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January 11, 2021

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the GOP's response is to complain about unrelated events that happened seasons ago.

Seasons ago? Seriously? It was less than a year ago.

yes, seriously. the BLM protests were literally two or three seasons ago.

Unrelated? No. Not unrelated. Leftwing violence seemingly aided and abetted by leftwing politicians and aligned movements produce a reaction. So, there is a relationship.

how many of them were attempting to overthrow the government?

except in their admonition to leave them alone.

To be clear, my admonition was not to leave them alone. It was to leave them alone unless you are interested enough and willing enough to commit to learning how to use them safely and responsibly.

To be really clear, I'd actually be fine if this country had a real, honest to god militia. Not the kind of cosplay randos we see now, more or less on the Swiss or Israeli model. We'd have a lot fewer knuckleheads running around threatening the rest of us if they thought they'd be likely to face trained and armed counterparties.

Not likely to happen, but just, as McK puts it, a thought experiment.

Some of the rioters break into the Senate chamber while Pence and some or all of the Senate are still there. They kidnap Pence and one or more Senators. Perhaps kill them.

Trump declares martial law and refuses to step down as POTUS until... who knows when.

Ok, this seems like more than a small reach to me, but since I'm for some reason taking today off, I'll bite: Pence is dead at DT's indirect instance and DT declares martial law.

On this scenario, I see one of two outcomes, both within 48 hours: DT is either in custody or is shot dead during efforts to put him in custody.

There was no huge, seething mob of camo'ed up popdicks with their AR-15's locked and loaded waiting to take over a country of 330 million people. A couple thousand losers--at DT's behest--tried with completely predictable lack of success--to prevent the electoral count.

These shitheads mostly barely have a life. Their individual competence level makes them unemployable at any job requiring even modest executive decision making skills. They were doomed to fail. The problem was, the effort was just so fucking outrageous that we are still trying to come to grips with it. The fact that a sitting president could condone this is simply off the charts wild. But, he's also an incompetent buffoon and that came out late Wednesday as well.

What it is primarily about is a refusal to accept the outcome of a legitimate election. It is a refusal to abide by the rule of law and the Constitution, and an attempt to impose your own will instead, by force.

The majority of Trump supporters would accept that. They'd be fine with it.

So I'm not really interested in nuance.

I kind of am interested in nuance, because the authoritarian bent is not all on the right. In fact, history and what we see today give us plenty of reasons to be very, very concerned about the authoritarian left.

You can have an argument about which came first, the Proud Boys or Antifa, but the fact is, both are with us and neither add value.

Russell, you are one of several here who rightly regret the lack of shared values. Well, one value is not having riots when something shitty happens. And no, I don't want to hear what the rioters have to say. I'm totally open to listening to peaceful protesters and their spokes people, but not fucking rioters. I've read reports of 20 billion in property damage--mostly small business owners whose life savings and livelihoods went up, literally, in smoke. But not much love from the left for these people.

So, yes to nuance. No to summary dismissal of this issue having only one legitimate side.

"Trump declares martial law and refuses to step down as POTUS until... who knows when."

As I said, this would require the military to be complicit. There is literally more danger of that with all the troops in DC next week if they are complicit. They can then take and hold, which is the meaningful part, those key buildings.

This is a conspiracy plot beyond any that Trumps supporters have come up with. Some fringe group of right wing militia guys takes the Senate, the President declares martial law, the troops roll into town to hold the opposition at bay. I think I saw that movie.

An actual stolen election would be a subversion of democracy. As it stands, the attempt to overturn a legitimate election was an attempted subversion of democracy - one that may not actually be over with. I'm not sure the point of the thought experiment. It's a "let's assume the situation was entirely different" proposition - that the animating feature was the opposite of what it was.

If the Democrats were actually trying to destroy America and turn it into some kind of totalitarian socialist hell, I wouldn't support them. But they aren't, so it's not relevant.

The fallout continues. Now you've got people, sports figures refusing to accept the Medal of Freedom from Trump.

We'd have a lot fewer knuckleheads running around threatening the rest of us if they thought they'd be likely to face trained and armed counterparties.

probably, yeah.

right now, there's such a culture war linkage to guns (as noted above) that a lot of liberals just shun them because of not wanting to associate themselves with something the right has claimed as its own (like wearing American flag t-shirts or whatever). and, likewise, a lot of people on the right use guns as part of their macho, defiant, 'conservative' identity.

no, i wouldn't go to a shooting range, either. plus i sold all my guns in college, when i wanted money to buy a guitar.

but, if everybody had a decent amount of exposure to guns, it might take both the left's fear of associating with them away as well as diminishing the right's claim to them as a unique part of their identity. the gun culture might tone itself down a bit, if they were common to everyone.

i mean, if we're just going to accept that we absolutely have to live in a country where tools designed to kill people are ubiquitous, that is.

As a thought experiment, and speaking for myself and off the top of my head, I'd say it would put rioting in a different light, but not attempted kidnap and assault and possible murder of elected officials.

Ok, I agree. There is an obvious and material difference between rioting when kidnapping and murder is not expressly on the action item list and rioting when they are. I wish I had seen and made that point earlier. That said, the larger point of the left's patent reticence to vigorously address the months of rioting/burning etc--with a not small loss of life--and to seemingly condone or at least contextualize it was and is very problematic. It was and is why having it one way but not the other is never going to play well outside lefty circles and it is low-hanging fruit for the far right fuckers to use as proof that the left doesn't stand on principle, only on expediency.

There was no huge, seething mob of camo'ed up popdicks with their AR-15's locked and loaded waiting to take over a country of 330 million people.

There was a retired USAF Lt Colonel and his pal the bartender, with zip ties and a taser, in the Senate Chamber, shortly after the Senate had been evacuated.

WTF do you think the zip ties and taser were for?

And that's just the most conspicuous example.

And I've watched four years of Trump supporters and the (R) party getting Trump's back for a pretty fucking amazing parade of malfeasance, so I'm skeptical that any of that would have led to Trump's imprisonment or removal.

127 (R) Congresspeople - 121 in the House, 6 Senators - voted to contest the acceptance of the electoral count THE DAY AFTER THE RIOTS.

So, I do not share your optimism.

