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November 06, 2021

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What Tony said. Hope you are reaching the point where we see you regularly once again.

I somehow missed this last week. You may have, too.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) said he would reward a minimum of $25,000 to tipsters who uncovered credible instances of voter fraud. Last week came the first payoff. To a Democratic pollwatcher who caught a Republican trying to vote twice. Mildly amazing that Patrick actually delivered.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/10/22/dan-patrick-reward-poll-watcher/

Am I allowed to hate this?

Michael Flynn says of the US: 'We have to have one religion'

https://thehill.com/node/581443

I’m no constitutional scholar, but this sounds like a problem. Then again, AOC exists, so it probably doesn’t matter.

The more I see from Flynn, the more I think the Army needs to urgently identify and repair the epic fail that allowed someone so ignorant of the Constitution to become a general at all, let alone a 4 star. Usually, they do better. But somewhere they slipped up big time with that guy.

"That little is helping the occasional sane Republican win, while the nutters lose.

For decades, since the 1986 election, my strategy was to register as a Republican and vote for the sane one in the primaries.

Then nearly always vote for the sane Democrat in the general.

Newt Gingrich put the kibosh on that and then his radical offspring put an end to that as they expressly targeted even rockrib traditional conservative RINOs for defeat in the primaries.

I gave that up in 2008.

Now, even Gingrich's nutcase recruits 30 years ago appear, what?, statesman-like, though many of them have burrowed themselves into radical rightwing tenure at various conservative country club political soirees.

Take a look at the Senate Republican primary race in Ohio.

There's not a lever labeled "sane" to pull. It's asshole versus jagoff all the way down the ticket.

No, either America goes forward without the Republican Party or we take America down to the vet for
the dirt nap injection, since frequent deworming seems a lost cause.

By the way, look at Trump's campaign manager, Vlad Putin, and his anti-Biden, anti-NATO, anti-immigrant machinations in Ukraine and Belarus, designed to once again disrupt America's foreign policy to destroy a Democrat in the White House on behalf of American conservative fellow fascists, who lick Putin's face to internalize more of his pro-Trump Novichok.

Yeah, but AOC is a Communist bartender.

By the way, it's time for her to come over the bar with truncheon and defend herself with violence against Gosar and a few others in self-defense.

Only Republican politicians get away with threatening to murder their colleagues and enemies.

You'd think the rabble losers who are receiving taps on the wrists for attempting to violently overthrow the US government and murder Democrats and the fake Christian, Trump-idolator Pence would grow pence-sive about how the skunk pieces of Republican shit who put them up to 1/6 are walking around as free men and women.

Hell, those same vermin politicos were attempting to murder their Democratic colleague enemies they got stuck with during the insurrection by infecting them with the Covid-19 virus by not wearing masks in an enclosed area.

It was a conservstive pincher movement.

And, yes, I hate their fucking guts.

those same vermin politicos were attempting to murder their Democratic colleague enemies they got stuck with during the insurrection by infecting them with the Covid-19 virus by not wearing masks in an enclosed area.

But, being stupid, they missed the detail that said colleagues were mostly vaccinated, while their fellow scum often were not.

It's like the superspreader rallies Trump supporters attend, proudly refusing to were masks. Just a pity evolution moves so slowly, bacuase they seemed determined to cull themselves from the gene pool.

I could drive approximately an hour and a half to Barrasso's Wyoming State Capitol and chant some murderous horseshit and be shot dead within minutes.

https://digbysblog.net/2021/11/14/its-common-sense/

Yeah, both sides.

'We have to have one religion'

The very first words, of the very first article in the bill of rights:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”.

The country Flynn wants to live in is not the United States.

And wj, I appreciate what you’re saying about helping the less nutty (R)’s. I live in MA, we’ve had a series of less-nutty (R)’s as governors, and I’m fine with it.

But given the choice of supporting a less-nutty (R) and a (D), I am almost certainly going to support the (D), because in addition to being less nutty, the (D)’s policies are probably going to be closer to my own values than the (R)’s.

I’ll repeat what I said above - the shortest path to reforming the (R) party is for American conservatives to engage with the party and change its direction. You can do that. For any practical purpose, I cannot.

I would very much encourage conservatives who are unhappy with the direction of the (R) party to get involved and re-direct that party. If possible. The nation and the world would benefit.

I’ll also say that reforming the (R) party will probably mean cutting Trump loose. Because he is who he is, and he is highly unlikely to change.

And that, in turn, will probably mean losing the support of their base. Because a lot of the (R) base appears to love the kind of hostile belligerent crap that Trump and his ilk traffic in.

And all of that will mean losing some elections.

If American conservatives are willing to pay that price, IMO they have a shot at turning their party around and making a constructive contribution to the nation’s governance and the nation’s future.

Otherwise, probably not.

Up to you all. Not my circus, etc.

Republicans are not going to let Trump go. Republican media is not going to sober up.

we're fucked.

only an asshole wouldn't hate that.

I’ll also say that reforming the (R) party will probably mean cutting Trump loose. Because he is who he is, and he is highly unlikely to change.

I'd say that it will require not just "letting Trump go" but visibly, officially, and loudly rejecting him. I'm not sure whether that would be easier before or after he is dead. Probably the former; after seems likely to involve sainthood, alas.

I suspect the cleek is right about the right wing newsentertainment complex. Maybe someone with sanity and a couple billion to spare will buy Fox News and totally remake it. Others will arise in it's place, of course. But at least it would buy some time.

Thanks, Tony P and wj.

But boy, the weird is certainly ramping up....

The fact that we are here being told that the country is in such bad shape because the far left is too elitist while the right is attempting to capture the institutions that certify elections so that they can nullify the results of those elections makes me despair more than just about anything I can think of.

Too little too late from the right for two decades while their own side marched towards this extreme. And we warned you. Y’all could not save your own party. You let yourselves get forced out and went along with all the power grabs and said that it was better than what the Ds would do to the country.

But now that it’s too late, it’s still our duty to reach towards the right and try to coax people to join in saving the country or it will be our fault that the right carries through on all the stuff that the swingers gave them permission to build with no resistance or cost.

Who is left to save? Who can look at this state of affairs and still say that they will vote for a person who will enable Trump? That bridge got lit on fire on Jan 6 and the GOP and rw media watched it burn and took potshots at anyone who tried to put out the fire.

What is anyone saveable still doing on the far side of the bridge?

