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January 11, 2022

Comments

GftNC,

My two cents: Romney, not bloody likely.

By "Cheney" I suppose you mean Dick, not Liz. All Dick can do is try to persuade the likes of Romney, Collins, and Murkowski, but even if he had the will it's unlikely he has the power.

Republicans know perfectly well that their voter base is shrinking, and that the only way to keep serving their donor base is to lie, cheat, and (try to) steal. A few of them might, possibly, tell themselves that it's all in a good cause because sound "(Republican) policies" will make the GOP popular again. But most are just MAGAts. None of them, at any rate, see an upside to letting non-Republicans vote. Or count the votes. Or abide by the votes.

When wj says two parties are essential to democracy, he must be thinking of two other parties.

--TP

Ah yes, I forgot that Cheney was in the House, I do get confused. But on the Romney answer, I can't see why he (or anyone else - I know there aren't many - who has risked the wrath of Trump) wouldn't act to change the math in the Senate on this issue. States' rights? Surely anybody with any principle whatsoever can see that the franchise transcends (or should transcend) that? Doesn't it? Isn't this self-evident? Not to Republican voters, I guess, nor Republican senators. What an indictment.

If those votes were secret, chances would be significantly higher for some sane bills passing (though probably not voting rights).
Romney is a weathervane.
Cheney is herself far-right but imo of the opinion that certain rules still have to be obeyed. Imo she would not be opposed to a de facto one-party state but would prefer to get there by legal(ist) means, not by open insurrection. In the old-fashioned way via legal(ized) disenfranchisement etc.
Plus, it should not be in favor of an upstart like Jabbabonk but the 'proper' old Right. And her current course could be seen as primarily motivated by revenge against Jabbabonk and his allies while otherwise keeping to all her old Right positions.
Kinzinger seems (from my rather uninformed distant perspective) to be more of the 'I still have some standards left and want to be able to look at myself in the mirror without getting embarrassed' type.
Getting rid of meaningful democracy while still keeping the outer appearance intact is now the 'moderate' position in the GOP. And for that even the watered down version of the Voting Rights Act is a step too far, since the writing is on the wall that at least at the national level the GOP cannot get a majority by fair means anymore.

Cross posted (sort of) with nous and Tony P. Thanks all. But it's so tremendously depressing. I can't imagine how you all feel about it...

I note that everyone has kindly ignored my question about whether people like Romney and Cheney might intervene to save the voting rights legislation, presumably because it is an obviously dumb question and you don't want to underline how much of an idiot I am. But I'd still be grateful if someone could explain why.

As Michael notes, Cheney isn't in a position to do anything on the matter. As for Romney, I think he might be willing to -- IF, like McCain on Obamacate, his one vote would be the difference. Say if Senator Manchin is persuaded to modify the filibuster rules to let it happen, but Sinema isn't (and she seems much the harder case), he might provide to 50th vote. But if he would just be the 49th vote in a losing cause? Unlikely to waste political capital that way, even if he favors the changes.

When wj says two parties are essential to democracy, he must be thinking of two other parties.

Well, I am thinking of two parties which are both committed to democracy. Regardless of whether they win or lose a particular election. Which, as we all can see, isn't the current situation.

I definitely think we need to get (back) there. Even though I don't see a plausible path. If someone sees a viable way to return the GOP to a commitment to democracy, please please share. Or if anyone sees a way to create a new (presumably center-right, though that's not a requirement) party which would be an ongoing alternative to the Democrats, please share that. But I'm afraid my inventiveness has failed.

The only source for a new center-right party would be the Dems. But if the Dems splitted now, it would create two parties weaker than the current GOP (even if calculating defectors to the new CR party). With a pure majority - winner takes all- voting system this would mean a time of total dominance for the GOP, enough to get rid of democracy even formally not just de facto.

Steps to restore a two-party system in the US:
1) Outlaw the GOP.
2) Split the Democratic Party in half.
3) Invite wj to join either half he likes.
OK, kidding. But just barely.

--TP

As if this conversation were not alarming enough, check this opinion from our closest neighbor:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-american-polity-is-cracked-and-might-collapse-canada-must-prepare/

Gotta say, the headline is delightful, if appalling: DeSantis ’24: Maybe Trump Was Too Honest and Sane on COVID
Says everything you need to know about DeSantis. And about today's GOP as DeSantis sees it.

Tony, I don't see a way to accomplish your Step 1. At least without sinking to their level. Or worse.

Tony, I don't see a way to accomplish your Step 1. At least without sinking to their level. Or worse.

Absent some self-correction on the right, sinking to their level or worse will be a path chosen for what's left of the left after the right stops pretending and looses their shock troops.

I keep waiting for the Oathkeepers to get convicted, only for the GOP to take back the presidency and pardon them all, then put them in positions of power.

I can't be the only person thinking this a decided possibility of our timeline.

I can't be the only person thinking this a decided possibility of our timeline.

You aren't. Putting them in positions of power may (or may not) be a stretch, but otherwise, this is perfectly conceivable.

I keep waiting for the Oathkeepers to get convicted, only for the GOP to take back the presidency and pardon them all, then put them in positions of power.

One of several reasons that I hope a bunch of them get sent up on state charges. Won't Trump be irritated to discover that Presidential pardon powers don't apply to state laws? (Then again, Trump's famous loyalty to his subordinates might mean he wouldn't bother to try.)

It will be a small miracle to get them convicted in the first place given the US history of sedition trials.
At least concerning actual and rightwing sedition. Postulated* and leftwing sedition is a diffenent thing of course.

*speak: fabricated out of whole cloth claims of sedition by politicians and willing prosecutors.

Another point about harnessing anger that came up on FB: The PM’s former aide, James Slack, apologized for his leaving party

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/jan/14/pms-ex-press-official-james-slack-apologises-for-downing-street-party-held-in-his-honour

Slack became the Sun's (a Murdoch rag) deputy editor, and his party was the day before Prince Philip’s funeral. So Murdoch's papers have known about the lockdown parties at No.10 for months.

Say if Senator Manchin is persuaded to modify the filibuster rules to let it happen, but Sinema isn't (and she seems much the harder case), he [Romney] might provide to 50th vote.

If you gave me the task of convincing Romney to be the 50th vote on voting rights, I have one and only one suggestion: rewrite the bills to use Utah as the model. Vote by mail, with in-person strictly for special cases. All of the stuff in the current HR1/S1 that requires a complicated in-person voting system? Toss it. Not a chance in hell that you can get enough of the non-western members of Congress to back that, of course.

