« Kaine's big advantage is with Republican women | Main | Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist candidates »

July 29, 2016

Comments

the lack of Olympics pre-hype is strange. except for Russia's ongoing doping problems, i don't think i've heard anything about them for weeks.

i was expecting they'd cancel the swimming stuff. but nope:

On Thursday, health experts warned competitors not to open their mouths in the polluted waters, the New York Times reported. That includes marathon swimmers, rowers, windsurfers, sailors and more.

it sounds like a real, literal, shit show.

Fox: Fair and Balanced.

Pence, the poor dear:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mike-pence-name-calling-no-place-public

Good riddance:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/former-obama-voters-now-supporting-trump-why

Bryce Harper.

Big swing, but beautiful, with holes in it. Superb talent. Plus, the rest of the Nationals lineup doesn't offer much protection, so walk him.

Haven't kept up with his defensive game. Has there been some drop off there, too?

I also have a feeling that Harper might be one of those players (they definitely exist if you are a stat buff) who alternates on and off years offensively.

Who knows, he could get hot right now and crush the rest of the season.

I hope so. He's on one of my fantasy teams.

Since when has any ObWi thread NOT been open?

On the "whatever happened to" front: any recent news on the EgyptAir crash investigation?

On the Olympics: why don't they just make Hormone Chemistry an Olympic event?

On FOX, post-Ailes: has the phrase "Hiding behind the US Constitution" been heard on their air yet?

On the final night of the DNC: too much piety for my taste. If there is a God, He must be awfully tempted to pull another of his little practical jokes, like offing another Justice or inventing a new pandemic, in the next 100 days.

--TP

From the Count's 2nd link:

I am worried about the erosion of traditional America,” said a woman who identified as "JeannieD,” a former IT project manager at Microsoft who now works as a part-time receptionist. “I think that whites are marginalized. It’s okay to be proud to be African-American, proud to be Asian, but if you’re white and proud, you’re a white supremacist.”

The thing about this is that I see people saying they're proud to be Irish or Italian or Polish or German or Norwegian (all "white" according to our current social construct known as "race")and no one bats an eye.

I would guess if African Americans hadn't had their specific ethnic histories erased, they might identify more with being, say, Yoruba or Bantu than being generically African by descent. As it stands, they're kind of stuck with generalized African (or Black) pride.

You just can't make this stuff up. This ranks with Trump thinking Kaine was the former governor of New Jersey.

hsh,

the NC GOP is having a bad week.

The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday overturned the 2013 [NC] elections law case that included the voter ID provision.

The three-judge panel found that the law was adopted with “discriminatory intent.” The case was sent back to U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder, who in April issued a 485-page ruling dismissing all claims in the challenge to the state’s sweeping 2013 election law overhaul.

so much election fraud could have been prevented. alas.

Hah, was just going to note that cleek! Good news.

a bad week for the NC GOP is a good week for NC.

that pin thing is especially awesome because NC has a huge military presence. i'm sure they offended a lot of military families with that.

On the final night of the DNC: too much piety for my taste.

Yeah, a bit over the top...that and all the flag waving. It's as if they forgot we are hippies liberals.

The North Carolina GOP has been on a roll. But the bit with saying that a Blue Star Family pin was the flag of Honduras is exceptional, even for them.

Given the size of the military in the state, they may have just managed to lose, not only the NC presidential campaign election campaign, but the state legislature as well. And if that comes to pass, they will have nobody to blame but themselves.

I would love to see NC at least turn purple. My wife has wanted to move there lately. Not with the current crowd in charge, was my reply.

Ah, Texas and college football, don't ever stop.

http://deadspin.com/guess-how-sexist-texas-a-ms-event-for-female-football-f-1784538045

I'm hoping the streaming coverage of the fencing events is as good as it was four years ago. They streamed the raw feed (same as goes to national networks) of every minute of every bout. The only audio was the director and any ambient noise in the venue. After each touch, a slow-motion replay of the final action while the fencers went back to the en garde lines. Perfect for fencers to watch, and if you're not a fencer the sport is largely unwatchable anyway.

