An important thing this evening

Get mad, stay mad and then be effective in doing something. Balloon Juice is adopting at least one district and perhaps more. We will be effectively active and angry.

UPDATE I will set up a CA-49 Nominee fund tonight for Act Blue

184 replies
  1. 1
    Vince says:

    Some people are claiming this can’t be passed through budget reconciliation. Anyone know if that’s true? Oh, and of course fuck the GOP. Bunch of fucking traitors to the country.

  2. 2
    Yarrow says:

    PLEASE don’t just post the Act Blue for Levin yet again in Issa’s district. Read the thread on it. People in his district say Applegate is better known. He almost beat Issa last time. He needs support. Why is Balloon Juice picking sides in this primary?

  3. 3
    The Dangerman says:

    I don’t get the strategy; this thing is DOA in the Senate and all Representatives voting for this turd are going to be “Mr. (Ms.) 216” next year.

    Maybe the Senate passes a watered down bill and it survives through the committees and the revote, but good luck with that tactic.

    ETA: Reconciliation? Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t think this gets to 50.

  4. 4
    Raoul says:

    Excellent timing. Just threw in some cash.

    F*ck these f*king f*ckers. (I’m not usually much of a swearer, but holy buckets of flaming piss, I’m mad these days).

  5. 5
    Lolis says:

    Does anyone know if this bill would make things even worse than pre-ACA? It sounds like it might, but I’m not a wonk.

  6. 6
    Cacti says:


    Some people are claiming this can’t be passed through budget reconciliation. Anyone know if that’s true? Oh, and of course fuck the GOP. Bunch of fucking traitors to the country.

    They’ll find a way, or invent one.

    Nothing is more dear to the GOP than country club tax cuts.

  7. 7
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    Starting to wonder if the R’s think there won’t be an election in 2018, or not one that could possibly mean anything, at least.

  8. 8
    Felanius Kootea says:

    They actually passed that piece of shit bill! May they never live this down.
    Horrid gaggle of sociopaths.

  9. 9
    hueyplong says:

    D Issa has always been an enemy. The idea that he is considered a “moderate” is just another sign that there are no “good Germans” with an “R” next to their names.

  10. 10
    Shinobi says:

    Can we just start a general fund for Opponents of Opponents to Obamacare? I would def donate. Someone on twitter was recommending that.

  11. 11
    Chris says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I don’t get the strategy; this thing is DOA in the Senate

    No, don’t bet on it. As we saw today, Republican “moderates” are 1) cowards and 2) not really any less sociopathic than the Freedom Caucusers, and given enough pressure, will quite possibly cave. Sure, they’ll water it down a little. But just how little is that? As we saw today, a bunch of moderates happily flipped on the whole “preexisting conditions” thing based only on a paltry few billion dollars that can’t possibly cover all the people with preexisting conditions. As long as they think their ass is sufficiently covered, they’ll be on board.

    and all Representatives voting for this turd are going to be “Mr. (Ms.) 216” next year.

    Well, we’ll see. The media is going to give them all the cover it possibly can, and they’re going to go all out on vote suppression. Maybe that’ll be enough and maybe it won’t.

  12. 12
    The Moar You Know says:

    PLEASE don’t just post the Act Blue for Levin yet again in Issa’s district. Read the thread on it. People in his district say Applegate is better known. He almost beat Issa last time. He needs support. Why is Balloon Juice picking sides in this primary?

    @Yarrow: Yes. I’m one of those people.

    FRONT PAGERS, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? Splitting the Dem vote will keep Issa in office until I die, and I’m pretty young so that’s going to be a while.

    Jesus tap dancing Christ

  13. 13
    EllenH says:

    I just called McSally’s office to let her–or her staffer–know that I would always remember this day as the day she voted to make rape and sexual assault a pre-existing condition and throw millions of Americans and thousands of Arizonans off their insurance and that I would be working very hard to unseat her in 2018. It felt good to do something with my anger at least. And then I added that the fact that they were now having a kegger to celebrate doing that was reprehensible.

  14. 14
    dww44 says:

    Here’s another way to send a message to the House GOP; elect Jon Ossoff. A federal judge has just ordered the state to reopen voter registration in the district.

    The suit, filed by The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on behalf of five civil rights and voting rights organizations, claims Georgia law cuts off voter registration for federal runoff elections two months earlier than it should be allowed to.
    Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office, which oversees elections in Georgia, has called the suit a political effort by liberal groups to attack Kemp.

    Kemp has had success in keeping the “the undesirables” off our voter rolls and hasn’t provided voters with an explanation of the recently successful hacks of the state voter data base. Again, the only remedy is at the ballot box in June in the special election runoff and again in November 2018.

  15. 15
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Dangerman:

    this thing is DOA in the Senate

    Senate passes their own version, Committee reconciles it into a Turd-sandwich with less filling, Trump signs it and everyone goes apeshit.

    That would be the worst case scenario here.

  16. 16
    Dave says:

    @Aardvark Cheeselog: Honestly I think they’ve just given up on considering even that far ahead. Ride the fire die with the fire the madness of theast days of empire. Our role is to e sure it’s only theirs​ and not everyone else’s.

  17. 17
    Yarrow says:

    @The Moar You Know: Yes, frontpagers, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? Are you there anyone? David, since this is your thread? DougJ disappeared off his thread. PLEASE listen to the people in Issa’s district!

  18. 18
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Nothing quite accurately describes American Caucasians better than ‘I got mine, Fuck You’.

  19. 19
    Barbara says:

    The vote count:

    If someone voted no, that’s a sign that Republicans know they are vulnerable. It’s not a badge of honor.

    Here are some of the weasels who voted yes:

    Amodei, Amash, Curbelo, Young (Iowa), Denham, Buck, Collins (NY), Diaz-Balart, Garrett (VA), Murphy (PA), Wittman (VA).

  20. 20

    @The Moar You Know: I tweeted at Mayhew, we’ll see if he does anything

  21. 21
    Mike J says:

    The actblue account that gives to the opponent of every person who voted for the bill.

    Yes, it does water down your giving, but it sends a message that this issue is important.