Full disclosure: I have written to my two Dem Senators asking that they oppose HR1/S1 until such time as there is language that says explicitly that our vote by mail state will not be required to add a parallel expensive more-error-prone in-person voting system.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/1/14/2074744/-Parody-is-dead-Fox-News-put-out-a-cocktail-guide-for-urine

Murdoch and his vermin crew shit in the mouths of every American, Brit, and Aussie, so what's new, except that more Americans seem to think it's three squares a day.

When will they arrested and executed, or won't the subhuman Republican Court permit the government to protect us from armed Christian subhumans?

I'm coming to realize that Neil Gorsuch is suffering from the long-term effects of fetal alcohol syndrome and lead poisoning as the evil subhuman spawn of his lush, alcoholic mother's habit of eating leaded paint chips on behalf of paint manufacturers who paid her off to ignore the law while she decimated the EPA and murdered poor children across the country.

Or maybe she did it on principle, like Idi Amin.

By refusing to wear a mask, Gorsuch forced Judge Sotomayor, a diabetic, to remain home during the recent hearing wherein the Republican Party's genocidal aspirations for dead pigfucking America were placed into higher gear.

Here's what racist, cocksucking, murderous conservatives, who inform Gorsuch's malignant worldview, think of Sotamayor:

https://www.mediamatters.org/ben-shapiro/ben-shapiro-calls-justice-sonia-sotomayor-low-iq-human-being-and-affirmative-action

Sotamayor needs to be armed at all times for her next encounter with the fascist c*nts among her "colleagues" on the Court and if Shapiro ever dares come near her again.

Why the fuck can't I carry a loaded weapon into the hallowed bullshit Supreme Court premises to enforce the fucking laws of this Nation?

Am I not a free, goddamned stinking piece of shit American like Putin-loving death cult conservatives take themselves to be?

Shoot to kill.

Rapist wannabe Kavanaugh, who I believe got in the pants of Susan Collins during their tete a tete regarding lies about pigfucking settled law, is not quite yet up to wholesale murder in the service of conservative genocide, and the usual vermin aren't having any of it:

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2022/01/kavanaugh-not-anti-vaxx-or-lawless-enough-for-the-maga-industrial-complex

All future elections will be stolen by the fascist conservative movement.

Hope is dead.

Only violence on a scale never experienced by this ruthless country will out.

wj,

I am principled and mild-mannered, not to mention lazy and cowardly. But I suspect that if someone came at me with a knife, I'd summon up the courage and energy to overcome my principles and mildness and sink low enough to shoot him. Multiple times.

Alternatively, I could stand on principle and let him cut my throat, because some "moderates" might tsk, tsk at my sinking to the knife-wielding thug's level "or worse".

Tough choice, right?

--TP

https://digbysblog.net/2022/01/14/republicans-will-never-gracefully-concede-again/

America was nothing but a confection, a conceit from the getgo.

It will be a blood sink soon.

Putin is showing the murderous American conservative movement how to set it up and knock it down in Ukraine.

False flags and then slaughter.

We’re just Jews checking the train schedules.

We’re near sided Cambodians making appointments with Pol Pots optometrist.

We’re headcheese for conservative operative cannibal serial killers.

We’re Ronnie Spector to Phil Spector’s gun-addled conservative unregulated perversions.

We’re sitting ducks with inadequate quacks.

Tough choice, right?

Ah, Tony, but is that the choice? Shoot someone who is attacking you with a deadly weapon? Not a problem, and not sinking to his level. Going out looking for someone to shoot? Whole different deal.

So in this case, making it impossible (or, more realistically, prohibitively difficult) to establish and maintain minority rule? Absolutely the right thing to do. Stop the morons and scum who disagree with you from voting? Not OK. Do you see the difference?

Stop the morons and scum who disagree with you from voting?

Isn't that more the situation?

https://www.oregonlive.com/crime/2022/01/portland-police-training-on-protests-ends-with-slide-showing-mock-prayer-for-dirty-hippie-prompts-investigation.html

kind of makes one wonder about narratives...

If someone sees a viable way to return the GOP to a commitment to democracy, please please share.

wj,
You appear to have a serious case of 'battered party syndrome'. In just about all instances, the right decision is this: leave.

Earnestly hoping for your recovery. Best wishes.

PS: Under our current almost impossible to change rules, there will ALWAYS be two major parties.

Abraham Lincoln knew, or learned, that sinking to the lowest level necessary, and even lower to get at them from underneath, to come face to face with the confederate (still a palpable, evil, ruthless presence) enemy, was the only alternative to save the Republic.

A saved Republic that could then rise even higher toward the rhetorical ideals of its better angels.

But even then it took another 100 years of backpedaling and fucking broken faith, which ruined tens of millions of human lives and potentialities, and more, to merely approach the surface, because the evil at the racist, Other-persecuting, murderous, self-blinded heart of America provided an inexhaustible, radically unbalanced ballast pulling the country lower.

Dive deep.

Rise later when the founder of the radical republican party that is killing us, John Wilkes Booth, and all 80 million of his contemporary scum are no longer gripping our legs and pulling us under.

Many of us will suffer from the bends.

A quote from an evil fucking conservative moron, elected no less by no-IQ cucks, who wants to tell us what history we must learn and what history must be burned:

"Section B3 of the bill, sponsored by Republican freshman Del. Wren Williams, defines what can be taught as “the founding documents,” like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, excerpts from the Federalist Papers, the writings of the Founding Fathers and Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic “Democracy in America.” Oh, and one more thing: “the first debate between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.”

I think Abraham Lincoln appeared on the Mike Douglas show too.

Lincoln was also passed over in favor of Burt Lancaster to star opposite Kirk Douglas in the blockbuster conservative movement hit movie and republican coup instructional documentary, "Seven Days in May".

PS: Under our current almost impossible to change rules, there will ALWAYS be two major parties.

I know. But to work well, it needs two major parties, both committed to democracy. Which, at the moment, we increasingly lack. There are still enough Republicans committed to it to avert disaster (see Georgia Secretary of State, Maricopa County Supervisors, etc.), but there will be a bunch of those facing primary attacks this year from the cult members as a result..

