Deploraville Dispatch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Nobody Is Above The Law: Mueller Rapid Response Has Been Activated

I’ve received several requests to post this update. If you signed up for the Rapid Response you’ve probably received an email like this:

Earlier today, Donald Trump installed a crony to oversee special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, crossing a red line.1 MoveOn and our allies are activating the Nobody Is Above the Law network meaning there will be actions around the country tomorrow, Thursday, November 8 at 5 p.m. local time (please confirm at the link to your local event below) and we need to see you, your friends, family members, and neighbors there!

By replacing Rod Rosenstein with just-named Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker as Mueller’s boss overseeing the investigation, Trump has undercut the independence of the investigation. Whitaker has publicly outlined strategies to stifle the investigation, referred to Mueller’s team as a “lynch mob,” and cannot be allowed to remain in charge of it.This amounts to a direct assault on the independent Mueller probe which has already produced dozens of indictments, guilty pleas, and guilty verdicts.

You’ve RSVP’d to attend a rapid-response event if Trump crossed one of the red lines and interfered with the Mueller investigation—one of hundreds of events nationwide that will show an immediate, massive rejection of Trump’s interference. Now it’s time we come together to act! These events will take place across the country on Thursday, November 8! Most are at 5 pm

Here are the links to find an event in your area:

https://act.moveon.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response-events/search/

https://act.moveon.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response-events

https://act.moveon.org

Please be aware, all these links are down at the moment. Looks like they are on overload.



Trump’s European Adventure Open Thread: More Travel Pics

ETA:



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Dance Party!


 
Spirit lifter from staunch commentor LAMH:

So I’m watching anything else but more political news, and watching some of the MTV Movie/TV Awards…. And this happened:

Chadwick Boseman won for best Hero for Black Panther and he did this:


Chadwick said we should honor real life heroes as well. So he called up James Shaw Jr and gave the award to him and thanked him for his real world heroism!!!

At the same event, Michael B. Jordan also won an award, for playing EriK Killmonger in Black Panther. And said: I’m shocked that I won this award for Best Villain. I thought for sure Roseanne had that in the bag.”

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And for a coda, professional vote-suppressor Kris ‘I Too Am Super Racist’ Kobach got told to SIT IN THE DUNCE CORNER, AND FEEL SHAME.
Read more



More from the #WomensMarch: Photos from BJ Jackals

A beautiful bunch, one and all!

From commentor JackMac:

About 2,000 people attended a march through downtown Rockford, Ill. last Saturday. My favorite sign from the day.

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From commentor ST:

Portland, Oregon. Over 100,000 estimated attendees. Zero arrests, and security provided by some antifa as well as police. No black bloc!

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From commentor Suzanne:

Phoenix. A great time was had by all!

Read more



Friday Morning Open Thread: Because Those Sheets Would Never Be the Same

Poor little Charlottesville (so close to DC, so far from… the concrete canyon haunts of scary urban types, ifyouknowwhatimeanandithinkyoudo) is not looking forward to the weekend. Per the SPLC:

Hundreds of Alt-Right activists and white nationalist extremists are set to descend on the small community of Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday in what’s shaping up to be the largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the United States.

“Unite the Right” is expected to draw a broad spectrum of far-right extremist groups – from immigration foes to anti-Semitic bigots, neo-Confederates, Proud Boys, Patriot and militia types, outlaw bikers, swastika-wearing neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Ku Klux Klan members – all of whom seem emboldened by the Trump presidency…

Those Out’n’Proud racists better bring their RVs and camper tops, because I am happy to note that the local Airbnb is not sympathetic. Per the Washington Post:

As city leaders worked Monday trying to defuse an increasingly tense situation, the lodging rental company Airbnb quietly booted users who it believed were searching for lodging to attend the rally.

The company confirmed they had taken action in a statement to NBC29: “When through out background check processes or from input of our community we identify and determine that there are those who would be pursuing behavior on the platform that would be antithetical to the Airbnb Community Commitment, we seek to take appropriate action including, as in this case, removing them from the platform.”

That stance didn’t sit well with the rally’s organizer, Jason Kessler.

“This is outrageous and should be grounds for a lawsuit,” Kessler told The Washington Post on Monday night. “It’s the racial targeting of white people for their ethnic advocacy.”…

What a fragile snowflake. To quote my Orange-bred granny: Go boil yer head, it might be useful then [as cabbage soup].

Much more on the proposed rally and counter rallies here, here, and here — in the NYTimes:

[T]he rally’s leaders have complained in their social media posts of a “heckler’s veto,” saying that the counter-protests are effectively censoring their free speech rights.

“There is just an incredible amount of discrimination from the city government and other elements of the community to keep people from eating at the restaurants they want to eat at, to keep people from renting,” Mr. Kessler said. “There’s just an enormous amount of hostility.”

Asked if he was surprised by the pushback, he said, “I think that I’m surprised by the venom and rancor from some individuals. It’s a little over the top.”

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Apart from hoping the bigots are seized by a great confusion & fright causing them to turn on each other with the same rancor, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up the week?



100 Days of Resistance

For my money, “The Simpsons” provided the definitive recap of the nonstop fail parade that is Twitler’s first 100 days:

As the announcer says, we’re 6.8% of the way home!

January 20, 2017 marked a modern low for the United States of America with the swearing in of a racist, sexist, xenophobic demagogue who scraped to electoral college victory with an assist from a hostile foreign power, GOP voter suppression, the ineptitude and/or malice of James Comey and the worst instincts of our fellow citizens.

Trump has since compounded the eternal shame of his election by behaving exactly as the decent people who opposed him said he would: he’s a bumbling, corrupt, narcissistic, clueless, feckless asshole who is more concerned with filling his pockets and feeding his massive ego than running the government.

But if January 20, 2017 showed how low the U.S. could sink, the next day provided clues to how it might rise again. I was in D.C. to witness it, and many of you were there too or at sister events held all over the world:

It may have been the largest single-day demonstration in the history of the United States. It almost certainly set a record for the most women rejecting a specific man in the history of humankind. That’s kinda cool.

Even more cool, resistance to Trump hasn’t been a one-off. I’ve never seen such sustained outrage about anything, ever. And it’s not just inchoate rage; the bone-deep anger people feel has translated into action, including boycotts of Trump products and follow-up marches to support science and protest Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns.

Never thought I’d see my wingnut congressman in a +20 GOP district jeered and shouted down in a packed town hall, but it happened. Never thought our sleepy local Democratic committee meetings would be flooded with new members who not only showed up at the first post-election meeting but continue to show up and mobilize for local protests and receive training to run as candidates and turn out voters.

Trump’s presidency and the GOP agenda have been stymied, not only due to their own epic ineptitude, not only because this administration is mired in scandal and infighting but also because Republicans are fearful. I look forward to making them fear us for the next 100 days, and the next 100 after that.

What have you seen that gives you hope?