One understandable and widespread reaction to the recent election of a racist, sexist, xenophobic demagogue has been a vow not to “normalize” Trump. I share that impulse and even created a “Not Normal” tag here at the blog to catalog the mounting horrors. But what if a focus on Trump’s unfitness for office plays into his (teeny, tiny) hands?
Matt Yglesias makes that case at Vox, and he goes beyond the now-familiar argument that focusing on things like Trump’s Twitter antics pulls media attention off issues such as the Trump U fraud payout, influence peddling, Wall Street grifter cabinet picks, etc.
Yglesias discusses how politicians in other countries have faced down and defeated authoritarian clowns, noting that they do so on policy rather than character issues since the latter can have the opposite of the intended effect. Here’s an excerpt that cites the work of Luigi Zingales, who chronicled the rise and fall of Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, a man who shares many traits with Trump:
“How, then, did Berlusconi get elected and reelected? He created an unlikely coalition between the business elite, which supports him for fear of the alternative, and the poor, who identify with him because he appeals to their aspirations. In a country where corruption and lack of meritocracy has all but killed the hope of intra-generational mobility, citizens chose to escape from reality and find consolation in dreams. Berlusconi adeptly fosters the illusion that he can turn everyone else into billionaires. His political career is something like Trump’s Apprentice program, only on a national scale.”
In a post-election op-ed, Zingales revisited these themes and observed that the two politicians who beat Berlusconi in elections — former Prime Minister Romano Prodi and current Prime Minister Matteo Renzi — had two important things in common: “Both of them treated Mr. Berlusconi as an ordinary opponent. They focused on the issues, not on his character. In different ways, both of them are seen as outsiders, not as members of what in Italy is defined as the political caste.”
Yglesias also notes the uneasy truce Trump has struck with the Republican establishment, which is wholly dependent on the shit-gibbon’s willingness to support the GOP’s broadly unpopular agenda of tax cuts for the wealthy, dismantling Medicare, overturning Roe v. Wade, etc. He rightly notes that the precarious nature of this alliance presents an opportunity, arguing that Democrats in Congress should stick a crowbar in any cracks they find and exert all possible force to break it.
It’s a fairly convincing case for how Democratic politicians should oppose Trump and present themselves and their agenda as alternatives. But, as many of you have noted in various ways in comments here, the nonstop shit-show that will be the Trump administration is going to require fortitude, focus and the ability to multitask on many fronts from Trump’s opponents, politicians and peanut gallery alike.
I don’t ever want the idea that an unhinged clown like Trump will soon be in charge of an army of flying death-robots to seem normal. The prospect of Trump’s vile spawn leveraging our highest political office for their personal gain should continue to strike us as outrageous for the next three years, eleven months, three weeks and three days.
Can’t we walk and chew gum here, opposing Trump on policy grounds and pointing out that, yeah, we’ve never had such an unqualified, venal, corrupt pig in the White House before? Yes we can.
PS: Breaking news: Pelosi beats back challenge, retaining leadership over the House Dems. Good. We’ll need her experience and vision to successfully oppose the Pig Party.[Photo via HuffPo]
Thank you, Betty. This is a relatively non-despairing blogpost, and I search them out.
And anything with your drawings (especially of cockroach costumes).
Anyway: no point in being “good Germans.” That didn’t work out for the vast majority of people affected.
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Thanks Betty. Absolutely 100% agree. Politicians, especially those running against him, should follow the Berlusconi blueprint. The rest of us need to act like he’s the second coming of Putin.
Well yeah. Any hopes Ryan might beat her were… dumb. I could tell because Jim Newell had them.
What did pigs ever do to you? They are cute and intelligent, Republicans are neither.
We don’t call him names we treat him like a troll. He thrives on attention both good and bad, it is like oxygen to him.
I could see deBlasio playing an important role here. Trim wants to run the country from Trump Tower –why the hell should NYC accommodate that? Can the bills for the extra policing be sent to Trump ersonally?
Ohio rotates the first name on the ballot. There’s a print run of ballots with Candidate A first and then B and so on. I actually got complaints about this from Dem voters in 2012. Their ballots had Romney first and Obama last (Ohio has 4 or 5 Prez candidates) and they thought Kasich engineered it. Just random in Ohio but not Michigan, apparently.
Sixty three? I’m gonna find the list of those eeeejits.
ETA: Well shit. Secret ballot. I guess that makes sense.
Glad that it was Pelosi over Ryan. I’m sick and tired of hearing people bemoaning the “coastal elites.”
Its my personal opinion that calling him childish names minimizes the threat that he represents. Obviously many on this blog disagree. Don’t let the troll and his army see how much he gets under your nerves.
@jacy: The loser of the popular vote is a coastal elite, for crying out loud.
I don’t ever want the idea that an unhinged clown like Trump will soon be in charge of an army of flying death-robots to seem normal.
Betty, I appreciate the idea, but a neo-Confederate rebellion has been in progress for eight years (against what they would call ‘the nigger in the White House’, natch) and Mitt Romney wants to sign up with Donald Trump. Trump as President is going to be ‘normal’. The point here is not to worry about normalization (you can’t do anything about it, and also, Andrew Jackson). What we want here is to discuss how Trump is just as bad and in some cases worse than the Bush the Younger clown. Trump is going to be a Very Bad President, and I don’t have to hope for that, I KNOW how this going to go. Trump is a bad business CEO, a money-losing investor and he doesn’t know much about the world beyond what he sees on TV, so he’s basically a bad, no-good, awful President. There were plenty of ways he could have demonstrated he ‘moving to center’ or able to become a better President during the campaign and at every opportunity to move that way, he took the opportunity to demonstrate how bad he’ll be.
So: bad, no-good, awful President, is the current incoming normal state of affairs. Going to have to not be shocked and just fight it out on policy. I’m never going to understand people who admired Trump in the 80’s or 90’s or 00’s and I’m not going to try to – so I’m agreeing with Yggles. We beat these people with our issues. No worries here, because they’ve already told us in advance they’re going to fuck the US as hard as possible, and it’s going to work out as well as the 2nd half of the Bush the Younger administration. Awfully awful terrible bad.
So no panicking, no freaking out, just fight, right? At no point though, should we forget that Chuck Schumer back Comey for the FBI an the FBI and Comey are clearing out-of-control assholes who will have to go as soon as the opportunity arises. Likewise, I haven’t forgotten that Mitch McConnell cheated and stole a Supreme Court pick from us.
In both cases we aren’t looking for revenge – we’re after rebalancing the scales, which means we need to spend the next four years doing damage to Mitch McConnell every chance we get. He has to pay for this, there’s no choice here. They should have hung Jefferson Davis, and I see no reason for Mitch McConnell to get a walk on Confederate Treason part two. (Andersonville is the reference point here.) And obviously, we can’t let the FBI run around conducting coups against D politicians, or ANY politician (including, BTW, Trump). So obviously, Comey and the FBI have to pay. (We CANNOT let bygones be bygones in that case. Same goes for Petraeus.) And so on.
So we know what we need to do, right? Normalization don’t enter into it, because these ain’t normal times.
[‘That is all.’]
Nancy Pelosi got the ACA through Congress. I will always be proud of her for that, and for all the Representatives who lost their jobs for doing the right thing. Why is it that all the challengers to Democratic leadership have such dismal track records of actually getting shit done?
You’d think that meeting someone as important as Harrison Ford that Cheney could take off his mask.
In regards to the Trump U payoff, while campaigning Trump pointed out numerous times how the Clintons paid a large judgement to Paula Jones, and that fact had to imply their guilt because nobody ever paid off a judgement just to get it done and over with. However, what was Trump’s excuse for paying the Trump U settlement? Very much the same story, but not one so called news person ever pointed this fact out in their reporting. Hmmm.
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@jacy: I saw somebody (Ryan?) saying how it’s absurd the party of the working class is led by elites from California and New York.
Yeah, why should the people who represent your voters be representing your voters?
And delicious. Trump is not delicious.
I hope Rose prays for the people who didn’t vote for Donald Trump too:
@Kay: I am sorry I have zero sympathy for the stupid and their spite voting.
Good idea but we are talking democratic politicians here. They have a depressing history of screwing up a one car funeral.
@max: Sounds like we have different concepts of what constitutes “normal” in this context. And that’s okay!
“the nonstop shit-show that will be the Trump administration is going to require fortitude, focus and the ability to multitask on many fronts from Trump’s opponents, politicians and peanut gallery alike. ”
The only problem I see in this plan is that the media are incapable of multitasking when they don’t have an object to loathe. Maybe if Trump keeps them in a pen, they’ll develop the same hatred they expressed toward Clinton. Otherwise, every tweet will be headlines the next day.
