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Partering Glances



Realizing Yourself, Leaving Others

It all started last Monday and I blame Charles Johnson. Who? Well, if you read me you probably don’t read him. He’s the guy who writes the incredibly successful right-wing political blog, Little Green Footballs. And he’s a parter.

What’s a “parter?” What? – You don’t know? A parter is someone so well-known for who they are that it seems incomprehensible that they would “part ways” with their current “affiliations.” Johnson did just that last Monday, in his post, “Why I Parted Ways With The Right.”

On his list of ten reasons why he parted ways with the Right, Johnson says, is their:

“2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)”


“5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)”

and, quite possibly my favorite:

“10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories (see: witch doctor pictures, tea parties, Birthers, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, World Net Daily, Newsmax, and every other right wing source)”

(Shameless plug: Check out all the writing I’ve done about Michelle Malkin.)

Now, I confess I don’t read Little Green Footballs. (It’s OK; I’m sure Charles doesn’t read me either.) So I can’t tell you that he’s become a huge Socialist, or that he now supports a single-payer option, or really, anything. But I can tell you that the news of “parting ways” made the major media. Most importantly, I can tell you that it’s not he who has changed, so much as it is those around him.

The next day, Tuesday, another conservative blogger, and a man for whom I have great respect, the incredibly intelligent Andrew Sullivan, became a parter. In “Leaving the Right,” he says,

“…there has to come a point at which a movement or party so abandons core principles or degenerates into such a rhetorical septic system that you have to take a stand. It seems to me that now is a critical time for more people whose principles lie broadly on the center-right to do so – against the conservative degeneracy in front of us.”

Wow. Sullivan, who is gay and a strong supporter of marriage equality, has for a while now been embracing his inner Left. But this was a big, bold statement.

He goes on. In his own (unenumerated) list, Sullivan details his reasons, including,

“I cannot support a movement that regards gay people as threats to their own families.”

and offers,

“I cannot support a movement that does not accept evolution as a fact.

“I cannot support a movement that sees climate change as a hoax and offers domestic oil exploration as the core plank of an energy policy.”


“I cannot support a movement that refuses to distance itself from a demagogue like Rush Limbaugh or a nutjob like Glenn Beck.”

And I must throw in this final gem:

“Does this make me a “radical leftist” as Michelle Malkin would say? Emphatically not. But it sure disqualifies me from the current American right.”

Bravo, Mr. Sullivan!

But wait – there’s more.

Just one day after Sullivan made his announcement came yet another parter: Meredith Baxter! She partered big time, by announcing on the Today Show, that she is a “lesbian.” (I’m putting it in quotes, out of respect – not like some conservatives put quotes around the term “gay marriage,” as if it weren’t “real marriage,” – but because it’s the word she used and a lot of lesbians were glad she used that word instead of “gay,” like Ellen did.)

Just one week after Johnson’s announcement, came news of another sort of partering. Yesterday, Al Diamon wrote about the partering of Larry Grard. Who is Larry Grard? Yeah, I didn’t know either. Turns out the Mr. Grard was, and I say was because he no longer is, a reporter for the Morning Sentinel, a Waterville, Maine newspaper. Grard was partered against his will, for emailing HRC and calling them “haters.” (I put “haters” in quotes, respectfully or not, because that’s the word he used. And it’s the word that got him partered.)

I’ll make no comment about Grard, except to say that if you’re going to say something, best be comfortable signing your name, or it’s probably not a good idea to say it. (Me, I sign everything I write.)

But, at least for (formerly Right-wing) bloggers, it’s not a one-way street. Sullivan calls attention to another parter.

In, “Leaving The Left,” Sullivan writes,

“A blogger explains why reading the liberal blogosphere’s routine attacks on Obama has led her to rethink where she stands.”

Here’s what said liberal blogger wrote, in “Why I’m Not a Liberal Anymore,”

‘”The stuff coming out of “progressive” mouths is all too often on a par with Glenn Beck’s abusive rants–both sides (right and left wingers) playing thousand-pound national football with the President as the ball…”

(And later, in, “Leaving The Left, ctd.,” Sullivan shares readers’ responses. I urge you spend the three minutes it will take you to read it.)

So, there’s been a lot of change, a lot of partering, if you will, over the past week or so. I’m not sure quite yet what to make of it all. My friend Cody Daigle might chalk it up to, “Saturn Returns.”

In truth, all of these folks haven’t changed, so much as remained true to who they are, while they saw the world, their world, change. And they responded. Some, like Johnson and Sullivan, taking positive, productive stances. Some, like Grard, taking a negative and unproductive stance. Some, like Baxter, allowing her true being to be seen, and thus, remaining true to herself as well.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions. And to chart your own course of action.

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Tennessee Governor Slammed After ‘Praying’ for Nashville School Community Without Mentioning Mass Shooting



Governor Bill Lee quickly drew tremendous outrage in the wake of a school mass shooting where six people including three young children were shot to death. Social media users criticized the Tennessee Republican, who had signed a permit-less gun carry law, for declaring he was “praying for the school, congregation & Nashville community,” without posting any mention of the mass shooting.

