Julia Salazar is one of the latest young, Democratic Socialists of America-affiliated insurgents to defeat an establishment Democrat in a primary. She is also my potential future state senator, as that primary was in New York Senate District 18. Also too, she is a bizarre serial fabulist.
The New York Post condemned her personal story — a big part of her appeal — as “wildly exaggerated.” Salazar has said she immigrated from Colombia when she was, in fact, born in Florida; asserted a “working-class background” that her brother strongly denied, offering photos of the family’s four-bedroom riverfront house; said she went to work at 14 to “make ends meet,” which her mother contradicted; implied her mother hadn’t gone to college when her mother got a degree when Salazar was 8 years old; asserted a very confused timeline about her conversion to Judaism; and claimed Jewish ancestry nobody could verify.
Eve Fairbanks at Buzzfeed has an article up about what she sees as a generational issue: Well-Off Millennials Are All Julia Salazar. I Wish We Weren’t.
Rolling Stone seemed baffled to have to report last night that “the constituents of District 18 were apparently untroubled” by that. But I wonder if the supporters — certainly the young, mostly white, recent college graduates who flooded her victory party — didn’t recognize, at least subconsciously, that this kind of thing is just way more common than we’d like to admit.
The article limns something I’ve seen a lot of.
I’ve described my paternal grandfather as a man who “grilled armadillo roadkill” to suggest he was a Southern hick, and it’s true he liked armadillo and at least occasionally foraged killed ones — but he was also the head of the archaeology department at the University of Florida. I’ve told people my maternal grandmother is an illegal immigrant who came to America illegally, alone on a boat from Poland, like an orphan Fievel the Mouse, conjuring hardscrabble images of tenement life, not mentioning that she married into a wealthy family.
I suppose I’ve lightly participated in this myself. “Did you know my mom grew up poor on a family farm?” I sometimes say, bristling at claims that we’re anything other than very recently well-to-do. It’s not unbelievable if you meet her–she’s an often-foul-mouthed animal lover who likes to shoot guns. But just looking at her C.V., you might have a hard time seeing it, other than the decidedly non-elite education. However, I am a creature of privilege. What’s important is that I don’t cover myself with her history, or use it to claim imaginary oppression. (Lord knows I have enough actual problems anyway.)
I’ve also observed the true cliche that nobody seems to have gone to Harvard or Stanford, but rather “college in Boston/the Bay Area.”
I will say that there is significant social pressure, at least among some Millennial groups, to just shut up about fixing oppression if you’re privileged. (I encounter this mostly on social media and rarely in person, so it could be an Online Mean Girls issue.) That doesn’t excuse lying, but it may explain the prevalence of this particular lie. On the flip side, there really is a problem with the most vocal ‘socialists’/’leftists’ being the ones with the least skin in the game–I’m looking at you, Chapo Trap House. (I’m actually not, because I find looking at them unpleasant.)
Anyway, thought y’all might enjoy the (hate)-read. I will now be re-enabling my Millennials-to-Snake-People browser plugin.
Onwards to more pressing issues: The Minecraft server is up! It’s at 188.8.131.52:55045, and if you leave your username (not email) in the comments, I can whitelist you. It’s running Spigot with a land-claims plugin on easy. This IP will eventually be DNS’d to a balloon-juice subdomain, but I’m still working out the kinks.
Non-sports open thread!
The weirdest Salazar story was that she may have had an affair with Keith Hernandez, and was sued by his then-wife for identity fraud… was it ever explained just what the hell was going on there?
In any case, she’ll be a reliable D vote, which is more than I can say about some “Democratic” members of the State Senate.
Smedley Darlington Mingobat (formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
I don’t know what the deal with this is. I don’t see what the big deal is if you grew up reasonably well off, or even better off than that. My father ran one of the libraries at the University of Pennsylvania. We were hardly rich, but we never wanted for anything. Both my mother and father grew up fairly well off. I guess you’d call their families upper class. I don’t know. Class is often less about money than schooling and style. By those standards, they were solidly upper class, and I guess I grew up that way, too. It’s hard to see how that’s any kind of knock on me, and if I ever wanted to run for anything, I think I’d get a lot farther being open about who I am and what my upbringing was like than I would trying to make myself out as some kind of up-from-the-hardscrabble-life, backwoods, self-made dude. I just don’t see the point. Shit. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of the richest presidents we ever had, and he did more for the poor in this country than any politician ever has. I really don’t get this.