  22. 22
    TenguPhule says:

    @Aardvark Cheeselog: You’re only starting now?

  23. 23
    Tenar Arha says:

    Here’s the ActBlue page where I donated for the future, post-primary, Democratic Opponent fund:

  24. 24
    TenguPhule says:

    @Lolis: It does. Which is an achievement in its own league.

  25. 25
    bemused says:

    Do House members have a recess coming up soon? Hope their constituents give them a hot welcome home.

  26. 26
    vheidi says:

    Left a message for that rat bastard Freylinghusen -R-Rich NJ

    Edited to spell rat bastard correctly

  27. 27
    The Moar You Know says:

    this thing is DOA in the Senate

    @The Dangerman: I do not understand that there can still be people out there who think that the GOP does not vote in lockstep. An ability, by the way, which Dems needed to learn at least twenty years ago. But now would do fine.

    This will pass the Senate. Unlike the House and Ryan, McConnell is very, very good at his job. And has a personal interest in removing all of Obama’s accomplishments from history. He will get it done.

  28. 28

    How is the preemptive defeatism, that we have already lost 2018, helpful? Not every fight comes with a guaranteed assurance of winning. If we do nothing, we will surely lose. Why not focus on what we can do instead of Sessions or T voters or McConnell. No one is invincible. Their time will come too.

  29. 29
    JPL says:

    I have no idea if Claude Taylor is a good source or not, but he tweeted this gem

    From a reliable source in the legal community “There have been sealed COMPLAINTS against Manafort and four others for several months”

    He did mention that there were two grand juries convened days ago, which Comey came close to verifying. Comey said two prosecutors in the Eastern District. (VA) I need something to cheer up my mood, and just imagining arrests, cheer me up. Lock em up.

  30. 30
    Mike J says:


    Do House members have a recess coming up soon? Hope their constituents give them a hot welcome home.

    Next week, and there’s a chance the CBO score will come out. Fingers crossed.

  31. 31
    Splitting Image says:


    Does anyone know if this bill would make things even worse than pre-ACA? It sounds like it might, but I’m not a wonk.

    Yes. This bill gives states the right to apply for a waiver which would allow them to delist essential services from what providers in the state are required to cover. Including maternity care. This could potentially cause every woman in the country to lose one of the most important parts of her insurance regardless of whether she has an individual policy through the ACA or a group policy from her employer.

    And that’s only the beginning.

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    @bemused: Next week. That’s why Ryan wanted to push it through today, before they headed home.
    Mike posted that earlier, but hopefully the constituents meet reps who voted no at the airport.

  33. 33
    Yarrow says:

    I called a local Republican Representative that voted for this bill. I have ties to his district. I absolutely berated the staffer who answered. She was female, so I told her pregnancy would now cost $17,000 and asked her if she thought that was a good thing. She didn’t. I said sexual assault wouldn’t be covered under this bill and asked her how she’d like it if she was sexually assaulted and it wasn’t covered. Oh, I told her, but it would be covered for you because you work for a Congressman and the Senate will sort it out so you’ll be covered. I told her that was incredibly selfish of Congress and asked her what she thought. I told her she should be ASHAMED of herself for working for him. Talked about pre-existing conditions and how people who have them would be thrown off health insurance. Asked her if she had any member of her family who had ever had cancer, heart disease, diabetes, ANYTHING that wouldn’t be covered. Told her again she should be ashamed for working for someone who would vote for this bill. ASHAMED.

    At that point she hung up on me.

    Felt good to do it, though. I’ll call another Republican Congressman soon and repeat. I’m going to make their fucking lives miserable.

  34. 34
    ArchTeryx says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Not preemptive defeatism to say I probably wouldn’t live to see the 2018 results, if this passes the Senate. Which it will.

  35. 35
    Splitting Image says:


    Felt good to do it, though. I’ll call another Republican Congressman soon and repeat. I’m going to make their fucking lives miserable.

    Fuck their feelings.

  36. 36
    D58826 says:

    @Cacti: I think it is up to the Senate parliamentarian whiter it qualifies for reconciliation. Of course the parliamentarian is picked by Yurtle.

  37. 37
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Yarrow: @The Moar You Know: Co-sign with both of you. It makes NO SENSE to shill for $$$ IN A DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY for someone running AGAINST the guy who nearly won last time & is running again. NOT ONE CENT FOR LEVIN UNTIL(&UNLESS) HE WINS THE PRIMARY!

    Could it be that the Rooskies have threatened to release doctored e-mails proving all the FPers are goat-fuckers unless they do their level best to fuck over (& continue to fuck over) the Democratic Party??

  38. 38
    mdblanche says:


    Some people are claiming this can’t be passed through budget reconciliation. Anyone know if that’s true?

    No. Nobody will know if it can be passed through reconciliation until the CBO score comes out, likely next week. That the bill increases the deficit and therefore cannot be passed through reconciliation is a distinct possibility.

  39. 39
    cain says:

    The disservice that Republicans have done against Americans today by voting for this piece of shit legislation. They have become the death panels. We need to make that Democratic wave happen. There is an incredible amount of change going on here that I know people are not comfortable with. When that wave comes… If the Tangelo Derp-in-Chief thinks presidenting is hard now, wait till what happens when one or more branches of Congress flips. He will know pain.. serious serious pain. There should be no quarter given. We follow the Cimmerian way now.

  40. 40
    bemused says:


    I like your style. Good point to bring up that their family would be screwed. Too bad about gram and gramps or mom and dad.

  41. 41
    Mike J says:

    Ben Wikler‏ Verified account @benwikler May 3
    The biggest risk: the vote gets hailed as a breakthrough victory for Trump and the GOP, praised by conservative groups… boom, momentum. 2/

    It will be tempting for activists to immediately swing their focus over to pressuring the Senate. Don’t do it. Job one is BLOWBACK. 3/

  42. 42
    bemused says:

    I have to turn off the tv. These bastards celebrating. They aren’t even human.

  43. 43
    vheidi says:

    Also Rat bastards King and Collins, NY – MF ers

    I prefer rats

  44. 44

    @ArchTeryx:OK don’t give up till it passes the Senate, its not done until its done.

