We Must Turn The Country Around

I attended a symposium on authoritarianism a week or so ago. Two of the presentations implicitly compared Trump to Adolf Hitler and Hugo Chavez. The parallels are striking. Jay West, retired from teaching Russian history at Middlebury College, spoke about Nazi Germany and the temptations of fascism, something that naturally accompanies Russian history. Charles Shapiro, American ambassador to Venezuela during the Chavez years, spoke about his experience with Chavez.

Hitler, Chavez, and Donald Trump were all elected. Portions of the electorate disapproved of them for one reason or another, but they supported them because they thought they shared common goals and that those elected would be controllable. West and Shapiro gave much longer lists.

Trump has removed the people who might have braked his worst inclinations: the generals and legal staff and cabinet members who have carried out his orders imperfectly in his judgment. He has hollowed out government agencies designed to provide the president with information. He is behaving increasingly erratically; he now opposes his own State Department on Libya. Policy on North Korea and Russia is equally confused. This is the way wars start. Trump has threatened legal action against his enemies. Mitch McConnell is packing the courts with judges who will approve Trump’s agenda. Trump’s rhetoric uses hate and fear to divide the country.

We are in a sequence of events similar to those of the 1930s in Germany or the early 2000s in Venezuela. We must do something that the Germans of the Weimar Republic and the Venezuelans failed to do: stop the progress toward fascism and destruction.

I can’t think of a historical example of a country this far down that road that turned back, but that may be my limitation. Populism had some successes in the United States in the late 19th century, so there may be some examples there. If you’ve got an example, please send it along; we need to look at the historical successes as well as the disasters that rivet our attention.

Today’s situation, while analogous to points along the way to those historical disasters, has significant differences. The courts have struck down a number of Trump’s initiatives, most recently Trump’s reversal of a moratorium from the Obama administration on federal coal leasing. According to the Mueller report, members of the administration have slowed or thwarted actions Trump desired. Voters mobilized sufficiently in November 2018 to turn the House of Representatives Democratic. The system is partly holding.

With the Mueller report, the press seems to be turning from its reflexive “both sides do it” and the overwhelming desire to see Trump become a “normal” president. It’s not clear whether this change in direction will last.

Trump is far from giving up. He has shown extreme persistence in trying to find a way to build a wall along America’s southern border, legal or not. As French Ambassador to the US, Gérard Araud, said

[Trump] once criticized the French president [Emmanuel Macron], and people called me from Paris to say, “What should we do?” My answer was clear: “Nothing.” Do nothing because he will always outbid you. Because he can’t accept appearing to lose. You have restraint on your side, and he has no restraint on his side, so you lose. It is escalation dominance.

Trump and his minions are now touting the Mueller report as a success for them. How far that fiction will go is not clear.

A segment of the population will continue to support Trump no matter what; they will see information unfavorable to him as a test of faith. Another segment has been strongly opposed to him since he began his presidential campaign. A middle segment that supported him may have reservations about his behavior in office that are now reinforced by the Mueller report. Elected Republicans are totally committed to him or have felt that they need to support him to avoid primary challenges.

Most analyses of the possibility of impeachment look at those divisions and commonplace sentiments about how voters are likely to behave. There is no reason to believe that any of that basis is lasting. It is very early for polls, but an Ipsos-Reuters poll shows a decrease in Trump’s support. The Mueller report is wide-ranging over Trump’s malfeasance. It will continue to make news, which is likely to continue to erode his support. Senators Mitt Romney and Susan Collins have expressed concern about Trump’s behavior. Yes, they have expressed concern before in empty ways. Let’s see how this goes.

My point is that a static analysis of impeachment is a mistake. Opinions will change as investigations continue in the House of Representatives. Trump will likely become more incoherent and unhinged in his tweets, which even many of his fans express doubts about. Opinions will change.

We don’t know the direction of that change, of course, but I suspect it would be largely against Trump. It’s possible there would be a reaction in his favor, although that seems unlikely as more of his malfeasance is revealed. There will be little change if things continue as they are. But if we are to stop the descent into fascism, we must change direction.

 






209 replies
  1. 1
    debbie says:

    A segment of the population will continue to support Trump no matter what; they will see information unfavorable to him as a test of faith.

    They may never believe unfavorable information, but unfavorable experience will sure knock them upside their heads. Once their healthcare, pensions, and jobs are as fucked up as Trump intends them to be, they will come around.

    This may happen sooner than expected, what with the way Trump escalates his rhetoric and policies.

  2. 2
    Betty says:

    We have to have faith that there are enough principled people to help turn this around. We can’t give up.

  3. 3
    Hitlesswonder says:

    @debbie: it is easy to blame pensions and healthcare being messed up on enemies of the state such as immigrants and the opposition party. America seems quite willing to accept those reasons.

  4. 4
    Hoodie says:

    @Betty: they don’t have to be particularly principled, just pragmatic enough to see that Trump is dangerous and they were lucky that staff wouldn’t implement his more illegal ideas. The Romney statement looked like a trial balloon, other gopers seem pretty quiet, aside from usual House yahoos,

  5. 5
    azlib says:

    As long as Trump’s support among Republicans holds at around 80-90% we will see little change in Republican elected officials attitude towards Trump. Trump’s support among Republicans needs to erode to 60-70% before we will see Republicans start to defect. It could happen pretty fast. It did with Nixon. His support did not crack until after the Watergate hearings started. The House needs to hold hearings and continue investigations until Trump’s support firewall cracks. The Mueller report is a rich trove of information from which to launch other investigations. Also do not forget the other ongoing investigations which will also yield additional criminal indictments.
    In a sense I am agreeing impeachment needs to be bipartisan, but only in the sense the ongoing investigations and disclosures continues to erode Trump’s support base among Republican voters.

  6. 6
    eclare says:

    Excellent post, thanks Cheryl

  7. 7
    debbie says:

    @Hitlesswonder:

    His base wants him to hurt other people; when they themselves start hurting, they will come around.

  8. 8
    Glenn E Ross says:

    One huge difference between our current situation and the mentioned examples is incompetence. Trump careens from one perceived sleight to the next, lacking the ability to plan for the long game. That coupled with his aversion to anything that takes actual work is probably all that has saved us and will save us from the fascist fate. Trump is a parody of a dictator mired in the mindset of a grade school bully.

  9. 9
    Mary G says:

    @Betty: This. It’s so exhausting and discouraging to see so much come out and appear to have no impact on the other side, but they want us to give up, and we must not. The elections this year and next are our last chance to save our country from itself.

  10. 10
    Hitlesswonder says:

    @debbie: I hope so.

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    Trump’s rhetoric has caused Venezuela to open their doors to Russia and China. We have a major crisis.

  12. 12
    geg6 says:

    I can only try to be as optimistic as you, Cheryl. We must fight with all we have. I truly believe we will be fighting to save the country. I can’t believe we’ve come to this. I will never forgive those who brought us to it.

  13. 13
    Doug R says:

    Against impeachment has softened from 49% to 42% plus “don’t know” has gone from 12% to 18%.

  14. 14

  15. 15
    lumpkin says:

    I strongly recommend reading In the Garden of Beasts. You will come away realizing we are further down the path to fascism than you thought.

  16. 16

    @Doug R: This is a pretty big change for a day after the report came out.

  17. 17
    geg6 says:

    @Doug R:

    Just in a couple of days? That’s faster than I would have thought possible.

  18. 18
    psycholinguist says:

    @debbie: I’m starting to see that with some of my Trump crazed relatives because of the tax “cut.” a lot of them are self employed sales types, and they lost a lot of deductions with the new tax law apparently. They ain’t happy.

  19. 19
    eclare says:

    @lumpkin: That looks good, I like the author. Added to the list.

  20. 20
    Jay Noble says:

    Impeachment Question: Does the House have to do one big omnibus Articles of Impeachment with all violations or can they impeach for violations of the Emoluments Clause, send it to the Senate; Impeach for the Obstruction of Justice, send it to the Senate; Rinse and repeat? You avoid Double Jeoprady and make the Senate keep telling us why they aren’t voting on it or making them vote on it.

    In the same vein, do all of the various investigations, while simultaneously writing an omnibus Articles of Impeachment, that inlcludes all of the investagion results by reference, and simply pass that the day after the last investigation report is in and pass it on to the Senate.

  21. 21
    ola azul says:

    Hitler, Chavez, and Donald Trump were all elected.

    Small point of (admittedly pedantic) order:

    Hitler never won elected office, he was appointed. Hitler lost in the election for president to Hindenberg in the spring of ’32 and was then offered the vice-chancellorship by Papen, who was then chancellor, but Hitler declined, holding out for a better opportunity to fuck up his own country and later the world.

    But b/c the Nazis were ascedent, and b/c the paleoconservatives (useful fools) thought they could use the Nazi Party’s “energy” to their own ends, Papen cajoled, wheedled and worked on aging Junker dotard President Hindenberg to allow Hitler to become Chancellor, with the proviso that Papen would baby-sit Hitler as vice-chancellor. Adding to the march of folly — and really what is proto-fascism w/o the willing, nay eager cooperation of industry? — The Industrielleneingabe, a letter signed by 22 masters-of-the-universe reps from industry, finance and agriculture, called for Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as chancellor.

    So Shitler was made chancellor in Jan. of ’33. Reichstag Fire in March ’33, Enabling Law enacted shortly thereafter, endowing Hitler with dictatorial powers and demanding personal loyalty to himself, and the rest is horror, darkness and cruelty.

    Lotta Nazis were elected (plurality in Reichstag in ’32, which is why a shitstain like Goerring got to head it up), and also why Shitler was such a force in German politics. But never elected.

  22. 22
    Renie says:

    I had been against impeachment knowing the Senate will do nothing. But with all the information from Mueller out, we need to ask ourselves, do we want a president who’s conduct is extremely troubling but since it is not at the threshold of ‘criminal’, we will do nothing. We need to determine what type of country we want to be and what we expect and deserve from our elected officials. For me, I think we should have public hearings toward impeachment and let everyone learn what has been going on.

  23. 23
    Lapassionara says:

    Thank you, Cheryl. This is an existential crisis for our country. We must keep pressure on the democrats in DC to move forward with hearings.

    We know the following:

    1. Russia will want Trump to be re-elected, and will work toward that result. We can take nothing for granted. Our elections are run by county officials. We must begin to work with them now to ensure the integrity of the ballot.
    2. Trump’s responses to the SC’s written questions were lame, full of “don’t recall,” etc. He needs to sit for a deposition, where he can be cross-examined. I don’t know how to make that happen.
    3. Trump has met with Putin alone several times without anyone else being present from the USA. He has said that he believes Putin’s denials about election interference. The Mueller report should be a wake-up call for those who were inclined to agree with Trump on this. Every chance we get, we must emphasize that the SC found incontrovertible evidence of Russian meddling in the election.
    4. I think we should try to work toward the Nixon outcome: resignation with pardon. If Trump is afraid of what may happen to him legally after he is no longer president, this may be an appealing option to him. I don’t care that Pence would be president. Pence has no charisma, and the Trump cultists will not see him in the same way they see Trump, who is a unique danger to our country RIGHT NOW!

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    One point about impeachment which has not often been made.

    Had the House voted successfully to impeach Nixon, he could not have been pardoned (the Constitution specifically eliminates the pardon as a tool for charges in cases of impeachment – note not requiring conviction in the Senate and subsequent removal) and would have been unblockably eligible to be charged and tried judicially for federal crimes once out of office. That was one reason for the timing of his resignation. The same holds true for Dolt 45 being subject to indictment after leaving office in 2021; impeachment precludes any pardon.

    A weakness in the system is that if a president is not subject to indictment while in office (I disagree, but that’s another debate), the statute of limitations clock ought as well to be frozen until the term of office is completed, and it is not.

  25. 25
    Another Scott says:

    VanityFair from 1990:

    […]

    Donald Trump has always viewed his father as a role model. In The Art of the Deal, he wrote, “Fred Trump was born in New Jersey in 1905. His father, who came here from Sweden . . . owned a moderately successful restaurant.” In fact, the Trump family was German and desperately poor. “At one point my mother took in stitching to keep us going,” Trump’s father told me. “For a time, my father owned a restaurant in the Klondike, but he died when I was young.” Donald’s cousin John Walter once wrote out an elaborate family tree. “We shared the same grandfather,” Walter told me, “and he was German. So what?”

