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September 29, 2018

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I’d also be very interested in what McK makes of the Wittes article(s) in the Atlantic, as they make a principled Republican case for not confirming Kavanaugh.

the GOP doesn't care about perjury per se. they care about getting wins over the left. they'll care deeply about perjury (and "family values" and ethics in government, and hating foreign influence in our elections, etc, etc) the second doing so will help them get a win over the left.

oh, and tax cheating. they'll care a lot about tax cheating as soon as Trompe is out of office.

NYC and NY state might care a lot about tax cheating right now.

the GOP doesn't care about perjury per se. they care about getting wins over the left.

I wouldn't argue with that.
I remain interested in how principled conservatives feel about it.

I too thought Yoffe's piece good, but I agree with Nigel's caveats, particularly his last paragraph. And of course, I think you have to see it in the context of Pro Bono's "illegitimate takeover of institutions" analysis.

'M' was me... not quite sure what happened there.

I too thought Yoffe's piece good, but I agree with Nigel's caveats, particularly his last paragraph.

Comments moving too fast for me: this refers to the last paragraph of Nigel's 09.15, namely:

There is also, of course, a very large difference between the student cases to which she refers and the confirmation hearing of a Supreme Court Justice nominee.

M may have been your own job application, Nigel!

Nigel, thanks for the interest in my views. Same to TP. I really am sitting this one out, for a number of reasons, mainly because my practice won't allow it. I'm very seriously slammed, mostly in a good way. Adios.

Would you like to talk about pop muzik, Nigel?

No worries McK, see you on the flip side.

Thanks for saying hey!

If this is the article McTX refers to, I have serious problems with it. Not least among them: quoting without demur one Patricia Hamill, attorney at law, as saying "No witnesses to what happened" as if Mark Judge was chopped liver.

But my main, overall, pull-out-my-hair-and throw-things objection is this: NOT-A-RAPIST is not (not! NOT!!) a qualification for a seat on the SCOTUS. I said last week that the Ford allegation was a sideshow, and it gives me no pleasure to have been right.

Bart O'Kavanaugh is a shameless lickspittle, a rabid partisan, and a transparent liar -- BUT HE'S NOT A PROVEN RAPIST, hallelujah! Collins, Murowski, and Flake have their cover to vote for him. His fellow Justices will welcome him as a colleague because to do otherwise would be "sophomoric".

And of course, good "conservatives" will rejoice that such a fine fellow -- who they know will be a reliable anti-Roe, pro-corporate vote on the Court -- shall stand athwart the Mueller investigation and yell "Stop!"

Good luck to all who stand by Bart, because as the man himself said: "What goes around, comes around."

--TP

Immoderate conservative game show host (most of them are conservative financiers of the republican party) Alex Trebek moderates a political debate:

http://www2.philly.com/philly/news/politics/elections/five-takeaways-alex-trebek-pennsylvania-debate-tom-wolf-scott-wagner-20181002.html

I'll take "Full of Shit America" for $1000, please.

P-bono: - launch a non-partisan Campaign for Democracy in the USA, with the sole aim of campaigning for fair representation, for voting rights, against gerrymandering, for a fairly elected executive and legislature, and for a fairly appointed judiciary. And with a strict rule against endorsing any candidate for election. If Republicans are opposed to democracy (they are) make them say so.

This is all well and good, but please do name a point in US history when things were not "partisan".

The present political ascendancy of the GOP is due in large part to going all in and pandering to their base (guns, abortion, etc.).

Appeals for the Dems to simply shut up, shut up, shut up, about guns and/or abortion and make non-partisan appeals to common sense and decency is simply ignoring how elections are won in this country in the actually prevailing political climate.

It is a recipe for disaster.

To win Dems need to fire up and expand their base. Appeals to the 'center' or trying to peal off 'reasonable' republicans are a dead loser.

Thanks.