Leaving is only useful if there is a second viable party to go to. Not seeing one, what's left is trying to at least slow the deterioration of the GOP. Happily, I can try to do that with my primary votes, but not be committed to the party candidate if one of the crazies wins there.

wj: Stop the morons and scum who disagree with you from voting?

lj: Isn't that more the situation?

But what was being proposed, and I was opposing, was doing the same from the other side.

Dumb dupe?

Or highly-placed embedded Russian agent?

Tom Cotton.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2022/01/15/saturday-morning-open-thread-new-type-of-affinity-fraud/

If we could return to the golden, segregated, high marginal tax rate 1950's (or even the glowing slave economy of the 1850's) the conservative movement pines for with every semi-automatic weapon they possess, think of all the mutinous, insurrectionist traitors beholden to foreign enemies we could hand over the McCarthy cabal to execute.

It's working!
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/texas-voting-ballots-republicans/2022/01/14/97c3d2de-7580-11ec-b202-b9b92330d4fa_story.html

And there is, no doubt, much rejoicing in some quarters (but definitely not here). Note that the county clerks are saying both that around half of new registrations are being rejected under the new law AND that they cannot get information from the Texas Secretary of State's office in what the would-be voters need to do to fix their applications.

There are still enough Republicans committed to it to avert disaster

nope. i don't think that's true. you don't get within a hair's width of re-electing Trump if there is any meaningful number of honorable Republicans out there.

and Raffensperger may not have had it in him to openly break the law for Trump, but he is as Republican as the next guy. he blames GA's election troubles on ... Stacey Abrams and the Steele Dossier. and the conservative cancel culture is probably going to replace him with a true modern Republican zombie, when he's up for election again. so, i wouldn't count on him for long.

the GOP is a cesspool. and it's only getting deeper and darker.

"Happily, I can try to do that with my primary votes, but not be committed to the party candidate if one of the crazies wins there."

As a registered republican for 25 years decades ago, I tried that.

Kavanaugh: not enough of a political hack for some people
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/01/14/conservative-knives-come-out-brett-kavanaugh/

There are still enough Republicans committed to it to avert disaster

nope. i don't think that's true. you don't get within a hair's width of re-electing Trump if there is any meaningful number of honorable Republicans out there.

But they did, in fact, refuse to break the law and keep Trump in office. Which, to my mind, would have been a disaster. Was it a narrow escape? Yes. But an escape nonetheless.

Another article not behind a paywall regarding wj's 11:55am:

https://www.keranews.org/politics/2022-01-14/texas-election-officials-blame-new-voting-law-for-rise-in-rejected-mail-in-ballot-applications

This is precisely the time and place .. Texas .. when and where we shall learn whether a heavily-armed polis can and will use their God-given constitutional right to bear and use arms to exercise and enforce the democratic voting franchise with fully justified violence against evil fucking vermin who steal that franchise.

If these Texans will not use their weaponry to secure their and their fellow citizens right to vote, then the Second Amendment should be abolished and their weapons confiscated, because their Christian dumb-ass God did not give them military-grade weaponry to use as all-hat-and-no-cattle hatracks, mantle decor, and obscuring the view out the back window of pick-up truck cabs.

It doesn't look good though, given the widespread pussification of rank and file Texans.

Thanks, noone.

Here's the deal with the GOP enablers. They still support "their side" because they don't want Dems to win any victories on the things that the GOP opposes *even if those things are actually supported by most of the populace.*

We could have exactly the sort of bipartisan progress that the GOP-leaning centrists claim to want, but that would require them to compromise on the wedge issues and let those go to get the other things. They are not willing to do that or to cede the power they get by siding with the ethno-nationalists and the plutocrats and the sadists. They are waiting for more concessions from the left and hoping that "their side" can somehow put the wedge issues out of reach of the left by whatever means are required.

When you talk about the left needing to remain principled, wj, it sounds to me like a diplomat who is saying that the defenders need to give up on the occupied territory that the invaders have broken international law to occupy because taking back that territory will lead to human rights violations. The concern is understandable, but the position makes a mockery of law and justice and only serves to further incentivize the other side.

There must be a reckoning and a rebalancing. The country must return to something like a true center, and the right must give ground and suffer a loss of power. The principles of democracy and liberalism can't work any other way. Absent those, we are looking at alternative principles for governing our society.

Section B3 of the bill, sponsored by Republican freshman Del. Wren Williams, defines what can be taught as “the founding documents,” like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, excerpts from the Federalist Papers, the writings of the Founding Fathers and Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic “Democracy in America.

Which excerpts?

Was it a narrow escape? Yes. But an escape nonetheless.

They took notes, and will upping their game going forward.

Here's the deal with the GOP enablers. They still support "their side" because they don't want Dems to win any victories on the things that the GOP opposes *even if those things are actually supported by most of the populace.*

Actually, I think it's worse than that. They don't want the Democrats to win any victories, even on things that said enablers actually favor. It's "team spirit" taken to a truly disgusting level.

When you talk about the left needing to remain principled, wj, it sounds to me like a diplomat who is saying that the defenders need to give up on the occupied territory that the invaders have broken international law to occupy because taking back that territory will lead to human rights violations. The concern is understandable, but the position makes a mockery of law and justice and only serves to further incentivize the other side.

I don't think so. More like, just because the other side has invaded and conquered part of your territory, you don't deny them the fruits of their victory by nuking the place.

I don't know what "nuking the place" is meant to refer to in your analogy, wj. I can understand the attitude, but not what that would look like in practice.

Was Reconstruction "nuking the place?" Was the Marshall Plan?

The Good Friday Accords were more consociational in nature, but those also appear to be more of a postponement than a resolution of the underlying problems.

We cannot fix anything until both sides agree to play by the same rules and the people who have violated those rules make amends in good faith to restore relations.

We cannot fix anything until both sides agree to play by the same rules and the people who have violated those rules make amends in good faith to restore relations.

So the question becomes, How do we convince those who are violating the rules to agree to play by them? I submit that you don't convince people to allow everybody to vote by depriving them of the right to vote. (Which, you will note, was the suggestion -- possibly not serious -- which started this discussion.)

wj,

What was "the suggestion ... which started this discussion"? I could guess, but the proper etiquette is to ask.

I do quibble with the "started this discussion" bit. "This discussion" has been going for years. At least since that paragon of moderation, Sandra Day O'Connor, elected Dubya president.

