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What Happens To The GOP If Trump Loses?

Fighting Elephants Two

Karen Tumulty and Robert Costa at The Washington Post ponder what might happen to the Republican Party and what might be called “Trumpism” in the event that Trump loses:

Trump’s decision to put [Breitbart News CEO Steve] Bannon in charge of his campaign “tells me that there’s going to be a battle inside our party for a long time to come,” [former Minnesota Congressman Vin] Weber said. “We’re going to have some very tough fights in the Republican Party when this is over.”

The first, if Trump loses, will almost certainly be over who is to blame — whether it is the faction within the party that supported and enabled his nomination, or the “never Trump” contingent that refused to get behind him once he became the nominee.

The scale of a defeat would also be a factor. If Trump were to go down in a landslide, his brand of politics would be vulnerable to a repudiation.

“But if it’s a narrow loss, it will exacerbate the intraparty warfare,” said Dan Senor, a former Romney adviser and outspoken Trump critic.

Adding to the friction would be Trump’s declaration that the only way he can be defeated is if the system is rigged against him.

“He has already said that ‘the result of the election, if I lose, is illegitimate,’ and there will be tens of millions of Americans who buy into that premise,” said Steve Schmidt, former senior campaign strategist for 2008 GOP nominee John McCain.

With so many Trump supporters viewing the entire system as corrupt, “you could very well see a fractured Republican Party. You could see a third party, a self-funded challenger four years from now against a vulnerable Hillary Clinton,” Schmidt said.

“The Republican Party has had a long, good run, but there’s not a guarantee that it endures as an institution,” he added.

At a minimum, it appears that the internal battles between GOP traditionalists and insurgents over issues such as immigration and free trade will continue to rage.

The best example of what might happen to the GOP in the event of a Trump loss can, of course, be seen in the events after Barry Goldwater’s loss in 1964 . In that case, the conservative insurgents who took over the party at the Republican Convention in San Francisco and got Goldwater nominated found themselves quickly outnumbered by more establishment types in the party determined to take control of the party back from a movement that had sent the GOP to one of the worst losses in its history. By the time the race for the nomination in 1968 came around, the only credible candidate associated with Goldwater in the race was Ronald Reagan, and he was a candidate who had managed to survive because he wisely kept a foot in both the conservative and the establishment camps of the party, in no small part by surprising many national Republicans when he won the race for Governor in 1966 just two years after the Goldwater disaster. In the end, though, it was the solidly establishment Richard Nixon who won the nomination for President, and conservatives in the GOP wouldn’t find themselves anywhere near the centers of power in the GOP for another twelve years. From the perspective of more establishment conservatives such as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, something like this would likely be the best possible outcome from 2016, a Trump loss so significant that it essentially renders Trumpism to a quiet corner of the party to be dealt with at some point in the future if they chose to say, or safely ignored if they chose to leave and form a third party. Indeed, a Republican Party without the Trump supporters would be well-positioned to shift position on a number of issues in order to adjust to the new demographic realities in the United States and the fact that simply appealing to white voters, and especially white male voters, is no longer the path to victory that it used to be.

It’s also possible that history isn’t going to repeat itself, that the Trump supporters aren’t going to let the chastening of a humiliating defeat keep them from pushing forward to gain more control in the party. One reason this is likely to take place lies in Trump’s rhetoric itself, which is to allege that the only way he could lose is if Democrats cheat and to claim that ‘the system’ is ‘rigged,’ something that seems to play right into the hands of the far-right wing of the party that has rallied around him. Rather than slinking into a corner, these people seem to me to be more likely to blame Trump’s loss on the establishment and traditional conservative Republicans who either refused to support Trump, and especially those who openly endorsed another candidate, whether it was Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, or independent conservative Evan McMullin. Additionally it’s possible that we’ll see one of the prospective candidates for the GOP nomination in 2020 position themselves to appeal to the Trump crowd in one way or another. In that case, it’s just as likely that we’ll see something resembling a civil war inside the GOP that lasts from some point after Election Day 2016 right up to the convention in the summer of 2020.

So, which of these two scenarios is most likely? My guess is that it’s going to resemble something closer to the second scenario than a repeat of what happened in the wake of the 1964 election. For one thing, the Trump forces arguably represent a larger, more vocal segment of today’s Republican Party than the Goldwater crowd represented fifty years ago. After all, Trump garnered some 13 million votes and won more than thirty states during the course of the GOP primaries. That represents a political force that seems unlikely to go away quietly. Granted, much will depend on whether or not someone rises up to become a leader of these people — it seems unlikely that Trump will stick around the GOP for very long if he loses, and especially not if he loses badly — and who that person or persons might be. After all, much of the success of this movement has come because of the outsized personality of Donald Trump there to drive the train. Without him, and without a leader, Trump’s supporters could themselves start to splinter and fight among themselves, which will just make the internal fighting in the GOP in the wake of the election worse. The problem for the Republican Party in that case is that the party could become so consumed by infighting that it won’t be prepared for electoral battles in 2018 and 2020 that will have a large impact on both the makeup of Congress and the makeup of the state legislatures that will be in charge of redistricting in the wake of the 2020 Census.

Whichever scenario plays itself out, though, a Trump loss is likely to lead to some perilous times for the Republican Party.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Trumpism has exposed the well-known secret that the Republican party is a coalition of fiscal conservatives, social conservatives, and backward-looking racists, with all manner of overlap among those groups. Trump has driven a huge wedge between the establishment fiscal conservatives and the other elements. Until these elements find other coalition members, I don’t see any part of the current Republicans coalition being reliably electable on a national level. The question is with whom the establishment try to build a coalition.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  2. Pch101 says:

    Trump is essentially the 2016 Tea Party candidate. If he ends up with a political media career after the election, then Trump could influence that wing from the outside, ala Limbaugh or Drudge.

    Aside from all of the angst, I doubt that this election changes much of anything. The establishment may be annoyed by the rebels, but it can’t afford to lose those votes if the Republicans are to keep the House.

    So the establishment will have to return to its old tactic of attempting to placate the upstarts while being jeered by them. (Appeasement of and negotiating with its own band of terrorists are now SOP for the GOP.) Being the Republican House speaker is going to be a painful gig for whoever has it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  3. stonetools says:

    If Trumpism fails, the Republicans will try again with Cruzism in 2020. If that fails, then the Republicans are going to have to sit down and take a good hard look at their party and their ideology. For the good of the country, let’s hope that happens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  4. MarkedMan says:

    The California Repubs are also worth a look. Losses didn’t cause them to reevaluate. Losses drove reasonable people from the party and now they are irrelevant and unhinged

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  5. Gustopher says:

    Just go look at Red State — Trump is a liberal, and had Rubio and the other RINOs gotten out of the way, Cruz would have beaten him, and be winning now.

    The Republicans will find a way to accept no responsibility. Just another way they really are The Party Of Trump.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  6. Stormy Dragon says:

    Another interesting wrinkle is that with Johnson and Weld’s poll numbers trending up, what happens if the Libertarian Party ends up getting enough votes that their share is larger than the difference between Clinton and Trump?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  7. Moosebreath says:

    To answer this question requires answering another one first — to what extent is Trump an aberration for the Republicans and to what extent is he just the embodiment of what was the base always stood for, but the Establishment suppressed. If he is an aberration who used his visibility as a reality TV star to lead the base somewhere it never would have reached by itself, then he will be easily repudiated if he loses. If he is something that was always there, but got free of the Republican Establishment’s control, then I doubt the genie will return to the bottle anytime soon.

    I think the second explanation is the correct one, as Trump is just the next step in the same direction that Palin and the Tea Party led the GOP (and to some extent Bush the Younger made noises in this direction, even though he was part of the Establishment).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  8. Pch101 says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Trump has helped to clarify that the economic issues that are quite important to the establishment (free trade, low tax rates on the wealthy and on corporations) are not that important to the base, after all.

    The base cares about jobs. It dislikes “socialism” (transfer payments when they are perceived to benefit minorities), but quite likes those transfer payments if they think that those benefits flow to their tribe and if those benefits are given nicer names.

    This has been more about the establishment being in denial than anything else. They thought that they had won some philosophical battle with liberals on economic issues, when many of their allies on the right just had been along for the ride. Both groups claim that they want “limited government”, but they aren’t quite talking about the same thing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  9. Liberal Capitalist says:

    We can all hope that they fragment, and the power goes to Democrats and the Greens.

    Maybe then we can do something about inequality, education, climate change, the decline of privacy…

    naaaaahhhhh…..

    There will always be a party that at its core represents self-serving greed.

    The GOP will continue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  10. michael reynolds says:

    Trumpists and establishment types have the same problem: a shrinking demographic base. I would guess that some portion of the party will attempt to adjust, and the other part will double down.

    It’s hard to see a future for the GOP short of major overhaul. The demos are bad, but the ideas are worse. None of the GOP’s core beliefs are true, and to compound matters, the Trumpist base has made clear they don’t subscribe to GOP orthodoxy and instead prefers a paranoid, racist, misogynistic conspiracy view of reality. Establishment ideology is discredited nonsense, and Trumpist ideology is nothing but the random belching of a deranged man.

    So to start we need an answer to a basic question: why is there a GOP? What does it stand for? What does it want?

    But even if the GOP had an answer to that question, it would have the self-inflicted wound of conservative media: how does a new GOP change the minds of people it has trained to be indifferent to reality? How do you sit some white man in Kansas down and explain that the party has a new direction, that the new direction is necessary, when Kansas Man has been thoroughly brainwashed to dismiss any evidence that conflicts with his views?

    By the way, this is not to suggest that Democrats have any brilliant insights to offer. But we are at least in touch with reality. Therefore we at least can adapt.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

  11. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Johnson is trending very slightly up, Stein is flatlined.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  12. CSK says:

    If Trump loses badly, it’s possible his fan club members may just limp back to their bunkers and spend the rest of their days admiring their gun and ammo collections and mourning for what could have been. If he loses by, say, six percent of the popular vote, they may try to coalesce behind a new snake-oil salesman, identity yet unknown. (It won’t be Cruz; they hate his guts.) I wouldn’t be surprised if this led to the formation of a third party, an alt-right party. This in itself will be fractious, because the older Trumpkins will find themselves repelled by some of the social issue stances of the younger alt-right.

    The original Republican Party? Maybe Ryan in 2020. They can’t stand Cruz either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  13. Al says:

    I think you’re asking the wrong question. As MarkedMan pointed out, the California GOP is something we should look at. They proved that dropping the dog whistle and being up front about white nationalism isn’t viable any more. Unlike California’s GOP, the national organization has nothing to backstop it. If Trump looses then the infighting within the GOP isn’t relevant. Deck chairs on the Titanic and all that.

