Open Thread: Could the Narrative Be Shifting?

Probably too much to hope from our Media Village Idiots, but still… “Why Democrats refuse to pay Trump’s ransom in the shutdown fight”:

I think there are several factors playing out simultaneously. For example, congressional Dems care about the efficacy of public policy, and they realize that a giant border wall is a bad idea. It’s from this starting point that Dems’ spines were stiffened by multiple independent polls, each of which showed the American mainstream rejecting the president’s idea and blaming Republicans for the shutdown.

Relatedly, Democratic leaders know that Democratic voters would never forgive them if they simply caved to the White House’s absurd demands.

At the same time, Trump has made it easier for Dems to stick to their guns by refusing to offer them anything: the president hasn’t tried to broker a deal; he’s simply told Schumer and Pelosi to meet his demands in exchange for nothing…

But it’s against this backdrop that there also the question of incentives. Trump is trying to bypass the traditional American policymaking process – introduce an idea, send it to committee, allow for congressional debate and amendments, hold a series of legislative votes, etc. – by simply jumping to the end. He wants a wall, and he’ll hold government agencies and government workers hostage until he gets one.

If Dems agree, it will tell this president – and future presidents – that the easiest way to succeed is to embrace the politics of extortion. For the remainder of Trump’s term, no matter how long that is, he would know that he can get what he wants simply by demanding a series of non-negotiable ransoms…

Pelosi and Schumer appear to understand that this is an untenable scenario. Trump has left them with little choice: they simply cannot fold.






141 replies
  1. 1
    J R in WV says:

    Never negotiate honestly with hostage takers, they will only demand more and more if they think you are willing to work for them, instead of for your own side.

    Especially true for Trump, who is inside our own lines. He has taken the whole government hostage to his petty demands, and should not be given a single micron of success based upon his hostage taking and failure to negotiate.

  2. 2
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    If the Democrats give in to Trump’s demands, then winning back the House becomes worthless.

  3. 3
    dr. bloor says:

    The teaser for All Things Considered on NEPR this evening was “The Democrats ran on the promise of breaking the logjam in Congress…” followed by some argle-bargle question re: holding them to their word.

    The narrative is not shifting.

  4. 4
    smintheus says:

    @J R in WV: Republicans have been playing hostage-taker for several years, before Trump was even heard from. Democrats may have finally figured out that “absolutely not” is the only correct response.

  5. 5
    chopper says:

    hostage-taking and ransom demands are, by their very nature, bad faith bargaining. not that trump has ever negotiated in good faith…

  6. 6
    JPL says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: I disagree. They can’t agree to fund his vanity project but they can give something in return for DACA. I wish Nancy would demand to negotiate with the Senate leader because he won’t allow votes to come to the floor.

  7. 7
    eemom says:

    Not caving is as no brainer as it gets.

  8. 8
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    You can’t negotiate with Trumpov. You can’t trust him. Furthermore, he wants to be the only ‘winner.’ Every time. He doesn’t want to give anything to the other side just for face saving. Life doesn’t work like that in a closely split country. Also he’s a fucking moron.

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    The democrats need to ignore trump and press McConnell to hold votes on the bill that passed the house.

  10. 10
    smintheus says:

    @dr. bloor: Did they? I thought most Dems were running on a combination of a reform agenda and stopping Trump in his tracks. The 2 things are interconnected.

  11. 11
    dr. bloor says:

    @JPL: Pelosi doesn’t need to negotiate with Mitch. She just needs to be patient until it dawns on the mediots that he’s the one holding up bills he passed by voice vote a month ago.

  12. 12
    Martin says:

    Christ, overthink much, Village Idiots?

    The president is shutting down the government over a minor budget item. If you give him anything, he’ll just be incentivized to shut it down for EVERY minor budget item. Has nobody in the media had a 4 year old? Or a dog?

  13. 13
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @JPL: Trouble is, making a “deal” with Trump is useless because he won’t keep his word.

  14. 14
    dr. bloor says:

    @smintheus: The one phrase you didn’t hear last cycle was “breaking the logjam,” unless NPR’s Universal Bothsiderism Translator thinks “hold Trump accountable” translates into “breaking the logjam.”

  15. 15
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @J R in WV: Did I miss something? Is the POS GOP/Trump willing to accept anything less than caving to ‘GIVE US MONEY FOR RACIST DUMBASS USELESS WALL (WE WANT WALL!) THAT DEAR LEADER TOLD HIS INBRED RACIST SUPPORTERS MEXICO WOULD PAY FOR!’?

    Shout the caps like Lindsay Graham when reading.

  16. 16

    @JPL: DACA reprieve has never seriously been on offer. I don’t know why people keep repeating this.

  17. 17
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    If you had normal Republicans in the Senate and House you could just do some fake five billion for his stupid wall, build a stupid 50 ft wall and fly him down there and show him the stupid wall and tell him it’s all done. He’s so stupid and narcissistic he would believe it. Sometimes I think we should treat him like a toddler and lie to him so you can actually get stuff done.

  18. 18
    philpm says:

    John Stoehr obviously hasn’t seen the Chris Cilliza opinion piece I linked to in the thread about the canceled plane. I’m sure there are plenty more to come.

  19. 19
    BretH says:

    $2.5b for studies on gun violence in exchange for $2.5b in generic border security works for me as a compromise.

  20. 20
    Mandalay says:

    FYNYT has published a hit piece on Kamala Harris. IANAL, and I’m prepared to believe that there are strong counter arguments to some of the points raised in the article, but as a layman it makes for brutal reading:

    With the growing recognition that prosecutors hold the keys to a fairer criminal justice system, the term “progressive prosecutor” has almost become trendy. This is how Senator Kamala Harris of California, a likely presidential candidate and a former prosecutor, describes herself.

    But she’s not.