Of course, saber is unwatchable even for most fencers.

I like this take on our irreconcilable differences:

https://medium.com/@SeanBlanda/the-other-side-is-not-dumb-2670c1294063#.rpyukfsz7

One of the things that Trump has said, which has gotten a lot of derision, was that he thought he could win California. Given the level of irrelevance to which the California Republican Party has sunk, that seems nonsensical on its face.

But, post-convention, it occurs to me to wonder. Just how much "my way or the highway" sentiment is there among Sanders' partisans here? Are the dead-enders sufficiently numerous that they could actually swing the election? And are they willing to toss the baby out with the bathwater in the name of ideological purity?

Just writing that, it feels delusional. But then I think of the behavior of the Sanders supporters in the California delegation, not just early on, but even to the end of the convention. I guess time will tell.

Interesting link Yama, but this ruined it for me:

"Fredrik deBoer, one of my favorite writers around..."

@wj: My impression is that Sanders' California delegates were basically chosen for their level of fervor, which selected for these people.

Understood. My question is, how typical are they of Sanders voters here?

They certainly fit the pattern of juvenile (maybe the word I'm looking for is "sophomoric") behavior that I have seen from the far left for decades. But it's hard to tell, from close up, just what their first total numbers are.

Tony P.:

Please don't mention pandemics, you'll give God ideas. Siberian anthrax outbreak as climate change thaws long-dead infected reindeer.

And the GOP has ensured we have no extra money to fight Zika.

I like Yama's linked article, too, Fredrik DeBoer notwithstanding (& it makes again the point I briefly attempted to make about the Brexit vote yesterday). The other rule I try to follow more often these days is that you should try to engage with your opponents' best arguments rather than their weakest ones.

The apparent lack of scepticism about their own positions is why I stopped reading Talking Points Memo, and am a less frequent reader of Slate than hitherto.

Though sometimes, when you're looking for best arguments to take on, it's a struggle....
http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/07/19/an-open-letter-on-donald-trumps-vision-of-u-s-foreign-policy/

Republicans' Meme: mene, tekel upharsin.
(HInt: the handwriting is on the wall for you.)

Yes, Freddie is occasionally good, but rubs a lot of folks the wrong way.

Doc, that anthrax link is disturbing. I understand some areas of Siberia are burning as well? Is that as unusual as it sounds?

Re, Trump FP, or lack of it, I wonder how fast the security establishment would roll him over. I am not sure any leader can handle them; Trump's recklessness would be easily played, I think.

Regarding Police lying, collusion, etc. It fits in with the rest of our corrupt culture. The first reaction to a screw up is "I ain't taking the fall for this shit". Cops get plenty of leeway to shape the narrative; it must be hard to resist abusing that trust.

More Texas college football! Yee-ha!

http://deadspin.com/report-baylor-coerced-rape-victims-into-silence-by-thr-1784599815

Luckily I'd never heard of Fredrik deBoer, so I read this piece with unalloyed appreciation. In fact, I have saved it so that I can, when necessary, remind myself of its message.

Seems like everyone is taking a break, which is understandable. The whole Khizr Khan speech and Trump reaction seems to be the only thing that is being talked about.

But with GftNC's comment, I wanted to return to that idea that Nigel put forward of 'addressing the best arguments of the other side, not the worst'. I think it is a noble sentiment, but it is one that is done when you are in a position of advantage, and I don't think that liberals are anywhere near that kind of place at the moment. To take the Brexit example, you end up elevating clowns like Gove, Farage and Johnson, and allowing people like Teresa May to slide in. In the US, it means giving Trump the time of day, when he should have never even been considered a serious candidate.

So here's the question. At what point do you stop looking for the best arguments and decide, as James Carville quoting Mark Twain, that when your opponent is drowning, you toss him an anvil?

Well lj, I'm a bit too exhausted to think straight, but I'm going to be out of proper radio contact for the next 72 hours or so, so here's the beginning of my rough response, others will no doubt give theirs.

