Deploraville Dispatch

Did you argue politics with relatives over the holiday weekend? My Trumpster kin had nothing to say about their orange idol. I suspect they’re ashamed of him but too stubborn to admit it.

I’d like to think that’s progress, but I know better; they still believe the same stupid shit that made them vote for a racist, sexist, xenophobic demagogue in the first place.

Over the weekend, I read a Washington Monthly piece by Daniel Block about Democrats in deep red areas — kinda the opposite of the Deploraville safari articles about “heartland” Trump voters.

There’s a lot of truth to it, IMO. Here’s an excerpt:

Reporters have descended on conservative bastions like Augusta, as well as counties that recently flipped from blue to red, in a bid to understand how a reality television star became president. They have spoken to longtime, working-class conservatives and ex-Democrats who, through Trump, finally found a vehicle through which to express their political frustrations. In doing so, they’ve routinely painted a picture of Trump-voting America so predictable that it has become a trope. Yet very few journalists have chosen to focus on the Democrats in Trump country who stayed Democrats…

But even in places like Augusta County, thousands of people voted for Hillary Clinton. No depiction of Trump country is complete without them. Most of their neighbors may be standing by the president, but if Augusta is any indication, Democrats in rural red counties are just as fired up and enthused as their counterparts in liberal cities. In Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District, which includes Augusta, no Democrat has mounted a midterm congressional campaign in twenty years. This year, four people ran…

As more activists come out of the woodwork, the Democratic Party gains more people like Frank Nolen: human faces who can make the party more accessible to residents with hidden liberal inclinations. This is critical for the party’s fortunes. Building a viable electoral infrastructure depends on making it socially acceptable to be a Democrat.

Ironic, isn’t it, that the people who belong to the party that opposes an abusive, corrupt, would-be authoritarian degenerate are the ones who suffer social consequences for that. But it’s a reality that many of us live on the daily. That’s part of the reason you won’t find me boo-hooing over Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ comped cheese plate or pitying Tucker Carlson for blowback to his hate-mongering.

Fox News feeds its viewers a steady diet of “oppressed conservatives in Hollywood” stories and plays up incidents where its wealthy hate-mongers are harassed by ordinary citizens. The Fox News audience eats that victimization shit up — all the while engaging in subtle and overt intimidation tactics against neighbors with different political views.

The Post has an article today by doctoral candidate Emily Van Duyn about Democratic women secretly organizing in a deep red part of Texas. Some of the women in the underground group she studied shared why they’re unwilling to “come out” as Democrats:

The existence of this group does more than tell us about 136 women in a small county in Texas. Their experience of fear and intimidation challenges assumptions about democracy in the United States. That is, in a truly liberal democracy, people should be able to voice their views without fear of retaliation.

These women’s choice to engage and persist underground also challenges us to reconsider the privilege of being publicly political and the possibility that the things we see on the surface in our communities, the yard signs, the bumper stickers, are not the whole story.

It’s not the whole story, and we can’t write off the folks in those places. I know it’s tempting to give up on red areas — I live in one, and sometimes I think the best solution is to re-stage Sherman’s march. In a post about radicalized rural kids earlier this week, Mistermix observed:

This is not to say that radicalized rural kids aren’t a problem – but the problem is bigger than that. The Senate and the Electoral College over-represent states that intelligent progressive kids want to leave. Maybe, as Deb and James Fallows have reported, some of these kids will stay and enlarge blue dots in otherwise conservative states. But why bother when you can just move a few hundred miles away and not have to deal with the narrow minds and poverty of spirit that infects rural America?

I don’t have a good answer to that dilemma for individuals. I fled my conservative home turf as a young person too, only to ultimately return. But as a society, if we want to have a functioning democracy (and maybe even avoid a second civil war), those of us who do choose to remain in red areas — people like Cole, some of you, and me — have to do the hard work of building an electoral infrastructure, as outlined in the Washington Monthly piece.

That’s the only way forward. I sure hope we can pull it off.

230 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    This is critical for the party’s fortunes. Building a viable electoral infrastructure depends on making it socially acceptable to be a Democrat.

    I endorse this. Charismatic candidates are great, but they are not a strategy. We need our mediocre candidates to be elected too.

  2. 2
    chopper says:

    argued politics with my mom, who claims to be an independent but is a gooper through and through. you can tell she’s disappointed cause she just both sides the shit out of everything. apparently, clinton lying about a blow job is the exact same as every bullshit thing trump has done combined. “they’re all crooks!”

    edit: let me curse, fucking iphone.

  3. 3
    donnah says:

    My husband and I both joked about leaving the country when Trump was elected. Sometimes we still say we would like to leave the country because the people we despise keep gaining ground.

    But that’s wrong. When things are bad, you can’t run. You have to stay and try to change them. Staying here, we voted. We made a difference in the House. We can make a difference again and again. There’s no quitting.

  4. 4
    satby says:

    I don’t know Betty. You’re right, of course, but it has to be people who were born there. People like me are outsiders no matter how long we live in rural areas. And though I was on friendly terms with a lot of my neighbors, a lot of them really are hateful people who were only decent to me because I was white and was decent first.

    I want them (and only them) to live in their dystopian ideal of how things should be. It’s the only cure. Some will learn better and some will die as an outcome of what they advocate. And I’m sorry about that but in the end we all have choices and that’s what they consistently choose.
    Edit: and yes, I understand that I’m not being realistic above.

  5. 5
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Just as important to make chronic selfishness socially unacceptable, I think. Greed (and spite) fuel much of the bad behavior.

  6. 6
    Kraux Pas says:

    We had a nearly politics-free Thanksgiving. Though one of my uncles tried a not so subtle out-loud provocation that confused the concepts of “the weather today” and “the climate.”

    Building a viable electoral infrastructure depends on making it socially acceptable to be a Democrat.

    It’s a real cultural problem how this works. If you go out and talk to random people about your liberal ideas, you’re being political which is impolite and/or uncivil. Right-wing ideas, which I refuse to call conservative, get spread freely as “everybody knows” truisms falsehoods in conversations carried in the tone of “amirite?”

    Even here in MA, I have worked primarily retail jobs for years and basically any customer, client, or patient who approaches me with a political agenda sides with the Republicans. It was everywhere early in Obama’s presidency. How he banned light bulbs which we still carry to this day. I loved responding to the folks claiming that Obama “didn’t make enough flu shots” that “he didn’t make any.”

    No one blames Trump for the shingles shot shortage. Curious.

  7. 7

    @donnah: I agree with the no quitting part. As for the T voters, assorted third party voters. They made their own bed and can lie in it. I will help those who want to help themselves.

  8. 8
    cain says:

    @Baud:

    I endorse this. Charismatic candidates are great, but they are not a strategy. We need our mediocre candidates to be elected too.

    Not too mediocre. They should at least be competent at their job and honest.

  9. 9

    @Kraux Pas: I have a gay friend who told me at the beginning of the first Obama term, that the country was far too racist to handle the Obama presidency. I was more upbeat. He was right and I was wrong.

  10. 10
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Baud:

    We need our mediocre candidates to be elected too.

    Mediocre may not be the best word. Bland?

  11. 11
    germy says:

    Trump fans complain that migrants are waving flags from other countries as they march toward our border.

    Trump fans fly Confederate and Tea Party flags as if that was their own country.

    Ironic, no??

    — 🇺🇸🇵🇷🌊 Name is Bishop (@BishesBrew) November 26, 2018

  12. 12

    As for relatives peddling hateful politics. I always push back, whether it is T here or Modi in India. As a result, I don’t get included in their stupid whatsapp forwards.

  13. 13
    cain says:

    My thanksgiving was pretty fun and peaceful. My dad and my brother are way more emotional about the Trump stuff than I am. They rage at the TV all the time. I found that watching 24 hour news does lead to rage. I don’t watch 24 hours because I think it’s bad for you. Reading twitter and reading activists is much more interesting. I do feel though at times I’m in a bubble but I have a hard time trusting anything conservative. I don’t even know what conservative sources are talking in good faith. But one thing for sure, if you’re conservative and support Trump you ain’t conservative, motherfucker.

  14. 14
    Kraux Pas says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I have a gay friend who told me at the beginning of the first Obama term, that the country was far too racist to handle the Obama presidency. I was more upbeat. He was right and I was wrong.

    The country as whole? No. That’s why Obama won twice, convincingly, and his party consistently gets more votes. This holds true despite Republican institutional support from the media, the Russians, and occasionally the FBI.

  15. 15
    Belafon says:

    I keep wanting some of the companies in California to realize that there are good schools in states like Iowa and move part of their operations and people to those states. It would lower their costs, the costs for their employees, and move some Democrats into those states.

  16. 16

    @Kraux Pas: He was trying to warn me that there was far too much racism in this country than I had personally encountered myself and that O’s election would bring it out in the open. He was right about that.

  17. 17
    Schlemazel says:

    schli·ma·zel
    /SHləˈmäzəl
    nounINFORMAL•US
    noun: schlemazel
    a consistently unlucky or accident-prone person.

    Got to Mayo only to find out that my appointments have been rescheduled to 12/4 but nobody told me. It’s only a week but a kick in the gut anyway.

    If you need me I’ll be on suicide watch

  18. 18
    Miss Bianca says:

    Being a loud-mouthed liberal woman in a deep-red pocket of a trending blue state is certainly…interesting. I plan to get more active in the Democratic Party infrastructure in our county after the New Year. I had to drop out of attending our regular monthly meetings because of my work schedule and other conflicts. But the phenomenon is exactly the same: a lot of underground liberals who have to try to get RINOS elected (because nobody will win, much less run, as a Democrat here), who then get primaried and recalled by the hysterical Teahadi rumpist brigade.

    THere are some signs of hope: the Teahadists’ attempts to take over the hospital board and mess with the School Board districting have been thwarted. Maybe it’s time for us to come up from underground.

    Oh, gotta run – Watson evidently thought the TP rolls waiting to be taken upstairs were chew toys. OOPS.

  19. 19
    mark says:

    “This is not to say that radicalized rural kids aren’t a problem – but the problem is bigger than that. The Senate and the Electoral College over-represent states that intelligent progressive kids want to leave. Maybe, as Deb and James Fallows have reported, some of these kids will stay and enlarge blue dots in otherwise conservative states. But why bother when you can just move a few hundred miles away and not have to deal with the narrow minds and poverty of spirit that infects rural America?”

    That’s exactly what is going on. Anyone with any brains and or ambition leaves rural red states. Large portions of those rural counties have shrinking populations.
    Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Utah, etc, have a combined population that is much less than half of that as California yet each of those state have two seantors, the same as California.

  20. 20
    Scott says:

    I can relate to being a liberal in a conservative area. Even though I’m in purplish San Antonio, my suburban area is pretty red. However, it is very friendly and neighborly and no one talks politics, because of fear of conflict, I believe. Put up my first yard sign ever this year (congressional candidate Joseph Kopser, who unfortunately lost). I felt like a was doing a radical act. There were a smattering of Beto signs in the neighborhood also. Once humorous observation. All yard signs were up against the houses rather than on the curb. I think people wanted to let their views known but didn’t want to be rude and in your face about it.