    Time after time, when progressives urged her to embrace criminal justice reforms as a district attorney and then the state’s attorney general, Ms. Harris opposed them or stayed silent. Most troubling, Ms. Harris fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors.

    For better or for worse, Kamala Harris certainly has a long track record.

  21. 21
    debbie says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    Everything will become worthless. If the Dems give in, the GOP will be assured of the “permanent majority” Karl Rove yearned for.

  22. 22
    Martin says:

    @JPL: Dems offered $25B for the wall in exchange for DACA. Trump turned them down. Asked and answered. Dems don’t get what they want by asking more, or in a nicer tone, or from the front of the plane.

  23. 23
    debbie says:

    @chopper:

    Bad faith bargaining? Then I say we send Steve in the ATL to DC stat!

  24. 24
    Fair Economist says:

    @JPL:

    I wish Nancy would demand to negotiate with the Senate leader because he won’t allow votes to come to the floor.

    The way for the Senate and House to negotiate is for the Senate to pass its own bill reopening the government. Then they hash it out in committee.

    McConnell isn’t letting anything come up for a vote. Pelosi has made her offer (of his last ask even) and he refuses to counteroffer.

    I agree the Democrats should hammer on this.

  25. 25
    Dev Null says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: Yeah, did I miss the memo?

    Dems have repeatedly reached agreement with Benedict Donald …

    … and here we are. What has changed?!?

  26. 26
    jl says:

    Legislation was passed late last year and Trump reneged on the deal he made because reactionary media hacks had a tantrum. Trump has no real plan to negotiate over. The Wall is a fraud from start to finish. Started as a campaign stunts that even Trump thought was stupid but it got cheers. They didn’t even have a rough budget for what they’d do with the money a couple of weeks ago. It is impossible to negotiate with a fool who changes what he wants every time he opens his mouth. Media discussions of the wall should start with those points.

    “Why haven’t the Democrats compromised with the president?” my fat ass.
    Why haven’t the Democrats produced a plan to make the number -5 the color blue and smell like buttered popcorn? That question makes as much sense.

  27. 27
    Shantanu Saha says:

    What the Democrats learned last year is that it’s impossible to negotiate with Trump. They walked away from the White House with a “deal” for $50 billion in wall money in exchange for codified DACA, and he submarines the deal when his idiot aides told him he was getting rooked. Once burned, twice shy. They will not cave and give Trump something for nothing when he was the one shellacked in November and now.

  28. 28
    RSA says:

    @dr. bloor:

    The one phrase you didn’t hear last cycle was “breaking the logjam,” unless NPR’s Universal Bothsiderism Translator thinks “hold Trump accountable” translates into “breaking the logjam.”

    I think extreme force on the part of the Democrats would be an effective way of breaking the logjam, right?

  29. 29
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @debbie: Exactly. James Baldwin said, “The most dangerous thing a society can do is to create someone who has nothing to lose”, and this is where the Democrats are right now. Pelosi has to play hardball with these goddamned clowns because that’s the only option left.

  30. 30
    Salty Sam says:

    @dr. bloor: The teaser for All Things Considered on NEPR this evening was…

    Phuck NPR. Enabling bastids…

    The narrative IS shifting, but David Green and Steve Innskeep are so busy following corporate orders that they can’t see it.

    Did I mention, PHUCK NPR.

  31. 31
    JPL says:

    @Fair Economist: Wouldn’t that cause Mitch to take some of the blame. So far he’s been ducking into his office and probably breathing a sigh of relief that it is only the president taking the blame. They could pass a bill without the president’s signature and Mitch knows it.
    They are afraid of the tweets. How sad is that.

  32. 32
    Emma says:

    @dr. bloor: For that particular audience, no. It never has. It’s irrelevant.

  33. 33
    Dev Null says:

    An ex-colleague posits that Benedict Donald intended to declare a state of national emergency in the SotU address.

    Maybe, maybe not … but seems to me to be a plausible guess.

    In regards to Steve Benen, he’s a liberal, not a both-siderist. Guessing that context has been omitted.

  34. 34
    JPL says:

    OMG.. Erin Burnette is slaying the leader of the usa. It is awesome.

  35. 35
    Carolina Dave says:

    @Mai Naem mobile:

    This may be a great plan. The bigger picture is to discourage hostage taking

  36. 36
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @dr. bloor:

    The narrative is not shifting

    Polls seem to indicate it is. Trump is getting blamed a lot for this shutdown. The fools at NPR don’t matter.

  37. 37
    Baud says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: Agreed.

    The Republicans don’t think the Dems are weak. They think, with good reason, that the public is weak and can easily be manipulated into blaming Dems. They have to learn that that is no longer true.

  38. 38
    Jay says:

    @JPL:

    They did offer, quite a lot for DACA,

    Didn’t matter,

    “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

  39. 39
    JPL says:

    For those without cable this a link to CNN http://www.livenewschat.eu/top/ It’s on commercial but the first couple of minutes was amazing.

  40. 40
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    re: “optics” of bipartisan delegation going overseas during shut-down for nat-sec reasons

    Dems playing the press game exclusively according to the straight-jacket of theater-critic “optics” is self-defeating. If you assume that Republicans will misrepresent everything to their advantage and that the press will air the Republican grievance no matter how misleading, irre-fucking-spective of what you do, you will never be far from the mark. That’s the field as it (ahem) lies.

    But if yer gonna get criticized in the press any-fucking-way, you may as well take the opportunity to transcend the narrow frame imposed by the press. Push fucking back.

    Let’s say the trip wasn’t canceled, the bipartisan delegation goes forth, shitheels like KellyAnne Conway start oozing treacly more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger snide critiques? So what? I mean, really, so fucking what?

