A counterpoint from reader Desargues:
Excuse me, Tim, but I have to disagree with your framing. You did what they call “himpathy” in feminist theory. Reflexively empathizing with the bad guys. You know who’s had to literally fear for their lives from day 1 on their job in Congress? Ilhan Omar, AOC, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and a few others like them. Constant death threats — out in the open, not from an anonymous payphone — plus daily incitement by the braying beasts like Limpballs and his animal ilk.
These Republicans deserve no sympathy from anyone. They have choices, and they’ve always had a choice. They’ve made their choices, and whatever risk they incur is their problem, not our problem. Please update your understanding.
Yep. This complaint describes me to a T. And if you disagree with that then you’re going to disagree with me.
Lemme tell you a quick story about a Republican I knew a long time ago. This guy was one of those aggravating hoo-rah milbloggers who popped up like fireweed after 9/11. These guys all had their blog-rings and friends’ blogs on the left margin of the page and award bugs down the right margin like “second most popular milblog, signals or intelligence, top 800-1000 traffic, 2002” or “RCP wipes self regularly prize, 2003”. He was a bit of a blowhard who helped Erickson start RedState, but he let anyone comment on his blog and he was more fun to annoy than a brick like Jim Hoft. I wouldn’t say I was friendly per se, but I did try to write with what you could call “himpathy”. I made a point to disagree about the topic and not his character or hygeine.
Anyway, after a while that blogger got so annoyed with the George W. cult’s brainless groupthink that in ’04 he invited me to join him on the blog. And that’s how some medium profile diarist at Daily Kos became a writer on a crappy right wing milblog called Balloon Juice. It was a weird time.
So yeah, I lean towards this “himpathy” thing. I like the dissonant feeling of seeing from a different angle. That’s true even and maybe especially when it’s hostile. I will also say as an old activist that I have learned to use it tactically. I tried the “at” theory of change, and I have tried the “with” theory of change, and if I had to rank them I’d say that “at” feels a *lot* more satisfying but the “with” method gets better results.
So the operative question here is, what am I after? I want the Republican party to break into smaller parts so we Democrats (if we hold together) can beat them in the next election like a rented stepchild. It happens that right on this day we have arrived at a moment that I’ve been expecting for a long, long time. To wit, we are looking at a powerful and (hopefully) irreversible break between Chamber of Commerce Republicans who just want to steal everyone’s money versus Trumpist maniacs looking for some Khmer Rouge regime of insanity and murder. That’s an opportunity that comes up once in a lifetime, and I’d like to seize it. If I have to convince people like Pat Toomey they want to work with a liberal asshole like me more than with dangerously unstable colleagues like Goehmert, Nunes, Tuberville, or Hawley, then the scumrag who *isn’t* interested in genocide gets a warm hug from me.
Now, imagining we had Bart Stupak-type blue dogs to convince, those guys would get quite a lot of my attention. You can’t split Republicans without Democrats holding together. Thankfully (in one sense anyway) Stupak, Blanche Lincoln, Evan Bayh, those guys are all gone. Hell, one of the great no-shits-to-give barn burner speeches last week came from Conor Lamb. There just isn’t enough daylight between ‘the squad’ and Democratic leadership to matter right now. The edge of the knife is in the Republican party, and if giving some of them a hug helps me push the knife in further then that’s what I’m gonna do. If that inspires you to tear me a new one, well, you came to the right place.
Am I the first to comment? I’ve never had this happen to me. Do I win a prize or something?
That left me all a-tingle. Thanks, Tim F!
@Danton: Yes, you do win a prize — by commenting first, you now will avoid the fate of your famous namesake.
If you don’t say FIRST!! then it doesn’t count.
Before getting 1st comment:
chop wood, carry water
After getting 1st comment:
chop wood, carry water
Wait, so you’re trying to defend your course of action by saying that it led you to Balloon Juice??
“If the rule you followed brought you to this [gesturing around at the pet fur and naked mopping], of what use was the rule?”
The only thing I regret is that you monsters drove Darrell away.
I agree. If ‘pity’ and ‘sympathy’ are interpreted as feeling sorry for someone because of haphazard misfortune, the GOPers do not deserve that. And to the extent those two feelings lead to thoughts that they deserve any kind of help, then that is going in the wrong direction.
They got themselves into their current mess, and they have to start at least trying to help themselves, and showing that they’ve helped themselves by telling the truth and speaking and acting in good faith. My only suggestion is that they talk with progressive and liberal members who have had to deal with being smeared with lies for years, and had to deal with the danger that treatment brings.
But, as I noted in a previous thread, the GOPers might be in a worse fix than they think. The deranged die-hard Trumpsters will come after the GOPers after the prophecy is failed, no matter what they did or did not do. Maybe the Congresscriminals who may be sneaking guns into the House chamber will be exempted, but I’m not sure about that. Edit: they may need to brandish the gun and get arrested or barred, to show they really tried their best in good faith, willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause. That is about the only thing that the Trumpster base respects, because, so far, they are not willing to do that themselves, at least intentionally.
Thank you, Tim. You gave me much to think about. I share your strategic objectives, of course.
Speaking as an aging white dude about John’s age, I wish the likes of us can find it in ourselves to let the women speak for a while, and listen to what they have to go through, every damn day.
Also, who drive ABL away? I’ll never forgive them for that! :-
Beating rented mules is wrong, let alone stepchildren. (Where do you rent them?) We should switch to “beating them like a Georgia Republican.”
I vaguely remember this site before the Heel Face Turn. It still seems pretty remarkable.
The Moar You Know
I’m in. Your argument makes a great deal of sense and I think I’m already subscribed to the newsletter.
@eponymous: wax on, wax off?
Bighorn Ordovician Dolomite
@Tim F: Darrell, oh those were the days! As long as I am making an EXTREMELY rare comment, it’s good to see you back on “the juice” Tim.
Oh. Shit. I was doing it backwards.
It sounds like you think Biden is the right person for the job.
I so hope that redistricting removes Bob Good permanently from office in Virginia.
So the local pro-Nazi sympathizers/collaborators, having had enough, may be turning against the occupying German Nazis as our tanks roll into their town. We’ll accept their help, but no way do we include them in a restored City Council.
It sure was a weird time. Back then, this blog was infested with insane right wingers (TallDave, Darrell, DefenseGuy, etc.) and there were precious few liberals here. There was always something about Cole that kept me coming back, aside from the fact I was young and just liked arguing with people.
I honestly don’t know how many John Coles there are left out there, who are able to step back from the brink and change their minds.
This. Women, particularly minority women, operate in an environment and against challenges that old white dudes cannot even begin to fathom.
Here is a nice primer, courtesy of author John Scalzi.
I’m okay with identifying, isolating, and pressing those precious few Republicans who have not completely lost their fucking minds to engage with the Democratic leadership and the upcoming agenda. My congresscritter gave lip-service to the fascists as afterthought, as in ” oh yeah, I gotta check this box to keep the flying monkeys at bay.” Far from perfect, but it’s what I got to work with because the guy just won re-election 60-40 in a heavily fucked up (i.e. gerrymandered) district. I’m waiting to see where he landed on the impeachment vote today, as there are plenty of pinch-me-am-I-dreaming fucking Confederate flags flying in front of houses and on the backs of pickup trucks around here.
