Sally Q. Yates On Who We Are As A Country

Sally Yates is, of course, the person who warned that Michael Flynn was compromised and then was removed as Acting Attorney General of the United States.

At some point, we are going to have to decide to live together in this country. Looking back to the Constitution is not a bad way to do that.

Yes, there are people who have bizarre ideas of what is in the Constitution. But that makes it all the more important to talk about it now. And we need to be able to call out the violations now in progress.

But while we have too often fallen short, we have remained dedicated to our defining principles in our resolve to form a more perfect union. These principles have remained if not fully who we are, at least who we seek to be.

Despite our differences, we as Americans have long held a shared vision of what our country means and what values we expect our leaders to embrace. Today, our continued commitment to these unifying principles is needed more than ever.

She does a nice gloss on the preamble and then adds some other thoughts.

And there is something else that separates us from an autocracy, and that’s truth. There is such a thing as objective truth. We can debate policies and issues, and we should. But those debates must be based on common facts rather than raw appeals to emotion and fear through polarizing rhetoric and fabrications.

Not only is there such a thing as objective truth, failing to tell the truth matters. We can’t control whether our public servants lie to us. But we can control whether we hold them accountable for those lies or whether, in either a state of exhaustion or to protect our own political objectives, we look the other way and normalize an indifference to truth.

Read the whole thing.

I’m as angry as anyone, but when push comes to shove, we’re not going to be able to demand apologies or loyalty oaths from those who have supported unconstitutional actions. Some of those at the top, yes. But the historical reality is that some will apologize, some will quietly change sides, and others will actively try to hide their collaboration. I still think that a truth and reconciliation commission will be the best. We need to preserve our values in our own minds for now, so that we’re ready to deal with that later.

And yay Sally Yates! The model of a civil servant!

Open thread.

 






196 replies
  1. 1
    Josie says:

    I hope Cornerstone is around to see this.

  2. 2
    Big Ole Hound says:

    I think in 9 years she will make a great president if she continues in politics.

  3. 3
    tobie says:

    Yay Sally! I said yesterday and I’ll say again today that Sally Yates has presence and should consider running for elected office. She could be a great Rep from Georgia. Isn’t that her home state?

  4. 4
    NobodySpecial says:

    I’m as angry as anyone, but when push comes to shove, we’re not going to be able to demand apologies or loyalty oaths from those who have supported unconstitutional actions.

    I’ll settle for long sentences and truth in sentencing, and yearly reminders of how these people sold the US for peanuts.

  5. 5
    Steeplejack says:

    @Big Ole Hound:

    Yates can always fall back on her acting career. She was great as the police chief in Psych.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    We.

    That’s the crux.

    In Replandia, it’s always Us vs. Them.

  7. 7
    oatler. says:

    Even if we “win”, the defeated crooks will keep their loot. That’s what gets me, that disgraced pols and CEOs go away to weep on money piles. No asset forfeiture troubles for them.

  8. 8
    burnspbesq says:

    @tobie:

    In ordinary times, she would be a great choice for a seat on the Eleventh Curcuit … these are not ordinary times, alas.

  9. 9

    I’m as angry as anyone, but when push comes to shove, we’re not going to be able to demand apologies or loyalty oaths from those who have supported unconstitutional actions.

    I demand more than apologies from the likes of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell for their part in this sordid mess.

  10. 10
    Yarrow says:

    I still think that a truth and reconciliation commission will be the best.

    Yes. This. We need it.

    I really hope Sally Yates runs for something. My friend who lives near Atlanta is really hoping Yates will consider running for Governor. Don’t know if that’s a possibility.

  11. 11
    raven says:

    @tobie: UGA Law, just like SteveinATL!

  12. 12
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @oatler.: Punitive estate taxes for the win.

  13. 13
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @oatler.:
    That could always be changed. Move the Overton window back.

  14. 14
    gene108 says:

    50 years ago this was conventional wisdom. Batman pays the parking meter because the taxes and fees pay for better roads.

    The Koch brothers, et. al. have worked for decades to undermine this very common way we thought about things.

  15. 15
    Hungry Joe says:

    The GOP isn’t bothering to pick pockets anymore: The tax bill is strong-arm robbery. I suspect that a lot of them know they’ll be swept away in the Dem wave of ’18 and are 1) grabbing whatever loot they can, while the grabbin’s good, and 2) funneling as much as possible to the overlords who will fund their post-elective lobbying careers.

  16. 16
    zhena gogolia says:

    Thank you for highlighting this. This is the single best thing I have read since the tragedy of Nov. 2016. Suck on it, Masha Gessen. This is how you do it.

  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @tobie:

    Would love to see her run for political office in Georgia. I’d be among her earliest and most dedicated volunteers!

  18. 18
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Yarrow: I may have missed it, but I haven’t seen a “Tick tock, motherfuckers” from you for a while. If you’ve got a minute, could you spare one?

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    Leave us not forget that (yet another) deadline to avoid government shutdown is looming for this weekend.

    Happy holidays.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    tobie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’d love to see her defeat Karen Handel and would certainly contribute to her campaign. Even better would be a seat on the bench, as @burnspbesq: points out. That’s not gonna happen now but maybe in 2020!

  22. 22

    @schrodingers_cat: I totally agree that those at the top must make some sort of amends.

  23. 23
    ALurkSupreme says:

    This Athenian would volunteer for Yates as well.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Is “Tick tock, motherfuckers” either a rotating tag or a thread category designation yet? IMO it should be both

  26. 26
    bemused says:

    I’d take Yates over Gillibrand in a nanosecond.

  27. 27
    Kay says:

    The top Republican on the House’s Russia probe on Tuesday dismissed complaints from Democrats that he’s rushing to complete the investigation without properly vetting witnesses.
    “The investigation is not over. We’re moving forward aggressively,”

    Is there a single person in this country who is counting on the congressional investigations to DO anything? Really?

    The public doesn’t make them irrelevant as an oversight body. They make themselves irrelevant. Why is Mueller the big story and the big target of the Trump Administration? Because Mueller is using the power he was handed to do the job. Congress has tons of POWER. They don’t lack constitutional authority. They lack will to use it because it’s easier and safer not to use it.

    It’s a shame because part of the role of Congress is to be the PUBLIC investigation. Mueller is conducting a criminal investigation and those have to be secret for good reasons some of which are to protect the accused. Congress has a different role- PUBLIC hearings. They just don’t want to do it. Nah. We’ll pass. Let the executive branch do it.

  28. 28
    Shana says:

    @burnspbesq: Or she could take that newly available seat on the 9th circuit.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    marcopolo says:

    @Hungry Joe: I agree that those are large parts of it. I also think it is just the existence and arc of Trump. He was elected President. These R congress people look at what he did, does, and will do and it has changed the equation for them. A few years ago they (or at least a larger percent of them) would have had some compunctions foisting this piece of garbage on the American people. Especially with it’s abysmally low polling. With the election of Trump, we now apparently live in a smash and grab world and to hell with the consequences.

    Which is why it is so so so important for us to resist every fricken minute of every fricken day. Pendulums swing and I hope and believe it will be swinging them right out of office come Nov 2018. Then it will still be on us to hold our newly electeds’ feet to the fire to repeal and replace everything that happened after Nov. 9 2016.

  31. 31
    No Drought No More says:

    I’ve recently gained a perspective that’s afforded me to view the Fall of Trump (and implosion of the republican party) as being foreseen, courtesy of a book recommended by Charles Pierce esq. It’s entitled The Tree Lives of James Madison, by Noah Feldman. I’m currently standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Little Jimmy as he’s battling Patrick Henry during Virginia’s ratification fight over the Constitution. It’s wonderfully written, and a reminder there’s nothing new under the political sun in this country, and moreover that George Shultz hit the nail on the head when he not all that long ago noted: “There’s no such thing as a finish fight in Washington D.C.”.

  32. 32
    Sherparick says:

    The lies and screeds on Fox News, particularly Jeanne Pirro & Charlie Watters, right wing talk radio, & money guys behind it, like Rupert Murdoch need to be held to account.

  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @tobie:

    Interestingly, her husband ran for Congress more than two decades ago. Will have to dig around to see who won (what district).

    Yates’s husband, Comer Yates, is executive director of the Atlanta Speech School. In 1994 and 1996 he unsuccessfully ran for Congress as a Democrat.[51][52]

  34. 34
    Kay says:

    @Sherparick:

    I saw Jeanne Pirro in a documentary (from a long time ago) presented as an “expert” and I just shuddered. Ugh. There was a time where she was credible? Her job is to be a lunatic liar. She was probably always one, right? I hate to think she passed as a normal person for years.

  35. 35
    HeleninEire says:

    Here’s the thing about a Truth and Reconciliation Commission: its my understanding that the reason South Africa took that route is that they did not have the infrastructure to criminally prosecute crimes, or hold people accountable civilly. So the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was the second best alternative. America has that infrastructure in place. Let’s not take the second best alternative. Let’s take the best.

  36. 36
    Betty Cracker says:

    I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I suspect the ultimate outcome will be disappointing because a truly satisfactory chain of events would be thought too destabilizing by the powers that be, and those hypothetical powers might actually be right about that hypothetical assessment. About a third of our fellow citizens are brain-washed dickheads who won’t believe whatever is eventually found about Trump’s dealings with Russia, regardless of how iron-clad the evidence is.

    IMO, the reckoning Trump deserves involves jail time for himself and his cronies, congresscritters tossed out of office for collusion and cover-up and special elections held to replace them, judicial appointments rescinded — yes, including Gorsuch. It would involve truth and reconciliation committees that examined many facets of how this fiasco occurred, including the role of media outlets, with a mandate to create recommendations on how to prevent such disasters in the future.

    I don’t believe any of that will come to pass, except possibly jail time for a few Trump errand boys. The rosiest scenario I can actually envision taking place is that Trump resigns in disgrace like Nixon, pushed out by Republicans who are desperate to contain exposure of the rot. The Democrats would benefit politically from that outcome, perhaps even enough to regain control of the government and start cleaning up the Republicans’ mess. But then it would be business as usual.

  37. 37
    dmsilev says:

    we’re not going to be able to demand apologies

    I’d settle for a Captain Needa apology.

  38. 38

    @Kay: I figured that something might come out of the Congressional hearings, but I wasn’t holding my breath, given the Republican majority.

  39. 39
  40. 40
    bemused says:

    @Kay:

    They’ll do anything including aiding and abetting Russia to get those tax cut entitlements for the richie rich and make the rest of us pay for it. Greedy traitors.

    I do wonder how much Russian money has been funneled to Republican legislators and with their knowledge.

  41. 41
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Found it. Not surprising he lost to John Linder in a general. It’s a conservative district. Losing to McKinney would have been in a Dem primary.

    Comer ran for Congress twice. First, he ran as a Democrat against John Linder for Georgia’s 4th congressional district in 1994 and lost. He then lost again to Cynthia McKinney in 1996 for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.[5] 

  42. 42
    different-church-lady says:

    There is such a thing as objective truth.

    And soon there won’t be, because too many people get a thrill out of the lies they want to hear.

    This is what Orwell was trying to warn us about, but he never imagined the people would build the Ministry of Truth all by themselves.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @bemused:

    There was a good piece in a Dallas newspaper about it the other day. It was linked to quite a bit on Twitter. It’s the first time I’ve seen that asked- we know there was Russian interference in congressional races but no one followed up. This piece looked at US donations where the GOP donor had a business connection to an oligarch. There’s a concept in campaign finance called “conduits”- it means washing campaign money thru passing it to a lawful donor. It’s ordinary. An ordinary thing to look for. Ohio had a huge “conduit” scandal in 2006. People went to prison. If there was Russian interference in GOP congressional races (and there was- it was reported as fact) then looking at campaign finance would be the first question- where did the money come from?

  44. 44

    @Kay: What’s more, Congress could legislate to prevent similar attacks on our election system. Mueller can’t do that.

  45. 45
    tobie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Times have changed and I imagine so have the demographics of the 4th and 6th congressional districts. Yates’ integrity is intact; she seems like an honorable person and, judging from her hearing, she’s a friendly person so she might just have crossover appeal. Non-news-junkies constantly complain about the coarseness of politics. She might be an antidote to that for them.

  46. 46
    Kay says:

    @bemused:

    It does worry me that Republican members of Congress benefited from Russian interference and they are also the oversight on Russian interference. What if Mueller turns THAT up? That GOP members of congress are beholden to Putin/oligarchs too?That it wasn’t just Trump? It actually makes more sense if it WASN’T just Trump. He would need help.

  47. 47
    Yarrow says:

    @Hungry Joe: I’m sorry you’ve missed seeing it! I haven’t stopped saying it, that’s for sure. I usually save it for threads or comments relating to the Russia investigation and how it’s getting closer and closer to Trump and his traitor tots, along with the rest of the traitors in his administration and the GOP.

    But since you’ve asked so nicely, and in honor of Mueller having all the emails and the massive Trump freakout about it, tick tock motherfuckers. Tick fucking tock.

  48. 48
    Aleta says:

    Thanks Cheryl.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    @bemused:

    Sometimes I think Mueller won’t turn up anything actionable and then other times I go the other way. What if the whole fucking pack of thieves and liars are in on this? Now THERE’s a constitutional crisis, huh? Executive AND legislative. Two out of three. That’s not Watergate- it’s a collapse.

  50. 50

    @Kay: And don’t forget the sage of Vt. I am pretty sure his campaign is involved too. Follow the money. Isn’t that how most terrorist/criminal organizations are netted?