To answer your "How do we convince those who are violating the rules to agree to play by them?" question:

First we figure out who the referee is.

Who do you think it is? or should be? The SCOTUS? The "white working class"? The Army? Who?

If we conclude there is no referee -- since you like analogies, consider a pick-up sandlot baseball game -- maybe we take our ball and go home. No need to nuke the field.

Or maybe we appeal to those on the other team to show they really do want the game to go on, by kicking out the cheaters on their side. If they can.

--TP

As long as the GOP continues to win elections with their current strategy they will continue using it.

The only solution is to defeat them at the ballot box. Their behavior will not change until that happens.

What was "the suggestion ... which started this discussion"? I could guess, but the proper etiquette is to ask.

That would be your note above:

Steps to restore a two-party system in the US:
1) Outlaw the GOP.
2) Split the Democratic Party in half.
3) Invite wj to join either half he likes.
OK, kidding. But just barely.
Specifically Item 1.

Yes, you weren't serious. Quite. But still, that's what set me off. And it appears that some of the others here are kidding less on the topic.

The only solution is to defeat them at the ballot box. Their behavior will not change until that happens.

I incline to the same view. It is unfairly hard on those attempting to win with the deck stacked against them. But the alternatives are 1) just concede the field, or 2) sink to the same level -- which also happens to require winning under the stacked deck first. Or, I suppose, the noone approach.

When they go low we...mostly sit on our hands and hope that our virtue will shame the shameless, who only seem to care that they are getting what they want (especially when part of what they want is to make us sit here and watch them do this to us).

Our virtue reinforces their bad behavior.

The left needs a tactical and limited embrace of these states of exception. The sticky part is and will always be that "limited" part. But most of the left is at least committed to the limits implied in liberalism and pluralism.

There are no such limits on the right.

When they go low we...mostly sit on our hands and hope that our virtue will shame the shameless

Which is, indeed, not a path to success. Overcoming those who are enthusiastic about cheating if it will achieve their ends is goung to take work. Lots of work. The model isn't someone sitting around writing "shame on you!" diatribes. The model is Stacy Abrams.

What Stacy Abrams does is admirable and important. It remains to be seen, however, if what she does is going to be enough to stop the GOP from achieving their goal of subverting the electoral system and the very principles of representative government.

What if it doesn't work? What then?

Systems can be broken and vandalized and subverted, and systems can be abused to prevent any repair or reform from happening once the damage has been done.

That's where we are right now. The damage has been done. The left is trying to repair our system of government and the right is trying to make sure that the parts of that system that would prevent them from having their way will never work properly again.

Hooray for Stacy Abrams. Now what is the plan for dealing with the vandals if they refuse to let anyone fix things and prevent people like Stacy Abrams from achieving enough to restore our electoral system?

We've hit the point where we need to diversify this portfolio.

What Stacy Abrams does is admirable and important. It remains to be seen, however, if what she does is going to be enough to stop the GOP from achieving their goal of subverting the electoral system and the very principles of representative government.

And yet, it has been enough. Witness the fact that, even with Republicans solidly in control of the state government (at least for the moment), Georgia has two Democrats in the US Senate.

Granted, Georgia Democrats got an assist from Republican voters who bought the whole "the election is rigged" scam, and so decided not to bother to turn out to vote. After all, why bother if it doesn't matter? But there are signs that the same phenomena may happen elsewhere. Enough signs that a number of Republican politicians are agonizing about how to stop it. Not sure they can, at least for the midterms.

And yet, it has been enough.

For the last cycle. Barely. To prevent the assault from gaining further ground, not to restore balance.

The GOP has made things worse since then.

We cannot hope to survive by being just reactive enough to prevent further erosion.

The country is too fragile as it stands. That is what all of these people who study the fall of democracy have been telling us for the last five years. Things are not improving, they are getting worse.

The only solution is to defeat them at the ballot box. Their behavior will not change until that happens.

It is absolutely not in evidence that electoral losses will change the behavior of the (R) party, or of conservatives in this country in general.

We see the opposite. If you lose, break stuff until you prevail.

It turns out that Tucker Carlson shot Lincoln in the back of his head:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2022/01/15/saturday-evening-retro-open-thread-the-gangs-that-couldnt-seditiously-conspire-straight/

History! Whaddaya gonna do?

We cannot hope to survive by being just reactive enough to prevent further erosion.

Fine. What specific concrete steps do you propose we take?

Prepare our communities to deal with the violence that the right wing keeps insisting it is willing to perpetrate in order to get its own way, and prepare for local law enforcement to mostly be on their side.

Put logistics and capital behind extra-governmental organizations for mutual support that can help protect communities if and when the ethno-nationalists get back in power and actually do attempt to eliminate their enemies.

Keep working to preserve our existing systems in the hope that all these other plans are never needed, but take the bastards at their word that they will do this if they get the chance. Everyone who studies how and when these things happen are telling us that the conditions are right for this to be a possibility. We can prepare for both eventualities without breaking the system we have.

If things do topple, the other side has all of these things in place and will push forward with their plans. The rest of the people in this country cannot afford to take time to work out a response.

What specific concrete steps do you propose we take?

The people who are in a position to take steps are whatever (R)’s and conservatives haven’t drunk the Trumpist Koolaid. Whoever they may be.

I’m not a lifelong (R) voter or contributor. My interests and opinions carry no weight with the people whose beliefs and behavior present a risk to the nation.

We have some rather scary antisemitic violence occurring right now, but the reports say it isn’t a right winger doing it, but an Al Qaeda sympathizer.

So I am guessing we are going back to the sorts of discussions we had some years back. And the US hasn’t been really very good about reacting to terrorism. We tend to overreact. And we aren’t going to have a nice clean debate about how to react to right wing violence without also talking about how to react to the jihadist type. Whatever rules we have for investigating one form of possible terrorist threat will also have to apply to the other. Or in theory it should. I am not terribly optimistic about our ability to do any of this correctly.

This is the person the hostage taker wants released.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aafia_Siddiqui

Very confusing.

And here is a tweet thread from some who knows and. really admires the rabbi being held hostage, who also works ( peacefully) for the release of the alleged terrorist in prison.

https://twitter.com/aliarsalem/status/1482533721567903744

Super confusing.

