Matt, as a subscriber, I really do need to hear from you more about your buddy Tucker. He now has my beloved —NOT— Governor Abbott pardoning people for murder the day after Tucker calls him out and the SAME week the jury found him guilty. This is insanity, and your friend is running the show in the whole country now.

We have lost our minds in this country. As a fellow Christian, and an evangelical one at that, please square our faith with what all these “good Christian” R’s are doing these days. See that paragon of our faith Trump; the TN travesty this week, this pardon and everything else. Franklin Graham is all in on MTG. This is insanity.

It is particularly shameful for believers. God help us. I really do want to hear how you do explain and justify Tucker who is doing his best to turn this country into Russia or at least Hungary by civil war if necessary.

Your are a clever writer but “funny” is not enough these days.

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Nice. Love the humor. Found you through Michael Moynihan on 5th Column. I dig the experienced journalists writing on Substack who have thoughtful, nuanced views on what’s going on politically in the nation and globally. Just got a paid sub. Have to admit: I hadn’t heard ‘Mango Messiah’ before!!

Speaking of both sides: Just dropped an interesting take on *George Orwell* and his keen sense of free-thinking both-sides critique: https://michaelmohr.substack.com/p/george-orwell-a-life

Michael Mohr

‘Sincere American Writing’


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Nuff said. Thanks for the kind words.

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Just wanting to clarify that when I wrote "I am not that steeped in policy" it was a reference to my ignorance of economic policies & the more intricate mechanics of our economy and that is by choice.

I don't have a head for numbers (I'm still trying to understand WHY the stock market crashed in 1929!) and I do not want to invest that much time into trying to understand it.

I AM curious as to why you think I watch Fox TV. I like to read the basics of both sides of an issue - as oftentimes there is some merit in each. Age has taught me that.

I do appreciate the 'nice person' comment.

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We'll agree to disagree, Matt. We can't screw politics because it is how we organize ourselves. We shouldn't screw additional funding for the IRS because all they do is collect the taxes that we have agreed to levy on ourselves. If you don't like the tax rate, tell it to your congressperson - they set the rates, not the IRS.

It was great seeing him but his voice, never his strong point, is gone. He still belts 'em out but some of the high reaches are kinda cringeworthy. He ought to do the James Taylor thing and have a soprano on the edge of the stage to help fill in the high notes.

I also followed John Prine since his days as a singing postman. As you may know he had a bout with throat cancer some years ago and it left him with a gravelly, croaking voice. I still went to see him once a year or so and he put on a great show right to his ignominious end from Covid. So yeah, make the effort to see Hiatt. Once he's gone all you get is the regret if you don't.

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Apr 3Liked by Matt Labash

Somehow making me laugh while confirming what should depress me further turns out to be what I need after a long day in the abysmal swamp of what passes for media.

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It is inconceivable to me that some of the life long “Republicans” commenting here would vote for Joe Biden. Trump is a disgusting, rude, amoral cretin. I get that, but, he is OUR amoral cretin as opposed to THEIRS. If you’re looking for a perfect vessel in politics then you ain’t paying attention, they don’t exist, not now, not 200 years ago. If you’re trying to tell me that Joe Biden, the trans, abortion, critical race theory, Chinese money loving fool is your paragon of virtue then have at it, you’ve lost me. Matt, use that rapier wit on the Democrats!

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Matt, I will be accused of straining a gnat while swallowing a camel, but is the correct syntax, “None of us have ….” or “None of us has …” ?

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OMG Matt, you got me with, '"the soon to be failed presidential candidate..." Nicely done! But I gotta tell ya I'm also getting more and more depressed too. I mean between "normalcy is gone" and conservative not meaning the same thing it once did to a lot of people, and not to mention that I'm reading this immediately after reading Holman Jenkins, Jr's article today about us coming really close to 2024 being a 2020 do-over (at least let us see if Hillary is gonna do something lol!), well, like I said, I'm getting depressed and resigned already. Perhaps one of these days you could answer: What's a guy like me/us to do, Labash? Thanks again, always, for the laughs!

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I'm still catching my breath from the longest sentence in Labash history, inclusive of parentheticals, but I may be winded as much because I am still trying to catch my breath from all the laughing I've done this weekend, giddy as a school girl/trans boy about Trump receiving at least one of the indictments he deserves along with my celebratory dances as I lauded the brief realization that democracy and justice are still an important, and not totally forgotten part of American life.

Thanks for the article on April Fools day. I know the Slack Tiders will read it, but let's hope the fools it is written about see it too, and realize what they've done to themselves and to America.

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It was Presidents' Day weekend, October 2016. As usual, I was at my family's annual Jane Austen weekend, a combination slumber party, cooking fest and Jane Austen movie adaptation binge-watch always held that weekend with my female relatives. Someone heard about something called "the Access Hollywood Tape" and we turned on the TV. We stood around marveling and saying stuff like, "Wow, thank goodness, Donald Trump is finished now." As Matt would say, what poor dear naifs we were.

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Bless you for including John Hiatt this Sunday

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I often wonder why I subscribe to your scribblings - you're a theist, and I'm an atheist, you're a fisherman, and I fall asleep when people talk about fishing, and finally, you're a fallen-away Republican, which I never was and probably never will be in that camp.