    To me, the bigger question is what happens to the Democrats if the GOP wins. There’s a unspoken assumption that if the GOP dies then something will have to take it’s place on the right. Personally, I’m wondering if the Democrats gain more than 50% of the vote if the center can hold or if the more leftwardly leaning contingent breaks off instead.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  14. stonetools says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    To a certain extent, that is what Trump is counting on: that the third parties will pull so many votes away from Clinton that the Republican base will by itself pull Trump across the finish line. Here’s hoping that DOESN’T happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  15. CSK says:

    @stonetools:

    That’s assuming Trump really wants to win, and isn’t using this election as a launching pad for the Trump News and Entertainment Network with Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  16. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I predict Johnson will take 5% tops, Stein 1 %. I think your libertarian brethren are really hoping that Johnson becomes a realistic alternative Trump-Clinton. I think that once again, the most the LP can aspire to at the national level is a spoiler role. Sorry, libertarians, the choice remains the same: whether to hold your nose and vote for Clinton or whether to vote LP and thus increase the chance of Trump winning. Of course, if you REALLY think that even Trump would be better than the horrible, corrupt, no good Shillary monster of right wing caricature, then, hey, do whatever. You’re beyond rational persuasion anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  17. Pch101 says:

    @stonetools:

    I predict Johnson will take 5% tops, Stein 1 %.

    Cut those numbers by about half, and I’m with you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  18. MarkedMan says:

    @Al:

    There’s a unspoken assumption that if the GOP dies then something will have to take it’s place on the right

    I don’t think the Dems will break up. What I think is more likely to happen is that the Dems will be more and more a big tent party. Republicans have been trained to hate and despise government, and now uniformly elect people who don’t attempt to accomplish anything useful while in office. So people who want to accomplish something will move to the Democratic party. Many of them will be more conservative than the current party and that will lead to the sort of horse trading and compromise that used to happen between parties to happen exclusively within the Democratic party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  19. michael reynolds says:

    @Al:

    There are serious divisions among Democrats. And while we have not chosen the self-inflicted imbecility of the GOP, we also don’t have any clever ideas for the future. We’re riding a demographic wave, not solving problems.

    An interesting knock-on effect of Trumpism is that Democrats have categorically proven their case that the GOP is largely a racist party. Done and done. Your honor, we rest our case.

    So now what? Unleash the left’s Twitter thought police to root out every last expression of intolerance? Find new ways to take offense at slights and insults and poor phrasing?

    We have real problems to solve. Yes, some involve race and gender, but the big ones are more about class – economic and educational – and technological change. If we just coast along on our black vote, our Latino vote, our college vote, we are going to get further out of touch with people whose problems are about jobs and bills to pay and even the meaning of life as an American citizen.

    African-Americans, Latinos and college kids are with us now, but they all still need answers to their economic problems, too, and as far as I can see the Democrats have no answer beyond take a bit more from the rich and give a bit more to the working class. Re-dividing the same pie is not a long-term solution, it’s just a spoils-of-war solution. It solves nothing.

    We need to start looking seriously at what has happened to people in this country over the last few decades, and try at least to come up with a paradigm that makes sense for the next few decades. We have proven our case: yes, about a third of the country is racist. Now what?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 4

  20. Steve Verdon says:

    @Pch101:

    I have to agree with you. Trump is not going anywhere. He will not be humiliated by even a stunning defeat of the likes Carter saw. I am coming around to the belief that he is indeed a narcissist at the very least. As such, that loss will absolutely not be his fault. The election was rigged. The rest of the party leadership hated him and worked towards his defeat. The media were out to get him. All of these approaches and more will be used by Trump. And the media and what remains of his followers will love it. They will not hesitate to put him in front of the cameras to spew his vile rhetoric. Hell, I’ll bet he’ll have another book ghost written as well.

    So I am not sure the Goldwater example is relevant in terms of telling us what will come after. History is great in giving us such insights, but not always and I have a feeling we are in one of the exceptions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  21. Stormy Dragon says:

    @stonetools:

    I meant in the other direction, that Trump loses and the Libertarian vote is enough that it would have been enough for a Republican victory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Steve Verdon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I agree with much of what you wrote, but I think you are down playing or at least not giving fair representation to the economic problems facing all of us, actually.

    The standard response from the Democrats has been redistribution. But that comes is with a significant incentive problem. Back in 1992 Clinton used the slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid.” It was a good slogan. I would add though that the economy is an incentive problem. So, we could rephrase Clinton’s slogan as “It’s the incentives, stupid.”

    Good incentives will allow for economic growth.

    Bad incentives won’t (or at least reduced economic growth).

    Now, how do we come up with good incentives? Good question and I’ll be totally honest. I don’t know. I can give you theoretical models on incentives, but they are highly stylized and probably not going to be at all helpful when it comes to the economy. And if everyone else were being honest too, they’d say the same thing.

    Our economy is huge. And it is the result of hundreds of millions if not billions of interactions between various people. There is absolutely no way, IMO, for anyone to decree and economic policy that is going to have good or even non-bad incentives for most of those interactions. And for that subset where there are bad incentives the results can range from minor to catastrophic (see the financial crisis of 2008).

    It is the hubris of our elected narcissists that I fear the most. If there is a D or an R after their name is largely irrelevant to me at this point. Their hubris that they can craft a plan that will gives us daisies and rainbows and ponies.

    Each candidate swears up and down that their economic policy will bring back awesome times in the U.S. I submit that both candidates are lying sacks of shit and neither knows what the Hell will bring back awesome times to the U.S. and they are just tossing out nonsense that they hope will work, but in the end probably won’t. Because they do not have the necessary information to make such policies…nobody does and nobody can.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 16

  23. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: The Democrats, give or take, just support the status quo, with some nibbling around the edges to make things better. You’re completely right that this isn’t a great and amazing set of ideas that will lead the party anywhere. “Adequate Governance” isn’t the most inspiring goal.

    The Republicans, however, have been overrun by nihilists. They don’t want to govern. They just want to tear everything down and set fire to it. Meanwhile, the establishment Republicans embrace policies that make inequality worse.

    Until the Republicans collapse, the Democrats will just be trying to keep the country treading water. If the Republicans collapse — and a defeat that loses the Presidency, Senate and House may be enough — the Democrats will be fighting among themselves to figure out what projects they want to implement, and they will begin sorting out priorities and goals. It will be less dramatic than the Republican collapse though.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  24. Steve Verdon says:

    @Al:

    I think you are starting to get to the broader problem with the political process.

    It is overall, a fundamentally bad process.

    First, let me give a brief description of the market process. The market process is a process of profits and losses. The profits are the incentive to try new things, provide what people want, and engage in economic activity. The losses provide the incentive to stop doing what people do not like, want or need. It is a good process and good here should not be taken, necessarily, in the moral sense.

    Now in comparison the political process has something similar with elections (confining ourselves to the democratic process), but it is less clear. When an policy does not work there is nothing like the losses in the market process that will stop that policy. The political process can keep a bad policy going much longer than the market process. And voting is not necessarily a good enough mechanism to ensure bad policies stop.

    Consider a candidate who has championed 6 policies and 2 of them were “bad”. But the other 4 his constituents consider good. Chances are that candidate will be re-elected and there is a much weakened incentive structure for the bad policies to be stopped. Further, even if we flip the numbers, 4 bad policies and 2 good ones. He might still be re-elected if the 2 good ones are sufficiently popular relative to the 4 bad ones. And even in a case where there are 6 bad policies and the candidate is defeated he could be there for several years before he is kicked out and the policies stopped. And I have not added in things like public choice and rent seeking.

    The political process is a bad process for allocating resources and directing the economy. Always has been and almost surely always will be. The very notion that a politician or a group of politicians can make better transactions that all the people out in the economy who are engaging in billions of transactions is the very pinnacle of hubris.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 23

  25. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:
    I think, Michael, that you are right in that there are problems to solve. I think both parties have done a disservice to working class people of ALL races. The difference between the parties is that the Democrats have recognized that and are at least trying to come up with answers that are fair for everyone. You might not think that universal pre-K, student debt relief , expanding Medicaid to all the states, and paid family leave are the kind of sweeping solutions that you are looking for, but they will make life easier for millions of Americans of all races. The Democrats also are interested in giving help to those blue collar workers and areas hurt by foreign competition as well. THey’re not pretending that they are no costs there, the way establishment Republicans do. Here is the President’s Displaced Workers Program. It probably needs to be greatly expanded. Guess which party opposes such expansion?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  26. Gustopher says:

    @Steve Verdon: The free market leads to the tragedy of the commons far more often than libertarians acknowledge.

    Destroying natural resources for a cheap profit is great, if you have separated the profit from the loss — which is often the case. Global warming leaps to mind, where the damage isn’t immediately visible, and where no one can own the atmosphere.

    Any free market solution to health care leads to incentives to dump the sickly and let them die.

    We tried private Fire Departments, we then enjoyed the terms protection money and protection rackets, because the incentives were in the wrong spots.

    What is good for the individual, multiplied a few hundred million times, is not what is good for the country as a whole.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 3

  27. stonetools says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    The standard response from the Democrats has been redistribution

    Guess what, dude. There is nothing inherently wrong with redistribution. Do you drive on interstate highways? Well , money has been redistributed from the pockets of those who don’t drive to yours. You’re welcome. I don’t have a child , yet I’m paying for the public school education of the children of those who do. Redistribution is what government does, always and everywhere. What we should be seeking is not a government that doesn’t redistribute; we should be looking for a government that redistributes the right way. Elizabeth Warren put it best:

    “There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there – good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory… Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea – God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

    For a more humorous take, try What Have the Romans ever done for us.

    That’s all done by redistribution, whether you want to admit it or it.
    Now as to the problem of displaced workers, you at least admit you don’t have the answer, which is good. Where you go off the tracks is your counsel of despair. “I don’t know, no one knows, therefore we should do nothing!” Dude, screw that. That’s just an excuse for doing nothing.
    Such programs exist already. Now they can be improved. Think about improving and expanding them, instead of regurgitating nineteenth ideas about the evils of government redistribution.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 48 Thumb down 3

  28. MarkedMan says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    Each candidate swears up and down that their economic policy will bring back awesome times in the U.S. I submit that both candidates are lying sacks of shit

    This is just automatic both-sides-do-ti-ism. Trump is saying that he has all the solutions and they are easy. Clinton is certainly not saying that at all. In fact, that’s a lot of the lefts complaint against here – she believes in incrementally improving on what has been proven to work rather than chucking the whole system out.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 1

  29. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @stonetools: I can’t see how a political party gets a 500% increase over previous performance. Johnson is a known commodity in politics; that makes the odds of that increase even slighter. If Hillary doesn’t win it’s more likely to be a GOTV issue or some sort of security theatre event.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  30. Gustopher says:

    The Republicans have transformed themselves from being “the other party” to “the opposition party” whenever there is a Democrat in the White House. With our system of government, that doesn’t work well.

    They could have helped to fix the parts of Obamacare that needed fixing, or they could hold thirty some odd votes to repeal it that would never go anywhere. They chose the latter. And, on issue after issue, they did the same thing. Everything is the greatest scandal ever, if it is done by the Democrats, even if it isn’t a scandal at all.

    So, as far as how they rebuild after the Trumpening, I hope they don’t. I hope something else builds itself up in the shattered remains of the Republican Party, something that might have more of a connection to the party of Lincoln, something that has an interest in governing.

    Because, other than that, they are simply dead weight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Trump is right. The election is rigged against him. People with actually functioning brains are still allowed to vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. Slugger says:

    @Steve Verdon: I don’t get it. What exactly are you proposing as an alternative to government? Let’s look at something like Penicillin which was a curiosity until the Northern Regional Laboratory operated by the US Department of Agriculture figured out how to mass produce it and then turned it over to industry. How would this have happened without a government? The interstate highways, the moon landings, and a zillion other items.
    Actually, can markets exist without a government? Haven’t even the earliest markets been under the aegis of some prince? I thought that markets need a currency and someone to enforce contracts and simple laws.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

  33. rachel says:

    @MarkedMan:

    [Hillary Clinton] believes in incrementally improving on what has been proven to work rather than chucking the whole system out.

