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January 11, 2022

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There is no way to prevent this from happening in a networked social media world.

exactly.

Given this, the answer needs to be finding communication strategies to counterbalance these tactics and to break the anger cycle with your own messaging.

exactly, again.

what strikes me lately is the enormous amount of time and energy I've spent being offended / exasperated / royally pissed off by the things that Trump supporters say and do. They've taken up entirely too much of my mental real estate.

I, personally, need to let go of that. People are gonna do whatever they want to do. How I respond to that is up to me.

There are lots and lots and lots of folks who are never going to be on board with my understanding of what public life is supposed to be about. So be it.

There are lots and lots of folks who would vote for folks I support, if they actually voted or were even able to vote. There are lots and lots of folks who would vote for folks I support, if someone like that ran for office where they live. There are lots of folks who are skeptical of folks I support, but not irretrievably so.

I'm gonna focus on those people.

Want to wear a rude shirt and chant "Fuck Joe Biden" en masse? Live it up. I'll direct my attention and effort elsewhere.

Are you quoting, paraphrasing, or imagining the gratuitously offensive "Only racist fascist scum would fail to turn out in support of BLM!"

Self-generated example. I could, I expect, spend time to find actual quotes. But I don't see that it would particularly help explain the point I was trying to make no nous.

There are lots of folks who are skeptical of folks I support, but not irretrievably so.

I'm gonna focus on those people.
\Exactly.

I also try to understand how abuse cycles work and the steps needed to break those cycles.

this is not a domestic abuse situation. this is electoral politics.

But all this social media tone policing does squat about any of that. The only venue where we have any sway is in actual personal contact.

speaking for myself, i can say with 100% certainty that that's not true at all. on-line discussions have had far more effect on my own personal political outlook than IRL discussion have.

Questions I ask myself:

If helping people break themselves out of abusive or cult situations take time, and patience, and personal effort, then which of my relationships are important enough to me to put that work in *even if that work will not pay off in time to save the country, the climate, and the other people I love (and may not ever pay off at all)?

What are the things that are within my power to do to save the country, the climate, and the other people that I love that don't depend on convincing the people in abusive situations to act against their conditioning?

Then I try to distribute my spoons accordingly.

What I will not do is submit to an abusive situation myself in hopes of changing the abuser's behavior.

speaking for myself, i can say with 100% certainty that that's not true at all. on-line discussions have had far more effect on my own personal political outlook than IRL discussion have.

Yes, but none of us are the norm.

If you were a swing voter, cleek, you would be one of the sort who has done the critical thinking and made the choice - like wj has.

What evidence is there that there are any of those sorts left after Jan. 6 and Trump's consolidation of power that followed?

Studies say that there are certainly still swing voters out there who do believe this of themselves and who would claim this in public, but the data on their behavior says otherwise.

What I will not do is submit to an abusive situation myself in hopes of changing the abuser's behavior.

As well you shouldn't. Even if it might work. Which it won't.

What evidence is there that there are any of those sorts left after Jan. 6 and Trump's consolidation of power that followed?

there are plenty of polls out there.

here's one:

https://americanindependent.com/swing-district-voters-gop-republicans-2020-election-undermine-overturn-jody-hice-marjorie-taylor-greene-scott-perry-votes-january-6/

Motivating people who might otherwise sit home is a very different effort from getting MAGAts not to be MAGAts.

Agreed. I think real, actual MAGAts are unreachable, at least for now.

there are plenty of polls out there.

here's one:

https://americanindependent.com/swing-district-voters-gop-republicans-2020-election-undermine-overturn-jody-hice-marjorie-taylor-greene-scott-perry-votes-january-6/

Apples and oranges. Those are swing districts, not swing voters. The referendum on that for the GOP voters will happen in the primaries. The shape of that primary will determine where those voters go in the general. And if the incumbent loses and the challenger just avoids the topic of the last presidential election and of Trump, then the voters can always tell themselves that they are only sending that challenger to DC to oppose the crap that Biden is doing.

That whole process is what I mean when I say that the Rs need to right their own ship and we have no leverage. In a midterm election it's all easy to compartmentalize and treat as a local problem unconnected to the state of the GOP nationally. I watched my relatives do this already in 2018.

And this pattern of making the midterm into a referendum on the current president is feeding into the numbers that CharlesWT posted as well. Trump is a problem for 2023. Now is the time for them to complain to management about the lousy service right now.

That doesn't make any of those people into actual swing voters.

Those are swing districts, not swing voters.

districts don't swing independent of voters.

That whole process is what I mean when I say that the Rs need to right their own ship and we have no leverage.

Rs aren't going to do that. they like their crazy freaky ship just fine.

it's going to come down to tiny slivers of voters in places where they are allowed to matter by gerrymandering and the EC.

districts don't swing independent of voters

And raw poll numbers don't equate to voters either.

How many of those polled are independent voters (or disaffected Rs) who did not already vote D last election?

How many of that number are, despite that, actually considering voting D this time?

Your guess is worth as much as mine. As is any guess about how resilient that resolve is.

Sounds like a problem for the local party and some canvassing.

We should do something to strengthen our organization on the ground there and GOTV.

this pattern of making the midterm into a referendum on the current president is feeding into the numbers that CharlesWT posted as well. Trump is a problem for 2023.