OT: I wonder, if Trump deletes a tweet, will it become a scandal?
OT and I’m sure it will shock everyone here but the Charlotte DA has decided that the CMPD cops acted lawfully when they shot Mr. Scott. He had a gun after all ( NC is an open carry if your white state ) The only people that told the truth were the cops.
@Kay: They voted for the guy who made money by shafting small business and if that didn’t work, he just declared bankruptcy. How did they think it would work out?
I assume the Empire Strikes Back picture is meant to be a reference to Lando and Vader’s “this deal’s getting worse all the time” arrangement, where negotiation is futile because all bargains are subsequently walked back?
That’s… a spot on summary for the futility of bipartisanship in the modern age.
The sci-fi analogy I kept going back to was from Star Trek – the Klingon TNG plotline of “let Duras go unpunished so he doesn’t start a civil war, only, after you do that, he’ll start a civil war anyway” thing. Yours is better, though. I’m kicking myself for not having thought of it.
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@JPL: when they voted for the leopards eating faces party, they thought it was for the leopards eating n*****s’ faces party.
O. Felix Culpa
@D58826: Then we hold their feet to the fire. I’m calling my legislators’ offices several times a week. The staffers are getting to know me – which is a good thing! Leaning on the Medicare issue is low-hanging fruit, IMHO, since it will impact both red- and blue-voters alike and has true bipartisan potential.
@Chris: Republicans are more an amalgam of the Cardassians and the Ferengi, I think.
@Major Major Major Major:
That was my major take-away from seeing Ryan — he was all about how nobody was paying enough attention to the special snowflakes of the “white working class.” I’d rather our party be represented by somebody who actually, you know, represents our party. It’s time to stop apologizing for being liberal.
Now where did I put my little violin. It’s so easy to misplace, being the world’s smallest.
Sanders has a good approach going:
‘trump you said x, but are now doing y – tell you supporters you lied.’
make the orange maggot explode on his own venality.
@schrodinger’s cat: I couldn’t agree more. Though with respect to the Ferengi, I think they aspire to their level of competence. Well, maybe they can pass themselves off as Quark.
I agree, Betty. I am perfectly capable of multitasking my hatred and disdain.
The Attorney General for the southern district of NY, “Preet” Bharara, is meeting with Trump today. Although, unlikely it would be nice to think, there are charges coming for his handling of the Trump Foundation.
Also, another line of attack has to include making the national media honest. Nothing can succeed without eradicating the correct gossip over truthful news paradigm of the media.
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@jacy: a lot of what he had to say was frankly appalling. He was complaining that during the election they were getting emails from leadership about Zika funding.
I mean… what the actual fuck? He’s complaining about congressional emails relating to actual bills moving their way through congress being about the bills instead of a robust economic message? And then saying fuck Florida, let’s talk about white people?
A ray of good news from CA in the past few days: with the resolution of a final state senate race in (mostly) Orange County in favor of the Dems, both houses of the state leg will now have super majorities (i.e., 2/3), thus freeing them up to be able to pass any revenue bills that require a 2/3 vote. Given the possibility/likelihood of the decimation of Medicare and the ACA, the CA leg should seriously begin to consider CA-based replacements, since working out the funding could theoretically be without legislative impediment; we need a list of competent legislators who can take the initiative on this front–any suggestions? Oregon also has Dem control of gov and both houses of the Leg (as does presumably Hawaii), and the Nevada Leg just flipped blue, so several Pacific coast states could combine on this.
Also, just looked at the US Houses races, and for 2018 there look like four seats that might be flipped (Denham, Valadao, Knight, and, of course, Issa, who won by only 3000 votes), so we should keep this in mind starting now (all these seats are fairly close to metropolitan Bay Area, LA, and SD by the way). CA is already 39-14 Dem, and other than those four, the remaining 11 are either in the CA equivalent of Oklahoma (looking at you Kern County) or deep red, rich portions of Orange and SD counties.
@Major Major Major Major:
Fuck that guy.
1) All parties are led by “elites,” by definition. If they’re not born-and-bred “elites” like the Roosevelts and Kennedys, they’re certainly “elite” by the time they make it to the top of anything. The simple fact of being “elite” isn’t a crime in itself, again, see the Roosevelts and Kennedys.
2) Good Christ, am I sick of the “coastal elites” vs “working class whites” being used as a synonym for what really just means “people who live on the coasts” vs “people who live in the ‘heartland.'” All you need to do to be “working class” nowadays is be white, preferably heartlandese, and definitely Republican-voting, regardless of your actual income, your actual upbringing, or the nature of your job. If Donald Trump can be called a “working class billionaire,” I think it’s fair to say that any meaning attached to the term is dead.
The Moar You Know
@Kay: She’d never even consider it, and you know that.
She beat him 2 to 1, which is also good.
@JPL: Preet’s tough. You can’t imagine the shit he took in the Indian press for charging a member of the staff in the Indian embassy in NYC with visa fraud. He didn’t buckle. Don’t know what the subject of this meeting will be but am hopeful that Preet will stand firm.
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@Major Major Major Major: and don’t even get me started on somebody who was anti-abortion until LAST YEAR complaining about ZIKA FUNDING
As you know I’m one of those who refuse to say it’s name. We all must do what works for us, but it’s not because it’s gotten under my skin, it’s because it doesn’t deserve the courtesy and respect due to normal people. It lies with impunity, it’s corrupt, and has no empathy for it’s fellow human beings, we are here to serve it’s purposes and for nothing more. Calling it a Shitgibbon is probably small and petty of me, but it gives me the satisfaction of showing my contempt for it, and I know that if it knew about little old me on a small corner of the internet consistently calling it a shitgibbon it would drive it nuts, and these days I’ll take my jollies anywhere I can get them.
The threat it poses to us all is very real and dangerous, so we must all fight every way we can, and if calling it stupid names helps people stay motivated and involved, I’m all for it. For those of you how feel this diminishes the threat he poses, continue to use his name, it’s all good, we are all rowing in the same direction.
Dog Dawg Damn
Watching the news and noticing that the cable critters are just repeating Trump’s tweets as fact. When they know he makes up outlandish lies and tweets them out, why on earth would they do this?
Truly bizarre. And yes, we can’t stop normalization with them in his pocket.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
There’s some editorializin’ in a straight report. Not that I disagree. I think, according to the way he describes his goals, he should’ve gone for head of the DCCC instead of the leadership spot. He would’ve had a better case if he had proved himself. IMHO.
Seems like Fudge is the one who doesn’t quite fit in that group, I think: Gallego? all I know about him is I got like five emails a day from him over the last few months. Lynch and Lipiniski are part of the professional Catholic caucus, I believe?
ETA: The blocked text is from the WaPo article about Pelosi/Ryan that Betty linked to
@Major Major Major Major:
He seems to miss the point that the same people who won’t pass a bill dealing with Zika virus are the same one opposed to medical care/obamacare in Youngstown. They are the same folks who would have been happy to see the auto industry die in 2009 as long as they could blame it on Obama.
Obama is still President, by the way.
Trump’s countdown doesn’t actually start until he takes office.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
Indeed, and counsel for pigs would like Ms. Cracker to apologize and hereafter substitute the more appropriate “badger” as the term to denigrate the GOP: Badger Party. A correction in the post itself would be a gracious gesture.
@sunny raines: Considering that the shitgibbon has said both x and y (and z and a few letters not in the Latin alphabet) on most subjects, that could be a fairly productive approach. Well, at least until overload kicks in.
@Major Major Major Major: I think he and the representatives who supported him wanted to make a point, that Pelosi,
Agree completely on the point that the focus should be on issues, from Medicare to Environment to coming mass incarceration of immigrants and political dissenters to Trump’s mega conflicts of interest should be the focus (although I see nothing wrong with referring him to Crooked Trump or Trump the Thief). The tweets and Cable News response is a kind of WWE and Reality TV version of “news” which the Cable industry loves. My own quiet move has been to stop watching anything but Chris Hayes on cable. Zucker, Griffin, Moonves, and of course Murdoch, are all soulless corporate creatures who live for ratings and money. Trump has become indispensable to them.
The Klingons are a culture that spends the three centuries we see onscreen descending into an ever-worsening obsession with the martial virtues (at the expense of every other job field or source of values, it’s implied), all while the level of corruption in their leadership makes it clear that it’s all a farce. I’d say there’s rich material for commentary on Republicans there. Think of all the people who can’t STFU about patriotism and military service, but in practice, will always pick draft-dodging and weekend warrior phonies like Reagan, Bush, Cheney, Trump, etc over the real thing.
