« Paris burning | Main | Where I'm at »

April 18, 2019

Comments

Wittes is a good and basically honorable guy who is nostalgic for the days of reasonable conservative (R)s.

That is approximately the same as being Charlie Brown holding the football for Lucille Van Pelt.

Ike is dead. He was reincarnated as Barack Obama, but the (R)'s somehow failed to see the resemblance.

Wake up and smell the coffee, Ben.

Ike is dead. He was reincarnated as Barack Obama, but the (R)'s somehow failed to see the resemblance.

Oh, I expect they did see the resemblance. They are, these days, the heirs of the Dixiecrats after all. And they saw Obama the same way their predecessors saw Eisenhower after he sent the 101st Airborne into Little Rock, and signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

The Charlie Brown analogy if fairly apt, except that it appears he is beginning to wake up and smell the coffee.

And regarding the link to comments on his article, I think this misses the point:
“And yet in this meritocratic thing of ours announcing yourself as a sucker gives you more credibility than being right all along...”

‘I told you so’ is far less likely to persuade the hitherto unpersuaded than a respected member of their own set admitting that they were suckered too.

That's all good, Nigel, and I certainly hope that Wittes' conservative bona fides make his argument that much more persuasive.

All of that said, Barr's resume should make his present behavior utterly unsurprising, to anyone. I appreciate Wittes' candor, but I also recognize that the willingness of folks like him to extend the benefit of the doubt to people like Barr is what makes it possible for them to continue to damage the nation.

From point of view of constitutional republican governance, the current situation is a catastrophe, and deserves to be considered and treated as such. This is not specifically about policy, it is about the utter corruption of governance.

It's not a time for extending the benefit of the doubt. Good faith is not in evidence and should not be assumed.

I don’t disagree with any of that, at all.

It’s just that excoriating people for taking too long to see what’s been staring them in the face for a long time isn’t necessarily smart politics.

It's not a time for extending the benefit of the doubt. Good faith is not in evidence and should not be assumed.

sic transit gloria mundi.

And that's not by any means a criticism of russell, or even a disagreement, merely a comment on the fact that when one of the most reasonable, fair-minded people in the world takes this view, we are in dangerous times indeed.

What is the point of the benefit of the doubt when there is no doubt?

Their aims are explicit and transparent: destroy democracy in the USA. (The many-pronged attack on voting rights and opportunities is especially on my mind after a recent saga in Waterville, Maine, where the registrations of students and faculty at Colby College were challenged. Hearteningly, the challengers lost that one, but not until after many thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent, and hundreds of person-hours wasted.)

That the big new bugaboo word is "socialism" would be funny if the stakes weren't so high. (We have seen the effects of this I-wish-it-were-as-stupid-as-it-seems propaganda exercise right here at ObWi.) I don't know why they didn't just cut to the chase and start demonizing the word "democracy" and be done with it.

I can't say it better than Hart said it in the link Donald gave us a few days ago, so I'll just repeat the link.

And -- wrs.

"You still don't know what you are dealing with, do you"*

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA8jv1M6Y2g

This sentence from a Daily Kos piece:

"Donald Trump refused to talk to Robert Mueller about Vladimir Putin. Trump was happy to talk to Putin about Mueller."

The 2020 Presidential election will be the third Presidential election stolen by the brazen Republican Party and its massively tentacled and organized malign conservative movement during the 21st century. Even in the event of a Democratic victory in 2020, the corrupt infrastructure ... the Supreme Court and William Barr at p's private law firm now residing on permanent retainer in the building that once housed the U.S. Justice Department .. is in place to support p's refusal of any transition from him in the White House and the Republican Party in control of the U.S. Government.

There's only one fucking way out of this.

Formal round-the-clock firing squads after re-institution of the rule of law will probably be a luxurious pipe dream, if history is any kind of messy guide regarding how these things go.

*LGM used this image yesterday, so I'm willing to give them a hat tip. But, I've been using it here for years in the same context. Brilliant minds etc., etc. haw haw.

Their aims are explicit and transparent: destroy democracy in the USA.

Again, no disagreement. Only a slight question about the definition of "their"

Loose talk costs lives. I should have said

A slight question about who all is included in "their"....

Only a slight question about the definition of "their"

Start with McConnell himself, and his enablers in the Senate, like my own state's Susan "I have concerns about that" Collins.

Add the entire Clickbait apparatus, with Putin underwriting the enterprise.

Throw in R state legislatures gerrymandering and trying tirelessly to undermine abortion rights, gay rights, voting rights, you name it.

For good measure, take into account the # of black Americans in prison (fewer than before, but still vastly disproportional), and for that matter the # of white Americans who would be perfectly happy to see democracy go the way of the woolly mammoth if that's what it took to make sure brown people, Muslims, and other undesirables knew their place.

I could go on, but it's my favorite week of the year here in the north country, and I've spent the whole week (month) (year so far) with my nose buried in data management slog, so I'm going outside.

*****

Seeing that we cross-posted, all I can say is that it is beyond my patience and resources to say "who all" is included. But it doesn't take that many if you're willing to subvert not only longstanding norms and unwritten rules but the rule of law itself. Which reminds me, did I forget to mention Barr?

I agree totally with your list, Janie. That list apart, I only exclude those poor saps who have been voting R and are a) too ignorant or b) too susceptible to propaganda to see what it is they are signing up for, i.e. the explicit and transparent destruction of democracy in the USA. As you have hinted, there is plenty of that around, and unfortunately (as Nigel, and wj, have often said) you need some of those to finally see the light and to vote accordingly, if the US is not to end up in the kind of civil war some of our posters talk about.

destroy democracy in the USA.

I don't actually think that's the goal. I think the goal is to preserve some "way of life" that they find congenial, and which is (or they think it is) threatened by broader social and economic changes. A way of life that may or may not have ever actually existed, and to the degree that it ever did, wasn't actually all that great, at least not for everybody.

They want to stand athwart history and yell "stop".