    So basically she’s a small-c conservative. I can live with that.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  34. JohnMcC says:

    @Slugger: Adults and other people with brains understand that a market is a creation of something called government. Adolescents think markets can exist for a period of time longer than the nanosecond that it would take for someone to come along and ‘corner’ that market. Moral cretins fondle their ideas that markets contain in themselves self-correcting measures. Take for example the market in young girls. Their parents are perfectly free to bid on them and take them home. So what’s the harm?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  35. JR says:

    Nothing will change.

    The GOP will wipe their hands clean of Trump, just like they did Romney in 2012. They will convince themselves that nothing is wrong with the party itself and that this was a Trump only issue. They will continue to be obstructionist and be dismissive to anyone who isn’t a white male over 35. then they will hope that the public will be tired of Democratic control of the White House for 12 years.

    Of course reality and demographics kick in again and they lose again and we do this entire show and dance all over again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  36. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds:

    If we just coast along on our black vote, our Latino vote, our college vote, we are going to get further out of touch with people whose problems are about jobs and bills to pay and even the meaning of life as an American citizen.

    I’m not sure that you’re keeping up with the trends. The people you are speaking of are currently being thought of as disillusioned losers who are the victims of their own folly. This characterization mostly carries across the left/right continuum.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  37. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I’m not sure that Trumpkins are capable of this level of computational skills. They’ll settle for “we wuz rob’d.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  38. Steve Verdon says:

    @Gustopher:

    Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom would strongly disagree with you if she were still with us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  39. Steve Verdon says:

    @MarkedMan:

    No, it is both sides don’t-do-it-ism.

    If each side could do it why is the economy not booming right now? Is Obama secretly sabotaging Hillary’s campaign? Was W. ruining things for McCain? Did Bill hate Al?

    And Clinton is absolutely saying she knows what to do. Your own inability to see this is due to your partisan blinders.

    Your story sounds like a load of…well nonsense.

    Cheers mate. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 15

  40. Barry says:

    @Steve Verdon: “Each candidate swears up and down that their economic policy will bring back awesome times in the U.S. ”

    There is actually data on this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  41. Steve Verdon says:

    Here you go MarkedMan,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEXrz71O40A

    “My mission in the White House will be to make the economy work for everyone, not just those at the top.

    “…by contrast the same analysts found that with our plan the economy would create more than 10 million new jobs. So let me tell you how we would do that. I believe every American willing to work hard should be able to find jobs that provides dignity pride and decent pay that can support a family. Starting on day one we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment and new good paying jobs since World War II.”

    I’m suspecting she is missing a word like bill or legislation, but the point is clear. Hillary thinks the way to solve economic problems is with just the right legislation. That with just the right legislation she can solve the economic problems facing the country. With just the right legislation all those billions and billions of transactions that comprise the economic activity that is going on in the economy can be better because she signed a piece of paper.

    What arrogance, what hubris, what a silly and stupid vision. But she is not alone, this is literally how every politician in Washington D.C. thinks. Without them…why the economy would go horribly off the rails. Indeed the whole country. What they do not realize is that they are in fact parasites. The Republicans and Democrats are the wings of the same bird of prey feasting off of the body of the American public. Without the rest of us politicians are nothing.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 25

  42. Steve Verdon says:

    @Slugger:

    Why couldn’t it have happened without government? We get lots of drugs these days from pharma companies…not the government. Of course, the intellectual property rights that are derived from government certainly help, but to suggest it is all government is a load of nonsense.

    I am suggesting that government is, generally speaking, not the answer. It is not going to try lots of different things. It will try those things that line up with political interests and thus we are limiting the number of possible solutions we can try.

    The market process on the other hand does not do this. If you can find funding for your crazy idea you can try it. And given that sometimes crazy ideas work and pay off and often big, there are people willing to take those chances.

    I’m saying when it comes to a problem instead of looking at what some potential solution some elites in Washington DC and their crony backers support think will work we consider a process that will look at a vastly wider array of potential solutions.

    It all gets down to the law of large numbers.

    Suppose we have a problem: X.

    The government is convinced that solution N1 is the way to go.

    The market process is going to look at solutions N2-N10000.

    Which one is likely to find the actual solution. If there are 10,000 possible solutions the government’s chances are 1 in 10,000 IRRESPECTIVE OF HOW MUCH MONEY THEY SPEND.

    The market process has a 9,999/10,000 chance of finding a solution.

    Even if there are 100,000 possible solutions the math works out to

    Government’s Chance 1/100,000

    Market Process 9,999/100,000.

    That is the governments percentage of finding the solution: 0.001%, the market process’ chances are 9.999%. The market is vastly more likely to find a solution because it will look at a wider array of potential solutions.

    Now you might say, so let the government and the market processes both work. Okay, but the government also has the power to take resources from the market process and allocate them to looking at N1. Thus, it can undermine looking at all the other solutions out there.

    Government is narrow minded, conservative, and limited. By definition.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 26

  43. Steve Verdon says:

    @Barry:

    Yeah, go listen to each candidate.

    Holy crap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  44. Steve Verdon says:

    @stonetools:

    Guess what, dude. There is nothing inherently wrong with redistribution.

    Other than it can create an incentive problem, no, nothing wrong with it all.

    Here: how about every tax payer has to pay $1 more in taxes that goes into my bank account.

    No problem there, after all it is only a buck and guys like Michael Reynolds wouldn’t notice ven it were $100 in his case….other than I’ll quit my job and stop being productive for the next 20 or so years.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 24

  45. Steve Verdon says:

    @stonetools:

    Oh and Elizabeth Warren needs to be told how public goods work. You don’t pay for them so you can then go shake down productive member of society afterwards with paid goons. You do it because it is economically efficient to do so for everyone ex ante. She’s a complete dumb ass.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 42

  46. Laura Koerber says:

    I don’t think there is a way froward for the Republicans unless they give up the economic extremism of Ryan and his ilk. The people referred to as the Republican establishment are extremists, even in terms of the history of the Republican party. The polices proposed by the R establishment are not supported by the population in general, certainly not by your average Republican voter. . How many voters would have supported the Ryan budget if they had been aware of its major features such as making Medicare into a voucher system? How many voters want to sell our national heritage of public lands? How many support ag-gag laws, anti-union “Right to work for less” laws, the SHARE act, or voter suppression laws? How many people are opposed to funding for infrastructure or want the Clean AIr and Clean Water Acts to be gutted? The Republican party at the top decided years ago to hide their policy proposals behind misleading slogans and run for office on dog whistles that appeal to negative emotions: poor people bashing, gay bashing, immigrant bashing etc. The Republican establishment recruited the angry white nationalist base quite deliberately precisely because they knew that they could not win elections by being honest about what they meant by “small government”. So, if they stay committed to their voodoo economics Ayn Rand-influenced Social Darwinism, they are going to have to continue to misrepresent themselves to get elected. That means they are still in the trap of needing to appeal to something in the electorate other than supporters of their ideas. What will that be if it is not jingoism, racial resentment, and scapegoating?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  47. michael reynolds says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    Your anti-government rants are not data-based, they are in effect a profession of faith.

    Government is narrow minded, conservative, and limited. By definition.

    Prove it.

    The USG bought the Louisiana Territory for 15 million in 1803 dollars. It was a bold, forward-looking act. With the stroke of a pen we acquired legal(ish) ownership of an area larger than Europe. How is that not the boldest acquisition ever? Not to mention profitable.

    The USG built Hoover Dam. Huge electrical power generator in the middle of empty desert. Bold, visionary, effective and profitable.

    The USG built the atomic bomb in a ridiculously short window of time while straining to fund more obviously useful tools.

    The USG built and flew a spacecraft to the moon with men aboard, and returned them safely to earth.

    The USG conceived of the interstate system. Try counting the corporate profits that flowed from that.

    The USG decided it’d be really neat if the military, and later all of us, had this thing called GPS.

    And Big Business built the Flow-be.

    You cannot make a factual case that the USG is somehow by definition narrow-minded (integrated the army before the rest of society) conservative (invaded and seized half of Mexico) or limited. Limited? It’s the biggest organization on earth. No corporation comes close to managing the money, people and property the USG manages, and manages pretty damned well if you compare the job they’ve done over the last two centuries to the job other nations have done. What corporation has even survived since 1776 (or 1787)?

    The United States Government is, by any objective standard, the most successful government on earth. Count up all the nations that have been successfully invaded, or occupied, or had regime change thrust upon them, lost a world war, endured mass starvation, been overthrown from within, over the last 200 years. Guess who won’t be on that list? The USG. The USG is one of the oldest continuously-functioning entities on earth.

    In fact, the USG isn’t just good at taking care of Americans, it has, at times, been a blessing to the larger world. (Other times, not so much.) Seventy years without a third world war did not happen by accident.

    Sorry, but this is a case of you being blinded by ideological bias and untested assumptions.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 1

  48. stonetools says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    Of course, the intellectual property rights that are derived from government certainly help,

    Ya think? Those drug companies will tell you that without those patents, they wouldn’t put the resources into developing cutting edge drugs. And it’s not only patents. Its the government that funds the basic research that goes into developing those drugs, through such agencies as the NIH and NSF.

    I am suggesting that government is, generally speaking, not the answer.

    Who the hell ever said it had all the answers. Government does certain things great; the private sector does certain things great.

    The market process on the other hand does not do this. If you can find funding for your crazy idea you can try it. And given that sometimes crazy ideas work and pay off and often big, there are people willing to take those chances.

    The private sector is about making profits in fairly short time horizons IF you are talking about basic research that will pay off in 20 years, if ever, you’re talking about government funding. If you don’t understand that, well you don’t understand basic research.

    Government is narrow minded, conservative, and limited. By definition.

    The scientists at NIH and engineers at NASA would like to have a word with you, in between launching missions to Pluto and doing research on anti AIDS and anti cancer drugs

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

  49. stonetools says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    You do it because it is economically efficient to do so for everyone ex ante. She’s a complete dumb ass.

    And who creates those public goods , eh, genius? That’s right-government.Government builds the roads and provides the public order, without whom there can be no markets or industry. Elizabeth Warren is dead right about that, and you know it, whatever you decide to call her.And that’s just for starters.
    Government supplies the water you drink and take a shower with. Sanitation ? Government does that. Power? Government again.
    That computer you type on is here because government built computers in order to help win the Cold War. The internet? Started as a government program. Your weather report? Government built weather satellites provide the data. You eat government approved food, take government tested drugs to help with any ill health, and go to a doctor whose education was likely funded by government. You don’t have to worry about polio and smallpox because the Center for Disease Control helped eradicate it. These are scourges that used to kill and cripple millions-eradicated because of government action.
    Is government a panacea? Nope. But good government is necessary. Doubt that? Go to places in the world where there is no government or weak government-places like, yes, Somalia or the eastern Congo. They aren’t libertarian paradises. Frankly, those places are exactly like Hobbes says-places where “In such condition there is no place for industry… no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
    That’s reality, Verdon. You may not like it but there it is.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 1

  50. anjin-san says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    Government is narrow minded, conservative, and limited. By definition.

