Good Friday Morning! I want to thank everyone for helping make the podcast launch successful. Last weekend I finally received clearance to appear on both iTunes and Spotify — so if you haven’t subscribed, please do so at iTunes or Spotify. The two most recent episodes are up for download, and another will drop sometime over the weekend. Reviews are the most important thing for any podcast — so I need any good reviews you guys can give me. It helps visibility in the iTunes store.
This week I’m writing about the new Dave Chappelle stand-up special on Netflix. Spoiler: I think it’s great. Links to follow.
Where you can find me this week
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Available on iTunes, Spotify, and on my website via LaunchPad DM/PodcastOne. This week on The Beltway Outsiders Podcast, host Daniel Vaughan talks about two reports from Axios this week on how Democrats are moving to the far-left on all significant issues. It was a substantial departure from Democratic politics only three years ago. Topics covered in this are Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal, and various forms of debt cancellation getting pitched by Presidential contenders. The primary driver of this shift is Bernie Sanders, and we go through the Axios report on how Sanders wants to restructure or referee every part of your life. The two quick-hit topics this week are a Monmouth poll showing Biden tied with Warren and Sanders at the top of the ticket; and a viral tweet on eugenic abortions. Thanks for listening!
Please make sure to send positive reviews — they much help expand the reach of the audience.
Democrats want to build the world Huxley warned about – The Conservative Institute
Everywhere you look in the Democratic primaries some candidate is putting out ridiculously large government programs that restrict individual and state freedoms. It’s a growing problem.
Even the far left admits the dangers of eugenic abortions – The Conservative Institute
There was a viral post going around of an old column in the Daily Mail from 1993 that suggested abortions for children with same-sex attraction genetic markers. The viral post blasted this position and called it cruel and wrong — and while I agree with that, it’s an odd position to take when abortion advocates are arguing the exact opposite in courts.
Dave Chappelle and the new words you can’t say
Dave Chappelle starts his latest standup special singing through the opening lines of Prince’s 1999:
I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray / But when I woke up this mornin’, could’ve sworn it was judgment day / The sky was all purple, there were people runnin’ everywhere / Tryin’ to run from the destruction, you know I didn’t even care.
He then tells a joke that Anthony Bourdain had the most fabulous life in the world, and he killed himself. Chappelle then relates a story of a friend who started successfully but is now manager at a Foot Locker, and the idea of suicide never crossed his mind.
It’s a stark opening that grabs the audience, opens up the throttle, and Chappelle never lets up from there. I’ll say this upfront, if heavy language and offensive subjects aren’t your cups of tea, then don’t bother with this special. If you’ve watched Chappelle’s act going back to his early standup days and skit show on Comedy Central, Chappelle’s Show, then run to your nearest Netflix streaming device and fire this exclusive up — it’s Chappelle at his best.
Chappelle’s new special is refreshing and a throwback
I’ve been watching Chappelle since college. Comedy Central was one of the channels available on the local cable package in the campus dorm rooms, and I kept that channel always on throughout college. To this day, I’ll never know how Chappelle even got his show on the air. His very first skit was about a blind black man who was a white supremacist (years later, when I introduced a friend to this show, she shook her head in disbelief — but laughed the whole way through).
Sticks and Stones, the Netflix special in question, is Chappelle’s best standup on the streaming network. No topic is out-of-bounds, no conclusion he can’t come to, and right from the start, when he’s introducing the special, he directs his comedic wit, observations, and ire at mainstream “woke” cancel culture. If Chappelle pulled any punches in previous specials for Netflix, he doesn’t this time around.
Chappelle is the new Carlin
In that respect, in stepping into areas people aren’t supposed to joke about, or comedians aren’t supposed to venture into anymore, Chappelle is a modern-day George Carlin. “Sticks and Stones” is reminiscent of Carlin’s famous bit, “7 words you can’t say on television.” The irony is that while you can say any of Carlin’s words in society without much blowback, Chappelle’s stand-up special ventures into entire topics — not just words — that are off-limits according to the new progressive puritans.
Somewhat ironically, Carlin’s bit ended up becoming a part of Supreme Court lore when a radio station aired his comedy routine and featured those words. The Supreme Court in FCC v. Pacifica Foundation outlined the powers the FCC had in regulating speech over the airwaves.
I don’t believe there will be a court case out of Dave Chappelle’s special, Netflix functions more akin to an HBO or another premium channel where broadcast rules don’t apply. But the cultural impact is similar.
Chappelle even touches on this when he compares the relative differences in how cable television treated him, saying the “n-word” versus the “f-word.” While the words Carlin used in his skit may not have the cultural weight of obscenity that they once had, his overarching point, that there are some things we can’t say as a society, is proven through Chappelle.
The disconnected reaction
You could almost pinpoint a person’s political beliefs by how they reacted to a segment from Chappelle in this standup special. The more a person hated it, the more likely it was they’re an angry cancel culture leftist who hated being made fun of in the routine. They didn’t like Chappelle mocking, relentlessly, their sacred cows. To be sure, some conservatives didn’t like his special, most notably Kyle Smith at National Review — but those misgivings mostly centered around missing the jokes, or just not loving the subject matter.
To put a sharp point on the disconnect between woke culture and reality, right now, as I type this, on Rotten Tomatoes the audience score for the Dave Chappelle special is 99% certified fresh with 17,610 reviews. The ten critics who have reviewed give it a 30% — and those don’t include the non-critic reviews on major websites that panned the special. That is a vast divide — and I think it’s a sign cancel culture is an utter failure.
The almost uniformly white progressives who are trying to enforce these new cultural lines, and run elite institutions, are hated. They don’t seem to realize how much resentment they’ve built up over time. Nor do they recognize the pent-up resentment against the institutions they now run.