Does he deserve my ire or my engagement? The staff in his office I’ve spoken with have been steady, even when I announce myself as a Dem.
Senator Portman, otoh, deserves to be pelted with rotting fruit at each and every opportunity.
I seem to remember you taking a bit of shit back in the day, but nevertheless, you persisted, you resisted, and you lit the path out of the darkness for Cole to come over. Or maybe not. I was only an occasional lurker then.
You mean FRIST!
Wait what year is it again?
We are aware, and that’s why Biden got the nomination. Practical like that! Doesn’t mean we need it explained to us here. Maybe I should start thinking of this blog as a place where white guys talk down RWNJs. Not my circus. Not my monkeys.
@Forty2: Ah the good old prime days of Atrios and FDL.
@Tim F: He needs to ask WaterGirl to edit his comment.
If Trump is calling legislators with threats to make them fear their families’ safety, isn’t that actionable by the FCC, defanged though it is, or the carrier itself?
Ehh. He wasn’t my first choice, but he wasn’t my last either. Personally I think you need a good cop-bad cop mix to get Republicans on board, and it works better when the President is a credible enough threat for Congressional Democrats to say to their Republican colleagues ‘work with us or you’ll get pissed off dad instead’. Obama was wrong guy for that and I don’t think Biden is ready for it either. My pick was Elizabeth Warren, both because I liked her best on policy and capability grounds and because I thought she would make an excellent bad cop.
The monster that the GOP spent 4 decades creating, feeding, and nurturing has come to eat them.
Concern from me: …
It used to be Frist! I personally like the 2nd comment – so much harder to get.
Now that’s a name that I only vaguely remember back in the day.
I appreciate the viewpoint in the OP – I am currently incandescent with rage, as I have been the past week, but some perspective is always valuable. Do you really see any of the current repubs that might actually become sane, though?
What do we do with our rage? I do the basic things – write postcards, donate, walk – but there is still a huge volcanic well of it with nowhere to go. Old, arthritic woman here is not about to take up a gun – I’d likely shoot myself in the foot first. Plus I don’t really want to kill anyone.
I am very happy that I can call my representative, Diana DeGette, and say attagirl, and now my two senators, Bennet and Hickenlooper (not Gardner! Yay!) to say attaboy. Something to celebrate there…
@Tim F: Interesting. Biden wasn’t my first choice, but if I were thinking of supporting someone who could work with business side of the GOP against the Nazis, he would have been, because of his personality and well as his relationships.
I understand the urge and need for outreach to the hopefully soon to be ex-Republicans. However, it is a mistake to claim that this is morally superior to those who are still seeing this as a battle for the victims of their violence and hatred. If you are in a position (white and probably male) to reach out to people who are likely to listen to you about why they need to man up and join the 21st century, then go for it, bring as many out of darkness as you can. Just don’t shit on the people who aren’t willing to forgive and forget. They’ve got good reasons. Let them be and do your thing.
Another thing, be sure to let them know that in the battles, the rest of the world has moved forward. Every human has intrinsic moral worth.Humanity requires a willingness to accept that climate change is happening and fight against it. “Because the Bible says so” is fine for making your own personal choices, but not anything others have to agree to.
As to elected officials, if someone feels that threats to their physical safety mean that they cannot do what is right, the correct choice is to resign from their office and allow someone else to take their place. Voting the wrong way out of fear is never right. Understandable, but never the right thing to do.
I think in this case, I think KH could step into bad cop role.. I mean prosecutors do it all the time. I’m sure she can bring the hammer and if not, she’ll beat you and do some dancing when she’s done.
@Bighorn Ordovician Dolomite: Where can I upvote your delicious nym?
Great post. I like your attitude. I can’t always do it myself, but I admire it.
@Forty2: Ah yes, FireDogLake after the Terry Schiavo fiasco. Back before the firedogs all got rabies and went batshit insane.
We can shave their heads, though.
On the plus side, I think Kamala Harris is ready and able to dog walk Republicans who try to play her like McConnell played Obama. I hope that Joe takes her advice early and often.
West of the Rockies
Frist! is less inspiring than Jeb!
Evidence that the terrorists had inside help continues to trickle in:
Ayanna Pressley discovered, only on the day of the Putsch, that all of the panic buttons in her Congressional office had been torn out.
@BruceFromOhio: If you’re willing to disclose, I’m curious which district you’re in. I’m in OH-1, with the execrable Steve Chabot.
To your final point, I’m willing to start a garden this spring for the sole purpose of growing tomatoes (which I loathe), letting them rot, and then developing the Dayton-to-Columbus Trebuchet Of Dissent to deliver said vile fruits (yes, I think they are) to a richly deserving asshole like Portman.
@Tim F: I wanted Warren too, but let’s face it: even Centrist Uncle Joe didn’t win by all that much. Warren woulda got creamed, plague or no plague.
@Tim F: I’ve read that Joe has been including KH on all appointment decisions. It seems like a strong working relationship.
Tim, while I completely agree with the expressed aim, and the need for empathy to accomplish it, you’re overlooking the gender element here, as Desargues and BrucefromOhio pointed out.
“let the women speak for a while, and listen to what they have to go through, every damn day”, as well as empathizing with Rs. I’m pretty good at empathizing, and imagining what AOC went through, a physically small woman of color wondering if her own colleagues might turn her over to be beaten/raped/killed or all of the above, makes me sick and furious.
In addition, Bruce linked to Scalzi’s post on white male privilege, “the lowest difficulty setting”, which is the best intro explanation that I’ve ever seen. Recommended.
I did not claim that it is morally superior. I defended it on tactical grounds, and pointed out that it’s my nature (which obviously would influence my thinking). I am not as interested in a moral argument right now because I think the danger is too immediate for that.
Yes. THIS. Keep the pressure on corporate America…let the GOP know how it feels when someone “starves the beast”
Sure. I like this. In theory.
In practice, it has to happen with two at least things I think are critical to avoiding a re-run of this crap in American society:
Oh, and let’s beat the Rs like a rug, not a person. Good exercise for the beater and it improves the rug but doesn’t hurt it.
@Tim F: Jesus, I had forgotten that asshole.
Meh. I feel comfortable that I can have sympathy for Trump supporters with regards to certain aspects of their experience without it contaminating my sympathy for their victims. We’re all just living in the world that none of us made, reacting as best we can. Even a sadistic serial killer is just trying to figure out how to be in society. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be held accountable for their choices nor that their victims don’t deserve justice nor that they shouldn’t sometimes be locked up for the safety of everybody else, if only because we have nothing better to do with them. I can hold sympathy for conservatives and sympathy for their victims in my head at the same time.
Chiming in to co-sign the “pelting Portman with rotten fruit” idea.
I don’t think my rep (OH-16) will vote yes on impeachment but he’s not a member of the crazy caucus, so I’m glad for that.
I really encourage people listen to Chris Hayes and Ta Nehisi on ‘Why is this happening’.