Even a "sane Republican" governor of Massachusetts, given the power to name a replacement Senator should the opportunity arise, would appoint a Republican who would vote for McConnell to lead the Senate. The supposedly tolerable Charlie Baker endorsed Kerry's MAGAt challenger, last election, and was explicit as to why: party solidarity.

Any politician who is still willing to be a member of the GOP is by definition a MAGAt enabler, because Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell will be the last two Republicans to renounce He, Trump and his "white working class" base of Christo-fascists.

--TP

The fact that we are here being told that the country is in such bad shape because the far left is too elitist

I, at least, wouldn't put it that way. I would say that, for example, AOC's proposed policies (even the ones I don't particularly agree with) would do far more for the working class than the garbage policies that today's GOP spouts. But frankly, you guys have done a piss poor job of explaining what you are doing in terms which that audience can hear. You have certainly made your case, just not in terms that your intended audience can hear.

Y’all could not save your own party. You let yourselves get forced out and went along with all the power grabs and said that it was better than what the Ds would do to the country.

Again no. It is true, alas, that we didn't save our own party. And probably we could have done more. But it is NOT true that we all went along with the power grabs. And certainly not true, in particular of the people here, that we said that Trump et al were better than what the Ds would do to the country. No matter how critical we were of some of the stuff you would like to do.

Call us failures. That's fair. But don't claim that all of us have as little interest in anything but holding on to offices as the Congressional GOP.

But now that it’s too late, it’s still our duty to reach towards the right and try to coax people to join in saving the country or it will be our fault that the right carries through

Is it your duty to try? I would say it is. But it definitely will not be your fault if it doesn't succeed. That will be on us.

Even a "sane Republican" governor of Massachusetts, given the power to name a replacement Senator should the opportunity arise, would appoint a Republican who would vote for McConnell to lead the Senate.

Precisely. Perhaps those ticket splitters in Maine who voted Biden, but returned Collins to the Senate will get a clue about the ramifications of voting for so-called 'good' Republicans.

But frankly, you guys have done a piss poor job of explaining what you are doing in terms which that audience can hear.

No. Wrong. They don't hear anything other than what their chosen media outlets tell them the Ds are doing, and they don't question those accounts of what the Ds are doing because they trust their own sources and mistrust the Ds and any sources that say anything good about the Ds policies.

The GOP politicians and media are Leninist propaganda organs. Full stop.

We are not part of the conversation.

Story of the last 20 years of family get-togethers.

Why is it, wj, that you still keep saying "you" and not "we" when it comes to how to reach the other side? What keeps you outside of the big tent?

Any of the people who crossed the aisle to vote yes on infrastructure could join Manchin and Tester as conservative Democrats and we would have bipartisanship self-contained in the majority. The Democratic Party is probably more than just bipartisan - it's inherently a coalition caucus.

Yet the bridge remains uncrossable even for people like Sasse and Romney.

It's not the left that is mired in identity politics.

Why is it, wj, that you still keep saying "you" and not "we" when it comes to how to reach the other side? What keeps you outside of the big tent?

As I mentioned above, I think the country needs two sane parties. And bleak as the prospects for a GOP return to sanity are, they still look better than those for a new party growing into a serious contender. And being "outside the big tent" doesn't keep me from voting for Democrats.

Besides, I take a certain perverse pleasure in having some MAGA type call me a RINO and responding, "I've been a Republican since before you were born, child, so don't try to give me that crap!"

wj: You have certainly made your case, just not in terms that your intended audience can hear.

Possibly true. But what "intended audience" do you have in mind, wj?

The "white working class", perhaps? What if all that audience wants to hear is "The lowliest white man is superior to any black man, 'cause that's how Jesus wants it"?

Or what if the audience you're thinking of is the fix-it-but-don't-change-anything camp: "improve my lot but don't change my Way of Life, you soshulist elitist snob!"

How would "the intended audience" react if Biden came out and said: "Republicans are so opposed to my Build Back Better plan that I'm giving up on it. But not on making life better for YOU. So I am calling instead for one simple change to our tax laws: raising the personal exemption on the income tax to $65K. If you make less than that, you don't pay ANY income tax. That way, you'll have SOME help paying for childcare, or college, or -- what the hell -- coal, if that's what makes you happy. Wanna bet Republicans will oppose that, too, even though it saves YOU money?"

I'm not interested in the merits of the idea; I'm asking how you, wj, imagine "our audience" would react to that "message".

Incidentally, you seem dead-set against recognizing that if the entire GOP were Raptured to Supply-Side Heaven tomorrow, the Democrats would not split into (at least) two "sane parties" by Tuesday.

But it IS nice that you at least have the satisfaction of telling MAGAts off.

--TP


The "white working class", perhaps? What if all that audience wants to hear is "The lowliest white man is superior to any black man, 'cause that's how Jesus wants it"?

The part of the audience who wants that message is, agreed, unreachable. But I believe that they are a minority of the white working class. The majority will take that if nothing they see as better is on offer. But make the case on "kitchen table issues" and you can reel them in.

And even if I'm wrong, and a majority is that racist, you don't need all of them, or even most of them. Peel off 10%, and you're in the driver's seat.

Is it doable? I think it is. Is it being done? Not so much. Here's hoping the Democrats effectively advertise what their current legislation is doing. For a change.

I'm not interested in the merits of the idea; I'm asking how you, wj, imagine "our audience" would react to that "message".

I think they would be good with it. IF you make clear that it is targetted at them, and not at improving life for those on welfare. (Even if they are, whether they admit it to themselves or not, on welfare.)

It's just like you could sell UBI** if you talk about how it will be partially paid for by scrapping the "welfare system." Doesn't matter that it would mean more money (and a lot less hassle) for those on welfare. Or that it would effectively eliminate "workfare." You sell it on what they are able to hear.

Incidentally, you seem dead-set against recognizing that if the entire GOP were Raptured to Supply-Side Heaven tomorrow, the Democrats would not split into (at least) two "sane parties" by Tuesday. [I think you didn't intend that "not" ;-)]

If the GOP politicians, and wannabe politicians, were gone, so the party was gone, lock stock and mailing lists (including the Fox "News" branch)? Sure, the Dems might split. Or maybe a new demagogue/con man would grasp the opportunity. No problem seeing that. What I don't see is a way to create a new, viable, party of governance without that disappearance.

