How laughable are the noisiest members of the GOP? Well, it’s all fun and games until somebody shoots at Fort Sumter, right? Mr. Charles P. Pierce:
… The modern Republican party has become an authentic mechanism for political subversion, and it’s not just unknown crazy people from Texas who are driving the train. A rookie meathead submarines the president’s foreign policy. Rick Perry is currently running for president on a platform more suited to a campaign conducted under the Articles of Confederation. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader of the United States Senate, has suggested that governors out in the several states ignore the Environmental Protection Agency. At every conservative gathering, from CPAC on down, there at least is one panel touting the benefits of nullification and old-school states rights politics. Yes, a lot of it is about how states rights got whipped over civil rights in the 1960’s, but it’s not all about race. It’s about a deliberate, calculated attempt by one of the only two political parties we allow ourselves to dismantle the federal union. They want the country to come apart so they can sell off the pieces to the people who run their campaigns. They are free to prove to me that I’m wrong.
… This heresy, which should have died at Gettysburg, is part and parcel of the modern conservative movement, which was born out of the flotsam left behind by the (partial) fall of American apartheid. For years, Republican politicians have accepted the money, and the support, and the cheers of nullification subversives from the League of the South and the Council of Conservative Citizens to the Wise Use people and the militia people out west, to the claque of subversives who set up camp at the Bundy Ranch. Without the support of people engaged in polite — and, occasionally, not very polite — sedition, the Republican party would be a bunch of rich old white guys pissing themselves in the grill room of a restricted country club…
The Republican party is a mechanism for the subversion of the federal republic. It doesn’t matter if the party’s stars are doing it to please The Base, or because they don’t know any better, or because they think it’s the right thing to do. They are actively working to undermine the American union…
Daniel Drezner, in the Washington Post, asks “Heckuva Job: Why is the GOP-led Congress making such a hash of foreign policy?“:
… If the GOP response ranges from sheer denial of a problem to “¯\_(ツ)_/¯”, that’s a sign that they’re not serious at all about foreign policy…
These kinds of stunts would have been vetoed by party leaders in Congress even a decade ago, because there were people who’d been in Congress for a while, had earned seniority, and could have told everyone how this was going to play out. But an awful lot of the GOP Senate caucus is new to that chamber, and you have the old bulls, such as Sen. John McCain saying things like, “I saw the letter, I saw that it looked reasonable to me and I signed it, that’s all. I sign lots of letters.” Which is code for, “what was in that letter again?”
… In the olden days, members of Congress burnished their reputation by putting forward concrete policies and getting legislation passed. But passing bills through Congress is rarer now, and modern-day Republicans are not really rewarded for passing legislation, they’re rewarded for disrupting government. This gives backbenchers like Cotton an incentive to engage in some Schumpeterian “creative destruction” and get rewarded for it with more campaign contributions. The effect such stunts have on foreign policy are secondary…
Speaking of old bull(s), Lindsey Graham, of the state “too small for a republic, too large for an insane asylum”, apparently decided he needed to get in on the conversation before the young guns stole all the limelight. As reported by Vox:
Republican senator and presidential maybe-hopeful Lindsey Graham stopped by the “politics and pies” forum in Concord, New Hampshire, today, where he announced that if he is elected president in 2016, his first act will be to deploy the military in Washington to force Congress to reverse cuts to the defense and intelligence budgets.
Yes, you heard that right. Here are Graham’s exact words:
And here’s the first thing I would do if I were president of the United States. I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts.…
Area Outlet Not Familiar With Area Politician’s Hyperbolic Jokes pic.twitter.com/f9D8vrp0qI
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) March 11, 2015
Apart from noticing how these ‘jokes’ get more heated & less funny every week, what’s on the agenda today?
Just fucking great.
The Dalai Lama is evidently a man of intelligence and, apparently, humor. The Chinese officials with the unenviable task of dealing with him are neither:
The Dalai Lama may indeed achieve bliss– it’s not for me to speculate. However, it’s pretty clear that certain Chinese bureaucrats will not pass the Veil of Maya any time soon.
“Area outlet” and “area politician”?
I think I see what he did there. Really, no sense in not appropriating The Onion’s nomenclature at this point.
Oh good, Joe and Mika are going to have another CONVERSATION.
The original headline on this column called Tom Cotton a ‘crackpot’:
Headline is changed, but Cotton is still crazy.
I thought the same thing! The entire GOP is an endless source of Onion articles, just not funny ones.
It has been mentioned here many times in many way and it is still my bedrock view. THe parallels between today and antebellum America are clear and stunning. Many BJs have predicted ‘peak wingnut’ but the crazy just keeps on coming, I don’t see how this ends without Fort Sumter in ruins.
I blame most of it on Wahhabi Christianity.
I’m coming to the conclusion that Stalin may not have been wrong in how he treated people of deep faith…
Longtime lurker and occasional poster here.. A friend has a dog/lease conflict situation and I told him I’d put up a post to see if anyone could help out.