  51. 51
    Aleta says:

    @Yarrow: tick tock motherfuckers

    I just love to hear this.

  52. 52
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay:

    If there was Russian interference in GOP congressional races (and there was- it was reported as fact) then looking at campaign finance would be the first question- where did the money come from?

    Not just GOP congressional races, but the NRA and evangelical churches and related organizations as well. Russians have been laundering money through all sorts of organizations here in the US for awhile. As Adam says, penetration at all levels. Trump’s real estate business and other businesses like his Taj Mahal c a s i n o weren’t the only vehicles for Russian money laundering.

  53. 53

    @Betty Cracker: A truly satisfactory outcome would destroy the economy because sending all those people to reëducation camps would wreck the labor force.

  54. 54
    TenguPhule says:

    At some point, we are going to have to decide to live together in this country.

    No we’re not.

    Republicans have gone all in to treason. No living together after that.

  55. 55
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    A truly satisfactory outcome would destroy the economy because sending all those people to reëducation camps would wreck the labor force.

    Republican Slave Labor could fix that.

  56. 56
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    What if the whole fucking pack of thieves and liars are in on this?

    What do you mean if?

  57. 57
    NotMax says:

    @Kay

    (OT, mentioned because of the Buckeye State connection.)

    Ever seen the documentary Mentor about that town in Ohio?

    Devastating.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay:

    It does worry me that Republican members of Congress benefited from Russian interference and they are also the oversight on Russian interference. What if Mueller turns THAT up? That GOP members of congress are beholden to Putin/oligarchs too?

    He has turned this up. That’s why the congressional investigations aren’t worth all that much so far. Mueller knows and is using the leverage he has against various members of Congress to make certain things happen. It isn’t really a coincidence that Chaffetz resigned. Nor the rumors about Paul Ryan resigning. Mueller knows who the traitors are.

    All this is why I’ve been saying they’re all traitors and they’re all going down. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

  60. 60
    TenguPhule says:

    but when push comes to shove, we’re not going to be able to demand apologies or loyalty oaths from those who have supported unconstitutional actions.

    Crime, trial, punishment.

    Either they’re accountable or nobody is.

  61. 61
    James E. Powell says:

    Yates’s talk of “we” and “[o]ur shared values” sounds almost silly when one considers not just the last two years, but every year since January 20, 2009, when RealAmerica® was finally and fully revealed.

    Look, from what I’ve seen and heard of her, I like and admire Yates. But when she says “[t]here is such a thing as objective truth,” she is clearly ignoring the world of FOX, Rush, Breitbart, and all the other lesser RWers who have shown that while there may be objective truth, it has no bearing on our politics. The objective truth is that they control all three branches of the federal government and 34 governors. They are packing the federal judiciary with right-wing nut jobs who will do whatever they can to delay or destroy any future Democratic efforts to repair the damage.

    Yates sounds like Obama. And while we may admire that, we should consider how the nation responded to him and how that gave us the world we live in today.

  62. 62
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    But that would be wrong.

    Depends on how you define wrong. Technically its legal as long as its punishment imposed for a crime.

    And its a perfectly valid alternative to the death penalty.

  63. 63
    Kay says:

    @Yarrow:

    The GREED blows me away. It’s not enough to get a giant tax cut and no regulations. They have to go after Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid too. Must. Feel a compulsion to take it all.

    During the financial crisis some of the liberals on this website bemoaned the fact that the populace wasn’t rising up in anger. I felt like I knew why they weren’t. Because there was a safety net. They had food stamps and housing vouchers and unemployment compensation. We had 16% unemployment but they were EATING regularly.

    It makes more sense, if you’re a plutocrat, to keep people an inch above water. Not these guys! They want it all. They want people to DROWN. There’s a recklessness in that makes me think they believe they’re untouchable. I don’t think they are, and that’s why I remain hopeful. They’re arrogant but “arrogant” doesn’t mean “correct” :)

    What if they can’t control the downstream effects of this plundering? What if it gets away from them?

  64. 64
    TenguPhule says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    I suspect that a lot of them know they’ll be swept away in the Dem wave of ’18

    And rush back in once the pain of putting shit back together hits in 2020 and 2022.

    We won on their fucking up everything once before.

    Two years later the dumb as shit general public forgot that Republicans are bad.

  65. 65
    Brachiator says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I’m as angry as anyone, but when push comes to shove, we’re not going to be able to demand apologies or loyalty oaths from those who have supported unconstitutional actions. Some of those at the top, yes. But the historical reality is that some will apologize, some will quietly change sides, and others will actively try to hide their collaboration. I still think that a truth and reconciliation commission will be the best.

    No. I disagree with this. Ultimately, we are still engaged in a political disagreement with those who oppose us. This is not (yet) a civil war or revolution. I may believe that people have committed unconstitutional actions, but this has not been proven, nor do I think that anyone is in a position from which they can judge or cleanse their fellow citizens for past actions or beliefs.

    @TenguPhule:

    Republicans have gone all in to treason. No living together after that.

    So, what? You’re going to round people up and deport them?

  66. 66
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yeah, I reluctantly agree. Although I fantasize about The Great Frog March, the best we’ll probably get is a chance to clean up the mess.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    What if they can’t control the downstream effects of this plundering? What if it gets away from them?

    What do you mean, if? Passing that Tax Abomination is going to kick off so many unintended consequences that its really quite terrifying when you look at the sheer scale of it all.

    Eat the rich isn’t going to be a metaphor.

  69. 69
    Aimai says:

    @bemused: stop wanking about gillibrand. All you morons are excited for the flavor of the month politician for about a week then you declare then an enemy of the people and start looking for a new perfect pin up.

  70. 70
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    So, what? You’re going to round people up and deport them?

    I was thinking labor camps. For the worst offenders, making them a head shorter.

    But we’ve got 50 years of infrastructure to repair and rebuild and they have strong enough backs to do the lifting.

  71. 71
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @tobie:

    Too bad she is not in California; she’d be elected right quick.

  72. 72
    zhena gogolia says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    She’s always so over-the-top in her warnings about authoritarianism, and conflates the U.S. and the Russian situations. Yates gives us the warning in our own terms, much more believably.

  73. 73
    TenguPhule says:

    @marcopolo:

    Then it will still be on us to hold our newly electeds’ feet to the fire to repeal and replace everything that happened after Nov. 9 2016.

    Which, unless we manage to get someone who’s not a traitor into the Oval Office, is not happening any sooner then Jan 20, 2021.

  74. 74

    @TenguPhule: Just paying them in a Great Works stimulus would be less destabilizing and a lot better for the economy, not to mention a nice social engineering coup.

  75. 75
    Kay says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Yates sounds like Obama. And while we may admire that, we should consider how the nation responded to him and how that gave us the world we live in.

    It is hard, isn’t it? “This is who we are as a people” I don’t know, maybe Trump is who we are as a people. Maybe lying and cheating and stealing is the “national character” and the other is a minority view. That could also be true.

