OK, sure. He's been called worse things.

It's Martin Luther King Day again, which means it's time once more to explain to wingnuts that, no, he wasn't a registered Republican, and also there was more to the "I Have A Dream" speech than the one line about dreaming that one day his children would "not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character" -- also, no, that was not an argument against affirmative action, either. Happily, none of that nonsense is at work in the Washington Post's dopey MLK Day editorial "Martin Luther King Jr. was a true conservative," which is still pretty much wrong, but is at least wrong in some novel ways.

So, no, at least the WaPo editorial isn't attempting to warp King into a Tea Partier who hated Big Government. Instead, they're trying to redefine "conservatism" so at least some parts of King's thinking will fit inside that box. Here's the gist of their argument, such as it is: King was a conservative, you see, because

in his way, Dr. King did a lot to preserve, protect and defend the best of our principles and values. Just as Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was despised by many conservatives of his day, helped keep American society from succumbing to the radical ideologies that brought death and devastation to much of Europe and Asia, Dr. King worked to turn back extremism, violence and racial nationalism at the height of the civil rights movement, and to keep the cause of essential and long-overdue change in the American mainstream.

Translation: Since King thought America could end segregation and actually live up to the ideal that all of us are created equal, without a violent revolution like the black radicals who saw him as insufficiently willing to overthrow the existing system, he was a conservative. Or at least a Very Nice Radical. The comparison to FDR is telling -- as my beloved radical-ish high school U.S. History teacher Mr. Wallace liked to say, Roosevelt saved capitalism from itself. So yes, if "conservative" means "satisfied with incremental changes," you can make that case, WaPo, although it probably applies far better to Barack Obama than to King, who was never, ever satisfied with incrementalism. That's why he was a far more polarizing figure in life than after he was assassinated and his image could be much more carefully managed. Murdered heroes are pretty convenient that way, since they can't get on Twitter and insist you know nothing of their work.

Martin Luther King wasn't only calling for an equal opportunity for everyone to pursue an MBA and screw others -- he was about radical restructuring of the American economy, which is what his idea for the Poor People's March on Washington was all about: Yes, voting rights and the end of segregated restrooms were nice, but King didn't think America was working, not at all, for entirely too many Americans. There wasn't a hell of a lot that was conservative about King's vision of a radical remaking of how wealth was distributed, that's for certain. But instead he was assassinated, the Poor People's Campaign -- hastily organized by the SCLC as a combination protest and memorial to King -- turned into a fiasco, the New Right came along in reaction to the '60s and '70s, and then Ronald Reagan finally killed off the Great Society and led us to the corporate promised land where we live today.

And do we even want to get started on King's opposition to the war in Vietnam? We probably need to, if only to make it clear to Sarah Palin that no, Martin Luther King would not agree that Our Troops are "a force for good in this country, and that is nothing to apologize for." What King actually said about Vietnam went well past saying it was something we should apologize for; he considered it a fundamental betrayal of American values:

[What] we are submitting [our troops] to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy, and the secure, while we create a hell for the poor.

Not exactly a conservative call to Support The Troops, was it? Unless by "support" you mean get them the hell out of there and rebuild the country we helped break.

But yes, King definitely did good things, and reminded us of the promise -- still very much unfulfilled -- of America's best ideals, so let's call that "conservative." All you have to do is redefine "conservatism" into "something no modern conservative believes but that sort of describes some parts of Martin Luther King," and the Washington Post has perfectly nailed it.


Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Nancy Pelosi is making news again today after her weekly press conference, mostly because she said this about yesterday's nutbag performance from President Stable Genius:

[T]his time, another temper tantrum — again — I pray for the President Of The United States. I wish him and his family, his administration and staff would have an intervention for the good of the country.

She prays for him. And she's just kind of suggesting that maybe the president is unwell, in his brain. She's being very subtle!

When Glenn Thrush asked afterward what kind of "intervention" she might be talking about, she suggested that Article 25 would be just fine.

But many folks out there right now are saying "BUT WHAT ABOUT INPEACH! They are not going to do an intervention, because the intervention is called INPEACH!" (They are taking her words very literally, it would seem.) Every other damn day lately, there is news about how "NANCY SAID INPEACH IS BAD" or "NANCY SAID TRUMP'S ACTIONS IS SELF-INPEACH-ATORY, WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN, NANCY!" and whatever else, we don't know, because we have muted all of Twitter until further notice. (Here is some news about the House Democrats' weekly meeting yesterday, most of which was about Democrats yelling INPEACH! while Nancy Pelosi gave them cold showers.)

Here's the thing:

In today's presser, Pelosi was clearer than ever about her feelings on impeachment -- she doesn't like it, and she'd really hate for the nation to get to a place where that's inevitable, she is just saying it would be truly terrible for them to have to do that -- but they might just be FORCED to go there. And wouldn't that be just terrible? Nancy Pelosi is praying about that just like she is praying for Trump, under a big oak tree that casts all the shade she threw at Donald Trump for her entire fucking presser.

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Happy Throwback Thursday! Remember Paul Manafort? He's still in jail, don't worry. But it looks like he might be getting some company soon from his old pal Stephen Calk, who just got indicted today by the Southern District of New York.

Calk was a simple CEO and COB at the Federal Savings Bank of Chicago, but he had big dreams. He'd been an army pilot and a money guy, so he figured he was competent to be either Secretary of Treasury or Secretary of Army. He'd take Commerce or HUD, or even a cool ambassadorship to France, or the UK, or the UN -- he wasn't picky. Just any old position befitting a guy who is 100 percent going to be played by Michael McKean in the movie version of this nightmare.

Luckily Calk knew a guy on the inside. Sure that guy had recently been You're Fired from the Trump campaign for ratfucking the Ukrainian election, but Paul Manafort was still waving his bits all over Trumpland in the summer and fall of 2016, so Paul Manafort had the hookup that Calk needed. Luckily, Calk had what Manafort needed, which was MONEY. Manafort's fountain of untaxed cash had dried up since the Ukrainians gave his guy Viktor Yanukovych the boot, and he was in danger of losing multiple investment properties to foreclosure. So naturally Calk stepped up to the plate with $15 million in loans to keep the wolves at bay, because what are friends with more political ambition than scruple for, right?

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