The 2020 Elections Present A Simple Choice: Pick A Torch

Do you stand with this torchbearer?

Related image

Or this one?

Image result for charlottesville protests

And that should be the ad the Democrats should already be running on every station, across America, to set the conditions for a successful 2020 presidential campaign, as well as campaigns for the House, Senate, and gubernatorial and state legislative elections. Once nominees are in place, you can then superimpose the Democratic nominees for these positions and relevant portions of their platforms, tailored to the specific races, on the image of the Statue of Liberty and of the President on the image of the Charlottesville white supremacists and neo-NAZIs.

Back in January I wrote about the context in which the 2020 US election was going to take place. I specifically wrote that the US was currently experiencing a very specific type of resource war:

The 21st Century American Resource War: An Ideological and Partisan Dispute Over Who Gets to be an American

The most divisive political dispute, for lack of a better or less incendiary term, that is going on in the US right now and will continue into and through the 2020 election is one over resources. This is not a dispute over physical resources; and it is not really over even political and economic power in the sense that we’re used to understanding those types of disputes in the post WW II United States. Rather, the actual resource in dispute is Americanness itself. As in who actually is, or may make a claim to be, an American. This is not a new fight within and between Americans. It goes back to the origins of the country. And it, as it is doing right now, usually flares back up immediately after there has been an extension of civil liberties and rights to groups that were not previously considered, whether for political, social, religious, and/or ethnic/racial reasons, to be entitled to the full rights, protections, and liberties of other Americans. We are, unfortunately, currently in one of these periods. And the fight is over two very different visions of what it means to be an American and who gets to be an American.

The President, his senior policy advisor Stephen Miller, fellow travelers like Congressman Steve King, many of his outside advisors like Anne Coulter and Ginni Thomas, and his base are committed to a very narrow, crimped, and small minded vision of what it means to be American and who gets to be an American. Those in opposition to this have a far broader, expansive, open minded, and welcoming understanding of Americanness. This is the real core political, social, and religious dispute in the US today. It is an ideational, ideological, and in some cases theological and dogmatic war over the resource of Americanness. And, for the time being, it is fortunately and largely non-violent. Though the acts of domestic terrorism that are being driven by the most extreme adherents of the narrow, crimped, small minded understanding of Americanness and who is an American are accelerating as we saw in Pittsburgh.

Unfortunately, the frequency of the domestic terrorism from within this long simmering American insurgency is escalating. The violence, or the attempts at violence, are increasing and, often, as we saw yesterday in El Paso, increasing in lethality. We know what side the President, his senior advisors, his surrogates, his supporters, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement have chosen. The rest of us need to get focused and realize that a political war is upon us. And that that political war is over who is and gets to be an American. And those seeking to narrow it are more than happy and willing to both promote violence to achieve their ends and to undertake it themselves. The separation of migrant children from their asylum seeking parents, their abysmal treatment in the concentration camps they’re being detained in, and the violent rhetoric the President, his surrogates, his enablers, and his supporters use are all types of this violence. These often state directed actions are acts of symbolic and rhetorical violence intended to influence the President’s most extreme followers and their fellow travelers to actual physical violence.

This is a political war that must be fought. And it must be won. It isn’t going to be won by arguing over who is or is not the most progressive or whose policy proposals are more centrist or more socialist, when even the most centrist of them are far to the left of the leftmost proposals from a decade ago. It will only be won by recognizing that we are actually in a political war and that this reality changes the dynamic of our politics in general and the politics and politicking of the 2020 election. This is not political and campaigning business as usual. This is not an attempt to somehow reset everything to dawn on November 8, 2016. This is not about things going back to normal. This is a fight to preserve as much as can still be preserved, to clear American politics of those who promote this bigoted, racist, xenophobic, small minded, and narrow vision of who is and can be an American, and then build something stronger on what has been preserved.

Pick a torch!