Dog is a female brindle mixed breed on the small side of medium and about a year old, Nala is high energy but very friendly, well socialized and loving with kids, adults, other dogs and even cats. The story is my friend picked the dog up as a small puppy literally off the road about a year ago and immediately found a home for her with a co-worker, a couple of weeks ago the co-worker had issues and brought Nala back to my friend. Unfortunately my friend can’t keep the dog either thanks to his lease so needs to find another home or Nala will be going to the county shelter which is already overloaded.
Here are a couple of pictures.
We are in the Atlanta area…
One more Nala pic..
It has been my view for quite a while now that there are those folks who are very happy when the press and the hoi polloi are buzzing about frat house racism, Hillary’s latest mistake, conflict with (name a group in the Middle East), and even dead Black kids.
The real issue is economic diversion.
Economic diversion is the result of tremendous gains in economic productivity being diverted away from the income streams of the lower third of our socio-economic classes. Some call it a wealth transfer.
This is why I often get frustrated at many of the political posts here that so willingly hop aboard the outrage train about the latest stupidly superficial dust up. Planned or not, such actions only divert attention away from the real rot.
I didn’t know the terrible twos were contagious, but they seem to have spread throughout the Republican party.
Does Chip Kelly have a working brain? Or is he in league with the Washington Notwhites?
@Keith G: That might just be the most offensive thing I’ve seen you post here.
@Baud: It was very un-civil. We’ve been told for the last 35 years that the only wealth transfer is from the makers to the takers, so it must be true.
@Keith G: Answer me this. Why did you leave off the fight for gay rights from your list of not ”real” issues that are ”distracting” us?
@BillinGlendaleCA: I hope Romney doesn’t read this blog. He’d be horrified.
Wow, Richard Haas has figured out that what crazy Uncle Joe(with his cherry red Vett) was right about splitting up Iraq.
They got that part right, problem is they are confused about which is which.
“I am Lindsay Graham, Vote For Me and the first thing I will do is break by oath of office and conduct a coup d’etat. But I love the Constitution and will reverse the dictatorial actions of the Tyrannical but Wimpy Kenyan Muslim Black Usurper.” The Base loves it because after all the Constitution is not for “those people,” but for us melanin deficient types. Also, the Base is not big on coherence and has no problem with cognitive dissoance.
@Baud: It’s less of a headline now – less of a distraction. During the ACA debate, DADT and marriage issues came up. I was all for putting energy to the ACA and leaving gay rights issues for later.
When talking about the lunch counter sit-ins, MLK said, “What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?”
Racism and homo-hatred will never completely be solved, but they are made worse by economic oppression, IMHO.
But remember the driver of my comment: There are those who want us to be squabbling about the surface manifestations of diversionary economics and not talking about the fundamentals.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
Looks like the shooter in Ferguson was well behind the protesters.
@Keith G: Actually, it has been a huge diversion from lower 99% to the top 1% (and really there is a huge spread in the 1% with those in the top. .1% and then up to the top .01%). http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/Household-Income-Distribution.php and http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/09/income-inequality-one-percent-gains
Much of this has to do with the tax rate cuts on the megarich over the last 35 years. And the one thing that the Republicans care about and unites their party is tax cuts for rich people (a couple of other motivations have also arisen the last 10 years, 1) pleasing the Koch Brothers and 2) pleasing Sheldon Adelson (it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming years to see what happens in the primaries for those 7 Republicans who did not sign Cotton’s letter). It is interesting how Washington’s Media Village is at DEFCON 4 about Hilary’s e-mails, but completely indifferent to these megarich guys blowing up 40 years of Environmental progress and trying to provoke a nuclear war in the Middle East.
I’ll take a room full of two year olds any day over these Republican wahoos. At least two year olds are curious and many problems can be solved with some snacks and silly songs.
@Keith G: Well, at least you are consistent in believing that gay rights is also not a “real” issue.
My suggestion is that people who want to talk about economic issues should talk about economic issues and not spend their time talking about what people should be talking about or what other people don’t want us talking about.
@Sherparick: I agree.
My lower third comment is based that being the threshold for having to make trade off choices about basic comforts of modern life (in USA 2015).
Wahhabism is less comical. I’d call it “wha happen?” Christianity.
my opinion has been for some time that the GOP treats democratic governance like an illegal military occupation. it makes more sense of their wacky opinions.
Meeting with a vendor about a major capital project we can’t afford, but the boss is set on. Hoping the board either delays a vote until after the April election when new members come on, which will effectively kill it due to timing, or opt to reject it outright.
I retire in 2018; really can’t come soon enough.
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:
Nah, all those offended, “non-racist” white people are never going to believe that.
@Baud: Its a real issue. There are bucket loads of real issues. Whether or not there is a stable and safe place to call home, daily access to basic nutrition, and a chance for children to be a part of a meaningful education process (in a safe environment) are my economic issues and they are more than just economics.
But these are complicated and Lindsey Graham is more fun to dish on….right?
It is also the case that the 1% or the 01% sell their reverse Robin Hood economics to The Base with heaping sides of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Why did Republicans put anti gay marriage referendum questions on the ballot in 11 states in 2004? It was to get The Base to show up and vote R. They make their economic gains by fighting the culture wars.
Excellent. I’m glad you agree.
I get that. Doesn’t make non-economic issues any more real.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@bemused: Hmm, will they believe the cops? They made a beeline for the spot and began searching it.