Also, FWIW, there are several miles of daylight between saying "I can understand why people are rioting" and "I think rioting is good or even acceptable". People who commit acts of violence should be accountable for them, regardless of motivation.

You can have an argument about which came first, the Proud Boys or Antifa, but the fact is, both are with us and neither add value.

'antifa' didn't exist in the US until 2007.

similar anti-Nazi leftist groups with other names were around before then, especially around the punk rock scene, where neo-nazis would come to shows to start fights.

When you discuss things in terms of the monolithic left, it's hard to know who or what you're talking about, McKinney.

I don't hold, for example, George Will responsible for the invasion of the Capitol. There are plenty of people on the right who aren't Trumpists or Trump enablers. The GOP appears to be breaking in half over it.

Are all Democrats the left?

We'd have a lot fewer knuckleheads running around threatening the rest of us if they thought they'd be likely to face trained and armed counterparties.

Since this is a thought experiment, I'll argue the other side. Exhibit A is the Civil War. Every state had militias. Communities had militia's. Armed and trained militant ideologues of whatever stripe do not appeal to me.

A highly concentrated urban society that depends on a rural agricultural base 100's if not 1000's of miles away (and multiple layers of distribution/ refinement and packaging) is the worst scenario ever for extended civil strife.

If we really think there is a realistic possibility of outright and widespread civil insurrection, we need to be talking about devolution or dis-unification or something along those line. Or, we can just all kiss our happy asses goodbye.

McTX: I know a ton of DT supporters.

McKinney, do you know them well enough to tell us what fraction of them believe (or at least, assert) that "the election was stolen"?

MxTX, re the MAGAt insurrectionists: These shitheads mostly barely have a life.

I've been wondering for days how people who "barely have a life" find the time and money to travel across the country for a "wild" time.

--TP

As I said, this would require the military to be complicit.

Actually, were Trump to have cause to declare martial law and do so, the military would be obliged to obey. They would not be 'complicit', they would honoring their oath of office.

Wave it away, buddy, like you do with every other outrage.

the larger point of the left's patent reticence to vigorously address the months of rioting/burning etc-

just FYI, every time i hear this, from anyone, it sounds like absolutely nothing more than a weak attempt to excuse and diminish and shift blame over what happened last week.

what happened last week was entirely a Republican matter.

of course they won't take responsibility. but that doesn't mean anything.

I haven't fired anything in years because the places to do so in an urban area are all run by crazies.

The place I got firearms training was also run by crazies. It was call boot camp...

Apologies - not martial law, but invocation of the Insurrection Act.

And if Congress was not in a position to affirm the electoral vote, I'm not sure there is any clear direction as to how the office of POTUS is to be transferred.

So, chaos. Which is Trump's metier.

This is the lead story in The Washington Post right now:

"A day before rioters stormed Congress, an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and “war,” according to an internal document reviewed by The Washington Post that contradicts a senior official’s declaration the bureau had no intelligence indicating anyone at last week’s pro-Trump protest planned to do harm."

There was a retired USAF Lt Colonel and his pal the bartender, with zip ties and a taser, in the Senate Chamber, shortly after the Senate had been evacuated.

WTF do you think the zip ties and taser were for?

And that's just the most conspicuous example.

And I've watched four years of Trump supporters and the (R) party getting Trump's back for a pretty fucking amazing parade of malfeasance, so I'm skeptical that any of that would have led to Trump's imprisonment or removal.

127 (R) Congresspeople - 121 in the House, 6 Senators - voted to contest the acceptance of the electoral count THE DAY AFTER THE RIOTS.

So, I do not share your optimism.

Yes, and there are 330 million Americans and eventually 1000 Guards showed up, so a very small number of lunatics tried to fuck with the election. They, predictably, got their asses handed to them.

'antifa' didn't exist in the US until 2007.

similar anti-Nazi leftist groups with other names were around before then, especially around the punk rock scene, where neo-nazis would come to shows to start fights.

Ok, news to me. We can go back further in time and find violent extremists at both ends of the spectrum. That is my point: neither the right nor the left, the farther out you go on the spectrum, have any historical justification for finger-pointing.

The country would do well if both "middles" would do a better job of calling out their own extremes. It would be interesting to see if the "middles" have the backbone to stand up to their extremes. I predict they do not.

When you discuss things in terms of the monolithic left, it's hard to know who or what you're talking about, McKinney.

You have no idea how many times I've wanted to say the same thing when just about everyone here routinely lumps conservatives into a single, monolithic movement. Some of the most lucid and effective anti-trump writing comes from the right.

That said, the left is more monolithic on some issues than others. I'm pretty sure "anti-racism"/intersectionality is an outlier well to the left but has enormous influence nonetheless. I'm pretty sure that condoning the riots 2 or 3 seasons ago (I will be returning fire with that metric, in due course. LOL) was not a widespread phenomena on the moderate left, but they really don't have much of a national voice. At least, not from where I sit.

So, when I say "left", let me amend that to say "the visible left". Or, the progressive left.

I basically agree with McK that this isn't all about race, ...

It's also about class. Congress critters really hate seeing anyone meandering about their chambers, halls, and offices other than the normal high-class criminals...

That is my point: neither the right nor the left, the farther out you go on the spectrum, have any historical justification for finger-pointing.

Republicans invaded the US Capitol intending to overturn the result of the November election for President.

that finger is pointed, and it ain't moving.

Actually, were Trump to have cause to declare martial law and do so, the military would be obliged to obey. They would not be 'complicit', they would honoring their oath of office.

Wave it away, buddy, like you do with every other outrage.

Ok, first, as you say, he would have to "have cause". We've had four successful presidential assassinations and a high number of attempts. Never was there a discussion of martial law. So, the "have cause" element is missing IMO.

Second, I disagree with your assertion that "the military would be obliged to obey". First, any order must be a lawful order. See Lt. Calley and My Lai. DT could not, for example, spontaneously declare martial law and order AOC brought to him in chains (this is hyperbolic illustration, he says just in case someone finds their BP escalating). Likewise, I am supremely confident that the senior military leadership (who I'm pretty sure hates Trump) would not follow any but the most routine, mundane orders that might come from DT at this point.

just FYI, every time i hear this, from anyone, it sounds like absolutely nothing more than a weak attempt to excuse and diminish and shift blame over what happened last week.

what happened last week was entirely a Republican matter.

of course they won't take responsibility. but that doesn't mean anything.

