I just have a sick feeling about where this country is going, and the approaching midterms worry me. I think the filibuster needs to go, but am aware that is not going to fix the deep rot within the American public.
There is quite clearly a cancer in the American soul.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I am actually almost optimistic about the Senate, we’ll see which candidates win the primaries in the key states, but I do see a lot of Dems doing dumb things that make me think it will be harder, in particular wrt the House. I would hope all Democrats have, finally, learned the lessons of 2018 and 2020.
You and me both. I don’t see how our current situation where 30% or so of the country thinks they deserve to get their way for everything because most of the population aren’t real Americans is sustainable, especially when they have enough random advantages in their favor that they can have a minority rule.
Free Republic’s constant call for fascism and imprisoning political foes without trials is scary. Too many people are willing to play along.
A cancer seeded by Ray-gun and the white, blue collar demorat fools that helped put that idiot into power. The rot started with Nixon and his southern strategy but Ray-gun showed other thugs how dem voting whites would cut their own throats to attack Blacks.
Emma from Miami
My feeling is more resigned, although I have more than once complained to the Power(s) That Be that I never asked to live through the last days of an Empire.
On the other hand, today is my last official work day. Tomorrow I am officially retired. No excitement, just weariness. I am not sure why.
Major Major Major Major
@Emma from Miami: I think I’m sorta resigned too. Been sort of not focusing on politics too much lately. Seems to be good for my mental health, and due to my lack of influence the politics itself remains unchanged.
I’m trying not to be fatalistic and defeatist. Lots of people struggled hard to bring about the 2018 and 2020 results, and we’re not giving up yet.
I keep remembering the people dancing in the streets the day Biden won PA. We’re not lying down and taking it.
Gosh I do hope you’re wrong. Clearly there is a world wide movement towards authoritarianism and extreme rightism, but we have to push back. My independent, formerly GOP leaning bil told me this evening he sent money to Stacey Abrams and Fair Fight. He doesn’t normally contribute to political groups. And maybe you could talk to Manchin?
Things are probably going to get ugly, but I don’t think the fascists are going to take over without a hell of a fight.
@Emma from Miami:
As such, I haven’t been looking too directly at it. We’ll plod along, as we have no choice but to do.
In the meantime, I could use some recipes for crock pot, sheet pans, instapot…. weeknight food. Y’all also like to cook, so I know you have some good stuff in your bookmarks.
Gin & Tonic
Should change the name of this blog from Balloon Juice to Gloom Juice.
I think it’ll take a miracle for the Democrats to keep the House after the awful gerrymandering we have rolling down the hill. Though if we get a miracle and somehow get to 52 Senate seats and keep the House we might be able to get rid of the filibuster without caring what Manchin and Sinema think.
It’ll be close, though.
Even if the Ds hold on, the Republican party will only get more and more insane.
My belief in America peaked the day Obama was sworn in. Still proud I was one of the first in uniform who got to salute him in person. But now I realize that too much of America has completely lost it and it’ll be a battle for the barest of a democracy until I die. And that battle will be with my fellow Americans.
@Gin & Tonic:
@Gin & Tonic: I think John is actually asking us to give him reason not to be gloomy. My answer to defeating my own feelings of defeatism is to do something constructive, call my congress persons and send money to orgs like Fair Fight.
@Emma from Miami: congratulations on your retirement. It is a disorienting experience and it’s natural to not exactly know how to feel, especially if your career was a big part of your identity. Give yourself time and tolerance.
Villago Delenda Est
While the symptom is TFG, the true disease is the GQps inexorable slide into fascism which began in 1964 when they equated civil rights for Blacks with tyranny.
That is because you correctly recognize that the U.S. and frankly most of the world is heading towards another decade (century?) of ascendant fascism. Basically all the societal signs are pointing towards this, globally the fascists are implicitly and sometimes explicitly working in tandem to bring this to fruition. The technology is there to more forcefully preserve a fascist state. Liberals from moderate to conservative are way too in denial about this and way to scared to bravely take assertive actions. Is this guaranteed? No, but anyone telling you that they would bet on things being alright is probably delusional.
To me if feels like we’re about to break through all the bullshit …or get completely steamrolled by it. It alternates at a frequency of about 70Hz. But today I’ll just go with:
“DAMN FINE JOB, TEXAS DEMOCRATS!”
Gin & Tonic
@raven: We’re all gonna die.
@Emma from Miami: As dnfree says, be kind to yourself. And patient. It took me nearly 5yr to …. recover from my career. I used to say “been so long between the shafts, I’ve forgotten the freedom of the meadow”. It takes time to remember who you are, apart from a work identity.
I worry too. Not for me, I’m old and have had a good life, so if things go tits up, I can’t complain. But I have a daughter and she has a 3 year old daughter. I want them to live in a democracy, not a fascist state. I am determined to put enough money aside so that if either one ever needs an abortion, I can fund crossing state lines (I’m from Ohio, we already have passed strict anti-abortion laws are going to ban it totally the first chance we get) or to cross over to Canada/Mexico/Caribbean Islands if the ACB and the 5 Right wing Supremes decide to announce that life begins at conception and abortion can not be allowed anywhere in the US of A. And yes, I think there is a non zero possibility of that happening, because those guys are damned determined to destroy women and minorites.
The Democrats are still seeking bipartisanship and comity with the Fascist Republican Party.
They are still tweeting and running campaign ads as if There’s Nothing to See Here, Please Vote Blue and Give Us Money™
The Republican Party is a Fascist Party, and General Flynn speaks for all of them, even if they wouldn’t publicly admit it.
Time is running out on the Republic, absent great action from the citizenry.
There is quite clearly a cancer in the
As for me, I am giving to the Wisconsin Democrats to try to defeat Ron Johnson.
Yep. I unofficially call this a Mini Era of Good Feeling. Yeah, we are trying to get out from under the pandemic. And I have gone through the craziest tax season in all my years in the business.