The Midnight Lurker
I’m old enough to remember when it was a source of shame if one or more of your parents had been (gasps) born at home, instead of in a hospital. Now-a-days, my well-to-do friends’ children are all going for ‘all-natural, home birth’ over the hospital. How the world turns.
We definitely need to get over the idea that there’s something wrong with well off people being liberal or even socialist. It’s basically buying into the conservative worldview, which is not what we should be after.
It looks like a case of biography enhancement. There was no need for the lies this candidate told, and I would consider them disqualifying.
@Smedley Darlington Mingobat (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):
I think the point in the ideal world is that we’d probably like to have fewer individuals with compulsive lying traits in office. Maybe it’s benign right now, but power does funny things to people causing that to metastasize. Not saying anything she did isn’t what other people do even in politics, it just could be improved.
And on another note, popular movements rising always bring out some grifters, and I think the DSA wave is an easy target.
James E Powell
I don’t think this is just a millennial thing. I recall these kind of bullshit biographies in college & law school in the late 70s, early 80s. And I recall hearing them from people both left & right. At the time it was more by the RWers who seemed like they had to tell some up by the bootstraps story to explain their apparent wealth.
I don’t get this need to lie or to make yourself sound like the biggest poor thing in the world by making up a sob story.
@Smedley Darlington Mingobat (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Yup, well said. I think it’s one of the persuasive things about Beto O’Rourke, for example, that he doesn’t try to poor-wash his upbringing.
But it’s disturbing about Salazar. Hope there is some kind of rational explanation, or how can she not get ripped to shreds in the general?
@James E Powell: Agreed its not just a millennial thing, Mr Modi, likes to brag about how he was a humble tea seller, a chai walla. The problem is that they can’t find a single person who he sold tea too. He has always been an RSS-BJP operative, period. Politicians have to show that they are a man of the people.
I hate when candidates lie about their heritage. Baud! only lies about himself!
@schrodingers_cat: Lefty version of Bush clearing brush at his Crawford ranch.
@Roger Moore: I agree. And it seems like some media pundits equate wealthy liberal candidates who want to help the poor and middle-class as being hypocritical. They don’t get that some well-off people can have empathy and a sincere desire to help others. On the other hand, a wealthy politician from, say, Wisconsin, who benefited from Social Security yet wants to yank it away from others — now that is an example of a lying, hypocritical coward.
Kavanaugh accuser has outed herself and boy does she sound credible.
Major Major Major Major
I’m so old, I remember when the most important trait for a candidate who wanted to appeal to progressives was to be “authentic.”
Jack the Second
@Baud: I have nothing but respect nfor someone who can spend as much time cleaning brush as President Bush did. I spend like 30 minutes or an hour clearing brush and then decide to spend the rest of the weekend in the hammock.
I don’t think anyone voted for her because she fibbed about her background. If she had been primarying a Real Democrat and not an IDC quisling, she likely would’ve lost.
Hey Major+4. Since it looks like you’re gonna take the NY job, I cannot stress enough that you should look to live in Queens. I lived there for 35 years and loved every minute. Especially if you want to own and are not a millionaire. I know the BEST real estate agent in Queens. Since you are a Front Pager send me an email if you are interested. I’ll give you her name.
Most real estate agents in NY are asshole rip off artists. She is not.
This is incredibly mild by NYS Senate scandal records. There was a guy who stabbed someone — I think his girlfriend — and still stood for election a few years ago. I think he won. He may still be there.
West of the Rockies
As much as we might wish otherwise, our politicians are sometimes all too human. But damn, now that we have a shit-ton of momentum, I hope we can avoid future Blagojeviches, Wieners, etc.