I come at the discussion about democracy in the US from a sideways direction— I am somewhat used to reading about situations like this hostage case, where it isn’t always obvious what is going on. In this case the rabbi and others are clearly innocent and the hostage taker belongs in prison, but it is hard to know if the person he wants freed is guilty and I don’t particularly trust government officials in such cases.

I don’t like the American far right or Al Qaeda, but I am also not completely sure I trust our police or our government at any level to make distinctions between genuinely dangerous people and people who aren’t dangerous.

I am also not completely sure I trust our police or our government at any level to make distinctions between genuinely dangerous people and people who aren’t dangerous.

It seems like a distinction that somebody needs to be making. Got an alternative suggestion? Or a route to upgrading the ability of those currently responsible? (Gitmo being a pretty clear demonstration that there's certainly room for improvement. No question there,)

No, I don’t have any great suggestions. But in theory our system should work. Innocent until proven guilty. Don’t have government informers egging people in into committing crimes they might not have committed on their own. That apparently happened with some Muslims. It doesn’t seem ridiculous to me that it could happen with far right types. I am not making claims here— I haven’t read deeply enough.

No torture, of course. Don’t spy on people unless you have really good reason to think they are dangerous.

I don’t think the far right will be treated as badly as we treated Muslims, especially when many in the police and intelligence agencies are on the right themselves, but it wouldn’t completely shock me if abuses occur. People in authority who are sure they are right can rationalize bending the rules.

And when the government makes mistakes and jails the wrong people, admit it. And when clear abuses of power occurred, hold people accountable.

This is all really obvious stuff, but in our War on Terror ( enthusiastically cheered on by people in both parties) we didn’t live up to our alleged principles.

Don’t have government informers egging people in into committing crimes they might not have committed on their own. That apparently happened with some Muslims. It doesn’t seem ridiculous to me that it could happen with far right types.

It does. Happened in Michigan just recently, though the extent to which the people involved were egged on and the extent to which they were just radicalized anti-government militants awaiting opportunity is always fuzzy. And Michigan has enough paramilitary types running and gunning in their woods that I don't doubt those guys would have found an opportunity sooner or later, FBI informant or no.

So I'm conflicted and ambivalent.

“The only solution is to beat them at the ballot box”…

Agreed; anything else is a counsel of despair.

But even so.
https://www.salon.com/2022/01/14/florida-lost-special-by-59-points-files-and-refuses-to-concede/

Prepare our communities to deal with the violence that the right wing keeps insisting it is willing to perpetrate in order to get its own way, and prepare for local law enforcement to mostly be on their side.

and be prepared to be told that the right is only preparing itself against the antifa / BLM violence that it is .. .yadayadayada.

like it or not, a summer of violent left-leaning demonstrations did set a lot of the right on edge. and yes, many of those people are the type who have been itching for a fight for a long time. but then, lefty street violence wasn't invented in 2020. so... we're a couple of spins into one of them, whatchacallit, spirals. everyone is justifying their actions on the actions of the other.

something's got to give.

Who is better at harnessing and whipping the anger:

https://jabberwocking.com/chart-of-the-day-anger-in-the-united-states/

Antifa sucks at it. Antifa is loser balaclava bullshit.

The radical right, now fully in harness to the conservative movement, with the bit in Trump's teeth, are armed professionals.

The rancid conservative movement is as fully anti-PTA, for Christ's loin cloth's sake, as it is anti-Antifa.

The rancid conservative movement is as fully anti-vaccine as it is anti-Antifa.

Antifa breaks windows and damages and destroys property, for which law is adequate to punish, and should.

Insurance covers some of that damage.

Antifa, may of whom are loser vermin, is anti-authoritarian and anti-cop.

The stinking vermin in the armed conservative movement are thugishly authoritarian AND totally anti-government. What the fuck ARE cops if not the spear point of government?

The conservative movement is breaking the country. It's breaking the voting franchise. It's breaking the fucking government.

We have no insurance covering those items when they are gone.

From where I sit, there don't seem to be any laws what that can be applied to punish that latter breakage, except the natural law of fuck you, now you are dead.

And it starts by executing Donald Trump for his capital crimes with the sorry-assed, ill-defined limp mechanisms of the rule of law, enforced by the fucking government that conservatives refuse to pay for.


FWIW - the number of people killed by self-described members of antifa is somewhere between zero and one, depending on how you view the Reinoehl case.

nobody here should think i'm saying antifa is equivalent to the 1/6 terrorists.

but a lot of Republicans think they're worse and that they justify armed resistance. for example, Kyle Rittenhouse.

spiral.

It's also clear that much of the violence ascribed to antifa and BLM was started by opportunistic right-wing provocateurs. More significantly, I think, much of the violence was instigated and/or escalated by police.

But I know that has no effect on the view of Republicans who consider Rittenhouse a hero.

cleek, my 9:26 AM was not aimed in your direction.

But ducking my rants is probably recommended.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/1/15/2074902/-Trump-Openly-Explains-How-He-Plans-to-Steal-the-Next-Election-in-Video-Message-to-Republican-Group

The vote-counters were the first to be murdered by every fascist and communist dictator since time unfortunately started.

The people who are in a position to take steps are whatever (R)’s and conservatives haven’t drunk the Trumpist Koolaid.

There aren't enough of them, and they're not taking the steps anyway.

“The only solution is to beat them at the ballot box”…

Agreed; anything else is a counsel of despair.

But if they make it impossible to beat them at the ballot box, as they are trying to do, what then? This may indeed be a counsel of despair, but I find myself more on the nous side of this question @08.16 - a strategy is necessary for a worst-case scenario. I can't myself envisage the plan, let alone the details, but I suppose (like almost everything else) it would start with raising a ton of money from democracy-minded billionaires. And then? What? (Apart from funding mass Stacy Abrams-type strategies to saturate the ad-sphere, register voters and get out the vote in every state - you couldn't rely on a charismatic front person to inspire volunteers, there isn't enough time).

Meanwhile, hot times (i.e. a major volcanic eruption) in Tonga. Resulting in tsunami warnings here. Now when we do get tsunami warnings here, they typically just say "stay off the ocean beaches." But this time, we saw actual evacuation orders in San Francisco and other locations along the coast.

However, what really shocked me was this one
(Had a link to the local CBS station's entry on the evacuations from the Berkeley marina. But I seem to have GftNC disease** -- when I include it, nothing posts. perhaps this: https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2022/01/15
and tsunami-alert-forces-daylong-evacuation-berkeley-marina ... remove "and" and insert a / )
Just think for a moment about what it would take for a tsunami to get thru the Golden Gate and still have enough magnitude to flood places inside the Bay. In the event, it didn't -- so far, but there are multiple waves forecast.