  45. 45

    This is one of the worst bills to ever pass the House. Possibly the worst in terms of total lives they’re willing to destroy. I’m shaking with rage.

  46. 46
    D58826 says:


    preemptive defeatism

    I wouldn’t call it defeatism. I am just saying that if past history is any guide the idea of ‘we will get them in 2018’ might well be ‘preemptive optimism’. And the GOP has any number of structural advantages that will make flipping the House/Senate very difficult.

  47. 47
    EllenH says:

    @Mike J: I agree that blowback is important, but it doesn’t hurt to put the senators on notice asap. After calling McSally and bitching about her vote, I called both Flake and McCain’s offices and let them know what I thought of the piece of shit that had just passed the house. Grrrr. I know there were demonstrations today, but is anything being planned for the weekend or next week?

  48. 48
    bemused says:

    Pence: People are finally going to get the health care they deserve. Yup, death care.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Yarrow says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: David pulled the Act Blue for Levin in the original post. He’s going to make another one and post tonight for all Dem candidates in the district.

    UPDATE I will set up a CA-49 Nominee fund tonight for Act Blue

    Thanks, David!

  51. 51
    A Ghost to Most says:

    And folks in Mike Coffman’s district (CO), don’t let up on that asshole; he only came out as a NO once he knew the votes were there.

  52. 52
    Doug R says:

    @Mike J: We can do TWO things.

  53. 53
    cain says:

    also fuck 24 hour news.. if we get back the house, there should be a blanket no cooperation with those assholes. Messaging should be very tight and fixed. Like how Obama did it.

  54. 54

    @D58826: Declaring defeat before a contest is preemptive defeatism. Past is not always an accurate predictor of the future. Not fighting==guaranteed defeat.

  55. 55

    @Thoroughly Pizzled: might want to amend that to say American lives.

  56. 56
    Yarrow says:

    @bemused: I was practically screaming. I think crying will be my next technique. Let the young staffer handle the sobbing constituent on the phone. Make them fucking own their decision to work for the piece of shit Republicans. They are ALL complicit. I don’t care if they’re the lowest level intern. They chose to work for Republicans. They’re guilty.

  57. 57
    Jeffro says:

    Y’all gotta see John Dingell’s tweet on this crap, it’s awesome…

    …”Have fun in the Rose Garden today, @GOP”

    With a picture of last year’s Super Bowl score in the 3rd quarter: New England 3, Atlanta 28

    LOVE IT!

  58. 58
    rikyrah says:


    I felt better just reading that.

  59. 59
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Moar You Know: Am I still the only one who thinks these idiots really do want to kick off an actual Civil War?

  60. 60
    Barbara says:

    From SwingLeft, here are the list of 35 members from swing districts (some a lot swingier than others) that voted yes:

    AK-AL Don Young
    AL-02 Martha Roby
    AZ-02 Martha McSally
    CA-10 Jeff Denham
    CA-21 David Valadao
    CA-25 Steve Knight
    CA-39 Ed Royce
    CA-45 Mimi Walters
    CA-48 Dana Rohrabacher
    CA-49 Darrell Issa
    CO-03 Scott Tipton
    FL-15 Dennis Ross
    FL-18 Brian Mast
    FL-26 Carlos Curbelo
    IA-01 Rod Blum
    IA-03 David Young
    IL-06 Peter Roskam
    IL-12 Mike Bost
    IN-09 Trey Hollingsworth
    KS-03 Kevin Yoder
    ME-02 Bruce Poliquin
    MI-07 Dave Trott
    MI-11 Tim Walberg
    MN-02 Jason Lewis
    MN-03 Erik Paulsen
    NC-02 George Holding
    NC-13 Ted Budd
    NE-02 Don Bacon
    NY-19 John Faso
    NY-22 Claudia Tenney
    PA-16 Lloyd Smucker
    TX-07 John Culberson
    TX-32 Pete Sessions
    UT-04 Mia Love
    VA-02 Scott Taylor

  61. 61
    Raoul says:

    Darrell Issa didn’t just vote for the bill. He’s in the front row of the White House Rose Garden victory celebration.

  62. 62
    Yarrow says:

    @Doug R: Yes. It’s both/and. Keep making your GOP Representaives’ lives miserable about this vote. Flood their phones. Tear their staffers’ a new one. Ask for their health care policy person and let them have it. Show up at town halls. Protest.

    AND start working the Senators on it. Any Senators that are facing re-election in 2018 may be more vulnerable. I know it’s a tough map for Dems but who knows how this will play out. And the TrumpRussia indictments have yet to drop.

  63. 63
    Archon says:

    @schrodingers_cat: We should fight against this because it’s the moral and right thing to do. I just think Democrats should stop assuming that with this vote Republicans committed political suicide in 2018.

  64. 64
    Inventor says:

    I just contributed to Col. Applegate. All Levin can do is screw things up in the “jungle primary”.

    If you want to beat Issa, support Applegate.

  65. 65
    JMG says:

    It is by no means a given that this bill as written passes the Senate, or any bill. I think SOMETHING will pass, but not this as currently written. McConnell know what we know, that Trump has no idea what’s in the bill, so he can figure out what exactly poses the least threat to his majority and act accordingly. Hell, Trump would sign a duplicate copy of the ACA if it was labeled Trumpcare on the first page. There’s no reason to give up in any case. This is a bad day. There will be others. Got to take the punches and keep swinging. The first day we can make a real good day on the calendar is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November 2018.

  66. 66
    Mike J says:

    Jason Sparks‏ @sparksjls 14 minutes ago
    $40,000 raised in the past 27 minutes. Please share 👆🏻👆🏻

    They changed the top of the thermometer from 100k to 500k.

  67. 67
  68. 68

    @Archon: We should assume nothing, not success, not defeat and fight like our lives depend on it, because they do.

  69. 69

    @Archon: I don’t see anybody assuming they committed suicide. What I see is democrats who can’t wait to use this vote as a weapon in the fight to contest their seats.