    You could still stand for those things but you would have to admit you’re in a minority and most people ascribe to lying and cheating and stealing – the national character is BAD :)

  76. 76
    James E. Powell says:

    @Kay:

    But the populace did rise up in anger. They elected Republicans all over the country.

  77. 77
    JoeyJoeJoe Junior Shabadoo says:

    @tobie: they’ve definitely changed. DeKalb (4) has gotten increasingly heavily Dem; back in the 70s it was the only part of Georgia to elect more than a couple of Republicans downballot. The 6th has become less Republican as the ATL metro has absorbed it; it used to be rural white. The boundaries change every ten years; it used to go as far south as Macon and didn’t even go as far north as Fulton County.

  78. 78

    @Kay: I actually got confused and thought the first excerpted paragraph was from something Obama said!

  79. 79
    Kay says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Well, I don’t know why they elected Republicans other places but a big part of why they elected Republicans HERE was because Republicans ran a 2010 campaign that relied heavily on telling old people Obama had stolen their Medicare funding and given it to black/poor people. That’s what Republicans ran on.

  80. 80

    @Kay: Hillary did get more votes than the person who is in office right now.

  81. 81
    Betty Cracker says:

    @TenguPhule: Thanks for the daily demonstration that crackpots exist on both sides of the divide, though not in proportional numbers, thankfully.

  82. 82
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    It is my hope that the lot of them are shunned in most circles, that they feel the revulsion of the big majority.

    Oh,I’m sure Ivanka will be welcomed in Hampton and Manhattan, but I imagine Omarosa, for instance, already feels the sting of her betrayal to the black community.

    I hope Stone and Lewendowski and all the Trump enablers and apologists are scorned.

  83. 83

    @zhena gogolia: So, Sarah Kendzior with a Russian name?

  84. 84
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: If they expect to be fed, they’re going to have to grow their own food. We’re not going to be able to afford it otherwise.

  85. 85
    NotMax says:

    @TenguPhule

    Gotta link it, just for grins.

  86. 86
    Aleta says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yeah. Since history has a say in predictions, I expect the same.

    As much as Mueller’s work is worth getting excited about, I’m also ready for our disappointment in what he doesn’t bring charges on. I hope to keep my mood focused on the things that are said, done, exposed by the investigations and the reporters.

  87. 87
    bemused says:

    @Kay:

    There was that May House Leadership meeting with Kevin McCarthy “joking” that he thinks Russians paid at least two, Rohrabacker and Trump. A lot of them have known more than they are telling for quite awhile, imo and I doubt they would reject money from donors even if they knew Russians were indirectly funding them.
    I also wonder what dirt Russians have on GOP legislators too as leverage.

  88. 88
    James E. Powell says:

    @Kay:

    As Hunter S Thompson once put it

    This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable. The tragedy of all this is that George McGovern, for all his mistakes… understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like Richard Nixon.

    That quote is over 40 years ago. Change the names to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and it’s still accurate.

  89. 89
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker: They’re not going to stop until they’re stopped.

    It’s ugly, but its true.

  90. 90
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    The Democrats would benefit politically from that outcome, perhaps even enough to regain control of the government and start cleaning up the Republicans’ mess. But then it would be business as usual.

    This is your best case scenario?

    And I’m supposedly a doom and gloomer?

  91. 91

    I’m seeing some misunderstanding of this paragraph, so let me expand on it a bit.

    I’m as angry as anyone, but when push comes to shove, we’re not going to be able to demand apologies or loyalty oaths from those who have supported unconstitutional actions. Some of those at the top, yes. But the historical reality is that some will apologize, some will quietly change sides, and others will actively try to hide their collaboration. I still think that a truth and reconciliation commission will be the best. We need to preserve our values in our own minds for now, so that we’re ready to deal with that later.

    I’ve bolded a short sentence that may have gotten lost. Legal remedies for whoever is found to have violated laws. That will include some at the top – already Manafort, Davis, Papadopoulos, and Flynn are dealing with the courts. It’s likely there will be others. And I think about those orange jumpsuits as much as anyone.

    Some at the top are likely to escape the courts. It’s impossible right now to know who they may be. Let’s say, for example, that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell aren’t indicted. They should be drummed out of politics and decent society for the rest of their lives. And written up as destroyers of the Constitutional fabric in history books.

    The people I had in mind in the next sentence are our neighbors and relatives who have drunk the Fox/Trump Kool-Aid. We’re not going to have reeducation camps, although they are as attractive to fantasize about as those orange jumpsuits. But when the tide changes, people at least shut up with their unconstitutional opinions, and often behavior changes lead to attitude changes.

    I think that a truth and reconciliation commission (or commissions) to lay bare, for example, the propaganda machine that is Fox News, would be valuable in helping us to redevelop a shared view of truth. Other issues are the rule of law and justice for all.

    Hope that helps to clarify.

  92. 92
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @tobie:

    I have no idea where the Yateses live, but I think it’s the 7th district — Comer Yates could have run against Linder in the old 4th and against McKinney in the (then newly-added) 11th and live today in the 7th, all without moving.

    This is my district, so I particularly hope Sally runs to represent the 7th. Would love to help her take down that useless POS Rob Woodall.

  93. 93
    NotMax says:

    @Betty Cracker

    Realism.

    It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

  94. 94
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    But when the tide changes, people at least shut up with their unconstitutional opinions

    This has not been true since the Internetz have been public.

  95. 95

    @TenguPhule: I’m pretty sure America has a food surplus.

  96. 96
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I actually AM “patriotic” because I’m fairly conventional and also generally a team player. But it’s hard to be patriotic right now. It’s just such crap. Such flimsy, cheap garbage. I even hate the way they talk, the words they all use “stakeholder” and “reform” and “tax relief” – I hate the language they speak. These words don’t mean anything to me.

    I heard Jonah Goldberg on NPR the other day and I was mad. Why is he famous? He strings cliches together. He’s dumb. He’s not a good thinker AT ALL yet he’s the top? He gets 4 minutes of a national platform? How did this happen that all these people got promoted year after year?

  97. 97
    Matt McIrvin says:

    At some point, we are going to have to decide to live together in this country.

    Not necessarily! We could always opt for five thousand years of multi-generational genocidal warfare. The capsule descriptions of US politics in other countries would always include some solemn head-shaking about “ancient tribal hatreds”.

  98. 98
    bemused says:

    @Aimai:

    Yikes! Chill. I think Gillibrand took a miss step jumping on the zero tolerance platform but I don’t hate her. Save your ammo for those who will cut off their noses before supporting her ever again.

  99. 99
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’m pretty sure America has a food surplus.

    Yes, but someone’s either got to work for that food or pay for it.

  100. 100
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Sending all the chief culprits off for extended stays at Club Fed would decimate the rentier class. Surely that’s a good thing.