You can call it whatever you want. You can tell people outside your circle just how wrong they are and how right you are and that it will always be that way. Sometimes you will be right. But you're not always right. If you can show me one instance of me trying to blame shift, have at it. Your response seems to me to be a refusal to deal with the left's own mistakes and to focus entirely on the far right. Accusing me of blame-shifting and ignoring the months of outright rioting--even if they were "seasons" ago--isn't persuasive, reasoned logic, it's just dismissive.

It's not an impressive position outside your worldview. We--the country--would do better with a bit less provincialism.

Yes, and there are 330 million Americans and eventually 1000 Guards showed up, so a very small number of lunatics tried to fuck with the election.

Not to beat this to death (my usual preamble to beating it to death) but 9/11 was 19 guys with boxcutters and a relatively modest budget.

And that got us USA Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, torture as official US policy, and two wars neither of which has ever really come to a complete conclusion.

I strongly disagree that this was just a bunch of loser assholes who posed no real threat to the nation. There were people involved who by all appearances were intent on usurping the peaceful transfer of power.

They failed, but a lot of that - a disturbing amount of it - was luck.

I'm not surprised to see Marty brush it off, it's what he does. I am surprised to see some of the same language from McK.

We'll all get though this crap one way or another, but we'd be looking at a very different scenario today if only a couple of things had broken the other way last week.

We were very very lucky.

If you can show me one instance of me trying to blame shift, have at it.

mmk.

Your response seems to me to be a refusal to deal with the left's own mistakes and to focus entirely on the far right.

Republicans invaded the US Capitol intending to overturn the result of the November election for President.

there is no left in the matter, except that you keep trying to drag it back in.

We can go back further in time and find violent extremists at both ends of the spectrum.

But we need to focus on the situation that we have right now. Is there any real question which end is more heavily armed? Is there any real question which end is calling for using those arms to overthrow the government?

Yes, there has been violence around some BLM demonstrations. But I'm not recalling with any which started with the leaders and organizers on a stage calling on attendies to fight. Feel free to offer an example, because I could have missed one. But we definitely saw that last Wednesday.

It's also about class. Congress critters really hate seeing anyone meandering about their chambers, halls, and offices other than the normal high-class criminals...

Class, race, whatever. Carve out the extremes and there is pretty broad consensus of how folks ought to behave and deal with each other, yet even within the extremes, individuals make judgments about others based a broad range of perceived criteria: how loud someone talks, their accent (whether its Hispanic or deep East Texas or hard Bronx or what have you), their pronunciation, hygiene, apparel, hair length and style, skin color, tattoos or no tattoos, and a crap ton of other intangibles. Most of these judgments are benign, or relatively so, and most are preliminary and change if and when people move from casual encounters to getting to know one another. My sense is that very few people inside the extremes think consciously about race or class or other common markers used by the political class as policy metrics. So, meh on all of that. We're a lot more united than anyone would ever believe if all they had access to was the MSM and the left and right wing blogospheres.

If find all of this trying to fit shit that happens into some kind race or class paradigm tiresome in the extreme. It's as if the people doing so like seeing people divided.

But I'm not recalling with any which started with the leaders and organizers on a stage calling on attendies to fight.

or which of them had anything to do with the events of the last week (despite Republicans constantly trying to blame BLM and antifa for being there and actually doing the things Republicans said they wanted to do)

this is not a left issue. this is a right issue.

When I see people carrying Confederate flags, wearing "Camp Auschwitz" and "6MWNE" t-shirts, displaying swastikas in various ways, and calling black police officers n**gers, I tend to think I'm not united with them.

I know this isn't what you're talking about McKinney, because you're referring to people in general. The only question is why. We're discussing the people who invaded the Capitol in support of President Trump (R), with his explicit encouragement, based on a notion put forth in congress exclusively by GOP members.

I wonder how many votes for any Democratically- sponsored legislation the guy has gone along with out of fear for violence against himself and his family from the monolithic left, or even Antifa:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2021/01/12/whos-in-danger/

Especially now that Pelosi has been disarmed of her semi-automatic gavel.

https://xkcd.com/2410/

There have been some studies on when an idea has reached the cascade point, and moved from oddity to part of the overall culture. One indicator is when it starts shoving normal conversation aside.

"Are we there yet?" Increasingly looking like it.

The mainstream media never gives up the hope that Trump will begin acting Presidential and maybe ask them out for a beer.

https://apnews.com/article/trump-us-capitol-riot-no-responsibility-03eccd4b09d7acb6f5cce304a0afdf42

Is there a day in the week named "Never"?

"It's as if the people doing so like seeing people divided."

Newt Gingrich and Frank Luntz, the early shaman daddies of November 6, 2021, like it.

As a result, I tolerate it as an acquired taste since "Eat Shit" seems to be the Republican approach to human political relations and ice cream is not on the their menu.

Wow, that was seriously incoherent. Sorry.

I'm not recalling with any which started with the leaders and organizers on a stage calling on attendies to fight.

You can, perhaps, make that claim in Portland. Not in connection with BLM, but in connection with the primarily anarchist groups that mobbed and vandalized the federal courthouse.

Portland is kind of a distinct phenomenon. It has a history - decades long history - of fighting between white supremacist skins and their anarchist counterparts. That got fired up by the BLM stuff, but was somewhat distinct from it, and the BLM organizers wanted little to do with it.

Some other cities, same story, perhaps to a lesser degree. Minneapolis is one, the upper midwest and northwest in general has some of this.

nous actually has good knowledge about all of that history. He's lived some of it.

There are a variety of groups banging around on the "left", where by "left" I mean essentially really left - anarchist, anti-capitalist. Some are violent in the sense that they consistently destroy property. Some are violent toward people, but their violence is quite specifically targeted toward equally violent right-wing actors like Nazis, white supremacists, skins, Proud Boys, and the like.

And some are just not violent.

So, nuance.

If you're looking to take my temperature on where I stand with all of that:

I'm not sympathetic or supportive of the folks who just trash stuff, including but not limited to looters. Do the crime, you do the time.

