Moral Action in Trump’s America

I’m way deep in a big project, and rather significantly behind on it too, so my blogging for the next few months is going to be quick-hit stuff rather than anything thought through.  I’ll try to make up for that by making it as regular a practice as I can to toss good reads your way.

Todays comes from Masha Gessen, someone y’all know I greatly admire.  About a week ago she posted a piece on The New York Review of Books site.  In it, she asks if the realist stance in politics can function in the context of Trump.  To find out, she looks to her own family history — including choices she made — to answer no.  She takes no prisoners:

In Bialystok ghetto, my great-grandfather’s responsibility in the Judenrat was to ensure that the ghetto was supplied with food. He ran the trucks that brought food in and took garbage out, he ran the canteen and supervised the community gardens that a group of young socialists planted. He also discouraged the young socialists from trying to organize a resistance movement: it would be of no use and would only jeopardize the ghetto’s inhabitants. It took him almost two years to change his mind about the resistance efforts, as he slowly lost hope that the Judenrat, by generally following the rules and keeping the ghetto inhabitants in line, would be able to save at least some of them.

As in other ghettos, the Judenrat was ultimately given the task of compiling the lists of Jews to be “liquidated.” The Bialystok Judenrat accepted the job, and there is every indication that my great-grandfather took part in the process. The arguments in defense of producing the list, in Bialystok and elsewhere, were pragmatic: the killing was going to occur anyway; by cooperating, the Judenrat could try to reduce the number of people the Nazis were planning to kill (in Bialystok, this worked, though in the end the ghetto, like all other ghettos, was “liquidated”); by compiling the lists, the Judenrat could prevent random killing, instead choosing to sacrifice those who were already near death from disease or starvation. These were strong arguments. There is always a strong argument.

But what if the Jews had refused to cooperate?

640px-le_brun_charles_-_horatius_cocles_defending_the_bridge_-_google_art_project

Was Arendt right that fewer people might have died? Was Trunk right that Judenrat activities had no effect on the final outcome? Or would mass murder of Jews have occurred earlier if Jews had refused to manage their own existence in the ghetto? We cannot know for certain, any more than we can know now whether a scorched-earth strategy or the strategy of compromise would more effectively mitigate Trumpism. But that does not mean that a choice—the right choice—is impossible. It only means that we are asking the wrong question.

The right question…or better, the right stance, the right scale on which to weigh any choice of action?

We cannot know what political strategy, if any, can be effective in containing, rather than abetting, the threat that a Trump administration now poses to some of our most fundamental democratic principles. But we can know what is right. What separates Americans in 2016 from Europeans in the 1940s and 1950s is a little bit of historical time but a whole lot of historical knowledge….

Armed with that knowledge, or burdened with that legacy, we have a slight chance of making better choices. As Trump torpedoes into the presidency, we need to shift from realist to moral reasoning. That would mean, at minimum, thinking about the right thing to do, now and in the imaginable future. It is also a good idea to have a trusted friend capable of reminding you when you are about to lose your sense of right and wrong.

I’m convinced Gessen is correct.  More, I believe her demand that we make the moral choice first, and then pursue whatever particular tactic seems most likely to embody that choice, will be the most effective, as well as the right thing to do.  A Democratic response to Trump that says we can make this work a little better enshrines Trumpism, and all the vicious GOP assumptions as the ground on which such matters get decided.  One that says “No. This is wrong.  Democrats will oppose, not mitigate…” is the one that creates a real choice going forward on the ground on which we want to fight.

Read the whole thing.

Image: Charles Le Brun, Horatius Cocles Defending the Bridgec. 1642/3 (I know it’s not dead on point, but it’s close, and I always loved the story, so there.)

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147 replies
  1. 1
    Mnemosyne says:

    This is only my tiny little choice, but I have decided to only spend my money in blue states as much as possible. In pursuit of this, I just ordered a new purse/messenger bag from Tom Bihn in Seattle. Not only is their company located in a blue state, but their factory is there, too.

    I’m stuck going to Disneyworld in Florida this spring because it’s the only way the Devil Woman will let me see my nieces but, after that, only blue states will be getting my travel dollars. If red states don’t want my filthy liberal lucre, I won’t force it on them.

  2. 2
    Betty Cracker says:

    A Democratic response to Trump that says we can make this work a little better enshrines Trumpism, and all the vicious GOP assumptions as the ground on which such matters get decided. One that says “No. This is wrong. Democrats will oppose, not mitigate…” is the one that creates a real choice going forward on the ground on which we want to fight.

    That makes sense to me to. Resist, resist, resist. And hunker down and help the people in your communities who are most vulnerable. I’m doing that in my small way, and it’s the only thing that gives me any hope at all, TBH.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    We honestly don’t have a choice but to obstruct and say no.

    Just exactly what we are supposed to compromise on?

    The removal of healthcare for 20 million Americans?

    The Muslim Registry?

    Seeing, what, a million DREAMERS thrown out of this country and families torn apart?

    The destruction of the American Social Safety Net?

    The taking away of abortion and a woman’s right to self-determination?

    Just say OK, when a RACIST, in word and professional deed, is nominated to become the CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THIS COUNTRY?

    Just be OK with a White Supremacist and Anti-Semite in the White House holding a FORMAL Advisor position?

    I’m curious, just what the phuck do people believe I’m supposed to compromise with these muthaphuckas?

  4. 4
    WereBear says:

    For one thing, there’s a name for people who cooperated…

  5. 5
    hovercraft says:

    Wednesday’s Campaign Round-Up, 12.7.16

    By Steve Benen
    * Members of Trump’s transition team are required to sign “a non-disclosure agreement to make certain they keep all of their work confidential.”

    * Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) announced this morning he will resign from Congress if he’s chosen as DNC chair in order to focus solely on his party duties.

    * Hillary Clinton’s lead in the national popular vote yesterday surpassed 2.7 million. At some point, the political world really ought to have a conversation about this.

    * With Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) likely to become the next U.S. Ambassador to China, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is apparently interested in a possible gubernatorial campaign in his home state.

    ETA: These are all things we must fight, the selection of a cabinet is supposed to be transparent, where is the outrage?
    Hillary won the popular vote, why is the GOP and the media telling us to shut up about a meaningless statistic? That’s 2.7 million real people who voted for her.
    And Iowa may be lost at the presidential level, but surely we can stop Steve Cantelope King from becoming governor?

  6. 6
    kindness says:

    Gessen is correct except…..(there is always an except nowdays) we could never expect the MSM to air our views correctly. They don’t. They won’t. Look at what they KNOWINGLY spent all their time in during this last election. So….we will fight because our survival is at stake. Initially the media will report this as it is us who are being ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘poor losers’ (because of course they will). The MSM won’t even start reporting accurately when many of their own start ‘disappearing’ or being publicly fired and drummed out of the media. We are on our own for the next 3 to 4 years.

  7. 7

    I am often not a fan of moral reasoning. In ordinary times, it can obscure correct courses of action on any given policy.

    This is not one of those times. The political movement that Trump represents is so dangerous and so abhorrent that any collaboration is automatically ethically suspect, and the lift required to raise it out of that swamp so heavy that it is effectively impossible. No “I would work with him on stimulus but not this stimulus” attitude. Only “I will never work with him.”

  8. 8
    Mnemosyne says:

    @hovercraft:

    Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) announced this morning he will resign from Congress if he’s chosen as DNC chair in order to focus solely on his party duties.