But I have been astounded at the amount of stimulus payments and unemployment relief that has been made available to people. In the last two weeks alone, the IRS has sent more than $3.5 billion to about 1.8 million households.
And while some Democrats want to fight each other because we don’t yet have a $15 an hour minimum wage or Medicare for all, the Biden Administration is unleashing one of the biggest attempts to ease poverty, especially child poverty, in the increases to the child tax credit, the dependent care credit and the earned income credit.
These proposals are only for the 2021 tax year, but deserve to be made permanent. But it is one hell of a start.
I don’t know whether this era of good feeling will last, but right now I don’t think much about the mid terms. Not much to do about it except to support the candidates we like.
But I do know what we are fighting for. A better future for all. And I like the people who are on are side right now.
We won a bit of remission in 2018 and 2020 but the cancer has been there since before the founding of the country. The thing we have going for us is the resilience of a diverse population who largely believe in this crazy idea, not blood and soil. Don’t let your fatalism undermine their faith.
Fuck off. Have you heard of our pie filter? It is a wonder. Again, fuck off.
I’m an all-time cynic, but I had at least vague hope that most of the fever would break once Trump had had his lunch handed to him; I wasn’t cynical enough to see that virtually every Republican ratbag would triple down on Trumpery, all the way to that fuckface Flynn calling for a coup.
‘Though I doubt anything will hit the fan until Flynn & his ilk start calling for not just a military coup but for the “American People” to rise against the gov’t. Then we’ll see how many “patriots” have & are willing to use their guns.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
all of them?
Well, Biden today said that our democracy is in peril, the other day he called the Texas voter restriction bill was un-American, and I’m sure if I thought you were worth it, I could find similar statements from just about every elected Democrat, even Manchin, that don’t sound like what you said. But lemme guess, you’re still holding out for President Bernie Dumbledore to cast his lookoutthewindow spell from the Oval Office.
OpenSecrets (from May 24):
Team Blue is going to have the resources it needs to compete. We’ve got to fight every single day, but we can do well.
Personal income is at record levels.
Second quarter GDP estimates are running at +10%.
COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths are falling rapidly.
We’re getting out of Afghanistan.
Childhood poverty is being cut in half. People are getting important childcare assistance.
Sensible federal budgets and spending bills are being passed; sensible nominees are being put forward; people are doing their jobs.
Lots and lots of good things are happening. Don’t forget that.
@Gin & Tonic:
Yep. Good thread to stay out of. I don’t honestly think we can afford the wallowing in doom and gloom.
Stay positive, and work to defeat the fascists. It is that simple.
Just wait until the lawsuits are filed. When held to account, they’ll make Sidney Powell look like a genius by comparison.
I wasn’t born in this country, I am an immigrant, and whenever I get down I look at how Black Americans fought for their rights when they had no hope at all and never gave up, and they are not giving up now but only fighting harder, and it makes me feel like with all my privilege and fortune, there is no way I can give up so long as they are still fighting, and then I feel better because I know win or lose, I’m on the right side, and that’s really the best you can hope for in life. Give Abrams and Fair Fight some money and then maybe you’ll feel a bit better, Cole. Power never gives itself up without a fight. It was never going to be easy.
Villago Delenda Est
Eugene Vindman, twin brother of Alexander Vindman, and a JAG officer, has volunteered to be the prosecution in any court-martial of the treasonous fuck Kelly.
DA, get in gear and start this shit.
I think the first. Trump is not going to skate on the criminal and legal trouble coming his way. Any pundit who says this is going to be the usual midterms: probably not.
This is September 12th. We know what the Republicans are capable of, and there is a lot of pushback.
It made my heart sing to see a WaPost article on Ron DeSantis’s fucking around with the cruise lines, and the kind of pushback statements people were willing to go on record with.
Gonna look for the quotes now.
Mike in NC
The cancer has a name that rhymes with bitch.
We have been in worse shape, Cole.
We have been.
@Emma from Miami:
Congratulations on your retirement ????
I don’t see how folks don’t see that the Democrats know exactly who the GQP are.
It’s obvious to me that they know.
@guachi: I echo your feeling about Obama. I came of age with the civil rights movement, which was my big awakening, and then the subsequent rights movements just confirmed my feeling that we were moving forward in spite of the Vietnam War, the assassinations, Watergate, Reagan, Bush, etc. Obama seemed to symbolize the forward trend. Trump brought out not only all the resistance to progress, but the hatred and the conspiracy theories and the lies.
An evangelical young relative (45) keeps trying to tell me that I’m refusing to see reality, because there’s no way Biden got enough votes to win. Hardly anyone came to his rallies, you know? He also thinks only about 9000 people died of Covid. I know he’s not alone. He’s not delusional; I’m delusional.
I’m glad and relieved that Biden won, but the election made clear that it remains a close thing. So I’m worried too.
@dww44: Talk up the good things that Democrats are doing, from President Biden and MVP Harris all the way down.
Their successes are not covered well by media, so talk it up among people you deal with, day to day. Tell people how having Biden and Democrats in office is helping YOU (and thus, probably them). Get the word out.
Madam Speaker should increase the fines
I spent a fair amount of time on subreddits where they catalogue/laugh at/help QAnon devotees. What’s become especially clear is that this kind of conspiracy-laden insanity really IS a cancer, and it’s also infected the entire GOP.
The entire GOP doesn’t necessarily believe in it. But they tolerate it. And they’ve learned that outrageous and ridiculous lies work because very few people outside of Democrats will call them on it. It fuelled Trump’s rise, but “lies constantly and provably” has been the hallmark of every Republican Presidential candidate going back at least to 2000. Trump is a symptom of the larger rot, and the rest of the Republican Party is dashing headlong after him.
I don’t know how you fix this.