    That probably explains why we never made it to the moon and there is no such thing as the internet…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  51. DrDaveT says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    We get lots of drugs these days from pharma companies…not the government. Of course, the intellectual property rights that are derived from government certainly help, but to suggest it is all government is a load of nonsense.

    How many of those pharma companies are based in Somalia?

    OF COURSE it’s the government that makes this possible. The government makes it possible to enforce contracts; to spend money on research instead of security; to hire a highly educated workforce; to distribute your products over publicly-provided roads or using publicly-provided air traffic control. I can understand how Joe Schmoe might not understand this, but for an economist it’s beyond embarrassing.

    You are in precisely the position of a fish arguing that water is unnecessary.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 2

  52. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    One of our other commenters said that the reason that libertarians can be so scornful of government is that the USG does such a good job that most people are unaware of how necessary government is. You put Steve in say, Somalia for six months and he will never complain about the uselessness of the US government again. People like Steve don’t realize that safe drinking water, usable roads, reliable electric power, and fire departments don’t just grow out of ground or fall from the sky. They can’t be taken for granted and in quite a few places in the world, they don’t exist.
    Take it from me; I’ve lived in Third World countries and done some traveling. Maybe Steve should do some too.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  53. DrDaveT says:

    @michael reynolds:

    We have real problems to solve. Yes, some involve race and gender, but the big ones are more about class – economic and educational – and technological change.

    I disagree — the big one is the one we’re addressing right now, which is “Is government a good thing or a bad thing?”. In an educated and sane society, this would not be a question, but the GOP in America has managed to convince far too many Americans that they’d be better off with private roads and sewers and schools.

    The Democrats need to wage a positive campaign to establish exactly what government does for people — ALL people — and what the alternative must look like. Once we’ve reminded America why we have a government, THEN we can get to the question of what exactly it should be trying to accomplish, and what the best mechanisms for that are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  54. DrDaveT says:

    @stonetools:

    One of our other commenters said that the reason that libertarians can be so scornful of government is that the USG does such a good job that most people are unaware of how necessary government is.

    Aw, it’s sweet of you to remember. :-)

    And you’re exactly right. Steve thinks that if you took the government away, everything would be exactly the same except more efficient. No poisoned food, no Love Canal, no Pinkertons breaking heads, no company stores, no starvation, no epidemic tuberculosis and typhoid, no mob-run towns. After all, those things don’t happen any more, right?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  55. stonetools says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I can understand how Joe Schmoe might not understand this, but for an economist it’s beyond embarrassing.

    Don’t know if he is an economist, but he does claim an economics degree from UCLA. That’s right -the University of California at Los Angeles.
    Irony is dead-and it ain’t coming back.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  56. MarkedMan says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    Why couldn’t it have happened without government? We get lots of drugs these days from pharma companies…not the government.

    This is in my field, at least tangentially and I can say with certainty that you are not getting breakthrough drugs from pharmaceutical companies. Every year those companies look at what to invest in and they run the standard 10 year outlook financial analysis tools that everyone else uses. And what those tools tell them is that making a three-times-a-day-for-for-the-rest-of-your-life cholesterol drug that is 5% better than the last one has a significantly better net present value than rolling the dice on a cancer drug that would cure the patient’s cancer (and therefore dry up demand). This is not evil or bad on the part of drug companies, it is simply correct behavior in delivering a return to their investors. Next time you hear about a wonder drug, listen closely, it is usually one of two things: either a new and unexpected use for an existing drug, or an orphan drug program. Those that fall into the latter categories are essentially charity projects that the pharmaceutical companies do for good will, usually targeting a disease endemic in a poverty stricken country or something that affects so few patients that it would never justify the cost. These projects are wonderful and they help real people (river blindness is the first example that comes to mind). Most of the basic research in drugs, the things that have the potential to have a major impact, are funded by the government, and bought to a promising level before the drug companies are interested. Virtually all of the HIV treatments on the market were done in this fashion and it is instructive that all those picked up by the drug companies need to be taken daily for the rest of the patients lives (I’m not saying there were viable alternatives, merely that the most profitable ones were chosen for further research.)

    Markets are good and they sort out the poor performers but they are not effective for things that have a greater than ten year horizon, with very very few exceptions, or things that effect people that have little resources.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  57. DrDaveT says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    The market process on the other hand does not do this. If you can find funding for your crazy idea you can try it.

    No, you can’t — because the trust / cartel / monopoly / mob whose turf you would be stepping on will squash you like a bug if you try.

    Unless, of course, you have an effective government to bust trusts, break up cartels and monopolies, prosecute mobsters, and generally provide the very unnatural environment in which those crazy ideas can thrive.

    Why is this so hard to grasp?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  58. stonetools says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I’m not sure it’s worth it anymore to engage with this guy. He after all owes his college education to an institution of the state of California and yet still denies that the government is of any use. The cognitive dissonance displayed is amazing
    I will say it seems like the economics department of the UCLA has failed him.Oh well. Perhaps it was the student who failed to learn the basics of economics and maybe even critical analysis.
    As someone once said , “Sad!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  59. Anonne says:

    I wish Trump would take his supporters and form a new political party. That way, the Republican Party could actually take some time to re-form around sane, non-bigoted principles.

    LULZ, right… who am I kidding? Even if you get rid of the racism, the policies they support often fail the sane criteria. Trump just took everything the GOP was yelling about and turned the volume up to 11 while stripping away the filter. It would still be the party of corporate giveaways, military adventurism, and sociopathic behavior that ignores the thing called the common good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  60. JohnMcC says:

    Probably I’m not the best person to be making this remark — having blown a frigging gasket in a recent thread and sounding like the intolerant old b@st@rd that I can often be — but if this guy verdon weren’t a front pager, we would all be remarking on the fact that he is a troll and a one-note crank. This page began life as a chance to hear from each other on the future of the Republican party. It quickly became a freshman-dorm level discussion of Objectivism. I got wore-out on that before I was 20. And that was a very very long time ago.

    If anyone on the headline staff is listening: Get rid of this thin-skinned, one-issue jerk.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 2

  61. Barry says:

    @Steve Verdon: “Yeah, go listen to each candidate.

    Holy crap.”

    We have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  62. Barry says:

    @Steve Verdon: “Oh and Elizabeth Warren needs to be told how public goods work. You don’t pay for them so you can then go shake down productive member of society afterwards with paid goons. You do it because it is economically efficient to do so for everyone ex ante. She’s a complete dumb ass.”

    Look up ‘Econ 101ism’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  63. James Pearce says:

    Put me in the category that says Trumpism dies if he loses the election.

    After all, much of the success of this movement has come because of the outsized personality of Donald Trump there to drive the train.

    Is it a “movement” or is it a personality cult? Trump’s campaign has, for at least a year, had an “inmates take over the asylum” quality to it.

    When it’s all said and done, all that will be left of “Trumpism” is the traditional “Republican” things he’s said. There will be no wall, no Muslim ban, no trade wars, no Russian toadies in the Executive branch. Sorry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  64. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @JohnMcC:

    If anyone on the headline staff is listening: Get rid of this (Steve) thin-skinned, one-issue jerk.

    Amen to that brother. I’ve learned to just skip over his headline articles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  65. Jen says:

    @CSK:

    The original Republican Party? Maybe Ryan in 2020. They can’t stand Cruz either.

    Kasich will be in New Hampshire next weekend…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  66. grumpy realist says:

    @Steve Verdon: Have you ever lived in a country that doesn’t have a government?

    Look at history. We know what happens. Either you have a) government, or b) warlords.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  67. dmichael says:

    I realize the Mr. Verdon seems to hijacked this comment thread but to return to Doug’s article, I ask “Why are we now hearing from Vin Weber?” Perhaps to distract us from the fact that his lobbying firm appears to have received unreported cash from the Ukranian government of then-President Viktor Yanukovych? See http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/manafort-lobbying-firms-hire-outside-counsel-to-look-into-ukraine-activities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  68. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    The ostensible reason is that Kasich is fund-raising for Chris Sununu’s gubernatorial campaign, isn’t it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  69. Jen says:

    @CSK: Yes–but I’m betting that he won’t turn down offers to come and visit here. I think that his move not to attend the convention and his assertions that he’ll fly anywhere to help any Republican who could benefit from his visits is a pretty clear indicator that he’s trying to build inter-party support for perhaps another run in 2020. With Cruz shooting himself in the foot with the “vote your conscience” speech, I think Kasich is smart to help out wherever he can. All conjecture at this point, of course…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  70. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    Well, Kasich came in second in the NH primary, didn’t he? Not a very good second, true,but still second, and comfortably ahead of his competitors other than Trump.

    If he is starting his run for 2020 now, then he’s betting that Trump will lose in November (a very good bet), and lose badly enough to kill Trumpism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  71. michael reynolds says:

    @stonetools:

    Yeah, I like Steve V, but libertarians are the teen-agers of politics. Lots of whining about the parents, lots of spending mom and dad’s money, followed by lots of ungratefulness and endless assertions that I can “Do it myself, I don’t need you!” That latter of course being shouted through a mouthful of mom and dad’s food.

    They imagine themselves to be rational, but are of course the most faith-based ideology in American politics. Even evangelicals are more in touch with the realities of human nature.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  72. CSK says:

    Well, David Duke and the Stormfront guy are exulting over the fact that the Klan and the Nazis have taken over the Republican Party.

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/david-duke-show-celebrates-trumps-breitbart-hire-weve-taken-over-the-republican-party

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  73. Blue Galangal says:

    @stonetools: My graduate advisory (history) was fond of pointing out that capitalism, qua capitalism, literally can’t exist without government to protect private property and provide a rule of law/justice system, etc. I wonder if anyone ever pointed that out to Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, or other people on this thread.

    At any rate, here’s my Grand Proposal for the Democratic Party: a guaranteed minimum income. Just take what we spend on welfare and divide it by the number of citizens* and distribute that money to every single person every year. On April 15th, for added irony. Since it would be nontaxable.

    By the way, I proposed this notion once upon a time to another person on my committee and she said, not without some admiration, “You’re a radical!” I didn’t used to be. I’m a recovering Republican and this is where I am now. The mass of “stupid people” can’t do any worse with spending that money, no strings attached, than Paul Ryan and his ilk have done.

    *I’m willing to debate the recipients; I’d also go with green card holders, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  74. Loviatar says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yeah, I like Steve V

    Serious question here.

    Why?

    As far as I know he is not related to you. He is providing no added benefit to the community, in fact, he actually causes harm to the community. He is a distraction from serious discussion and if his preferred policies are enacted there will be significant harm done to the over all community. Based upon his CV, he is no younger than his late 20s, more probably 30s, 40s or even 50s, so he doesn’t have the excuse of being young and inexperienced. As you yourself has stated, his ideology is the ideology of callow youth that is quickly grown out of by any intelligent biped.

    So again, why do you like him?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  75. grumpy realist says:

    @Blue Galangal: Hmm. I’d go along with that if it weren’t welfare but workfare.

    Mainly because we humans are lazy little buggers and if we can get ca$h without having to work we’ll end up doing that, which produces a “free rider” problem. (The discussion as to whether taking care of one’s own kids is to be considered “work” or not I leave for a separate thread.)

    On the flip side, I also think the government (state or federal) should create work for people, even if it’s ditch digging. Heck, let’s go use all that manpower and replace our infrastructure, which is getting to be on its last legs.

    But yeah, I fall in the “if you don’t work, you don’t eat” class of believers. If you can’t dig a ditch, you can record books for people. Or help a young mother with many kids. Or visit shut-ins and help them. Something to contribute to society back in exchange for your stipend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  76. Steve Verdon says:

    @DrDaveT:

    And why is that? Oh yeah, government. Government enforces intellectual property rights which can prevent innovation. Government is what creates monopolies. Government is what creates rules and regulations that can lead to substantial fixed or even worse sunk costs for entering a given market. The idea that government is a check on business is patently silly when you start looking at the details of legislation. It is quite often the case that businesses are using government as a check on competition which makes us all worse off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  77. Steve Verdon says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I am not an anarchist, although the experience in the Ukraine Free Territory provides an interesting example of an experiment with little or no government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  78. Steve Verdon says:

    @Loviatar:

    My views are derived by works of people like James Buchanan, Ronald Coase, Frederick Hayek, Vernon Smith and Elinor Ostrom to name a few. Yes, just a bunch of stupid and impetuous children.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  79. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: The evangelicals believe that they are part of a larger community and that they have a responsibility for it. I find that I actually have a lot of common ground with evangelicals, despite being a liberal atheist. We disagree over methods, and we disagree on some major issues (gays, abortion, etc), but when it comes to poverty and racism we have the same goals.

    There’s a story I heard somewhere:

    When an Conservative Christian sees a starving child, he wants to give that child a bible and a sandwich.

    When a Liberal sees a starving child, he wants to create an elaborate government program to distribute sandwiches.

    When an Objectivist sees a starving child, he smiles knowing that the invisible hand of the market is doing its job, then puts up a privacy fence so he doesn’t have to see that shit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  80. Loviatar says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    You’re the equivalent of Ryan Lochte.

    A danger to those who don’t no better. A danger to those younger than yourself who will follow you into situations which will cause them harm. If you weren’t such a danger I would actually feel sad for you, but all I feel is contempt and fear for the harm you may cause.

    Dude, grow up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  81. gVOR08 says:

    @Steve Verdon: You should have read Paul Krugman’s column from a week ago before writing this.

    You said: :

    Now, how do we come up with good incentives (to reestablish strong growth)? Good question and I’ll be totally honest. I don’t know.

    Dr. K agrees and points out that no one else knows either.

    After all, what do we actually know how to do when it comes to economic policy? We do, in fact, know how to provide essential health care to everyone; most advanced countries do it. We know how to provide basic security in retirement. We know quite a lot about how to raise the incomes of low-paid workers.
    I’d also argue that we know how to fight financial crises and recessions, although political gridlock and deficit obsession has gotten in the way of using that knowledge.
    On the other hand, what do we know about accelerating long-run growth? According to the budget office, potential growth was pretty stable from 1970 to 2000, with nothing either Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton did making much obvious difference. The subsequent slide began under George W. Bush and continued under Mr. Obama. This history suggests no easy way to change the trend.
    Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try. I’d argue, in particular, for substantially more infrastructure spending than Mrs. Clinton is currently proposing, and more borrowing to pay for it. This might significantly boost growth. But it would be unwise to count on it.

    So you’re saying we don’t know how to increase long term GDP growth, but we should make that our policy goal anyway and Dr. K, and Hillary, are saying let’s do what little we can do to raise growth, but focus on what we do know how to to.

    You say:

    Each candidate swears up and down that their economic policy will bring back awesome times in the U.S. I submit that both candidates are lying sacks of shit…

    This is the worst kind of both-sides-do-it-itis. Dr. K, who has actually read their positions, points out that:

    Mrs. Clinton’s economic vision, which she summarized last week. It’s very much a center-left vision: incremental but fairly large increases in high-income tax rates, further tightening of financial regulation, further strengthening of the social safety net.
    It’s also a vision notable for its lack of outlandish assumptions. Unlike just about everyone on the Republican side, she isn’t justifying her proposals with claims that they would cause a radical quickening of the U.S. economy. As the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center put it, she’s “a politician who would pay for what she promises.”

    So it’s actually quite brave to say: “Here are the things I want to do, and here is how I’ll pay for them. Sorry, some of you will have to pay higher taxes.” Wouldn’t it be great if that kind of policy honesty became the norm?

    And thank you for the beautiful example of my thesis that for conservatives nothing is about what it’s about.

    The standard response from the Democrats has been redistribution. But that comes is with a significant incentive problem.

    So we know how to deal with extreme inequality, but – squirrel.

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  82. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @James Pearce: But the idea that those are good ideas will still be with the GOP. Remember that Trump’s opponents only got traction to the extent that they ran as Trump 2.0 instead of running against him.

    There was one who ran against him early…Jeb something… can’t remember his name right now.

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  83. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: I don’t think you can really kill off Trumpism.

    America has generally been divided with 20-40% liberals, 20-40% conservatives, and 30-40% assholes. The assholes are the Trumpkins, and they’ve been around a long time — they’re racist and they’re angry and they’re isolationist, and they will switch their allegence from time to time depending on what scares them the most.

    The Democrats were able to forge a coalition between the liberals and the assholes during FDRs time, as they were most scared of poverty. Democrats did a lot of good things then, but also propped up racism.

    Reagan forged a coalition between the assholes and conservatives, cementing Nixon’s Southern Strategy.

    Right now, liberalism is at its peak — it may have actually gone past 50% — conservativism is at its lowest, and the coalition between conservatives and assholes has the assholes on top. I think the conservative-asshole coalition is shattering, and we will end up with one broad party that stands for nothing (Democrats) and one party of assholes, probably for a decade.

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  84. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Loviatar: Most of the things you describe as his qualities are also those of the host and the lead writer of the blog–to a lesser degree, to be sure, but still peas in a pod. And yet you continue to visit here–as do I and many of the others who agree with you on Verdon. So I ask, why single out Verdon?

    As for me, I become fatigued with him to, but he serves the purpose of reminding readers of why the Libertarian Party hasn’t become the dominant political juggernaut its followers suppose it destined to be. (Also, he reminds us why unvarnished Objectivism isn’t very practical.)

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  85. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:

    No, you can never completely kill off Trumpism, because, as you point out, it’s been popping up in one guise or another forever. But they might be humiliated/discouraged enough by a crushing Trump defeat to go skulking off back into the woodwork for a while.

    I’m interested in what you say about “one broad party that stands for nothing (Democrats) and one party of a$$holes,” specifically the “one broad party.” Will that include Republicans who, given a Trump or nothing choice, will ally themselves with Democrats because they have nowhere else to go but A$$holeville? Will they try to build some platform that mixes Republican and Democratic ideas?

    I think it’s more likely that, in the very likely event of a Trump defeat, the original Republican Party will survive in weakened form. And they could be opposed by a small but very vocal alt-right party. But, as I’ve said before, I don’t think some of the older Trumpkins would be thrilled by alt-right’s thinking on abortion, drugs, etc.

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  86. JohnMcC says:

    @grumpy realist: Before I respond to your post, ma’am, I’ll pause and note that this topic is sort of ‘feeding the troll’ along the lines that the post has been taken since being hijacked. Grump-grump-grumpy-old-grandpa-John.

    OK. That being out of the way, I find myself disagreeing with you that any sort of work having insufficient meaning to our larger society is good policy. You don’t have to be Paul Ryan to think that ‘money for nothing get your chicks for free’ is unhelpful to individual and to our society. The old Soviet era slogan of “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us” did considerable damage to the Russian people, I think. (I base that on conversations with a couple of Russian emigrants I’ve met over the years.)

    I’ve always favored something like the Moynihan/Nixon ‘reverse income tax’ idea. As it passed through the legislative sausage machine it became the ‘earned income tax credit’ that we know today but it started as a frankly redistributionist plan using the IRS as the paymaster.

    I would make the size of the payment dependent of the industry (and/or good fortune) of the recipient by making some sort of income-matching arrangement. If one were to get a poorly paid job, the IRS would send a monthly supplement that would equal 1/2 the amount of the pay of the previous month. If a better job or more working hours came about, the IRS would match 3/4 of the increased paycheck. If a better paid job parttime or a similarly poorly paid job but full time hours were gained, Uncle Sam would match the raise up to the point of 1:1 matching.

    There would be a tipping point where this progress would reverse course and then another where monthly withholding would occur. I leave to my betters the determination of where those tipping points would be but if forced to make a proposal it’d be something like: Below $30K per year the ascending scale, from $30K to $40K the scale would descend, from $40K to $60K there’d be a tax-neutral zone, and above $60K there’d be ascending withholding.

    This would be both redistributionist and would tie (hopefully) productive work to income.

    My .02 worth.

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  87. Loviatar says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    And yet you continue to visit here

    The sad thing is, this is the only place I’ve found on the internet where this is a halfway decent discussion of ideas from a conservative point of view. Additionally, most sites with a conservative bend are horribly racist and/or horribly sexist. I give the hoster and his co-host huge credit for not allowing that to happen here.

    why single out Verdon

    Oh, I’m not singling out Verdon., I’ve made my disdain for James Joyner and Doug Mataconis clear in the past and will do so in the future.

    Finally, why do I continually voice my disdain?

    I’m a people person ;>)

    No, really I am, I look to the people who support the ideas and ideology and try to hold them accountable. Too many here and in general like to give supporters and enablers a pass, the stock phrase is “yeah, but they’re nice people and they aren’t really racist, sexist, bigoted, etc in their personal life.”

    My response is, no they are not nice people. If they support a candidate/party/policy that is racist, sexist, bigoted, etc., no matter what they claim to be personally, they are in fact racist, sexist, bigoted, etc.

    —-

    Verdon is just a Lochte equivalent.

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  88. Loviatar says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    Further thoughts

    My initial question was @michael reynolds because I’ve been thinking a lot on the following comment by de stijl in the Good Bye Peak Oil Hypothesis post.

    “We have an unarguable and illogical premise, but it would be rude of you to point that out. Terribly rude. Your peers would reject you if you were rude to us. Meanwhile, please allow me to try to convert you to my unsupported worldview. It would be rude and intolerant of you not to listen. You are a tolerant person, yes?”

    It’s salespitch 101, but it’s astounding how many people fall for it. The appeal to manners pitch.

    As I said earlier, too many of the enablers want the American populace to be respectful of all ideas/ideologies no matter how crazy or harmful.

    So call me rude and ill mannered.

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  89. DrDaveT says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    It is quite often the case that businesses are using government as a check on competition which makes us all worse off.

    Of course. And it is often the case that physicians perform unnecessary procedures and prescribe unnecessary medications, making us all worse off. Students of history understand that this is the exception, not the rule.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  90. michael reynolds says:

    @Loviatar:

    Verdon generates interesting discussion.

    My primary purpose in coming here is to step outside the liberal bubble and occasionally hear different points of view. And I like to put my own ideas down in words and see whether they hold up to scrutiny. People with passionately-held points of view challenge me. And Verdon has a passionately-held point of view. I think he’s often wrong, but that’s OK, I have to sift through a lot of wrong to find the things that are right. God knows I’ve generated quite a bit of wrong in my life.

