Thursday Morning Open Thread: “Make This Fight Your Fight”

Some people are gonna be disappointed she didn’t call the other candidate in the 2016 Dem primaries out, but that’s not Sen. Warren’s style.

(I was originally gonna post Maddow’s latest interview with Sen. Warren, but FYWP isn’t cooperating.)

Apart from continuing to fight all the good fights, what’s on the agenda for the day?

And a reminder, because I’m allergy-addled and cranky, from Mr. Charles P. Pierce — “Why Trump Won”:

[O]ne of the more interesting sidelights of what certainly will be a deluge of post-mortems regarding the 2016 presidential campaign is the widely held notion that Hillary Rodham Clinton was gifted with a uniquely easy opponent. This idea is central to the narrative that holds that HRC’s campaign was a uniquely bad one, and she a uniquely bad candidate. She couldn’t even beat a reality-show star who doesn’t know North Korea from East Hampton. True, there were a number of things that HRC and her campaign did badly, but they did get three million more votes than did Trump, which counts for something…

Consider this: Whatever you may think of how he won the presidency, and we’ll get to that in a minute, Trump took on a Republican field composed of what was alleged to be the best that party had to offer, the deepest part of its allegedly deep bench, and he utterly destroyed it. Scott Walker, popular scourge of middle-school history teachers, never even made it to the starting gate. Rand Paul, brogressive libertarian heartthrob, was reduced to invisibility. Chris Christie was demolished as a national political figure. Marco Rubio—The Republican Savior, according to Time—is still wandering the political landscape looking, as Abraham Lincoln said of General Hooker after Chancellorsville, like a duck that’s been hit on the head. And, when he finally got around to it, he took the heart out of Tailgunner Ted Cruz in Indiana, alleging on the morning of the primary that Cruz’s father hobnobbed in New Orleans with Lee Harvey Oswald.

That Trump never paid a price in the eyes of his voters for that kind of meretricious goonery is the best evidence there is that, in 2016, anyway, he was in every sense a formidable political force. And, let it not be forgotten that he brought with him a Republican Senate, a Republican House, and massive gains out in the states as well.

Moreover, and I owe a hat tip to Scott Lemieux here, it’s likely in retrospect that Trump’s plan of action, while unconventional in the extreme and relentlessly eccentric, also was based in a kind of mad logic. There really was a big slice of the electorate, concentrated in states that were vital in the Electoral College, that was uniquely susceptible to Trump’s appeal. He and his people spotted it and campaigned accordingly.

The myth of Trump’s vulnerability has two sources, I think. The first is the apparently irresistible impulse in some quarters to score some sort of final victory over the Clinton family… The other is the reluctance of Republicans—and of the elite political classes at large—to accept the reality that Trump is merely a cruder manifestation of the political prion disease that has afflicted conservatism and the Republican Party since it first ate the monkeybrains 35 years ago. It was all leading to someone like Trump, and something like last year’s election.

So many people had been driven away from the voting booths — deliberately or not — and so many other people at both ends of the political spectrum had allowed themselves the luxury of believing that their votes were tickets to an entertaining spectacle… that all it took was a few million rubles’ worth of monkey-mischief and the deliberate collusion of the FBI to hand the Oval Office over the Donald Effing Trump. But none of the guilty parties, least of all in Our Major Media, are willing to accept their share of the blame; ergo, it must be That Woman’s fault. Mom should’ve made us not drink a mixture of bleach and ammonia, what a horrible failure she is for assuming that telling us it was poison & we’d regret it later would be enough to deter us!

That’s not how it works, fellas. You’re (putative) grownups now, and you have to take responsibility for your own failures. And, no, those of us with better sense are not gonna ‘get over it’ any time in the immediate future, nor make the mistake of trusting you further than we can see you.



Saturday Morning Open Thread: Same As It Ever Was

And yet… from NYMag‘s The Cut, “7 Important Things Hillary Clinton Said at the Women in the World Summit”:

In her first public interview since the election, Hillary Clinton sat down [Thursday] with the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof at Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit to address a number of topics: her emotions after November 8, the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, and the ongoing attack on women’s rights around the world…

She did get a kick out of the health-care bill mess.
“I will confess to this: having listened to them talk about repeal and replace for 7 years now, they had not a clue what that meant; they had no idea. I don’t know that any of them had ever even read the bill – read the law, understood how it worked. It was so obvious. Health care is complicated, right? They don’t know what to do, and I do admit that was somewhat gratifying.”…

She believes women’s rights are under attack around the world.
“The targeting of women — which is what is going on — is absolutely beyond any political agenda. There is something else happening here. So the global gag rule, that bounces back and forth between Republican and Democrats, but the way they wrote it this time — not like Bush did, not like Reagan did — this time would be to remove all aid if there is some kind of alleged breach. Because you provide family planning services, but somebody says to a woman desperate to get an abortion because she has been told she will die if she bears another child so then you try to help her and you lose everything. And then you follow that with the U.N. population fund … The impact that those dollars have is saving women and children’s lives and helping women have a better shot at a future… This is not just the right and moral position for the United States to take; this in our national security interest. The more we support women, the more we support democracy … Women’s issues are national security issues around the world.”

She’s still not sure why everyone hated her so much, but she has stopped caring.
“I am not perfect, everybody knows that by now … Sometimes I don’t know quite how to fix what they are concerned about. But I try. And so, I take it seriously, but I don’t any longer, and haven’t for a long time taken it personally. Because part of the attacks … part of the bullying and part of the name calling — and that has certainly become more pervasive — is to crush your spirit and feel inadequate. And I just refused to do that — and that infuriated everyone.”