Nah, it’ll just be the new grassy knoll.
I was agreeing with you. The issues are all connected. Always have been.
@Keith G: My beef is concern trolls who downplay serous issues by insisting that something else is the truly important issue. Those people are assholes.
@MomSense: Ah. Thanks.
Dammit, Chachi. What will Joanie think?
@bin Lurkin’: Nala is missing a sock. I hope she finds it.
Pretty dog, and she sounds like a rare find. Best of luck finding a new home for her. Let us know if we can help with transportation money if necessary.
@Baud: I don’t need doubletalk. I need Bob Loblaw.
Actually, maybe Scott Walker could use a lawyer like Bob Loblaw right now.
A decade ago? A decade ago, Republicans controlled everything. They’d never have pulled these stunts because they were busy ramming everything through on 50%+1 votes.
Two decades ago, they were busy shutting down the government and investigating Bill Clinton 24/7.
Rand Paul has decided to add his solution to the middle east. He would redraw the map (yes I know it worked so well in 1923) to give the Kurds their own country. Of course to do that he will have to take a big chunk of land from Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria and Russia. What could possibly go wrong.
Is there a lower limit on how stupid you can be and still qualify as a Gooper congresscriter? yea I know min us infinity
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:
Facts contrary to their gut feeling are proof that right wing white people are the real victims.
@D58826: But he’ll do it with _leadership_! Done and done.
Has Lindsay Graham walked back that comment yet? He’s clearly lost his grip.
I wondered if Republicans would stoop so low that such an unicellular creature as our mainstream media would notice.
Does this qualify as “kinda”?
And it’s not that we don’t talk about economic issues. We do! My problem is that people don’t believe it.
A concerted effort to steal their money by the very people who fight so valiantly against the demonic scourges of gay marriage, women’s liberation, and the War on Christmas??????
Heck, even as savvy a fellow as the old DC hand, Mr WereBear, resisted my radical characterizations as things more suitable to a Bond villain than the Government of Our Country. Now, he’s radical too. But it took a while.
Yes, and this happens largely undiscussed by the public — which is what frustrates you, yes?
OK, so what can one do about it?
Simply asking single-cause activists not to discuss voting rights, or police brutality, or gun control, or education reform, or abortion, or gay marriage — asking the lay public to not talk about pets or recipes or their co-workers or the Oscars — this approach is, I think, and I guess you agree, unlikely to work very well.
What could work better?
So something insightful was stated at Kos:
Really worth a read.
Hey, Lindsey, you seditious motherfucker …
US Code, Title 18, Chapter 115
Sec. 2385. Advocating overthrow of Government
Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
Too bad Lindsey doesn’t know any lawyers who might be able to ‘splain shit to him.
And the “funny” thing is, I don’t believe even THIS is Peak Wingnut.
@Baud: She’ll agree. Have you seen her lately?
@Germy Shoemangler: Not since that show was cancelled. Did she go all Victoria Jackson on us?
It’s a start.
Matt Welch at Reason:
Yet say one little thing about bitterness and guns (which has shown to be true) and you’re pilloried for seven years (so far).
@Cervantes: I was wondering who Reason was named after. Apparently, it was named Welch.
Well, if there’s a bright side, at least it’s not just Texas wingnuts. We have a national problem with fashionable semi-sedition among our idiots, and letting states drop out isn’t an answer. Maybe now we Dems can point out this problem to the public? Or is that impolite or something? I never understood the rules.
I wonder if commenter Boatboy is paying attention.
The Republican party is SAE-like, a closed system that doesn’t realize how retrograde it is.
Unfortunately for us, our national press — especially Washington press — does not have the courage and decisiveness of Oklahoma U president (and former Democratic Senator and Governor) David Boren.
I hope at some point we can lance this wound of racism and extremism and radical conservatism without more innocent blood lost.
Gin & Tonic
One of life’s mysteries – how can a cat puke while it’s running? It’s after feeding time, and I hear the characteristic sounds coming from the fat cat, so I go in the kitchen and yell “Hey” and the cat scrams at a dead run to go hide upstairs. Following her up, I see a pile of fresh vomit in the hallway, where I know she didn’t pause. She ejected it without breaking stride, apparently.
I can’t believe a Southern senator would say something seditionist.
Yeah, I know.
I was talking with my brother yesterday, and I suggested that the quickest way to get Loretta Lynch confirmed was to have Holder open a Logan Act investigation of the 47 TMs what signed the letter they sent to Khamenei or Rouhani or Reza Pahlavi or whomever. We could add a Sedition investigation of noted JAG-Off Lindsey Graham, that would only speed things up.
Of course, the appropriate response from Lynch would be to withdraw her nom, leaving Holder there for another six months. They’d try to impeach him, but they can only work so fast.
Fuck ’em all.
Well, I’m not suggesting Welch is generally reasonable — he may or may not be — I just found the paragraph note-worthy.
As of this morning, not yet.
One hopes your fainting couch is near at hand.
FWIW, I think they are going to vote on her next week. Too slow, but maybe the Ferguson report reminded them that they hate Holder.