  101. 101

    @TenguPhule: yes, they would pay for it with the money we give them as wages.

    ETA the idea of public infrastructure projects is not hard to grasp

  102. 102
    geg6 says:

    While I’m glad there are people like Yates and Obama still out there encouraging us to live and uphold our values and encourage our fellow citizens to follow their better impulses, I am not in the same place. I still live where I learned those values and followed those better impulses from childhood but I feel I am living as a stranger in a very strange and scary land. I have little to no faith in my neighbors and feel completely surrounded by hostile and blood thirsty savages who worship a mad king. It’s quite dispiriting and leaves me no mood to hear them make excuses or ask for forgiveness or even understanding. Fuck them all. I want them to suffer. I want them to never have a moment of happiness or comfort the rest of their miserable lives. I hate being this hostile and angry all the time, but I don’t know how else to be at this point.

  103. 103
    James E. Powell says:

    @Kay:

    Those lies only had purchase because the president was black. White Republicans can say they want to end Medicare as we know it, turn it into a voucher system, and the old white people still vote for them anyway because they hate the same people.

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    For all of my adult life I heard that the US had “the best health care in the world”. It’s how Republicans stopped health care access 15 times. It was like a mantra. During the Obamacare debate that went away because it became blatantly obvious that it was NOT, in fact, true and MANY people were either completely shut out of or very unhappy with the health care system. You never hear it anymore. Now it’s all about scarcity-no one pretends it’s about “the best” system- they spend all their time rationing it and threatening to take pieces away. Because it was never “the best” system. It was just the system people in power wanted.

    So you see a couple of those play out and you start to wonder.

  105. 105
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @TenguPhule: Exactly.

    We should all have learned our lesson feom Nancy “impeachment is off the table” Pelosi during the Shrub years: moving on is letting them get away with it, which only encourages them to do worse.

  106. 106
    Kay says:

    @James E. Powell:

    I wasn’t there at the time but I’m coming around to your view. I vastly underestimated the role of race in opposition to Obama. Vastly. Once you see it you can’t NOT see it though.

  107. 107

    @Kay: I share your revulsion of where we are right now. As an immigrant, the person in the WH feels like a rebuke delivered by the people that voted for him. I have also found myself out of step with many BJers whether it be on immigration issues or the generals in WH. For the first time in all my years in this country I have been suddenly made aware of my differences, or so it feels.
    Be that as it may, this is my country too, T and his voters notwithstanding and I will fight for its ideals, for they are my ideals too.

    Edited for clarity and brevity.

  108. 108
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Kay: From listening to some, they see these programs as causing moral weakness–because people can count on some sort of old age pension and health care when they retire, the mass of Americans are encouraged to be lazy and settle for “handouts”. They have to save us from this, because it’s destroying our moral fiber. Also we’re freeloading off of them. But mostly they’re pursuing this to protect us from our own weaknesses. Like not wanting to work when we’re 80.

  109. 109
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Kay: Goldberg is the Ivanka Trump of conservative intelligentsia, a vapid nepotism hire who is perpetually exposed as being out of his depth. As you’ve pointed out, such folks cause far more harm as anti-meritocracy examples than any positive contributions they could make in their unearned roles in a thousand years, even if they worked diligently to pick up qualifications along the way (which they’d be too arrogant and lazy to do anyway).

  110. 110
    tobie says:

    @Kay:

    These words don’t mean anything to me.

    There’s a word for this kind of speech: palaver. I feel like whatever walk of life we’re in, we’re all now exposed to this management speak–synergy, vertical integration, strategic planning.

  111. 111
    James E. Powell says:

    @geg6:

    Exactly how I feel. My only consolations are reading fiction, playing guitar, and visiting this blog to feel less alone. There are many days I wish I still smoked cigarettes. They were always so fitting for rage or despair.

  112. 112
    bemused says:

    @Kay:

    The GOP has also claimed to be the only party of “family values” for decades.

  113. 113

    @Boatboy_srq: And what, pray tell, were the (ETA legitimate, provable) grounds for impeaching W?

  114. 114

    @Betty Cracker: Conservative intelligentsia is an oxymoron. While Jonah is just a moron.

  115. 115
    TenguPhule says:

    @Boatboy_srq:

    We should all have learned our lesson feom Nancy “impeachment is off the table” Pelosi during the Shrub years: moving on is letting them get away with it, which only encourages them to do worse.

    And of course we should have known better since so many of his people were from Nixon.

    And so here we are now. And I’d just as soon we not commit suicide by giving the GOP another fucking pass.

  116. 116

    @Major Major Major Major: Starting a war under false pretenses.

  117. 117

    @Matt McIrvin:

    The capsule descriptions of US politics in other countries would always include some solemn head-shaking about “ancient tribal hatreds”.

    They probably already should.

    @schrodingers_cat: All of the evidence of doing so knowingly (which is scant) stops at Cheney.

  118. 118
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Authorization for Torture. Plus 10 million emails on private servers deleted to hide them from preservation. Obstruction of justice and illegal destruction of government property.

  119. 119

    @TenguPhule: Bury bipartisanship, or better yet cremate it and then submerge its ashes in the Marianas trench.

  120. 120
    Barbara says:

    @Kay: Maybe Matt Yglesias and Caitlin Flanagan can collaborate on an article to examine this question. Really, the question isn’t so much how Goldberg was hired in the first place but why he keeps getting asked back. More seriously, “Twilight of the Gods” by Chris Hayes provides a pretty good and depressing explanation for the Goldbergs of the world.

  121. 121
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Kay: I sometimes think one of the reasons the GOTea is so fierce about isolating Cuba is that it’s a graphic illustration of how even a relatively poor country can have a good healthcare system – and that illustration is a mere 70 miles away. As long as [gasp] soshulized medicine is in someplace like Thailand or Japan or Austria that the oi polloi will never see, then they’re safe; but if it’s half-hour-flight or weekend-cruise close then the reality is harder to hide.

  122. 122
    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I have also found myself out of step with many BJers whether it be on immigration issues or the generals in WH.

    That’s actually normal and natural for America. That is the genuine American experience. Arguments are US.

  123. 123

    No country or nation on earth is perfect but what is so annoying to me at least, is that many of our problems are self inflicted.

  124. 124

    @TenguPhule: I am not talking about difference of opinion but feeling like I no longer belong.

  125. 125
    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Bury bipartisanship, or better yet cremate it and then submerge its ashes in the Marianas trench.

    Seconded, Thirded and can I get an amen on that.

  126. 126
    JPL says:

    @bemused: Yup.. They are also pro-life as long as they don’t have to provide health care for those born. In fact they don’t even want healthcare for fetuses.

  127. 127

    @TenguPhule:

    Authorization for Torture.

    Hardly a high crime, it even seems to have been legal. They haven’t even prosecuted the low-level offenders, have they?

    Plus 10 million emails on private servers deleted to hide them from preservation.