But will Trump (more accurately, Trump's ego) tolerate NOT being center stage this year?

It's true that midterm elections are typically understandable as referenda on the incumbent President. But I'm guessing Trump will inject himself into as many contests as possible. And that's exclusive of the primaries seeing lots of who-is-more-fanatically-pro-Trump? competitions.

"That whole process is what I mean when I say that the Rs need to right their own ship and we have no leverage.

Rs aren't going to do that. they like their crazy freaky ship just fine."

If D's started voting en masse in R primaries, I bet it would have a large effect.

Assuming there were any non-insane candidates to vote for.

Otherwise just write in "Kill M All".

A short piece on the Latino vote.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/18/opinion/democratic-party-latino-voters.html

I want to coin a rule, based on Russell's observation that 'Trump is an epiphenomenon' that would be something like

For any explication of the current US political scene, if it relies in any substantial part on what Trump does, it should be ignored.

candidates for a name for the rule?

I am all for this approach.

bobbyp: I don't blame you. She sounds great, and it's an excellent approach.

It never fucking stops:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2022/01/18/late-night-reminders-open-thread-the-national-promissory-note/

Biden must activate federal troops, heavily armed, to oversee the 2022 and 2024 elections in Florida. Line up the Seventh Airborne to face off with weapons drawn DeSantis' racist subhuman Castle Guards, his Winkies, and keep the polls open and enforce mail-in voting.

With orders to shoot to kill should any irregularities or harassment of voters occur.

https://digbysblog.net/2022/01/18/election-gestapo/

I think Texas is a place to try out the Navy Seals to secure the voting franchise. They fight dirty like subhuman Texas conservatives do.

Bring lots of paper to print up ballots on the go to hand out to disenfranchised American citizenry attempting to vote on election day.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/morning-memo/texas-secretary-state-paper-shortage-voter-registration-forms

Georgia could serve as war games practice for the Marines, unless of course Putin redirects them to Ukraine.

Maybe the fascist Secretaries of State in those "territories" (time to downgrade their status from "states" on account of it voting rights are violated and stolen, there are no states' rights to niggle our legalistic minds over, will try to bring the Supreme Court into the matter.

Big deal. The fucking mealy-mouthed Chief Justice can't even enforce his own fucking mask rules in the relatively small quarters of the hallowed Court, so as Joseph Stalin mused in another context; "How many divisions has the Dope?"

History doesn't repeat, but it rhymes.

Ignore all Supreme Court rulings, no matter whether we agree with them or not, fuck 'em, until the Court is reconstituted to reflect basic humane values, not Dagny Taggart's fashion sense.

https://twitter.com/AmeliaEarhart1/status/1483648965086113794?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1483648965086113794%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.balloon-juice.com%2F

And note, all, this:

during her 2020 campaign, Maxmin says she had 90,000 voter contacts, the most of any state Senate campaign in the state. Her closest opponent had just 35,000. As a result, she connected with persuadable Trump voters who had never spoken with a Democratic candidate. [Emphasis added]
They really do exist. :-)

A new Gallup analysis examined how Americans' partisan preferences shifted over the course of the year 2021, with findings that indicate momentum for Republicans heading into this midterm election year.

Gallup found that Americans' partisan preferences were relatively stable when looking at the entire year 2021. But when the year was broken down into quarters, there was a discernible shift. In the first quarter of 2021, Democrats had a 9-point advantage over Republicans, but by the final quarter of the year that had shifted sharply to a 5-point Republican advantage, according to Gallup's aggregate data.

oof

thanks, media. you and your narratives are the best.

Alternatively, of course, we can await the cloning of a thousand ungerrymandered Chloe Maxmins who escape assassination by conservative movement thugs.

I am all for this approach.

If you show up, you might win or you might lose.

If you don't show up, you will lose.

Show up, listen, listen some more, then explain why your ideas are better. But you can't do any of that stuff if you don't at least show up.

Epiphenomenon:

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

"The problem of epiphenomena is often a counterexample to theories of causation and is identified with situations in which an event E is caused by (or, is said to be caused by) an event C, which also causes (or, is said to cause) an event F. For example, take a simplified Lewisian counterfactual analysis of causation that the meaning of propositions about causal relationships between two events A and B can be explained in terms of counterfactual conditionals of the form "if A had not occurred then B would not have occurred". Suppose that C causes E and that C has an epiphenomenon F. We then have that if E had not occurred, then F would not have occurred, either. But then according to the counterfactual analysis of causation, the proposition that there is a causal dependence of F on E is true; that is, on this view, E caused F. Since this is not in line with how we ordinarily speak about causation (we would not say that E caused F), a counterfactual analysis seems to be insufficient."

OK, I'm on board with that accurate description of Trump.

Problem is, the "fuck your feelings" crowd tom cottons to a pithier message, since the conservative movement has worked overtime and succeeded for 40 years to destroy the better angels of our natures.

Let Frank Capra illustrate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcB4XXGr1us

If you watch to the end:

Joe Biden, debating Trump: "Sir, you are an epiphenomenonic blight on the country!"

Trump: "Get me, I'm an epi ... epiwatchchamacallit ovah heah!"

Ka-ching!

"If you show up, you might win or you might lose."

Those once were the only two possible outcomes.

The terms of "engagement" with the armed conservative movement are an utterly different calculus.