  70. 70
    Raoul says:

    @TenguPhule: That scenario is hazardously close to possible. So far, Senate electoral politics are a little different since they can’t be gerrymandered into quite so cozy of safe spaces, but there is a path to the GOP screwing over millions on health care. That path most likely includes Joe Manchin, too.

  71. 71
    A Ghost to Most says:

    No, you are not.

  72. 72
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: Give it a try with any GOP Rep that you might have any ties to their district. Family lives in their district. You work there. You used to live there. Call them and let them fucking have it. They should be ashamed. ASHAMED of what they are doing. Make their lives miserable.

  73. 73


    That path most likely includes Joe Manchin, too.

    The one who said he’ll never vote to repeal Obamacare?

    ETA: even if we were to assume that Manchin, rather than being a shitty Dem, is not a Dem at all (which is what would happen if he voted with R’s on this), what good would being the 53rd vote do for anybody?

  74. 74
    Tazj says:

    I just called Collins’office (NY 27). Now you can get through, asshole. I gave them a piece of my mind but it didn’t make me feel better. I didn’t swear or yell but I don’t like to give anyone grief. He derseves it not his staff but he hides from everyone.
    I can only hope others are as angry in the district.

  75. 75
    bemused says:


    I’d have a hard time not crying but my congressman is Dem Nolan. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to have a townhall and talk about the health tax cut giveaway bill to all the meatheads in my district.

    Seriously, do those GOPers and staffers think about or care at all about their own relatives and friends that will be screwed and how they would face them? Sorry about your diabetes or cancer but now you have choice! Guess not. These people are not human.

  76. 76
    A Ghost to Most says:

    You might as well include Mike Coffman. He would have voted for it, had they needed him.

  77. 77
    Raoul says:


    Do House members have a recess coming up soon? Hope their constituents give them a hot welcome home.

    Part of the excuse for voting before CBO score was that they have a recess soon. But good luck finding these a-holes in public back in the districts. They’ll party in the walled off, Secret Service protected Rose Garden, but these chickeshits who avoid town halls already, well you can expect hand-picked Chamber of Commerce events, and plenty of private donor parties, but minimal public appearances.

    They know how unpopular what they are doing is. Duck and cover (and most likely several late-breaking announcements of retirements to lucrative law firms/lobby shops) will be the watchword.

  78. 78
    Mike J says:

    Molly Hooper‏ @mollyhooper
    .@Reince exiting gop cloakroom tells me: “The president stepped up and helped punt the ball into the end zone.”

  79. 79
    Erin in Flagstaff says:

    I called all the Republican reps who voted for this in Arizona and let them know that even though I’m not in their district, I’ll be donating to their challengers next year. Luckily, my rep Tom O’Halleran voted against it.

  80. 80
    The Moar You Know says:

    I absolutely berated the staffer who answered.

    @Yarrow: I understand the rage and the urge but you absolutely can’t do that. They have zero influence on the people they “work” for (work in quotes because they’re almost always not paid). They just deliver the call numbers on a spreadsheet.

    A few are true believers but most are just trying to get a job out of college.

  81. 81
    Yarrow says:

    @Barbara: FYI, the Congressperson whose staffer I berated that I mentioned above is on that list. I told the staffer I would do everything in my power to make sure he is voted out.

  82. 82
    TenguPhule says:

    @A Ghost to Most: Damn. This time I was hoping it really was just me.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    So my charitable giving changes as of today. In addition to my donations to Jason Kander’s voting PAC and Planned Parenthood, I will be directing money to my local free clinics and other healthcare orgs to try and mitigate the damage here in California, which will be considerable even with a solidly blue government.

  84. 84
    randy khan says:


    Don’t forget Freylinghusen, one of the guys who effectively killed the earlier bill), and MacArthur from New Jersey, for the hall of shame.

  85. 85
    sharl says:

    Those of you who are for that Applegate guy in the Dem. primary – in the district currently held by Issa – might want to check whatever social media places you haunt to make sure he is putting himself out there NOW. I’ve already seen a number of links by Levin and his supporters on Twitter, especially on threads noting the passage of AHCA.

    The reality is that rage like this can be monetized, and IMO should be, given the way our political campaign funding “system” works; we’re stuck with that reality.

    I’m nowhere near California, and I don’t have a dog in the Applegate-Levin-etc. primary, but like some of you, I’d hate to see B-J take a side in a primary, at least not without first seeing good reason(s) to do so. In the meantime, if y’all – as individuals – feel strongly about a particular candidate, do what you can with the means available to you, including social media.

  86. 86
    The Moar You Know says:

    Am I still the only one who thinks these idiots really do want to kick off an actual Civil War?

    @TenguPhule: No. We’ve discussed this. I think they want it very much. The thing is – and they know this – is we’d get absolutely creamed in such a scenario.

  87. 87
    rob! says:

    Please consider doing an Act Blue for Andrew Kim, who is raising $ to run against Tom McArthur, the f*cker whose name is on one of the ghastly amendments to the bill.

    NJ is a blue state, but our district went +6 for Trump. McArthur must figure he’s safe. Let’s prove him wrong.

  88. 88

    Can we target corporations that contributed to Congressmen who voted yes? For example, Home Depot and Coca-Cola contributed to Jody Hice, my congressturd. I’d like to thank them for fucking with our health care. Yay or nay?

  89. 89

    @Mike J: “that’s how sportsball works, right?” Reince added.

  90. 90
    Mike J says:

    Senate Republicans said Thursday they won’t vote on the House-passed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, but will write their own legislation instead.

  91. 91
    A Ghost to Most says:

    Prepare. I am. Not sure what that means to someone on an island. I know what it means to me.

  92. 92
    martian says:

    Hey, I just want to thank everyone here who’s fought and is fighting. I’m really fucked now, I think, but I won’t forget that people here tried to stop it while half my own family voted in favour of rolling the dice on my and my little girl’s lives. Such is love among the fascists, I guess. I’m sure they’d throw me a sphagetti dinner down at the volunteer firehouse if the cancer ever comes back. #blessed

  93. 93
    Mnemosyne says:

    I know I need to eat lunch, but I’m honestly sick to my stomach right now. I bought a bistro box from Starbucks to eat later in case I calm down.