    Sample Pelosi reply upon returning:

    “Yes, we went overseas to get debriefed and reassure our NATO allies that not everyone in the U.S. government is acting like Archie Bunker on a bender. We needed to hear from them, and they needed to hear from us.

    “It’s important to remind my fellow Americans: The government would not be shut down if Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump were not holding the entire American people hostage to their undemocratic temper tantrum. This long exercise in spite by the Repulican leadership and Mr. Trump is unworthy of every patriotic law-abiding tax-paying citizen, and I encourage every concerned American to call your representatives and let them know it.

    “Just because some reckless Republicans feel entitled to ignore their oaths of office and play Russian roulette with our national security and our economy, that does not mean Democrats must play that dangerous game.”

    I ain’t real good with the politicalese, granted, but the sentiment is there. Push fucking back on the idiotic juvenile “gotcha” press framing. If the press wantsta play their little game, make them shoehorn their insipid trivialities against a response that highlights Republican recklessness and the media’s role in aiding and abetting this travesty.

    imo

  41. 41
    JPL says:

    @Jay: I want to paint Mitch into a corner and I want him to sweat. They could override a veto so his jackass excuse about the president not signing is bullshit. IMO

    also he’s afraid of the tweet

  42. 42
    Doc Sardonic says:

    @JPL: OK you have been flogging this poor mouldering dead equine carcass, since this shutdown started. Trump, McConnell, Pelosi, Ryan, and Schumer had a deal last year for 25billion and DACA relief set to go for passage and signage into law. TRUMP reneged on the deal due to a federal court decision against his DACA policy. So Pelosi could offer Mango Mussolini wall money, a brand new shiny fire truck to sit and go vroom vroom and blow the horns plus all the Big Macs he can eat and it ain’t gonna happen.

  43. 43
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    Hmm. Short post fine, longer post (several tries) repeatedly trappt in moderation. Not sure why. Don’t think I hit any spam trip-wires, but guess you dunno till you know.

  44. 44
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    Trump is not negotiating. He stomped out of the last meeting with Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer. And where was McConnel? In his burrow?

  45. 45
    Jay says:

    @JPL:

    And that’s what Nancy Smash is doing, and did when the House passed the Bill,

    And it would be broadcast everywhere, if the US had a functioning First Estate,

    But the US doesn’t, just lazy hacks and enablers.

  46. 46
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    More to the point, building the Wall isn’t just an immoral obscenity; it would be a financial catastrophe. The Wall will be a never-ending money pit that would bankrupt this country, which is why Putin wants it done.

  47. 47
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    @JPL: I used to watch Erin burnett on CNBC where she was well on her way to becoming Maria Bartiromo Jr . Going to CNN made her head spin.

  48. 48
    FlipYrWhig says:

    The media got all in a lather when Obama was president, saying that the role of a leader was to lead and if he wasn’t able to persuade Republicans to come over to his side it could only mean that he wasn’t leading with leaderly leadership like a real leader would. So if Trump can’t “lead” by that same standard, that’s on him, and no one has to help him lead, because, lamentably, he’s the leader. Also, when Obama was president, one of the people insisting that he could do a better job of being a leader was one Donald J. Trump.

    So I think this is a case of (1) the president being hoist on his own gaseous petard and (2) the media blundering into actually applying a consistent standard to Republican and Democratic presidents (even though it’s a stupid standard based on stupid views).

  49. 49
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @Mike in Pasadena:

    Trump is not negotiating.

    Ding-ding-ding. Winner, winner, chicken-dinner.

    That’s the rub that ain’t being acknowledged in the media. Trump is not negotiating, he is DEMANDING acquiesence. Just to (sorta) make good on a ridiculous (and already fucking broken) campaign promise: “Show me the pesos!” And Trump i’s holding the entire country hostage to fulfill his selfish destructive demand.

    Trump is an impotent petulant loser who must not get his way on this, or it will never end.

  50. 50
    Captain C says:

    @Martin:

    Has nobody in the media had a 4 year old? Or a dog?

    I suspect the ones that are happily not getting it are the ones who farm their childrearing out to nannies and private schools, and hire dogwalkers and aides to take care of any pets.

  51. 51
    chopper says:

    @JPL:

    also, trump doesn’t have to sign the bill, still becomes law. unless trump has promised to veto the fucker.

  52. 52
    Yarrow says:

    @JPL: Caught it. She tore him a new one for that childish letter. “The second in line to the presidency does not flight commercial into a war zone. I’ve flown commercial from Kabul; it is absurd to say the Speaker should travel that way. But if this President thinks that Pelosi should fly commercial to Afghanistan, okay, sure her prerogative, right? Then why is his wife flying on a government plane tonight to Mar-a-Lago?” Heh.

  53. 53
    JPL says:

    @Mai Naem mobile: Interesting and I wonder why.

  54. 54
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    Someone wrote we should say SHAKEDOWN not shutdown.

    It’s a mob boss ploy

  55. 55
    Burnspbesq says:

    @Mandalay:

    “Hit piece” is an apt decision. It’s easy for legal academics who have never set foot in a courtoom to criticize, with 20/20 hindsight, decisions to prosecute cases that turned out to be infected by misconduct. But there are strong institutional incentives to pass the buck on flushing cases to the judges whose job it is to determine whether there was misconduct.

    I’m more willing to accept the validity of criticism of some of the policy calls that Harris made as AG. Even those tend to be overstated when the critic’s motivation seems at least in part to be racist and/or misogynistic (as it fairly often seems to be).

  56. 56
    Yarrow says:

    @Yarrow: Also:

    On CNN, @ErinBurnett refers to this letter as “childish” and “unpresidential” https://t.co/RsGjT52qmX— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 18, 2019

  57. 57
    Burnspbesq says:

    @Salty Sam:

    I’m sure you meant NQR, National Quisling Radio,

  58. 58
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Mandalay: Is this one-sbided hit piece?