Then I read a post like this one, and I remember - you and JJ Pryor are the funniest people I have ever read - with the possible exception of P.J. O'Rourke. From the picture of Trump Tower to your parting shots at Republican nihilism and moral cowardice, I am rolling in laughter. Whenever I read Slack Tide, I know I must use the seat belt on my chair to avoid falling on the floor. From the innuendo of The Grifter-in-Chief allowing Graham to touch his "putter" to "Meatball" being a gay groomer, you run the gamut of Republicans on Knee Pads. You never mentioned the famous legal defense of "I have a wide stance," but the connection was evident. Of course, back then, Republicans were creative in their excuses; now, they are just blatant.

When ordering knee pads for gifts, we must not forget those "Christian" leaders who support the cult leader. They have debased the finest aspects of Christianity. Abortion must be stopped, but killing children with guns - is not so bad; spending millions on a Super Bowl ad supporting Jesus is ok - but blocking legislation that would help feed the poor - is just good fiscal policy; separating children from parents at the border is ok - even though many of them are probably Christians they are poor and if given a chance might vote Democratic.

In the interest of fairness, many in Congress call themselves Democrats, who are just as disgusting as the aforementioned Republicans. The only difference between some politicians and professional sex workers is - one is honest, and the other is just a thief.

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I notice you leave folks off your list that do the soft fluffing on the suburban country club margins. Fox is bad but is the editorial obfuscation and subsequent permission structure granted by National Review, Dispatch, Commentary, or AEI any different? Do they always escape your acerbic editorial scope because they’re more high-minded than Fox? What’s the differentiator?

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This was highly entertaining. The Indictment Circus might be as well, if it were not a clear statement about who we are as Americans, circa 2023.

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Apr 2·edited Apr 2

A couple or three things here...

In complete surrender to the cliche war, I'm old enough to remember when it only took a simple photo of a politician's lap being occupied by a *fully clothed* woman who was not his wife to end his presidential hopes. Yes, there was a bit more to it than that, but that was the coup de gras for his campaign. No audio tapes of the candidate bragging about his prowess at grabbing lady-parts or anything even remotely similar. Just one picture, which under different circumstances would have looked as innocuous as one from any G rated family album. That was a different time of course. A lot of things have changed since then. But is it really the times that have changed, or is it really just us?

Likewise, I'm also old enough to remember when JFK was shot. He was a Democrat, as I recall. So why didn't Trump's allegation that the senior Cruz played a part in that give Junior some cred and a much-needed boost with the MAGA crowd back then? A different time again, I guess. It would likely do wonders for Cancun Ted if he were running now. Guess Trump, unlike Kennedy, dodged a bullet on that one. But his aim at the GOP was dead on.

Not hard to see what's been going on with the GOP and The Donald since then. The party bosses and big shot elites caved back in 2016 and allowed themselves to be captured and held hostage by Trump and his MAGA faction. Their survival instinct had kicked in, and this ongoing hostage situation would appear to have induced a very severe case of Stockholm Syndrome, the hostages having become either active or complicit in all manner of crimes against common sense, decency, ethics and... oh yeah... liberal democracy and a little enterprise called the United States of America or some such thing.

But hey, this is all stuff instigated, perpetrated and perpetuated by a bunch of guys in suits (well, not that Jordan guy, and there are some gals involved as well) who are suffering from what in essence is just a fairly recently discovered facet of human survival instinct, or so the headshrinkers say about the syndrome. So, it's really just sort of a white-collar kind of crime. Not like it's *real* crime committed by *real* criminals who *really* belong in jail.

It's said that a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich. And now we've seen that one can indict a rancid piece of pork. Not sure if a grand jury can indict an entire political party or if a petit jury would convict if it did. But as the GOP continues its effort to pull off the biggest heist in the history of the republic, stealing not just the power to govern(?) the country but also the very notion of what the country's supposed to be and why, its members might bear in mind that when Patty Hearst helped her abductors pull that bank job all those years ago, that Stockholm Syndrome stuff didn't play with the jury. Of course, her abductors (an outfit called the SLA) were from the opposite side of the political spectrum than the GOP's kidnappers. But hey, if there are *good folks on both sides*, there must be a few bad ones as well, right?

Of course, they didn't call it Stockholm Syndrome at Hearst's trial. The notion hadn't been around for very long at that point and wasn't widely heard of yet. F. Lee et. al. basically made a case for 'brainwashing'. Had the Swedish-branded malaise been more well known then, no doubt they would have used that instead. Not long after her trial, the idea began to gain traction in certain circles, and Ms. Hearst became the poster child for it.

Brainwashing or an exotic sounding syndrome. Potaato, potahto. The jury still knew how to pronounce 'guilty'.

It doesn't take a team of headshrinkers to realize the actual problem with the GOP is a value structure that values nothing besides the pursuit and attainment of power, with no limiting factor beyond whatever they think they can't quite get away with. Yet. Not that they're likely to face anything resembling real justice for that. But if they ever are seriously called to account, Ms. Hearst may have a word or two of advice on how not to plead their case.

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