Or be murdered by the conservative movement is now on the table, on orders from Trump's republican elite:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/oath-keeper-edward-vallejo-returned-to-capitol-after-riot-to-probe-defense-line-prosecutors-say

They really do exist. :-)

He said he would vote for her. That’s great. It took personal contact.

This is also how AOC defeated the incumbent she was running against.

But Maxmin is not tacking to center. She’s listening. She’s taking time to make herself a real person and not just a non-threatening policy stance.

Local. Personal. Actually engaged. Genuine. Not triangulating or pandering. Holding to her principles.

Probably won’t turn into a vote for Biden, though. Biden is not at the trailer.

He could come around, though, with enough contact to make him feel like the Ds are listening and he matters.

Data science can’t do that.

He said he would vote for her. That’s great. It took personal contact.
...
Probably won’t turn into a vote for Biden, though. Biden is not at the trailer.

Which is why local, grassroots, eforts are critical.

Also, I would suggest Biden might benefit more than you think. Even if he's not there personally, once you break the "I'll never vote for a Democrat" barrier, a lot of impossible things become possible.

The Supreme Court, even in its maleficent genocidal stupidity, did NOT rule that it is unconstitutional for employers to impose their own private requirements on their employees for Covid-19 vaccination.

https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2022-01-19/starbucks-nixes-vaccine-mandate-after-supreme-court-ruling

Who the fuck is their legal counsel?

Was he or she the second dumbest undergrad at Wharton?

Covid-19 and its variants are applying for US citizenship, citing its freedoms.

I suppose once Christian murderer Amy Coney Barrett decides this case ....

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/26/us/supreme-court-gun.html

... we can count on Starbucks to serve faggot coastal elite lattes to openly armed citizens trading military grade weaponry and ammo in their shops.

'Scuse me, could you pass the napkins, please, ... or else?

Every murder and suicide by gun on America is a notch on freedom's gun belt.


Pandemic induced shifts in politics worldwide.

"Support for populist parties and politicians, and agreement with populist sentiment, has diminished during the pandemic, according to a “mega-dataset” taking in attitudes of over half a million people across 109 countries since 2020.

A University of Cambridge team say there are clear signs of a turning tide for the “populist wave”, as the mishandling of coronavirus by populist leaders – along with a desire for stability and a decline in “polarising” attitudes resulting from the pandemic – starts to move public opinion."
Support for populist politics ‘collapsed’ during the pandemic – global report: New report shows support for populist politics ‘collapsed’ during the pandemic but satisfaction with democracy also continued to falter. (The Great Reset: Public Opinion, Populism, and
the Pandemic
(.pdf))

Yet another hilariously and aptly named conservative movement Texas jackass: Mr. Self.

https://juanitajean.com/collin-county-gop-candidate-opposes-lgbtq-friendly-donors/

From one of the few hairdressers in Texas who doesn’t advocate deporting everyone no them, by which I mean white mongrels.

So many guns, so little time.

Show up, listen, listen some more, then explain why your ideas are better. But you can't do any of that stuff if you don't at least show up.

Well, in the olden days free sandwiches and beer would do the trick, but I guess that, too, would qualify as a 'personal' touch. Unlike today when all you get is a dumb yard sign and endless gauzy commercials.

And also-don't shade your principles. Just sayin'.

New report shows support for populist politics ‘collapsed’ during the pandemic

And yet support for Trump, whose politics definitely qualify as populist, not only has not collapsed, it doesn't even seem (yet) to have experienced a substantial decrease.

because nobody supports Trump for his policies. they support him for his attitude.

the GOP is a cult, not a think tank.

https://twitter.com/John_Hudson/status/1483930284781408256

Making things worse for innocent people in Yemen. Bipartisanship lives.

nobody supports Trump for his policies. they support him for his attitude.

Certainly the core of the MAGA cult is about attitudes and feelings, not policies. But another big chunk consists of people whose support is based on his (presumed) policies towards various "elites." You can argue that that's just another attitude; but only to the extent that populism generally is an attitude.

The cultists are Trump's forever. But the populists should be detachable.

This afternoon the SCOTUS denied TFG's application to block the Jan 6 Commission's access to his presidential records on the grounds of some residual executive privilege. Justice Thomas would have accepted the application. Justice Kavanaugh wrote something accepting the Appeals Court's ruling but only for this case, not as a precedent for future cases.

Prediction: somewhere, six or so months down the road, there will be sufficient evidence that Sinema and Manchin will have to agree to relax the filibuster enough to allow some version of HR1/S1 to pass. Sufficient state legislative seasons will have finished that the SCOTUS will not allow the extensive new rules to apply before 2024. No anti-gerrymander restrictions will apply before the 2030 census.

I like Michael Cain's predictions better than mine.

This afternoon the SCOTUS denied TFG's application to block the Jan 6 Commission's access to his presidential records on the grounds of some residual executive privilege.

It speaks to just how non-existent his grounds were that even the three political hacks that he appointed wouldn't support him on this. If he can't even get them on board....

It will probably depend on whether Roberts can persuade one of his colleagues to go for the stealth kill. If he can't, it will be 'the feds are not allowed to have any role in the conduct of federal elections', simply declaring any and all federal legislation on that matter unconstitutional until further notice (i.e. until a GOP trifecta passes federal anti-voting laws* that will pass SCOTUS with flying colours).