    Phew! That was my only major concern with his possible appointment. Being the head of the RNC isn’t a part-time ceremonial job, so why was the DNC set up that way?

  9. 9
    Patricia Kayden says:

    The Bialystok Judenrat accepted the job, and there is every indication that my great-grandfather took part in the process.

    Sigh. Never again.

  10. 10
    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: This is a very good point.

    People will want to visit a state where they feel safe; won’t run the risk of embarrassment or worse if they are an interracial/gay group or couple, and just how many people want to see bad science (Creation Museum) and polluted wilderness?

  11. 11
    Stan says:

    Resist and disrupt.

    Disruption is crucial. Locally a group of activists is planning a rally inside an armory building. Big mistake – no one will care that a bunch of lefties made each other feel good inside an armory. yes, folks need to feel fired up and good if they are going to go on and do other things. But that’s all that will accomplish.

    Take the rally to a target and disrupt the hell out of it.

    Go to DC on Jan 20 or 21 or both. Boycott selected companies. Picket trump tower every day. etc etc.

  12. 12
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @hovercraft:

    * Hillary Clinton’s lead in the national popular vote yesterday surpassed 2.7 million. At some point, the political world really ought to have a conversation about this.

    You already know what the response of the MSM/Republicans will be: “Mrs. Clinton’s lead in the blue state of California is meaningless. Those aren’t real Americans anyways. Who cares about the votes of West Coast elitists?”

  13. 13
    ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    @Betty Cracker:
    @rikyrah:
    All 3 of you are right. There are many ways to resist. Employ as many as you can and that you feel comfortable enough with so that you can do them as long as possible.

  14. 14
    Roger Moore says:

    @kindness:

    Gessen is correct except…..(there is always an except nowdays) we could never expect the MSM to air our views correctly.

    I don’t think that matters in the slightest. If the MSM won’t honestly report what’s going on, the rest of us will have to bypass them and get the word out through other means.

  15. 15
    Cermet says:

    AS the Borg! have often told their victims – “Resistance is futile.” Ok, maybe not for the Federation … .
    Seriously, the thugs showed the only logical path – say no to everything and never give in. As the structure collapses, you are left standing to pick up the pieces. Lets hope it doesn’t go that far with the un-elected but selected dump.

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: Not to stifle discussion on this now, but I do plan to put up a thread on that a bit later.

  17. 17
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    In pursuit of this, I just ordered a new purse/messenger bag from Tom Bihn in Seattle. Not only is their company located in a blue state, but their factory is there, too.

    I would suggest you look at one of their cafe bags as well; I love my small cafe bag. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’ve visited their factory, since my brother-in-law (listed on their web site as “bee keeper”) helps them out occasionally with tricky sewing machine stuff. They aren’t joking about having the best, most experienced people doing their sewing, and they pay them well enough to keep them from going anywhere else.

  18. 18
    WereBear says:

    @Roger Moore: We no longer watch television news and Mr WereBear gave up the local paper.

  19. 19
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Cermet: Indeed. McConnell et al. gave us the blueprint. It’s existentially important we understand it.

  20. 20
    Botsplainer says:

    When a carrier takes a pounding at Taiwan sometime in the next 18 months, it might be interesting to see how families will react to “your sailor/marine died or is grievously wounded because the President wanted to have a casino in Taipei.

    That’s some genuine Aurora shit there. I’m really going to rely on the Navy to set things right, ultimately.

  21. 21
    Botsplainer says:

    When a carrier takes a pounding at Taiwan sometime in the next 18 months, it might be interesting to see how families will react to “your sailor/marine died or is grievously wounded because the President wanted to have a cas!no in Taipei.”

    That’s some genuine Aurora shit there. I’m really going to rely on the Navy to set things right, ultimately.

  22. 22
    D58826 says:

    Well Schumer is saying H+++LL no and so is Nancy. Just remains to be seen if the results of Nov 8th implanted a backbone in the Congressional democrats or if it is just the usual talk.

  23. 23
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s lovely!
    I signed up for their newsletter–lots of cool stuff there.
    My little bit–just bought a pair of sandals from Keen (based out of Portland, OR) for an upcoming beach trip.

  24. 24
    Brachiator says:

    @Patricia Kayden: RE: * Hillary Clinton’s lead in the national popular vote yesterday surpassed 2.7 million. At some point, the political world really ought to have a conversation about this.

    You already know what the response of the MSM/Republicans will be

    No, the answer will be, “that’s a great answer to a trivia question, but irrelevant to political reality.”

  25. 25
    Ksmiami says:

    I’m not spending beyond food, utilities and a few family gifts. This country has determined that my opinions don’t matter nor my belief in scientific fact so fuck them they don’t get my money.

  26. 26
    Calouste says:

    the threat that a Trump administration now poses to some of our most fundamental democratic principles.

    Not just the Trump administration. 46% of the American voters looked at that semi-fascist kleptocrat and said “yeah, I’ll have that”. At least the Germans in the 1930s had the excuse that whole Nazi thing was new and had never been seen before. Americans don’t have that excuse.

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I was looking at a small Cafe bag for quite a while but it never really caught my fancy. I saw this one and was like, “Send it to me now!”

    I’m trying to get G to buy a Ristretto or Cafe bag. He’s been complaining about his current Levenger bag because it only has a magnetic closure so it tends to sag open if he tries to put his iPad and a notebook in at the same time

  28. 28
    Brachiator says:

    Quick question. Why is there apparently little Democratic Party interest in the Saturday senate election in Louisiana?

  29. 29

    @Calouste: The Germans had also suffered a bruising defeat in WWI and dealing with an economic collapse. Their desperation was more understandable in my opinion.

  30. 30
    Gator90 says:

    @Mnemosyne: We may have discussed this before, but I’m going to respectfully insist that a state (namely Florida) that Barack Hussein Obama carried twice and which went for Trump by a less than 2 percent margin is not a “red state.”

    Don’t give up on Florida! We’re not irredeemable!

  31. 31

    @Brachiator: I’ve been pounding people on that and making calls for a week. Dunno.

  32. 32
    D58826 says:

    Gen John kelly for homland security
    and the OK. AG – scott pruitt for epa

  33. 33
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @Brachiator: What are you basing the question on?

  34. 34
    D58826 says:

    President-elect Donald Trump has picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Reuters reported Wednesday.
    Pruitt has been a vocal critic of EPA regulations and defender of fossil fuel interests. The New York Times reported in 2014 that lawyers for Devon Energy, one of his state’s biggest oil and gas companies, had authored letter he sent to the EPA criticizing estimates on emissions from natural gas drilling sites.

    from huffington

    there will be a run on gas masks as air pollution goes up

    and the lede from huffington – .Donald Trump Taps Border Hawk And Retired Gen. John Kelly To Head DHS

    The president-elect’s Cabinet is shaping up to be a team of generals and billionaires.

    sieg heil.

  35. 35
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap: Given that the race is in Louisiana, it’s probably smart for the Democratic Party and non-Louisiana political players not to make a big show of backing Campbell. I hope they’re helping out behind the scenes. I sent his campaign a few bucks.

  36. 36
    hovercraft says:

    Nancy Letourneau has a post expanding on the Josh Marshall post I left downstairs.
    What a Minority Does to Maintain Power

    Josh Marshall is right to point to this article by Michael Barone as an important indicator of what is driving our politics these days. Noting that Clinton will win the state of California by something like 62 points, Barone literally warns that without the electoral college, white America would be colonialized by “those people” in California……

    This is precisely why I have been saying for a while now that, if you want to understand the nexus of what Republicans are up to these days, you should read Zachary Roth’s book, The Great Suppression: Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy. In it he describes what is motivating much of their agenda.