Your comment/question concerns the very concept I've been obsessing about for a while, namely discrimination.

I think one has to try to discriminate at all times, between: the sincere versus the insincere, the truly good versus the meretricious, the well-meaning but dangerous versus the uncaringingly malevolent, etc. etc. Of course in the end you have to trust your own judgement, but in the spirit of the piece we are discussing, before making that judgement you have constantly to question your own assumptions, and examine other explanations for your conclusions.

However, and this is where we come to Twain's anvil, once you have made a judgement based on this kind of examination, although always accepting that new information might make you modify your opinion, you should act accordingly, and wholeheartedly. So, for example, once you have decided on the evidence that Trump is a racist, a liar, a narcissist and a con-man, and you judge that he is about to become a real danger to the public, you should do everything you can to expose him and defeat him. But, and most importantly, you should not assume that his followers necessarily share these traits unless they display them (e.g. the KKK). Rational argument is always worth a try, and also that fine exercise of walking a mile in their shoes.

I'm now too tired to judge whether this comment has addressed your question, is unbearably pompous (very likely), or even if it makes sense. I'll be back in the North Country on Wednesday, and able to concentrate again, by which time either I can catch up on this conversation, or the caravan will have moved on.

Rational argument is always worth a try, and also that fine exercise of walking a mile in their shoes.

Of course. With regard to Republican invective, many of us have been there, done that, many times over.

The Republican candidates for President presented varying rhetorically acceptable versions of the same message: exclusion. We know what that message means, because we've seen what Congress has done to further any positive change: nothing. This is what the Republican party stands for. Sadly, although the majority of the country does not support that message of exclusion, it can't always get its act together to work together to defeat them, partly because where the Republican party is in power, it disenfranchises many who would oppose them, but partly because many on the left won't focus on the task. This is the exasperating challenge.

Yes, toss the anvil to Republican power.

Just a quickie: I realise on re-reading this morning that my response above is a bit banal, and even simple-minded, if what you were really asking is: at what stage does one counter dirty tricks with dirty tricks, or at what stage does one take up arms? The trouble with dirty tricks is that you become defiled, and the thing you despise. Taking up arms, however, has to be an option if things get bad enough. It's easy to know (if not to do) to take up arms in the resistance, when under enemy occupation, but taking up arms in a civil war situation is a very tricky calculation, pace the Count. I have no answer. Do you?

GftNC, it wasn't dirty tricks, it was that addressing the best arguments while ignoring the worst allows those worst arguments to go unaddressed, granting an unwarranted pass to the other side. Nigel has already pointed out that maybe it is a bit hard to find the best arguments with Trump, but with the example of Brexit, would the outcome have been changed had the Remain side simply argued that in our interconnected world, sovereignty is just not as important or valuable? Why give all those who were arguing from really base motives a pass by taking on their best arguments? I choose this because it seems like a good example to work from, but I'd be happy if there were an example that you see from the US where we are not looking at the best argument and concentrating on the worst.

It is a good question, LJ, and I do not have an answer. I have always leaned left, and had been radicalized in my thinking about the 'enemy' since the Gingrich revolution.

These days I am a recovering partisan. I would rather find ways to get along, though it is likely I will not be able to. Social media and call out culture is leading us all to some dark places. I am not eloquent or thoughtful enough to 'steelman' the arguments of folks I disagree with, so I really cannot take my own advice here.

I guess I am just tired of the fighting. (Not so much here, as Obwi has always been somewhat of an oasis of relative calm).

lj, again in haste, and re Brexit:

I don't know if Nigel disagrees, but it's my impression that the Brexiteers' worst arguments were robustly engaged with (e.g. that Brexit would mean much less immigration, and that Brexit would entail much more money to spend on domestic priorities like the NHS). These arguments were false, and to a large extent targeted at people's worst instincts, but refuting them, with proof, seemed to have almost no effect on their enthusiastic hearers, just as anti-Trump refutation seems to have no effect.