** I've got a post on The Conservative Case for UBI which I hope to get up next week.

Sure, the Dems might split.

Are you kidding? Might? Seriously?

Jennifer Rubin echoes your thinking, wj. But I would aver it is a fundamentally flawed political take. The Dem message is indeed muffled, but nonetheless, it strikes me that the marginal cost of 'getting' not so dyed in the wool Republicans is a lot higher than getting new voters predisposed to their point of view out to vote. They are, after all, Republicans in the first place. There are reasons why that is so.

The Dems have been chasing the center ever since Reagan. Overall, results are mixed. This also contributes to their 'muddled' message.

This needs to change. One of the great insights of the Weyrich's and Rove's is their no holds barred take no prisoners approach and their strategy of attacking what is perceived to be the opponent's strength.

Democratic strategists might be well served by taking a closer look at this approach, because right now, all they are good for is hovering money up from the base.

I think that wj is right that a fraction of the wwc is nonracist and probably reachable. I don’t know what fraction or whether it is a majority or minority but it is likely enough to make a difference.

A big chunk of the blame here is on the media, which much prefers horse race journalism and talk about “ trillions” without explaining that over ten years it is less than half the pentagon budget. But more to the point, the press, with some exceptions, does not explain what the BBB in its original form would do for working people. They prefer the usual superficial coverage which doesn’t require them to go into the details of what is at stake.

That said, the media isn’t going to change, so Democrats have to do the best they can with a right wing media which is demagogic and a mainstream media which is mostly superficial and useless.

Hey, inertia.

1) By the time everybody decides they can believe our good fortune, the next demagogue may be in sight. Not seeing a split when there's a chance it would leave pieces both smaller than the neo-MAGAs.

2) Not to mention the inevitable squabbling over the Democratic Party assets and infrastructure.

it strikes me that the marginal cost of 'getting' not so dyed in the wool Republicans is a lot higher than getting new voters predisposed to their point of view out to vote

Not sure on the marginal cost. But absolutely the Dems need to put more effort into get-out-the-vote. Especially for state and local elections. There's really no excuse for how much more Dem turnout drops for off-year elections.

Dems have put a ton of effort into getting out the vote. Why do you think the GOP has been working so hard to criminalize that work and cast it into doubt?

The answer should not be "the Dems just need to work harder" when the real problem is the blatant suppression of voters.

The answer should not be "the Dems just need to work harder" when the real problem is the blatant suppression of voters.

Certainly vote suppression is a problem. But what I was saying is that the Democrats need to work as hard to get out the vote in every election as they do in presidential elections.

Because, voter suppression or no, that is a long standing problem. Address it, and voter suppression is far less likely to get the job done for the supprressors. Still an abomination, and worth fighting to beat it back. But its effectiveness can and should be attacked as well.

When voter suppression efforts can be obscured by class based appeals, it becomes easy for the white voter to simply sit on their hands and argue that Dems 'don't want it enough'.

I think the country needs two sane parties.

there are at least two inside the Democratic party right now.

Bad faith racist white voters can use any argument they want, but I would expect them to talk obsessively about CRT, statues, and fear of crime— the dog whistles are fairly recognizable. People like Dreher will talk about bathrooms— a different type of dog whistle. And the press is fixated on horse race journalism and making heroes of “ moderates”. Democrats are on their own.

It is also possible to do two things at once— sometimes even three. You can appeal to class interest, by loudly pointing out the benefits to working class people ( not just we’ve) of the BBB and denounce racist voter suppression efforts and fight hysteria about bathrooms. In fact, one probably should do these things.

Though fear of crime is also a legitimate issue. It is at the same time a dog whistle. That one is tricky, and the 90’s era Democrats like Clinton pandered to the dog whistlers by executing Ricky Ray Rector and denouncing Sister Souljah. Democrats shouldn’t do that.

there are at least two inside the Democratic party right now.

Except for this detail: that means that maybe 1/3 of voters (not only not Republicans, but not independents as well) get to pick the only sane candidate. Not a Democrat, and so not able to vote in their primary? Sorry, only one sane candidate on offer when November rolls around.

Btw, anyone who follows the Israeli- Palestinian issue will be extremely familiar with legitimate concerns simultaneously used as racist dog whistles and how politicians deal with them ineptly when they aren’t simply siding with the racists. I could go on and on and on about this— example after example of outright BS and evasion and cowardice and lies. And yet the concerns are also legitimate.

The we’ve in my earlier post was a computer correction of wwc.

Another post on the Asian American vote and education issues, both in NYC and Virginia. I didn’t quite understand the last paragraph.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/15/opinion/republican-democrat-asian-voter.html

This thread seems dead, but the link is worth reading.

And this was good.

https://theintercept.com/2021/11/15/democrats-voters-virginia-glenn-youngkin/

I didn’t quite understand the last paragraph

I thought the last paragraph was pretty clear. The author is of the opinion that just running against Trump (and his fans) won't be sufficient going forward. Democrats will need some messaging focused on peoples' real concerns -- which, he feels McAuliffe failed to do.

I got most of it, but policy proposals if explained in real terms ( medicine you can afford, paid family leave when you really need it) seems like an important thing to push. It can’t be a wonkfest, but it doesn’t need to be. ( Paid family leave and some other good things are mostly dead, but whatever is left of the BBB that helps people could be explained. I have kind of assumed that after the infrastructure bill passed, the BBB is likely dead, so I forget what is left of it.)

But otherwise I get what he is saying.

Also WRT that last paragraph, the Dems need to find a way to un-divide the education issues. Parents feel landed upon bc of a lack of in-person care for their children, but teachers have legitimate concerns for public health if the return does not meet the guidelines in the reports anchoring the "safe to return" studies.

The divide on this is a function of anti-union framing. Dems have to find messaging that puts teachers and parents on the same page, working for the same goals. This can be done. Teachers want to support the wellbeing of their students. The Dems need to fight hard on this point with very clear and simple messaging.

it kindof doesn't matter what the Dems do.

what has driven our elections in the past few years has been the GOP's viral disinfo releases. and the media shows no sign of getting wise to it.

so, if the GOP can come up with something catchy, the media will spread it, and people will come down with it.

if the GOP's lab releases something only moderately infectious, the Dems will stand a chance.