Btw, it looks like SCOTUS is soon going to decide in favor of Ted Cruz on the matter of campaign financing.

*some that force blue states to do what the red states are doing to make voting harder.

They harnassed the anger by putting a girdle on it and diapering it.

https://thegailygrind.com/2020/11/27/former-apprentice-staffer-claims-trump-soiled-himself-on-set-required-diapers/

He is a deeply devout piece of shit Christian however.

"He is a deeply devout piece of shit Christian however."

Christian? More like Trumpian, preferring messiahs that didn't get crucified.

As for the diaper, would it be irresponsible to speculate that horse-paste was involved?

We found that low-conscientiousness liberals, high-conscientiousness liberals and high-conscientiousness conservatives each expressed willingness to share fake news articles to a similar — relatively small — degree. LCCs [low-conscientiousness conservatives] stood out: On average, they were 2.5 times more likely to share misinformation than the combined averages of the other three groups. In other words, it was the combination of conservatism and low conscientiousness that resulted in the greatest likelihood to share misinformation.

We also wanted to understand what, exactly, drives LCCs to spread misinformation. So, in one of the studies, we asked participants to report their leanings on a range of potential influences: level of support for Trump, time spent on social media, distrust of the mainstream media, and endorsement of conservative social and economic values. To our surprise, none of these factors was a reliable predictor of LCCs’ elevated tendency to share false news stories.

Instead, using statistical analysis, we found that the only reliable explanation was a general desire for chaos — that is, a motivation to disregard, disrupt, and take down existing social and political institutions as a means of asserting the dominance and superiority of one’s own group. Participants indicated their appetite for chaos by using a scale to express how much they agreed with statements like, “I think society should be burned to the ground.” For LCCs, we concluded, sharing false information is a vehicle for propagating chaos.

burn it down.

The NYT interviews some independents.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/20/opinion/biden-independent-voters.html

They hate both parties but they seem confused more than anything else.
Defund the police is unpopular with this group. When I have read policy proposals associated with the Defund slogan they make sense to me. But as a political slogan it seems designed to be a marketing disaster for Democrats. We have had this discussion before. But you can’t win with a marketing disaster.

Personally I think the “ word “ moderate” is used most of the time to excuse really stupid ideas or policies and sometimes it has no meaning at all except as a weird form of identity politics. But politically it is a word that has great appeal to many Americans, so I think people who advocate for social democratic policies, a nonracist criminal justice system and a less genocidal foreign policy should couch all of our ideas using terms like “ moderate” and stop flaunting how radical and revolutionary we are except when it might be unavoidable. And it shouldn’t be hard anyway. There is nothing especially Maoist about family leave or guaranteed health care that won’t bankrupt you or cops that don’t beat the crap out of people or not supporting mass murder overseas.

We might have to do something genuinely radical to deal with climate change but I hope not, because Americans aren’t good at being told our lifestyles might have to change. The Green New Deal approach is actually the optimistic view.

burn it down.

Perhaps the enthusiasm of these reactionaries is not, as often suggested (including by me), for the 1950s. Maybe it's for the mid-1960s: 'Burn, baby, burn!"

Doesn't happen that often, but I find myself totally in agreement with Donald here.

I think people who advocate for social democratic policies, a nonracist criminal justice system and a less genocidal foreign policy should couch all of our ideas using terms like “ moderate” and stop flaunting how radical and revolutionary we are

Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Not least because those policies *are not* radical and revolutionary. They are, in fact, moderate.

w D,wj,r s

Not least because those policies *are not* radical and revolutionary. They are, in fact, moderate

But there do seem to be some for whom being "progressive" or "radical" or "liberal"** are very important. Regardless of whether the policies really are.

** To be fair, the same phenomena occurs with self-described conservatives.

Once again, as in many other cases, "defund the police" gets hung around the necks of Democrats in general, even though it's only been endorsed by a minority of them, even if only as a descriptor of a set of policies rather than the policies themselves. Not that I disagree with Donald's point. I'd say that I'm reinforcing his point. It's as though it was designed to be a marketing disaster for Democrats ... by Republicans. You have to admit, they (Republicans) know a good thing when they see it.

There is nothing especially Maoist about family leave or guaranteed health care that won’t bankrupt you or cops that don’t beat the crap out of people or not supporting mass murder overseas.

Seconded. Thirded, even (H/T Snagglepuss)

Or, w D,wj,r,c s

Of course that g was me!

I agree that the Right takes slogans proposed by a minority and runs with them, but in this case, unlike 95 percent of the time, I am partly blaming the far left rather than the center left for why we can’t have nice things. ( Ultimately Republicans are most to blame, but people left of center can sometimes be, um, not helpful sometimes.)

For a brief period of time some parts of the left succeeded in making police brutality and racist policing a central issue, but unfortunately coupled that success with a slogan “ Defund the Police” which might represent some good policy ideas but was almost perfectly designed to scare people once crime rates started to rise. And they have risen and it is now widely believed that it is because we defunded the police. You can’t really win once you are in this position. I have seen arguments that the rise in crime has nothing at all to do with any alleged cutback in police funding, but it doesn’t matter. Emotions matter more than arguments.

"stop flaunting how radical and revolutionary we are"

Who's flaunting?

