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February 12, 2021

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I don't like TheHill very much, but just after I posted this, I say this headline

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/538573-haley-breaks-with-trump-we-shouldnt-have-followed-him

From The Hill article:

She went on to say, “Nor do I think the Republican Party is going to go back to the way it was before Donald Trump. I don’t think it should."

Instead, Haley argues, "what we need to do is take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party. But at the same time, it’s bigger than the party."

Conservadoll bafflegab.

Let Nikki explicitly say what "the good that he built" was, and explicitly describe "the bad that he did", and then, maybe, possibly, she can present herself as a serious person. Until then, We The People can only speculate what the hell she would change about the pre-Trump GOP.

--TP

I agree, though I can't imagine that she will be called on the carpet to explain. And the media will rush in and proclaim that the Republicans have overcome their Trump problem and we can go back to business as usual. The line about the shit automatically implies that there is some shit you can get clean from. Sadly.

This is an interesting take: "what we need to do is take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party."

Just one huge problem. There simply is NO "good that he built" to fold in.

My expectation is that Haley's attempted straddle will fail. Not least because Faux News types like Carlson won't get past her being less than white. As soon as the 2024 campaign starts, they'll rip her to shreds. Who they'll support, I don't know; just not-Haley.

I don’t have to solve a problem like Nikki Haley, because Nikki Haley is not my problem to solve.

(R)’s can either utterly disavow Trump, lock stock and barrel, or not.

If they don’t, I oppose them, full stop. There is no conversation to have, no middle ground to find. I am against you.

If they do, there is probably a conversation to have.

Nikki does not disavow Trump, lock stock and barrel. Either she is on board with some or all of his agenda, or it’s simply in her interest to not disavow him.

I don’t care which.

She doesn’t disavow him, so I’m not interested in her or anything she has to say. Socially and politically speaking, she can kiss my @ss.

Some things cannot be tolerated. Not without destroying the freaking country.

Pick a side Nikki. I know which side I’m on.

Nikki Haley is not my problem to solve.

All of that is not meant to be a comment on the OP. Nikki Haley exists, therefore she must be accounted for.

Just saying my own MO for accounting for the likes of Nikki Haley is a robust invitation that she bugger off.

Trump is the line in the sand. Pick a side.

The gop is a scam perpetrated by sociopaths upon morons.

Hi Russell, when I go for a title, I always try for some strained cultural reference, and hope that it will have some underlying meaning. It is what Samuel Butler described:

For daring nonsense seldom fails to hit
Like scattered shot, and pass with some for wit.

But all of you knew that, I'm sure. Anyway, if you missed the reference, it was from the Sound of Music. Kinda fun, at least to my offbeat sense of humor, to imagine the nuns as representative of the Republican party. On the other hand, didn't want to suggest Haley was a breath of fresh air.

It is similar to what to think about the Lincoln project (which is running into a bit of its own problems. So much for them saving the Republican party.

If we are lucky, there are going to be lots of people moving over to the non-Trump side. We may even get people who totally disavow him. And while Haley's political stylings indicate she hasn't let go (I imagine she is busy trying to find all that good that Trump did), to be honest, I'm not really in much of a forgiving mood.

Here's another interesting case
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/06/michael-steele-donald-trump-republican-party-interview

I wish it were just morons. I can't say precisely what's wrong with some of the people who support either the GOP or tRump, but it's not that they're plain stupid ... some of them, anyway. You know, people who are just too smart in enough ways that they can't be really f**king stupid generally. If it were just morons, it would be a lot easier to comprehend.

It is easiest for a con man to turn a moron into a mark. But not all marks are morons, outside the specific area where they have been conned. However much it may seem like anyone with two brain cells to rub together should have seen thru the con.

"The gop is a scam perpetrated by sociopaths upon morons."

I don't know. It could be vice versa or it could be all men are created equal at a very low reptilion level.

I mean, Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul are morons, but they seem to appeal to the sociopathic vibe so rampant in exceptionalist conservative Soviet America.

It’s a great article.
Alberta seems to have pulled off the trick of giving his political subjects a generous assessment on their own terms, while simultaneously pulling no punches. It gets him access without having to be a sycophant, and he writes some interesting stuff.

Haley appears to have slightly more principles tha the average current Republican - who has none at all. I have no desire to see her anywhere near the White House, and don’t think she’ll get the chance.

The GOP situation reminds me of that old Soviet joke:
4 prisoners on the train to Siberia. One asks thes second "Why are you here?" "I was against Popov". He asks the third "And you?" "I was for Popov." He asks the fourth "And you?" "I am Popov. But who are you, comrade?" The first one answers "The judge that sentenced all of you."