Politicians like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are popular precisely because they don’t stand with that form of cancel culture. The new moral scolds are failing just like the old ones.
Leftists are copying evangelical boycott culture
It reminds me, in a way, of the American Family Association (AFA), a conservative group who sends out email blasts to everyone calling for boycotts left and right of any company that doesn’t hold an evangelical stance on culture. They were extremely loud for years about Disney, the Clintons, and anything else deemed impure in culture. They used boycotts and other means to force their way around.
They’ve primarily imploded into irrelevance as an organization. They openly embraced Donald Trump, with all the same things they claimed to hate for decades, and now even write defenses for Trump — against attacks from Christians pointing out Trump’s flaws. They only stand for the Republican Party politics — nothing else.
They betrayed their morality, their principles, and their faith all for political power. They bought into a fear that their way of life was gone if Donald Trump wasn’t elected President — which is a loud condemnation of the lack of power of the God they claim to serve. If your God can’t overcome basic party politics, then who do you actually serve?
I have degrees in law and political science. I understand the power politics issues at play here, and if you analyze this purely through the vein of power politics, it all makes sense. But if you’re explaining it in that vein, you’re also admitting that principles don’t matter, only political power. Put another way; if this is a power politics thing with the AFA and new woke scolds, it’s not about morality, religion, or anything else.
The new left, enforcing its lines through cancel culture, is copying all the tactics and means the religious right used for decades. They’ve stripped the religion away but kept the tactics. These progressive activists don’t have God at the center of their wishlist of wants, but they do have power in mind. They want to control culture and make anyone who doesn’t toe the party line an outcast.
In a way, you could call these new progressive scolds a reactionary to old-school evangelical politics. It’s the pendulum swinging away from the moral majority right.
In the end, that’s what makes comedy specials like Dave Chappelle so refreshing. He’s not willing to bow to their desires or the demands of anyone. He’s going to make jokes he finds funny, everyone else can pound sand.
He can’t get canceled by these activists, Netflix backed-up a semi-truck full of cash to him to say whatever he wanted. Chappelle is laughing at their outrage and condemnation all the way to the bank while enjoying the increasing size of his platform. Cancel culture failed in the same way all those evangelical boycott groups failed — you can’t beat people into submission. It doesn’t work.
History tends to rhyme on these topics, so I’m sure we’ll eventually see these progressive scolds embrace someone who embodies everything they claim to hate. They’re trying to do that with Joe Biden — but there’s no one on the level as, say, Donald Trump. There will be though, and in that time, we’ll see their so-called faux morality fail too. You can’t beat people into submission. I’m hoping this Chappelle special is one of the means that this cancel culture gets canceled itself. Our culture needs a laugh, especially at ourselves.
Links of the week
Regurgitating Talking Points about Assault Weapons Is Not ‘New Research’ – Robert VerBruggen, National Review
It’s Time for Black Athletes to Leave White Colleges: They attract money and attention to the predominantly white universities that showcase them, while HBCUs struggle. What would happen if they collectively decided to go to black schools? – Jemele Hill, The Atlantic
CNN Is Not Renewing A Political Reporter’s TV Deal After She Got A New Job Running A Conservative News Site: Eliana Johnson’s CNN contract will not be renewed, as she leaves Politico to lead the Free Beacon. – Matt Berman, Buzzfeed News
James Mattis’s Blistering Criticism of Obama – Matthew Continetti, National Review
It’s time to create a conservative ecosystem that doesn’t welcome racists – Timothy P. Carney, The Washington Examiner
The Thanos Report: The bad idea that refuses to die. – Noah Rothman, Commentary Magazine
Bloomberg’s Ben Penn just slimed a government employee for his hilarious joke at Paul Nehlen’s expense – Becket Adams, The Washington Examiner
Historic Asset Boom Passes by Half of all Families: Scant wealth leaves families vulnerable if a recession hits, economists say – David Harrison, The Wall Street Journal
FEC chairwoman questions the legitimacy of Trump’s election, Electoral College – Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner
Twitter Thread(s) of the week
Stephen Gutowski is explaining a recent WSJ article on how the Odessa shooter didn’t get his gun via private sale, but rather through someone illegally manufacturing a weapon — which a background check would not prevent.
Satire piece of the week
Trump Holds Up Map Suggesting Hurricane May Hit Coast Of Middle-Earth – The Babylon Bee
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Trump has drawn some criticism after holding up what appeared to be a map of Middle-earth, doctored to show Hurricane Dorian devastating the coast of Gondor and Eriador.
An official video released by the White House showed Trump holding up the map and showing the path of the storm, though instead of having the storm slowly move up the coast, the president’s version had the map moving up across the grasslands of Enedwaith and threatening Isengard and the Gap of Rohan.
“Some have been saying the hurricane won’t threaten the Rohirrim or those in the Mines of Moria,” said Trump. “But this is wrong. Totally wrong. You need to get out of there. Maybe go to Minas Tirith, there’s a very good wall there. One of the best. Seven walls, actually. Tremendous country, Gondor.”
NEW YORK — Responding to criticisms of her recent condemnation of gun control, Meghan McCain took time during Wednesday’s episode of The View to passionately defend her right to own the dozens of firearms she has concealed in strategic locations throughout the show’s set. “It’s my constitutional right to protect myself with the numerous guns I keep within arm’s reach at all times during the broadcast of this show,” said McCain, telling her View co-hosts they simply couldn’t understand the perspective of everyday Americans who need a gun taped under every table, chair, and craft services tray around them just to feel safe.
I also really enjoyed the Righteous and Ratchet podcast, featuring KevOnStage and Doboy, talking about the Dave Chappelle special.
Thanks for reading!