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November 06, 2021

Comments

So what you're saying is that he did just as I said, albeit in a different order. Got it.

But it still runs counter to the Count's suggestion that Rittenhouse made a practice of carrying his gun around. This was a one time, just for shooting people, effort.

So what you're saying is that he did just as I said, albeit in a different order. Got it.

i'm not sure if you do or not.

there is a widely-held misconception that Rittenhouse brought the gun with him, across state lines, in order to kill someone. the implication being that there is something illegal about doing that (i don't know if there is or isn't).

for example, BBC:

Mr Rittenhouse had travelled to the city from his home in Illinois and, with a semi-automatic rifle in tow, he said he sought to help protect property from unrest on the streets.

and what you wrote echoes that, if you meant it or not.

but the gun didn't leave the state. the gun stayed in Kenosha, MO, the site of the riot, from the time of its illegal purchase till the time Rittenhouse killed someone with it.

I wasn't commenting on whether Rittenhouse illegally transported a gun across state lines. Or whether or not he obtained it illegally.


The point was, he isn't someone who routinely carried the gun to protect himself. Which is the core of his defense. Rather, he took in hand the gun, perhaps for the first time (although that isn't critical), and set forth exactly because he was looking to shoot someone.

gotcha.

indeed. he went looking for trouble. found it. and is now trying to blame someone else.

Gotta admit, it's so typical of his hero. If anything fails, must be someone else's fault. All he's lacking (AFACT) is a conspiracy against him.

Rittenhouse is a cop wanna-be and a kid with naive ideas about good guys and bad guys. He got himself into a situation he should never have been in and now his life is basically FUBAR.

My prediction is that he walks, which is going to spark a whole other round of angry response. And he'll be embraced by the whole right-wing puke funnel, who will applaud his actions as heroic. And he'll eat that up, because he's a naive kid.

And I don't say "naive" to excuse him, I say it to mean that his understanding of the world is simplistic and unrealistic.

Or, he'll go to jail, and that will fnck him up for sure.

His mom is a freaking idiot. The guy whose car lot he went to Kenosha to guard is an idiot and a slimeball, putting out the call for militia assistance, and then disavowing any responsibility for anything that happened. His militia buddy that was granting all the interviews after the whole sorry mess went down is an idiot for not telling him to go the hell home.

He's a dumb-ass kid with romantic ideas of being a hero and fncked up fantasies of shooting people. And now he's shot people and killed two of them, and he's got himself chained to both the Kafkaesque criminal justice system and the Fox News propaganda factory.

There should have been some adult in his orbit with the intelligence and basic sense of responsibility to tell him to put the gun away and go home. There was not. So now he'll reap the reward of living his fncked up fantasies.

The judge in his trial is a piece of work.

The sickest thing in all of this, to me, is the unending commentary from all the folks who think shooting other people is the greatest sport on earth.

This country has problems that are not amenable to a political solution.

The judge in his trial is a piece of work.

The prosecutor and the defense attorney haven't wrapped themselves in glory either.

a kid with naive ideas about good guys and bad guys.

If he were a kid, that might be an excuse. Although I know a lot of kids in their mid-teens (or younger) who are a lot more mature. But he's not a kid; he's an adult.

Rittenhouse is suffering from a bad case of anxious masculinity a la Josh Hawley:

https://www.npr.org/2021/11/11/1054615028/is-masculinity-under-attack-sen-hawley-wants-to-defend-the-men-of-america

This strain of MRA bullshit went mainstream a decade ago, fueled by a bunch of scared straight boys who mistook Fight Club for a manifesto of manliness rather than a meditation on homosexuality. It's a pretty fraught borderline at the best of times, but the boys having a hard time changing to meet the new demands of equality saw themselves as the heroes and missed out entirely on the irony and the subtext.

So now we have the anxious and aggrieved trying to prove their masculine bona fides with redemptive violence - sheepdog against wolves style. Looking for pats on the head and a "who's a good boy?" from their demagogue idols.

It can be broken, but that takes courage and strength (which are in short supply among the anxious) and compassion and awareness (which are critically endangered).

I expect more violence instead. This fantasy has a death wish.

So far as I can see, which may not be very far, Rittenhouse has a valid defence in law that he shot his victims because he was in mortal fear of them. How could the prosecution prove he wasn't?

Which is to say, US law is fubar. In a rational world, turning up at a demonstration with a semiautomatic rifle and shooting people with it would be a serious crime however scared you are of them.

So far as I can see, which may not be very far, Rittenhouse has a valid defence in law that he shot his victims because he was in mortal fear of them. How could the prosecution prove he wasn't?

IANAL, but it seems to me that the prosecution could make a decent case that the people he claims were attacking him were merely acting in self defense. That is, they were in mortal fear of him. And with far better cause than he had -- after all, he was the one waving a gun around.

If he were a kid, that might be an excuse. Although I know a lot of kids in their mid-teens (or younger) who are a lot more mature.

Yup.

But he's not a kid; he's an adult.

By the standards of law, yes, he is. And so he will be tried as such.

Bon chance to him. I'm pretty sure he's gonna walk. There is a brilliant career ahead of him as a conservative and/or gun cultist mascot, if he wants it.

He'll probably want it. The alternative is recognizing and acknowledging that he fncked up and waded into a situation that was miles and miles over his head and pay grade, which in turn would put him at the mercy of the court.

Going with 2nd A hero is his best shot at staying out of jail.

Which is to say, US law is fubar. In a rational world, turning up at a demonstration with a semiautomatic rifle and shooting people with it would be a serious crime however scared you are of them.

Yup, to all of it.

Underage dude crosses state lines to pick up a semi-automatic rifle from his buddy who bought it for him, and which he would otherwise not legally be allowed to carry. He goes to Kenosha to guard a guy's used car lot.

The car lot guy put out the call to local militia to show up and stand guard, but now says he never did any such thing. No idea what those folks were doing there, although he did pose for a selfie.

You could make a drinking game out of the CYA moments in this saga.

Underage kid gets separated from the rest of his crew and, unsurprisingly, gets into some kind of conflict with protestor dude. Protestor dude ends up chasing him, throws a bag at him.