@Elizabelle: yes, this
Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) tweeted at 8:50 PM on Mon, May 31, 2021:
Republican politicians are mediocre with their messaging. But right wing pundits and activists support them on that messaging, so it travels.
Democratic politicians are better with messaging. But liberal pundits and activists don’t bother to help spread it, so it doesn’t travel.
@Brachiator: Now you are talking. Anyone here who is defeatist, walk it off
On a bad day, I feel like Mr. Cole. On a good one, I feel like WaterGirl at her most optimistic. These swings back and forth are tiring.
Emma from Miami
@dnfree: Thank you. It’s like, the alarm sounds and I start to move and then…. there’s nowhere to go. Odd, that.
WaPost: ‘Political buffoonery’: Cruise lines head for showdown with DeSantis over vaccine requirement ban
I hope DeSantis gets slapped down so hard and so publicly they can hear him yelping all the way from Panama.
Emma from Miami
@Chetan Murthy: When I was filing for SS, I saw the list of, I guess I should say my contributions. My first job was a part-time gig at a photo album factory. It was in 1974 and I was a junior in high school. It was surreal.
I don’t think that we as a democracy can afford Fox News or Facebook.
Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]
@guachi: I’ve thought about this. Basically, all democratic states need to gerrymander right back as hard as we can.
They want to scream about how it’s undemocratic? that’s cute. maintaining power in the house with an insane fascistic party that TRIED TO OVERTHOW THE COUNTRY THIS JANUARY is more important. When they come to the table with sane district proposals, we can talk, but otherwise it’s suicide by law.
@Emma from Miami: Yeah: mine was when I was 15, back in 1980 (though maybe when I worked for my father’s office they withheld; I have no memory). We work for a long damn time, and it leaves its mark on our souls. Damn few of us work at something we really want to do; they’re really lucky, those people. The rest of us, well, we learn to value certain aspects of the work, if we’re lucky. And if not, well, the $$ is enough.
From a 51-year-old comic book:
“On the streets of Memphis a good Black man died…and in Los Angeles, a good white man fell…
“Something is wrong! Something is killing us all..! Some hideous moral cancer is rotting our very souls!“
— Green Lantern Vol 2 #76 (April, 1970)
Emma from Miami
@Chetan Murthy: I fell into my profession (Librarianship) through a couple of insane coincidences. Loved the work, but was witness to the slow transformation of higher ed to a business (and don’t let anyone tell it isn’t. Red in tooth and claw, higher ed). I loved, still love, my profession, but it was time to go, both for personal and professional reasons.
I have no time for people like this. I think about them the same way that I think about flat earth believers and those who deny evolution.
So this doofus thinks that Trump really won. But Trump is not in the White House. He can’t even get back on Twitter.
I will worry about people like this if it becomes important. But right now, I don’t care. I don’t even feel sorry for them.
@Emma from Miami: Takes a while to adjust. Even before the plague I’d finally reached the point where if a bus was crowded I’d just think “Eh, whatever” & wait for the next one; there’s no longer any hurry to do things before work tomorrow.
@Princess: Wow, amen sister! This is my feeling in a nutshell! I will never give up.
I was advised to have my passport ready and approvals to emigrate if the election goes bad in 2024. I thought about it and checked some countries and found that nobody wants an old with multiple medical issues and no exceptional work skills.
I wasn’t that upset, because my nature is to say, sure, bring it. I have upset quite a few MAGAts on Twitter by pointing out that having many more weapons didn’t work in Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iraq. I will probably be safe here in CA, because even my rightest wing neighbors hate Trump in public, and the resistance will be fierce. I will be part of it however I can.
To hedge my bet, I am moving some of my retirement funds overseas, so if I have to run for the Mexican border I’ll have bribe money.
I know Harry Potter is out of fashion because JK Rowling is anti-trans, but I don’t believe in denying art because its maker is a major asshole, because we would have a lot less art to enjoy. As always, there are exceptions proving the rule, i.e. Roman Polanski, who can FOANDIAF.
Rowling’s character Albus Dumbledore, another major asshole, still talked a good game, and these two are what I think of now:
It doesn’t matter if Republicans win or not. If they don’t, they will act like the zombies they are and will immediately try again. I am resolved to fight them over and over for the rest of my life, however short it may be.
It seems self-indulgent to be going on like this, on a night when we commemorate the Tulsa massacre which began a century ago.
Better to think about people with courage. We can be courageous. We got a different kind of war to fight, and we must win it.
@Emma from Miami:
Congratulations on your retirement.
Hope it is enjoyable for you.
@Emma from Miami: that’s a good profession. One of our daughters is a librarian. It’s demanding. And sadly I agree with you about universities. When I went to college in the 1960s, we knew we were lucky to be there, and many of us thought part of our education was to learn history, philosophy, etc. I met my husband in a philosophy class. He was a philosophy major, and he got good offers from businesses when he graduated, because then there were more jobs than college graduates. That is sadly not the case now. (He didn’t take one of those job offers—he went into social work. It was an idealistic era.)
@guachi: I’ve asked this before. Can Democrats gerrymander?
Honestly, this is not a day to go all Eeyore. I know the feeling. I get it. Believe me, I am not generally an optimistic person. But the Texas Democrats did a brave thing yesterday and they’re calling on the rest of us to do our part.
“You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.”
— Pirkei Avot
“Action is the antidote to despair.”
“Whatever you do will be insignificant. But it is very important that you do it.”
Mike in NC
@Villago Delenda Est: Awesome announcement!
The orcs are ALWAYS at the door. Always have been and always will be.
Except when they are inside the actual castle like 2016-2020.
To use another metaphor. I for one would much rather play offense (push for progressive legislation) than defense (fighting to prevent conservative victories).
As for 2022. Honestly, keeping the Senate is more important than keeping the House. Scotus and all the court nominees go through the Senate. And it doesn’t matter how much Pelosi’s House gets passed if it all winds up being flushed down the toilet by Manchin and Sinema.