    Although Fred Trump was born in New Jersey, family members say he felt compelled to hide his German background because most of his tenants were Jewish. “After the war, he thought that Jews would never rent from him if they knew his lineage,” Ivana reportedly said. Certainly, Fred Trump’s camouflage could easily convey to a child the impression that in business anything goes. When I asked Donald Trump about this, he was evasive: “Actually, it was very difficult. My father was not German; my father’s parents were German . . . Swedish, and really sort of all over Europe . . . and I was even thinking in the second edition of putting more emphasis on other places because I was getting so many letters from Sweden: Would I come over and speak to Parliament? Would I come meet with the president?”

    Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, “Heil Hitler,” possibly as a family joke.

    Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.

    “Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?” I asked Trump.

    Trump hesitated. “Who told you that?”

    “I don’t remember,” I said.

    “Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.” (“I did give him a book about Hitler,” Marty Davis said. “But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish.”)

    Later, Trump returned to this subject. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”

    Is Ivana trying to convince her friends and lawyer that Trump is a crypto-Nazi? Trump is no reader or history buff. Perhaps his possession of Hitler’s speeches merely indicates an interest in Hitler’s genius at propaganda. The Führer often described his defeats at Stalingrad and in North Africa as great victories. Trump continues to endow his diminishing world with significance as well. “There’s nobody that has the cash flow that I have,” he told The Wall Street Journal long after he knew better. “I want to be king of cash.”

    […]

    I wandered down to the pressroom on the fifth floor to hear about Trump’s testimony. The reporters sounded weary; they had heard it all before. “Goddamn it,” one shouted at me, “we created him! We bought his bullshit! He was always a phony, and we filled our papers with him!”

    I thought about the last questions Donald Trump had asked me the day before on the telephone. “How long is your article?” “Long,” I said. Trump seemed pleased. “Is it a cover?” he asked.

    It’s a very interesting piece.

    Donnie hasn’t changed – he’s just become even more of what he was…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  26. 26
    Wag says:

    @Renie:

    I agree. Reposting my comment from the last thread

    A two pronged attack for 2020 is necessary. First, the Dems need a consistent agenda that will appeal to a broad range of Americans, one that will begin to undo the tilted American economy that so heavily favors the wealthy. Second, and just as important, is the need for through and in-depth investigations into the malfeasance underlying our present executive branch and by extension, the GOP in Congress. These investigations must include repercussions for those responsible for our current breakdown in civil governance.

    A plan going forward vs impeachment is not an either/or choice. It has to be both. We can walk and chew gum at the same time.

  27. 27

    @Lapassionara: NO PARDON. The Nixon pardon is the biggest single reason why we are where we are today.

  28. 28
    Lapassionara says:

    @NotMax: If the statute of limitations is not tolled, then the president should be subject to indictment. Any other result is illogical and unjust.

  29. 29
    Lapassionara says:

    @Frank Wilhoit: Then what do you suggest to make sure he is removed from office at the earliest opportunity?

  30. 30
    ola azul says:

    @Wag:

    A plan going forward vs impeachment is not an either/or choice. It has to be both ….

    Agreed.

    And rather than these two imperatives being in conflict, I hold that pursuing both aims at once actually complement e/o.

    Go on offense. Bring the heat. These absurd people melt under pressure and scrutiny.

    Way fucking overdue.

  31. 31
    Wag says:

    @Another Scott:

    F u c k ! Another failure by our media overlords for not bringing this out in 2015 or 16.

  32. 32
    Wag says:

    @ola azul:

    Absolutely. Fight them on both fronts. I mean, it worked against the last fascists we fought in WWII

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    Two of the presentations implicitly compared Trump to Adolf Hitler and Hugo Chavez. The parallels are striking.

    Did Hitler or Chavez lose their midterm elections badly like Trump did?

  34. 34

    @Baud: That is one of the exceptions I cite. I tried not to make an exact analogy. History rhymes, it doesn’t repeat. Both speakers gave long lists of similar characteristics, but I can also come up with lists of differences, not the least is that we have that history to warn us.

    The bottom line is that we’re further down that road than I ever wanted to be, and we need to turn around.

    ETA: The 2018 election is a spark of hope, but we’d better not rest on those laurels!

  35. 35
    debbie says:

    @eclare:

    It is good. In the foreword, the author points out that hindsight lets us dismiss Germans as fools for not seeing what was coming; he tells us that it’s much harder to see when it is about to happen. It’s hard (or can be hard) to believe some people’s capacity for evil.

    I think much of Trump’s base will look back one day and not like what they saw and believed of themselves.

    And now I’m off to tend to my unicorn.

  36. 36
    Ruckus says:

    @debbie:
    They will come around only if they understand that it is DT that is hurting them. And they can make excuses and not change their minds till the sun burns out. That’s not all his current supporters, but it is a significant amount of them. They are deluded as to what is the cause of any issue, they always blame the wrong problem on the wrong non cause because it suits their delusions. Think about the people who think that county sheriffs have the last word in power, that the federal government shouldn’t actually exist.

  37. 37
    laura says:

    @lumpkin: I did. It was chilling. Then Laura Thompson’s The Six a group biography of the Mitford Sisters, and the Roth’s The Plot Against America – which was speculative, but not enough fiction for my comfort.
    These are perilous times and fascism is afoot.

  38. 38
    Suzanne says:

    @debbie:

    His base wants him to hurt other people; when they themselves start hurting, they will come around.

    Will they, though? I rather doubt it. And I doubt it because many of those people are already hurting and don’t really seem all that interested in fixing it. They seem more concerned with keeping immigrants out of their orbit and attempting to lower the social status and power of people who live in cities and/or have college degrees. I am increasingly skeptical that anything will break the hold that Trump has on his die-hards, because their love for him is not contingent on results. It is tied to the fact that he is the avatar for the deplorables and he makes all the people they hate feel bad.

  39. 39
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    Didn’t his party have some sort of electoral setback which led to that putsch?

  40. 40
    Kathleen says:

    @lumpkin: Thank you for reminding me about this book, which I had mentally placed on a Must Read list but didn’t write down and hence forgot about. It looks so interesting.

  41. 41
    Barney says:

    Situations that aren’t great analogies for the USA’s current state, but perhaps worth thinking about: the failure of McCarthyism in the 50s – seemingly carrying majority opinion with it, or at least being allowed to continue, until public sentiment just turned against it. Maybe the civil rights movement in the 60s too.

    Abroad – the fall of apartheid in South Africa? It took sanctions from outside, and internal resistance (but not outright rebellion), but the white minority did mend its ways in a reasonably short time, without a significant attempt at a backlash.

  42. 42
    debbie says:

    @Suzanne:

    Everyone has their limit.

  43. 43
    debbie says:

    @laura:

    Right. Roth’s book is becoming more and more prescient.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:

    @debbie

    when they themselves start hurting

    They will blame Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic party, and also up the ante – that the Rs weren’t conservative fascist enough.

  45. 45
    Kathleen says:

    @laura: The Plot Against America was excellent. I would also like to read The Six.

  46. 46

    @Barney: Thanks. The failure of McCarthyism is a time when we turned away from fascism.

  47. 47

    Indira Gandhi declared a National Emergency in 1975 after she lost reelection, threw the opposition in jail, suspended basic freedoms but had to call for fresh elections in 1977.

    ETA: There was grassroots opposition and international pressure against the measures she took.

  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    @Renie:
    I’ve posted here several times that it was not time yet for impeachment. That it would be politically bad to do it, at that time, even as many are calling for it. There is a process that has to happen, some of it is our desire to impeach. The process speeds up dramatically once the walls start to fall.
    I believe that it is almost time to impeach, walls are falling. A few more things need to fall but with the report out and how that looks, most of those should fall rather soon. Also these are not legal but political things, things that make it far more likely to succeed rather than waste a lot of time and political muscle. I’m not yet convinced the time is right but that could and will change any day.

  49. 49
    debbie says:

    @NotMax:

    “You made Trump do it!”

  50. 50
    Kathleen says:

    And now cue this: From The Guardian, “Republicans Discussed Violent Attacks And Surveillance With Right Wingers:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/20/matt-shea-rightwing-messages-chat-records?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

  51. 51
    NotMax says:

    @Ruckus

    Yup. There is process and procedure, and that will take time, building a case brick by brick.

    The dice have been cast and come up snake eyes for Dolt 45. He may not admit it but he knows it.

  52. 52
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Hoodie:

    I wonder if Mittens is planning on primarying Trump.

  53. 53
    Chyron HR says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I mean, that would be terrible and awful and very bad, but if Bernie goes in the clink too I’ll consider it.

  54. 54

    We keep hearing that T has 90% R support but these articles never tell us how much of the voting public is still R. Many Rs I used to know in the aughts are now Ds or independents. Rs have become a concentration of stupid but there is no need to assume their numbers are going up or even remaining steady.

  55. 55
    tokyokie says:

    @laura: I’d also heavily recommend Philip Kerr’s Berlin Noir trilogy, which follows a non-Nazi police detective before, during, and after the war.

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    @Ruckus

    Different context but the phrase “Let him twist slowly, twist slowly in the wind” from Watergate times comes to mind.

  57. 57
    Ruckus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    As the report gets out, more and more people will see that they have been lied to. That this is not a normal time. As soon as enough of congress hears about how the minds are not just changing but demanding action on this atrocity that is our current executive branch, and it will happen rapidly, we will see action.
    History will see that the current era of rapid, mass communication is both bad and good. Bad in that the lies can reach far and wide rapidly, good in that the truth can as well. The lies have to be repeated a lot to make them effective, the truth normally does not. Because the lies have been put out there for all to see, dribble by dribble and the truth shows up most of them all at once. The scales really do fall from eyes at that point.

  58. 58
    West of the Rockies says:

    @azlib:

    Yes, Nixon’s support did wane, but were we as a society nicer then, more principled even across party lines?

    The argutainment industry may be a multi-billion dollar industry now. Once invested, we seem less inclined to reconsider our allegiances.

  59. 59
    germy says:

    @Kathleen:
    Wikipedia contains some interesting facts about him:

    Shea was divorced from his first wife in January 2008. Lisa Shea was granted a protective order by a court after filing court documents complaining that Shea treated her “as a possession,” and was physically and emotionally abusive. She attested that Shea “insisted she walk on his left side because his sword, if he had one, would be on his right side,” and protested that he would not seek profitable employment despite being a lawyer. Shea denied any physical abuse. Matt Shea subsequently remarried.

    In November 2011, Shea allegedly “pulled a gun during a confrontation with another motorist” in what police reports described as an incident of road rage. Shea was initially charged with possessing a loaded handgun in a vehicle without a concealed weapons permit; the charge was ultimately resolved under a “stipulated order of continuance,” in which “Shea paid a $75 fee and agreed that the information in the police report is correct” and the charge was dismissed after the passage of one year with no criminal violations.

  60. 60
    Renie says:

    @Ruckus: I agree and I think public hearings of many people involved will help show most Americans the time has come. We need to show we are a party of rules and allow the process to begin and work its way to a conclusion.

    Personally I want trump to be dragged through the mud and for the history books to view him as a traitor to his country’s principles. I loathe the man.

  61. 61

    @schrodingers_cat: The numbers I see for self-identified Republicans in most polls are around 30%. And 90% of that is, um, 27%.

    @Ruckus: That’s about how I expect it to go. Might be some bumps on the way, though. Don’t get discouraged.

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    Good post.
    I am pro – impeachment

  63. 63
    West of the Rockies says:

    In a better world, Trump could be taken out with just six words…

  64. 64
    Ruckus says:

    @NotMax:
    DT is a cornered rat. And he drove himself into that corner, with his personality, hate and stupidity. He never should have been put into place because he could and would destroy the country. He couldn’t do this by himself of course, because he’s a master fuckup with a way too large inheritance and a concept that he’s perfect. He left off the asshole part of that concept in his mind. We know that Russia helped him. It took an entire country that has been our enemy for decades to help him win a highly likely illegal election by less than 80,000 votes to get him there. That’s how big of a fuck up he is.

  65. 65
    tokyokie says:

    While I was in college in early 1974, I saw Frank Mankiewicz, who’d been McGovern’s press secretary, speak on campus. And he said that he believed that Nixon would be impeached/driven from office because the latest news was all negative and he saw nothing that would turn the tide of the bad publicity. Of course, Nixon didn’t have his own propaganda television network and even he was not so brazen a liar as to merely declare exoneration upon the release of an investigation that makes the case for his removal, but the dynamic Mankiewicz talked about exists today in regard to der Trumpenführer.

  66. 66

    @Suzanne:

    because their love for him is not contingent on results.