    Also, perhaps because even as I babble away here at OTB I’m writing professionally (for money) I’m grateful that Steve, along with James and Doug and Steven Taylor, all provide me, gratis, with a sort of low-key Socratic education and a pleasant hang-out.

    I like it here. So do you. We may both think libertarians are nuts, but it’s worth hearing all the points of view.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  91. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: After the Presidential election, we will get a midterm election, where the angriest, most miserable and motivated have an advantage — the Trumpkins, who will not believe that the country is repulsed by them.

    And, the Republicans in congress who do not want to destroy the economy will have to be breaking with the Freedom Caucus on a regular basis. And they will.

    After that, I am betting the Democrats get the business wing of the Republican Party, the Republicans-by-habit and a chunk of the others, as they recoil in disgust from Trumpkins and losing (they would be more willing to stomach disgust if they were winning, winning makes everything easier).

    The Republican Party has been taken over by the assholes — Tea Party, Trumpkins, Freedom Caucus, whatever you want to call them. And the assholes outnumber the rest of the Republicans, and aren’t going to let go.

    So, an angry, reactionary rump of a Republican Party having a decade long temper tantrum, and an overly broad Democratic Party unable to function beyond maintaining the status quo, and packing the Supreme Court with moderate liberals.

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  92. michael reynolds says:

    @Loviatar:

    My position: we absolutely have to respect the right of all people to express opinions; we are not at all required to respect the opinion expressed.

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  93. grumpy realist says:

    @JohnMcC: Your ideas would work if we could deal with the increasing robotization/automation of the workforce. How do we get around the “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us” problem? Is that possibly the best we can end up with?

    Because with more and more automation, more and more of the entire production chunk moves into the hands of those who own the machines. The people who used to supply the labor are now considered useful only as consumers, and if there are no jobs around to pay them for their work, they can’t even be consumers.

    Maybe we’ll get to the point where the producers will have to start paying people to consume their products? (Interesting point for a SF novel if anyone wants to run off with it, by the way.)

    There aren’t many ways I see this working out well. Not all of us can become robot-repair people (which is the other solution that has been pushed) because you need fewer robot-repair people than you need workers.

    Turn into something like the Amish, where the acceptable technology is controlled, and they do a lot with their hands?

    Turn everyone into users of Makerbot and 3-D printing, so you do the creation at home? Everyone bitches about how stupid it is to create stuff on your own when you can get the economies of scale from mass production–but there’s a certain pride in creating your own meals/sweaters/woodwork/whatever.

    It looks like we’re coming to the end of an arc of human development which was started with agriculture: humans having to keep themselves going “by the sweat of their brow.” (Hunter-gatherer groups don’t spend as much time keeping themselves going. They also stabilize at much lower levels of population.)

    Is a puzzlement!

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  94. michael reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    So, an angry, reactionary rump of a Republican Party having a decade long temper tantrum, and an overly broad Democratic Party unable to function beyond maintaining the status quo, and packing the Supreme Court with moderate liberals.

    @Gustopher, bringing the sunshine.

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  95. michael reynolds says:

    @grumpy realist:

    This is the thing. What you said.

    The reason we develop robots is explicitly to replace human workers. At some point that really starts to work, and we end up with a significant portion of homo sapiens having nothing they need to do.

    How we deal with that – in particular how we deal with the stratification that will cause, the loss of purpose, and in light of the possibilities of biotech and regular old birth control and immigration. . . that is going to be a big, very hard thing for civilization to adapt to.

    The big wheel is turning. What’s coming is not just more of the same, and western civilization seems weary, unmotivated and wallowing in self-pity, which is not the very best frame of mind for folks taking on a societal revolution.

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  96. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:

    Thank you. I am now going to make myself a vodka martini. Anyone?

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  97. gVOR08 says:

    @JohnMcC: This is really the political issue of our time, isn’t it? A hundred years ago most of the country worked in agriculture. Then we got really good at agriculture. Now only a few people work in agriculture and feed the country and a chunk of the world. The people displaced from ag moved to cities and went to work in manufacturing, amongst other things. Now we are getting really good at manufacturing. And communications, and transport. Where do all those people go? Make lattes for each other and swap bed pans? Eventually we’ll also get a lot better at healthcare. So do we end up with a world that looks like Star Trek, or like czarist Russia? Maybe we need a system of Basic Income.

    Verdon said above that we could redistribute income but bad incentives. I thanked Verdon for an example of my thesis that for conservatives nothing is about what it’s about, @gVOR08: Maybe at some point we have to accept either that many of our fellows suffer in poverty or we provide a minimum decent income. If some people end up smoking dope, watching “reality” shows, and playing video games; maybe we both deal with it separately and accept that some amount of it is better than the alternative, which these days seems to be the inner city or Meth World.

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  98. CSK says:

    Well, I suppose we’ll need people to design and fabricate the robots. The design part will require engineering training and skills; the fabrication part, not so much. Same as with cars, computers, refrigerators, televisions, toaster ovens, furniture, airplanes…one set of individuals designs, another set assembles.

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  99. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    Most of the basic research in drugs, the things that have the potential to have a major impact, are funded by the government, and bought to a promising level before the drug companies are interested.

    Yeah. I’m constantly amazed at the insistence of free market types to make the pharma market their go-to example of market forces. I don’t think there is a worse example than a market consisting mainly of advertising companies with small research subsidiaries, marketing to a not insignificant degree to a captive market and being fuelled largely by government investment at both the input and output end.

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  100. James Pearce says:

    @Loviatar:

    My response is, no they are not nice people. If they support a candidate/party/policy that is racist, sexist, bigoted, etc., no matter what they claim to be personally, they are in fact racist, sexist, bigoted, etc.

    Let no one call you self-righteous or anything.

    I guess the right-wing version of this would be that if you support a candidate/party/policy that supports abortion rights then you are, in fact, in favor of murdering babies. I know, I know…here is where you tell me about how you’re not actually into murdering babies, that you have a nuanced, moral explanation for your support of abortion rights, but that’s when someone wields Loviatar’s razor and says, “Nope, you’re a baby killer.”

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    But the idea that those are good ideas will still be with the GOP.

    I’m not so sure. For one, they’re not good ideas. They’re very bad ideas, ideas that do not actually hold up to any kind of scrutiny. The Wall sounds great in the abstract, but even it’s biggest proponents show no indication they actually want to the build the thing. It’s a daydream, like fantasizing about moving to Tuscany. They’re not actually packing their bags and shopping for Italian real estate.

    That’s to say, when the GOP finally gets serious (and they will at some point) they’re not going to hang onto the daydreams.

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  101. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: As we need fewer and fewer people employed in the production of basic goods, we will have more employed in service industries, and the production of niche goods.

    The industrial revolution came about when we had enough people who weren’t involved in agriculture — they were able to create other goods, the mass market stuff we enjoy now. It was disruptive, but ultimately it settled down.

    We are in another disruptive phase. I am going to go way into optimism here and say that we are nearing an Artistic Revolution. An era where you will be able to buy the mass marketed stuff you need for cheap, because of the lack of labor involved, and then buy the craft goods you want — hand tailored clothing, or a custom sofa. Actual art on the walls of your home made by local, living artists.

    (Either that or we will all be serving each other lattes)

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  102. Gustopher says:

    @Gustopher: I’ll add one more thing — the early industrial revolution was rough, and without Teddy Roosevelt’s trust busting, we may well have slid into socialism or violent revolution or both. With production way up, and labor not sharing in the profits these days, we will need another adjustment.

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  103. JohnMcC says:

    @grumpy realist: And to those kind, forgiving gentlemen and ladies who replied understandingly. Damn I hate embarrassing myself here. But if you think I have a temper you should have known my old man!

    ‘Nuff said.

    Indeed the question of meaningful work in a robotic future is probably the shoal our civilization will have to chart a course around in my grandkids’ era. I wish them godspeed.

    I will toss out that after I retired I was at loose ends for months. Had no idea what to do with the hours and the meaningless days passed slower and slower. Actually saw a shrink for a couple of months. Then I built a boat. Turned out not to be such a good boat but the building was great. I had to learn how to loft, how to use a plane, how to use a wood chisel. Had to figure out how to do a lot of stuff my grandfathers knew how to do by the time they were in their teens, I bet. And how did I go about learning all that? On youtube.

    When the digital world was a gleam in the eye of a few madmen in Silicon Valley we got a lot of books like ‘Future Shock’ and ‘Greening of America’. Hopelessly optimistic stuff. But it could — just maybe — if we’re very very lucky — come to pass.

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  104. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Loviatar: Didn’t call you anything and don’t intend to. I simply wondered. Thank you for answering.

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  105. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @CSK: I have rum and root beer (A&W) at home. Not as good as cola, but close enough.

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  106. rachel says:

    @gVOR08:

    The people displaced from ag moved to cities and went to work in manufacturing…

    Um… I submit to you that our view of working on a farm has become romanticized due to lack of experience with it. For much of history, ag work was dirty, tedious and dangerous, and people free to leave that work displaced themselves from it whenever they could.

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  107. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @James Pearce: That’s to say, whenif the GOP finally gets serious (and they willmight at some point) they’re not going to hang onto the daydreams.

    FTFY. Call me cynical. BTW, I’m not endorsing “the wall,” etc. as good ideas, simply noting that they are not Trump [TM] creations.

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  108. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @JohnMcC: I was offered a supervisory/management job for a farm products shipping company a number of year back. The explanation I was given by the lawyer for the firm was “The owner remembers you as a real a$$hole with a short temper (he left out my propensity for rages and pseudo violent tendencies–I never actually HIT and PEOPLE). We need a guy like that to run our shipping and receiving department.”

    Temper? Understand it better than you might imagine…

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  109. James Pearce says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    Call me cynical.

    You’re more pessimistic than cynical, I think. And I understand.

    If they had their preference, I think they’d rather continue bleating on about border walls and immigrant detention camps. (Not sure how they intend on transporting millions of people, though…..they know the rail system in this country is a joke, right?)

    But if they want to return to power in this country –not just the “power” of having a cable news network pumping up your brand and a “base” of ignorant, easily manipulated voters– but actual political power, they’re going to have to wise up and start focusing on what’s real and what’s possible.

    Evolution tends to weed out those who fail to adapt.

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  110. MarkedMan says:

    From Verdon:Government is what creates monopolies.

    I don’t even know what to make of this. The natural order of things is for monopolies to form. Governments can abet that or hinder it. In the US government abetted monopolies have usually been for essential services and have had a fair amount of extra regulation. Sometimes that has held the monopolies in check and sometimes it has been a conduit for government corruption. And sometimes governments actively hinder monopolies. That was done with a fair amount of gusto here in the US from the 30’s until Reagan. Not so much since.

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  111. Loviatar says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    Didn’t call you anything and don’t intend to. I simply wondered.

    Didn’t say you did. I was calling myself rude and ill mannered. The GOP and their enablers still want the American populace to consider their party and its policies to be sensible and moderate. If you don’t hew to that mindset, you’re seen as rude and ill mannered. I’m proudly claiming that description, I’m rude and ill mannered.

    de stijl

    “We have an unarguable and illogical premise, but it would be rude of you to point that out. Terribly rude. Your peers would reject you if you were rude to us. Meanwhile, please allow me to try to convert you to my unsupported worldview. It would be rude and intolerant of you not to listen. You are a tolerant person, yes?”

