More on NATOME

More on presidential nonsense with a brief diversion into blogging philosophy.

“President Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office” by The White House

To continue a conversation from my previous post (because, why not?–this is a blog, after all), why write about nonsensical statements like Trump’s suggestion of marrying NATO and the Middle East? After all, there are more nonsensical statements in a given day than one could comment on and there are real things happening, right?

One on level the answer to “why?” boils down to this: whatever I blog about is something that I wanted to say at a given moment in time. That is, ultimately, part of the appeal of this medium and it why I will have been at it for what will be 17 years next month. Whenever someone asks why did I write about a certain things (as opposed to something else), I think back to (of all things), the radio serial version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and a bit of dialog with the old man in the shack who, unbeknownst to him, governs the universe:

ZARNIWOOP:  How long have you been ruling the Universe?
MAN:   Ah, this is a question about the past is it?
ZARNIWOOP:  Yes.
MAN:    How can I tell that the past isn’t a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?
ZARNIWOOP:  Do you answer all questions like this?
MAN:    I say what it occurs to me to say when I think I hear people say things. More I cannot say.

So, look, I blog what it occurs to me to blog.

And, really, that is a huge appeal: I can write about whatever I want to write about when I am thinking about it (and have the time to do so). Sometimes the topics are theoretical or philosophical and sometimes they are a reaction to the news of the moment. I appreciate the fact that others read this stuff and comment (especially since I am well aware that I could use a copy editor).

At any rate, back to NATOME.

I think this particular bit of nonsense is more noteworthy than other bits because it is so plainly ridiculous and because it impacts policy-making in the moment.

No, there isn’t going to be a NATOME. That’s not the point. The point is that we were actually on the brink of war with Iran just over a week ago. The reason we aren’t at war right now is not because of some great maneuver by the United States. We aren’t at war right now because the Iranians purposefully chose not to escalate.

NATOME underscores for anyone who is paying attention that Trump honestly and clearly does not understand some very basic political facts on the ground. He doesn’t understand what NATO is, what it does, or why it exists. And, he doesn’t understand even rudimentary Middle Eastern politics. Only a fool would suggest anything like NATOME.

But, I hear many of you shout, we already knew all of this!

Sure. But, of course, it is always useful to have clear, empirical evidence to back one’s position. It also provides a somewhat frightening amount of insight into how he thinks (or, more accurately, how shallowly he thinks) about the region.

Again: only a fool would make this kind of suggestion. That means we have a fool making key decisions about US national interests. Not to put too fine of a point on this, but there we are. But, as per the previous paragraph, this is clear proof of his foolishness and not the result of partisan or policy differences.

I also think that it is the kind of statement that has the potential to make some supporters pause. It has to affect the thought processes of some of the more serious members of the Republican caucus in the Senate. And, it is the kind of thing that I would like to think would penetrate the minds of educated, marginal supporters who are continually talking themselves into the notion that putting up with Trump’s nonsense is worth the trade-offs for judges or tax cuts or whatever.

Do I expect a lot of minds to change over this? No. Maybe none, but it is another chip away at the notion that he is just a regular politician who happens to use some weird syntax.

Indeed, it seems to me that if critics of Trump are willing to throw a bunch of his words into a “that’s just nonsense, pay it no attention” pile, then those critics are empowering the marginal supporters to do the same thing. If it really is just nonsense, then it doesn’t matter, right?

But, I would argue that it matters tremendously that the President of the United States thinks that it might be possible to outsource the problems of the Middle East to NATO (as if, by the way, that would extricate the US from the situation, which it wouldn’t). It matters greatly that POTUS does not understand what NATO “expansion” means or that it might in some way be possible to expand it into the Middle East.

It really is tantamount to him saying things like his Middle East policy going forward will be to expand the Super Soldier Program and then deploy the Terminators. It is fantasy.

Having a president who talks is fantastical terms about an area of the world where he almost started a war is a newsworthy. It actually deserves more attention than it has received, not dismissal into the Nonsense Pile.

Treating it like just some nonsense like covfefe or hamberders is to give the most powerful man in the world a pass in a way that gives supporters a way to keep deluding themselves that the man in the White House is really just another politician and that the judges are worth it.

Early on in this administration some critics warned of the normalization of this presidency. It is actually amazing the degree to which we have normalized and accepted, because of the deluge, a huge amount of foolish nonsense.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Donald Trump, National Security, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. mattbernius says:

    Treating it like just some nonsense like covfefe or hamberders is to give the most powerful man in the world a pass in a way that gives supporters a way to keep deluding themselves that the man in the White House is really just another politician and that the judges are worth it.

    Not to mention that they actively support that this should remain the new normal for the next 4 years.

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  2. Kingdaddy says:

    Couldn’t agree more. There should not be any tolerance of “the usual nonsense.”

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  3. Kathy says:

    If the ongoing tiff between Turkey and Greece has been the thorn on NATO’s side for decades, I can’t imagine what would happen if you brought Middle East countries into the mix.

    Just Israel’s unacknowledged nukes would be a deal breaker on so many levels, whether or not Israel were part of any NATO expansion at all.

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  4. Jay L Gischer says:

    On the one hand, it’s “foolish nonsense”. On the other hand, it portrays NATO as silly and irrelevant, and our allies as cowardly and venal.

    It allows “serious” republicans to have it both ways, which they sort of love. They get to brush off Trump’s silliness, while endorsing, with the back hand, the premises his silliness reinforces.

    Honestly, I think we should take it seriously.

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  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    But, I would argue that it matters tremendously that the President of the United States thinks that it might be possible to outsource the problems of the Middle East to NATO (as if, by the way, that would extricate the US from the situation, which it wouldn’t). It matters greatly that POTUS does not understand what NATO “expansion” means or that it might in some way be possible to expand it into the Middle East.

    Yes. Yes it does. You can’t get blood from a stone and you can’t – aside from random chance – get smart from an idiot. Trump apologists are down to arguing that we should pay no attention to what the man says, and no attention to what he tries to do but is stymied, and only pay attention to what has happened. As if we’re getting the full and complete picture on that. It’s like denying the importance of JFK’s thinking around the Cuban Missile Crisis because, hey, we didn’t have a nuclear war, did we? See? Move along.

    See? I drove drunk and no one got hurt! See? No problem! Focus solely on the fact that my car is back in the garage with only a few side panels dented.

    We used to think people should show their work. But I guess that rule was just for the first 44 presidents.

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  6. gVOR08 says:

    Your post yesterday was to the effect that Trump had made a silly, infeasible policy statement that could only be taken as evidence of his ignorance. Neither you nor any of the commenters, including my feeble jokes, were taking it as a serious proposal until someone showed up and started bitching that we were taking it seriously. And that was followed by a knee jerk attack on him. Followed by a long, boring, tit-for-tat. I sometimes engage myself when I know I shouldn’t, but still…

    Ah well. Still the best comment threads on the intertubes.

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  7. Modulo Myself says:

    The point Trump supporters and defenders are making is that there are right and wrong ways to think about Trump, and all of these ways correspond to how they think about him. These are the same pedants who will go on about how trans advocates or gun-control proponents have to be very careful about not alienating the masses with a few remarks on a blog somewhere, or in a Guardian column. It’s textbook authoritarian behavior, no different than how people justify any type of abuse or power.

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  8. CSK says:

    I don’t at all believe that Cult45 thinks of Trump as “just another president.” All you have to do is glance at the comments at the sites where they hang out: “PDJT is greater than Reagan!” “God blessed us with President Trump!” “President Trump stands head and shoulders above all other world leaders.” And on and on…

    I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s terrifying in its mindlessness.

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  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Modulo Myself:
    Indeed. It’s an effort to move the Overton Window because right now that window still shows a treasonous incompetent running our foreign policy.

    @gVOR08:
    Everything said by the most powerful individual on the planet has to be taken seriously. You and I may think we know when to disregard him, but we aren’t the point. The leaders and people of other nations still think we have an actual president. They pay very close attention to what he says. They take actions based on what he says.

    That may have led to a ‘knee jerk’ reaction and an attack, but I get testy when being spoonfed politically-motivated bullshit. I notice it when someone is trying to move the Overton Window clear to the other side of the house.

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  10. @CSK: There is clearly a lot of that, especially online (and for the kind of people who go to rallies).

    And while I do not dismiss any of that, I think we have to remind ourselves that that isn’t the way most people react to politics. There is a universe of Trump voters and Cult45 is a subset of that group. A lot of the time comments here make the mistake of pretending like all Trump voters are the same.

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  11. @Michael Reynolds:

    Everything said by the most powerful individual on the planet has to be taken seriously.

    Indeed. It baffles me that anyone argues otherwise.

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  12. john430 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “Trump apologists are down to arguing that we should pay no attention to what the man says, and no attention to what he tries to do but is stymied, and only pay attention to what has happened.”
    True, but you left out an important item…Trump loves chaos in his enemies and detractors. He thrives on dealing out such chaos. You guys are so invested in impeachment, you fail to note all the federal judges he has appointed. You all so want to see his “blunders” in the Iraq/Iran situation that you fail to see the impact that his military actions have on political thinking in China, No. Korea and Russia. You blather on about Trump’s racism so much that you ignore the economic successes he has channeled to minorities. Minority job and income opportunities have never enjoyed such levels as Trump has delivered. Chaos? You bet. In your lefty brains!

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  13. @CSK: BTW, to be clear, I agree with “It’s terrifying in its mindlessness.”