Ta Nehisi makes the point I raised with my legislators, that if you truly believe that the election was stolen, you should be 100% in support of the Capitol attack. If you believe that Democrats violated the constitution and are installing a president in violation of the law, then a last minute violent uprising is not only not wrong, it’s moral. Its the thing our lawmakers swear to do in their oath.
You cannot separate the lie from the obligation to defend the nation by force. The incitement wasn’t the ‘march to the capitol’, the incitement was the lie that the election was stolen. And the incitement is on every lawmaker that repeated it.
So I think the himpathy argument is misplaced. If Mike Pence had installed Donald Trump last Wed, I’d be in DC right now wielding my trusty shovel in breaking down the front door of Congress. This isn’t to excuse any of the death threats, even if they rightfully believed that, merely to note that this is a situation that is not easy to extrapolate to other areas.
And the narrative around the attackers is misplaced if you don’t put primary responsibility on all those who told the big lie to start with. All of them. Not just Trump, but every one. They created an environment where violence was deemed a moral act. That is completely separate from the threats against the women in Congress, but again, if the tables were turned the female members of Congress who were in support of installing Trump in office against the law should not be excepted from that violence in defense of the nation.
Our unwillingness to face and address random and systemic violence against women complicates our understanding and accurately assigning blame and the magnitude of that blame. Our unwillingness to face and address public officials lying does so as well. When we discuss this situation, we need to try and find a way to disassemble the multitude of sins occurring here.
@Tim F: DougJ said he was all those people.
And we’ve had Wingularity and Peak Wingnut predictions before.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
“I never thought it would happen for me…” was the beginning for every great Penthouse letter, or so I heard.
@Immanentize: Re Atrios I can visit that site only occasionally. It IMO has become “THIS SUCKY BLOG” that he always joked about. More than half the time there isn’t even a link to support his 3 sentence post. And his commenters are still doing the “Frist”/”First” thing.
@Cacti: There was a video in the last thread too, of the insurrectionists with detailed floor plans and their organized plan to go after Reps.
Clearly organized ahead of time and almost certainly with some help from the inside.
It’s a shame Harris dances in Converses, though, intead of something like steel-toe Doc Martens.
Another thing is that almost all of them are very rich, or rich, or very well off. They haven’t had much experience with exposure to any serious risk before. At least when they are sober.
Beth in Virginia
@Tim F: My dream is for Senate Majority Leader Elizabeth Warren. Schumer has had his decades. Time to up our game.
I didn’t read Tim F’s prior post on Toomey et al, but I did read this OP with interest. And it reminded me of something ….
In my technical I/T career, I used to always prize “being correct”. I thought it was really, really important. I used to say that “we should make decisions so that, 20yr from now, when we look back, we can see that they were correct with those 20yr of hindsight and evidence.” Once I was railing at some stupidity that some jokers had perpetrated, that was costing customers and “The Company” serious money. I’d written angry letters to some people trying to get them to fix the problem. And my friend R. at one point stopped me, and said:
That was illuminating. I just didn’t care enough about changing people’s minds: all I cared about was the correct decision. Period. But it’s important to have people who care about that latter thing. [heh, spit] In Atlas Shrugged, Hank Reardon invents a new kind of metal, but he can’t really make headway until he meets a guy who helps him sell it. You need both the right idea, *and* the person who can sell that idea, in order to change the world.
So while I agree that we have to keep in mind the truth, we have to be mindful of rectitude, sadly, if we’re going to win, we need people who can, y’know, figure out what it takes to convince Pat Toomey to side with us for a while. Etc.
I don’t begrudge my friend R. for his wanting to convince people: he’s responsible for one of the only two times somebody shipped my code [the rest was all bugfixes]. And he was able to do that, b/c he was good at getting thru to people.
West of the Rockies
It’s tricky moral ground. I felt sympathy for the woman executed yesterday even though she had committed a horrific crime. Her wretched upbringing contributed mightily to her dreadful behavior. I can despise her actions and lament her victimization.
I tuned into the impeachment debate, and had to turn it off almost immediately because of a GOP douchenozzle going with the Big Lie of “Democrats cheered BLM riots” and asking why there’s a double standard about different parties “calling for violence.”
Bleah. It’s historic, but my blood pressure can’t take it.
I have been reading this blog since the days when that redneck dude with the “GET A BRAIN MORANS” was the meme du jour. Bill Frist. Turdblossom. Bush’s “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.” Darth Cheney shooting a dude in the face, then making him apologize (for walking into Dick’s buckshot, I guess). Good times…
Bless all the people on this blog who’ve helped me keep my sanity for lo these 16 years and counting now…
Footage Shows Trump Rioters Discussing Capitol Floor Plan, Plotting Strategy to Move Through the Building
@MisterForkbeard: The Capitol Police Chief and Chief Deputy were also MIA on a day when they knew violence was on the way, and nothing more than the usual security detail, in standard uniform, was put on duty to protect the Capitol.
I think something far more foul than a spontaneous mob attack was at work here.
@Lacuna Synechdoche: Did someone ask about
Converse steel toes shoes?
Yes, they exist!
So we should throw them over a clothesline and beat’em with a big-ass rattan fly-swatter?
@eponymous:Or you could be like me and have Boebert for your Rep.
Maybe I’m misunderstanding something. I think it’s perfectly fine to work with some GOPers for exactly as long as it is useful. I advocate treating them like humans rather than demons (as the Dems have been treated). Making the best of whatever potential allies you have is good politics. I don’t feel one bit of sympathy or empathy for them, and I see no reason to.
The GOP is really a bunch of different tribes that have coalesced around Trump for now, but aren’t necessarily permanently welded together. I have a ginormous extended family spread across 15-20 states and I have cousins and such that are represent each group. No reason to think they all need to stay wedded at the hip. They mostly dislike each other. Here are some real examples of GOP voters within my own family:
Cousin #1: Wealthy 50-something chiropractor. Recently sold his practice in Bend OR so he and his wife could move to Phoenix AZ can be closer to their kids and grandkids. Big into fly fishing and golfing and volunteer coaching golf and soccer. Mostly votes GOP because he ran a 10-person practice and had to endlessly deal with payroll and endless red tape from the local level to the federal level. He sat on the school board for a while. We go golfing together and used to share season tix to the Timbers before he moved. He can’t stand the the religious Fundies and MAGA idiots. He liked Romney and McCain and a candidate like Kasich would probably make his leg twitch. I don’t know how he voted in 2020 but wouldn’t be surprised if it was Biden.
Cousin #2: Rather wacky prepper type who lives in rural Nevada and has been trying to get a diatomaceous earth mining operation off the ground for a decade. He’s always on the verge of striking it rich and bankruptcy at any moment in time. Kind of a weird mix of conspiracy theory survivalist and libertarian. Likely to be rattling off about things like the Tri Lateral Commission if you let him corner you. Completely no-religious and can’t stand the Fundie moralizing.