@MoxieM: She doesn’t have an opponent for the general. What’s weird to me is that her lies were well known but the primary voters still chose her. Let see how she does as a state senator; given our experience with 45, I’m leery of having known liars in office but hopefully she can’t do too much damage and governs as a democratic socialist, the way she campaigned.
I think the Slate author was pretty clueless:
It’s not people who don’t know that idiots can get degrees from Ivy League universities that are the problem – it’s those that do. It’s those who know that and then make the assumption that it was your socioeconomic background which got you in, not your merits; and that you have then traded on this. That you are, in short, another Dubya, or, even worse, Trump.
@Felanius Kootea: I suppose it helped that her opponent was a party traitor.
I’d suggest that it’s a very bad idea long-term to engage in fabulist stuff like this. It’ll follow her forever, and limit her ability to be elected in the future. Example: look at how Elizabeth Warren’s mentioning her family’s story of a Cherokee ancestor was seized upon by her opponents – and that was a mild example.
@RepubAnon: I doubt most politicians are thinking past the next primary or election.
@Amir Khalid: pretty much. If you actively lie about your past, you’re more than likely to lie about just about anything.
Funny how lying has become “embellishment, enhancement and embroidery”
Major Major Major Major
@HeleninEire: I think I’ll take you up on that! Not this second though. Thanks!!
This is so dumb. I had a great middle class upbringing, with a great public school education, in the 90’s(!). I want more people to have that, as it helped me thrive. How hard is that for people to say?
Sometimes, when you tell your actual life story, people just assign a sob story to you and then call you a liar if it doesn’t meet the standard they set out for how they perceived the story. I’ve truthfully told people that my dad’s family were refugees. This made some people assign them the images of African refugees they see on tv. Yes, it’s true they were refugees but also my dad was born in Europe and grew up in the UK as the son of an ambassador. He never lived in a refugee camp but he was stateless for a period because his government stipped him and his family of their citizenship because his father wouldn’t agree with the criminal acts of the government. I mean, you can say this is a millennial type misrepresentation and claiming other people’s oppression but it’s also true. My dad was a refugee.
Major Major Major Major
@Baud: Her opponent was not a member of the IDC, though he did receive $8000 from the IDC PAC last election.
@Facebones: She did not run against an IDC senator. It drives me nuts how many times I have seen this falsehood repeated, as if it’s justification for Salazar’s very real character issues.
@Major Major Major Major: Ah, I was misinformed.
A case of every politician being born into a log cabin that she built with her own hands.
@Facebones: She did not run against an IDC senator. It drives me nuts how many times I have seen this falsehood repeated – and it’s no justification for Salazar’s very-real character issues.
@eemom: Wow. Christine Blasey Ford is not only credible, she’s incredibly brave. Republicans knew and their operatives had that bullshit list of 65 women ready to go.
@eemom: Lovely. Anyone who calls that ‘sexual assault’ is minimizing it. Attempted rape.
@schrodingers_cat: I’m not sticking up for Modi by any means; but I was a cab driver in Chicago 40 years ago. Funnily enough though, i can’t find anybody to come forward and say they rode in my cab.
OT, Kavanaugh’s accuser has come forward, they’ve got her therapists notes from 2012.
Going to get uglier.
Major Major Major Major
@PsiFighter37: the misconception is likely a big part of why she won. She tied him to them with the paltry PAC donation.
Damn. I hope Salazar will knock that shit off.
On the one hand, she won, and her vote will do a lot of good in Albany.
On the other hand, I want the Democratic party to hold itself to higher standards.
Perhaps the worst of it is that she gave easy ammunition to the despicable Barri Weiss.
Don’t do that. Don’t make Barri f’ing Weiss seem like a voice of reason.
I find people’s real life stories interesting enough. How you remember/perceive your childhood — poor, middle class, wealthy — is probably never too accurate. I lived in the country when I was little — right down to milk deliveries and burning trash in the back yard. When I was 7 I moved to a suburbanish community near a small upstate NY city. Now, in the last half of my life, I am pretty comfortable in a house that is worth more than everything my parents ever had. I have my own way of describing all this, but it is not my characterizations that make for good stories; it’s the good stories themselves about my journey to here tat are fun and interesting. Same with most folks.