The problem is, history doesn't give a sh*t. So it's a losing game. And nobody likes to lose, so they will gladly take legitimate representative government down with them if that's what it takes to hold on to whatever the hell it is they think they are preserving.

I appreciate the general conservative inclination to not rush into things, to make changes thoughtfully, with due consideration of side effects and unwanted results.

But "not rushing" has to at least keep up with events. Otherwise you have lost the game. You are no longer making thoughtful choices, you are just reacting to things that you cannot control or, likely, understand.

But hell yeah, the (R)'s appear to be on the way to burning it all down before they will give a fucking inch.

Inches will be taken, nonetheless. Not because we're all going to rise up with our guns and pitchforks and torches, although some of that may go on. But because things change, and you either change with them, or you get run over. Full stop.

If folks want to get run over, that's their prerogative. Quit taking the rest of us with you.

...a recent saga in Waterville, Maine, where the registrations of students and faculty at Colby College were challenged. Hearteningly, the challengers lost that one, but not until after many thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent, and hundreds of person-hours wasted.

Perhaps I am misreading the linked article. But it sounded like the $25K in costs included both the registration challenges and other challenges to the plastic bag ban referendum. And, in this case, the motivation didn't seem to be partisanship so much as unhappiness over the vote on a single specific issue.

Their aims are explicit and transparent: destroy democracy in the USA.

...

I don't actually think that's the goal. I think the goal is to preserve some "way of life" that they find congenial, and which is (or they think it is) threatened by broader social and economic changes. A way of life that may or may not have ever actually existed, and to the degree that it ever did, wasn't actually all that great, at least not for everybody.

They want to stand athwart history and yell "stop".

Gotta agree with Russell here. The big donors, as a group, might be happy to replace democracy. But their voters don't want that. All they want is to roll back the Voting Rights Act, so they can largely restrict voting to "people like them." A fine distinction, I admit. But an important one if the goal is to change some minds.

wj, I don't want to get into one of our patented quibbling matches, but where did I say anything about "partisanship" as a motivation?

There was a vote. They lost. They didn't convince voters on the merits, so they tried to get people they thought probably voted against them off the voting rolls.

What is creating a big expensive ruckus because of your "unhappiness over the vote on a single issue" if not disgruntlement with democracy itself?

Janie, fair enough. I was misled (I think) because the topic of the moment was these kinds of actions for raw partisan ends -- specifically to hold on to power in spite of having lost majority status. Apologies.

To clarify: I take "partisanship" to mean D/R. What we're talking about is what kind of country we want to live in, which to me supersedes the question of parties, even though there's a lot of overlap.

And as for "important ... if the goal is to change some minds," I am tired of hearing that, which is a big reason why i've been mostly staying away from here. Mostly it means "calm down and shut up," and I've had just about enough of that in my life.

Apologies in turn, wj, but I really have had more than enough of "calm down and shut up" in my life, and I don't have the patience to put up with it here.

Anyhow, I don't see a lot of percentage in trying to chip away at the opinions of people who can't see through the criminal in the White House without my help.

"They want to stand athwart history and yell "stop"."

History has a way of thwarting them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ictGqzFSCVU

Unless they cheat by wearing fortified pants:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_sleRlUIsI&t=21s

They cheat.

I don't see a lot of percentage in trying to chip away at the opinions of people who can't see through the criminal in the White House without my help.

Certainly a lot of people are a lost cause. But considering how narrowly some recent elections have been decided, it seems worthwhile to put a little effort to changing even a relatively small number. Although, admittedly, putting that same effort into increasing turnout might be more worthwhile.

P.S. If what I said came across as "calm down and shut up", I really need to work on my phrasing.

I really need to work on my phrasing.

It's pretty inevitable that if you tell people they're doin' it 'rong, some people's buttons are going to be pushed. I have been on both sides of that dynamic over the years.

"Putting that same effort" into fighting gerrymandering and disenfranchisement would also be worthwhile; that's a fairly immediate need, with possibly near-term results. I don't see trying to convince true believers as a likely to give good return investment compared to a long list of other ways of spending time/money.

As a simple and practical suggestion, both Common Cause and the League of Women Voters do good work in the area of voters rights.

Either organization will welcome your money or your time. You do not need to be a woman to participate in the League of Women Voters.

More generally on the topic of influencing people and events: fundamentally I believe that we don't have a clue. "We" meaning human beings.

A lot has been written about what used to be called "global warming" and now is called "climate change" in a framework that assumes that if only "we" had made different choices, and if only some people weren't so benighted or stubborn or greedy, we could have averted that disaster.

I'm not at all sure of that. I think "we" have about as much chance of influencing events at that scale as we do of changing the course of a hurricane, or shielding the earth from a nearby gamma ray burst.

This is in part because our conscious motivations are the tip of the iceberg of what drives us. The idea that everything we do is out of conscious, rationally determined motives is an illusion, and the idea that we can consciously influence other people's choices and decisions is proportionately that much more more fantastic. (This is the "I can't even get my kids to stop squabbling, WTF do you expect me to do about Bosnia?" POV.)

People at ObWi have, even fairly recently, observed that after years and years of hanging out here, and with some store of goodwill built up by long acquaintance and the sense of being part of some sort of pixellated community, almost no one has convinced anyone of anything. How much less so, with strangers? And maybe even less so with people close to us in real life.

If this sounds fatalistic, I'll counter it with a passage from Mary Doria Russell's "Children of God," the second of her two "Jesuits in space" novels. Two female Jana'ata, a sentient predator species now almost extinct, are alone on a mountain. Ha'anala, the younger of the two and a sort of "Moses of her people," is in despair. Suukmel is the elder of the two.

"Go back down the mountain, my heart," Suukmel advised serenely. "Listen to Isaac's music again. Remember what you thought when you first heard it. Know that if we are children of one God, we can make ourselves one family in time."

"And if God is just a song?" Ha'anala asked, alone and frightened.

Suukmel did not answer for a while. Finally she said, "Our task is the same."