  21. 21
    MazeDancer says:

    Bring some Dems out to revenge Stacey Abrams in the SoS runoff in Georgia.

    Help elect Dem John Barrow. Stop Brian Kemp from stealing more elections.

    Last day to write PostCards. Must be mailed tomorrow.

    Commandeer a piece of cardatock from the offce. Print one page from a free PDF at the site. Chop in quarters. Write 4 PostCards. Mail tomorrow. Help Georgia. Feel virtuous.

    Get addresses: PostCardPatriots.com

  22. 22
    Joey Maloney says:

    My thanksgiving table was three oldsters and one young (mid 20s). Everything was fine except at one point the youngster came out with something so casually and appallingly racist that it took my breath away. Then she was confused when three people her parents’ age were all like, “not cool”.

    But as a society, if we want to have a functioning democracy (and maybe even avoid a second civil war), those of us who do choose to remain in red areas — people like Cole, some of you, and me — have to do the hard work of building an electoral infrastructure, as outlined in the Washington Monthly piece.

    More than building an electoral infrastructure, we have to build a human infrastructure to give people a reason to stay there. I think that starts with massive investment in education, knowing that it won’t necessarily bear fruit for a generation. But establish lots of state university satellite campuses. Let them be employment centers at first until the growth of an educated cohort starts to retain and even attract people, and then be ready to spend even more money on infrastructure to give those people something to do.

  23. 23
    Kraux Pas says:

    @germy:

    Trump fans fly Confederate and Tea Party flags as if that was their own country.

    Right? We can’t trust these families who came to us looking for help, but homegrown folk who pledge support to a cause that was started in direct opposition to our nation are true patriots. Got it.

    What still confuses me is how the Rs got away with lumping the members of the caravan in with illegal immigrants before they even arrived in the country.

  24. 24
    Brachiator says:

    @chopper:

    . “they’re all crooks!”

    Yeah, but our crooks are better than their crooks.

  25. 25
    Kraux Pas says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    He was trying to warn me that there was far too much racism in this country than I had personally encountered myself and that O’s election would bring it out in the open. He was right about that.

    You’re right there. The racists certainly got louder and more aggressive, yet more prone to the vapors.

    @Schlemazel:

    schli·ma·zel
    /SHləˈmäzəl
    nounINFORMAL•US
    noun: schlemazel
    a consistently unlucky or accident-prone person.

    I heard this on both Laverne and Shirley and Taxi; a schlemiel is a person who will go to a restaurant and spill their soup, a schlemazel is the poor sap they spill it on.

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    What still confuses me is how the Rs got away with lumping the members of the caravan in with illegal immigrants before they even arrived in the country

    In Trump’s America you must have a golden ticket to enter the country. And Trump has all the tickets.

  27. 27

    My thanksgiving dinner was free of political conflict. Our totebagger friends worship at the altar of Bob Woodward and value Brooksian pearls of wisdom but they both voted straight ticket for Ds. I have gotten them to admit that NPR’s political coverage is subtly skewed against Ds. Slow progress.

  28. 28
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    You’re a better (stronger) person than I am, Betty. I would never go back to my rural John Birch-infested hometown. I’m surprised to find myself in a rural area again after years of big city living, but I made sure to settle in a purple-to-blue state. With some notable exceptions, most of my classmates who stayed in our little town are exactly those described in the article, people lacking the intellectual/emotional resources and drive to seek or embrace (relish!) a wider world. Too many have become haters. I’ve tried pursuing the chimera of “civil discourse” with them. In my experience, it’s mission impossible. They’re just too stewed in ignorance and hate-juice. Toddlers in full tantrum meltdown are more reasonable. My choice is to leave them behind. I don’t mind if they become indirect beneficiaries of good public policy, but I’m not going to reach out to them or – dawg-forbid – live within spitting distance of them. My hope is to overwhelm them at the polls, and I notice that they now have a Democratic congresscritter for the first time in (my) living memory. So maybe there’s more hope than I’ve allowed for. But I still ain’t moving back. ;)

  29. 29
    Yarrow says:

    How is this something he’s only figured out now?

    I've been gnashing my teeth about how we in the media covered the caravan, and my new column argues that we have to ask ourselves the same tough questions we ask Facebook. Too often we've allowed Pres Trump and others to use us to manipulate voters. https://t.co/jwQk0I8mRJ— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) November 24, 2018

    Better late than never, I guess.

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Everyone at my T-day table was a liberal D.

  31. 31
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    I have a gay friend who told me at the beginning of the first Obama term, that the country was far too racist to handle the Obama presidency. I was more upbeat. He was right and I was wrong.

    The country as whole? No. That’s why Obama won twice, convincingly, and his party consistently gets more votes. This holds true despite Republican institutional support from the media, the Russians, and occasionally the FBI.

    I dunno. In my most cynical and depressed moments, I wonder if Obama was only able to beat McCain and Romney because they weren’t racist enough. I mean, they were both pretty racist, but I can see how a current Trump supporter would have seen them both as squishes and simply stayed home in disgust that no one was really appealing to their sense of petty white grievance.

  32. 32
    James E Powell says:

    I’d like to think that’s progress, but I know better; they still believe the same stupid shit that made them vote for a racist, sexist, xenophobic demagogue in the first place.

    This is the problem we face as individuals and as a nation. Contrary to our hopes, these people are not going to change and they are not going to go away.

  33. 33
    Brachiator says:

    @Belafon: How is the surfing in Iowa?

  34. 34
    Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson!) says:

    There are several things Democrats can do about the bias the Senate and the Electoral College have toward Republicans without a constitutional amendment when they control all three branches of government again, even with a bare majority in the Senate (The filibuster should be and probably is history!) First, Get more States! Approve Statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. which already have majorities that want it. Second, Increase the number of Congresspeople from 435 to at least 600, more would be better! As Suggested in this Washington Monthly article “To Fix Congress, Make It Bigger. Much Bigger.”

  35. 35
    Yarrow says:

    @Schlemazel: So sorry to hear that. How terrible they didn’t let you know.

  36. 36

    @satby:

    I want them (and only them) to live in their dystopian ideal of how things should be

    This won’t and can’t work, because their ideas about how things should be is based around them ruling over an underclass of people not like them. Nothing you can do can dissuade them from believing that would be a great world. It actually would be really nice for them, and the damage it would do to everyone else doesn’t matter to them because they lack empathy.

  37. 37
    gvg says:

    One persons observation about the radicalization of the really rural areas, my mother’s side are actual dairy farmers from Wisconsin. Family farm from the 1800’s. When my mom married my dad in 1962, his family thought they looked like Amish, they were so country, and far from stores. Social life revolved around the very local school and the church. In the 1980’s, they all got access to “modern” culture when VHS video’s were rentable at the local grocery store in town. All of a sudden, my cousins started changing. Many of them left, those who stayed had to be flexible about income sources. My mothers generation also mostly left, but without as much preknowledge of how it was outside, and their changes didn’t go back home much. It also was kind of expected in that only one could get the family farm. After 1980, each time I visited, there were more signs of the city getting back to the really rural area. I think satellite TV was probably pretty revolutionary too, but VHS was pretty cheap.
    My uncle may lose the farm soon. He was a successful farmer, unlike my grandfather, but his wife died of cancer recently, after a long expensive illness, which also involved my Uncle staying with her in a city hospital. They had to sell most of his herd he spent decades building up. Both sons are kind of alienated and weren’t available to help. Don’t really know the full circumstances on that. Mom’s upset about the farm and worried about her brother.
    I think the radicalization may have started before facebook, or at least the seeds if it.
    Also if you drive through the area, many of the homesteads are abandoned. Machinery costs mean it takes about 3 old homesteads to make a farm that is profitable, and those machines mean a farmer can take care of about 3 times as many cows. So 2 out of 3 farm families have moved on and those houses aren’t needed. Cold winters with no inhabitants to maintain it, destroy those houses in a few years. The land is still farmed, but with fewer people. Everybody has cars and can get into town.

  38. 38
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Schlemazel:

    Got to Mayo only to find out that my appointments have been rescheduled to 12/4 but nobody told me.

    I’m so sorry. Please hang in there. Sending (((hugs))).

  39. 39
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Brachiator:

    In Trump’s America you must have a golden ticket to enter the country. And Trump has all the tickets.

    Yeah. Come to think of it, for all his complaining about anchor babies, his condos are a really popular destination for Russian birth tourists.

  40. 40
    cope says:

    @Schlemazel: If you haven’t already, sign up for the Mayo online portal access. We did that for my wife as Mayo JAX is over 2 hours away. The last thing we do before leaving for an appointment is check online and print out the itinerary. Since her transplant, we don’t have to go as often but we still make sure they haven’t changed the appointment (as they have done to us in the past) before hitching up the horses.

  41. 41
    Butch says:

    @mark: Anyone? I get really tired of this sort of smugness and superiority. Bigotry is bigotry, and that attitude doesn’t help anyone. Some of us choose to live in the country and wouldn’t trade it for the city.

  42. 42
    Brachiator says:

    Senate Republicans plan on fighting dirty.

    Reducing the size of the 21-member Senate Judiciary Committee is reportedly among the actions being considered by Senate Republicans as they prepare for the next Congress.

    If that happens, Sen. Kamala Harris of California — a high-profile Democrat who is considered a possible candidate for her party’s 2020 presidential nomination — could be left off the panel, according to a report.

    That’s because the first-term senator is the judiciary committee’s most junior member, and would be among the first to go if the panel is downsized, the Washington Post reported.

    Democrats can’t afford to be coy, even if they live in red states.

    Maybe it is a second civil war.

  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    What still confuses me is how the Rs got away with lumping the members of the caravan in with illegal immigrants before they even arrived in the country.

    The number of people in America who think every Spanish-speaker is “An Illegal” and/or “A Mexican” is massive. They don’t know the difference and don’t care to know it.

  44. 44
    Raven says:

    Athens is a gerrymandered oasis in a sea of red but the ATL is only 65 miles away and even the burbs are trending our way. I have plenty of RWNJ friends (mostly Nam Vets) and I call them Nozi’s and they call me a “Peace Queer”.

  45. 45
    Kraux Pas says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The number of people in America who think every Spanish-speaker is “An Illegal” and/or “A Mexican” is massive. They don’t know the difference and don’t care to know it.

    But they weren’t in the country yet. They still aren’t. Also, I would argue that Trump’s resistance to our legal immigration procedures is a bigger affront to the law than unauthorized border crossings.

  46. 46
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: How are you doing today?

  47. 47
    Yarrow says:

    @Raven: This is happening in a lot of growing area, even in southern red states. The city grows out and turns blue. It’s a lot of what happened in Texas over the last two elections. Harris county (Houston) turned blue in 2016. The Dallas suburbs went blue this year. Austin has always been blue but there are now references to the “blue spine of Texas,” which is the I-35 corridor from San Antonio to Austin. Those cities have been growing toward each other and as that happens that area has become bluer.

  48. 48
    CliosFanBoy says:

    I can’t imagine. Even here in deep, deep blue Peoples Republic of Northern Virginia I got hate for Kerry and then Obama stickers: people screaming at me from cars, nasty notes on my windshield, etc.

  49. 49
    Mike in NC says:

    Actual headline in today’s local neo-Confederate rag: “Dems Not Eager To Show Disarray In Speaker’s Race As Some Resist Pelosi”

  50. 50
    SFAW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Everyone at my T-day table was a liberal D.

    Same here (as far as I know); we had 20-plus adults. And it’s been that way (i.e., liberals, not the 20-plus) for about 30 years, maybe more, I think.

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Just One More Canuck: Doing well.

  52. 52
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Brachiator:

    Maybe it is a second civil war.

    Oh, they’ve been escalating their Cold Civil War against the US for years. What do you think all the government shutdowns were? They thought they had the legitimacy to dictate all national policy while only controlling one half of one branch of the government or else they would interfere in the normal operation of the government. While they cut taxes for the elite, they expect blue state average tax payers to bail them out for the ineptitude of their own local government.

    The worst part is that, for a time, the voters were vindicating them.

  53. 53
    Betty Cracker says:

    About 20 years ago, I thought maybe the internet would cure rural blight by bringing greater access to knowledge, increasing interaction between cultures, and opening up new opportunities via telecommuting. None of that seems to have panned out so far, or at least not in a sufficiently widespread way.

  54. 54
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    As an out and proud Libtard living deep in the heart of trumpistan I am of mixed feelings and experiences. Yes my political leanings are loudly proclaimed on my truck. And over the years I have been approached by a number of liberals who quietly agree with me and want me to know how “brave” they think I am, but in my 16 years out here, the closest to a confrontation I have had was a drive by hate honk complete with spittle flecked screaming and a waving one fingered salute.

    I often find myself biting my tongue when I overhear some particularly egregious RWNJ bullshit because I am just too tired to interact with such idiots. Every now and again I’ll speak up tho and they nearly always shut up in embarrassed silence, as tho they know it’s all BS but it’s an us/them marker that they feel the need to propagate. The few times they don’t I am more than ready to keep pushing back and they surrender with a, “We’ll just have to agree to disagree.” Yup.

    When Obama was running I volunteered and found myself almost exclusively canvassing in Steelville (and yes I was alone) when nobody else was willing to go there. I had doors slammed in my face and had a few “discussions” that were borderline “passionate”, but I also had a number of fruitful discussions with people whose minds I doubt were changed but I felt they were at least thinking about what I said. I never once felt threatened by anybody even if their loathing of me was written in capitol letters on the faces.

    At the same point, I don’t advertise it on the 2 lane hwy that passes our property. Plain and simply because I can not bear the thought that my wife might be subjected to some abuse for my willingness to be so out there. It’s different for a woman, I know this even if I can’t quite truly understand it. I can quite easily see my wife getting the mail out of our box and some entitled misogynistic redneck feeling he has the right to wave his piece at my wife to put her “in her place”.

    And so I don’t write to the local weekly rag, eviscerating the latest lies perpetrated by Jason Smith on their uncritical pages. Because my name would be attached. And if my name is attached my place can be found and some whacko may think he needs to make a point, maybe by poisoning my dogs, or blowing up my mail box, or threatening my wife. The possibility of that terrifies me.

  55. 55
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Everyone at my T-day table was a liberal D.

    We went to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving. 14 liberals and 1 Texas Republican at the table. It really put a damper on conversation, in my view, given that being “civil” apparently means a lot of self-censorship to accommodate the outlier. The food was good, but I’m not sure it made the experience of not being entirely oneself worth it.

  56. 56

    @O. Felix Culpa: Why is it that Ds and liberals always have to be accommodating and respectful. Not once have I seen MSM lecturing T to be bipartisan. I mean he didn’t even win a majority of the votes but is ruling like it were a mandate.Obama on the other hand got elebenty such lectures.

    The cons use our willingness to accommodate against us. There is no reciprocity on their part, in arenas public and private

  57. 57
    lurker dean says:

    thankfully no political arguments at thanksgiving. i was dreading the possibility but the aunt who would’ve been the issue couldn’t get a reasonably-priced flight, thankfully.

    speaking of fox news feeding people shit, whatever algorithm twitter is using is feeding people shit and filtering out a lot of people i follow. i was reminded of accessing twitter via realtwitter.com, which, if you already logged into twitter, applies a filter that shows you tweets chronologically, rather than according to twitter’s algorithm. i did it this morning and instantly saw tweets from a bunch of people i hadn’t seen tweets from in ages.

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    About 20 years ago, I thought maybe the internet would cure rural blight by bringing greater access to knowledge, increasing interaction between cultures, and opening up new opportunities via telecommuting.

    As part of the stimulus the local electric coop was given a bunch of money to put in pipe for fiber optic cable. My wife was super excited when I informed her of it. Today that 20 or 30 mile loop of pipe lies empty still because 2010 happened and Jason Smith and the whole GOP decided to shit on their voters.

  59. 59

    This is one of my big peeves about Barack Obama. He was a great president, but he built an amazing political organization that also had the advantage of coming right when Howard Dean was wrapping up his 50 state thing. Right after 2008 was the time to solidify what gains we’d made–even more so in places like the ones you speak of. And then Obama just kind of forgot about it, turned his attention to other things and then let the whole organization wither on the vine.

    I understand that he had a lot to deal with. I get that. I also understand that he always like governing better than campaigning. I get that, too. But you don’t get to effectively govern if you don’t win the seats, as he found out two years into his term. The last six years were effectively holding on to what had come in the first two. And not that that wasn’t something we needed to do, but the loss of the House meant that we couldn’t make any more headway. And I believe that letting his political organization wither may have kelp us from maybe taking back the House later in his term. We just kind of gave up on a lot of places like the ones you speak of, places where we’d made a lot of gains only a few years earlier.

    I got a funny feeling only a month after Obama’s election. I don’t know how many of you remember this, but there was a Senate runoff in Georgia about a month after the general election. A Democrat had held Saxby Chambliss to below 50%. And Obama did nothing in that runoff. The story I heard was that he didn’t want to blow any of his political capital on a race we might have gone on to lose anyway. And of course, Jim Martin lost. There’s no way to know if he might have pulled off a win with Obama’s help; but it couldn’t have hurt.

    We need to run everywhere. Everywhere. Even in Oklahoma, in Alabama, in Wyoming, in Idaho, in all these places we think we have no shot. It’s true, we’ll lose most of those races. But we’re going to surprise ourselves once in a while, and in the meantime, we can make ourselves better known to the people living there. We can make our case. We can only help ourselves by fighting everywhere. And there are people in these districts and states who need us. I think we owe it to them to try to help them as they work to get better representation for themselves.

  60. 60

    …sometimes I think the best solution is to re-stage Sherman’s march.

    Please, no. I’ve become rather fond of Atlanta.

  61. 61
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Why is it that Ds and liberals always have to be accommodating and respectful.

    Good question. I imagine it’s what we’ve observed time and time again on this insightful, nearly top 10,000 blog: the system is inherently tilted towards the right and against the left. In this specific case, we honored the request of our hosts. The R was an unexpected guest and they didn’t want a fractious Thanksgiving, which I understand. But in principle you are correct.

  62. 62
    Kraux Pas says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Why is it that Ds and liberals always have to be accommodating and respectful. Not once have I seen MSM lecturing T to be bipartisan.

    It would be just one more example of purported liberal media bias. You know, fairy tales.

    I mean he didn’t even win a majority of the votes but is ruling like it were a mandate.

    Meanwhile Obama; who ran explicitly on bipartisanship, achieved a legitimate electoral mandate twice, and bent over backwards to address Republican concerns; was lectured in the media how he wasn’t doing enough. He should socialize with them more, show up to some beltway establishment cocktail parties I guess. Sigh.

  63. 63
    comrade scotts agenda of rage says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    After 22+ years of living in a county that was either the reddest or second reddest in the state, I’m glad I’m gone.

    Per satby above:

    People like me are outsiders no matter how long we live in rural areas. And though I was on friendly terms with a lot of my neighbors, a lot of them really are hateful people who were only decent to me because I was white and was decent first.

    That encapsulated perfectly the two decades experience of living in red, rurl Misery. And yes, everybody knew everybody’s politics, you just didn’t talk about them. The closest I came was when I wrote a letter to the country paper about a proposed railroad quiet zone (I wanted it). Several weeks later in the bar down along the river, one of my neighbors got on my case as an “outsider” and we damn near came to blows. That experience told me everything I needed to know about my Trump-loving, ignorant, cracker, bigoted neighbors.

    They’ve lived down to my expectations time and time again over the subsequent years.

  64. 64
    Schlemazel says:

    @cope:
    Did that. Today’s appointment was on there last time I checked along with 12/4. I assumed those were additional tests as there were more of them an none were labeled. I didn’t see a reason to check last week because, again assuming, they would actively inform me of any changes

    Oh, and the “office of patient experience” currently has a sign saying they stepped away and will be back at 9. It is now 9:24

  65. 65
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    And I believe that letting his political organization wither may have kelp us from maybe taking back the House later in his term.

    Well, gerrymandering and lies about ebola didn’t help.

  66. 66
    satby says:

    @Schlemazel: I’m so, so sorry. Can you stay there the week so you don’t have to drive in any bad weather?

  67. 67
    Miss Bianca says:

    @schrodingers_cat: And I wonder what would happen if we all collectively decided we just weren’t putting up with conservatives’ shit anymore and just called them on it whenever they decided to spew it, and refused to allow meepings of “civility!” to stop us from calling them on it.

    I’m not like Nancy SMASH – I don’t actually relish the conflict. But I’ve decided that I’m not going to shrink from it any more either.

  68. 68

    @Citizen Alan:

    I mean, they were both pretty racist, but I can see how a current Trump supporter would have seen them both as squishes and simply stayed home in disgust that no one was really appealing to their sense of petty white grievance.

    In moments like that, it’s good to remember that Hillary won the popular vote by a large margin, and Trump only won the electoral college with very close (and suspicious) wins in a handful of critical states. Even with an out and out racist on the ticket and serious attempts at ratfucking and voter suppression, the Republicans couldn’t come close to a majority.

  69. 69
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @schrodingers_cat: My step daughter married into a very conservative and religious family. We don’t talk politics, it’s a no go zone because they don’t want to get me started. That’s OK, they are otherwise pleasant people whose company I can enjoy. It always kind of gripes my tho when her FIL is always invited to give the blessing of the meal. I’m not sure if it’s because they think that as an atheist I have no opinion on the matter or if it’s because they are afraid of what my opinion might be. :-)

  70. 70
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I’m not like Nancy SMASH – I don’t actually relish the conflict. But I’ve decided that I’m not going to shrink from it any more either.