Watch this narrative very closely:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/white-house-begins-the-china-counter-narrative

.... and listen to the interview by Terri Gross with Michael Lewis, author of the "The Fifth Risk to learn how (Lewis gets to the identity of the Fifth Risk late in the interview) the China narrative fits hand-in-glove with the ultimate goal of the anti-American, country-wrecking Republican Party and its blunt instrument, mp, whose only proven lifelong talent is turning assets to dust while skimming the goodies and fucking everyone else from behind: defaulting on the debt and using national security vis a vis China as the demagogic lever to bankrupt the United States of America, ceasing all government functions outside of what is required to suck Defense Department contractor cocks.

https://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/

All else is sideshow. Kavanaugh, of course, is needed on the Court, along with the next Federalist shit mp appoints, to fend off any legal challenges to the bankruptcy of the U.S. Government.

I disagree with Lewis in that his Fifth Risk is merely the penultimate one to #6 -- nuclear confrontation with China and ... #7, savage bloody Civil War fought, free of any electoral bullshit niceties, against the entire republican/conservative movement edifice in every street and alley in all 50 states in this country

I spose THIS comment will disqualify me from a seat on the Supreme Court.

I know I should spend my time more wisely and judiciously, as a future investment in a lifetime sinecure, by getting my dick wet using every ruthless, non-consensual tactic in the book.

The swindle with the prosecutors report is in its premise.

Of course a reasonable prosecutor wouldn’t file this case. It’s been three decades! You shouldn’t file a case just because you think it’s plausibke, you should file it if you think “beyond a reasonable doubt” is an achievable standard. It would be stunning if a he said she said case didn’t at least evoke a reasonable doubt given the timeframes involved and the inaccessibility of formerly available evidence spoiled by the passage of time. Many crimes have statutes of limitations for the explicit purpose of enshrining that judgment- that the passage of time renders conclusions increasingly difficult until one can’t meet the criminal law standard.

Still probably did it though, particularly given that we can find the accusers testimony at least reasonably compelling and the accused’s teatimony worthless on the ground that he doesn’t have an honest character and has almost 100% definitely offered a variety of self serving lies in his defense.

The swindle of the prosecutors report was just to slip the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard into public discourse in a procedure that isn’t based on that. That’s all she was doing all along.

I spose THIS comment will disqualify me from a seat on the Supreme Court.

I nominated you...WTF? Didn't you get a hearing?

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/rubin-opposition-kavanaugh-final-straw-conservatives-ask-change-title

There will come a civil war in which Rubin's life will be spared by this stripping of her conservative credentials by these subhuman filth.

WRT count's China-not-Russia narrative link, looks like Bloomberg is claiming that China is involved in a supply-chain hack of major American companies. It's a serious enough probability that Bruce Schneier is paying attention to it.

What it is not, however, is any sort of electoral interference, the evidence for which remains scant and dubious. But in the public mind, all hacking is magic, so a large segment of the media consuming public will have a hard time distinguishing one type of smoke for another when the GOP (Gilead/Omelas/Panem) starts yelling fire in earnest after the Kavanaugh vote and before the midterms.

Think we have an early preview of their Maovember Surprise.

Michelle Malkin, "Investigative Journalist"

here's Bloomberg's story:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-how-china-used-a-tiny-chip-to-infiltrate-america-s-top-companies

evidence looks anything but scant. tiny, but not scant.

The "scan evidence" comment refers specifically to Trumps allegations of Chinese election interference, not to the reported supply-chain hack. These two things should not be conflated until someone shows something more than what Foreign Policy discusses in their article.

How did mp know that the Chinese government created the HOAX of global warming if his vast worldwide operations didn't hack their computing infrastructure?

You can't tell me he pulled that one out of his fundament too.

Speaking of his fundament, since so many so-called Americans seem to be entirely up it head first and all ears, could they report back to us what else is coming.

Kavanaugh is more popular that Jesus, but NOT the Beatles, just to be clear.

https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2018/10/04/fox-news-host-compares-kavanaugh-jesus-christ-and-investigation-crucifixion/221580

When FOX touts Kavanaugh as more popular than God on his perch at Mar-a-Lago, I'm betting shithead anti-Americans will ignite the Beatle record- and book-burning bonfires yet again.

To win Dems need to fire up and expand their base. Appeals to the 'center' or trying to peal off 'reasonable' republicans are a dead loser.