    But I would state that this stuff isn’t new, whether in US politics and certainly not in historic terms. Mass politics always has a hint of it. The problem is now scale and the fact that Trump is a populist and really isn’t a typical politician.

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  14. DudleyDoRight says:

    He doesn’t understand what NATO is, what it does, or why it exists. And, he doesn’t understand even rudimentary Middle Eastern politics. Only a fool would suggest anything like NATOME.

    This would be more persuasive if you hadn’t spent the last four years demonstrating that you don’t understand Donald Trump, how he became President, why he continues to command the support of 45% of the American public, or how yours and so many other predictions of doom and disaster related to the Trump Presidency fail to come true.

    NATO was created to defeat the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union ceased to exist over 30 years ago. NATO has not been substantively changed or altered to reflect that reality. Donald Trump looks at that situation and asks “What is this thing good for? Maybe I can use it to fix the Middle East!” You look at that situation and ask….nothing. You think nothing. You imagine nothing. You consider nothing.

    Here’s some rudimentary politics for you: Donald Trump just eliminated one of the most evil men in the Middle East, a man responsible for enormous amounts of death and human suffering. Iran “purposefully chose not to escalate” because, unlike you, both Donald Trump and the current Iranian regime understand any actual war between the U.S. and Iran ends with the destruction of that Iranian regime. It’s not foolish to bet big when you know you hold all the cards.

    As for normalizing foolishness, a lot of folks (including the relatively unhinged peanut gallery around here) spent two years accusing Donald Trump of being a traitor. We now know not only they were wrong but there was never actually any legitimate reason to believe it in the first place. Yet that poisonous conspiratorial nonsense bothered you not at all.

    Finally, let me illustrate the difference between Steven L. Taylor and a genuinely smart person.

    Steven L. Taylor – I blog what it occurs to me to blog.
    Genuine Smart Person – WHY do I want to blog about this and not that?

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  15. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Of course, but it’s clear that Trump caters to Cult45 no matter its size, and that’s what makes him and it so dangerous.

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  16. @john430: You are seeing patterns and purposefulness where none exist.

    And you are buying into Trump’s own simplistic sloganeering and sloppy logic.

    If you think are global positions with China, North Korea, and/or Russia is better than they were in 2016, you really are buying his BS and nothing more.

    And sure, low unemployment is better than high unemployment. But really tells us nothing about the actual overall economic conditions of minority groups.

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  17. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Look…you can take almost anything Trump says…and this all still applies.
    Nothing…nothing…he says can be trusted.
    Taking anything…anything he says seriously is absurd.
    Acting like it is anything but absurd normalizes his behavior and lessens the Presidency.
    The Sunday morning shows were full of discussion about his claim of an imminent threat to 4 embassies…and how no one else saw that intel.
    And his supporters say; “well…he said he believed…”
    WTF?
    A lot of historians, in the future, are going to make a living tearing apart Trump, and theorizing about the collective idiocy of this era.

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  18. Kathy says:

    Let’s go with some other idiotic absurdity: when Dennison wanted to buy Greenland.

    This was completely impossible and out of the questions, even were the Danish government interested for some reason. The question is whether then El Cheeto threw a tantrum and cancelled a visit to Denmark because 1) he was serious, or 2) he was humiliated by the reaction his idiocy elicited.

    Remember this is the man who made a rather big deal about a minor mistake about the path of a hurricane, IMO because people mocked him for it (no one ever mocked 47-states Obama when he misstated the number of US states, yes?)

    This latest oral bowel movement is too arcane to motivate quick jokes and memes, or even for NATO officials to respond with a joke or an insult, much as one is deserved.

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  19. CSK says:

    BTW, I have to say that the photo of Trump that accompanies this piece makes me laugh, as do all photos of Trump desperately attempting to look stern and commanding.

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  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @john430:

    Minority job and income opportunities have never enjoyed such levels as Trump has delivered.

    I don’t have time to pick apart all the nonsense in your comment, so I’ll just go with one.
    The fact is that job growth has slowed under Trump.
    Here is a spreadsheet from the BLS that shows Trumps 35 months as President lags Obama’s last 35 months as President by well over a million jobs, or about 36,000 jobs a month.
    https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/ces0000000001?output_view=net_1mth
    And whatever levels we are “enjoying” are simply continuations of trends that were well established under Obama.
    Here is a chart that shows the trend of declining black unemployment started in ’10, well before Putin’s butt-plug took over the White House.
    http://www.stlamerican.com/news/national_news/black-unemployment-is-at-a-record-low-but-there-s/article_9e27ae7e-0118-11e8-b7df-1b14fb997818.html
    This is tantamount to his recent claim about the lowest cancer numbers being because of him. He’s the kind of asshole that takes credit for others peoples work.
    https://www.cancerhealth.com/article/trump-claims-credit-cancer-decline
    If you worked with an asshole like that you’d want him gone. But you fawn over this orange douche. You believe whatever he says. And even though I just showed you the receipts…you will go on believing it, because you are not smart.

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  21. Modulo Myself says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    And you are buying into Trump’s own simplistic sloganeering and sloppy logic.

    His logic is really clear. North Korea exists as a thing on television that terrifies Fox viewers. He’s made great progress, and people keep telling him how great this progress is, and he says this on Fox, so the viewers can say take that liberals and Obama.

    The thing is he doesn’t know how to make deals. He sucked at real estate; his dad set him up and he blew through that and ended up a joke. People talk about the NY real estate world, as if his behavior is totally normal. It’s not, at least at the highest level where he wanted to play. He doesn’t know how to make a deal with anybody and a credible person would have had an anxiety attack and stopped and tried to do something else for their own health. Instead, he has a huge base of Americans because they’re all like him.

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  22. PT says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Besides which, who really deserves the credit for the strategy re judges, McConnell or Captain Chaos?

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  23. @DudleyDoRight:

    Iranian regime understand any actual war between the U.S. and Iran ends with the destruction of that Iranian regime.

    This is possibly the case. Certainly a war would be costly for both sides, and especially so for the country where the war would be fought.

    But you are revealing your simplistic approach. I have no doubt that the US could go to war and remove the regime. The problem is: for what cost and to what end? We did it in Iraq to way too much cost and to disastrous consequences.

    And yes, a very bad man is dead. But that isn’t going to stop Iranian policy in the region and we risked a war in killing him. Thankfully, a war did not ensue.

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  24. @DudleyDoRight:

    Finally, let me illustrate the difference between Steven L. Taylor and a genuinely smart person.

    Hey, dude, you read what I wrote and took the time to write a multi-paragraph response. If you think I am not smart, that’s on you for wasting your own time.

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  25. @PT:

    Besides which, who really deserves the credit for the strategy re judges, McConnell or Captain Chaos?

    Indeed. The funny thing about the judges is that it really is one area that Trump clearly has outsourced. His SCOTUS list was from the Federalist Society and I can’t believe he gives much thought to lower court nominations, but instead goes along with whatever he is given to him.

    He knows it score points on the rally circuit, so he keeps it up.

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  26. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @DudleyDoRight:

    he continues to command the support of 45% of the American public

    This is factually incorrect.
    But you claim to be smart.
    So think about it and tell us why it is incorrect. Then apologize for lying.

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  27. @Modulo Myself:

    The thing is he doesn’t know how to make deals

    This is stunningly true, given his attempt at branding himself a deal maker.

    He hasn’t made one substantive deal. He will get a tweaked NAFTA through congress and he will get some sort of deal with the Chinese on trade, but only to back off of a trade war he started. He got a nonbinding statement signed with Kim.

    He has left deals (the Paris Climate Accords) and refused to participate in negotiations (TPP), but where are the beautiful deals?

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  28. Andy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Everything said by the most powerful individual on the planet has to be taken seriously.

    Indeed. It baffles me that anyone argues otherwise.

    I guess I’ve failed to make my point clearly enough. So let me try another way:

    – Is everything Trump says and does equally important?
    – Should we treat everything he says or does as if it were equally important?
    – Do we have the cognitive ability and evidence to discriminate and determine what is – or is likely to be – more important than other things?
    – If we can determine what is more important, should we focus more attention, effort, and analysis on those more important things?

    My answers are No, No, Yes, Yes.

    Additionally, Michael persists pushing the lie that I want to “ignore” what Trump does because I’m an apologist. Again, no, I don’t want to ignore what Trump does or says. Everything a President says or does must be examined, but the attention and focus should to go to the most important things he does instead of treating everything equally.

    We humans do this in every aspect of our lives. It baffles me that we should make an exception for Trump.

    And again, as a practical matter, we’ve had four years of experience responding to everything Trump says or does in crisis mode. Who here can honestly say that, at this point, it’s been effective at damaging him politically? I think most people have become numb to it.

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  29. john430 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Well, you can argue academic concepts all you wish but occasionally you ought to get some real-world experience and see, for example, unemployment numbers even here in So. Texas. Even the off-the-books yard work folks can’t keep up with the demand.

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  30. @john430:

    Well, you can argue academic concepts all you wish

    What are you talking about?

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  31. Modulo Myself says:

    Iran “purposefully chose not to escalate” because, unlike you, both Donald Trump and the current Iranian regime understand any actual war between the U.S. and Iran ends with the destruction of that Iranian regime. It’s not foolish to bet big when you know you hold all the cards.