    Today’s conservatives have no such confidence that the people are on their side. In fact, they are beginning to perceive that they’re in the minority – perhaps more glaringly than ever before. And yet this realization has brought with it another more hopeful one: being outnumbered doesn’t have to mean losing.

    That is the tie that binds everything from voter suppression, to reliance on the filibuster during the Obama years, to gerrymandering, to preemption and judicial engagement. I would add a couple of things to that list, like a reliance on right wing (and now fake) news as well as strategies used by leaders like Paul Ryan to financially undermine Medicare in order to make a case for privatization. If Republicans were convinced that the majority of people were on their side, they wouldn’t have to rely on distortions.

    As Roth documents so thoroughly, Barone is right that Republicans are aligning themselves with the Framers of our constitution – before it was amended. Just as Barone fears the idea of “heartland (read: white) Christians” being overrun by “culturally distinct” Californians, our founders feared “mob rule.”

    Hamilton said the system should allow the ‘rich and the well born’ to maintain their supremacy, since they would oppose radical change pushed by ‘the many.’ The goal, he said, was to ‘check the imprudence of democracy.’

    Much of the work of perfecting our union via amendments to the document they created has been about efforts to undo the supremacy of “the rich and the well born” (read: rich white men).

    We know what their strategy for holding onto power is, we know that the media has been coopted into giving them a pass on all of their antidemocratic maneuvering, so now we must devise ways to get around them both. We have to make them own the next two years, if we can fight them to a draw in a midterm year where we have many more ‘red’ seats up, then we will be ready for 2020, when the fight will be for the Whitehouse, but just as importantly redistricting. We have a few more weeks to vent and grieve, but come January 20 we must be ready to resist them all. We will have some powerful allies on some things (hospitals, AARP), but on others they will have powerful allies on theirs, the Fight for Fifteen has showed us how to fight the odds, they are winning slowly.

  37. 37
    hovercraft says:

    Can someone check the spam filter for my last post, please, it just disappeared. Thanks.

  38. 38
    gogol's wife says:

    @Calouste:

    Americans have no excuses. Compared to what Germany had been through before Hitler, or what Russia had been through before Putin, we’ve been living in a paradise, which has only gotten better over the last 8 years.

  39. 39
    artem1s says:

    I’m pretty sure these people were told their movement was futile a couple of years ago. Moral Mondays managed not only to outmaneuver a very powerful Governor, but also get positive media attention for what they were doing. I hope the DNC is paying attention to this template.
    http://shareblue.com/the-succe.....esistance/

  40. 40
    Brachiator says:

    These are some good, tough questions about resistance. I live in California, where we have a super majority in the state legislature, with Democrats in the top spots in state offices. I presume that this will provide for pushback. But the question is, exactly what will Trump do after January 20?

    The other potentially big question is, how much of a political civil war might we have. A plurality of the people, Trump’s base, seem to be excited and happy at his election. They were not duped or fooled. They want what he’s selling.

  41. 41
    hovercraft says:

    @Brachiator:

    With only a few days remaining before Louisiana’s U.S. Senate runoff election, a Tulane University/Lucid poll shows John Neely Kennedy (R) with a big lead over Foster Campbell (D).

    * In related news, Donald Trump is scheduled to appear in Louisiana on Friday, the day before the election, potentially giving Kennedy a last-minute boost. Mike Pence, the vice president-elect, campaigned for Kennedy in Louisiana last weekend.

    In the poll, it says that a third of the people who say they voted for Hillary are going to vote for Kennedy, so they don’t think he stands a chance.

  42. 42
    Roger Moore says:

    @Calouste:

    Not just the Trump administration. 46% of the American voters looked at that semi-fascist kleptocrat and said “yeah, I’ll have that”. At least the Germans in the 1930s had the excuse that whole Nazi thing was new and had never been seen before.

    And only about 33% of the Germans actually voted for the Nazis. They were the plurality party in the election, but they were even further from a majority than Trump. They just didn’t let that stop them from taking control of the country.

  43. 43
    trollhattan says:

    @hovercraft:
    Good news about Ellison, I think. As to Rep. Steve King, I think IOL will agree with me that he’ll get his arse handed to him in a statewide race, as the city folk will take a dim view of his Krazy ideas. Here’s hoping, anyway.

  44. 44
    Mike in dc says:

    The real GOP playbook in 2009-2010 was to give lip service to considering the policy initiatives of Obama and the Democrats in Congress, and then to oppose them across the board in practice. Sounds like a workable plan to me. “We would have worked with them if they had a reasonable proppsal” should be the response to the inevitable media queries.

  45. 45
    trollhattan says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    But Trump won by convincing his new minions that we’re living in a hellscape that only he, Trump can fix. Clearly, these folks don’t travel.

  46. 46
    germy says:

    @Brachiator:

    They were not duped or fooled. They want what he’s selling.

    Not sure how happy they’ll be when Ryan takes away their medicare and social security.

    They were more worried about Obama and HRC coming for their guns.

  47. 47
    D58826 says:

    @trollhattan: @trollhattan: On the other hand if he wins then it’s just the folks in Iowa who have to put up with him. Get him off national TV. MAybe he will be replaced by someone who is only 3/4 crazy

  48. 48
    hovercraft says:

    @Brachiator:

    No, the answer will be, “that’s a great answer to a trivia question, but irrelevant to political reality.”

    But they kept telling us that we would have to magnanimous winners, because 40 % of the country would have voted for the shitgibbon. We were told that in an evenly split country there would be no mandate. It’s funny how those rules only apply when democrats win, we don’t get mandates, we get split decisions, even with a knockout, they are awarded the knockout even when any objective observer can see they lost.

  49. 49
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    They were not duped or fooled. They want what he’s selling.

    The problem is that they’re going to get something very different from what he was selling. That’s what con men do. They may convince themselves that they like the shit sandwich they’re being served instead of a hamburger, but that doesn’t mean it’s what they ordered.

  50. 50

    I think the most accurate theory of the election is not that Democrats didn’t communicate what we’re all about (helping people, social insurance, diversity, peace) but that working class white people heard it loud and clear and rejected it. Useful to keep in mind for moral clarity.

  51. 51
    trollhattan says:

    @hovercraft:
    That’s just weird, Hillary voters jumping to a Republican? A Louisiana Republican?!? Do they not remember Bobby Jindal?

  52. 52

    @hovercraft: They don’t get it if we don’t give it to them. That’s why its necessary for us to push back on the dominant media narrative. Its clear they are all GOP stooges even the sainted NYT.

  53. 53
    germy says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The problem is that they’re going to get something very different from what he was selling. That’s what con men do.

    the nice young used car salesman told me the car was in mint condition; only driven by an old lady on weekends, and impeccably maintained.

    Then it broke down about three miles from the dealership. He’s not returning my calls.

  54. 54
    trollhattan says:

    @D58826:
    Yeah, that’s something to ponder. Our county sheriff narrowly lost his bid to unseat a local Dem congressman so we’re stuck with a gun-lovin’ butt-grabbin’ sheriff while depriving congress of a Trumpster. Touch choice!