From another angle, we might contemplate the butterfly effect in light of the fact that the effect is unpredictable (not to mention unintended by the butterfly), and also that there are billions if not trillions of butterflies flitting about, triggering or contributing to effects both large and small.

People at ObWi have, even fairly recently, observed that after years and years of hanging out here, and with some store of goodwill built up by long acquaintance and the sense of being part of some sort of pixellated community, almost no one has convinced anyone of anything.

I feel like my opinions have changed on a variety of issues over the years. Partly, I like to think, in response to new information. But this is where the new information frequently came from.

Also, hsh has said in the past that his opinion has been changed twice (!), and that one of those times it was changed by Janie.

heir aims are explicit and transparent: destroy democracy in the USA.
...
I don't actually think that's the goal. I think the goal is to preserve some "way of life" that they find congenial, and which is (or they think it is) threatened by broader social and economic changes.

I think the Republican party operates on two levels: the politician/big donor level and the voter level.

The politician/big donors want to turn the US into a one=party kleptocracy. They want to end representative government.

The people who vote R have a variety of motives all selfish, but most do not want a kleptocracy.

I don't see trying to convince true believers as a likely to give good return investment compared to a long list of other ways of spending time/money.

Agreed, but it’s not the true believers at issue. It’s the sliver of the electorate that do change their vote from cycle to cycle.
I was arguing it was counterproductive to excoriate people who publicly and at length admit that they were wrong. It’s not going to make any difference to the believers, but how is it going to help persuade the non tribal ?
I’m no fan of Wittes, and it exasperates me as well when someone belatedly admits what’s been obvious to me for a long time. But in political wars, the concessions of your opponents should be welcomed, not dismissed.

The New Yorker has a good article from last year discussing cognitive bias and tribalism which is relevant, and rather depressing:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/why-facts-dont-change-our-minds

The problem is that those 'concessions' tend to be a) singular events not indicating a permanant change of mindset and b) always come after the damage is already done. 'I maybe should not have released the posion gas. Sorry! Hm, I think I should press that red button marked 'nuclear armageddon' next. What could go wrong? Ooopsie! Hm, what about this lever here?'

A fair point, and I don’t expect Wittes to cease being a conservative any time soon. But the way he talks about Trump is hardly an isolated concession.

And change is possible when people actually look into what they’re arguing about...
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201905050026.html
However, meeting with and hearing Okinawans led him to doubt what he was thinking.

For example, he went to the Takae district of Higashi in Okinawa Prefecture to argue against protesters who were holding a sit-in there to oppose construction of helipads for U.S. forces.

Then, in contrary to rightists' claims, he found that none of the protesters were receiving daily allowances and that there were no South Koreans or Chinese.

He was also touched by the protestors’ remarks that they wanted to protect their daily lives. Such remarks went “beyond my assumptions,” he admitted.

He became aware that he was reading only information that supported his own opinions....

That the big new bugaboo word is "socialism" would be funny if the stakes weren't so high.

It would help if people on the left would drop the "democratic socialism" label and adopt "social democracy" instead.

change is possible when people actually look into what they’re arguing about...

Now you're talking about a really small demographic. If it's 1% of the population I'd be amazed.

I’m pretty sure you’re right, russell.

But opinions change over time on a larger scale, as we’ve seen with climate change.

If I recall accurately, I believe McKinney's mind was changed by Jesurgislac, along with other influences, regarding the issue of accepting the legalization of gay marriage.

Slartibartfast may not have altered his bedrock positions on the issues, but he definitely was, or became over time, a great listener of opposing views.

And, by the way, Slart's almost total silence since p was "elected" in 2016 is, IMHO, the most eloquent witness to the travesty we are undergoing in this country.

Sebastian is similar, but with a different cast of mind, perhaps legalistic, which is in no way a criticism, but which I can't quite describe at the moment. But he engages.

Hilzoy presented an example of someone who could accommodate a wide array of views in our little salon here, while being cheerfully and eloquently steadfast in her own positions.

Marty seems to harbor a range of viewpoints not set completely in concrete, but he has this sort of casual eye-poking thing he does, albeit with a sentimental frame of mind, like a victimized Robert E. Lee not accorded the honor of his uniform (yeah, well, look at the uniform!). His heart is in the right place, but his spleen is available as well.

Tacitus/Trevino had this thing he did in responding to comments of feigning the stifling of a yawn and studying his nails as if deciding whether discomfiting himself from his on-high fainting couch, propped on one elbow, among classical Roman pillows, was worth his trouble, especially if he couldn't sniff out a couple of five dollar stump-the-band vocabulary sequins with which to dazzle his interlocutors.

They, with the exception of Tacitus, are made of better stuff than I am.

But I am not so concerned with the substance of bedrock views on the issues (there's always room for split-the-difference compromise) .... bear with me, here ... but rather the manner in which they are presented.

Thus the conservative movement's ... speaking generally ... absolute, pure certainty that they are unfailingly correct, if not divinely
inspired, which places all argument in a polity on questionable footing, and their institution of resolute measures ... signed no-tax pledges, altering long-standing informal practices of governance, which have served as the lubricants required to live among one another as political/economic beings ... to foreclose all opposition in the exercise of governance is what motivates my rage.

I grew up around guns and it never occurred to me that banning the assortment of firearms folks kept for hunting and some self-protection would be a thing .. until the NRA and assorted crazy people decided that carrying in public, now even openly all manner of military-grade weaponry, was going to be the new demand, and on top of that seancing the "intentions" of people who lived 240 years ago who knew nothing about the technological advances in firearm deadliness and in any event are no longer available to change their minds .... all of this without compromise and accompanied by threats of using those weapons to ultimately get their way.

So, now, this is my counter offer under these new rules: Fuck you! You get nothing. You leave with LESS than you had before.

Now I am going to take ALL of your guns away, assholes, including your kids' squirt guns. You'd better shoot me now, Liberty, because before I take your weapon, I'll shoot YOU with it, because I don't like your all-or-nothing attitude or the look on your mug that comes with it. STFU.