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Apart from continuing to #Resist, what’s on the agenda for the weekend?

Oh, incidentally… HRClinton’s favorite Trump .gif:



Friday Morning Open Thread: She Persists

… And she hopes we can, too.

What’s on the agenda as we wait for the latest Trumpstuntin’ dung doc drop?
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Speaking of persisting…



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: How It Should Be Done


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What’s on the agenda as we buckle down for another day?



Late Night Open Thread: Maybe Trump’s Afraid of… Pantsuits?

Authoritarians have always been obsessed with appearances (frequently with less-than-stellar results, as with Nixon’s ‘honor guard’ Secret Service uniforms). We knew that President-Asterisk Trump had him some standards, of course, but it took Politico founder Mike Allen, at his new Koch-funded ‘startup’ Axios, to drop the handkerchief:

Trump likes the women who work for him “to dress like women,” says a source who worked on Trump’s campaign. “Even if you’re in jeans, you need to look neat and orderly.” We hear that women who worked in Trump’s campaign field offices — folks who spend more time knocking on doors than attending glitzy events — felt pressure to wear dresses to impress Trump…

The NYTimes jumped in for even-handedness, of course…

…[W]hile many of the tweets were aimed at rejecting the idea that women should be restricted to some narrow sartorial category, the “dress like a woman” phrase, co-opted as a hashtag, didn’t come directly from Mr. Trump….

It’s clear that appearances matter to the president. Mr. Trump, the former owner of the Miss Universe Organization, has come under harsh criticism for rating women’s appearances on a scale of one to 10 and for hurling insults at female critics.

As a candidate, he readily attacked when people commented on the size of his hands or on his hair….

Like presidents past, Mr. Trump will most likely have some influence over style in the West Wing. The White House does not have an official dress code, according to its Press Office, but every administration has its own norms…

Such as KellyAnne Conway’s inauguration outfit?

Regardless, the comment has been a gift to Friday-night Twitter


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ETA: Apparently FYWP is afraid of KellyAnne Conway photos, because taking one out fixed the comment formatting problem.



I Hate Every Democrat…

…Who keeps on sending me begging email, even (or especially) five minutes after I’ve dropped a few more bucks.

the_scream_undated_drawing_edvard_munch_bergen_kunstmuseum

I care about politics. By all the noodly appendages of the FSM, y’all know that, right?

I genuinely believe this is an existential election, one in which it’s not enough (though vital) to take the presidency.  We need the Senate, and we pretty close to need the House, which we are unlikely to get, alas.  It takes dollars to do all that, I know.  I understand that you don’t get if you don’t ask, which means the campaigns gotta try.

But I hit the breaking point yesterday.  My wife and I had decided to drop our last contributions in a flurry of mixed support and magical thinking (this $10 bucks to whoever will propitiate the electoral gods…or this one…or this on…).  I allowed all the emails from all the campaigns we’ve given to over the last  year, plus all the campaigns and PACs folks who bought my info from someone I actually support, to accumulate over a few hours.

There were more than 200.  I ended up sending off a cash to Hillary, the DSCC, the DCCC, and the top Senate races I’ve been following — PA, NC, NH, MO, NV.  YMMV, but that’s where I completely unscientifically decided to put what final $s my wife and I figured we could spare. Deleted all the emails. Exhaled.

Within a few minutes — really — more rolled in.  No surprise; why should the folks I didn’t give to stop — how could they know I’m tapped out?  But still, I was getting tired of the whole thing when I noticed within not that long yet more email from some of the folks I’d just given to.  I snapped.

I don’t want much.  Maybe a three hour window between last contribution and next ask? (I’d prefer 24 hours, actually, but I’ll take what I can get.)  And perhaps a little less agony in the subject lines? Every now and then, maybe a positive note — even something like “let me tell you how we’re going to put each new dollar to use”?

Anyway. Just ranting. Good news out of Nevada, and seemingly so out of Florida, which has me off the ledge.  And I’ll further calm myself by getting out and doing something — GOTV tomorrow and Tuesday in New Hamster.*

But sweet Jeebus on a corndog, it’s not just the sheer awfulness of the campaign on the other side, nor the grotesque reality of racism, sexism and misogyny, anti-Semitism, the power of post-truth ideology, the failure of the elite media, and all the rest of the horrors the Trump freak show has dragged up from the shadows.  I’m ready for this to be over so that all my first-name email friends quiet down. Just a bit.

Please.  I’m begging.

Rant away below; this is an open thread, especially for complaints, dyspepsia, and general fuckwuttery.

*Yeah. I’m a Masshole.  I wear it proudly.

Image: Edvard Munch, The Scream, undated drawing.

PS: Ain’t that a grand variation on a truly clichéd piece of art?



The Republican Party is tearing itself apart. It’s about damn time.

The following is from a Tweetstorm I composed yesterday in the hours before that shitshow of a “debate.” There are probably some spelling and grammar errors, because for the most part, I just copied and pasted from my Twitter account, @soonergrunt.

Someone asked me recently why I’m a dick to Conservatives who engage me on Twitter. I’m not to everyone. @RadioFreeTom is a notable example. There are others. But I’ll tell you the answer now. I came to political conscience in the age of Ronald Reagan. I liked him as a person, but I didn’t agree with him on much. But I respected him. He was my President, for one thing, but also my parents taught me that the other side were decent people who wanted what they saw as best for the country. They just happened to usually be wrong. And sometimes they were right. That kind of consideration is something I’ve rarely received in return. Rare enough that I remember a lot of those respectful interactions.  They stick out due to their rarity.

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