Cousin #3. Right wing evangelical Mennonite preacher who gave up farming to “plant” a church in rural northern PA (apparently because PA doesn’t have enough churches). Yes, there are evangelical fundie Mennonites. We don’t talk, but his FB feed is a mix of shots of baptizing his flock in the local river, videos of them defying covid restrictions in church, and lots of praise of Trump for appointing pro-life judges like Barrett. He’s a total MAGAt but only because Trump coddles the fundies, not for any traditional GOP economic reason.
Cousin #4. 50-something prison guard in rural Michigan. Complete and total MAGAt. His FB feed is about half MAGA conspiracy and #stopthesteal nonsense and about half deer and duck hunting pics and pro 2nd Amendment nonsense. Big time Kool-Aid drinker
Cousin #5. Upper middle class tech company project manager in the Seattle suburbs. Been a loyal Republican forever and loyal Trump supporter. Hard core Trumper in 2016, kind of radio silent lately. Too smart to buy into all the latest bullshit about stolen elections. Kind of a nerdy Scott Adams (Dilbert) type who is mostly GOP because he is sociopathic, not for religious reasons. The kind who wants to drown the government in the bathtub because he is all self-made and why can’t everyone else be self-reliant like him?
I can see them splitting off into 3 separate GOP tribes.
The pro-business wealthier types into the Romney and Kasich group who like low taxes and small government but aren’t otherwise stupid or Fundie. They will always be political and vote because rich white people always vote.
The Religious fundies who are mostly poor and have shitty lives and want everyone else’s lives to be shitty too. They will never be Dems because they are racist and hate cities. Best we can hope is that they recede from political engagement which largely happened before the last time they reached a political peak during the 1920s with the Scopes Trial in 1925. They mostly went away for 5 decades until the 1980s and Reagan brought them back into politics.
The rural MAGA types who are mostly into hunting, fishing, boats, guns, and sports and didn’t really even know they were a tribe of their own until Trump came along. They are more MAGA than GOP. They don’t give a shit about policy except as it pertains to guns. They will never be Dems because they are racist and hate diversity and cities. Best we can hope is that they get distracted again with sports, hunting, and guns and disengage from politics.
Hell no. We didn’t beat those Georgia Republicans very hard. We need to beat them like San Francisco Republicans.
@D Gardner: I’m with @mac8 in OH-16, Anthony Gonzalez. I lost Betty Sutton in the Great Buckeye Gerrymander following the 2010 census.
Chabot, Jordan mystify me. They don’t seem to actually do anything related to constituents. Gonzalez, to his credit, phone-stormed at the beginning of the pandemic to get constituents on townhall calls to talk about the county and state health department guidance. He shutdown the shouters, and allowed his own personal story to come through – very humanizing. So it’s tough for me to slot him in with the fascists and sedition-mongers. I’m giving him room to run on this impeachment vote, and will then decide where to go. I do not see him folding his vote to align with death threats from the fascisti.
@Fleeting Expletive: It is my opinion (that is, it is what I think is going on but I cannot find anything on the tubes to support it) that Trump supporters are making threats. Because of the many inflammatory statements Trump has made in the past. And these threats are now aimed at folks who are shocked, shocked I tell you to have to be inconvenienced by fear for their lives. More Chickens coming home to roost. But I don’t think the FCC can do anything at this point. Five years ago, maybe. But not now.
Five years ago is when IIRC I heard a journo ask Trump what he thought about one of his supporters beating up a guy at or outside one of the first rallies. Trump’s reply was “Maybe he needed beating up”. That was my “Oh, shit, we’re in deep trouble” moment.
Interesting backstory, Tim. I discovered Balloon Juice back when you were the only poster other than Cole. I did not pay much attention to right wing blogs back then, but I made an exception for Balloon Juice for a window into Conservative think , as:
A) Cole seemed intelligent and reasonable and much more intellectually honest than most righties, and
B) There were also the occasional Tim F posts that I liked.
@Kent: You’ve essentially summarized Jacob Whiton’s analysis of GOP districts whose rep’s went Nazi.
@West of the Rockies: Right. She was a victim of a terrible life. She did a terrible thing. And then the government did a terrible thing.
It doesn’t excuse her actions, but it should temper how we punish those actions. And we certainly shouldn’t have the government seeking vindictive violence for those actions.
Ahem and harrumph, surely you mean like Queens (NY) Republicans. *grin
This is excellent. The lie is the incitement.
@Kent: I want to watch a show where you are all stuck on an island together.
Bless you for saying this.
It’s easy to forget that the GOP Leadership has been actively recruiting White Supremacists since at least GOP chair Gabrielson’s courtin’ of Dixiecrats in the early 1950s.
They have invested decades in building an infrastructure that (post-Civil Rights Movement) tacitly condoned waves and waves of prejudice against so many groups of innocent people. All the while, they worked like hell — as we’re seeing today — to displace any blame when actual violence occurred.
To have the KKK vote for them, while ensuring people didn’t think the GOP was really in cahoots with the KKK.
We bring those kinds of folx into the Democratic Party without making clear the ethical shifts they need to have, and we will be just as guilty of putting political expediency ahead of moral certainly, as the GOP was, all those decades ago.
Good speech by Steny.
I really wish Democrats would buck tradition and concentrate their time around speakers who are advancing an argument that helps clarify, rather than just an expression which is little more than ‘I like this’, ‘I don’t like that’.
while we discuss and parse over here (from the safety of our keyboards) I understand the point that Tim is making and while I believe that we should try and “rehab” all of those that might show a glimmer of what we could consider to be the absolute base requirement for participation in our Society; we must also bear witness to the large number of disingenuous fucks who ARE STILL arguing right now on the House floor as if they STILL THINK that they can get away with all of this bad-faith bullshit that they are peddling.
I am also increasingly aware that if the events of Jan 6th had been different they likely would have been documenting the rape and death of our female members of Congress with a certain participatory zeal and applauding the torture and death of other members of Congress that they could have got their hands on.
Frankly, I would like Nancy to allow them their say, allow the votes to be cast and to allow this process to play out. What I do NOT want to do is FORGET who these people are and to continue to work to excise their voices from the public discourse, not because they are Republicans but because they are fronting for White-Supremacist Fascists. We need to remember not only who these people are, but also note who continued to legitimize them and allow them to thrive. Punish them all.
I’m trying to decide if I like this argument on its own merits, or because of the way it works with Amendment 14 Section 3.
@John S.: strange times indeed. I remember being here for it. Then John went and ruined my right wing blog I could go to to get a good feel for right wing thought by turning baby face from the heel side.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Don’t forget “Dear Penthouse Letters, I go to a small college in a midwestern state, and…”
I remember when I could claim I read bloggers on the left & the right because I read Balloon Juice. Now I lack any balance at all!
I don’t believe the things I’m seein’
I’ve been wonderin’ ’bout some things I’ve heard
Everybody’s crying mercy
When they don’t know the meaning of the word
A bad enough situation
Is sure enough getting worse
Everybody’s crying justice
Just as soon as there’s business first
@lofgren: When I expressed a similar sentiment to my husband, he told me not to bother sympathizing with these people. Blowing up their lives was a choice they made. Most people — even those in the march on the same day — made a different choice. It’s a lowest common denominator not to smash windows and overtly threaten people with violence.
@Fair Economist: If only this blind squirrel were as well spoken and clear of thought as Ta Nehisi when I manage to find a nut. He is a remarkable person.
@Tim F: While I think E Warren could have won the election I am pleased that Joe has the opportunity to take his shot his way. I think he learned a lot in his 8 years as VP.
As for you,
@Msb: no sympathy for Nazis- just brickbats
There’s a tactical advantage to some of this thinking too. The only thing Trump is going to have going for him at the end of this is that persecution grift. There will be plenty of participants in that pity party. It’s going to spin and spin for a while because the vehemence of their grievance is so overwhelming. Having empathy or offering a pathway to those on the periphery of trumpism to join or at least count themselves among the collective “we” who look at this in shared horror is important. If those people see nothing but closed doors and pointed fingers, they’re more likely to slide back into the grievance maelstrom and strengthen it. If they don’t, then the storm will spin itself out because it cannot gather more energy.
And on the next island over we can toss the old-school AFL/CIO Dem union bosses together with the young #occupy types who obsess about “micro-aggression” and the proper use of “LatinX.”
@eponymous: eh I’m rich as are a lot of my friends and we are going to start punishing firms that support the GOP. Schwab is first
@cain: I was sitting in what was claimed to be “the third oldest pub in England” once upon a time. The proprietor told us there is “only one third oldest pub in England.” Apparently there are a number of “oldest” and “second oldest” pubs, but only one third oldest.
food for thought. Or something.
Just Some Fuckhead
I think most of this analysis ignores how absolute bugfuck insane the average Republican voter is these days. This isn’t a problem with our politicians. This is a problem with our electorate.
Tim, I’m not gonna minimize the reality of the threats they might get. And if it’s not just you but your family as well that might be on the receiving end of those threats, that’s a genuinely scary place to be in.
But I’d still say that if those threats mean voting for impeachment is a bridge too far for them even though they believe it’s the right thing, then they need to resign from Congress to avoid having to choose.
Also, people have been getting death threats all year. Not just The Squad, but local health officials. County election workers. People like that who never expected that their job would ever put them on the spot. I hope they’ve been speaking out all along against what’s happening to those people – that it didn’t take their being on the receiving end of threats to realize something was going terribly wrong that needed to be spoken out against.
There are a few for sure. That shitforbrains got a few million more votes this time than last doesn’t speak well for them but this latest round of bullshit has opened a few eyes on the right side of the aisle. And some of them are actual people in a level of power. I’m at work so I haven’t seen how the impeachment vote is/has gone but there were republicans on the right side of this.
“Proudly using the same bar rag since 1552.”
The impeachment vote is finally occurring. Just started and should go on for a while.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
And while some people will always be like that, the heart of the problem is a right-wing media complex that demonizes the Other and tells whatever lies are necessary to rile people up against the Other.
Maybe bringing back the Fairness Doctrine for broadcast TV and radio, and extending it to cable TV as well (which would bring Fox News into its ambit) would help somewhat. But as right-wing media increasingly move to the Web, there’s less that can be done about that. Still, it’s worth trying whatever might help.
@Don: Shit. Isn’t the third in line usually the one taken out by a drone strike?
@Ken: This is the key to the puzzle. This is how Hitlers big lie worked as well.
If you want a violent populist act, you march your supporters to the edge of an existential threat, one which they cannot turn away from. Every loss in the courts added to that threat, as did every conspiracy theory explaining those losses, and the validation from every elected official and person in authority that it is indeed a existential threat. Two passages stand out:
This is a clear expression that a wrong has been committed and that wrong must be made right. But it would have fallen on deaf ears if they hadn’t spent months building the lie.
And that’s the match being lit – it’s an existential threat to the nation. But it only works if you’ve been pouring gasoline for months, and I would argue if it were only Trump lying, it probably wouldn’t have worked. But what you could excuse as the sour grapes of an election loss, gets much harder to excuse when 145 members of Congress are saying the same thing, that media personalities are saying the same thing.
But none of it works without the lie. The lie is everything. And it’s not just a regular lie – it’s a lie that if you don’t act on it, you might die. Or your family might die. Or the nation will end.
There’s a reason why we don’t honor contracts entered into under duress because people will do things they would not typically do under those circumstances. And that’s what Trump did. Mind you, his supporters bear culpability here as well because it’s not like there weren’t people telling the truth, they simply refused to be open to what they were saying.
@Ruckus: Intent is likely not to be on the right side, the intent is to get off the ship while they can. Tomorrow they’ll head right back onto the wrong side of history and all else.
@BruceFromOhio: That Scalzi article was great; thanks for posting it.
And I hope you’re right, TimF, about the GOP breaking apart. What makes me anxious is the right-wing has a massive media propaganda machine that the left doesn’t.
Warren was my pick, too, but yeah, I agree with other folks who say we’d have lost. We’d probably have lost with anyone other than Biden. And by “lost” I mean we’d have won the popular vote again, but the deciding votes that tipped the Electoral College were under 100,000, weren’t they?
That’s another problem- that the Democrats start out spotting the Republicans several million votes. There’s a baked-in advantage for the GOP.
Back in the day I used to hate read Red State. Followed John here for much the same reason and have been around since. Didn’t get a front page position though. Hmmm.
@HinTN: While I think E Warren could have won the election…
You think NOW that Warren could have won the election?
Dude, get back on your meds.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
Just Some Fuckhead
@lowtechcyclist: They have been radicalized through a number of channels, including their churches. They aren’t going to unradicalize. The best we can hope for is attrition by time.
I suggest “thempathy”. Because not only can women be bad actors, it’s a better play on words.
@Ksmiami: Yeah, same here. I have lots of capacity to vote with dollars.
When I read Tim’s comment upthread, I momentarily considered offering my services to Danton. :-)
Gin & Tonic
@raven: One of America’s pre-eminent philosophers there.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
“If it can be rinsed it can still be used” was always my motto on bar rags.
Oh so glad you’re back Tim! I come here for pithy takes like this.
@Fleeting Expletive: Do we have reason to believe that Trump is the one doing the calling? The worst he did with Dense was call him a pussy.
This was a great fucking piece. Thanks.
@lowtechcyclist: People who don’t have at least three separate law enforcement agencies devoted in whole or part to keeping them safe. It’s truly nauseating to see members of Congress to rely on the potential for violence against them as a reason not to do their job.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
I am having a problem even understand this issue; the GOP is collectively soiling themselves in fear of the monster they unleashed to the point they are to terrified to move. The contrast between this fear the Republicans to the courage Omar shows in the face of the same threat is disgusting, yes. This much is obvious. Anyway, it’s still a problem, as much as the GOP deserves this terror, the country needs these politicians doing what is right and not cowering in their offices right now. Speaking from personal experience, you can not get an abuse victim, male or female, back on their feet and doing what needs to be done by screaming at them what a failure they are.
Classic phishing scam – if you don’t do this thing (provide credentials, passwords, credit card numbers) right now then bad things will happen.
