That Echo Chorus Lied to Me

Let’s feel really, really sad about the dilemmas that Republicans and Trump appointees find themselves in.

In the aftermath of the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Republican lawmakers and leaders face the most unpalatable set of choices yet in their relationship with President Trump. They are caught between disgust over his failure to unequivocally condemn neo-Nazism, a desire to advance a conservative agenda and fears of rupturing the Trump-GOP coalition ahead of the 2018 elections.

If you enjoy watching a bunch of powerful assholes wring their hands about their self-induced powerlessness, read that whole piece.

On the one hand, Nazis. On the other, tax cuts. What’s an old white man to do?

And then there’s Mnuchin:

“While I find it hard to believe I should have to defend myself on this, or the president, I feel compelled to let you know that the president in no way, shape or form believes that neo-Nazi and other hate groups who endorse violence are equivalent to groups that demonstrate in peaceful and lawful ways,” Mnuchin, who is Jewish, said in a statement released by the Treasury Department.
His comments followed assertions by Trump last week that there was blame on “both sides” at the Charlottesville gathering organized by white supremacist groups that turned deadly and that some “fine people” participated in a march to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.
Mnuchin was among the Trump administration officials standing by Trump’s side as he made those comments at Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday at an event advertised to focus on Trump’s plans to spur new investments in the nation’s infrastructure.

First, let’s pause to note that those three paragraphs of straight reporting should be taught in what’s left of journalism schools as a primer on showing that a politician is full of shit. Second, Mnuchin is worth something like $500 million, yet he’s willing to serve as a cabinet member of an obvious clown who thinks there are some good Nazis.

On the one hand, selling out, losing friends, betraying your long-suffering people, and being on the wrong side of history. On the other hand, a little power.

Dilemmas, they’re everywhere.






279 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    Do we know whether or not Mnuchin has a soul? He stood next to the man who spoke about very fine people. Very fine people do not join a white supremacy, neo-nazi rally. Very fine people do not defend the president’s bile. Very fine people do not work for the Trump administration.

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    ot but a little bit of good news
    Trump’s approval numbers
    Michigan 36
    Pennsylvania 35
    Wisconsin 34

  3. 3
    Neldob says:

    They are not conservatives. They are right wing extremists. Call them what they are for reality’s sake! Democrats are the real conservatives. Sheesh, etc.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    On the one hand, Nazis. On the other, tax cuts. What’s an old white man to do?

    I’ll go with tax cuts.

  5. 5
    p.a. says:

    @JPL: Does it make me a starry eyed optimist to be confounded that he’s still above 30%? Is idiot the only other option? 😔

  6. 6
    Schlemazel says:

    @Neldob:
    That kind of talk will feed the Stein/Bern crowd and ensure the election of more Republicans

  7. 7
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Neldob: The “conservative” authoritarian cult needs to own all of this, and good Americans should make them own this.

  8. 8
    ThresherK says:

    “While I find it hard to believe I should have to defend myself on this, or the president…”

    I don’t.

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    “While I find it hard to believe I should have to defend myself on this, or the president, I feel compelled to let you know that the president in no way, shape or form believes that neo-Nazi and other hate groups who endorse violence are equivalent to groups that demonstrate in peaceful and lawful ways,” Mnuchin, who is Jewish, said in a statement, “Now I have to get back to cleaning the ovens. Thank you all very much.”

  10. 10
    WarMunchkin says:

    BUT Should Democrats Have Done More? by your local Republicentrist columnist.

  11. 11
    A Ghost to Most says:

    Is anybody sure Mnuchin wasn’t the guy purportedly wrapped in the Israeli flag at the Boston Common Rout?

  12. 12
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @p.a.: Tom Nichols, paleoconservative, has a good thread on this

    Replying to @ RadioFreeTom
    Trump’s people are invested in him. Their identities are linked to his. They know he’s a mess, but he’s their white knight. /2
    Some of them will finally peel away as this gets worse, but others will double and triple down, and never admit they made a mistake. /4
    And partly because it’s going to infuriate them for the rest of their voting lives that Trump imploded, which they’ll blame on others. /6
    I don’t know how many. But 20 years from now, there will be old people with Trump pictures in their nursing home room. Count on it. /7

    the whole thread has a lot of both-sidesism about something called “Clinton cultists”– which may exist but is nothing close to half the Democratic party– but I do think he nails the trump cultist. And of course, the most important word in the whole thread is “white”.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @WarMunchkin: Democratic hubris is always the root cause.

  14. 14
    debbie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’m pretty fed up with this, “Don’t listen to his words; Watch what he does.” Aside from the fact that what he does also sucks, not holding a president to his words has got to be the worst advice ever. Trump’s words got him elected, and now, we should ignore them?

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I’d be more than proud to be considered a Clinton cultist and to compare her words to his.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @debbie:

    What that usually means is that Trump is a liar so don’t believe anything he says.

    Since he has not defended his pro-Nazi words on the fact that he’s a liar, you can ignore that advice here.

  17. 17
    hedgehog mobile says:

    Mnuchin is a kapo.

  18. 18
    Another Scott says:

    It’s hard to resist the temptation, but we shouldn’t get caught up in the trap of arguing about what people “believe” or “have in their hearts”.

    Trump tells us that Bannon isn’t a racist.

    Mnuchen tells us that Trump doesn’t believe that both sides are equivalent.

    It doesn’t matter what they think or believe. Nobody but Trump or Bannon knows what they think or believe.

    What matters is what they do.

    Jay Smooth – How to tell someone they sound racist (2:59)

    LOLGOP at Eclectablog – Trump doesn’t care about confederate statues any more than he cared about Obama’s birth certificate.

    Trump is pushing buttons. We have to keep our eyes on the prize.

    WaPo:

    White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon appears unfazed by accusations that the president he serves is racist — or, at least, far too tolerant of racists. In fact, Bannon welcomes such charges as harbingers of victory.

    “This past election, the Democrats used every personal attack, including charges of racism, against President Trump,” Bannon wrote in an email to The Washington Post on Thursday. “He then won a landslide victory on a straightforward platform of economic nationalism. As long as the Democrats fail to understand this, they will continue to lose.”

    Bannon’s words echoed what he said two days earlier in an interview with the American Prospect.

    “The Democrats: The longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em,” he told journalist Robert Kuttner. “I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

    If one ignores the lies and the spin, he’s got a point, but it doesn’t mean he will win.

    They recognize that they can’t win on policy. They don’t care about policy. They can’t win on accomplishments. They don’t care about accomplishments. They want to shrink the government so that it’s “small enough to drown in a bathtub”. They can only win by riling up their voters, disillusioning our voters (, and tilting the playing field through voter suppression). It’s their only path to victory. We have to be smart in how we fight back.

    Yes, we must combat the racism, that is essential. But we also have to talk about what we will do besides fight Trump. We need a compelling message that people believe.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Mnuchin is a Kapo.

    Fuck him.

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    @Another Scott:

    We need a compelling message that people believe.

    That’s hard when the racism is what’s preventing them from believing it.

  21. 21
    Schlemazel says:

    @WarMunchkin:
    plus “Dems need to understand the economic anxiety that feeds those groups”

  22. 22

    @debbie: IMHO, words are a form of action, particularly when they’re delivered by someone with power. In Trump’s case, they’re also totally unreliable, but that tells us something too.

  23. 23

    @Baud: What he has done with his BFF and CoS Kelly (when he headed the DHS) on immigration has been pretty horrible. So when I judge him by his actions they are pretty horrible too.

    Its not just Mexicans and Muslims or those they consider “illegal” either.
    So far
    TPS status for central American children and Haitians, revoked
    # of RFEs for all kinds of immigration applications have gone through the roof
    Guidelines for Government labs and depts like EPA, NIH from the admin are preventing them from extending offers to international scholars/scientists on exchange programs etc.

  24. 24
    Schlemazel says:

    @debbie:
    Just yesterday I had a comment on FB about how he neds more time & I am not giving him a chance – BARF

    @Baud:
    words hell, lets compare their actions and behavior.

  25. 25
    satby says:

    @Another Scott: that’s true, but
    @Baud: unfortunately, so is this.

    And as long as outright propaganda is served up to a huge proportion of the population, I’m not sure how we get them to accept reality.

  26. 26
    Hal says:

    Both sides are to blame, amiright?!

    EDIT: Also, the NY Times running another Nope, Trump supporters still like their man story featuring a black woman. Never mind that 94% of black women voted for Clinton, they still went out of their way to find someone completely not representative of Trump’s base. *slow clap*

  27. 27
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @A Ghost to Most: I just posted about that guy in a previous thread. What are the odds that he is a gentile sporting that flag?

  28. 28
    satby says:

    Time to get ready for work. Everyone have a lovely day.

  29. 29
    kindness says:

    Elected Republicans aren’t ‘disgusted’ at the support of white supremists and nazis. It’s more an inside voice/outside voice thing. Republicans are embarrassed that they don’t have white supremists/nazis at arms length to be able to try to imply ‘oh them? They aren’t with us.’. That imply was always a lie.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nichols insists that Dems must get out more votes to defeat Trump, but Nichols also pooh poohs any impact of voter suppression or gerrymandering in GOP electoral advantage.

    So fuck him, too. He’s willfully blind to what his party has done.

  31. 31
    Keith P. says:

    Da Mnooch!

  32. 32
    satby says:

    @Schlemazel: an old lesson that people need to remember every day:

    Matthew 7:16-20King James Version (KJV)
    16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

  33. 33
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Baud: Far better than a “conservative” cultist.

  34. 34
    Baud says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Nichols insists that Dems must get out more votes to defeat Trump

    It’s so weird when people talk like that. Why would anyone talk about defeating Trump and then slough the responsibility onto other people? Normal people would say “we need to come out and vote against Trump.”

  35. 35

    @Hal: Fuck NYT, at this point they are collaborating with the new Nazi regime. Vichy Times.

  36. 36
    BethanyAnne says:

    Trump’s support has gone up among his base this past week. See here.

  37. 37
    Another Scott says:

    @Baud: Yup. It’s hard.

    But we have to work every day to solve the problem.

    They only won the Presidency in 2016 via a fluke. We picked up seats in the House and Senate. It wasn’t some “landslide” that swept Trump into power. But we have to fight for every single seat, and that means we have to stop being just reactive to what the Teabaggers want the political press to talk about.

    A bigger problem than Trump and Bannon is that 90-95% of incumbents win reelection. Changing the direction of the government is very hard because of that.