The return of the Fuhrer Principle…
That’s the downfall of the overly confident: their sense of self-righteousness prevents them from seeing the larger picture.
If I’m not mistaken, the word used toward persons who truthfully and accurately point out Rethug/RWTM insanity/sedition is either “uncivil” or “shrill.” And that’s WITHOUT using profanity, which would then lead to a Blogger Ethics Panel or some such.
Yeah, I know. I still think it would be good fun if she either withdrew, or said she can’t start for another six months.
Of course, that whole scenario is based on the premise that Holder would actually go after them, which obviously won’t happen. AG Spitzer or Boies would have, however.
Is there a stronger argument for abortion than this?
Theoretically, perhaps. But the RWTMs have proved that they can say and do any shit and get away with it.
Goodness! And people like him accuse President Obama of being a tyrant…
BTW – Has Graham given any detail on exactly whose taxes he would increase in order to avoid the military cuts?
@Keith G: that is so completely nuts. The reason DADT came up in the latter stages of ACA had nothing to do with the inability of liberals to stay on “real” issues. It came up because we were nearing the end of a democratic Congress and there was a rush to clear that issue and many others. It is not the fault of gay activists that ACA took so long to pass. And was so unpopular that it nearly destroyed the Democratic Party in 2010.
Maybe you think that ACA would have passed more quickly and been easier to sell to crazy tea party whites without the gay baggage the party carries. It’s not the fault of the gays that our most deliberative body can’t deliberate on more than one issue at a time.
And yet somehow, we got both done.
Maybe it can be retroactive, in that asshole’s case. The guy reminds me of Blake Farenthold. Maybe we could get a two-fer?
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
Given the love for BB here, in case y’all haven’t seen this yet:
Breaking Bad Creator Asks Fans to Please Stop Terrorizing Elderly Couple
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Succession would never be viable since this is the extraburbs verses the urban areas. Like here in California were Northern California tried succeeded from us hippies in the SF Bay Area and LA Area because we aren’t giving them all the money Northern California conservatives feel entitled to.
The big difference between today and the pre-civil war South is slavery was the key to the South’s economy so everyone in the South was sucked in, whether they liked slavery or not.
@Gin & Tonic:
Cat’s are superior beings.
Yours, of course.
McConnell says next week. We shall see.
Incidentally, only three Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted to allow her nomination to come to the floor: Jeff Flake, Orrin Hatch, and … Lindsey Graham.
No. He has a working ego. He wants to prove he can win with lackluster talent, thus cementing his status as a super-genius..
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@debbie: Gah. He looks like one of the people on board the Axiom.
Unfortunately, we’re nowhere near that point at this point. In fact, we’re probably about as far away from that as possible. The media isn’t just feckless, it’s actively complicit, and whether they’re purposely so or not, it really doesn’t make a difference results-wise. Fuck’s sake, CNN, courtesy of Don Lemon, literally invited a KKK member to discuss the SAE frat stuff. You had Missouri State Rep. Jeff Roorda on the same channel doing everything but calling Holder and a State Sen. n-words while railing against the Ferguson protesters and lecturing the anchors about why Brown should’ve been shot.
Shit like this should turn people into pariahs. Instead, they become heroes, even if “just” inside the conservative bubble. It’d be nice if it stayed there, but it bleeds into the mainstream like a continuous rot and the GOP keeps winning more power than they’re losing at this rate.
And fuck all if I know what we can do about it at this rate. Obama’s a treasure and probably one of the better bulwarks we’ve had, sure, but as noted before, the Republican party has been dead set on subverting the Union and the entire Republic to their own ends, and they’ve been doing gangbusters at getting the public at large to go along with it, opinion polling be damned. And until we can find a way to pin this shit on their chests and make them pay actual prices for it, they’re going to keep winning until there’s nothing left.
@Cervantes: Right. Definitely not counting unhatched chickens.
@bin Lurkin’: I hope Nala gets a home. We unfortunately live in Virginia.
Why not weaken the federal level of our government? A lot of people can’t have nice things, because a very dedicated clique of nitwits is busy ensuring the whole country can’t have nice things. I like paying taxes when it makes society materially better but sometimes it feels like too much money is being paid to states to subsidize them keeping their citizens poor and unempowered.
Why not have a more state-centric approach? If one state wants to build cool crap and improve its economy and another state wants to sell itself sell itself off to the lowest bidder, let them. I gladly await the throngs of people looking for more opportunity.
RWTMs? Right-wing . . . what? “Twitter Mafia” doesn’t seem to fit.
@Patrick: Increase in military spending pays for itself.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@JPL: Loot and pillage, rape and burn, but in the proper order….
Are you kidding? No cuts are ever necessary when it comes to anything military. The glittery unicorns will take care of everything.
@SFAW: But remember the “Iron Rule” of 21st Century American politics: IOKIYR!!
Meanwhile, everyone should check out Driftglass, he is on a roll this week with all the madness. http://driftglass.blogspot.com/
A short explanation about the Squint and Sock Puppet show on MSNBC and why the real racists at University of Oklahoma are black rappers and having Bill Kristol as a guest. I expect the market for morning cable news shows skews overwhelmingly to old, white, and cranky. So MSNBC seems now to be going trying to market this show as “Fox and Friends with an edge.”