@Immanentize: the standards for what was / is considered middle class have changed significantly over the last 60 years as well
@eemom: @Eljai: Anyone who reads that article and doesn’t find her credible is working overtime not to believe it.
I realized he was a slimy weasel when I watched during his SC questioning. But this is a whole new level.
@James E Powell: Yes, I had a college roommate who came from a “poor” family (her upper-crust parents had decided to become ministers and made very little money while living on their trust funds). It put me off “liberals” for a year or so until Ronald Reagan was nominated as the GOP’s presidential candidate, permanently curdling my attitude toward that group.
@WaterGirl: yeah, what makes him more repulsive is he doesn’t have the sense to withdraw from consideration sparing his family the public embarrassment.
As per Washington Post Kavanaugh’s victim came forward. As it’s usually is with these stories watch for other victims to come forward. It’s never just one victim with these predators.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
IIRC, there were stories about John Roberts, son of a high ranking steel company executive, working his way through college with a hot and sweaty job in the mill, for three months. Willard Romney, of course, inherited nothing, and he and Ann ate tuna helper off a wooden door they used as a dining room table, living hand to mouth with only the nest egg of stocks and bonds ol’ George had staked him, worth about $350K in 2012 terms (again and always, IIRC). And the grand-daddy of them all, Sweet Paulie Blue-Eyes, who had an after-school job at a McDonalds that was made to sound as if he dropped out to do backbreaking work on the rough docks and/or hardscrabble farms of Janesville to support his widowed Mawr.
@anya: it’s only a matter of time till one of the soccer girls says something.
@WaterGirl: @Eljai: @eemom: Yep. I was skeptical that she could really do anything about this. The notes from her therapist 6 years ago (before Kavanaugh was famous or anything) make her account MUCH more credible, as do the other notes and details.
I note that apparently the same guy who was supposedly with Kavanuagh and denied any bad behavior or hard partying also wrote a book in the mid 2000s where he says Kavanaugh would get “blackout drunk” sometimes. Nice.
Likewise, I had some lefty friends who were pissed at Feinstein for not telling the rest of the Democrats about this. This makes it MUCH clearer why she didn’t.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@WaterGirl: I don’t know who wrote the official committee response but I’m guessing a lot of people are going to be wishing they’d called somebody higher up in the Hamptons in before issuing it.
@sukabi: A few words come to mind. Starting with arrogance and hubris.
Have these guys never figured out that nothing good ever happens after saying “I never did anything remotely like this in my whole life”. I hope this piece of shit is impeached from his current position.
@sukabi: my mom was telling me how creeped out she was about the soccer girls sitting behind him and how he made them the focus of his female cred. I told her she was just being extra alert because of all the stuff on the news lately about sex predators. But now I think there’s something unsavory about that whole thing.
@WaterGirl: Speaking of slimy weasels, I just came across this quote from an article in Politico:
This is astounding to me. It’s as if they’re going with the messaging “we men must stick together.” I never underestimate the damage that right-wingers will do. But this is a pretty tone-deaf response for the times.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
the trump world ethos: Everybody does it. Carrie Budoff Brown is an editor at Politico, so not the “you” here. I wonder who the male reporter was.
@sukabi: I want some enterprising reporter to document that all 65 of these women are rabidly against abortion. There is nothing they won’t forgive if it stops the babies from being murdered.
Ronan Farrow, if you’re not busy…
@sukabi: I don’t believe that any Republican is going to change their vote because of this, and I would guess that the media is just going to with “he said/she said, it was so long ago” and it will be forgotten by Wednesday. Unless other women come forward, or the media decide to pursue his crazy credit card debt and how it got paid off, in which case, it may get interesting.
@MisterForkbeard: I didn’t understand DiFi’s inaction either, but now I get it.
Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.
@Eljai: And they can say that after their own party set up Al Franken. As always, rules never apply to Republicans.
@Immanentize: @sukabi: This and this. I thought we were middle class. That’s what we were told. My Dad worked in a warehouse and my mom was a housewife. We were not anyway middle class. We we were blue collar working class. If that.