    It’s salespitch 101, but it’s astounding how many people fall for it. The appeal to manners pitch.

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  112. Loviatar says:

    @James Pearce:

    Let no one call you self-righteous or anything.

    Dude, I get it. You brought the same talking points to multiple threads.

    1) White men are the persecuted majority minority in this country.
    2) Anyone who does not acknowledge multiple times (can’t be just once or twice) that white men are having a difficult time is a real meanie.
    3) Pointing out that others may have it just a tiny bit harder is playing the victimization card.

    NEW TALKING POINT

    4) Refusal to politely allow white males to constantly whine over losing their unacknowledged and unearned privileges will be seen as self righteous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  113. grumpy realist says:

    @Ebenezer_Arvigenius: And how. I’ll be glad to bend Mr. Verdon’s ear until he screams “UNCLE!” about the history of Hatch-Waxman and why it got passed, ditto for all the problems which popped up over the next 20 years and our attempts to solve the problems, and how we STILL have problems about it (ask me about naked Section 8 abuse, cough). But I’m sure he’ll blame everything on Da Ebil Gummitt.

    My challenge to Libertarians: if libertarianism is so great a system to operate by and so “natural”, please indicate to me one country in the world that has worked according to its precepts. And something a little higher level than a village council in 11th century Iceland, please.

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  114. James Pearce says:

    @Loviatar:

    NEW TALKING POINT

    (Sotto voce) If only you’d get a new talking point…

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  115. Loviatar says:

    @James Pearce:

    (Sotto voce) If only you’d get a new talking point…

    Nahh. I’ll stick to the ones I have.

    – The Republican party is an existential threat to our country.

    – Whatever they may call themselves (Libertarian, moderate, centrist, etc.) those that support or enable the Republican party and their polices are as much a threat to our country as the Republicans themselves.

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  116. James Pearce says:

    @Loviatar:

    The Republican party is an existential threat to our country.

    No, it’s not cancer. It’s the flu. We’ll survive. They’ll survive. Past performance is not an indicator of future results and all that.

    The Republican party is pretty bad, I’ll grant that. And Trump is really bad. But you should feel a little stupid for saying they’re an “existential” threat.

    I know a lot of Republicans. Many of them are good people. They just have some ill-advised political ideas. (It’s a quality shared by, well, everyone.) If they’re a threat to anything, it’s your standing in the bowling league (metaphorically speaking).

    Where do you live that you do not encounter these people in your normal day to day?

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  117. Gustopher says:

    @Loviatar:

    – The Republican party is an existential threat to our country.

    – Whatever they may call themselves (Libertarian, moderate, centrist, etc.) those that support or enable the Republican party and their polices are as much a threat to our country as the Republicans themselves.

    Lo, may I call you Lo?, I mean this in the best of all possible ways, but you are what is wrong with this country.

    The majority of Republicans are just people who have the same goals as you or I: security for their family (economic, mostly), security for their country (economic and military), and the government mostly out of their lives.

    There’s a chunk of the Republican Party that has found solace in their hatred, and they by and large voted for Trump in the primaries. Less than half of all Republicans voted in the primaries, and Trump only won because of the split field. You appear to have a lot in common with these people, because you appear to take a bit of solace in your hatred.

    But most of them just want to be able to work a job, get ahead bit by bit, and not get blown up by some nutjob. They’re a little racist, but I haven’t found anyone who isn’t, and it’s generally of the I-don’t-know-them-so-they-frighten-me variety.

    They think illegal immigrants are depressing wages — and, honestly, they are right. The simple solution of mass deportations would cause more problems, and I oppose that, but they are completely right about the problem. I would add that the illegal immigrants are not protected by the police, and in greater danger because of that.

    They think ISIS wants to slip terrorists in with the refugees. Again, they are right. It’s a stated goal. I think we can find most of the terrorists and that more people will be saved than killed, and that it’s right thing to do to let refugees in. ISIS isn’t an existential threat, we can absorb the damage and still come out ahead.

    They think race relations are at the worst spot in years — and if you listen to the news, it’s pretty clear that race relations are the loudest they have been in years. Does affirmative action hurt qualified whites, or does it help qualified minorities overcome unfair disadvantages? Honestly, both.

    They want jobs for their families, and economic security. We differ by how.

    They are not an existential threat to America, they are America, or part of it at any rate. Their goals are American goals. Their values are American values. We differ on method.

    Lo, I mean this in the best of all possible ways, but you’re an idiot. And, you’re a worse kind of idiot than the Objectivist who somehow thinks that the obvious response to Trump is Objectivism since it’s sort of like small government conservativism without the Trumpian bigotry.

    Objectivists are like the Green Party — harmless eccentric fringe around the edges of society. Intolerant mainstream hatred is much worse (but not as bad as Trumpkins, since at least you’ll vote the right way…)

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  118. Loviatar says:

    @James Pearce:

    @Gustopher:

    I’ll be responding to both of you tomorrow.

    I want to make sure my reasoning is factual and clear as to why I believe you’re both wrong in your opinion of the current Republican party.

    nite

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  119. Blue Galangal says:

    @grumpy realist: Generally speaking, I agree with you. But I also argue that, for instance, paying a parent to stay home with their kids is both work and a social force for good (and if housespouses got nothing more than a Social Security credit for staying home with said kids the other end of the retirement spectrum would look a lot different than it currently does, but I digress). What is one man’s work is another man’s vacation. I remember El Rushbo getting all het up about the fact that the ACA would allow those damn hippies to wander off to Key West to wrap hair for a living. A modern day WPA? That would be awesome. I can think of a lot of things I’d funnel money into – Habitat for Humanity, for instance, only you’d get paid instead of volunteering.

    So much of the current workfare/welfare system is set up to discourage people from working or seeking education (of whatever kind). It’s a labyrinthine system that tries (in some states) to do good and does, I’ll grant, create persistence in those who wish to avail of its services. Those who want to work are penalised (if you earn “too much” your health insurance and, in the wrong state, your child’s health insurance, gets taken away, for instance; or your housing allowance gets cut, so you’re worse off than before).. Those who can’t work are demonised. The small percentage of hard core unemployable? No one’s solved that problem;l the guaranteed minimum income might help them with housing and food, though.

    I’m not saying it’s a panacea. I just think it would be interesting to try. Use the EITC but ramp it up. And quit expecting parents working minimum wage jobs to be able to afford housing AND child care AND transportation.

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  120. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce: @Gustopher:
    @Loviatar:
    My dad’s third wife is a conservative Republican Limbaugh fan but not a Trump voter. She is one of the few people I know who no one had better criticize in my presence.

    The GOP has been and continues to be a racist party. It’s gone from dog whistle to shouting, and it has added nativism, ultra-nationalism and misogyny to its grab bag of contemptible characteristics. But one can attack the party without assuming that each and every nominal member is in tune with the worst of the GOP.

    Most people – shockingly – do not obsess over politics. Most people who are registered Democrat or Republican have only the vaguest idea why. In many cases it’s no more profound than, “My dad was a Republican,” or, “All the people at my job/church/school are Republican.”

    Politics is seduction not bullying, a fact which has been forgotten by both major parties. We cannot act like a bunch of Communists or Inquisitors searching out heretics. Intolerance is out-of-place on the Left, intolerance is supposed to be the thing we oppose. And tolerance does not just mean tolerance of our favored minorities, it means tolerance toward Southern Baptists and Republicans and even drivers of pick-up trucks.

    Tolerance is not the same as uncritical acceptance. We have a perfect right and moral obligation to attack dangerous ideas. But at the same time we need to remember that politics is addition not subtraction, seduction not bullying.

    But mostly we need to start pointing a way forward. If Hillary had managed to articulate a way forward she would not be looking at tightening polls right now, she’d be looking at a ten point lead. Democrats need to move past Republicans are Racist because Trump has made that case for us, quite convincingly. It is now settled law. And we need to knock off the tedious social media heretic hunt.

    Loviatar, you seem more interested in achieving ideological purity than in accomplishing goals. That’s not rare on the Left at the moment, but frankly it points to an absence of a real agenda. People who are going somewhere generally want to get there by the most efficient means, they don’t obsess over who is traveling with them.

    So, the clarifying question for me at least is not WTF is the matter with Republicans, it is “Where are Democrats going?” Because we are the forward-looking party. We’re supposed to be about the future. So what is our vision for the future? And if all it involves is a different division of spoils I’m going to be very depressed.

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  121. Pch101 says:

    you seem more interested in achieving ideological purity than in accomplishing goals.

    His point is that it’s tough to affiliate with a group of bigots without either (a) being a bigot yourself or (b) being fairly callous about racism.

    The truth lies somewhere in between. On one hand, not everyone in the GOP is a racist. On the other hand, a lot of them are fairly indifferent to racism at the institutional level and are working in their own way to aid and abet the bigots.

    This process of courting the crazies was led by George HW Bush, who used opposition to the Civil Rights Act as a tool for converting segregationist Texans from Democrats into Republicans, as well as by Barry Goldwater who openly opposed the act. The Southern Strategy built on this momentum and turned this into a Southeastern regional and national program to convert conservative Dems into Republicans.

    Bush knew exactly what he was doing when he cynically reached out to the racists in order to build Republican numbers. He didn’t share those views personally and he even sometimes defied those voters, but this was nonetheless a deliberate effort to use race in order to win votes. (Lee Atwater wasn’t exactly subtle about race when he used the Willie Horton attack ad to help Bush to defeat Mondale in 1988.)

    Why should we pretend that this hasn’t happened before and isn’t happening now when this has been taking place for over 50 years? Until Republicans who don’t hold those views are willing to do something about it (and pay the price by losing voters in the process), the party will have earned the criticism.

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  122. michael reynolds says:

    @Pch101:

    His point is that it’s tough to affiliate with a group of bigots without either (a) being a bigot yourself or (b) being fairly callous about racism.

    I would add the possibility that some are simply clueless and unaware – the usual condition of American voters. But essentially I agree. And I’d point out that I’ve been right here yelling about GOP racism for many years, since back in the days when even many liberals here were snarking that I was overplaying it.

    But as I said: case closed. Yes, the GOP relies on racist votes and cultivates racist voters with a wide array of dog whistles which are now rendered as Trump’s loud barking.

    Now what? The past has been adjudicated, so what next? Where are we going? What are we doing? What’s the plan beyond, “Toldja you were a bunch of racists!”

    If we’re lucky we’ll get maybe 55% of the vote. That would be epic. It would still mean we lost 45% of the American people, despite the GOP fielding the worst candidate in American history. The Democratic coalition is fragile. White professionals, Latino and black working class, gays and pro-choice women are not a natural coalition. The interests and priorities of educated suburban whites are not automatically the same as those of minorities.

    So while we are not looking at the kind of mess the GOP has on its hands, we are not invulnerable. We need to find ways to bring GOP persuadables over to our side. More importantly we need to diagnose and prescribe treatment for the problems we have in this country. If we’re going to actually govern as opposed to just winning elections, we need a plan, and that plan cannot begin with kissing off a huge portion of the population. We have to get back to some degree of national unity of purpose. Hating bigots is not a strategy, it’s a moral stand, and one that can quickly devolve into empty posturing and tiresome self-regard.