Note well: *throws a bag at him*. A bag.

Kid shoots protestor dude.

Kid runs away. Other protestors chase him, because he just shot and killed a guy. One guy tries to hit him with a skateboard. He shoots two of them, killing one.

Kid walks away, in the process passing a bunch of cops who apparently say hey, whatever.

FUBAR doesn't begin to cover it.

This country has problems that are not amenable to a political solution. In fact, the inability - the insufficiency - of our political institutions to address them is, in itself, one of the problems.

The political institutions in the US were designed with the idea of protocol in mind. The institution works so long as everyone involved agrees to play nice and not cheat. The checks and balances work so long as they actually check and balance each other.

But the only institutional mechanism for adjusting the rules to keep things balanced are themselves out of balance.

There is good reason why the US does not export its own system of governance to the places in which it attempts nation building. It's not a very good set of rules.

Principles? Yes. Good principles. Rules? No.

We will never get our country back. We may get a functional nation state again, but I don't think that will happen by the unbalanced suddenly regaining their senses and returning to protocol.

The institution works so long as everyone involved agrees to play nice and not cheat.

The fatal flaw.

By my lights, about 1/3 of the country is barking mad, and about 1/2 the country is ok with 1/3 of the country being barking mad as long as their personal apple cart is not upset.

If "barking mad" seems harsh, ask yourself "who won the 2020 election for POTUS". If your reply is not Joe Biden, without qualification, you're detached from reality.

You're barking mad.

And that is just one of many, many utterly delusional narratives that millions - tens of millions, at least a hundred million - people embrace as if it were some kind of natural law.

A truly disturbing number of people here fervently believe things that are simply not true. As in, as a matter of simple provable fact, they are false.

They have deep personal investment in believing these untrue things.

It is beyond my power or the power of anyone I can think of to walk any of that back.

Too many people have given themselves over to insanity. There are enough of them that is has become self-reinforcing.

There is no political solution to that. People need to change themselves, personally and profoundly.

I don't see that happening short of some kind of colossal train wreck. It's not something I'm looking forward to.

I'm glad to be old. Barring profound calamity - which I do not rule out - my wife and I have enough to get us through the rest of our lives. Enough savings, enough friends, enough community, enough interests. We're basically healthy. We'll get through the next 10 or 20 years, and then we'll fold our mortal tents and head off into whatever comes next.

I'm grateful for that. I'm not sure I want to see what this place looks like a generation from now.

Here is the deal:

Kyle Rittenhouse thought it would be cool to get a gun and a medic kit and go play militia man.

He walked into a chaotic, charged environment. It was scary. He was scared, because it was scary.

He didn't have the maturity or personal skill set to deal with all of that, so he responded to being scared by shooting a guy who chased him and threw a bag at him. Then when other people chased him *because he had just shot and killed a guy who threw a bag at him*, he shot two more people and killed one of them.

He is a fucking idiot. He is an immature naive man-child.

And he'll walk, because carrying a gun into a chaotic violent protest and then shooting people because you're scared counts as self-defense here in the USA.

"I was scared so I shot him". It's a get out of jail free card around here.

By my lights, about 1/3 of the country is barking mad, and about 1/2 the country is ok with 1/3 of the country being barking mad as long as their personal apple cart is not upset.

Agreed, things are bad. But not, I think, quite that bad. More like 20%-25% barking mad, and 30%** OK with that. Which is why, these days, the sociopathic party can sometimes squeek past 50%, but mostly doesn't. (Except locally.)

The interesting question, to my mind, is: Has it always been so? If so, how did we avoid the downsides we are seeing now? If not, what caused it this time?

** I'm working on figures for those who can, at least occasionally, be bothered to vote. Those who can't may count as indifferent, but don't figure in determining how bad things will, or won't, get.

"But not, I think, quite that bad."

Zeno had his paradoxes.

Has it always been so?

it's always, or nearly always, been contentious. and we - Americans - have always been violent.

what I think is unique about this moment is:

1. extreme cult of personality, i.e. the adoration of Trump
2. the embrace of truly bizarre paranoid fantasies

we've had the paranoia before - Palmer Raids, Red Scare, black men want to rape white women, etc. - but I can't think of anything as plainly bizarre as the stuff I hear regularly from Trump supporters.

We don't just disagree, this is hardly even a political division.

We don't share the same reality, and the gap between the real world and the world they inhabit seems unbridgeable.

ok, let's have some comic relief.

via TPM, Proud Boy and all-around right-wing knucklehead street brawler gets a restraining order to stop an anti-fascist reporter from Tweeting about him.

Brave Sir Robin!!

Wankers.

George Zimmerman 2.0. Start the story in the middle and you become the victim.

"ok, let's have some comic relief."

This reminds of when Johnny Carson's opening monologue jokes were falling a bit flat and he'd cue Doc and the band and break into a little soft shoe.

But I'll play along.

This is funny, for some strained value of "funny":

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/11/josh-hawley-war-on-men/620683/

I don't think the (excuse me now as I now fall into the language patterns of the aggrieved conservative boy-cult activated by vermin Trump) sissy knucklehead street brawler, who, along with other subhuman conservatives call Hillary Clinton the "c" word, could take on Hawley in a bitch-slap fight, Hawley's girlish figure looking so good in his tailored insurrectionist clown suit.

When I meet Hawley, I'm going to ask him ... once nicely ... to take that suit off in public and hand it over to me. We'll see if his right hand in his pocket is fondling his tiny wanker dick or readying the concealed weapon the Supreme Court will give him to kill me, but punk Hawley going to die laughing.

There is talk of Hawley's "brand" in the article. I'm going to brand him until he thinks he's a moo-cow headed for market in a cattle drive.

This is funny.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/11/11/2063844/-Outrage-over-SNL-s-mean-impression-of-Boebert-Problem-The-clips-are-of-her-just-talking

Notice the racial and gender mix of the dumb hoodwinked men and women on the street as they can't differentiate between an actor inside a Ronald McDonald clown suit and a murderous genocidal clown, Boebert, (duly elected by the same innocent-faced dummies) who is giving John Wayne Gacy a run for his money in the floppy shoe contest down at the local funny farm.