Falling back on a sports analogy, I enjoy competing in a hard-fought by-the-rules baseball game. But if the opposing team wants to turn it into a spikes-up, high and hard chin music endeavor, you've taken on the wrong guy and I've played on teams who think the same way and we were happy to match whatever stiff-necked low down, trash-talking shit you want to deal, and do it better.

At some point I don't care about winning any longer, I want to hurt and humiliate the other team. Hell, if we have to forfeit the game just to prove the opposition are a bunch of sanctimonious assholes, bring it on.

Put me in a room with p. I won't be emerging in a hypnotic trance (I'm HYPnoTIZED) wearing worn knee pads the better to grovel in, to tell you how much I love the guy and how nice he was to me, and pledge undying loyalty to him.

No, you can make your way into the room through the busted up furniture and fetch p a hankie to staunch the hemorrhaging from his florid, arrogant face.

I don't want to civilly debate Grover Norquist. I wanna fight him with a 2-by-4 with a couple of nails sticking out the business end. Because those are HIS terms.

Go ahead, fire on Fort Sumter because you have a sentimental attachment to the indoor slaves. Now I'm picturing clearing the benches, smashing the water coolers, and burning Atlanta to the ground.

Not to mention mixing my metaphors.

Otherwise, I'm incredibly easy to get along with.

Also, WRS, whatever he said last.

And that goes for the rest of ya, too.

change is possible when people actually look into what they’re arguing about...
...
Now you're talking about a really small demographic. If it's 1% of the population I'd be amazed.

In a lot of cases, sure. But consider a counter example: a couple of decades ago, gay marriage was unthinkable for the vast majority of the population. A couple of decades before that, just engaging in gay sex was a felony in most of the country. But today?

Not only is gay marriage legal everywhere, a substantial majority of the population agrees that it ought to be legal. The trogdolyts who still freek out about it are a shrinking minority -- and they know it. It is even possible for a gay man to run for President, and be accepted as a serious candidate. Maybe not a likely winner, but it won't astound if he manages to make it on to the ticket.

That's some enormous mind changing. On a topic that people were seriously emotional about. And it happened, to pretty much everybodies' surprise, in a very few years total.

Is it likely to happen on other fronts as well? Perhaps not. But I think it's a mistake to ignore the evidence that it can happen.

I have long since abandoned the notion I would change a mind here. The things I would care about changing require more nuance and, frankly, a starting point that we are trying for the most part to accomplish the same things. Neither of those happen here.

My eye poking, done other places to conservatives, is basically an attempt to draw some bounds of reality when, imo, the hyper partisanship steps over the bounds of reality.

It's not GoT we're watching here. Trump doesnt want to be emperor, Pelosi same.

No one on the playing field is trying to destroy our democracy, some policy ideas could, but it's not anyone's intent.

No one has the intent to keep poor people poor, there are times when the realities are used for political advantage on both sides.

The defining assumption that the other side is either discussing in bad faith, evil or just stupid prevents any actual idea exchange.

Intelligent people wont put up with the crap, they just go away. I'm often not that smart. But there is literally no one left here to have a real discussion with, except for an occasional eye poke I wont bother, and I was it.

Between the hateful screeds, the name calling and the dismissive self righteousness (Enjoy your tax cut) there's not much to do except a little eye poking.

SSDD

No one on the playing field is trying to destroy our democracy, some policy ideas could, but it's not anyone's intent.

there are a lot of people on the field who find the ideals of democracy annoying obstacles that stand in the way of their true goal: the accumulation of wealth and power.

Trump, for one. he is no patriot, no idealogue. he has no commitment to the ideals of democracy. he would destroy our democracy in a second, if he thought he could hold onto his money in the aftermath. the fact that the government is too big for him to control completely is the only reason he hasn't tried.

but the GOP enthusiastically supports him. top to bottom.

No one on the playing field is trying to destroy our democracy

Mitch McConnell.

I don't include Trump because I don't think he understands it well enough to intend one thing or another.

Plus, gerrymandering. Plus, sustained and repeated efforts to suppress voting by people who tend to vote (D).

That's all real stuff, nobody's making it up.

the dismissive self righteousness (Enjoy your tax cut)

"Enjoy your tax cut" us shorthand for "it breaks my fucking heart that nobody sees the value of things done by public sector, for the common good, anymore. At least not enough to make any personal sacrifice to make it happen".

Because it wasn't always that way.

don't know if that's more or less self righteous, but it is shorter to type.

It is somewhat dismissive in that it assumes that a thoughtful discussion of that topic is not on offer. Apologies if that's unfair, unfortunately I've grown jaded.

Are you open to proposals to raise raxes? On anything or anyone?

there's not much to do except a little eye poking.

The downside of holding a minority position is that you have to dig your way through 18 tons of assumptions about what you're trying to say before your actual point will be heard.

You can do that, or poke folks in the eye, but probably not both.

there's not much to do except a little eye poking.

This is, IMO, not merely unproductive but actively counterproductive. Whether it is Marty or Mr Thullen. Possibly relieving to the feelings, but unlikely in the extreme to accomplish anything resembling persuasion.

"My eye poking, done other places to conservatives, is basically an attempt to draw some bounds of reality when, imo, the hyper partisanship steps over the bounds of reality."

Are you telling us that with your conservative contacts you tried to draw some non-hyper partisan bounds of reality regarding Hillary Clinton.

What, that she didn't murder Vince Foster? Did you have to fake your reasonableness to calm them down.

Marty, you are not the purely objective non-partisan bureau of standards refereeing center of C-SPAN political equilibrium.

There is one phone line for conservatives and one phone line for liberals. There's a phone line for the mushy middle, true, but you don't know the area code.

I'd like it more, not that it matters outside of our cage matches here (just so you know, none of this is important enough to be personal) if you threw obvious bombs from the other side of the fence where your partisan feet reside, rather than hopping up to your perch on the DMZ fence, after leashing the dog you allege you do not have in these fights, to and tut-tutting some here, including me, for getting carried away.

What I do isn't quite fair engagement-wise, I admit, which is to argue vehemently at the conservative political establishment ... McConnell, p, FOX News ... by yelling at the few conservatives here.