Except, Bobby, that "Appeals to the 'center' or trying to peal off 'reasonable' republicans" is EXACTLY what "expand their base" means.

Unless you have some other, magic, approach that just hasn't occurred to me....

I was going to say Pro Bono's analysis was faultless, until I got to his penultimate point. And frankly, although I don't like it, he may even be right about that one (I know wj, the definition of an honourable self-styled Republican, but really a RINO, will agree with it).

GftNC, sorry for the belated response. (Mis-adventures getting back to SFO from Brussels.)

I would (and have) say that Federalizing the abortion issue was a mistake. But it's where we are now. The problem with going back is that it will take at least a couple of decades (probably more) to lose the culture wars baggage and get back to where we were pre-Roe: grandual, but steady legalization across the country with even quite conservative religious (e.g the Southern Baptists) actively supporting it.

P.S. I'm a RINO only if one accepts the authority of the far right to define the GOP. And I emphatically do NOT accept it. Indeed, I would argue that it is they, not me, who are "Republicans in name only". They may have successfully seized power, but that doesn't confer legitimacy.

Wj,

There are previously-Republican voters who the Democrats might win over by taking Republican-lite stands. Then there are previously-non-voters who might vote for stand-your-ground Democrats when they eventually figure out that Republicans are basically screwing them. Either class might expand the Democratic "base". You have your notion of which is more likely, and I have mine.

--TP

Previous non-voters are great, if you can get them. But only a tiny fraction of those are folks who didn't vote at all because neither party was left enough for them.

The trouble with counting on the other non-voters is that they probably can't be relied upon going forward. The reasons that they haven't voted in the past are likely to result in them returning to non-voting in the future.

Except, Bobby, that "Appeals to the 'center' or trying to peal off 'reasonable' republicans" is EXACTLY what "expand their base" means.

Your theory is self-refuting. Is it your contention that the GOP has achieved electoral dominance by appeals to the center and trying to peel off 'reasonable Democrats'?

You cannot be serious.

Taking republican-lite stands is a recipe for electoral disaster for Democrats in the current political climate.

The trouble with counting on the other non-voters is that they probably can't be relied upon going forward

Balderdash. If you win and DELIVER they will be there for you next time.

...and get back to where we were pre-Roe: grandual, but steady legalization across the country with even quite conservative religious (e.g the Southern Baptists) actively supporting it.

This is simply not true.

The repetition of lazy historical nostrums does not make them true.

See also here.">http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2013/03/those-contradictions-wont-heighten-themselves-ladies">here.

This is an interesting article (which stands in contrast to the patently self-serving oped published by Kavanaugh last night) -
https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/10/christine-blasey-ford-brett-kavanaugh-metoo-toxic-masculinity.html

It is about rather more than the Kavanaugh nomination, but in that particular context, the women’s stories made very clear the gap in comprehension between his supporters and those who see him as unfit to be appointed.

The political problem with Roe is that it constitutionalized the abortion question at a place where 2/3 of the population disagrees with it. (Not alllowing protection of the fetus until month 7 instead of somewhere about month 4 or 5). So it is literally illegal to put the line where a huge majority wants to draw it, and we get sucked into stupid arguments between people who want to ban it altogether (a little less than 1/3 of the population) and people who think the third trimester (about 1/3 of the population) or completely the woman’s choice through birth (about 1/5 of the population) is right. Since the only way to fix that Court driven political decision to codify the will of less tha. 1/3 of the population is through focusing laser like on the Court, that’s what people have done. Now just because 2/3 of people disagree with the line doesn’t mean it’s their most important agenda item so the concentrated minority has hung on (see the NRA and common sense gun control issues). But it’s been a big thing that has stupidly poisoned the well on the Supreme Court for two generations.

But they can get that without the Kavanaugh nomination, so they should get it without the Kavanauh nomination.

The FBI found no corroborating evidence...

