That’s One Way To Spend Your Sunday

I went to the park to do some reading today. On the way there, I passed by some folks having a normal and good one, throwing us a MAGA rally across the street from Trump Tower. House left we have a sign that calls for the imprisonment of Hillary Clinton. You can’t see it, but the next MAGA hat over was wearing a shirt that said, “Hillary Lost, Ha Ha Ha.” They seemed to think mentioning the loser of the 2016 election was better than mentioning the winner.

You might notice, on the far right, the flags of Israel and South Korea. They were also chanting “We love Israel!” as I walked past. In other words, it was as coherent as any other right-wing rally I’ve ever seen. Sad!

I’m kind of surprised they used the correct Korean flag. At any rate, I soon moved on to better views.

How are the dregs of the weekend treating you? I did my writing this morning, so now I’m playing Kerbal Space Program. I bought the new expansion and started a new career mode game; I’m trying to make it to (and, the tricky part, from) the Mün.

Two Different Games

Following up on Adam’s post about AOC and Pelosi, I thought this profile of her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, was interesting, especially this:

“To me, there wasn’t a difference between working for her and working for the movement as a whole,” he said. “The whole theory of change for the current Democratic Party is that to win this country we need to tack to the hypothetical middle. What I think that means is, you don’t take unnecessary risks, which translates to: You don’t really do anything. Whereas we’ve got a completely different theory of change, which is: You do the biggest, most badass thing you possibly can — and that’s going to excite people, and then they’re going to go vote. Because the reality is, our problem isn’t that more people are voting Republican than Democrat — our problem is most people who would vote Democrat aren’t voting.”

The rest of the article is full of references to movement building with AOC and other House members using their seats as a platform to bring attention to the Green New Deal and other initiatives, as well as to drive recruitment for other like-minded House candidates. If that’s your mission, then balancing your work on committees with public appearances and behind-the-scenes work is perfectly reasonable. Maybe it’s naive, but I’ve seen a hell of a lot of naivete from establishment Dems who still think they can deal with the Trump administration using same rules and conventions they used with past administrations. (See Martin’s comment in Adam’s thread for more on this line of thought.)

In other words, if Adam’s right that Pelosi assigned AOC a set of tough committee assignments as a test, isn’t one possibility that AOC knows its a test and doesn’t give a shit if she passes that test? The fact that this profile of Chakrabarti exists–and that he hasn’t been fired for some of his anti-Pelosi tweets–is more evidence that AOC and Pelosi are playing two different games. No member whose goal was to move up quickly in the House hierarchy would allow their chief of staff anything like this latitude.

Two more things. First, if it looks weak to impeach Trump in the House and have it fail in the Senate, why should the House pass any other legislation? If passing legislation that the Senate will ignore or defeat is important because it sends a message to voters, so does impeachment. Second, before it gets brought up in the comments, this is the guy who committed the apparently unforgivable sin of allowing an early draft of the Green New Deal to go live on a website, three months after AOC was sworn in, thus ruining progressive politics forever and ever.

Late Night Open Thread

Sorry I dozed off.

Smoke weed every day

Brave Sir Andrew ran away:

Emotionalism, tribalism, intolerance, lies, cruelty, and extremism surround us (and I have not been immune in this climate to their temptations either). Trump has turned the right into a foul, spit-flecked froth of racist reactionism, and he has evoked a radical response on the left that, while completely understandable, alienates me and many others more profoundly with every passing day.


And so I walk the dogs. And I meditate. And I smoke more weed in the evenings. And I browse the apps. And I find myself searching for figures outside this time and place who were in similar circumstances and yet kept their heads. You can never go wrong reading Orwell.

Given Sully’s obsession with our campus radical overlords (and the second half of his article is devoted to the martyrdom of St. Googlebro), I’ll put this in terms he an understand: smoking out, reading Orwell, and decrying the overall state of the world is how teen-agers deal with break-ups, not how adults deal with encroaching tyranny. Nothing wrong with smoking pot obviously, but it’s not a substitute for picking a side and fighting for it (instead of concern trolling it).

Since people who give a fuck about the country don’t have the luxury of spending all their time browsing apps and meditating, let’s raise some money.

Give here to the Balloon Juice fund that’s split equally among all Democratic eventual nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans:

Goal Thermometer

Give here to Swing Left which is promoting grassroots progressive activity targeting over 70 Republican House districts.

Goal Thermometer

So fucking stupid

The Atlantic has gotten so bad it makes me long for the days of Douthat, McArdle, and Sully:

It’s 2020, four years from now.


As the presidential primaries unfold, Kanye West is leading a fractured field of Democrats. The Republican front-runner is Phil Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame. Elected governor of Louisiana only a few months ago, he is promising to defy the Washington establishment by never trimming his beard. Party elders have given up all pretense of being more than spectators, and most of the candidates have given up all pretense of party loyalty. On the debate stages, and everywhere else, anything goes.

I could continue, but you get the gist. Yes, the political future I’ve described is unreal. But it is also a linear extrapolation of several trends on vivid display right now.

What possible purpose could this kind of sub-Borowtiz material serve?

Yes, our political system has gone crazy but someday it may be sane, and Jonathan Rauch will still be a pompous idiot.