    OK, maybe the emails, but I don’t know if a records violation rises to the level of legit impeachable. And obstruction requires showing intent, doesn’t it?

  128. 128

    @TenguPhule: So much of what you say is garbage, including this. When Obama was in office, the general tenor of discussion was much different than it is now. It’s possible that as many people were Nazis as there are now, but they weren’t staging torchlight parades. Or that there were as many ignorant of the dangers of nuclear war, but they weren’t advocating war against North Korea.

    What is said in public influences those who are on the fence. If it’s okay to be a Nazi, they’ll join the torchlight parades. If there aren’t torchlight parades, they’ll go about their business quietly.

    Read, for example, Timothy Snyder’s books and others about how the Holocaust took place.

    And, instead of your baseless one-liners, give us some evidence for your negativity.

  129. 129
    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I am not talking about difference of opinion but feeling like I no longer belong.

    I was born here and I don’t feel like I belong in this country any more. So you’re not alone in that.

    The Union is coming undone before our eyes.

  130. 130
    catclub says:

    @Sherparick:

    right wing talk radio, & money guys behind it, like Rupert Murdoch need to be held to account.

    I hope before we re-enact the hits from Radio Rwanda.

  131. 131
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Ohio adopted the Common Core although they all had to lie and say they didn’t because it was Obama’s – I follow these things because I’m on a school committee and the fact is Ohio adopted the Common Core. There’s good parts and bad parts and most people don’t even understand what it is, but it interests me because my youngest is being schooled in this set of standards. So he’s a freshman and he was directed to use something other than “THIS is like THIS” when making an argument. They’re trying to make them not reach for the same analytical tool over and over because that’s lazy and they’re smarter than that. Try harder. Stretch. That’s the goal.

    Jonah Goldberg relies completely on “THIS is like THIS” even if it’s not. He would get a bad grade in freshman english at my son’s working class, underfunded ordinary public school :)

  132. 132
  133. 133
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Yarrow:

    Trickery, prickery, crock:
    Shitgibbon’s on the clock.
    The cuckoos crow
    And down he goes –
    Bickery, sickery, hock!

  134. 134
    bemused says:

    @JPL:

    Nope, it’s not just the newborn they drop like hot potatoes

  135. 135
    The Moar You Know says:

    Congress has a different role- PUBLIC hearings. They just don’t want to do it. Nah. We’ll pass. Let the executive branch do it.

    @Kay: This is not surprising when you think about it. For the last 50 years, Congress has preferred if at all possible to let the judiciary do the heavy lifting and avoid having to take a stand on anything. Now, that generation of Congresscritters have been replaced with a crew of what could generously be called “activist psychopaths”, but they still want to stay in that sweet, sweet job as long as possible, so they’re kicking all their bullshit up to Trump, who will sign anything, even a placemat at McDonalds, if he’s told it will get him more press. Good or bad, he don’t fuckin’ care.

    As far as preserving the powers of the legislative branch, so long as they keep their connections, benefits, and salaries, the current Senators and Representatives would prefer to have the monarch running everything. That’s the real poison that’s gotten into American politics; we no longer have the patience for actual democracy and no ability to do compromise or give n’ take, so we’d just prefer to hand it over to the head guy.

    The lies and screeds on Fox News, particularly Jeanne Pirro & Charlie Watters, right wing talk radio, & money guys behind it, like Rupert Murdoch need to be held to account.

    @Sherparick: Don’t see how we’re going to pull that off save for a wholesale gutting of the First Amendment, but I for one am getting very close to endorsing exactly that. Which would probably be a huge mistake. But when my Foxbot co-workers tell me half the Democrats in Congress are voting for the tax cut bill, and sincerely believe that and were shocked to find out that was not the case, we as a democracy have a huge problem that needs to be dealt with.

  136. 136
    catclub says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    about “ancient tribal hatreds”.

    Just like the Serbs and Croats!

  137. 137
    zhena gogolia says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Crossword puzzles and Trollope’s Palliser novels are my drug of choice.

  138. 138
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @TenguPhule: From Vonnegut’s first novel, Player Piano, I give you the Reconstruction and Reclamation Corps – the Reeks & Wrecks. Only this time literally!

  139. 139
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    When Obama was in office, the general tenor of discussion was much different than it is now.

    Only by degrees. We had the rise of the teabaggers, the gun nutters, the sovereign citizens, all the scum that had been getting increasingly more bold when the Bush regime reigned did not retreat into the sewers to hide, they double downed and gave their target audiences a show.

    It’s possible that as many people were Nazis as there are now, but they weren’t staging torchlight parades.

    No, they were recruiting, organizing and developing a narrative to build an alternative (and delusional) world view.

    Or that there were as many ignorant of the dangers of nuclear war, but they weren’t advocating war against North Korea.

    They’ve been advocating since Clinton. The overall volume changed over time, but the most vocal have always been there just waiting for some attention to be paid to them.

  140. 140
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Truth and reconciliation assumes the wingnuts will see the error of their ways. Cites facts not in evidence. My anecdata implies they will never admit they were wrong. The new Lost Causers, same as the old Lost Causers.

  141. 141
    Another Scott says:

    @bemused: WaPo:

    Some of the lawmakers laughed at McCarthy’s comment. Then McCarthy quickly added: “Swear to God.”

    McCarthy wasn’t joking.

    But, he showed that Party Uber Alles comes above even his oath to the Constitution.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  142. 142
    hueyplong says:

    Looking forward to seeing “Tick tock, motherfuckers” as the title of a thread.

  143. 143
    catclub says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Passing that Tax Abomination is going to kick off so many unintended consequences that its really quite terrifying

    Kevin Drum applied the growth rates that the GOP used, in order to pass the tax bill, to the rest of the budget, and found that there is no Social Security Trust Fund problem. So you will know that when they claim that SS and Medicare need to be cut, they were lying about the tax bill. [Yes, I know this is not news to those of us here.]

  144. 144
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Please tell me your entire post is snark and not serious.

  145. 145
    AliceBlue says:

    @tobie:
    As Sam Spade once said, the cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

  146. 146

    @Major Major Major Major: Colin Powell’s performance at the UN, or have you forgotten that.

  147. 147
    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat: That’s what he means that the trail ends at Cheney. Not enough evidence to convict Bush on that one.

  148. 148
    catclub says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Two years later the dumb as shit general public forgot that Republicans are bad.

    Unemployment was still high in 2010. And I think there were plenty who voted for the GOP because Obama had not fixed everything in a year and a half.

    This bodes ill for the Democrats in 2018 because unemployment is likely to still be pretty good in 2018.

  149. 149
    TenguPhule says:

    @catclub: The last thing we need right now is an economic meltdown.

    Naturally Trump and the GOP are jumping up and down on the big red button that says “Do not Push”.

    Our economy is driven by consumer spending. What do they think is going to happen when they reduce the consumers and the amount of disposable income they have?