@AnotherBruce: yes. They’re doing it in Illinois. There have been several citizen petitions to create a bipartisan commission, but the Democratic-controlled legislature keeps refusing to put it on the ballot.
Yes, but not as well because Dems are concentrated in urban areas. And Dems don’t control as many state legislatures.
@AnotherBruce: Depends on the state, some states don’t have the legislature doing the redistricting.
Thank you, Elizabelle.
There’s a lot of white privilege in this thread. I think I’ll go to bed now.
Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) tweeted at 1:31 PM on Mon, May 31, 2021:
Roland Garros and the Grand Slams felt putting Osaka in her place was more important than her mental health. Now letting her know who was in charge is not flex they thought it was.
Those days are over
Martin Luther, leader of the Reformation in Germany, is reputed to have said, “Even if I knew that the world ended tomorrow, I would plant an apple tree.”
I feel strangely confident when Cole goes more gloom than me. Stay On Target, Cole.
Pet theory is that all this UFO stuff is a distraction operation for Qoopers to glom onto. A lot of them are lost, so we just need to give them a trench to dive into for a few years.
Great comment. I’m on a monthly to Fair Fight.
Take heart! 60% of the country thinks what the repubs are doing is bad for democracy. Is that enough to overcome their batshit crazy enthusiasm at the midterms? maybe, maybe not, but the battle is far from over and people who have been voting republican their whole lives are turning from the GOP is droves.
You are right. I wrote 800+ Postcards to Voters last fall; I fell out of this habit during the recent lulls in PtV campaigns. PtV’s firing back up, and I have no excuse not to write four postcards a day.
@Elizabelle: The cruise lines are already operating in Alaska with vaccine requirements and while the Alaska GOP is every bit as retrograde as the FL variety, even they aren’t stupid enough to meddle with their cash cow.
It’s the same exact cruise ships. They do Alaska during the summer then run through the Panama Canal and do the Caribbean and Florida during the winter.
Republicans. Republicans have agency too, Kent. I am tired of dumping on Manchin and Sinema. We don’t actually know what they are going to do yet, and Manchin has been laying the groundwork to say “well, I tried.”
Not in the mood to dump on Democrats who have hard, hard fights to be elected in red states.
This blog blows too much lately.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: I’m thinking that nothern California could have a number of districts to draw. I hate it, but you have to play the game. I’m definitely not an expert at this.
@Elizabelle: Republicans are the opposition party. It’s their job to oppose.
Sinema and Manchin torpedoed the $15 minimum wage. It looks like HR1 is losing steam unless they come around. Some form of infrastructure will eventually pass because it is pork and benefits red states as much or more than blue states.
The last fucking thing we need is some SCOTUS vacancies in 2023 with McConnell back in charge. So I think the Senate in 2022 is more important than the house frankly.
If I thought the GrOPers could be reached, I’d somewhat agree with you. But they’re no longer the *opposition*; they’re the *enemy*. As such, that they have agency, just makes me wish ill on them and all who ride in them. Cinemansion, OTOH, are supposed to be Dems. And while Mansion has a tough row to hoe, he’s also old and has had a long run. Cinema? AZ is getting bluer by the second.
But none of that matters. When it came time for passing the ACA, Tom Perriello voted “yea”, and lost his seat. Pelosi foretold that a lot of Dems would lose their seats, for voting for the ACA. Cinemansion need to put country before personal interest, the way Perriello did.
Or, y’know, they can give me back my donations. OK, I’ll let Mansion keep it; but I want back what I gave Cinema. [AZ is getting bluer by the second, whereas WV’s future is all red.]
Every one of us makes sacrifices to donate money, to work for progressive candidates. I have a right to be angry that when the time comes to defend our Republic, they’re cowards.
@AnotherBruce: The districts are drawn by an independent panel of retired judges in California.
@zhena gogolia: FWIW I agree with the two of you. This woe is me commentary with the constant drumbeat of how we are doomed posts is ahistoric and seems completely oblivious to geopolitics of the moment.
@schrodingers_cat: Hey Ms. Cat. It is tiresome and demoralizing, isn’t it?
I wish Stacey Abrams and/or Nancy Pelosi and MVP Harris would kick a few asses around here.
Who knew that we have a bunch of people who watched disaster movies and thought “the one who’s screaming we’re all going to die — that’s who I want to be.”
No. Just. No.
@Emma from Miami:
9 more DAYS work days till I retire.
I’m really ready to sit on my ass and watch the world go by.
West of the Rockies
That’s the spirit! I concur.
@Princess: As another immigrant I second this. I have been commenting here since 2009 but it took me until 2015 to realize how blindingly white this blog and most of the media is.
Italics mine, and FUCK YEAH! And fuck the Rethuglicans.
@Elizabelle: Everybody has different ways of processing a bad situation. Some (IIUC, the not-depressed) tend to over-optimistically read situations. The depressed (again IIUC) are much more accurate in their assessment of situations. There are good reasons why it’s adaptive to be optimistic: after all, if your accuracy leads you to not run away fast enough from the tiger, you’ll get eaten, whereas maybe if you’re optimistic, you’ll run harder and escape.
I don’t think anybody is talking about curling up into a ball for the next decade. Accurately assessing the situation is just that: accurately assessing the situation.
A different way of putting it: a cancer patient, upon receiving a diagnosis, can either (a) look at the various survival odds and plan their life accordingly, or (b) plan to be one of the “winners” who “beat cancer”. Those in #b might think those in #a are giving up. Those in #a …. well, for me, I’d think somebody in #b is just innumerate and doesn’t understand survivorship bias.