I must think one of you is going to call up McConnell and company and tell them the crazy person at OBWI thinks they've crossed a line and to cease and desist, or else.

I'm not so concerned with changing minds, including mine, because all, or nearly all, of the possibly mind-changeable conservatives, see RINOs throughout the political establishment and infrastructure who might be open to an appeal have been purposefully sidelined and purged by the true believers who swear blood oaths to stand athwart and NEVER change their minds or votes.

And I'm not interested in arguing with conservatives who MIGHT change their minds from their extreme positions on, say, abortion, or treating STDs, to pick an issue out of the hat (maybe launder the hat), because their daughter or wife happened to require an abortion to save her life or because she was raped, or their son caught the cooties because he couldn't resist getting his wick wet, or because either one of them got scragged on a shoot-out on a city street.

If you (not you, Marty, all of those other yous) will only consider changing policy or moderating a view because, unbelievably, a loved one happens to be up against a reality the rest of the human race experiences daily, then you forfeit the right to in any way govern a polity because you have a severe empathy deficit unless it's your very own personal puppy falling into a meat grinder.

Mr. Thullen?

Why not Mr. Marty?

I demand equality of outcomes! For Marty, no less.

%-)

Mr. Thullen?

Why not Mr. Marty?

Um, because there's only one Marty (here). While we have multiple Johns from time to time. (Double entendre not intended.)

Sometimes, approximate overall equivalence is not identity in specific arenas. C'est la vie == political correctness be damned.

John

I do tell my conservative interlocutors that it is not likely Clinton had Foster killed. I do tell them when I think they have escaped reality.

I dont sit on a fence, I am certainly a moderate, but not not mushy. I find the sheer level of vehemence and angst here beyond any reasonable reaction to actual events.

We may not have had worse Presidents, in some ways, but certainly none as despicable personally. McConnell is just the whopping boy because he is in the position he is in, but any Republican, or Democrat in reversed circumstances, would do what hes done. It took him two years to finally blow up the filibuster for judges.

I'm not interested in discussing abortion with people happy to kill a child as long as its 1 second before it is born on the fucking whim of the mother. Nor with someone who believes contraception is abortion. Those appear to now be the appropriate stances on offer.

But there, I must be sitting on some muddled fence because I dont want to entertain the ridiculous stances of either parties supporters as rational, or the way they try to enforce those through widespread social bullying by demonizing anyone not on their side.

I'm not interested in discussing abortion with people happy to kill a child as long as its 1 second before it is born on the fucking whim of the mother.

Which is fine, as there are no such people.

I'm not interested in discussing abortion with people happy to kill a child as long as its 1 second before it is born on the fucking whim of the mother.

there can't be more than ... eight ? such people in the entire world. and that's including serial killers.

McConnell is just the whopping boy because he is in the position he is in, but any Republican, or Democrat in reversed circumstances, would do what hes done.

I think this is profoundly wrong. Look what he did about Merrick Garland after Obama nominated him, and then he made it clear before the 2016 election that even if HRC won he would make sure Garland's nomination stayed stymied. As far as I can see, no other R or D has ever shown such contempt for American democracy.

One of the good things Andrew Sullivan did while his blog was still live was to host a discussion on the issue - which if I recall correctly, changed his mind.

Here’s a thread I found:
http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/threads/its-so-personal/

Striking is that for the parents actually faced with making the decision, whether they were pro choice or pro life often did not determine what their decision was.
And most refused to judge others, whichever way they decided.

McConnell is just the whopping boy because he is in the position he is in, but any Republican, or Democrat in reversed circumstances, would do what hes done.

And yet none of them ever did. Consider, by way of example, Trent Lott. Nobody's idea of a liberal -- recall that he was forced out as majority leader after speaking in praise of voting ("proudly"!) for the Dixiecrats. Yet he didn't find it necessary to stonewall President Clinton's judicial nominations. Even though Clinton was hardly beloved of Republicans in Congress.

... it is not likely Clinton had Foster killed ...

Now THERE'S a "moderate" position.

"It's fucking nuts to believe Clinton had Foster killed" is what a radical leftie like me would probably say. Which just goes to show you how angst-ridden I am, I guess.

--TP

I do like the phrase "whopping boy". Who knew smartphone keyboards could give forth with inadvertent poetry.

For whom the boy does whop.

I vote for the GOP, even though I couldnt for Trump ever, because I put my country ahead of even my disgust for him. Power isnt the goal, saving the country from Democratic Socialism is.

I'm not interested in discussing abortion with people happy to kill a child as long as its 1 second before it is born on the fucking whim of the mother.

For a brave, indepentent truth-teller who can poke the eye of either side with his uber-rational ability to "draw the bounds of reality," it’s amazing how often Marty shows up using the latest R or Clickbait talking point as the stick he brings to poke us with.

I am certainly a moderate

LOL, whopping boy. Moderate on what?

By that measure I am also a moderate, stuck as I am between those who promote the proletarian revolution (like Protestantism, many varieties) and squishes like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The GOPPERS are pure greed and grift all the way down, and the Democrats are not all that far behind.

This smells bad. Like black ops cordite meant to jump start WWIII, while canceling all inconvenient elections.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-sending-bombers-carrier-group-to-middle-east-in-message-to-iran-2019-05-05?mod=MW_story_top_stories

And this:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/venezuela-coup-was-a-russian-plot-behind-the-failed-uprising?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

Remove our "leadership" by all and every means.

There will be blood:

https://juanitajean.com/how-he-does-it/

yeah, but you gotta admit: imaginary socialism is still much scarier than actual corruption, treason and lying under oath.

Meanwhile, chez cleek, it is reported that in Ohio an 11 year old girl who was raped and is pregnant is being forced to carry a child to term because of the new "heartbeat" bill. Words fail, particularly when trying to consider those who claim their concern is "the welfare of the child".

The linked article at chez cleek is short on details, including how far along the 11-year-old's pregnancy is. Right off the bat, though, the reporter's assertion that she won't be allowed to have an abortion because of the new law is suspect, because the new law doesn't even take effect until July, and it will be challenged in court in any case.

I won't be surprised if the child ends up being forced to carry the pregnancy to term, but I hope that if she wants an abortion, she gets help obtaining it, starting with her family and moving outward to anyone who might be willing to support them financially or otherwise. If nothing else, we can still travel within the good old US of A without a passport, and not all states are as benighted as Ohio.

Thank you Janie, that's good news (about the law not coming into effect til July, if then). I did see that the piece could possibly do with more delving, but was pushed for time, so didn't bother: my bad. Clearly, though, these sorts of bills are very sinister from the point of view of pro-choicers like myself, and when taken together with a) the fact that the judge has set (admittedly high) bail for her rapist, and b) the recent case where the judge in New York sentenced the school bus driver who raped a 14 year old girl to 10 years probation and no jail time on the basis he "only raped one person", the straws in the wind about who gets punished, and how, are highly suggestive.

the new law doesn't even take effect until July,

just a note: July is less than two months away.

Agree with you on the general points, GftNC.

July is less than two months away.

Nevertheless, to assert baldly that she won't be able to have an abortion because of the new law is either rank stupidity, selective ignorance, or deliberate rabble-rousing, from which side of the debate I can't even tell. It is simply not true in the bald way in which it was written. The ACLU is already planning to appeal the law, and it beggars belief to think that pro-choice groups won't step forward to help the girl if her family allows it.

Again, I won't be surprised if she ends up not having an abortion. I will be very surprised if there aren't significant efforts to make the law irrelevant to her situation, within the time frame before the law takes effect.

if she's more than 20 weeks in, she can't get an abortion in OH, no exceptions, regardless of how the heartbeat bill plays out.

i'd pack up an leave the state.

States are supposed to be laboratories for policy on a smaller scale, informing decisions on policy at the national level. I guess people can test out how they like living in Christianist hellholes at the state level.

I'd go on, but I've got babies to kill! (That's satire, if that isn't obvious enough for anyone.)

I try to avoid baseless speculation, but I have to wonder who, if anyone, gets a heads up about Trump's tweets, and if any of those folks shorted the market today.

Money don't make itself, y'all!

i'd pack up an leave the state.

11 year olds, however, are constrained on that front.

11 year olds, however, are constrained on that front.

My grandfather was riding the rails when he was 11. What's the problem?

/(outraged) sarcasm

One of my favorite dead white male republicans: David Bossie

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/05/06/grifters-gonna-grift-open-thread-david-bossie-edition/

Well, this is fun
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-would-have-been-charged-with-obstruction-were-he-not-president-hundreds-of-former-federal-prosecutors-assert/2019/05/06/e4946a1a-7006-11e9-9f06-5fc2ee80027a_story.html

Money quote:

Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.
Note that "each of us" includes some 375 (and counting) prosecutors. Including prosecutors who have worked in every presidential administration since that of Dwight D. Eisenhower! Hard to make a plausible case for partisanship there. (Not that mere plausibility matters to Barr, et al.)

"grifters gonna grift"

The up side being that every dollar they use to line their own pockets is a dollar that won't be available to support Trump's reelection campaign. Or the campaigns of his supporters.

total. exoneration.

/pinch-the-sky

total. exoneration.

Which is why the White House is calling (loudly!) for the entire, unredacted, report to be published, and the author (Mueller) to testify as soon and as publicly as possible.

Oh wait....

There are tens of thousands of former federal prosecutors as defined in the article. Close to 400 is a really small number. Despite the optics.

Close to 400 is a really small number.

Yes, because hundreds of former prosecutors bother to put forth such unanimous group opinions all the time.

But you really don't like Trump!

There are tens of thousands of former federal prosecutors as defined in the article. Close to 400 is a really small number.

How often do any former Federal prosecutors weigh in on a single case on whether the evidence merits an indictment?

Seriously, does it happen often? Occasionally? Essentially never? It would be helpful to know that before deciding whether this is significant -- and I confess that I haven't a clue. Beyond the fact that I don't recall hearing of it.

I just was noting the power of the internet petition to make something seem really meaningful. I am amazed constantly at the gullibility of the "smart kids". You can get 500 people to sign up for just about anything.

I dont have to like Trump to dislike the flagrant attempts to bring down a sitting US President on any excuse. That's called what I've called it for two years, a slow moving coup.

That makes us a banana republic.

...there is literally no one left here to have a real discussion with...

That depends what you want to discuss. There are very many issues we could have a reasonable debate about on here across the range of normal political viewpoints. For example, is Obamacare a good healthcare model, or would it be better to have something more like the German system, or should the USA go for single payer?

The problem is that the Republican Party nowadays has taken positions well outside what's reasonably debatable, notwithstanding that otherwise reasonable people like Marty have travelled with them.

Is it a good idea to torture prisoners?
Is it a good idea to deprive millions of people of healthcare?
Is it a good idea to increase the deficit to fund tax cuts for the rich at a time of healthy economic growth?

Then there are questions about whether you want a proper democracy:

Is it a good idea to make it difficult for people who support the other side to vote?
Is it a good idea for a political party to fix electoral boundaries to its own advantage?
Is it a good idea for a political party which seldom wins the popular vote to pack the Supreme Court with highly partisan judges?

And questions about the criminal president:

Is it a good idea for a presidential candidate to welcome electoral assistance from a hostile foreign power?
Is it a good idea for the resulting president to use his office to obstruct investigation into that assistance?
Is it a good idea for the president to direct state business to his own companies?
Is it a good idea for foreign governments and lobbyists to be able to enrich the president through his companies?

The answer to all this questions is "No". The only reason why one would give them a moment's attention is that the second most popular party in the USA, which holds most political power, thinks that the answer is "yes". Don't blame us if you can't get a reasoned debate here about them: adopt rational, humane views instead.

You can get 500 people to sign up for just about anything.

Certainly, demonstrably, true. Sad to say.

But 500 ex-federal prosecutors? On a professional/expert opinion regarding a potential case?

Let's face it, the 500 you can get to endorse just about anything are, routinely, not the sharpest knives in the drawer. This seems, at least on the surface, a rather different circumstance.

Joe Schmoe commits obstruction of justice and it takes a single .. that's one ... public prosecutor to try the case and twelve, in some states, six jurors to convict the schmuck.

Joe Schmoe: You're breaking my balls over here. You're telling me ONE, that's ONE prosecutor thinks I'm guilty and a dozen amateurs, some of whom could hardly stay awake during the proceedings, agreed with him. And half of them were white! I demand 400 retrials in 400 different jurisdictions and we'll see if they can replicate this travesty of justice? Someone get me the Attorney General of the United States on the blower to represent me for free!"

Judge: "Mr Schmoe, I appreciate your courtroom antics, but who do you think you are, the President of the United States? That's 30 more days added to your sentence for thinking you are above the law. Now, bailiff, GET THIS PILE OF WASTED HUMAN POTENTIAL OUT OF MY COURTROOM!"

Look Marty, ONE general counsel .... that's 1/400th of the prosecutors surveyed in the p case .... at the FBI thought Hillary Clinton should have faced charges regarding the server and the emails:

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/430881-fbis-top-lawyer-believed-hillary-clinton-should-face-charges-but-was

That'll be good enough for Lindsay Graham.

What say you?

"That's called what I've called it for two years, a slow moving coup."

This banana republic needs a fast-moving and savage coup.

If Hillary Clinton had become President, p and the Republican Party on a Capitol Hill promised to start a FAST-moving coup and her impeachment the day of her Inauguration.

However, by the time they got the hearings and trial off and running, a conservative, with accessories to the crime, because you can get 500 people to sign up to shoot the "c&nt", or Barack Obama, the n&gger Muslim, at just about any p political rally, would have shot her in the head with one of their precious fucking weapons.

The celebrations in the streets by conservative vermin, 400 times 200,000 of the filth, count 'em, would have been banana worthy.

You might have been able to calm them down.

I dont have to like Trump to dislike the flagrant attempts to bring down a sitting US President on any excuse. That's called what I've called it for two years, a slow moving coup.

Any excuse? Don't quit your day job.

Here's some classic coupes for you. Some were slower than others.

Other kinds of coups include:

1.) Sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of government power...The Dem investigative push is none of these things.
2.) A notably successful stroke or move....to be determined. Opinions vary.

Suppose that He, Trump loses the 2020 election by the same 304 vs 227 EC vote He won 2016 with. And suppose He declares the election was "rigged" and vows to stay in the White House past 20 Jan 2021.

Does anybody here doubt that Moderate Marty would be telling us, around Christmas and New Year's 2020, that however despicable He, Trump may be personally, we should chill out and have a reasoned debate on whether He may actually be within His rights? Anybody? Marty?

--TP

That's called what I've called it for two years, a slow moving coup.

That makes us a banana republic.

You don't appear to know what either a coup or a banana republic are.

WRS.

And thirdly, it’s not a particularly slow moving investigation, compared to either Watergate or the Clinton sex case.

Marty?

When he loses the election he wont have the ability to "refuse" to leave. If he tried he should be arrested for whatever felony that would be, treason maybe?

Jesus you people. Do you think there is ANY way he could actually refuse to turn over power? Is there any credible notion that the military would defend him in that endeavor? The FBI maybe?

That's as ridiculous as any conspiracy theory ever.

Be that as it may, he's sure as hell trying it on. Not in 2020, now.

Mueller's investigation interfered with his first two years, so he wants a mulligan. He wants us to tack two years on to the back end to make up for it.

So? Think hes gonna get that? Let's all hyperventilate over some buffoons purposeful tweaking our nose. Or just realize hes trying to get your goat. If he is.

I mean, hes not actuslly said anything about getting two more years as far as I've heard. But I havent really seen all the tweets I'm sure. I actually took it when I first heard about it as preparing for reelection.

I must agree with Marty that there is no way for Trump to remain in the White House should he lose the election. (That's "lose" as in lose the Electoral College vote.)

Which is not to say that he won't try. Probably not to the point that the Secret Service has to pick him up and physically carry him out the door. But proclaim to his fans that the election was invalid/fraudulent/etc.? Yes, pretty much a certainty. File numerous law suits over the results? That, too.

Encourage (carefully phrased, to evade actual legal liability) the fans to act to "restore" him to power? Wouldn't surprise at all. And likely at least a few of them will respond.

And manage to combine rallies of his fans with solicitation of funds (nominally for his restoration, but actually to line his pockets)? Definitely. Behavior like that is right in his wheel house.

All that said (and assuming he has lost), on January 20 the new President will be inaugurated . . . whether Trump shows up or not. Power will pass. It may be denounced as the "deep state", but our institutions will function.

Underestimation.

Anything is possible with this lout.

As his personal attorney, the former one before Barr, will tell you thru a prison visit window.

"I mean, hes not actuslly said anything about getting two more years as far as I've heard."

Scroll down, your are on his feed.

He has ventriloquists to say it for him.

The younger Falwell, who needs to fall down a well fatally.

He'll say it, just wait.

Then what will YOU say.

"He didn't actually say it, he tweeted it. It's not the same thing."

That's as ridiculous as any conspiracy theory ever.

Not even close to many, if not most, right wing fantasies, but I will grant you that it most likely is far fetched. I remember the wild eyed theories about Bush not giving up power if he lost in '04. Pretty silly stuff.

After the election, Marty claimed that Trump would not "really" change things that much. I tended to agree. He has tried mightily, but will he get away with it? Maybe. The supine acquiescence of the GOpper controlled Senate is a bit of a wild card, but not determinative. Nonetheless, the deterioration of democratic norms is a serious issue, the crackpot judges, the rollback of the regulatory state...and the GOP is OK with this...all the way.

Throw in the corruption...the perfect storm.

This is troubling (i.e., we are fucked), and Marty is just OK with it.

I feel the shitstorm has just begun.

Again...this struggle is all about naked political power, and who gets to decide who gets what.

Don't you EVER forget that, folks.

Drunk yet again in Seattle.

Bless you all.

Burn into your hearts people, exactly this: The wingnuts want the goodies. They want to take them away from you.

This is important.

They want all the stuff.

They will not be stopped until they are utterly crushed.

There is no such thing as a "good" Rupuklican.

Data point: Have you ever seen the Marty types ever, ever say anything good about any Democrats ever?

That is a tell.

It is all about the will to power. Libs need to up their game or they are going to be humiliated.

Libs need to learn how to say, "Go fuck yourself" and MEAN it.

There is no such thing as a "good" Rupuklican.

Data point: Have you ever seen the Marty types ever, ever say anything good about any Democrats ever?

I will concede that I may well not qualify as a "Marty type". But I am a (long time) Republican. And I have, on occasion, had good things to say about a number of Democrats. No doubt a little search of the ObWi archives will produce examples.

So I would submit that this -- certainly not unique here -- is a serious over-generalization.

Libs need to learn how to say, "Go fuck yourself" and MEAN it.

In my personal experience, those on the left have known how to do this for decades. And haven't exactly been shy about doing so. Not to say that all liberals are willing and able -- that, too, would qualify as over-generalization.

So I would submit that this -- certainly not unique here -- is a serious over-generalization.

wj aside...nope. On the whole, this is an accurate generalization. The GOP needs to be crushed. Even so-called moderate GOPPERS want to take the stuff.

All of it.

You can caterwall all you like about "moderate Republicans", but that is a misnomer. They (you) support the GOP paradigm.

Tell me about moderate GOPPERs and climate change.
Tell me about moderate GOPPERs and the distribution of the returns to economic activity.
Tell me about moderate GOPPERs and the need to have government intervention in health care.

You CAN'T.

Because there are no such people.

A position that asserts that those who have power need to keep it is simply wrong.

It must be opposed.

Root and branch.

Tell me about moderate GOPPERs and climate change.
Tell me about moderate GOPPERs and the distribution of the returns to economic activity.
Tell me about moderate GOPPERs and the need to have government intervention in health care.

You CAN'T.

Actually, I can.

Climate change. It's happening. Mitigation has probably been delayed too long to avoid serious (extremely serious) negative effects. But that's no reason not to do as much as we can, as soon as may be, to keep things from getting worse. As an aside, it isn't too early to start serious planning for where we might relocate (and it will have to be relocate) the population of, for example, Bangladesh -- since most of their land is going to be under water in a couple of decades.

The distribution of the returns to economic activity. I would take as a starting point the approach we took during the previous Gilded Age. The overall economy is larger now, and the average person substantially more comfortably fixed than was the case then -- admittedly a low bar. Which gives us more possibilities for doing a better job this time around.

I don't have a comprehensive approach worked out in my own mind. But clearly having essentially all of the benefits of economic growth go to only a couple of percent of the population is not viable in the long term. How we change that is not entirely obvious, although higher marginal tax rates at the top end may at least remove some of the benefit of (and maybe even the incentive for) drastically skewed incomes. But something a little more enduring than past efforts should be one of the goals.

The need to have government intervention in health care. I see a couple of areas here. As far as broader availability, I think Obamacare (or the ACA, if one prefers) is a step in the right direction. Not an end point, but a good step. However, as I see it the cost of care is a bigger issue. There is no obvious reason why the cost of care (total spent, not just the cost to the individual) is so much higher here than anywhere else. Which suggests that something, more likely several somethings, in our laws and regulations needs to be rethought. Again, I don't have a detailed plan of attack . . . but then, I don't think that was what you were asking after.

Are there lots of Republicans who see that? Sadly, nowhere near as many as there should be. (Why that has come to be the case is a separate discussion. And one that probably needs to happen, too.) But "fewer than one would wish", or "not enough to change party policy" (both true), is a long way from "none at all."

"Scroll down, your are on his feed"

I am not on his feed. The only time I see a tweet from Trump is when one of my liberal friends feels it necessary to reply to one of his tweets, or it gets quoted somewhere else.

I mean, hes not actuslly said anything about getting two more years as far as I've heard

Tweets and re-tweets.

And hell no, he's not gonna get his mulligan.

And that's not the point. The point, or my point, is that the president is a colossal dick with zero understanding if the responsibilities of his office.

He doesn't "get my goat", he gets my disrespect and disgust, as do his defenders and supporters.

I fond it hard to disagree with this logic (though I rate the importance of winning the election rather higher).

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/05/2020-election-approach-shouldnt-end-impeachment.html
The challenge Pelosi faces is the same challenge faced by Mueller, and by Eric Holder. Elections matter, and getting out the vote in 2020 matters. But the Rule of Law still matters, and we shouldn’t abandon it because this small problem of Donald Trump might go away in 2020. The fact is that this problem might not go away in 2020, though by then, the argument that obstruction itself is an impeachable offense will have been lost to us. That’s all the more reason to fight for the rule of law today, as if it were sliding away. Because it is sliding away. ...

I would take as a starting point the approach we took during the previous Gilded Age.

With respect, I find this puzzling. What approach do you refer to?

If Obama, or Clinton, or the other Clinton, had come within 10 miles of pulling any of the crap that Trump pulls, has pulled, or attempts to pull on a nearly daily basis, American conservatives would have shit a brick the size of Montana.

They are full of crap. They have no regard for this country or what it represents or stands for, no regard for the rule of law, no regard for anything except holding on to power that they cannot sustain through legitimate means.

There is no thoughtful conversation to have while this crap continues. It's like trying to have a sensible conversation with someone while they are pissing on your shoes.

Trump has to go, McConnell has to go, the entire Cabinet has to go. Nunes has to go. Vile racist Steve King has to go.

For starters.

Clean your damned house, then maybe there is a conversation to have. In the meantime be glad that liberals and lefties seem less inclined to vent their anger by shooting people than y'all's nutcases.

Clean your damned house.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad