Folks. It's because the GOP has yet to be penalized for bad behavior. Indeed, bad behavior has gotten them all three branches of government. https://t.co/Byvgcv3y8q
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) June 20, 2017
As long as norm busting creates rewards, norms will be busted.
We can either engage in a race to the bottom of norm busting or change the incentive structure so that norm busting is not rewarded. Neither set of choices is easy or certain to succeed.
The Moar You Know
And yet Dems will continue to insist that we “go high” or some other equally stupid sentiment, when you’re dealing with people who literally want you dead.
Their voters enjoy the feeling that comes with this disgraceful behavior. Norms don’t satisfy that sweet spot in their dark, bitter chest cavities.
Dirty tricks and negative ads work.
@The Moar You Know: As I said during the election, I was intensely tired of that slogan by the third time I heard it.
They love going low and will consistently vote for person who gives them that option.
Can I also just say how happy I am that Travis is out as CEO at Uber. Now, I hope the company itself continues burning through money, stumbling its way through several failed initiatives, never addresses its harassment issues and gets sued for it’s remaining monies.
@The Moar You Know: Good thing no one ever used a “stupid sentiment” like Hope/Change. That would have been a guaranteed loser!!
I wonder if we’ll ever find out who sent the threatening letters and white powder to Handel and people in her neighborhood. It sounded like that may have tilted the vote to the R side, which I doubt is a coincidence. ?
I don’t get how people (not The Moar You Know, but others I’ve seen) simultaneously complain about “We go high” and then say Democrats spend too much time attacking Trump.
Though I do agree that we shouldn’t treat Trump as some uniquely bad Republican rather than Republicanism embodied.
@Mnemosyne: It definitely helped her with turning out the vote. Folks were sympathetic.
I haven’t watched the local news at all. I had an early morning dental appt. and fortunately, the dentist did not talk about the election, or I would have accidentally taking a bite out of his finger.
MOANA is streaming on netflix, so I’m going to watch that.
It seems like Adam Schiff is not exactly happy with the Obama Admin’s handling of informing the American people about the Russian intrusion.
I don’t know why anyone is bellyaching about the Georgia race. Seems like pretty good news to me all around. Only irritating thing is that Handel appears to be yet another whack job. However, adding one more of those not going to change a congress filled with them.
@nightranger: My guess is that she will vote exactly like the man she’s replacing.
@nightranger: Truth be known, she will replace the previous whack job, who was promoted. I didn’t volunteer for Ossoff, but I have volunteered for local politics. The district is changing, but it will take time.
At this point, my problem is, I don’t know how to change the incentive structure short of taking a Halligan bar to kneecaps.
@JPL: It took a long time after the Civil Rights Act for the South to go solid GOP.
If you want an example of a Democrat who gets down in the gutter, I offer you Chuck Schumer. He got in the gutter with D’Amato back in 1998 and he beat him. D’Amato was running for a fourth term, and had been a perfectly adequate Senator, but Schumer beat him. Because he fought dirty.
And liberals love to complain about him. I don’t; he has some positions I disagree with, but I think he’s a smart politician and I remember he managed to delay the terrible bankruptcy reforms for a few years back in the early aughts by inserting language saying that pro-life organizations (and, I think, individuals, though it’s been awhile since I read about it) would be included in those unable to declare bankruptcy to avoid paying legal fines related to their anti-abortion activities which I thought was a pretty neat trick, since it meant a lot of GOPers had to vote against the legislation. It was probably inevitable that credit card companies would get their way, but he managed to gum up the works for awhile.
Yeah, I think going dirty is effective in a campaign. The problem is, liberals are not good at it, because it’s playing a role for us, whereas for them it’s who they really are.
I think too many people view what Republicans are doing as good behavior, at this point in time, for me to think there are any norms left.
I think we’ve reached a point of win at all costs.
Republicans were there decades ago.
Our problem is we do not have rich liberals, who will shower billions to buy up media, prop up think tanks, etc. to influence public opinion in our favor.
@Nicole: Yep. I like Schumer. I always said we should give him a chance.
Major Major Major Major
Hey, I’m reading one of that guy’s books as we speak!
@JPL: On that tangent, can someone tell me why Obama isn’t speaking up about the AHCA? Is he just going to see all his accomplishments gutted and not do anything? Where is he?
The Moar You Know
@Corner Stone: This is more true than you know. My wife teaches high school. Day after the election, over half her kids show up with “Make America Great Again” hats on, giggling. She asked them what they thought was so funny. After some prodding, they admitted their parents had told them the hats would piss their teachers off and they should wear them. They were thrilled. Nothing like transgressing some norms.
Politics of mean girls and spite, all the way down.
This incident, by the way, was one of two that led my wife to resign this year.
@Butch: Enjoying a well deserved retirement. Leave him alone.
Kittehs understand incentives!
We need to win first and worry about niceties later.
@Butch: I can’t help but feel that Obama speaking against the AHCA all but guarantees its passage. But I too wonder what he thinks about this mess.
@The Moar You Know:
Huh…and these are the kids, in a couple or four years, who will start voting and usher in the demographic wave that will destroy Republicans forever and ever….
The Moar You Know
@Butch: He can do no more than you or I at this point, and frankly I find it really unfair that anyone is asking him to do anything. He busted ass for us for eight years, and quite frankly, WE failed to deliver a House, Senate or executive that would have kept his work in place.
This is on us, not him.
@Butch: you mean he’s not speaking up like this?
Major Major Major Major
@Nicole: the hack gap strikes again.
@Baud: Baud!/Neoliberal Whore! 2020!
FWIW, I’m ok with busting norms. We are a better nation because liberals have busted some awful norms. I don’t find this line of argument persuasive. If we’re a better choice, it’s not because we are more traditional than Republicans. It’s because we make more moral choices about which norms to bust.
@Major Major Major Major: Now that’s a balanced ticket.
The simplest truth is the Right and the Center Right that wants lower taxes on their income control the media and dictate what is acceptable discourse and what is not. National media does not want the Great Society because the Great Society (1) costs their money through progressive taxation and (2) is frowned upon by the people that write angry letters. It is not Chuck Schumer’s fault or the House Progressive Caucus’ they dont get TV more. The Media is hard wired for the GOP (h/t Josh Marshall, i think). This has been the way of the world for at least since 1900, if not the entirety of US history. The liberal goals of emancipation and equality arrived in bloodshed, not with flowing praise of ink on paper. We fight harder because we have to fight harder or we will lose. It is a tragic truism that Justice is not inevitable. I will not give in. I will not concede. Fuck them and the injustice they rode in on.
We are not outnumbered. It’s just that our side doesn’t turn out like their side.
If we have to scare them with “The Republicans are coming to take your birth control! They will arrest you for minor crap! They will kill people in the streets without remorse!” okay, maybe we should do so.
At least our overheated rhetoric is true.
The Moar You Know
The early batch of “millenials”, a term that should die in a fire, were relatively liberal like their Boomer parents.
This batch that started coming out of the high schools seven years ago or so don’t have Boomer parents, their parents are GenXers, Ronnie’s kids, my shitty generation, and they are a LOT more politically conservative than their predecessors. And openly, defiantly racist like no other generation that I’ve seen. I hoping that’s a local thing but it might not be.
@Baud: Agreed. This notion that people should vote D because Dems are more virtuous is stupid. People want their representatives to fight for them, for some reason many Democrats I see on TV always seem apologetic. Ds won’t even stand up for themselves and their own achievements when so called allies shit on ACA and Dodd-Frank.
@The Moar You Know: Younger should mean less white, so that should help us.
@schrodingers_cat: Right. I don’t think this balancing act is working for us any longer. We can compromise on policy, but not on basic self-respect.
There’s a particularly irritating (and kind of creepy) right-winger who I blocked from seeing my FB feed some time ago, but I keep him on my list because I find it useful to be reminded of what that mindset is. This morning he was posting, crowing about Handel’s win, and spouting all kinds of incorrect information about the campaign (he really is dumber than a bucket of hair, this guy). I don’t think he knows a single one of Handel’s policy positions; it’s entirely “durrrr, awesome ‘cuz liberals are sad because we won, durrrrrrrr.”
It really is about believing they’re part of the winning team, even if the winning team leaves them starving under a bridge. There’s no reasoning with that.
I should add, he also posted, “really asking” why diversity is important. Oh, Jeebus. Like the tshirt says, Lord, give me the confidence of a mediocre white man.