    Small swings matter, but to really make progress we need several cycles of landslides. That means getting disaffected voters – who don’t pay attention to day to day politics, but who are susceptible to “reasonable” arguments about not “erasing our history” – to turn out at the polls for every election. We need to increase voter registrations now and we need to make sure our candidates have enough resources (even via the hated DCCC and DSCC and all the rest of the organizations that spam our Inboxes). We need positive messages about how much better our future will be with the right policies, and we need to find ways to go around the RWNJ press that controls so much of the news these days….

    If this stuff were easy it would have been done already… ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  38. 38

    @BethanyAnne: That’s no surprise, deplorable is too gentle a word for these Nazi sympathizers.

  39. 39
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @hedgehog mobile: @Villago Delenda Est: I think I was being a little too subtle in @OzarkHillbilly: where I said without highlighting my addition,

    “While I find it hard to believe I should have to defend myself on this, or the president, I feel compelled to let you know that the president in no way, shape or form believes that neo-Nazi and other hate groups who endorse violence are equivalent to groups that demonstrate in peaceful and lawful ways,” Mnuchin, who is Jewish, said in a statement, “Now I have to get back to cleaning the ovens. Thank you all very much.”:

  40. 40
    Baud says:

    @Another Scott: That’s fine. But it’s no different than what we’ve tried to do in every election.

  41. 41
    rikyrah says:

    uh huh
    hmmph

    Woman Rearranges Doll Shelf Then Tweets That She Couldn’t Find A White Doll

    Oh yes. The Internet
    definitely had time for THIS one! She thought she was about to show
    “reverse racism” but only showed stupidity.

    Read more at: https://www.theblackloop.com/woman-rearranges-doll-shelves/https://www.theblackloop.com/woman-rearranges-doll-shelves/

  42. 42
    rikyrah says:

    LA Times editorial: Enough is Enough
    AUG. 20, 2017

    These are not normal times.

    The man in the White House is reckless and unmanageable, a danger to the Constitution, a threat to our democratic institutions.

    Last week some of his worst qualities were on display: his moral vacuity and his disregard for the truth, as well as his stubborn resistance to sensible advice. As ever, he lashed out at imaginary enemies and scapegoated others for his own failings. Most important, his reluctance to offer a simple and decisive condemnation of racism and Nazism astounded and appalled observers around the world.

    With such a glaring failure of moral leadership at the top, it is desperately important that others stand up and speak out to defend American principles and values. This is no time for neutrality, equivocation or silence. Leaders across America — and especially those in the president’s own party — must summon their reserves of political courage to challenge President Trump publicly, loudly and unambiguously.

    Enough is enough.

    http://www.latimes.com/project.....mp-enough/

  43. 43
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: he has a book out on the folly of people who dismiss expertise, then he retweets posts mocking climate science. He’s on Ana Marie Cox’s podcast this week raging about people who say that trump proves all Republicans are racist. No mention of voter suppression, Joe Wilson, attempts to erase the entire Obama presidency from the history books, Ted Nugent as the guest of Congressmen for the SOTU (I think that happened twice?) and of the president in the White, escorted by a very recent Vice Presidential nominee. He barely acknowledges the role of birtherism in the Republican party for almost a decade.

    Didn’t Kid Rock round out the trio on the Palin-Nugent visit to the Oval Office? He’s polling even with Debbie Stabenow for Senate, which ordinarily I would dismiss as lazy tribalism, but Donald Trump is president>

  44. 44
    debbie says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    These are the same people who shrieked in horror when Bill Clinton lied about having sex with Monica Lewinsky. Makes me nuts!

  45. 45
    Schlemazel says:

    @satby:
    I have used those lines with believers. They do not like when I do that!
    but I want to add the verse before:
    Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    I use that when discussing TELevangelists like Graham and Robertson who often make predictions and are never right. There there is this:
    Deu 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

  46. 46
    aimai says:

    @Another Scott: He didn’t win on a “platform of straightforward economic nationalism.” He won on economic nationalism coated thickly with racism and bigotry. Mere economic nationalism wouldn’t have done the trick.

  47. 47
    rikyrah says:

    Stacey Patton @DrStaceyPatton

    So this seems to have gone down at Howard University. White girls showed up in Trump gear to incite black students.
    2:36 PM – Aug 19, 2017

    joe prince‏ @joeprince___

    I love that the first interaction these girls have is with a black guy working at the cafe, and all he says is “fuck ya’ll.”
    8:02 PM – 19 Aug 2017

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Didn’t Kid Rock round out the trio on the Palin-Nugent visit to the Oval Office? He’s polling even with Debbie Stabenow for Senate, which ordinarily I would dismiss as lazy tribalism, but Donald Trump is president>

    We may be at a point where white America is committed to the GOP no matter what. When Kansas turned on Brownback, they did it by turning to other Republicans. Not Dems.

  49. 49
    stibbert says:

    I must say, my hat’s off to Boston. 40 years ago, judge-ordered school desegregation had the city in an ugly turmoil, but damn if the town didn’t come up (anti-) trumps yesterday!

  50. 50
    hueyplong says:

    Never underestimate their ability to refuse they made a mistake.

    We have an entire region continuing to insist that slaveowning is supportable as a matter of “honor.”

    American exceptionalism = standards/accountability for everyone “except” us.

    Thanks, voters who made these nozzles arbiters of what constitutes “us.”

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    I went to see STEP: the movie last night.
    It was a beautiful movie. Loved it. The story of the power of STEP through three young women, and the battles they face…
    how the school fought for them.

    https://youtu.be/kBbpCHeVwzA

    https://youtu.be/J0pH43s53s0

    https://youtu.be/Gs0H-qVIcbI

  52. 52
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Axios‏Verified account axios
    “You have no idea how much crazy stuff we kill.” Senior Trump Admin. officials on why they stay

    Matthew Yglesias‏Verified account @ mattyglesias 24m24 minutes ago
    The president’s own staff seek to portray themselves to journalists as believing that he is unfit for office
    Very different from Bush, whose top aides always insist he had hidden depths the public wasn’t seeing.
    there’s some of this, too, in the Axios story

    “Trump’s not as evil as portrayed”: All of them talk up the president as more reasonable off Twitter and TV than on it. This gives them hope (though almost all increasingly say it’s fleeting hope) he will listen to his better angels, or at least the pleas of Ivanka.

    does anyone, anywhere, really believe Ivanka “pleas” for anything other than the keys to the house in Aspen or that they lie to Tiffany about what time Thanksgiving dinner is? “We’re gonna have turkey on Friday, Tiff, really, it’s the Secret Service’s idea”

  53. 53
    WaterGirl says:

    @JPL: Wow! I read those and wondered where all the Republicans – earlier this week I read that 81% of Republicans approve of Trump – where all the Republicans are hanging out, and then I thought, oh, right, all those low-population red states. Sigh.

  54. 54
    smintheus says:

    Even news reports that mention racist and anti-Semitic chants in Charlottesville typically neglect to say that the marchers also chanted Nazi slogans. I keep asking these reporters why they omit that information, but have yet to get a response from a single one of them.

    Our media keeps failing us. How many reporters have ever bothered to mention that police discovered secret caches of dangerous weapons in advance of the Nazi riot? The virtual suppression of that information has been essential for the both-sides-are-to-blame propagandists.

  55. 55
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s inevitable that the media will portray the insiders as heros.

  56. 56
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Baud: Beat Sweetening, thy name is Mike Allen. Or something.

  57. 57

    On the one hand, selling out, losing friends, betraying your long-suffering people, and being on the wrong side of history. On the other hand, a little power.

    Power. Every. Single. Time. That’s what two-bit soulless ratfuck criminals do, and to expect otherwise is misguided.

  58. 58

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: BS. Nobody can hide their “better angels” that well.

  59. 59
    Barbara says:

    @Schlemazel: Ask specifically how much time and then start counting down on FB. This is a complete dodge.

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Well, to be perfectly honest, I posted first, read comments later, and you’re absolutely on target.

    Great minds, etc.

  61. 61
    Hal says:

    @Baud: At this point I think Kid Rock is benefiting from name recognition and celebrity. It’s a game right now, but once the actual midterm election is in full gear, can he actually convince people to vote for him? Trump is disgusting, but even I have to admit I can see where his persona, celebrity and money might make plenty of people think he was a legit candidate. I’m not seeing Kid Rock doing the same. But Trump is President, so I’m not dismissing the possibility at all.

  62. 62
    Another Scott says:

    @Baud: Maybe.

    The framing thus far has been that Trump is: 1) a monster, 2) a racist, 3) trying to destroy Obamacare and Medicaid, 4) threatening nuclear war, and 5) he’s in Putin’s pocket.

    Agreed?

    I think we agree that all that is true. And I think we all agree that 4 of the 5 of those points are new for an elected president (at least in extent).

    I don’t want us becoming trapped into thinking that what is obvious to us in our little ecosystem here is obvious as a national election strategy.

    62% say that Confederate leaders statues should remain as a historical symbol. :-/

    I was shocked by Trump’s “victory”. I thought it was much more likely that Hillary would have a surprise on the up-side. I don’t want us to take it for granted that “Trump is so horrible that of course he won’t serve out the year” or “The Republicans are imploding so of course the Democrats will win in 2018 and 2020″, etc.

    Yes, Democrats always try to get their message out. We need to do (even) better and not let wishful thinking guide us…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I don’t believe a word of this. Donald has shown us his heart, and it is ugly.

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I almost wish that Eminem would decide to run, too. I bet he would kick Kid Rock’s ass. But that would mean beating Stabenow in the primary since Eminem is a Democrat. 🤔

  65. 65
    MattF says:

    I keep going back to the notion of behavioral repertoire. It works for Trump and it works for the courtiers surrounding him. They all have the same deficits– when threatened, they do certain things because they have to.

  66. 66
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: I always have to stop and think which is which– Kid Rock is the trust fund baby, the other one made a biopic that is actually said to be pretty good.

    If we’re gonna recruit old Michigan rockers, I gather Bob Seger has been using his concerts to advocate for climate awareness. But the Bay City Rollers are actually not from Michigan, I believe.

  67. 67
    Another Scott says:

    @smintheus: On the “weapons caches”, the RWNJ media was saying that the police were saying that there were no such caches (according to headlines I scanned). I haven’t had enough interest in the story to know whether McAuliffe was misquoted or the police were or what. No doubt that the RWNJ media would be spinning like mad even if it were true, so…

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I like Eminem’s music and I dislike Kid Rock’s, so I never have trouble remembering which is which. 😉

    Eminem is the one who grew up in a Black neighborhood in the worst part of Detroit. Kid Rock is the one who grew up in the lily-white suburbs and claims to be from Detroit.