    Faith doesn’t need results or evidence.

  67. 67

    @West of the Rockies: Don’t you think he looks tired?

    Great piece, Cheryl, but I have two quibbles beyond what’s already said:

    1. Individual-1 wasn’t elected. He was appointed by the Electoral College. He lost the “election” by 2.89 million votes, but we don’t actually elect presidents. So parallels to the Hitler thing @ola azul pointed out. This is pedantic, but it needs to be pointed out again and again. He lost the actual vote. The vote just isn’t how we select presidents. This is one reason (alongside the Russian interference, Comey’s meddling, etc.) he is the president* rather than the President.

    2. The parallels to Chávez are striking, but they aren’t exact. Chávez actually gave a shit about the poor of his country and did a fair deal to improve literacy rates etc. I can’t think of a single thing Cheeto Benito has done to improve anyone’s life except his own.

    Both of these are pretty small, though. Great analysis overall.

  68. 68

    @(((CassandraLeo))): History rhymes, it doesn’t repeat. I am not looking for exact parallels. The similarities are frightening enough.

  69. 69
    Renie says:

    @schrodingers_cat: That’s right. People get antsy when they see that % who support him but the last time I checked the numbers for 2017 were: 42% independents, 29% democrats and 27% republicans. To be accurate the media should point out that his support of say 80% is for 27% of voters who are republicans.

    My source is a Gallup poll.

  70. 70
    Brachiator says:

    With the Mueller report, the press seems to be turning from its reflexive “both sides do it” and the overwhelming desire to see Trump become a “normal” president. It’s not clear whether this change in direction will last.

    Neither the press, nor much of the political establishment, nor a good chunk of the public believe that Trump is a threat to democracy. The media still view Trump with neutral bemusement. They even discount the way he attacks them. Unless journalists are actually imprisoned, they will continue to give him a pass.

    Some of the public enjoy his antic toughness and excuse his ignorance. This is actually interesting. Originally, some would feel reassured that there were “adults in the room” who would keep him under control. But now that these supposed adults are dumped or revealed to be as venal as Trump himself, these people just shrug their shoulders and wait to see what he might do next.

    Then there are people who seem to believe that Trump’s actions will never hurt them, but that Trump must be opposed for the sake of other, more, vulnerable people. In an odd way, these people most easily accommodate the shift to authoritarian rule.

    Worst of all are the Republicans who should know better but who are eager to see the country returned to a past which never really existed, one in which white people safely and securely rule and where the business of America is business.

  71. 71
    Jay says:

    @Kathleen:

    As the article points out, they are morons with violent fantasies.

    They are not “ept”.

    LGM has a post up on the Stop & Shop strike that has an “interesting” little factoid.

    A Data Analysis Company revealed that 75% of Stop & Shop’s are staying away or shopping elsewhere,

    By analizing cell phone location tracking data.

    Aside from the Total Surveillance going Corporate, these moron’s arn’t smart enough to gather a few thou, to get a Data Company to “surveil their enemies” 24/7.

  72. 72
    Ruckus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Don’t get discouraged.

    Good advice. For everyone.
    I’m not as discouraged as some seem to be, I’m a process person, learned to go through process to do the work I still do that today and realize that if I didn’t understand process, I couldn’t get it done. We have to look at a drawing and from the info given make a 3D product. Often at extreme tolerances. We have at work, jobs right now that have to be round, straight and concentric on both ends to a tolerance of +/- two ten thousandths of an inch. Process has to be followed or it won’t happen.
    Process is the key here as well, it’s just not all that well defined.

  73. 73
    joel hanes says:

    @Another Scott:

    For a time, my father owned a restaurant in the Klondike

    A couple years ago my family took the White Pass and Yukon tourist railroad up to the settlement where Frederick Drumpf founded the fortune. According to the tour guide (and the Wikipedia entry) he followed a pretty familiar Trump pattern (and the same pump-and-dump pattern that Drumpf had already established in Washington state) : he and his partner Levin would create the facade of an operating business, by equipping and opening a restaurant or “hotel” with a skeleton staff, but soon sell to some speculator, and use the proceeds to set up another. The Bennett “hotel” staff included women of negotiable virtue, and everyone knew that it was a brothel, but Drumpf fell out with Levin about a year after it opened for business, and decamped to Kallstadt to marry.

    The Bavarian government, however, considered Drumpf a draft dodger (gosh, that too sounds familiar) and would not restore his citizenship, so he and wife emigrated to Queens.

  74. 74
    Kathleen says:

    @tokyokie: Have it, started it, put it down, need to pick it back up. I bought it because someone here recommended it.

  75. 75
    tokyokie says:

    @germy:

    She attested that Shea “insisted she walk on his left side because his sword, if he had one, would be on his right side,”

    Except he’d have his sword on his right hip only if he were a left-hander or had perfected a move like Mifune’s in the final showdown with Nakadai in Sanjuro.

    Quick-draw artist.

  76. 76
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @ola azul: I was searching through the thread before posting, figuring someone surely had pointed out to Cheryl & the Jackaltariat that Hitler had not in fact been elected. What a potch ins tuchis to discover it was our resident whola azzhola.

    But I give him this: In that post (#21 supra) he is coherent and informative – IOW, completely out of character for someone who consistently acts out his disdain for the readership in a pastiche of Bogus Illiterate Redneck that has to be translated almost word-by-word into normal English to see if there’s any worthwhile content there.

    How about you back off your mushmowf-dialect shtick & become a respectable member of the community – IOW, stop acting like a whola azzhola?

  77. 77
    Kathleen says:

    Reply to NotMax
    From the Cambridge Dictionary blog:

    More chilling was Ehrlichman’s advice to Dean about L. Patrick Gray III, whose nomination as director of the FBI was stalled because members of the Senate Judiciary Committee weren’t getting satisfactory answers from him to their questions about Watergate. “Well, I think we ought to let him hang there,” Ehrlichman told Dean. “Let him twist slowly, twist slowly in the wind.” (Gray twisted for more than a month before his nomination was withdrawn.)

    Entire post here:

    https://dictionaryblog.cambridge.org/2013/01/28/words-of-watergate-part-2/

  78. 78
    Steeplejack says:

    @Brachiator:

    The media still view Trump with neutral bemusement.

    I will say that Chris Matthews, of all people, has been getting increasingly exercised at Trump’s threat in the last month or two. Not treating things as a horse race so much.

    And Ari Melber, in a low-key, lawyerly way, has been taking great pains to lay out the extent of Trump’s malfeasance.

    Anecdata.

  79. 79
    Ruckus says:

    @Steeplejack:
    Sometimes evidence is just overwhelming and some can’t keep their heads in the sand deep enough not to notice.

  80. 80
    Kathleen says:

    @germy: He sounds like a nice man. Trump could hire him for his Cabinet.

  81. 81
    Steeplejack says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    Prepare to have your gob further smacked: ola azul had a long, very lucid take on impeachment in one of the threads last night. Almost entirely free of Gabby Johnson authentic frontier gibberish.

  82. 82
    germy says:

    @Kathleen: Or The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

  83. 83

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yeah, agreed. If anything, it’s worse that there are parallels with Chávez, since Needy Amin lacks his redeeming qualities. Then again, that could result in there being more popular resistance to him than there was to Chávez. It seems there already has been, so I find that part, at least, encouraging.

  84. 84
    Jay says:

    The world keeps turning,


    Pelosi, the ERG, and the Irish border

    This, then, is the third strand of the significance of Pelosi’s visit. During the London leg, her delegation had lunch with leading members of the ERG – Rees-Mogg, Francois, Jenkin and Baker. Reportedly, this led to Pelosi delivering a sharp rebuke to Mark Francois for being condescending (this would have been something to witness, since Pelosi is a talented, serious and heavyweight politician whereas Francois is, let’s say, less obviously impressive in his endowments). The hapless Francois apparently “turned from already red to even brighter red”. The point of contention was the now familiar Brexiter conspiracy theory that the Irish border issue has been ‘concocted’ by the EU and Dublin in order to derail Brexit.”

    http://chrisgreybrexitblog.blo.....t.html?m=1

  85. 85
    James E Powell says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The bottom line is that we’re further down that road than I ever wanted to be, and we need to turn around.

    When I say stuff like this, it’s just more of my angry ranting. But when you say it, it’s scary.

  86. 86
    James E Powell says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I will say that Chris Matthews, of all people, has been getting increasingly exercised at Trump’s threat in the last month or two.

    I am never happy to learn that Chris Matthews is on the same side as me.

  87. 87
    BobS says:

    Chavez’ economic policies were shit, but he doesn’t deserve being mentioned in a conversation along with Trump or Hitler- Chavez won multiple internationally monitored elections by landslide margins. In the context of Venezuelan (and Latin American) political systems, Chavez represented a pretty significant improvement for the mostly impoverished population of his country. Arguably, some of his authoritarian over reach is attributable to the near constant siege of his administration (including the failed coup of April 2002, which occurred a month after the American Idiot sent Charles Shapiro to Venezuela as his ambassador to that country).

  88. 88
    Sab says:

    One of the newbie commenter/lurkers a couple of days or nights ago asked how about what was pieing and how the pie filter worked. Helpful jackals explained.

    I had completely forgotten that the little blue arrows at the bottom left will unpie comments and responses to pied comments.

  89. 89
    ola azul says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    I was searching through the thread before posting, figuring someone surely had pointed out to Cheryl & the Jackaltariat that Hitler had not in fact been elected. What a potch ins tuchis to discover it was our resident whola azzhola.

    But I give him this: In that post (#21 supra) he is coherent and informative – IOW, completely out of character for someone who consistently acts out his disdain for the readership in a pastiche of Bogus Illiterate Redneck that has to be translated almost word-by-word into normal English to see if there’s any worthwhile content there.

    How about you back off your mushmowf-dialect shtick & become a respectable member of the community – IOW, stop acting like a whola azzhola?

    So I’m correct, but I done it wrong? Is that your shambling clumsy point?

    Who are you when you’re not acting like an asshole on the internet, I wonder? Are you kind to people who seek no quarrel with you, or do you allus act like an imperious plodding oaf?

    My patience really wears thin with you, Uncle Cosmo. Apart from your outta-nowhere mischaracterizations and insults, which apparently you feel are justified (which sez a lot about you), understand not why you’ve appointed yerself blog savior protecting everyone from my grammatical and rhetorical menace, but you have.

    Will note: Your high-minded rationale that you’re doing it cuz you are affronted on behalf of others is bullshit, of course. You do it cuz you enjoy indulging a grudge, and you do it cuz you enjoy acting acting like an asshole against someone you feel you can get away with it..

    You are resolved to keep acting like an asshole, I have resolved to be myself.

    In the final analysis, think your unjustified unkindness and ugliness sez more about you than it does me.

    But you do you.

  90. 90
    Kathleen says:

    germy #82 Oh, thanks for that! I had to Google to fully appreciate your reference and I’m so glad I did. Did you know that Conrad Veidt, who played Cesare, was Major Strasser in Casablanca?

    To some, he is remembered as a horror icon. To others, he serves as the prime figurehead of the German Expressionist era in film. To most of us in the United States, he is the quintessential Nazi bad guy. And to a few, he is known as a pioneer of early progressive filmmaking, a humanitarian hero who risked his life and career to fight for what he believed was right, and one of Adolf Hitler’s most vocal foes. How can someone who means so many different things to so many people be too obscure?

    Here’s a link to the blog Garbo Laughs which dedicated a post to him:

    https://garbolaughs.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/the-good-german-the-life-and-legacy-of-conrad-veidt/

    FWP is not posting any of my “replies” if I include a link.

  91. 91
    Dan B says:

    @germy: The Matt Shea story is interesting because it’s in Washington State, 300+ miles from us but there are local connections – a good friend with friends in Spokane Valley. This area has connections to Richard Butler who set up the Aryan Nations in nearby Hayden Lake, Idaho. Butler has close ties to almost every fascist or racist organization in the US. The nearby beautiful resort town of Couer D’Alene, Idaho did legal battle with Butler for years. His downfall seemed to happen at the same time he and his “companion” Bianca Trump, a porn star ( does history rhyme or just sing the same tune?) were arrested trying to board a plane. Vestiges of the Aryan Nations still infest northern Idaho and Spokane.
    There are roots to fascism pre WWII in Opiejean’s backyard. The Silver Legion, an openly fascist organization, operated in WA State out of a lodge they built in Redmond, the city where Microsoft is currently headquartered.