I saw Anne Applebaum talking about this on C4 News last night, how autocratic dictators with nothing else in common have started cooperating around the world, and what it means for democracies:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/12/the-autocrats-are-winning/620526/

And this was Alastair Campbell talking in Germany recently, sent approvingly to me by a friend who had always been a Conservative, from a deeply, historically Conservative family:

https://alastaircampbell.org/2021/10/johnson-not-a-joke-nor-a-joker-definitely-not-trivial-but-a-sado-populist-threat-to-liberal-democracy/

I read the Campbell piece, which made me anxious enough that I need a break before hitting The Atlantic. But a good read. Thanks, and glad to see you back, GftNC.

It does leave me wondering what a not-entirely-gone Trump (or Johnson) supporter would think about the analysis of sado-populism Campbell provided. Would there be any recognition at all?

"Dictatorship requires ever tightening power structures within the centre of government. It requires media control, and the packing of institutions with like-minded, non-independent people. It involves the elevation of propaganda to a level that objective truth is deliberately debased. "


This is at the heart of the Camlbell article, IMO. This is the challenge. It is true of all of our politics. The central government across decades has slowly yet inexorably tightened its grip. The Presidency has no accountability and more power with each successive President while the Congress slowly cedes that power because the sadist on both sides are happy to gridlock any compromise, and punish any compromise. Yet, we dwell on the least effective wielder of that power while simply not recognizing, or admitting, that the problem still exists.

The media was not controlled by Trump, his only real power came from social media and the backlash that Fix and IAN spring from.

The real question is whether there is recognition that Trump didn't create the problem nor did Biden getting elected fix it.

It does leave me wondering what a not-entirely-gone Trump (or Johnson) supporter would think about the analysis of sado-populism Campbell provided.

Thanks hsh. Actually, on the Campbell piece, I don't myself agree with the "Sado" aspect, because I think sadism requires recognition that the acted-upon has feelings so that you can enjoy hurting them. I would rather call the phenomenon some version of sociopathy or psychopathy, because to the perpetrators the acted-upon may as well be Lego pieces.

As for your question, I cannot currently envisage a "not-entirely-gone" Trump supporter, and it's getting harder with Johnson supporters too. I used to be furious with Campbell about the his spin over the "dodgy dossier" and with Blair et al about the Iraq war, and the terrible truth is that compared to the current bunch they all look positively marvellous. You can't imagine how depressed I am even writing that down....

Marty,

If you cannot acknowledge that "the problem" He, Trump created is a different and stinkier kettle of fish than anything that came before, then I give up: you're not stubborn, you're delusional.

And if you can't tell the difference between an "extreme left" that accommodated Manchin and McConnell on "infrastructure", and the totally-reasonable GOP that loudly condemns Republicans who voted for the bill, then your "both sides" crap is just laughable.

--TP

The real question is whether there is recognition that Trump didn't create the problem nor did Biden getting elected fix it.

IMO it's correct to say the executive has become more powerful, and that that has been happening for quite a while now.

That seems like a somewhat different issue than central government growing in reach. "Central government" includes Congress, ISTM.

And all of that said, Trump brought his own special collection of problems that extend well beyond executive overreach.

Don't know if "there is recognition" of that on your part or not.

Trump is a problem, he tried to use the levers in what turned out to be amateurish ways, but he was more blatant in his grasp for power.

That said, the empowerment of like minded people was no more evident than in the number of government employees who refused to implement his policies and the media who crippled his administration at every turn. We may like that they did that, but it is the kind of centralization of power Campbell talks about.

Trump is the caricature of the problem, he isn't the actual problem.

The extreme left accommodated no one. They lost. In the end GOP votes pushed the bipartisan bill over the goal line over their objections. It is just bs to imagine they were accommodating in any way.

I suspect Pelosi knew exactly how many left votes she could afford to lose. My understanding is that this is what Congressional leaders do. Voting against the infrastructure bill by a handful of lefties was probably theater.

And anyway, the Republicans in theory were mostly supposed to want infrastructure. But they care far more about Biden bring a failure and they are furious with the traitors who voted for it.

I suspect the fury is also theater. Locally no one has to pay a price, the leadership wanted it passed.

Marty: The extreme left accommodated no one. They lost. In the end GOP votes pushed the bipartisan bill over the goal line over their objections. It is just bs to imagine they were accommodating in any way.

Those "GOP votes" are being viciously denounced by ... the MAGAt GOP. If Marty looks at that and sees "both sides", he's fooling himself, not me.

There would have been fewer "far left" NO votes, had there been fewer Republicans YES votes. Like Donald says, Pelosi can count.

The bulk of Democrats voted for the bill. I have not heard them demand that AOC and company be stripped of committee assignments. The bulk of Republicans voted against the bill. And, led by their Orange Jesus, demanded excommunication of their "bipartisan" brethren.

"Both sides"? It is to laugh.

--TP

Who is the intended audience for the "theater", Marty?

I know, I know, not somebody as clever and well-informed as yourself. But try using your cleverness and knowledge to answer the question.

--TP

I have commented on Applebaum before. First, an antidote—

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/16/world/americas/democracy-decline-worldwide.html?searchResultPosition=1

She writes an entire piece about autocracy and corruption and brutality and hypocrisy and it’s like she is stuck in some pre Abu Ghraib time warp, where all the evil in the world is to be found in our foreign enemies and perhaps in Americans like Trump who admire them. Mainstream propagandists used to write like this all the time, but even the NYT these days will sometimes allow its readers to see the real world isn’t quite like it was depicted in some George Bush speech circa 2002. Barely a word about Saudi Arabia or the war in Yemen. Nothing about Israel, which just accused six Palestinian human rights organizations of being fronts for terrorism. And she thinks sanctions are a good thing, though perhaps not as effective as they could be. But they are very effective in impoverishing ordinary people and making their lives even worse. Take a bow, America. Nothing shows our commitment to human rights more than our willingness to make people’s lives miserable.

The piece was no doubt written before the weekend NYT piece about the Syrian air strike which showed that there was a massive coverup and bureaucratic lying machine in the military with regards to our air strikes. Anyone paying attention would already know something like that had to be going on. And anyway, we saw the same reflexive lying back in August after the Kabul drone strike— they only told the truth because the NYT did a superb job exposing what really happened,and showing that virtually none of what the Pentagon said was true.