  69. 69
    Thoughtful David says:

    That echo chorus lied to me

    That’s a great album, and the best song on the album. Good stuff, and of course, very topical, despite not being about Trump.

  70. 70
    Florida Frog says:

    @smintheus: This is an important point that we have to get right. Gov. McAuliffe stated in a podcast that the police found weapons caches throughout the city but later the state police denied that. If it is true, then this was not even remotely a “free speech” event. It was a rehearsal for an attack on a small city and we should all know about it. Since that is such an inflammatory idea, we should make very sure that it is accurate. Why did the state police contradict the governor? Was it just miscommunication on a chaotic day?

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    On the one hand, Nazis. On the other, tax cuts. What’s an old white man to do?

    Ultimately, the GOP has no problem backing Trump. They still see him as useful, or pretend to. He’s not going to change, or allow himself to be controlled or “kept on message”.

    There was also a news report that the Tea Party Republicans in particular were upset that Bannon was removed. There is no dilemma at all for these people. Extremism in pursuit of their goals is no vice.

  72. 72
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Neldob:

    Democrats are the real conservatives.

    I hope that’s not true. I certainly as a Democrat do not consider myself to be a “real conservative” in any way, form or fashion. I’m proudly liberal/progressive, thank you very much.

  73. 73
    WaterGirl says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Perhaps this poster is referring to what conservatives purport to stand for? Responsible spending, steady foreign policy, family values, etc.

  74. 74
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Hal:
    If there’s one thing Trump has shown, it’s that if a Republican candidate can at least run a viable campaign by offering all-you-can-eat red meat to a voter base that cares about nothing else. Trump even won despite never missing a chance to demonstrate his unfitness to be POTUS. If Kid Rock can do the same, he may well stand a fighting chance. And, as a legislator with no executive responsibilities, Kid Rock would be able to avoid displaying his ignorance or incompetence. He might even get to have a long political career.

  75. 75
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @hueyplong:

    We have an entire region continuing to insist that slaveowning is supportable as a matter of “honor.”

    You mean an entire country, don’t you? I assume that Hawaii is the only state in the country without Confederate monuments but could even be wrong about that.

  76. 76
    Schlemazel says:

    @Barbara:
    I was not that nice. I asked how long and for a list of any positive accomplishments the tangerine tantrum had in his first 8 months. She ran away

  77. 77
    Dr. Ronnie James, D.O. says:

    @JPL: I’m still dedicating myself to registering as many Philadelphians to vote as I can. Pennsyltucky’s gonna be fired up in 2020 just like 2016. No more surprises.

  78. 78

    @Another Scott: Wishful thinking is not a problem at least in the comment section here. Over here its constant wailing and tearing of hair of how powerful RWNJ are, how they are always winning and WASF. Frankly, its getting tiresome.

    ETA: They too have flaws and are neither all powerful nor all knowing.

  79. 79
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @WaterGirl: Could be what the commenter was going for but American Conservatives define themselves by their anti-choice, pro-death penalty, pro-cop, anti-LGBT equality stance more than anything else.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Outside of Civil War (note nomenclature) battlefields, there should be ZERO Confederate monuments in this country. Anywhere. The effigies on Stone Mountain GA should be sandblasted into oblivion.

  81. 81
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    You are right. The Bay City Rollers were from Glasgow. But I do remember reading, a long time ago, that they did tour the US at least once, and played a show in Bay City.

  82. 82
    Quinerly says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    Here’s a short piece that talks about where they all are. USA Today has a great long piece about the history of many of them including the one in Montana that is now coming down. As I have said several times now, it really burns me that NC has put up over 30 since 2000: http://www.politico.com/intera.....the-south/

  83. 83

    @Patricia Kayden: A dinky little monument somewhere (BC’s example in Massachusetts) does not mean that the entire state loves confederates. Yesterday in Boston, the confederates were vastly outnumbered. Let’s not tar everyone with the southern brush.

  84. 84
    bystander says:

    @WarMunchkin: I unfortunately read your nym as “WarMnuchin”. Sorry!

  85. 85
    JPL says:

    Gorka is out of the white house according to twitter.

  86. 86
    JPL says:

    @Dr. Ronnie James, D.O.: Since I became involved in local politics, I stay away from national politics. Local government is non-partisan where I live. I don’t think that I can continue doing that, because I believe it’s time to pick sides.

  87. 87
    Amir Khalid says:

    @JPL:
    Is it attributed to Kelly clearing house at the WH, or something else?

  88. 88
    Another Scott says:

    RawStory: Hausdorff – Three Easy Ways the Democrats Could Start to Win Again

    Some things worth thinking about.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (Who doesn’t believe in silver bullets, but who does believe in challenging assumptions.)

  89. 89
    Brachiator says:

    @Another Scott:

    .The framing thus far has been that Trump is: 1) a monster, 2) a racist, 3) trying to destroy Obamacare and Medicaid, 4) threatening nuclear war, and 5) he’s in Putin’s pocket.

    Good summary. And Trump supporters don’t believe any of this, especially the ones who, as another poster here notes, insist that Trump should be left alone and given time to make America great again.

    Framing is ineffective and meaningless if people reject your premises and your arguments.

    For example, some diehard Trump supporters responding to some radio talk show hosts did not see Trump as threatening nuclear war. They saw him as finally getting tough with North Korea, and being willing to take them out if necessary.

  90. 90
    Quinerly says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    Here’s another interesting piece with map. I posted the USA Today piece that I just referenced several days ago. It’s the most interesting of all the reads. Will pull it if you can’t find it. Many were mass produced up North. Harvard student was the model for the one in Chapel Hill. Here’s this Axios piece: https://www.axios.com/the-year-that-confederate-statues-were-erected-2474424759.html

  91. 91
    WaterGirl says:

    @JPL: If Trump thinks he can solve his Nazi problem by firing the Nazis in his administration, he is soon going to learn that he has created a different kind of Nazi problem. I love that he has boxed himself in, and I am enjoying for the moment that he is too stupid to realize it.

  92. 92
    Schlemazel says:

    @schrodingers_cat:
    That argument gets made every time someone points out that certain states have a very real problem with things like racism, sexism or other issues. If the people of those states do not care enough in large enough numbers then I pity them but will not stop pointing out they live in a horrible place

  93. 93
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Scott: I am finding that I miss your “We have to fight them every single day”. AIt was a great reminder and somehow comforting, as well.

  94. 94
    JPL says:

    @Amir Khalid:Glenn Thrush of the NYTimes reported the story, and he just backtracked.. It is not a done deal.

  95. 95
    zhena gogolia says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    thread won

  96. 96
    Cowboy Diva says:

    Just to be clear, regardless of how you think his religious, cultural and ancestral heritage should somehow define his character and life choices, if Mnuchin goes now you can kiss goodbye any chance that the US will meet any of its financial responsibilities (debt ceiling, appropriations) within the next 6 weeks. Trust me when I say federal employees (if not their agencies) are well aware of the strong possibility of yet another shutdown.

  97. 97
    Brachiator says:

    @Quinerly:

    . As I have said several times now, it really burns me that NC has put up over 30 since 2000

    Wow. I didn’t know that. Interesting little nugget, even if a bit sad.

  98. 98
    Chris T. says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Remember, the claim was “not as evil as portrayed”:

    really super mega evil     somewhat evil     slightly evil     neutral

        ^1^   ^2^

    They say that the portrayal is at point 1, and the actuality as at point 2!

  99. 99
    JPL says:

    @WaterGirl: That’s why Tina Fey’s theory doesn’t work. The top dog is a narcissistic racist pig, who is leading the supremacy movement.

  100. 100
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Hal:

    i SCREAMED WHEN I SAW THAT THIS MORNING! Talk about dog bites man — how many of these articles are you going to put on the front page? Or if you’re going to, then you need to run a “Clinton voters think Trump is a giant a-hole” on the same page every day.

  101. 101
    WaterGirl says:

    @Schlemazel: @schrodingers_cat: Your exchange led me to google “confederate status in all states”. Discouraging that one of the first links was “new confederate statues going up!” Ugh. These hateful people are like the energizer bunnies. It’s disgusting.

  102. 102

    @WaterGirl: I am not surprised really, the past is all they have.

  103. 103

    @zhena gogolia: As long as you get a subscription or give them clicks, the message you send is that you approve of their coverage. Why should they change?

  104. 104
    aimai says:

    @Baud: Right–why do people insist on making the argument that voters vote based on a single issue stripped of emotion/fear/loathing/culture/racism etc…Voters are not rational–they don’t look at a list of policy proposals by two parties and value them equally. They tell us that all the fucking time. They are upfront about how their prior affiliations, their race, their gender, their class, their hobbies influence the way they “see” the two parties or whoever is the current standard bearer of the party. They will absolutely accept a policy from “their” team that they reject as implausible, or impossible, or even horrific if proposed by the other team. Team identification comes before rational policy choice every time. And in the US team identity is shaped around regional and historical racism/misogyny/paranoia/authoritarianism. There is no magic bullet cure for this, no specific “policy proposals” that will attract racists to the party of anti racism and the misogynists to the party of women.

  105. 105

    Firing Gorka, Miller etc is not going to change anything. The problem is the man at the top.

  106. 106
    zhena gogolia says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I believe that I need to know what the major U.S. newspaper is saying.

  107. 107
    Quinerly says:

    Apologies if this has been posted from that evil NPR😉. Liberty University grads returning their diplomas in protest….When you have lost Liberty University grads…..: http://www.npr.org/2017/08/20/.....test-trump

  108. 108
    Another Scott says:

    @WaterGirl: :-)

    We have to fight them every single day.

    We do!

    But part of the fight is figuring out the way to change the argument (when necessary) to attract new voters.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  109. 109

    @zhena gogolia: NYT is counting on its captive market as it further embraces the T regime.

  110. 110
    Schlemazel says:

    @WaterGirl:
    We should not be surprised, there is always an upswing in these obscenities whenever it appears that nation is moving forward on civil rights

  111. 111
    Another Scott says:

    @aimai: Obama told me yesterday (in an e-mail) that voter turnout in 2016 was the lowest in 20 years. :-(

    Changing that doesn’t depend on flipping the unreachable voters on the other side. It depends on getting our voters out (including fighting voter suppression and even making election day a national holiday (as the e-mail advocated)), and increasing the number of non-voters who vote for our team.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  112. 112
    Yarrow says:

    @zhena gogolia: For some reason yesterday I ended up on the Fox News Twitter feed. I decided to scroll through it just out of curiosity to see what they were highlighting. Despite knowing how awful they are it was still kind of shocking to see what they chose to highlight. Most tweets were videos of African Americans on their shows talking about how tearing down the statues is tearing down history. Charles Barkley saying he’s never thought about the statues. Another AA woman saying if we tear down the statues then tearing up the Constitution is next. All of that was interspersed with some terrorism expert talking bout how dangerous ISIS is.

    It was nothing but “they’re trying to destroy us.” Total fear mongering. And that was just the Twitter feed. No wonder people get sucked into that universe. Listening to people preach fear all day long will make people afraid even if they didn’t start out that way.

  113. 113
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL: Gorka needs to be stripped of his citizenship and deported back to Hungary.

  114. 114
    Quinerly says:

    @Brachiator:
    I feel kinda weird that I keep posting this USA Today piece,but it really should be widely shared. USA Today has some excellent articles on the monuments and the holidays. At least 5 or 6 pieces with all the history. Last one in NC went up on private property in 2011, making 35 new ones in 11 years in my birth state: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/05/22/confederate-monuments-new-orleans-charlottesville-removal-race-civil-war/101870418/

  115. 115
    Jeanne says:

    @Amir Khalid: Do you know who actually is from Bay City? Madonna!

    Senator Madonna. Make it happen, Michigan!

  116. 116
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Agreed. Kelly will never bring Marine Corps discipline on a White House headed by a screaming, diaper soiling three year old.

  117. 117
    Brachiator says:

    @Another Scott:

    .. RawStory: Hausdorff – Three Easy Ways the Democrats Could Start to Win Again

    Some things worth thinking about.

    Great article. I think everything in it is wrong. I get so tired of writers who simplistically invoke FDR and say “just do what he did.” It’s not that easy, and the example given (Hoover vs FDR) doesn’t seem to understand that while voters came to feel that FDR understood their problems, voters don’t feel the same way about many current Democrats.

    The writer cites French president Macron, but misses that his popularity has sunk lower than Trump. The French people are strange. They voted for a new direction, but are unhappy with specific proposals, especially those which would cut back their favorite programs.

    Finally, I think it potentially confusing and an aid to the GOP if the Democrats say, “yeah, we think Obamacare was a failure, too, even though we got it passed. We want to junk it and do a public option. Trust us.”

  118. 118
    No Drought No More says:

    “..They are caught between disgust over his failure to unequivocally condemn neo-Nazism (“fer chrissakes, nobody expected him to mean it- just mouth it, that’s all he had to do”), a desire to advance a conservative agenda, and fears of rupturing the Trump-GOP coalition ahead of the 2018″. elections..”.

  119. 119
    Quinerly says:

    Adelson going after McMaster. Breitbart has a big piece up but here’s an Axios piece. I give no clicks to Bannon’s shit rag: https://www.axios.com/sheldon-adelson-privately-supports-anti-mcmaster-campaign-2474802744.html

  120. 120

    @Another Scott: This. We need to recreate the Obama coalition, instead of wailing about T voters and reaching them.

  121. 121
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL: Tina Fey’s point was aimed as much at liberal white people as anyone else. Which is why that bit is so brilliant.

  122. 122
    ruemara says:

    @Another Scott: You must not be very affected by bigotry. The Democratic base is largely minority. They give a whole world of fucks about being under a bigot regime. If white people can be swayed to Trump or the republican candidates due to their “economic nationalism“, well, the question of who they are is answered, isn’t it?

  123. 123
    Quinerly says:

    @WaterGirl:
    Let’s talk Southern holidays. Three states celebrate Lee’s and Dr. King’s birthday on the same day: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/08/19/its-not-just-confederate-monuments-its-holidays/583241001/

  124. 124
    Brachiator says:

    @Yarrow:

    Most tweets were videos of African Americans on their shows talking about how tearing down the statues is tearing down history. Charles Barkley saying he’s never thought about the statues. Another AA woman saying if we tear down the statues then tearing up the Constitution is next. All of that was interspersed with some terrorism expert talking bout how dangerous ISIS is.

    Fox has got their propaganda strategy down. They will alternate seemingly complacent, conservative message approving black speakers with clips of dangerous blacks who need to be suppressed.

    However, I can’t imagine a Democrat winning anything if he or she says “ISIS is not a danger. “

  125. 125
    sukabi says:

    @debbie: they want you to ignore his words BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT CRAZY SHIT THEY’VE SAVED US FROM!!!!!1!!1!

    ‘You have no idea how much crazy stuff we kill’: Trump aides admit why they’re afraid to quit
    Tom Boggioni TOM BOGGIONI
    20 AUG 2017 AT 10:29 ET

    Donald Trump (MSNBC)
    DON’T MISS STORIES. FOLLOW RAW STORY!

    In interviews with Axios, some aides to President Donald Trump have admitted that they are afraid to quit their White House posts over fears of what he might do without their guidance.

    While there have been rumblings that conservatives are reeling more than usual after Trump’s disastrous response to the Charlottesville violence, some White House aides feel a responsibility to stick it out over fears of what Trump might do.

    According to Axios, “You have no idea how much crazy stuff we kill,” was the most common refrain, with author Mike Allen noting the responses center “on the urgent importance of having smart, sane people around Trump to fight his worst impulses. If they weren’t there, they say, we would have a trade war with China, massive deportations, and a government shutdown to force construction of a Southern wall.”

    More frighteningly others admit in a roundabout way, “We like the power.”

  126. 126
    Gator90 says:

    @Amir Khalid: It would not surprise me at all if Kid Rock — who is to Eminem as Nickelback is to the Rolling Stones — became President one day. Not one little bit.

  127. 127
    JPL says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Glenn Thrush deleted that tweet. Fake news! It’s Trump that needs to be deported.

  128. 128
    JPL says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: It was cool that they turned out in force yesterday. I’m not much of a cake person, but I have to admit that the skit made me hungry.

  129. 129
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL: That still needs to happen. NAZIS RAUS!

  130. 130
    WaterGirl says:

    @aimai: For my religious right-wing sister, there is one issue that trumps everything. Abortion. She doesn’t care if Trump will nuke the planet as long as “they stop murdering millions of babies every year”. Those people cannot be reached. We just need to ignore them and move on.

  131. 131
    Quinerly says:

    @sukabi:
    This cannot continue for 3 1/2 years. I have no idea how it will end. Last week I became totally convinced that he won’t finish his term…just can’t predict how it will all go down, though.

  132. 132
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Scott: Thank you! :-)

  133. 133
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Gator90:

    who is to Eminem as Nickelback is to the Rolling Stones

    *shudder*

  134. 134
    WaterGirl says:

    @Schlemazel: I hate that I have to keep revising my view of millions of our citizens. Ever downward. Actually, not true, I did revise upwards when Barack Obama was elected. That lasted about 45 minutes.

  135. 135
    Brachiator says:

    @Quinerly: The USA Today article provides lots of useful context

    Two-thirds of Kentuckians who fought in the Civil War did so for the Union. Today, however, the state is saturated with Confederate memorials. The Fairview birthplace of Confederate President Jefferson Davis is marked by a 35-story obelisk, one of the nation’s tallest.

    This is part of a section that talks about how many of the monuments are outside the Deep South, and how many had nothing to do with celebrating history, but were built to show opposition to the civil rights movement.

  136. 136
    JPL says:

    Maybe Mnuchin will defend the right of the free press tomorrow …

    Mattis will make a trip starting tonight to Ukraine, Jordan and Turkey. Washington Post is among several news outlets not invited.

  137. 137
    debbie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I agree. I can’t believe it hasn’t dawned on Mr. Brilliant yet that his choices have sucked.

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I agree. I thought she was Palin parody-level brilliant.

  138. 138
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brachiator: Prezactly. Hate, not heritage.

  139. 139

    @Quinerly: This train has no brakes, unfortunately we are all on it. Fortunately, it does seem to be losing steam.

  140. 140
  141. 141
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Scott: The thing is, do we know the cause? Was it complacency? Or was it so much Hillary hate after 25 years of lies that enough people hated Hillary so much that they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for her, and so they stayed home?

    Although I guess we might be able to reach those people – if they are paying enough attention to realize that their purity is bringing devastation to our country, then maybe they can be reached. But not one person in my life, not extended family or anyone else. has indicated even one iota of regret. So I wonder if our efforts to reach them might be in vain. Though of course we have to try, but I don’t just want to try to defeat the R in 2020, I want to win. The Presidency, the house, the senate, governors and state houses.

    Surely the pendulum has finally swung so far right that it’s not possible to do anything but start to swing back in the other direction.

  142. 142
    Yarrow says:

    @Quinerly: Remember, Trump will throw everyone under the bus before he goes. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

  143. 143
  144. 144
    raven says:

    WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!

  145. 145
    debbie says:

    @Yarrow:

    There’s my epic End of the World scenario: Trump and Kasich in a to-the-death struggle to throw the other under the bus first.

  146. 146
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @WaterGirl: Hillary won the popular vote by nearly 3 million of those cast.

    What sunk her was a relative handful of votes in three states. The Stein vote, if it were added to hers in those three states, would have won the presidency.

  147. 147
    Yarrow says:

    @raven: Eventually, yes, that is true. Are you home from your trip yet? Your fish looked amazing.

  148. 148
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @raven: The ever-optimistic general from that base on Planet P in Starship Troopers.

  149. 149
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: I’m pretty sure that Trump’s tombstone is going to be etched with “Nothing was ever his fault. Nothing.”

  150. 150
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Another Scott:
    If Bannon cares so much about “economic nationalism” (whatever the fuck that is; I assume it’s white s*cialism) why is he working for/taking funds from the goddamn Mercers who think Atlas Shrugged was an instruction manual to create a utopia?

  151. 151
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Fuck. I’m in moderation. I think I mentioned an economic system starting with an s. I even used an asterisk to get around the filter.

  152. 152
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Tina Fey’s cake explained.

    Nit with the article: Michael Che was not tentative about the cake. He said “Gimme some of that damn cake” and grabbed some.