@Just Some Fuckhead: 40 years ago the assault on public education started in earnest. Two, possibly three or more generations of people who lack critical thinking skills are signing in, signing up … and voting. Or worse, running for office.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think Tim is suggesting sympathy for or collaboration with MAGAts. I took his post to mean that we should sympathize and court Liz Cheney types. Not because they deserve our sympathy, but because hastening the crack up of the GOP will help us tactically and strategically.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Barbara: .. those same Republicans were perfectly okay with an unprecedented number of threats against Obama and thereafter our health officials.
@Martin: Good points.
I think an additional important element is that the Trumpster die-hard base, particularly the QAnon people, fantasize that there is literally an existential threat to their freedom and existence if the Democrats win. Their cynical manipulators keep repeating that they will end up in FEMA camps, be victims of genocide, forced to endure what amounts to house arrest on the pretext of an epidemic hoax, their guns will be confiscated, children molested.
None of that happened under 8 years of Obama, but it makes no difference.
If they really believed that the election was stolen, then they should take action, even break the law. But a rational person will look at history to see what works to remedy for oppression that does not pose an immediate threat to life and safety. And that is not riot, insurrection or mob violence or terrorism. It is mass nonviolent civic action, disciplined mass nonviolent civil disobedience (which accepts the punishment for violation of law). That is the teaching of Thoreau and the historical lesson of Gandhi, civil rights and women’s suffrage movements.
I think the sheer ignorant and deluded panic and existential fear of immediate death, bondage, and loss of ability of self defense explains a lot.
They weren’t just OK with it. They GENERATED the threats.
Up to 9 Republicans now voting for impeachment.
@Just Some Fuckhead: You could make the same argument against German citizens in the 30s.
You lie to enough of your populace for a long enough period of time, and this is what you get.
It didn’t start with Trump, of course, it goes back to the Birchers and Reagan and on and on, but holy shit has it ramped up recently. A lot of focus is being put on the ‘Flight 93 Election’ essay from 4 years ago, because it furthers this lie/existential crisis.
Just Some Fuckhead
@rp: I think it’s ridiculous to suggest that a monster like Liz Cheney would be cool with Democratic initiatives because she’s against a violent overthrow of our government.
@Gin & Tonic: Man, I didn’t know about this tribute album!
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Yep, and when they do repeat chant in unison and hand-clap thing, that should go over well. https://youtu.be/R2yYiULZ0hA
And it’s done. Vote count to impeach just went over 217!
The vote is now over the top.
Another element that I don’t think is emphasized enough is that many of these people simply cannot cope mentally. I wonder how much of the cosplay element is sheer escapism into fantasy.
It would be interesting to look into history and see if there ever was a violent insurrectionist movement so infested with fantasists dressed up as cartoon characters, a mish-mash of pagan shamans, Conan the Barbarian, etc.
I wonder if it is true that some of the people that came with handcuffs, bared wire, bear and pepper spray, etc., really did think that they just had to occupy the Capitol and then Q would give them instructions on what to do next. I’ve been assuming that’s a lie to try to evade conspiracy charges. But some of these people seem so out of it, it might be true for some of them. They are so far gone that they are lost in infantile fantasy.
That doesn’t make them less dangerous. Violent disorganized mobs whipped into a frenzy are very dangerous.
And that is besides the hatred, bigotry and racism, and ignorant mindless fear.
Just Some Fuckhead
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
MOTHERFUCKER IMPEACHED – AGAIN!
Dick Cheney was actually the LEADER of the group of 9 former Defense Secretaries who came out opposing Trump. What they are ACTUALLY involved in is building up the Cheney family political aristocracy to be the next Bush or Kennedy political clan. The Trump clan is what stands in their way. It is an intra-party fight. You should not confuse the Cheneys for anything other than hard-core traditional GOP.
@Kent: Between your five cousins and the two extra Dem groups, you’ve got seven. Now match them up with the original seven castaways. Cousin #1 is Mr. Howell, I’d think.
@Kent: Right, and note that it was Trump saying that Obama was an illegitimate president because he was born in Kenya.
This is him backing up the threat all the way to 2008 – that Democrats have already stolen two elections and Republicans did nothing, they didn’t fight hard enough. Trump has never been forced to admit to that lie.
Republicans either didn’t recognize the consequences of allowing that going unchallenged or they were happy to go along. Neither paints them in a good light. I mean, electorally it worked – in 2016 it got Republicans to vote as if their life depended on it, just as in 2020 Democrats voted like our lives depended on it.
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
@Squid696: It is now up to 10 Republicans in favor with 4 left to vote.
@Ken: Well, I would be the professor.
But I think Lord of the Flies is the better metaphor, not Gilligan’s Island.
@David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch: Another first for Trump!
@Kent: They can’t meet their long run goals while government is churning through the chaos of a mad king whipping up insane mobs on a whim. They need a strong and stable governing system to get what they want done.
That is probably the only thing we have in common with them.
I am irrationally happy to see the Republican votes for impeachment got into double digits. It will piss Twitler off no end.
Amazing photo, via reddit.
@David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch:
Nope, not true at all, completely false.
No true Republican….
Moles, satanic apostates, demons, all of them. They renounced their GOPness at the moment of their betrayal.
@jl: Read about the children’s crusade or how many people in the middle ages thought the world was going to end in the year 1000 or…..a bunch of other things, especially religion. There have been mass delusions before.
It’s also a case of knifing your opponents when they are down.
@BruceFromOhio: Holy crap Gonzalez is voting to impeach.
citizen dave (aka mad citizen)
@raven: Thanks for the reminder Raven! Mose Alison! I’ve seen it twice at Barnes & Noble and told myself to give it a listen on amazon music, but haven’t done it yet. It’s pricy at B&N at $20.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Oh, she and Tom Cotton are more than happy to take over as dictator.
But the GOP has to deal with their white christian supremacy problem, and one thing I’ll always give Bush credit for was trying to do that by inviting latinos into the party to expand the tent. The rest of the party told him to fuck off on that.
The GOP has two distinct wings – one who wants to strengthen the party so they can win elections, and one who wants to maintain this white christian supremacy at all costs. Trump supercharged the latter group, at the expense of the former. Cheney and Cotton are the former camp. They’re no less ambitious, no less in favor of minority rule, no less Kool Aid drinkers on conservative ideology, they’re just less invested in the religious war and more invested in power. They don’t care who they rule over, they just want to rule over someone.
@Just Some Fuckhead: It has nothing to do with supporting Democratic initiatives. It’s about expressing a little sympathy for republicans like her simply to drive a wedge between them and the hardcore MAGAts.
Anyone seen a list of the 10 Republicans who voted in favor? Who are the surprises?
Martin, would you like me to add “not” in front of wrong? I think that’s what you were intending, unless I misunderstood.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
@rp: this. The more time they spend fighting with eachother over scraps, the less they have for shenanigans that hinder everyone else. And if I can coax one across the aisle for something worthwhile, bonus.
The 10 Republicans: 1. Katko 2. Kinzinger 3. Cheney 4. Upton 5. Herrera Beutler 6. Newhouse 7. Meijer 8. Rice 9. Gonzalez 10. Valadao
I wonder if the pandemic has made it worse, in the sense of more people only able to cope by escape into absurd and disgusting fantasy.