    I don’t trust M$M piece on any dem, esp on a woman or PoC. In Harris they have a double target for their dislike/hatred/desire to eliminate.

  59. 59
    Elizabelle says:

    @Burnspbesq:

    NQR. Quisling Radio. That is so perfect. Thank you, Mr. Burns.

  60. 60
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I had completely forgotten writing this, but Facebook informs me that I did, two years ago today. Parts of it are obviously dated, but IMHO other parts have stood up pretty well.

    ‘Twas the night before Friday, and all through the Nation,
    The people were braced for Trump’s inauguration.

    The tickets were hustled and given away
    In hopes that a crowd would assemble that day.

    The G.O.P. stalwarts had gathered at dawn
    While normal folks shrugged, gave a “meh” and a yawn.

    Melania tried to give Barron a wake up
    Before spending hours applying her makeup.

    While Marla and Tiffany set up a “Go Fund Me,”
    Because their hair stylist would not work for free.

    And Ivana, the mother of Don’s adult kids,
    Tried to work out what quos she could ask for her quids.

    (With memories of bad nonconsensual sex,
    She held out to be an envoy to the Czechs.)

    Ivanka and Jared were thinking “Ka-CHING!”
    As they pondered their influence in the West Wing.

    Don Junior and Eric were not the least sorry
    That they’d soon be doing another safari.

    And up on the dais the LDS Choir
    Were clearing their throats for some brimstone and fire,

    While Radio City’s high-kicking Rockettes
    Hoped that they would be paid, but afraid they’d be debts.

    The sun, as it rose on the Capitol fair,
    Seemed to challenge the day, saying: “No! Don’t you dare!”

    Away to the teevee I flew like a flash,
    Every channel had Trump, like a genital rash.

    To my scandalised eyes came the Lord of the Midgets
    With two miniature hands and ten tiny wee digits.

    More rapid than typists his fingers they came,
    And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

    “On Teeny, on Tiny, go Fingerlings, Thumbkins,
    Go all my small fingers, the color of pumpkins,

    You can’t hold a scalpel to do surgery,
    But with hand on the Bible, commit perjury!”

    He repeated the Oath, heard the Choir sing a ballad,
    Then delivered a speech that was purest word salad,

    And I heard him exclaim, with a scowl and a glower,
    “I won’t stay in the White House! I’m off to Trump Tower!”

  61. 61
    jl says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: And, despite rep as a corporate centrist, Harris has staked out some fairly strong and unambiguous progressive positions: Medicare for All, no corporate or big donor PAC money. Places like the NYT and certainly WaPo like corporate friendly centrist Dems. They may have decided people like Gillibrand or Beto will be more to their liking. I am not saying that there is good reason right now to think that either of them are corporate Democrats, but that is probably how the NYT thinks. Might be better bets on corporate centrist candidates out there, so why bother with Harris now? Take her down a notch.

  62. 62
    Searcher says:

    @Fair Economist: +1 billion.

    The House passed a bill reopening the government and the Senate hasn’t voted on it. The Senate either needs to approve it and send it to the President or amend it and send it back to the House.

    Anything else amounts to the Democrats negotiating with themselves, which the Republicans love because it’s always great when the counterparty in a negotiation does your work for you, and it then makes it “the Democrats’ fault”.

    There is literally nothing else for the Democratic Party to do until the Senate acts. The House should just move on to passing bills for immigration reform, Obamacare fixes, and running investigations. If the Senate returns the House bill with amendments, they can pick it back up then.

  63. 63
    Elizabelle says:

    @JPL: Thank you. Did not realize one could watch CNN with that link. Have been watching MSNBC in the evenings. (Rockin Rooster.)

    Yes. Erin Burnett was … different. Talking about how Trump spent 14 whole seconds on the 4 dead Americans in Syria this week and then 3:14 demanding his wall.

    But then she turned it over to her guests, one of whom was Lying Stephen Moore, and I had to turn it off. I cannot abide CNN letting people on to lie so you get both sides …

  64. 64
    Aimai says:

    @JPL: you are not paying attention. Mcconnel has already stated he will not negotiate around trump and daca came and went already.

  65. 65
    Annie says:

    Re Kamala Harris —
    1. Is it a hit piece if it’s the truth?
    2. Lara Bazelon who wrote it is not just an academic, she’s been a federal public defender and now runs a clinical law program which (usually) means actually handling cases.
    3. I live in San Francisco and recall a lot of this and there was a lot of criticism of Harris at the time she made these decisions, not just in retrospect.

  66. 66
    jl says:

    @Aimai: McConnell is taking a position that is absurd. We already know it is impossible to know in advance what will be acceptable to Trump. Look what happened with the previous attempts at compromises and fixes for funding. Even Trump doesn’t know. Unless a piece of paper with ‘Trump gets Wall’ can be workable legislation that stands legal scrutiny.

    But rather than ask McConnell to explain why he is taking a position that has been shown to be nonsensical, they make up nonsense and lies to actively cover tor him.

  67. 67
    smintheus says:

    @Mandalay: It’s an opinion piece. Many of the facts in question are well known in California, especially in SF, not so much to the rest of the country. There’s obviously a lot of the careerist in Harris, and even more troubling she’s ready to pretend she knows nothing about ugly information regarding the people who work with/for her if it doesn’t serve her to acknowledge it. But try to tell that to supporters who only know Harris’ own PR as a brave crusader for truth and justice.

  68. 68
    Salty Sam says:

    @Burnspbesq:

    Works for me…

  69. 69
    Yarrow says:

    I guess sometimes even NPR reports a few facts.