Obviously, the evil conservative clown bacilli has infected many more of the American population than wj's endless low balling of the existential threat to the human race from the worldwide conservative brand might credit. %-)

Remember this:

https://time.com/4518456/scary-clown-sighting-attack-craze/

Those clowns, still with us in zombie multitudes, ran for office and succeeded in killing America, because who can resist a quick squirt of acid in the eye from a sad clown?

It will end badly this time around too:

https://abcnews.go.com/US/caesars-employee-allegedly-shoots-kills-man-clown-mask/story?id=55483144

This calls for an hour of silence interrupted occasionally by a laugh track:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGroZXx2eGM

To save time, go directly to the king of the laugh track, Desi Arnaz:

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

russell: If "barking mad" seems harsh, ask yourself "who won the 2020 election for POTUS".

If your reply is not Joe Biden, without qualification, you're detached from reality.

You're barking mad.

And that is just one of many, many utterly delusional narratives that millions - tens of millions, at least a hundred million - people embrace as if it were some kind of natural law.

A truly disturbing number of people here fervently believe things that are simply not true. As in, as a matter of simple provable fact, they are false.

They have deep personal investment in believing these untrue things.

It is beyond my power or the power of anyone I can think of to walk any of that back.

The problem isn't just believing false things. Even more people believe that back in the depths of history a woman in a little village in what is now Israel conceived a child without the involvement of a human male, and that the child grew up, roused rabble, was executed, died, and rose from the dead.

And was “God.”

Those beliefs have caused a lot of ruckus and bloodshed too, admittedly, but that people hold them raises almost no eyebrows in our culture today.

Someone gave me this link a couple of nights ago, allegedly (I haven’t verified) the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer on stupidity. It was as if he wrote it for us right now, and sheds light from a different angle on our challenges, an angle that I think is apt in relation to a lot of discussions we’ve had here.

didn't mean to post, meant to proofread; will correct at least the link

http://harmful.cat-v.org/people/basic-laws-of-human-stupidity/

From the link:


A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

This seems, to me, an excellent definition.

Proud Boy and all-around right-wing knucklehead street brawler gets a restraining order

What a snowflake!

We don't share the same reality, and the gap between the real world and the world they inhabit seems unbridgeable.

i know this is probably getting old by now... but the reason for this is that there's an large and profitable industry set up to create the Republican fantasy world. it exists entirely to keep them on Team GOP, fear and rage are its tools, and it has to make up ever-crazier stories to keep the audience away from reality.

until Fox et al perish, nothing will improve.

so, nothing will improve.

Who will stop this madness?*

https://mikethemadbiologist.com/2021/11/12/stop-when-you-get-to-the-bad-part-congressman/

*Manchin and/or Sinema, as the auspices are at the moment. Some House Dems also make reversing a tax hike for the rich in blue states by Trump a precondition of their vote (86% of that would go to the top 1% and 4% to the bottom 80%).

86% of that would go to the top 1% and 4% to the bottom 80%

When voters are going with straight party line votes, what is most important for politicians is taking care of your big donors. So no surprise.

MTG was honest for a change with a recent rant when she accused the 13 GOPsters that voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill of treason against their donors.

In my home state, I pay very high state income taxes and property taxes. But, with the increased standard deduction, I still couldn't reduce my federal income tax bill by itemizing and claiming SALT deductions even if they were uncapped. That's why removing (or raising) the SALT cap would only help the very well off.

The official reason for the demand is that otherwise all the rich would migrate from blue to red states thus depriving the citizens of the blue states of far more tax money than the cut/reversed hike would. Therefore lowering the tax burden of the rich is the only right thing to further progressive policies.
I'd call that quite lafferble.

I'd call that quite lafferble.

I've always found it interesting that the billionaires all live in blue states, or pretty much the bluest parts of red states. None of them move to, eg, the rural Great Plains, which are now by voter registration and most policy preferences the deepest red part of the country.

I've always found it interesting that the billionaires all live in blue states, or pretty much the bluest parts of red states

Some of that is sheer inertia -- those are the places where you can do things that make you a billionaire. Red states? Not so much. And once you have made your fortune, why move? It's not like the higher taxes will have an actual impact on your lifestyle.

Seems like having an educational system which does actual, you know, education is helpful. As opposed to one which focuses on indoctrination. Who knew?

Seems like having an educational system which does actual, you know, education is helpful.

Which, on the whole, it's done less of in the blue states than the red states the past almost two years.

Which, on the whole, it's done less of in the blue states than the red states the past almost two years.

And your source for this assertion would be what? Also, what are you (or your source) using as a criteria for education vs indoctrination?

(Not to mention that you seem to be carefully selecting a seriously non-typical timeframe in order to try to make your point.)

(please be about CRT! please!)

43% of Republicans don't want to teach children the history of racism.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/11/10/4-10-republicans-dont-like-schools-teaching-about-history-racism/

the party of personal responsibility sucks ass.

(please be about CRT! please!)

Nah. I'm betting it's about which states sent their kids to school in person, at the risk of their (and their families') health. While ignoring the evidence any education person could readily see.

Though it was at the top of the search list, I apologize for linking to a right-wing rag...

"More than a year into the pandemic, the majority of K-12 students in blue states are still not attending school in person full-time. The failure to resume the normal rhythm of schooling in historically progressive states amounts to the most significant failure of public policy in a generation.

What began as needed and understandable caution with the onset of COVID-19 has long since veered into the irresponsible. Democratic governors, leaders of the largest teachers’ unions and many local Democratic elected officials — a cadre that regales in the blood sport of attacking Trumpism for being anti-science — have consistently disregarded the overwhelming scientific evidence that opening full-time is doable and safe for most schools. For many left-leaning and moderate voters, such as myself — particularly those with school-age children — this has proven to be an unforgivable mistake considering the downside risks associated with closures."
Blue States Are Failing Their Students by Not Reopening Schools. Here's How They Got It So Wrong

opening full-time is doable and safe for most schools

Told ya.

Sure, Charles: MAGAts are soooo pro-science. Not a Young Earth Creationist, global-warming denier, or Ivermectin gobbler among them.

And there's that "moderate" BS again. "Moderates" are people who preen themselves on tackling every problem in as close to a half-assed way as possible.