I don’t know how much I want to listen to pundits, even our own, at this point. And I also think worrying about electoral consequences is also a waste of time. We don’t know what is going to happen over the next four years and any number of things could cause him to win or lose, and almost all of them are out of our hands. The goal for Democrats should be- Do.The.Right.Thing. Is it right to help Trump get legislation passed? I don’t think so. History doesn’t remember the people who helped Mussolini keep his trains running as heroes.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Call them the wasp party. Wasps are parasites that live of other organisms and have no discernable use themselves.
@cleek: Seriously, even if 2020 goes well there’s no guarantee of a peaceful transition of power in 2021.
@Chris: True, they are more like Duras or Gowron version of Klingon rather than Worf or Martok type.
@jacy: Ryan didn’t impress me in an interview he did with Joy Reid. He kept saying “Trump had a robust economic message”, and the Democrat’s message was terrible. I’m sure there were mistakes made by the Clinton campaign but embracing Trump’s bs rhetoric isn’t something I agree with.
I think that piece by Matt Yglesias has some great ideas about how to oppose Trump but I’m disappointed that he thinks the Democrats will come to regret staying with Pelosi as House minority leader.
mai naem mobile
I hope Obam a has somethING up his sleeve. I don’t know what. I don’t know if the Dems are waiting to unload any ammo until the Republicans decide to keep the filibuster. I really want him to appoint Garland to the USSC,if for nothing else, to eat up some time and energy.
@Major Major Major Major:
Yeah, Ryan. Damn I’m glad he lost. He’s right up there with Bern, moaning because Dems don’t appeal to the whites in the working class. They never seem to mention what special treat those white guys deserve, do they?
Get Harry Reid to run the Democratic Party, HRC won Nevada. Plus he has said what needs to be said better than any other Dem office holder.
I have decided that we are dealing with is not a political party any more. It is a cult.
Just pointing out that we are not dealing with anything remotely rational at this point; and we should act accordingly.
@Major Major Major Major:
Because they are still chasing the mythical WWC voter who if you just focus on explaining to them that they are the largest beneficiaries of every single government program not explicitly aimed at another group, (e.g. programs for Native Americans), they will come back to the democratic party. These predominantly white men refuse to believe that “economic anxiety”, is the new “welfare queens and bucks”, how are just out there sitting on their asses bleeding the “hard working Americans” of their wealth. People like Ryan still think the democrats can win white men, if only they spend less time on “identity politics”.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Good eye! All of those Reps are in districts gerrymandered to hold voters of color–oh I mean Democrats–and Catholics, so the only way to hold the district is to be more Catholic than the pope.
But yeah, Tim hasn’t brought those ‘guys trying to put food on the table’ in Mahoning County to the voting booth to bring it home for the Dem atop the ticket…frequently enough in his 6 election cycles.
There are some people in Congress who don’t get that they are in DC because the statehouse they’re too good to stay in determined that someone had to represent the browns/blacks/urban elites in their red states.
@hovercraft: It is fine. Shit gibbon, hair furore etc are too cutesy for my taste.
It’s really important for me as a woman and POC that we don’t normalize this.
Of course we can multi-task and of course the media will not help, but rather, will enable the normalization. Who cares, fuck them too.
We also get the added benefit that the idiot’s skin is sooo thin, that his disordered personality and world view are so fragile that a tipping point towards removal from office could be him over-reacting to some simple ass slight. Keep disrespecting him. He deserves it. He also might ignore the nukes for a few minutes to yell at Rosie O’donnell.
The countdown is to the 2020 election.
From the Washington Post.. News that has to be shared
Police in Canada have a new punishment for suspected drunk drivers: Listening to Nickelback
John Cole would be so proud of this development.
Yes, he gave the impression that even though he was a Democrat, he didn’t have the faintest clue what the Democrat’s message was. We all need to fight against the dumbing down of what Democrats stand for. Clinton had solutions, Trump had rhetoric. If we abandon solutions for rhetoric, it isn’t only that we lose an election, we lose the ability to a) make positive change, b) create an environment where our message gets out. I feel like the failure this election was never the message — it was that the message was drowned out by an avalanche of shit. Changing the message isn’t the answer, reducing the avalanche of shit is. This is why I keep calling bullshit on reaching out to the “white working class.” We won the popular vote. We have the majority of people. Chasing after some mythical demographic is the wrong lesson to learn from this. We need to keep showing who we are, and at the same time finding ways to decrease the ability of the other side to obfuscate and lie. That’s where the answer is.
@schrodinger’s cat: Yes. I like Harry Reid for DNC.
And he cannot be wanting to spend THAT much time in Nevada. Keep the man and his skills and snark in DC.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@PhoenixRising: I think it was the WaPo that had a long write-up yesterday about an OH Dem County chairman bemoaning the Clinton campaign’s lack of responsiveness*– to which the Clinton campaign responded with a list of the number of appearance HRC and Bubba made in his area. But one of the interesting things was that said chairman said Dems spent too much time talking about who uses what bathroom. It wasn’t Dems who brought that up, and I never heard HRC mention the issue. I never heard her mention Zika. I heard her talk about jobs and working families and the middle class. She couldn’t help what a bunch of old white guys, including local Dem officials, chose to hear.
* People in Wisconsin would have a point here, but they weren’t in this article.
I like “crooked Trump.” Take his epithet for Hillary and throw it back at him—repeatedly.
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@Steeplejack (tablet): the next election is in ten days. That should be on everybody’s mind.
At least he *is* a democrat, unlike some people.
@Major Major Major Major:
A reasonable outcome. This is also a good sign:
Once he is the President, he has the power to use the Wireless Emergency Alerts, to text all Americans with cell phones. Imagine that at three in the morning, you get a text about his wife being mean to him.
@mai naem mobile:
I hope Obama is leaving some booby traps, and shoring up what he can. He’s a brilliant guy. He’s a responsible guy. And he cares about this shit. While I have no faith that the ACA will stand, at least there are a lot fishhooks in that legislation that are going to make it painful for the Republicans to dump it easily. They’ll pay a price. I think it would be foolish for Obama to telegraph anything he and his administration are doing in advance. But I like to think they’re busy doing what they can.
I heard that interview, too, and was quite annoyed. Annoyance turned to irony when in the Washington Post article on the leadership vote he was quoted as saying that the Democrats need to focus on things like “advanced manufacturing.” This is straight from HRC’s stump speech. It takes some nerve to all but quote from a candidate’s speech when claiming the candidate/party didn’t address the issue in the campaign. The quote seems to have gone missing from the latest version of the Washington Post article on the leadership vote. Too bad. It was Melania-style plagiarism of FLOTUS.
Well said, Betty. There are 3 distinct voices that should be in harmony, but not unison, during the resistance:
-Democrats in DC, whose mission is to prevent the trains from running on time. Obstruct everything; voters will blame the President.
-Democrats in states, whose mission is to get more local power through more candidates at every level by any means necessary.
-Individuals whose missions are various across our areas of policy interest.
#1 has to be all policy all the time; #2 all policy and party; the rest of us get to do whatever’s best for our mental health while doing the work.
It’s also critical to put the Berlusconi example into historical perspective. While it’s true that Trump seems more like Silvio than Vladmir, he’s getting advice and direction from a real autocrat whose goal is to maintain power to steal everything that isn’t nailed down indefinitely. So I’m open to Masha Gessen’s ideas as well.
Trump said, “Believe me” and they did. All the warning sirens that Trump was rolling his voters over were blaring in their faces for months and months and they didn’t notice. I don’t how anyone could feel sorry for them.
I hope that Rose enjoys eating cat food during the twilight years of her life. I’m sorry too many people who knew better are already suffering because of these stupid people who refused to believe their own lying eyes and ears, fuck em, they deserve what they get. It’s one thing to fall victim to a con, but to then help the con do it to the whole country, you are the problem. A country full of normal reasonably informed people would not believe cons like the Duck Dynasty mob who used to be stockbrokers, playing up their ignorant redneck schtick for millions, or “billionaire” con men whose entire career has been a series of cons, being anything other than entertainment. Thinking these people are in any way shape or form fit for moral authority or public office is an indictment of their supporters.
Poynter published some suggestions for how to cover Trump:
As for covering what he says: what’s the point? What he DOES is what matters, and you can see from his appointees thus far that the stuff that emerges from his mouth is nothing but bullshit, he means to improve life for himself, and if a few other super-wealthy people survive, good on them. Everyone else? Losers!
Boing Boing is giving away Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here, also.
I thought that the cop dropped the gun next to the body after the fact, wasn’t that what the civilian caught on tape? Or am I mixing up my justified police killings?
@Steeplejack (tablet): Aliteration works best: Thieving Trump.
Right. Where “identity politics” means saying people should have equal opportunity and equal pay, regardless of identity. Can’t fuckin’ have that, now can we?