I am sympathetic to the specifically anti-fascist brawlers, because I fncking hate Illinois Nazis and I recognize an ethical distinction between Nazis and people who punch Nazis. I just think they're extremely counter-productive, because they're just giving the Nazis exactly what they want. Plus, when you raise hands, you're probably committed to that, it's hard to walk back. It limits your options, i.e. makes it much much harder to find a more constructive path forward.

That said, if you get into it with cops, you're on your own. I have mixed feelings about cops, but they're generally trying to do a job, and no cops is not really a world we feeble humans are ready for. Plus, cops vs pretty much anybody is going to end up as advantage cops, so maybe channel your anger into something more productive.

And I'm fine with anarchists and honest-to-god lefties of any and all stripes who aren't violent. I don't agree with all of them, but they don't bug me.

So if you ever want to know, there you have it. No need to speculate.

Also FWIW, when I say I'm not interested in nuance, I do not mean that I don't recognize that there are all kinds of people who are conservative, and in fact all kinds of people who are Trump supporters.

What I am not interested in is hearing justifications for anyone's continued support for Trump. He has, amply, demonstrated that he is profoundly and irretrievably unfit for office. If you're still getting his back, I'm just not interested in knowing why. There is no excuse.

I'm just not interested in hearing it.

I speak for myself, not for "the left" or whatever other political cabal you imagine I'm part of.

Not to beat this to death (my usual preamble to beating it to death) but 9/11 was 19 guys with boxcutters and a relatively modest budget.

Well, maybe. Over 3000 Americans were targeted and killed and, crystal balls being what they are, no one knew what the future held. But, you make a fair point. Just because I don't think those clowns are a real threat doesn't make me right.

there is no left in the matter, except that you keep trying to drag it back in.

But we need to focus on the situation that we have right now.

No and no. No, history did not start on January 6, 2021. No, no one gets to tell everyone else that they can only consider X or Y or Z in evaluating an issue if the person trying to lay down the terms of the debate was in a reasonably comparable position in recent memory and that person seems to be taking inconsistent positions.

You can say you have that right, you can claim until hell won't have it that that the only permissible focus is on what happened last week when discussing civil unrest, but saying it doesn't make it so. In fact, it makes it worse. It gives aid and comfort to the worst of your enemies because they can, with evidence, call out your double standard and claim that the left only gives a shit when the fires start if the fires get lit by "conservatives".

Cleek, you in particular have been vocal about demanding that conservatives call out their own. You've never said the same for lefties, but leaving that aside, just how persuasive do you think someone like me is when facing down a bunch of Trumpers when they say, "ok, tell me how the left is different--they are totally fine with gunned up cops and the National Guard when its the right, but they are just the opposite when it's BLM and Antifa."

You can parse that to pieces but 20 billion in property damage and a crap ton of video is a pretty solid rebuttal.

Well, Santorum warned us:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55631198

McKinney - I'm in So Cal and there are about five places within a non-trivial drive at which I can shoot. Four of those are indoor ranges. The outdoor range has severe safety problems and the owners' son, a convicted felon, keeps getting in trouble for working in the wrong areas and handling firearms. People have died at the range of gunshot wounds because the pistol ranges are *behind* the berm for the rifle range. Somehow they still manage to stay in the NRA's good graces and regularly host NRA sponsored family firearm intro events.

The other four ranges all have competent range people, but they weird me out with their now-standard mix of paranoia and bravado. Way too much of an NRA TV vibe for my taste and I have a hard time recommending any of them to the people I know who are curious about firearms.

I miss the days when the ranges were mostly filled with Fudds who stressed safety and marksmanship and maintenance and were oriented towards hunting. Every single one these days is infected with black rifle fever. Even the old gun club I grew up near in rural WI has more yahoos with tac gear shooting human silhouettes from close range than people trying to get a tight grouping at 100 yards with their deer rifle.

"ok, tell me how the left is different--they are totally fine with gunned up cops and the National Guard when its the right, but they are just the opposite when it's BLM and Antifa."

Now who's lumping everyone on the right together? ;^)

I know this isn't what you're talking about McKinney, because you're referring to people in general. The only question is why.

I think I was pretty clear that I was speaking specifically of people inside the extremes. Of course, no one is united with nazi's or confederate bitter-enders or whatever. The why of it is that "serious people" seem to only be able to assess issues in terms of race or class. I think that's bullshit when those are the only metrics. Worse, I think it's divisive and does a disservice. Which I what I thought I said above and I said in response to CWT's comment.

I just think they're extremely counter-productive, because they're just giving the Nazis exactly what they want.

Plus, I'm not so sure their collective sensitivity as to who is a fascist and who is not is all that discerning. So, there is that too.

What I am not interested in is hearing justifications for anyone's continued support for Trump. He has, amply, demonstrated that he is profoundly and irretrievably unfit for office. If you're still getting his back, I'm just not interested in knowing why. There is no excuse.

I'm just not interested in hearing it.

Ok, sure. I get that being a Trumper post 1-6-21 doesn't make any sense (if it ever did), but to recast my comment to Cleek: so do we just ignore them? Tell them all they are just a bunch of unregenerate assholes and call it a day? Quit trying to reach them, quit trying to move the needle a bit, and over time maybe move it a lot?

On a more serious note, related to my last comment, if we were talking about the March for Life, I don't think many people, on the left or otherwise, would expect a large armed presence the be on hand to prevent rioting. I also don't think many people would consider the March for Life to be a left-oriented event. Quite the opposite.

McTX: ... just how persuasive do you think someone like me is when facing down a bunch of Trumpers when they say, "ok, tell me how the left is different ...

Try: "No leftie POTUS ever exhorted a mob of his supporters to invade the Capitol".

When that gets you nowhere, ask: "Do you believe the 2020 election was stolen?"

If they say anything but "No", give up.

--TP

In the '90s I was friends with a person who regularly got invited to go shooting with the staff from Paladin Press at their favorite range outside of Boulder. I know the taste of paranoia well. Some good people, like my late friend, but rubbing shoulders with some of the most marginal SOBs on the right.