    Great, you’ve just proven that Iran acts in the short-term rationally as a country. So what next? Trump backed out off the treaty. Is he going to go offer any path to lift sanctions and to normalize relations with this rational country? Of course he won’t. Is he going to do anything different in the Middle East? Withdraw troops? Alter our relationship with Saudi Arabia? No way. That requires actual work.

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  32. @Andy:

    Should we treat everything he says or does as if it were equally important?

    This is where you position really breaks down for me. I don’t think everything is being treating as it were of equal importance. I certainly don’t think that is true here at OTB writ large and I know it isn’t true of my own writings.

    In scrolling through my most recent posts I don’t see a single one that fits that description.

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  33. mattbernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    What are you talking about?

    I am not sure either. Also remember that any debate with John on race will eventually boil down to he’s right because Hispanic wife.

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  34. I think this (from September) was the last time I focused on a specific utterance due to its nonsensicality.

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  35. de stijl says:

    Steven is meta-blogging. Love it.

    Btw, what these guys do is really wickedly hard.

    I was very briefly a principal on a blog. It was enormous fun for three weeks. It was geeky and stupid and tremendously fun – not meant for mainstream.

    You run out of stuff. Comic bits you’d been holding back. You deploy your reserves.

    Then what?

    We were not equipped to report and analyze day to day political developments. Analysis is hard, and you have to be able to stand by it days or weeks later. None of us wanted that.

    Our endeavor faded and failed fast. Funny Sulu clips and random bits and gags get you a month.

    Producing content that engages over a long time period is super hard.

    These guys cracked that nut when we were clueless. Thankfully, it was an obscure and unnoted failure.

    Hey! We tried. Failed. Lessons were learned. Never, ever try!

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  36. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @john430:

    for example, unemployment numbers even here in So. Texas.

    Dude…anecdotes do not equal data.
    I showed you the data…job growth has slowed.
    Respond to facts. We don’t care about your emotions.

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  37. Modulo Myself says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    He was literally handed a deal by the Senate for his dumb wall and he couldn’t pull that off, because it required concessions to Democrats on DACA, which was unacceptable.

    It reminds me of watching siblings try to negotiate and the older sibling starts screwing with the younger and asks do you really want this or that. The goal being to make the younger not sure what’s better. I think that Trump (and his support) comes from a place of natural insecurity. Getting The Wall is great if you can hurt brown people through its existence, but if brown people people are happy and there’s equality in the exchange then it’s wrong. It’s not even worth it.

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  38. Andy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    This is where you position really breaks down for me. I don’t think everything is being treating as it were of equal importance. I certainly don’t think that is true here at OTB writ large and I know it isn’t true of my own writings.

    In scrolling through my most recent posts I don’t see a single one that fits that description.

    I’m not talking specifically about OTB or any single outlet. Quite obviously, few but the majors have the time to cover everything. OTB, being a political blog, does focus on the politics and sometimes doesn’t cover major events at all. So yes, I think my position does not work if you limit it to a single blog or author. But I’m really talking about the aggregate – the media generally, political blogs as a whole, and social media like Twitter.

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  39. Andy says:

    @de stijl:

    Steven is meta-blogging. Love it.

    Btw, what these guys do is really wickedly hard.

    I was very briefly a principal on a blog. It was enormous fun for three weeks. It was geeky and stupid and tremendously fun – not meant for mainstream.

    I agree wholeheartedly with this. I tried and failed at blogging, it just wasn’t my thing and it’s a lot harder than it appears.

    Despite occasional criticism about topics here, I do really appreciate what the authors do and their willingness to post interesting content and engage with the readership. Especially in this day and age when so many have given up blogging for Twitter or other pursuits.

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  40. de stijl says:

    Once Immortan Joe was killed, the Warboys backed Imperator Furiousa (Theron was so good!)

    Today’s Trump Republicans can become post Trump Republicans. Wounded, but wiser.

    They are our friends, relatives, neighbors, compatriots.

    Tom Hardy was also very good. I’m not sure he is a good actor, or just a really intense human who bumbled into it. It really works. Handing off the rifle to Furiosa and being a virtual bean bag when she took the vital shot was genious story telling.

    Fury Road is the best movie of the 2010’s.

    Republicans are redeemable. We must show the way.

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  41. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Andy:

    focus should to go to the most important things he does

    OK…I’ll bite…what has he done? McConnell and the Federalist Society have been doing the Judges. He outsourced that.
    He has de-regulated a bunch of stuff…stuff that is making our air and water dirtier, our jobs less safe, and discrimination easier.
    The USMCA is simply NAFTA2.0 with some TPP mixed in.
    What else has he actually accomplished?

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  42. charon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    A lot of the time comments here make the mistake of pretending like all Trump voters are the same.

    Even so, Cult45 is numerous enough and important enough to be the tail that wags the GOP.

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  43. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Andy:

    Who here can honestly say that, at this point, it’s been effective at damaging him politically? I think most people have become numb to it.

    Well…now, wait…he got his ass kicked in the mid-terms. A historic whupping. And I think that’s the point…Democrats are energized like never before. So yeah…I think it does damage him politically. Will it again this November? Tough sayin’, not knowin’. But look at all the Republicans in Congress not running again. Why do you think that is?
    As for his polling…nothing he could say or do will damage the way his base sees him. It’s a cult. And you cannot break thru to the cult. They are happy to drink the poison. But his base is shrinking. It may be solid as a rock, but that rock is smaller. He is losing Women by the droves. Young people. Minorities.
    So I don’t think people are numb to it…it’s either energizing them, or they just don’t care because they love the kool-aid.

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  44. MarkedMan says:

    @Andy: I think pretty much all the commenters here agree with everything in your statement. Where the conflict comes in is what different commenters view as important. You put these statements in the same category as, say, his advice about rebranding to Boeing. I don’t. And you haven’t said anything that would come close to changing my mind.

    Basically, your arguments devolve down to, “he won’t be successful so let’s ignore it”. I (and most other commenters) agree that’s he won’t be successful. But he’s the equivalent of a mentally handicapped uncle telling you he’s going to go get his hammer and saw to fix your computer. Of course he won’t fix the computer, and perhaps he’ll get distracted and wander off elsewhere. But it’s certainly possible you’ll end up with your computer trashed.

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  45. Erik says:

    Trump’s pronouncements, especially his twitter feed, reminds me of the Gish Gallop. Any point that doesn’t get engaged and refuted is counted as a “win,” and in some sense actually is a win if it convinces someone that you are right, or a secret genus, or playing x dimensional chess. Even if not completely convincing, perhaps it sows enough confusion to allow later acceptance of a more “important” but still dangerously wrong bit of rhetoric. This effect can be cumulative.

    I really want to agree with @Andy, and functionally we need to. Heck, it might even be better to ignore the multitudes of clearly idiotic statements to avoid outrage fatigue. But doing so is not without a downside

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  46. de stijl says:

    People who assert that we should not take Trump literally but figuratively are doing a scam.

    Reality is unimportant, imagine instead that an ideal R President who said this idealized awesome statement instead, is the message.

    Do not listen!

    Trump *is* the President. R voters elected *him* voluntarily. It is a daily disaster. They wanted this.

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  47. Modulo Myself says:

    A lot of Trump explainers and whisperers are just out here defending Trump voters. For example, evangelical white Christians love and worship Trump, and we’re supposed to believe it’s only because of abortion. They don’t like him as a person, of course. But you can’t argue that white Christians support Trump because of his stance on abortion without adding that they have no desire to have a Pence, a hard-core pro-lifer who 100% did not cheat on his wife with porn stars, as President. Trump’s actions in the Ukraine gave evangelical Christians an easy, obvious way out of their insane hypocrisy. And they’ve refused to take it.

    That’s the rub. If Trump were to be removed in a bipartisan way, everyone would be like ah yes–he was obviously a deranged sack of shit who needed to go, and they would point to his actions and his words. But he since the noble misunderstood Trump voters aren’t up for it, we have to entertain endless explanations as to why the obvious is not a big deal at all.

    Personally, I think Trump’s tweets are barely on the radar. But that’s because he’s a sack of shit. Nobody wants to read about Trump and then wonder what’s wrong with the people who support him. It’s too much. And that’s why impeachment has barely gone above background noise.

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  48. Andy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I’m not talking about accomplishments, but the actions he takes.

    Here’s an example.

    His administration, like most administrations, conducted policy reviews in several areas. In particular, there were policy reviews on our nuclear arsenal and on missile defense. The changes in those reviews are being implemented and those changes are going to have serious ramifications for the global strategic nuclear balance.

    When the missile defense review came out last January the NYT and Wapo each did one story about it and that’s it. Then when most of these changes were passed in the recent NDAA, those papers made a small note about them in the body of the story about the passage with no real commentary or analysis. That’s it.

    Trump is upsetting the global strategic nuclear balance with his missile defense and nuclear weapon plans which were funded in that NDAA but most people aren’t even aware of it. We are also currently building brand new low-yield nuclear weapons and are in the R&D phase to develop new intermediate nuclear-capable missile systems that serve no legitimate purpose.

    Meanwhile, the NYT wrote at least six full news stories on the Covington boy MAGA controversy and ran at least 3 op-eds on it.

    The NYT wrote 7 stories on the non-scandal of military aircrews overnighting Prestwick Scotland and very occasionally staying in Trump’s hotel nearby. OTB did at least one post as well on this. It was clear from very early on that this was a non-story and not any kind of scandal, yet the press, Twitter and Trump’s worst critics continued to focus on it hoping for evidence that Trump was possibly ordering aircrews there to enrich himself. Despite the fact it was obvious to those who understood how things work in the real world that was impossible.

    There are many other similar examples.

    To all my critics here, what is the justification for these vast differences in reporting and attention? Why is it so terrible to suggest that topics of concern like the nuclear deterrence which affect human existence are more important than a kid with a MAGA hat or ignorant non-scandals?

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  49. Andy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    You may be right that staying the course will be enough to defeat him in 2020, but a lot of people smarter than me on political campaigns aren’t so sure. Personally, it’s not a bet I would take.

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  50. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Andy:
    Attention is not paid to Trump’s policies because: 1) No one has a reasonable expectation that said policies are the result of anything like rational analysis. 2) No one knows whether Trump will reverse his policy in his next tweet. 3) Trump is incapable of making a case for his policies for the excellent reason that he doesn’t understand them himself. 4) 15,000 lies causes one to discount anything he’s got to say and anything he says he’ll do.

    A policy should not be something that can be reversed simply because POTUS sitting on his toilet with his cell phone in hand is mad at Rosie O’Donnell.

    A pathological liar who rejects transparency, is incapable of explaining his own policies, has distinctly suspicious loyalties, and is known to be corrupt and capricious and impulsive is not going to have his policies taken seriously. Not by any objective person.

    That’s why I’m giving you grief, @Andy. If this was coming from @Paul it’d just be an idiot regurgitating Fox News propaganda. You are not an idiot. You’re not dumb enough to believe that what a president says is irrelevant. When an idiot says something stupid that’s just water being wet. But when a smart person says something stupid I look to motive.

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  51. barbintheboonies says:

    Iran shoes not to escalate because they knew it would be bad. Trump has refrained from hitting them too long. The Iranians have pushed us way too far. Now it is up to the Iranians to choose peace and prosperity to help their people. They are not happy about their own people shooting innocent people out of the sky. The reason I left this blog is most of you are all blinded by hatred of this president. Most of you cannot give a rational reason why. You will defend a congress and many socialist Democrats no matter how extreme they are. I just noticed you kicked James Pearce off, and he was a supporter of the Democrat party. What happened, he did not go along to get along? Please wake up and get real.

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  52. CSK says:

    @charon:
    THIS. THIS. THIS.
    I’m pretty sure a lot of Repub congress people despise Trump, but are terrified of going against him for fear of being voted out of office by the cult.

    I get it. I don’t like it, but I understand the fear. It’s legit. Cult45 is very vengeful.

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  53. charon says:

    @CSK:

    It depends on your purpose. If you are trying to win an election (for example), there exist people who have voted for Trump who might be getable.

    But if you are dealing with the GOP as it is, Cult45 has working control, pipes the tune.

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  54. Mister Bluster says:

    @barbintheboonies:..I just noticed you kicked James Pearce off,..
    Please document evidence for your totally false accusation that Citizen Pearce has been “kicked off”
    OTB.

    Old Barb Wire:
    barbintheboonies says:
    Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 08:05
    If a person marries another person when still legally married the second marriage is not legal. Why is it when an illegal person comes into our country, and has a child here that baby becomes a citizen. I feel birthright citizenship is foolish, and dangerous to us all. The cost of it is ridiculous, but for Democrats they don’t care as long as they can get votes. Look around people the homeless camps are growing daily.

    Why is it when an illegal person comes into our country, and has a child here that baby becomes a citizen.
    Because it is in The United States Constitution. If you don’t like it then work to change it and quit whining.
    Clearly you are an enemy of the Constitution of the United States if you think that Amendment 14 is dangerous.
    If birthright Citizenship is so bad then you should renounce your United States Citizenship immediately and leave the country. We won’t miss you.

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  55. Slugger says:

    Back to NATO. NATO was founded in 1949 almost simultaneously with the establishment of the West German state. At that time, the Berlin blockade and the airlift were still ongoing. There was a great deal of concern that the Soviet Union intended to extend its influence into western Europe via methods such as the Berlin blockade, subversion via electoral processes, and small wars when needed. NATO established a wall that clearly outlined dire consequences for Soviet expansion. The blockade of Berlin was discontinued by the Soviets a month after the official start of NATO.
    In my view, at this time there is much less reason for NATO to exist.
    An alliance in the middle east obvious must have more than a name. Who is in, and who is out is the fundamental obvious question. Turkey/Kurds, Qatar/Saudi Arabia, Yemen/Saudi Arabia, and Israel/everyone else are some of the obvious conflicts that some cool branding isn’t going to paper over.
    US presidents have had aspirational visions for the world order before. Woodrow Wilson had a vision for a League of Nations, but its evolution showed us that we need more than a marketing idea. Trump’s ideas don’t go very deep.

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  56. Michael Reynolds says:

    BTW, on the topic of presidential statements and policy:

    Top Trump administration officials on Sunday morning struggled to defend an airstrike that killed a senior Iranian general this month, acknowledging they could not confirm President Trump’s Friday assertion that Iranians planned to attack four embassies.

    On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said he “didn’t see” evidence of an Iranian plan to attack four U.S. embassies. But, he said, he “share[s] the president’s view that probably — my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies. The embassies are the most prominent display of American presence in a country.”

    Does anyone not understand that catching Trump in a lie on a subject as vital as this damages US credibility? Foreign powers have to assume that Trump’s military decisions are impulsive and justified only ex post facto by lies. It is ludicrous to try and separate statement and policy in the foreign policy arena.

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  57. charon says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    The alternative to birthright citizenship is creating a permanent underclass of non-citizens. Pragmatically, not good.

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  58. Andy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Is it really acceptable for the nation’s papers of record to give short shrift to important actions the administration is implementing because of the four factors you cite? Is there any evidence the NYT and Wapo are justifying their comparative lack of coverage based on those criteria?

    Yet at the same time, you’ve argued it’s important to cover every one of his 15,000 lies and inanities as serious news.

    Why is it justifiable to put a ton more coverage into speculative stories about what he might do or about what he says rather than things he is actually doing which have large real-world impacts?

    Or, tell me why – exactly – the Covington, Prestwick and similar stories deserved 7x more coverage in our two most important newspapers and 1000x more coverage on blogs and social media than huge changes US nuclear weapons policy.

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  59. charon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Good twitter post on that, including good replies:

    https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1216365680871821312

    (Link via LGM).

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  60. charon says:

    @charon:

    From those replies:

    Let that sink in the Secretary of Defense is saying he didn’t see the intelligence about Iran posing an imminent threat.

    If the SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, of all people, did not see the intelligence of an imminent threat, then Trump did not either and the strike sounds illegal.

    If the Secretary of Defense doesn’t have access to intelligence reports that precede the killing of foreign leaders, then who does? The diners at Trump properties and Eric,

    apparently.

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  61. Andy says:

    @Slugger:

    In my view, at this time there is much less reason for NATO to exist.

    Be careful saying that here, people will call you a Trump apologist.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Does anyone not understand that catching Trump in a lie on a subject as vital as this damages US credibility? Foreign powers have to assume that Trump’s military decisions are impulsive and justified only ex post facto by lies. It is ludicrous to try and separate statement and policy in the foreign policy arena.

    Yes, this is a very big deal. But it’s a big deal because of the action that Trump took (killing Soleimani) combined with the context in which it happened, the shock of such a huge escalation, and the questionable legal basis for the strike among other factors.

    The words and statements (and lies) are very important in this case because of the actions and context. This statement is, therefore, more important than other statements and thus deserves more coverage and scrutiny. It’s far more important than the usual Trump brain vomit by any objective measure. Yet you and many others here don’t seem to agree.

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  62. charon says:

    Larison:

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/just-trust-us-says-the-most-dishonest-administration-ever/

    The administration’s story keeps changing, because they are just making up unconvincing justifications for what they did. The president invents new excuses for the illegal assassination, and his subordinates feel obliged to follow his lead because they are implicated in his decision. The strange thing is that this administration still expects to be believed on something as important as this despite their constant lying to Congress and the public about everything else. The president and Secretary of State have trashed their credibility long ago, so there is no chance that we would give them the benefit of the doubt now. As a result, there is much more healthy and appropriate skepticism about the administration’s claims since January 2nd than there usually is.

    We are still piecing together what happened at the start of this year in the days leading up to the assassination, but the picture we are getting is one of a push by determined hard-line ideologues to take military action against a government they hate. Pompeo was the leading advocate for doing this. John Cassidy reports:

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  63. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Andy:
    I’m less worried about weapon systems that haven’t been used since WW2, than I am about a nut-case that wants to use one on a hurricane.

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  64. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Andy:
    I’m not talking about staying the course…Democrats won the House by talking about issues that people care deeply about and running diverse, high quality, candidates. That’s how you win.
    Listen to a Warren speech…agree, or not…it’s about serious issues and what to do about them.

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  65. Gustopher says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Dude…anecdotes do not equal data.
    I showed you the data…job growth has slowed.
    Respond to facts. We don’t care about your emotions.

    Clearly you hate the Consumer Confidence Index. Also, the Consumer Confidence Index is down slightly, so john430 is an outlier.

    https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerconfidence.cfm

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  66. charon says:

    @charon:

    Pompeo was the leading advocate for doing this.

    Secretary of State is supposedly about diplomacy, but this is a West Point guy with no diplomatic background who cares mainly about militarism.

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  67. Kit says:

    Apologies in advance if what I’m about to write has already been said — yesterday’s thread was the first in ages that I bailed on.