It would never cross Applebaum’s mind that she has something in common with the liars and propagandists she criticizes, but she does.

government employees who refused to implement his policies

Make that government employees who refused to implement his policies when they were simply illegal. Because, note, your complaint includes folks like VP Pence. Who also refused to implement one of Trump's policies. A bit of a challenge to characterize him as part of the same like-minded cadre as Pelosi, let alone AOC.

That NYT piece on democratic decline was interesting, Donald, and I was particularly interested to learn about the V-Dem source material - I had never heard about them before.

But (as has been clear before) we differ about Applebaum. I don't deny she has a somewhat biased view of America's essentially democratic nature, which after all has been at least its aspiration for much of the past century, but I think her knowledge and overview of much of the rest of the world, and her ability to analyse and see emerging themes, is valuable. So I would never claim or believe she was anything close to infallible, but I think her views on authoritarianism etc are nonetheless worthwhile. And this is particularly true because they are capable of affecting the opinions of a swathe of people who would not be receptive to, for example, The Intercept.

Donald, I wonder if you would indulge my curiosity. I get that you think that US government policy is absolutely horrible and always has been, regardless of which party is in charge. Especially on human rights.

But I wonder if you could share an example of a country which you think does well. Or, more likely, less horribly, when it comes to human rights in other countries. (Obviously, someone who does nothing at all abroad would win. Well, unless they are, like China, committing genocide internally. But excluding those....)

Thanks

Trump is a problem, he tried to use the levers in what turned out to be amateurish ways

At the risk of going all Godwin, the Nazis were clumsy knuckleheads, too. Right up until they weren’t. What they lacked in skill, they made up for with bullets.

Trump was, and is, a problem in kind, not degree.

The people who continue to support him are people I straight up do not trust. I really have no idea what they are or are not capable of.

I think Applebaum could help her ethos with many to her left if she could focus more closely on details and be more consistent. She is very good at picking out themes - like the new authoritarianism. I'd be inclined to agree with her on a lot of it. But then she decides in her examples to throw in Cuba and other old school regimes and jump to trying to leverage a much more nebulous point based on a first principle and I decide it's not worth sharing after all because we've lost the focus and have wandered off to take on an attitude.

The RW has built a propaganda machine to rival Orwell's imagination and they are all working together across old political divides to foment civil war within their own borders. That demands a specific tactical response. Cuba, although authoritarian, is outside the scope of that.

It's frustrating. Applebaum is capable of critical nuance, but she's too attached to her own positions and gets lazy with her analyses and conclusions to fit the curve of her own belief.

Perhaps having it from a more trusted source will get my point across:
https://digbysblog.net/2021/11/16/if-democrats-tree-falls-in-the-forest/

I'm curious about the notion of 'theatre' here. On the one hand, it seems that theatre means that the Democrats who voted against the measure are somehow not honest about their votes, only play-acting opposition. On the other hand, Republicans are never seen to engage in theatre, and whatever they do is taken as a true representation of their beliefs, even though you have tons of examples (Cruz to Cancun, the Texas abortion bill, anything to do with masks) of theatre of the absurd.

It seems to me that the Dems who voted no are laying down a marker, saying that if you want their votes, you are (or Pelosi or whoever you think is the big cheese) going to have to try harder. In that sense, it is not theatre, it is trying to provide clarity to the debates. Would their calculation have changed had there been no Republican votes? I'm sure it would, but calling it theatre seems to grow out of a desire to dismiss whatever they represent.

wj's link is also interesting, but I'm wondering what kind of catchphrase could be proposed to make Critical Race Theory more palatable, especially when it is seized despite it not being something that is actually taught in high schools

https://www.newsweek.com/north-dakota-senate-bans-teaching-critical-race-theory-schools-says-action-preemptive-1648884

And if the Dems did hire marketing to 'get their message out', you'd be seeing the countertops of the people working on that examined and dark speculations on why a particular firm was hired.

So, while I am sympathetic to the point of Tom Sullivan's piece on Digby, when you have people who have already made up their minds about what the Democrats are and do, I'm not sure that throwing more money into 'marketing' is worth the candle.

The entirety of the CRT thing is theater. CRT is not a big thing. The RW Leninists all agreed to start going off about CRT and to stuff as many unpopular things into the sack as they could so that the GOP could claim that it has always been at war with CRT.

This is propaganda. Nothing more, nothing less. It should be treated as propaganda.

Which is not to say that it should be ignored. Propaganda is effective, especially when used in a Leninist way.

What the left needs to recognize, though, is that they can't argue against propaganda. Rather, they need to set their own messaging, aligned with tangible things that the public understands without needing a glossary, and keep repeating it until it sinks in like an earworm in a relentless pop song.

Nothing cute. Just good old fashioned myth building like The Four Freedoms.

Too many people focus testing and trying to fine tune policy explanations. This is not that sort of fight.

Lead with the jab relentlessly. Look for openings. Land body blows.

“ I'm sure it would, but calling it theatre seems to grow out of a desire to dismiss whatever they represent.”

You are an extremely bad mind reader and I could do some mind reading to determine why you do this, but it would kind of spoil my point about the silliness of mindreading rather than just disagreeing with someone.

I love the Squad— they are the younger version of Bernie and women of color— the best thing to hit Congress in my lifetime. But I doubt they thought their vote would accomplish anything. If they did, then I am wrong, but I think it was just symbolism.

Earlier the progressives did say they would force both bills to stand or fall together and I wish they had stuck to that, but when Rep Jayapal ( sp?) said she trusted Biden to deliver, they essentially surrendered. I seriously doubt Pelosi would have called for a vote if she thought it would fail.

As for why most progressives surrendered, after the election losses the narrative seemed to flip towards centrists being the smart pragmatic ones— much of the press is comfortable with that way of portraying things. The progressives were being portrayed as the fanatics who caused a Democratic debacle and who were standing in the way of an infrastructure bill. So they caved. Now it is Biden who will look bad if he can’t deliver.

And I doubt he can. Manchin and Sinema got what they wanted. They don’t give a damn about anyone else. They and other “ moderates” will claim the BBB isn’t paid for, will say it is inflationary, and vote against it or demand further cuts.

My prediction. I hate all of it and want to be wrong. Maybe I am. Maybe Biden will somehow persuade the creeps to vote for BBB.

On Applebaum, there has never been any shortage of American pundits who could see the evils ( which are real) of our enemies. But she is a hypocritical hack. And she favors sanctions which makes her a fairly typical Western monster.

WJ— I don’t see the point of your question. US policy sucks and it doesn’t have to be as evil as it is. If it makes you feel better, it could be worse.