  55. 55
    Roger Moore says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I think a slightly better theory is that there is a group of voters that swings depending on the state of the economy. When things suck, they vote based on their economic interests. When things are going well, they feel comfortable enough to engage in culture wars.

  56. 56
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Where are the liberal of radio stations (hundreds), cable channels, and broadcast that will get our message out ?

    Expect the MSM to get our message out.

    Rick Perlstein says:

    Meet the Press
    The hustlers, hucksters, hacks, and cowards who helped elect Donald Trump

    Read it here.

    Harvard says:

    News Coverage of the 2016 General Election: How the Press Failed the Voters

    Read it here.

    We have no way of getting any message out. Until this problem is solved we are at a distinct disadvantage.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap:

    What are you basing the question on?

    There was a Rachel Maddow segment which talked about how Pence and Trump were going down to Louisiana on Friday to stump for the Republican, and implied that there had not been strong showings of support for the Democratic candidate by the party officials.

    I have not been following this race, so I don’t know how true it is. Nor do I know that much about either candidate or if the contest is close or projected to be a blowout.

  58. 58

    @hovercraft: How much do we trust this poll?

  59. 59

    @Roger Moore: I think this is not inaccurate.

  60. 60
    Poopyman says:

    A couple of things:

    – The number of people who voted for Trump (62.788M last I saw) should be divided by the number of eligible voters, which Google tells me is 219M. That makes his “plurality” only 28.7%, versus Clinton’s 65.435M or 29.9%. This is before the recount, however.

    – Digby had an article last Saturday, I think, linking to the Centre for Applied NonViolent Actions and Strategies (CANVAS), which despite an obviously English name/acronym, is actually created by a couple of the founders of the Serbian Resistance that took down Milosevic.

    Who We Are

    Headquartered in Belgrade, CANVAS is run by Slobodan Djinovic and Srdja Popovic. It has five full time employees and operates a network of international trainers and consultants with experience of successful democratic movements. CANVAS is a non-profit institution which relies solely on private funding; there is no charge for workshops and revolutionary know-how can be downloaded for free on the Internet.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an overlap/communication between them and Moral Mondays. Regardless, it might be useful to file their contact info away.

  61. 61
    geg6 says:

    Personally, I’m just going to take care of myself and mine for now. I have been threatened with bodily harm for standing up for my principles in public. I believed the people who made such threats. I am terrified and completely depressed. I would go to a counselor or something, but around here, most of them are very Christian and I’m afraid everyone has voted for Trump and cannot trust anyone. My co-workers, I’m not worried about but we’re a liberal pond in a big Trumpist landscape and even here there are Trumpers. Everyone else around me is suspect, almost all for very good reason. 57% of the people in my county voted for Trump. I don’t know how to wrap my mind around that. And every one of those people has been emboldened in all their worst traits. It’s truly terrifying and I’m an educated middle class white woman of English/Irish/German extraction. I can’t imagine how it feels for those not as fortunate economically or ethnically.

  62. 62
    hovercraft says:

    @D58826:

    They had a meeting yesterday with Pence about repealing Obamacare, and now they are clear as mud about the road forward.

    “The view on that probably is in a constant state of evolution, based on who you talk to,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 GOP leader. “The question is: What’s that duration? Structurally, it’s at this point an open question. We’re hoping to get some direction.” […]
    The length of the transition is pitting hard-line conservatives such as Sen. Ted Cruz and members of the House Freedom Caucus, who favor a relatively speedy replacement, against Senate leaders who are pushing the three-year option.

    “It took six years to get into this mess; it’s going to take us a while to get out of it,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas). “One thing I know for sure is we can’t fail to deliver on the promise to repeal Obamacare.” […]

    “The sooner we can get rid of it, the better,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the outgoing leader of the Freedom Caucus.

    “The Democrats passed it in 14 months,” added Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.). “I’m not going to vote for anything that’s longer than two years.”

    As Schumer has said:

    “They have nothing to put in its place. […] And believe me, just repealing Obamacare, even though they have nothing to put in its place, and saying they’ll do it sometime down the road, will cause huge calamity, from one end of America to the other. They don’t know what to do. They’re like the dog that caught the bus.” So this rush to repeal? “To our Republican friends across the aisle,” he said, “bring it on.”

    So long as we make the calls to stiffen the backs of the democrats, this should be a no brainer, the people don’t want it repealed, and if or when they do it, we must make them own it.

  63. 63
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @trollhattan: No more weird than the Obama voters who went for Trump. Did they forget Bush?

  64. 64
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @hovercraft:

    “The Democrats passed it in 14 months,” added Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.). “I’m not going to vote for anything that’s longer than two years.”

    What does this even mean?

  65. 65
    Brachiator says:

    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap:

    We have no way of getting any message out.

    Horse puckey. More and more people are getting their news from social media, and the mainstream media, the favorite whipping boy, is dying.

    Hell, the sad thing about the Trump victory is that much of it also saw the rise of sewer social media, as his supporters created a bubble from the most rancid areas of the Internet.

    And there is this. Some liberals complain about the lack of liberal sites, but strangely fail to support those that exist.

  66. 66
    hovercraft says:

    @trollhattan:
    I have no idea, why they would jump, for some reason that site is blocked from where I am, so I can’t read it, perhaps you could click through. It’s a Tulane poll, and since they are a reputable institution, I assume their polling is pretty reliable, but who knows.

  67. 67
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @Brachiator: Whatever, if you think our messaging infrastructure is adequate, that’s your opinion.

  68. 68
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Two words “Cal Exit”

    They will care a lot then and I am all for it, if the future means I am a second class citizen because I chose to be a productive member of society and didn’t wallow in some dying rust belt town.

  69. 69
    Chris says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I think the most accurate theory of the election is not that Democrats didn’t communicate what we’re all about (helping people, social insurance, diversity, peace) but that working class white people heard it loud and clear and rejected it. Useful to keep in mind for moral clarity.

    FTFY.

  70. 70

    @Patricia Kayden: There weren’t a whole lot of them.

    ETA: @Chris: Yeah, I meant “working-class whites” in the with-scare-quotes sense.

  71. 71
    Jess says:

    As an educator in a blue state with a local Trump faction, I’m struggling with how to communicate with the Trumpers on a more immediate level. I’ve decided that the “right” thing to do, which is the only thing that succeeds in the long term, is to hear their concerns with civility and compassion, and gently prod them to think more critically about the issues. I just taught one class (I teach art history) about the use of propaganda and political theater in Nazi Germany. We watched segments of “Triumph of the Will” and discussed how easily people can be seduced and conned by that sort of thing.

    Mostly, I’m trying to remind myself that we can’t force others to change. In a democratic society (such as it is), we can only persuade. Attacking the Trumpers directly as bigots and fools is not going to bring about meaningful change. And just because we’re right doesn’t mean we’re going to win everyone over; sometimes we have to just accept that 27% crazy factor. And if we lose ground at times, that doesn’t mean we should give up the fight. Standing our ground is always crucial, never just an optional extra.

    This is the pep talk I give myself each morning.

  72. 72
    D58826 says:

    @Patricia Kayden: It’s from a gooper. doesn’t have to mean anything. It just creates pressure waves on the eardrum. Just like that tree in the forest.