--TP

From CharlesWT's links' (Time) links' (WSJ) link (RW think tank):

Protective measures such as mask wearing, physically distancing, increasing hygiene regimens, and improving ventilation add layers of protection that can mitigate risks for students and school staff.

COVID-19 vaccinations, symptomatic testing and isolating potentially infected individuals, and asymptomatic COVID-19 screening tests offer additional preventative benefits.

So the AFT reads that report and says sure, mandate masks in the classroom, give us a small enough class to fulfill the distancing requirements and fix/upgrade the ventilation.

Set up a testing regime for faculty and staff that have to interact with the children and provide for sick time if they get a breakthrough case.

That's what is being argued, right? How to reopen safely.

So then the red states go in and forbid mask mandates and do nothing to carry through on facilities improvements for all schools, many of which were dangerously crowded and without functioning ventilation before this whole thing.

And when the unions say that they are not willing to go back if the safety protocols are not followed, then they get blamed, not the politicians who are perpetuating the unsafe conditions.

Opening is doable and safe. I've been teaching in person since September *with a vaccine mandate, a mask mandate, contact tracing, and new ventilation in place.*

That's the thing about conditionals. Teachers want what is best for their students as long as it is safe and doable. We want them to be in class and getting their lunches and all of the rest.

Do the things that the studies show will make it safe.

If you can't, then it's not safe to reopen.

Protective measures such as mask wearing, . . . add layers of protection that can mitigate risks [emphasis added]

Of course, just because you perhaps could reopen safely doesn't mean that you can't make a state ban mask mandates and avoid doing so.

My nieces have five kids between them. Four of five contracted Covid in school.

Three of the infected kids live in AZ. One lives in NH.

Tell me more about how blue states are “failing their kids”.

Drove downtown to the hardware store in my Very Blue Town in my Very Blue State a couple of days ago. There was a small but enthusiastic band of parents with a couple of kids each in tow. Big signs - “My Child My Choice” etc. One was waving an American flag.

Get the vax, don’t get the vax. It’s as safe as these things can be, but it’s not 100% without risk - the daughter of friends, an ER doc, got vaxed and had an auto-immune reaction that has put her out of work.

So if folks don’t want to get the vax, I’m approximately ok with it. I’d rather they got it, but I understand why folks might not want to. Or, not “understand” so much as “can accept”.

But then it’s your job to live out your decision by masking, maintaining social distance, and generally staying away from crowded places. It’s not your job to throw a fucking hissy fit if the school system says get vaxed or stay home.

Please see the definition of “stupid” cited above.

Five grand-nieces and nephews, four caught the virus at school. They’re OK so far, but scale that up to how many kids are in school, and there are some kids out there who are seriously ill. From an avoidable virus.

And if you’re gonna throw a hissy fit about it, leave the freaking American flag at home. This crap is not about your inalienable rights.

Get the vax, don’t get the vax. It’s as safe as these things can be, but it’s not 100% without risk

Of course the same is true of every other vaccine we have. And yet we have routinely required children to have them in order to attend school, first responders, and health care workers, and military to have them in order to work.

All that's different here is that it's been made into a culture wars totem. See the definition of stupid above.

Somehow, even learning remotely for most of it in my blue state, my son managed to test out of first-semester psych, English, and physics by scoring 4s on AP exams. But we’re not doing much educatin’.

The moron Republican who unseated the NJ State Senate President in my not-so-blue district ran in part by opposing our governor’s mask mandate in our now-open schools. He’s real up on science for a truck driver.

The Department of Justice comes thru:
Bannon indicted over refusal to comply with subpoena from Jan. 6 committee

And no option of a Trump pardon this time.

https://www.voanews.com/a/million-infants-missed-first-measles-vaccine-in-2020/6310454.html

That Wall Street Journal link is like an arsonist coming around to see their work and complaining that the fire department isn't doing their job.

Of course the same is true of every other vaccine we have.

Yup

Another reason for Democrats to worry—

https://www.thecity.nyc/politics/2021/11/11/22777346/chinese-new-yorkers-voted-for-sliwa-gop-republicans

Another reason for Democrats to worry

Seriously? That's pretty silly, when you are looking at votes somewhere that the MAGA types have no hope of winning. Call it a protest vote. Or a bid more attention from the Democrats who are going to win.

But to see it as Republicans winning over a significant portion of the East Asian votes going forward? Not buying it.

Sliwa has also appeared as a character in some of the biggest controversies in the city, such as when he became an outspoken cheerleader for Bernhard Goetz, the infamous “subway vigilante” shooter who shot four Black teenagers on a downtown 2 train in 1984.

“Historically, Curtis has appealed to and has vindicated the sentiments of angry white people,” said Kuby, who is white and represented one of Goetz’s victims in court.

https://www.thecity.nyc/2021/10/10/22677692/who-is-curtis-sliwa-gop-nyc-mayoral-candidate-guardian-angel

Unfortunately, with immigrant communities in large urban areas, there is a lot of racism towards African-Americans. The clashes between Koreans and African-Americans after the LA Riots, because Asian small businesses often end up in African-American neighborhoods, they often bear the brunt of anger not only after events like the Rodney King trial, but also a constant hum of anger and frustration.

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1990-05-20-mn-165-story.html

I'm not sure what 'worrying' means, unless it is to keep conscious how easy it is to use racism to divide and conquer.

Oh good grief. First, given the structural advantages that Republicans have, yes, Democrats should worry about how Republicans can use divide and conquer tactics. Second, while some of this is about racism and hostility between some Asians and some Blacks, there are also legitimate concerns about how resources are to be allocated in education. I don’t follow educational issues closely, so I don’t know where the truth lies when people say educational policies that DeBlasio favored would have taken away some advanced classes for gifted students. But that would be a legitimate concern for parents. And even I have heard that some Asians feel that there is a bias against Asian students in being accepted into college. Again, I don’t follow the issue closely, so I have no policy recommendation to make.

To the extent that Republicans are appealing to racist sentiments, you can’t surrender to that. But they could also be pointing to legitimate concerns ( like the alleged decreased support for gifted students). That is a normal thing for politicians to debate. It is what normal politics is about.