    President Trump's approval rating is falling among key portions of his base, including suburban men, evangelicals and white men, according to a new NPR/Marist/@NewsHour poll. https://t.co/XEDElk6dy8— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) January 17, 2019

  70. 70
    cain says:

    @Mandalay:

    For better or for worse, Kamala Harris certainly has a long track record.

    This woman I follow absolutely does not like Kamala Harris because of her record. This woman is a advocate for prison reform especially around bail. She took the extreme step that she would not vote either candidate if Kamala was on the ballot. I didn’t agree with that at all.

  71. 71
    Ohio Mom says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: You captured the moment very well. It’s still very funny and very clever.

  72. 72
    Burnspbesq says:

    @jl:

    Don’t rule out regional and even school bias. Gillibrand is a New Yorker and an Ivy Leaguer, and worked for one of the whitest of white-shoe New York law firms (yeah, I know, UCLA Law, but Dartmouth more than makes up for that). Booker is a Jersey Boy, and he gets a pass on having chosen Stanford because he was a D1 football player (what? He should have gone to Syracuse???).

    Harris? California. Strike one. HBCU. Strike two. Public law school (and Hastings, to boot, not Cal or UCLA), and public sector employment. Strike three, and go sit down.

    To the NYT crowd, Harris is NOT ONE OF US. And that’s the unforgivable sin.

  73. 73
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: I have no idea why they pay him, but she did question him and didn’t let his bullshit stand. I found the CNN feed because Chris Matthews tends to be louder than I like this time of day. I feel the same about Joe in the morning.

  74. 74
    smintheus says:

    @Burnspbesq: Harris knew there was misconduct and tried to cover for it rather than acknowledging it and cleaning house.

  75. 75
    low-tech cyclist says:

    1) I’ll believe the narrative’s really changed when the talking heads are asking why Mitch McConnell hasn’t put up ANY shutdown-related legislation up for a vote since the shutdown began.

    2) A headline about the Dems should read something like “Why Dems don’t think paying Danegeld will be a successful strategy for getting rid of the Dane.” If they cave to Trump this time, he’ll do this again and again.

  76. 76
    jl says:

    @Annie: I read it. I also live in SF Bay Area. I think it is an opinion hit piece. I am not particularly friendly to Harris. Take for example:

    ” In 2014, she declined to take a position on Proposition 47, a ballot initiative approved by voters, that reduced certain low-level felonies to misdemeanors. ”
    That is the entire argument. It is a bare statement that implies Harris obviously should have supported it to be ‘good’ progressive.
    So, what? That legislation is not perfect, there is legitimate debate over whether it needs some major fixes.. Was there a compelling reason for her to back it as passed?

    If I were the editor, I’d send it back for rewrite to take out a number of sections like that and provide more argument and evidence for the parts that actually are arguments of some kind.

    Edit: This is Sputnik level BS to publish in our precious national paper of record. Of course, the guiding force behind it, IMHO, is corporate interest, not Putin.

  77. 77
    trollhattan says:

    @cain:
    That’s exactly the attitude that gave us President* Trump.

    “I want a woman president, just not that woman.”

  78. 78
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @J R in WV: Sorry I’m late to this thread. I disagree, strongly.

    You tell the truth to the hostage taker, always. You might not/almost certainly won’t tell ALL the truth, but you never ever lie. You don’t, because whether it’s the same one or yet another, they’re going to learn what your word is worth.

    What you do, however, is determine where the line is and never ever say “yes” to crossing that line. And you learn to play the ratchet game – take the little gains, move sideways to the line, give something that means nothing or that you’d give anyway, and gain a little more.

    But never cross the line.

  79. 79
    jl says:

    @Burnspbesq: Maybe. IANAL, but this strikes me as an obvious, rather low quality and slapdash, opinion hit piece. If that is what you were saying, I agree.

  80. 80
    Burnspbesq says:

    @jl:

    FWIW, there were enough problems with Prop 47 for me to vote “no.”

  81. 81

    @Burnspbesq: Plus, she has immigrant parents, from India and the Caribbean.

  82. 82
    Elizabelle says:

    Goddamn. Anderson Cooper is calling it the Trump Pelosi shutdown.

    Why I don’t watch cable news much.

  83. 83
    Burnspbesq says:

    Welp, we’ve had circular firing squards for Gillibrand and Harris this week, and it’s only Thursday. Wonder who’s next.

  84. 84
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Elizabelle:
    Fuck Cooper. I used to think he was pretty decent.

  85. 85
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Mandalay: I sense a pattern here with TFNYT. Hillary Clinton, now Kamala Harris. I wonder what they have in common? How many hit jobs do they put on men who are running for office?

  86. 86
    Baud says:

    @cain:

    She took the extreme step that she would not vote either candidate if Kamala was on the ballot.

    Nothing could discredit a speaker more in my eyes.

  87. 87
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @jl: Pretty much. There are ways to present technically factually accurate information in a way yo make it look really bad.

    This was basically how the media operated on HRC. Give lots of information, imply it’s sinister, shady, or a grand betrayal. And then claim you weren’t actually doing any of those things because FACTS.

  88. 88
    Steeplejack says:

    @poleaxedbyboatwork:

    “Russian rou­letteno bueno.

  89. 89
    jl says:

    @smintheus: ” Many of the facts in question are well known in California, especially in SF, not so much to the rest of the country. ”

    Then a competent editor would perhaps ask whether large sections of this editorial, as written, would mean anything at to the 88 percent of the country that lives outside California. Large sections of it are bald denunciations of Harris as a progressive served up as truths. Almost no argument and no evidence to back the author’s claims. I think this editorial was published as it was to take Harris down a notch, or as some commenters suggested, to stir up trouble among the more progressive side of the likely Democratic primary. And, as I said, I am not particularly a Harris fan. At this time I have no dogs in the upcoming Dem primary fight.

  90. 90
    cain says:

    @trollhattan:

    “I want a woman president, just not that woman.”