  150. 150

    @TenguPhule: I feel the same way about your entire corpus.

  151. 151
    TenguPhule says:

    @catclub:

    And I think there were plenty who voted for the GOP because Obama had not fixed everything in a year and a half.

    And we’re definitely not fixing everything before 2020.

  152. 152
    catclub says:

    @Kay:

    For all of my adult life I heard that the US had “the best health care in the world”. …. You never hear it anymore.

    In contrast, I read (washington monthly) in the recent past that the VA was the best healthcare system in the US, but now we don’t hear much of that from the VA. (also washington monthly)

  153. 153
    Dmbeaster says:

    @Boatboy_srq: The GOP has engaged in systemic lawbreaking since Nixon. He was forced out because of it. The Reagan era criminals fought back with more vigor, and their judge friends gave North and Poindexter get out of jail free cards. Bush Sr pardoned other law breakers. In one of his weaker moves (though maybe a bridge too far given the overall situation in 2009), Obama just gave a pass to Bush Jr law breakers. Of course, several might think twice about traveling overseas because other countries seem intent on enforcing torture laws, even if we are not.

    So is the current GOP behavior any surprise? Maybe for brazenness, but that is a predictable consequence of letting it slide.

  154. 154
    The Moar You Know says:

    Please tell me your entire post is snark and not serious.

    @TenguPhule: He’s absolutely right. I can sadly testify to the email aspects from direct experience. At best, deletion of emails is something that might be weighed against you in a trial on other charges. Might. Judge’s discretion.

  155. 155
    Immanentize says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: I have been pitching this Vonnegut book as the one for the moment since the 2016 de-selection. Player Piano is so prescient — except for the vacuum tube thing.

  156. 156
    Another Scott says:

    @Dmbeaster: If we wanted Barack and Nancy and Harry to throw W and his cronies in The Clink, we needed to give them big enough majorities to enable them to get the job done. Otherwise, it was a recipe for years decades of yelling and screaming and nothing productive getting done.

    Politicians have to pick their battles if they want to implement their agenda.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  157. 157
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Immanentize: I’ve been reminded of it many times recently too.

  158. 158
    bemused says:

    @Another Scott:

    Doubtful anyone in the meeting or anyone reading about it later thought McCarthy was just kidding. Just as disturbing is that Republicans there did think it was funny.

  159. 159

    @TenguPhule: Again, you’re not backing up what you say. Just the usual gloom and doom. Now I’ll go back to ignoring you.

  160. 160
    Aleta says:

    For a long time I’ve been thinking about the political drive (since 1980 or so?) to cut tax money that goes to schools, and the political/Fox opposition to teaching the US history of race discrimination and terror against nonwhites. I think we need to fight hard take the schools back too.

  161. 161
    ruemara says:

    @NobodySpecial: Sit by me.

    I don’t quite disagree with Yates, since this op-ed is a call to action but I think folks should remember we are exactly as we act as a country. So, we are Obama. And we are Trump. We’re always going to wrestle between these extremes. And yes, some of us are racist, treasonous motherfuckers, a large pot of some of us.
    That “we” does a lot of work.

    @Aleta: It’s a good idea. Many conservatives took over school boards decades ago. The utter ignorance of swaths of the republic is not by chance.

  162. 162
    chopper says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    So much of what you say is garbage, including this.

    ha ha ha ha, perfect.

  163. 163
    catclub says:

    @Another Scott: I wanted them to at least investigate what actually happened. Clink throwing would have to wait until we find out what happened. I also think that the DOJ was not really involved in the Healthcare bill and could do other things. The old ‘walk and chew gum’ thing.

  164. 164
    germy says:

    The Sanders family and Trump family are under FBI investigation. Jill Stein is under Senate investigation. Everybody who ran in 2016 is currently being investigated…except Hillary Clinton.— Marcus H. Johnson (@marcushjohnson) December 18, 2017

  165. 165
    bemused says:

    Foul Paul Ryan talking now. He’s giddy with excitement and the reps cheering.

  166. 166
    Jay C says:

    Sally Yates: “But those debates must be based on common facts rather than raw appeals to emotion and fear through polarizing rhetoric and fabrications.

    Can’t stress enough how much I agree with this: unfortunately, the reality seems to be that said “raw appeals to emotion and fear” are what motivate too many voters – who also seem all too willing to simply dismiss/ignore any “facts” that don’t support their preconceived narratives/prejudices.

  167. 167
    Kay says:

    Alan Rappeport‏Verified account
    @arappeport
    4h4 hours ago
    More
    He paced the Senate balcony, he talked it over with his wife. Senator Bob Corker, a die-hard deficit hawk, explains how deeply torn he was before deciding to back a $1.5 trillion tax cut

    Is there anyone as completely full of shit as the “deficit hawks”? WHEN does this myth end?

    They just added trillions to the deficit. They are BY DEFINITION not “deficit hawks” Retire the term. It’s meaningless.

    What do they have to do to lose the presumption that they act speak in good faith? WTF does it matter if he “paced”?

    How do I know he’s not “die hard”? Because he folded. Words mean things.

  168. 168
    Another Scott says:

    @catclub: There was a whole mess of Congressional (and independent) investigations of the Bush administration.

    Investigations and oversight are important, but going after political decisions made by a previous administration via the DOJ is something that really needs to be very carefully considered. Without a super-majority in the House and Senate to demonstrate the will of the people to go after such people, it’s counter-productive (IMHO).

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  169. 169
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Is there anyone as completely full of shit as the “deficit hawks”?

    Every Ruspublican.

  170. 170
    catclub says:

    @Another Scott: All those investigations were during the Bush admin. What about investigations during the Obama admin ( either DOJ onr congressional)?

  171. 171
    Amir Khalid says:

    @germy:
    Everyone? Come on. What did Lincon Chaffee ever do, except bore people stiff?

  172. 172
    terraformer says:

    This concept of “they’re grabbing all they can while the gettin’s good” is EXACTLY what I thought throughout the Dubya years, at least after there was no reasonable alternative to their lies about Iraq, WMD, etc.

    I remember having the “we can’t even agree that water’s wet” discussion on objective truth, and the observation that the then-nascient Fox News media disinformation complex was propaganda.

    And now here we are. I was exhausted from all the malfeasance then, the outrage fatigue. But then, it was an outrage maybe once every week or so; today, it’s literally daily cringing. There is no other explanation though: they’re destroying this country through misinformation and a targeted appeal to existing prejudices. A misinformed populace. Goddamnit I don’t want to leave, but things better fucking change quickly if/when Dems get some congressional oversight. They’d better recognize that we need a bold stand, unequivocal statements followed by action. Otherwise, well, it was a good run for a bit there, I guess.