** No offense intended

and be prepared to be told that the right is only preparing itself against the antifa / BLM violence that it is .. .yadayadayada.

like it or not, a summer of violent left-leaning demonstrations did set a lot of the right on edge. and yes, many of those people are the type who have been itching for a fight for a long time. but then, lefty street violence wasn't invented in 2020. so... we're a couple of spins into one of them, whatchacallit, spirals. everyone is justifying their actions on the actions of the other.

something's got to give.

Yes. Spiral. Yes.

That is going to happen if the right wants it to happen. And a big chunk of the right, the part in the driver's seat, has built an identity on that paranoia and belief in redemptive violence.

We saw the script in action already in Portland.

If the right comes in with authoritarianism and violence (which is the direction things are going) then marginal communities will suffer the brunt of that violence.

If there is no reaction, then the right goes on camera and preens and legitimizes their violence.

If the communities under the hammer react, then the right uses that as an excuse to escalate, and uses the footage as self-justification.

Either way, the right pushes on. The only way it stops is if a sizable enough faction of the right actively resists the authoritarians.

There will always be a faction on the left that is going to react to the right's provocations. There probably needs to be one, otherwise that authoritarianism appears to be a solution.

This is not a counsel of despair. This is history. This is humanity. This is a sober assessment of the archive.

Organizations of mutual aid aren't antifa. Antifa are punks and children. God bless 'em. They serve a purpose. Someone needs to draw the jackals off of the more vulnerable who show up to bear witness to the violence of the right. But antifa are pretty much useless for anything else. The organizations of mutual aid we need are unions and churches and networks of nurses and EMTs and former service members - people who know organizing and logistics and who have practical skills. People who can help those in need and give them shelter when the authoritarians declare a curfew and send in the paramilitary contractors to sweep the streets.

Not a paranoid imagining. This is recent history. It was Minneapolis. It was Portland.

If the authoritarians are in charge and the police are on their side, then people need other avenues for community security and for shelter and medical care.

I totally get not wanting to contemplate any of this. I totally get wanting to preserve the moral high ground. The alternative is horrible.

But the moderate left needs to accept that they can't keep their hands entirely clean and only go high and not prepare for their own hands to be forced.

When you are the plumber you can't be afraid of getting in the shit.

That is where we are.

"That is where we are."

Then we are way behind.

https://digbysblog.net/2022/01/16/they-were-all-in-on-it/

https://digbysblog.net/2022/01/16/extremists-for-god-and-country/

Is antifa recruiting among murderous, subhuman, armed rightwing veterans of the US military?

Not bloody likely.

I don't believe that dead suicidal fascists leads to fewer fascist voters for one single second:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2022/1/15/2074895/-Journalist-states-the-obvious-COVID-is-killing-Trump-supporters-by-the-hundreds-each-day?pm_source=story_sidebar&pm_medium=web&pm_campaign=recommended

I cheer it on, and not without the full mindfucking realization of the psychotic, sick tragedy these suicides are playing out for our political and religious edification, but I don't believe it.

If mass death lanced Evil, then why does the Mideast dive deeper into blood lust every year?

I watch enough zombie and body snatcher movies to know that for every zombie and body-snatcher obliterated by head shots, they've already face-chewed and infected six formerly normal humans, or distributed the seed pods into their basements to transform them into fascist filth as they sleep.

noone, the author of your article is correct that the anti-vaxx disinformation machine is killing off more Trump voters. But his math is lousy. If 3/4 of the 1,800 dying every day are Trump voters, that does mean 1,350 fewer Trump voters. But the actual change in Trump margins is only 900 votes.

Still a loss. But if you want to figure out how the balance will change (more precisely, how covid deaths will impact the margin), you have to use the right numbers.

Alex Jones and Donald Trump are bottling their own urine for sale to the thirsty American public:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-alex-jones-pal-behind-the-anti-vaccine-rights-urine-drinking-covid-cure

It's not in the Kool-Aid section at your local grocery, it's one of them new seltzer refreshments.

Swish and gargle for full efficacy.

For a hefty extra fee, Trump or Jones will pay you a personal in-home visit and piss directly down your gullible gullet.

Next up. Piss Bars ... without bathrooms.

Also sold in ointment form as a skin unguent.

Rand Paul is contemplating his own highly valued Number Twos as a breath freshener and joint compound. He's done a lifelong marketing survey, multi-level, natch, along with his Dad, which indicates that when either of them speak, their listeners don't seem to mind eating shit directly from the source and recommending the shit to their friends and families and patients.

DeSantis is not quite on board with this cure, since death by pandemic has been such a money maker for him. He's keeping his own urine and freezing it because his wife is one thirsty girl for the latest in cancer cures.

All of this economic and marketing activity is guaranteed by the Bullshit Clause embedded in the Constitution.

As Benjamin Franklin quipped when asked what he and his fellow geniuses had wrought: Hey, lady, piss up a rope! I get a nickel a shot.

If one wonders what Reason Magazine thinks of this, I have a feeling we're going to find out momentarily.

The organizations of mutual aid we need are unions and churches and networks of nurses and EMTs and former service members - people who know organizing and logistics and who have practical skills.

OK, sounds good. But how are these organisations to be recruited into a network? So that they can then start to recruit members? If, as you suggest (and I agree) plans need to be laid now for a worst-case outcome, how is this to come together?

I remember after the Trump election I posted a link to The Indivisible Guide. I see from this that they are already working on it:

https://indivisible.org/about

Why we’re here
Indivisible was founded in response to Trump’s election - but we know that Trump is a symptom of a sick democracy, not its cause. We face two fundamental problems: first, our democracy was rigged from the start in favor of the white and wealthy. Second, in the last few decades, an alliance of white nationalists and the ultra-rich have been actively working to further undermine democracy and cement their hold on power permanently. That’s how we ended up with Trump.

We have to build a democracy that reflects a broad, multiracial “we the people,” one that works for all of us and is sustained by all of us. Only then will we be able to achieve a progressive vision for our future.