What, maybe we shouldn't wear a beret when we (for whatever value of "we" applies here) advocate for these utterly moderate policies, because asshole scum conservatives, for whom "disrupting" every fucking institution in America is a daily profession, and who are scared shitless of european haberdashery occasionally worn by utterly moderate citizens who hold utterly moderate policies to be a fulfillment of various half-hearted, moderately-phrased founding documents held behind glass so they can't breath any air that hasn't circulated since 1787.

Take a look at this:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2022/01/20/desantis-admin-cancels-public-health-official/

To do what this genocidal republican pig just did, he must know in his own single-celled brain that he has future elections utterly rigged and stolen and in the bag for subhuman conservatives while moderates gasp to themselves, that, well maybe we shouldn't have been so "radical" and so "revolutionary" as to expect, as a matter of daily common sense and basic human decency, that the goddamned fucking health department might adopt not only the utterly moderate goal of vaccinating the public which entrusted that agency in that dickless, heartless conservative state government with protecting us from fucking sickness and death during a national pandemic emergency, but might EVEN require that agency's employees to take the personal responsibility to get themselves vaccinated and follow other proven protocols to protect themselves and the fucking moderate public from the pandemic's scourge.

Because it's the stinking, fucking radical conservative movement America that is "flouting" their refusal to adhere to even barely moderate measures to protect it's citizens in the name of some bag of shit worldview that has somehow contrived to make itself believe, against all human decency, that the fates of millions of citizens, folks we don't know and it looks like in Florida also their very own so-called family members and friends of state employees, are considered mere "secondary" effects which can be ignored, even encouraged all the way to the fucking grave, perhaps even with bulletholes which they believe moderation deserves in order to keep conservative "Order".

The malignant conservative movement holds all citizens to be the "Other".

Here's what is going to be radical and revolutionary to genocidal vermin like DeSantis and his murderers who populate government agencies and also steal elections (fair elections being a radical, revolutionary concept that won't be tolerated by racist pigfucking conservatives) to further their genocidal murderous behavior in perpetuity: the blood-red tidal wave of unharnessed indiscriminate savage killing violence that will engulf them and send them to dead bloody fucking Hell.

When what must be done is done, it will be looked back on in the history books as a merely responsible, necessary, and moderate measure to protect America and the American people from genocide by our legions of domestic conservative enemies, like incinerating Hiroshima and Nagasaki and firebombing Dresden.

Americans can put lipstick on any whitewashed pig history throws at us.


maybe we shouldn't wear a beret

well, I'm screwed....

The dumbasses in law enforcement never seem to bridle under radical conservative movement demands that their unions be abolished, and their healthcare benefits and pensions cut.

Because they are full of shit.

Because only armed authoritarians, like ICE, who kill and ruin other people's lives, are the only lucky duckies the conservative movment keeps in their fascist pockets by permitting them unions and decent benefits, while the rest of America is cut to the bone.

“ but it doesn’t matter. Emotions matter more than arguments.”

That’s too pessimistic, but once a slogan is out there and the right gets its propaganda machine going it is very difficult to overcome it. I generally side with the far left over the center left on mostmissues, but sometimes our rhetoric is not ideal.

maybe we shouldn't wear a beret

well, I'm screwed....

Made me LOL.

McConnell:

"African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”

Subhuman conservatives are voting in just as high a percentage as human Americans.

The trick is to make sure the votecounters are subhuman conservatives, too.

Gosh, I guess I'm not helping much in the moderation effort.

But I didn't make the rules, did I?

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

"well, I'm screwed...."

We've been begging you to switch to many-galloned cowboy hats so conservatives find themselves saying WRS, without really knowing why.

For a brief period of time some parts of the left succeeded in making police brutality and racist policing a central issue, but unfortunately coupled that success with a slogan “ Defund the Police” which might represent some good policy ideas but was almost perfectly designed to scare people once crime rates started to rise. And they have risen and it is now widely believed that it is because we defunded the police. You can’t really win once you are in this position. I have seen arguments that the rise in crime has nothing at all to do with any alleged cutback in police funding, but it doesn’t matter. Emotions matter more than arguments.

I've been going back through the "Defund the Police" moment to try to understand the dynamics. What I see is that most of the outrage is aimed at The Squad for tweeting about Defund the Police. Except that the tweets I've found from AOC aren't pushing that slogan at all. All she says is that it was used by protesters after their previous attempts to raise the issue were ignored. She doesn't do anything but say what the activists meant and advocate herself for redirecting budgets to mental health and social work and ending qualified immunity. She said that no one can prevent non-politicians from using slogans that are problematic and that politicians should find ways to listen and to turn those concerns into good policy and messaging.

And then Fox says that she and the squad are saying "Defund the Police."

So what Donald said is what AOC was saying, too. Defund the Police and Abolish and the rest are not anyone's idea of a popular slogan to be used for a policy. She's not introducing that language at all, she's answering questions directed to her that use that language and attempting to refocus the conversation on policy solutions.

What the right has done - what it did with CRT as well - is to take any actual policy about policing or about race, and framed it with the hot button trigger phrases Defund or CRT in order to start an amygdala hijack.

This is their explicit strategy on the right. Its aim is to put the left in a bind, where all the good things they do and say are reframed as unpopular things, and the choice is either demonization or silence.

So I say again, the answer is not to cycle into second guessing everything, but to push forward with a different comms strategy and drive the conversation into RW weaknesses instead.