This is 100% correct. I would just add that GOP also does not feel the need to moderate because they are in control of gerrymandered districts and voter registration lists to the point to where they can lose 20 percentage points like they did last night, with a 36% POTUS anchor dragging them down, and still squeak out a victory.
@jeffreyw: Imgur trouble with links. http://imgur.com/ambDOLo
@The Moar You Know: But… they are also even more racially diverse than the early millennials, while the white kids go further around the bend. So is the Inevitable Genocidal Race War that white wingnuts have been talking about for decades really coming soon?
@The Moar You Know:
One assumes then that those are not the same people who, after every police shooting or abuse, shake their heads sorrowfully and talk about how it’s simply awful that the public these days simply has no respect for authority anymore and if only they did this stuff wouldn’t happen?
@jeffreyw: They is adorable. How are your kittehs? Garage kitteh, still in the garage?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Yeah, those fuckin’ Obamas sure knew how to lose an election.
@schrodingers_cat: Homer spends night in the garage, Mrs J puts a nice food bowl with his fave treats in there for him and he goes in eagerly.
In fact, that’s exactly why younger age cohorts are trending D, not (for the most part) generational change within existing demographics.
Steve in the ATL
Apropos of nothing, didn’t c u n d gulag used to post here? Did he leave because ArchTeryx stole his shtick (not a criticism of either–just an observation that the two have been facing similar issues)?
@Baud: this and @eric: this.
All progressive gains were purchased with lives lost, until the cost of the norm was too much to bear for the majority of people. The pendulum swings, it swung away from us but it’s starting to swing back. The costs are beginning to get too high again, but we’re not all the way there yet.
Steve in the ATL
Karen Handel is fucking odious. As you note, however, she is replacing the fucking odious Tom Price who replaced the fucking odious Newt Gingrich.
Bottom line: my neighbors are assholes.
In my observation, white people my age are susceptible as hell to the notion of “in the distant past, whites oppressed blacks, but then Martin Luther King ended all that by Having A Dream, and ever since then the pendulum’s swung too hard in the other direction, too many blacks are just obsessed with their race and we’ve got political correctness and affirmative action and white men just can’t catch a break.”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
from the tweet Fallows was responding to
John McCain was all over the news last night say that “We’re doing the same thing the Democrats did!”, with implied praise for his straight talk. The correspondents who were pointing their phones at him might have the excuse of having been in middle school at the time, but the anchor/editors putting his clip on the air should know better. And that’s how they get away with it.
Speaking of phones… time to call.
@The Moar You Know:
Michelle Obama was the First Lady, a black one at that*, she was out there to hit a certain segment of the electorate, not craft the democratic platform. Her message was positive and uplifting, just as the candidate herself, her job was not to be the attack dog, that’s what Tim Caine was there for. I find it amusing that in all the analysis and recriminations, he’s gotten a free pass, they barely won Virginia which Obama did comfortably, twice. Hillary was at the top of the ticket, she chose him, but it’s like she ran alone, when McCain lost there was endless airtime and ink spent trying to determine how she helped or hurt him, but somehow this time the VP candidate was barely mentioned.
Saying when they go low we go high wasn’t the problem, it was in to many cases actually practicing it, too many times they failed to go for the jugular when it was exposed, thinking the media would do the work for the. I know there’s the fact that he loves rolling around in the mud to factor in, but people already hated her, more than many of us realized, she was already being portrayed as an evil bitch, she should have just gone with it. This is all academic at this point, she still won more votes and but for 100K here and there, would have won.
To those saying that we have to play the game the same way as the other side, I do want to remind you that the media doesn’t treat “bad” behavior by both sides the same, just look at how every segment about the secret deathcare bill begins, “back in 2009 the republicans criticized democrats for their secret negotiations on health care, now they are doing the same”, BULLSHIT!!!!! The Obamacare took 18 excruciating months, had dozens of meetings and everyone knew what was coming, the fucking senators supposedly writing this POS don’t even know hats in it, Yertles staff is writing it. You think Hillary got a raw deal over E-ghazi, if she’d gone negative, it would have been a hundred times worse.
* Angry black woman, uppity, shrill, she didn’t have the luxury to be completely honest about her rage at the prospect of the Shitgibbon replacing her husband.