How we win
Defeating a multi-decade right-wing takeover of American government ain’t easy. But we’re here to win, and we have a plan. Here’s how we’re doing it:

We Are Indivisible. Our opponents depend on a divide and conquer strategy, so we treat an attack on one like an attack on all. We show up for each other, and particularly for those facing the brunt of rightwing ideologues’ attacks - often immigrants, people of color, and low-income people. We share a vision: a real democracy, of, by, and for everyone.

Strong Leaders, Strong Groups, Strong Movement. We build and sustain our movement’s power by helping individuals take leadership. They grow and lead local Indivisible groups, take independent action, and coordinate with their fellow local leaders. As a movement, our power comes from coordinated national campaigns where we act together, indivisible.

Inside/Outside Strategy. We understand systems of power - like how Congress operates - and we work inside them to get results. That complements our outside strategy of locally-based constituent pressure to demand elected leaders, regardless of political party, work for our democracy.

A Virtuous Cycle of Advocacy and Elections. We show up to advocate for policy wins in off-years and get out the vote in election years. These efforts reinforce each other to ensure our democracy works for all of us and that the people in power do too - or we will replace them with electeds who will.

In a sane world, the remedy for where we are at right now would be for people to talk to and *listen to* each other.

What do you want, why is that good, what things are non-negotiable, where is the wiggle room.

That doesn't appear to be available right now.

The (R) appears to be intent on prevailing regardless of what damage it does in the process. That's not hypothetical and it's not a prediction, those things are happening now and have been happening for some time. They will undoubtedly continue.

(D)'s appear to be committed to working within the institutions as they exist and have existed. This is proving to be a liability.

Personally, I'm assuming the kinds of extra-governmental agencies nous cites in his 1:25 are going to be necessary, and I'll be looking for opportunities to engage at that level beginning basically now.

Relying on getting the vote out and prevailing electorally is good as far as it goes, but it doesn't address the animosity that is shredding our ability to govern ourselves as a nation.

The way it looks to me is that it's going to be messed up for a while and a lot of people are going to be harmed. I don't see this as a "both sides" thing, there is nothing in the left-of-American-center world that compares to the will to power of folks in the (R) leadership, or to the radical departure from reality that is common in conservative voters.

It's going to be heads down and make the best of it, probably for years.

It's very discouraging, but a remarkably large portion of the nation has lost its mind. I mean that literally. I don't know how to fix that, or if there is even a way to fix it. I have no idea what things are gonna look like in a year, or five years, or 20 years. No idea whatsoever.

It's a crazy time. IMO it's a total coin toss where it will land.

our democracy was rigged from the start in favor of the white and wealthy.

Not exactly. Typically, states had a property ownership requirement (although some did not). So yes, the wealthy had an edge. But for much of the country, there was no race requirement. Slaves couldn't vote. And most blacks couldn't meet the property requirement; but then, lots of whites couldn't meet the property requirement either.

The South was another matter, of course. But in the North? Usually property. Mostly gender (although unmarried or widowed women could own property in some places, so they could potentially vote as well). But not race per se.

re: the tsunami was apparentlycaused by a massive change in barometric pressure rather than the usual mechanisms. The Japanese agency got caught offguard, said that nothing was going to happen, and then had to issue (rather late) warnings.

https://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0008184468

Indivisible seems like the sort of thing that could become much more effective over time. It's built on the same principles that labor groups use to expand reach and develop solidarity. The most effective way to scale it up would probably be to use existing groups as the nucleus for an Indivisible group.

The social overlaps between group membership become the lines of communication.

For indivisible to work, though, everyone opposed to the authoritarian right needs to start turning out for solidarity even when they are not 100% aligned, and the center *really needs to hold the line* and not ghost on their more marginal members, and they need to show up to support those marginal groups when they mobilize (at least to send a visible contingent to demonstrate solidarity). No leaving your margins exposed.

The tricky disconnect for Indivisible will be between groups dedicated to non-violence and those who are not opposed to it.

This means that the non-violent need to provide humanitarian aid to individuals who need it without asking too many questions, and that the more militant need to respect their pacifist allies commitment to their principles and not entangle them in anything that violates these principles.

"The tricky disconnect for Indivisible will be between groups dedicated to non-violence and those who are not opposed to it.

This means that the non-violent need to provide humanitarian aid to individuals who need it without asking too many questions, and that the more militant need to respect their pacifist allies commitment to their principles and not entangle them in anything that violates these principles."

I've no objection to any of that multi-level strategy ... five years ago.

But the malignant conservative movement has already shown the indivisible united hands of the fascist vermin suits in the White House and Congress and state houses bureaucratically by sleight-of-hand overthrowing a free election and their violent enforcement hands breaking into and entering the US Capitol .... the first time since the British set fire to in the War of 1812 ... with the full-throated intention of murdering their enemies in the Democratic Party to secure the coup.

The threats against Pence was Hitler merely intimidating his puppet show Mussolinis for the benefit of newsreels in America, which of course subhuman American conservative and southern Democrat racists ate up like their own vomit.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2022/01/16/open-thread-a-theory-of-recapturing-the-white-house/

Hartmut writes:

> I read somewhere that the distance between the two sides of the house of commons was deliberately chosen to be slightly beyond two sword lengths. So, members have to get up at least to duel.

Ooh, I wonder where that was. There's frequent anecdotal reference to a statue of Elisabeth I's time that limited rapier length to a yard and a quarter, but then all sumptuary laws were struck off the books in 1604, and most of the relevant parts of Westminster were rebuilt in the 19th century, even if some arrangement about parliament had survived the whole Civil War / Restoration thing.

Numerous references on the net as I found out looking after posting. But the relevance ceased in any case very long ago when weapons were banned on the premises.

..compares to the will to power of folks in the (R) leadership, or to the radical departure from reality that is common in conservative voters.

or that functions like a cheerleading section / message coordinator / disciplinarian that Fox News does for the right.

There's frequent anecdotal reference to a statue of Elisabeth I's time that limited rapier length to a yard and a quarter...

I once had the opportunity to handle a period rapier with a 43" blade (special gloves required to avoid getting any body oils on it). It was both lighter than I guessed from just looking at it and very difficult to use. The balance was horrible. If its original owners were effective with it, they had much stronger wrists than I did. Also handled a smallsword from a few decades later with a 33" blade (couple inches shorter than a standard modern epee). That one felt good.