The sovereignty argument, although Brexiteers paid it lip-service since it played to Little England prejudices, and to some extent ignorance, was in my opinion of less consequence for most Brexit-favouring people. The only people I personally knew who were for Brexit were highly-educated, right-wing academic types, who knew a great deal about the sovereignty issue, and cared about it a lot. They were also very anti-EU, because of its (undeniable) bureaucracy and inefficiency, but I think this sort of Brexiteer was heavily in the minority.

Unfortunately, ad hominem attacks on the appalling Farage and Johnson would have done no good, because both are extremely popular with most of the public, and (wrongly I think) perceived as jolly good fellows, with whom it would be great to have a drink.

I think a significant portion of the (dis)credit for Brexit belongs to Jeremy Corbyn. He is a long-term opponent of the EU, and although he was manoeuvred into appearing to support it, he did it so half-heartedly that vox pops of Labour supporters in the lead-up to the referendum revealed that very many Labour supporters did not know that Labour was supporting Remain. He refused to appear on platforms with Cameron, which polls showed would have made a significant difference, and also refused to appear in Remain events with all living former Labour leaders, even when they found ways to ensure he wouldn't have to share a platform with Tony Blair. The veteran Labour pol who was in charge of the Remain campaign, Alan Johnson, revealed after the referendum that Corbyn's people frequently changed or omitted pro-Remain language in press releases, speeches etc. The upshot was that approx 33% of Labour voters voted Leave, although I accept we do not know by how much this would have been reduced if he had behaved differently. I am still beside myself when I think about it. Apart from ensuring another 9 years of Tory government if he remains leader, his Brexit behaviour puts him beyond the pale as far as I am concerned.

Thanks GftNC, appreciate the rundown. From my perch here in Japan, Corbyn looks a lot more like Naoto Kan, who was the prime minister during the 2011 tsunami, in that all the institutional forces worked to make sure that he was unable to govern

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naoto_Kan

I realize that there are paroxysms of purity, and Johnson's run in with Left Unity rep Hardy takes on that aspect

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/11/24/alan-johnson-is-really-angry_n_8636830.html

but Johnson's comments about Corbyn didn't really have much restraint
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/aug/04/labour-must-end-the-madness-over-jeremy-corbyn-says-alan-johnson

But Johnson warned of the danger of a Corbyn victory as he said that supporters who shout betrayal at Cooper and other members of the last government should remember a series of progressive measures, including the minimum wage and greater rights for trade union members, introduced by the Blair and Brown governments. “Jeremy’s ... been cheerfully disloyal to every Labour leader he’s ever served under,” Johnson writes. “That’s fine so long as members understand that it’s the loyalty and discipline of the rest of us that created the NHS, the Open University.”

One problem is that reading stuff on the internet, it is hard to get a timeline of what happens, and I think statement was at the end of the leadership campaign, and might be indicative not of Johnson being a Blairite, but of an increasing fractious argument that is spinning off and ends up with people getting more and more vehement. But it seems (again from out here) that Corbyn has not been given the chance to lead.

Returning to Brexit, undoubtedly the leavers' best argument was the sovereignty one. It's difficult to argue that current European lawmaking takes much note of the wishes of the U.K. electorate, and entirely fanciful that said electorate has the ability either to chuck out the Commission, or significantly alter the makeup of the parliament.
At the same time, for many years the Commission has been dominated by ardent integrationists openly committed to an 'ever closer union', and either indifferent or clearly contemptuous to any popular national opposition to this.

GFTNC is probably quite correct in thinking sovereignty per se wasn't what swung the majority to vote for Brexit.
However, it was/is almost certainly what decided the Tories like Johnson and Gove to commit to the leave campaign - something which was very far from a certainty before Cameron's less than successful 'renegotiation'.