It’s that simple. You’re either on the side of the Statue of Liberty or the side of the tiki torch neo-NAZIs and white supremacists. There is no both siding this. There is no “if my favorite candidate isn’t the nominee, I’m not voting because I won’t compromise my ideals and ideological purity”. Refusing to pick a torch, is refusing to take a stand. It is putting yourself and whatever your pet issue or issues are over promoting the general welfare and providing for the common defense. None of your high minded, ideologically pure agenda is going to ever get enacted if you don’t stand with those standing with Lady Liberty against the nationalist conservatives, the white supremacists, neo-nationalists, neo-fascists, and neo-NAZIs. Failing to pick a torch moves us one step closer to a white Christian herrenvolk democracy in the US where everyone who isn’t white and Christian has their rights challenged, limited, and/or taken away.

Pick a torch!

Updated at 2:57 PM EDT

Redshift in the comments asked for a side by side, easy to use on social media version of the images. So here you go:

 

Open thread!



FloridDuh! Woman: Electoral Edition

This is a little too on the nose for even Florida if you ask me.

Loomer is originally from the Miami area, but who has lived in Arizona and New York as well, has, apparently recently moved back Florida just to run for Congress. The Democratic incumbent is Lois Frankel, who has been representing this district,  since 2017 and prior to that represented Florida as the representative from District 22, which after redistricting is now represented by Congressman Ted Deutch.  Frankel has also been the mayor of West Palm Beach, and was the minority leader in the Florida state House of Representatives.

From what I know of Loomer – deliberatively and almost shamelessly provocative, racist and bigoted, especially against Muslims, friendly with either those in the alt-right and extreme right circles playing footsie with white supremacists and neo-NAZIs or actually with white supremacists, neo-NAZIs, the men’s rights nutbars and Milo, as well as being a fantacist and a conspiracist – I think the real reason for Loomer’s run is both to suck up money through donations and to force social media platforms to let her back on. I fully expect that she is going to use her candidacy to try to force twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to let her back on and monetize those platforms because if they don’t they’re aiding her political opponent in the election. All while monetizing her election as an income stream because she doesn’t actually have any actual employment.

Open thread!



Like The CNN Moderators, We Are Moving On, In The Interests of Time, To A New Debate Open Thread

And since people have been discussing my lack of a neck, here’s a recent selfie* I took:

I even have my own action figure!*

* This is actually Ted Cassidy, playing Bigfoot in place of Andre the Giant, in the two part episode of The Six Million Dollar Man entitled Bigfoot Returns.

Open Thread!








Figured We Could Use a Clean Debate Thread: We Will Be, Like Jake Tapper, Moderating Your Comments For Time

Night two of the CNN debate debacle.

Open thread!








Special Counsel Mueller’s Testimony Before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Live Stream

Here’s the live stream of Special Counsel Mueller testifying before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Just a quick note about all the hot takes on how Special Counsel Mueller performed this morning to keep in mind as he testifies this afternoon:

Mueller was, and will be again this afternoon, the quintessential example of a career DOJ official. He says no more than he feels he should and that’s it. He also now has serious old man voice. Together this presents as visually reticent to befuddled, but it isn’t. You’ll notice when he’s had his team’s integrity impugned, he’s been more animated. No disrespect to Jeremy Bash, but he’s a political appointee, not someone whose made a career in National Security positions of different types. His understanding and approach and expectation of how you respond to these things is different than the one Mueller learned and has abided by during his long career first as a civil servant and then as an appointed senior leader. And Frank Figliuzzi’s explanation of this reality was spot on. The news media screaming that he didn’t give them the juicy media clips they want is just garbage. Finally, this format that the committee’s use for these hearings wasn’t and isn’t designed to actually produce detailed, delineated, thoughtful responses. If the Democrats on the committee, or Democrats in Congress, or anyone else wanted that, then committee counsel should have been given the first two hours, 1/2 hours each rotation for the Democratic and Republican counsels, to ask appropriate questions and elicit detailed answers in follow ups. The final hour to 90 minutes could be reserved for individual member questions. Optimally, the whole hearing would have been done by the committee counsel and the members would have sat there and taken notes.

Open thread!