    I shy from political conflict except with friends and family, but I’ve decided this year I’m allowed to start saying “Happy Holidays” or some variation thereof again. Fuck the haters.

  71. 71
    Schlemazel says:

    @satby:
    Too expensive and I have to work.

    We just started for home (about 2 hours) and it is now snowing with high winds

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    Go back and re-read the stories that were published after the 2010 midterms. You may be astounded to realize that you’re remembering the events incorrectly and it was Congressional Democrats who asked Obama NOT to campaign with them because their voters were angry about PPACA.

    You should also include the keywords “medicare” and “rove” when you google about the 2010 midterms. Again, I have a feeling you will be astounded at the huge under-the-radar campaign that was run to convince old people that only the Republicans would protect Medicare.

    That was the first election where dark money flooded into Republican campaigns on the state and local level, and it showed. Sadly, far too many Democrats didn’t bother to follow the actual news and bought into the right wing’s propaganda (also purchased with dark money) both before and after the 2010 midterms.

  73. 73
    donnah says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I wrote a critical letter to the editor page of our local paper a few years ago. It was my reaction to some political storm and I made my feelings known civilly and politely.

    I got a letter in the mail soon after, from some guy who has written letters to the editor himself often, and is a real nutjob. He wrote twice, rambling diatribes about how dangerous the Democrats are and other angry rhetoric. It scared me, because he took the time and trouble to track me down and send hate mail. He knows my address. It made me uneasy for a long time, but I’ve never heard from him again. But I understand your reluctance to become more visiable.

  74. 74

    @Miss Bianca: I don’t go looking for conflict but if someone spouts RWNJ gibberish to my face or in any communication. I give it right back, because we are the stage where silence is complicity.

  75. 75
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    I mean, they were both pretty racist, but I can see how a current Trump supporter would have seen them both as squishes and simply stayed home in disgust that no one was really appealing to their sense of petty white grievance.

    Well, that’s probably true in some cases, but not with the electorate in aggregate. Romney got about 2 million more votes than Trump did.

    He also lied as freely as Trump, he just wasn’t as crude about it.

  76. 76
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @A Ghost To Most: IIRC greed beca e super ‘in’ and a massive good with Reagan. I remember articles about how ‘everything,esp tone’ changed with 80 election. Articles about how different the 70s had been.

  77. 77
    J R in WV says:

    @Raven:

    I know what you mean. I was in boot camp when the Nat Guard murdered and maimed students at Kent State who were mostly just walking between classes. Most of my fellow boots wanted to go kill them some peace-nic commies… really. I was rarely so upset with my future shipmates.

    And most of them were in the Navy to avoid being in the Army in the Nam. . . so strange. When I was a youngster most everyone was a Democrat around here, and now just as many are Trumpist Republicans who spit on Democrats figuratively, as long as there are no Democrats around to call them rude. It is a puzzle…

  78. 78
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @comrade scotts agenda of rage: I’ll never be a local and that’s just fine with me. They leave me alone, I’ll leave them alone. I get along just fine with my one neighbor, and with the landowner on the other side of us, while he and I have nothing in common but our land, on that we are perfectly aligned.

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Schlemazel:

    Ugh. If you didn’t have a chance to have a little talk with the Office of Patient Experience (ahem) before you had to leave, write them a paper letter when you get home and send a copy to the director of the clinic (you should be able to easily find that person’s name online). Especially today, people take paper letters sent with a stamp much, much more seriously than a fax or a phone call, and sending a copy to the clinic’s director at the same time lets that office know that they won’t be able to just bullshit you with no consequences, because the director’s office will be calling them, too.

  80. 80
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @donnah: If it was just me it would be different, but it’s not. It’s my wife too.

  81. 81
    Nicole says:

    My Republican sister-in-law and I talked politics over Thanksgiving and she’s… wavering. It’s one of those cases where when she articulates her positions, they’re all in line with the Democratic Party platform, but she’s identified so long as a Republican I think it’s akin to changing religion for her, even if she doesn’t really want to attend the GOP services any longer. She didn’t vote for Trump; she voted for what’s-his-face, which, not helpful, but also, good to know there was a line she couldn’t cross. And the GOP tax cut made her really angry because, as a small business owner, she’s getting hit very hard. So, I’m cautiously hopeful.

    Currently I’m reading “The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia,” by Masha Gessen, and it’s making me think about how much 20 years of FOX News and conservative radio has shaped American culture and how some of these folk, especially the ones that grew up on a diet of FOX, may not be reachable. They just don’t have the frame of reference to do anything else other than root for their team. I think it’d be just dandy if we started referring to FOX News viewers as addicts, because I think they are hooked on the resentment rush they get every day. I was that way when I first found Keith Olbermann’s show, but I had to stop watching because I realized the constant hit of anger and derision I got from him was turning me into someone I didn’t like. And he wasn’t spouting racism.

  82. 82
    raven says:

    @J R in WV: Yea and the guys I was with IN the Nam just wanted to unass that motherfucker, come home and flower out!

  83. 83
    Juice Box says:

    @Belafon: Why would Californians want to live in Iowa? Their kids would have to go to schools which teach abstinence education and deny science. Many Californians are immigrants, children of immigrants, or spouses of immigrants. Other Californians have same sex partners. Sure property is cheaper, but you pay for that in other ways. Also, we don’t do weather, it’s exhausting and there’s no beach.

  84. 84
    satby says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It actually would be really nice for them, and the damage it would do to everyone else doesn’t matter to them because they lack empathy.

    No, it wouldn’t be nice for them because they rely on government benefits of all kinds even though they vote for the people who come to cut them. They are the moochers sucking at the government teat that they accuse POC and undocumented immigrants of being. They’re continually shocked when their own benefits are endangered because they think they’re deserving and should get all the government largess. But the megarich want all social services and benefits cut, and red state voters just refuse to believe their white skin won’t protect them.

  85. 85

    @Kraux Pas:

    Also, I would argue that Trump’s resistance to our legal immigration procedures is a bigger affront to the law than unauthorized border crossings.

    This. Trump is blatantly ignoring the law in dealing with asylum seekers, and it’s only the most obvious way he’s illegally blocking immigration. The most recent Trump administration lawlessness I’ve read about is what’s happening in Guam. USCIS has been blanket denying all H2B visa applications and has been successfully sued by businesses filing them. They’ve continued to deny the visas, now claiming there’s no blanket denial even though they have approved exactly 0 of more than 700 applications.

  86. 86
    rikyrah says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    I dunno. In my most cynical and depressed moments, I wonder if Obama was only able to beat McCain and Romney because they weren’t racist enough. I mean, they were both pretty racist, but I can see how a current Trump supporter would have seen them both as squishes and simply stayed home in disgust that no one was really appealing to their sense of petty white grievance.

    No, I don’t think so.

    I keep on trying to remind folks that those denied the franchise in those key states, was 2-3 times the margin of Dolt45’s ‘ victory’.

  87. 87
    rikyrah says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    I dunno. In my most cynical and depressed moments, I wonder if Obama was only able to beat McCain and Romney because they weren’t racist enough. I mean, they were both pretty racist, but I can see how a current Trump supporter would have seen them both as squishes and simply stayed home in disgust that no one was really appealing to their sense of petty white grievance.

    I will also admit that I completely underestimated the misogyny in 2016. I didn’t understand the depth of it.
    Won’t make that problem again. Period.

  88. 88
  89. 89

    @Roger Moore: They have been doing this in every fucking visa category. Long term, short term, resident, non-resident, you name it.

  90. 90
    Elizabelle says:

    Had you guys seen this one? WaPost: This city is offering you $10,000 to move there

    Tulsa is aiming to attract people by offering those who work remotely and entrepreneurs $10,000 to move there. If they agree to stay for at least one year, the workers will receive cash that includes rent subsidies and stipends.

    The reader commenters are brutal. Real downsides to moving there. Change the culture, and you might change the tax base willing to move there.

  91. 91
    rikyrah says:

    @Schlemazel:

    sorry that they didn’t notify you. hang in there.

  92. 92
    The Moar You Know says:

    I keep wanting some of the companies in California to realize that there are good schools in states like Iowa and move part of their operations and people to those states. It would lower their costs, the costs for their employees, and move some Democrats into those states.

    @Belafon: They could move their operations, but I doubt they could move their people. Very few Californians would move to Iowa voluntarily. I certainly wouldn’t. There’s been talk of my employer relocating the HQ to South Carolina. I told them right up front that while it’s a nice place to visit, there is no way in hell I would relocate there, and if they choose to do so they can find a new CTO.

    I like my job, and my employer, and my position and salary, but not enough to leave this state.

  93. 93
    Nicole says:

    @satby:

    They are the moochers sucking at the government teat that they accuse POC and undocumented immigrants of being. They’re continually shocked when their own benefits are endangered because they think they’re deserving and should get all the government largess. But the megarich want all social services and benefits cut, and red state voters just refuse to believe their white skin won’t protect them.

    Oh, truth. I cut one of those (on permanent disability), and her Post Office retiree parents, this year. I just couldn’t take the racism and religious and sexual and gender bigotry anymore. I don’t begrudge them their safety net; I begrudge them their absolute lack of any kind of self-awareness and their utter embracing of their own assholeness.

  94. 94
    Achrachno says:

    @Butch: What did he say that was wrong? Young ambitious people have been leaving rural areas for decades. My ancestors fled the midwest (SD, IA) for CA in the 30s and the old home towns are barely hanging on. That process has not stopped and large swathes of the rural midwest have about as many ghost towns as live towns now. You can like rural life, many people do, but it’s hard to keep the majority down on the farm.

  95. 95

    @lurker dean:
    You can get a chronological timeline from classic Twitter. You just have to go into your account settings and disable “Show the best tweets first”. That’s slightly different from “realtwitter.com” because it includes replies and retweets, which are shown according to the time when they were retweeted by a person you’re following, not based on when they were originally tweeted.

  96. 96
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Roger Moore:

    USCIS has been blanket denying all H2B visa applications and has been successfully sued by businesses filing them. They’ve continued to deny the visas, now claiming there’s no blanket denial even though they have approved exactly 0 of more than 700 applications.

    We really do need a protocol for upper level government officials who refuse to uphold the law. See also LePage re: Medicaid expansion.

  97. 97
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @mark: Until late 70s
    IA was pretty liberal. Harkin won House seat in 74. There were good dem governors. Religious Right takeover of national GOP badly affected IA GOP. My nestdoor neighbor was precint chair for GOP and clearly didn’t know how to deal with new reality. I believe the change really hit IA with the massive national effort to stop the ERA. It was led in our college town by women in the local Mormon church. Part of the antiERA campaign was a massive ramping up of homophobia.

    Friends who defended the ERA in talks in nearby counties would come back telling how women there would talk about the dangers of ‘secular humanism’! What are they talki g about?? my friends would moan.

    The antiERA campaign was a major national RW campaign to ‘take back America.’ In other words, it was an early, extremely successful move to undo gains made by women (amd minorities) in the 60s.

  98. 98
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Because my name would be attached. And if my name is attached my place can be found and some whacko may think he needs to make a point, maybe by poisoning my dogs, or blowing up my mail box, or threatening my wife. The possibility of that terrifies me.

    I had to think about that too. Country people find it odd that, for me, living in a rural area was more scary than living in Chicago, because of my neighbors: armed, entitled, and primed to hate. I canvassed for Obama and put out a sign and caught a certain amount of grief that occasionally have me slight pause. But I also lived alone and so no one else was ever affected by my political activity. And by the time I hosted my hijab wearing exchange daughters, enough people liked me that I didn’t worry too much.
    But to be safe, I enrolled them in a school in St.Joe, not my local one.

  99. 99
    satby says:

    @lurker dean: thanks for that! I need to use realtwitter too.

  100. 100
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Achrachno: He said “anyone” with brains and ambition leaves, which implies that everyone who stays is a slack-jawed moron. Obviously that’s insulting and untrue. I didn’t take offense since I figured he was generalizing and didn’t mean to offend, but can’t you understand how someone could find such a broad-brush statement irritating?

  101. 101

    @Kraux Pas: Steven Miller clones are running the top echelons of our immigration bureaucracy. They are either Tanton think tank alumni or former congressional aides of Grassley and Sessions.

  102. 102
    The Moar You Know says:

    Why would Californians want to live in Iowa? Their kids would have to go to schools which teach abstinence education and deny science. Many Californians are immigrants, children of immigrants, or spouses of immigrants. Other Californians have same sex partners. Sure property is cheaper, but you pay for that in other ways. Also, we don’t do weather, it’s exhausting and there’s no beach.

    @Juice Box: I never think of this because I don’t have kids, but damn, the school system – yeah, I wouldn’t put any hypothetical children of mine into an Iowa public school for a week, never mind years.

    A few years back, I was in Ohio this time of year. 19 degrees. Ice on everything. It’s going to be 75 here today, it’s a cloudless blue sky with the sun shining on the palms and eucalyptus outside my office window. Why the fuck would I ever leave this?

  103. 103
    rikyrah says:

    @satby:

    They’re continually shocked when their own benefits are endangered because they think they’re deserving and should get all the government largess. But the megarich want all social services and benefits cut, and red state voters just refuse to believe their white skin won’t protect them.

    THIS THIS THIS

    A thousand times, this.

    I don’t remember his name, but he wrote an article at the Atlantic, after the 2016 election…

    His premise was…
    White people don’t mind SOCIALISM…

    as long as it’s WHITE SOCIALISM…..

    The problem that they have with Democratic Party principles is that the Democratic Party wants to apply them to EVERYONE.

    And, ICAM.

    They were against Obamacare because, and I will truly believe this…
    It was the first expansion of the American Social Safety Net that DID NOT – in its DESIGN – exclude huge swaths of the American Populace (unlike Social Security and Medicare).

    It took the John Roberts Court to do that.

  104. 104
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @MazeDancer:

    Finishing my batch of 32 Barrow cards today, mailing in time for first pick-up tomorrow. This is such a great thing you have done!

  105. 105
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Schlemazel:
    That sucks. They must have your contact info from when you registered as a patient. Situations like this are exactly why they ask for it.

    @Kraux Pas:
    “One two three four, five six seven eight! Schlemiel, schlamazel, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!”

  106. 106

    @Betty Cracker: That was insensitive but many T voters and Rs in general want to be loved and praised for their general meanness, stupidity and ignorance. They can say the nastiest thing about immigrants but I am not supposed to take offense because they have designated me as acceptable (for now). That was the attitude of my ex friend. Who was hurt when I cut her out of my life after she supported the travel ban.

  107. 107
  108. 108
    Barbara says:

    @The Moar You Know: South Carolina and Georgia will be blue before a lot of other states. The problem is that the outsiders trickle in and it takes at least a generation to change the political cast of the state because existing power structures start slanting the rules to maximize their hold on power. Virginia and North Carolina are the parallels, but the backlash has been fierce, leading Republicans to engage in voter suppression and gerrymandering that will be undone only very slowly. The same urban/rural divides are emerging within these states that exist in the country as a whole.

  109. 109
    p.a. says:

    OT vent: “Hi. Town Fair Tire” “Yeah I’d like an appointment for snow tire changeover. They’re on rims.” “You don’t need an appointment, just come in.”

    At the counter: “Waiting? 2, 2 1/2 hours.”
    “%##!%#**¥!”
    Of course, would it have been any different with an appointment?

  110. 110
    Brachiator says:

    The existence of this group does more than tell us about 136 women in a small county in Texas. Their experience of fear and intimidation challenges assumptions about democracy in the United States.

    There are a lot of reasons that people are reticent about speaking out about their politics.

    I remember that after Obama won, and some staff were openly pleased, some right wingers in an office I worked in here in Southern California became more taciturn, and sometimes refused to talk about politics at all with the larger group, but huddled with others who were like minded. I also recall being surprised that some people who I thought had brains, even if conservative, began spouting Fox News talking points. And at another time, a young woman who lived in Orange County actually admitted that she viewed where she lived as a fortress, which had to keep out the lazy welfare-driven blacks and Mexicans who wanted to take all that she had worked so hard for. These people were pumped for the descent of Trump.

    But obviously, feeling like a lonely political person besieged by a larger, unsympathetic group, is not limited to blue state souls living in red states.

    Also, when I visited relatives in Texas pre-Thanksgiving, everyone was pretty much on the same page politically, liberal to radical.

    The only forbidden subject was religion. No problem in my immediate family, but I never talk about being a non-believer with my sister’s in-laws. They would not be hostile, but cannot imagine that any person would not want to be wrapped in the loving arms of Baby Jesus.

  111. 111

    @satby:
    Their fight against government spending is only because they’re forced to share. Their ideal world would involve reversing Brown v. Board of Education and similar cases, or more likely just repealing the 13th through 15th Amendments on which those cases were built. That would let them build their ideal world of Whites Only socialism on the backs of poor minorities.

  112. 112
    joel hanes says:

    I’m retiring and moving back to my blue-purple hometown in Iowa.
    I know exactly what I’m getting into, and who the haters are, and how to live there anyway.
    Even on the edge of Steve King country, the regional medical center and community college give decency enough of an electoral edge that liberalism keeps the haters mostly at bay.

    As nearly as I can tell, Republicanism in my town (having culminated in the grand hate orgasm of Trumpism and support for the ever-more-offensive Steve King) is waning as people learn what was behind the mask of supposed conservative principle, and are sickened by what they find.

    Until the 2016 cycle, Iowa Democrats have suffered from a lack of strong candidates, and that continued with Hubbell. I think that the wave of engaged women who became activists over the last three years will provide the deep bench that solves that problem going forward.

    I look forward to defeating Earnst, and to Grassley’s demise.

  113. 113
    Nicole says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    That was insensitive but many T voters and Rs in general want to be loved and praised for their general meanness, stupidity and ignorance.

    Ha! That reminds me of an anecdote about the friend I mentioned above that I cut off ties with this year. Last year she wrote to me, complaining about her only gay friend (a former co-worker, friend of over ten years) who unfriended her on Facebook after she posted a homophobic comment and then, when he confronted her on it, doubled down. She was really, really upset he cut her off. I tried to be sympathetic, but I absolutely howled when she, in all her misery, wrote me that his final post to her on FB was an image of a drag queen, saying, “Not today, Satan.”

    And I totally envied him, then, for having the gonads to ditch her. Well, I caught up to him this year.

  114. 114
    Skepticat says:

    @Schlemazel:

    Got to Mayo only to find out that my appointments have been rescheduled to 12/4 but nobody told me.

    I can see where that might engender an incredibly strong urge to simply camp out in their waiting room for the week. We’d have brought you blankets, snacks, and adult beverages.

  115. 115

    @Brachiator: My in-laws, especially MIL is far more religious than I am. I usually don’t argue about religion with her but do stand my ground if she expects me perform certain rituals, since she can’t do them anymore after her husband passed away.
    In the orthodox formulation of Hinduism, widows are less than. I have encouraged her to continue doing those herself but she does not agree with my POV on this.

  116. 116
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): HEY!! A DEM won from OKC WON 1 of OK’s House seats!! AND in earlier state election a dem lesbian near Tulsa WON a seat in OK legislature!!

    So….EVEN IN OK!!!

  117. 117
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @p.a.: At my tire shop? Yes.

  118. 118
    Brachiator says:

    @Belafon:

    I keep wanting some of the companies in California to realize that there are good schools in states like Iowa and move part of their operations and people to those states. It would lower their costs, the costs for their employees, and move some Democrats into those states.

    Every January, people watch the Rose Bowl parade, see the sunshine and pleasing temperatures and diversity, and thousands think, “man, we should move to California!”

    I just don’t see more than a handful of people thinking, “yeah, let’s move to Iowa.”

    Actually, Iowa and some parts of Ohio, maybe the Columbus area, are good and are attracting people and businesses. But it’s still a tough sell for many. California just has too much to offer, not just in jobs, but in quality of life matters.

  119. 119
    James E Powell says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Sadly, far too many Democrats didn’t bother to follow the actual news and bought into the right wing’s propaganda (also purchased with dark money) both before and after the 2010 midterms.

    Sadly, far too many Democrats – including, at times, President Obama – bought into the right wing’s propaganda.

  120. 120
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: AND 3 of 4 IA House seats are now held by dems!! And GOP had to defend Steve King from a surpringly strong dem challeger!!

  121. 121

    @Brachiator: Look at how foreign born doctors who moved to rural areas have been treated by this administration. Why would anyone want to go there?

  122. 122

    @cain: You wouldn’t think “competent” and “honest” would be too big an ask, would you? But it seems to be so.

    @joel hanes: Where are you moving? I lived in Waterloo/Cedar Falls for 20 years until this July.

  123. 123
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @p.a.: Where I go, if they expect a longer than usual wait, they will drive you home and then come get you when the car is ready. And they have decent coffee too

  124. 124
    Peej01 says:

    I currently live in a deep Blue state (MD) but will be moving to Nebraska in time for the 2020 general election to be close to family…and the fact that it’s considerably cheaper to live there for a retired person. At least I’m moving to Omaha and not rural Nebraska…and, since Nebraska apportions it’s electoral votes by Congressional District, there’s a chance that district might go Blue.

  125. 125
    JPL says:

    @Kraux Pas: President T will simply say he is the most bipartisan president ever, and the news will report it that way.

  126. 126
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    My in-laws, especially MIL is far more religious than I am. I usually don’t argue about religion with her but do stand my ground if she expects me perform certain rituals, since she can’t do them anymore after her husband passed away.
    In the orthodox formulation of Hinduism, widows are less than. I have encouraged her to continue doing those herself but she does not agree with my POV on this.