Tweeting he was “closely monitoring the tragic situation at Covenant,” Gov. Lee said, “As we continue to respond, please join us in praying for the school, congregation & Nashville community.”

There was no mention of any loss of life, and, as Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts passionately noted, the “situation” was a mass shooting.

“If thoughts and prayers alone worked to stop gun violence, there wouldn’t have been a shooting at a Christian elementary school. It’s your actions – including weakening the state’s gun laws – that’s killing kids in Tennessee,” Watts also tweeted. “SHAME ON YOU.”

Gov. Lee signed a permit-less carry bill into law in 2021, at a Beretta gun manufacturing plant.

According to the CDC, as of 2020 – one year before the permit-less carry bill was signed into law – Tennessee ranked tenth in the nation in per-capita firearm mortality.

READ MORE: ‘Our Children Deserve Better’: First Lady Jill Biden Speaks Out After Six Die in Nashville School Mass Shooting

Meanwhile, others took notice of the gun culture Gov. Lee has fostered in “The Volunteer State.”

MSNBC analyst and Bulwark writer Tim Miller commented, “Tennessee governor Bill Lee issued a statement recently about how the drag ban in Tennessee ‘protects children.’ If only he would have instead focused on laws that might have prevented the mass murder of children in his state today.”

Historian Kevin Kruse pointed to an article from last year, after the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, titled: “Rep. Clemmons Seeks Renewed Gun Laws, Gov. Lee Requests Prayer.”

“You chose prayer over gun reforms last year after the Uvalde massacre,” Kruse wrote. “And now here we are.”

The progressive website Tennessee Holler pointed out that Gov. Lee, along with GOP lawmakers, “just appointed Jordan Mollenhour to the [state] board of education— whose company was sued for selling ammo to an underage mass killer (SANTA FE) and sold ammo to at least one more (AURORA) He has ZERO education experience.”

Let’s Give a Damn founder Nick Laparra tweeted, “We are 86 days into 2023. So far, 9859 people have died by gun violence and there have been 128 mass shootings. Meanwhile, @GovBillLee spends his days being outraged over drag queens and CRT and book bans. This is Bill Lee’s and the GOP’s fault.”

See the tweets and video above or at this link.

READ MORE: New WSJ Poll Is Devastating for DeSantis and His ‘Anti-Woke’ Policies




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Mystery Grand Jury Witness in Trump Hush Money Probe Is Former ‘Enquirer’ Publisher and Trump Ally



Avid followers of the Manhattan District Attorney’s moves noted the grand jury had been called into service for Monday, and soon news leaked that yet another witness would be testifying in the probe into Donald Trump’s alleged hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.

Monday afternoon, NBC News’ Garrett Haake reported live on MSNBC that the mystery witness was David Pecker, the former tabloid publisher of the “National Enquirer,” who reportedly had been looking for stories in 2016 to protect Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Haake notes Monday was Pecker’s second appearance before the grand jury in the hush money case.

The New York Times also reported David Pecker as the grand jury witness, calling Pecker “a key player in the hush-money matter. He and the tabloid’s top editor helped broker the deal between the porn star, Stormy Daniels, and Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s fixer at the time.”

READ MORE: ‘Our Children Deserve Better’: First Lady Jill Biden Speaks Out After Six Die in Nashville School Mass Shooting

“While the focus of Mr. Pecker’s testimony is unclear, he could provide valuable information for prosecutors. A longtime ally of Mr. Trump, he agreed to keep an eye out for potentially damaging stories about Mr. Trump during the 2016 campaign,” The Times reports. “For a brief time in October 2016, Ms. Daniels appeared to have just that kind of story. Her agent and lawyer discussed the possibility of selling exclusive rights to her story of a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump to The National Enquirer, which would then promise to never publish it, a practice known as ‘catch and kill.'”

Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman weighed in, noting, “nothing about that decision [to have Pecker testify] suggests any change of heart on Bragg’s part to indict Trump.”

Former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, an NYU professor of law, notes that Pecker’s “testimony can show the [hush money] scheme was designed to affect outcome of election.”

“He reportedly communicated directly with Trump on payment,” Goodman adds.

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‘Our Children Deserve Better’: First Lady Jill Biden Speaks Out After Six Die in Nashville School Mass Shooting



First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, speaking Monday afternoon at a National League of Cities conference, told attendees, “Our children deserve better,” as she broke the news of the Nashville school mass shooting at Covenant Presbyterian School where three children and three adults were shot dead.

“You know,” Dr. Biden, herself an educator and clearly pained by the news, began her remarks by saying, “I hate to say what I’m gonna say next because you know you’re so enthusiastic and with so much energy and hope and I feel it.”

“But while you’ve been in this room, I don’t know whether you’ve been on your phones but we just learned about another shooting in Tennessee, a school shooting and I am truly without words and our children deserve better, and we stand – all of us – we stand with Nashville in prayer.”

READ MORE: New WSJ Poll Is Devastating for DeSantis and His ‘Anti-Woke’ Policies

The First Lady, a former public high school English teacher and currently a professor of English at a community college, was speaking at the organization’s Congressional City Conference.

Watch Dr. Biden below or at this link.

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