Warning: this post contains a number of sexual references, so if you find discussions of genital endowments inappropriate, you should probably skip this one.
Why am I addressing sexuality in a blog devoted to policy and politics? Because I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that a great number of America’s dysfunctions can be traced to misogyny–and that a great deal of that misogyny is the result of men’s concerns over the adequacy of their endowments–concerns that explain a number of, shall we say, “odd” fixations.
Some of those fixations are pretty well known: the racist obsession during slavery and Jim Crow with Black men’s “endowments” (and fears that Southern women might enjoy being “ravished”) , and the more recent “Incel” phenomenon, where men who can’t find women willing to have sex with them (gee, I wonder why? they sound so nice…) express their grievances by attacking women. And of course, there are those “tough” men who carry their guns to the local Kroger (compensate much?).
But there are less recognized aspects of this particular obsession.
Recently, an article in The New Republic considered some of the weirder aspects of the Right’s fixation with Hunter Biden and his laptop. The article was prompted by Elon Musk’s equally weird “expose” of Twitter’s earlier decision not to indulge the original frenzy around what appeared to most credible journalists as a very sketchy story. (After all, the laptop had been in the possession of Rudy Guliani for a period of time–if there had really been something damaging to Joe Biden, it’s likely we’d have heard about it.)
Despite Musk’s breathless implication that he was about to reveal some nefarious plot to hide wrongdoing, the communications he dredged up and published basically showed a discussion by Twitter’s then content moderators considering whether the story violated their standards. Ho-hum.
But then the article noted the “prurient interest” aspect of the whole matter.
Now: Here’s the psychotic part. As Miller put it: “The offending material that Taibbi revealed was removed by Twitter at the Biden campaign’s request turns out to have been a bunch of links to Hunter Biden in the buff.” And these photos revealed to the world that Hunter has … well, you know … let’s just say that he has been blessed by nature. The New York Post reported over the summer on its actual size. You can go look that up if you wish.
So here, clearly, is still one more thing for the right to hate about Hunter. Don’t laugh. Men don’t talk about it much in polite company, but this is something many men think about to the point of obsession. And isn’t it particularly acute among conservative men, all full of that macho swagger? Isn’t that swagger a form of compensation, like that bright orange Dodge Charger the 61-year-old balding man suddenly decides he can’t live without? And isn’t Donald Trump, who still smarts 30 years later from being dubbed “short-fingered” by Spy, the most insecure of all men along these lines? You surely don’t forget the time he actually made his penis a campaign issue in 2016. It’s not the kind of thing you can unremember.
OK, I’ll admit that I can’t look deep into the psyches of all these right-wing men and so I should not overgeneralize about them. I am not asserting that James Comer, the incoming chairman of the House Oversight Committee who has vowed to make the 118th Congress entirely about Hunter Biden, is thinking about how the first son holsters his Dillinger as he contemplates how he’s going to cut him down to—as it were—size. But I am saying, absolutely, that there is something strange and psychological about the Hunter obsession.
Perhaps it comes down to simply this: It’s all they have, and that makes them insane. Joe Biden has been in public life for half a century and has never been attached to a whiff of financial scandal. It makes the right, especially the Trumpy right, nuts. In Trumpworld, everyone is corrupt; that’s a given. Only schmucks aren’t out to cut corners and game the system. The only difference is between those smart enough to get away with it and those dumb enough to get caught.
Democrats have responded to the GOP’s threat to make the next two years all about Hunter Biden–who has never been part of government– by pointing to the multiple grifts of the Trump offspring, who made out like bandits while occupying high government positions for which they were manifestly unfit. True enough–and certainly more appropriate material for public discussion.
But have you looked lately at squirrelly Jim Jordan, and some of the other Republicans engaged in this particular vendetta?
26 thoughts on “Our Freudian Politics”
Along the same lines, these folks really obsess over Gay people. I can only wonder at what fever dreams they must have. They seem to think more about gay sex than gay people do. Come on right wingers. Closets are for clothes. If that is all you can think about, maybe there is a real good reason.
I must disagree with Professor Kennedy on one matter. To say that the offspring of the individual who occupied the Oval Office from 1/20/17 to 1/20/21 “made out like bandits” implies they were not bandits, but only “like” bandits. A “bandit” is “a robber or outlaw belonging to a gang and typically operating in an isolated or lawless area.” The White House became “an isolated or lawless area” during those years. The “gang” aspect is self-evident. As for being “robbers,” they had the full force of the U.S. military, (ironically) various law enforcement agencies and thugs for Putin to threaten others with imminent use of force as they sought to exercise control over the property of others. They were bandits.