    At best, I acknowledge stuff like this, but cannot participate or indulge it. And I might not say this to someone in a similar circumstance, but I find any religion cruel that causes sadness or puts a barrier between the divine and a believer because of gender.

    Some of my sister’s in-laws believe the version of Christianity that believes that the man should be the head of the household. I think my sister’s husband believed this when they first got married, but she cured him of this silliness.

    Maybe trivial, but related. Eons ago, I had a girlfriend whose brand of Christianity insisted that women should not dance or wear jewelry. She loved to dance and wear jewelry, and felt great guilt that she was “failing” her religion. I sympathized with her, but could only watch her feel tortured over her supposed lack of true faith.

  127. 127
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Brachiator: A guy I used to know moved to Iowa for retirement.

  128. 128
    Kraux Pas says:

    @JPL:

    President T will simply say he is the most bipartisan president ever, and the news will report it that way.

    You forgot the part where “Democrats disagree” and “What’s the truth? Who knows? Who’s supposed to be keeping records on this stuff?”

  129. 129

    @Kraux Pas:

    We really do need a protocol for upper level government officials who refuse to uphold the law. See also LePage re: Medicaid expansion.

    Jail time for contempt seems like a reasonable recourse. In the case of LePage, I think elections would have caught up to him pretty quickly. It’s no coincidence that Maine voters elected a Democratic governor and big Democratic majorities in both houses of the state legislature.

  130. 130
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    I keep on trying to remind folks that those denied the franchise in those key states, was 2-3 times the margin of Dolt45’s ‘ victory’.

    Yep. Beto came very, very close to unseating Ted Cruz in a state where, if a clerk misspelled your name on your birth certificate when you were born, the state authorities demand that you spend $250 to legally change your name to the correct spelling before you’re allowed to vote.

    That’s the kind of petty shit our voters are up against.

  131. 131
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Elizabelle: Tulsa and OKC are better than the rest of the state. The
    Tulsa mayor seems fairly reasonable. (He’s a friend of my nephew and family. Not sure of nephew, but brother is super, major, unabashed RW.)

  132. 132
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Peej01: Omaha is a nice enough town. It’s just so far from anything interesting.

  133. 133

    @Brachiator: Almost all religions place the man above the woman. If there is an exception to this, I don’t know it. Religion is a way to cement and formalize male chauvinism.

  134. 134
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Jail time for contempt seems like a reasonable recourse

    Well, until I see it happening, I’m not holding my breath. Still cheered by the notion of a jailed Trump. Maybe he could spend the time writing about his struggles, largely plagiarized of course.

    ETA: Can one preside over the nation from jail?

  135. 135
    JPL says:

    Was Mueller suppose to update the judge on Manafort’s plea deal today?

  136. 136
    Butter Emails!!! says:

    @Brachiator:

    Actually, Iowa and some parts of Ohio, maybe the Columbus area, are good and are attracting people and businesses. But it’s still a tough sell for many. California just has too much to offer, not just in jobs, but in quality of life matters.

    Well, California does provide the occasional preview of climate change driven Armageddon. Of course it’s a coin flip as to whether anthropogenic enhanced fires, mud slides and drought get you before geology does.

  137. 137
    NotMax says:

    @Roger Moore

    Maine voters elected a Democratic governor

    Has the incoming gov said anything about restoring to its place the mural LePage ordered removed from the Dept. of Labor?

  138. 138

    Kelly’s blonde protege has bought herself and her mentor some reprieve from Orange Spite by teargasing little kids.

  139. 139
    Gravenstone says:

    @Betty Cracker: People need to be willing to seek out those alternatives in order to experience and possibly grow from them. Instead, the proliferation of ideologically slanted outlets, of all stripes has made epistemic closure that more alluring.

  140. 140
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just One More Canuck: A couple years ago I had a front wheel bearing start to talk when I was 6 miles or so out of town. By the time I got to town it was literally screaming and I wondered if I’d make to the shop. Could feel it clunking as I turned into the lot. I went in an told them what was up. T went out and took one look at it and said, “Yep, it’s gone.” Most of the mechanics were gone for the day and my wife was in Spain. When I explained my situation I was hoping for a ride home. Next thing I knew the truck was in a bay and on a lift as T and H (another front desk guy) went to work on it. One hour later I drove home and they each had an extra $20 in their pocket to buy lunch with.

  141. 141

    @Barbara:

    Republicans to engage in voter suppression and gerrymandering that will be undone only very slowly.

    I think it may be undone very suddenly, but it will take awhile to reach that point, because once it’s gone, they can’t get it back.

    @schrodingers_cat:

    many T voters and Rs in general want to be loved and praised for their general meanness, stupidity and ignorance.

    As I have said many times, assholes demand to be praised for being assholes. It’s one of the reasons they’re assholes. Evangelicals are a fine example, crowing about how righteous they are hurting other people, and treating anyone disagreeing with them as oppression. Look also at the Kavanaugh hearings, and how the whole Republican Party were infuriated that Democrats would dare object just because Kavanaugh is a rapist.

  142. 142
    Ohio Mom says:

    I gave my cousin’s husband wide berth but did hear him from another room complaining that Medicare costs too much “because of Obamacare.” (He didn’t start on Medicare until after the ACA so I don’t know what his basis of comparison is, but no matter.)

    Of course I completely agree with him that all medical coverage in this country of ours costs too much.

    I was tempted to go into the sun room to tell him so, and to point out the solution is obviously some sort of single payer but I really don’t respect him and bough to give him that much attention.

  143. 143
    dm says:

    @Juice Box: Iowa was the third state to adopt marriage equality (thanks to their Supreme Court, but the legislature ratified it).

    It ranks fifth in the nation in higher education and eighth in the nation for K-12. (https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/iowa).

    The median home price in Iowa is $160,000, and the average commute is under 20 minutes.

    As far back as the nineties Iowa led the nation in terms of broadband penetration.

    Can’t help you on the weather, though.

    All that said, I’m not moving back, but I can see how some might be tempted.

  144. 144
    Schlemazel says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Thanks I was going to call but I like your idea better

  145. 145
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I frequently don’t live up to it, but my goal is to be a better person than those assholes.

  146. 146
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @The Moar You Know: Son graduated IA public school in a college town in 86. Kids from that school went on to Harvard, Stanford, Yale, etc, etc, etc. I realize a great deal has changed in IA–and NATIONALLY –since then.

    Note on how things have changed in last 50 yrs. When I graduated HS in Tulsa in 1957, 2 of the high schools in Tulsa were on the list of the best (maybe top 10? It was a looong time ago!)high schools in the country. Kids from our class went to Rice, Hatvatd, Yale, etc, etc.

  147. 147
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Nebraska is beautiful. To me anyway.

  148. 148
    joel hanes says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    River City, next station stop
    River City next

    (actually, to Clear Lake if I can swing it)

  149. 149

    @Betty Cracker: I don’t think standing up to those assholes makes me a bad person.

  150. 150
    Kelly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: We’re in area that went 70/30 trump. All county commissioners are R’s. Our home overlooks a popular county park across the river. I thought our deck railing would be a great place for some political signs. My wife is very liberal but is unequivocally against it and she’s right.

  151. 151
    Jeffro says:

    @Nicole:

    …20 years of FOX News and conservative radio has shaped American culture and how some of these folk, especially the ones that grew up on a diet of FOX, may not be reachable. They just don’t have the frame of reference to do anything else other than root for their team. I think it’d be just dandy if we started referring to FOX News viewers as addicts, because I think they are hooked on the resentment rush they get every day.

    Amen to all of this. They’re goners.

    Only thing we can do is try to get the big money/dark money out, campaign everywhere, campaign on voting rights/access, and hope that we keep our majorities together long enough to outlast them. The core FOX audience is just gone, cognitively speaking.

  152. 152
    Barbara says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Overt gerrymandering could get undone only every 10 years depending on who happens to be in office when redistricting occurs. Even last year, in Virginia, the House of Delegates still retained Republican control specifically because of gerrymandering, and probably a little because of voter ID laws. This in a state that has not elected a Republican to a statewide state office since 2009, but that election meant that 2010 redistricting was incredibly favorable to Republicans. So maybe in 2022 there will be a sizable Democratic majority in the HOD and senate — 18 years after the last Republican won a statewide federal election (George Bush’s second term in 2004). That’s what I’m talking about.

  153. 153
    Schlemazel says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    We have that problem here every time we talk about how shitty Texas, Florida ect are. Yeah it is stereotyping and it is unfair but there is a germ of truth because a significant majority are mouth breathing knuckle dragging morons and they are presenting the state as such. I don’t know how to talk about those places without #notallIowans or similar
    #notallmen
    #notallwhitepeople

  154. 154
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    complaining that Medicare costs too much “because of Obamacare.”

    I rather suspect that is absolutely the truth. Providing more medical care to more people costs more money. Who’da thunk it? Of course, what is left unsaid is the amount of money saved by capturing illnesses earlier and the increased productivity of people who aren’t ill.

    Funny how they never want to look at both sides of that equation.

  155. 155
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    Just called my federal representatives (all Dems) to ask them to oppose and investigate the teargassing of asylum-seekers on the Mexican side of the border. There’s legally established process for evaluating asylum claims and teargassing is not it. I’m more of a law-and-order person – in the sense of actually wanting rule of law and due process – than I realized.

  156. 156
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Rolling hills beat the pool table of Illinois, I’ll give you that. Three and a half years of being 10 hours from anywhere was enough for me. My step-brother said Minot AFB was Omaha x 10.
    At least Omaha is a nice place.

  157. 157
    Neldob says:

    @Butch: The corpratizing (corporationizing?) of farms has been a bummer on many levels. The creation of a swath of right-wing digbats in rural areas is one of them.

  158. 158
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @joel hanes: Good for you. My ex and son in center of IA and were pitched into King’s district when IA House Reps went to 4. When we moved to IA in 68, IA was quite liberal. It was a change from grad school in CA but then where wouldn’t have been then?!?! It was still a very far cry from OK, where I grew up in tne 40s and 50s!

  159. 159

    @Barbara:

    Overt gerrymandering could get undone only every 10 years depending on who happens to be in office when redistricting occurs.

    And what I am saying is that once the overt gerrymandering is broken, they are unlikely to be in office to do the redistricting.

  160. 160
    Shana says:

    @CliosFanBoy: I once had the “If you can’t trust me with choice how can you trust me with a child” bumpersticker taken off my car in the parking garage at Dulles. Granted, it was about 10 years ago, but I’m always kind of surprised my D bumperstickers are still there when I return from a trip.

  161. 161
    lurker dean says:

    @Roger Moore: i do have it unchecked, but noticed i haven’t seen certain tweeters for weeks. but then i saw them on realtwitter, or by applying the filter: filter:follows -filter:replies. i think there may be another algorithm even when you uncheck.

  162. 162
    Schlemazel says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    One of the things that drove us out of Florida was how awful Brevard schools were. I told the story here before of my son in the advanced algebra class at Titusville High. 40 kids in the class 20 were learning and 20 the teacher allowed to sit in a corner and play cards ad joke during class.

  163. 163
    Mandalay says:

    A tweet this morning from George Papadopoulos, who starts his two week sentence in the slammer today:

    Still can’t believe the day I am going to a federal prison camp, mainstream media says am going for my Russia contacts. I have never met a single Russian official in my life. I have, however, met many western intel sources—Joseph Mifsud—who people still call “Russian.” Facts. USA

    He conveniently forgot to mention that he admitted lying to the feds.

  164. 164
    Spanky says:

    @JPL: The news orgs are evolving. CNN, for instance, seems to have discovered that it has no more fucks left to give.

  165. 165
    JR says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: it’s because liberalism is inherently accommodating. Free speech and universal suffrage are not strategies for consolidating power. Leftist authoritarianism has happened — Jacobinism and Bolshevism — not really something to aspire to.

  166. 166
    Schlemazel says:

    @Amir Khalid: yes and the scheduler I talked to today claims the one that made the changes called me but there is no record of any call

  167. 167
    Schlemazel says:

    @Skepticat: if I were prone to violence . . .

  168. 168
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Betty Cracker: Just read this recently:

    Be the person your dog thinks you are.

  169. 169
    Joe Falco says:

    The wife and I chose to spend Thanksgiving with friends and eating out at a Korean buffet. There was no clean up on our part, and what we paid was about what we would have spent on making a traditional meal. Afterwards, we spent the night playing party games on Jackbox Games 5, which I recommend to everyone.

  170. 170
  171. 171
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodingers_cat: It seems like we’re talking past each other, so, uh, never mind?

  172. 172
    Michael Cain says:

    @Juice Box:

    Why would Californians want to live in Iowa?

    The California Diaspora is a thing, but… I dabble with interstate migration statistics and a good-sized majority of the out-migration from California stays in the contiguous western states. Interstate migration in the West is overwhelmingly between the major metropolitan areas. Necessarily so — by population the West is, using Census Bureau definitions, the least-rural of the CB’s four regions. The Diaspora is a factor in the ongoing “bluing” of the West. Not the only factor, but there’s an effect.

  173. 173
    Brachiator says:

    @Schlemazel:

    We have that problem here every time we talk about how shitty Texas, Florida ect are.

    i’m from Texas. Parts of it are shitty. Probably always will be.

  174. 174
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @A Ghost To Most: A buddy of mine spent all 4 years of his hitch at Ellsworth. The Black Hills are beautiful but Rockin’ Rapid doesn’t really.

  175. 175
    Josie says:

    @Butch:

    I agree with this. Further, I find the tendency of some commenters to make broad assumptions about others based on age brackets or places they choose to live, among other things, to be disturbing. It is so easy to paint with a broad brush and feel superior to others when we know nothing about their feelings and/or lives.

  176. 176
    Kelly says:

    @chopper:

    “they’re all crooks!”

    This is an old one that started setting me off during the when they started saying the climate scientists were in it for the money. Really got me fired up since the Obamacare debate. No DAMMIT, the democrats are try to do good reasonable things!!

  177. 177
    Schlemazel says:

    @Roger Moore:
    St, Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman quit when he discovered the real game. He wrote a book about it that has been widely ignored. He was a true believer in the supply-side bullshit but he quickly discovered he was alone. The inner circle, the boys pushing the agenda had one goal, to bankrupt the Federal government and cripple it so it could no longer do anything other than fund DoD.

    50 years later & I think they are very close to their goal

  178. 178
    daryljfontaine says:

    @Joe Falco: We did the new Jackbox set on T-Day as well. That Robot Rap Battle game is freakin’ hilarious if you have a game crowd.

    D

  179. 179
    Tazj says:

    I didn’t intend to discuss politics with my family but ended up doing so anyway. One sister who voted for BS in the primary and Hillary in the general started everything off by mentioning that Hillary was running again for president. I quickly told her that she wasn’t and nobody had anything to worry about in that regard. This started the rant by my nephew stating how horrible Hillary and the Democrats were and criticizing Pelosi. This really upset me because my sister believed something completed fabricated and my nephew seemed to hate Democrats and blame them more than Republicans. Like hey, all you old lady Democrats the whole thing is your fault.
    I confront one of my two conservative sisters on a case by case basis. She didn’t vote for Trump or anyone for president but believes good can come out of the situation. Children are in cages and now being gassed, this is an atrocity. She said the ACA wasn’t working because young people didn’t buy in. I said it wasn’t perfect but it helped millions of people and the Republicans sabotaged it.

  180. 180
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    About 20 years ago, I thought maybe the internet would cure rural blight by bringing greater access to knowledge, increasing interaction between cultures, and opening up new opportunities via telecommuting. None of that seems to have panned out so far, or at least not in a sufficiently widespread way.

    There are still tech utopians who believe that the Internets can sprout virtual communities with libertarian or progressive values.

    Some of this has happened. And it is interesting to see how tech savvy farmers, for example, use the Internet to help become even more productive in the modern age.

    But here’s the irony. The Internet, and the easy dissemination of facts, has been the greatest threat to the ignorant in the history of mankind. Problem is, the ignorant decided to fight back. Some people desperately want to cling to “The Truth” as they know it or as was passed down to them. And so they look for media and web sites which reinforce what they want to be true. Or they create outposts of ignorance to protect themselves from the onslaught of undesirable information. And this is a universal problem, not just an American one.

    The other unexpected consequence is that the Internet lets the stupid, the hateful and the bigoted find like-minded fools at the speed of light, greatly magnifying the ability of idiots to find aid and comfort.

  181. 181
    Kelly says:

    @Brachiator: The Red parts of Blue Oregon are plenty shitty. Mostly rural but Roseburg is a big town for the area and overrun with wackos. Only a few days after the community college mass shooting the sheriff started ranting in press conferences about protecting the 2nd amendment. Locals love him.

  182. 182
    VOR says:

    @Brachiator: Second Civil War? We’re in the late stages of the First Civil War! The North won the armed conflict. But the South waited out reconstruction and re-imposed Jim Crow. There are a lot of people still waving Confederate Flags. My nephew, who has lived his entire life in a Union state, referred to it as The War of Northern Aggression and sports a huge Confederate flag belt buckle to go with his Duck Dynasty beard. Sherman had the right idea.

  183. 183
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @Belafon: In the early eighties, HP moved a printer factory to Spokane, Washington. Relocating employees had so much cash from selling Silicon valley homes that they built mansions in Spokane Valley. I remember four-car garages and rooms dedicated to gift wrapping.

  184. 184
    Schlemazel says:

    @Brachiator:
    if you like 4 hour commutes and endless strip malls. Then ignore the wildfires and mudslides.

    Parts of the state are gorgeous and many places have ideal climate but having been a visitor to the bay area over the last 60 years and having family in Orange County we have visited a few times it is not attractive to me. If I were a billionaire I’d have a place by Julian or Banner as a get away and maybe a place like Willow Creek.

  185. 185
    Barbara says:

    @Juice Box: Why would Californians want to live in Idaho, Nevada or Arizona or New Mexico? But they do.

  186. 186
    Kelly says:

    @Mike in Pasadena: Same thing when Intel moved several thousand jobs from Silicon Valley to Hillsboro, OR.

  187. 187
    Joe Falco says:

    @daryljfontaine:
    Our favorite game of that set is Split the Room. The what-if scenarios are great with a large enough gathering of players. The challenge to create a what-if scenario that doesn’t go too far to become one-sided can be frustrating but very rewarding when executed.

    We also enjoyed Patently Stupid a lot as well as you’ll often have people of varying drawing talent trying to describe their inventions. The only drawback is the long set-up to get to the actual presentations.

    If I have to pick my favorite game from all of Jackbox Game sets, it would have to be Fibbage 3. It’s the game where the person who can bullshit the most convincing lie wins. It’s fantastic, and the theme music is an earworm that you won’t mind getting stuck in your head.

  188. 188
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    Maybe it is a second civil war.

    That’s considered crazy talk on Balloon Juice. Or so I’m told.

  189. 189
    Michael Cain says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    About 20 years ago, I thought maybe the internet would cure rural blight by bringing greater access to knowledge, increasing interaction between cultures, and opening up new opportunities via telecommuting. None of that seems to have panned out so far, or at least not in a sufficiently widespread way.

    I worked in the industry all through the 1990s. Below a certain population density — think a town of a few thousand people — broadband internet access service is a money loser. The fixed costs for cabling, electronics, and maintenance of those is simply too high unless it can be spread across enough subscribers.

    Anecdotally, when I worked for the state legislature here, and a bill that would have provided broadband subsidies in rural areas had failed, I spoke with one of the rural members. His summary basically came down to, “Telling the Front Range suburbs that they’re not ‘real’ Colorado, and are out of touch with ‘real Colorado values’, which my rural colleagues have done for years, is not a good warm-up for coming hat-in-hand to ask for another subsidy.”

  190. 190
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    That was insensitive but many T voters and Rs in general want to be loved and praised for their general meanness, stupidity and ignorance.

    Yep. As someone said above, they think that the mean and bigoted things they say are “truth” and they get mad if you point out that their “truth” is not actually factual.

  191. 191
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @waratah: Yes, Beto sums it up well. Thank you for the link.

  192. 192
    L85NJGT says:

    The oil industry abandoned Tulsa for Houston, for the reasons stated above – executives, and high skill technical workers, do not want to live in the land of Oral Roberts. Most of the aviation work has gone for the same reason. It also lacks large public sector institutions, which serve as cultural and economic drivers for small and mid-sized cities.

  193. 193
    Mandalay says:

    @Brachiator:

    quality of life matters

    It does indeed. I live in south Florida, and the weather trumps everything else for me. When folks here trash Florida they never mention where they live themselves. They just want to engage in virtue signaling, and claim some imagined moral superiority for not living in a shitty place like Florida.

    I am just grateful that those knuckledraggers don’t want to live here.

  194. 194
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Michael Cain:

    The California Diaspora is a thing

    We’re receiving a number of post-fire refugee Californians here in New Mexico, although we’re not quite contiguous and the surfing is lacking. But, the landscape is beautiful, the weather is good, and we’re increasingly blue. Education and the economy are serious challenges, though. Hopefully our new blue governor and state legislature can usher in much-needed improvements.

  195. 195
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    About 20 years ago, I thought maybe the internet would cure rural blight by bringing greater access to knowledge, increasing interaction between cultures, and opening up new opportunities via telecommuting.

    Instead, rural ignorance was exported into a fertile feeding ground of idiots just smart enough to use a computer.

  196. 196
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mike in Pasadena: Their office laser printer division is or was in Boise. I visited there a lot in the early 2000s. Similar deal– those engineers all had huge houses.