  153. 153
    Brachiator says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Tina Fey’s point was aimed as much at liberal white people as anyone else. Which is why that bit is so brilliant

    It was also an odd nod to a scene in the recent movie, “A Ghost Story,” where Rooney Mara eats an entire pie in a single take.

  154. 154
    WaterGirl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: But it shouldn’t have been that close, and who is to say that Susan Sarondon’s hero won’t run again, or Stein or some other person who is willing to play the spoiler? Not one person I know admitted to actually liking Trump, but they were all willing to either vote for him, vote third party, or stay home. It weighs on me.

  155. 155
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: If WP sees that magic string in it, it will go bonkers.

  156. 156
    Yarrow says:

    @debbie: Kasich? No way. He’s far too wimpy. I saw him on the Today Show this week where he was out of the gate with Righteous Outrage about how awful the Nazis are and how the President should be more forceful in speaking out. On and on about How Awful It All Is. When Matt Lauer asked him if he’ll go around to Republicans leaders and say, “tell this President we no longer support him, period.” Kasich completely wimped out, “Well, look. He’s our President, okay, and I’m here speaking out as aggressively as I can.”

    He’ll never throw Trump under the bus when it counts.

  157. 157
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @WaterGirl: Yes, the excuse I get from a friend of mine who actual bothers with NPR is “she should have won by 20 million” which totally misses the point about 25 years of incessant Hillary-hate by the vermin of the Village.

  158. 158
    Schlemazel says:

    @Quinerly:
    I learned a long time ago not to stress over what you can’t change. Hair furor staying or going is beyond each of us individually so no sense being pulled apart over it. We can work for it but never ever listen to the daily rumors

  159. 159
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    The asterisk? I’ve used it before without issue.

  160. 160
    Schlemazel says:

    @WaterGirl:
    I saved myself a lot of time by having such a low opinion of humanity that they can no longer disappoint me

    I am only half kidding

  161. 161
    Yarrow says:

    @WaterGirl: You mean another Russian backed candidate supposedly representing the “left”? That kind of person?

  162. 162
    raven says:

    @Yarrow: Yea, just a three day whirlwind, sky pics in the morning!

  163. 163
    debbie says:

    @Yarrow:

    Read the first couple of paragraphs for the background of Kasich and his Bus.

    http://www.politico.com/magazi.....ght-213673

  164. 164
    Quinerly says:

    @Yarrow:
    Without a doubt. That we know. I just don’t know if he will go by impeachment, resignation, 25th amendment, or death. I’m just convinced that he will go. Oddly, it doesn’t help my state of mind, though.

  165. 165
    Yarrow says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: You have to put the * in the right place. If you are spelling out s o c i a l i s m, your * has to be anywhere in the bolded section of letters because that’s the forbidden word.

  166. 166
    Patricia Kayden says:

    So Republican Thugs have voted that it’s alright to run over protesters. Nice to know. They only care about First Amendment rights as exercised by White Supremacists.

  167. 167
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Something may have changed in the various tweaks of the site.

  168. 168
    Yarrow says:

    @raven: Sounds like a good trip, even though it was hot.

    @debbie: Interesting article. I hadn’t seen it before. Seems to back up my observation that Kasich won’t stick his neck out.

    @Quinerly: Focus on the “he’s going to go” part and leave the rest. How’s Poco?

  169. 169

    @Villago Delenda Est: I saw that too, but I didn’t share it with my lefty friends who were denouncing Tina Fey as white feminism at its worst rather than a self aware satire of white feminism at its worst, because life is too short.

  170. 170
    Mike J says:

    @Yarrow: For a while they had it fixed so that you could talk about socialism. Did they rebreak it?

  171. 171
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    From Axios: https://www.axios.com/why-top-white-house-officials-wont-quit-trump-2475045237.html

    Why top White House officials won’t quit Trump

    There’s lots of punditry about why people like Gary Cohn, Rex Tillerson, Dina Powell, Steve Mnuchin and many others don’t quit the Trump White House in protest over Charlottesville.

    New Yorker Editor David Remnick writes “The Divider,” the lead item of the forthcoming “Talk of the Town” section: “This latest outrage has disheartened Trump’s circle somewhat; business executives, generals and security officials, advisers, and even family members have semaphored their private despair.”

    Treasury Secretary Mnuchin yesterday posted a passionate response to Yale ’85 classmates who had published an open letter calling on him to resign:

    “[A]s someone who is Jewish, I believe I understand the long history of violence and hatred against the Jews (and other minorities).”

    “I feel compelled to let you know that the President in no way, shape or form, believes that neo-Nazi and other hate groups who endorse violence are equivalent to groups that demonstrate in peaceful and lawful ways.”

    “I don’t believe the allegations against the President are accurate, and I believe that having highly talented men and women in our country surrounding the President in his administration should be reassuring to you.”

    So why do the others stay? We talked to a half dozen senior administration officials, who range from dismayed but certain to stay, to disgusted and likely soon to leave. They all work closely with Trump and his senior team so, of course, wouldn’t talk on the record. Instead, they agreed to let us distill their thinking/rationale:

    “You have no idea how much crazy stuff we kill”: The most common response centers on the urgent importance of having smart, sane people around Trump to fight his worst impulses. If they weren’t there, they say, we would have a trade war with China, massive deportations, and a government shutdown to force construction of a Southern wall.

    “General Mattis needs us”: Many talk about their reluctance to bolt on their friends and colleagues who are fighting the good fight to force better Trump behavior/decisions. They rightly point out that together, they have learned how to ignore Trump’s rhetoric and, at times, collectively steer him to more conventional policy responses.

    “Trump’s not as evil as portrayed”: All of them talk up the president as more reasonable off Twitter and TV than on it. This gives them hope (though almost all increasingly say it’s fleeting hope) he will listen to his better angels, or at least the pleas of Ivanka.

    “We like the power”: Well, no one comes out and say it this blatantly. But working in the White House, even this one, is intoxicating and ego-stroking. They have enormous say over regulations and rules, invites and implementation, government jobs and access to the Oval. They also know they are one step away from an even bigger job in government, so it’s hard to just walk away.

    One White House aide had a memorable response after I asked the question: “It puts Trump’s tortured staff in a bigger jam: How do they look their African American friends in the eye, and rationalize their support of Trump?”

    The aide gave me permission to share the thinking, which synthesizes what we hear from many administration officials:
    I have absolutely no difficulty looking anyone in the eye. Here’s why:

    Will I have the same, incredible opportunities to make a true difference somewhere else? No.

    If I leave, who will take my spot? Someone with my heart for making things better for ALL Americans? Maybe, maybe not. Huge value to country in good people serving right now.

    The Presidency is bigger than the person. And the WH has expansive influence on execution of broad range of administrative authorities.

    Be careful: This White House and key federal agencies are starving for well-intentioned talent. The possibility of a catastrophic crisis, abroad or at home, is real. Rookies or boot-lickers are not what we need in those moments.

  172. 172
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    If Bannon cares so much about “economic nationalism” (whatever the fuck that is; I assume it’s white soci*lism) why is he working for/taking funds from the goddamn Mercers who think Atlas Shrugged was an instruction manual to create a utopia?

  173. 173
    Quinerly says:

    @Brachiator:
    I had two pro Jim Crow Monuments (that’s what I started calling them when our controversy over the St. Louis one came up earlier here) people left on my Book of Faces. At least these two White men were the last two that would argue that we were destroying history and taking them down was censorship. I have no idea if there were any quiet supporters but I do keep a small circle. With that said, that USA Today piece convinced those two (who by the way had no personal or family connections to the war or to the South) that all the monuments should be removed from public spaces. Made me smile as a Southerner who has many ancestors who fought for the traitors.

  174. 174
    raven says:

    @Yarrow: Yea, I landed a Crevalle Jack and had several great fights with rays in the surf the day before I went on the boat so I chalk it us a a good trip. Forget about the 120 mile round trip to Mt Pleasant to get the eye meds that I forgot for my little girl!

  175. 175
    aimai says:

    @Another Scott: Christ–of course it does! But that doesn’t mean that there is an easy solution to the problem of getting non voters to vote. Non voters are people who don’t vote–full stop! They don’t understand or believe in politics as something close to them or affecting them. As far as they can see politicians are getting themselves a sinecure of a job that has nothing to do with the constituents lives. People are really fucking stupid and they generally get moved off their asses to vote–even putative democratic/progressive ones–because one small thing becomes of vital importance to them. Marijuana laws, or opioid addiction, or jobs, or racism, or trans people and bathrooms. If all of those things don’t align just right you can’t move lots of our voters out of apathy and into voting. There is no simple solution and there is no technocratic solution (the “killer app” of the “perfect populist policy”) Instead in a democracy with so much riding on the presidency there is always going to be a focus on brand loyalty and the shiny new toy of the outsider politician. Without controlling the news media, as the Republicans have done, and without eliminating voter suppression (which we for fuck’s sake have been trying to do without success) we can’t reach our apathetic voters and we can’t get our transient voters out to vote reliably during midterms. Its not like the democrats haven’t been trying–its not like people don’t know what to do. We lack the deep pockets of interested billionaires and the torrents of money that the right can throw at the problem year after year and day after day. Get back to me when you’ve solved that problem. Because that’s the problem. Not some fantasy of the perfect sexy populist line which will disseminate through some process of osmosis. Shit takes money.

  176. 176
    JPL says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: This

    “We like the power”: Well, no one comes out and say it this blatantly. But working in the White House, even this one, is intoxicating and ego-stroking. They have enormous say over regulations and rules, invites and implementation, government jobs and access to the Oval. They also know they are one step away from an even bigger job in government, so it’s hard to just walk away.

    Everything else is an excuse.

  177. 177
    WaterGirl says:

    @Schlemazel: If I went that low, I would just get depressed.

  178. 178
    aimai says:

    @Major Major Major Major: It wasn’t self aware parody of white feminism. I mean–I loved the commentary up until the last line. And I think there’s an argument to be made for her “eat cake” argument. But Boston proved that if you think you can get 20,000 people out to protest fascism you should do it. If you think you can only turn out 500 people to combat 20,0000 of them she was probably right.

  179. 179
    Quinerly says:

    @Yarrow:
    Poco be snoozing. He’s had a low key weekend of gorging on soft food. Hope to get results on the mouth tumor Thursday. Fingers crossed. Thanks for asking. Baud/Poco2020!

  180. 180
    WaterGirl says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: I would find that more believable if those very same people hadn’t gone to work for Trump in the first place. The words “very poor judgment” just don’t cover the horrible choice they made, so to me, their character is suspect from the get go.