And that was OK in 1962. The year I was born. We had a roof over our head, food on the table and unions to protect us. And my parents owned our house. 1100 square feet for $13,000 bought in 1960.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I cringe to think about what the asshole who continues to disgrace our White House would say about this. I am just waiting for some extra awful twitter rant coming our way.
Must be an interesting Sunday afternoon over at Casa Kavanaugh.
Wonder if the Mrs. believes his denial.
Also wrt that, how exactly can a blackout drunk be certain of what he did or didn’t do?
Huh. I can remember when their line was “If you haven’t done anything wrong, you’ve got nothing to worry about!!”
THANK YOU for saying that without using that godawful threadbare acronym. ?
@eemom: Non denial won’t work, because he was able to walk down the stairs.
This is one of my secondary fears of the Trump-ushered post-truth world: that it becomes an arms-race of dishonesty, because lies become the only coin that works in the realm.
I saw it happening with Fergison: a black kid got killed because he and a cop were having bad days, and it wouldn’t have happened if he was white, and there’s no way in hell he should have wound up dead and all that would be self evident if you told the absolute truth about it all. And instead far too many leftists decided it was important that the villains be utterly villainous and the hero to be utterly without blemish and who cares if any of it is accurate. It was really the very moment I went from “reader beware” to “assume bullshit” when reading certain parts of left-blogistan. And that made me very depressed.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: “Look, we have a 30 year old accusation of sexual assault that’s backed up by recent evidence – OF COURSE this guy should be on the Supreme Court”. Nice.
@eemom: Funny, I was wondering about those exact same three things just a few minutes ago.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Whoever it was has mastered a really nice journalistic trick: seeming endlessly sympathetic to the white house lawyer while somehow keeping any possible trace of “what the ever-loving hell are you even SAYING???” off his face.
@Smedley Darlington Mingobat (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Thank you. I find that mentioning FDR to people who have a problem with “elitism” (which of course they can’t define anyway) backs them down pretty well. The Kennedys will do as well.
@eemom: P.S. Though as I wondered about them, I was calling her Mrs. Rapist in my head.
Yeah, I just kind of think when you’ve lived with a man for a bunch of years you get a pretty good idea in your own mind and heart of what he is or isn’t capable of.
I found all the “controversy” over Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry to be trivial. Even so, by comparison, Julia Salazar is freaking Baron Munchausen. She may win and be a reliable D vote, but she won’t have much of a political future. Wait, given what we have with Trump, she might be president one day. But obvious liars will bite you in the ass. Every freaking time.
I think this denial of “privilege” is weird, with some people apparently cherry picking elements of their personal history to make sure that they stay connected to the masses. And yet paradoxically, it is also sometimes connected with a need to always be able to point out an Other, the poor who must be rescued.
My ancestors were a combination of jewish bourgeoisie and french serfs. Pretty unremarkable stuff. What’s beautiful about America is that it doesn’t fucking matter.
Remember when everyone was related to Cleopatra?
I’ll join your server: z_zcool
It’s been a while since I’ve played unmodded Minecraft.
Have there been many plugins released for the Aquatic Update?
@eemom: That’s a brave woman.
Major Major Major Major
@zzcool: whitelisted you. And no, not a lot. I’ll be doing some stuff with WorldEdit and some variety of multiworld plugin eventually.
@Eljai: tone deaf? Definitely. Also tells you something about what these “men of privilege” deem acceptable behavior, and also that that behavior is commonplace among them.
@Felanius Kootea: Thanks–helpful. Sometimes, hard to keep up.
Dead thread, just wanted to say that this makes me happy. ::-)
@Major Major Major Major
NJ lurker here.
May I be whitelisted for the server?
@Charles Fox: @Major Major Major Major
NJ lurker here.
May I be whitelisted for the server?
Forgot my ID, CharlesDFox.
Minecraft thing: Longtime daily reader, THRLNE (Minecraft name). I am here to drain the swamp!!! (Of goops and witches!)
Major Major Major Major
@Charles Fox: @Lurky murky: I will be putting up a durable page for the server one of these days with a form for this! You have been whitelisted.