Feeling of impending doom? The certainty that civilization was spiraling downward to its inevitable fall? Yeah, I remember that. American soldiers had massacred a village halfway around the world fighting a war that nobody could explain. Here at home the National Guard mowed down a bunch of college kids. Race riots weren’t just for inner cities anymore, they even had them on aircraft carriers. Every leader who gave us a sense of hope and optimism was gunned down.
And I also remember – when the newspaper classifieds had separate sections for ‘help wanted – men’ and ‘help wanted – women’. I remember what it was like working in an office before the term ‘sexual harassment’ was even invented. I remember when gays were commonly ‘known’ to be simply evil degenerates. I remember my sister being denied the right to take auto shop in high school because it ‘wasn’t an atmosphere conducive to the upbringing of a young lady’. I remember out of control drug use and fifteen year old girls marched down the aisle to the altar because they got pregnant. I remember what my nice Christian neighbors called Martin Luther King, and Klansman yucking it up in court as they were acquitted of murder. I remember when a thug like J. Edgar Hoover ran the FBI for decades.
Geez, if we didn’t sink into Handmaid’s Tale fascism in the 1970s, we’re not gonna do it now.
I’m an optimist. I’m not insane, OK not so’s you’d notice…..
Yes we are in deep shit, especially in some states. But a lot of people saw what SFB did to the country, and to what passes for a democracy here and they aren’t playing that game. The SFB party is going all out, pulling out all the stops because they know this is likely to be their last chance. Who are they going to run, SFB? That didn’t work last time and I think it will work worse for them this time. So who else is at all reasonable? Non of the people standing around the ring with their hat in their hand are.
Now I don’t see this as a great time in our history and there are a lot of countries in a similar place. We have to work every vote for 2022 and 2024. And we have to do this explaining what doesn’t work, what isn’t a democracy, what has to change. We have to have a reasonable organization for this and right now I don’t see who/what that might be but I’d bet that at least one of the orgs out there can do this. If we don’t stick together we will have a harder time. And that has to happen soon.
That quote has always spoken to me.
I remember flying somewhere, looking out the window, and seeing the waves lapping at the shore of Lake Michigan (or some similar huge body of water). Seeing the tiny waves and the tiny trees and all the rest.
And seeing the picture of the tiny Earth from Mars. And the picture of the tiny Earth from Voyager.
Yeah, nobody is going to know who I was 50 years from now. People 10 houses down don’t know who I am.
Yes, anything I do is insignificant. But it is important that I do it.
Thanks for the reminder.
Emma from Miami
@Ruckus:Congrats yourself! So am I, but if the first two days are anything to go by, the work instinct still will drives us for a while.
you’re definitely a democrat, cole. “impending doom” is just a monday
I’m sorry my comments hit a nerve, but when leading experts on Fascism and authoritarianism are warning that it not only can, but it *is* happening here, I believe that disquieting truth needs to be spoken.
Your desire to bury your head in the sand, and to lash out at me, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
Have a nice evening.
This. And they’ve gamed their way to the Supreme Court, so anytime they’re in the picture, it’s frightening.
They are desperate. And they have a lot of funding.
Biden gets it. Most of us here, get it. You would be surprised how many people you take for apolitical are paying attention.
@hrprogressive: My head is not buried in the sand, and neither do I want to throw rocks at the firemen and first responders. You are a little precious, darling.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@hrprogressive: Most of what you said was typical Rose twitter whining, completely divorced from reality
@Elizabelle: It *is* a little precious to try to pretend that Nancy SMASH and AOC are on the same page as Cinemansion and Pat Leahy. The Dems are not of a single mind, but most of them, ISTM, indeed do get the parlous state of our Republic. As do a lot of our voters.
But as someone wrote, if we have to consistently win by 3% in both the popular vote and the Electoral College, in order to prevail, those are pretty damn high odds against us. And getting stacked higher every day.
BC in Illinois
“Reputed” is probably the correct word. I once asked a Luther scholar about that saying. He said that, as far as he could tell, Luther said it in the early 1800s.
It does, however, accurately reflect Luther’s attitude.
@Chetan Murthy: Yeah. The Electoral College is a real problem.
“Impending doom” can lead to paralysis, though, and we cannot afford that.
@Emma from Miami:
My work instinct has gotten a lot lower. I’ve owned 2 businesses and lost both of them, one to a bit of an earthquake and the second to conservative financial fuckery with the last recession. I work a physical job and that’s been getting harder and harder to do. I’ve got some medical issues that are never getting better, like most geezers do, and it’s getting harder and harder to have that alarm wake my butt up on work days. Yesterday was my best day in a long time physically and I attribute some of that to knowing that I don’t have many working days left. I’ve been ready for a couple of years for retirement, it feels to me as if I’ve been putting it off for a long time. I’ll be 72 next month and 16 yrs ago the schedule I had in my head said retire at 70. Best laid plans and all that crap. Now I can’t predict the future better today than I could on any day in the last 7 decades, which is to say not at all but I sure feel ready to retire, it sounds extremely good to my ears.
Emma from Miami
@Ruckus: Well, yes, I can understand that. I’m happy freedom is so near for you!
For many people, that’s accurate. Humans are notoriously bad at probabilities, after all. They see “a high chance of a bad outcome” as “doom” and “a 70% chance that Hillary wins” as “a lock”. Sigh.
@JoyceH: Thank you for your perspective.
The years since the 1970s have taught us why the Founders wanted to separate Church and State. We are up against a political party functioning as a religion. And a craven one, at that.
West of the Rockies
For what it’s worth, I greatly value your optimistic, informed, ceaselessly kind presence here.
Better stated than my diatribe.
The point that I think we are both making is that we can win if we pull together. The democratic party is a rather loose collection of people with a lot of good ideas, none of which we can make happen if we don’t get together, pull together and decimate republican chances. We won’t win everywhere but we can win enough if we try. If SFB doesn’t run or runs and pisses off a lot of republicans with more BS I think we have a real possibility to win big. But it is going to have to be an all out and concentrated effort.