That level of paranoid has seeped deep within the right. Half the people I know who are gun nuts sound like those Paladin Press guys every time they start to talk about firearms these days.

You can say you have that right, you can claim until hell won't have it that that the only permissible focus is on what happened last week when discussing civil unrest, but saying it doesn't make it so.

we were talking about what happened on the 6th. but you keep trying to broaden the scope to include stuff you don't like about the left. it's kindof your M.O., frankly.

the Republican party now includes a lot of people who literally want to overthrow the government and who tried it once, and who are planning to try it again. but you want to talk about past events, i guess because it gives you a reason to complain about the left? but really, there are more important things going on right now.

Not to beat this to death (my usual preamble to beating it to death) but 9/11 was 19 guys with boxcutters and a relatively modest budget.

And an enormous hole in the protocol for handling attempted hijackings. Once there was a DHS and they started looking, there were a variety of other big holes. IIRC, electric utilities had been allowed to put several cities in the position that 19 guys with a half-dozen garbage trucks could knock out the local power grid for six months.

For whatever it's worth, estimates for damage during last year's protests that I've seen run more in the $1-2 billion dollar range.

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/516742-vandalism-looting-after-floyd-death-sparks-at-least-1-billion-in-damages-report

do we just ignore them? Tell them all they are just a bunch of unregenerate assholes and call it a day? Quit trying to reach them, quit trying to move the needle a bit, and over time maybe move it a lot?

No to the first two, I've decided to retire from the field on the last.

I have friends and family who are Trumpers, at various degrees of hard core. I don't give them a hard time about it, I don't talk to them about it at all.

We talk about other things, and enjoy each other's company.

I have no expectation of moving the needle, and I'd rather enjoy them as people.

If I were more conservative myself, I might have better odds of making a connection with them on social and political stuff. I encourage anyone who can make that kind of connection to do so and see if you can turn them around.

Or not even 'turn them around', that's kind of condescending. See if you can get them to acknowledge some common set of agreed upon facts. Like, Biden won the election, or COVID is actually a thing. And maybe go from there.

I don't have the patience for it anymore. A failing on my part, no doubt.

The other four ranges all have competent range people, but they weird me out with their now-standard mix of paranoia and bravado. Way too much of an NRA TV vibe for my taste and I have a hard time recommending any of them to the people I know who are curious about firearms.

Yeah, I've seen some of that at one location west of Austin. D-bags waiting for the End Times and all that. Beyond tiresome.


I miss the days when the ranges were mostly filled with Fudds who stressed safety and marksmanship and maintenance and were oriented towards hunting. Every single one these days is infected with black rifle fever. Even the old gun club I grew up near in rural WI has more yahoos with tac gear shooting human silhouettes from close range than people trying to get a tight grouping at 100 yards with their deer rifle.

Yep, and there is a lot more here than meets the eye. You and I obviously have more than our share of disagreements at the policy level. Ok, I wouldn't come here if I was looking for validation. Quite frankly, at my age and looking back of the last nearly 67 years, I don't feel any particular need for validation. I self-validate like it's going out of style. That said, there was a time here at ObWi when the debates were every bit as fierce, but the tone/tenor was a bit lower, a bit more comity-ish. I miss those days.

Now, back to the point I was going to make: you miss being able to go someplace and not get someone else's weird-ass political views jammed down your throat. Let me observe that that is a two-way street. A far right guy would feel quite at home at those gun ranges. You, not so much.

Let me propose that there are a lot of people who do not like going to what should be a politically neutral venue and find out they are involuntarily patronizing a viewpoint they do not agree with.

I'm not attempting a threadjack or to relitigate taking a knee or the NBA's uncritical embrace of BLM. Rather, I'm making the point that we can all use a break from hearing about someone else's sincerely held beliefs.

Last comment for the moment - the looting and property damage that accompanied the George Floyd protests were a one-off, and the scenes at the courthouses and capitols were a *response* to the violence with which the *peaceful protesters* were met. No one on the left cared if looters were thrown in jail, but all of the cops and contractors were busy at the protests.

The studies and the analysis of the surveillance videos are clear (and I've watched a lot of it). The security forces respond far more aggressively and proactively to protests from the left that involve a lot of angry people of color than they do when faced with a mostly white crowd of upset right wingers.

And right wing media has a nasty habit of showing unrelated violence and scenes of destruction - sometimes from foreign countries, sometimes from previous weeks when the tensions were greater - while they talk about the violence in American cities. They oversell the race riot and undersell the open insurrection, all so that they can ease the cognitive dissonance for people who believe that theirs is the only redemptive violence.

For those hoping for some healing and unity, here are some ideas.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/12/you-want-healing-here-are-some-ideas/

For those hoping for some healing and unity, here are some ideas.

Pretty much where I'm at.

Most of the folks asking for 'healing' and 'unity' at this point are really asking for the rest of us to make nice.

Some countries have found truth and reconciliation efforts to be helpful after significant social divide.

The first word there is 'truth', and it comes before 'reconciliation'.

Henry Olsen on the same topic.

Olsen's one of WaPo's conservative commentators, but he's usually more level-headed than Hewitt and Thiessen, who are both animated piles of garbage.

While rarely openly expressed in these terms, this undercurrent has been clear in polls. A Pew Research Center poll from September 2019 shows that across a number of characteristics, nearly three-quarters of both parties said they cannot agree on common facts. Majorities in both parties also say the other side doesn’t share nonpolitical values and goals with them. One can only imagine how these numbers look today after the events of the past year and a half.

This means that creating unity, if it is possible, must be an active process rather than something Americans passively resort to. Leaders of both parties need to look at their counterparts as adversaries, not enemies, and strive to find common ground rather than default into their respective silos.

It’s tempting to say that the burden of doing so should be equally shared. The riot last week makes that impossible. Republicans will need to make the first move to build trust so that national unity around common values is possible.

At a minimum, that requires acknowledging that the election was free, fair and reflective of the people’s will.

that's definitely a start.