We all agree that the framing was counterproductive, but the circumstances that created it are always with us and this will keep happening until the comms strategies are actually changed to combat the Fox reframing and not to try to prevent anything off-message from making it into the news. The latter is a King Canute proposition.

Justices Sotomayor, Gorsuch, and Roberts respond to the news stories on mask-wearing, or not, by the justices.

"WASHINGTON — In an unusual joint statement on Wednesday, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Neil M. Gorsuch sought to rebut reports that Justice Gorsuch’s refusal to wear a mask at Supreme Court arguments has created tensions between them.

“Reporting that Justice Sotomayor asked Justice Gorsuch to wear a mask surprised us,” the statement said. “It is false. While we may sometimes disagree about the law, we are warm colleagues and friends.”

A few hours later, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. issued his own statement. “I did not request Justice Gorsuch or any other justice to wear a mask on the bench,” he said."
Roberts, Sotomayor and Gorsuch Address Reports of Conflicts Over Masks: Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who has diabetes, has been participating in Supreme Court arguments remotely. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, her seatmate, is the only member of the court who does not wear a mask.

We've been begging you to switch to many-galloned cowboy hats so conservatives find themselves saying WRS, without really knowing why.

I could give it a try, but I think my outdated hipster lingo and penchant for hacking knots would be giveaways.

Plus, whenever I stop for a meat and three and they ask what sides I want, I'm always asking for rapini, potatoes dauphinoise, and kale sauteed in truffle oil with a little grated artisanal parmesan.

So neither Sotomayor nor Roberts asked Gorsuch to wear a mask. Did anyone else ask on behalf of Sotomayor?

I wonder if Sotomayor would attend in person if Gorsuch would agree to wear a mask? Seems like that would be a good question to ask her. If she would answer it would tell us a lot about the situation that remains ambiguous even after the SC statements.

It is the debate over who should be isolated an who should have access in microcosm.

I wonder if Sotomayor would attend in person if Gorsuch would agree to wear a mask?

Or, perhaps, Gorsuch wasn't wearing a mask because Sotomayor wasn't attending in person.

Or, perhaps, Gorsuch wasn't wearing a mask because Sotomayor wasn't attending in person.

Because, after all, nobody else could possible catch covid....

One does have to wonder why it should be necessary to ask one of the Justices to do something that the Court has required of everybody appearing before them.

It's as though it was designed to be a marketing disaster for Democrats ... by Republicans.

it definitely was.

but the D's were trapped and unable to say "no, actually defunding the police is a stupid idea" because they didn't want to piss off their lefty base, a lot of whom who suddenly felt the need to defend the idea.

Plus, whenever I stop for a meat and three and they ask what sides I want, I'm always asking for rapini, potatoes dauphinoise, and kale sauteed in truffle oil with a little grated artisanal parmesan.

I can't believe I used to like you.

...suddenly felt the need to defend the idea.

Part of the problem is figuring what "the idea" even is in a given person's mind.

If by "lefty base" you mean the people protesting police murder. They came pre-pissed for reasons we can all grasp.

The idea they were defending was "something must be done to stop the legally authorized slaughter of black people."

Black activists feel their problems are being ignored and marginalized and that, along with the actual violence being perpetrated against them, is the source of the anger.

But black anger is inconvenient for Democratic messaging because it scares everyone else (except the American Indians, who are shaking their heads knowingly). And that is the same as it was since Baldwin and Ellison tried to give words to what it feels like to have to live in that skin.

Same as it ever was.

I see a lot of desire to soothe the fears of those who are terrified of black anger, but I don't see much effort to try to do it in a way that acknowledges the righteousness of that anger. That is a problem.

If I have "lefty anger" it's on behalf of the kids in my class who are scared of being murdered by society's sanctioned enforcers because the color of their skin scares people.

We will not be able to actually fix our problem until we can make their story the center of the conversation and get the people who are scared to stop listening to their fear and actually imagine themselves in the position my kids are in and feel *that* fear for a while.

Keeping it off camera won't ever get us there.

Circling back to Baldwin and Ellison for a moment. The right is fully attacking CRT at the moment because they live in fear of kids reading Baldwin and Ellison and actually feeling what it's like to live in that skin for a moment. The "my kids shouldn't be made to feel guilty for being white" thing *is* "we should not be asked to listen to what it is like to be black."

If by "lefty base" you mean the people protesting police murder. They came pre-pissed for reasons we can all grasp.

The idea they were defending was "something must be done to stop the legally authorized slaughter of black people."

As everybody seemed to be making clear, the problem was NOT that they were defending that idea. The problem was that they felt impelled to defend the LABEL of "defund the police."

Nobody *defended the label.* What they did was try to say what policies were entailed in that and have a discussion about those policies as responses to the problems that led to those murders.

When did you stop beating your wife?

Same thing.

If by "lefty base" you mean the people protesting police murder. They came pre-pissed for reasons we can all grasp.

i mean people who literally started defending the literal phrase "defund the police", for whatever reason, pretending it doesn't mean what the words literally meant, thus giving the GOP's attacks meat and putting Dem pols in a bind.