  197. 197
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mandalay:

    When folks here trash Florida they never mention where they live themselves.

    I live in Hawaii and quite happily trash Florida’s unique brand of crazy and self-inflicted suffering.

  198. 198
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Barbara:

    Why would Californians want to live in Idaho, Nevada or Arizona or New Mexico?

    Ahem. New Mexican here. A great place to live. Fewer fires and mudslides, for starters. No tornadoes, earthquakes, or hurricanes either. It’s a blue state and the food’s really good. :)

  199. 199
    NotMax says:

    @TenguPhule

    Different flavor, but we in Hawaii have the pink license plate wackos.

  200. 200
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: the guys I go to aren’t the cheapest around, but I know they’re good – I don’t mind paying a bit extra for peace of mind

  201. 201
    Michael Cain says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: New Mexico is part of the “contiguous western states” as I, and the Census Bureau, use the term. It’s a block of 11 from the Rockies to the Pacific. Sorry for not making that clear.

  202. 202
    Ruckus says:

    @mark:
    There are counties in CA which have larger populations than several states. Combined. And there are 58 counties in CA. Yes some of them are rural and have lowish populations. Alpine has 1,120, LA has 10,163,507. Eight of them have populations over a million, some well over. A few more are close to that.
    Even in the house we are under represented because of the house rule that limits the number of members rather than the number of constituents per house member. Not sure if more house members would make it better or more unruly but it would at least be fair.
    There is nothing wrong with a state having a small population but in a representative government it is wrong that populations are unevenly and unfairly represented.

  203. 203
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Yeah, even if for some reason the spouse and I needed to leave California, we would probably stay in the West if we have a choice (most likely Oregon or Washington). I suppose there’s a possibility we might have to go back to IL for family reasons, but that’s pretty safely blue, too.

  204. 204
    Mandalay says:

    @Mike S (Now with a Democratic Congressperson!):

    Get more States! Approve Statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. which already have majorities that want it.

    Support for statehood within Puerto Rico seems underwhelming. In a 2017 referendum 97% supported it, but there was only a 23% turnout. So although people who care about the issue overwhelmingly support a path to statehood, it seems that most are indifferent.

    Why should a majority in Congress be expected to support statehood for Puerto Rico when a majority of Puerto Ricans don’t seem to care?

  205. 205
    NotMax says:

    @Mandalay

    Not indifferent. There were a lot of problems associated with that referendum and a consequent active and widespread boycott of it, resulting in the low turnout.

  206. 206
    Hob says:

    @Elizabelle: I know someone who did that Tulsa residency deal—a queer nonbinary cartoonist. They described it as a helpful gig for a year, but not something one would want to do for longer than that.

  207. 207
    catclub says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    I think that starts with massive investment in education, knowing that it won’t necessarily bear fruit for a generation.

    North Carolina tried this in the fifties. It nearly worked!

  208. 208
    Neldob says:

    @Ohio Mom: Sometimes I just tell people that if they tell me their politics I’m going to tell them mine and I know they don’t want to hear mine. That ends a few rants. Of course the not having a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent also applys.

  209. 209
    catclub says:

    @TenguPhule: When ISIS makes great strides using the internet for spreading, how could the racists and the nazis be far behind?

    Law of unintended consequences will not be ignored.

  210. 210
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator:

    communities with libertarian or progressive values.

    I think community and libertarian is a contradiction in terms. The deep lesson of every man for himself, doesn’t really jibe with
    community.

  211. 211
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    Different flavor, but we in Hawaii have the pink license plate wackos.

    Yes, but none of us are daft enough to swim with alligators.

  212. 212
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:
    I moved to OH and worked there for 11 yrs. Over all it wasn’t that bad. Of course most of the people I knew, who were from OH wanted to leave, but one member of the household wouldn’t leave, or mom didn’t want to move… I heard two guys at the gym talking one day, first – I thought you were moving, second – waiting for the kid to graduate HS, tomorrow is his last day, and we are fucking out of here. This was rather common, love it or can’t stand it. When I quit my job I’d spent a year deciding what to do but where to live took about 5 minutes. It wasn’t a difficult decision. I’ve traveled to 46 states, lived in 4 of them, I knew where I didn’t want to live.

  213. 213
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Michael Cain: Thank you for the clarification. Based on my quickie research into Census classifications, New Mexico and California are part of Region 4 (West), but not in the same Divisions (8-Mountain and 9-Pacific, respectively). So we’re somewhat geographically linked, but not contiguous, which means being in actual contact, touching along a boundary or at a point.

  214. 214
    Ruckus says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Maths are hard! There is actual thinking involved!

  215. 215
    The Moar You Know says:

    the food’s really good.

    @O. Felix Culpa: This mostly lifelong San Diego resident knows Mexican food. Even NorCal’s is just not up to snuff (I lived there 13 years, and NorCal is great, except their Mexican food, which…is shit. There. I said it. It is shit. Been waiting years to say that.)

    Yours is damn fine. Everything I had there was fantastic. It’s not SoCal Mexican food (Mexican food is very regional) but it can stand shoulder to shoulder with ours, no shame. The whole red tribe/green tribe thing is odd. They’re both great.

  216. 216
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:

    Arizona (where I’ve lived for almost 40 years now, most of my adult life) is overall a conservative state, and always has been. However, it’s less so than ever before and has even become a light shade of purple federally, with 5 of 9 House of Rep districts now in Democratic hands (had been 4 of 9 from ’16). And Kyrsten Sinema, of course, as our new U.S. Senator (replacing that well-known Profile-in-Courage, Jeff Flake).

    Complex set of reasons for this slight nudge to the left for U.S. Congress (the state lege and governator still R, unsurprisingly), but it’s mostly due to better turnout for Dem voters in Maricopa County (the mostly-Dem city of Phoenix and its mostly-R suburbs, along with lots of very empty desert) and in Tucson (highest concentration of Dems in the state).

    Some rural voters voting Dem helped, certainly (especially in the very-rural Congressional district #1 — held by Democratic-incumbent Tom O’Halleran — comprising the enormous north- and central-eastern portion of the state, containing the Navajo, Hopi, Apache, and Pima Indian Rez’s, along with a number of small, mostly Mormon farming communities, and the small-ish college town of Flagstaff).

    But it was mostly better turnout among urban voters that flipped Congressional district #2 (containing about 2/3 of Tucson) from R to D, and provided Sinema her margin of victory. So, no, don’t “abandon” the conservative rural areas, but, really, the focus (in AZ, anyway) needs to stay on urban voter turnout.

  217. 217
    Mandalay says:

    @NotMax: You may well be right, but whatever the details of the infighting, I suspect Congress is unlikely to support a push for statehood based on those numbers. Heaven helps those who help themselves.

    I think Washington D.C. has a much stronger case.

  218. 218
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Schlemazel: I remember when Stockman went public with his ‘seeing the light’ moment. It was still possible at that time to be somewhat honestly shocked and surprised when finding out what was really going on behind closed doors.

  219. 219
    Brachiator says:

    @Mandalay:

    It does indeed. I live in south Florida, and the weather trumps everything else for me. When folks here trash Florida they never mention where they live themselves. They just want to engage in virtue signaling, and claim some imagined moral superiority for not living in a shitty place like Florida.

    Never really trashed Florida for being Florida, although it is obviously the butt of jokes recently. And with some reason.

    OTOH, I feel superior to the ignorant and bigoted, wherever they live. And there’s no shame in being ignorant. Only shame in remaining so.

    As always, your mileage may vary.

  220. 220
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    The real solution to Deplorableville is the stop it being Deplorableville, the Derpstates need to be brought into the 21st century kicking and screaming like the New Deal had to do to get them into the 20th Century. But there is no future in a state who whole economy is farming and mining.

  221. 221
    Brachiator says:

    @catclub:

    I think community and libertarian is a contradiction in terms. The deep lesson of every man for himself, doesn’t really jibe with community.

    Human beings are social animals, even libertarians who pretend not to be.

  222. 222
    Mandalay says:

    @Brachiator:

    OTOH, I feel superior to the ignorant and bigoted, wherever they live.

    Except Florida is a 49.5%/50.5% state, and when folks trash “Florida” they are implicitly trashing everyone who lives there.

    Posters on BJ would never dream of trashing (say) people of color or lesbians or immigrants as a group, though there are undoubtedly many assholes in those groups. Yet they happily toss that mindset out the window when it comes to trashing states that don’t meet their level of approval.

  223. 223
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @L85NJGT: Not completely true.

    1) Oil moved yrs before Oral Roberts U opened. Altho the ministry was here. (Tent ministry was started in 47, I think,).

    2) The reason the oil companies moved, so we in Tulsa were told, was thar TX had no income tax when they moved. And execs wanted TO KEEP THEIR MONEY!!

    Before they moved Tulsa had an annual?? International Oil Exposition. It was a fabulous thing to go to.

    The U of Tulsa still has a pretty strong oil engineering program I believe. A result of the oil industroy being centered here.

    Their are still oil exec/founder mansions in Tulsa.

    The Phillips petroleum company–the family mansion Philbrook was donated to Tulsa for an art museum. The Philtower building in downtown Tulsa was theirs and was donated to the Boy Scouts. As was their Philmont Ranch.

  224. 224
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: PETROLEUM ENGINEERING!!! And what I think is a major publication–the Oil and Gas Journal–is in Tulsa.

  225. 225
    Betty Cracker says:

    @TenguPhule: Never had the pleasure of visiting Hawaii and have met very few residents of the state in person or online. But you have singlehandedly exploded the “laid back, friendly Hawaiian” stereotype for me. So, thanks for that. I think.

  226. 226
    Barbara says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: I like New Mexico. I am not trashing it or the other states, just pointing out that many Californians have been decamping to multiple states that might not have California’s attribute for some time now.

  227. 227

    @Betty Cracker: From your photos, Florida looks lovely. I would certainly love to visit. More than the infamous Florida man or woman, its the Florida critters that I am most afraid of. The gators, the pythons and most of all the flying roaches.

  228. 228
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker: two decades of being told by white people on the mainland “Oh you’re from Hawaii, how do you like being in the United States for the first time?” can leave one embittered.

  229. 229
    Michael Cain says:

    @Barbara:

    …just pointing out that many Californians have been decamping to multiple states that might not have California’s attribute for some time now.

    With tongue only somewhat in cheek, I have suggested in the past that westerners in general require that some version of this happen from time to time — city skyline with snow-capped peaks in the background. I’m not sure Phoenix can manage it any more, even as a fluke. Maybe substitute monsoon thunderstorms.

  230. 230
    Ian R says:

    @Mandalay:

    Except Florida is a 49.5%/50.5% state, and when folks trash “Florida” they are implicitly trashing everyone who lives there.

    I mostly trash it for the weather, but I’m one of those wackos who describes 10 degree (F) days as “crisp”. Glad that the folks who live there like it, but Florida would be hell for me.

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