It also requires open acknowledgment that the riot was not the result of antifa or Black Lives Matter protesters. There might have been some rogue infiltrators, but the overwhelming weight of the evidence is that MAGA believers, not the violent left, stormed the Capitol. Again, there are certainly degrees of culpability even among these people. But it was the Republicans’ side that ransacked our national temple, and no one else’s.

yup

We can rebuild the space for normal, intense political dialogue only if we rebuild the platform of shared citizenship upon which those debates can take place. Let us pray that leaders from both parties publicly commit themselves to this goal and, if necessary, face down their intra-party adversaries in its pursuit. If and when this occurs, only then can we begin to see the light at the end of this very dark tunnel.

i honestly can't think of a better guy to be President right now, faced with that challenge, than Joe Biden.

I'm making the point that we can all use a break from hearing about someone else's sincerely held beliefs.

This is an interesting point, and I have a question.

ObWi is basically my venue for talking intensively about politics. I make the odd comment on FB, and click some "like" and "angry" emojis, but I don't really get into it there beyond that.

Other than online, I talk with my wife about political stuff, and maybe 2 or 3 friends, occasionally.

Other than ObWi I may go days without getting into political discussion or debate, with anybody.

Are the rest of us here like that? Or are folks as overtly political IRL as they are here?

Just curious.

relitigate taking a knee

Some expressions of deeply held beliefs are more obnoxious than others.

https://www.wlky.com/article/kentucky-sheriff-jailer-post-video-burning-uk-gear-after-basketball-team-knelt-for-anthem/35178540#

Cancel culture? Snowflakes? Both?

i honestly can't think of a better guy to be President right now, faced with that challenge, than Joe Biden.

I hope so. So far, so good.

Are the rest of us here like that? Or are folks as overtly political IRL as they are here?

Just curious.

Normally not, but the election and post-election BS changed a lot of stuff.

i honestly can't think of a better guy to be President right now, faced with that challenge, than Joe Biden.

My opinion:

Joe Biden is a gift, from the (D)'s of the nation, to the (R)'s. Maybe not intended as such, and maybe offered with some reluctance, but a gift nonetheless.

Biden represents an open invitation to put the hostility aside. If conservative folks, here or elsewhere, don't get that, they should.

I'm not talking about policy details, because there are always going to be points of disagreement there. And, there should be. And, that's fine.

Biden is not going to call anybody a deplorable, or at least if he does, they're gonna have to really earn it. He has many friends of quite long-standing among (R) legislators. He's not a fire-breathing dude.

He's not Clinton, he's not Warren, he's not Bernie. He's Uncle freaking Joe. He's a reasonable guy, and wants the country - all of it - to do well.

That's my take on it, anyway.

Take the gift. Take the opportunity. That's my advice.

Nobody can make any of you do it, but the offer is there.

Are the rest of us here like that? Or are folks as overtly political IRL as they are here?

not even a little.

wife and i will talk about stuff. i pay more attention than she does so sometime i'll have to explain a reference in a joke or something.

even amongst my lefty friends, i won't bring it up, and i stay out of it if it comes up. i have some very passionate (though not really radical) friends. and talking Trump will wreck their mood in a flash. so i don't add fuel.

Biden represents an open invitation to put the hostility aside.
...
Nobody can make any of you do it, but the offer is there.

Anybody unwilling to accept the invitation is basically saying "my way or the highway." Except that, in this case, they are the ones who will have to go. Not sure if they can find a country anywhere willing to take them.** But if they won't take the invitation, there's simply no place for them here.

** Not to be hyperbolic here. But the only other option to leaving, as far as I can see, is suicide attacks. Heavy emphasis on the "suicide". I really, really don't want to see that. But that's where we are.

even amongst my lefty friends, i won't bring it up

Yup.

Also FWIW, Fiona Hill weighs in on the question of coup or not.

Joe Biden is a gift, from the (D)'s of the nation, to the (R)'s. Maybe not intended as such, and maybe offered with some reluctance, but a gift nonetheless.

Biden represents an open invitation to put the hostility aside. If conservative folks, here or elsewhere, don't get that, they should.

When faced with unrest and grievance and deep polarization, the Democrats - and the vast majority of African-American voters - chose Biden. Sanders was right there. He has been for two elections now. The D's chose caution, sometimes maddeningly so.

When faced with the same things in the last two elections, the Republicans have chosen Trump the accelerationist firebrand over all less radical alternatives. The second time he ran unopposed for all practical purposes. And the people who had opposed him for obvious reasons all carried water for his worst urges and his lies for four years.

The left has some extremists and some accelerationists. They aren't winning.

But if the GOP cannot as an institution either turn the ship around or split itself off from the crazies who are driving this conflict the Dem's are going to have an increasingly hard time trying to appeal to the center.

My wife and I never discuss politics. I have a Trump diehard friend that I piss off regularly and lots of left leaning friends I wouldn't ever talk politics with. My FB has 0 people that post political comments, mimes etc., anyone who does is immediate unfollowed.

Here is the only place I engage with anyone on the left. Except for that one friend I dont engage anyone on the right anymore.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/thoroughly-respectable-rioters/617644/

But if the GOP cannot as an institution either turn the ship around or split itself off from the crazies who are driving this conflict the Dem's are going to have an increasingly hard time trying to appeal to the center.

Agree. The Tea Party morphed into the DT party, obliterating principled conservatism as a viable force in the national conversation.

Politics is important to my family, both my immediate family growing up and my immediate family now. We talk politics a lot, and mostly vote the same way, but have fairly heated discussions about details. I don't talk politics extensively with Republican in-laws (there are a few of them).

My friends vote mostly for Democrats. Many of the women I know engage regularly in various forms of activism, so we talk about that and inform each other about what we're doing so that we can all have things to do.

I have some friend groups where very little politics is discussed, but when we do talk, it's clear that we're not disagreeing about much. I tend not to bring it up. I don't have any close friends who are Republicans.

When I attend gatherings with friends of friends, I sometimes encounter Republicans, but in those settings we don't talk about politics other than a word here or there before the subject is changed.

Are the rest of us here like that? Or are folks as overtly political IRL as they are here?

At least as overtly political IRL, as were my parents, and as are almost all of my close friends. Most in the liberal/lefty of various shades mode, but one or two right or rightish and in the case of a US friend for the last 55 years, originally R and post 2016 pro-Trump. In the latter case, we have not referred to US politics for the last four years by mutual consent. I would be too scared to discuss recent events with her, in case she is all-in for the Trump project which would be enormously upsetting for me.

Somewhat on topic, from a conservative writer:

Donald Trump should be impeached, convicted, and removed from office.

If it takes until five minutes before Joe Biden is sworn in to get it done, then so be it. And if Trump runs out the clock, then he should be impeached and convicted after the fact, barring him from ever holding office again and providing a prelude to his likely prosecution on criminal charges in several jurisdictions.

This process should have started before the sacking of the Capitol by the mob he whipped up a week ago. It should have started with the release of the recording of the telephone call between Trump and Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, which documented the president’s attempt to suborn election fraud in Georgia. This was a scheme to effect a coup d’état by means of rank corruption. If that is not an impeachment-worthy offense, nothing is.

Who was it?

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/01/who-are-the-seditionists

If race and class are of no import, then why is gerrymandering so precise and exact on those two overlapping counts.

I'm more or less where cleek and russell are.

As facebook goes, I occasionally, very occasionally, post something mildly snarky but usually not too in-your-face on politics. I have friends on both sides, but most of them on the right, who are always on about something. (I don't mean that people on the right are on about something more than people on the left. I mean that most of my friends are on the right, particularly the ones I grew up with.)

The way-out-there stuff, I mostly try to ignore without comment. Some stuff, if I think I can get through to someone at all, I might comment on. But I mostly just post absurd apolitical crap, sort of to make fun of the whole phenomenon of social media.

In person, which there isn't much of these days, I generally have to respond to my friends who know I don't think the way they do and want to start a (usually drunken) political argument. I'll sometimes entertain it if it's in good fun, but shut it down otherwise. "Maybe we should just talk about something else" works surprisingly well.

I will jokingly address my few older friends who are more liberal as "comrade" to acknowledge that we're outnumbered and that our other friends have weird caricatured notions about what we actually believe.

So, as LGM points out in the 4:08, the reps who object represent an older, whiter voter with less educational attainment than their new neighbor of color But the reps are busy trying to reverse the trend rather than tack to center because they don't dare find themselves out of step with the national party when it is in a bloody minded mood.

(hsh. looks like Kevin Williamson, NRO)

For me, McKinney's quote at 4:02 pretty well nails it. If this wasn't grounds for impeachment and removal, what ever would be?

(Any chance for a link to the source?)

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/01/impeach-convict-remove

Which I what I thought I said above and I said in response to CWT's comment.

I was just trying to be snarky by implying that the everyday inhabitants of Congress didn't like seeing low-class rioters, trespassers, vandals, etc. in their spaces. Only just high-class criminals like themselves.

it's kindof your M.O., frankly.

kindof? LOL. It's always. Yup, if you are not down on your knees begging McKinney for forgiveness for not denouncing the crimes of Stalin all the time then you are an unrepentant hypocrite, and that is pretty much the end of the discussion as the demonstrable hypocrisy of "the left" is the only thing worth talking about. Sucks to be you, libs.

But let me digress a bit....

In the context of the good ol' USA, we have the following:

The left is generally right (I would've preferred the term "correct" but that would mark me as a Stalinist, and I detest Stalinists-all three of them).

The right is just about always wrong.

Violence is wrong, but sometimes it is deemed necessary by just about everybody, so the question is not the violence per se, but its justification(s). There appear to be many.

Race and class are bedrock and pervasive parameters that underlay our politics. To not discuss them is like a determination to discuss drowning without mentioning water.

With malice toward none, and charity to all....have a good day. We're due.

So, as LGM points out in the 4:08, the reps who object represent an older, whiter voter with less educational attainment than their new neighbor of color But the reps are busy trying to reverse the trend rather than tack to center because they don't dare find themselves out of step with the national party when it is in a bloody minded mood.

I have, more than once, demonstrated my mastery of math and statistics here at ObWi. Let's just say that McKTex's math resides in an alternate universe.

I don't think the LGM article proves the point. I agree there are some correlations, much more so at the extremes, between race/class and *outlook*. Voting patterns change over time--and will continue to change--and since we are a racially diverse country, there will be changes in racial voting patterns.

But that was not my point. I have law partners and friends who vote Democrat. But, we have far, far more in common than not. I strongly suspect my AA employees vote mostly Democrat, yet I know from talking about apolitical topics, we have far more in common than not. The third best thing about my career is the number of cases I've had in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley, starting in 1983. As a trial lawyer, you meet tons more people than in most other careers simply because every case has at least two clients and two lawyers. Multiply that by a couple thousand cases and 130 plus jury trials and you have a significant universe of people you've gotten to know more than merely in passing. Which is why my default, inside the extremes, is that we have far more in common than not. My cross-ethnic exposure lies more heavily in the Hispanic community than the AA community, but the number of AA friends, colleagues, acquaintances is not small. Ditto for Indian (from India) and Asian friend, colleagues and acquaintances.


Voting is a binary choice. If I was going to focus on the 138 objectors, I'd look at their victory margins and the ethnic breakdown of the votes on both sides. That would be more informative than the LGM article IMO, but still it wouldn't tell me much, particularly, as seems to be the case these days, the party bases pick the candidates and those tend to be hard right or hard left too often, and that leaves people who might want it otherwise picking the lesser of two evils.

Yup, if you are not down on your knees begging McKinney for forgiveness for not denouncing the crimes of Stalin all the time then you are an unrepentant hypocrite, and that is pretty much the end of the discussion as the demonstrable hypocrisy of "the left" is the only thing worth talking about. Sucks to be you, libs.

I like to think of myself as an objective student of history, but others--perhaps less enlightened--are entitled to their own views.

I was just trying to be snarky by implying that the everyday inhabitants of Congress didn't like seeing low-class rioters, trespassers, vandals, etc. in their spaces. Only just high-class criminals like themselves.

Blew right by me. Now I get it.

Congress didn't like seeing low-class rioters, trespassers, vandals, etc. in their spaces.

Trump was also apparently disappointed by the low class demeanor of his rioting supporters.

Trump was also apparently disappointed by the low class demeanor of his rioting supporters.

they let a little air out of his comfy bubble.