LiminalOwl (formerly The Fat White Duchess)
@Emma from Miami: and @Ruckus: Congratulations on the impending retirements!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Also, we’re about a year away from having any idea what the mid-terms will look like, and then six long damn months when anything can up-end what we think we know a year from now.
Yeah I think Madam Speaker isn’t done yet. And yes I do mean that as understatement.
Gloomy times, but at least we got Biden/Harris IN and the squatter OUT.
More to do.
Someone on this fine blog posted a different live rendition of Keep Your Hand on the Plow that was amazing. This one that I can find now (Mahalia Jackson) is also amazing.
@Another Scott: Yeah. I spend a good deal of my life stuck in depression. While I’m pretty inconsolable when I’m at the nadir, when I start pulling out of it this one can give me a boost. I’m honestly a little concerned for Mr Cole’s mental health and, if needed, I hope he’s getting any help he needs. But I don’t want to be too presumptuous. I realize I’m a pretty intermittent participant here.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
The work goes on. We’re never done, we fight one battle whether we win or lose, we have to move on to the next one.
Emma from Miami
You know, I would like to point out that neither Cole, nor I, nor most of the other people that have expressed fear or worry, or even resignation have implied that we are giving up and going to live in bomb shelters. Now at this point I would launch into a diatribe about the Lollipop Guild and the stupid blonde with the over-sugared voice that goes around stealing shoes from their rightful owners but I am way too relaxed.
Bruce K in ATH-GR
I think @Chetan Murthy hit the nail on the head: the GQP isn’t the “opposition” any more, they’re the ENEMY – which crystallized for me the point that we’re not messing around with politics any more, we’re fighting a war.
And if you’re fighting a war for an extended period of time, you need to rotate people off the front lines to avoid them breaking from physical and psychic exhaustion. (Something that Ike understood and Patton didn’t, from what I can tell.)
Yes, fascists have taken power before. But they’ve also been thrown out of power before, and not just by being invaded and bombed flat. Look at what happened to Ceaucescu in Romania. Or before that, look what happened to the Greek junta of the late 60’s and early 70’s.
It ain’t easy. It ain’t guaranteed. It ain’t impossible.
After 40 years of Reaganite-GOP bullshit promulgated as the only way things can be, we are finally turning this country around, and some of you are so tied to gloom and doom that you can’t give it up. For the first time since I was 13, I am optimistic about the direction this country is headed. Yes, the future is uncertain, but that’s the reality that liberalism always embraces – we can’t know the outcome but we know that if the means are just, they are worth pursuing. It’s conservatives who cling to rigid certainties (and error), because they can’t face their fear, ever. Why do you want to live like then?
James E Powell
Gloom, despair, and rage are normal responses to what the majority of white Americans are doing to this country. We must not let them control us.
I’ve come to the conclusion that calling our senators & congresspersons is not getting it done. We need to light fires under the asses of the thousands of state & local Democrats who more likely to generate local news coverage. County & city party organizations are the ones who need to be energized to get the votes out – or in as the case may be.
I have skipped a lot of the comments in this thread. I’m just going to say (or maybe I should say ‘ramble’ rather than “say”) this much. We may be slipping back from a hopeful time. And climate change may get us all in the end. But, if you think these are dark times you don’t remember the 1950s or 1960s and what it looked like if you actually cared about justice, when so many people risked so much to push things along just a little bit. It seemed hopeful then, but only because the past was so bad, and the future might not be, so lots of people risked their lives partly because many of them had little choice. Now we’ve had hope for a while and things are sliding back. And things are getting worse. So it looks impossible. Maybe it is. But maybe not.
So what’s my point. Things are serious. But things have been more serious. And people kept pushing forward then and we will keep pushing now.
Yes. Be more like black folx. Those are the role models to emulate.
Can Democrats gerrymander
Illinois just did, and a bang-up job too.
@Emma from Miami: I was laid off 4.5 years ago, and was old enough to be eligible for early retirement. I was *really* unprepared to be retired! I spent the first 3 months recovering from my work schedule, which was a horrible swing shift affair. I rediscovered afternoon naps. It was awesome. At about the six month mark, I started itching to have something concrete to do, but I heeded my father’s advice about retirement activities: only add one new regular activity every six months, until you have a nice plate, not too full. I’ve only added three things since retirement, and that’s just about enough.
I’m right there with you, John.
I want to think we have some recourse to avoid the disaster that is currently being drawn in permanent Crayon. I cannot think of one.
They captured the states, while we fought to stay alive at the national level.
This is worse than when we had 60 in the Senate. Or maybe it’s the exact same thing. Then we had Lieberman fucking our shit up. Now, we’ve got Manchin. The margin is thinner, but the result is the same. If you’re one vote away, you might as well be 20 votes away.
I want to go off on a Manchin rant here, but I won’t. What can I add to that conversation that hasn’t already been said? I don’t think anyone knows why he is acting this way. Not really. Yes, I know many of you have your ideas, but unless he were to sit down and tell an honest truth, we’re just left with a guess. The man makes no sense. I said I wasn’t going to go off on a Manchin rant, yet here I go. I’m stopping.
We won. They freaked out. We have, what I believe are, mostly, great ideas to turn parts of the state we are in around to something that is more rational and fair.
I think it might be too late. I think our government has been captured, trussed, and thrown to the ground by those that have all of the money.
How do you fight that?
I don’t think enough people pay attention to the policies and politics that are being played out right now. If we did, there would be this massive movement of protest.
We’re going to get fucked. I hate to be such a drag, but we are. We won’t come out in 2022. By 2024, it will be too late.
I don’t know what form it will take. People talk about oligarchy, but I feel like we’re already there. Next up is what? Autocracy? I don’t think we’ll get there, not in the literal sense. Trump will never be an autocrat. He’s got too much baggage with too many other people with actual money and power that can pull his strings. We might look like an autocracy, but we will be something else.
I want to delete all of this an not post it. I don’t think there is an original idea in anything that I’ve said.
We are obviously being cornered and corralled. They have us pinned down. They’re going to pass these outrageous bills into law, and their captured courts will rule in their favor.
We have only one recourse that I can figure. I don’t see it happening, but I don’t know of another option.
Mass, and I mean mass voter turn-out. Where we swamp every meaningful race by 10% or more. Where so many people turn out to vote that it cannot be denied what the country wants.
And it will never happen.
First, they scream, look at all the fraud.
Second, we could never get enough people to make such a big statement.
I’m glad I’m getting old and my health is failing. I won’t be around to see most of this. I know that sounds so cynical and like I just don’t care. The problem is, I care way too much. I’m really not going to make it more than about five years, at best, from now. Yet this shit consumes me.
Just saw an ad on tv, with the Governor of Alaska. Asking folks to come back as tourists to Alaska. One of his selling points?
The high percentage of folks vaccinated in Alaska.
@Princess: Thank you. You stated my own sentiments very eloquently.
@rikyrah: I agree. This is strictly anecdotal but it seems to me that most of the “Democrats don’t get it and are disappointing me yet again” laments I see on Twitter are from white people I currently follow but will not be if they keep that crap up. I don’t see that from the Black people I follow (not to say that there aren’t Black people who agree with those sentiments).
@rikyrah: Right. “Liberal” pundits/media keep tearing Dems down.
@Elizabelle: Thank you!
@JoyceH: Thank you, JoyceH! Those were terrifying times. When I was pregnant my boss said the rule was that I had to quit at 7 months but he’d make exception for me. This was in 1973.
I won’t say that doom isn’t approaching. But I will say that doom is often, maybe even always, approaching.
(I see Kent @ 69 said this already…)
Things are better now than they have been for years. Will they keep getting better, or get worse again? Or maybe both. I don’t know. We’ll have work to do. Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
I can relate to this, but I’ve already been feeling that way about global warming for the past dozen years.
Because I never could live life in a straight line, I’m in my late 60s, and my son is in his early teens. In a hospitable world, the kid would probably live to see the opening days of the 22nd century, but even if the fascists don’t take over, it won’t be a hospitable world in A.D. 2101 if they can stall meaningful efforts to deal with climate change.
And I’m in excellent health and am from long-lived stock; in the next two decades, I’m more likely to die from a car crash than from my body getting old. I’m going to see mid-century or close to it. So if we blow climate change, I’ll live long enough to have a clue about just how bad it’s going to get.
If we fail to control climate change while we still can, I’ll confess that democracy v. fascism after that strikes me as akin to who’s in charge of the Titanic after it’s already hit the iceberg. Only there’s no lifeboats, and nowhere for them to go anyway.
And that’s what bugs me about Manchin’s filibuster reluctance. At some point you gotta say: we’ve got to save the world. There’s no way in hell we’d get 10 GQP votes for a robust program to address climate change. And we’ll need laws and regulations as well as spending.
So it’s the filibuster versus the fate of the Earth. How is this not a no-brainer?
Enhanced Voting Techniques
I don’t buy this permission. The reactionaries had their chance for the Republic of Gillead and they fucked it up, they had Congress, the courts, the military, the police and the media and they still fucked it up. All because their chosen Supreme Leader was a man child, something that should have been obvious in 1992. These people are total fuck ups who have been coasting on privilege all their life.
People who are winning history don’t make up bullshit excuses and conspiracy theories why their coups failed.
Glad I caught you – the wallet inspector said he’ll be right over, and you should give me your wallet for safekeeping until he gets here.
Seriously, “we don’t know what the GOP are going to do”? What are you, five years old?
Manchin is “laying the groundwork” to get nothing done – it doesn’t matter whether he’s just a narcissist who insists on being important or an actual fascist, he still winds up supporting their goals.
It’s politically necessary for Dems to understand what the hell happened and NOT SAY IT OUT LOUD because it sounds too extreme for ‘normal’ people to believe.
It’s politically necessary for Q-controlled Republicans to become even more hysterical and violent, while not actually striking before they can pull off an actually effective coup and then hold what they captured, all with a populace that they need to keep in a state of advanced, debilitating panic to keep ’em motivated.
I think the Republicans are facing serious, serious disadvantages there. Just as we don’t get to call ’em what they really are in advance of what’s completely obvious (what they are IS worse than what’s already obvious) which is something of a disadvantage to us but plays better to the gallery, THEY had to escalate to a really extreme position (thanks to Putin’s work with Trump and Q) and then have to hold at that position, but they don’t get to flip the switch and go full fascist (even with all the guns and ammo etc. they obsessively hoard) without completely fucking up the narrative.
They are being played. I don’t think it’s an accident. I would say, just be ready to casually drop the phrase ‘right wing terrorist’ and normalize that, because part of the end game here is a general societal revulsion at what the Republicans (or at least the Q folks) have become. It wasn’t organic. It was desperation and enemy action that made them, that. It was Putin’s very hard work which continues to this day… but what he intended was simply to create a terrorist class, not a ruling class.
They are NOT MEANT to win, they’re meant to be suicide bombers and the like.
We can survive them, and to survive they have to NOT act as terrorists and pull off a coup. Failing to do that fucked ’em up, but succeeding, even a little? That would fuck ’em up WORSE politically.
Probably worth also normalizing the notion that these are not Republicans. The Lincoln Project and such, those are real Republicans, some of their ideas are garbage but they’re not fake. The Q people are terrorists, which is not the same thing.
@Chris Johnson: Excellent observations, particularly your first paragraph.
Doesn’t mean they CAN’T win. TFG wasn’t supposed to win in 2016, but shit happened.
@AnotherBruce: I’ve asked this before. Can Democrats gerrymander?
Can and have. Consider the state of Maryland, which by registration is about 55% Democrats, 25% Republicans, 19% unaffiliated (the rest minor parties). Even if all unaffiliated voted Democratic, the state’s 8 Representatives should divide 6-2. In fact 7 are Democrats; the lone GOP seat is effectively the Eastern Shore (which IMHO ought to be sawed off and heavy-lifted into a different solar system) plus Cecil County (ancestral home of the state KKK), Harford County, and a strip west from there along the Mason-Dixon line. It’s held by Andy Harris, a certified and certifiable RWNJ anesthesiologist who ain’t goin’ nowhere anytime soon unless he ODs on his own supply.
(NB A vetoproof Democratic majority in both houses of the General Assembly compensates somewhat for a GOP Governor. In the last 4 gubernatorial elections the Democrats have nominated two AA men, who lost, and one white male [Martin O’Malley], who won twice. The large AA communities in the Baltimore metro area and Prince Georges County can control the party’s nomination, but in the general there’s a deep sewer of DINOs who desert the party whenever the candidate’s skin is darker than a white person could get in a week on the beach at Ocean City.)
Oh, honeychile, come sit antisocially distant from me and whisper into this tin can attached to mine with a string…
Technically they can’t win, any more than Nazi Germany ‘won’. They can do a lot of damage, because it’s war. What they are CANNOT stand. This sort of thing can’t survive for long. Fascism breaks once it’s in place: it pretends to be final and permanent, but it’s way more fragile than democracy and civilization, and rightly so.
@Matt: Kent and now you misunderstood my comment. I should have spelled it out more. Read it as:
You have had two good comments here. Thank you. You are right about fascism’s fragility.
Spend five minutes at the local country republican meeting. I dare you.
hate to tell you this, but Dems created gerrymandering. First, the 3/5th law to mitigate the effects of slave populations in the South. Then for White Supremacy to recover from Reconstruction until they could put Jim Crow suppression into place. Then, after the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act to protect newly carved out districts that would lead to the election of the first Blacks in positions of power (in the south and north) since the Reconstruction. Gerrymandering to help maintain minority districts was a decision to justify the means to get to an end. Starting in the eighties, the GOP figured out how to turn those specially carved out urban districts against the Dems. This is why it now take 60-79% more Dem voters to win a national election than it takes RWNJs. The figure I am hearing now is that the 53% of Republicans who still believe the election was stolen is only 16% of the voting population. But that 16% gets them an unequal amount of voting power because of gerrymandered districts that were originally designed to help a minority population of about 13% get a minimum of representation in Congress.
Democrats don’t need to rely on gerrymandering to protect minority candidates anymore. Fairly drawn (non-partisan) districts will do more to help Dems than perpetuating the mythology that you need to tip the scales for your side to win. Stacy Abrams didn’t need gerrymandering to help Ossoff and Warner win. She only needed something close to a level playing field. Our aim should be fairly drawn districts – no matter the short term outcome. Just as our aim for voting should be – everyone gets to vote – no matter who we think they will vote for. Gerrymandering is a form of voter suppression. Gerrymandering was a poison pill from the outset when the 3/5th article was put in the constitution and should be retired from the Democrat’s playbook entirely. Voting is a basic human right. No one’s vote should count more than anyone else’s. Gerrymandering is like keeping your fingers crossed behind your back when you tell the people you believe in fair and free elections.
@artem1s: I agree that nonpartisan commissions are the best way to draw districts. That’s why I voted in favor of such a commission when it was on the Virginia ballot last November, even though Democrats took control of both houses of the state legislature in 2019. The ballot measure passed 2-1.
But where Democrat-controlled legislatures can knock out Republicans throigh redistricting, I am all for it.
Gerrymandering does have it’s limitations. In Virginia, Democrats flipped flipped 20 state House of Delegates districts in 2017 and 2019, going from down 35-65 to 55-45, on a Republican drawn map.* They also flipped three Republican drawn Congressional districts in 2018.
*A 2018 court decision under the Voting Rights Act forced redrawing of 11 eastern Virginia districts and may have contributed to the 2019 result.
Gerrymandering is NOT redistributing or redistricting. It’s purposeful tipping of the scales to make sure the candidate of your choice wins. GERRYMANDERING.IS.VOTER.SUPPRESSION. Period. Doesn’t matter who’s side you are on. Time to throw the concept out the window forever.
But hey, if our sides wins why not? Right? Why not save yourself the extra work of re-gerrymandering and just change your state laws to allow your party to overturn election results they don’t like? You’re in the majority now. We need VA to balance out TX right? So that’s fair, right?
@artem1s: Well, Virginia is not going to balance out Texas, since I and 66% of otherVirginians voted for an independent redistricting commission. But until New York goes this route, I am all for Albany Democrats knocking out one or two Republican Congressmen this coming cycle.
The fin de siècle energy is palpable. I’m sort of girding for in-the-streets low-grade guerilla gunplay sometime around October 2022.
@Emma from Miami:
Hey Emma, congratulations.
I hear your feelings (lack of feelings) upon retirement, which are completely understandable.
We’ve all been through a numbing and harrowing experience in the last four years, topped off with the last horrific year.
And it sounds like your job was another source of numbing strain.
Give yourself all the time you need.
Do something gently fun or pleasurable for yourself, next chance you get. Don’t force it, but just reach gently for life’s tiniest pleasures.
Doing so teaches yourself how to feel pleasure again. Start with a small thing, because small things are easy — and a lot of research, and good sense, backs up that they are life’s truest pleasures.
You could try a guided meditation, one designed to let your heart and mind return to their deepest desires. They may have forgotten how to delight in their own desires, while you worked for other people’s goals.
I didn’t feel joy or pleasure around Pres. Biden’s inauguration for a couple of weeks. I actually just cried and cried a day of it for a couple days after. Some things take time.
Good wishes to you!