Unfortunately the Republican Party is a complete trash fire, a worthless piece of crap that should be flushed down the toilet and replaced by a party which acknowledges reality. It’s abject pandering to the stupid narcissistic piece of shit who refuses to admit defeat is just a symptom of how bad the Republican Party is. They pander to racists, they deny global warming, they are warmongers ( usually worse than the already dismal Democrats on human rights) and they win by appealing to people’s worst instincts while giving rich people everything they want, which is the only thing the Party genuinely cares about. So I hope that gives some idea where I stand.

But in the meantime, we are stuck with the fact that sometimes Republicans can point to arguably legitimate concerns and win votes that way. So we should worry about that.

But in the meantime, we are stuck with the fact that sometimes Republicans can point to arguably legitimate concerns and win votes that way. So we should worry about that.

Yes.

Even better, rather than just worry, we (i.e, not-Republicans) should address those concerns.

“Address” doesn’t have to mean abandoning principles or pandering. In some - maybe many - cases it may mean saying no, we’re not gonna do what you’re asking for.

But it can mean listening and acknowledging. And, perhaps, offering a better solution than what the (R)’s are selling.

As I sit here typing, just a bit over 80% of my power authority's delivered electricity is coming from wind, hydro, and solar. Make of it what you will.

But it can mean listening and acknowledging. And, perhaps, offering a better solution than what the (R)’s are selling.

"better" -- what a remarkably low bar you are setting!

Although, I admit, being forced to listen and acknowledge the actual concerns of blue collar workers and their families may grate on the far left. Since they sometimes don't align all that well with what their concerns are theoretically supposed to be. Uncomfortable, that.

Although, I admit, being forced to listen and acknowledge the actual concerns of blue collar workers and their families may grate on the far left.

Actually, a significant part of the really far left is out there trying to organize those very same blue collar workers. More often than not, these efforts fail (and hence go unremarked), mostly due to institutional arrangements that heavily favor employers. Most "blue collar" workers are not cranky old white guys sitting around in mid-western diners bloviating to the New York Times about how the Democratic Party "left them."

I would conclude that your take on those folks who constitute the "far left" is much different than mine. Perhaps you are thinking of those Dem Senators who killed the Employee Free Choice Act.

I guess, wj is thinking more of the ivory tower left and (probably more apt here) the true cranks that chant about a type of revolution out of fashion for generations and consider practical reforms as objectionable or even counterproductive (not heightening the contradictions as mandated). I think we can discount the classical bourgeois salon bolshevik.

bobby, sometimes those efforts fail due to an unequal playing field. But other times they fail simply because what those workers want, what their priorities are, isn't what you (and the organizers) think they should.

Some times it's something unfortunate, like straight up racism. But sometimes it's something that's not reprehensible, just different. Unrealistic, perhaps, but nothing more than that. Your failure to grasp that is what lets scum like the previous guy, and his acolytes, win elections.

Wj, be specific. What is it that blue collar workers want that is different from what bobbyp wants? I suspect one could come up with something, but probably most want higher pay, paid leave, and genuinely affordable health care, along with safe working conditions, the right to use the bathroom, etc… They might be scared off from voting for a union.

Also, the ivory tower leftists are pretty rare in real life. They exist online. But most people who argue about politics online are weird no matter what their ( our, my) stances.

the "far left" is a term that doesn't really apply to the United States. who is "far left" here?

Noam Chomsky? And he has what influence on public policy, in any way shape or form?

Working class people - people who work, but who aren't management, and don't work in tech or professions that require advanced degrees - feel under-represented by (D)'s. For reasons ranging from quite legitimate, to less well-informed.

That includes people of lots of racial and ethnic backgrounds, not just white people. There are lots of conservative, (R)-voting Latins and Asians. Also lots of conservative, (R)-voting blacks, although significantly less so.

The (D)'s have a good narrative for working people. Good policies. They have done a very poor job of getting their butts out of the coastal metropolises where the (D) leadership and the people they hang out with live. So their story goes untold, in places where it could, and should, matter.

Howard Dean had the right idea - run everywhere, all the time - and when he left the DNC, I don't think anyone maintained it.

So now a lot of working people think the (D)'s are only about swanky people in big cities.

To be honest, I don't think anybody is listening to their concerns. The (R)'s win their votes by telling them the (D)'s hate them. But they're not doing a lot for them.

The US is a very, very wealthy country, but a lot of people still live pretty precarious lives, financially and in other ways. Doesn't have to be that way, but it is that way.

The NYT has become interested in American lying about its air strikes after the Kabul debacle.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/13/us/us-airstrikes-civilian-deaths.html

They actually carried a good article about this issue by Anand Gopal in the Sunday magazine back in 2017, but he mostly examined the enormous discrepancy between what the US claimed about civilian deaths and what he found when he investigated himself. This time there is more emphasis on the conflicts and lies within the government.

what russell said.

I suspect one could come up with something, but probably most want higher pay, paid leave, and genuinely affordable health care, along with safe working conditions, the right to use the bathroom, etc…

quite a few of them want to be safe from foreigners of all kinds, including terrorists, illegals, strangers in town, and people who don't look, speak or worship like them.

quite a few of them want their precious guns.

quite a few of them think the government is an occupying force that's determined to subjugate them and make their kids grow up to hate them and worship a gay communist Satan.

quite a few of them think anyone with an education is suspect.

they keep saying this over and over.

Shorter cleek: quite a few of them would strongly prefer that things not keep changing. At least, not so much and so fast.

(The things that have changed for the better, which they like, are cheerfully ignored where this concern is concerned.)

Your failure to grasp that is what lets scum like the previous guy, and his acolytes, win elections.

My failure? LOL. I would suggest you take that up with noted "far left" (your term) 2016 candidate, Hillary Clinton. It is also incumbent to remember that Clinton beat Trump handily among voters with incomes under $50k (i.e., workers) I would suggest your concern about the "far left" is, um, misplaced.

To be honest, I don't think anybody is listening to their concerns.