Nobody *defended the label.*

it happened right here, several times.

and you're doing it here right now by pretending the argument is about police behavior. it wasn't. the argument the GOP started was about the literal phrase. and because some people wouldn't just roll their eyes every time they brought it up, but had to get all "but actuallllllly....", the GOP was able to say "See! We told you!"

if you're explaining, you're losing.

the GOP didn't make Dems start explaining. but Dems did it anyway.

Echoes.

Late May, 2020. I posted a snippet of video that so captured the anguish of black people that I couldn't even talk about it without crying. Less than two hours later cleek was writing about the violence of the protestors. He and I got in a spat. I.e. just as nous described above, we couldn't possibly focus on black anguish without changing the subject.

Around that same tim lj posted the thread on White Fragility. I left the scene for three months out of total frustration.

nous -- I admire you more than I can say.

Many black communities are in a quandary. They fear the police. And they fear not having the police.

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee approved antitrust legislation sponsored by Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) that would require Apple, Meta (Facebook), Amazon, and Alphabet (Google) to effectively separate the platform and application portions of their businesses. I will be fascinated to see how far up the software stack they try to push "platform". Eg, is Facebook a platform, or only the very large compute and storage farms it runs on?

Less than two hours later cleek was writing about the violence of the protestors.

don't give me that "white fragility" bullshit. an acquaintance of mine had her fucking store destroyed by that violence and was in anguish about it. and she's an actual person, not some cardboard cutout for you to assign feelings to in order to bolster some academic model you're trying to model reality around.

and with that....

imma take a break.

you know where to find me if you need to.

I don't think it's about discounting your friend's feelings. I think it's about her feelings not being relevant to the anguish Black people were feeling, which was the topic of Janie's post.

Why change the subject to that, especially right out of the box? I could see it if there was a long discussion that naturally meandered it's way to people being victimized by rioters and looters, but it hadn't remotely gone there.

Oh, well. I guess it doesn't matter now.

don't give me that "white fragility" bullshit. an acquaintance of mine had her fucking store destroyed by that violence and was in anguish about it. and she's an actual person, not some cardboard cutout for you to assign feelings to in order to bolster some academic model you're trying to model reality around.

Who gets to count as people and who gets written off as noise is precisely the point we have been trying to talk about. This appears to be the answer.

The amygdala hijack is continuing to do its work, and the blame continues to be shifted.

My understanding is that defund the police isn’t that popular a slogan with much of the Black community, but the majority support reallocating funds. Which is what the slogan was meant to convey, I think. But it doesn’t convey that meaning to many people.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/03/07/usa-today-ipsos-poll-just-18-support-defund-police-movement/4599232001/

I understand what nous is saying in part because it applies to the issues I rant about too. I write a few paragraphs and deleted them. Too much of a threadjack. Some other time.

I wrote a few paragraphs, not I write a few paragraphs. Kind of anal for me to type a correction, but it grated on me.

I wrote a few paragraphs, not I write a few paragraphs. Kind of anal for me to type a correction, but it grated on me.

I feel seen.

the argument the GOP started was about the literal phrase.

Wrote a long response to this, but it boils down to this:

No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t about the literal phrase, it was about whose lives matter, and about where, in the conflicts that arise between cops and the communities they are supposed to serve, your interests and sympathies lie.

Were we to decide to redirect resources currently given to cops to other kinds of first responders, that would most likely reduce the resources allocated to cops. It would defund the police, literally. And there are good arguments for doing that, especially in certain contexts.

It is what it is. And how people respond to that tells a lot about them, and is also kind of on them.

We live, these days, in an atmosphere of the most toxic public language imaginable. “Defund the police” as a formulation seems almost innocuous in comparison. I’m fine with choosing language that isn’t deliberately and unnecessarily provocative, but there’s only so far you can go without totally neutralizing the substance of what you mean to say.

The phrase “black lives matter” - just the phrase - outrages no small number of people. Think about the actual content of that phrase and tell me a more anodyne way to say it.

Some folks are just going to take offense, no matter what you say.

Many black communities are in a quandary. They fear the police. And they fear not having the police.

Luckily for all of us, there is a solution to that. And it doesn’t require eliminating police forces.

Think we could get there without anybody losing their freaking minds?

Also -

Hey Michael Cain, would be up for a front page post about your 4:30?

I think it would be of interest. It would to me, anyway.

Thank you!

"defund the police"

Is this where I can bring up Goodwin's Law?

Take a deep breath, folks. Concentrate on the enemy: The American right wing*.

*I used that term instead of 'conservatives' just to nudge/persuade wj into the radical left fold.

Funny enough, my juxtaposing the link to my post that day with lj's white fragility post had the opposite valence from the one cleek assigns to it.

I wanted nothing to do with the white fragility discussion and stayed out of it. Not least because I didn't want to spend an hour and a half listening to a white woman talk about white people. Which to me is just another way to approach not talking about black pain and anguish. I realize it's more complicated than that, but that was where i was at the time.

I'm reading Caste this month because it's our book group choice and I'm the facilitator. I found it slow at the start, now fascinating in a horribly depressing way. I'll finish it, unlike some other books along the same lines.

And I never intended, then or now, to minimize the anguish of cleek's friend, nor did I make any attempt to assign feelings to her. Hsh made the point that has been on my mind ever since: we can't talk about what black people have endured in this country for five minutes without someone changing the subject. When the thing it gets immediately changed to involves black misbehavior and white people's pain, all the better.