I'm sorry you feel that way Donald, but you write in a way that has me interpret it like that. You tell me that the progressives 'surrendered', which suggests, as does your use of 'theatre', that the progressives are the source of the problem. Is that not what you are saying?

I feel like the progressives pushed Biden and Pelosi pretty far. As far as I wanted? No, but a lot further than in the past. Do you disagree?

To disagree with you is to disagree with the frame you are using. I don't think that theatre is the right description of what happened. I'm not sure what is, but I think that the theater metaphor is based on an idea that there are true motivations and then play acting and if you play-act, you are obviously untrustworthy.

I'd also note that both you and Marty like the 'theatre' image. You may want to ponder on that.

i'm fairly astounded at how personally so many people have taken what is, in reality, bog-standard wheeling and dealing.

this new 24/7 spotlight on the legislative process doesn't seem to be doing anyone any good. it just gives everyone more opportunities reasons to be mad at the things they like to be mad about.

What should Democrats doooooooooooooooo?

I have no clue. Here's a take that might have merit:

https://www.salon.com/2021/11/12/guru-rachel-bitecofer-democrats-face-10-alarm-fire-after-virginia-debacle/

And democratic-socialists?

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/16/opinion/democratic-socialists-india-walton.html

(Freddie can be a bit of a blockhead, but hey, blind squirrels and nuts....)

what nous said. The GOP is a consciously Leninist counter-revolutionary party, and Democrats ignore or discount this at their peril.

The subhuman conservative movement, sub-personified by the Buchanan fake Christian but fully orthodox killers at The American Conservative, have a hard-on for the conservative pre-Gorbachov Soviet Union, but probably more for despotic orthodox Czarist Russia (Dreher is a bit of a Rasputin figure, come to think of it) before that.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-wheel-of-empires/

"We are ruled by a gerontocracy (Biden was older when he was inaugurated than Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko were when they died), our media is shamelessly propagandistic, store shelves are intermittently empty, and there are show trials on TV."

Think about that. Apparently, the shelves were fully stocked with dogshit where Helen does HER shopping, and she cleaned them out, but in America, the rightwing dogshit supply-side chain is never interrupted.

Don't tell me there will not be savage revolutionary violence from the right-wing in this despot-loving, fucking country.

"Trump is a problem."

I long for the non-mealy-mouthed Marty who would, without a sidelong wink, tear Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama new ones on a weekly basis around here.

Talk about hate.

The heartbreak of psoriasis is a problem.

Conservative Trumpism is a country-killing catastrophe.

As to the federal public servants who resisted Trump's first thing in the morning fascist edicts, somehow from their basement cubby-holes they were banished to, they deserve, en masse, a Nobel Peace Prize.

Marty, link arms with Johnny McEntee and take a flying leap together into the reflecting pond carrying bowling equipment.

Next time a Republican takes the Presidency, federal employees need to get fully armed.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/11/trump-johnny-mcentee-january-6-betrayal/620646/

"But she (Applebaum) is a hypocritical hack."

I agree with Donald on many items, but as with McKinney Texas' drop-ins letting us know all of us are hypocrites, there are bigger fish to fry, starting just up the road at the Texas State Church in Austin.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to leap from a very high perch and land simultaneously with both legs into by pants, which stand straight-legged in a corner, WITH my shoes on.

Rectifying various hypocrisies is a mop-up operation after the no-holds barred event on the horizon.

I'm a hypocritical Lennonist.

Hitler didn't have a hyprocritical bone in his body.

Neither did Lenin, though I suspect Stalin thought so, conservative that the latter was.

And noting that Trump and his murderous shock-troops are hypocrites is lancing a zit on a massive malignant tumor consuming the horse that's already left the burning barn.

Metaphors. Mix 'em.

On the other hand, Republicans are never seen to engage in theatre, and whatever they do is taken as a true representation of their beliefs

I don't think it's really seen that way. Although the usual label may be "posturing" rather than "theater."

Either way, I don't see anyone imputing sincerity to them -- outside, perhaps, the right wing echo chamber. And even there, lots of them have their sincerity questioned.

lol

watch as Brad Raffensperger, the GA SoS who got all up in Trump's face over Trump's trying to sway the 2020 vote counting absolutely refuses to say if he would vote for Trump (should he become the nominee) in 2024.

https://twitter.com/mehdirhasan/status/1460796533029408773

that's what a year of harassment and death threats from the loving and tolerant GOP will get ya.

https://digbysblog.net/2021/11/17/you-see-i-kill-my-own-men-revisited/

There will not be Civil War by "other" means.

The usual means are on tap.

When I hear the term "theater" used in relation to the conservative movement, I think of Lincoln's night out with the wife with his backed turned to the founding father of the armed American conservative movement.

WJ— I don’t see the point of your question. US policy sucks and it doesn’t have to be as evil as it is. If it makes you feel better, it could be worse.

Donald, it's fine to aspire to something better. I do so myself. Certainly there are lots of areas where we could and should do better.

But to come off as bitter as you do? That would seem to me to require an example, at least in your own mind, of some country which does better. If only as a demonstration that it is possible to do so in the real world we are stuck with. And to maybe see how they got there.

There will not be Civil War by "other" means.

The usual means are on tap.

Sadly, I increasingly think you might be right on this. Here's hoping that the Union Army triumphs more quickly this time.

That would seem to me to require an example, at least in your own mind, of some country which does better.

Not really. You can be bitter, on the whole, about all of human history. There are no examples of human activity outside of it, by definition.

If only as a demonstration that it is possible to do so in the real world we are stuck with. And to maybe see how they got there.

I guess it depends on what you think we are actually stuck with. There's a first time for everything, so some imagination might be required. Strive for theoretical perfection to achieve real-world excellence.

There's a first time for everything, so some imagination might be required.

The first step, therefore, is to propose a route from today to there.

Pretty clearly, mere exhortation isn't getting the job done. Otherwise we would have seen at least some progress. (Personally, I think we have made some progress. But, if I am understanding him correctly, Donald sees no progress at all.) So, what can we imagine is a useful step to take that would improve things?

Sadly, I increasingly think you might be right on this. Here's hoping that the Union Army triumphs more quickly this time.

I'll go on record again here to say that I expect this conflict to look more like Northern Ireland than like an actual war with states fighting each other with armies. It's gonna be Provos vs. RUC and allies, and the side with the RUC will depend on whether the state is red or blue.