Johnny Cash was asked what he saw when he looked in his ‘closet’.
“Darkness”, Cash replied with a twinkle in his old eye.
I think these ‘men’ can’t handle what they see.
mark small; this is the first time I have been disappointed in your comments here. To target semantics regarding the age-old phrase “make out LIKE bandits” is petty and unlike your past comments. Of course, it struck me as I typed the above comments that I am being petty by pointing it out. Me culpa!
As for that size factor being Freudian in nature; I’m here to tell you that those “well endowed” characteristics in the hands (pun intended) of the wrong men causes serious pain, physical damage and when uncircumcised, causes medical problems for those of us on the receiving end of this physical source of pride. The cave men of comics carried a large club, the men today carrying a large military level weaponry are as comical as the cave men but admittedly more dangerous. Does Jim Jordan consider being jacketless in formal political situations turn is bared dress shirt into a muscle shirt…that is surely Freudian politically and personally for Jordan. Trump carries no weapon but surrounds himself with as many American flags as can be crammed on the stage with him; his proof of political size and power to compensate for his short-fingered physical reality.
Basically, the Democrats operate from an intellectual level of power; Republicans, especially today, operate from a size of their “weapon” level. While we are faced with the weapons which have us in their cross hairs today (literally and figuratively); our intellectual prowess will hold us strong long after the opposition is out of ammunition.
JoAnn, I meant the observation as a bit of humor on a Monday morning. I did not phrase matters correctly for the proper effect. I’ll lay claim to the culpas on this.
is musk the opend of murdoch? musk online BS, murdoch paper(fox) BS. is musk trying to be a murdoch? is musk bi polar? as a blue collar,we seldom get brash about the size,its more about what you drive.. republicans have little platform of doing something for America,or Americans,but they have pleanty of no reason,to bash someone for attention,does that make them attention whores,Just asking..
There is a legendary story from the quiet and otherwise peaceful wilderness in Canada. A woman decided to boat out into a quiet area to meditate. She always stowed her fishing gear. She took out her favorite book she had not finished reading and proceeded to enjoy the quiet and the story. A game warden pulled to her side and saw the fishing gear. The game warden asked her for her fishing license. She retorted “I am not fishing”. The warden said: “But you have fishing gear which means you intend to fish, and I need to see your license.” The woman realized she was being played, looked away for a moment, then looked back at the warden. She asked matter of factly: “Warden, do you have a penis?” The warden was caught off guard. Then she said: “How do I know you intend to have sex.” The warden beside himself started his motor and went away. To this day, no one knows how the story ever saw the light of day away from the isolated lagoon, but no one remembers that it was reported by the game warden’s office.
“But whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes, he stood there on Christmas eve hating the Whos!” In the Grinch’s case, it was his heart that was too small. No matter, if his heart was just fine and his manhood too small, he still would have been hating the Whos.
Kinda wonder about cowboy hats and cowboy boots too. Height enhancers?
Jim Jordan is the perfect choice to politicize this matter. After all, he enjoyed being in the locker room of college athletes.
Why do I gag every time I hear Jim Jordan’s name? Gag.
Jordan is a classic example of the small-man syndrome… and all that goes with that. Men have probably measured their standings in the tribe by their, uh, virility and endowments for centuries. It’s part of being testosterone poisoned.
But those who “compensate” or need props to demonstrate their potency are not psychologically or intellectually prepared to participate in large societies. They are still “living” in caves, aka closets.
The earliest pictograph story carved in stone, at least the oldest that has been found, had an individual with a firm hold, a Kung Fu grip on his penis. Standing next to a lion and a leopard I believe.
They claim it was to identify the individuals in the pictograph as male, but I think there could have been more to the story so to speak.
I remember back in the day it was an insult to tell someone that they, ‘got their “pick your metaphoric subject matter,” right here,’ while grabbing their junk.
Hey, let’s face it, everything revolves around sexual organs! Good Morning America is a fine example of how interesting the subject matter is! Both hosts kicked to the curb by ABC, Disney?
Ancient Rome, ancient Greece, ancient Babylon before them, The fixation is more than creepy in human history.
Humanity and its fixation with sex and sexual organs is as long (lol) as human history itself.
Napoleon imported Egyptian phallic symbols to France, America built its own phallic Washington monument.
When policy revolves around the phallus, when the phallus takes up resources, when the phallus replaces policy in governance, debauchery absolutely becomes the norm. You know what they say, teeny tiny hands mean a teeny tiny phallus now big feet, we all know the story there. But why?