For some reason, this line made me think of a very famous kids’ book…
…for which I’m sure there’s a Trump parody book already on the way by some enterprising soul.
Major Major Major Major
@maurinsky: what he says matters too, if it inspires acts of hate.
Margaret Sullivan has a good WP column on the way forward for journalism, which echoes some comments here: link. Don’t be put off by the title.
People, people….Come now. Let us not simply call Trump the vile names he so richly deserves. No, as this only makes Trump gloat even more. What is really needed is to hit Trump where it really hurts.
Every tweet and post needs to list: Trump’sTinyPenis. That’ll get his attention is a very fun way.
Remember when Trump was calling Hillary a bad senator for not changing anything? Let him try talking to a brick wall of opposition and see how he likes it. It’s good politics and more importantly it’s the right thing to do.
Moderation? For Trump’sTinyPeni#? Really???? A little help please.
My suggestion in dealing with Trump and his antics is using the word “and” a lot, as in, “Yes, Trump’s call to punish those for flag burning needs to be challenged, and we need to fight Trump’s tax plan that will raise taxes on the middle class and give 99% of the cuts to the top 5%.” Always have a policy issue to bring up but put it alongside his outrageous actions.
@sunny raines: correct = current
Think of Preet as a hard charging ambitious prosecutor who will go after the Shitgibbon if he has the goods. He still hasn’t given up on Cuomo and Christie yet, so don’t give up on him yet, but obviously he’s running out of time. My only hope is that if he has anything on the shitgibbon he can pass it on to Eric Schneiderman the Attorney General of NY, since both the foundation and “university” are located here.
Chinese Tallow leaves.
@raven: Nice! I want your camera.
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@Belafon: I kind of like the way HuffPo does it by just putting a disclaimer at the end of every article about how Trump is despicable.
@Citizen_X: Thanks, that is good! I like her little dig/self-promotion:
@Thoroughly Pizzled: And there was a lot more great legislation that Peolsi got through the House that got stalled out by Republicans (and a few dickish Democrats or former Democrats) in the Senate.
might want to look a little closer at the benefits wasps provide.
perhaps republicans are more in line with the plague or something similar.
@Major Major Major Major: Ryan, a back-bencher most notable for his obsession with meditation, was never going to unseat Pelosi. But until there is some serious turnover in the Dem caucus leadership, expect to be playing weak defense in the minority party. Pelosi has made noises about allowing some of the younger members to have a larger leadership role. Remains to be seen how that is all just talk or not.
Nancy Pelosi has been caucus leader for 13 years, over which time the Dems have been in the majority a mere 4 years, which was only the result of lucking into due to Bush’s massive incompetence. “Lucking into it” is not a strategy. Her most noteworthy skill is raising money, which tells you the priorities of the national party. A 76 year old, wealthy San Francisco elite with a penchant for Armani and $20,000+ pearls is not who should be the face of the party. (Her counterpart is Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, age 51; House Speaker Ryan is 46))
Steny Hoyer (Maryland), 77 years old, is the #2 Dem in the House, is well known as a corporate shill, and who has been in elected office since before anyone under the age of 50 was born. (His counterpart, Majority Whip Steve Scales is also 51)
James Clyburn, 76 years old, is the #3 Dem in the House and represents part of the problem as far as the sclerotic nature of Dem leadership in the House because the CBC is more concerned that its members get leadership positions via seniority (and the appearance of influence) than with actually building a winning team.
Republican House Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Oregon is aged 47. Republican House Policy Chair Luke Messer is also 47. Which puts all the big House leadership positions on the GOP side as under aged 60.
Meanwhile, the only senior Dem House leader who is young enough to be ineligible to collect a Social Security check is Xavier Becerra, a Los Angeles area Dem, aged 58. Which makes him older than every single House GOP senior leader.
That the House GOP has term limits to leadership positions and much more frequent leadership turnover allowing for a bench that refreshes itself far more than the Democrats do (the ostensible “people’s party”) is an embarrassment. When the GOP lost in 2006, Speaker Hastert dropped out running a Minority Leader. (this was before the Hastert scandals broke)
Re-arrange the deck chairs, folks. 2018 is already looking like a lost cause.
@jacy: Tim Ryan is a good guy, generally, but running against Pelosi is especially irksome because he has failed to run against Republicans for senate or governor in Ohio, a state where we could use new Democratic blood. He has also conspicuously failed to come up with legislative ideas to address the economic issues faced by his constituents in Youngstown. I think the expression “all hat no cattle” was made for people like him. But what I find most annoying is that this battle is merely symbolic — taking a scalp to show identification with people who don’t live in coastal states, in lieu of actually proposing something real that might help them. Pelosi’s role is to be a legislative tactician for her party, something she excels at.
Republican legislators were scared to criticize Trump because of their constituents. It wasn’t only votes as Robert Reich reported. A Republican legislator said he and other Republicans in red, red districts were afraid for their physical safety because Trump supporters were crazy angry and no telling what they would do.
So how long before Trump voters catch on that Trump scammed them but good and they start getting mad? How long before they realize that Trump picking Price for HHS means that Price, Ryan and other Republican legislators are going after their Medicare, Medicaid and those insured with ACA that never had health insurance before? They’re pretty dense and gullible but it has to sink in at some point, doesn’t it? How will they react? Will they turn against Trump? Will they start threatening their Republican legislators? Or will they “believe” their dear leader? I really can’t imagine how this will play out, they’re not that bright but they still have a lot of hell hath no fury pent up (sore winner syndrome) so hopefully they will direct it at the Medicare killers.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
and why do they always aim so high? as I said, Ryan could have proven himself as head of the DCCC, or formed/led some kind of Labor/Working Families Caucus or grassroots organization. I think there already is a Working Families Caucus, or Group, or Whatever. He could’ve rolled some boggle pieces to come up with the name, and proven what he could do on the ground.
Don’t you realize that ideological purity – which is the truly IMPORTANT thing to Democrats, right? – sadly precludes actually getting shit done? Priorities, people, priorities!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Need to get a little more Malcolm, eh, Dwight?
Yes, he just seemed very….not-impressive. He didn’t have any ideas, just vague complaints about what Democrats aren’t doing — namely catering to the mythical white work class. Pelosi is good at what she does, and non-apologetic. I’m all for young blood, but you’ve got to be really sharp to make up for the experience that people who have been fighting this fight for a long time have. Ryan was not sharp.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Ryan has been seen as a candidate for governor or senator in Ohio for a while now. My money is on the rumors that he wanted some high profile anti-elite cred on the way to declaring candidacy for governor in 2018 when Kasich is out (and will likely be running against Sherrod Brown, although that has yet to be announced).
@Citizen_X: I’m hoping Paul Krugman follows Margaret Sullivan over to the WaPost.
Did you guys see the smack he gave his own paper? In its entirety, his blogpost “The Sorrow and the Pity”, from November 18:
I think that’s Krugman telling the NY Times, among others — do your fucking job.
Which the FNYT is not doing, so much. They’re kind of bipolar, part normalizing, part “oh boy.” I don’t read them as often, but have not noticed the screaming and misleading headlines they used for EMAILS and Clinton Foundation!
I think the NY Times shit its own bed this time, and will not recover.
@Elizabelle: I used to start my day with the NYT haven’t glanced at it since we moved. Almost over a month now.
@jacy: Dude lost, FIDO.
Go forth and sin no more.
An interesting observation somebody here made — and something I noticed myself — is that a lot of the outspoken Trump voters have shut the hell up on social media. Their team won, and now they’ve gone back to life as usual. They really saw this as a sporting event, and they screamed and shouted for their team and heckled the other team mercilessly. Now that the season is over and they won the championship — they don’t really care. And because they’re low info voters who don’t pay a lot of attention to how things actually work, they aren’t really paying attention to the shitshow that’s unfolding. And they aren’t going to pay attention until it affects them, which is going to take a bit. They are a picture of complacency, and they really don’t think hard on how governmental policies will affect them. They think their lives are going to go on as usual, because they have so far. I hope there will be a rude awakening, and I think for some there will be. It won’t be all at once, but when shit starts to fall apart, they’ll notice.
Yes! I agree. And voter suppresion is one of the biggest boulders in the avalanche of shit, and chasing after the “WWC voter” just helps to distract us from moving it.
But Krugman is shrill, see, and can be safely ignored because innumerate workin’-class arglebargle can’t read the fucking news and comprehend how well the current administration has handled the economy for eight years, and so we CAN’T HAVE ANY MORE OF THAT. Let’s elect a monster instead.
Yeah, I agree. It just is. Again, it would be different if Trump were an appealing personality or person but he’s just nasty as hell. “Sleaze” just drips off the guy and you don’t have to be an “elite” to see it. If he weren’t a NYC real estate developer he would just be a sleazy, dishonest person.