    First, while what the president says concerning foreign policy may strike some as obviously unworthy of prolonged consideration given that more urgent matters deserve our attention, but I rather doubt that other countries will so easily brush these matters aside. How would we react were Chinese leadership playing the role of Trump?

    Second, concerning the different types of Trump supporters, I can think of two. The first is the ends-justify-the-means type. They look at the damage to our institutions, our foreign relations, the planet, the body politic, etc. and they feel that the overall balance is positive. They are open to persuasion but only after they see the costs. Frankly, I suspect that once the bill comes due, their support will hardly matter. The second group rather likes the means. Sure, they might spout the latest Fox News talking point, but they revel in the nastiness. This group is not open to persuasion. In fact, to indulge in a bit of Marxist-light analysis, these people have now recognised themselves as a distinct class, and they will not turn back.

    And to tie in these two points, I suspect that others now see us as a dying empire, flailing about internationally and fatally sick at home.

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  68. Kurtz says:

    @charon:

    I am curious why the GOP isn’t dragging Pompeo in front of hearings asking why they have cut diplomatic security funding by 14% and want another 18% cut. Wait, don’t answer that.

    Maybe Barb can answer it. Or Paul. Or Guarneri.

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  69. Jim Brown 32 says:

    NATOME is Trumps pathetic spin on a one of Jared’s pet projects.

    https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5492981,00.html

    A former colleague reached out to me a couple of years ago to discuss. I told him it would go nowhere unless the Arabs thought it was their idea…which it isn’t. This was before the Saudis got into a pissing match with the Qataris…which kneecaps the EXISTING coalition of Gulf nation.

    Maybe MBS can change the culture of Saudi Arabia enough so they can be a counter balance to Iran in the region. If he can…. it will take at least 20 years. So any talk of coalitions that dont involve the US as the heavy lifter are the talk of rainbow $hitting unicorns in the sky.

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  70. Gustopher says:

    @charon:

    The alternative to birthright citizenship is creating a permanent underclass of non-citizens. Pragmatically, not good.

    Not good for whom?

    We have an undocumented underclass right now, and business owners love them.

    Part of the trick with an underclass is keeping it small enough that it cannot rise up and overthrow the rest of society. Birthright citizenship ensures that this underclass remains small. Plus, we can threaten the parents with deportation and separation from their children.

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  71. Andy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I’m less worried about weapon systems that haven’t been used since WW2, than I am about a nut-case that wants to use one on a hurricane.

    I’m 180 from that – I’m more worried about real changes taking place that will continue to have effects after Trump leaves office than one transient, verbalized Trump fantasy.

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  72. Kurtz says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    blind hatred

    Oh, that’s cute. Innane comments belong at The Hill. That’s all either side does there. We discuss actual policy here.

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  73. Gustopher says:

    @john430:

    True, but you left out an important item…Trump loves chaos in his enemies and detractors. He thrives on dealing out such chaos. You guys are so invested in impeachment, you fail to note all the federal judges he has appointed. You all so want to see his “blunders” in the Iraq/Iran situation that you fail to see the impact that his military actions have on political thinking in China, No. Korea and Russia. You blather on about Trump’s racism so much that you ignore the economic successes he has channeled to minorities. Minority job and income opportunities have never enjoyed such levels as Trump has delivered. Chaos? You bet. In your lefty brains!

    When people said they want government to be run like a business, I didn’t think they were using Netflix’s Chaos Monkey as the model. I guess I was wrong.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_engineering

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  74. de stijl says:

    Natome sounds like a character in a ridiculous manga. Natome has tentacles.

    (My phone wants to correct Natome to naptime, which is fricking awesome.)

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  75. Gustopher says:

    @Andy:

    I’m 180 from that – I’m more worried about real changes taking place that will continue to have effects after Trump leaves office than one transient, verbalized Trump fantasy.

    I’m more worried that an endless barrage of nonsense obscures policy proposals and decisions until they are being implemented, and that it serves as a tool for an increasingly unilateral executive power.

    I don’t think Trump does it on purpose, but I think the next Republican President will. Also, Boris Johnson does it on purpose.

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  76. Kylopod says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    I just noticed you kicked James Pearce off, and he was a supporter of the Democrat party.

    Let me say that I have not been paying much attention to the spat with Andy so far, so I have very little to say about it.

    With Pearce, though, it is wildly misleading to claim he was kicked off because of his contrarian views. First of all, he wasn’t kicked off; he just hasn’t been seen in a while. Second, the problem with him wasn’t his views but the fact that he never argued in good faith. He would make an argument, then when people pointed out flaws in it, he would completely ignore the rebuttals and change the subject to start talking about something else. Often he would end up arguing the opposite of what he had said at the start of the conversation, but without ever acknowledging any changes in his views!

    What distinguished him from the usual hit-and-run trolls that litter this forum is that (a) he was reasonably literate and articulate (b) he didn’t just flee the thread the moment he was challenged. But it was an illusion, because most of the time when he replied to a post he wasn’t truly addressing the arguments sent his way. There’s a scene in the movie Game Change where Steve Schmidt is watching the TV of Sarah Palin at the debate, and he keeps muttering “Pivot, pivot, pivot…”–and when she finally does, he cheers. He knew she wasn’t capable of defending her positions on the merits, so he considered it an achievement for her to dodge a question and smoothly shift to a different topic. That’s what Pearce did. It was like arguing with a wet bar of soap.

    People familiar with my comments here know that I am generally respectful and avoid engaging in ad hominem attacks. I welcome disagreement. What I do not welcome is when people refuse to debate honestly. I don’t care whether you’re a Democrat or Republican or whatever, what I do care is that you show some willingness to engage with the other side instead of using trickery and distraction to squirm your way of out of any accountability for your views.

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  77. mike shupp says:

    I’ve a question I’d like to ask of Trump supporters, which is “Would you like it if liberals tried to speak and govern as Trump does?

    This usually lets me smile to myself for about 2 seconds. Unfortunately, I still have enough conservative blood in me that I can guess the response: “They do, all the time.” And then my smile dies.

    I’m serious about this. I think to most conservatives and most people who pay little attention to politics, liberalism is a source of sound and fury, most of it meaning nothing. Think of health care. Ronald Reagan provided great simplicity — anybody sick can go to an ER and they have to look at you. Think of Democrats, what have they given us? Medicare and taxes. Medicaid and confusing rules which vary from state to state. Obamacare, a government program provided by a hundred or a thousand companies with lots of legal print and varying costs no ordinary citizen can comprehend, except that when you come down to it, it doesn’t really pay for everything. And there’s this babble about “Medicare for all” or maybe M4A or “single payer” (and how’s that different from the SingleCare I keep hearing about in TV ads?) and “expanding Medicaid” and how medicine in the USA ought to be like it is in France or the UK or Singapore or Sweden or wherever. And maybe it’s all tied into this Green New Deal thing? And how come the people down the street get so much money for their “sick” kid (who doesn’t seem all that sick if you ask me) when I work so hard at Amazon for 35 hours a week and get nothing when I’m sick? And they want to put my taxes up for this, even though the governor has already promised he’s going to veto any new health bills the Democrats in the state legislature try to pass? And who’s offering to pay for Grandpa, now that he’s o always right in the head and wants to wander around and we can’t keep track of him and there isn’t any place in the county he can go? Oh, it’s all so confusing and none of what them Democrats on TV say makes any of it better!

    And Iraq and Iran and Libya and those places! Shouldn’t we paying attention to the Christians in this country first? I mean there’s this Benghazi thing that Hillary did and “red lines” in Syria and Obama giving money to Iran for no reason — those people are our enemies damitall! — and Joe Biden’s kid getting rich and … That’s what I like about Trump, he stands up to those people and shows his fist and they know he means business, he gets things done!

    You (educated liberally-inclined internet-connected people) get the idea, I trust. From our vantage, Trump and his supporters are braggarts and bloviaters and blowhards doing damage to the country with wholesale elimination of regulations and bad tax policies and bad judicial choices and so on — most of which Joe Taxpayer never hears about. But to a poorly informed or disinterested voter, Trump and AOC and Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and even good ol’ Joe Biden seem cut from the same cloth. We see intelligent people debating policy. They think it’s just the same nonsense.

    I think this is a problem, and I don’t see how we fix it in the next 10 months,

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  78. Kit says:

    @Kylopod:

    What distinguished him from the usual hit-and-run trolls that litter this forum is that (a) he was reasonably literate and articulate (b) he didn’t just flee the thread the moment he was challenged.

    Intellectually, Pearce all too often sucked the oxygen out of threads. But not always. He’s unfortunately remembered for his bad-faith arguments, but he did regularly bring a bit more to the table. What, in my mind, clearly set him apart from our resident right-wing trolls is that he would post non-political content on the open thread. He didn’t just come here to piss off people.

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  79. mattbernius says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    The reason I left this blog is most of you are all blinded by hatred of this president.

    There is no better way of demonstrating that you left a blog and absolutely positively never-ever read it is to leave comments about how your totally left the blog because we’re all hateful people.

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  80. mattbernius says:

    @Kylopod:

    The problem with [J.P.] wasn’t his views but the fact that he never argued in good faith. He would make an argument, then when people pointed out flaws in it, he would completely ignore the rebuttals and change the subject to start talking about something else.

    Sadly this. He became an expert at moving goal posts and then denying that he moved them.

    Beyond that, characterizing Pearce as a Democrat is off the mark to. He was at best a radical centrist — i.e. wanting to support anyone who would cross the aisle (hence his constant calling attention to Cory Gardner). Now, he always said he wished he could vote for the Democrats, but he felt their leadership was completely out to lunch and was constantly losing to Trump on everything.