That’s why I think Democrats should obstruct. I’m practical so I would be in favor of “get something rather than nothing’ but if obstruction isn’t punished then go for it. What the hell. They tried everything else. Can’t hurt and it might help. Republicans made the legislation odious enough that there’s no downside there either. People may not vote for our health care ideas but they also hate GOP health care ideas and since it’s one Party government the only thing they can do is obstruct.
Tilda Swintons Bald Cap
@Kay: I saw someone comment that McConnell knows everyone already hates Congress so destroying health care will result in zero blowback for Republicans.
@Chris: I can concur that that was pretty much accepted truth among white GenXers in Virginia in the 1980s–even some who voted for Dukakis. Those are the parents of kids currently in the primary and secondary grades.
Here is a few “norms” that need to be busted:
** Make election day a federal holiday – maybe just maybe lets people reflect on the kind of jackass they are prepared to vote for
** Make Washington DC the 51 state – DC population = 670k, and Wyoming = 580k, but guess which one has two Senators
** Abolish the Electoral College – or implement the National Popular Vote interstate compact
** Outlaw any campaigning 90 days before the election – so legislators actually legislate, instead of “Fundraise” for a living
** Outlaw gerrymandering – so voters pick legislators, not the other way around
@Matt McIrvin: As a Gen-Xer who grew up in Central PA, I agree with this. White Americans are so desperate to think of ourselves as the good guys that we tell ourselves a version of history that has little to do with what actually happened. To read the textbooks my school used, you’d think America was the source of every good thing that ever happened in history (though my 6th grade teacher elected to skip the chapter entitled, “The Spirit of American Freedom Travels to Latin America,” as I recall).
I have a child currently in the primary grades. Fortunately for him, he is growing up in a neighborhood where he is in the racial minority and his school is very focused on social justice so I think he’ll have a better grasp of American history than I did. But I see classmates of mine who never left the area raising their kids just the way we were. God help the country.
@Matt McIrvin: Yeah. I think that’s why she opted to skip that chapter. She was actually a pretty good teacher, as I remember. Better than the one my best friend had; she said their class did every single chapter, including that one, and the teacher pretty much just read straight from the textbook.
Apologetic attitude has been a Democratic disease for decades.
Clinton + Kaine, 2016: 49.73% (victory margin +5.32%)
Obama + Biden, 2012: 51.16% (victory margin +3.88%)
Obama + Biden, 2008: 52.63% (victory margin +6.3%)
Virginia was one of the few places where, at least in terms of victory margin, Clinton outdid Obama ’12.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I don’t know. I’ve heard a lot of bragging about these specifically, but the ACA wasn’t Single Payer (which most people don’t know is not the same thing as UHC), and Dodd-Frank didn’t put banksters in jail
@Major Major Major Major: Is it Red Shirt? And have you heard the accompanying song by Jonathan Coulton?
Which is related to the Democratic Party Only “looking forward, not looking back” or “mistakes were made” or “whatever other cliche fits” policy that is followed every fucking time we win.
I doubt that going for the jugular would work quite as you say. If Republicans and their supporters are as inclined to create their own alternate reality as is asserted here, they need only close their eyes and stop their ears as always, and refuse to recognise any defeat inflicted on them by Democrats. I think the party’s voter base, for their own sake, need to get disillusioned on their own. The Democratic party has no power to force them to shed their nihilism, to realise that they’ve been voting for a party that makes war on them even as it leads them around by their own bigotry and spite. I do see some faint signs of that disillusionment, but not enough to make me optimistic for America’s near future.
@Butch: I would think that his fear is that as soon as he gets out in public, it polarizes an issue so it goes from all Dems, most independents (including conservative leaning indies) and some Republicans to all Dems, some smaller proportion of independents and no Republicans recoiling in horror at the AHCA.
Actually the number one reason no one went to jail is because several people did go to jail for the Savings and Loan debacle, and afterwards the banksters made it a point to go out and buy themselves some legislators to re-write the laws so that their fraudulent behavior was actually legal. Why do you think they fought the most basic common sense stuff like requiring the person you are fucking paying to advise you on how to invest your money, operate in your best interest? Could we be more aggressive and creative in applying laws, of course, but they really have rigged the system so that they won’t be held to account.
Sadly you’re probably correct. I liken it to the battered woman who refuses to leave her abusive partner, nothing you say or do will get her away from him, until she is ready to leave. You can substitute an addict for the woman.