  181. 181
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    I mean–I loved the commentary up until the last line.

    I still think that the last line didn’t land the way she planned it to. It seems weird to have an entire sketch about how pointless it is to sit at home and rage-eat cake and then end it by saying that people should sit at home.

  182. 182
    Yarrow says:

    @raven: That sounds great. But wow, that’s a long ass round trip. How’s your pup doing?

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    If Bannon cares so much about “economic nationalism” (whatever the fuck that is; I assume it’s white soci*lism) why is he working for/taking funds from the goddamn Mercers who think Atlas Shrugged was an instruction manual to create a utopia?

    Bannon doesn’t care about any of that. He wants to blow things up, as he has said. He also wants to still be standing when everything falls apart and he thinks the best way for him to do that is to be aligned with very rich and powerful people. He has deemed the Mercers fill that niche.

  183. 183
    Schlemazel says:

    @WaterGirl:
    welcome to my world

  184. 184
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @raven: In answer to your question from yesterday, “hot, ain’t it?” I’d just like to say #%^*%#!!!

    Every time I go outside my glasses steam up and my whole upper body is covered in a sheen of sweat.

    Got my eclipse spot staked out though I think.

  185. 185
    Another Scott says:

    @ruemara: Sorry I’m not making myself clear today.

    I’m not trying to minimize the problems of racism and Confederate-ism and Nazism. They’re horrible, and deadly, and how 62% of people polled can think that Confederate memorials should be retained is flabbergasting to me.

    I’m not advocating that we minimize racism – we need to call it out – and I’m not advocating that we chase after the mythical WWC voters who only (wink-wink-nudge-nudge) care about “economic anxiety”.

    I am advocating that we figure out how Obama won while Hillary didn’t. Voter turnout fell. Trump didn’t win because the electorate suddenly swung in his direction. Rather, too many people didn’t vote and we need to reverse that.

    Part of it is voter suppression – there is no doubt in my mind.

    But part of it was people being disaffected – in some non-negligible part by Comey and the FTFNYT. We can’t do anything about things outside our control, but we must do more to build up a stronger and less easily swayed majority so that when the next “October Surprise” hits it doesn’t flip the election again.

    It’s not an either/or choice – it’s a both/and. We must call out racism, take down the Confederate memorials, and all the rest. But we need to do a better job of saying why we’re taking them down, and do more to explain our history to kids and adults. We need to preserve Obamacare and Medicaid – we need to expand them – and do even more to explain why they’re needed and how we can afford it. Etc. Sound bites matter.

    Yes, I know that we’re already doing these things. I’ve got no special insights above anyone else. I know this can sound like concern-trolling.

    I’m doing what I can (via donations and advocacy). We all need to do what we can every single day.

    At the very least, we need to appeal to the patriotism of our fellow citizens so that they no longer feel that sitting elections out is a sensible course.

    Since every country stands in numerous and various relations with the other countries of the world, and many, our own among the number, exercise actual authority over some of these, a knowledge of the established rules of international morality is essential to the duty of every nation, and therefore of every person in it who helps to make up the nation, and whose voice and feeling form a part of what is called public opinion. Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject. It depends on the habit of attending to and looking into public transactions, and on the degree of information and solid judgment respecting them that exists in the community, whether the conduct of the nation as a nation, both within itself and towards others, shall be selfish, corrupt, and tyrannical, or rational and enlightened, just and noble.

    J.S. Mill, 1867

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  186. 186
    Yarrow says:

    @Quinerly: Hopefully it’s all good news. Glad he’s doing okay.

  187. 187
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    Also, the last estimate I saw said that 40,000 turned out to protest the fascists. Go Boston! 😍

  188. 188
    WaterGirl says:

    @aimai: What was the last line? I watched it yesterday and don’t recall.

  189. 189
    Schlemazel says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    It felt good, they appear to outnumber the Nazis by about 1000 to 1

  190. 190
    WaterGirl says:

    @Schlemazel: :-( Time to fo find a puppy to play with, or take a walk in the woods, or something.

  191. 191
    Baud says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    she should have won by 20 million”

    People say this, but it’s not based on anything.

  192. 192
    Yarrow says:

    @Another Scott:

    I am advocating that we figure out how Obama won while Hillary didn’t.

    Never discount the role misogyny played. The media likes to wave it away, but it was a real issue.

  193. 193
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: When I was in college we called that “pulling it out of the whacko hat”.

    Personally, I think Hillary should have won 100% of the vote, if you had to be a sentient being in order to vote.

  194. 194
    Another Scott says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Socialism.

    I’m pretty sure Adam or Alain pulled that word out of the troll filter…

    Am I right?

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  195. 195
    Another Scott says:

    @Another Scott: I guess “socialism” got put back in the spam filter after all.

    Oh well.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  196. 196
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl: Right. Obama in 2008 only got 53% of the vote.

  197. 197
  198. 198
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: That’s a very sad commentary on our country. Only 53% chose HOPE over FEAR. Of course, in 2016, FEAR and HATE teamed up, which is apparently hard to beat.

  199. 199
    raven says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Yea, my glasses were the same. You could always go over to Patriot’s Point and walk through the Mobile Riverine Force display. The weather is exactly like the Mekong Delta!

  200. 200
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Yarrow:
    What good will the Mercer’s wealth be if the economic base of the world (ie US stability and the strength of the dollar) is destroyed? Methinks he’ll find out that in such a world he won’t be on top.

  201. 201
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Another Scott: I don’t think we can overestimate the propaganda damage done by what everybody in the US except Trump knows about: the thousands of government sponsored Russian sock puppets of Facebook and Twitter feeding anti-Hillary “concern” into the conversation.

  202. 202
    Gator90 says:

    @Yarrow: I recall a fairly prominent feminist predicting some time ago that a black man would be president before a white woman would. How silly, I thought.

  203. 203
    scav says:

    “How refreshing it is” they say “to have a president who says it like it is! Not like that Obama / those others who’d say just anything to get elected.” immediately followed by some variant of Mnuchinism “But he didn’t mean that, That isn’t in his / our heart!”

  204. 204
    Matt says:

    @Another Scott: If they want to keep those “monuments”, they should have to ante up for a giant plaque for each one, engraved with the full text of the Cornerstone Speech. THAT is the “history” they are celebrating.

    Every fuckwit who wants to *defend* these statues should have to preface their remarks with a verbatim reading of that same speech. Own up to your “Southern heritage”, assholes.

  205. 205
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @raven: I noticed a lot of people walking the long walk over the bridge to Patriot’s Point (I assume) as it appears to be the first thing you get to on the island. So I’m hoping Fort Moultrie, miles down the road, which I just toured, will be a less crowded yet very scenic vantage point. No shade to be found midday though

  206. 206
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @JPL:
    Yes. I think it’s this, but they’re deluding themselves I’m sure with this:

    If I leave, who will take my spot? Someone with my heart for making things better for ALL Americans? Maybe, maybe not. Huge value to country in good people serving right now.

    It goes without saying some of those only consider white Republican people “ALL Americans”.

  207. 207
    Another Scott says:

    @Baud: The e-mail cites CNN from November:

    Washington (CNN)Voter turnout this year dipped to nearly its lowest point in two decades.

    While election officials are still tabulating ballots, the 126 million votes already counted means about 55% of voting age citizens cast ballots this year.

    That measure of turnout is the lowest in a presidential election since 1996, when 53.5% of voting-age citizens turned out.

    As election officials go through outstanding ballots — such as provisional ballots and those with write-ins — the turnout figures will change.

    […]

    “Nearly” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there, and the e-mail shouldn’t have elided it.

    And of course later numbers should be more accurate.

    But either way, a drop in turnout is a worrying thing, especially when it contributes to a Trump being elected…

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  208. 208
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Baud:

    There’s something weird in the numbers, like there were more people who voted, but there were a smaller percentage of registered voters who showed up.

    I also wonder what percentage of ballots left the presidential line blank, especially in those 4 crucial states. Those people should be kicking themselves, and they’re assholes if they aren’t.

  209. 209
    Quinerly says:

    This is a very powerful piece: http://lithub.com/rebecca-soln.....ald-trump/

  210. 210
    Baud says:

    @Another Scott: If the source is from November, it may out of date. Everyone assumed low turnout right after the election but I think the final results showed it to be on par with prior years except 2008.

  211. 211
    Shalimar says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The problem is the man at the top, but getting Gorka and Miller out of there will still make it a little better. They’re both 100% horrible. Most of the rest of the staff are 80-90% horrible. You never know, it could make a difference at some point in checking some racist impulse Trump has.

  212. 212
    Baud says:

    @Mnemosyne: My guess is that they are assholes.

  213. 213
    raven says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Yes, people walk it and run it quite a bit. You can see the Yorktown as you cross the bridge. The Vietnam Experience is in the park along with the Destroyer USS Laffey and Submarine USS CLAMAGORE.

  214. 214
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    There’s something weird in the numbers, like there were more people who voted, but there were a smaller percentage of registered voters who showed up.

    How is that possible?

  215. 215
    Another Scott says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Thanks for the linky.

    I haven’t seen the bit (still). But Fey has been doing comedy a very long time. I would certainly check my head a few times before deciding that she was somehow doing it wrong.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  216. 216
    Schlemazel says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:
    ask the warlords in Afghanistan, they will tell you they are the top dog and they are, just in a very tiny world. The Mercers believe they can be top dog in much the same way

  217. 217
    Brachiator says:

    @Gator90:

    I recall a fairly prominent feminist predicting some time ago that a black man would be president before a white woman would. How silly, I thought.

    .This kind of silly prediction greatly oversimplified things. I remember back in 2008 when a “wise” political commentator insisted that America was not ready for a black president and implied that black people had to wait their turn. The natural order of things would be a woman president, then a Jewish president, and then maybe a black president

    With Hillary Clinton, obviously sexism was at play. But also so was the long history of Clinton hate. Add to this residual racism because Hillary was part of the Obama administration and was tainted by his blackness. But there is also the fact that Hillary was rejected by a majority of white women voters.

    And as always we have to put this in context. Clinton won a goddam majority of the popular vote. A majority of voters wanted a woman president.

  218. 218
    smintheus says:

    @Another Scott: Thanks, I hadn’t heard that the police denied they’d found caches.

  219. 219
    Baud says:

    @Brachiator: Technically, a plurality. But more than Trump got.