@Cervantes: What else could work? Attention to the things that really matter, although it is a very tough slog.
Each and every week I put my lack of money where my mouth is. I work with the poorest of the poor the sickest of the sick and the most outcast among the outcasts. Ever give a bed bath to a formerly homeless 55 year old African American male who is dying of AIDS?
I am no saint. With some change in the demographic data, that could be me some day.
Watching a money-grubbing conservative libertarian ethos attack notions of community responsibility and governmental involvement is quite dismaying thing.
Oh boy, maybe the shooting of the cops in Ferguson was actually aimed at the protestors and missed. Uh huh.
@raven: Or plants trying to direct outrage at the protestors.
Libertarians put the “moron” in “oxymoron” re: that phrase.
@raven: Hopefully they find the shooter.
@Kropadope: Yea and the fucking asshole screaming “this wouldn’t have happened if you had done this months ago” is a working class hero.
No matter what happens, there’s always money in the banana stand.
Iowa Old Lady
OMG, I’m listening to Chris Hayes from last night. He has Jennifer Rubin on. He apparently has a “never cut a guest’s mic” policy. Big mistake.
Sure, I agree. Doing is important; merely talking less so.
Perhaps one thing you might suggest here, then, is a regular — daily or weekly? — discussion about what front-pagers and commenters are doing in the trenches. (Or would that be only more frustrating?)
@SFAW: He’s just echoing the words of that great American president Augusto Pinochet.
How is “using the military to force Congress to reverse defense cuts” supposed to work? How would it be constitutional? How does a lawyer and sometime military officer say something so plainly nonsensical and not get called out on it?
Iowa Old Lady
@Amir Khalid: There you go again being rational.
@Amir Khalid: He’s talking to then morons in South Carolina, they don’t give a shit if it is true or not.
Mobile Grumpy Code Monkey
Graham’s tired of the Tea Party getting all the glory, so he’s creating his own “Banana Republican” offshoot.
And most of my high school ‘booker friends will eat that shit right up, although hopefully not the actual veterans. But these days, who knows?
This is why I really think we should be charging all 47 Senators on felony of violating the Logan Act.
The big reason the Republicans keep pulling these stunts, these acts of sabotage and sedition, is because they’re never held accountable. They shut down the government, and they rig the election system with gerrymander and voter suppression to ensure they WIN MORE CONGRESSIONAL SEATS. They interfere with foreign policy like this and Fox Not-News lets them on the airwaves to sell their campaign t-shirts.
But now they’ve really gone too far. Their act has led to direct interference in foreign policy, a major no-no. There’s a law on the books against that sort of thing. There’s a Supreme Court ruling from 1936 US v Curtiss-Wright Corp that confirms the President is the sole actor in negotiating with foreign powers, and that not even Congress should overstep that.
It’s not treason, what the 47 Senators did, BUT IT IS A FELONY. And they should be charged with it. They need to face up to the stupidity and criminality of their acts.
@PaulW: Right, that’ll happen
Plus: How long before he suggests leaving out the middle man and instead having himself and the generals make all the decisions?
But bear in mind: If the 47 can get away with describing their words as a joke, Graham can do so, too, and somewhat more plausibly.
I think he was talking to those rugged individualist morons in NH.
Look, Lindsey Graham is not funny. But nor is he actually calling for the President to use the military to barricade Congress in until they actually pass a budget. He just used “literally” to mean “not literally, I’m just making a point here,” which is how it’s used at least half the time.
I mean, it wouldn’t work anyway. If the choices are work with the President or endure a slow death from dehydration, the majority is going dehydration every time.
Because they never get called out on it. Because the media doesn’t have rules that say “hold up, ethics require us to tell this idiot that he’s an idiot and we’re cutting off his mic.” Because the police and the FBI won’t show up on his doorstep with a warrant saying “you do realize your statement violates the Constitutional provisions of checks and balances, right?” Because the voters he’s selling this to – the far right wingnuts – want a leader who’ll flex his military might because they are eager for another civil war in which all the “evil” people they don’t like (and you can tell the evil people by their dark skin and love of librulism) get lined up against a wall and shot.
A Republican candidate can get up there and say a lot of things as long as it doesn’t make them look bad, and even then they’ll just go into hiding on a think tank board for a few years before rising back up. You think saying stupid things about rape would end an idiot’s career, but I swear Todd Akin is back on a campaign trail for public office again…
Oh, please. It ain’t “too far” until they are actually made to pay a REAL penalty for their actions. And, as raven said – right, that’ll happen.
Constant very tough slogging is impossible to sustain for a movement. It is important to have fun and to have small victories. Celebrating a small win and moving on to something bigger is how you build a community with the energy to keep fighting.
Our bloghost stopped being a Republican over the Terry Schiavo mess. Sometimes it is seeing the cruelty at the heart of a seemingly less important issue that causes one to open their eyes to the cruelty at the heart of economic inequality. I definitely feel your frustration. I’ve said it on the blog a number of times that I sometimes feel like we are pointing and mocking while the world burns but there are times when I definitely need a pupdate so I can psych myself up for a phone bank.