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  81. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    Classic, vintage James Pierce did engage. But he was always dodgy. What, exactly, do you mean? always got a squishy response. A self-identifying D that espoused views and values contrary to that.

    Nearer to the end of that era Pierce was just a troll, begging for attention.

    No discernible positive traits at the end of his run.

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  82. de stijl says:

    @mattbernius:

    JP was a something that demanded you pay attention to him, and that all D initiatives were misplaced and ineffective because reasons. It became tiresome.

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  83. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: I think that towards the end James Pearce was just annoyed with everyone, and wasn’t arguing in bad faith as much as just tired of trying and failing to explain his worldview.

    He flippantly-ish made reference to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, describing his view as “be excellent to one another.” It sounds naive. Grossly naive. But then look at Thich Nhat Hanh, and his book Being Peace, which is basically just a Buddhist version of “be excellent to one another” and goes into the transformational power on oneself and society of being excellent to one another, even when it’s naive and ineffective in the short term.

    And, I think Pearce failed as often as he succeeded. “Be excellent to one another” is aspirational.

    And, I get the feeling that sometimes Andy trends towards that frustration. Not trolling, just exasperated. Repeating himself because people don’t seem to get what he’s saying, and he doesn’t know how to explain it better. And then people get frustrated with him.

    So, knock that shit off. He’s not a troll. Be excellent to each other.

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  84. Teve says:

    The blog I moderate is a biology blog, and we don’t talk politics very much, (except insofar as creationist activists are all Republicans) but if it was a politics blog and somebody kept calling it the Democrat Party I would give them one warning.

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  85. Teve says:

    Pearce is a racist who pretends he’s not and the place is better without him.

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  86. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    I recall once having an exasperating exchange with James Pearce in which he kept insisting that because he considered Trump’s tweets to be insignificant, every one else should as well. I kept pointing out that his personal feelings on the matter were immaterial; what mattered was that other people, including foreign intelligence agencies, tracked Trump’s tweets and used them to, among other things, develop a psychological profile of Trump. Didn’t work. All that mattered to Pearce was that he himself disregarded Trump’s tweets, so everyone else should as well.

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  87. gVOR08 says:

    @PT:

    Besides which, who really deserves the credit for the strategy re judges, McConnell or Captain Chaos?

    The Koch financed Federalist Society.

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  88. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    @Kylopod:

    First of all, he wasn’t kicked off; he just hasn’t been seen in a while.

    He said to me that he was kicked off.

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  89. steve says:

    “or ignorant non-scandals?”

    Nuclear policy is complicated. As you know most people dont really follow foreign policy and only then if it appears to have immediate ramifications. It won’t sell news. The non-scandals get lots of coverage just like the non-scandals during the Obama admin. People will tune into that news. To be fair, Trump has been very opaque about his and the family’s finances while he has been in office and we now the DOJ won’t investigate it.

    Steve

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  90. An Interested Party says:

    Can anyone dispute this analysis?

    In a politically-successful presidency, the reelect is the period of maximum leverage for ambitious politicians who are close to the president. Because very few presidents have good second terms, the reelection is when people close to a popular president will use his power to slingshot themselves forward to create their own electoral bases of support.

    That’s not happening right now. Instead, we have the opposite. Ambitious pols close to Trump are passing on races that should be winnable and rank-and-file Republicans are retiring.

    This is not what it looks like when a successful president is closing in on a high-probability reelection campaign.

    Trump’s win in 2016 was basically a fluke, and despite the fact that he’s an incumbent, he surely is no lock on winning the election this year…there’s a reason he tried so hard to smear Joe Biden…

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  91. Kurtz says:

    @Gustopher:

    And, I get the feeling that sometimes Andy trends towards that frustration. Not trolling, just exasperated.

    IMO, Andy’s comments are among the best argued here.

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  92. gVOR08 says:

    @charon:

    The alternative to birthright citizenship is creating a permanent underclass of non-citizens. Pragmatically, not good.

    All true. But you don’t have to read much conservative philosophy to see a common idea that an underclass is necessary to support a cultured upper class, which some conservatives view as the proper goal of society. I keep asking for examples of the great art and literature and philosophy produced in the antebellum South, so far nothing. All I’ve got is jazz (not really ante), and that was a product of the underclass. The blue collar version of this philosophy is the need to have someone they can feel superior to. Not explicitly expressed, but widespread. I take that back, the white supremacist fringe is explicit.

    So while I agree with you completely, I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind.

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  93. Teve says:

    What percentage of the people who say ‘oh you can’t take anything Trump says seriously, no big deal’, called Barack Obama a liar?

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  94. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    He flippantly-ish made reference to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, describing his view as “be excellent to one another.” It sounds naive. Grossly naive. But then look at Thich Nhat Hanh, and his book Being Peace, which is basically just a Buddhist version of “be excellent to one another” and goes into the transformational power on oneself and society of being excellent to one another, even when it’s naive and ineffective in the short term.

    That might be a good excuse if he showed some evidence of at least trying to act according to this credo. Take the way he got thoroughly walloped after claiming the Dems “lost badly” in the 2018 midterms, then instead of either continuing to defend his claim or apologizing for it, he out of the blue just starts talking about the homeless problem. Or take the way he attacked Hillary for calling half of Trump supporters deplorable (actually, he first falsely claimed she’d said it about all Trump supporters, and stuck by this claim for quite a while after it was repeatedly pointed out to him that it wasn’t accurate), even though he himself had previously called all Trump supporters idiots.

    So, no, I don’t believe he was being naive, I think he was cynically using this high-minded stance to imply that others here lacked his idealism and good will. It was simply another weapon in his arsenal.

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  95. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod:

    That might be a good excuse if he showed some evidence of at least trying to act according to this credo.

    It’s a rare person person who lives up to their credo. When Google says “don’t be evil” you know they’re up to something. When Nancy Reagan says “don’t do drugs” you know she’s high on prescription medicines. When the guy down the street says “don’t rape children” you keep your kids away from him…

    You remember the worst moments. Who hasn’t engaged in a little goalpost shifting now and again? Or refused to acknowledge when they are wrong until it gets beaten into their head repeatedly?

    Seriously, though, he had more good periods than bad periods, and then everyone started ganging up on him, and then he had mostly bad periods where he got defensive.

    Or take the way he attacked Hillary for calling half of Trump supporters deplorable (actually, he first falsely claimed she’d said it about all Trump supporters, and stuck by this claim for quite a while after it was repeatedly pointed out to him that it wasn’t accurate), even though he himself had previously called all Trump supporters idiots.

    See the way you pull in him calling all Trump supporters idiots, and use that as evidence of hippo racing* in objecting to Clinton? But has anyone not called all Trump supporters idiots, traitors or deplorable? You would give someone you like a bit more leeway to exaggerate for effect.

    And I would expect better of Clinton than a random dude commenting on a blog. Her language drove people away who might have listened to her had she been able to speak their language.

    Anyway, Pearce is gone, so it hardly matters.

    And Andy isn’t a troll. If you find him frustrating, just think of how frustrating he must find you**, and skip over his comments for a little bit.

    *: I’m willing to accept the autocorrect here. I don’t care if it’s not what I intended. I hope that in 20 years English is transformed into a weird techno-cockney slang by autocorrect.

    **: The reason the monster is hiding under your bed is that he’s terrified of you. Also, nothing is more dangerous than a terrified monster that feels cornered.

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  96. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08:

    I keep asking for examples of the great art and literature and philosophy produced in the antebellum South, so far nothing.

    I think the Jeffersonian architecture would have to qualify. And the Declaration of Independence.

    But, other than Thomas Jefferson (flawed as he was) I’ve got nothing.

    The poetry of Henry Timrod? Also, Edgar Allen Poe. And Mark Twain was South adjacent.

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  97. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher: @Kylopod:

    I have total respect for someone who respects and lives by Bill & Ted’s Be Excellent To One Another credo. It is a solid life lesson. And a decent movie.

    Despite his flogging it, he failed to abide by it. He was often rude and dismissive. He was definitely not excellent to interact with on his best day. Mostly, at the end, he was aggressively rude.

    I truly love the credo and ethos of Be Excellent To One Another. Wholeheartedly and non ironically.

    It is a good path.

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  98. de stijl says:

    Let’s not speak of B&T2. Crikey Moses that was such a crap movie!

    First was excellent! Second was totally bogus.

    There is a confirmed release date for a new Bill & Ted movie. August 21, 2020. Keanu and Alex.

    I’m so there!

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  99. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    What is is higher than 100%?

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  100. de stijl says:

    @gVOR08:
    @Gustopher:

    They did invent “butt hurt” as a concept.

    Imagine an America where Reconstruction stuck.

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  101. In the interest of full disclosure, Pearce was banned (he didn’t just go away). It came after warnings from both Joyner and myself about thread derailment and increasing bad faith arguments.

    I honestly forget what the last straw was.

    (I would have notes this earlier but was away from the electronics for most of the day).

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  102. de stijl says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    He had become a huge distraction. Bad faith, no faith, aggressively rude.

    He was once a solid person here. No doubt and no argument. He was legit back when.

    He became a very assertive distraction at the end.

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  103. Teve says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: oh, didn’t know this. But as a moderator who has banned maybe 3 people in 15 years, I approve.

