Taking Stock After This Week’s Domestic Terrorism Incidents: Where We Are and What Comes Next

In the wake of the mail bombing campaign of the past week and the synagogue attack today, I think we all need to be prepared for a seriously increased threat level. Not necessarily from any specific person or group, but in what we generally refer to as stochastic terrorism. We know attacks will happen, we may even have a general idea of who and/or what the targets may be, but we can’t identity/specify specific targets, nor can we identity/specify when the attacks will happen, how they will be carried out, or who will undertake them. This increase is the result of several things. The first is that the President has decided to double down on not trying to lead the entire country, but rather rule on behalf of the 26% or so of the country that is his hard base/the Republican base, as well as another 13% or so consisting of Republicans who are willing to go along with this. The second is that the President’s most fervent supporters, the hard base of the Republican Party, have become so radicalized because of Fox News, talk radio, conservative social media and other conservative news and information sources, and frankly the Russian psychological and information warfare that seeks to leverage this for Putin’s own objectives of ripping American civil society apart, that they are now all in for an American version of herrenvolkism. Specifically, a herrenvolk system of white supremacy where white, (evangelical and some traditionalist Catholic*) Christians rule and everyone else is either tolerated in a less than first class citizenship status or is removed from American society. The third is the result that because of the President and his fervent base of supporters who are the base of the Republican Party, the official Republican Party institutions and structures, as well as the conservative movement institutions and structures that support and comprise it, have gone all in with the President’s and the President’s base’s vision of America.** Just today one of the official Republican Party campaign arms released another anti-George Soros/anti-globalist campaign ad negatively targeting a Democratic candidate.

This is all the result of a closed feedback loop of ideas have been created that encompasses the President, the Republican Party and the conservative movement, and their structures and institutions, Republican elected and appointed officials, conservative movement leaders, conservative news and social media, and the base of the Republican Party. That feedback loop inculcates and reinforces a belief that white, (evangelical and some traditionalist Catholic) Christians are the only actual victims in the US. That they’re oppressed. That ethnic and religious minorities, as well as other white Christians who are race traitors, seek to take away their rights and privileges as part of a nefarious, organized plan to destroy America. An America which they define as a white, Christian nation. Moreover, this closed informational loop is pulling the extremist right – the hard core white nationalist and supremacists, anti-Semites, Islamophobes, homophobes, xenophobes, and nativists – from the extreme fringes fully within the mainstream of conservative and Republican thought, action, and politics.

Because of the social learning dynamic of imitation, Sayoc’s bombing campaign and Bowers’ shooting spree, as well as the President’s blaming the victim this morning will provide permission for others to act. The President’s comments regarding both Sayoc’s and Bower’s acts of terrorism are classic examples of what criminologists call neutralization and drift. Specifically: 1) denial of responsibility; 2) denial of injury; 3) denial of victim; 4) condemnation of the condemners; and the 5) appeal to higher loyalties. The first three justifications all deal with denial. They allow the offender to rationalize his behavior as outside of his control. He or she is not really hurting anyone. And even if someone is hurt they may have deserved it. The fourth justification allows the offender to invert the knowledge of her wrongdoing back upon those criticizing it by asserting that the condemners are hypocrites, do equally bad things, or are out to get him. Finally, the fifth rationalization allows for the justification of behavior on the basis of loyalty to one’s group rather than one’s society. 

The elections in two weeks will only make things worse. If the Democrats take at least the House and a number of state governorships and state legislatures as is currently forecast, let alone if they thread the needle and take the Senate, the terrorism will increase. It will be taken as actual evidence of the victimization of white, Christian (evangelical and some traditional Catholic) Christians. Conversely, and unfortunately, the President and his supporters who are the base of the Republican Party are the sorest winners since the southern slave power in the 1850s and 1860s kept refusing to take yes for an answer. So if the Republicans are able to maintain or expand their majorities in the House and the Senate, as well as in state governments, I fully expect that the terrorism and low intensity political violence will increase. Winning will be taken as a sign that the American people want more of what has been building for the past two years. As a result, the President, an even more extremist, radical, and revanchist set of Republican congressional majorities, the Republican Party and conservative movement, conservative news and social media, and the actual base of the Republican party will simply accelerate what we’ve been observing and responding to since January 2017. 

Stay alert! Stay focused! And vote! Vote like your life and America’s life depends on it! Make sure everyone you know votes like their lives and America’s life depends on it. And prepare yourself for what’s coming regardless of the outcome of the mid-term elections.

Open thread!

* I fully expect that this marriage of convenience over a few theologically aligned political issues, such as abortion and homosexuality, will completely unravel where the Republican base get what it wants. At that point I expect that the evangelical community will turn first on the Catholics as papist apostates and then on each other as none of the three major divisions among white evangelicals in the US – evangelicals, charismatics, and fundamentalists – actually agree on how to apply their sectarian and denominational views to everyday life.

** I want to make it very clear that I take no pleasure in writing this. It is both a shame and a tragedy that we have reached a point where the President of the United States and one of the only two political parties we allow ourselves, as well as the political, social, and religious movements and communities that support both the President and the Republican Party, not only can be described this way, but need to be described this way. We are, unfortunately, no longer in a place where we are, as Americans, dealing with partisan disagreements over marginal tax rates or which level of government is best to oversee education policy. If we are very, very fortunate, we may once again get through this, establish a new normal, and find ourselves back in such a reality.

158 replies
  1. 1
    Percysowner says:

    I fully expect that this marriage of convenience over a few theologically aligned political issues, such as abortion and homosexuality, will completely unravel where the Republican base get what it wants. At that point I expect that the evangelical community will turn first on the Catholics as papist apostates and then on each other as none of the three major divisions among white evangelicals in the US – evangelicals, charismatics, and fundamentalists – actually agree on how to apply their sectarian and denominational views to everyday life.

    I expect they will unite, briefly to use the Supreme Court to announce that Freedom of Religion means Judeo-Christian religion only. Then the Judeo part will conveniently disappear. Then the schisms between the far right Christian sides will start. I hope I’m wrong and we can pull out of this, but it’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

  2. 2
    Doug R says:

    While I can see the logic in your arguments, I disagree. I think seeing the blue wave wash over will give these emboldened a$$holes a dose of reality-remember, they’re even more cowardly than us. And there’s less of them than us.

  3. 3
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Christian fascism is a serious danger to American democracy. But I repeat myself.

  4. 4
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Democrats MUST take at least the House so we can put a check on Trump. He couldn’t even cancel a stupid rally in light of the terrorist attack in Pittsburgh. He’s a disgusting man. If a blue wave leads to more violence, we’ll have to deal with that. We can’t let the threat of violence intimidate us.

  5. 5
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Percysowner: The Judeo part doesn’t actually mean anything. It’s there as window dressing to try to make the concept palatable in the hopes of conning wealthy Jewish donors.

  6. 6
    Mike in NC says:

    Two years ago I would have built a fallout shelter in my backyard, but the HOA probably would have vetoed it.

    But seriously, I think people are going to die at the hands of some MAGAts before the election.

  7. 7
    Percysowner says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, I know. I’m just acknowledging that the religious right will turn on those Jewish donors first, then the Catholics, etc. Dietrich Bonhoeffer knew what he was talking about.

  8. 8
    Mary G says:

    Unfortunately, the President and his supporters who are the base of the Republican Party are the sorest winners since the southern slave power in the 1850s and 1860s kept refusing to take yes for an answer.

    Boy is that ever true.

    I wish I thought you were wrong.

  9. 9
    satby says:

    @Mike in NC: people have already been dying.

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in NC: People have already died. In Charlottesville. In Seattle. In Olathe, KS. In Kentucky. Etc, etc, etc.

  11. 11
    lollipopguild says:

    Once again Adam, thanks for your thoughts and observations. You do a great job along with our other front pagers of keeping us well informed.

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: That’s two of us!

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Be back in 30, don’t give up the ship!

  14. 14
    Platonailedit says:

    Given the rw domination at all levels of ‘democracy’ – from political to judicial to press to social media – may be it’s time for us of a to go the ussr way and break up into sane and nutters states?

  15. 15
    Davebo says:

    Damn Adam. I’m just trying to organize my vacation pics and get over a jet lag cold and you throw this on me?

    You’re absolutely correct of course but surely there’s a silver lining out there. Somewhere…

  16. 16
    ema says:

    I think we all need to be prepared for a seriously increased threat level.

    Time to look for firearms training classes?

  17. 17
    Ohio Mom says:

    Well those are sobering thoughts with which to end my day.

  18. 18
    karen marie says:

    @Doug R: I wish I were so optimistic. I play an online community game, and three of the women that I have played with there for years have recently begun shrieking about “socialism.” They are convinced that Democrats want to turn their America into North Korea. There is no amount of explaining or prodding them to think about what they’re saying that can make any of these women understand that what they believe is not founded in reality.

  19. 19
    Jay says:

    @ema:

    Situational awareness classes, then practice, practice, practice.

    Gun’s arn’t nessicarily the answer.

  20. 20
    Jean says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yes, This! It doesn’t mean anything.

  21. 21
    Jay says:

    @karen marie:

    You can’t argue with the insane.

  22. 22
    dr. bloor says:

    @Doug R: That there are fewer of them is a double-edged sword at best, as they will be that much more desperate. If we’ve learned anything since Obama’s election in 2008, it’s that there is a substantial minority of the population that cannot tolerate a multicultural society, equality, modernism, or anything else vital to our future, and they see setting the world on fire as preferable to living in a new one.

  23. 23
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    I early voted today. I called the Maricopa County Elections office who gave me the wrong info on locations and times. I happen to live near a rec center/library complex which has been a central voting place forever and the Elections people told me to go the suburb over. I ended up getting a list of sites from my Dem precinct and driving over to the place. The times and days of these early voting are all over the place. There are NO standard hours. Some places are open till 7, some till 5. Some are open Sat. Some Sat and Sun. Some only Mon-Fri. Maricopa county recorder is a Dem who was elected after the Republican fucked up big time.

  24. 24
    ema says:

    @Jay:

    Thank you.

  25. 25
    jl says:

    The long con is going to die an ugly and dangerous death. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and the GOP is going to play them and use them for all their worth (which won’t be much by the their GOP leaders are finished with them, just like the rest of us).

    The GOP has to resort to ever more desperate measures as their promises turn into nothing but rip-offs. The GOP is all in, too deep for them to deny it, when the country recovers from the damage they’ve done:

    House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy deletes tweet saying George Soros, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg are buying this year’s elections.
    Jewish Telegraphic Agency
    https http://www.jta.org/2018/10/24/.....-elections

    (found via Josh Marshall’s twitter)

    The Democrats need to take the House. If they do, there will be mayhem for three months as the miscreants loot, smash and grab, and blow up stuff in a tactical retreat. But better than the alternative.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    charon says:

    @Mai Naem mobile:

    You should get yourself on the permanent vote by mail list, it’s a lot more convenient. I mailed my ballot back several days ago, it even come with a business reply envelope so you don’t need postage.

  28. 28
    jl says:

    meant to type ‘they’re’ but maybe ‘their’ kind of works.

    Moveon has a +1, take someone else to vote with you campaign. Sounds good. Inspired me to go for take two to vote with me.
    Or maybe it’s a grassroots thing and Moveon is just publicizing it. I’m not sure.

    @benwikler
    I love this: a bunch of friends launched a campaign to get people to bring a “+1” to vote. Personal friendships are THE most powerful force for convincing people to cast a ballot. Watch, RT, and follow @Plus1_Vote for more!

    https twitter.com/benwikler/status/1056275964727037953

  29. 29
    kindness says:

    Let’s say Democrats take the House. What happens when reasonable gun control measures come up (limit clip size, no grandfather clause)? Seems as if shit will hit fans out there no matter what.

  30. 30
    Starfish says:

    @karen marie: We will have an overweight President who doesn’t know how to rule a country and wants to build a religion around his family? I think the Republicans have done a good job of that already.

  31. 31
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    I was so busy bitching about the hours etc of early voting I forgot to talk about my experience. No lines but it was reasonably busy. I got there kind of close to closing. Lots of POCs of color voting. I hope that’s a good sign even though I am in a pretty blue pocket of a purplish red metro area. Also somebody set up some kind of kid friendly Harvest Festival event in the same complex so they may have gotten extra voters interested in education issues from that.

  32. 32

    Let me introduce another factor: If there are significant Blue victories, the majority will feel more empowered. That can lead to actions that make terrorism less likely, like increased vigilance and a level of public discourse that helps to revoke the permissions to act. But we won’t notice all of the effects, except for feeling more hopeful and empowered. We won’t notice the terrorist acts that don’t take place. Some still will, because the permission has been granted, and there are too many crazies with guns.

    So VOTE and then rejoice in the victories, even if they are small. I have been helping in the New Mexico race for Land Commissioner, so that’s where I have a personal stake. But I am looking forward to seeing Martin Heinrich continue as senator and Ben Ray Lujan as representative. We have a number of other intriguing races, like the governorship and possibly the first Native American woman representative. We will have things to celebrate in New Mexico.

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lollipopguild: Thanks for the kind words. I would like to be put out of work, so to speak.

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Davebo: Yes, we have the ability to change things over the next two weeks through voting. Which is a lot more pleasant, even in places that are trying to reenact Jim Crow, than the alternatives.

  35. 35
    Jay says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Yup. I’ve started using my smartphone smart. I take photo’s of suspected Nazi’s in town, then mine their social media. I’ve found 4 so far. All have been fired from their jobs.

  36. 36
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    @charon: I am always worried about some candidate being found in some big scandal if I early vote. Also I am paranoid about something happening to my ballot if I do early mail in ballot. This is only the second time I’ve early voted and that’s because the primary voting experience was a shitshow(waited 1.75 hrs.)

  37. 37
    MoxieM says:

    Thanks for this. I read later today (Guardian?) that Bower said he felt empowered by Sayoc’s bombings. That they “called” to him. Hence I assume that both sets of violent hatred will “call” to others, in the pressured environment of an upcoming election. If I prayed, I would.
    Meantime I’m still doing postcards–I hope that even if they get there the day before the actual election, it will be timely.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    another 13% or so of Republicans who are willing to go along with this.

    For the sake of greater clarity, would suggest altering to:

    another 13% or so consisting of Republicans who are willing to go along with this.

    The way it currently stands it is subject to being interpreted as saying he holds the support of only 13% of non-base Republicans.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Outsmarted by an umbrella!

    Also, what a putz.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ema: I try not to recommend things like that because 1) everyone is different and 2) I don’t own this place. If you are interested in considering this, feel free to email me and I’ll walk you through all the the things you need to consider first. I can be reached through the contact a front pager link at the top right of the page.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ohio Mom: I’m available for namings, baptisms, and brises, as well as bar and bat mitzvahs, confirmations, weddings, anniversaries, and funerals. Also, birthdays and National Pancake Day.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @karen marie: Feel free to explain to them that North Korea is not socialistic. It is a fusion of familial totalitarian authoritarianism, racialism in the form of (North) Korean supremacy, and Maoist communism.

  43. 43
    Jeffro says:

    I keep wanting to tell people, “wake up…Wake Up…WAKE UP!” We are clearly in a much more dangerous phase (both for the country as a whole, and for targeted groups) than we were on January 20th, 2017. Much more.

    It all happens so quickly…it all happens so gradually…and the only thing I can think of is a unified campaign, and/or a national figure to speak, and say, “wake up…Wake Up…WAKE UP!!”

    Who could have conceived of an American president* blaming the victims of a mass shooting for not having “better” security…for running cover for a foreign government’s killing/dismembering/cover-up of the murder of a Washington Post columnist…for complaining that a #MAGAbomber’s actions were a) likely ‘fake news’, a) basically justified due to negative news coverage of Trumpov and his administration, and c) mostly a pain because they were slowing his party’s momentum in the polls?

    Is there something after “through the map” or “off the looking glass”? ‘Cause we’re just about there…

  44. 44
    J R in WV says:

    Well, as usual Adam has covered domestic terrorism like a fire-smothering blanket, which is a good thing.

    I do recommend that everyone capable and fit enough find and take whatever self-defense courses you feel comfortable with. Firing range time, awareness training, all that may be valuable come what may.

    We have a cellar that could become a fallout shelter with some work with the backhoe, some nights I lay awake thinking of all that would be needed to do something with that…

    Losing a lot of sleep lately, not alone there I know. You all hang in there!

  45. 45
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Looks to me that is more like mind boggling sloth than being outsmarted. Trump doesn’t care enough to be outsmarted by much of anything in the sense that a normal person would understand.

    @Cheryl Rofer: ” If there are significant Blue victories, the majority will feel more empowered. ”
    Thanks for reminding me of that. Social pressure means a lot, and a strong message that the majority of the country was going in different direction than Trump will sway some of the remaining marginal Trumpsters, or keep the die-hards from acting out. A majority actually did reject Trump in 2016, but the electoral college result hid that 3 million strong fact. Big Blue wins in House will be first very strong and undeniable public push back against Trumpist authoritarian racist right wing populism and creeping fascism.

    In a few years, depending on how things go. Either almost everyone will be saying that they voted for Trump or almost no one will. In November we need to start sending things in the ‘no one will’ direction.

  46. 46
    Ken Shabby says:

    kept refusing to take yes for an answer.

    These are Lincoln’s exact words. And, in more than one speech or conversation.

    Thank you again, Adam.

  47. 47
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The minion who comes along and just scoots around the umbrella is the cherry on top. Points to the cameraman who stayed on it so long, but I wonder who eventually brought it in or if they just pulled the stairs away and let it go on the wind?

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: Here you go if you want the screen grab:

    And this doozy from Starbursts who is dumb as a box of rocks and that’s, itself, an insult to boxes and rocks!

  49. 49
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: National Pancake Day was September 26. Easy for you to talk big now. But I’ll remember.

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MoxieM: The imitation and reinforcement parts of social learning.

  51. 51
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    It occurs to me, in a moment of disgust and snark, that perhaps if we just put a paper bag over his head, this would all be over. None of these towering intellects could figure out how to take it off.

  52. 52
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    But are you available for brisket?

    The one with the pearl onions?

  53. 53
    ema says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Thank you, will email you in AM.

  54. 54
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks. I was wondering what Steyer was doing in there. But Wikipedia says he is Jewish on his father’s side. I don’t think coincidence. Wonder who did the research for that tweet? Maybe we should ask the poisonous dope McCarthy who, or his staff, are still, even now, ignorant enough to think you can make things like that go away on the internet.

  55. 55
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @Platonailedit:

    may be it’s time for us of a to go the ussr way and break up into sane and nutters states?

    Nope. If the Union was good enough for Abraham Lincoln, it’s good enough for me.

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: You want to just start writing here using my name? It’ll save me a lot of time and grief.

  57. 57
    Mike in NC says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The official word in English is “Juche” (self-interest or words to that affect).

  58. 58
    Ken Shabby says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    You want to just start writing here using my name? It’ll save me a lot of time and grief.

    Ok, thanks again – needed a laff

  59. 59
    karen marie says:

    @Jay: The problem is, these women are not otherwise what you might think of as “insane.” They’re perfectly normal, perfectly nice, perfectly competent, but have completely gone off the deep end politically. I think it’s that they’ve been told for so long that their delicately balanced lives are threatened – and threatened specifically with “Democrats want to impose socialism” – since the 1980s, if not longer. They’re all one sick family member from disaster, aging, with knees that need replacing, or taking care of even older parents, they don’t recognize the world in which they’ve found themselves, and that is a very scary feeling. (Who among us – born in the 1940s or 1950s – or even the 1960s – doesn’t feel swamped with change?)

  60. 60
    Obdurodon says:

    The members of the Trump/GOP/evangelical axis (and I use that term with full recognition of its historical meaning) believe they’re the targets of a conspiracy. And they are. They’re just totally wrong about the nature of that conspiracy. It’s not a domestic liberal conspiracy. It’s an international one, led by the very kind of authoritarians Trump fawns over, and it’s that very admiration that has made the provocateurs’ jobs so easy. The most amazing thing about the right-wing conspiracy theorists is not that they keep trying to connect the dots to make some sort of coherent picture. That’s human nature. What’s amazing is that they keep trying to connect the dots that aren’t really connected, ignoring the ones that have big freaking numbers showing exactly how they *are* connected. That’s a very special kind of stupid.

  61. 61
    The Moar You Know says:

    Given the rw domination at all levels of ‘democracy’ – from political to judicial to press to social media – may be it’s time for us of a to go the ussr way and break up into sane and nutters states?

    @Platonailedit: Who gets the nukes?

    Ukraine did the “sane” thing, gave them up, and has already lost a good chunk of their nation to Russia, with the rest to follow shortly.

    I am utterly unwilling to call for a breakup of the US until that question is settled, and settled in the favor of the “blue territories”. I am not willing to allow any red state/territory to have even one nuclear weapon on their soil or under their control. They will use them, on us, without regard for their own destruction.

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ken Shabby: I’m a big fan of Lincoln and his speeches.

  63. 63
    Ken Shabby says:

    @H.E.Wolf:

    Nope. If the Union was good enough for Abraham Lincoln, it’s good enough for me.

    Who wants them as border neighbors, anyway? I want them where I can see them. Mike Harriot did have a good idea over at The Root today: build a wall at Florida.

    Apologies, Betty. Kidding.

  64. 64
    Jeffro says:

    @jl: It almost doesn’t matter…at this point, Trumpov and his wackaloon followers are acting on both racial/ethnic/religious group prejudices and individual critics of his maladministration.

  65. 65
    karen marie says:

    @Mai Naem mobile: I am also in AZ – Scottsdale – have a mail-in ballot but I plan on hand delivering it to ensure that my vote gets counted. My signature looks nothing like it did when I registered to vote here several cycles back, and I’m concerned about it getting tossed because the signatures don’t match. I’ve already been through having to argue with two different supervisors on the phone who were claiming that mail sent to my address was returned so that while my registration was still good, my address was placed in a category that I wouldn’t have received a mail-in ballot had I not checked online and then followed up with calls when it looked like something hinky was going on.

  66. 66
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @karen marie: I was born in the sixties. I do not feel swamped with change.

  67. 67
    Ken Shabby says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Me too. And, he’s my favorite president by a huge margin. And, one hell of a writer.

    Famous letter in response to a challenge in the editorial section of a then major paper (apparently their version of Twitter).

    After succinctly disposing of his opponent’s arguments and dryly humiliating him without appearing to do so, he closed by apologizing for length, saying if I had more time, it would’ve be half as long.

    whap

  68. 68
    Jay says:

    @karen marie:

    Nope, they are insane,

    Too insane to use google,

    Or pretending to be insane, which is it’s own form of insanity.

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in NC: Yes it is.

  70. 70
    karen marie says:

    @charon: Being on the permanent early voter list in Maricopa County is no guarantee you’re actually going to get a ballot sent to you each election. They effectively caged me, claimed mail they sent to me was returned to them – didn’t happen – and if I hadn’t caught it in time, I would not have gotten a mail-in ballot. My registration was fine but they took me off the mail-in ballot list.

  71. 71
  72. 72
    Steeplejack says:

    @jl:

    Big Blue wins in House will be first very strong and undeniable public push back against [Trumpism].

    Also, even in races that the GOP wins, increased voter turnout with (hopefully) narrower margins will hurt their morale and make them realize it’s only going to get harder (and more expensive) for them going forward.

  73. 73
    Jay says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Ukraine, despite it’s problems, isn’t going anywhere.

  74. 74
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mary G:

    Somebody (on Twitter?) said that a Secret Service agent eventually retrieved it. And, to be (grudgingly) fair to that minion, he had both hands full. Unlike Trump.

  75. 75
    NMgal says:

    @karen marie: A friend of mine in Pima County is on permanent mail-in and for the first time her ballot seems to be “lost in the mail.” Do you guys register affirmatively for a party? If so, she’d be a registered Democrat.

  76. 76
    MomSense says:

    And if we do manage to get through this mess in the short term, I still think we will need to engage in some kind of truth and reconciliation process. I know when I first suggested it here, it was very close to the election and many of us felt it would be better to just pursue criminal prosecution. The problem is that there are millions of Americans who need to be somehow reintegrated into our democracy. We have to find a way to do this.

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    If only he was in a position to do something about it. Or had an ounce of courage or moral rectitude.

  78. 78
    JoeyJoeJoe says:

    @Obdurodon: This is who those people remind me of: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXJuCSqWEII

  79. 79

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MomSense: I’ve made that recommendation to several people that might, eventually, be in a position to do something about it. Specifically a Truth and Reconciliation Committee, run by Robert Mueller. He has full discretionary power to bring charges and prosecute, to levy civil fines, or to provide immunity/amnesty. There can be no decision to only look forward and not back this time.

  81. 81
    bluehill says:

    I’m increasingly pessimistic that this genie goes back into the bottle with a blue wave election. There’s a not insignificant portion of the populace that is sympathetic to Trumpism, and I don’t see how they suppress those feelings or change their minds until something catastrophic happens.

  82. 82
    NMgal says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Thank you for your service. Though I’d say that the governor’s race is more than interesting — Pearce is a damn menace. Also NM-2 looks like a nail-biter, and as a former Deming resident I would sure like to see the Democrats take that seat back. Ben Ray looks like he will coast, Deb Haaland is looking good, and it appears that the Gary Johnson candidacy will split the not-Democrat vote for Senator nicely.

    I’m planning to vote Monday and am encouraging my coworkers and family members to all vote at the same time, make it a pilgrimage sort of thing.

  83. 83
    debbie says:

    I’d forgotten about this from last year:

    Donald Trump suggests Jews might secretly be committing anti-Semitic hate crimes on themselves so he looks bad

    Donald Trump has suggested that Jewish people might be committing anti-Semitic hate crimes to make himself look bad.

    After days in which he refused to comment on a spate of anti-Semitic attacks, Mr Trump broke his silence to repeat an neo-Nazi conspiracy theory that has claimed that the attacks are “false flags”. Supporters of that belief – who include leader of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke – believe that such attacks are being perpetrated by Jewish people in order to undermine the White House.

    Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, said that he had spoken to the President about a wave of threats to Jewish community centres. And Mr Trump said that they had been designed to make “others look bad”.

  84. 84
    The Dangerman says:

    Let’s say the Democrats take the House (likely, I think), thus pissing off the immoral minority…

    …and it’s possible, I suppose, that the Senate could flip (unlikely, I think), which could really piss some Folks off (because it’s bye bye to packing the Courts)…

    …followed closely by Mueller making a report to Rosenstein that blasts Trump.

    Feels like a potential perfect storm. And I didn’t even consider potential violence at the Polls (have to combat fraudulent voting, doncha know) or Bolton getting his rocks off someplace overseas.

    Dangerous, dangerous times.

  85. 85

    @Adam L Silverman: I am looking forward to the day when we get the real story of Jeff Flake. Whether he feels beholden to an ideology, whether Trump/Putin has something on him, or whether he is simply a pusillanimous fool.

  86. 86
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I broke my lifelong vow to never use all caps in my response to Sen. FakeConcern.

  87. 87
    Mary G says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Why not all of the above?

  88. 88
    Mandalay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: While I sometimes disagree with your analysis, I will say this: you put your heart and soul into writing here, and it shines through. Your work on BJ is just incredible.

  89. 89

    @NMgal: Yes, the race I worry the most about is the governor race. Although as a Norteno for forty years, it is hard for me to believe the Democrat won’t win. And I think Heinrich would coast even without Johnston’s help.

  90. 90
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: It is encouraging:

  91. 91
  92. 92

    @Adam L Silverman: It’s easy to forget that the decent people are in the majority when the news is full of hate, so we need to remind ourselves. The blood banks in Pittsburgh were full of people donating too.

  93. 93
    MomSense says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Thank you. I agree with you that this must be rooted out and Mueller would be an ideal person to direct this effort. We will also need to do something similar to the laws enacted in Germany to ban unconstitutional symbols. There is no moving past this without full accountability.

  94. 94
    Millard Filmore says:

    @karen marie:

    three of the women that I have played with there for years have recently begun shrieking about “socialism.”

    Democrats say: Socialism For Everyone!
    Republicans say: No no, that’s evil. Socialism must be strictly reserved for the rich.

  95. 95
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    What, and deny you access to those sweet, sweet B-J bucks? No way, mon frère.

    ;)

  96. 96
    jl says:

    @bluehill: I don’t think this evil genie ever gets put back in the bottle for good. The 27% will always be with us. I remember reading about the atmosphere in the South before the JFK assassination. It was a fever swamp of conspiracy theories, talk about a new secession, Jewish banker plots, Papist plots, fantasizing about whether something could be done about JFK nad the communist race leveling Democrats (tragically, something was done…). I think one of the functions of good political leadership is to keep the irreducible fraction of crazy and dysfunction in a country in check. We are in a dangerous time when one of the major parties and its very rich funders have an interest in fostering the crazy rather than fighting it, in order to keep selling their con game.

    I am hopeful. Think about the ever dwindling crowds this garbage attracts, compared to what was going on in the 1920s and 1930s, when huge KKK rallies and parades swept a good chunk of the country. Trump is having to downsize his rally venues to hide the dwindling crowds. Russian trolls try to rile up a confrontation, and the lefties are smart enough to ignore it and few dozen Proud Boys show up to mill around and get bored and then go home. They are dangerous to a few people unlucky enough to be nearby and attract their attention, but it’s nothing like the scale of similar reactionary movements that have happened in this country in the past.

  97. 97
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @H.E.Wolf: But I’m beginning to wonder if that’s where we are heading. Secession would mean that progress would be no longer inhibited by the people who look skyward for the rapture. The blue states could welcome refugees, immigrants and diversity unimpeded by neanderthals from Montana. Yes, I’m for the Union and preserving what Lincoln and 600,000 Americans died for, but Trump is the first time I ever thought that maybe an American Divorce might not be in order, at least until the nutbars collapse.

  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: He seems nice…

  99. 99
    ema says:

    @jl:

    Looks to me that is more like mind boggling sloth than being outsmarted.

    Or, possibly, some fine motor skills deficit.

  100. 100
    Mary G says:

    A Prayer for Squirrel Hill—And for American Jewry by Franklin Foer at the Atlantic. Short and sweet and sad.

    Many years later, I stood outside my own synagogue in Washington, D.C. It was a shirtsleeves spring day with a breeze so perfect that it felt set by thermostat. To celebrate Israel’s birthday, the Hebrew school hosted a fair on a plaza. As I watched my kids make their way from game to game, then dance with abandon, I saw two Israeli journalists I knew. They began to ask anthropological questions about the event they were witnessing. One of them paused to marvel at the normality (or is it abnormality?) of Jewish existence in America, so free from anxiety and from a sense of vulnerability. It was as if the spectacle on display obviated the need for celebration, he quipped. Perhaps America was another Zion.

    That’s a lot we have lost.

  101. 101
    PJ says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: @karen marie: There has been a lot of change societally since the beginning of the industrial revolution, which uprooted ways of life and thinking that had been prevalent since the beginning of the Middle Ages. But, if we pick a lifespan of 75 years, the changes American society went through from, say, 1790 to 1865 (industrialization, westward expansion and the extermination of Native Americans, extending the vote to all white males, the telegraph and railroad, the Civil War and the end of slavery), or particularly, say, 1885 to 1960 (electrification, indoor plumbing, the combustion engine, central heating and air conditioning, movies, radio, TV, unionization, WWI and WWII, the right of women to vote, social security, nuclear power and nuclear weapons, putting a man in space), these are far greater than the changes we’ve seen in the last 60 years. But the change of the last 60 years that sticks in the craws of many older people is the idea, and the laws to back them up, that all people, whatever their skin color, ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation, sex, etc., are equal under the law and should have equality of opportunity (the latter is a difficult thing to define and to practice, for sure). All of this right wing violence is driven by the notion of striking back at the people who were formerly second class citizens (or not considered citizens at all), as if killing some of them will somehow magically roll back the clock and bring back the good old days of the 1850s.

  102. 102
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I think it is the third option, though he seems to be playacting at the first one.

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: Give in to the hate…//

  104. 104
    jl says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Read US Grant on the likely fate of the South, left to its own devices. I don’t think that badly of the South as a whole, but I think a few of the southern states could still go that way, into a backward authoritarian mess with no civil rights. So, then there would be secession movement within the South as the more progressive Southern states wanted to get out of the mess, and we’d have a few failed mini-statelets on the border, in turmoil and at war with itself. It wouldn’t end well for anyone.

    But I can be blase about it, in California. We can launch or own damn satellites, build our own damn nukes, and, just maybe, with luck, even have some high speed rail. So if it were up to me, I’d never start anything, but if it happens, we’ll be happy as fourth or fitth or so largest economy in the world.

  105. 105
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mandalay: Thanks for the kind words.

    Now as to disagreeing with my analysis, please report to the nearest abandoned Wal-Mart for reeducation…//

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MomSense: A whole lot of things that turned out to be “more like guidelines actually” will need to be codified into law.

  107. 107
    jl says:

    @jl: Oh shit, I forgot about Kansas and some of the Mountain States. Man, that would be a patchwork mess of failed statelets to deal with.

  108. 108
    Millard Filmore says:

    @MomSense:

    truth and reconciliation process

    Starting at some level below Trump, Ryan, and McConnell … ok. For the top leadership, plus non-politicians like Bannon, let the law take its course. No forgiveness.

  109. 109
    Gozer says:

    @jl:

    We are in a dangerous time when one of the major parties and its very rich funders have an interest in fostering the crazy rather than fighting it, in order to keep selling their con game.

    This is what I want many liberals/leftists/progressives to understand. There is no going back for the GOP. Better for all of us to try to figure out what US politics looks like when one of the two major parties looks more like a hard-line, ethno-nationalist, European-style rightwing party rather than a conservative, center-right party.

  110. 110
    NotMax says:

    @CarolDuhart2

    Might want to rethink Montana. While not a sure thing, Jon Tester appears well poised for reelection and Kathleen Williams continues holding her own in the House race. Latest Big Sky poll (.pdf).

  111. 111
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @PJ: @karen marie: @polyorchnid octopunch: TL;DR They’re not *insane*. They’re racists.

    I feel compelled to point out that this “Dems bring socialism” shit is just another variation on Lee Atwater’s playbook for the Southern Strategy. And if you go back to that playbook, it’s all about code-words for “n-CLANG n-CLANG n-CLANG”. Here: read it for yourself: https://www.thenation.com/article/exclusive-lee-atwaters-infamous-1981-interview-southern-strategy/

    You start out in 1954 by saying, “N-CLANG, n-CLANG, n-CLANG.” By 1968 you can’t say “n-CLANG”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N-CLANG, n-CLANG.”

    P.S. Obvious editorial note. I replaced some words for decency. He wasn’t, but we can be.

  112. 112
    Lynn Dewees says:

    Any one who agrees with this analysis (and I DO agree with it) should choose one or two or more alt-right websites or Facebook pages and go there and let those people know that there IS an alternative to the nonsense they are fed everyday.

    You will NOT win any converts in the comments section. But if they NEVER hear anything other than the grievance driven drivel that they get every day from Fox “News”, they will NEVER have a chance to change their minds.

    And besides, it can be lots of fun to be called names.

  113. 113
    bluehill says:

    @jl: Yeah, I agree that eventually this fever will pass. I just think that what happens between then and now could be pretty bad. It would be one thing if both dem and repub parties were condemning all of this, but the repubs seem to be accelerating down the slippery slope towards fascism or some -ism that isn’t good. It’s clear that enough repubs don’t want a real democracy and are willing to do unethical and increasingly illegal things to get there.

  114. 114
    Ruckus says:

    @karen marie:

    Who among us – born in the 1940s or 1950s – or even the 1960s – doesn’t feel swamped with change?