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/will-the-fbi-ignore-testimonies-from-kavanaughs-former-classmates
Several former Yale students who claim to have information regarding the alleged incident with Ramirez or about Kavanaugh’s behavior at Yale said that they had not been contacted by the F.B.I. Kenneth G. Appold was a suitemate of Kavanaugh’s at the time of the alleged incident. He had previously spoken to The New Yorker about Ramirez on condition of anonymity, but he said that he is now willing to be identified because he believes that the F.B.I. must thoroughly investigate her allegation. Appold, who is the James Hastings Nichols Professor of Reformation History at Princeton Theological Seminary, said that he first heard about the alleged incident involving Kavanaugh and Ramirez either the night it occurred or a day or two later. Appold said that he was “one-hundred-per-cent certain” that he was told that Kavanaugh was the male student who exposed himself to Ramirez. He said that he never discussed the allegation with Ramirez, whom he said he barely knew in college. But he recalled details—which, he said, an eyewitness described to him at the time—that match Ramirez’s memory of what happened. “I can corroborate Debbie’s account,” he said in an interview. “I believe her because it matches the same story I heard thirty-five years ago, although the two of us have never talked.”...

I guess they were told not to bother any theologians, or something.

Nothing to see here.

Beth Wilkinson, Kavanaugh’s attorney, said, “There is no new information here. The Judge stands by his denial.” The F.B.I. declined to comment on its investigation.

number of abortion providers, by state. That is all providers, not just clinics.

Good thing, bad thing, depends on your point of view. But to Sebastian's point, it seems to me that, as a practical matter, local preferences and value systems prevail, regardless of Roe.

To Pro Bono's point, one significant difference between the US and the UK is that in the US there is no established church, and in fact establishment of religion or religious practice is expressly forbidden. And good luck teasing apart any understanding of when life and personhood begin from religion.

Conservatives owe overturning Roe to their base. I have no doubt that once a Federalist is on the bench, it'll be on the agenda.

If and when it is overturned, we'll see what goes with it. Like, a recognition of an unenumerated right to privacy.

It will be generations before any understanding of the 2nd A other than individual right to own is considered. Americans love to shoot.

Kavanaugh, yet again.

Can't say as I can remember a SCOTUS nominee personally writing an op-ed to argue their own case. But I could be mistaken.

I really just do not know what to make of all of this.

they're keeping K in front of the public as much as they can, because he's a rallying point for The Base. he's a symbol of their manufactured grievances. he's their bloody shirt.

wcs

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/10/continuing-rise-american-style-fascism

From the Count's link:

"Put simply, Mitch McConnell and his cronies believe that Brett “I like beer” Kavanaugh is worth a little ethnic cleansing."

Reading through the comments at the Count's link, I'm thinking there needs to be terminology for politics that includes "micropolitics" and "macropolitics," paralleling the way people (well, some people) look at economics.

(Please note that I have no formal education in political science and may be ignorant of the existence of reasonably similar terminology that would render my comment moot.)

A good summation of where we (well, you actually) are now:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/the-guardrails-fall/572242/

A good summation

yep.

oh well.

next.

about K's "sunrise side of the mountain"...

he apparently cribbed that from ... W.

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=25954

From Nigel's link:

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal Thursday, Kavanaugh insisted that he was an “independent, impartial judge,” writing that “I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times. I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said.”

(...)

Kavanaugh’s charge that he was the victim of a left-wing conspiracy, and his threat of revenge, were in his prepared remarks; they were not a spontaneous emotional outburst.

cleek: ... he's a rallying point for The Base

What, those fabulous tax cuts and the Best Economy EVAH! were not enough? They still need to rally The Base??

Of course they do. That's how you win elections. Not by namby-pamby reason and flaccid reasonableness aimed at The Middle.

Democrats may eventually catch on. We will know next time the Dems stumble into power: will they impeach Bart for lying under oath, just to rile up their Base? or will they take the "reasonable" position that the GOP stole the SCOTUS fair and square?

--TP

i'd love to see him impeached. but 67 Senators is a tough lift.

Murkowski's a "no." Maybe that will encourage others, but probably not.

wj: The trouble with counting on the other non-voters is that they probably can't be relied upon going forward

bobby: Balderdash. If you win and DELIVER they will be there for you next time.