I think it was on a recent podcast that someone said that, on visiting Austin, they were surprised to meet people who looked Mexican, but who dressed and talked Texian. Or, more broadly, American. Which, of course, is what they are. Growing numbers of people, if they think much about it at all, don't see being Mexican or even being black as an identifying characteristic.

And more than a few old money Texians look Mexican.

I like to think of myself as an objective student of history, but others--perhaps less enlightened--are entitled to their own views.

I wonder what these objective students of history will say about the difference in policing between the George Floyd protests and January 6th. My guess is that they won't brush them aside as meaningless.

Someone has just told me Liz Cheney is going to vote for impeachment.

Some further discussion of what can/should happen.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/podcasts/cape-up/laurence-tribe-says-trump-should-be-impeached-again--even-if-a-senate-conviction-is-unlikely/

GftNC, here's your link
https://thehill.com/homenews/house/533926-cheney-says-shell-vote-to-impeach-trump

And note that she is the #3 officer of the House Republican caucus.

And, from today's NYT:

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, has told associates that he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking. The House is voting on Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with inciting violence against the country.

God, McConnell truly is a spineless piece of scum.

Thanks, wj.

I wonder what these objective students of history will say about the difference in policing between the George Floyd protests and January 6th. My guess is that they won't brush them aside as meaningless.

I'm not sure they are comparable, since the 1/6 activity occurred at one place and for a period measured in hours, so there is that. I suspect that if the insurrection had lasted days, the police response would have escalated significantly, depending on degree of resistance.
Had the idiots actually shown up fully armed and put up a fight, we would have seen a pitched battle. Of course, they didn't, which makes a lot of this discussion moot.

At the beginning of any protest-turned-riot, the initiative lies with the rioters since they know what they are going to do before anyone else does, including the police.

In retrospect, it is coming out that there was a lot of "chatter" on the far right that turns out to have been true. Does anyone know if that "chatter" was out of the ordinary? Enough so that a reasonable law enforcement response would have been to up-gun? If so, then there are some hard questions those who had the job of making the call will have to answer.

As for the *objective student of history* formulation, I was speaking tongue-in-cheek.

God, McConnell truly is a spineless piece of scum.

GFTNC, what would you have MM do, if not that or something similar? Am I missing something?

Shorter McTex: blah blah Antifa

My guess is GftNC is referring to his wind-induced course changes.

McConnell did not acknowledge Biden's win til December 16th. In the aftermath of the election, and during DJT's whole presidency, he has been one of his main enablers, and has given legitimacy to him as he has done ever more appalling things (like for example the Ukraine call).

DJT is an unspeakable piece of crooked, grifting sh*t (which, to your credit, you have always acknowledged), but McConnell has been all in for him out of despicable calculation, and cowardice. His stance of Merrick Garland and not confirming any of POTUS HRC's SCOTUS nominations, which you recently dismissed as "political business as usual" was nothing of the kind. It was an unprecedented lowering of the bar of even vaguely acceptable behaviour, and any accusations from you (or anyone) of lefty or Dem hypocrisy will languish in well-deserved opprobrium compared to this corrupt scoundrel's behaviour. And now, only after he is escorted limping from a coup attempt, he has "told associates" that " is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him." What is it cleek (or is it hsh) says? Profiles in courage.

His stance ON Merrick Garland...

McConnell reportedly said he was in favor of impeachment because it would make it easier for him to purge the Trumpists from the Republican Party. Let us all hope that
a) he is correct and able to do that, and
b) it rebounds on him and gets him booted out of office as a result. Chickens; roost.

Shorter McTex: blah blah Antifa

Nuance!

His stance of Merrick Garland and not confirming any of POTUS HRC's SCOTUS nominations, which you recently dismissed as "political business as usual" was nothing of the kind. It was an unprecedented lowering of the bar of even vaguely acceptable behaviour, and any accusations from you (or anyone) of lefty or Dem hypocrisy will languish in well-deserved opprobrium compared to this corrupt scoundrel's behaviour

I realize he is reviled on the vocal left (to avoid the broad brush) and maybe he is, compared to his Dem counterparts, in a class by himself, but I'm pretty sure the vocal right would contest that. They all do shitty stuff when it's in their interests as far as I am concerned. I thought MM should have used the Ukraine phone call to promote a DT departure, but that turned out to be me fantasizing.

Oh, and Antifa!

Well it is quite possibly now best for Republicans to impeach Trump, if they are calculating their narrow political interest. Which is McConnell’s only real interest.

On this one occasion, that happens to be in the interests of US democracy too, so I’m happy that the soulless ghoul has so calculated.

The fact that Trump recklessly gambled with their lives probably come into it, too.

Now that multiple GOP Reps are in favor in impeachment, it seems to me that the Unity caucus has no choice but to support it.

McKinney, you need to focus your contempt on fascist Antifa like Mo Brooks. Don’t use such a broad brush.

I'm pretty sure the vocal right would contest that.

It rather depends on which element of the "vocal right" you mean, and therefore whether their opinion deserves more than a nano-second's consideration before being contemptuously binned.

Nigel: the soulless ghoul! Excellent, and spookily appropriate.

By the way, and for the record, most of my friends and acquaintances would laugh at the idea of my being considered a representative of "the vocal left", or of "the left" at all. This is a good illustration of the difference between the Overton Window in the US versus the one in Europe/the UK.

As for the *objective student of history* formulation, I was speaking tongue-in-cheek.

As any "objective" student of history is wont to do. But since we are on this topic, just when are you going to apologize for the Bourbons?

Who would ever apologize for bourbon?

A landspeed record, from offering McKtini's for cleek to both sides do it. With a splash of 'I have friends who are Democrats!' Truely whiplash inducing. The 'George Floyd protests and the attempted coup can't be compared cause the former was bigger than the latter' is true genius though. Like I said, if it were really a right wing coup, they would have been better organized. I'm sure that is what G. Gordon Liddy said when the plumbers got arrested.

Some might suggest Marty was faster, but looking at the comments, I don't think he actually moved from his 'you call that a revolt? It was just a blip of overly exuberent yahoos that have nothing to do with me. How could it?'. It's like Groucho spinning around and Harpo waiting for him and then going 'ta-dah'.

Yes, a little history is called for. Here's Krugman with a nice reminder of some of it.

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