  73. 73
    Mike in dc says:

    Legislative opposition. Drawing attention to the corruption and the cruelty. Mass protests. Showing up at Republican congressional town halls and raising hell. When Trump falls short of his lofty economic goals, point it out. When he tries to implement his worst ideas, make a lot of noise about it. Then raise money, recruit good candidates for every seat and GOTV.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Knowing my extended family, I think there is a great deal of truth to this. They will only vote for the Democrat if they’re economically hurting and need to be rescued. Once the economy is back on its feet, they go right back to identity voting, because they feel safe.

    That’s why so many of the white Trump voters that Kay deals with are freaking out right now. They’re only just now thinking it through and realizing that their identity vote was premature, because the Republicans can and will still fuck them over economically.

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Calouste: Actually that’s 46% of eligible voters. In reality that turns out to be about 24% of American citizens eligible to vote.

  76. 76
    trollhattan says:

    @hovercraft:
    It was an on-line poll that they “weighted” to account for, but I’d consider suspect. A cut-n-paste below:

    The survey tallied the results from 960 respondents between Nov. 8-18. Because it was an online poll in which people chose to participate — rather than a phone survey where the questioners knew who they are calling — it was impossible to determine a margin of error. Lucid and Tulane pollsters weighted the data to account for as much sample error as possible, according to the survey.

    The survey found Kennedy dominated among Trump voters, taking 83 percent. He also led among Libertarian Gary Johnson voters and split the difference among Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s voters, although that sample size was eight voters.

    Campbell won 69 percent among Clinton voters, but more than 31 percent said they would vote for Kennedy.

    Kennedy won among both men and women, every age bracket and at each education level except for those voters with a doctoral degree. Those he split with Campbell. But he won 81 percent among voters without high school degrees, a major bloc of support for Trump, too.

    While Campbell gained 71 percent of the vote among African-Americans polled, Kennedy led among whites, Asians and Hispanics.

    The only hope for Campbell, Brox said, would be that a large portion of chronic GOP voters stay home and that his campaign gets every conceivable Democratic voter to the polls on Dec. 10.

    “They can’t do what Trump did, which is just provide some presence in this state and not do any field work,” Brox said.

    I’m skeptical of ALL polls after November.

  77. 77
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Brachiator: Actually, I think many of them were duped and fooled. Some years ago here on BJ I made a joke about Fox News being the Hutu Power Radio equivalent for America. The genocide in Rwanda happened in part because both perpetrators *and victims* started to buy into the hateful stereotypes being fed them daily on hate radio. Phil Gourevitch’s excellent book, “We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families” explores this fully and includes insane stories about Tutsi families paying to be killed by bullets rather than machetes and being fully resigned to their fate.

    Now, in the US, we have way more outlets than Fox News providing non-stop right wing propaganda to millions of people in bars, airports, auto shops, gyms, doctor’s offices, cars, etc. They’re more subtle than Hutu Power Radio and don’t simply dismiss all minorities as “cockroaches” but in the end, the message that they have for their viewers is that viewers can’t trust anyone who is not white and/or a Republican. I remember my mom telling me a story about visiting some Ethiopian friends in Minnesota who were glued to Fox News night after night, horrified but fascinated, feeling more powerless every day. Finally she asked why they didn’t watch something else and they looked at her like she was crazy. She insisted and they changed the channel but I’m sure they went right back to it after she left. I would love for us to figure out how to tackle this issue because I believe that some Trump supporters may be reachable if they can be weaned from the propaganda on TV and talk radio and hate websites. I just have no earthly idea how that can be done.

  78. 78
    Roger Moore says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    What does this even mean?

    I think it’s a fancy way of saying he wants repeal and replace rather than repeal and delay. Right now, the repeal and delay people are saying off the bat that they won’t work on a replacement until the next Congress. The hard core Freedumb Caucus folks don’t want to put it off; they want the replacement ASAP.

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: I think this part of your question:

    Democratic Party

    is also the answer to your question.

    More seriously, it appears that the President has decided that because he has to oversee/shepherd the transition, so no partisan politics from the Administration. The other big national Democratic name, the Clinton’s, are going to be laying low for quite a while. That leaves who? Senators Warren and Sanders? Congresswoman Pelosi?
    (and this is not me knocking the Clintons, Senators Warren and Sanders, and Congresswoman Pelosi)

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:

    @geg6:

    It’s not a sure thing, but I would look for a therapist with a non-WASP last name (i.e. Jewish, Latino, Asian, etc.) You may still run into a Trumper, but at least you’ll increase the odds of finding a non-crazy one. And stay away from anyone who puts a Jesus fish in their ads!

  81. 81
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gator90: I was born and raised in Florida. We’re definitely irredeemable!

  82. 82
    JPL says:

    Sometimes we don’t have a choice and then what? The republicans added a waiver to a spending bill, clearing the way for Mattis to be Secretary of Defense. Trump threatens corporations, and at some point, they will be afraid to counter-attack, lest their stock dives. He’ll continue to use twitter in order to achieve what he wants. He’ll tell his followers that medicare is in worse shape than he thought, and therefore he has to privatize it. They’ll believe him.

  83. 83
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @D58826: GEN Kelly will be okay. He did a good job as SOUTHCOM Commander – so he’s spent a lot of time overseeing US disaster response and emergency management in the Caribbean, Central, and South America. One of my former teammates, and a very close friend, who is a (now retired) Marine Corps colonel has served under him and thinks very highly of him.

  84. 84

    @trollhattan: Yep treat the election like an exam, and do whatever you can to ace it.

  85. 85
    hovercraft says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    What does this even mean?

    The “voices of reason” want to draw out the repeal past the midterms, the hotheads want to do it within two years so they can tout it as an accomplishment, a promise kept. I agree with the ones who are for an immediate repeal, you finally have full control, repeal it like you’ve been promising since 2010, and deal with the consequences. Many people including me will be hurt, but this is how they all got elected so just do the damn thing and get it over with.

  86. 86

    @JPL: We need to stop calling it a waiver. The president-elect wants congress to change the law so that he can install a military leader into a civilian leadership role.

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: Went into the trash, I dug it out.

  88. 88
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    If he’s a sensible guy who understands how to do the job, he ain’t gonna last long. I give him six months, tops.

  89. 89
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That leaves who? Senators Warren and Sanders? Congresswoman Pelosi?

    Them, Biden and those who expect to be relevant players in the future.

  90. 90
  91. 91
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I was born and raised in Florida. We’re definitely irredeemable!

    That is the first step to recovery, and the biggest, congratulation.
    Though I have to admit that I don’t know what recovery looks like in Florida.

  92. 92
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Thanks

  93. 93
    hovercraft says:

    Trump to pick oil ally Pruitt to head EPA
    POLITICO
    By Alex Guillén and Andrew Restuccia
    | 12/07/16 12:20 PM EST
    | Updated 12/07/16 02:39 PM EST

    President-elect Donald Trump is planning to pick Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to run the EPA, putting one of the agency’s most hostile critics and a skeptic of climate change science at its helm, sources close to the transition said Wednesday.

    As attorney general for a state that is one the nation’s biggest oil, natural gas and grain producers, Pruitt has been at the forefront of lawsuits challenging EPA regulations on carbon emissions and water pollution, and he is expected to lead the effort to erase much of President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda. Pruitt has also faced accusations that he’s unusually close to energy producers, including a 2014 New York Times story reporting that he and other Republican attorneys general had formed an “unprecedented, secretive alliance” with the industry.

    But his agenda would mesh well with Trump, who unloaded on Obama’s EPA during the campaign, calling it a “disgrace” that was strangling the economy. Trump promised to reduce the agency to “tidbits.”