It’s really fucking ARROGANT to think he will treat them differently than any other person he has ever encountered in his whole life. He has no friends. There’s a reason for that.
Being a member of the WWC doesn’t mean you get a complete pass on judging character. In fact, one of the things working class people credit themselves with is “common sense”- that’s one of their complaints about the “elites”. Republicans practically turned it into a slogan- commonsense conservatism or whatever.
They admired an asshole. That fact remains. The bigger asshole he was the more they liked it. There are consequences for that.
Don’t back horrible human beings. They’re horrible, no matter ideology or race or class or gender. Sarah Palin is also horrible-she’s a nasty person- and they also backed her and no one was moaning about how they were misunderstood in that case. They back bad people. They need to think about who and what they admire.
@WereBear: Are you talking about church covenants like the Puritans had?
@hovercraft: This is from Maggie Haberman’s twitter feed
One can hope..
@schrodinger’s cat: Proud of you. I’ve started checking the fucking NY Times’ headlines again, after maybe 10 days of not calling up that website at all, but rarely click on the articles. Just not interested in “transition” issues (good way to not say the a-hole’s name). Don’t trust them, either, although there are some good articles by their “non-politics”l writers and contributors.
Still no broadcast news, and the radio goes “click” every time “transition issues” come up. That is going to be a habit. More music, more Terry Gross. No news, except what I glean here and from headlines.
I think the NY Times and broadcast media just ticked off a lot of those who’d been paying for them, and paying attention, and they’re not going to get that support back.
@Kay: The nastier he was the more they liked him. Yes, this more than anything else is what bothers me about his supporters.
Good. He’s not supposed to comment on investigations. Maybe Director Comey could take lessons on ordinary ethical standards from someone who behaves professionally.
Most of them will probably never grok that.
That is, indeed, the best place for us to push back. Worked out well in 2005, and we do have the numbers to filibuster things.
Of course, most Republicans on the ACA are probably thanking God on bended knee that they’re on the Affordable Care Act, and not that dreaded monstrosity “Obamacare.”
The most optimistic scenario I can think of is that Trump ends up such a complete failure that four or eight years from now, every one of them will pretend that they always said Trump was a liberal. And that what we really need is a real conservative. That’s what happened to the last Republican that was in office.
A minority of undecideds who stayed home of went Trump in 2016 may be persuadable, but the vast majority of these people are not.
Exaclty. Two-pronged. Mobilzing/engaging/enabling our voters, which means using every tactic we can to fight voter suppression and to get the people who agree with us to vote is one prong. Then fighting against bad media/misinformation/misdirection while finding new platforms/media to broadcast our message. Not easy, but infinitely easier than trying to convince a small slice of racist/misogynist/xenophobic douchebags who want to feel good about their special uniqueness to actually act like rational people. Hint — they ain’t gonna do it, so fuck them.
You can’t ignore it. WHATEVER your economic position, Trump’s behavior is horrible. That was okay with them. More than “okay”- they joined in and cheered him every step of the way.
He treats other people like garbage. If you admire that it says something about your values! That’s just true. I don’t care if you’re living in a cardboard box- you can have standards for decent behavior. That’s YOU- it’s not your class position.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Why not go the full wingnut and start calling her Botox Pelosi?
mai naem mobile
Preet Bhararas brother is a counter of Diaper.Com which was bought by Amazon. I am guessing shitgibbon may try and pressure Bharara that way – IRS,SEC whatever. I put nothing beyond these people. Not sure if Preet Bharara can be pressured.
And think of the “Christians” that supported Trump. Too many, and they’re dicks for doing it.
After fifty years of appealing to the worst of human nature, the GOP has ended up with a voter base made up of the worst humanity has to offer. Tragic, but logical.
@Kay: That and the fact that they wear their ignorance as a badge of honor.
@Thoroughly Pizzled: My rep also got death threats from Right To Life.
Hey, Trump named a guy for cabinet who might actually be just as terrible a human being as Trump is:
Here’s Trump’s Commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, this guy is almost a caricature of the evil businessman. He sounds like a real life Montgomery Burns, from the Simpsons :
In 2012, Ross, clad in purple velvet slippers, took the stage at a black-tie induction ceremony for the secretive Wall Street fraternity Kappa Beta Phi and sang show tunes mocking poor people
But in 2002, after spending decades as an investment banker, Ross earned the nickname “bottom feeder” when he started buying up decaying steel mills and coal mines. In 2004, he began the process of purchasing some mines owned by the bankrupt coal giant Horizon Natural Resources ― but only after a bankruptcy judge stripped thousands of miners, some with black lung disease, of their medical coverage and union status.
Among the mines Ross bought was Sago Mine, where a dozen miners died after an early-morning explosion on Jan. 2, 2006.
Ross completed the purchase in March 2005, the same year the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration cited Sago for 208 violations, up from 68 a year earlier. More than half of those violations were labeled “serious and substantial,” including 20 dangerous roof falls, 14 power wire insulation problems and three cases of inadequate ventilation plans, according to The Christian Science Monitor.
“He certainly had the authority to try to make a difference and make sure those mines were operated differently. In my view, they were a bunch of dog-hole mines,” Oppegard said, using an Appalachian slang term for unsafe mines. “Bottom line is to get as much coal out as cheaply as possible and get as much coal as possible. That’s what a dog hole is.”
What a complete piece of excrement. Apparently, Trump drained the swamp and came up with Wilbur Ross, who is the human embodiment of swamp sediment.
Major Major Major Major
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Authoritarianism is kind of a thang on the left. It goes hand-in-hand with a purity-based refusal to compromise. Purity means they have the moral right to lead.
@drylake: Doug Applegate (Darrell Issa’s opponent) has already declared his candidacy for 2018. I believe he’ll win next time. Reminds me of Ami Bera vs. Dan Lungren; it took Bera more than one try but he prevailed against Lungren and has since been re-elected twice.
I have a conservative friend, Jody. He doesn’t and didn’t support Trump for one reason- Trump’s a loud, rude jerk and he doesn’t admire that.
These are human traits. They cross class lines. “Lousy human being” is just that.
@jacy: All I can say is, “I’m with you, sister”. : )
mai naem mobile
The GOP should be called the mosquito party. Maybe the Zika or Dengue fever party. Leave the poor pigs out of this.
Obamacare will be blamed for any and everything that befalls these suckers after it is repealed, the Shitgibbon and the GOP will lie their asses off as they have been doing since before it was signed into law, and the media will let them, if we let them. Much like with Bush the younger, it will take a colossal disaster that cannot be blamed on anyone else for the scales to fall from their eyes.
The only way to get them to see that they are losing their Medicare because of their savior is if the media actually does it’s job and we must force them to. The democrats in DC need to hold daily pressers with victims, we need to keep the pressure on them so they speak up. We need to call out the media when they try to ignore the plight of those losing their coverage to focus on the latest outrage de jour. Our mission must be to turn the repeal of Obamacare into the e-mail sever story of the Shitgibbon’s reign, make it so that it is mentioned everyday and that it is drilled into the head of every voter that they personally are hurting because of what the shitgibbon and the GOP have done. That is the way to start our climb back into power as John pointed out in his post last night, they are the biggest beneficiaries of O-care. We need to make this the shitgibbons Katrina, because it literally will be, thousands if not millions will suffer and die.
That’s what worries me. Considering who we are talking about, it could take a hell of a long time for them to notice.
Trump is a bully and that’s how I’m expecting him to preside. He’s got so much more leverage now. Look at the UTX “deal.” I don’t know the particulars, but I’m guessing there was probably a carrot of lower taxes and preferential treatment in future contracts and the stick in form of less preferential treatment on future contracts. I imagine this going to occur at all levels of his administration and with our allies. In short run I expect there will be some “benefits.” Those UTX workers in Indiana will be happy, but there are longer term costs and consequences that they won’t fully bear.
@Miss Bianca: For the people we’re talking about, “getting shit done” also includes taking historic majorities in both houses of Congress and losing them to the Republicans.
So, you know, priorities.
let’s all think about that one for a second…oh, why do I even bother. Irony’s body lies a-molderin’ in its grave….
@NR: And I’m sorry…some backbencher who doesn’t, apparently, know his ass from his useful bits is going to help us do that…how?
Ha, ha but I don’t know if I’m laughing or crying.
@Major Major Major Major:
And tell me, how has “compromising” been working out for the Democrats lately?
@mai naem mobile: Yes he has a lot of ways to apply pressure now and no moral compass. Not a good combination. Actually, I’m more worried about Bannon and Kushner and the people Trump is putting in place. This could be Tammany Hall on a global scale.