Thank you for caring for the gentleman who was formerly homeless. I’m sure that means the world to him. I do think a lot of us here volunteer in our communities in addition to our rantings on all manner of serious and un-serious topics.
You’re thinking the President (at that point) will still be a blackity-black black man. He was talking about when HE (i.e., Linseed) is President-for-Life. The RWTMs and Manchin will have no problem doing what he wants.
@Cervantes: It is so frustrating to me that the Democratic Party seems to have not found a way, or even spent the effort trying to find a way, to create the type of narrative that helps citizens understand what the important issues are and how those issues impact upon them and they that they love.
Sure, getting to NO is easier, so the GOP has an advantage. Nonetheless, if corporate America can convince Americans that eating a half cup of yogurt a day will actually help them shit on time, I think that the Democrats with a concerted effort can instruct a good deal of the American working class on what is in the best interest of their economic security.
We just don’t seem to be focused on that effort In any meaningful way.
I know, I read what he said, “if I were president,” It’s pretty clear when you read it that he’s trying to use humor for emphasis. No one listening at the time paid any attention to the remarks, it got drummed up later.
I was just trying to use humor too, and probably failed just as much.
Several steps past filibuster is sillybluster.
@MomSense: What I’m about to type is going to seem very horrible, but I swear to god that it’s true.
I volunteer at a nonprofit hospice for AIDS patients. Counting all the administrative staff and volunteers and paid professionals one would get to a number of several dozen. On those times when we have gathered together in large groups to socialize I have made a rather striking observation. Almost all of our number are politically liberal individuals. There are conservatives among us. As far as I can detect none of the people who do direct patient care are politically conservative.
Plausible and likely, I agree, if not completely clear.
@Keith G: Can you think of any reason for that aside from political malpractice or branding incompetence?
I can absolutely see that being true. It has been my experience, too.
@Betty Cracker: That might be a question that you pose for a thread someday when nothing else is going on. I have some ideas. I’m not at a point in time when I can sit down and hash them out however. It’s a busy morning at work and I’m hitting this thread in between the various tasks I have in front of me.
Never mind the Democrats for a moment.
Suppose someone wanted to:
Are there any pre-requisites, or are we awaiting only the appearance of the narrative and the crafting of effective instruction? And where might we look to find people working on these things?
As for the Democrats (as for anyone else), what they can say depends (1) partly on where they get their money, and (2) how important money is. In these matters, I guess you agree, some trends are encouraging and others less so.
In the hospice, you mean, but not as a general proposition, yes?
Bingo. Though I am eager to learn more about the encouraging trends associated with this topic. I see very little that is encouraging.
Ya go with what you got when your competition’s Putin and Netanyahu. Remember, strong leadership, restoration of lost traditional values, squashing the elite intellectuals, homosexuals, gypsies/hippies and other social miscreants, and restorative war is what’s important. Is anybody beefing up security at Sumter? BLM headquarters?
@Cervantes: Yes, in my small sample size.
Sorry for missing it: re: your humor.
However, Linseed MAY have been attempting to use “humor” – which for conservatives generally equates to some prettied up version of “I fucking HATE liberals!” – but there are some things that, if you’re a Senator (or Rep or Gov), you shouldn’t make a joke about.
“Yeah, when I’m President, the first thing I’m a-gonna do is round up all them Messcans, ship ’em off to a camp, one with a gate that says ‘Arbeit macht frei’ on it. Wait – what are y’all gettin’ upset about? Can’t you humorless Lie-berals take a joke?”
Graham is an asshole with delusions of cluefulness, and Example # 2347 that there is no just god.
ETA: Riffing on the “no just god” thing: someone should start a rumor that Linseed is a closet atheist. That would 86 his career faster than anything (assuming it COULD be 86’ed, of course).
Thank you for pointing that out…I’m a semi professional phone banker (it’s one of my p/t jobs) and even when calling “my people” I have to endure the regular lecture on the proper allocation of activist resources, or, more abruptly, hear how I’m wasting my time. More often, I have to “counsel” dismayed/burned out/grieving fellow travelers, practically talk them away from the ledge after the wonton reversal of so much progress has left them reeling.
Not fun. But, I feel if we vacate the field then it’ll get paved over…that’s exactly what the bastards want, to reap what doesn’t belong to them by default. Not on my watch.
Thanks for working so hard. Not easy, I know.
This sounds like an excellent idea. I would also appreciate a front pager who can explain economic issues to the rest of us in the same way that our insurance expert does or in the way Kay does with political issues. Then we would be more well armed to talk to others about what needs to be done to change things.
Campaigns that make it a particular point, and a science, to obtain large numbers of small donations — we’ve had a few now but, you’re right, it may not (yet) be a trend.
What is the result of a bulimic dining in a Chinese restaurant?
/couldn’t resist playing off the typo
And yet, King didn’t oppose the sit-ins on the grounds that the people doing it should be pushing for economic equality instead. (In fact, he complained about white liberals always telling him it wasn’t the right time to do this or that. The right time somehow never comes.)
Democrats are a tremendously large tent and in so many communities liberal inspired governance is doing great things. One of the things that could be done is to make sure that the activities of these local communities get strengthened and highlighted and used for models for other parts of the country.