    This is not about what we are not (racists) or what we are (diverse) but what we do. The world is changing and while the GOP is thinking 1950’s, we’re thinking 1992 with a touch of 2008. Much better, yes, but we need to be thinking about 2026 and 2036. You want to bury the GOP? You bury them by moving forward and rendering them obsolete.

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  123. Matt says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    So much of the current workfare/welfare system is set up to discourage people from working or seeking education (of whatever kind). It’s a labyrinthine system that tries (in some states) to do good and does, I’ll grant, create persistence in those who wish to avail of its services. Those who want to work are penalised (if you earn “too much” your health insurance and, in the wrong state, your child’s health insurance, gets taken away, for instance; or your housing allowance gets cut, so you’re worse off than before).. Those who can’t work are demonised. The small percentage of hard core unemployable? No one’s solved that problem;l the guaranteed minimum income might help them with housing and food, though.

    You know it’s almost as if you have never been on welfare (in the last 30 years at least) and are relying on right wing talking points. You’re so factually wrong with this statement that it’s almost painful for me to read. The welfare reform that Clinton signed specifically requires work to even qualify for welfare. As a college student that was forced out of one of my jobs I tried to get some food stamps to help me make the transition to a new job. Despite having being a full time student I was unable to qualify as my workstudy job at the school only allowed for 19 hours a week. I didn’t meet the minimum weekly hourly work requirement. There are also limits on how much you can get and how long you can get it. This whole bullshit about the Cadillac welfare queen living off welfare her whole life is fictitious bullshit. There’s a whole array of incentives to get back on your feet and to get off welfare.

    Yes with a kid the requirements are lower but having a kid is expensive and even more time consuming.

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  124. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Tolerance is not the same as uncritical acceptance. We have a perfect right and moral obligation to attack dangerous ideas. But at the same time we need to remember that politics is addition not subtraction, seduction not bullying.

    Not to get all sappy, but it’s so good to hear you say that because it’s absolutely goddamn right.

    So, the clarifying question for me at least is not WTF is the matter with Republicans, it is “Where are Democrats going?”

    They’re going to be hawks. (Already are?) They’re going to have to fix Obamacare, although they can’t exactly run on that. They won’t be able to put off immigration reform for long, either.

    But there’s the Supreme Court to look forward to, I guess. Not sure what else they want to do, but whatever it is, it probably won’t happen. “Reality hits you hard, bro” and all that.

    @Gustopher: That was eloquent and devastating. Well done, my friend.

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  125. Lit3Bolt says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The Republicans have almost completely ceded the “Rational Right.” This is a combination the policies of business/industry success, promotion of Enlightenment/Christian values, and a belief in strong nation-states and a network of world allies, with a dash of libertarianism for using the intoxicant or sexual lubricant of your choice, as long as it does not harm others and there is clear consent.

    This is part of government, and since the Republicans cannot even agree on a budget, let alone defense policy, domestic policy, or anything else, the Democrats will swoop in and take those positions, because Democrats are interested in governing, and Republicans are not.

    People on the American Left who don’t vote and believe in chem-trails and anti-vaccination will decry this as not in line with Mao’s vision for America, and they will be ignored.

    2036 and 2050 will be about redistribution (sorry, Michael), resource management, disaster management, increasing government for the forced relocations and refugee crises from global warming, human rights vs. protection from terrorism, cyber defense vs. privacy rights (which privacy will ultimately lose, after a group of hackers gets into NORAD and War Games gets a real life reboot), and finally, for a battle royale, the multinationals versus the nations. And during all this the AI singularity may happen, more people could be unemployed than working, cyborgs will walk among us, and algorithm written movies and books will be winning Oscars and Hugo Awards. And around this time the equator, where most of humanity currently lives, becomes uninhabitable…

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  126. grumpy realist says:

    @Blue Galangal: I think the problem is “taking care of kids” covers the gamut from “reading library books to them, making sure they have nutritious food” etc. to “plop Junior in front of the TV and use it as a baby-sitting device, feed him junk food all the time”. And we’re not going get to the point where we’re going to allow the government to poke its nose enough into checking to see which type of parent you are….

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  127. Loviatar says:

    @James Pearce:
    @Gustopher:

    Why do I believe Republicans are an existential threat?

    The United States can not and will not be defeated or overthrown by an external force. The only way we can be defeated or overthrown is by a radical domestic political party gaining power and using our internal levels of power to change our form of government.

    The Republican party in the past 20 years has gone from being the other party, the opposition, to being a radical political party. At various times while they’ve controlled the three branches, Republicans have passed laws, implemented polices and decided regulations and laws which are atypical to our form of government. Their presidential candidate has repeatedly stated he will continue this trend.

    To repeat; the existential threat to the United States is not some external force. Its a radical Republican party gaining power.

    Why do I believe you’re both wrong about Republicans being good people?

    Relatively quickly I had all the facts at hand showing the bad things Republicans had done, all the statics showing how they were harmful to the American people. All the reasoning and logic that would fill not just a comment or blog post, but several books on how we would be better off without their participation in politics. The books had been written, no one paid attention. Its not facts that would make my argument, but clarity, which was much harder to achieve.

    I spent the day trying to be clear. Then I realized its about choices.

    Since the mid-60s the American populace has radically self selected. At each inflection point in the last 50+ years we’ve each made choices on whether we’re a good person or not.

    – We’ve chosen the party of civil rights or the party of racism.
    – We’ve chosen the party of equal rights or the party of sexism.
    – We’ve chosen the party of inclusiveness or the party of bigotry, hatred and fear.
    – We’ve chosen the party of government or the party of nihilism.

    To continue to associate with the modern Republican party means you’ve chosen to associate with the worst of the American body politic and yes that does make you a bad person.

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  128. James Pearce says:

    @Loviatar

    At various times while they’ve controlled the three branches, Republicans have passed laws, implemented polices and decided regulations and laws which are atypical to our form of government.

    You state this as a fact, but it’s really more of an argument. With almost no rewording, it’s something a Republican would say about Obamacare or increased capitalization requirements for banks.

    You’d like us to treat this argument as a fact, as if it’s something that’s beyond dispute, as if by not really agreeing with it we’re revealing ourselves to be either blind or stupid.

    But maybe it’s just not a very persuasive argument? Maybe it’s incomplete. Maybe it needs more honing. Don’t worry, though honing the argument actually makes it more persuasive, not less.

    Which brings me to this:

    We’ve chosen the party of civil rights or the party of racism.

    Once again, you’re taking for granted that the Dems are the party of civil rights and that the Republicans are the party of racism. I mean, I can certainly make an argument that’s the case, but the truth is a little more complicated.

    That said, you’re not wrong about it being a choice. You’re just wrong about everything up to that point.

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  129. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. I suggest that libertarians read this to discover how it can take a bloody long time before the market actually corrects itself….

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  130. Loviatar says:

    @James Pearce:

    You state this as a fact, but it’s really more of an argument.

    You’re attempting to insert a both sides do it rational to this discussion by acting like facts are open to argument. Guantanamo Bay, attempting to default on the National Debt and the Hobby Lobby decision are all radical Republican policies/decisions implemented when they controlled the various branches of our government. None are typical of the American ideals, governance or values, this is not an argument, these are facts.

    Fact
    – We are holding men (some were boys when grabbed) in perpetuity with no plans to try or release them. How is that typical of American ideals and law?

    – We had Congress attempt to default on the National Debt, not once, but twice since Obama became president. How is that typical of American governance?

    – We now have businesses able to discriminate based upon a vague definition of religious freedom. How is that typical of American freedom and values?

    These people are an existential threat. Why? Because they are inside the American politic and they have had and will have a real chance to grab power.

    Once again, you’re taking for granted that the Dems are the party of civil rights and that the Republicans are the party of racism. I mean, I can certainly make an argument that’s the case, but the truth is a little more complicated

    So, let me get this straight; in 2016 the Republican party will have misogynist/racist Donald Trump as its candidate for president. The Democrats having elected a black man twice have now nominated a woman.

    I can see how that can be complicated to a white man.

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  131. James Pearce says:

    @Loviatar:

    You’re attempting to insert a both sides do it rational to this discussion by acting like facts are open to argument.

    No, facts are facts.

    And this…is not a fact:

    None are typical of the American ideals, governance or values, this is not an argument, these are facts.

    It’s an argument.

    This is a fact: There are 319 million people in the US and 246 million of them are white.
    Not a fact: Detaining people at Gitmo is contrary to American values.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong. Your argument happens to be a good one in which I agree…..but it’s definitely not a “fact.”

    The Democrats having elected a black man twice have now nominated a woman.

    I can see how that can be complicated to a white man.

    All credit to the Democrats for nominating a black man and a woman (although Obama is not just a “black man” and Hillary is not just “a woman.”).

    But look above, see the facts about the make-up of this country. If Hillary Clinton wins the election in November, it will be because of all the white people who voted for her.

    That’s a fact, Jack.

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  132. Loviatar says:

    @James Pearce:

    Not a fact: Detaining people at Gitmo is contrary to American values.

    Why don’t you use my actual statement instead of your made up one:

    Fact
    We are holding men (some were boys when grabbed) in perpetuity with no plans to try or release them.

    How is that typical of American ideals and law?

    —–

    If Hillary Clinton wins the election in November, it will be because of all the white people who voted for her.

    No, the fact is if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency it will be despite white men. The last Democratic presidential candidate to win the white male vote was Lyndon B. Johnson – 50 years ago. Hmmm, I wonder what the Democrats did about 50 years ago that would still piss off white males to this day. That would be around 1964.

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  133. James Pearce says:

    @Loviatar:

    Why don’t you use my actual statement instead of your made up one

    It’s called a paraphrase, and since your “actual statement” is a mere example and a dodge, a paraphrase should be sufficient.

    At any rate, you seem to miss the point. You’re talking about “American Ideals” and still thinking you’re dealing in “facts.” No, dude. You’re getting closer when you mention “American law” but again….your example is poor. American law allows the indefinite detention of terrorist suspects at Gitmo. You’d like to argue that it shouldn’t –and hey, I agree– but them’s the facts.

    No, the fact is if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency it will be despite white men.

    Please….

    You have a view of “white men” that is akin to Joe Arpaio’s view of “brown people.” It’s based on ignorance, exaggeration, a failure to distinguish the good from the bad, and dehumanizing people based on their race and gender. Why should anyone who isn’t an abject racist listen to you?

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  134. Loviatar says:

    @James Pearce:

    My views of white men are as complex and varied as they are themselves.

    – My views are influenced by the selfless good they do in many places across this country.

    – My views are based upon the reality that many of them are in the process of throwing a 50+ year temper tantrum because their unacknowledged and unearned right to be at the front of every line is no longer a given.

    Last resort of the closeted bigot/racist, when found out, call the other guy a bigot/racist first.

    It’s called a paraphrase, and since your “actual statement” is a mere example and a dodge, a paraphrase should be sufficient.

    I’ve told my son when you have to rely on semantics to make your argument that means you’ve lost. I’m done with this discussion.

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  135. James Pearce says:

    @Loviatar:

    I’m done with this discussion.

    You were “done” a few comments ago. Just took you a while to realize it, I guess.

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