@Major Major Major Major: Specifically white guys.
Yeah, that fvcking guy. We basically just elected Commerce Secretary Montgomery Burns.
I’m so sick and tired of all these purity ponies, yesterday I was so disgusted by this drivel I came across:
Putin didn’t undermine the election. We did.
Ignoring rot in our election laws and journalistic standards, the media points to hacking and “fake news.”
Katrina vanden Heuvel
She needs to just go off and start a new party already, since any and everything the democrats do is always wrong. If there was an appetite for their prescriptions within the party, more of them would win primaries, and elections, but there’s not so please just sop.
@Miss Bianca: Didn’t say he was. I don’t know if Ryan is the person to lead the House Dem caucus. My gut says no.
But it’s idiotic to continue supporting the same leadership on the basis that they “get shit done” when the primary “shit” they’ve gotten done in the last six years is to lose Congress to the Republicans.
Do you think the Republicans would keep the same leadership in place after four elections of failing to get out of the minority? No, that would be stupid. So why are we doing it?
On a different subject, did anyone else hear the interview of Keith Ellison on Morning Edition this morning? The interviewer, David Greene, spent the first four questions asking about the Louis Farrakhan thing, which happened 25 years ago. He spent the rest of the interview trying to get Ellison to criticize the Clinton presidential campaign. Ellison didn’t take the bait, and managed to get his message out about why he wants to lead the DNC. Regardless of what you think of him or his desire to lead the DNC, that interview was the definition of why so many people are peeved at the press. The interviewer was fixated on talking about about scandals and badmouthing the Democratic candidate, and didn’t ask him one question about why he wants to lead the DNC or what his plans would be going forward.
Dog in a tree
@Soprano2: What Louis Farrakhan thing?
Oh. It’s Nice Polite Republicans.
@Felanius Kootea: .
Don’t ignore Issa’s a felon with two years and unlimited funds to slime Applegate before 2018. Hate to be a Debby downer but I watched Jack Abramoff rent boy John Doolittle defeat a Distinguished Flying Cross recipient in the midst of a mountain of scandals, so have my doubts of conservative voters ever doing the right thing.
This was a feature not a bug, remember they hate us because we are ‘smug’, and look down on them. We were/are condescending towards their hero, and they/he showed us that they are still in charge. We were and still are a common enemy, so being an asshole towards us was a point in it’s favor. They showed us, didn’t they?
So for Commerce, we have an asset-stripper, pension-bankrupter, and corner-cutting manslaughter-er, basically.
And the rest:
Chief of Staff: guy who won’t rule out religious registries
Chief Strategist: white supremacist and wife beater
Transportation: the Senate Majority Leader’s wife
Treasury: Goldman Sachs guy
HHS: Obamacare arch-foe and religious zealot
Education: billionaire backer of vouchers and charter schools; homeschooler
AG: a guy so racist he couldn’t get a judgeship under Reagan (or was it Bush I)?
CIA Director: Benghazeee nut, Iran-hater
NSA: Russian sleeper agent and anti-Islam loon
UN Ambassador: small-state governor with no international expertise whatsoever
And we’re still waiting to see about
SoS: monumentally craven former GOP candidate for president vs monumentally insane former mayor of NYC
I think over at Kos they call this a “kakistocracy’ – government by the absolutely worst people, ever. That sounds about right.
Trump, you shitbag, you better put someone competent in charge of Homeland Security and FEMA.
@germy: I’d also bet that he had that one his back pocket before he started talking about it back in the election. How many more can he have at the ready? Very few I doubt.
@goblue72: what the fuck are you doing to help this, asshole? Unless I’m missing something, your comments are indistinguishable in content from those of a hypothetical dyed in the wool republican.
Here’s my entirely non-controversial addition: the democrats need younger, energized, competent leadership. Tim Ryan was one out of three; Pelosi is two out of three. I’ll go with her for now. Let’s get some new blood in there going forward.
Yes this is where our energies should be spent, the engagement has to begin on January 20th, not a couple of months before an election. We need to begin to volunteer and engage the people who are most marginalized, and who will likely be the most screwed in the coming shitstorm. Start now so that when 2018 and 2020 roll around we are ready and prepared, the voter suppression laws are not going anywhere so we have to work around them now.
@hovercraft: Vote Riders and Project Vote are pushing against voter suppression laws. So is the League of Women Voters. Let’s go for it.
@trollhattan: The vote was really close – which means many of Issa’s constituents are unhappy with him. He practically ran as Obama’s best buddy among Republicans. He’s toast in 2018.
Major Major Major Major
@Soprano2: From your description, it sounds like Ellison held his own and stayed on message to the best of his ability given the interviewer.
I’m liking him more and more the more I see and hear from him, except for the whole ‘sitting congressman’ thing. I think Dean would be happy with a ‘vice chair’ kind of deal where he does the actual work and Ellison gets to help and be the face of the DNC. I would be fine with that, my (actual) friends on the left think that’s a fine idea as well.
There is a senate election in ten days!
A pretty bad line of storms with tornadoes just moved through Atlanta. My son and DIL both had to move to interior halls. One works in Sandy Springs, and one in Marietta.
@NR: You know, if you think that Nancy Pelosi et al. haven’t been providing leadership, and you can’t point to anyone who you think *can* – I don’t know what to tell you. But I can tell you this – any Democrat who wants to waste time chasing after “white identity voters” who have proven, most notably in this election, that they really are willing to shoot themselves in the foot as long as they’re convinced that someone out there is going to shoot everyone else in *both* feet – needs to STFU and get out of the way immediately.
@Jeffro: Rudy 911 is either going to get SoS or Homeland Security. He supported the shitgibbon during the campaign, so he is going to get rewarded.
@JPL: Rain is desperately needed there, and I hope they are able to stay safe.
@sunny raines: Sanders retweeted Mitt Fucking Romney unloading on Trump. Someone I follow was retweeting it (I don’t actually follow Bernie: it was the issues for me, shit you not)
“Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. (1/2)”
“He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat. (2/2)”
Got to love that. It’s bound to be super-easy to turn the Trump government into a pile of twitching, severed parts on the floor, because all you gotta do is get Trump mad and convinced somebody is a traitor to him personally.
Oh look Chuckles has a sad.
Chuck Todd ‘Up At Night’ Over How Media Got Here? Really?
These fuckers are just too much.
Will be thrilled to be proven wrong, as thrilled as my family is when it happens at home. Issa’s a carbuncle
@JPL: looks like another hour before it hits here.
@Jeffro: My guess is the shit-gibbon will put that babbling nutcase Sheriff Clarke in charge of Homeland Security. It’s true that the dude can’t even run a medium-sized jail without allowing an inmate to die of thirst, begging for water in his final hours until dehydration stopped his heart. But Clarke kisses Trump’s ass with single-minded devotion, and that appears to be the top consideration. Plus, he’s about the worst possible choice, so he’s a shoo-in.
So we’re smug, as if we’re the cause of their very low self-esteem issues.
Since “a tiny bit” is infinitely greater than zero, I guess he’s technically accurate.
@Calouste: I hear you. Truly, the mind boggles at the thought of these folks being allowed to work a McDonalds counter, much less running large government agencies. If there’s any consolation to be had, it is that the civil servants in these agencies are at the very least, going to slow-walk everything these clowns do. At best, they’ll leak like crazy AND slow-walk everything these clowns do.
He should have been toast in 2016. But we will see what happens.
The one good thing, maybe, is that on the state level, California has a super majority in the legislature. This might provide some pushback against Trump policies.
Isn’t Arpaio looking for his next gig? And where’s Bernie Kerik these days?
@Miss Bianca: I’m an independent, but if I were a Democrat I’d want to keep Pelosi right where she is. She’s good at herding the cats.
FWIW, according to Twitter, Trump and Sessions have requested Preet Bharara to continue as US attorney and he agreed.
@Miss Bianca: No one is saying we should chase after “white identity voters” (whatever that even means). But we need to be able to win working-class voters of ALL races if we’re going to have a prayer of winning back Congress or reversing the damage we’ve suffered at the state level. And Pelosi has shown no ability at all to reach the working class and win a big enough portion of their support.
With this leadership, we could very well be headed for a very disappointing 2018 election. But we’ll see.
@hovercraft: Don’t forget the Right-Wing Industrial Infotainment Complex. Everything bad that happens over the next 8 years will be the fault of Obama, Senate Democrats, Liberal elites, Muslims, Blacks, Hispanics, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. Also, everything (including this week’s and last week’s good economic news) is due to Trump (The stock market has been in a bull market since the last week of March 2009 and from day 1 Joe Kernan at CNBC was predicting it to collapse because it was all a “bubble” created by Obama, Bernanke, Summers, Yellin, and Geithner. Now it is the greatest bull market ever since Trump won on 8 November and started promising to put the “right” people in charge, cut taxes on wealthy people like Trump and Kernan, and put all the environmental, financial, and labor regulations into the (toxic) waste basket.