  94. 94

    @Mnemosyne: I feel like smashing everything around me.

  95. 95

    @Mike J: but I was told this would pass the senate, and in ten seconds, too.

  96. 96
    Sebastian says:

    All I know is that if I were to die because of this, or God forbid, my child were to die because of this … I would take one or more of these people with me.

    A handgun can be had for less than $200.

  97. 97
    Chris says:


    @The Moar You Know: Am I still the only one who thinks these idiots really do want to kick off an actual Civil War?

    I’m increasingly convinced that we might really be in for one.

    Ever since the teabagger years, I’ve said that I think we’re headed for a nation-threatening crisis sometime in my lifetime of the kind we hadn’t had since the Civil War or the Great Depression – not literally another war or another depression, but something on that level, simply because the GOP had become so fanaticized and nihilistic that I couldn’t see how their actions didn’t eventually push the system so far that it simply breaks, even if I lack the imagination to know what that would look like.

    Nowadays, though, I honestly think the simple Civil War: The Reboot scenario – a Democrat is elected at some point in the future, and it makes them so fucking mad that they simply start a revolution then and there – is perfectly plausible. Not likely, maybe, but plausible.

  98. 98
    rikyrah says:

    From the Liberal Librarian:

    Our existential moment

    Liberal Librarian May 4, 2017
    It’s done. The House GOP has voted to replace Obamacare with something which is actually worse than what obtained before it took effect.

    I’ve been filled with a blinding rage most of the morning. But that has suddenly passed. Now I have a grim determination.

    I’m determined to make sure every vulnerable Republican congress member who voted for this abortion suffers at the ballot box. I’m determined that every “moderate” who voted no likewise suffers. There are no “moderates”, just less insane Republicans. On every other piece of legislation, they will vote with their party. I’m determined to make sure the Senate doesn’t pass this abomination of a bill.

    I’m determined that my country will not be defined by the morons, the reactionaries, the openly evil. I’m determined that people of good will, of empathy, of righteousness, will prevail over the sons of darkness.

    I’m determined that I will see my country through this illness, this necessary illness. The disease has had a long gestation, and was bound to erupt sooner or later. As with most illnesses, it’s best to have it happen and find the cure than let it fester and rob you of strength.

    I’m determined that these people who have no regard for our common humanity will not change who I am. I know I won’t change them. Circumstances and consequences are the only things which will change them. I hope they suffer the full brunt of their blind hatred.

    I’m determined that I will live long enough and well enough to see a reborn America, one which is better than what went before, one which will look upon this time in horror and vow “Never again”.

  99. 99
    ChrisB says:

    @Barbara: And not just the ones who voted yes. As you said the ones who were allowed to vote no (and believe me they all knew what they were f’ing doing) are the most vulnerable. Go after them just as hard.

  100. 100
    Sebastian says:

    @Mingobat f/k/a Karen in GA:

    Yay, everyone must pay.

  101. 101

    @The Moar You Know: What is the basis for this prediction?

  102. 102

    @Major Major Major Major: Punting into the endzone is just like a touchdown.

  103. 103
    Yarrow says:

    @The Moar You Know: Sorry. Disagree. They choose to work or “work” there. They pay the price. They have choices. They could work or “work” for a Democrat. They are complicit. I did ask for the person in charge of health care policy and they told me that person was not available. So the staffer got to hear what I had to say.

    I have little doubt that if they are inundated with angry callers that that information will make its way up the chain.

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:


    Here’s Jason Kander’s voter protection PAC, Let America Vote.

    Republicans are going to do everything they can to prevent people from voting in 2018. We need to start fighting that NOW.

  105. 105
    JMG says:

    If the Senate intends to write its own bill, that will take some time. And then there’d have to be a conference committee, and then two more votes on reconciled legislation. That’d be a battle between McConnell and Ryan. I’d have to bet Mitch there.

  106. 106
    Bg says:

    Ros-Lehtinen’s seat will be open and could easily go Dem. Curbelo and Diaz-Balart really deserve to go down and could be vulnerable. We just need good candidates

  107. 107
    randy khan says:


    That is excellent. I told my wife that ads would be running tomorrow, but I’m glad to be wrong by a day.

  108. 108

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I suppose it does result in something starting with “touch”.

  109. 109
    bemused says:

    My Dem Rep Rick Nolan is planning some listening sessions next week at home. Unfortunately we will be out of town but plan to encourage friends to attend. I told staffer Nolan should talk about GOP death bill vote. He barely squeeked a win in Nov due to the Trumpster votes.

  110. 110
    eclare says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled: Filled with rage here. Just called my solid D rep to thank him for his vote, started crying. Could barely talk. I guess that is the other side of rage.

  111. 111
    JMG says:

    @Raoul: When it doesn’t involve coal, Manchin’s been a much better vote for the Democratic caucus than I expected.

  112. 112
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Lolis: It is worse in at least one way because it cuts Medicaid a lot — and Medicaid provides the funding for adults with disability (not just medical but living expenses like group home rent); medical care for low-income mothers and children; and medical care for the poor elderly, particularly those in nursing homes.

    I can tell you that my inbox is full of mail from freaked-out disability advocacy organizations.

  113. 113
    Chris says:


    Seriously, do those GOPers and staffers think about or care at all about their own relatives and friends that will be screwed and how they would face them? Sorry about your diabetes or cancer but now you have choice! Guess not. These people are not human.

    They’re congressmen. If it ever happens to someone they know, all they have to do is make some phone calls to the right people. If the worst comes to the worst and they can’t sweet-talk anyone at the hospital or the insurance company, they still have enough billionaires on speed dial to have some money donated so that everything’s paid for out of pocket.

    It’s like wondering why rich socially liberal Republican women don’t give a shit about funding Planned Parenthood. They’ll always be able to fly to Canada and have a discreet operation done. What do they care if the sluts who clean their rooms can’t afford the same? They should’ve thought of that and been born rich.

  114. 114

    @Major Major Major Major: “Back” or “down” same difference.