    ETA. I’m not sure what you get if you combine Hillary and Stein voters.

  220. 220
    KithKanan says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Population growth, and specifically a lot of people now in the “voting age population” who weren’t the previous election.

  221. 221
    Brachiator says:

    @Shalimar:

    You never know, it could make a difference at some point in checking some racist impulse Trump has.

    Trump is racist to the bone. He picked racists for his staff. He will find some more to replace the ones he has dumped.

  222. 222
    Another Scott says:

    @Quinerly: That’s a great read. Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  223. 223
    KS in MA says:

    @Another Scott: This.

  224. 224
    grandpa john says:

    @satby: This for all the “Fake Christians” who lying with every breath, completely ignore The teaching of Jesus in the new testament . The rest of this section,of scripture about who will enter heaven is also on target(verses 24-27) I think

  225. 225
    Brachiator says:

    @Baud: Plurality, yes. Here’s another fun fact.

    In the final count, Clinton surpassed President Barack Obama’s 2012 total by 389,944 votes, but narrow losses in key battleground states meant Obama won 100 more electoral votes on Election Day.

  226. 226
    Chris T. says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: The problem is not the word “socialism”, it’s that the string “cialis” is embedded in the middle: “soCIAL plus ISm”. (I’m trying the empty i-slash-i block trick here…)

  227. 227
    Amir Khalid says:

    @JPL:
    Or, to put it most briefly; Career before country.

  228. 228
    Schlemazel says:

    @Chris T.:
    that always has worked for me. I didn’t know it had ever gotten through ubtil this thread were people are saying they didn’t have to do that before

  229. 229
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Scott:

    A bigger problem than Trump and Bannon is that 90-95% of incumbents win reelection. Changing the direction of the government is very hard because of that.

    I’ve brought up a possible solution for this a number of times and always get shot down. I’ve even asked if anyone has any other solutions and…. crickets. So, there are two solutions. First, get out the vote, inform voters of the incumbent/his-her record/ideals and goals. Second, reasonable term limits. You want people to be able to find their way, to learn the job and have a reasonable time to do that job, without having them ensconced such that they can/do become an ingrained problem. The time should be at least close to something of a career, but not of a lifetime sinecure. Politicians are there to serve us, not themselves. Yes there are some very good people who continue to get reelected because they are good, John Lewis for example, but how many other good people are out there that never get to serve?

  230. 230
    Yarrow says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: It doesn’t have to make sense. The Mercers are the true believers and they think they’ll be safe because of their oligarch class. Bannon, who knows. He’s like a live action troll with money.

  231. 231
    debbie says:

    @Another Scott:

    Exactly. People seem to have lost the ability to recognize satire. Sigh.

  232. 232
    Yarrow says:

    @Gator90: Men have always gone first in this country. Black men got the constitutional right to vote before women did. Didn’t surprise me that the media almost refuses to talk about the misogyny inherent in Hillary’s loss. There were plenty of other reasons, of course, but that is a real part of it and one our media likes to pretend wasn’t an issue.

  233. 233
    Gator90 says:

    @Brachiator:I don’t think anyone would suggest that sexism or misogyny was the sole reason HRC lost. But I would suggest that other factors you mention (such as “Clinton hate” and the white female vote) were to some extent intertwined with sexism and misogyny. HRC was long hated in part because of her gender and perceived rejection of “traditional” female roles, and women are not necessarily immune to sexist and/or misogynistic thinking.

  234. 234
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Absolutely right. I can’t believe the best analysis of this was in Playboy.

  235. 235
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Yarrow:

    The Mercers are the true believers and they think they’ll be safe because of their oligarch class.

    I guarantee that won’t protect them when the shit hits the fan.

  236. 236
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Like aimai was saying about how there’s no perfect list of agenda items, another factor is that AFAICT the last Democrat who ran and won on an agenda was FDR. JFK won on youth and personality. LBJ won on the JFK aura and by making his opponent seem crazy. Carter won on integrity. Clinton won on youth and personality. Obama won on youth and personality. It _sounds_ like a good idea but I don’t think it has ever worked.

  237. 237
    zhena gogolia says:

    @aimai:

    As someone said here the other day, she was telling people to stay home in the same way Jonathan Swift was telling people to eat babies.

  238. 238
    Schlemazel says:

    @Ruckus:
    Term limits empower the permanent staff & give them more power and rarely change the direction of a district. We do need to do more about voter education but in this media rich environment full of so many lies and so many inflated claims that is very hard work

  239. 239
    cain says:

    @smintheus:

    Our media keeps failing us. How many reporters have ever bothered to mention that police discovered secret caches of dangerous weapons in advance of the Nazi riot? The virtual suppression of that information has been essential for the both-sides-are-to-blame propagandists.

    Perhaps some misplaced feeling of not causing a general panic? I don’t think it will because a lot of these people are so deep in denial that they don’t know they are drowning. They won’t believe any of it until a real attack occurs and even then it would have to be personal and up close with real consequences.

  240. 240
    zhena gogolia says:

    @WaterGirl:

    She “told” people (except she was doing a skit on a television show, so she wasn’t really telling anyone anything) to do just what they do when there’s a thoughtful movie with two female leads — stay home.

    Do we really think she wants people to stay away from thoughtful movies with two female leads??????? It’s irony, people!

  241. 241
    Yarrow says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: It might to a certain extent, but I generally agree. I also think true believers don’t seem to factor in practical matters. The Mercers are true believers.

  242. 242
    cain says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Eminem is the one who grew up in a Black neighborhood in the worst part of Detroit. Kid Rock is the one who grew up in the lily-white suburbs and claims to be from Detroit.

    I suspect that Eminem would have no problems taking Kid Rock down a couple of pegs. He hated the Bush administration.

  243. 243
    cain says:

    @Quinerly:
    NC has turned batshit crazy. I won’t live there.

  244. 244
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I think some people were rubbed the wrong way by the “drag queens” line and let that determine the rest of their response. IMHO what the bit came down to was “everything that’s happening is driving us crazy, even crazier the more you think about it, and for that reason the best thing to do is to try not to think about it and maybe it’ll go away.” I don’t know if that’s _right_ but it’s neither incomprehensible nor offensive.

  245. 245
    Gravenstone says:

    @Amir Khalid: Yup. Tossed a dart at a US map, and Bay City, MI was closest to where it landed. And the Bay City Rollers were named.

  246. 246
    Yarrow says:

    @cain: The state police said they didn’t find weapons caches. I haven’t followed enough to know if McAuliffe has responded to that in any way. The reporting I saw was that someone said he’d said it on a podcast. I didn’t see a transcript. Maybe someone was misinterpreted.

    The issue created enough of a stir that I think there should be follow up, especially since it involved the Governor. Perhaps there has been one and I’ve missed it.

  247. 247
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @cain:
    My parents moved there about 30 years ago, before I was born and moved back to OH. They originally moved there because in 1987 the economy here sucked and in NC it was a lot better. Lived near Concord. They loved it there and sometimes wish they could move back. I think they have fond memories of their time spent in North Carolina and liked the weather.

    I’ve tried telling them that the NC of 20-30 years ago no long exists outside major cities and is a RW nut house. They don’t listen.

  248. 248
    cain says:

    @WaterGirl: How deep down the hole are they willing ot do? Death penalty for even trying? Hanging? What happens when they get caught up in a misunderstood situation where the body did the abortion eg miscarriage? When something becomes such a central tenet of their entire being, I wonder what event will create the kind of mental disruption that would make them break out of it short of a message from God that says it is okay.

  249. 249
    WaterGirl says:

    @zhena gogolia: Thank you.

  250. 250
    PST says:

    @cain:

    NC has turned batshit crazy. I won’t live there.

    On the contrary, NC is the front line and a place where a couple of percentage points shift in popular sentiment could make a world of difference. North Carolina is the new Virginia. I wouldn’t live in Mississippi and it wouldn’t do any good if I did, but there are places in NC I could live happily, and moving there from a solid blue state would shift the country a tiny bit in the right direction.

  251. 251
    Brachiator says:

    @Gator90:

    .I don’t think anyone would suggest that sexism or misogyny was the sole reason HRC lost.

    That was not quite my point. In fact, I think a woman who was not Hillary might have won. Maybe. But I also acknowledge that misogyny is a huge hurdle for Americans to overcome.

    HRC was long hated in part because of her gender and perceived rejection of “traditional” female roles, and women are not necessarily immune to sexist and/or misogynistic thinking.

    People hated Bill and Hillary Clinton, separately and together. And the Hillary hate was not just based on her supposedly rejecting traditional female roles. A lot of silly men and women hate her for sticking with Bill after the Monica Lewinsky thing.

    Also, related to this is a particular kind of sexism. Some men and women hate Hillary for being so blatantly political. She didn’t become a senator because she was the daughter of a senator or the wife of a retiring or deceased senator. She always had a strong political ambition, and her enemies hated that she shrugged off the attacks on her husband in order to nurse on own desires to become president.

  252. 252
    efgoldman says:

    @Ruckus:

    Second, reasonable term limits.

    Problem: SCOTUS declared term limits for federal office (house and senate) are unconstitutional. Inc. v. Thornton

  253. 253
    WaterGirl says:

    @cain: I don’t think she would even believe God at this point, if he came out against abortion.

  254. 254
    smintheus says:

    @Quinerly: One southern university celebrates Washington and Lee in the same name. And I’ve never noticed anybody at all associated with Washington and Lee University demanding that they stop linking the patriot and the traitor.

  255. 255
    WaterGirl says:

    @Quinerly: Can someone please FRONT PAGE this article that Quinerly linked to? It may just be that it’s the best thing I have read about Trump.

    REBECCA SOLNIT: THE LONELINESS OF DONALD TRUMP

    Once upon a time, a child was born into wealth and wanted for nothing, but he was possessed by bottomless, endless, grating, grasping wanting, and wanted more, and got it, and more after that, and always more. He was a pair of ragged orange claws upon the ocean floor, forever scuttling, pinching, reaching for more, a carrion crab, a lobster and a boiling lobster pot in one, a termite, a tyrant over his own little empires. He got a boost at the beginning from the wealth handed him and then moved among grifters and mobsters who cut him slack as long as he was useful, or maybe there’s slack in arenas where people live by personal loyalty until they betray, and not by rules, and certainly not by the law or the book. So for seven decades, he fed his appetites and exercised his license to lie, cheat, steal, and stiff working people of their wages, made messes, left them behind, grabbed more baubles, and left them in ruin.