By the way, just a reminder, we are so fucked. But you are especially fucked if you are in your twenties or younger (at 61 with actuarial life expectancy to 81, I am starting to think I am to young). . http://www.businessinsider.com/antarctic-ice-shelf-breaking-apart-from-inside-2016-11
Too late now that R’s have all the cards but what would have solved the ACA risk corridor, bail out insurance company problem that spiked insurance premiums so high (MN one of the highest) that is financially hitting so many people hard, especially the self-insured. Maybe Richard Mayhew weighed in on this already but I’m just wondering what options would still have had a chance if Hillary was president. Now R’s are not about to reverse Marco Rubio’s ACA poison pill in a budget bill.
These clowns never look in the mirror for answers, do they?
Clarke’s so clearly unfit (experience-wise, mentally, and so on) and Homeland Security is such a different level than say Agriculture (no offense to the fine, fine folks at Agriculture) that one would hope…I can’t believe I’m actually about to say this…that either Pence or Flynn or Priebus or Graham or McCain or god help me even Steve Bannon weighs in and nixes that nomination in advance. Also, yes I would like a pony for Christmas, why do you ask?
What would have worked is not chaining people to a system where they’re forced to give money to a bunch of greedy middlemen who take 20 cents out of every dollar while adding no value.
But that’s crazy talk or something.
@raven: Just a few minutes of heavy rain and wind here, but there are power lines down all over. I just received notification from the city that trees are down, so I can’t exit left out of my neighborhood.
I didn’t even lose a branch.
There are elites everywhere, even in Utah.
It sounds like you have no idea of what Pelosi’s job actually involves. Hint: It’s to do with legislation, legislative agenda, and lining up legislator votes. Not delivering “working class votes.” She’s not the head of the DNC.
IMHO Tim Ryan’s challenge to Pelosi is identical to Heath Shuler’s challenge to Pelosi in 2010. Shuler was a Blue Dog grousing about identity-politics liberals. Tim Ryan is a sort-of blue-collar grousing about identity-politics liberals. IOW, it’s not a left-right thing; it’s not ideology at all. What it is, in both cases, is the theatrics of having manly young white men leading the way. Which is really pretty disgraceful.
There appear to be some real jokers
Office Of Government Ethics Lobs Snark Attack At Trump Over Business Conflicts
ByEsme CribbPublishedNovember 30, 2016, 2:05 PM EDT
Anybody wanting Pelosi’s chair needs a successful stint at minority whip first, to demonstrate his/her ability to do the job and deliver. IIRC Steny Hoyer has the job at present.
@NR: Hey, NR wants to play another round of Hypothetical Legislation! “Why didn’t the Democrats pass the All Good Stuff bill of my dreams that obviously works and that would have only good effects on the world and would never hurt the party anywhere? Probably because of spite and corruption!” Christ almighty, isn’t six fucking years of this bullshit enough?
It’s a Cult of Stupid, judging from recent evidence (woman’s Michaels rant, man’s call to buy $8 Starbucks in Trump’s name, etc.). They won’t last very long. It’s Congress we need to watch like hawks.
Breakdown of voters by class and race
Bullshit. Democrats win working class voters. If you remove voter suppression — which is MAINLY WORKING CLASS VOTING BEING SUPRESSED, Democrats would have won the working class by a much higher margin. It’s the suppression, not the fucking message.
Yikes, he’ll be shutting them down in the first hundred days for sure!
@jacy: See, by “working class” you’re supposed to understand “muscular white working class.”
@jacy: Forget it, Jacy, it’s NR.
I just keep coming back to the fact that the email story was mostly bullshit and they focused on it for 20 months.
They can’t rewrite that part. That happened. They flogged the hell out of that story. You’ve seen those measures of what people heard about Hillary Clinton. They heard “email”. Why did they do that? Why did it so wholly consume them? It really WASN’T that important. They had a chance to refocus! Bernie Sanders got huge applause when he pointed out their fucking obsession with the emails and it got worse after that. Every day with the emails for MONTHS.
Nancy is very good at her job, which is why despite the last few election results, she has retained it. John Boehner had to include a great many things his caucus hated during his tenure as speaker because she could get the votes from her caucus when he the second most powerful man in the country couldn’t.
I also find it curious that people seem to think that if you don’t win the “economically anxious” WWC, you haven’t won the working class. When you take the electorate as a whole without breaking it down by race, Hillary did win the working class. So her message and that of the democratic party did get through to the working class. Where we lost was with the “economically anxious” members of the Caucasian persuasion.
Democrats are sucking wind in Tim Ryan’s home state of Ohio. From that, Tim Ryan, House member from Ohio, determines that Nancy Pelosi is the problem.
California looks pretty good for Democrats! Maybe Tim Ryan should focus more on why Ohio Democrats lose every cycle and why they just lost a winnable Senate race.
@Miss Bianca: If you’re in the minority, you can’t pass any legislation, so yes, part of your job is to win back the majority. The Republicans understood this when they were in the minority. It’s sad that the Democrats don’t get it now.
@jacy: Hey, that’s great. Except as you may or may not be aware, we don’t have a national election for president. WHERE those voters are matters. And it matters for the House and Senate too.
If we can’t make gains in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, we are not winning back the House, and we are not winning back the White House in 2020 either.
@Xenos: Can we set up a new version of the national debt clock in Times Square but that shows, to the decimal point and changing every second, how much Trump occupying his Tower thumbsucking room is costing all us taxpayers.
I think we could add in the cost of the temporarily useless white house residence since that will no doubt be maintained as if Trump (who often flew home from distant campaign events) will stay there much at all.
Even if you just price the Tower hidey-hole, it’s gonna reach a billion in 2.5 years. One. Billion. Wasted. Dollars.
Among his neuroses seems to be an inability to sleep away from his banky. LOL.
@Soprano2: NPR has moved beyond the “Nice Polite Republican” stage and are now carrying a good bit of water for the right. This has been evident to my ears for quite some time now and it goes beyond NPR to include other Public radio programs.
The framing of almost all their stories is evident from the first 5 words out of their mouths. We need to all weigh in and let them know. They are big on opinions from the man in the street.
@FlipYrWhig: Oh, you’re tired of hearing me talk about this? Well you know what I’m tired of? Democrats doing the same shit over and over again and losing all the time.
For all you guys love to decry “purity,” it’s you compromising incrementalists who have been in charge all this time. We tried it your way and it was a goddamned disaster. Maybe it’s time to give a little purity a shot. After all, we couldn’t possibly do any worse than you guys have.
@Kay: Also a thought- maybe these Ohio Democrats shouldn’t take us for granted either. We’re pretty tired of people taking our money and then insulting us for the crime of trying to be inclusive. Most of America lives in places like ours, everyone else are the ones that are out of touch.
Most of America most certainly does not live in places like San Francisco.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
You go ahead and roar, Little Tiger. I’ll pledge ten bucks to your unstoppable Bernie Sanders-like House campaign, and you can show us all how it’s done.
Anybody else? NR’s gonna put his life where his angrily typing little digits are. Let’s all get behind this. GoBlue can manage your brilliant campaign. Boy, will that show us.
@NR: I don’t live in San Francisco, dumbass. I was referring to blue states and big cities, not some hokey place where you have a cheap beer in a union hall.
Well… we are, and we do. Unless a bunch of ‘us’ here on the blog are actually Russian astroturfers trying to make liberals look bad, we are smug, and we do look down on them because they are irredeemable racists and sexists and functionally retarded. We are condescending toward their hero because, well, at least we have a fucking excuse there, he’s a hot mess: and they did indeed show us.
Looks like to the extent we keep on making believe they’re untermenschen who wilfully vote against their own interests because they’re cartoon characters of ignorant fuckheads, we’ll continue to have troubles. We are after all repeatedly saying they should all die off along with their fucked-up old-fashioned already-dead way of life and make way for the modern liberal person, who are moving to the multicultural havens of cities and competing for space in barracklike housing, paying hundreds of dollars a month for a bunk since the median one-bedroom apartment (in SF, the harbinger of how things will be) is over $3,500 a month.
I lived in a room with a bunch of strangers once, but I was homeless, not ‘aspiring to a great tech job’.
@hovercraft: I will give him exactly as much respect as he gave Obama for the past 8 years.
@Major Major Major Major: Someone should print up the definition of “pandemic” in say, 40 point font, then staple that fucking piece of paper onto Mr. Ryan’s forehead. Nice, long 2″ chisel staples should do the trick. Fucking imbecilic navel gazing morons.