    Born in the 40s. I don’t feel swamped with change. There are a lot of things different than when I was a kid, most of them have made life better. But change is inevitable. Not seeing it, not wanting to see it is a big issue and the world changes faster now than it did 70-80 yrs ago and prior to that. But most of those changes are due to industrialization, which allowed the information age, which showed people that they don’t have to live like their ancestors did more than 4 or 5 generations ago. For me working in industry and being at times on a leading edge of that industry showed me very early on that change is a constant of life. It’s the rate of change that is different from 100-120 yrs ago.

  115. 115
    The Dangerman says:

    Adam, if you are still around, this may be a poorly phrased question (Dodgers, %$#&), but want to take a guess at what a symptom might be that things are going really bad from the Right? Yeah, shootings at Synagogues and Churches and Schools are horrific and outrageous, but we’ve always had them and, even if the frequency increases, we’ll get through those ugly things (we got through the 60’s OK). If things start to go bad from the Left, it could be something like a General Strike in the Urban areas, but I don’t see the purpose of having a General Strike out in the fields with the pigs and the soybeans (and I don’t have a clue what would cause a General Strike; Trump firing Mueller, et al, might not be enough).

  116. 116
    Ruckus says:

    @Obdurodon:

    That’s a very special kind of stupid.

    Well they do have that very special kind of stupid, and they have it in massive quantities.

  117. 117
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC: They already have. Heather Heyer.

  118. 118
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @karen marie:

    Who among us – born in the 1940s or 1950s – or even the 1960s – doesn’t feel swamped with change?

    I was born in ’65. There’s been a ton of changes in my life. But all of the ones you list, are ones that can ONLY be addressed by socialism social insurance. These women, they don’t seem to understand that. And it’s not surprising, b/c there’s a whole ‘nother list of changes, that they’re probably thinking of, that *are* about social insurance, and social insurance being given to the undeserving. Yeah, it’s a terrible thing when scurrilous ne’er-do-wells get Medicaid. Not like me — I *earned* my Medicare and Social Security. Yeap yeap.

    If the issues you adduce were the real root of their anxiety, they’d be JUMPING for socialism. But they’re not.

  119. 119
    Ruckus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    I’m going for the trifecta with Flake. I think it’s a much wiser bet.

  120. 120
    jl says:

    @NotMax: Thanks. I made a contribution to Williams’ campaign. Guess that is a sign I should make another. IIRC correctly, the confessed criminal Gianforte assaulted a reporter because the reporter politely asked him a policy question about health care policy that Gianforte was lying about. I forget whether it was coverage for preconditions or universal coverage.

    I read someplace the reporter was going to sue if Gianforte and Trump kept lying about what happened. That would be a nice thing to hit a news cycle before the election.

  121. 121
    jl says:

    @NotMax: Thanks. I made a contribution to Williams’ campaign. Guess that is a sign I should make another. IIRC, the confessed criminal Gianforte assaulted a reporter because the reporter politely asked him a policy question about health care policy that Gianforte was lying about. I forget whether it was coverage for preconditions or universal coverage.

    I read someplace the reporter was going to sue if Gianforte and Trump kept lying about what happened. That would be a nice thing to hit a news cycle before the election.

  122. 122
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman: I’m starting to fade fast as I stayed up and watched all 18 innings last night and today was leg day, so it may be me, but I’m not seeing the question in your question.

  123. 123
    Medicine Man says:

    Thank you for the words of wisdom, Mr. Silverman. I take some comfort from your pragmatism, even if the picture you paint is terrifying.

  124. 124
    jl says:

    blog is acting weird. sorry for double post.

  125. 125
    James E Powell says:

    @karen marie:

    Who among us – born in the 1940s or 1950s – or even the 1960s – doesn’t feel swamped with change?

    With respect, I was born in 1955. The only change I feel swamped by is the massive right-wing slide that has accelerated and intensified since Reagan. The racism, misogyny, and religious bigotry that I expected to ebb and fade has done the opposite. At times I am overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of it all.

  126. 126
    Ruckus says:

    @PJ:
    My grandfather was born in 1890 and traveled at age 28 across the country by horse drawn wagon with his wife and infant son. He worked in the automotive industry went through the depression working on stars cars, never a day out of work during. He lived long enough to see men on the moon, 2 world wars and a couple of others that weren’t exactly walks in the park, in which he saw both his son and grandson serve in 2 of them.
    While industrialization started before the end of the 1800s it was barely making progress till then. But as more and more of life became industrialized, which allowed things to be made that never had been able earlier, that rate of change became much faster.
    And that rate of change is, in my mind, some of the conservative disconnect with modern life. That industrialization led to the information age and that has changed day to day life drastically in many ways. Conservatives are about no change, or about going extremely slowly and the world just doesn’t work that way any more.

  127. 127
    JaySinWA says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Only your second hypothesis holds an important revelation if true. And as others have said it may be a combination.

  128. 128
    The Dangerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m starting to fade fast as I stayed up and watched all 18 innings last night…

    I watched all 18, too; the brain is probably done this end (cold stone sober, too, tonight; clearly, a bad tactic).

  129. 129
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @James E Powell:

    The only change I feel swamped by is the massive right-wing slide that has accelerated and intensified since Reagan.

    Yes, I also felt this ….. easing of racism in America for many, many years. And then, during Obama’s time, I felt something change, a sort of rumbling anger of the awakening beast. And now here we are, and I’m pretty much unwilling to set foot in a red state. But then, I was unwilling to set foot in Texas (where I grew up) for over a decade now, so not much has changed there: it’s just gotten much worse.

    The massive change in America (to the point where I don’t recognize the red states as part of my country) is something unexpected and overwhelming. I recognize that there are decent people in red states. But then, there are decent (downtrodden, deserving of our support and sympathy and respect) people in Russia, too. Doesn’t mean I think of Russia as part of my country. Hopefully that’ll change. But as long as I feel afraid every time I visit Texas (still got one relative back there) it’ll still be enemy territory. 30 miles away from where I grew up.

  130. 130
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Chetan Murthy: For “easing of racism” I should have written “easing of racism/sexism/homophobia”. B/c it all got better. I remember when Will & Grace came on TV, and all of a sudden, gay people could be *completely* normal. In places outside of SF (I live just over the hill from the Castro, so gay people ere can be … (heh) concerned about their housing values, and all those men parading around nekkid getting in the way of that). And I thought stuff was just getting better. Women rising up in corporate America. Women making more than their husbands. All that stuff.

    And then the fucking Apocalypse.

  131. 131
    karen marie says:

    @NMgal: I’m not registered with a party. But if you are not a registered party member, you don’t get a mail-in ballot for the primaries, only for the election itself.

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman: No worries. Feel free to ask again tomorrow or Monday when we’re both thinking clearly.

  133. 133
    Bill Arnold says:

    @karen marie:

    Who among us – born in the 1940s or 1950s – or even the 1960s – doesn’t feel swamped with change?

    I was born in the 1960s and find current levels of change far too slow. Absurdly, painfully slow.
    (tech change speed is barely adequate. :-)

  134. 134
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’m too bed!

