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You know the political winds have turned against Republicans when they're worried about losing a Senate seat from Mississippi. But that's where they're at now and it couldn't have happened to a crappier group of super villains. Monday, the New York Times ran a story with one of its classic eye-rolling headlines: "In Mississippi, Issues of Race Complicate a Special Election." I didn't have coffee this morning. That "complicates" my day. We aren't talking about minor inconveniences here. Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith has joked about public lynchings and voter suppression in a state with a shameful history of both. She's not auditioning for the hosting gig at the next White House Correspondents Dinner. She's trying to win the upcoming runoff election against Democrat Mike Espy.


A special election for the Senate in Mississippi has become a test of racial and partisan politics in the Deep South, as a Republican woman, Cindy Hyde-Smith, and an African-American Democrat, Mike Espy, compete for the last Senate seat still up for grabs in the 2018 midterm campaign.

This is odd phrasing. Espy is described as an "African-American Democrat," which is relevant to the story, but Hyde-Smith is described as just a "Republican woman." Are we not supposed to know she's white? The article seriously never mentions it. I used all the advanced technology at my disposal to confirm.

The New York Times

I guess if you forget about soon-to-be-former House member Mia Love, "Republican woman" is basically synonymous with "white woman." But it wouldn't have hurt for the Times to say it outright. It's not like they're covering one of Donald Trump's "false or misleading" statements. It's also somewhat the point of the whole article: Mississippi is racially polarized and white politicians usually just ignore minorities outright or make subtle, coded racial appeals to "law and order." It's expected that they'd, for instance, slam Barack Obama because he's "not like us." "Us" means white. Overtly racist appeals, though, make you look like you're standing in front of a public school refusing to let black students enter. It creates, as the Times puts it, "discomfort among educated whites." I guess it takes an advanced degree to produce mild discomfort over lynching humor.

Hyde-Smith has responded horribly to all this. She's "retreated" from the campaign trail and won't actually apologize for her comments. An internal Republican poll has her lead over Espy down to just five points. That's some effective voter suppression but they could do better. The senator has focused on turning out her conservative white base, and Donald Trump will fly in to campaign for her -- unless, of course, it rains. Meanwhile, she's made some feeble attempts at not appearing like an antagonist from BlacKkKlansman. Her campaign returned a $2,700 donation from Seattle businessman Peter Zieve, the CEO of aerospace supplier Electroimpact. Zieve was sued for discriminating against Muslims in his hiring practices. He considers Middle Eastern refugees "terrorist savages" and offered $1,000 "marriage" and "child" bonuses. The latter might seem like some Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pro-family dream legislation, but it actually was targeted at Zieve's mostly white, male employees so they could prevent the US from being "backfilled with rubbish from the desperate and criminal populations of the Third World."

He seems nice.

Zieve donated to the campaign of a senator thousands of miles away shortly after her "public hanging" video went viral. He claims there's no connection. He just "believes she's a Republican." I suspect the major Trump donor also believes she's something else.

Hyde-Smith's campaign will lose more money this week, and it's not even Black Friday yet. After national treasure Debra Messing publicly shamed them on Twitter, slave-labor retailer Walmart asked that Hyde-Smith return their $2,000 donation. (Walmart is great about negotiating discounts from suppliers -- it apparently picked up Hyde-Smith's racism for more than 25 percent less than Zieve.)

I presume Walmart will permit Hyde-Smith to continue purchasing her outfits from them.

This is a lot of bad press a week before the special election. What Hyde-Smith really needs is an unrelated, irrelevant distraction. I wonder if the Times could help out a lady of undetermined ethnicity?

If Ms. Hyde-Smith's conduct has put her campaign in jeopardy, Mr. Espy has been grappling with baggage of his own. Republicans have assailed him for working as a lobbyist, and for having been indicted in the 1990s on corruption charges of which he was eventually acquitted. On social media and in advertisements, Republicans have tried to tie the moderate Mr. Espy to liberals, including the billionaire donor George Soros and former President Barack Obama.

Seriously, what's with these people? Their "both sides" dogma drove them to pull the same BS on Andrew Gillum -- equating the barest whisper of scandal to the Republican candidate's very loud bigotry. And where Hyde-Smith's political problems are self-inflicted, the Times presents typical GOP dirty tricks as Espy's own "baggage." It's also completely irresponsible to repeat the right-wing urban legend of George Soros as some sort of nefarious liberal puppet master. But hey, it's the Times! It would be irresponsible not to be irresponsible!

This is the sort of mealy-mouthed journalism that lets the GOP get away with 1950s Dixiecrat, race-baiting that would shame Lee Atwater.

It's especially vile when Republicans say this about black politicians from Southern states with a significant black population (they also accused Stacey Abrams of being too "radical" for Georgia). The Southern black electorate is why Barack Obama won the 2008 primaries. Yet Obama is the socialist Kenyan "outsider" who doesn't belong and New York native Donald Trump, who I wager never set foot in Mississippi until 2016, is a "good ol' boy." What exactly are the "Mississippi values" that neither Booker and Espy possess but Hyde-Smith and the thrice-married, pussy-grabber-in-chief hold in abundance?

Don't waste your time trying to figure it out. Just go here to donate to Espy's campaign.

Follow Stephen Robinson on Twitter.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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