If their concerns are those listed by cleek above, then there certainly are politicians "listening" to them. It strikes me that the problem arises when one tries to get them to get on board with other concerns....despite the D's having a good narrative and good policies. What to do about that is the tough nut for the D's to crack, and it is not aided any by institutional arrangements that favor rural white voters. But blaming the "far left"? Come on. Really?

I would agree with you that to beat the enemy, you have to take the battle to their territory, and when it comes to public policy...you have to go bold. To my way of thinking, that is how we on the "far left" can win.

quite a few of them would strongly prefer that things not keep changing. At least, not so much and so fast.

What things? The mid-west has been de-industrializing since the 70's (bobbyp counts fingers....hey-that's 50 years!). The loss of high paying factory jobs and some advancement in racial equality created a perfect storm that has politically benefited reactionaries.

Too fast you say? Let's pull back and take a longer view.

Although, I admit, being forced to listen and acknowledge the actual concerns of blue collar workers and their families may grate on the far left. Since they sometimes don't align all that well with what their concerns are theoretically supposed to be. Uncomfortable, that.

It's ironic to me that the people who most often get labeled and typified as the "far left" (Bernie, AOC) are actually the wing of the Democratic party with the most appeal for the working class voters. Sanders rallies in CA are heavily hispanic and labor or union in their demographics. AOC's entire campaign was built upon working class appeals.

It's the MOR Democrats that have built their careers on appeals to donors, the markets, and white collar concerns.

As for ivory tower Dems, those are mostly Poli Sci professors and they are again usually MOR types. The adjuncts at the big universities or at community colleges who support the more Democratic Socialist wing are mostly themselves minorities and women (60% of contract faculty), and they teach the sort of classes that are most likely to have first generation college students in them. (I'm a first gen college student myself and remain committed to those students far beyond what the job requires.) Not exactly an ivory tower. Certainly less of an ivory tower than the suburban workers who have jobs in big tech or big pharma.

It's a weird, but persistent set of stereotypes that keep people thinking that academics on the soft side of campus are isolated from the realities of the working class. That hasn't been anything like reality for at least two decades. The majority of them live under the same conditions as any other working class person, differing only in their educational attainment.

I'm less isolated now than I was when I worked in IT in the '90s.

while we are wagging fingers here, let's not overlook wokeness.

Just thought I'd throw that out there. :)

Have a good weekend. Thanks.

The majority of them live under the same conditions as any other working class person, differing only in their educational attainment.

education is treated a big difference, in the US.

What things? The mid-west has been de-industrializing since the 70's (bobbyp counts fingers....hey-that's 50 years!)

Which only means that they have had 50 years of stuff changing in ways that they don't like. That is, it's an on-going issue for them, not something new.

It's ironic to me that the people who most often get labeled and typified as the "far left" (Bernie, AOC) are actually the wing of the Democratic party with the most appeal for the working class voters

I can't speak for others. But it seems to me that bobby (for one example here) is way further left than Bernie or AOC.

Perhaps we are just not wired correctly, wj, and we have had 200,000 years of stuff just happening too fast. For example, our Industrial Revolution is less than 300 years old. I blame evolution for not keeping up. :)

Yes, quite a few working class people and others are racist. And quite a few aren’t. Some of them aren’t white. Trying to figure out what the point is. You try to do good things and in the process reach the people who are reachable.

By the way, ithis NYT story on the Syrian air strike is something of a game changer in the sense that here we finally get the reporting of what goes on inside the bureaucracy. There are a few decent people in the military who take the laws of war seriously, but the incentives are mostly to cover things up.

Most of the previous repotting shows the enormous gap between what the government claims about our actions and what various investigators find. It is obvious that the government is lying, but here we have a few people willing to go on the record.

In the end I don’t think it will matter.

Just like 'Democrats [need] to worry', I'm not sure what your 'good grief' means, Donald. Reading about what you posted, it looks like Sliwa tapped into a vein of racism that had the AAPI bloc agree. Those points were
-placing of homeless shelters
-reorganizing magnet schools

While I would be all for them putting homeless shelters on Park Avenue, I don't think that is going to happen. And I don't know enough details about the reorganization of magnet schools, but I do note that the Virginia race turned on education

https://www.npr.org/2021/11/04/1052101647/education-parents-election-virginia-republicans

So I would like to know exactly what is happening and what was said about what was happening.

About 'surrendering' to Republican rhetoric on racism, it seems that using the shorthand you use encourages people to do just that. By not understanding the dynamics and local context of the race but simply telling us that because something something happened in NY, 'Democrats worry', it simply encourages a facile understanding of what is happening.

You are reading too much into my comment, LJ. Russell said it better anyway, so in this case I’d just go with wrs.

In my dreams, the future of the (D) party are people like Fetterman, Tester, and AOC.

Interpreting broad capital-D Democratic principles in terms that are relevant for the people they represent.

Fetterman, Tester, and AOC are all different, because the communities and people they represent are all different. But they all emphasize, and work toward, regular people having a freaking shot at a place in the world.

That means different things in western PA, Montana, and the Bronx, so the specific things they champion are not all exactly the same.

But the broad goals are.

That is the way it should work.

And to be honest, if (R)'s would get behind the same broad goals, I'd probably vote for a (R) now and then. Because I'm not that invested in the letter after the name.

But they don't, and they haven't, and they show no sign of doing to any time in my lifetime.

So to whatever degree I engage in the political process, I generally do so with the goal of, not just beating them, but crushing them like bugs.

Because the (R) party has become a cesspit of ignorance and resentment.

There is no future in that. No future I want to live in, no future anyone should want to live in.

And to be honest, if (R)'s would get behind the same broad goals, I'd probably vote for a (R) now and then. Because I'm not that invested in the letter after the name.

And sometimes you have to live with "The alternative is worse." Suppose you live in a place like Alaska.** Your choices for the Senate next time are a) Sen Murkowski, who is a Republican, but running as an independent because she lost the primary to b) a MAGA wingnut who thinks Trump is the second coming. Also c) a Democrat. Except that the Democrat has no chance -- that is, will finish third regardless. So you can vote for the Democrat, because you dislike the other two (and their positions on numerous issues). Or you can hold your nose, and cast a vote which will at least give the Senate one less wingnut.

So, which do you pick? And why?