The GOP and the RW media are united in authoritarianism. The trickiest part is always to correctly anticipate the party line and to do a 180° at exactly the right time. Replace Popov with Jabbabonk and the judge with Faux News (now bleeding viewership profusely to OANN and the like). The only thing guaranteed is that, whatever happens, the authoritarian system will prevail as long as the party and its allied media stand.

I can't say precisely what's wrong with some of the people who support either the GOP or tRump, but it's not that they're plain stupid ... some of them, anyway.

the theory from the "You Are Not So Smart" podcast is that a lot of people don't think about things - "a lack of cognitive reflection" (thinking about thinking). they don't question the information they get, especially if that information conforms with what they already believe. they're happy to accept lies as facts if they trust the source and the lie makes enough sense.

and for lots of reasons, people choose to be more cognitively reflective in some domains and less in others. so you can engineers who are good at detailed thinking at work but who are content to dial back their critical thinking when it comes to politics.

and if you want to be a Republican, Fox News provides a ready-made worldview, rich in detail, brimming with fact-free information analogue. they will tell you everything a Republican needs to know - and all the Republicans you know believe them. so it's easier to just believe Fox than try to think it all through on your own.

Just one huge problem. There simply is NO "good that he built" to fold in.

From the perspective of the national Republican Party, all of the environmental regulation rollbacks were good. Their only complaint is that Trump's first round of appointments at Interior and EPA were inept and didn't get as much done as they might.

The two things they do not like about Nixon is that he founded the EPA and that he backed and stepped down under threat of impeachment. Faux News got founded in part to prevent another such situation.

From the perspective of the national Republican Party, all of the environmental regulation rollbacks were good.

De-regulation, tax cuts, judges. From point of view of the (R)’s as a party those things are all virtuous. Every (R) running, for national office anyway, will be advocating those things for at least the next generation.

They will be wrapped up in social and ethical trappings of personal responsibility, self-reliance, small government, and the virtues of entrepreneurial capitalism.

So far so good. Not my cup of tea, but everybody’s got a point of view. All of the above are reasonable points of discussion and negotiation.

They have been, and likely will continue to be, also wrapped up in a toxic blend of resentful victimhood, entitlement, xenophobia, also a deep and adamantine ignorance of history and basic principles of governance and civic life. Not to mention a fetish about violence as a means of negotiating conflict with others.

None of that offers any opening for discussion or negotiation.

I’m happy to discuss what the top marginal tax rate should be, or how best to fund public education, or whether the feds really have standing to tell people whether they can build stock ponds on their property.

I refuse to engage in discussion about whether George Soros is funding a takeover of the US by the Illuminati, Beyonce or no Beyoncé. I refuse to discuss whether attempts to make DJT accountable for his actions in office amount to an attempt to “nullify an election”. Those aren’t debatable points. They, and things like them, are pernicious lies, and deserve to be treated as such.

I absolutely refuse to give any quarter to people who threaten violence if they don’t get their way. Not just refuse to engage in discussion with them, I will actively oppose them.

The (R) party, as a party, and at the national level at least, has decided to embrace madness as an electoral strategy. As long as they continue in that way, I will oppose them, with whatever resources are available to me. I don’t care if their policy preferences are good, bad, or indifferent. They have decided to embrace absolute bat-sh*t fncking madness as a path to gaining and holding power. That, and plain old garden variety cheating.

When they give that up, there will probably be opportunities for debate, negotiation, compromise, and something resembling unified forward motion.

As long as they don’t give that up, those things aren’t available. The only thing to do is oppose them.

That’s how it looks, to me.

The two things they do not like about Nixon is that he founded the EPA and...

Which just shows that they don't remember their own history very accurately. Nixon proposed collecting all the people doing environmental work in the federal government and putting them in one place because he didn't like them or trust them and "it will be easier to keep an eye on them." Congress approved the reorganization, but the EPA was largely toothless. Shortly after, Congress began passing environmental laws with real teeth.

Congress approved the reorganization, but the EPA was largely toothless. Shortly after, Congress began passing environmental laws with real teeth.

Sometimes, what it takes to get regulations passed is a visible enforcement mechanism. And there's even something to be said for building the enforcement infrastructure first. Rather than passing a bunch of regulations with nobody organized to implement them.

Congress approved the reorganization, but the EPA was largely toothless. Shortly after, Congress began passing environmental laws with real teeth.

Then it became all fangs and no brains.

And there's even something to be said for building the enforcement infrastructure first.

True. But the historical record says that's not why Nixon proposed the reorganization. He subsequently vetoed amendments to strengthen the Clean Water Act (overruled) and amendments to expand the scope of the National Environmental Policy Act (sustained). He signed amendments to strengthen the Clean Air Act after they passed by veto-proof majorities.

and no brains.

enjoy your PFOS.