If a man feels his virility makes him superior, well, there are plenty of big stupid virile bumpkins always out there measuring! Jim Croce’s song about Big Jim sounds about right.
Fear. The fear of death leads to the fear of not reproducing, and that leads to men fearing they are not studly enough and women fearing they are not attractive enough. Men resort to aggression, which is all rather obvious and ridiculous. Women resort to passive aggression, which can be anything from mean girl cliques to forced religiosity and the resulting twisted sexuality of western civilization.
Right wing thinking is the result of the fear of death. Deep thinkers they are not.
In all fairness to the species: Humans began as prey animals while they perfected predation. The attrition among the emerging human population must have been very high. Otherwise, it’s hard to justify the fact that human females start ovulating at 12-14 years – mostly. Humans are among the very few mammals that have estrous cycles as short as 28 days. All others are prey species. So, is it any wonder that males favor aggressive behavior? Is it any wonder that they have to be seen as most virile? Much like sea lions and some hoofed mammals, males forming harems dictates that only the most virile and aggressive males get to do most of the inseminating. Monogamous marriage is a man-made artifact designed, originally, to control women, but also to move toward civilization. It is, after all, more expensive to support a harem than a single spouse and offspring therefrom.
We are seeing, I think, a lot of the downside of that transition from harem-like cave dwellers to modern societies where EVERYTHING is predicated on sexiness, mating and the rejection of “perverse” behavior. If we survive as a species, it will take many more centuries before our biology catches up with our socialization and self-defeating fratricide.
I know what got my rocks off this morning, it was watching the video clip of Musk getting booed in SF last night at the Dave Chappell show. Musk didn’t realize how much he is despised. Dave said, “let’s welcome the richest man in the world” and there were applause and boo’s. Serves him right. There’s some reality for both of them.
Conservatives are the nosiest people in the world, always worried about what people are doing behind closed doors. It’s none of their business and we aren’t shoving our lifestyles down their throats (ahem). People just want to live their lives with peace and not have some xian bible thumper screaming that they need to repent or go to hell. Isn’t it weird how Gym Jordon didn’t report that coach raping boys? Maybe he wanted in on some of that action? So many questions…
Professor, please stop citing the New Republic…please, please please. I come here for some liberal thinking and don’t want to read about those people that are clearly crazy. I don’t want to hear about their effed up thinking. Thanks. Forgiven today. Peace.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”
We are endowed by our parental sperm and egg with many attributes including gender and once we emerge from heaven into the world our brain records memories informed by our senses that are longer lasting when they are based on our observations of people who we deem to be like us.
Those born with “outies” observe more and become men, and those born with “innies” observe more and become women. There, that’s settled.
We both discover early and reluctantly that information about others and rules are necessary to guide us to behaviors that others believe are in our best interests. That’s technically called learning stuff and the stuff includes culture, how people like us generally behave in certain situations. More memories.
As we age we discover more and more that the world has changed from the times and place that we grew up in and puzzling new behaviors and realities confront our senses and memories and we have to rethink the growingly obsolete culture that was passed on to our memories earlier. That processing of new situations is informed by the memories of how our examples of people like us process new situations. Generally, those change-causing strategies can be categorized as hormone-fueled fight or flight or pleasure.
Of course, we pretend that this is us thinking.
Pete. So your post is thoughtless?
the last time the RNC had their national meet in Cleveland,Oh. it was noted how every male escort
was booked during the convention..
My post is based on the sum total of my memories that can be classified as having been born with what I was (nature), into what I was (nurture) including family and times and place, and have experienced since as are all of the posts here and everywhere.
As much as we like to think of ourselves as “civilized” and above sexually driven
motivation and behavior, we are still beholden (pun not intended) to the
Evolutionary need to procreate. The well researched insecurity that fuels the
conservative mind, may well be a result of a fear about virility/fecundity.
Freud is supposed to have once said that “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,”
but the Jim Jordans, Paul Ryans, Mitch McConnels and Rand Pauls of the
world might not be able to comprehend such a concept…to say nothing about the
MTGs and Phyllis Schafleys.
Sheila: Did your husband write this?
Professor, you put me in the mind of Star Trek:
Boldly Going Where No One Has Gone Before.
I am pleased we are contemporaries.
Pete. But you don’t believe you are thinking? I’m confused. Do you have a name for the process which resulted in your choice of words?
4 hours later…guess you’re still thinking about how to convince me you don’t think.😊
The physiology of the brain finds lots of neurons that are “wired” for memory, fed by sensory nerves, and output to muscles. No “thinking” cells though.
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