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  104. Mister Bluster says:

    Mister Bluster says:
    Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 15:25

    @barbintheboonies:..I just noticed you kicked James Pearce off,..
    Please document evidence for your totally false accusation that Citizen Pearce has been “kicked off”

    @barbintheboonies:..I sincerely apologize. I had no idea Pearce had been banned.
    My comments to you regarding the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution still stand.

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  105. t says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Please document evidence for your totally false accusation that Citizen Pearce has been “kicked off”
    OTB.

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    In the interest of full disclosure, Pearce was banned (he didn’t just go away).

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  106. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: I think he only got bad after people started piling on and attacking him, but towards the end (which I may remember as being a lot shorter than it was) he needed to walk away for his own health and happiness, if not the sanity of our hosts.

    And sometimes “walking away” is being escorted out by mall security.

    I’m hoping he has snuck back under another name, without all the baggage of James Pearce, and has been just fine. Or found some new online home. Or is happy somewhere off grid.

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  107. Gustopher says:

    @t: Did you read @Mister Bluster’s comment. He got there ahead of you.

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  108. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I like @barbintheboonies. She says what she means.

    She is poking into an audience that is not going to accept her with open arms. On purpose fore-warned. That’s a tough road.

    I admire chutzpah. Moxie.

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  109. @Teve: There was a time that I was opposed to any banning save in the cases of abusive commenters. After a while, however, one gets to the point that a given participant can totally derail comment thread after comment thread and a choice has to be made.

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  110. Teve says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I think I’ve mentioned before that at the beginning of my tenure we tried to come up with black and white rules, and it was a total failure because people who want to ruin the conversation can find ways that don’t explicitly violate any rules you come up with. Sometimes you just have to develop a sense of what works and what won’t. You guys have been very careful about the banhammer and you’ve done well.

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  111. Gustopher says:

    @Andy:

    Or, tell me why – exactly – the Covington, Prestwick and similar stories deserved 7x more coverage in our two most important newspapers and 1000x more coverage on blogs and social media than huge changes US nuclear weapons policy.

    Covington: Smug asshats in red hats resonate on a human level. And that kid is “blessed” with one of the most punchable faces anyone has ever seen. (It would be wrong to punch him in the face… but, it would kind of be right too… but, mostly wrong)

    Prestwick: On the surface, it has all the appearance of a very clear bit of self-dealing, and the Trump Administration stonewalled everything.

    US nuclear weapons policy? People think we will never use them, so it’s just a debate about the number of angels that fit on the head of a pin.

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  112. t says:

    @Gustopher:

    Did you read @Mister Bluster’s comment. He got there ahead of you.

    no i didnt see it. my messages keep getting held in moderation and my email addresses keep getting marked as spam. so when i posted it, it wasnt there.

    then by the time my messsage gets approved, it’s there.

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  113. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Okay, James Peaece, if you are reading, if you analytically comment you are gold.

    If you get preachy and overly assertive, dial back hard.Go stealth observation. Look, read, observe, adapt. Be cool.

    We are not enemies.

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  114. Gustopher says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    The reason I left this blog is most of you are all blinded by hatred of this president. Most of you cannot give a rational reason why.

    He panders to white nationalists, his foreign policy makes us less safe, he lies incessantly, he doesn’t respect congressional oversight authority, he doesn’t try to be president of the entire country just the parts that voted for him, and he has the wrong temperament for the office.

    Just off the top of my head.

    And he’s low-class and sleazy.

    You will defend a congress and many socialist Democrats no matter how extreme they are.

    Do you have examples of extremity? I haven’t really seen any.

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  115. Gustopher says:

    @t: ah, apologies then. I retract my curtness.

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  116. t says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    After a while, however, one gets to the point that a given participant can totally derail comment thread after comment thread and a choice has to be made.

    de stilj literally makes 5 posts in a row in every comment thread about music/movies/whatever and nothing gets done about it.

    people like reynolds, teve, wr, kylopod are allowed to MF everyone in a thread and nothing gets done about it.

    the ONLY people who get bullied/downvoted/banned are people that dont conform to the majority opinion.

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  117. @t: The honest to god truth is that I have a substantial track record of engagement and patience. Just look at my threads over a rather long time of writing here.

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  118. de stijl says:

    Andy,

    Do not stake your hill on Covington.

    Even if he was overly judged initially by media outlets you didlike.

    He was, in that instance, a prick. He is not a sort to rally around. He is demonstrably an obvious asshole. Pick more likable victims. Covington is an obvious jack-ass jerk.

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  119. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Screw extremity, show me socialism!

    RW folks are really weird. They see socialism everywhere with zero evidence.

    Except when their social security check arrives… silence

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  120. de stijl says:

    @t:

    I totally fess up to that.

    I often derail threads.

    Not on purpose, but still this is true.

    I try to do it when it’s a dead thread and no one is paying attention. You do have a valid point.

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  121. de stijl says:

    @t:

    If you made a salient valid point you would be more than welcome here.

    You kinda look like a whiner.

    To get up-votes, make an up-votable comment. Something smart or pithy or relatable.

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  122. t says:

    @de stijl:

    If you made a salient valid point you would be more than welcome here.

    @de stijl:

    You do have a valid point.

    it’s like i’m screaming into the void.

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  123. MarkedMan says:

    Some random takes on the comments immediately above:

    Mr. Pearce: I am 100% in agreement that in a comments section with actual dialog, tendentiously refusing to engage in debate but instead using straw man arguments, putting words into others mouths and, worst of all, refusing to acknowledge what you said was wrong when it has been shown to be wrong is absolutely grounds for banning.

    Andy: The difference between Pearce and Andy is night and day

    Covington: de Stijl, I respectfully say that this idea of adults dismissing kids as not worthy of respect is a terrible thing. I haven’t changed my stance since it started – that kids get caught up in group think and do stupid and dumb things, but then often grow out of it. At the time I contended that the Covington school failure rested mostly with the chaperones, who took their kids into the middle of a protest wearing hats that staked them out as absolutely on one side, and let them remain in a hostile and angry situation for 45 minutes or more. Nothing good could come of that and I would expect and adult to know better.

    t has a good point (BTW, t, if you are usually posting with a one letter name that could be part of your moderation hell problem). I’ll make my semi-annual pitch for a timed ban. If someone engages in name calling or other ad hominem attacks, they should get banned for some number of days. I know I would sometimes get the hook under this policy, but that’s fine with me in the effort to keep this comment section from descent into sniping. And I suspect that Reynolds would adapt with hardly a blink of the eye.

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  124. de stijl says:

    @t:

    Totally feel you, dude.

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  125. Jax says:

    @MarkedMan: I tend to agree with you on a timed ban, I don’t recall seeing it before, but I may have missed it. Then again, in the cases of people like s-destroyer and bungie, or, heaven forbid, miss crissie, a timed ban would just give them time to come up with even more terrible stuff.

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  126. de stijl says:

    @t:

    You with sad eyes

    Don’t be discouraged

    Btw Aztec Camera has a really great version of True Colors you could check out if you want other people to think you are actually cool.

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  127. de stijl says:

    @t:

    Fuck you for decontextualizing my words. I do not appreciate that.

    Jack-ass.

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  128. David M says:

    On the subject of whether Trump’s more nonsensical blather should be treated seriously or ignored, I would like to add another reason to take them all quite seriously.

    Takes the issue of immigration. Trump hasn’t tried to hide his racism and xenophobia, and he also hasn’t had any shortage of idiotic statements about it either. Thing is, he’s the president, and when the boss makes his wishes known, employees tend to want to keep their jobs and do what the boss says.

    So while no single Trump tweet on immigration is significant by itself, it’s noteworthy as we’ve basically ended the asylum system at the southern border. Legal immigration is also falling sharply. His tweets have horrific, real world impact.

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  129. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    RW folks are really weird. They see socialism everywhere with zero evidence.

    I mostly avoid going to twitter, but sometimes I go to look at something specific. I ended up looking at someone’s timeline and seeing the following:

    “Since by definition big government is socialism…”

    I don’t even remember what point this person was trying to make, but wow. All the retweets made me realize I had stumbled into a RW Libertarian circle jerk. I figured it was probably better that I don’t have an account, no need to get splashed by a stranger’s goo if I’m not directly involved.

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  130. @t:

    i requested deletion before the allotted time was up and gave a valid reason and yet you still approved the comment and quoted it to take a shot at me

    I honestly do not know what you are referring to.

    Would you like me to delete all the relevant comments? I would be happy to do so, my responses included.

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  131. @t:

    it’s like i’m screaming into the void.

    I, for one, would welcome actual comments. I may have missed something, but all you have done here is throw up passing criticisms.

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  132. Teve says:

    World War II was a massive effort in Government spending. I bet there were some idiot libertarians at the time shouting no big government! No big government!

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  133. @MarkedMan:

    I’ll make my semi-annual pitch for a timed ban.

    There is just no time to manage such a system. And it has its own pitfalls.

    Like I said: I used to be opposed to banning save in extreme cases, but there just comes a point wherein you feel the need to ask people to leave the party.

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  134. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    There is just no time to manage such a system.

    Sure there is. Just ask the timed ban advocates to volunteer to manage it.

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  135. mattbernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    In the interest of full disclosure, Pearce was banned (he didn’t just go away). It came after warnings from both Joyner and myself about thread derailment and increasing bad faith arguments.

    Thanks for the official announcement. I had heard that was the case but had never seen something officially posted (which probably would be a good standard practice).