    “We’ll be fine with the environment,” Trump told Fox News last year. “We can leave a little bit, but you can’t destroy businesses.”

  94. 94

    I’m hyperventilating at the thought of Steve King possibly becoming governor of Iowa.

  95. 95
    Botsplainer, Cryptofascist Tool of the Oppressor Class says:

    I can figure that nothing wrong will come about from having an AG from the state where their fracking is setting off earthquakes running the EPA.

  96. 96
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s why so many of the white Trump voters that Kay deals with are freaking out right now. They’re only just now thinking it through and realizing that their identity vote was premature, because the Republicans can and will still fuck them over economically.

    What we really need more than anything is a way of getting through to them that the Republicans will always fuck them over economically, and the culture wars just aren’t worth it. How can their memories be so short that they constantly forget that the Republicans always screw them over, both economically and by failing to deliver on their culture war promises?

  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: I expect that will actually happen with Gen. Mattis. For two reasons. The first is that he’s not someone that the President-elect or anyone in his circle can intimidate. He can’t be knuckled by them. And, like many others, I think he’s taking the position to serve as the buffer, to screen fire, for the actual folks, especially the general officers/flag officers and senior colonels/captains, running the DOD/Pentagon.

    The second is that he outranks Flynn. Even in retirement the latter has to call the former Sir and the former gets to call the latter Mike. That’s not going to make for long term stability in the Interagency.

    Between the two, at some point Gen. Mattis will tell the President-elect something he doesn’t want to hear and do it in no uncertain terms.

  98. 98
    geg6 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    LOL! This is Beaver County in Western PA. There aren’t many Jews, Hispanics and Asians here. Even African Americans only make up something like 7 or 8% of the population here. I know exactly two Jewish families (the lone synagogue closed up about 20 years ago) and I’ve lived from one end of the county to the other. I believe Hispanics and Asians make up something like 2% of the population.

    I’m stuck with white people.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: The Vice President is 74 years old. Despite his teasing the press the other day, barring something tremendous happening, he’s done and deserves to be respected and allowed to enjoy his life with his family. And the President’s seeming preference for no politicking by the Administration during the transition includes him.

  100. 100
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: You ever see those Floriduh Man tweets? Pretty much like that.

  101. 101

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s why so many of the white Trump voters that Kay deals with are freaking out right now. They’re only just now thinking it through and realizing that their identity vote was premature

    So Brexit, basically.

  102. 102
    Brachiator says:

    @Tilda Swinton’s Bald Cap:

    Whatever, if you think our messaging infrastructure is adequate, that’s your opinion.

    Actually, my opinion is closer to fact than your doom scenario.

    Newspapers and magazines are dying. Fact.
    More people get their news through social media. Fact.
    The viewership for programs like Meet The Press tends to older people. Fact

    People rightfully complain about NPR, but stations respond to donors as much as they do to underwriters.
    We have no choice but to be proactive.

  103. 103
    geg6 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Yup. The only good thing about this is that my British cousins can’t make fun of the stupid Yanks. They are every bit as stupid.

  104. 104
    Roger Moore says:

    @hovercraft:

    I agree with the ones who are for an immediate repeal, you finally have full control, repeal it like you’ve been promising since 2010, and deal with the consequences.

    I agree that repeal and delay is the absolute worst approach. I had always assumed that it only reflected a craven unwillingness to deal with the real world fallout of repeal and the blindness to the fact that repeal without a replacement is likely to crash the system. Now, though, I wonder if it isn’t a cynical attempt to try the “Disaster Capital” approach to our medical insurance system: they actually want to crash the system in order to create an emergency and be able to push all kinds of awful stuff through as part of the “repair” package.

  105. 105
    liberal says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s why so many of the white Trump voters that Kay deals with are freaking out right now.

    Those are the relatively smart ones. Most of them are too stupid to understand any of this.

  106. 106
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The Vice President is 74 years old. Despite his teasing the press the other day, barring something tremendous happening, he’s done and deserves to be respected and allowed to enjoy his life with his family.

    Didn’t I see him talk about possibly running for president in 2020?

    Unless the Democratic candidate is toxic, or the race is a blowout, Biden and others could get off their butts and spend a little time in Louisiana.

    Unfortunately, it looks as though the GOP candidate has a very comfortable lead in the polls.

    Kennedy leads Campbell 55 percent to 37 percent, according to an average of four surveys conducted mostly or completely since Nov. 8. None of the polls has the race closer than 14 percentage points, and all show Kennedy earning a majority of the vote. Kennedy also has a large lead in favorability ratings over Campbell, according to the Emerson College and Southern Media and Opinion Research surveys.

    It’s telling that the voters are not reflecting any second thoughts about Trump’s presidential victory, even though a senate win here by Democrats would make a real difference in the Congress.

  107. 107
    hovercraft says:

    @Roger Moore:

    “Disaster Capital”

    I thought that was their approach to all things government does.
    The insurance companies have sent their ransom note to the GOP.
    TPM

    The list includes some short-term measures that AHIP says could help ease the transition period between the repeal bill, which GOP leaders say will be their first order of business in the new Congress, and the Obamacare replacement Republicans promise they will cobble together. AHIP is asking for a extension on their filing deadlines for 2018 plans, now in the spring of 2017, when Congress is unlikely to have a replacement ready. They are also asking for a continuation of federal subsidies — currently the target of a House GOP lawsuit — to help keep out-of-pockets costs for consumers low.

    Additionally, AHIP said that funding for “temporary, transitional programs, including cost-sharing reductions and reinsurance” would send “strong signals that Congress and the new Administration are committed to market stability and consumer choice.”

    Longer term, the insurer group is also lobbying for the sort of regulatory changes akin to those they asked for under Obamacare, when even its proponents acknowledged it was in need of improvements. AHIP would like to see stricter standards for special enrollment periods and more flexibility in how insurers design their plans.

    Much like the GOP, they are eager to retain the pork, the veggies not so much. Who would have guessed that they would want the same subsidies while being allowed to offer crappier plans within tighter windows.

  108. 108
    Ian says:

    @Brachiator:
    Because the polling shows we are fucked?

  109. 109
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: So two different things. The first is yes, Vice President Biden made that comment, hence my reference to teasing the press, as he’s now walked it back, forwards, back again – basically he’s cha cha chaing. The second is also yes, the Democratic Party leadership needs to get its tuchas in gear and make Saturday’s runoff election as competitive as possible, even if they can’t win. Its just they wont. And until someone can crack the code of why they wont, it will not matter who becomes the next head of the DNC or the DSCC or the DCCC.

  110. 110
    ET says:

    Schumer, Pelosi, and the incoming head of the DNC need to commit this to memory, print it out and live by this for the next 4 years. They also have to stop being polite.

  111. 111
    Tilda Swinton's Bald Cap says:

    @Brachiator:

    More people get their news through social media.

    You mean the social media that gave us Pizzagate, etc. etc. etc. Color me skeptical that this will fix our problem with the rural counties that went to Trump.

  112. 112
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @geg6: That is 735 kinds of wrong that you should be threatened for speaking views. /stating the obvious. But who could have predicted that in late 2016 we’d (people of Northern European descent) would be threatened with physical harm for public disagreement? We know, sadly, that people of color are threatened/subjected to harm for far less – often including existing in public. That’s a national disgrace.

    But I still did not expect credible threats of violence against folks who look like us (save from the proud defenders of ethics in gaming journalism, et al.). So I understand your instinct to hunker down; it’s sensible.