  115. 115
    trollhattan says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Well, there’s the subset that says, “I may got nuttin’ but you got less, so HA-HA.”

  116. 116
    Mike J says:

    @Sebastian: Felonies are never helpful discussion.

  117. 117
    A Ghost to Most says:

    Excellent. Don’t let them off the hook.

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:


    CA-25 Steve Knight

    He’s my target based on geography. I need to talk to my friends who live in his district and see who his challenger will be.

  119. 119
    Miss Bianca says:

    @A Ghost to Most: And Scott Tipton voted “yes”. Fuck that asshole. I am going to devote some of my scarily scarce $ to Swing Left to get that smirking piece of shit appropriately shit-canned.

  120. 120

    @vheidi: Collins is next District east of me (my Rep is Brian Higgins). He (and King) are rat bastards. I’m starting to work my Senators, Schumer & Gillibrand. I’m pretty damn sure I know how they’ll vote.

  121. 121
    Yarrow says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I can tell you that my inbox is full of mail from freaked-out disability advocacy organizations.

    What you need is your inbox full of mail from freaked out people who voted for Trump–the kind you mention you know from your disability groups. Have you heard anything from them yet? Maybe forward them some emails?

  122. 122
    sharl says:

    FYI, Doug put up a new post – a corrective for his earlier post – that includes a link to Swing Left.

  123. 123
    Chris says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    @TenguPhule: No. We’ve discussed this. I think they want it very much. The thing is – and they know this – is we’d get absolutely creamed in such a scenario.

    If we started it, absolutely. It wouldn’t be a war. It’d be a pogrom.

    If they started it, Fort Sumter style? That’s different.

  124. 124
    bemused says:


    If the GOP bill became an reality, there would a hell of a lot more people in their lives that will be hurting than even before ACA.. I don’t think they’d be able to “fix” things for them all.

  125. 125
    TenguPhule says:

    @A Ghost to Most: My only hope is that we get annexed by Japan as a new province during the collapse of the union. Every other option doesn’t end well.

  126. 126
    zhena gogolia says:


    Closest one to me is Faso in NY-19, which is the district I’ve “adopted” via Swing Left.

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mingobat f/k/a Karen in GA:

    Can we target corporations that contributed to Congressmen who voted yes? For example, Home Depot and Coca-Cola contributed to Jody Hice, my congressturd. I’d like to thank them for fucking with our health care. Yay or nay?

    I say ABSOLUTELY yes. They have less tolerance for bad publicity than Congress does.

  128. 128
    zhena gogolia says:


    We’re fighting. We’re pissed as hell and we’re not going to take it any more.

  129. 129

    @TenguPhule: historically, getting annexed by Japan hasn’t been all sunshine and puppy dogs either.

  130. 130
    zhena gogolia says:


    Too bad I never patronize either of them already.

  131. 131
    Chris says:


    @The Moar You Know: Sorry. Disagree. They choose to work or “work” there. They pay the price. They have choices. They could work or “work” for a Democrat. They are complicit. I did ask for the person in charge of health care policy and they told me that person was not available. So the staffer got to hear what I had to say.

    My mentality on this is just “given what you know about the GOP and its obsession with ideological purity, what do you think are the odds that the staffer isn’t a Republican? And specifically, a Republican who fully intends to go into politics and make a career out of writing, promoting, and passing horrors exactly like this one?”

    I remember what College Republicans were like at AU, and every single one of them deserved to be chewed out like one of R. Lee Ermey’s recruits.

  132. 132
    HeleninEire says:

    Does anyone have the roll call? I am assuming King in NY voted yes but I need confirmation before I nag my Dad who lives in his district to call him. Although by the time I nag, Daddy prolly would have called already.

  133. 133
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Let me know who the good folks out there are, and my wife and I will kick in. We aren’t rich, but we have enough for good causes. Dumping that asshole is a good cause.

    Eta: besides, we want to retire in that district.

  134. 134

    @Tazj: he’s next district over from me; I’ll be in the area tomorrow, I may pop into his Buffalo office for a ‘chat’

  135. 135
    TenguPhule says:

    @Chris: My concern is that this time we’re not going to have two readily defined sides. Rage, pain, despair and hate leading to general civic breakdown because too many people have absorbed “both sides do it!” to the point that they think “Okay then, only going to be my side! Screw everyone else”

    A strong federal government would have the upper hand in that case, but the GOP is trying to do the same to the federal government too, leading to the same “defend our own turf at all costs” mentality which is fracturing the country.

  136. 136
    Sebastian says:

    @Mike J:

    Of course they are not. But the reality is that it is sheer madness to create a pool of millions of desperate people with nothing left to lose and a clear grudge while having unlimited access to high powered firearms … sheer madness.

  137. 137
    Lizzy L says:

    @Ohio Mom: A dear friend of mine who is poor, disabled, AND elderly will be living in a nursing home in 6 months. If the Medicaid money is still there. If not — I have no idea. Damn them.

  138. 138
    Mnemosyne says:


    I agree with you and Yarrow. If the volunteer staffer doesn’t like being screamed at by outraged constituents, they can find another job. If you choose to support a Republican, prepare for the blowback from that decision.

  139. 139
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: Get angry today. Get busy tomorrow.

    Me personally, I’m thisclose to pushing the Hatch Act to the limit. Because honestly if they’re not gonna enforce it against Comey and Lucrezia they come after me I’m fighting that shit.

  140. 140
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Yes, but that was before the nation turned over a new leaf. And again, it STILL beats all of the other alternatives I’ve been able to plot out.

  141. 141
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Mnemosyne: both of Home Depots co-founders are seriously yuuuge GOP funders . IIRC one of them OBamas mild comments about their rich doing their share to slavery. One complained about Pope Francis’ comments being pinko commie. Silence about actual Russian influence on Lumpy though.

  142. 142

    @TenguPhule: Honestly I think a slowish descent into something like Snow Crash is more likely than civil war.