  92. 92
    Ruckus says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):
    Chávez had the support of a lot of people through his attempts to help the poor. Trump has the support of a lot of people who aren’t poor but think they are, because of the people they hate. It is a significant difference in that a lot of the people who supported Trump will be able to change their minds when it becomes obvious that they were taken in. In Chávez’s case those who supported him really didn’t have a lot of choice one way or the other. In Trump’s case they do, which may or may not make a difference, but they do have a choice.

  93. 93
    germy says:

    @Kathleen:

    Did you know that Conrad Veidt, who played Cesare, was Major Strasser in Casablanca?

    I didn’t know that. I like collecting trivia like that. I just know Veidt was the inspiration for Batman’s Joker (based on his role as The Man Who Laughs).

  94. 94
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @debbie: In the 1930 elections, “the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) remained the largest party in the Reichstag, winning 143 of the 577 seats, while the Nazi Party (NSDAP) dramatically increased its number of seats from 12 to 107. The Communists also increased their parliamentary representation, gaining 23 seats and becoming the third-largest party in the Reichstag. ” (source)

    The July 1932 elections “resulted in great gains by the Nazi Party; with 230 seats, it was the first time that the largest party in parliament did not go on to form a government. Neither the Nazi Party nor Hindenburg had a governing majority, and the other parties refused co-operation. Neither side had a majority on its own, and no coalition could be formed to create a governing majority.” (source)

    That was the Nazis’ high water mark prior to Hindenburg appointing Hitler Reichskanzler in January 1933. In the November 1932 elections they won 196 seats out of 584, a net change of -34, less than the 221 seats held by the Socialists & Communists. (source)

    Just for information.

  95. 95
    NotoriousJRT says:

    @James E Powell:
    I concur (WRT myself).

  96. 96
    germy says:

    @Dan B: This is sad, scary stuff. Maybe should be a front page topic sometime.

  97. 97
    Sab says:

    @Jay: Got in a huge argument with spouse about Pelosi. He loves her until she somehow fails us yet again (every day.)

    He objected to her being in Europe when the redacted Mueller report landed.

    “Why is she over there when she should be here?”

    Possibly calming allies and trade partners and trying to prevent or minimize harm from Brexit.

    ” She’s not President. That’s his job.”

    He’s not doing his job, so somebody has to calm allies and partners.

    “What’s the point? His word is no good. Why calm them, since he’s nuts?”

    He is only head of one branch of government. The health of the whole world economy depends on this, including our economy.

    “That’s not her job. Her job is to run the House of Representatives.”

    We were shrieking at each other. I still don’t know who was right, but we do need a grown-up in every room, and they seem to be in short supply.

  98. 98

    The definition of a troll is someone who does provocative, unnecessary things to start fights.

    Just sayin’

  99. 99
    Jay says:

    “In this increasingly polarized society we live in, it’s hard to find any kind of consensus on anything — but one would think that there would still be a few things here and there that we could all agree upon. One also might assume that one of those things would be “drinking bleach is a bad idea.”

    But if one were to do that, they would be wrong. Because the Genesis II Church is holding a seminar today in Washington State in order to promote the use of a substance they call “Miracle Mineral Solution,” which they consider a miracle cure for every disease on earth, and which the FDA and anyone who can read ingredients would consider “industrial bleach.”

    https://www.wonkette.com/church-of-holy-bleach-drinking-offering-450-seminars-we-say-no-thank-you

  100. 100

    @Dan B: I’m so old that I remember driving by Microsoft’s HQ off the 520 in Bellevue.

  101. 101
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Steeplejack: Gob be not smacked, Steep. I am well aware that he is (im)perfectly capable of posting lucid & insightful prose in standard Murkin-English. That merely makes it more aggravating when he goes to the trouble of running his thoughts through an English-to-Bogus-Illiterate-Redneck translator & then dumping the resultant sludge here, daring us to figure out what it means. IMO one of the FPers ought to delete everything he posts in that pseudo-dialect until he starts showing a modicum of respect for the readership.

  102. 102
    germy says:

    My local PBS station gets shittier and shittier.

    Right now: Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, special guest Ann Coulter.

    Calling her a “provocative, conservative voice”

    Gives her 30 minutes to spew her hate.

  103. 103

    @Lapassionara: Trump does not exist. He is not even a flake of paint on the hood ornament.

    There was an opportunity in 1979, when the Reagan campaign showed its true colors. All such opportunities are brief and unique. Neither the problem nor the solution were perceived. Civilized imagination does not reach so far. Only a Medieval mind could have grasped the outline and the gravity of the situation.

    Nothing that Trump has done, in real life or in his unimaginative fantasies, exceeds what Reagan did by the breadth of a single hair. I am not talking about any public act of his Admininistration; I am talking about the deniable, behind-closed-doors rhetoric of his campaign, none of which was reported at the time or since. But if you have ever wondered about the strand of the hard Right that says that the leadership of the Republican Party are untrustworthy squishes, it goes back to Reagan’s failure, once in office, to deliver on the non-public promises of his campaign.

  104. 104
    Jay says:

    @Sab:

    Pretty sure you were right.

    In a world filled with Instant Messaging, Instant Ordering and Instant Potatoes, Instant Gratification,

    People get angry and frustrated with process.

    People got pissed and abandoned all hope, when in less than a month in office, Meuller hadn’t arrested anybody.

  105. 105
    Jay says:

    @Dan B:

    On the bright side, the White Supremacists arn’t very good examples of the myth of inherent white supremacy,

    https://www.wonkette.com/laura-loomers-files-lawsuit-against-twitter-based-on-a-prank-someone-played-on-her

  106. 106
    geg6 says:

    @Jay:

    I hope it spreads to all evangelicals as the hot new thing to get saved. Would solve a lot of the problems in this country.

  107. 107
    Kathleen says:

    @germy: I love it too. I could so get hooked on this blog Garbo Laughs. Or any other classic film blog. Speaking of which, you knew that Frank Mankiewicz, was George McGovern’s press secretary, Robert Kennedy’s press aid, head of NPR and father of TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz, right? Can’t put any links in when I reply but the whole family is accomplished.

  108. 108
    khead says:

    We are in a sequence of events similar to those of the 1930s in Germany or the early 2000s in Venezuela. We must do something that the Germans of the Weimar Republic and the Venezuelans failed to do: stop the progress toward fascism and destruction.

    A little late to the thread but this is a good opportunity for me to apologize to Mr. Levenson. A while back – I think it’s been years because I am pretty sure Obama was still POTUS – Tom offered a comment (or post?) about the possibility of the US becoming the Weimar Republic and I jumped all over him. Just shut him down completely. Said it would never happen. My bad there. So my apologies to you, Mr. Levenson. We were (and now are) a lot closer than I could have ever expected in my lifetime.

  109. 109
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @whola azzola: I can “get away with” treating you like a POS precisely because, with rare exceptions, you insist on posting like a self-absorbed, blog-disdainful POS – and many others who hang around BJ seem to agree with that take.

    I am reminded of Molotov in a meeting with Truman spluttering, “I have never been talked to like that in my life!” & Harry replying, “Carry out your agreements and you won’t get to be talked to like that.” Start posting consistently in reasonably clear & coherent English, & I’ll back right off. Keep indulging yourself in pretentious pseudo-dialectical mumbling & you will continue to get what HST delivered to The Hammer: a verbal “one-two to the jaw.”

    And I mean that in the most cordial way… :^D

  110. 110
    MoxieM says:

    @tokyokie: Along those lines–and maybe based on it? the Netflix/German collaboration Babylon Berlin is really stunning. It is a detective story (within a detective story) set in Berlin in the years leading up to the end of Weimar. Not only that the sets, acting, costumes etc are amazing–they filmed in as many remaining authentic locations as possible, but also that you get a real sense of the impending disaster. We can see it because we have the hindsight–they can’t. We see the consequences of Stalin’s rise, and small pogroms and other public anti-semitic acts in Berlin, the tensions between the economically anxious far-right and the far-left. And the authoritarian government (despite the veneer of democracy under Weimar). The whole stew, in other words. It’s very thought provoking, for a TV detective series.

  111. 111
    JR says:

    I can’t think of a historical example of a country this far down that road that turned back, but that may be my limitation.

    Abdication of Charles X

  112. 112
    Kathleen says:

    From the blog Public Books, Historian Kathleen Belew discusses “The Rise Of White Power”. Long but worthwhile read. I found her point about how these groups have pioneered effective use of information targeting quite interesting:

    KB: One thing that is widely misreported and really important to understand is how long this movement has been using the internet. A lot of people still think of white power and affiliated activism starting on the internet after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. And certainly that’s when the main website, Stormfront, gets going. But these activists were using early computer message boards in 1984, on a network called Liberty Net. And that was not sort of a casual “I’m going to post on my olden-time keyboard message board” kind of situation. This was the movement stealing millions of dollars in Northern California, traveling through the country to distribute the money to groups in all regions, getting those groups to buy Apple minicomputers, and then sending an activist around to train them how to use these message boards in 1984. And the message boards included not only assassination lists and ideological content; they also included things like personal ads and religious information.

    So, effectively this movement has been using social network activism online since way before Facebook. They are pioneers of these strategies that have proven incredibly effective at radicalizing people and bringing about social change in all kinds of different registers around the world. So when we’re thinking about the effect of the internet on this movement, we have to be mindful that they are incredibly good at this. They are generations in.

    Here’s a link to the entire article:

    https://www.publicbooks.org/public-thinker-kathleen-belew-on-the-rise-of-white-power/?utm_content=buffer62f1c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  113. 113
    Dan B says:

    @germy: The piece of the story that grabbed my attention, although it is mentioned as an afterthought, is Shea and his co-conspirators main targets after Anonymous and Antifa, who they believed to be planning a hit war, were people who “practice same sex marriage and abortion”. This is the same pair of targets that Randall Terry, and a whole host of christianists make indirect threats against. They are currently aiming their wrath at Buttigieg. There’s little mention of the dozens of threats to Mayor Pete from these leaders.

    Pence is a quiet but powerful part of this effort to put the gay genie and the reproductive rights genies back in jail. It’s difficult to counter these threats unless you know they exist. Another connection is these white men seem to feel they can achieve success one of their targets and move an energized mob onto other targets. It will be worth watching what WA State does. The Spokane GOP Sherrif opposes Shea but the GOP has been mum so far.

  114. 114
    Sab says:

    @Dan B: Venn diagram of their enemies is all the not incels.

  115. 115
    azlib says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    I am not sure we were “nicer” back them, but the two parties were not split as they are now along ideaological lines. I do remeber how riveting the Watergate hearings were. We would all rush home to watch the latest updates.

    I do think the same general trends will be in play. Republican support for Trump needs to start cracking before impeachment becomes feasible. It may not take much to get there. Nixon’s support fell pretty dramatically and I believe he was above 50% before the dam burst. His Republican approval was near 90% and fell to about 50% as Watergate took its toll.

    It seems one of the memes with Trump is his hard support defies everything he does. I do not think this is the case and I predict his approval ratings will fall in the next few months and more and more revelations about his corrupt and incompetent administration see the light of day.

  116. 116

    @JR: Thanks. I was not aware of Charles X. Looks like it was riots that got him to abdicate. Will look further.

  117. 117
    Dan B says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I’m so old I was in a hot tub with employee #2 whe there were a few dozen employees. We were just discussing the early Microsoft offices with Ric’s ex at a fundraising party for a documentary about him “Yes I Am” which was his license plate. Ric willed $55 milllion to Stanford and $65 million to LGBT rights organizations. The young doc makers were curious why a wealthy gay man would give his fortune to LGBT organizations, “Because LGBT are mainstream now.” Shhhh. Don’t tell Matt Shea and Randall Terry and Franklin Graham and Mike……..

  118. 118
    Brachiator says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I will say that Chris Matthews, of all people, has been getting increasingly exercised at Trump’s threat in the last month or two. Not treating things as a horse race so much.

    But ultimately, the election is just business as usual, not a rescue of the republic.

    But I don’t know. Did the press of 1859 and 1860 really see the storm brewing?

  119. 119
    Dan B says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: I found his posts entertaining. They were a bit of levity in the midst of discussions of troubling issues – a moment of letting off steam. It would be fine to skip past them. There are plenty of great commenters.

  120. 120
    NotMax says:

    @JR

    For that matter, when it comes to being fascist friendly, the abdication of Edward VIII.

  121. 121
    debbie says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    Thanks. My aging iPad sucks for Googling around.

