Magazine | October 14, 2013, Issue

Suffer Little Children

The odiferous species of Jerkus internetus lacks the moral compass of the Mafia, and that’s saying something. As I understand Cosa Nostra mythology, you could whack a guy for cause, but you left the family alone. Jerkus internetus has no trouble wishing horrible harm on children, and he imagines he’s a better person for it. They wish to Save Children, as evidenced by their support of the Save Children Act, and anyone who says the act is a bad idea because it requires state and local governments to encase playgrounds in a sheath of Nerf obviously wants children to die and should be excoriated in all possible terms.

Preferably sexual. There are few things more characteristic of a progressive with his brainpan fully enveloped by his nether regions than the belief that enlightenment is demonstrated by sexually degrading women who have different opinions on statism and tax rates.

And so we have this guy: Allan Brauer, communications “chair” for the Sacramento Democratic party. To Senator Cruz’s speechwriter and senior communications adviser, Amanda Carpenter, he tweeted: “May your children all die from debilitating, painful and incurable diseases.” He also referred to Carpenter as “pubic lice” and wrote some unprintable things. Then he was canned, probably for saying things in public best kept to the break room.

Are there jerks on the right? Sure. Probably not stunted wankers who also work as “Communications Committee chair” for the local Republican party. If a GOPer had called a woman what he called Cruz’s aide, MSNBC would feast on the tale for a week—not just because it was a nice chunk of partisan prime rib, but because it revealed an essential truth about people on the Other Side. The horrid old white men who wished Titanic had turned out so the women and children were thrown overboard first and then the ship righted itself and sailed on. But because he’s a progressive, it means nothing, and attempts by the Right to call attention to his invective are simply a distraction from their own institutional misogyny. Got it?

Interesting inferences abound in the Brauer tweets. Since Carpenter is opposed to government control of health care, she is opposed to health care. Obamacare, in other words, invents medicine. Without the Affordable Care Act, we’re back to leeches and tincture of newt. Children will be heaped about the outskirts of town and left for the dogs and buzzards; the Republicans will raze every pediatric teaching hospital in the country and make it illegal to treat anyone who is not eligible for military service. (That’s the neocon health-care proposal.)

#page#No, you can’t be opposed to the bill itself. It has a nice name. Imagine this scenario: Senator Darth Cruelington takes the podium: “We have a new Healthy People Act that keeps costs low by feeding sick people into slaughterhouse machinery previously used to flense bones. Hmm, I see some of you shaking your head. Don’t worry, it’s powered by wind farms, so it’s sustainable. I still see a few scowls. You there: What’s your objection?”

His interlocutor might respond: “Aside from the positive impact on Social Security money, which would be freed up for making sure these grinding machines are available to rural areas as well, doesn’t this have the unwanted effect of killing people in a horrible fashion?”

To which Senator Cruelington would reply: “You’re saying you want children to get ill because someone with tuberculosis coughed on them in the park. You know what? I hope your children get TB regardless of whether this bill does what it says, and let me just toss in polio on top of that.”

That’s the general idea: If the president proposes the Food Safety Act, and there’s a clause that requires any mayonnaise-based side dish to sit in the trunk for six hours on a hot day before being served at a picnic, and someone points out that the law will lead to gut-gripping salmonella, that person is opposed to the fundamental concept embedded in the name, and his kids should drink an E. coli smoothie.

Which is why the president started calling it “Obamacare.” Obviously, no one’s opposed to the bill on its merits, which are manifest and great. It’s all about him.

Then you have David Guth, a U. of Kansas professor who responded to the Navy Yard shooting with a temperate tweet: “The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.”

Of course: The NRA has been fighting for years to deinstitutionalize the mentally ill and loosen background checks for military-base employees. It would never occur to Scholar Guth that a similar fate ought to befall the offspring of Shotgun Joe Biden, who argued for the simple utility of the very firearm used in the Navy Yards massacre. It’s very different because . . . because . . . OH LOOK! BuzzFeed has a new post up:

“The 17 Most Inexplicable Comments on Beyoncé’s Instagram of Blue Ivy’s Toe”

That actually means something to some people. In case you’re curious, Blue Ivy is Beyoncé’s baby. No one would want harm to come to her, regardless of the condition or shape of her toe, even if he didn’t like Beyoncé. One does not wish misery on the children, unless one has an ashtray for a heart.

One of the most wrenching scenes in Downfall, a dramatization of the last days in Hitler’s bunker, is the sight of Mrs. Goebbels poisoning her children. There was no reason they should suffer for the evil of their parents. But perhaps Mrs. Goebbels thought of it as the Affordable Child Care Act. In which case you’re a monster for thinking she was wrong.

– Mr. Lileks blogs at

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Suffer Little Children

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