  143. 143
    ET says:

    I have a feeling in the GOP caucus there is a huge amount of buyers remorse that is only going to get bigger when the details of the rushed piece of crap is examined. Saying that the stories that are going to come out of the Senate offices about this will be interesting. I just hope the Trump voters on KyNect of Kentucky that were interviewed for that Atlantic article call up their Senators (looking to you Mitch) to express how angry they are. Not that Mitch will care because like Trump, Mitch only cares about Mitch. He doesn’t give a rats patootie about his constituents.

    So far the Senate has been able to sit on the sidelines of this but now it has landed on their desk like a bag of doggie poop set on fire.

  144. 144
    The Moar You Know says:

    What is the basis for this prediction?

    @schrodingers_cat: Liberals tend not to own guns, and usually hew to a pacifistic worldview that abjures violence.

    Conservatives own guns, work in lockstep, and love the idea of violence. Their religion approves of it as well.

    I know who would win such a war. I’m hoping we don’t have one. But I think we might, as per the scenario listed above by Chris:

    a Democrat is elected at some point in the future, and it makes them so fucking mad that they simply start a revolution then and there

    has gone from “farfetched” to “fairly likely”.

  145. 145
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mike J: But let’s not pretend its not going to happen sooner or later at this rate. Some of us are only human.

  146. 146
    The Moar You Know says:

    If they started it, Fort Sumter style? That’s different.

    @Chris: the results would be no different. Pogrom.

  147. 147
    Miss Bianca says:

    @A Ghost to Most: Well the one we had running against him this time round was Gail Schwartz. Fantastic state senator, did a lot of good. First election she ever lost, to my knowledge. Gods, I hope she runs again, but Democrats are so bad about fleeing from candidates (particularly female candidates) who are perceived to have Loser Stink on them that I don’t know if that’s a likely scenario.

  148. 148
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Every city is three missed meals away from rioting. There aren’t enough security forces in the USA to even try to maintain order if something ever goes really wrong. The biggest defense of law and order here has always been the unspoken agreement that the law applies to all and therefore needs to be respected and obeyed.

    Take away the respect and the whole system falls apart.

    Trump and the GOP are doing their best to blow up the institutional respect earned over 200 years.

  149. 149
    A Ghost to Most says:

    Who knows what will happen. Hopefully, no “event” happens that lights a fuse. But I feel we may be off the map soon.

  150. 150

    @TenguPhule: sure but that’s all true of every country, minus the part about republicans, and most every country, even most of the ones with absurdly unequal corrupt ineffective governments aren’t having civil wars.

  151. 151
    LurkerNoLonger says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled:

    I feel like smashing everything around me.

    If it wasn’t for Xanax I’d be right there with you.

  152. 152
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    You need a majority for a pogrom. They don’t have a majority.

  153. 153
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @The Moar You Know: Not all liberals are unarmed.

  154. 154
    Chris says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    For them.

    (Except no. If the entire Civil War was refought today, I have absolutely no confidence that the “good guys” would handle the aftermath any better after they’d won. Look at all the people now telling us to be nice and understanding to the poor misunderstood right wingers…)

  155. 155
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Do you know if she is going to run again? I remember her commercials.

  156. 156
    Shalimar says:

    @Barbara: I have a house in Martha Roby’s district, though I don’t live there most of the time. Time to start calling her offices now that I’m reminded that I can be a constituent next year if I want.

  157. 157
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: We’re pretty much the only major country (aside from Canada) that doesn’t have multiple violent changes of government in its long history. This is part of what’s contributed to our long term stability. People just couldn’t really imagine it happening here.

    The closest we ever came (aside from the Civil War) was the Great Depression and FDR saw what was coming and did everything to keep it at bay.

    Trump is the anti-FDR.

  158. 158
    The Moar You Know says:

    Not all liberals are unarmed.

    @A Ghost to Most: I’d feel a lot better if you’d just typed “no liberals are unarmed”.

    Oh well.

  159. 159
    Miss Bianca says:

    @A Ghost to Most: I don’t know. I may drop her an email and find out (I’m on her mailing list).

  160. 160
    dlm says:

    @A Ghost to Most: I’m glad you bought this up. We don’t brag about what we own. They do. They’re fools.

  161. 161
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne: They wouldn’t need one. They’d just need a violent minority that can keep everyone else in compliance through threats and demonstrations.

    But so far Trump couldn’t organize an orgy in a whorehouse.

  162. 162
    MomSense says:


    We are not giving up. We will call our Senators every damned day. Whatever. It. Fucking. Takes.

  163. 163
    Chris says:


    I also don’t think FDR had the kind of fanaticism to contend with that we do now. From the zillionaires, sure, but by 1932, it was literally them versus everyone else.

    The political scene we have now is like what the 1930s would have been if the entire Huey Long/William Jennings Bryan part of the political scene had chosen to throw its full-throated support behind the zillionaires, instead of asking for relief.

  164. 164
    MCA1 says:

    @The Moar You Know: First of all, the lack of neat geographic lines delineating one “side” from the other in the current national schism makes anything like a formal civil war impossible here. There’s no one to secede. The only thing that could happen currently would be one side or the other rising up with pitchforks until the military, which would of course be controlled by the other side, stepped in to put a stop to it.

    Under the massive roving street gang anarchy you seem to be envisioning, though, I still don’t necessarily agree with your prediction. In a federal gov’t collapse sort of scenario, I’d bet on the densely populated team. First, you take out the 50-75% of both sides that don’t actually take up arms in most civil unrest scenarios. That leaves one side with ranchers and gun nuts and militia-type rednecks – older, significantly more spread out, and not much in the way of resources or connectivity. The other side does not, then, include your standard issue peace love and Birkenstocks liberals, but does include a few constituencies who are more than well-armed enough, are much more centralized/concentrated, easily organized and harder to pick off one by one. Also, there are more guns in this country than there are people – both sides would find plenty.

  165. 165
    The Truffle says:

    @MomSense: That’s what I’m doing. It’s clear this bill was shoved through with no oversight. Once the CBO report comes out, it’ll put things in perspective. I don’t know that the execrable McConnell will have the same luck Ryan did.
    Let’s not just think about the moderate senators but also first term senators up in 2018: Flake, Heller and Fischer. They are especially in a vulnerable spot.