  122. 122
    JimV says:

    Dr. Rofer really adds some class to this blog. (I don’t say much-needed class.)

    Maybe we needed to be taken down a few pegs and realize that what happened in Japan and Germany (in WWII) and Russia and other places could happen in the USA, despite our great Democracy and Constitution and Founding Fathers. Maybe once there are enough examples that all countries’ peoples can see this we will be able to get together and form a world government on humanitarian principles that guard against it. (Or not–probably not.)

  123. 123
    Chris Johnson says:

    @Renie:

    do we want a president who’s conduct is extremely troubling but since it is not at the threshold of ‘criminal’, we will do nothing.

    Like I said the first time around, how can you say it is not criminal when you haven’t seen most of Mueller’s report?

    The worst shit is STILL being covered up. What was revealed, even if it seems appalling and/or grounds for impeachment, is the LEAST damaging shit in there.

    Much like eemom saying that she called it, I say the same thing I said in that thread. You are still not seeing most of it, because the worst is covered up. And you can’t say anything about the situation being ‘not criminal’ while other criminals try to strike deals to bury and conceal the evidence of their crimes.

    While there is still redaction, you have not seen the worst. And Mueller’s investigation ain’t the only one out there, just one of the more effective ones.

  124. 124
    Brachiator says:

    @azlib:

    I do think the same general trends will be in play. Republican support for Trump needs to start cracking before impeachment becomes feasible. It may not take much to get there. Nixon’s support fell pretty dramatically and I believe he was above 50% before the dam burst. His Republican approval was near 90% and fell to about 50% as Watergate took its toll.

    Nixon’s approval among Republicans was as high as 90 percent in the run up to the 1972 election.

    But Republican approval was surprisingly high during Watergate, according to one account.

    The Massacre itself and subsequent revelations, including tape transcripts, and impeachment proceedings did little to reduce his approval ratings. Republican support remained about 54%, independents about 25% and Dems about 15%.

    This last point deserves emphasis. The shocking Saturday Night Massacre, Nixon cited as an “unindicted co-conspirator”, the release of tape transcripts that introduced “expletive deleted” to the lexicon barely moved opinion.

    Trump should be impeached. Let’s not worry about past comparison.

    Link to story about Nixon approval

    https://medium.com/@PollsAndVotes/nixon-watergate-and-partisan-opinion-524c4314d530

  125. 125

    @NotMax: Good point, although I don’t think Britain was this far down the fascist road at that point.

  126. 126
    Ksmiami says:

    @Betty: we need to talk from a more empowered place- recapture patriotism, diversity, innovation and justice as the Democratic ideals. Right now it feels like the Democratic leadership is afraid of pundits and they look weak and craven. but there’s a more effective way to take down Trump as he is what they say in Russia a poleznyy idiot. That basically even the Russians thought he was too much a tool and security risk to directly work with so why the fuck is he in the White House. He’s a fake billionaire and a fake President and a lowbrow conman. Hit him where he hurts often

  127. 127
    Dan B says:

    @Jay: Thanks for the laughs. My pop psychology says ridicule is one of the best weapons. It can also get through to wingers who are not totally gone.

    I propose a campaign to spoof Hannutty’s show by replacing his feed with dozens of Colbert opening monologues, after we get Twitler’s hair superglued to the TV. And what should Pence and McTurtler be “encouraged” to watch?

  128. 128
    Brachiator says:

    @Sab:

    He is only head of one branch of government. The health of the whole world economy depends on this, including our economy.

    Congress is not going to pursue trade deals. The House, by itself, does not even have authority to pursue treaties. I don’t think Pelosi visiting Europe is a problem, but it has extremely little political impact. In the long term, maybe some value.

  129. 129
    Dan B says:

    @geg6: May not be the best thing for Evangelicals. They’re “curing” infants. With bleach.

  130. 130
    LivinginExile says:

    Just a question. What if the House voted to censure trump? Would that just be a meaningless action? Would that mean they couldn’t vote to impeach at a later date?

  131. 131
    azlib says:

    @Brachiator:

    Yes, I looked at Nixon’s approval. Seems it bottomed out at around 50% among Republicans and remained pretty constant until he resigned. Trump is starting out at a much lower overall approval with the same 90% of Republicans approve. It means Trump’s approval among Dems and Independents is much lower than Nixon’s at the time of Watergate.

  132. 132
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    From a composition standpoint, the writing is self-indulgent and precious. Sometimes, we must kill our darlings (or are overly-darling styles). Obviously, YMMV.

  133. 133
    ola azul says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    I can “get away with” treating you like a POS precisely because, with rare exceptions, you insist on posting like a self-absorbed, blog-disdainful POS – and many others who hang around BJ seem to agree with that take … Start posting consistently in reasonably clear &; coherent English, &; I’ll back right off. Keep indulging yourself in pretentious pseudo-dialectical mumbling &; you will continue to get what HST delivered to The Hammer: a verbal “one-two to the jaw.”

    And I mean that in the most cordial way… :^D

    Some peeps live a cause, guess you’ve found yours.

    It borders on farcical, your pretentious self-regard and your absurd justifications for why you act like an asshole to me. What I write is a lotta things, but pretentious it ain’t. That’s your racket. (A lil Jamesons down the “alimentary canal,” wot, wot.).

    I don’t go picking thru your post-droppings to point out your linguistic pretensiousness, nor do I step on your neck about your curious delectation in arbitrarily subbing out an ampersand where the conjunctive “and” is proper. I know you know it’s an incorrect usage, but you choose to do it, so who cares? It touches me not, you enjoy it, the fuck I care? Being the consummate hypocrite that you are, you of course fail to notice this. Plus it’s just bad fucking manners and unkind to point out your willful repurposing of the English language. That, too, is your racket. (Oh, and your garden-variety hypocrisy.)

    I am a direct, often vulgar human being. By habit and by choice. I write (and speak) incorrectly. By habit and by choice. Language is supple and malleable (“&” you know this!), and I have fun with it. (Some peeps quite appreciate how I write — shocking, I know! right here on this very blog! even said so! — cuz it’sa singular distinctive voice that they enjoy.

    That said, am under no illusions that I’m ever’body’s cuppa gumbo; some peeps do *not* like how I write (detest, more like!) and that’s OK. Most of ’em, however — and this here’s the crux of the biscuit, so pay close attention here now, Uncle Cosmo — *most of ’em* ain’t got the bad fucking manners that you do to keep haranguing me about what is their/your fucking problem. That, too, is your racket.

    Will say: If I’m ever in Maryland, or wherever it is around there you mentioned being from, I would be weirdly interested in sitting down with you for a convo where we could look each other in the eyes and see one another (hopefully) as two human beings. I suspect we prolly might agree on a lotta things. We could play scrabble and you could put your vocab to work. And — bonus! — I’ve noticed over the years that most folks are far less apt to act like an internet asshole in real life. So there’s that.

  134. 134
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Renie:

    his support of say 80% is for 27% of voters who are republicans.

    21.6% sounds unbearably puny.

  135. 135
    ola azul says:

    @Brachiator:

    Both the North and the South (and the Very Serious Peeples of their time) thought the war would be brief and reconciled quickly. Each side thought so in its favor.

    Fucking *no one* foresaw coming the interminable bloodbath that ensued.The law of unintended consequences is a helluva cruel corrective.

  136. 136
    eemom says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    “are striking, but they aren’t exact. Chávez actually gave a shit about the poor of his country and did a fair deal to improve literacy rates etc. I can’t think of a single thing Cheeto Benito has done to improve anyone’s life except his own.
    Both of these are pretty small, though. Great analysis overall.”

    You had me until “pretty small” difference. Wow.

    @BobS:

    Chavez’ economic policies were shit, but he doesn’t deserve being mentioned in a conversation along with Trump or Hitler- Chavez won multiple internationally monitored elections by landslide margins. In the context of Venezuelan (and Latin American) political systems, Chavez represented a pretty significant improvement for the mostly impoverished population of his country. Arguably, some of his authoritarian over reach is attributable to the near constant siege of his administration (including the failed coup of April 2002, which occurred a month after the American Idiot sent Charles Shapiro to Venezuela as his ambassador to that country).

    Yeah. Imma be an outlier here and say this whole 3 way comparison is some fucked up shit and obfuscates some rather huge and glaring differences.

    More generally, I think we need to ask ourselves what’s up with this obsessive need to compare and categorize, like, everything all the time. (See also every thread about 2020.)

  137. 137
    Ruckus says:

    @ola azul:
    Your stick is annoying.
    His stick is beyond annoying because his stick is being the self appointed/anointed internet language police.
    If I was going to pie one of the two of you, it would be Uncle Cosmos.
    But I’m not because both of you on occasion have good stuff to say.

  138. 138

    @Uncle Cosmo: As a person who literally didn’t notice ola azul’s posts until the last few days, I have absolutely no idea what they’ve done to set you off this badly, but I suggest you take a deep breath and re-examine your priorities. Or else just use the pie filter. Getting this caught up over what appears to be entirely an objection over their writing style seems completely backwards when we’re literally dealing with fascists and Nazis in government. As it stands, your comments just look like a bunch of unprovoked flames, which would’ve been questionable in the Usenet days and certainly look out of place now.

    I mean, it’s your time and you can do what you want with it, but I’ve got no idea why you’re choosing this. There are too many other outrages out there for me to comprehend getting mad because another poster on a blog uses colloquial language. Obstruction of justice, kids in cages, very fine people, when you’re a star they let you do it, Muslim ban, transgender military service ban, attempted repeals of Obamacare, stolen Supreme Court seats, stolen elections. I don’t get how you can possibly maintain sustained outrage over a person’s writing style in the face of all that.

    $.02. Take it for what it’s with.

  139. 139
    eemom says:

    Will qualify the above to say that I DO think it’s important to apply the lessons of the past to recognize and resist the descent into fascism.

    Indulging in pseudo-intellectual contortions to try to force three individuals who actually couldn’t be more different into some bullshit commonality, not so much.

  140. 140
    ola azul says:

    @ola azul:

    Should amend that to virtually no one. Peeps with heightened sensitivity and critical intelligence saw it coming; if memory serves, Walt Whitman was one.

    But gifted Cassandras are but the exceptions that highlight the general lack of foresight from the mass, seems like.(Which makes it even more excruciating and exasperable for the Cassandras of the world. Oft think of Hillary this way, and my heart is stabbed all over.)

  141. 141
    Amir Khalid says:

    @ola azul:
    I agree with Uncle Cosmo about your writing style. I find it as needlessly hard to read and tiresome as he does, and have raised the same objections to it. It is your wilfully affected and hard-to-follow prose that strikes me as bad manners, even more so than your discourteous, intemperate, and incoherent defence of it to him and me. From a source of the first, one wouldn’t expect anything better than the latter.

    I suppose it is entirely plausible that you might be less of an arsehole in meatspace than on these threads. But I don’t know if it would be worth the effort for Unle Cosmo to find out. It certainly wouldn’t be worth it for me.

  142. 142
    eemom says:

    @ola azul:

    Got no beef with you myself. Just curious about what your nym means and your general age/gender/geographic info, to the extent you are comfortable sharing.

  143. 143
    eemom says:

    fuck LBJ
    fuck LBJ
    fuck LBJ

    Trying to summon Raven, cuz this whole kerfluffle about ola azul’s writing style reminds me of one of the FDL commenters from the old days.

  144. 144
    Bex says:

    @joel hanes: Their son, Trump’s father was eleven when his father died. He left his widow about $30,000 which would be about half a million in today’s dollars. She began buying houses and reselling them at a profit and expanded into building. She was the founder of the Trump Organization.

  145. 145
    ola azul says:

    @Ruckus:

    Your stick is annoying.
    His stick is beyond annoying because his stick is being the self appointed/anointed internet language police.

    If I was going to pie one of the two of you, it would be Uncle Cosmos.
    But I’m not because both of you on occasion have good stuff to say.

    Thanks? I guess. Now I’m aware my shtick is annoying to you. Thanks for the update!

    Only quibble is it’s notta shtick (or a schtick, Yiddish or German depending). It’s how I talk. You don’t like it, that’s OK. Notta requirement to like it.

    Will confess: Thought had established a basis of understanding with you that wasn’t annoying when you and I hadda exchange inspired by your sister’s memory, but apparently I was mistaken.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  146. 146

    Just sayin’.

    If someone behaves like a troll, I take them to be a troll. Wasting time and starting fights are characteristic of trolls. Throwing in some interesting stuff from time to time fuzzes up the categories.

