship. To me, political partisanship is akin (and I don't happen to like it for that reason) but is not the same thing, not as bad.

    P.S. If a demagogue was not a special thing, then there would be not be the equivalence we see between communist and fascist systems growing into similar dictatorships.

    What is Orwell really about anyway? Protecting individualism from a single-minded mob stoked by demagoguery.

    Agree. Hitler looted hundreds of millions in art for his planned Paris on the Danube in his hometown of Linz, Austria.

    Demagogues have different "narcissistic impulses. "

    So you're equating art lovers with tyrants, art thieves & narcissistic demagogues? Check.
    I have a feeling some people won't be pleased...

    Hermann Gorings art collection was even the envy of the Fuhrer.

    The fact that I know very little about art clearly places me on a higher plane of consciousness than Hitler, Goring and other art lovers.

    Today's person in history note multilingual war reporter  Ruth Mitchell, sister of General Billy Mitchell, founder of the US Air Force, in her 1943 book, "The Serbs Choose War", relating her experiences working for Chetnik fighters as a spy against the Nazis in the Balkans:

    "Every art gallery and every private home is being picked clean. Everything beautiful, everything valuable to local history as well as to humanity as a whole, is being lugged away to Germany. Will these things ever be recovered? How can it be done?"

     She was arrested by the Gestapo but spared execution due to her family's fame, traded for captured Afrika Korps members in 1943.

    Hitler had a vision of his precious pure volk inheriting the earth as the fittest and the ultimate creation of the great sphaghetti monster after the detour for humiliation over WWI.  Trump has a vision of high ratings for Trump.

    This is an example of the problem GOP operatives (and Trump, playing for his own account) seek to exploit: lefty purists labeling Joe Biden types racist:

    And Biden is peddling racial euphemisms. The racial education gap exists because, according to Biden, black families just don't know how to raise kids and do things like "play the record player at night." It's offensive and insane.

    — Ernest George (@Ernest_George_) September 13, 2019

    Love that people who don’t see anything wrong with Biden’s comments on Black families have one clear thing in common.

    Thanks for outing yourselves, you can go attend the convention.

    — Filthy Mouthed...Single (@stupideejit) September 14, 2019

    We already got a flagrant racist in the White House we don’t need to replace him with another racist. Biden’s old white privileged ass is going to on a democratic debate stage and insinuate black families don’t know how to raise their kids... FUCK RIGHT OFF!

    — A Super Predator Inflicting Intellectual Violence (@Chadelleston) September 13, 2019

    The point: does anyone think Joe Biden is actually racist?

    I think this is why Trump fears Biden as a opponent. Because he doesn't fear speaking to things like this.

    Does anyone really think Biden was being a demagogue here stoking grievance? 

    Do people have to police their speech and thoughts to be included in the Democratic tent? Or can they speak generalizations aloud? Can they say "too many black citizens are underclass, we need to do something about that" without being labeled a racist? Making people fear to speak the reality that they happen to see:that's the Orwellian doublespeak thing. And that's key to exploiting the fear of "socialism".

    Republicans have the Biden race problem, the left does not. Biden still has the lead in the polls, including among black voters. Democrats are better precisely because they can have discussions about race (see the race issues discussed in Obama versus Clinton). Democrats can argue whether there was bias in the way Omar was called to apologize. Republicans can’t discuss race. Republicans can’t address racism. Trump’s “African American” left the GOP because the GOP is a whites only party.

    This is not a “both sides do it” problem. Racism is a Republican Party problem.

    NYT’s Russ Douthat wonders if Conservatism can survive without racism

    A column in Salon from 2018 noted that Republicans cannot address racism because they would have to acknowledge their role in enabling racism in the GOP.

    The fact that there is disagreement about racial issues among Democrats of different races makes the Democrats less racist than the GOP. Republicans pretend race does not exist..

    Re: Republicans have the Biden race problem, the left does not. So like Michael Harriot over at The Root and Jamil Smith over at Rolling Stone and Charles Blow at the NYTimes and Giridharadas at Time and Ryan Grim @ The Intercept and Terrell Starr @ The Root are Republicans?

    Biden leads among black voters. Race is being discussed by Democrats. Race cannot be discussed by Republicans. The two sides are not the same. Race was discussed when Obama ran against Clinton, in fact it got pretty vicious. There was Bros vs Hoes and PUMA. One Rothschild who supported Hillary speed venom about Obama.

    Black Democrats are vocal about being ignored by the Democratic Party. There is no equivalent argument about race on the Right. People on the Right cannot complain about race and remain in the GOP. Criticism of Biden by blacks proves my point. No Republican can label Trump a racist and remain in the party. Black Democrats can discuss Biden past and present acts and remain in the party.

    It is not “both parties do it. Blacks are free to disagree about race in the Democratic Party. Republicans only accept Ben Carson, Larry Elder, Candace Owens, Diamond & Silk, etc.

    You deliberately miss the point.

    Trump felt comfortable saying the following to Hispanic supporter Steve Cortes.

    During his campaign rally in New Mexico on Monday night, President Donald Trump noted that “nobody loves the Hispanics” more than Trump advisory board member Steve Cortes, who was in the audience. Saying Cortes looks like a “WASP,” Trump then asked the Hispanic supporter: “Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics?”

    “He says the country. I don’t know, I may have to go for the Hispanics, to be honest with you,” Trump added. “We got a lot of Hispanics. We love our Hispanics.”

    Cortes stood mute. Blacks Democrats criticize Biden on race. The two parties are not the same.

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