    Beyond that, in defense of our hosts, it takes a lot to get banned here (I know in part because I took part in a few of those conversations when I was a contributor). And it never happens without significant and repeated warning up front.

    Are some posters treated somewhat differently? Yes. I feel like there’s a meta-discussion of this every few months (welcome to this months). Fair or not, the reality is most of them have earned it through time in and *gasp* not regularly shit-posting and poking the hosts.

    Its also worth noting that there are a number of right leaning semi-regulars who have posted here, often pushing the TOS, and they still have their accounts.

    Everyone can come up with their stories as to why there are less right-leaning commenters here than before (my sense is its more due to the content rather than the comments — though I don’t think its one thing or the other) but the ban stick isn’t the reason.

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  136. Teve says:

    While I understand the appeal of a temporary ban, like a time out, that sort of thing works on generally good people who are just misbehaving. It doesn’t work on malicious commenters. Giving them a temporary ban is like having a month off from measles. When it comes back it’s just going to be shitty again.

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  137. de stijl says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    You own the joint and it’s your party and we are the guests.

    You can invite or evict at your will. You are a decent dude; I trust you to make a policy that benefits us all.

    Btw, there was a dude who was very briefly a front pager. Brock something. James brought him in. Army guy, I believe. Adapt and overcome was a concept one surly dude with a high and tight taught me once. Brock apparently spaced out on that lesson.

    Dude banned me. Like super banned. Probably still would be banned except I changed devices, which is a loophole you should consider.

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  138. This has gotten wildly off topic. I have posted another thread here for continuation of commenter discussions.

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  139. Zachriel says:

    @Andy: The words and statements (and lies) are very important in this case because of the actions and context.

    Sometimes, most times, the words or even the lack of words are the action. When the President of the United States refuses to say whether he would honor the mutual defense provision of NATO, then the words do matter. As Trump is President of the United States, his words do matter. After all, a promise is just words.

    @Andy: – Is everything Trump says and does equally important?

    It’s flak. We understand you want to ignore the flak and concentrate on the target. Still, the flak doesn’t cease to be dangerous.

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  140. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    Twitter is so odd for 99% of users.

    At the end before I abandoned my account, I mostly posted pics of pangolins standing on their hinds flexing their adorable pangolin arms. Sun’s out, guns out, said every pangolin ever. They are so cute.

    Puppies dorking about, kittens spazzing over Roombas – child’s play. The future of internet memeimg is pangolins. Mark my words.

    Anyway, Twitter is malicious, seemingly by design or by savvy folk gaming the system.

    Unless you are Chrissy Teigan who is apparently the mistress of all social media, just don’t.

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  141. Andy says:

    I’m just returning to this thread and see it’s gotten off-topic.

    I don’t have time to engage further anyway, but I just want to say that I’ve appreciated the debate in this and the other two threads, especially the words of support by several commenters and our host. Thank you and Cheers!

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  142. Neil Hudelson says:

    @t: @Steven L. Taylor:

    When one makes a comment, one has a time period to edit that comment or request a deletion. Any comment I’ve ever requested deleted has never, ever been deleted. I think that’s what he is referring to.

    I assume the comments aren’t deleted because it would take a moderator watching threads for deletion-requests, and obviously you, Doug and James ain’t got time for that. But, for a first-time commenter who doesn’t know the pecularities of our comment system it can look like their deletion-requests are being purposefully ignored.

    T: in the future, just “edit’ your comment and fully delete what you wrote. When I do that, I usually replace my comment with a note stating that I deleted the comment, and my vague reasons for doing so.

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  143. @Neil Hudelson: To my knowledge there is no notification to us that a delete request has been made.

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  144. Neil Hudelson says:

    Just a test comment to see if “delete comment” is even still an option.

    Edit: “request deletion” is an option. I don’t think it’s much of an issue, since this is the first time in a thread that it’s come up, but perhaps the next time the comment system is being monkeyed with “request deletion” can be removed as an option.

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  145. mattbernius says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    T: in the future, just “edit’ your comment and fully delete what you wrote. When I do that, I usually replace my comment with a note stating that I deleted the comment, and my vague reasons for doing so.

    FWIW, that’s been my strategy too.

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  146. de stijl says:

    Also, if before you hit “Post Comment”, a quick reset is to just refresh page. All of your ramblings disappear. Poof!

    I do that often.

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  147. barbintheboonies says:

    @Mister Bluster: I have no evidence I just saw someone post about it. James Pearce was one of you until he said something most of you did not like. I too was a Democrat all they way until 2016 when I saw just how dangerous it was to propagandize everything said. I thought it was fun to be on the side that was winning, even when I did not agree. I now am sick to my stomach for doing this and ashamed. I who always wanted to be on the side of justice. If you say things just to be part of the crowd, you do not choose the justice we all should have, you are a go along to get along puppet. PS I used to think you all were to smart for me to talk to, now I feel sorry for most of you.

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  148. barbintheboonies says:

    @Gustopher: He does not pander to the white nationalist. He speaks to all who wish America to be as great as it can be. All people. If you can tell me any Democrat is doing anything to better America please do. I see our great cities deteriorating before our eyes, all Democrats cities I might add. I see kids get dumber by the day all socialist propaganda schools I might add, Democrats again. You can choose to keep your fingers in your ears and your eyes closed but it is in front of you and you cannot help but smeel the stench of BS.

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  149. Mister Bluster says:

    @barbintheboonies:..now I feel sorry for most of you.

    Speaking only for myself, I do not want your pity.

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  150. Neil Hudelson says:

    I too was a Democrat all they way until 2016 when I saw just how dangerous it was

    LOL. Raise your hand if you think Barb has been a democrat within, oh, the last 15 years.

    If you can tell me any Democrat is doing anything to better America please do. I see our great cities deteriorating before our eyes, all Democrats cities I might add.

    America is going through one of the greatest periods of urban revitalization in its history.

    Perhaps if you live in the boonies–indeed, you define your online persona by it–you may want to visit a city before thinking you know what’s going on there.

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  151. @Neil Hudelson: One suspects that she is buying the FNC story lines about CA collapsing and how Chicago is nothing but a murder zone, etc.

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  152. barbintheboonies says:

    Fair enough Just do not hate me for having a different point of view.

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  153. @barbintheboonies:

    James Pearce was one of you until he said something most of you did not like

    Your recent revival rather undercuts this argument, since you are not banned in the lest (nor is, for example, Guarneri, or Paul L. or most other people).

    And this is true despite the fact that your contributions are of poor quality. They lack evidence. They lack an argument. It is left to the reader to decipher your intent. If you want to make an actual, reasoned criticism, please do so.

    If you think my post is wrong, tell me how and why (and provide reasons and evidence to back your position).

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  154. Matt says:

    @Kylopod: There was at least one thread where Pierce argued that the Democratic party should do “A”. When the Democratic party did “A” Pierce in that same thread immediately argued that “A” was a terrible idea. There were multiple cases where in one thread he’d advocate for the Democratic party to do “something” that he’d then turn around and call terrible in another thread simply because the Democrats started doing that “something”. It seemed that no matter what the Democratic party did it was always wrong even if it was something he advocated prior.

    The dude didn’t always move goal posts sometimes he’d swap them completely…

    It’s too bad too because Pierce had been around for some time and was a positive to the community for so long before the sudden personality change (coinciding with Trump’s win basically). I hope he’s doing better.

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  155. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Fair enough Just do not hate me for having a different point of view.

    Your point of view is not different. It is exactly the same as every other member of Cult45. It is based on nonsense. It is based purely on emotion. It can not be backed up by facts. It is blithely untethered from reality.
    There is nothing different about you. You’re just another red hat.

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  156. Neil Hudelson says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    You’re confusing “frank disagreement” with hate. If you post something here people disagree with, they’ll tell you so. If you post something they disagree with AND its stupid, you will be told in no uncertain terms that your argument is wrong and stupid.

    I rarely see hate here. A couple of years ago Jenos mentioned he was in the hospital. No one gets piled on more than Jenos. How did the commentariot respond? By asking about his health and wishing him well.

    Language that does remind me (but not reach the level) of hate? Declaring, without evidence, that large swaths of Americans live in crime infested, needle-strewn cities, and that this fictional occurrence is entirely the fault of a single party.

    ReplyReply
  157. t says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Would you like me to delete all the relevant comments? I would be happy to do so, my responses included.

    yes

    ReplyReply
  158. @t: Will do.

    ReplyReply
  159. @t: I have deleted the ones I think you wanted deleted.

    ReplyReply
  160. Kylopod says:

    @Matt:

    There were multiple cases where in one thread he’d advocate for the Democratic party to do “something” that he’d then turn around and call terrible in another thread simply because the Democrats started doing that “something”. It seemed that no matter what the Democratic party did it was always wrong even if it was something he advocated prior.

    I can only comment on those arguments that either I was involved in or closely followed. One I remember concerned the 2019 government shutdown. While the shutdown was going on, Pearce kept arguing that the Dems should just give Trump the $5 million he was demanding for his wall. (I compared him to C-3PO–“Surrender is a perfectly acceptable alternative in extreme circumstances, the Empire will be gracious enough….”) When the shutdown ended with the Dems giving him $1.67 mil (did I get that right?) for some fencing, he said it proved what bad negotiators the Dems were that they gave away so much.

    ReplyReply
  161. Jax says:

    @Kylopod: I remember that. That’s when I wrote him off as “never gonna be happy no matter what”.

    ReplyReply

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