I thought the Democrats did a good job overall with the impeachment. But I don't understand this witness insanity. And I am going to be furious if we don't find out things like:

What the hell happened with the National Guard? Who specifically gave what order and when?

What the hell happened with the call to Georgia and are there other such calls.

the historical record says that's not why Nixon proposed the reorganization.

No doubt it's the engineer in me. But the fact that something was done for the wrong reason does not, in itself, make it the wrong thing to have done.

Sometimes, the wrong reason is the only way to get the right thing done at all. Infuriating to the purists, of course. But pragmatism is like that more often than not.

Seven eight deadly pollutants which require elimination:

Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
Carbon monoxide (CO)
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Sulfur oxides (SOx)
Particulate matter (PM)
Mercury
Libertarian Dogshit

wow. seven Republicans are smarter than hot dogshit.

things are looking up.

And now there is the unimpeachable Trump, which pollutes the conservative movement and the republican party at the cellular level. Their bone marrow is radioactive with him, but it was and is a deliberate self-poisoning.

They are how invincible and they will kill us.

Nuke the diseased vermin from space.

Anything goes. All Evil is on the table for the taking and the doing without sanction.

Mike Pence, for one, should feel very uncomfortable that his attempted murder is not a mortal crime, but is merely all in a day's work for whomever tries it next.

It will most certainly be any number of subhuman conservatives standing in line for their next shot at him, as justice and the Constitution forfeit the future of America.

Biden needs to pardon every jailed felon in America immediately, no matter their crime or the term of their punishment. All prosecution of crime from sea to shining sea must cease forever.

The Constitution was just defunded by the filthy Republican Party.

Fuck America.

Just a suggested housekeeping move:

Kevin Drum's new blog address for the blog list on the left hand margin:

https://jabberwocking.com/

Not that anything matters. Let it all burn and rot.

Ah yes, The Sound of Music:

Haley fascinating in much the same way Magda Goebbels was fascinating as she also deconstructed her "career".

"At around 20:30, Goebbels and Magda left the bunker and walked up to the garden of the Chancellery, where they killed themselves.[249] There are several different accounts of this event. One account was that they each bit on a cyanide ampule near where Hitler had been buried and were given a coup de grâce immediately afterwards.[250] Goebbels' SS adjutant Günther Schwägermann testified in 1948 that they walked ahead of him up the stairs and out into the Chancellery garden. He waited in the stairwell and heard the shots sound. Schwägermann then walked up the remaining stairs and, once outside, saw their lifeless bodies. Following Goebbels' prior order, Schwägermann had an SS soldier fire several shots into Goebbels' body, which did not move.[249][e]

The bodies were then doused with petrol, but they were only partially burned and not buried.[250] A few days later, Voss was brought back to the bunker by the Soviets to identify the partly burned bodies of Joseph and Magda Goebbels and their children. The remains of the Goebbels' family, Hitler, Braun, General Krebs, and Hitler's dogs were repeatedly buried and exhumed.[251] The last burial was at the SMERSH facility in Magdeburg on 21 February 1946. In 1970, KGB director Yuri Andropov authorised an operation to destroy the remains.[252] On 4 April 1970, a Soviet KGB team used detailed burial charts to exhume five wooden boxes at the Magdeburg SMERSH facility. Those were burned, crushed, and scattered into the Biederitz river, a tributary of the nearby Elbe.[253]"

I am going to be furious if we don't find out things like:

What the hell happened with the National Guard? Who specifically gave what order and when?

What the hell happened with the call to Georgia and are there other such calls.

I feel you, but I think you should prepare to be furious.

Personally, I'm highly pleased that 7 (R)'s voted aye. It's a start, and I'm glad to see it.

Now it's time to get on with the Biden administration.

Sometimes, the wrong reason is the only way to get the right thing done at all.

Countme-in. Expropriate the expropriators.

All kidding aside, it is important to dispel the the myth that asserts Nixon "established" the EPA thus demonstrating his environmental bona-fides. The major reason such legislation was enacted at that time was public pressure and veto proof Democratic majorities in the Congress.

In response to a previous question, wj, I found this essay. Hope you like it.

wow. seven Republicans are smarter than hot dogshit.

things are looking up.

A 7 times improvement is not nothing. For all that one might wish that enough had found the courage to live up to their oaths.

bobbyp, thank you for a good read.

In general, I agree with the author on the need to reestablish protection of the commons as a critical legal principle. I see what the EPA became (regardless of what was intended) as a step in that direction. But then, I can remember the time, pre-EPA, when someone in, for example, Southern California, could literally see the air you breathed. Cleaning up the air wasn't a partisan issue. And, except for fanatical libertarians, it wasn't really an ideological issue. Just something that desperately needed to be done.