Conservatives have a readily available list of real and imagined horror stories. We need to constantly confront their insipid grumbling with the reality as we see it on the ground.
I would like to develop this further, but right now I really need to get back to my day job before I….
@Kryptik: I actually saw a great stick figure explainer on how anger helps ideas spread like Thought Germs. (h/t Marco.org) . We now have a media driven mostly by anger + money. Because outrage sells/spreads better than nuanced ideas.
The media, as it has been concentrated and corporatized over the years, also really no longer feels obliged to pretend to act in the public interest, to tone it down or even contextualize anything. The media with the widest audience just doesn’t do nuance anymore, because it doesn’t create enough synergy for them to make money.
So we end up with Mika and Joe (and most of the other white people on yesterday morning’s panel) saying stupid sh*t about the hippity-hop and the SAE bus chant which gives them a bump in ratings and allows Mika to get on TV later that day with Sharpton and perpetuate her thought germs We get infuriating ahistorical mouth noises, rather than a real discussion of how that Jim Crow/lynching chant has a long provenance in our country and why it was so hurtful, with explanations of how many black men were lynched in the South (with a reference to the new study) . And thus providing the full context and nuance necessary to why shutting down the fraternity was the correct minimum response to SAE’s behavior. That just isn’t contagious enough for MSNBC to make money.
Of course, understanding all of that doesn’t make any less tempting for me to yell “SHINY THING” and chase those germs myself.
Liberals been saying this since before blogs were a thing, while blogs were a thing and we’re still saying it now that Blogging Is Dead ™.
So far, it has not made the slightest difference…
@PaulW: There’s a petition going on to that effect:
File Charges against the 47
I hear you. That said, I think people can’t get their arms around what to do — don’t know the leverage points to stop the transfer. We aren’t even sure that the people we consider “on our side”, are actually on our side for this issue. I for one am not certain that all Democrats are aboard stopping that transfer. I think if we had a means to channel our energy to something that would affect that, you would have many people more interested in that than the low hanging fruit we too easily pursue.
@Elie: I do not know if this is precisely germane to your comment but it is something that goes along with the general ideas we’ve been kicking around. Propaganda works. The left seems to have forgotten this or they have bought into notion that propaganda is a tool of the devil.
Meanwhile the other side has pushed all the propaganda buttons it can get its scaly little fingers on. I know that some of this is about having the monetary resources to game the media. But then again, part of the game is just showing up. And for the longest time our side has just not been showing up in any meaningful and consistent way.
… and just at a time when we need to build esp locally, on small victories, it is harder and harder to reach “our” people. With the disappearance of landlines, the registration sheets we worked from as precinct captains only lend themselves to shoeleather door knocking — which while is great to make personal connections, is pretty labor intensive. Other means, rallies, etc, bring people to events, but the follow up which was so much a part of Obama’s successful strategy for getting people engaged and bringing them along, may be increasingly a challenge. Republicans seem to have such motivated and intense connections locally — its fascinating how they did it. Democrats don’t seem as passionate, even though the things we value are at incredible risk — we just don’t have the anger and emotion that seems to drive these people.. We have to figure out how to do this and do it well very very quickly before this thing gets away from us further…
We DO need a strong message delivered consistently, but who is going to do it? It seems the Democrats get all soft when push comes to shove… We let these assholes bust up unions and intimidate the weak without any consequence. Obama, our standard bearer, has been under unremitting assault since he entered office, and I think that has chilled us rather than making us angrier and more determined…
@PaulW: Agreed, they should be charged: if nothing else, it might wake up some listless Dems and independents about how deadly serious (and dangerous to the country) the modern GOP has become.
We also need this, like, yesterday: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/06/03/this-computer-programmer-solved-gerrymandering-in-his-spare-time/ No more majority-minority districts, no more crazy NC (or any other state) squiggle-districts, and no more rule by the most fringe elements out there. Moderate & competitive districts everywhere would change us for the better, overnight.
Charles Pierce is on point.
Let me know when we can’t stop pretending that most Republicans aren’t actually fascists.
I think there is a fantasy among certain Democratic factions that things will return to the post VRA status quo, where white Democrats ran stuff, and African-American were loyal voters.
So the boat doesn’t get rocked because the party in the south is old, white and moribund, and activists want boyah populism to get the Jeff Davis vote back.
Did you mean “can”?
I don’t think Strom is a Dem anymore. Outside of him, I’m not sure what “factions” you mean, because they all joined the Rethugs.
White Nationalists. I think the GOP is headed to the same place as the NP in South Africa.
@PaulW: I agreed with you yesterday, and I still agree with you today.
There must be some similarities in history to help us understand this crazy period. It does not make complete sense that the Republicans want to entirely destroy the system, unless they are so unconscious that they actually do not know how to avoid that outcome…It just seems that there is a growing number of really crazy actors who, to make matters worse, are not being managed or neutralized by members of their party who should know better. Its amazing to watch (holding aside the horror).
Tree With Water
To hear Pierce (et.al.) tell it, the GOP is the party of rule or ruin. You can quote me.