** I know little about the ins and outs of Alaska politics. Just that Murkowski had to run as an independent last time, because she lost the R primary. But it's the general scenario that I'm talking about.

I can't speak for others. But it seems to me that bobby (for one example here) is way further left than Bernie or AOC.

That depends, but in a general aspirational sense, yes, I would say that is true. But I ask you this...Just what, exactly, is your point?

So to whatever degree I engage in the political process, I generally do so with the goal of, not just beating them, but crushing them like bugs.

Yup. There are definitely "good" people who are republicans, but they should be bitterly opposed from holding any political office, because to hold any such office as a member of the GOP is to explicitly support the GOP, an ethno-nationalist anti-democratic racist cesspit, to borrow a phrase (hat tip russell).

An injury to one is an injury to all.

Stay safe.

So, which do you pick? And why?

It depends.

If Murkowski is highly likely to win, I’d vote for the (D), to help establish a (D) presence in AK.

If it was neck and neck, I’d probably vote for Murkowski, just to keep the Trumpster out of the Senate.

It also depends on who the (D) is. If it’s someone I think is just a great candidate, they get my vote, and if Murkowski loses, so be it.

It’s worth noting here that Murkowski is an outlier in the national (R) party. For pretty much anyone other than her or maybe a very very very small handful - count ‘em on my fingers - I’d vote (D).

Yeah nous, some of your best friends are working class people.

Just came by to see where yall had gotten. Of course AOC has a working class appeal, that's how ssocialists/communists have always sold themselves.

I would wonder if anyone here ever ventures outside their ivory tomer, except everyone seems to know someone from the ignorant cesspool they can despise so I assume a complete lack of empathy is the issue.

Ya'll hate better than any group of people I ever met. Do you ever go back and read what you wrote?

"Ya'll hate better than any group of people I ever met."

Get out much?

Hey Rapunzel, let down your elite hair.

Your tower ain't got no access.

No one is stopping you, Marty, from ....... paying no taxes .... no, I mean from walking thru nous' open classroom door and/or academic office door and learning what's up in person.

I suspect his campus building has a buzzer lock system on its entry way door, however, to ward off all of the rightwing fuckers in this country who hate teachers, academics, and scientists and so many other who who have fucking made something of themselves.

I happen to believe academics, teachers, hod carriers, universoty janitors and dishwashers deserve some mighty compensation increases acorss the board.

Unfortunately that will be counted as "Inflation" by conservative professional know-it-alls who have been sucking up wage increases for decades and calling it just desserts.

Next, you'll be claiming the Confederacy was treated oh so badly by we northern elites .... see, I have been known to go back and re-read your comments from time to time.

nous drinks beer too, so obviously he is capable of lowering himself to your aggrieved level in a dive bar in his hometown to talk things over face to face.

I'm aggrieved that after all of the work I've put in here becoming the mightiest hater of all against the conservative movement, outside of Donald Trump, that I'm lumped in with all of these moderates at OBWI.

I've been working class from time to time in my life, by which I mean I've done plenty of manual labor with gents named Manuel, but I ain't got the class Manny has.

Obligatory smiley thingy: %-)

This is this, real life is real life.

"Ya'll hate better ..."

You ain't seen nuthin yet:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/11/pennsylvania-election-threat/620684/

Look up the firefighting term "pyroCbs".

You'll look back wistfully at our mild little salon of anxious diatribes here when every future election in this country is stolen by Trump conservative scum and their pure, principled republican gauleiters, like your Governor, and the savagely violent firestorm against them sends what was once America into the atmosphere as a colossal cloud of soot and ash.

What is Aleppo?

You'll find out.

There are definitely "good" people who are republicans, but they should be bitterly opposed from holding any political office, because to hold any such office as a member of the GOP is to explicitly support the GOP, an ethno-nationalist anti-democratic racist cesspit,

But if you will also opposed those "good people", you are ceding the GOP to the lunatics forever. Because, why would they even consider anyone outside their base unless that's a way to win?

But perhaps I am blinded by the fact that I think government works best when there are two (perhaps more) sane parties interested in governing. Which we don't have at the moment. You may think rescuing the GOP is a hopless task. But is there a more plausible scenario? I'd love one, but I'm just not seeing it.

"Ya'll hate better than any group of people I ever met."

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2021/11/12/rep-paul-gosar-arizona-constituents-aoc-video-reaction-kaye-ac360-vpx.cnn

troll smarter

Do my misspellings, that I can spell, out me as an ivory tower elitist, I ask you?

Yeah nous, some of your best friends are working class people.

You know they’re not?

You’re the “Crosby Stills Ernst & Young” guy, right? You coming here to give us crap about our lack of working class cred?

everyone seems to know someone from the ignorant cesspool they can despise so I assume a complete lack of empathy is the issue.

Despise? When I talk about people knee-deep in ignorance and resentment, I’m talking about my own family. People who taught me to read, to drive, people who fed me, people who helped and supported me into adulthood and beyond.

Hate? I’ll take a bullet for them.

And there are a wide range of topics on which I will not engage with them, because they are full of ignorance and resentment. They believe things that are not true and which are easily discoverable to not be true. And they express resentment and hostility to people that mean them no harm at all.

It’s complicated, but unfortunately it’s the way life is right now. It’s just profoundly sad.

Was greeted today by a FB post from a state senator from MS, who thought it was clever to post a picture of deer turds that some guy had arranged to spell out “Let’s Go Brandon”. That is the quality of discourse I have come to expect from our representatives in the (R) party.

If you don’t dig the company, man, why come around?

nooneithink, that's a really depressing Atlantic article. But it reflects something I've noticed for years. The far right is willing to labor for years to get control of obscure offices -- ones which have worked fine in the past, but have the potential to sabotage government in areas that they care about. Typically, Democrats don't start to pay serious attention to these until the damage is locked in.

Not trying to blame the victim here. (Not least because we are all victims in this.) But there's a problem here that needs to be addressed.

Despise? When I talk about people knee-deep in ignorance and resentment, I’m talking about my own family. People who taught me to read, to drive, people who fed me, people who helped and supported me into adulthood and beyond.

Hate? I’ll take a bullet for them.

The historic spirit and soul of ObWi.