    Everyone should read it. I don’t think you’ll be sorry. This is Betty Cracker level of writing, all the way through.

  256. 256
    cain says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:
    If the shit hits the fan, their wealth won’t help them in the struggle for survive. Especially in the case of a nuclear disaster. I have a feeling that currency is not going to matter much.

  257. 257
    cain says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    I’ve tried telling them that the NC of 20-30 years ago no long exists outside major cities and is a RW nut house. They don’t listen.

    The only way to fix it is for major corporations to move out of there. I know me not moving will send a clear signal of where I stand.

  258. 258
    Ruckus says:

    @Schlemazel:
    As I noted and have before, this is one possible solution. It may not be the best, it sure hasn’t worked when the length of the limit is too low, like in CA where the limit for state congressional office is 2 terms, or many governor offices where it’s the same. I also have said, what else is possible, are there any other solutions. People answer that elections are term limiting. And of course that is true. Except that people in power have an easier time in convincing people to vote for them and a power base to work from so we get 90-95% incumbent reelection. Which in a few cases is deserved, say John Lewis or Maxine Waters. I’m sure there are others. While in many cases no one deserves the continued reelection for life of someone like McConnell.
    If the limits were something like 20 yrs, the staff issue would probably mostly resolve itself as well. The term is not that restrictive and say if elected to the house for 20 yrs, the senate is not an unreasonable next step. Someone can have a career as a national politician but not a lifetime sinecure. We need young people to run, to serve and to move the country along. Not old farts like myself, just looking to run out a lifetime of political office. I can see why a lot of young people are not interested in politics, it is a fairly closed club. Bad enough that money is one of the locks on the door but age as well?

  259. 259
    smintheus says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: 20 years ago I lived in a “liberal” college town in NC. All the blacks lived on the opposite side of the railroad tracks. It didn’t strike me as a particularly decent place to be, and outside of town limits seemed pretty b@tsh1t crazy.

  260. 260
    cain says:

    @WaterGirl:

    @cain: I don’t think she would even believe God at this point, if he came out against abortion.

    Well, I guess some people are just loss. It’s likely some trauma. At least it is to the person I know who is against abortion is fairly reasonable on anything else but sliding right wing because the places she goes that are anti-abortion is also overly conservative.

  261. 261
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @smintheus:
    That’s because they want to have it both ways. Or are stupid and can’t see the difference between the two

  262. 262
    Ruckus says:

    @efgoldman:
    Ok, didn’t know that. I’ll shut up then. Old man wonders off, shouting at clouds…….

  263. 263
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    ot: Jerry Lewis, 91

    Okay, who’s the third?

  264. 264
    Schlemazel says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:
    they can afford a small army, they will be safe

  265. 265
    smintheus says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’ve written a fair amount of satire, read tons of it, and feel pretty attuned to satire. If that was the main point that Fey was making, she did a lousy job of conveying it. Mostly the bit was just a heartfelt rant about Trump with occasional pauses to mush with the cake. I saw no attempt to suggest that her “stay away from the Nazi protestors” message was meant satirically, apart from a single question from one of the anchors asking whether eating cake would do any good. If it was meant as satire of the kind that Playboy sees, I’d call it a failed attempt.

  266. 266
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @smintheus:
    I never lived there, except a few years after I was born. My parents probably just never gave it a thought when they did. They liked being a few hours away from the beach and having well-paying manufacturing jobs. I hate to say that about my parents, because it makes them look shallow. To their credit they do agree the confederate monuments should be removed

  267. 267
    Another Scott says:

    @Ruckus: At the moment, I don’t like term limits. I think Adam makes a good point about xx% of the GOP in Congress never having worked on a federal budget as a result of all the turnover, and not knowing how to get it done. It’s a real problem.

    Plus, the federal government is so complex that we don’t want just the civil servants understanding how it works. It can easily take 20 years for someone to really get to be an expert in such a complex system.

    What to do about it? (At the moment) I think what makes sense is to have non-partisan redistricting. Elected officials should not get to choose their voters – it should/must be the other way around. Maybe couple that with California’s system of the top 2 (no matter the party) facing off in the final round, also too.

    Virginia has a 1 term limit for governor. It’s not a good system IMO – state politicians play musical chairs and rotate from AG or LtGov to Gov to US Senator (if they’re lucky). It doesn’t change the people who have the political power so much as just change their hats.

    Yeah, having someone in Congress for 50+ years doesn’t make sense except from a seniority point of view (which is important, but not essential). There was a BBC report about Mugabe’s wife today and they showed several clips of her with him at some campaign events over the years. One of them showed him carefully lowering himself into a chair, then cut back to him slumped over asleep (as you’d expect for a 93 year old man)….

    If someone is doing well and the voters (in fairly drawn districts without voter suppression) want him/her, then we shouldn’t have arbitrary limits on how long they can serve.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  268. 268
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @smintheus:

    One southern university celebrates Washington and Lee in the same name. And I’ve never noticed anybody at all associated with Washington and Lee University demanding that they stop linking the patriot and the traitor.

    When I was there, we got a week off for Washington’s birthday and only half a day for Lee’s, if that helps

  269. 269
    Older says:

    My dream/hope is that someone, some commission that doesn’t draw any attention, is working away diligently and will shortly rise up from its obscurity and decertify the election results on the basis of various bad things done by the Trump campaign. The Trump campaign will be disqualified, and the decision will then go to the runner-up. The whole Trump nightmare will go home, including President-Presumptive Pence.

  270. 270
    Another Scott says:

    @aimai:

    We lack the deep pockets of interested billionaires and the torrents of money that the right can throw at the problem year after year and day after day. Get back to me when you’ve solved that problem. Because that’s the problem. Not some fantasy of the perfect sexy populist line which will disseminate through some process of osmosis. Shit takes money.

    That is a problem, sure. But as Adam points out, all of their billionaires aren’t on the same page. Lots of their money is wasted (look at JEB! campaign implosion).

    Money is a big problem, but we’re not powerless.

    Everyone who buys stuff at Amazon should pick their favorite charity and direct Bezos’s money to it via smile.amazon.com It’s only 0.5% of your purchase, but every dollar helps and it does add up. (It doesn’t cost you anything.) VoteRiders gets a little something every time I make a purchase there.

    Don’t leave free money on the table!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  271. 271
    WaterGirl says:

    @Another Scott: Hanging my head in shame. I’ll try to do better.

    We have to fight them every single day, with every single thing we purchase.

    :-)

  272. 272
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Yarrow:

    I find Michele Bachmann’s campaign for president in 2016 to be instructive here. As I recall, she was gaining traction in the GOP Primary until Mike Huckabee got in the race. Because rabid evangelicals were willing to support her while she was the only evengelical in the race, but they dropped her in a heartbeat once a male Evangelical got in because Evangelical theology states that a woman should never be in a position of authority over a man.

  273. 273
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @smintheus: In case it wasn’t clear, I don’t think it was self-satire, or satire plus irony, or what have you. I think it was genuinely “don’t get me wrong, I’d like to see Nazis get beaten up, but mostly I feel like there’s nothing I can do except try not to pay attention to the people who crave it, which is why I’m doing my best to drown my feelings in cake.” Some smart people are saying it was supposed to mean the opposite and be a satire on feeling powerless and hence an ironic call to arms, but I don’t think it was. My wife, who hadn’t seen the bit and didn’t know about the reaction to it, spontaneously said yesterday that maybe people should just ignore idiots who are bent on being idiots. She tends to feel that way. We’re Tina Fey’s age. I think it comes with the territory.

  274. 274
    smintheus says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I was the one who wrote unclearly when I said “If that was the main point…” What I meant was, if the main point was the interpretation Playboy put on it.

    I don’t know that that was not what Fey was aiming for. It at least would make an otherwise mess of a skit seem more coherent. But if your satirist’s persona is supposed to be read as foolish/self-centered/oblivious, then the satire has to clearly show them as foolish/etc. or show the consequences of their foolishness/etc. This skit didn’t provide that. To me, the point seemed more that women are so weary of everything to do with Trump that they can only ignore his provocations.

  275. 275
    Quinerly says:

    @WaterGirl:
    Thanks for the shout out. Should be widely shared.

  276. 276
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Scott:
    Well as EFG pointed out it’s a moot point anyway, unless the decision could be written around.
    I’ve noticed that a high percentage of those that stay in over 20 or 25 yrs are in it only for the power and will do anything to stay there. That isn’t right in a representative government. Not all of them mind you, there are exceptions to everything.
    Yes the federal government is complex, but 20 or more years to figure out how to legislate it? Who/what are we electing? We aren’t asking these people to design an iPhone from scratch all on their own with a pencil and one sheet of paper and a HS education. And if that’s the case then maybe we need far more than anything anyone has suggested anywhere I’ve seen. What are the chances then, out of the 535 members of congress that even one of them is qualified? Even after decades of service.
    As I also stated I think we have to find ways that younger people want to participate.

  277. 277
    SgrAstar says:

    @Brachiator:

    Framing is ineffective and meaningless if people reject your premises and your arguments.

    Not so. Framing is about repetition. Look how the rw destroyed HRC’s reputation. It took decades of constant repetition, lies..lies..lies- and it worked. Reframing the discussion takes an amazing dedication and requires relentless commitment. Can it be done? YES. ✊

  278. 278
    jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    @Neldob:

    I have saying that since the Tea Party

  279. 279
    artem1s says:

    I don’t think it’s power. I think the likes of Munchin know the whole sheebang is about to collapse again. They are desperately trying to plug more money into the Ponzi Stock Market to keep the short term gain parade going. It stinks of the same desperation of Darth Cheney pushing ‘tax reform’ legislation in the months after W’s election, that was designed to give Enron a $900M tax refund. If they had gotten away with it, Enron might not have collapsed for another year or three. If they had then gotten their wish to raid Social Security, it might have ‘saved’ Wall Street for a few more years. After Soc Sec, they had their eye on forcing Foundations and University to divest their endowed funds and roll them over into more risky investments, fueling another round of hedge funds. Every single thing these vampires are doing screams of flop sweat and panic. Panic that they won’t be able to keep it going before they rob us all of whatever little assets we have left after 2 Bush recessions, the housing collapse, the S&L collapse, the banking collapse, and 3 trillion in off the books wars we have to pay for.

    they know they are in trouble and are terrified the mobs really will go DeFarge on them the next time. they really do believe they will get to take it all with them

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