  173. 173
    Doug R says:

    @HeleninEire: Truth and Reconciliation was to get away from this constant otherization perpetuated especially by whoever’s in power. Break the cycle of blame. Revenge just gets you more revenge.
    “We are all cut from the same cloth”.
    Sure, tumbrels seem nice, but then you get Napoleon. Or Stalin. Or Castro. Or Khomeni.

  174. 174
    Doug R says:

    @bemused:

    I do wonder how much Russian money has been funneled to Republican legislators and with their knowledge.

    Koch’s daddy was deep into Russia, the NRA has major links to Russia….

  175. 175
    Tazj says:

    @Kay:

    WTF does it matter that he paced?

    I guess it matters more than the disabled woman in a wheelchair and the young father with ALS who traveled to DC to protest the bill. The public must know that he was troubled by his vote. What a waste of time reporting on Corker’s thought process.

  176. 176
    TenguPhule says:

    Their long-sought political goal within grasp, Republicans were set to catapult the $1.5 trillion tax legislation through the House, rolling over a dozen GOP defectors from high-tax states. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the Senate would vote this evening, sending the legislation to President Donald Trump.

    Fuck.

    They’re holding the Senate vote TONIGHT.

  177. 177
    germy says:

    @Amir Khalid: Gee, I forgot about Lincoln.

    Poor Chafee called Mueller and asked if he could stop by to answer any questions. Mueller said “Nah, we’re good.” /

  178. 178
    TenguPhule says:

    JFC. GOP tax bill passes House, Senate to vote late Tuesday

    They suckered us! That’s why they didn’t announce the scheduled vote for the Senate, they’re doing the vote TONIGHT.

    enate Republicans are planning to vote Tuesday night, and party leaders seemed to sew up the bill’s passage Friday when holdout Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) pledged their support.

  179. 179
  180. 180
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Barbara:

    More seriously, “Twilight of the Gods” by Chris Hayes provides a pretty good and depressing explanation for the Goldbergs of the world.

    I hate that Hayes uses the word “meritocracy” to describe it because it’s self-evidently the opposite of a meritocracy when people get ahead based on their family connections.

  181. 181
    Another Scott says:

    TheHill –

    The tax measure easily passed [the House] by a vote of 227-203. Just 12 Republicans joined with all Democrats in opposing the bill.

    Nancy keeping all her kitties in line is a good sign.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  182. 182
    tobie says:

    @Another Scott: The gavel can’t pass to Nancy’s hands fast enough.

  183. 183
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: I heard Jonah Goldberg on NPR the other day and I was mad. Why is he famous?

    I forget the details, but it has something to do with his mother rifling through some girl’s underwear drawer.

  184. 184
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Small counterfactual here:

    Ask yourself how far “truth & reconciliation” would’ve gotten in South Africa had there been a brigade of extra-national billionaires ready, willing & able to back the unreconcilables & fund repeated attempts to reverse the defeat of apartheid & provide them sweet sweet wingnut welfare (plus a haven for their families out of the new regime’s reach) if they failed, plus more $$$ to try again.

    A key element in “truth & reconciliation” was the massed disapproval of the rest of the developed world for their prior activities – which made it, mmm, inconvenient for the plutocrats to prop them up, & left them no palatable alternative.

    Think about what would have to happen to create parallel conditions this time around.

  185. 185
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @bemused: Probably because she’s more or less an unknown quantity at the moment, therefore pretty immune to criticism. Gillibrand has been very solid during her time in the Senate. She didn’t do herself any favors over the Franken mess but seriously, Franken started it. Nobody forced him to act like a jackass at any time in his life and the ways and means of handling this stuff are pretty much uncharted territory. We would be better served by Gillibrand than any Republican I can name.

  186. 186

    After reading this piece, and others like it, I find myself thinking, “Nach Hitler kommen Wir” (“After Hitler, our turn.”)

    I hope so. I hope so.

    Memorial to the Murdered Members of Parliament.

  187. 187
    J R in WV says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I disagree that sending all the Russian dupes to prison or work camps would damage the economy. None of those mouth-breathers does a damned thing to produce anything for the GNP. They write lies about Democratic people, they steal elections, they steal from the governments where they work, or the “charitable” foundations or “religious” groups that pay them.

    Actually, if we put them to work on building toilets, hiking trails and cabins on national forests, parks, monuments, etc, they would be productive citizens for the first time in their lives!

  188. 188
    Tazj says:

    @J R in WV: I like the building toilets idea. I would also like them to work at Burger King, as housekeepers, and as nurse’s and teacher’ s aides. On second thought I wouldn’t trust them to do any of those things but I”d like them to realize how difficult those jobs are.

  189. 189
    J R in WV says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Instant reaction: War Crimes. Attacking a nation that had not attacked or harmed the US, and in fact was totally incapable of harming the US.

    If I took a few minutes there would be a dozen other reasons – well, OK, maybe not a dozen, but more than zero for sure. It was a long time ago, and my memory isn’t what it once was.

    In the time it took me to type that last paragraph: Allowing the 9/11 terrorist attack to occur AFTER being warned that it was being planned. Allowing Saudi nationals to fly out of the country AFTER grounding every non-military flight for American citizens.

    Despicable acts, maybe not impeachable, but the questions were never allwed to be asked. In my Democratic mind, reading My Pet Goat while the nation is being attacked after you were warned and did nothing: really bad!

  190. 190
    J R in WV says:

    @Tazj:

    Yeah, it needs to be work that can’t result in someone not part of the work gang getting hurt, that foremen and inspectors can verify at the end of the work day was done correct.

    If you don’t do your assigned work to spec, you get… porridge for dinner, instead of stew. For example. Something like that. Plenty of healthy porridge, oats and carrots, yum!

  191. 191
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yarrow: How much to buy into the franchise so I can say it, too? $100 year-end donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center? Sponsor someone’s $60 for a one-year subscription to Al Giordano’s prognostications? 10 phone calls to the Senator of your choice and 5 hail marys?

  192. 192
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kay: They are crazed with greed, Kay. Like little kids on a sugar high. They have lost the plot and betrayed their country in the process.

  193. 193
    WaterGirl says:

    @Aimai: That seems harsh.

  194. 194
    EBT says:

    Truth and Reconciliation committee sounds disturbingly like not sending a bunch of really guilty fucks to jail.

  195. 195
    SgrAstar says:

    @James E. Powell:

    But the populace did rise up in anger. They elected Republicans all over the country.

    Yeah, that’s what broke me. I’m trying to maintain optimism and motivation, but it is really hard. Sorry, @schrodinger’s cat! I haven’t completely fallen off the plank, but my sadness is like a dark, rising tide. :(

  196. 196
    SgrAstar says:

    @Doug R: but isn’t that exactly what Obama thought he was doing? That is, breaking the cycle of blame. I can’t imagine how we could ever reach that point, because it requires US to stop blaming. We would have to forgive the vile trumpistas, and I don’t see that happening. No kumbaya moments, not this time. Tick fucking tock, to coin a phrase….

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