The Moar You Know
@hovercraft: If you’re a decent human being who realized your complicity in getting him elected, or if you have a shred of honor, you kill yourself.
Chuckles has neither.
For this, I like “Deadbeat Donnie,” myself.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: You keed, but that’s what the purity ponies actually have to do if they want to change the party — win some fucking elections. Go find the most progressive progressives who ever progressed, run them for office in 2018, and if they win, voila, they have a stronger voice in the party. It’s not about center-left Dems being big ol’ meanies who won’t let them try their ideas — that’s not how it works.
@Miss Bianca: NR voted for trump, don’t talk to it.
@NR: “us guys”? Nice slip there, Junior.
And as for purity…what makes you think it hasn’t been given a try? And been…y’know…*defeated*? See Teachout, Zephyr; Feingold, Russ; et al. I was forgetting about President-elect Bernie Sanders, of course. Oh, wait…
@Applejinx: To be fair, their way of life IS dead and *never* coming back short of total technological collapse. And yes the fact they are racist sexist homophobic superstitious children who hate black people more than they love themselves does make them worse than me.
@EBT: you think I’d learn…but I’m one of those dopey conserva-Dems, obviously, so…nah!
NR: I think they do. Your least favorite person ever Mr. President Obama pretty clearly sums it up in his Rolling Stone interview, which I highly recommend everyone read:
You don’t really seem to be helping jack or shit by sniping at actually beneficial legislation simply because said legislation isn’t perfect… due to the fact that actual legislation (as opposed to bullshit political posturing) requires compromise.
@EBT: Liar. I voted for Hillary. For all the good it did.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: “Um, Mr. Engineer? That bridge you designed? It just collapsed.”
“Yeah, well, can YOU do any better?”
It wasn’t a slip, I was talking about you people who fetishize “compromise” and “incrementalism” even when it’s been shown over and over to have led to electoral disaster for the party.
When the entire party is compromised and puts the wishes of its corporate donors over what’s best for working Americans, the national climate for Democrats becomes so bad that even good candidates like Russ Feingold are going to lose, even if individually they say the right things.
The Democratic party needs to take some hard stances and not flinch or compromise from them. They seem to be going in this direction on Medicare, and that’s good, but that needs to be a start, not a finish. Your approach needs to be thrown out as the proven failure it is, and something else needs to be tried. It’s our only chance.
First, you know that legislation starts with “bullshit political posturing,” right?
Second, I’m well aware that sometimes compromise is necessary. Right after the country has handed you an overwhelming victory and huge majorities in both houses of Congress, as well as the White House, is not one of those times. In 2009, Obama entered office with approval ratings over 70%. The Democrats had a free hand to do pretty much whatever they wanted–and they still went with a stimulus that even Obama’s own advisers admitted was half the size of what was needed, and then gave away a third of what was left in the form of stimulus-useless tax cuts. And they did it all to appease Republicans–who never had any intention of voting for it anyway.
The way you win lasting support in this country is you fight as hard as you can for the best policy. If people see you fighting for them, they will support you. And if you absolutely have to compromise in the end, you make damn sure that the public knows that you fought with everything you had for something better than what you got.
You sure as hell don’t do it by starting out from a compromised position, the way the Democrats have consistently done.
Compromise saved us the economy and got health coverage for 20 million people, including the expansion of Medicaid, a single-payer plan. Old Medicaid was a nightmare compared to the expansion. It was something to build on, not throw out.
@D58826: It is really fucking heartbreaking. The fact that that’s the result, and the fact that, no, I’m not shocked. WE ALL *SHOULD* BE SHOCKED.
@NR: Remind me, what were the ideological dispositions of the members of the Democratic majority in 2009? Was it a lot of liberals elected by liberals who were then stabbed in the back for reasons, as you seem to think? Or was it a lot of moderates elected by moderates who then acted like moderates? Jesus Christ, dude, the ENTIRE PROBLEM YOU NEVER EVER EVER SEE is that the proportion of uncompromising liberals in the electorate is small, the proportion of uncompromising liberals in Congress is even smaller, and yet still, Still, STILL, you, NR, stamp your widdle footsies about how it’s time for a small group of people with no power and no representation to have more power–without trying to build it, just through pouting–because it’s just. not. fair. This is fucking infantile. You should be embarrassed to say and think these idiotic things, but somehow you’re actually proud of them to the point of swagger.
@Felanius Kootea: Great news! Thanks for sharing it.
@NR: You have no idea what “my approach” is. But you do seem to be suffering from the delusion that a), the electorate of this country is just falling over itself waiting for left-wing candidates to promise them all kinds of wonderful things that all the opposition has to do to make unpalatable is screech, “TAXES!!” and b), that Democratic defeats are due *entirely* to the faults – or perceived faults – of the candidates. Democrats, when they’re in power, don’t tend to be capable, for better or for worse, of doing the kind of shit that Republicans do to keep power – gerrymandering, voter ID laws/suppression, etc. To say nothing of the press putting one collective thumb on the scale for their corporate/Republican masters and the other up its collective ass when it comes to reporting real issues. There are a lot of factors at play here that you don’t seem able or willing to factor into the equation – we’re just supposed to clap harder for the “Progressive!!” fairy and it’s gonna shit sparkly glamor that makes the “white working class” sit up, rub their eyes, and go, “wow! what have I been missing?!”
@Miss Bianca: Politics would be a lot better for me if a majority of people agreed with me on everything. They should try doing that, because this “disagreeing with me” stuff is getting to be a drag.
And yet, the public loves liberal programs like Social Security and Medicare. Meanwhile, they hate the “moderate” (in quotes because it’s actually incredibly conservative) ACA. 70% of the public wanted a public option in the ACA, which at least would have been a step in the liberal direction. We didn’t get it, not because there are too few liberals in the country, but because the Democrats cared more about protecting insurance company profits than they did about doing what was best for the country (and what the country wanted them to do).
Like I said, you’ve had your way for years now and look where we are. It’s time to try another approach.
@NR: Alternatively, we didn’t get it because roughly half the Democrats in Congress for the past two decades are moderates who are queasy about social welfare spending either on an ideological basis, or on the basis that they think it will hurt them politically, or both. And the people who pushed the Democrats into the majority, courtesy of the vaunted “50 state strategy,” were even more that way. One of them was Heath Shuler. The Democratic majority was a Blue Doggy majority. Blue Dogs don’t want a public option. Blue Dogs don’t think they’ll get reelected if they expand welfare or raise taxes or do anything that _smacks of_ expanding welfare or raising taxes. And guess what? They were right. How that becomes, in your mind, “be so liberal you can never lose because liberal things are universally popular,” is… unconventional.
How do you suggest _making_ “the Democrats” “try another approach”? As the kids used to say, “you and what army”?
You know what, I don’t really care what your answer is. It’s going to be a stupid, pouty, demanding answer from an untenably weak position, because that’s kind of your thing.
No, they weren’t. They lost not because they “expanded welfare and raised taxes,” they lost for two reasons. One, the stimulus was not big enough to pull the country out of its economic doldrums, because they and the Democratic leadership were so fixated on trying to appease the Republicans with it. And two, they ignored the wishes of the vast majority of voters when they and the Democratic leadership killed the public option, resulting in an unpopular health care law dragging them down in the midterms.
In both cases, the more liberal thing to do not only would have been the right thing to do, it also would have been the popular thing to do. The 2010 election would have looked very different if the Democrats had embraced those ideas. That’s not an untenably weak position, that’s the goddamned truth.
And there we have it! No true Scotsman. If progressive candidates lose, it’s because The Mean Big Corporate Shills dragged them down. Oddly, in the example of Feingold, down away from the top of the ticket that came within voter suppression of winning. The national climate for Democrats is set by the nastiest accusations thrown by an actual Socialist at the most progressive, working-families policy oriented platform EVER, not by…anything in that platform or said by the candidate at its top.
Honestly, the way you go on, if a recount shows that Hillz won WI or MI, we’re gonna need to put you purity ponies on a 24 hour watch. The loss of your dreams may be too much to bear.
@NR: The fact that you think your positions are obvious and true is the problem. They are false and they are fantastical. What you are saying is that Heath Shuler should have embraced an unprecedented expansion of the American social welfare state and a complete rearrangement of how health insurance works for everybody in America, because people would love it that much. I see multiple problems here, starting with “should” and only getting worse from there.
@PhoenixRising: People hate politicians that are corporate and financial. That’s why Democrats lose and Republicans like Ron Johnson and Rob Portman win! WAITAMINIT
J R in WV
And here we finally have the confession: NR isn’t even one of us. Now whether that means human, or democratic, who knows??
But not one of us. We’re “you guys”!