    On Twitter, I simply block trolls. The Blogmeister doesn’t believe in banning, so I just ignore everything that isn’t written in more or less standard English. I recommend this to others.

  147. 147

    @eemom: “Pretty small” because I thought it was fairly likely Cheryl wasn’t saying they were 1:1 comparisons (as indeed she wasn’t), but rather that there were lessons to be learned from the past. History rhymes. Regardless, I favour making that explicit.

    I agree that Chávez is also, shall we say, a massive outlier among these three. Chávez doesn’t even come close to approaching the level of (Fidel) Castro, who in turn had some way to go before being comparable to the worst Communist dictators (not that there weren’t some appalling aspects of Castro’s time in power). Even someone like Juan Perón might have been a better comparison for El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago, though when you drop Hitler in, almost anyone this side of Stalin or maybe someone like King Leopold II of Belgium is going to seem to be defamed massively by the comparison.

    I think it’s important to learn lessons from history without thinking there will be an exact repetition. But humanity does bumble along making the same mistakes, much like individual people do. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, as Santayana (?) said. Historical comparisons and contrasts can be illuminating as to potential dangers and strategies that might help weaken said dangers, but they are hardly definitive predictors of outcomes – no such things exist, particularly because factors such as the Internet did not exist until fairly recently. (Though at the same time, we also should not overestimate the importance of technology either.)

    Regardless, we’d be in a much better place if more Americans had seen this film, so to speak. (Or more of the correct Americans, at any rate – Stephen Miller watches it and sides with the villains.)

  148. 148
    frosty says:

    @Amir Khalid: Thank you, Amir. I agree entirely and you said it much better and more politely than I would have. I won’t pie him but I skim over at least half his comments because the writing style puts me off so much.

  149. 149
    Ruckus says:

    @eemom:
    Actually learning from the past is realistic goal so everyone doesn’t have to repeat shit over and over and over and…..
    And yet – it’s quite apparent that there are large groups of people who either can’t or don’t want to learn anything from history or the world around them. This is so common that it has been said many times before, in many different ways. Examples – these people have their heads in the sand, up their own ass, up someone else’s ass, go through life looking only in a rear view mirror, (so everything they see is in the past and backwards)
    It would be nice if that group could be shrunk so the rest of us could have a better life and leave the place nicer than we found it.

  150. 150
    Ruckus says:

    @eemom:
    Thank you!
    It seemed somehow familiar but couldn’t place it.

  151. 151
    ola azul says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Am curious. Seeing’s how this is the second time you’ve chosen to post this sentiment (one that I happen to agree with, but sometimes folks agree in principle but with different understandings of application or meaning), am wondering to whom it is directed? Your answer would be instructive on many different levels.

  152. 152
    Bill Arnold says:

    Topical book review; a few are savaged (Madeleine Albright’s book for instance :-)
    Fascist Creeps (Jeff Sparrow, 19 March, 2019) (About Fascism, not general authoritarianism.)

    Of these, “Against the Fascist Creep” and “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook” seem (to me at least) worth at least a skim
    Fascism: A Warning, Madeleine Albright, April, 2018
    How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, Jason Stanley, September, 2018
    National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy, Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin, October, 2018
    Against the Fascist Creep, Alexander Reid Ross, February, 2017
    Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, Mark Bray, October, 2017
    The New Authoritarians: Convergence on the Right, David Renton, April, 2019

  153. 153
    Dan B says:

    @Kathleen: Thanks for the link to the great article about White Supremacy. The discovery that the lone wolf actors are actually part of national secretive groups linked by the internet is disturbing.

    She mentions that she talks about how to combat white supremacists but does not link to any articles. It would be valuable to read those.

  154. 154
    Aleta says:

    I’ve been thinking of what should happen in addition to, and be faster than, the impeachment fight. Though I don’t know how to best do it specifically.

    If (we can hope) it’s harder now for the public to overlook Trump’s corruption, then even while Congressional Rs resist impeachment, concerted pressure, public attacks, and thousands of calls and letters can insist that Congresspeople oppose every nominee and most actions of his departments.

    There are still people at the EPA and under the Interior Dept., for example, who need public opposition to things his people there are attempting. I believe his nominees for federal judgeships have all gotten through. (No wonder they speeded it up — it wasn’t just about the election).

    This blog is such a powerful place. There are probably better ideas afoot, but at least we can again notify each other as we did for health care, of calls and ways to pressure Congresspeople; to say this traitorous and unstable president cannot be allowed a single nominate or to dictate any more policy.

    This week we can harangue every Republican Senator (except RP) and the three Dems for voting to confirm the lying puppet Barr. Who’s dishonored the DOJ and is guilty of cover up and obstruction. A lot of calls or paper arriving this week would be a start.

  155. 155
    Bonnie says:

    The longer this man is in office, the more danger America is in from other countries and entities who want to destroy America. However, I am of the belief that trump and his supporters want America destroyed, too, if they can’t have everything they want. They are all spoiled little brats who are willing to sell America out to Russia or to the highest bidder. This just way too sad.

  156. 156
    Ruckus says:

    @ola azul:
    I’ve known and know people from all over the country and many parts of the world. I like that we are different. And I’m not one to think that everyone should sound alike or spell everything exactly the same. I welcome our differences. Makes life more interesting. That said it doesn’t mean that someone talking to me should try to be less understandable. You say you talk like you write but I’ve seen a lot of your comments and some of them are much less a take on a particular vernacular that you espouse as yours. To me that’s what is annoying, you seem to be trying to sound a certain way, rather than better communication, which is jarring to the eye and ear. You obviously aren’t stupid or uninformed, but your writing suggests that. If you are trying to convey that this style does not indicate a less than learned style, you may not be succeeding.
    But notice that I’m still here, still listening. Just giving you a bit of feedback doesn’t mean we can’t talk, it just means that if I’m not in the mood, I pass you by. And I may miss something worth hearing. Is that on me or on you?

  157. 157
    My Side of Town says:

    I always thought highly of Hugo Chavez. I would never put him in the company of Trump or Hitler. But it goes to show you what propaganda and sanctions can do. Chavez was a leftist hero in Venezuela and had the support of the people. He was not a dictator, unless you consider Obama a dictator, as the right still does in our republic.

    I don’t know what prompted me to post this. I have been lurking on this website since the poor man humiliated our host into switching sides, and mostly find someone will post what I think, thus not requiring to come out of my shell.

    I wonder where the WH rebuttal is? Has anyone seen it?

  158. 158
    ola azul says:

    @eemom:

    Got no beef with you myself. Just curious about what your nym means and your general age/gender/geographic info, to the extent you are comfortable sharing.

    You may or may not recall that I usedtawas poleaxedbyboatwork. Chose that nym when I’s in San Franscisco Bay unstepping masts and replacing rigging onna ketch-rigged commercial fishboat. Have come to realize will allus be poleaxed by boatwork, but had become sore sick of the nym as a constant reminder, so began casting about for a new one. When I changed nyms, it (apparently) inspired one of these periodic spasms in which peeps feel obliged to performatively become outraged and insult me and tell me what an asshole I am because they dislike how I write.

    Got no problem if you dislike how I write. But it ain’t my problem. It’s yours. (Speaking of those who do, not you, course.) And it’s dishonest as fuck to make out like your problem is my problem. imo

    Far’s my nym, wanted sumpin purty as relief from the ugliness of “poleaxed” (descriptive but discouraging to be reminded of). Thought on several options, landed on ola azul (espanol, as you prolly know) for blue wave. Liked it on several levels. Still do.

    Male. Trippt across half-century mark this year. Catch the wild salmons in Gulf of Alaska that many a you eats inna restaurant or buys inna grocery. (You *are* eating wild, right? Them farmed fish lives in their own shit. //soapbox)

    Also: since you were kind enough to ask inna venue in which self-justification for acting like an asshole is oft more important than being kind and accepting, allow me to say that your commentary is allus appreciated. Don’t agree with ever’thing (who does?), but you have the courage of your convictions and ain’t shy about saying so. Which I admire.

  159. 159
    My Side of Town says:

    Moderation is why I don’t post here hardly ever. I never use bad language and try to be kind.

  160. 160

    @Amir Khalid: I don’t know how you’ve treated ola azul in the past, but I don’t find it at all unreasonable that he was “discourteous” to Cosmo after Cosmo opened up his responses in this thread by calling ola azul an asshole. You open your responses with an insult, you don’t have much room to complain when you get insulted back. I don’t insult people out of nowhere – they have to either say something particularly ethically revolting or insult me first – but if someone chided me for those insults and disregarded the context in which they made them, I’d feel quite understandably upset for having the context erased.

    But again, on the note of context, there’s obviously a massive amount of history between the three of you that I’m not familiar with, but I literally haven’t seen anything from ola azul that even strikes me as more than a couple of ticks above the median level of colloquialism one would expect on a blog comment section. If you can read the common English colloquialisms “gonna” and “wanna” and “kinda” and “sorta”, I see very little in any of ola azul’s posts that should pose a challenge. It’s a mild annoyance at worst and I literally don’t understand why people are calling him an asshole and a troll for it.

    A poster on another blog has taken to writing in all caps. I’m not actually even unusually bothered but that, but I can see why others are – I can see how it would pose reading trouble even to fluent speakers if their eyesight were bad or something along those lines. Nothing I’ve seen OA post here that is either particularly difficult to comprehend or unusually abrasive by the standards here. Frankly, he’s been more courteous than I’d have been; my reaction to being called an asshole out of nowhere based, as far as I can make out from the context here, purely on my writing style very well might’ve been a simple “Fuck off, dickhead” and an addition to the pie filter.

    Maybe there’s history here that I’m missing, but it looks to me like some people here need to take a step back. I haven’t seen anything that rises to Faulkner or Joyce or Pynchon levels of reading difficulty here. If there’s more going on here, maybe someone can fill me in, but I’m bewildered by the hostility he’s receiving, and I can’t fault him for responding in kind.

  161. 161
  162. 162

    @Bill Arnold: Dave Neiwert is essential reading on right-wing authoritarianism in America. He may own the beat as thoroughly as David Cay Johnston owns our tax code, or as Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow own stories on sexual assault by the rich and famous. He has a blog called Orcinus and has written several books.

    I may check out some of the other books you mentioned when time permits. Thanks for the reading list.

  163. 163
    Jay says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    Yup, some of his work was also published elsewhere such as the High Plains News, so it’s worth a google search.

  164. 164
    Another Scott says:

    PPP April 1 poll release (73 page .pdf):

    Raleigh, N.C. – PPP’s newest national poll finds that Bill Barr’s letter summarizing the
    findings of the Mueller investigation hasn’t done much to help Donald Trump with public
    opinion…and that voters are a lot more interested in health care and the Republican tax
    plan than the Russia investigation anyway.

    -49% of voters think that Trump has committed obstruction of justice, to 40% who say
    they don’t think so. When PPP previously asked that question in June of 2017 49% said
    they believed Trump had committed obstruction of justice, to 41% who didn’t think so.

    -44% of voters think that members of Trump’s campaign team worked in association with
    Russia to help Trump win the election for President to 43% who don’t think so. When
    PPP asked the same question in January, 45% thought there was collusion, to 43% who
    thought there wasn’t.

    -51% of voters characterize Trump as being a liar to 42% who disagree with that
    descriptor. That’s actually up from a 48/44 spread on our January poll.
    “Trump is getting no boost from Bill Barr’s summary of the Mueller report,” said Dean
    Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “Voters still think he’s a liar and they still
    think he committed crimes.”

    -68% of voters think Robert Mueller’s full report should be released publicly, to only
    19% who don’t think it should be. Interestingly while Clinton voters want the report
    released 88-7, Trump voters only want it released by a 46-37 spread, suggesting some
    trepidation among his partisans about what story the full picture might tell.

    If the Mueller investigation had turned out a different way, it’s still not likely there would
    have been much movement in public opinion. Trump voters have been consistent in
    saying they think there was no collusion- but they’ve also been consistent in saying they
    don’t care even if there was. Just 11% of Trump voters think he should resign even if
    collusion was proven, to 77% who think he should stay in office.

    Trump’s approval rating is 42%, identical to what it was on PPP’s last national poll earlier
    in March. 52% of voters disapprove of the job he’s doing.

    The Things Voters Care About More

    Voters don’t care that much about the Russia investigation anyway though. When asked
    whether they think health care or the Russia investigation is a more important issue,
    health care wins out 80-8. And when asked whether the Republican tax plan or the Russia
    investigation is a more important issue, the tax plan wins out 65-18. And Trump and
    Republicans have a lot of trouble on both of those issues.