I don't think it entirely fanciful to think that a principled and more forceful attempt to address this (rather than immigration or money) might have persuaded calculating politicians, like Gove and Johnson, not indissolubly wedded to leaving the EU, to stay on board with remain.
Before the current debacle, the signs were that the argument in Europe was swinging the way of those concerned with sovereignty (in the various national capitals at least). A less tight deadline for the referendum, giving a year rather than a few weeks for Cameron's Brussels negotiation, might have seen more substantial concessions.
The subsequent referendum campaign and vote would, I think, have been very different indeed.

But didn't it convince Gove and Johnson not through realistic arguments, but through exaggeration and lies? Maybe I'm just reflecting the articles I read, but Johnson's post referendum speech seemed to be a person who did not want to win and was gobsmacked that the punters actually believed him.

It seems that there are some arguments you cannot have at certain times (being married, I am sure that is the case) To me, sovereignty during the Brexit campaign was one of those times.

The sovereignty issue has a life entirely outside of the Brexit campaign and has been around in one form or another since the previous referendum in 1975. It should have been better addressed before the referendum campaign (which, indeed, was supposed to have been the point of Cameron's 'renegotiation').

I don't think either Gove or Johnson were themselves swayed by exaggeration and lies, however much one might think they subsequently utilised them. My point is that neither have a history of obsession with immigration (quite the opposite in Johnson's case), and I don't think either were automatically going to be on the Brexit side. Gove has elements of a true believer / fanatic, but again I don't think immigration is what motivates him, rather than national sovereignty.

The campaign itself descended into a competition to see which side could make the most improbable claims. Remain were always going to lose that kind of contest, as they didn't have the toxic issue of immigration on their side - and Gove and Johnson were able to lend a veneer of respectability/credibility to the leave side, which otherwise in the absence of senior mainstream politicians it would have lacked.

it seems (again from out here) that Corbyn has not been given the chance to lead.

Corbyn hasn't been given a chance to lead the country. But he has been given a chance to lead the Labour Party. From here (also several thousand miles away) his performance in that regard is underwhelming.

But he has been given a chance to lead the Labour Party. From here (also several thousand miles away) his performance in that regard is underwhelming.

On the contrary, I think he's leading it in exactly the direction he wants. That most Labour MPs aren't very keen on that is beside the point.
It is widely thought (not unreasonably, IMO), that he has little interest in winning the next parliamentary election, and a great deal more in taking over the institutions of the Labour party, and moulding it to suit his ideology.

Absent a near miracle (Owen Smith winning the leadership), the party seems destined for a split.

Open thread stuff:

I loved this article on Creem
magazine:

https://medium.com/kickstarter/the-life-changing-magic-of-creem-magazine-edc6fd04ed14?__prclt=NXwEtj4v#.pp3d5s7ak

At the end they added a few short articles by Lester Bangs, my favorite:

Lou Reed v. Lester Bangs (1973)

“You sit yourself down, and sure enough you become aware pretty fast that there’s this vaguely unpleasant fat man sitting over there with a table full of people including his blonde bride. Pretty soon he comes over to join you and the tic becomes focused too sharply for comfort. It’s not just that Lou Reed doesn’t look like a rock ’n’ roll star any more. His face has a nursing-home pallor, and the fat girdles his sides. He drinks double Johnnie Walker Blacks all afternoon, his hands shake constantly and when he lifts his glass to drink he has to bend his head as though he couldn’t possibly get it to his mouth otherwise. As he gets drunker, his left eyeball begins to slide out of sync.”

Thanks Nigel. I find it interesting (looking into my own head) that I'm probably to the 'right' of folks here who have expressed their problems with Hillary, yet for Corbyn, I take the position that would be more along the lines of a Bernie or Bust. Part of it is how I understand the differences between how membership in the Labour Party and the Democratic party works, another part is differences that I see (or seem to see) between Corbyn and Sanders see

https://shiksappeal.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/berned-by-bernie-sanders/
and
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/08/a-dialogue-about-black-lives-matter-and-bernie-sanders/401960/

perhaps a final point is that I think that if Labour continues to fight the Conservatives it always has, they are always going to be on the losing end.