    I must admit that is true. But it’s hard to fault her completely given that she puts all her time raising money to get black men and women out of jail. This week, she lost an appeal herself and is going to jail for 29 days because she hat the temerity to talk back to a cop while he was harassing some passerby. I didn’t engage her because I can tell that she won’t listen. But I keep thinking how does not voting help the people she wants to help. That asshole Trump will fuck up the criminal justice system even worse. He put a racist in charge of the Justice Dept.

  91. 91
    eemom says:

    @trollhattan:

    “I want a woman president, just not that woman.”

    Oh for fux sake. I am so sick of that moronic brain dead sheep bleat.

    I’m a woman, and guess what? I want a woman president, but not just ANY woman, and especially not just BECAUSE she’s a woman.

    This bullshit that we can’t criticize a woman candidate is just the mirror image of the bullshit on the other side.

  92. 92
    cain says:

    @Baud:

    Nothing could discredit a speaker more in my eyes.

    I was pretty bummed. I was somewhat surprised that black twitter let that pass. Even Imani didn’t say anything to that comment. I know ABL followers her. In any case, I still give to her charity because I think it’s an important thing she is doing.

  93. 93
    Baud says:

    @eemom: For the 99% of people who say that who are less principled than you, it’s pretext. That’s why it’s mocked.

  94. 94
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Ahhh. Cannot use that expression, really? Well, now. Thanks for the headsup, appreciate the enlightenment. It’s funny, cuz I scoured over that post and could not, for the life of me, figger out what my offense was.

    (I was mortally afraid I couldn’t say fuck anymore, which’da made me even more’va linguistic outcast than I already am.)

  95. 95
    jl says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I am really surprized that I, a BS backer in the 2016 Dem primary, and who is most sympathetic to Warren’s platform of any likely 2020 candidate, would be defending Harris like this. But, I think this was a lousy editorial,and have given two reasons in my comments above.

    And I think it should be obvious by now that large parts of the editorial staff at places like NYT, WaPo and other large news organizations are corrupt. They ignore their own codes of ethics at will, for example, producing important edits to stories that change the substance of the pieces, with no information to readers. They are usually found out of course, due to how the internet, bur rarely called on it by anyone of prominence.

  96. 96
    eemom says:

    Another thing I am sick of: people who keep caveating that they would vote for ANY Democrat over Dump. Why isn’t that just understood to be the status quo amongst this crowd at this point?

    DO tell us if you wouldn’t, though. Because that means you’re an asshole.

  97. 97

    Vichy Times has knives out for Beto and Kamala, which leads me to believe that they are probably the two candidates Rs are most afraid of.

  98. 98
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Annie:

    1. Is it a hit piece if it’s the truth?

    Depends. Is it the whole truth, or is it partial truth that suggests something different from what the whole truth would show?

    For example, when convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza says that Lincoln was a Republican and Republicans ended slavery, that is technically true. It’s also utterly irrelevant to what the Republican Party is today, and leaves out the material fact that republicans and democrats switched sides after the civil rights act was passed.

  99. 99
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    re: “optics” of bipartisan delegation going overseas during shut-down for nat-sec reasons

    Dems playing the press game exclusively according to the straight-jacket of theater-critic “optics” is self-defeating. If you assume that Republicans will misrepresent everything to their advantage and that the press will air the Republican grievance no matter how misleading, irre-fucking-spective of what you do, you will never be far from the mark. That’s the field as it (ahem) lies.

    But if yer gonna get criticized in the press any-fucking-way, you may as well take the opportunity to transcend the narrow frame imposed by the press. Push fucking back.

    Let’s say the trip wasn’t canceled, the bipartisan delegation goes forth, shitheels like KellyAnne Conway start oozing treacly more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger snide critiques? So what? I mean, really, so fucking what?

    Sample Pelosi reply upon returning:

    “Yes, we went overseas to get debriefed and reassure our NATO allies that not everyone in the U.S. government is acting like Archie Bunker on a bender. We needed to hear from them, and they needed to hear from us.

    “It’s important to remind my fellow Americans: The government would not be shut down if Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump were not holding the entire American people hostage to their undemocratic temper tantrum. This long exercise in spite by the Repulican leadership and Mr. Trump is unworthy of every patriotic law-abiding tax-paying citizen, and I encourage every concerned American to call your representatives and let them know it.

    “Just because some reckless Republicans feel entitled to ignore their oaths of office and play Russian [insert table game of chance here famously depicted in Casablanca, in which Reneaux is “Shocked! Shocked! to discover gambling] with our national security and our economy, that does not mean Democrats must play that dangerous game.”

    I ain’t real good with the politicalese, granted, but the sentiment is there. Push fucking back on the idiotic juvenile “gotcha” press framing. If the press wantsta play their little game, make them shoehorn their insipid trivialities against a response that highlights Republican recklessness and the media’s role in aiding and abetting this travesty.

    imo

  100. 100
    mad citizen says:

    I’m a few years on from cutting the cord but enjoy some Erin Burnett clips when I see them. I watched the one just now on the letter–seems like standard Erin Burnett to me. I guess she’s refreshing because she gets to her points quickly and doesn’t make a big deal out it. Rachel M takes 20 minutes to make a few points–haven’t been able to sit through anything of hers in years.

    Off topic, my wife got a jury duty notice from a U.S. District Court (Indiana). Seems a bit unusual, but luck of the draw I guess.

  101. 101
    eemom says:

    @Baud:

    She took the extreme step that she would not vote either candidate if Kamala was on the ballot.

    Nothing could discredit a speaker more in my eyes.

    YES. Again, that is one of the few — maybe only — absolute, unequivocal, non-negotiable, no exceptions rules that distinguishes good people from pious poseur assholes. You don’t vote for the Democrat, you’re an asshole and an enemy. Case closed.