    You mentioned gifts of ornaments for your friends, and I’ve been looking for you to comment on that. The post office used to have very cute and inexpensive (<$10) stamp ornaments for sale in branches, though I can't say if they still do. If you have time to order, the WH historical society ornaments are very cool, and earlier years can be snagged for not much on ebay. I know because I used to get my aunt/uncle those every year and today there's a deal of the day on a frosty the snowman: here. You can also find agency ornaments here. I’ve tended to get those sorts of things on ebay too, but who knew the DEA had Xmas ornaments? It’s a hoot. Sadly, it looks like they are sold out of Deputy Duck (not an ornament, but very cool). Just some ideas. I hate Xmas with the heat of the Pillars of Creation (h/t whoever posted that!) but I enjoy giving people ornaments. I’m weird.

  113. 113
    hovercraft says:

    Adam L Silverman are you going to do a post about this?

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/e.....not-normal
    Josh Marshall

    We now have three of the four top national and domestic security agencies of the government under the management of recently retired Generals. (One might reasonably change the number to five if we considered the DOJ which houses the FBI.) We could have a fourth if President-Elect Trump chooses David Petraeus as Secretary of State. They are Mattis at the Pentagon; Kelly at DHS; Flynn as the President’s National Security Advisor. There is nothing inherently wrong with having retired generals serve in high level administration positions…..

    What adds to the complexity of the matter is that other than Flynn, who is dangerous and has dangerously poor judgment, Mattis and Kelly and (if he’s nominated) Petraeus are some of the more accomplished and experienced people Trump has nominated. This is a very low standard. If it weren’t Mattis at the Pentagon, it might well be some charlatan Fox News commentator: that’s who is the deputy running the NSC. This doesn’t change the equation. It is just a practical recognition of the situation that we’re in. We could probably do much worse.

    One additional dimension to these picks is that each man appears to have clashed with the Obama administration. Again, in itself, that’s not a problem. Career officers are there for their experience and knowledge. Sometimes there’s a conflict of views. If the general officer can’t conform to administration policy that may lead to an honorable dismissal. It is also normal that an incoming administration will appoint or nominate people who differed with the previous administration when it was of the opposite party. But it’s a bad pattern to make generals locking horns with one administration become a vehicle for preferment in the next, if it is of the opposite party.

    Oh and I hope you are feeling better, but this beast needs constant feeding.

    ETA: SORRY FOR THE SHOUTY BOLD I MUST HAVE HIT IT BY MISTAKE

  114. 114
    Miss Bianca says:

    @hovercraft:

    In the poll, it says that a third of the people who say they voted for Hillary are going to vote for Kennedy, so they don’t think he stands a chance.

    Do we know why? Is he the incumbent? I confess I’ve been in a funk and haven’t been following this race closely.

  115. 115
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: I fixed the bold and the fact that WP turned the whole thing into a hyperlink.

    Possibly at some point. I don’t know Kelly – never met him. Have heard good things, but just read something by Tom Ricks (who I do know and have written guest posts for, including one responding to Flynn’s report on Intelligence reform) that has me a bit concerned. I do know Mattis – as in I said hello to him and shook his hand when he gave a colleague of mine an award for her service as his POLAD during a deployment. He literally would not know me from Adam – and I am Adam.

  116. 116
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: The incumbent is Senator Vitters (R-Powder and Diaper) who is retiring.

  117. 117
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Once again thanks.

  118. 118
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: de nada. Short take: in terms of competence both Mattis and Kelly are. And I honestly don’t think the President-elect really understands what he’s getting with Mattis or why Mattis is agreeing to do this, he just likes the fact that people on the Internet call him Mad Dog. Kelly served under Mattis, and my guess is that Mattis recommended him, though we’ll likely never know. If this is the case, then its Mattis building his own power base. Him at DOD, Kelly – a former trusted agent/subordinate at DHS, and Gen. Dunford the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Dunford is also a former trusted agent/subordinate of Mattis’s, though now the roles and relationship will be very different. But if this is indeed the case, and Mattis is a very good strategic thinker, then he’s established a three way power alliance between DOD itself, the Uniformed Services that comprise DOD, and DHS. And that’s three 4 stars in the national security portion of the Interagency against LTG Flynn as National Security Advisor. Flynn has to refer to all three of these gentlemen – the two other retirees and the one currently still serving – as Sir when he speaks to them. They all get to call him Mike.

    Remember how much power accumulated within the National security portion of the Interagency based on the VP Cheney/SecDef Rumsfeld alliance? That was only two senior principals and they ran roughshod over Dr. Rice as National Security Advisor and GEN Powell as Secretary of State. In this case you’ve got three Marine 4 stars – one running DOD, one running DHS, and one the CJCS who is the President’s senior/principal military advisor (by statute and duty description) – that are all connected to each other by serving together. This is your power troika right here.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @geg6:

    Keep looking. Your mental health is important. Even if you have to make a long drive, you may be able to do something like have an in-person meeting once a month and have weekly check-ins by phone. Many shrinks offer Saturday hours.

    Please keep trying. I am worried about you.

  120. 120
    geg6 says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    I’m like you. I hate the whole Christmas thing (Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday) but I really enjoy giving my friends these ornaments. I think I mentioned my Jewish friend who is a part of this hen circle. It’s a challenge every year to find one that isn’t Christian or even Santa Claus-y but that will charm her nonetheless. She has gotten a lot of pleasure out of being thoughtfully included, I think, and I have gotten pleasure out of searching for just the right one for her.

    I’ve gotten some from the Smithsonian in years past. This year, I found a little local place where they sell home goods, all locally made. I go in most of the time just to admire the quilts they sell from local quilters. The last time I went in, they had a bunch of beautiful handmade ornaments from a local artist. That’s what I’m going with. They are beautiful and depict local nature areas, flora and fauna. I think all my friends will love them.

  121. 121
    Это курам на смех says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This is only my tiny little choice, but I have decided to only spend my money in blue states as much as possible. In pursuit of this, I just ordered a new purse/messenger bag from Tom Bihn in Seattle.

    “Nous sommes desoles que notre president soit un idiot. Nous n’avons pas vote pour lui.”

  122. 122
    Pogonip says:

    @geg6: Did you file a police report and, if so, what happened? I hope things have improved for you.

  123. 123
    Yutsano says:

    @Mike in dc:

    Then raise money, recruit good candidates for every seat and GOTV

    THIS. No more uncontested seats. Pete Sessions ran in the 32nd district which covered most of North Dallas. Hillary won that district by huge margins. Sessions ran unopposed. That can’t happen anymore.

  124. 124
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Normally, I would completely hate the very idea of this, but if the Marines are willing to form a barricade against Trumpism, I’m willing to go with it.

    @Это курам на смех:

    That’s the tag that originally made me a customer back in the Oughts. I wonder if they’re going to recycle that one or come up with a new one.

  125. 125

    @Adam L Silverman: So now we are looking to the military brass to save the country. Is this Pakistan?

  126. 126
    geg6 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Thanks. I’m a little worried about me, too. I haven’t felt this much despair since the ex and I broke up. I was a little self-destructive and finally found a counselor when I realize I was on a downward slope. I see a bit of that in myself right now, but not quite that bad yet. I am truly worried about being assaulted, though, and having to hunker down at home for safety’s sake won’t be helpful for my state of mind. If I have to, I’ll talk to my colleague on campus who is the campus (mental health, but they don’t call her that in her title) counselor. She’s okay and, though I’m in some dark places, I’m not as bad as I was then. I have two weeks off coming up in a week and a half. I’ll spend it with my family and friends and feel lots better for it. No Trumpsters in the bunch!