  135. 135
    Ruckus says:

    @Chetan Murthy:
    They are racists. But I don’t believe that it’s all about racism. Our lives are different and a lot of people with blue collar careers really are just scraping by and many of them are old enough or have parents still living who recognize that life as we know it today is passing them by. A lot of them had lives that were fun, maybe doing stuff that you or I don’t, like boating or off roading, and their lives don’t really allow that and, you know, actual living. Everything gets more expensive and yet wages haven’t kept up. On of the guys at work asked me about the $15 min wage and what that would do to people now making that or not that much more. Wages being relatively stagnate and the rich stealing all that wealth has really been a bad thing for the country. A real bad thing. And the republican party has been, for the last 40 yrs lying about the causes of that. And some people have believed them rather than their own eyes. That’s the racism. People always want someone else to blame and the republican party gave them one, which of course given our history was an easy one to sell. The racism is there, no doubt, but the driver of the current republican party to using it is the economy and who benefits.

  136. 136
    Timurid says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    I’m stuck in a red state. I’m not sure I count as “decent,” since I’m still here largely because I mad bad choices and I’m bad at my job. (For all the aspiring life coaches who weighed in last time I mentioned this, I turned 50 last month, so a new career is not really a thing.) It’s easier for me, because I can pass as white. But so could all the people who got shot today.

    That being said, I’m going to have some decisions to make next spring as the school year ends. By then I’ll know the results of the election, the Mueller investigation and whatever terrorist fuckery is afoot.

  137. 137
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Ruckus:

    But I don’t believe that it’s all about racism.

    Here’s why I don’t believe you: because they all — all — hated Obamacare. They all wanted lower taxes. And these are incompatible with being poor. If you’re poor, you should -want- to soak the rich, have the government provide more services to you. But these people didn’t. And these women whom karen described, *didn’t*.

    I’m sure there’s more than racism going on with some. But anybody who hollers “soshuliZM! soshuliZM! Grab yer GUNZ!” can’t be both economically anxious and NOT a racist.

  138. 138
    karen marie says:

    @PJ: Oh, I am well aware of the escalating changes over the centuries. My point – obviously lost – is that the rate of escalation of change has increased dramatically. In the 1980s, my family talked about the changes that had occurred in my grandfather’s life – he was born at a time when automobiles were a novelty, he lived to see a man on the moon; airplane travel was mundane when he died, commercial plane travel didn’t start until he was 16 years old. Even compared to what my grandparents experienced in terms of technological change, the last 50 years has been absolutely dizzying in terms of changes to the way we live. I am still annoyed that I got suckered into buy a CD player years after they became a thing (I used cassette tapes, records being so last decade), because I was convinced they would end up in the bin heap given the speed we went from records to cassette tapes and from black&white TV to color to videotapes, and the whole betamax idiocy, and it turns out I was right. Yes, I am still annoyed. I can’t be bothered to keep up with much of what’s happening because it isn’t relevant to my life, and it’s too complicated without spending a lot of time, and why would I do that when it’s all going to be replaced by something new in another five years?

    So I have sympathy for these ladies who are screaming “socialism” – not because “socialism” has anything to do with what ails them but because I understand the pain they feel at a world that is changing faster than they can begin to understand what’s going on.

    I love to think “I am aware of all internet traditions” but that really stopped being true about five minutes after that phrase was coined.

  139. 139
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Feh. Edit button didn’t work. I CAN imagine (a) economically anxious, (b) NOT racist, (c) stupid as a goddamn post. Like, say, if they were dropped on the head repeatedly as an infant. Like, dozens and dozens of times.

    But otherwise, no.

  140. 140
    karen marie says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Go back and read my comment again. I don’t think you read it.

  141. 141
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Timurid:

    I’m not sure I count as “decent,”

    I gave a ton of money to candidates in Texas, and a ton of money to Planned Parenthood in Texas. There are a ton of decent people there. Just not enough for me to feel safe. Maybe someday, that’ll change. I sure miss not being able to get decent enchiladas here in SF.

  142. 142
    karen marie says:

    Someone please just kill me now. I’m done.

  143. 143
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @karen marie:

    Go back and read my comment again. I don’t think you read it.

    I read your first comment, the second, and all the other comments from others, as well as your interjections. You describe people who fear the Dems are bringing socialism, will make America like NorK. And then you give a bunch of reasons why they would feel afraid, overwhelmed: all economic reasons. Those *reasons* are all reasons to WANT social insurance and social democracy — which is what we in the entire Western World mean, by “socialism”. And these women don’t want that. There’s a *standard* reason people don’t want that, when their life circumstances cry out for it: racism. And it’s been that way for decades.

    So: what have I misunderstood/misread?

  144. 144
    Ruckus says:

    @Chetan Murthy:
    I wasn’t clear. We had racism when I was a kid, it was all around me, life was steeped in it. I went to integrated schools though and got to see for myself that it was bullshit. That’s just me though. But the republican party decided to use racism to further it’s real goal, which was to make wealthy donors wealthier and for them to control everything so that they would always be able to do that. You’ve heard of the southern strategy? 40+ yrs of that have worked for them. Racism is possibly slightly less of a problem but is still a huge problem. It will always be a problem humanistically, what with the number and possibility of a minority, especially blacks being shot/beaten/arrested/jailed/poor, just for the crime of being born.
    Racism is a huge problem no question. But it can’t be lessened without fixing the economic issue as well because the incentive for the republican party is too big and usable. shitgibbon is the perfect storm for the republicans and is why they are all keeping quite. They know the score and that is that racism hides the economy as a major issue. And they have sold that so well that even the political class believes it fully now. 60 million people voted for a massive racist, who is supposedly a member of the wealth class. And of all the things that work for them, racism is by far the most successful.
    I’m not denying racism, I’m not denying that a lot of republicans, probably the vast majority are racists. I am saying that the reason that republicans have been selling racism for decades is the economy.

  145. 145
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Ruckus:

    I’m not denying racism, I’m not denying that a lot of republicans, probably the vast majority are racists. I am saying that the reason that republicans have been selling racism for decades is the economy.

    We agree on everything you wrote. I thought, though, the question was “what drives these women’s decisions and beliefs?” In short, why do these women -believe- the shit GrOPers are selling them? [And 100% sure, the reason the GrOPers are selling it, is b/c they want all the $$$$] My belief is, they’re racist, pure and simple.

  146. 146
    Ruckus says:

    @Chetan Murthy:
    The problem is that your way skips an important step. We’ve had racism for over 200 yrs here. We’ve passed laws that have changed society for the better concerning racism and bigotry in general. And the republican party decided that they needed to sell racism to gain and keep control of the country. And so they did. That can be unsold and has been for a large segment of the country. We voted in a black man for president, twice. We voted for a woman for president but our backasswards electoral system awarded the presidency to a stone racist because that’s who the republicans wanted. Or at least paid for. But the republicans, having decided that selling racism, partially because it was a big factor in this country, would secure them the ability to make the system that they wanted. They hold all three branches of the government and they still can’t pull it off. But selling racism was their best hope, which is why almost none of them are complaining about shitgibbon.
    No one is disputing that racism is here, or that it’s not bad. But it is here and it is bad. But you have to understand the why to figure out the how to change that. You skipped the why and are only looking at the results. What you are saying is true, but why is it true, that is also important. Republicans could have not sold racism as the cause of everyone’s problems but that’s not what they did. They did this with information – faux news, they did this with candidates, they did this with money. Yes a lot of that money came from rich racists but how did those guys get rich? By legal and illegal means, like shitgibbon has done, stiff people who they owe money to, have enough power to get laws changed and overturned – citizens united. I can’t say it’s been planned out to end up exactly here but people question why would they accept shitgibbon if it didn’t benefit them. They don’t worry about jobs and money, it isn’t that part of racism for them, but that’s partly how they sold it. Did they have a hard time selling it? Not really, but the economy going the way it has helped them sell it. And they talk about the economy and how bad it is when democrats run the government but look how they talk when they control the government and the economy tanks, as it has every time they’ve been in power since Regan.