    The Affordable Care Act continues to enjoy the new found popularity it’s had since
    Trump took office. 49% of voters support it to just 30% now who are opposed. There’s
    strong opposition to the Justice Department’s recently expressed support for striking
    down the Affordable Care Act- just 34% of voters agree with them on that to 53% who
    disagree.

    Trump’s proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare are possibly the most unpopular thing
    he’s done since taking office. Just 20% of voters support them to 67% who are opposed.
    It’s hard to find an issue where Trump’s voters against him, but on these cuts only 39% of
    his own base stands with him to 40% opposed. Clinton voters stand against the cuts 88-6.
    Overall voters trust Democrats more than Republicans on the issue of health care 49-38.

    “Health care won Democrats the election last fall,” said Dean Debnam, President of
    Public Policy Polling. “Trump’s actions on the issue over the last month are giving them
    a big opening to win the election next fall on it too.”

    […]

    Public Policy Polling surveyed 846 registered voters on March 27th and 28th. The margin
    of error is +/-3.4%. 66% of participants, selected through a list based sample, responded
    via the phone, while 34% of respondents who did not have landlines conducted the
    survey over the internet through an opt-in internet panel.

    It’s going to take time to change those 80:8 and 65:18 numbers. People who want impeachment hearings Now, Now, Now need to cool their jets or it’s going to fail. The Congress moves slowly.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  165. 165
    My Side of Town says:

    I’m in favor of impeachment hearings starting asap. I was around when Nixon resigned and Clinton was impeached. I don’t think we should let Trump resign. And fwiw Liz is now my top pick. Bernie has been harassing me four our five times a day for donations, because I sent him ten bucks in 2016. I send him back an email in return saying if he would primary Trump, I would send him another ten bucks, but he never responds.

  166. 166

    @Another Scott: The best suggestion I’ve seen for how to handle impeachment was from Damon Poeter on LGM. Paraphrased: Send the impeachment to the Senate on October 28, 2020, and make James Fucking Comey deliver it as penance.

    @Jay: Thanks. May Google those later.

  167. 167
    ola azul says:

    @Ruckus:

    One of my dear friends is a guitar-pickin good old boy from Gastonia. We play scrabble together often. He’s very good. He likes country music, but he also likes George Clinton funk. And thrash metal. And bluegrass. Like me, he’s a commercial fisherman. Boat sank last year, got a new one, right back in the game. When he’s got guitar students inna professional setting, he talks one way; when he’s back home ‘mongst his folks in North Carolina, he talks quite another.

    Would it surprise you to learn he’s black? That’s not even remotely the most inneresting thing about him, but it speaks to how we contain multitudes.

    Yes, I can speak proper. And sometimes I do. But sometimes I don’t. I like to think, fool that I am, that that’s my prerogative, not yours, and that once you’ve told me your disagreeable estimation of my output, it’s just simple bad fucking manners to keep beating the drum.

  168. 168
    My Side of Town says:

    I’m in favor of impeachment hearings starting asap. I was around when Nixon resigned and Clinton was impeached. I don’t think we should let Trump resign. And fwiw Liz is now my top pick. Bernie has been harassing four our five times a day for donations, because I sent him ten bucks in 2016. I send him back an email in return saying if he would primary Trump, I would send him another ten bucks, but he never responds.

  169. 169
    West of the Rockies says:

    This is a low-hanging-fruit observation, but FdB had a style that probably even put off his mother. Why use ten clear words to express something when you can use 80 to confuse and annoy your readers?

    I recall that a year or so ago on his personal site, he revealed some serious issues he was facing (mental and emotional health challenges, I believe). Anyone know if he has worked through it all?

  170. 170
    CarolPW says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): I agree, and I was shocked by Cheryl apparently calling ola azul out as a troll. He is not up to Twain in rendering colloquial English, but nothing in his posts seem tollish to me. I can see how his speech rendition drives some people mad, but we have people talking about towing the line and peaking into the White House conspiracy (and I am pretty sure ola azul wold not make either mistake) but those commenters are not castigated or called trolls.

  171. 171
    ola azul says:

    @CarolPW:

    In fairness to Cheryl, think it’s important to point out that she never specified to whom she was addressing her twice-made remark. (Mighta been me, might notta, dunno.) And cuz I try’n treat folks in good faith, thought it only fair to do her the courtesy of asking her directly to whom she intended the remarks, here:

    @ola azul:

  172. 172
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    If you can read the common English colloquialisms “gonna” and “wanna” and “kinda” and “sorta”, I see very little in any of ola azul’s posts that should pose a challenge.

    For someone who does not have English as a first language, it can be quite challenging. I’ve mentioned before that my father, when he was trying to learn English, had someone tell him that John Steinbeck was a good writer. Many years later, he was able to joke about how “The Grapes of Wrath” didn’t help him.

  173. 173
    CarolPW says:

    @ola azul: That’s why the “apparently” was in there.

  174. 174
    Dan B says:

    @CarolPW: Cheryl may be referring to Uncle Cosmo and to ola azul, or to one of them. If it were my blog post I’d put both in their own separate comment thread to let them wear themselves out. They turned into a boy chicken fight.

  175. 175
    JR says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): reminiscent of the Zippy comics.

  176. 176
    Dan B says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Gonna tella story here. We had exchange students from France in my small Ohio town. They went to a school play, Lil Abner or something. They could not follow the play and may not have understood more than a few words. God forbid they had gone to my little Arkansas town. My mother was from Arkansas and there were people my brither and I could not understand.

  177. 177
  178. 178

    @Gin & Tonic: I can understand ESL speakers having difficulty to some extent, which is why I’d described his level of colloquialism as “a couple of ticks above the median” in the sentence immediately proceeding your quote. AFAIK, at least some of the folks complaining are native speakers, though, unless there’s been a bit of biographical detail I’ve missed.

    If being ESL speakers is a contributing factor to anyone’s trouble comprehending his posts, though, it would seem to me they’ve been burying the lede here. “I have difficulty figuring out phonetic renderings of English speech because it’s not my first language” is a much more understandable issue than “having words mashed together offends my aesthetic sensibilities enough to call a person who does it an asshole, to all appearances out of nowhere.”

    Again, as stated, there’s obviously a lot of context I’m missing here. But the complaints in this post mostly read to me like aesthetic objections rather than confusion. *shrug*

  179. 179

    @NotMax: Good to see multiple people with a good idea – I didn’t see your comment, I don’t think. I felt that Damon’s suggestion of making Comey do it was a particular stroke of genius, though. Ironic on at least two layers.

  180. 180
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    I too had trouble reading the dialogue in The Grapes of Wrath. E.g. I didn’t know, until I read it elsewhere much later, that the E is silent in oncet.

  181. 181
    Amir Khalid says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):
    I’ve been told here that my English is pretty good, and I find our poleaxed friend’s prose seriously tough going because of his rustic affectations. I assure you that my objection to his style is not merely aesthetic.

  182. 182
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Like our friend Amir, I also find the effort/reward relationship such that I seldom read more than a few words. But that seems to be fine with both o.a. and me now, and I try not to bring it up (other than in an explanatory context like this.)

  183. 183

    @Amir Khalid: Fair, but I refer you back to the segment on burying the lede. Your English is in fact good enough that quite a few people may simply assume you’re a native speaker unless otherwise informed. I mostly tried (and hopefully managed) to keep my phrasing vague where it could’ve been read to reference you, because I wanted neither to ask nor to assume.

    In any case, I must reiterate that none of this excuses Cosmo flat-out insulting OA in his opening response. Even on the off chance Cosmo (1) is also ESL and (2) had told OA this before (I don’t know if either of these are true), ultimately no one’s forcing Cosmo to read OA’s posts. OA was hardly any more impolite in this exchange to Cosmo than Cosmo was to him beforehand, and I think it’s unfair to paint him as an unprovoked aggressor here, unless there’s some past grievance the rest of us remain blissfully unaware of. OA’s shtick may get on people’s nerves, but as far as I can tell, the only people he’s insulted in this comment thread are people who insulted him first.

  184. 184
    Amir Khalid says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):
    I have my version of who commenced the hostilities, but in the interest of non-escalation I shall not bring it up.

  185. 185
    ola azul says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    fwiw: from my perspective (others are apt to disagree):

    My writing style is an affront to some. I get that. But : That’s their problem, not mine. Pie me if that’s one’s bag. Scroll past. Perfectly acceptable (mature) responses.

    Folks who inveigh against me (there’ve been numerous dogpiles, none of which I’ve provoked — apart from me being me, which is apparently unpardonable and unimaginable for some) appear to take a glorious performative delight in asserting their contempt, disapproval and disdain for my “butchery” of the English language, and some take it further in trying to enlist others in this weird pursuit. Such a one is Uncle Cosmo. I am not a disagreeable human being — unless and until I am unjustifiably fucked with.

    At bottom, I suspect the peeps who unjustifiably fuck with me (my estimation) feel justified. As one of the characters in Jean Renoir’s great film The Rules of the Game sez about peeps who do shit that’s mean (paraphrase): “The hell of it is, everyone always has their reasons.”

    Will say: peeps have kindly come to my defense. Have never, not once, asked for that, so I appreciate the kindness. I assiduously decline to cite said persons, partly cuz I don’t wanna interpose them inna problem that ain’t theirs and partly cuz I don’t wanna put them inna ticklish tender position of inadvertently setting them in opposition with others.

    I do not provoke fights. Folks sail in, insult me cuz they object to my writing style, and then what, I’m sposed to ignore that?

    Do not care — at all — if peeps despise my writing. That’s their prerogative. Just find it petty, unkind, bullying and deeply, weirdly baffling behavior to carp on and on and on about it, specially after having made one’s opinion known.

    Seems likes there’s better uses of one’s time in this benighted world of ours, but folks do so love to be performative in their outrage.

    Don’t mind being disagreed with, but truly despise being misunderstood. Hope you’ll forgive my taking the opportunity to air that out.

  186. 186
    ola azul says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Yeah, funny that,. I got mine, too.

    If the standard is: You get to miss an obvious joke, then be told by a commenter (who you know and respect, and certainly no advocate of mine) that you missed a joke, but you still obstinately and stubbornly tell me I’m wrong (because, what, your pride? won’t allow you to admit you missed, you know, an obvious joke), and then you start carping about my fucking upthe English language for the can’t-remember-whichth-time, and *then* I go off on you, then yes, you have a perfectly justifiable reason to nurse your silly and oft-repeated grievance.

    Go you. Everyone allus has their reasons.

  187. 187
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I find our poleaxed friend’s prose seriously tough going

    For difficult, try Iain M. Banks’s Feersum Endjinn

    A quarter of the book is told by Bascule the Teller and is written phonetically in the first person

    Woak up. Got dresd. Had brekfast. Spoke wif Ergates thi ant who sed itz juss been wurk wurk wurk 4 u lately master Bascule, Y dont u ½ a holiday?

    Someday, I’ll re-read it. :-)

  188. 188
    Aleta says:

    Some of us write in more than one voice — rational, drunk, testy, self-important, rhyming, depressed. For a long while after my mom died (10+ years ago) I followed an urge to let her expressions and sayings into what I was writing. Reading back, sometimes they completely dominated. (They were old rural proverbs and cheerfulnesses, hundreds of them, that annoyed me growing up and that my father ridiculed.) I now understand it as a way of translating my understanding of her, post-death. Other ways of writing have been translations too.

    We know nothing for sure about the real life of a commenter. It’s a leap to assume any style of writing (outside of abuse) is intentional disrespect to BJ readers. It may be more disrespectful or indifferent to other readers (sometimes abuse of power) when someone who others like or read is driven off by a few people.

  189. 189
    Jay says:

    @CarolPW:
    @ola azul:
    @Amir Khalid:
    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    Uncle Cosmo is one of the few commenters here I have pied, because in a 4 paragraph comment, to another commentor, he shit on my comment for one mispelling and my being Canadian,

    He then followed me around the thread shitting on every one of my comments, for being Canadian.

    @ola azul:

    Hows the aysymetrical rigging idea evolving?

    Is that how you almost lost an eye?

  190. 190
    ola azul says:

    @Jay:

    Hows the aysymetrical rigging idea evolving?

    Is that how you almost lost an eye?

    Asym sail rigging on hold — one disaster atta time! (Tho’ will say yer suggestion is sound, and prolly will be adopted, unless getta wild hair and decide to getta proper modern mastcap.)