There was the great vampire epidemic of New England in the 1840s. A few towns tried to defeat a very virulent and scary outbreak of TB by reviving medieval notions. The spirits of recent victims were wondering around spreading disease. If you dug up the corpse of a recent victim and burned their guts, that send their spirits off, and would help make the disease go away.
Those were our stolid very sensible ancestors who were always obedient to the sage advice of their betters, whom David Brooks used to write about.
Edit: note of interest to some BJ commenters, apparently it started in the Rhode Island, which as a hotbed of TB corpse burning and hardest to stomp out.
If Democrats were as adept at lying to us, we’d be in the same place. It’s why I’ve always been reluctant to join a political party.
The key to resisting this is to take away their ability to make you believe things. You have to always find your own evidence, you have to always find your own reasoning.
@WaterGirl: yes, thank you. Too many negatives to keep straight.
Just Some Fuckhead
So what’s the math on Republicans in the House voting/not voting for impeachment? 19 in 20 thought they were “safe” when a mob assaulted the Capitol intent on killing elected representatives? Good to know.
@Immanentize: Pro-tip: don’t kick straight on while wearing steel toes. It does more damage to you than whatever you’re kicking.
I don’t care about the politics. I just want Trump gone and unable to ever run for public office again. I would also like to put some fear into his vile adult children.
And I want as many as possible of those who committed sedition rounded up and prosecuted.
The GOP may bounce back again. They seem to know how to regroup and hunker down into a new hive mind to achieve their aims. Who knows.
However, I know that American democracy is broken. It may be irreparable. A chunk of the white citizens year for “democratic autocracy.” They believe that the votes of nonwhite citizens can be discounted on a whim. They prefer to believe the infantile blabber of The Great Orange asswipe over reality. They may calm down or, like white Southern racists in the post-Reconstruction South, they may look for another opportunity.
This is where we are. With a wound that may not heal, and the beginning of the end of the American experiment in democracy.
The majority of those with good will may have to tamp down the monster for as long as we can.
new thread up to discuss the vote
@Just Chuck: Fuck you, Chuck. “Himpathy” was specifically created to explain how in rape cases, there is always an outpouring of support and sympathy for the rapist, which quickly turns into harassment and abuse of the victim. It also refers to the “boys will be boys” argument, where women are pressured into ignoring sexual harassment and abuse (even rape), because of the negative consequences that their abusers will face should their behavior become public. It starts with young children and continues throughout women’s entire lives. Don’t try to erase this by pointing out that women can be bad, too.
Be better than this.
My only worry about trying to pry the Rotarians away from the nuts is that I’m not sure how many Rotarians there really are in the world. I mean, the entire point to the Southern Strategy was that “let the rich get richer” has all the political appeal of yesterday’s oatmeal.
I think they knew what they were going to do next. Someone set up a scaffold outside the Capitol, and several people specifically mentioned hanging Pence. They were going there to lynch the traitors. I don’t know if they had plans beyond that, but it’s clear at least some of them had detailed plans for what they wanted to do in the Capitol.
@Baud: I teared up when I saw that. thank you
@D Gardner: (Raises Hand) Fellow OH1 Congressman Combover critic here. Yesterday I told him he was a Nazi, Racist and Fascist and I hoped he would be censured and removed. His staff usually answers the phones but my call went to voicemail. The only reason we didn’t get Kate Schroeder was because of gerrymandering and the execrable Warren County voters. She defeated him handily in Hamilton County.
@Old School: Excellent news, I live in a District with a sane one!
Just Some Fuckhead
Did the vote finish up with 10 Republicans? Here’s their states:
Gonna have to check out Tom Rice, South Carolina rep. He bucked the entire Confederacy.
@Martin: Well said.
Fight or Flight / Thinking or Instinct / Human or Lizard Brain.
The GOP demonizing and dehumanizing their opposition has gone on for decades. They’ve been doing little but feeding people’s lizard brains. Society cannot long endure when the population no longer believes that words have actual meanings and believes that the truth matters.
I heard a replay of Speaker Pelosi’s speech today (7:25). She’s in my head, expressing my thoughts.
The point, though, is that the alliance between the rich and the racists is stronger than either group alone. The rich don’t have the numbers to win by themselves, and the racists don’t have the organization and control over the media to sell their POV. Join the two together, though, and you have a truly formidable team. Splitting the party is about denying each of those factions the support from the other faction that gives the party as a whole its strength.
@Just Some Fuckhead: OH-16 Anthony Gonzalez. I was wishful-thinking he would do the right thing, and he did.
I called to say thanks, but the vm is full, as I’m certain many are this fine hour.
… off to harass Portman’s beleaguered staffers …
@Just Some Fuckhead: When a current initiative is, let’s make sure this knucklehead who initiated an insurrection can never run for office again, I’ll take whatever support exists. YMMV.
@Tim F: But saying that it’s your nature therefore you have the right to act this way is a moral argument. As is your judgement that the times are too dangerous for the concerns of women to be taken seriously. You’ve got a good argument for why you are doing the things you do, why sandwich it with such aggressive negativity towards someone pointing out the feminist counter-argument?
I started reading this blog when it was just you on the left and John Cole on the right. I stayed around because John gave me a perspective into some of my righty coworkers, while making cogent argument i could disagree with and I really enjoyed the give-and-take (also, I’m a chronically homesick Pittsburgher and loved the Tunch and Doberman threads). By way of saying, welcome back, sweetie.
I’m well over 60 now and remember well 1977 when a coworker told me there would be no social security when I retired. I now collect social security. The guys I grew up with were hunters and loved their hunting rifles and worried about having them taken away. Now those same “sportsmen” are terrified that someone is coming for their assault rifles. The world has changed so much over the years, but some people still have the same concerns they did 50 years ago and apparently pass them on to their children. The Hissy Fit Insurrection last week shocked me but didn’t surprise me.
My life didn’t turn out as I dreamed as a young woman – lots less travel and no Victorian house – but I’ve done OK and don’t blame anybody else for my disappointments. And to this day, I don’t know why I didn’t end up as frustrated and bitter as the “patriots.” Maybe knowing the difference between aspirations and expectations was part of it.
@Baud: “Thanks for posting this photo. I was starting to think they were going to lay on the floor all day.”
@Another Scott: Primate brain. Lizards don’t form raiding parties to oust their opponents, That’s chimpanzies
@Feathers: omg I so want to learn how to do this better. Thank you!
@Martin: Imma just say it: what if vindictive violence is the only thing that works? Because I really don’t see these folks splitting up or melting away or whatever.
Yeah, sure. They hate each other. So what. They hate lots of people. Especially us.
No matter how much the fundies hate the yuppies hate the bunker-trolls…
They always have, they always will.
And the ones who sometimes forget how much they hate us? All they need is an excuse to stand there with their eyes on their shoes and their hands in their pockets. And their church and their radio are flush with excuses.
The sane cons I know think they need to jail the insurrectionists. They also think Joe Biden is teh reel racism for pointing out BLM would have been napalmed by A-10s if they tried this shit.
That’s the SANE ones.