So, in 2010, when Obama had got the economy on the road to recovery and the Democrats had passed the ACA, those voters rewarded the Democrats with increased majorities in the Congress? Funny, that's not the way I remember it working out. Memory failure on my part, no doubt. ;-)

Your theory is self-refuting. Is it your contention that the GOP has achieved electoral dominance by appeals to the center and trying to peel off 'reasonable Democrats'?

You cannot be serious.

Taking republican-lite stands is a recipe for electoral disaster for Democrats in the current political climate.

My first reaction was: nobody is suggesting becoming "Republican lite". Just resisting the temptation to become a "Republican mirror" -- as ideologically rigid on the left as the Republicans have become on the right.

But then it occurred to me that perhaps, for you, "Republican lite" encompasses anything that isn't a mirror of the Republican extremism. Rejection of moderation isn't unique to the right, after all.

Can't say as I can remember a SCOTUS nominee personally writing an op-ed to argue their own case. But I could be mistaken.

I really just do not know what to make of all of this.

What I make of it is that the politicization of the Supreme Court has become explicit. Kavanaugh is running like he was in a national election. Sickening -- independent of his other shortcomings, which are legion.

So, wj,

Is your theory that Obama and the Dems would have done better in 2010 by catering to "Republican voters" more?

If yes, how?

--TP

Perhaps the problem is that "delivering" would have been something like single-payer/Medicare-for-all rather than the ACA or aggressively going after the people responsible for torture during the Bush administration rather than "looking forward and not back." Maybe it would have been putting the financiers behind the Great Recession in jail.

None of those things happened, so we don't know.

The (D)'s already are "Republican lite".

How much more "Republican lite" are they supposed to go?

Only in the sense that they would have done better by running candidates who were better reflective of their district in places which are now represented by Republicans. For example, if that means not running someone who is enthused about gun control (which, FWIW, I support) because that is how voters in the district see things, so be it. That doesn't add a vote for gun control in Congress, but it does get Democrats a vote on other issues. (Not to mention increasing the chances of keeping control of the chamber.)

There are places where generic Democratic stands can win. In those places, no need to compromise in the candidate you run. But there are other places where you need to accept the reality that the voters aren't with you yet on some issues. So run on those where they are with you, but with a candidate who is with them on some hot-button issues.

Not sure if that is any clearer than what I've written earlier. But if not, let me know and I'll take another go at it.

My general impression is that (D)'s from areas that aren't stereotypical coastal elite enclaves tend to not hold doctrinaire coastal elite enclave positions.

So, people like Tester, or Manchin, in the Senate. I'm less familiar with red- or purple-district (D)'s in the House, because there are just too many people in the House to keep track of.

What I would say in response to your suggestion is that it is (R)'s who need to get their house in order.

Any (R) at the national level who does not adhere to the rigorous party line stands in danger of being challenged in the next round of primaries. By the most fire-breathing character the (R)'s can round up.

If there is one thing at which the (R) party excels, it is lock-step party discipline. (R) moderates basically don't stand a chance.

I can't fix that. (R)'s can.

I take wj’s point about catering for regional differences in political character, but what about a case like Manchin ?

If this weekend he goes ahead and votes to confirm a guy who will debase the court for the next generation, is it worth supporting him as a Democrat just for the nominal win of the Senate seat ?
Gorsuch is one thing, and a I can understand that, tactically - but a Kavanaugh is quite another matter.

This [that abortion was getting gradually legalized] is simply not true.

The repetition of lazy historical nostrums does not make them true.

Finally got un-jet-lagged enough to read the linked article. What it says is that, in the year prior to Roe, abortion legalization bills failed to pass in any state where they were submitted. But what it doesn't mention is that bills to re-crminalize, or even just restrict, abortion didn't pass anywhere either. (As opposed to what we keep seeing today.)

That's what "gradual" means: you take a step, then you maybe have a pause, then you take another. Sometimes you maybe even take a step back before resuming the occasional step forward.

Was legalization going forward as fast as you would like? No. Was it going forward at an ever increasing pace? Also no. But the trend was quite clear.

is it worth supporting him as a Democrat just for the nominal win of the Senate seat ?

yes. having the majority in the Senate with a less-than-lockstep member is much more valuable than being in the minority, so every seat counts.