For indivisible to work, though, everyone opposed to the authoritarian right needs to start turning out for solidarity even when they are not 100% aligned, and the center *really needs to hold the line* and not ghost on their more marginal members, and they need to show up to support those marginal groups when they mobilize (at least to send a visible contingent to demonstrate solidarity). No leaving your margins exposed.

I can't help thinking that this refers (no doubt among other things) to our previous discussion about trans-activists and the characterisation of gender-critical feminists as transphobic TERFs. For my own part, I believe human attitudes are various and complicated, and I would be happy to support allies or stay neutral about issues on which I don't feel strongly (e.g. pro or anti hunting). But I am afraid that my affiliation as a woman, let alone my absolute opposition to being told that certain subjects are not up for discussion, or that my wish to discuss and analyse them automatically puts me in a category in which I do not belong, triumphs over the need to support political allies. I feel similarly about abortion rights: which is to say that if my political allies all suddenly (or gradually) became pro-life, I would not compromise on this either. I would never, however, seek to ban discussion of it, or analysis of the attitudes which inform my view, let alone try to get people sacked for taking the contrary view.

I increasingly believe that the movement to deny the reality of biological sex and bulldoze people into believing that any thought to the contrary is transphobic, will eventually be seen for the counterfactual ideological brainwashing that it is. It is perfectly possible to respect trans people, and guarantee their rights to safety and respect, without disadvantaging women.

But for much of the country, there was no race requirement.

I’m curious to know what time period we’re talking about here. I don’t think this is true, as stated.

Absolutely no wish to threadjack to a discussion of the trans issue, by the way, completely the opposite!

As you were: swords and sorcery.

See
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_rights_in_the_United_States

But for much of the country, there was no race requirement

I have to admit, I thought the same as russell when I first read this, wj. But then I assumed you were nitpicking via the letter of the law, rather than the intent and the effect of it.

Which leads me to tell you all, if I haven't already, that the Dutch for pedantry, or nitpicking, translates as "ant-fucking".

I increasingly believe that the movement to deny the reality of biological sex and bulldoze people into believing that any thought to the contrary is transphobic, will eventually be seen for the counterfactual ideological brainwashing that it is. It is perfectly possible to respect trans people, and guarantee their rights to safety and respect, without disadvantaging women.

Amen. To my mind, the absolutist position (especially with respect to athletics) is a major impediment to trans individuals being accepted overall. That is, people reject the obvious denial of physiological differences and extend that to objecting to any other kind of acceptance of trans people.

I have to admit, I thought the same as russell when I first read this, wj. But then I assumed you were nitpicking via the letter of the law, rather than the intent and the effect of it.

If the intent was white privilege, there was nothing to stop the states outside the South from restricting the franchise to whites. But they didn't. So not really seeing this as nitpicking.

This is quite a good attempt to address that controversy.
https://alastair-meeks.medium.com/a-fool-rushes-in-a-suggested-way-of-approaching-trans-rights-ccae2554fe31

"let alone my absolute opposition to being told that certain subjects are not up for discussion, or that my wish to discuss and analyse them automatically puts me in a category in which I do not belong, triumphs over the need to support political allies. I feel similarly about abortion rights: which is to say that if my political allies all suddenly (or gradually) became pro-life, I would not compromise on this either. I would never, however, seek to ban discussion of it, or analysis of the attitudes which inform my view, let alone try to get people sacked for taking the contrary view."

This.

See
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_rights_in_the_United_States

Yes, I saw that, and came away with a different conclusion.

As of 1789, we have this:

But for much of the country, there was no race requirement

But the next paragraph begins:

Beginning around 1790, individual states began to reassess property ownership as a qualification for enfranchisement in favor of gender and race, with most states disenfranchising women and non-white men.

My bold.

The reason I asked about the time period is that the right of blacks to vote was generally either taken away or significantly restricted in most states over the first half of the 18th C. This wasn’t just a southern thing, many / most northern states limited the franchise for blacks (and others).

The 15th A restored that de jure, but de facto access to the ballot took almost another 100 years in many places.

Interesting piece, Nigel, and I agree with most of it. My only real quibble is that when he says:

But how about those who have a gender recognition certificate but who have not yet physically transitioned (and yes, this is possible)?

I too, used to assume this was rare (it certainly did not apply to the trans women I knew). But no: I have been told about low rates that astounded me, but a cursory search now turned this up

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6626314/

which suggests that only 5-13% of trans women in this study have had "bottom" surgery, as it is euphemistically called, and only 45-54% desire it in the future.

It seems that the current generations of trans women (unlike those I knew decades ago) do not necessarily see the removal of their male genitals to be necessary to their gender transition.

Whether this might cause discomfort or worse to the natal women with whom they might share spaces seems to me to be a necessary consideration, and the suggestion that their wishes or feelings be paramount in that situation seems to show extraordinary ignorance of the lived experience of many women.

That's an interesting piece, Nigel, and I agree with most of it.

But when he says

But how about those who have a gender recognition certificate but who have not yet physically transitioned (and yes, this is possible)?

I too used to think this was very rare, but no. I have been anecdotally given stats which astounded me, but a cursory search now turned this up:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6626314/

which shows that in this study only 5-10% of trans women have had genital surgery, and only 45-54% desire it in the future.

So it appears that unlike the trans women I knew a few decades ago, very many trans women do not now consider it necessary or important to their gender identity to remove their male genitals.

That this might cause discomfort or worse to the natal females (many of whom may have experienced harassment or worse at the hands of people with male genitals) with whom they desire to share women-only spaces does not seem to be considered as important as their own feelings or desires, either by them (or at least trans-activists) or many of the people who are contributing to the debate. I do not share this attitude, and I believe it is at root misogynistic, as is the description of its denial as transphobic (although I accept that many of the people convinced by the current orthodoxy have not followed the argument so far as to be aware of this).

A more detailed history:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2139853

My understanding, FWIW, is that voting (and other) rights for blacks basically went backwards from the beginning of the US in 1789, through the first half of the 19th C, until the passage of the Civil war amendments, And then faced profound practical challenges until 1965.

And are once again under threat, as a practical matter.

And, as we know, women weren’t guaranteed the right to vote until 1920.

There are similar histories around naturalization and access to citizenship, not just for blacks. From 1882 until 1943, Chinese were not allowed to become citizens. For example.

I don’t mean to get all “1619 project” about this stuff, but the country has issues about ethnicity. And gender. It’s a common human problem, but we’re not immune.

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