Again, this entire party behaves like every bullying abuser I’ve ever known. The best time to club them with a wrench is when they are talking, because they only want to talk when they feel weaker than you.
On the other hand, maybe the common thread in my assement is my personality, and I’m just not the person to have on outreach duty. I can be pretty prickly when I’m worked up. And after the last 20 years, I’m plenty worked up and not much in an outreach mood.
So, who’s gonna tell him the bad news?
I didn’t get that from what Tim said. What did he say that you saw that way?
@Damned_at_Random: I knew I liked you, now I’m certain of it.
chop wood, carry water
This blog does not have upvotes.
This is one.
@Bighorn Ordovician Dolomite:
It is so rare to see a nym taken from Wyoming roadcut signage.
I approve of the nym, and of the state putting up the signs.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Subsole: I cosign this. The only thing they understand is pain.
The days of “what digby said”, of Tbogg’s bassets, of billmon and The Editors at The Poor Man and of Doghouse Riley and of Sadly, No!
And of fafblog, where the penultimate post becomes more trenchant every day:
In 2016, the Republicans basically nominated Giblets.
I believe that a fraction of the wingnut voters are in it for the triumphalist domination, and will be made discouraged and apathetic by defeat. The ones I was seeing that were confidently predicting massive arrests of “deep state” people and a deus ex machina twist that would produce a Trump second term are going to experience years of dull gray weeks that lack the frisson of rightous oppression and anticipated vengeance that has animated them.
So I think, because the Dems have the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, that some of the air is going to gradually leak out of the wingnut balloon over the next couple years.
@Beth in Virginia: What makes you think Warren would be better at the Majority Leader position than Schumer?
@Omnes Omnibus: Warren’s thing is policy. I am guessing she would not be happy as speaker.
You don’t have to be the top dog to lead. That said, I don’t think Schumer is half the leader that Nancy Smash is, or Harry Reid was.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Omnes Omnibus: What makes you believe Chuck Schumer would be a good majority leader?
@jl: A lot of these people are throwing a tantrum because they are scared to death that they really are as boring as everyone says they are.
That’s where the cosplay comes in. They feel like evetyone gets a cool backstory, and they get dick. And they are by god gonna show us. That’s why so much of this is equal parts cringe and blood-curdling.
And if you think people won’t beat you to death during a tantrum…
@joel hanes: Steve Gilliard.
Fuck the fucking New York Yankees.
@Just Some Fuckhead: I don’t really, but I am willing to leave that decision in hands of the Senate Dems.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Omnes Omnibus: Good answer. I imagine he will prevail but there’s no reason to think a white male is the only one who can do a particular job (in this case, an unconstitutional job) because white males are the only ones who have ever done it.
Missed your writing Tim, hope you’re sticking around for a while
@Immanentize: My first blog to read on the internet was Media Whores Online, then Steve Gilliard…Then My Left Wing cropped up somewhere….I’m old!
@Feathers: I didn’t know the context of it in rape cases. Way to educate people, fuckwad.
Checking in late to say that I always treat RWNJs with more respect than what, on the surface, they deserve.
There are two reasons for this. One is that sometimes they are a tiny bit persuadable if you treat them well, and that little tiny bit can lead to another tiny bit. I had an ongoing dialog on social media with the aunt of a friend from my home town this summer who was 110% Trumpy (and the aunt was so bad at one point that my friend apologized to me). I won’t say she’s moved entirely off it, but she has come around to agreeing with me on a couple of things, which wouldn’t have happened if I’d been mean to her.
The other is that there are people around the RWNJs who are not yet RWNJs themselves, and they are *much* more persuadable. When you’re mean, it can turn off people who don’t agree with you completely but who also don’t have both feet in the other camp, but when you’re calm and not mean, some people will listen.
Now, every once in a while someone does something so egregious that you have to be more than firm, but the surprising thing, in my experience, is that if you’re generally not mean, the moment when you’re pushed over the edge can be surprisingly effective.
One bonus from my approach – it seems to be a kind of troll repellant. I’ve had some trolls, but they basically leave me alone now because they know I won’t go tit for tat with them, so it’s not nearly as much fun as if I pulled out the bazooka and gave them an excuse to blast me themselves.
@Tim F: I disagree (in the way we can disagree as to the best buffalo wings in town – i.e., a matter of taste we like to pretend is objective truth) – the true prize is to get the first meaningful comment, that also happens to be the first comment.
I won that once (on another blog), and got an even higher accolade when the second response was edited to include “curse your flying fingers, LHW!” for the obvious reason.
@BruceFromOhio: Inhofe will always win my “most deserving of pelting with rotted fruit”, because one day he was bitterly castigating those who complained about the treatment of “worst of the worst” in Guantanemo because… the entrees on their menu sounded good.
America, founded on the notion of freedom, has a senator who believes “but freedom’s no biggie, if you’re getting fed from a menu that sounds good.” (For all I know, the prison food at Gitmo is reasonably decent, but even if the prisoner’s mess was a 3 star restaurant, freedom is more important.)
(NB: Michelin ranks restaurants at a max of 3 stars – but even 1 is a big deal. Think of it as a 10 point scale, then subtract 7, with 0 or less =0.)
I’ve been yearning for both parties to split since Dennis tried to impeach W. I legitimately think it will benefit the country and dem policy success. It’s harder to have an us vs them mentality when there’s 3 different groups of them. Albeit the douchenozzles will probably continue on in that vain, but the other 3 potential parties could quite possibly find compromise.
@Bighorn Ordovician Dolomite:
@Miss Bianca: My sympathy. Of course, I have the knuckle-dragger Lamborn so I have my own pain.
@Just Chuck: It was described in the original post as coming from feminist theory. I stand by my post because your first impulse on reading this was to “them” the “him” and say women can do bad things, type it up, and hit post. Google is your friend, sweetpea.
@WaterGirl: Comment 46 “I am not as interested in a moral argument right now because I think the danger is too immediate for that.”
I do think that there is room for both scorched earth and quiet non-shaming reach out to people who the reacher feels can be de-Nazified. But the don’t bring up feminist theory about the impact of public sympathy for male wrongdoers or I’m going to have to fight you* really rubbed me the wrong way. And he did it again in the response. Nobody wants to have to put up with that sort of shit from male allies who basically agree with you.
*at least verbally.
@Kent: I get that that would be their calculation, but it seems stupid of them. Their plan, from Wallace and Nixon on, was to ride the beast to high office, but keep it on a leash. Trump cut the leash, busted the cage open, and let the beast run free and wild. That beast ain’t coming back in the cage just because Country-Club Republidaddy tells it to. That beast wants to eat and kill, and it’s not picky. Let’s see how the Cheneys put beasts like these back in the cage:
And on, and on…
Anyway, let’s Dick and them fight!…. :-)
@Just Chuck: Sorry, JC, but it’s not the women’s job to educate us on these things. They’ve done enough already. We have to educate ourselves. This round goes to Feathers.
Same goes for us white d00dz when dealing with Black people. We don’t have a right to say, “Why didn’t you educate me on how destructive the effects of slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration have been on Black people?” It’s a task for us, not for them.