(i mean.... presuming the Dems were to get lucky and win enough seats, Manchin's would have to be one of them)

Drat! I had a comment with more on supporting Democratic candidates (including Manchin) even if they voted for Kavanaugh. But it got et.

Well briefly: what cleek said.

If this weekend he goes ahead and votes to confirm a guy who will debase the court for the next generation, is it worth supporting him as a Democrat just for the nominal win of the Senate seat ?

Yes.

Or, more accurately, hell yeah.

Sticks in the throat, though.

Why didn't Garland get a hearing? There's your answer.

Why didn't Garland get a hearing? There's your answer.

Yep. Frex without Lieberman's vote for the ACA it does not pass.

But the trend was quite clear.

No. It was not. If Roe is overturned the trend will be quite clear, and legal abortion may well disappear is more than a few states.

Some trend.

And there is still the matter of onerous federal regulations (Hyde Amendment, etc.).

When some konservative nitwit gets on your case asserting "the left" is immoral because "it" believes the ends justify the means, don't be afraid to tell them to just go f*nk themselves.

Shorter version: Yet another very good Serwer essay.

Have a nice day.

What really needs to happen for our politics to change is that "moderate" Rs need to stop acting as if all of this is the fault of the Ds, show some backbone and actually fight against their own lunatics. There aren't enough Ds in power for the Rs to pass the buck and hope the other guys will stop the madness.

Flake is on his way out. If, after a vote, it proves that even he can't muster the courage to hit the brakes, then the GOP is a lost cause. And if R voters can't use the agency they have to change their own party, then they have absolutely no one to blame but themselves for the shitshow on their side of the aisle.

Yep. It's becoming a shit show.

You know, Marty remarked post election that Trump couldn't do anything to seriously undermine our democratic institutions, and I tended to agree with him.

Now? I'm not so sure. The Meuller Report may well be the tale of the tape.

there are no moderate Rs.

there are Rs who pretend to have to think about things. but their decisions are always indistinguishable from every other R.

Trump hasn't done much to hurt our institutions, compared to McConnell.

McConnell's the guy who heard about the Russian meddling while it was happening and refused to do anything about it.

McConnell's the guy who destroyed any chance that a USSC justice will be seated unless the President and the Senate are controlled by the same party.

and McConnell's the guy who rammed K through, despite his perjury.

said it before, say it again: Gingrich broke the House, McConnell broke the Senate.

Any (R) at the national level who does not adhere to the rigorous party line stands in danger of being challenged in the next round of primaries. By the most fire-breathing character the (R)'s can round up.

If there is one thing at which the (R) party excels, it is lock-step party discipline. (R) moderates basically don't stand a chance.

I can't fix that. (R)'s can.

This is correct. There was a time when the R's would take a "RINO" rather than a Dem, but now, not so much, if at all. Currently, the Dems have to take whoever they can get. If the day comes when the progressive left can do to Dem moderates and traditional liberals what the Republican base can do to those who don't toe the line, I'm confident we will see the same thing on then on the left as we see now on the right.

Crap, posted too soon. To round out the thought, I disagree with Cleek at 3:34 and offer the defeat of Roy Moore for the senate as Exhibit A. A lot of Repubs took a powder on that one.

A lot of Repubs took a powder on that one.

some.

McConnell didn't. Trump didn't. Fox News didn't. a lot of Republicans did at the start, saw that he might actually win, and then rallied to him at the end.

the same way they did for President Daughter-lusting Pussy Grabber.

McKinney - I've long ago concluded that the Rs are swayed by some version of the dark grievances that moved the Croatian Nationalists. And I worry that the left may find itself responding like the Yugoslavists turned Serbian Nationalists when the cleavage becomes too strong to resist.

My hope, however, lies in the extraordinary diversity of the left, which makes it less likely to fall into the romance of nationalism. It takes extreme conditions to unify such a diverse group under the flag of some universalist ideal (like internationalist communism). Sadly, extreme conditions are the one thing at which the rightward coalition excel at the moment. The left is not yet broken, but it is mightily pressed.