    The numbers need to come out now, and the Dems need a new Contract with America so they can do in 2018 what the Republicans did in 1994.

  166. 166
    TenguPhule says:

    @Chris: FDR defused a lot of it with his recovery programs, but I’ve read several historical accounts that we really were in danger of a Fascist or Communist revolt breaking out and potentially spreading from flashpoints in the major cities of the time.

  167. 167
    TenguPhule says:

    @MCA1: But then we get into the whole infrastructure and transportation network problem. Today’s networks and utilities are not designed to handle even a little widespread civil unrest. Too many vulnerable points with too many areas of access.

    You remember all those accidental environmental disasters and power failures from falling branches?

    Imagine what happens when they start becoming deliberate.

    Iraq right in our own backyards.

    Only worse, at least nobody on either side of that civil war was crazy enough to poison their water supplies.

  168. 168
    Raoul says:

    @Mike J: I just made the biggest single political donation of my life. Split 207 ways it won’t make a huge difference in each race. But I’m glad to help, and glad to add to the sense of momentum (and rage!) today.

  169. 169
    Glidwrith says:

    @Lolis: It was already worse with the prior iteration. Now it touches employer-based insurance as well.

  170. 170
    Juju says:

    @bemused: they are taking an 11 day weekend.

  171. 171
    Mnemosyne says:


    You live pretty far from Los Angeles, don’t you?

    Explain how a tiny handful of gun nuts keeps 503 square miles under control. And that’s just the city itself — the county covers 4,751 square miles.

  172. 172
    Mnemosyne says:


    There’s a reason why all of the “sovereign citizen” uprisings have been remote rural areas. They don’t have that many people and there’s no way that (at best) 100 gun nuts could control Los Angeles or NYC or Chicago. Nah. Gah. Happen.

  173. 173
    Mnemosyne says:


    Also, too, anyone who gambles that no one in Los Angeles has a gun needs to wander over to some of our less salubrious neighborhoods, most of which are majority-minority.

    Or, as Rick said in Casablanca, “There are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.”

  174. 174
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Yarrow: Yes, thankew, Mayhew! That one I will donate to. Remember, ISSA spelled backwards is ASS-I!

  175. 175
    Chris says:


    I was mostly thinking in terms of “who does the U.S. military follow,” the answer to which is “the lawfully elected civilian authority, whether or not they voted for him and no matter how big a numbskull he is.” (You’d inevitably have defectors, but I don’t believe that liberals need have any concern about military coups or the like).

    In the case of a complete collapse of state authority… that question becomes “where do all the soldiers go?” (or to put it another way, “who’s the AQI/ISIS to their disbanded-Iraqi-army?”) Which, hooo boy.


    My understanding was that the threat wasn’t so much fascism breaking out in revolution, so much as fascism being imposed from the top when the politicians and other ruling elites concluded that liberal democracy was simply no longer sustainable and that taking a page out of Mussolini’s book was the only way to prevent a complete breakdown of social order. (A communist revolution succeeding, I just flat out don’t buy).

    A movie supporting that premise was promoted by William Randolph Hearst called “Gabriel Over The White House” – – I haven’t seen it, the Wikipedia commentary is quite disturbing enough. I suspect it’s a good summary of what many people were resigning themselves would have to happen.

  176. 176
    gorram says:

    @Mnemosyne: Conversely, what we’re seeing the first inklings of are major cities’ governments partnering with local dissidents, and working on how they would source funds without federal support. Secession (attempted or successful) isn’t just a military problem, but also an administrative one, that the laboratories of democracy are working on the case.

  177. 177
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne: Hold the water and electrical plants hostage. Seize all food from the stores/markets/warehouses. Distribution only with ID checks. Shut down to any point of resistance and presumably cordon off individual sections of the city as needed for pacification.

    (Presuming an armed brownshirt force large enough to overwhelm or subsume local police forces)

    As a doomsday threat, have poisonous contamination ready to go into the aquifer to permanently deny all residents portable water should all else fail.

    Numbers and organization is key.

    /Removes evil bastard cap

  178. 178
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne: Now if they’re smaller in number, say, just a couple hundred (or less) spread out over the entire city, Then its just a really large group of terrorists.

    Which is a problem in its own right.

  179. 179
    Ubu Imperator says:

    David Young, the rep. for IA-3—and exactly the kind of guy who’s vulnerable—flipped his vote from no to yes in the last 18 hours, signing on as a co-sponsor to the Upton Amendment after telling constituents for literally weeks that he opposed the bill. He pulled exactly this same kind of last-second weaselly stunt last year on a bill that would’ve banned LGBT discrimination by employers. He’d be a great future candidate for Balloon Juice opposition once the IA Dems nominate a candidate to run against him.

  180. 180
    Mnemosyne says:


    Los Angeles County has 8 different municipalities that all have their own water and power systems. How many of your resources do you dedicate to taking over each of those? We don’t have aquifers, we have reservoirs, about 100 of them scattered over the 2,000 square miles of the county. How many people do you dedicate to that?

    New York is easy — blow up a couple of bridges and everyone is stranded on Manhattan Island. Southern California is a much tougher nut to crack.

  181. 181
    Mnemosyne says:


    But then you run into the same problem that other aspiring terrorists have run into: what do you attack? We don’t have a World Trade Center. If you blow up a building in downtown LA, half the population won’t notice, because the only people who work downtown are lawyers.

    You’d have to attack the airport and Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, but lone-wolf terrorists haven’t had much luck there, either.

    I’m sure that Disneyland is a target, but they know it and they have very tight security long before you get past the parking lot. Including bomb-sniffing dogs, the last time I was there about three weeks ago.

  182. 182
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think we should just stop here. If I put my evil bastard cap on again I could find plenty of things that would cause terror but best not to have them floating anywhere they can be seen by anyone not sane.

  183. 183
    mdblanche says:

    @Chris: When FDR saw that movie, he supposedly liked it…

  184. 184
    Denny Kolb says:

    I live in the district next to Issa, and my rep is a Dem so I can’t vote against the fuckers but I’ll certainly donate some bucks to help get Issa out of office.

Comments are closed.