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    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Oh, right – how could I have forgotten? I was just wondering how it was that so many Clinton voters – who I presume are primarily Democrats – apparently voting for the Republican candidate over the Democrat – name recognition? Something else? It just seems to demonstrate a lack of strategic thinking about what this election represents. But…what else would be new.

  129. 129
    geg6 says:

    @Pogonip:

    No, I didn’t file a police report. They’d laugh me out of the place. No one touched me and the only witnesses have been my John and the assholes and their friends. But they know where I live and work, so it’s definitely a worry. And I simply can’t go out to any local places because they are everywhere and that’s how I got into this mess. I stood up to people saying the most horrible things and now I can’t go out. It sucks.

  130. 130
    Pogonip says:

    @geg6: I like Thanksgiving AND Christmas as they are intended to be celebrated but hate the commercial frenzy of The Holidays. TV stations who air those ridiculous Black Friday stories ought to lose their sports-broadcasting licenses for a year.

    Grumble. Bah humbug.

  131. 131
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: @schrodinger’s cat: I have no idea. I know who Mattis is connected to. And he is in one of the power player positions with two of his former, trusted subordinates in two of the others. Based on those connections it would appear that a three person power base might/could arise. Will it? I do not know. I can also tell you that all three of these gentlemen have had civilian control over the military (CIV-MIL relations) hammered into them over the course of their careers. Finally, when pinned down in enemy territory and taking fire, the news that the Marines are coming is music to the ears.

  132. 132
    Pogonip says:

    @geg6: Maybe you should talk to your lawyer. You have a friendly witness; your case may be stronger than you think. Good luck!

  133. 133
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: One of the “down the rabbit hole” experiences for me this past election has been that, despite the fact that both my father and my grandfather were military officers, I’m just not used to thinking of the armed forces as being the ones who are going to save democracy’s bacon from our civilian government.

    @schrodinger’s cat: or in other words, what you said, just…wordier.

  134. 134
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Is that a serious yayyy or a sarcastic yayyyy? I can’t tell.

  135. 135
    Lizzy L says:

    @Adam L Silverman: A friend of mine, retired Marine, has said similar things about Mattis; he’s not a fool, he won’t be intimidated, and he won’t suffer fools gladly.

  136. 136
    🌷 Martin says:

    I shall overquote for the benefit of the community:

    With fiery language that broke from his usually staid public demeanor, Rendon said California faces a “major existential threat.” He spurred raucous applause for an apparent dig at Trump aide Stephen Bannon, saying that “white nationalists and anti-Semites have no business working in the White House.” Bannon’s Breitbart website has drawn admiration from nationalists and opponents of multiculturalism as well as criticism for pushing bigotry into mainstream discourse.

    “It is up to us to pass policies that would firewall Californians and what we believe from the cynical, short sighted, and reactionary agenda that is rising in the wake of the election,” Rendon said, adding that “unity must be separated from complicity…Californians do not need healing. We need to fight.”

    Specifically, Rendon said California would seek to preserve reproductive rights for women, ensure people can find health care coverage, shield Muslims and LGBT people “or anyone whose rights and safety are increasingly under fire” and send a message that “if you are an immigrant you are welcome here.”

    Legislators also announced measures to fund legal services for immigrants facing deportation and allocate money for training public defenders in immigration law.

    Branding a trio of bills a “Fight for California” package, Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens said he would introduce bills prohibiting state agencies from furnishing the federal government with information about a person’s religion, an effort to stymie a database of Muslim Americans; require voter approval of a border wall through environmentally sensitive parts of California; and bar contracting with private immigrant detention facilities, an idea that Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed this year in deference to the Department of Homeland Security reviewing private contracting.

    “We’re going to fight for California and for our values of democracy, freedom, and basic human decency,” Lara said a in statement.

    Now, this may seem like shoving it in the face of those of you who live in other states, and I apologize if it comes off as such, but the goal here is that regardless of all else that might happen in the next 4 years, there will be a template that we know works on a large scale that a liberal democracy can turn to. That was largely the role that Massachusetts played for the ACA, and California has been playing that role on energy and environmental policy, reproductive rights, and worker rights for decades. We are expanding that to immigration and other areas. We overwhelmingly passed background checks for ammunition sales. We will put our considerable weight behind these and just as we forced the EPAs hand during the Bush administration on mileage standards and emissions by making it economically impossible to not follow California’s much tougher environmental standards, we will find ways to make this work wherever we can. Say what you will about Brown, he’s a stubborn motherfucker and he’s really damn good at this kind of stuff. And we sent an absolute jewel to the Senate in Kamala Harris. We will be beating the drums for her to run in 2020.

    You will see California take moral action. We have the votes in the state to back that action up. California went from D+23 in 2012 to D+31 in 2016. We lurched left as much as Michigan lurched right, and we’re way bigger and way, way more powerful.

  137. 137
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: I’m not sure they will. I do know they have been socialized to civilian control. I don’t think you’ll see a coup. But the general officers/flag officers are good at politics – they have to be just to survive with each other let alone the civilian leadership. And they know how to maneuver the civilian leadership into make the decisions they think need to be made.

  138. 138
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Lizzy L: And he will, at some point, spectacularly lose his temper and the President-elect will hear vulgarities directed at him and in such a tone, pitch, timber, and volume unlike he has ever heard from anyone directed to anyone ever before.

  139. 139
    Karen says:

    Would that count Manchin and Heidekamp (sp) who are cozying up to the GOP congress with the theory that if they could kiss enough ass then the punishment to the Dems would be less horrendous?

  140. 140
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Means he thinks they can repeal and replace Obamacare in a year or so and that calls to do it longer are stalling or bullshit. He wants it repealed now. In a sense he’s right – they’ve had 7 years to come up with a new plan, they have complete control, what’s the hold up? The answer is that the GOP has no fucking idea how to do it that won’t enrage the public, and never did.

  141. 141
    Pogonip says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Your remark reminds me of the old joke about the governor who has a riot on his hands and calls in the Marine reserves. In due time a jarhead shows up at the mansion and is ushered into the gov’s office: “Sir, I’m Gunnery Sergeant Jones, I’m here about a riot?”
    “Only one Marine?”
    “Yes, sir; you said you had only one riot.”

  142. 142
    Pogonip says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I sure hope video gets smuggled out when THAT happens! That would be hilarious.

  143. 143
    Yutsano says:

    @ Martin: *waves from Washington State*

    Hoping we stick right with you guys. Make the Left Coast really the Best Coast.

  144. 144
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Dear God. I’d love to hear that. My grandpa’s blow-ups were apparently legendary. Something about Marines…

  145. 145
    Denali says:

    @geg6

    Amazingly, I have a very good friend who just moved to Cranberry last year from Rochester. She might be able put you in touch with a therapist. You can email me at 56valiant@gmail.com. Threats are not acceptable.

  146. 146

    […] As Kagan noted above, compromise is useless: Trump and his followers will get you in the end anyway. And Tom Levenson, posting at Balloon Juice, adds: […]

  147. 147

    […] As Kagan noted above, compromise is useless: Trump and his followers will get you in the end anyway. And Tom Levenson, posting at Balloon Juice, adds: […]

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