Rural areas won't be like the Civil War, they will be like the era of the KKK.

Competing insurgencies, not large scale engagements for control of territory.

In other news that would be blowing up the news cycle had it gone otherwise - the University of California narrowly averted a big strike by its contingent faculty by spending the last 48 hours doing all of the bargaining that it should have been doing for the last 20 months. So I'm going to be in my classroom today, and not on the picket line with thousands of other people (including tenured faculty picketing in solidarity) across every UC campus.

Massive win. Won because the UC would rather not be that national story for two solid days.

we're not in the days when the average farmer and the average footsoldier would be similarly armed. any "war" would be flattened by the US military.

if you want to assume the US military is split, then any war would be ... very short.

spending the last 48 hours doing all of the bargaining that it should have been doing for the last 20 months

Somehow (perhaps because they are the ones which make news) I have the impression that labor contract negotiations typically make the vast majority of their progress during the last couple of days, or even hours, before whatever strike deadline has been set.

if you want to assume the US military is split, then any war would be ... very short.

Unless some of the nukes get seized by the insurgent reactionaries. That might make make for a standoff for a while. I'd like to think that the military has vetted the people in those positions extra carefully, but....

"Unless some of the nukes get seized by the insurgent reactionaries. That might make make for a standoff for a while. I'd like to think that the military has vetted the people in those positions extra carefully, but...."

SOMEHOW, the NNSA (the people whose primary job is to *actually* control the nukes) didn't follow their procedure for when a Russian asset takes control of some US nukes.

I'm sure they have such a procedure. And that it makes nooneithinkisinmytree seem like a paragon of grandmotherly kindness.

"Nothing about Israel, which just accused six Palestinian human rights organizations of being fronts for terrorism"

Is this a criticism of Israel? Do you have information from a reliable source that these organizations are not fronts for terrorism? Do you deny that the Palestinians have, and continue to, sponsor terrorist attacks on Israel? When they are not simply firing missiles?

Or did you just throw it in there?

Marty,

I'm still hoping you will answer my question at 6:17PM yesterday. You dismissed as "theater" the MAGAts' calls for punishment of those Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill. My question was:

Who is the intended audience for the "theater", Marty?

Why bother with performance art if you don't expect some audience to clap?

--TP

Look Tony, I don't know who you define as MAGAts. Nor do I talk about people using 12 year old childish names.

The answer is it depends on who is on stage. Local politicians are looking to pick up Trump voters, national campaigns, Trumps in particular, are using it to stir up the national base. 18 or so GOP Senators including McConnell voted for it. No one really thinks it's a bad idea.

But in general it's theater for the media. To keep them promoting Trump

wrote a couple of comments which seem to have disappeared into the ether. which is often for the best.

I'll try again.

I'm wondering what kind of catchphrase could be proposed to make Critical Race Theory more palatable

I would suggest "American History".

What should Democrats doooooooooooooooo?

Run for everything, everywhere, in every cycle. Stop focusing purely on swing states during POTUS election years and run for everything, everywhere, in every cycle.

It'll take 20 years, but things will change.

Regarding "theater" - it's a term that implies a kind of self-indulgent performative gesture, with little or not consequential result in the real world.

And sometimes that's accurate.

But sometimes doing something just to make a point *actually makes a point*, and can be worthwhile.

Which case is which, I leave as an exercise for the reader.

Have a nice day!! I'm still conked out from a Covid booster and I'm gonna go take a nap now.

Run for everything, everywhere, in every cycle. Stop focusing purely on swing states during POTUS election years and run for everything, everywhere, in every cycle.

Amen.

For example, I saw something the other day (about, I think, Pennsylvania) about how a bunch of county election official contests had nobody running. Leaving the field open for MAGA conspiracy-theory types to step in. Abandoning the field like that is madness. Especially when you already know your opponents are committed to voiding results that they don't like.

Do you have information from a reliable source that these organizations are not fronts for terrorism?

Do you have information from a reliable source that you're not a malodorous pervert? I mean, you could be, so I guess it's up to you to prove you're not.

Marty,

My definition of "MAGAt": anyone who, when asked "Did Joe Biden win in 2020 with just as big a landslide as Trump won in 2016?" answers anything but an immediate "Yes".

Such persons have been known to wear MAGA hats, hence the name. Such persons may or may not be the majority of Republican voters or GOP politicians. If they resent the MAGAt label, they are entirely free to deconvert from the Cult of He, Trump. Or to complain that their feelings are getting fucked now, of course. Either way, the GOP performance artists are putting on a show for those people, as you seem to acknowledge.

I don't know where you get the notion that "No one really thinks it's a bad idea", but if you mean that the MAGAt pols are just putting on a show for the MAGAt rubes, then you're making my point for me: the pols are perfectly happy to stir up the rubes to the point of inciting death threats against their own colleagues, knowing full well it's just "theater".

--TP

Somehow (perhaps because they are the ones which make news) I have the impression that labor contract negotiations typically make the vast majority of their progress during the last couple of days, or even hours, before whatever strike deadline has been set.

True in a sense. How it actually works is that management does its best to stretch out and delay negotiations in order to try to create enough distress that the union members rebel against their reps and demand a vote on a bad offer just to get something.

But if management is also used to ignoring the finer details of labor law because they had more leverage - subjects of mandatory bargaining that they were not bargaining on because we had contract negotiations pending. Then a union can call an Unfair Labor Practice strike independent of the bargaining status, and that changes the timeline that management thought it was working on and creates a new sort of public pressure.

So movement does mostly happen in the last moments before a major labor action. But what constitutes that final moment is really unclear except in hindsight, so you just keep building power and fighting until one or the other side hits a limit and things that once were impossible suddenly become possible. I don't think either side usually knows what that moment is except in hindsight.

anyone who, when asked "Did Joe Biden win in 2020 with just as big a landslide as Trump won in 2016?" answers anything but an immediate "Yes".

Asked that question, I'd answer with an immediate "No!" Because Trump lost the popular vote in 2016. So Biden's win was far bigger.