The points that are similar for Corbyn and Hillary are my feeling that when you select someone (setting aside all the problems that 'selecting' someone entails), you've got to let them do it.

All of this is in my head and I'd be interested in hearing what others might think.

Nigel: GFTNC is probably quite correct in thinking sovereignty per se wasn't what swung the majority to vote for Brexit.
However, it was/is almost certainly what decided the Tories like Johnson and Gove to commit to the leave campaign - something which was very far from a certainty before Cameron's less than successful 'renegotiation'.

I don't think it entirely fanciful to think that a principled and more forceful attempt to address this (rather than immigration or money) might have persuaded calculating politicians, like Gove and Johnson, not indissolubly wedded to leaving the EU, to stay on board with remain.

LJ: But didn't it convince Gove and Johnson not through realistic arguments, but through exaggeration and lies? Maybe I'm just reflecting the articles I read, but Johnson's post referendum speech seemed to be a person who did not want to win and was gobsmacked that the punters actually believed him.

I cannot speak at all knowledgeably about Gove, who I suspect is actually a conviction politican, albeit one who perfectly personifies Chaucer's "the smiler with the knife under the cloak", but after observing Boris for many years, reading comments by people who know him well (including his family), reading a well regarded and by general consensus even-handed biography etc etc, I conclude that he was not at all convinced of the case for Brexit, was in fact probably a Remainer at heart, backed Brexit purely out of personal ambition to lead the Conservative party after Brexit was defeated (as was mainly assumed would be the case) and calculated that having backed Brexit, albeit unsuccessfully, he would be the popular choice (to be leader) of pro-leave Tory MPs when Cameron left, and thence Prime Minister. The sovereignty issue was merely intellectual cover for him. This is why he looked so gobsmacked the morning after the vote, and had nothing of substance to say.

Nigel: It is widely thought (not unreasonably, IMO), that he has little interest in winning the next parliamentary election, and a great deal more in taking over the institutions of the Labour party, and moulding it to suit his ideology.

Regarding the Corbyn situation (and excuding Brexit for the moment), and speaking as someone who is pretty sympathetic to the aims of the center-or even slightly further-left, I still think (like Alan Johnson) that if your aim is to improve the lives of regular people, you can only do it if your party is in power. Corbyn, by numerous accounts of the MPs he is supposed to manage in his shadow cabinet (they started out willing to serve, even if they hadn't backed him, but some had), is much too shambolic to do any managing and leading, and if Nigel is correct, he is content to see 9 more years of Tory rule (or more) while he remakes the Labour party. I imagine that if he had been open about this it would hardly have earned him the votes of the people who elected him!

Lou Reed will always be young and pretty.

Well, pretty. We are all older.

Well, pretty. We are all older.

Thanks GftNC, most of my reading is via the Guardian, but it seemed to me that Corbyn never got any benefit of the doubt, and a lot of the bad blood from the leadership campaign never really disappeared.

I think one reason I may be more sympathetic to Hillary than my left of center feelings would normally dictate is that it really seems that if the media environment focusses on your flaws, you really can't get very much traction. There still seems to be a big movement to validate/protect Blairism, despite the fact that the man himself is shambolic when defending himself after the Chilcot report
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/ng-interactive/2016/jul/06/tony-blair-statement-on-chilcot-iraq-what-he-said-and-what-he-meant

Doesn't a lot of this assume that the intentions of the former Blairites on the shadow cabinet were above board and they had accepted that they had lost and understood it was important to remold the party, but that Corbyn's were suspect?

There are two views of Corbyn's situation. One, held by many Labour activists, is that most (relatively centrist) Labour MPs' idea of party unity is that the rest of the party should agree with them, and that MPs' disaffection with Corbyn is because they can't stomach his (not very) radical policies.

The other view is that the MPs are quite willing to compromise on policy, but can't stand Corbyn's hopelessly disorganized and ineffective leadership.

I think the second is much closer to the truth. MPs want power, for good (see GftNC) as well as selfish reasons. It's their conviction that they'll never get it under Corbyn which makes them want a change of leader.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad