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August 01, 2019

Comments

lackey does not express the necessary obsequiousness, but i'm too tired to see if there is a better word. Stooge perhaps?

I think you need to get major overtones of syncophant in there. It isn't just that the nominee supports him. It's that he tells Trump so constantly (isn't that what one goes on Fox for?).

Besides, at least to those of my generation, "Stooge" implies some comedy -- slapstick, perhaps, but comedy. If there is anything the least amusing about Ratcliffe, it is well concealed.

Funny, I just looked up synonyms for "minion" the other day, for fictional purposes.

underling, henchman, flunkey, lackey, hanger-on, follower, camp follower, servant, hireling, vassal, stooge, creature, toady, sycophant, flatterer, fawner, lickspittle, myrmidon;
informal yes-man, bootlicker, brown-nose;
informal poodle, dogsbody;
informal gofer, suck-up;
informal chamcha;
vulgar slang arse-licker, bum-sucker;
vulgar slang ass-kisser

I like lickspittle a lot myself.....maybe for the echoes of the spittle flying from Clickbait's ranting mouth?

lickspittle has a lot to recommend it. Although brown-noser might be more accessible to the Trumpian universe.

I often say that my personal research projects would go better if I could afford minions graduate students.

I think we're basically straight-up stuck with this stuff until 2021 or 2025, depending.

The patient has a fever. The fever will pass, or the patient will, or the patient will survive with some kind of permanent or at least persistent damage.

I have no idea which. None, whatsoever. Place your bets. My money is on option #3, but who knows.

Weirdest time I can remember, in my lifetime. Hard to say which end is up.

"Weirdest time I can remember, in my lifetime."

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

Don't stop here! Don't you know that this is bat country!?!!

Option #1 (which I take to mean "the patient survives without significant damage, in even the medium term") has exactly zero chance.

Option #3 is the way I would bet as well -- but that may be desperate optimist talking.

Don't you know that this is bat country!?!!

If only all we had to do was croak a scag baron called Savage Henry. I bet any one of us would be prepared to rip his lungs out, if not eat them...

Option #4: the virus transforms the patient into a monster.

The USA has taken several steps towards becoming a fascist kleptocracy.

Where is my POTUS? Out making his signature trade wars worse.

Are we tired of losing yet?

Goddamit, Snarki, I just lost an hour reading an online edition of FALILV (having bought the book 3 times and lent it to 3 people who never returned it) and am absolutely gobsmacked once again by its brilliance, and how much it has been incorporated into our lives over the years: "What's wrong with us, are we goddamn old ladies?""“That guy is a paranoid psychotic, anyway. They’re easy to spot.” "Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in". I could go on.) I blame (thank) you.

What would "fever passes, patient recovers" look like?

I suspect many would consider JDT's prescription (which I sympathize with, myself) to fall short on the "patient recovers" criterion. But I'm NOT asking about HOW to achieve "recovery". What I'm curious to know is what we think a "recovered patient" would look like.

--TP

Elect me President.

https://juanitajean.com/vindictive-sumbitch/

I'll show the country vindictive.

JDT, I saw the news on that and I think my mind just blanked in shock. "Rescind awards"? Uh, what's the process for that? (The military has a process for everything. Not that Trump gives a damn, but I'm sure they have one.)

What I'm curious to know is what we think a "recovered patient" would look like.

A recovered (as opposed to merely off life support) patient would look (when it comes to politics) rather like it did circa 1992 -- i.e. pre-Newt. Because Trump may be making the situation much worse, but he is hardly the origin or the whole problem.

That is, politicians would disagree, and battle furiously, on issues. They would still have enormous egos. But at the end of the day, they would see their job as making the country function. And other politicians (of either party) as having that same job and trying to do it. And it wouldn't be a massive moral failing to actually socialize with, and like, a member of the other party.

Elsewhere, our country would have regained much of its standing among the nations. That is, no longer regarded (quite reasonably) as a laughing stock or a loose cannon. And, critically, a country with which it is possible to work out an agreement and be confident that it will be adhered to by us. Today, nobody sane would expect that -- Trump just doesn't work that way and never has.

The "patient" would still have a variety problems. Some of which we would be working on solving; some of which we would be in denial about. But refusing to see each other as real Americans wouldn't be one of them.

wj: A recovered (as opposed to merely off life support) patient would look (when it comes to politics) rather like it did circa 1992 -- i.e. pre-Newt.

Trust a self-styled "conservative" to long for a time in the past :)

Joking aside, who could argue with the wish that "refusing to see each other as real Americans wouldn't be one of them"?

I wish that were a rhetorical question, actually.

--TP

Trust a self-styled "conservative" to long for a time in the past :)

Hey, "recovered" necessarily involves returning to a prior state. ;-)

I like lickspittle a lot myself.....

I think acolyte is also needs, to distinguish the true believers from the merely craven.

i prefer 'cult member'

Sbirre (ital. sbirro) seems not to have made it into English (there is a German but no English wiki entry). Originally an informer, later synonymous with corrupt henchman in state employ.

When I'm talking to a male Republican, I refer to their wives as "yer widow".

Alternatively, "Dead" is as good a diagnosis as any:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzK0mO6TI5E

Trump is by far the best President the US has had since Eisenhower, and maybe since Washington. His language is extreme, but truthful. The malodorous swamp in DC is slowly turning this country into a totalitarian socialist dictatorship.

The Democrat Party is an association of Biblically evil monsters, and the criminally insane neocons are their allies. The endless, unwinnable, and illegal wars we are fighting everywhere are the result of neocon subversion of our government, especially the intelligence and law agencies. We have just seen an attempt at a coup d'etat by the FBI, DOJ, CIA, and NSA.

Trump ran on a platform of ending those wars, and the neocons slapped him down. Considering her violent, war-mongering past, if the monster Hillary had won, we would undoubtedly be in the middle of WW III right now.

In 2020, if you love your children, you will vote for Trump. If you vote Democrat, you will condemn to a life of poverty and oppression. If you are white, your children will suffer genocide.

Better yet, read this:

https://identitydixie.com/2019/08/02/maga-and-the-southern-man/

little early to be that drunk, isn't it, bob?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SN1k_5sM7o

Eisenhower looks better all the time, gotta say.

I wish he was here to send troops into the Confederacy again to kick cracker ass.

"we would undoubtedly be in the middle of WW III right now."

A southern republican, acting on Putin's and loser p's provocation, would have shot Clinton dead soon after her Inauguration.

Pretty good satire, though.

Also, 'Biblically evil monsters' is small potatoes. The monster density in that Holy Scipture is rather low and the frightening value even less (even by contemporary standards). Plus, at least in the OT, it tends to be the hyperpious that commit the most heinous acts on-screen (i.e. with a detailed description) while the wicked ones do so out of sight (details left out). Low bar for abominations and not a single eldritch one. And that includes the NT. John of Patmos may have been high on local shrooms but any teenager these days could come up with less boring monsters even when sober. It took up to the Middle Ages before the demons became actually interesting.

We love crafting monsters.
Iä Shlub-Demon-Rat the highly pigmented Squad-in-the-hood with (many) a million young (voters in tow)!

QAnon's getting violent. and they get speaking spots at Trump rallies.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/08/02/hours-after-an-fbi-warning-about-qanon-is-published-qanon-slogan-turns-up-trumps-rally/?utm_term=.22f2e9ad070b

thanks, GOP! you remain the best.

We appear to have a troll.

Or a truly brilliant satirist...

But just in case not, Hartmut really told him!

Well, fresh meat, anyway. A new Muse for JDT. A new embarrassment for the never-Trump-but-we-like-His-policies squad. And of course, added evidence that surgery may in fact be required for "the patient" to recover.

--TP

Ah, NOW I see why Mr Sykes thinks Trump is great.
https://mobile.twitter.com/atrupar/status/1157092013965266944

Claiming Ike was better than Saint Ronnie is a dead giveaway.

bob, bob, bob.....

Claiming Ike was better than Saint Ronnie is a dead giveaway.

Of what? Seriously. After all, *I* think there's no real question that Ike was a better President....

If you are white, your children will suffer genocide.

It must suck to be that afraid of people who dont look like you.

You're entitled to your point of view, even if it is poisoning your mind. But kindly take it elsewhere.

To some people, "genocide" apparently means "we won't be allowed to trample on people who don't look like us any more."

You're entitled to your point of view, even if it is poisoning your mind. But kindly take it elsewhere.

Glad to see this. Seconded.

I read the bilious screed, because I feel obliged to be fair and hear people out.

I generally agree with this:

Trump is a cultural lightning rod who shows even blue pilled normies that no, America is not a nation in any sense of the word. We are not a unified people with similar cultures, backgrounds, religion, and values. We more or less speak the same language (though, that’s changing fast thanks to open borders), and we have a shared history of some 400 years (the last 150 by force) but that’s about the extent of our unity as a people. That is not enough cohesion to keep a nation glued together.

I share no values whatsoever with the bob sykes' of the world. And that does in fact weaken our cohesion as a nation. And Trump does in fact highlight those differences, and doing so is, in fact, the entire basis of his political existence.

If all of that means we end up going our separate ways, I have no problem with it. I'd be happy to be shut of you and tolks like you.

Unfortunately it wouldn't be as simple as "the south" seceding, because the south isn't all like you, and doesn't all want what you want. Nor is the north all like me, I can introduce you to quite a few "bob sykes" right here in the peoples republic of MA.

So as much as I'd love to say here's your hat, what's your hurry, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, it looks like we are sort of stuck with other.

A country maybe, but no nation. I can live with that, I guess. But you sure as hell are no compatriot of mine.

This crap you are peddling is going to rot your brain. We arent interested in it.

Go your way. Have a nice day.

russell: You're entitled to your point of view, even if it is poisoning your mind. But kindly take it elsewhere.

WRS usually goes without saying, as far as I'm concerned. But I have to quibble with the above.

"You're entitled to your point of view" is over-charitable, to my mind. "I can't stop you from thinking moronic thoughts" would be more appropriate as well as more accurate.

And the polite invitation to "take it elsewhere" raises this question: where? To some RWNJ echo chamber?

Assuming that "bob sykes" was not drunk, and that his comment was not a fabulous satire, there's at least one upside to inchoate barf like his appearing on these pages: it might possibly help our resident squad of never-Trump-but-we-like-His-policies "conservatives" (hi, Marty! hello, McKinney!) recognize what their political allies sound like.

--TP

If all of that means we end up going our separate ways, I have no problem with it

but there's really no way to do that.

the differences aren't of a sort that geographical division will fix. you can't lop off the NE from the south, because there are tens of millions of people who hate Trump south of the Mason-Dixon line, and there are tens millions above it who love him - and the west (that little bit of land across the Mississippi) isn't homgoenous either.

it's a difference in politics among people who live in the same neighborhoods.

i rather fear it's going to take something catastrophic to shake things up enough that, when things get sorted out afterwards, we all find a new way forward.

though i hope it's just a matter of Trump pushing things just far enough that the GOP gets obliterated in an election or two and the country resets peacefully.

Sykes is similar to some of the most noxious people in the comment threads at The American Conservative and also at Pat Lang’s blog. Not all paleocons are white racists ( or white nationalists, to use the slightly more polite phrase). The less noxious version doesn’t have that white nationalist paranoid garbage, but focuses solely on the anger over our forever wars. (I agree with that part).

But anyway, I waste a fair amount of time reading blogs (probably too much time) and have been observing different types of conservatives. I don’t think Marty and McT have much in common with Sykes and certainly not the white genocide crap. I don’t know where they fall on the forever war issue.

I am friends with two Trump supporters and neither is like Sykes. One is an economic conservative and is a fairly traditional Catholic, mostly, but accepts gay marriage as a good thing and she also accepts climate science and is concerned about it. The NYT just had a story about how younger conservatives accept global warming as a real problem and Rod Dreher regularly goes into hysterics over the fact that younger Christians are too accepting of such things, so generationally I think the Trump phenomenon might represent a final spasm. I might be wrong.

My other Trump friend is much older and his brain has been totally rotted by conservative media. I could go on for paragraphs about the things he has said. ( This fits my generational theory). I tend to start yelling at him. The most recent examples are that well, gosh, you have to admit Trump was right in what he said about Omar and also, he thinks Trump maybe is a Christian because he has chosen to surround himself with fine Christian people like Pence. I stay friends because he has been a very good friend for decades and insane and/or disgusting political views are not enough to end that, unless we actually do start shooting each other.

But unlike Sykes, he wouldn’t talk about white genocide and he loves Israel. The Palestinians, he just told me ( again) are not really a people, they aren’t mistreated, and the ones who left in 48 did so because their own leaders told them too. Sykes seems to hate neocons so he probably doesn’t like Israel. There is diversity in Trump supporters.

There are also some really diverse beliefs amongst lefties and lots of mutual hatred, but these days I ( mostly) just observe and don’t participate.

“that younger Christians are too accepting of such things, ”

I meant Dreher thinks the younger generation of Christians is too accepting of gay marriage and so forth. Rod himself accepts climate science.

So I am wondering how much Putin is paying Greenwald to risk his life fighting the fascists in Brazil. Sneaky Russians.

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/08/what-actual-resistance-looks-like

Am I trolling? Sort of, but mostly no. I have seen over the past few years liberals and lefties accusing people of being Russian stooges and so forth because the alleged stooges criticized Democrats or cast doubt on Russiagate and now that Greenwald and his spouse are putting themselves in actual danger fighting fascism on a scale beyond most Walter Mittyesque fantasies I haven’t heard one damn thing about this from the critics.


One point here is this— it is just barely possible that the person people accuse of being an egotistical narcissistic ( insert other standard derogatory phrases) asshole because they hate what he or she says might actually be sincere and even— gasp— more serious about these issues than the critics. Or they could be heroic, sincere and egotistical all at once.. The critics might also be egotistical assholes. In fact, they frequently are.

When you actually read Sykes's mad link, it is apparent that not only is he a white supremacist, lost causer (if I understand that phrase correctly), but also a real dyed-in-the-wool misogynist: it's only white, southern men who make the grade. A whole basket of deplorable attitudes in one drive-by trolling - bingo! And I agree with Donald: Marty and McKinney seem to have pretty much nothing in common with him.

Oh yes, I forgot they have to be white, landholding southern men to make the grade...

There is diversity in Trump supporters.

Yes, and even more so among conservatives in general.

FWIW, I would never mistake Sykes' point of view with either Marty's or McK's.

Everyone is entitled to think whatever they think. I part ways with people who want to divide the human race based on the color of people's skin. I don't hate them, I don't wish them ill, I just think their beliefs are wrong and harmful and I don't see that I have much if anything in common with them, from a political and social point of view. Or probably much of any point of view.

It is a fact that the sainted founders exclusively granted the franchise to white adult men with property. It is a fact that many of the founders felt the country should be "run by the people who owned it".

Those guys are all dead. It's our country now. We are not obliged to share or honor their prejudices.

Greenwald is an ass. that he's on the receiving end of abuse from fascist thugs doesn't change that.

Are you sure, they're all dead? Conservative SCOTUS justices give the impression that they talk with the founders regularly in order to eruate their original intent. Or do the do necromancy?

I don't think that all or most Trump supporters are racists. Racists are a subset of the Republican party. How big a subset, I don't know.

Trump is obviously a racist in the classic sense of having a fundamentally negative attitude toward people with brown skin, while being willing to make exceptions for those brown skinned people who suck up to him.

There is a common prejudice shared by Republican voters that is wider than racism. They despise, demean and delegitimize everyone who isn't a Republican.

Of course they are usually polite to non-Republicans that they are acquainted with, but that proves nothing. Their arrogant smug nasty snobbery is evident in their choice of "news" sources and their willingness to believe anything bad about other people, no matter how overtly stupid the bad thing might be.

Some examples:

Gov. Brown signed a law that lets illegals vote in California!
Detroit has sharia law!
Ilhan Omar hates America!
Urban elites run America and ignore the poor left out Midwest, boo hoo we're so sad and lonely and those mean people are leaving us out (this from the people who have disportionate representation in the Senate and who are a bottomless pit for other people's taxes)
Democrats are in favor of infanticide.
THEY ARE ALL SOCIALIST RADICALS WHO WANT TO TURN AMERICA INTO THE SOVIET UNION!!!!!!
Deep state theories.
Etc. There's no end to it. They will believe anything that justifies their belief in their own superiority and the inferiority of everyone else.

And while believing absolutely anything no matter how stupid that reinforces their vision of themselves as superior to all of us bad people, they are impervious to information about Republicans. Willfully blind.

Because they are the only good people and everyone else is bad. They are the only ones with good morals and the rest of us don't have good moral like them. They are the only patriots, the only ones with real true American values, the only ones who are independent and hardworking and the only ones defending the real America.

They hate the rest of us. They are equal opportunity haters. Racism is a subset of that.

And of course if you point this out they whine about how mean you are being to poor little victimized them. And they take no responsibility for having polarized our society. The whining and the refusal to take responsibility are both aspects of their belief in their own innately superior status as the only real true Americans. They can't be in wrong.

The pooling data that shows support for Trump is not a measure of the racists in our society. It's a measure of the people who want to delegitimize all of us and marginalize all of us.

Greenwald is an ass.

Repeating myself again again, but so is Nathan Robinson. His writing is self-aggrandizing, deliberately provocative/contrarian clickbait (with a small "c" - so as not to confuse him with the apotheosis of Clickbait currently polluting the White House).

Trump is obviously a racist in the classic sense of having a fundamentally negative attitude toward people with brown skin, while being willing to make exceptions for those brown skinned people who suck up to him.

And actually, I don't think even this is correct: I think he secretly has contempt even for those who suck up (cf Kanye), but he is willing to lie about it for political advantage. Regarding people like Tiger Woods, I think he just likes to associate himself with people who are, in whatever way, "the greatest", and let's face it, the number of those who are prepared to be associated with him is limited.

If I close my eyes and change a few words I can hear one of my conservative friends saying everything laura said about Democrats.

Everyone is so put upon. Maybe they are both right.

Yes I can hear conservatives saying that too. They say that because they think that not only are they entitled to spend decades hatemongering against everyone who is not a conservative, but they are entitled to do so without the targets of their abuse calling them out for their abusive behavior.

Unfortunately, pure statistics tell us that a significant portion of Dem voters are also deeply racist. As mikethemadbiologist regularly reminds us, they vote Dem DESPITE being racists. But I think it is a safe bet that very few vote Dem BECAUSE of their racism. The 'trick' is to get them voting DESPITE because otherwise a majority is not to get (at least not on the federal level).
The GOP has the opposite problem because they miserably fail to get minorities to vote FOR them DESPITE the more and more open appeal to racist prejudices.
Dem: vote for us and we will ignore your racism!
GOP: Ignore our racism and vote for us!

As for The Donald, I started with the assumption that racism was just a tool for him and that he himself was an equal opportunity contempter of about everybody. Hearing about his behaviour while working for his father I have come to the conclusion that, while he indeed feels contempt for almost everybody, his degree of contempt correlates at least to a degree with race (should you be a world-class a-hole in power somewhere He might make an exception for you despite being differently pigmented. He may even envy you for being able to do what He cannot without consequences).

should you be a world-class a-hole in power somewhere He might make an exception for you despite being differently pigmented. He may even envy you for being able to do what He cannot without consequences

c.f. Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un

I was thinking more of Bolsonaro and Duterte since The Donald explicitly expressed his admiration for their open thuggishness.
Objectively the PRC and NK are worse as far as the body count goes but their leaders do not brag about it (in particular about doing the killing personally).
If Kim would do personal executions on public TV this would likely even increase His Donaldship's admiration (and envy) for him.
Although I would guess that the thought would go along the line of 'Why can this ugly dwarf do it and I can't?' (Caveat: I do think that, unlike Kim, he would not have the stomach for that and would get violently sick if he tried it*).

*like Himmler according to some witnesses when he got too close to a massacre of Jews and got brain splattered on his uniform.

I do think that, unlike Kim, he would not have the stomach for that and would get violently sick if he tried it

No question. His cowardice is not so much massive as utter.

Heck, he hasn't even got the balls to fire someone face to face. Let alone fire on them.

Per Marty's response to Laura, and speaking as someone who lived more than half my life in a closet not of my own making, here's how I see it.

The people who made the closet and want me back in it say: "It's my world."

I say: "It's my world too.

There is no compromise between these two attitudes. Both sides don't, in fact, do it; the two sides are doing two entirely different things.

I'm tempted to say that it's too bad we can't put the White Nationalists, anti-Muslim bigots, homophobes, and all the supremacists of whatever variety in one corner of the continent and wall them off to fight it out with each other. It wouldn't be pretty.

And sad to say, it wouldn't help, because you can't wall off the tendency to hatred of the other. If there's a way forward, it's not going to be by building walls, of whatever sort.

Hopefully it's clear, but in case not:

"It's my world" carries the implied corollary: "And not yours." That's why there was (and still is or should be in many people's minds) a closet in the first place.

"It's my world too" means: I'm here and I'm not going back into the closet. Get over it. There's plenty of everything for both of us, except for the arrogance of saying your sort of person is superior to mine, and should have all the goodies, material, political, and psychological.

This obviously goes for bigotry of all kinds, not just homophobia.

indeed. best i can tell, the final A in MAGA is a pointer to a time when white Christian American men sat at the head of the table and led everyone else, here and abroad, ostensibly benevolently.

this NYT piece is apropos

At a recent conference in Washington, a group of conservatives did their level best to promote Trumpism without Trump (rebranded as “national conservatism”) as a cure for all that ails our frayed and faltering republic. But the exclusive Foggy Bottom confab served only to clarify that “national conservatism” is an abortive monstrosity, neither conservative nor national. Its animating principle is contempt for the actually existing United States of America, and the nation it proposes is not ours.


...

The way the nationalist sees it, liberals always throw the first punch by “changing things.” When members of the “Great American Middle” (to use the artfully coded phrase of Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri to refer to nonurban whites) lash out in response to the provocations of progressive social change, they see themselves as patriots defending their America from internal attack.

The attackers — the nature-denying feminists, ungrateful blacks, babbling immigrants, ostentatiously wedded gays — bear full responsibility for any damage wrought by populist backlash, because they incited it by demanding and claiming a measure of equal freedom. But they aren’t entitled to it, because the conservative denizens of the fruited plain are entitled first to a country that feels like home to them. That’s what America is. So the blame for polarizing mutual animosity must always fall on those who fought for, or failed to prevent, the developments that made America into something else — a country “real Americans” find hard to recognize or love.

The people who made the closet and want me back in it say: "It's my world."

I say: "It's my world too. [emphasis added]

The emphasis that I added being the critical difference. One is exclusive; the other is inclusive. IMHO

The attackers . . . bear full responsibility for any damage wrought by populist backlash, because they incited it by demanding and claiming a measure of equal freedom.

"Well. if you will provocatively leave your chin sticking out there, you have nobody but yourself to blame if it runs into my fist. Hard and repeatedly." Probably better if you didn't have a chin (talent, ability, willingness to work hard) to provoke me with....

And sad to say, it wouldn't help, because you can't wall off the tendency to hatred of the other. If there's a way forward, it's not going to be by building walls, of whatever sort.

A truer word was never spoken.

From cleek's link:

Yet the question of who “we” are as “a people” is the central question on which we’re polarized. High-minded calls to reunite under the flag therefore tend to take a side and amount to little more than a demand for the other side’s unconditional surrender. “Agree with me, and then we won’t disagree” is more a threat than an argument.

This reminds me of the post-911 era, when I was cynical about the motto "United We Stand," which was piously everywhere. All it meant was "Unite behind my opinions and screw yours." I got chided for my cynicism by then-front-pager Jacob Davies, but I stand by it still and again.

More (pretty soon you won't even have to follow the link):

Yoram Hazony, author of “The Virtue of Nationalism” and impresario of the “national conservatism” conference, argued that America’s loss of social cohesion is because of secularization and egalitarian social change that began in the 1960s. “You throw out Christianity, you throw out the Torah, you throw out God,” Mr. Hazony warned, “and within two generations people can’t tell the difference between a man and a woman. They can’t tell the difference between a foreigner and a citizen. They can’t tell the difference between this side of the border and the other side of the border.”

“The only way to save this country, to bring it back to cohesion,” he added, “is going to be to restore those traditions.”

Fuck him. And the cheap cynicism of mentioning the Torah should put him at the front of the line for ... something.

i like that god is the key to being able to the difference between a man and a woman.

National Conservatism is the RW embrace of Carl Schmitt's Political Theology. In it, politics is defined by the friend/foe distinction and sovereignty in deciding when to suspend the rule of law and enforce the friend/foe distinction to restore normalcy.

Carl Schmitt (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) - Sovereignty and Dictatorship

"If the applicability of material legal norms presupposes a condition of normality, Schmitt assumes, a polity must be entitled to decide whether to suspend the application of its law on the ground that the situation is abnormal. Hence Schmitt's famous definition of sovereignty, according to which the sovereign is he who decides on the state of exception: If there is some person or institution, in a given polity, capable of bringing about a total suspension of the law and then to use extra-legal force to normalize the situation, then that person or institution is the sovereign in that polity (PT 5). Any legal order, Schmitt bluntly concludes, is based on a sovereign decision and not on a legal norm (PT 10, 12–3)."

I've been banging on this drum since 2005 or so, and every year gone has only served to convince me that the Fox/Trump/Evangelical/WP nexus has made that friend/foe distinction and decided that liberalism has to go.

i like that god is the key to being able to the difference between a man and a woman.

I thought it interesting that he (apparently) thinks the diffetence between a citizen and a foreigner is a religious issue. Somehow, the only verses I recall on the subject say things like

Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. [Leviticus 19:33-34]
Bit different from the approach being advocated by some religious leaders, isn't it?

well, he's an orthodox Jew. one wouldn't expect him to know Leviticus...

@nous: the Fox/Trump/Evangelical/WP nexus has made that friend/foe distinction and decided that liberalism has to go

That is certainly the totally out and proud meaning of “The only way to save this country, to bring it back to cohesion, is going to be to restore those traditions.”

Glad JDT is preparing the barricades. I'm not fearless enough yet to risk a physical beating, but I'm not going back into the closet, either. So we'll see.

What a mess.

More on Schmitt and our current momen at The Conversation:

But – as Schmitt’s experience of Nazi Germany proved only too well – a nation defined in terms of external enemies quickly finds internal foes too. In Russia, Putin warned against a “fifth column” of “national traitors”. In Turkey more than 2,000 people have been prosecuted since April 2014 on charges of “insulting” Erdoğan – and academics, journalists and political opponents are attacked as enemies of the Turkish state. For Trump, too, there are plenty of internal enemies, not least “disgusting reporters” in the much hated “liberal media”.

I don't know how a democratic society repairs itself while such an internal state of exception exists.

“Greenwald is an ass. that he's on the receiving end of abuse from fascist thugs doesn't change that.”

That is a misleading and passive way to put it. Why is he on the receiving end of abuse from fascist thugs? Was he just standing around being an ass until he attracted the attention of some passing fascists? He is on the receiving end because he helped expose a deeply corrupt investigation into political corruption which helped bring a fascist into power.

I have firsthand experience of Greenwald’s rudeness via a short email exchange about ten years ago. Of course he is an ass. Anyone can pick up on this in five seconds. He is also doing more to fight fascism than most of his critics. People are often complicated.


“The only way to save this country, to bring it back to cohesion,” he added, “is going to be to restore those traditions.”

I guess I'm confused.

We're supposed to embrace the Torah? I thought the Jews were going to replace Christians.

Does this mean the whole tiki torch rally concept is no longer a thing?

the final A in MAGA

I am generally at a loss about what "America" it is that Trump wants to recreate.

More factory jobs? Revival of coal mining as a career? The United States as the dominant exporter of lower value added manufactured goods?

What is it that people who support Trump want? I mean, specifically?

They baffle me.

What is it that people who support Trump want? I mean, specifically?

They want the world as it was. More accurately, the world as their memories have improved it to have been. One where they, and those like them, had things entirely their own way. And no real attention needed to be paid either to lesser folks here nor to foreigners of any kind. One where the economy was always booming -- at least for them.

Of course, the world was never really like that. And, in reality folks who were actually like them** probably didn't do especially well then either. Adequately, perhaps, but not especially well. Except, I suppose, compared to "those people" -- who are now seen to be able to do quite nicely when not artificially held back. Embarrassing, that.

** This is just those of the "white working class" Protestant variety. It ignores all the ones who, if they would look, would see that their ancestors were among "those people" who were held away from being able to succeed. To my mind, they are in some ways the saddest cases of all.

More factory jobs? Revival of coal mining as a career? The United States as the dominant exporter of lower value added manufactured goods?

Work that can be done by someone with a four-year high-school degree and modest training, that comes with middle-class wages, job security, high-end health insurance, and a generous pension. In short, the kind of job that unions with federal government backing were able to provide.

Michael Cain: zing! It's amazing how effective the campaign has been to bamboozle those people into thinking that the people who screwed them are their saviors.

their saviors

As one of our own denizens said not long ago, the country has to be "saved" from "socialism." If rampant poverty and ill health are the result, too bad, huh?

Free-market capitalism, whereby corporations do as they please, always results in the best possible outcome, even if that outcome is horrible. End of story.

Here's a great article on Greenwald:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/09/03/glenn-greenwald-the-bane-of-their-resistance

GG: anyone who has the slightest fucking inclination to spend time any time at all pissing on Dems while Donald Trump is in office can just STFU and DIAF, AFAIC.

this is not a goddamned game or leftier-than-thou dick measuring contest, it's a fucking national, if not global, emergency.

fuck Glenn Greenwald.

“this is not a goddamned game or leftier-than-thou dick measuring contest, it's a fucking national, if not global, emergency.”

As an emotional screed that works, but logically it doesn’t. Because Glenn is literally risking his life in Brazil fighting a fascist conspiracy. So the global part doesn’t really make sense. You could criticize some of what he says and does ( I have a few things to say about his TV appearances) but he is risking his life and you are wishing him dead. This pretty much illustrates in microcosm what the American political spectrum is like across the board, though maybe it is more extreme for those of us who go online to yell about politics.

Oddly, this is why I am no longer excited by Sanders. I like him, wish he’d win, but underneath all the deserved hatred of Trump there is also a lot of not very well concealed hatred amongst the left, going both ways. If Sanders won I think it would be a Pyrrhic victory. Warren would make me happy, but Krugman already stuck a shiv in her back. So what the hell. Kamala or Cory or even zombie Biden. They are all vastly better than White Nationalist Inciter in Chief and most of us lefties will hold our noses and vote for the Democrat, even us Glenn admirers. Not at all sure about many of the “ moderates” if Sanders or even Warren won.

I'd say Sanders actually has more, substantially more, in common with Trump than any of the other candidates. (As such, he is Trump's best hope for reelection.) Both appeal to the other angry old white guys who blame all their troubles on "those people" (however defined -- immigrants, liberals, whatever).
Warren may share more ideologically with Sanders, compared to the other candidates. But their appeal is quite different.

I could see a lot of "moderates" (which I think is actually the wrong term) seeing a Trump/Sanders contest and voting "none-of-the-above" or just staying home. But with any of the others, including Warren, I just don't see that. Their enthusiasm will doubtless vary, depending on who is running. But except if faced with Sanders as the alternative, I expect them to turn out to dump Trump.