Jesus H Christ. What are things coming to, in the world, in the US, in the UK?

Ya'll hate better than any group of people I ever met.

Do words have no actual meaning any more? Are we entirely through the looking glass?

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-lawyer-ellis-memo-pence-overturn-2020-election

My fury is pointless up to now, as these ilk are still walking the streets.

wj wrote: "you are ceding the GOP to the lunatics forever."

The GOP, and no one else, has, with extreme prejudice, ceded the Republican Party to the lunatics forever.

Liz Cheney, you say? She's dead meat.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10188413/Trump-tears-Liz-Cheney-19-approval-Wyoming.html

It grieves me no end that Cheney turned out not to be "peak lunatic", but she seemed as far as the lunacy might grow at the time.

Like all of us, I suffered from a failure of imagination.

If she wore an eye patch, she could pass for Claus von Stauffenberg, of Hitler assassination plan fame, not because THAT wasn't a good idea, but because she wants to keep Austria and the other "living space" territory he helped conquer.

We're done with all of them.

Take all of their living space.

It is not a war I declared.

I got four out of five grand-nieces and -nephews infected with Covid, that they caught in schools, because where they live the school systems insist that kids attend in person, in some cases with no requirement to wear a mask, and the communities they live in are full of people who refuse to observe basic public health protocols.

My brother in law is bouncing between the hospital and rehab because he’s got West Nile. Because Phoenix had a really wet summer and there are mosquitoes everywhere. His family can’t come see him because he didn’t get vaxed, because he fills his head full of crap from Fox etc. and getting a freaking vaccine is, in his mind, some kind of nanny-state intrusion on his life.

These people are my blood. I guess I could just say, “Hey, live your life, it’s your choice”, but I’d really rather they weren’t catching fucking preventable viruses and having to go through months of horrifying medical procedures with no family contact.

That’s where I’m coming from.

People are behaving really stupidly, and it’s causing them and other people harm. The leaders they listen to tell them lies 24/7. All of that pisses me off.

Deal with it or don’t, makes no difference to me. But don’t be coming here telling me what “haters” we all are because we’re sick and tired of dealing with this bullshit.

AOC is a “communist” who is “selling” support for working people? What are your guys selling? Spelling out faux profanities with deer turds? Videos of assassinations? Lie upon lie upon lie about the election, about January 6?

You have a hell of a nerve coming here telling us about our “complete lack of empathy”. Take that BS elsewhere.

But if you will also opposed those "good people", you are ceding the GOP to the lunatics forever.

It is not my job, or the job of the Democratic Party to assist with the 'reform' of the GOP. Our job is to beat them to a pulp. Insofar as a few good people may call themselves Republicans and stand for office, they assist with the enhancement and/or preservation of a political disease. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution. This has been for the most part true since the Gilded Age (Spencerism) and the demise of Progressive Republicans in the 1920's. If they want to clean house, go for it.

Unfortunately, for the most part, they don't. In our FPTP system, they are wedded to their lunatic base, just like Dems have to deal with theirs (less lunatic by far..lol).

There will always be two or more parties. That's the way humans and their conflicts over who gets the stuff roll. You want two or more 'responsible' parties? Well, OK. If it makes you happy, we can have a center-left party, and a left party. Count'em....two.

You want two or more 'responsible' parties? Well, OK. If it makes you happy, we can have a center-left party, and a left party. Count'em....two.

Fine. I can live with that. Now all you need is a plausible path from today to there. Got one?

It is not my job, or the job of the Democratic Party to assist with the 'reform' of the GOP. Our job is to beat them to a pulp.

So, you put party over country. (Because that's what you're saying, like it or not.) Good to know. Gives you the primary qualification to be a GOP member of Congress.

https://digbysblog.net/2021/11/13/when-do-we-get-to-use-the-guns/

He seems to be behind a bit on the conservative movement shitgeist.

"But there's a problem here that needs to be addressed."

Agreed.

But when you find the address, make sure you are wearing bullet-proof vests and have SWAT team-level backup.

It is not my job, or the job of the Democratic Party to assist with the 'reform' of the GOP. Our job is to beat them to a pulp.

So, you put party over country.

Let me come at this from a different angle.

There is pretty much nothing people like me or Bobbyp *can* do to reform the GOP, other than crush them at the polls.

Do you think anyone in the national GOP, or really anywhere in the GOP, is interested in what I think? What levers are available to me to engage with and persuade them that the direction they’re taking is not a good one?

The answer is: None. There are none.

If they lose elections a lot, in a lot of places, they’ll figure it out. Short of that, they won’t.

So best and most productive path forward for me and people like me is help (D)’s win elections. If for no other reason than to persuade (R)’s that they have become bankrupt, ideologically and ethically.

The only thing People Like Me can do, to do what you ask, is try to crush the (R) party like bugs.

You are a conservative. Marty, McK, you guys are conservatives. You can register (R), show up at places where candidates are nominated and policy planks are hammered out, and perhaps make a dent.

That is available to you. Not to me, not to bobbyp.

It would be great if you would do that.

Anybody who thinks the Democrats could ever establish one-party rule here in America never heard of Will Rogers. Biden, Manchin, and Bernie are members of "one party" the same way Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin were. (Actually less so: at least The Big Three could get their shit together enough to unanimously demand Hitler's unconditional surrender.) The closest Democrats ever got to one-party rule, they created Social Security. Second-closest, Medicare. And even then, conservaDems were the skunks at the garden party.

You know what really would be one-party government?
Perpetual bipartisanship, that's what.

--TP

Welcome back, GftNC!

--TP

There is pretty much nothing people like me or Bobbyp *can* do to reform the GOP, other than crush them at the polls.

Agreed that there is very little you can do. Very little, but not nothing. That little is helping the occasional sane Republican win, while the nutters lose. Or, at least, help a sane Republican lose by a bit less in a safe Democratic seat.

It's similar to the way that, in our open primaries, I will vote for a more conservative of the plausible Democrats on offer. No chance of a Republican, even a sane one, making it to the general election in most cases, so I go for what might make a difference. Otherwise I leave the field to people like my current (D) Assemblywoman, who ran a campaign with a devotion to truth worthy of Trump.

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