    No, twere operator error atta drill press working on boring holes for mounting plate for plumbing onna keel cooler — never rush stainless steel or it’s like to protest in ways disagreeable, which I’m sure you know.

    Swapped out heat-exchanger for luxuriant clean joy of self-contained engine cooling in keel cooler. Mounted exterior eight 4′ x 1 1/2 tubes (oversized, overbuilt for my vessel, but joke was them’s my Ma-Tai keel model cooler for the warm waters of the South Pacific’s — betwixt gen-set seachest and transducer further aft on port side. Will say: boring a hole in the bottom of my boat is allus a daunting prospect, but holesawing a 4-inch hole below the waterline for cooler stem took awhile to work up to. Had been waiting on welders — aka “fabricators” — to gimme a weird-shaped piece a 2″ stainless steel plumbing, among other welding necessities.

    Ain’t nothing mucha nothing straight onna boat, as you know.

  191. 191
    Jay says:

    @ola azul:

    Had an idea once for fin shaped keel coolers, but that was for a 104 year old former sealing schooner, that became a packer, and was up for sale cheap.

    Cutting holes in boats is always a buttclench moment, moreso, when they are in the water.

    Lube and slow is the key to stainless. Spalling is a bitch.

  192. 192
    Amir Khalid says:

    @ola azul:
    I said I wasn’t going to bring up who commenced the hostilities, and you have responded with gratuitous hostility. All you have done is prove a point I did not intend to make.

  193. 193
    ola azul says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    One way to look at it.

    Another way is you passive-aggressively (cuz that’s yer nature) suggested someone was at fault and left your audience to ponder, “Hmm, ya think he meant himself?” and said you weren’t going to go into the thing that you yourself brought up.

    That is cool.

    Because I am a direct human being, and because you brought it up, I forthrightly stated my view. You are welcome to explain your side, but you are also welcome to ponder how, had you not passive-aggressively brought it up, I wouldn’ta said jack-shit about it.

    See how that works?

  194. 194
    Amir Khalid says:

    @ola azul:
    A word to the wise: you are under no obligation to rise to anyone’s baiting.

  195. 195
    ola azul says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Know who you remind me of? The pious platitudes of Polonius.

    And you, sir, are under no obligation to passive-aggressively bait people.

    Let me spell it out for you: I do not enjoy this. I suspect you don’t as well.

    Now, you may not think sniping to others about my shitty writing is dickish behavior, but I do. You needn’t do that. You’ve made your position known. LOUDLY.

    If you didn’t backbite me, we would not quarrel. And yet you do. So we do.

    If you let me blessedly be, I will afford you the same courtesy. Seems simple. It’s even worked with others who hate my writing and found success with it, as one commenter on this thread has attested.

    Try it! You might like it!

  196. 196
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Bill Arnold:
    That is at least not gratuitous: it serves a literary purpose and it’s presumably in-character and makes sense in the story’s context.

  197. 197
    Amir Khalid says:

    @ola azul:
    No, I was refraining from baiting you.

  198. 198
    ola azul says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Oh, *that’s* what you were passive-aggressively doing! Well now, that explains everything! Thanks for lining me out.

    So, say, were *I* to write exactly what you passive-aggressively wrote *instead of* you writing what you passive-aggressively wrote, you’d reckon it were jim-dandy. Is that what you’re trying to assert? This is what is known as an unself-aware blindspot, and you’ll pardon me (or not) if I call bullshit.

    What you were doing was intimating something obvious so you could appear above the fray while reimmersing yourself (again!) in the fray and still making your point. If that’s your idea of refraining from baiting someone, then it explains hella lot.

    But: Everyone allus has their reasons, and the human capacity for self-justification is near infinite.

    Really tire of this, Amir. Expect you do, too. Suggest you try leaving me be, will do the same for you.

  199. 199
    eemom says:

    One thing more than any other stands out from the bullshit on display here this evening, as it has from many, many, other pile ons in past threads: we are what we hate.

    ALL of the vitriol leveled at ola azul this evening is about his style of writing. There hasn’t been a single word of substantive disagreement about anything he’s said. But when one commenter decided to take his petty issue with the former, others couldn’t jump on the bandwagon fast enough, substance be damned. “Come to think of it, goddammit, *I* hate your writing style too! Pied with your head!”

    The Caesar’s funeral crowd. The inquisitors. The witch hunters. The lynch mobs. The Hollywood black listers. The monsters are due on maple street neighbors. The satanic day care accusers. The antivaxxers. Yes, this blog idiocy is a petty example — but look in a fucking mirror, people.

  200. 200
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Jay: This Knucklehead Of The Frozen North claims to have me “pied”, but for the benefit of anyone else reading this thread: The “one misspelling” he whines about was the inability to spell Robert Mueller’s last name correctly. He continued to misspell it “Meuller” in post after post, long after his error was repeatedly pointed out to him.

    Since he just doesn’t give a fuck, I cordially invite him to go fuck himself.

    In re “ola azul” fka “poleaxed by boatwork”, here’s my last word:

    This guy has delivered some very incisive thoughts & some excellent information – which he has shown he is perfectly able to do in comprehensible English. Instead he too often goes to great lengths to muck about with his posts so they sound like the bastard children of brain damage & illiteracy. (FTR Twain, Runyon, Pynchon, Joyce & Iain M. Banks all knew what they were doing & had sound reasons for their nontraditional styles.) Apparently he’s more interested in getting his jollies off by forcing readers to translate his posts back into something coherent than he is in actually getting his ideas across.

    Amir & I, at least, understand how profoundly disrespectful to this blog & its readership that is. The rest of you…

    @ola azul:

    Will say: If I’m ever in Maryland, or wherever it is around there you mentioned being from, I would be weirdly interested in sitting down with you for a convo where we could look each other in the eyes and see one another (hopefully) as two human beings. I suspect we prolly might agree on a lotta things.

    Astounding as it may seem, we might actually like one another sitting across a table. (Unlikely as that is to ever happen; Sitka is a long way from Baltimore, & the only salmon we have here are their little cousins, the salmonella.) My beef is restricted to your persona & the way it presents on this blog – & it’s about 90% exasperation, because I know you can do better; you already have.

  201. 201
    Amir Khalid says:

    @ola azul:
    The jackals who criticise your style are not doing it to bait you. They want to understand your comments so they can have a conversation with you, but your idiosyncratic style makes that difficult enough that a lot of people just give up; and you end up failing to communicate. If you take their criticism as baiting (which it is not) and respond that way, that’s on you, not on them.

  202. 202
    ola azul says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    The jackals who criticise your style are not doing it to bait you. They want to understand your comments so they can have a conversation with you, but your idiosyncratic style makes that difficult enough that a lot of people just give up; and you end up failing to communicate. If you take their criticism as baiting (which it is not) and respond that way, that’s on you, not on them.

    Wow. Will confess, didn’t see that coming.

    So, in summation, yer position is:

    We hadda destroy the promising village in order to save it! Or better, the ol’ wife-beater dodge: “Why do you make me hit you?!” That’s what you’re going with? Really?

    It’s *my* fucking fault (failing, really) that I resolutely (insolently!) decline to meet the standards in the club, in which the aggrieved members so very much wanna understand my “incomprehensible” writing, but just can’t cuz I ain’t their butler, and yours and others’ repeated chickenshit bullying is only done, more in sorrow than in anger I’m sure, in order to … invite me into your community?

    Ah, thanks for making that clear, I guess. It’s so implausibly narrow-minded, condescending and blinkered that I suspect you even believe it.

    But no, I ain’t in need of yer acceptance much less yer salvation under them unreasonable terms (tho I’m quite sure you fail to see that).

    You have revealed far more, I suspect, in your ostentatious, failed (and you don’t even see why) attempt at being high-minded than I expect you realize.

  203. 203
    ola azul says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    And you. That sweetheart of the unkindness rodeo. That malignant kvetcher. You are a petty, small, mean man. I chance to wonder what moniker Charles Dickens would divine to best capture your unctuous prattling?

    Do you know, or care, that Jay writes onna phone. You ever make a typo onna phone? Never?

    And who fucking cares about a typo? Or repeated typos? A small-minded hypocritical slavish pedant who ain’t got the spark of imagination to think a more’n one way to spell a word, that’s who.

    Jesus, you are a tiresome human being.

  204. 204
    Amir Khalid says:

    @ola azul:
    I tell you what: why don’t you and I just pretend I pied you. We’ll get along better that way.

  205. 205
    Just Chuck says:

    The only thing I can stand less than azul’s idiotic dialect is all the people losing their shit over it and making the WHOLE FUCKING THREAD about him. I don’t want to perma-pie anyone in the discussion though … makes me wish I was still maintaining Troll-B-Gone, since it was quicker to unblock people with it.

    On second thought, pie it is. Maybe I’ll pick up TBG again sometime after the site rebuild and just make it work with the existing filter. Or just take another extended break again, it’s kinda 50-50 right now.

  206. 206
    Just Chuck says:

    @eemom:

    The Caesar’s funeral crowd. The inquisitors. The witch hunters. The lynch mobs. The Hollywood black listers. The monsters are due on maple street neighbors. The satanic day care accusers. The antivaxxers.

    Yes, exactly like those people. People who are sick and tired of an overdone shtick are exactly those kind of monsters. Precisely. Yep.

  207. 207
    ola azul says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The definition of a troll is someone who does provocative, unnecessary things to start fights.

    Just sayin’

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Just sayin’.

    If someone behaves like a troll, I take them to be a troll. Wasting time and starting fights are characteristic of trolls. Throwing in some interesting stuff from time to time fuzzes up the categories.

    On Twitter, I simply block trolls. The Blogmeister doesn’t believe in banning, so I just ignore everything that isn’t written in more or less standard English. I recommend this to others.

    @ola azul:

    Am curious. Seeing’s how this is the second time you’ve chosen to post this sentiment (one that I happen to agree with, but sometimes folks agree in principle but with different understandings of application or meaning), am wondering to whom it is directed? Your answer would be instructive on many different levels.

    Cheryl:

    Am beginning to believe I owe CarolPW an apology because it appears I’ve given you too much credit. I see now why she used the word “apparently” in her post. I missed the part I’ve bolded (about non-standard English — mos def indicating me!) in which it certainly suggests strongly you mean I am a troll.

    This development is, will say, somewhat disappointing, as I have spoken previously with high regard about your analysis before. That has not changed.

    But am disappointed not cuz you object to my “non-standard” English (hell, yer a dime-a-dozen there), but disappointed cuz:

    I asked you a direct question, which you purposefully chose not to answer. If you’re gonna intimate that I’ma troll, twice, and I ask you pointedly and directly to whom you are addressing your comments, and you fail to take responsibility for your twice-repeated comments, that speaks … rather poorly of you.

    Make a charge, best back it up.

    And disappointing because you suggested, rather unfoundedly and recklessly, based upon what I’d really like to know, that I am a troll and intimated banning is appropriate but that ain’t within yer means b/c the blogmeister don’t favor it. And it appears you are suggesting that it is I who pick fights? Did you even read the thread?

    Now, separate and apart from that, will say onna professional level:

    I noted that Hitler was not elected, which you plainly stated he was. This is a simple, innocent error, one that is made alla time. No big deal. Don’t believe I noted this inna objectionable way. If you disagree, would certainly like to know why, cuz my reply was straightforward and direct and cordial, w/no intimations that it were a grievous error.

    You chose not only not to acknowledge your factual error, you also chose not to correct it. Right now, the mistatement stands uncorrected. This too … reflects rather poorly upon you.

    All these things reflect rather poorly upon you, not as an analyst, but as a person.

    Just sayin’

    (Since we’re making free to be inna Just sayin’ kinda way.)

  208. 208
    Scotian says:

    Wow. I know the thread is dead, but I read this post and thread because of the seriousness of the issue, and I instead found the language police dominating. I got no dog in this fight where the posters are concerned, I just find it sad and tragic that it became the dominant discussion point given the real issues this post was actually about, and why I read it for.

    Seriously, juvenile behavior in a thread whose seriousness is obvious speaks poorly of all involved at this point.

    Given I am someone who has been taken to task for my own rather lengthy writing style I hope that conveys my disappointment.

  209. 209
    Matt says:

    @debbie:

    Once their healthcare, pensions, and jobs are as fucked up as Trump intends them to be, they will come around.

    They’ve been getting fucked over by conservative policies for decades, why would they suddenly notice? As long as they have somebody to feel superior to, they’ll put up with any humiliation.

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