Which is why I rather take exception to the implication when the author says:

Decades of pollution and poison from mines, factories, automobiles, power plants, and industrial farms have barely moved the needle away from profit and private property as public benefits. Only the prospect – and now the reality – of global climate change has begun reframing the conversation in terms of society’s right to an undamaged commons.
The needle has moved. It's just that success has faded memories of just how bad it used to be. Which was far worse than now. Which success has allowed the environment to become an ideological issue. In short, the needle has moved . . . in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, I expect that the damages from climate change will have to become largely unrecoverable before it swings back -- and a new generation asks "What the hell were you people thinking?!?!?"

It might just be what I look at so I've missed it, but has any piece described the impeachment decision as 'bipartisan'? Because in previous times, if one Democrat went to support some Republican bill, that was the go-to adjective. Funny that...

Which just shows that they don't remember their own history very accurately.

That's a pre-requisite for a (professional) conservative.

St.Ronnie never raised taxes, never was for gun control (in particular not to limit gun ownership to white people) and was 110% pro-life all his life. Whether he was for or against McCarthy depends on whether McCarthyism is currently seen as good or bad.

McConnell’s statement, calling Trump morally and practically responsible for the attack on the Capitol, on the same day he voted to acquit, was a piece of quite extraordinary double standards.
Clearly the Republican establishment is attempting to draw a line under Trump, while avoiding taking any responsibility for their complicity, and hoping at the same time to hang on to his base.
https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/538790-senate-gop-say-trump-no-longer-has-top-party-spot

I find it very hard to see how that can fly, and look forward to whichever morally compromised individual who manages to claw their way to the next nomination getting soundly defeated at the polls.
Though that’s as likely to be another non politician ‘outsider’ (Tucker Carlson, perhaps ?) as it is someone like Haley.

McConnell’s statement

Have cake, eat it, too.

I think the Republicans will end up choking on it.

Have cake, eat it, too.

This was, word for word, my reaction too.

I think the Republicans will end up choking on it.

FYLTGE.

I amused myself (though not very much) yesterday by thinking up apocalyptic maledictions for them (McConnell et al). I got as far as:

May their names be a curse forever. May their infamy be a byword in perpetuity. And may their tongues swell in their heads if ever again they venture to use the words democracy, or rule of law.

McConnell’s statement

The civil war within the GOP has been ignited. The St. Ronnie dictum to never speak ill of a fellow criminal Republican has been trashed.

it's Fun Facts Time!

Gallup party ID poll, Jan 21 - Feb 2:

GOP declined from 31% on the week of the election to 25% ! oh noes, GOP in decline!

in that same time period, Democrats declined from 30% to a new low (back to 2004) of 25% ! and that decline really happened in the second half of January. oops.

so now, 'independents' make up half of the electorate.

I think the Republicans will end up choking on it.

not a chance. the public hates the GOP and they hate when Dems try to do anything about the GOP.

we is a broken country.

May their names be a curse forever. May their infamy be a byword in perpetuity. And may their tongues swell in their heads if ever again they venture to use the words democracy, or rule of law.

Don't be surprised if the first two sentences get applied to McConnell (et al.) by the right wing media. For daring to suggest Trump might have done anything even remotely wrong.

May be one of the few times the right and left agree on something. ;-)

Those of you in the thrall of real bipartisanship can take heart in this.

in case anyone was wondering why Democrats hate McConnell, look no further than his behavior with the impeachment trial.

he aid Trump was guilty. then refused to hold the trial while Trump was in office. then voted to acquit because he says you can't find an ex-President guilty.

he is morally vacant and inflicts his nihilism on the country with parliamentary tricks.

he [McConnell] is morally vacant

You give him too much credit. To be vacant would be to be a zero. He is more of a moral black hole: a negative, which induces lack of morality in others as well.

The term of art is flaming asshole, I believe.

we is a broken country

It has become increasingly clear to me that the de facto 2-party system in the US - as well as in the UK, different as it is - is hopeless in times of increasing populism. But of course neither of the big parties has shown much interest in changing the parameters that lead to this situation since it isn't in their immediate interest - so nothing ever changes.

Gosh, bobbyp, very interesting. And rather terrifying, when you consider how easily it could have failed...

What I don't understand is how any of those Democrats even speak to Republicans. You got a flash of that when AOC told Cruz to FO

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-reacts-ted-cruzs-tweet-gamestop/story?id=75544015

Of course, looking for that, I see there are now articles demanding that AOC apologize to Cruz.

I realize that AOC is in the House, Cruz is in the Senate, but I wouldn't want to be in the same room as any of them.

any of the people who voted to acquit Trump that is.

Well, one must have some standards, after all.

But of course neither of the big parties has shown much interest in changing the parameters that lead to this situation since it isn't in their immediate interest

one of the parties has decided to live in a fantasy world.

not sure Duverger accounted for that situation.

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