  102. 102
    boatboy_srq says:

    Why haven’t the Democrats compromised with the president?

    Could it be that every time they’ve arrived prepare to meet his demands he’s sent them packing because the deal wasn’t good enough?

    Comes a time when the Reichwing has to admit that their Negotiator-in-Chief is only good at buying things people want to sell so badly they’ll discount them down to zero to get them off their inventory.

  103. 103
    Gvg says:

    I am pretty anti McConnell but I have noted that Trump has screwed the gop congressmen several times by reneging on deals he said he would sign, then attacking them for being weak. The DACA double cross was of McC as well as us. He has made it impossible for anybody to deal with him. Really hard to see how he stayed in business. Has to have been dirty money going way back.

  104. 104
    mad citizen says:

    I’m still EXTREMELY READY for the Mueller report, even if he keeps investigating. It’s time to bring the goods. I can only what might happen if it comes out publicly while the stupid shutdown is still happening.

  105. 105
    zhena gogolia says:

    @eemom:

    Yep.

  106. 106
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Gvg: I am 1,000% anti-McConnell. His correct move now is to have a vote on the bill, then dump it in trump’s oversized lap. Instead, he’s running interference for trump, thereby making it the McConnell shutdown.

  107. 107
    WaterGirl says:

    Trump thinks this is a pissing contest between himself and Pelosi. But I actually think this is a pissing contest between McConnell and Trump, only Trump is too stupid to know it. I think McConnell believes Trump made him look like a fool (passed bill 100-0, then Trump refuses to sign it) and he is not going to let that happen again.

    Pelosi is fighting for the what she believes is the correct and honorable path.
    McConnell is sending a big fuck you to Trump, Pelosi and the American people.
    Trump is simply throwing a temper tantrum.

    In the end, I think it is Trump who will blink.

  108. 108
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Burnspbesq: Perfection, as mentioned by Elizabelle. Prime examples of why I have my nym.

  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jl:

    For a lot of the Bernista dead-enders on Twitter, “centrist” means “non-white and/or non-male Democrat.”

    Yeah, I said it, because it’s fucking true.

  110. 110
    smintheus says:

    @jl: Or just somebody with direct experience with Harris’ work telling you things you’d rather not hear? Where exactly did you get your info about her record as a prosecutor from, apart from Harris’ own PR?

    This story is almost as old as the hills. Look, politicians try to repackage themselves as something purer and more appealing to the base when they decide to run for president. There’s often a massive gap between what people back home know about them, and the version that the rest of the country gets spoon fed. And with Democrats, it’s often a more liberal and crusading version that bears only passing resemblance to reality. Voters were told Jimmy Carter was a liberal governor. He wasn’t. They were told Howard Dean was a liberal governor. He wasn’t. They were told Al Gore was a left winger. He wasn’t. And so forth; politicians are almost always self-promoters and they have their uglier sides. Harris has a bunch of skeletons in her closet. If you prefer to pretend that the fault for that belongs to actual liberal crusaders who critique her, and you don’t want to ask her as a candidate to explain and justify her past practices, then that’s your choice.

  111. 111
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gvg:

    I am pretty anti McConnell but I have noted that Trump has screwed the gop congressmen several times by reneging on deals he said he would sign, then attacking them for being weak.

    This is the very definition of a “root for injuries” scenario.

  112. 112
    Tony P. says:

    I wish Nancy would use the word “lollipop” at some point. As in “Donald wants a lollipop and Mitch thinks government should stay shut down until he gets it.”

    –TP

  113. 113
    WaterGirl says:

    @Tony P.:

    Donald wants a lollipop and Mitch thinks government should stay shut down until he gets it.

    I love that so much.

  114. 114
    Elizabelle says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: That it is.

  115. 115
    catclub says:

    @poleaxedbyboatwork: This. It was well known that Trump’s ‘negotiating’ style worked because he never had to face the same customer twice, but in politics you meet the same people over and over again. So building actually useful relationships is crucial. This impasse was predicted before he took office.

  116. 116
    Steeplejack says:

    @poleaxedbyboatwork:

    No gambling words. Pok­er and cas­ino are the other usual offenders.

    Also, no drugs. Am­bient is a gotcha.

  117. 117
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Pedant alert:

    For the record, the garment is strait-jacket, (with or without the hyphen, one word or two), whereas (to) straight-jacket. is a verb meaning “to restrain by means of a straitjacket.”

    I’m sure someone will cite Chaucer or someone to prove me wrong, but it’s a distinction I’d like to preserve for a few more years.

    #FightingTheLosingLexicographicalBattle
    #OrthographyBeDamned

  118. 118
    FelonyGovt says:

    @poleaxedbyboatwork: Agree 100%. We can’t be governed by what Republicans might say.

  119. 119
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: pedantry? On THIS blog?! Oh my stars—I’m feeling faint.

  120. 120
    Bobby Thomson says:

    I was ready to jump all over Stoehr but that was an insightful thread.

    Chris Cuomo, on the other hand, is a major league douchecanoe.

  121. 121
    Ruckus says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:
    The Mexican wall is analogous to the Berlin Wall. One country trying to build a wall to stop the flow of humans into another. Recalling who built the wall and how well that turned out I can see why Vlad wants us to do the same stupid stunt, only a far more costly and asinine version.

  122. 122
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @smintheus: I know that I’ve seen lots of praise for her AG work from her liberal constituents. I put more weight on that than the cosplay left.

  123. 123
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Steeplejack: Speaking of drugs, beware the embedded! E.g., you’ll get your wuthless butt modularated for using the word pronounced “so-shall-izm” in its pristine form because, well, check out what it contains:

    socialism

    (I think I menaged to slip enough format specs into the middle of the word to keep this from itself going to modulariation, but I guess we’ll see…)(ETA to fix embarrassing t’ai-po! 8^O)

  124. 124
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Gvg:

    Really hard to see how he stayed in business.