Donald,
Posting from my phone is hard, and googling vague references is harder, so please: give me a link to Krugman shivving Warren. Thx in advance.
--TP

As an emotional screed that works, but logically it doesn’t. Because Glenn is literally risking his life in Brazil fighting a fascist conspiracy.

it works fine: fuck Glenn Greenwald.

his situation in Brazil is absolutely terrible. but Brazil is not the US, we are talking about two different situations.

what he did for the 2016 election is absolutely unforgivable. and he's still a professional prig. he contributes nothing to the US but division in the name of his own self-righteousness. and i have absolutely no tolerance for intra-party complaints. that shit is pure Trump fuel.

Sanders, Warren, whatever. i don't care. this primary is going to kill us all. let's just pick one, and get this nightmare over with. names in a hat. pin the tail on the donkey. no difference.

“what he did for the 2016 election is absolutely unforgivable”

I vote for people I literally think should be rotting their lives away in prison, ( in a sane world) so my standards on what is unforgivable are orthogonal to yours. Not softer or easier, but very different.

Glenn’s sins are trivial in comparison to those of typical politicians on the national scene.. Hell, they are trivial compared to those of most pundits. You can have the last word if you want it. We are not going to agree.

Glenn’s sins are trivial in comparison to those of typical politicians on the national scene..

his sins include either not understanding or not caring how actual real world people behave in political situations. which makes him a pretty lousy pundit. what's the value of the view from an ivory tower on a different world?

which makes him a pretty lousy pundit. what's the value of the view from an ivory tower on a different world?

This. Greenwald is a lousy pundit. There are many lousy pundits, but his punditry pushes talking points that divide people who should be united in fighting against United States-style white supremacist authoritarianism.

Unlike most lousy pundits, he has a personality cult, and his acolytes hang on every word he says. There's some evidence that he is hostile to the US, and is supported by others who are. His talking points were certainly supported by the Russian trolls.

He's a prominent gay man who currently lives in a country whose dictator hates gay people. His valiant fight is for his own skin. This is similar to Republicans who have a revelation regarding health care when their child is diagnosed with an expensive medical problem. It doesn't hurt that Glenn's grifting has allowed him enough money for his own team of bodyguards.

This
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2019/08/04/letter-if-you-saw-a-wild-haired-man-with-an-orange-face-ranting-about-rape-immigrants-rats/

Greenwald explains his professional ethos pretty well here:

https://www.vox.com/2016/9/15/12853236/glenn-greenwald-trump-clinton

I am dropping the Greenwald argument as promised, but since the original post mentioned language, here is a totally off topic link to a paper on the origin of language.

https://riojournal.com/article/38546/

good stuff, Donald

Greenwald explains his professional ethos pretty well here:

indeed he does. and it's a ridiculous ethos.

in that article, when asked why he focused so much on HRC and not Trump:

I can pretty much point to every single aspect of Donald Trump’s personal, political, and financial life — it’s been dissected by great length and with great skill by the investigative reporting teams of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and Washington Post.

i mean... WTF? HRC wasn't dissected in great length by WSJ, NYT, WaPo? do we not know every detail of her life going back decades ?

did we not spend 94 years hearing about her emails?

later:

Maybe it's just a personality trait, but I think as a journalist it’s my role to constantly push back against unity of thought.

no, that is nowhere near what a journalist's role is. it's pretty close to how trolls view themselves, however.

In this election, there's a really unique dynamic that's unhealthy — even if it's justified — where you have almost no members of the elite class engaged in any dissent. There's almost no prominent journalists or people at think tanks or professors who are supporting Donald Trump the way you have an elite split in most elections.

any chance that happened because Trump was so obviously unfit for the job that no one with any brains at all was supporting him? and why would it matter? it's most certainly not a journalist's role to balance a lack of academic support for one candidate with political attacks on that candidate's opponent.

That's in part because they become stigmatized if they do, and in part because they're genuinely horrified of the things he would do and the things he represents.

to stand up for the horrified silent anti-Trump academics, he must attack Clinton.

So you can sit on Twitter all day, and — unless it's Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter — you’re going to have this incredible homogeneity of opinion. And it builds on itself, and it becomes more sanctimonious and convicted of its own righteousness, and it kind of leads to places that I think are unhealthy, even if the cause is justified.

again he's telling us that he thinks it's the journalist's job to find the majority opinion and rail against it. and that's exactly what he does. but that doesn't make for good journalism. it's simply performative non-conformism.

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