Police, like everyone else, respond to incentives. They tend to focus on crimes with the greatest rewards financially and in positive publicity. They're even knocking over armored trucks now. This while in many jurisdictions the clearance rate for homicides is abysmally low.

So I say again, the answer is not to cycle into second guessing everything, but to push forward with a different comms strategy and drive the conversation into RW weaknesses instead.

We all agree that the framing was counterproductive, but the circumstances that created it are always with us and this will keep happening until the comms strategies are actually changed to combat the Fox reframing and not to try to prevent anything off-message from making it into the news.

I just want to say that this of nous's, plus something else he said earlier, is IMO the best thing that the Dems (we) could do. Rapid pushback on all propaganda twisting Dem messaging on Fox and elsewhere, hammered again and again, plus immediate concentration on R weaknesses.

Nobody *defended the label.*

it happened right here, several times.

I'm not sure where the line is being drawn between defending a label and explaining what it means and why it came about. My take is essentially the same as nous and if my comments were taken as 'defending the label', that's a misreading.

All this is largely academic for me, I'm on the other side of the world, so pretty much all I got is trying to explain what things mean. But, as JanieM notes

we can't talk about what black people have endured in this country for five minutes without someone changing the subject. When the thing it gets immediately changed to involves black misbehavior and white people's pain, all the better.

If there is an alternate way to get into discussing this, I'm all ears. To me, looking at it from a distance, it is what really screws up any national discourse. This isn't to say that other countries don't have problems, but we primarily talk about the US here.

Perhaps 'white fragility', 'defund the police' and 'allyship' are just mottos that people with privilege use performatively. If so, what ideas should liberals get behind in order to create change. It's pretty clear that quoting MLK isn't going to do it.

the comms strategies are actually changed to combat the Fox reframing and not to try to prevent anything off-message from making it into the news.

Fox reframing has an advantage, in that they aren't tied to the truth. But even if the same truth free attitude were adopted by the left, I've noted before, it is not simply the Fox reframing, it is the way the media landscape has evolved. There are people who say, and I don't think that they are lying, that they never watch Fox, yet come out with stuff that seems packaged by them. It seems to me that the facebook algorithms are driving a lot of this and we are screaming about it here cause we are in that demographic. There's been a spate of articles about Gen-Z that you can get if you google and there will be an article in there to support your own conclusions, whatever they may be.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_views_of_Generation_Z

Related to that is this
https://prospect.org/power/democratic-dilemma-on-dark-money/

One challenge of hiding donors is that it makes it more difficult for the public to assess which organizations authentically speak for the communities they purport to, and which are just pet projects of the rich or schemes by companies.

Beginning in 2017, tens of millions of dollars were poured into a generic-sounding social welfare group called Generation Now, which funded TV ads, mailers, and flyers in Ohio to pass a bill that would subsidize an energy company’s power plants. It was only after an FBI wiretap and federal indictment of state lawmakers for bribery and corruption that the public learned the ads had been funded by affiliates of the energy company itself. Or take Patients for Affordable Drugs, which sounds grassroots, but is really a highly controlled lobbying entity backed by millions from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

When you don't know why someone is saying something, it's really hard to evalutate it.

There is a way to square that circle, but I don't think anyone would like it a lot.
https://www.dw.com/en/china-surveillance-state-or-way-of-the-future/a-59137022

Take a deep breath, folks. Concentrate on the enemy: The American right wing*.

Amen.

I don't know how any strategy other than pushback and counter could work. As hairshirthedonist said earlier:

Even if you can find them, you can always pay people to play-act as cartoonish lefty loons. Some people might do it just for the laughs.

All it takes is for one person on line to post or do something that can be co-opted as a threat for RW propaganda purposes and the creation of a hashtag. Doesn't matter the content or the identity of the "people" using the hashtag. Get it to trend enough to seem viral and the threat seems imminent.

Then the YouTubers and Tik Tokers who brand themselves as "free thinkers who used to be liberals before they became totalitarians." Get to come in and say how this latest viral trend is just more evidence of how bad things have gotten to reinforce the sense that everyone reasonable has abandoned the far left (by which they mean Biden and anyone else left of Manchin).

Have we not all borne witness to this as it happened?

Comms need to just flow around these astroturf outrages and push into territory that the RW will feel compelled to defend.

That's what BoJo is facing right now. Do more of that.

If so, what ideas should liberals get behind in order to create change.

I've said before that Black Lives Matter is an excellent slogan, and idea.

Also:

A fair deal for workers.

Also:

The right thinks there must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

We say the law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone, and cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.

Italiexo!

I've said before that Black Lives Matter is an excellent slogan, and idea.

You'd think, but even that got spun. (cf: All lives/Blue lives)

When you get to that level of denial, the problem doesn't seem to be in selecting the right slogans....

I saw a bumper sticker just the other day that said "Blue lives matter."

Remember in 2008 when the RW weaponized "community organizer" to be some sort of marxist stalking horse?

America responds to the experience of black Americans:

"Yeah, but what about [insert some other demographic here]?!?".

It's like we need to have some kind of equal time rule for communities in distress.

I'm actually not sure "Black Lives Matter" is a great slogan. "Stop Killing Us" seems more on point, and avoids the comparison to every other demographic on the planet who feel, somehow, slighted by the idea of someone else's life mattering as much as theirs.

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