Graham’s viciously anti-American remark about unleashing the military on the people’s congress begs the question: why the hell do congressional democrats suffer such seditious filth from the mouth of a sitting senator without his being called on it, without forcing him to pay a price? What the hell are they for, if not for that?
Not entirely destroy it, only destroy the parts that do not help their base. And by “base,” I don’t mean the TeaBagger morans, I mean the one-percenters and their ilk.
They’ve been doing it for at least 35 years. They’ll continue to do it until either (A) America collapses, or (B) there’s an uprising (non-violent, one hopes) when the patsies know as “the electorate” finally get it.
I’m hoping for a non-violent (B), but the American electorate has demonstrated, time and again, just how fucking stupid WAY too many of them are.
Another Holocene Human
Wow, Tom Toles, I hadn’t made that connection but that is so right. Oh, snap!
The problem is, the only way to do it with that intensity is by lying. Lies are just stronger than truth when it comes to provoking strong emotions, because you can package lies into neater stories and make more extreme statements.
But if you base your politics on lies, you end up with incompetent government and disaster. We’d turn into them.
In a way, their own excesses cause them to set new boundaries of excess… a creeping “normalization” of deviance where the body politic is able to accept greater and greater levels of outrageous actions. Somewhere, however, this has to be stopped — either through gaining self control (unlikely), or through some really bad outcome. Unfortunately, the media is unable to exact that kind of bad outcome. Taking them to court or legal redress just fans the flames more. So the only thing we can do is make them pay an electoral price — if possible. This is culture wars. They represent a new civic culture injected from the same place that the Confederacy arose (per Charles Pierce). That had to be forcibly beat back. That would not be desirable for a number of reasons, but I am concerned how their outrageous behavior is giving permission to average joe racists (like those on the bus), and the police force violence against various minorities and subgroups, more license and acceptance. More and more we see the Fox news types and many right winged radio and web sites, excusing incivility of increasing scale. At what point do we reach Krystalnacht levels? It is that permission through example that I am most concerned about…
I don’t think we have to lie to stand up for the necessity for fair representation in negotiations with workers, or to want all our children to be educated fairly or to have access to health care. We just have to lay it down proudly and be unashamed in advocating openly and loudly… which we don’t do. We used to do it, though. We used to, so I know we can…
The pattern of how they keep pushing boundaries is by how some this or that asshole says something on Morning Joe or Fox and then “walks it back”, later without consequence. The new boundary of outrageous conclusions has been set, however. The next outrage goes a bit further before having to be walked back, but things are never back to where they should be. The landscape has changed to accept worse behavior…
I agree with much of what you wrote.
I think the thing to worry about is that their “rock bottom” (as in, an alcoholic must hit rock bottom before he can/will start recovery) will mean the destruction of America, or at least the destruction of the civil society most of us used to enjoy here. (Not ignoring that what “most of us used to enjoy” was rarely available to minorities. I am hopeful that its renewal would not exclude anyone. Except Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and Donald Trump, of course. Oh, and Rush would get deported to the Dominican Republic, with a lifetime supply of his favorite pharmaceuticals.)
The other question that I have is can the Republicans get their “ISIS” genie back in the bottle? As they facilitate and encourage ever greater bad behavior in all spheres from calling Michele Obama names to throwing monkey wrenches in sensitive foreign relations, can they ever go back to “normal” or will they keep wobbling into ever more craziness. I am not absolutely sure you can turn this stuff off and on just like that….
That one nearly made me spit out my lunch.
The last times America hit “rock bottom” due to conservative intransigence were the Civil War and the Great Depression, and I think we’re ultimately headed towards something of the same magnitude. Exactly what that is, what form it will take, I have no idea. But given the conservatives’ continuing descent into madness and the overall “meh” reaction from the rest of the population, I don’t see it how it can end any other way than that level of societal breakdown.
(I’m not at all saying this in a “and then, finally, there will be a liberal backlash and we can have a new New Deal!” kind of way. The Civil War and the Great Depression could easily have had much worse outcomes, and I’m not at all taking it for granted that whatever that eventual breakdown is will have as good an outcome).
Good thing. I’d hate to think of you as being just like Saint Ralph the Pure.
Tree With Water
@Chris: After Edward abdicated, he attended a dinner party that included Churchill. Edward wasn’t a very bright man, and Churchill had expended valuable political capital defending him. According to an eyewitness, Edward did most of the talking, but Churchill nipped his fascist ramblings in the bud by stating when push came to shove with the House of Commons, the King gets pole-axed. I’m with Churchill in spirit. I believe Americans both can and will figuratively pole-ax the powers you cite, if and when push comes to shove. But first they’ll have to pole-ax their own party’s stupid bastards, the ones who pretend today’s republican party is an honorable opposition. Today’s republican party is nothing of the kind. They are extremely dangerous lunatics, prepared to shred our Constitution to shreds and laugh in our faces doing it.. The sooner those of the current generation of democrats who collaborated with the Bush-Cheney regime are supplanted by the next generation, those unsullied by collaboration with the Bush-Cheney War regime, the better. It can’t be soon enough.
@Jeffro: Thanks for the pointer. Nonpartisan redistricting is definitely needed. Having politicians choose their voters has not been good for the country.