Justice Kavanaugh.

And the band played on

Hi McKinney,

Take on some RINO's and "centrists" in the left fold...sure. Why not? I'm an easy going type of guy. The problem is we are always asked to sacrifice some of our core positions in order to do so, while they in turn sacrifice absolutely nothing.

Effective political alliances are built on give and take, compromise, mutual respect, and having each other's back.

As I see it, moderate republicans have decided to throw their lot in with revanchist ethno-nationalists and religious extremists. They get their tax cuts and the repeal of the New Deal state, and the far right gets to put children in camps, polish their guns, outlaw abortions, and frankly just gloat.

McTX: Currently, the Dems have to take whoever they can get.

Whereas the GOP can pick and choose? Got it: the GOP consists of exactly who the base Republicans want.

I also take it that McKinney would rather see Ted Cruz re-elected, because Beto O'Rourke is a Democrat. Not that McKinney would actually vote for Cruz; he's made clear his distaste for the man. But vote for O'Rourke? I beg leave to doubt it.

--TP

The rebirth of the GOP comes when moderate minorities who have been one issue Democrats begin to feel the GOP is not going to target them.

Immigration reform, built on any consensus, will be a huge boon for
the GOP.

Until then, same old same old.

If the day comes when the progressive left can do to Dem moderates and traditional liberals what the Republican base can do to those who don't toe the line, I'm confident we will see the same thing on then on the left as we see now on the right.

I wholeheartedly agree with this. However, a vote for Kavanaugh is neither moderate nor liberal in any sense.

Still, the pragmatic arguments for supporting Manchin are persuasive.

The use of the word "target" is a little confusing, given the subject.

The problem is we are always asked to sacrifice some of our core positions in order to do so, while they in turn sacrifice absolutely nothing.

I would say that moving to the D column and voting D isn't exactly not giving up anything.

Whereas the GOP can pick and choose? Got it: the GOP consists of exactly who the base Republicans want.

My interpretation of Russell's comment was that the GOP base is not tolerating anyone outside the bubble. I agree with Russell, if that is what he was saying. So, in response to your comment, I'm saying the GOP doesn't pick and choose. It just picks, even if it loses, it still picks from the True Believers. For now, the Dems tolerate a degree of internal dissent in view of the larger picture. Again, I say that will likely change when tolerance is no longer necessary.

the GOP will reform itself when appealing solely to stupid racist white men is no longer sufficient.

No. It was not. If Roe is overturned the trend will be quite clear, and legal abortion may well disappear is more than a few states.

Some trend.

Yes, it was. Then.

Today, we're in a different environment. You are doubtless correct that legal abortion will disappear in several states. As I noted, because of where we are today, it may well be a couple of decades (or until the passing of today's culture warriors) before we get back on track.

Is that regretable? Damn right. But it's the result of making abortion a culture war totem, not something inherent to the 1960's views of those states.

The GOP needs to be born again? WTF is Marty talking about?

As for immigration reform "built on any consensus", when the GOP base demands that He, Trump reunite the kids He separated from their parents and grant citizenship to the Dreamers then we can begin to discuss "consensus". Until then, enjoy the weather on your planet, Marty.

--TP

Nous: What really needs to happen for our politics to change is that "moderate" Rs need to stop acting as if all of this is the fault of the Ds, show some backbone and actually fight against their own lunatics.

Damn right.

cleek: there are no moderate Rs.

there are Rs who pretend to have to think about things. but their decisions are always indistinguishable from every other R.

Actually there are. At least outside the national level. And even there, there is a range of insanity in evidence. Not saying you will find any of them good; but I think there's no question that some are worse than others. (You did notice, I trust, that the ACA did not, in the end, actually get repealed. Narrowly, but even with a majority in both houses it didn't quite happen.)

What cleek said (3:34).

In many ways, Trump is just a useful idiot for McConnell (as he is for Putin). He's doing his own damage, but McConnell is doing far more.

"The rebirth of the GOP comes when moderate minorities who have been one issue Democrats begin to feel the GOP is not going to target them."

The feral crakkker thugs you fellate will never stop targeting minorities. Not while there's a single breath left in their deformed bodies.