  147. 147
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Ruckus: Uh, I’m aware of the Southern Strategy. And very aware of the way Southern culture was [and still is in someplaces] rather feudalistic. Read lots about how the GrOPer party went more-and-more off the deep end, starting with RaYgUn. I was there for the Contract on America [sic], just like you were, eh? Sat thru the Clinton impeachment, watching Livingston, Gingrich, and a few others all get caught schtupping their aides, while sniffing poor Monica Lewinsky’s panties. And on and on and on.

    Sure, you’re right about the GrOPers deciding to use racism to keep their grasp on power. Hell, that’s also what they did with abortion, right? Picked that issue to bring aboard the Catholics.

    None of this changes that these -people- swallowed and are now regurgitating this racist message. And there’s an old saying: you can’t cheat an honest man. These people didn’t go from “pure as the driven snow” to “racist deplorables” overmight: they were prone to it already.

  148. 148
    Bostonian says:

    Win or lose, we’re in for an entire generation, at least, of elevated right-wing domestic terrorism in America. The powder kegs have been stockpiled, and the fuses have been lit.

    Anybody who has kids right now growing up has to understand that those kids will be growing up in an America that’s like England in the times of repeated IRA bombings, Spain in the days of Basque bombings, or Italy in the day of the Red Brigades, except that the bombings and shootings will all be carried out by revanchist MAGAts.

    Slowly, slowly, over the course of the next twenty years, representational democracy is going to be restored in America, Republican gerrymandering and vote suppression will be stopped, and the government we get will not resemble our current parade of half-dead white men, which the rest of the half-dead white men will really, really hate.

    The idea of America as unlike Europe, where political terrorism was commonplace when I was a kid, will be not just ended but reversed. Like when Rambo was afraid to go to Cannes in 1986, Europeans will reduce their tourism to America out of concerns of our plague of terrorism. The half-dead white men will not go down easy, and a new generation of fascists is being brought up ready to take their places, if not in politics then in revenge.

  149. 149
    Ken Shabby says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    A whole lot of things that turned out to be “more like guidelines actually” will need to be codified into law.

    And, enforced and adjudicated.

    Before Obama was elected, I made a list, for myself and clarity, of priorities I would be looking for in his new term. Wanted to get out in front of it; mental prep, if you like. Initially, I limited myself to three; executive action is not chasing windblown variables.

    My first three were all about rule of law:
    Sort finance
    Sort judicial procedure
    Sort human rights

    I ended up adding two but, those were fundamental. Climate change and specifically, marriage as a right for All people. Those were the next two. I watched 2010 with what I guess can best be described as temporary despair. Temporary.

    Much of all of this is about anticipation, stamina and belief. And, continued education.
    What you likely refer as a state of alert readiness, only as a peaceful civilian.

    Leadership is not about being responsible for good decision, it is also more importantly about accepting responsibility for bad decisions and, correcting them.

    GOP in general and, this ridiculous caricature specifically are Not about any of that.
    It is who they are and, for decades.
    It is not who the rest of us are, and since like…forever.

  150. 150
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    @dr. bloor: There certainly are too many Americans who fit the description of unable to tolerate a modern, multi-cultural society. But that number is much fewer than people who voted for Trump. There are many people who would be fine in a diverse society, except they’ve been propagandized into opposing such a society. We need to find a way to counter the propaganda (easier said than done, unfortunately).

  151. 151
    rikyrah says:

    This was a really good post. Thank you.👏

  152. 152
    Gvg says:

    @Ken Shabby: it just hit me, that this kind of list is a reason why strategically the next democrat presidential nominee “should” be a white male. There were several times in Obama’s term when I thought he was unable to propose certain things because it would be perceived by the extremists and even th mushy middle as “favoring” blacks to much instead of just bringing them up to more equal treatment. It would be too easily propagandize as a weapon to derail.
    I don’t like giving in to this attitude. I also don’t control our luck and who has the charisma and plans to win the nomination. The minorities would probably prefer and be more enthused by someone who is also a minority, plus they have generally been more reliable on judgement. Well there are advantages and disadvantages to all possible choices. All we can do is try to max the advantage and minimize the disadvantage.

  153. 153
    jimmiraybob says:

    At his Nuremberg rally yesterday Trump stated that “We must defend our Constitution. We must defend our heritage.” He was speaking to a nearly completely white audience. He was speaking kind words about Jews but I have to wonder how a Neo-Nazi or Alt Righter would hear this.

  154. 154
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Percysowner:

    Then the schisms between the far right Christian sides will start.

    Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

    He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”

    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too!”

    Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.

  155. 155
    artem1s says:

    At that point I expect that the evangelical community will turn first on the Catholics as papist apostates and then on each other as none of the three major divisions among white evangelicals in the US – evangelicals, charismatics, and fundamentalists

    I think you’ve left a pretty major faction out of the equation. Morman’s are a odd mix of protestant fundamentalism and Catholic patriarchy. they are both isolationists and evangelical. protestants have accepted the Morman’s brand of controlling their flock with blue laws and males dominated family structure. but the fundamentalists also view them as an odd sort of papist, dogmatic, idol worship. the church of the LDS is growing in numbers and economic power and they believe it is part of their mission to convert. I think they represent a far bigger existential threat to televangelism than the Catholic church does. Extreme evangelical sects and Mormanism may find a way to merge or co-exist but not without a power struggle. In any case I don’t think hatred of abortion is going to keep any of them united for very much longer. re-criminalizing homosexuality will reemerge and then maybe the fundamentalist marriage made in hell will start to fall apart as they need someone new to punch down on. Mormans and their a-typical mythology is a ripe target for those who love to vilify ‘the other’. Almost as good as punching Mary worshipers.

  156. 156

    @Adam L Silverman

    :@karen marie: Feel free to explain to them that North Korea is not socialistic. It is a fusion of familial totalitarian authoritarianism, racialism in the form of (North) Korean supremacy, and Maoist communism.

    Don’t forget just a dash of personality cult. But then, your first phrase may have encompassed that…

  157. 157

    @karen marie:

    (Who among us – born in the 1940s or 1950s – or even the 1960s – doesn’t feel swamped with change?)

    I was born in early 50’s. I’m OK with change.

  158. 158
    grubert says:

    @Gvg: – Excellent point.

    Transformational politicians, while good in general, are necessarily politically weak.

    After 8 years of Dubya, I remember thinking “the Dems are putting up a black man and a woman? Are they trying to tie their own hands if they win? Neither will have the political support to fix the damage.”/

    Of course I’m glad Obama won, and so did Hillary, modulo the electoral system, but there was a lot Obama couldn’t do because he had to avoid upsetting the opposition too much because he was the first black president and so got no benefit of the doubt. He *had* to be totally squeaky clean and as non-threatening as possible.

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