    There’s a reason virtually every bank cut him off. “Always defect” is not a successful repeat strategy, especially when coordination is possible.

  125. 125
    hitchhiker says:

    @dr. bloor:

    I can’t find anyplace where Democrats ran on breaking the partisan logjam. There is this article from last Sept where they ran on changing some rules to move obvious bills more quickly along, which does contain this little gem:

    No Labels, a bipartisan government reform organization, has launched “The Speakers Project,” which aims to break the partisan logjam by changing House rules to require, among other things, that the incoming Speaker receive bipartisan support in order to win the gavel

    But that was the sweeties at No Labels, not the Democrats. From the same article, there’s talk of making changes to the rules that Republicans wrote in order to shut out Democrats from the process.

    House GOP leaders this year hit a dubious milestone when they broke the single-cycle record for reporting closed rules — the procedural step barring lawmakers from amending bills when they hit the floor.

    In the eyes of Democrats, and a growing number of Republicans, the distinction highlights a disturbing creep toward top-down legislating that’s stifled debate, paralyzed rank-and-file members and thwarted the “more inclusive” process Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) promised when he took the gavel three years ago.

    Vowing to reverse the trend, Democrats are weighing a host of changes to House guidelines if they capture the chamber in the midterm elections. Although draped in the esoteric procedures of the House Rules Committee, Democrats say their goal is simple: To break the partisan gridlock and usher in a new era of lawmaker empowerment.
    “The Rules Committee has become the place where democracy goes to die.

    So, yeah. Democrats did talk about reversing a rule that was causing problems.

  126. 126
    waratah says:

    @schrodingers_cat: yes they are. Beto has been really hit by the Republicans, Bernie followers and Russian bots. Today was the first time I have seen Kamala attacked. They are the favorites right now.
    The Republicans are desperate to get Beto out before he officially announces. Then there are the so called political reporters that are bored and know they will get hits by mentioning his name.

  127. 127
    J R in WV says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Goddamn. Anderson Cooper is calling it the Trump Pelosi shutdown.

    Why I don’t watch cable news much.

    Cooper is an heir to the famed Vanderbilt fortune. So he works for the pleasure of the connections his job supplies, not for the money. I don’t know how that changes his perspective on events and facts… but if he thinks it’s any part a Pelosi shutdown, his perspective is way distorted.

    A McConnell Trump Shutdown, yeah, I’ll buy that. Pelosi is the only person with any authority working to end the Trump Shutdown, so far as I can tell.

  128. 128
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    pedantry? On THIS blog?! Oh my stars—I’m feeling faint.

    The expression is “Oh, my stars and garters.” Get it right.

    #MeAPedant?

  129. 129
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I thought my garters were our little secret….

  130. 130
    smintheus says:

    @Bobby Thomson: So, insults for anybody who dares to criticize Harris? Little wonder that you don’t register any criticisms of her. That there was proven corruption behind a number of her convictions is a fairly trivial matter that primary voters might not want to know about, amirite?

  131. 131
    jl says:

    @smintheus: I think Harris made some doubtful and very arguable decisions in her time as CA AG, and she better have a good explanation for them. Every candidate has a bunch skeletons in their closet, or can be made to appear to have some. I don’t care one way or the other whether Harris runs or wins the primary or not. If good evidence emerges that she can very likely win the 2020 general then she’s fine, if good evidence emerges that she will have problems, then she is not fine.

    I still think an editorial with so many blank assertions is a lousy editorial for our national paper of record. And I think it is healthy to have an inquiring mind about why such august publications as the NYT would publish substandard work like this.

  132. 132
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @hitchhiker: “No Labels” is basically a bunch of Rethug shitheads who just can’t stand the smell of racism and xenophobia. Non-partisan, my ass. Fuck them.

  133. 133
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @jl:

    Every candidate has a bunch skeletons in their closet, or can be made to appear to have some.

    I am deeply worried that I already know the one-sentence attack line against every major Democratic 2020 candidate, two years out from the election. And that Democrats/progressives provided most of them.

    (I guess I don’t know the attack lines against all those bland white Midwestern ones. But it’s probably because they haven’t gotten attention.)

  134. 134
    ruemara says:

    @Annie: Wow. Really. That’s really important. I tell you what. If she wins the primary, I will still vote for her.

  135. 135
    jl says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I think politicians, media, and political junkies worry too much about one-sentence attack lines. They cannot be avoided, so good candidates have to learn how to deal with them, and know when to blow them off, how to present a message and policy platform compelling enough that voters won’t care that much.

  136. 136
    Mnemosyne says:

    @smintheus:

    Personally, I’m fine with people stating that they have questions or concerns about Harris that they would like her to publicly address so they can judge her answers.

    I’m not okay with people who say that they don’t care what she says or how she explains her past actions, they’ve already decided they would rather re-elect Trump than have Harris as a presidential candidate before she even says whether or not she’s going to run.

    Please don’t conflate these two different stances.

  137. 137
    Steeplejack says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    Socialism is currently okay.

  138. 138
    rikyrah says:

    @Burnspbesq:
    This is an angle that I had not thought about….thank you for giving me food for thought.

  139. 139
    Mike in Pasadena says:

    @poleaxedbyboatwork: I like the sample Pelosi reply. Excellent.

  140. 140
    Padraig says:

    @JPL: which brings us to the other problem – Trump’s word is worthless. Even if he did agree to DACA, he’d abandon it as soon as there was push back from the right. He’s done this already, remember?

  141. 141
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Democratic leaders know that Democratic voters would never forgive them if they simply caved to the White House’s absurd demands.

    Where the fuck was this 15-20 years ago?

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