"The rebirth of the GOP comes when moderate minorities who have been one issue Democrats begin to feel the GOP is not going to target them."

bobbyp: "My fellow Americans. my search for immoderate minorities shall be strenuous and unceasing. Your help is urgently needed. Please dial the immoderate minority hot line: 1-800-KIS-MYAS. Your information shall be kept strictly confidential."

I also take it that McKinney would rather see Ted Cruz re-elected, because Beto O'Rourke is a Democrat. Not that McKinney would actually vote for Cruz; he's made clear his distaste for the man. But vote for O'Rourke? I beg leave to doubt it.

Since I did not--and will not--respond to your request for my views on Kavanaugh, I will comment on this one: I'm voting in November, but not for either senatorial candidate. I don't think Beto is particularly special other than he seems to be getting a lot of traction, which I think stems more from charisma and disgust with Trump than him being anything notably special. Cruz will always make me nauseous, that will never change.

And that squeamishness to vote for the only guy who might beat the person enabling the shitshow ensures that the shitshow continues.

Iirc the ACA repeal failed because some of the most extreme GOP guys in Congress found the bill not extreme ENOUGH because it considered keeping some of the protections in place and voted NO.

Looks like my bet on the Kavanaugh vote was right with Murkowski being the only one of her party voting no (maybe with a special dispense(ation?) from McConnell).
Should it end with Manchin being the deciding vote (i.e. not Pence tie breaking) then I will fully approve of all female Dem senators slapping him in the face on camera in the senate chamber.

Narrowly, but even with a majority in both houses it didn't quite happen.)

This is a reflection of the current knife edge balance as between two parties who are becoming increasingly ideologically cohesive.

Naturally, only Democrats can change this, and if things go to shit, they will have to bear the blame.

My interpretation of Russell's comment was that the GOP base is not tolerating anyone outside the bubble. I agree with Russell, if that is what he was saying.

You read me right.

The rebirth of the GOP comes when moderate minorities who have been one issue Democrats begin to feel the GOP is not going to target them.

And for that to happen, the GOP will have to stop targeting them.

Sticks in the throat, though.

To be honest, I'm not that big on adherence to party lines. I think we'd be in a much better place if we weren't able to basically predict every vote in Congress based on how many (R)'s and (D)'s there were.

At this particular point in time, I absolutely think the (D)'s should circle the wagons and work as a bloc. Because that's what they are facing on the other side, and the differences in number are too close to allow for any wiggle room. I think that sucks, but I also recognize it as a necessity if the (D)'s don't want to simply all pack their bags, go home, and leave governance to the (R)'s for the near future.

But as far as Manchin goes, he is the Senator from WV, not MA. I don't expect him to vote the way Warren or Markey are going to vote on all, or even most, issues. I'd prefer if he would go in their general direction most of the time, on the issues that are important to me, but I don't assume he will.

Because WV ain't MA.

In this particular case, it's completely plausible that a "no" vote would have cost him his seat, and then we'd almost certainly have another hard-line (R) as his replacement.

So I think he made the call he needed to make.

I do appreciate Heitkamp's principled stand, and Murkowski's as well, for that matter. I will probably send Heitkamp some money, she's gonna need all the help she can get. The (R)'s are gonna be after her scalp.

Naturally, only Democrats can change this, and if things go to shit, they will have to bear the blame.

No, the blame for things going to shit lies firmly with the Republicans.

But that doesn't mean that the Democrats should avoid doing things which would allow them to keep things from going that way. It would be better if the Republicans returned to sanity. And if they don't, they get the blame for making the mess. But until and unless that happens, the only hope is for Democrats to do some things they would prefer not to do, in order to avoid worse.

russell -I will probably send Heitkamp some money, she's gonna need all the help she can get. The (R)'s are gonna be after her scalp.

I just did that this morning as well.

But until and unless that happens, the only hope is for Democrats to do some things they would prefer not to do, in order to avoid worse.

Yes, but tacking right has gotten them nothing but derision and mockery and thanks for ceding a bit more ground. Giving up the high ground to fight on the low ground is also "doing something."

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