Just sayin'.

the whole fucking GOP is theater.

the nihilistic clowns at the top, and the too-dumb-to-know-better hype-men who sell the show, are performing Scenes From The Culture wars for the deluded Republican masses - people who have been so addled by generations of 24/7 Republican mythology that they can't even see that third-rate carnival barkers like Hannity and Carlson are telling them florid tales of impending doom (which only THEY can stop!) in order to keep them from changing the channel and maybe learning something about reality.

it's a scam. it's so fucking obviously a scam. and they're such excellent marks that they fell for DONALD TRUMP of all people. i mean, my god. how fucking gullible do you have to be to fall for that D-grade huckster? he's only been telling us since the 70s that he's an amoral huckster. but, again they're excellent marks.

and so, every 9 months, the head writers in the Republican clown show manufacture a new crisis for the hordes to lose their shit over. and they get right to it, like only the best marks could.

and everyone else has to sit here and glumly wonder what the fuck kind of future can a country have when half of its citizens don't even inhabit reality any more.

Wait, I’m not dead from ebola?

“ s this a criticism of Israel? ”

Yep. They are a racist oppressive authoritarian government and they pull the same crap that other authoritarian governments pull when it comes to their critics.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/10/22/israel/palestine-designation-palestinian-rights-groups-terrorists

wj,

"Bigger" would be a clearer one-word answer. It would be better "messaging". Depending what "message" you want to convey, of course.

--TP

“ I'd also note that both you and Marty like the 'theatre' image. You may want to ponder on that.”

I think you should ponder on how often you use arguments like that. We all hang around here long enough to know each other’s verbal tics and characteristic ways of thinking. This is one of yours. I’d know you wrote it at a glance. I think it is generally not a good way to think.

It makes no difference to me at all that Marty and I might sometimes use the same term. Once in a while we might even agree on something, though not on Israel or the Squad in any serious way.. But I have read that politicians will sometimes vote against something knowing it will pass. There is a lot of theater in politics.

In this case the progressives as a whole caved because Biden made it clear he wanted the infrastructure bill passed and after the election, as usual the progressives were starting to be demonized because they hadn’t cave in to everything the centrists wanted. Rightly or wrongly, they took Biden’s face- saving way to surrender. It is now on him.

I am not happy about this, but I think progressives have once again lost and don’t know if in the short term there was a way to win.

“ But to come off as bitter as you do? That would seem to me to require an example, at least in your own mind, of some country which does better”

Oh, rubbish. The Pentagon lies about its air strikes. They should stop doing this. And US foreign policy elites are not held accountable for their mistakes and see themselves as the good guys no matter what crap they pull. They need to be called out and not treated with the respect they think they deserve. I don’t have to look for other superpowers that have done it better. Most likely people with the power of life and death over others who aren’t held accountable will abuse it.

“ It is now on him.”

That was unfair to Biden. I am not in the habit of feeling sorry for centrist liberal Presidents, but here I pretty much agree with the party line here. The Republican Party is complete trash and they are not held to account. Manchin and Sinema are in effect Republican Party operatives. And I am not sure what Biden can do about it.

I think progressives have once again lost and don’t know if in the short term there was a way to win.

there wasn't. there's aren't enough of them and they wanted what everyone wanted and more. nobody in that position gets to set the terms - unless they think none of what they want is better than some of what they want? in which case they're in the wrong job.

“And more” seems to mean anything a centrist Republican ( to the extent they exist) want.

What is weird is that ( from what I have read) if you poll policies one at a time what the progressives want is popular. Of course with the filibuster and the mysteriously all powerful Senate Parliamentarian it all has to be passed at once and then framed as terrifying large, though less than half ( and noow less than a quarter) the size of the Pentagon budget. If any of it passes at all.

It is the messaging I don’t know how to solve. The pundit class still exists in a world where serious people compromise with serious Republicans and progressives are by definition the wild eyed fanatics who want everything.

Climate change, of course, doesn’t matter at all. We have all the time in the world.

I think what mostly happened this past year was that, for the first time, the general public got a clear view of the usual way laws, especially budgets/spending bills, get written. Between the Internet and everybody having more time to watch (due to covid), it's a different world than it was a decade ago on that score.

We might have noticed sooner, except for two things. When McConnell controlled the Senate, nothing much was going to happen for a Democratic administration. And Trump wasn't interested in legislation, beyond tax cuts.

Clearly, seeing the process by which sausage is made was a shock to many people's systems.

there wasn't. there's aren't enough of them and they wanted what everyone wanted and more. nobody in that position gets to set the terms - unless they think none of what they want is better than some of what they want? in which case they're in the wrong job.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why moderate Democrats have decided that theater and virtue signaling are de facto bad things.

The things that the progressives wanted were all things that *mainstream Democrats* also wanted. A yes vote sends no message beyond "this is all we can get and it is minimally acceptable."

People who pay attention to process know what battles have been fought know that there was a fight for more. They also know that there were enough votes even without the progressives to pass the legislation. Getting mad about the "no" votes *in those circumstances* is its own form of theater and virtue signaling. It tells the public that the progressives are outliers and the Dems are more centrist.

The progressives are trying to tell people who care about the things that were dropped from the bill that they care about these things and are still fighting to get them in the future.

People who pay attention to the process think that point has been made already and that the final holdout is grandstanding for a "safe" district.

People who don't pay attention to the process, or who only pay so much attention will not see the fight for those things. They will only see that everyone found a deal without those things acceptable. Many of them will see the Democrats as having given up and they will lose heart and stop engaging. The people making that "no" visible get one last chance to show those people who only got the final tally that they have support on the Democrat side.

I don't see why theater and virtue signaling is a bad thing if it does nothing to stop a deal unless the people who are upset about it are upset because they did not want any of the important things that got stripped out to get a minimally acceptable deal.

If you ever want to get those things that got left out, then you have to make noise for change so that you can keep that possibility alive. That is the other side of that "run everyplace" strategy. Don't give up on a policy just because it was not yet possible. Keep that dream alive and visible. Show your disappointment. Show the fight, even if you have to dramatize it. Otherwise you look like a lot of gutless triangulating opportunists and you get a lot of lukewarm, conditional support.

If you ever want to get those things that got left out, then you have to make noise for change so that you can keep that possibility alive. That is the other side of that "run everyplace" strategy. Don't give up on a policy just because it was not yet possible. Keep that dream alive and visible. Show your disappointment. Show the fight, even if you have to dramatize it.

Note also that, by doing those things, you help legislators in swing disteicts make the case during the next campaign that they are the sort of moderates (for lack of a better term) that their voters want. Which is in your interest, because progressives can't win there, but reactionaries could.

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