Open Forum

The mid-week edition.

What do you have to say for yourself?

Now in the morning, per popular demand.

Remember, you can always find these via the Open Forum link on the top navigation menu.

FILED UNDER: General, Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. dennis says:

    Now that AG Barr has asserted that he believes spying on the Trump campaign did occur, his journey toward the dark side is complete. I recommend everyone everywhere acquire a CCW permit, because Trump supporters will be out en masse exacting retribution.

    On a further cynical note: I understand White America wanted its Great White Hope after being scared shitless by Obama; but, couldn’t y’all have picked a more decent white guy than THIS f***n guy? Geezus.

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  2. Michael Reynolds says:

    @dennis:
    For the record, 70% of the vote in 2016 was white. Of that, 37% went for Hillary, 57% for Trump. 8% of African-Americans, 28% of Hispanics and 27% of Asians voted for Trump. The single biggest issue for Trump appears to have been immigration.

    I have given up beating this dead horse, but until Democrats can manage to define a realistic and clearly-comprehensible approach on immigration, we are vulnerable. Unfortunately the progressive left is busy organizing a circular firing squad with the intention of destroying any life form that deviates from their idea of moral perfection and is way too busy telling us exactly why every possible candidate is unqualified, to focus on anything real-world.

    We can’t beat something with nothing. We need a genuine policy on immigration, and just saying, ‘comprehensive’ over and over again, isn’t going to cut it.

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  3. CSK says:

    @dennis: The Trumpkins like him precisely because he’s a malevolent buffoon. His ignorance is a feature rather than a bug. As they’re wont to say, he’s just like them. Trump, at least, doesn’t make them feel stupid.

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  4. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    [..]until Democrats can manage to define a realistic and clearly-comprehensible approach on immigration[..]

    It might not be too late for them to adopt a “market-based” approach to immigration. In a way, this even makes sense, as labor is a service like those involved in trade. That’s why the EU has free movement of people within the territories of its member states. Curtailing immigration is then just a form of protectionism.

    But the Republicans are past free trade and protectionism already.

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  5. Mister Bluster says:

    @dennis:..Trump supporters will be out en masse exacting retribution.
    His henchmen have reappeared here.
    “…racist message is popping up at John A. Logan College in Southern Illinois for a second time.”
    I doubt that they were ever very far away.

    Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.
    Malcolm X

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  6. Gustopher says:

    Remember, you can always find these via the Open Forum link on the top navigation menu.

    This now appears to work. Huzzah.

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  7. Guarneri says:

    LOL

    Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Brennan, Clapper, Ohr…………….. They are going down. The only thing remaining to see is if HRC and BO had enough buffers. (“Yeah, the family has a lot of buffers.”)

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  8. dennis says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Yeah, MR, I can’t figure for the life of me why any black or latino would have voted for this guy, nevermind any woman.

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  9. dennis says:

    @CSK:

    We really need to fix the education system.

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  10. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @dennis: Yeah. Unfortunately, most of the education that comes after about grade 6 consists of content where there is no societal imperative for acquisition. You can’t teach people who don’t want to learn.

    It’s part of the reason that the first name of the Civics teacher is “Coach” (ht–James Joyner). The coaching is more important to the district than the teaching is.

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  11. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I have given up beating this dead horse,

    Clearly not. 🙂

    but until Democrats can manage to define a realistic and clearly-comprehensible approach on immigration, we are vulnerable.

    I totally agree, and it has to be something more than “don’t separate children and stick them in cages”.

    I’m open to any candidate who can figure out the right way to talk about immigration. “Abolish ICE” isn’t it. Waiting for Trump to do something so disgusting that only the 27%ers can support him isn’t it.

    Trump offers a plan that appeals to America’s worst nature. The Democrats aren’t even offering a plan (“don’t cage children” isn’t a plan). If immigration remains a top issue, the Democrats will lose — and that means no progress on global warming, health care, or any of a thousand other issues.

    Unfortunately the progressive left is busy organizing a circular firing squad with the intention of destroying any life form that deviates from their idea of moral perfection and is way too busy telling us exactly why every possible candidate is unqualified, to focus on anything real-world.

    I really don’t understand why you and James Pearce don’t get along… other than tone and a bit of specificity, this could be a Pearce claim. He would say “we shouldn’t focus so much on minorities”, but it’s the same underlying thing — what the base finds important, isn’t important, and will doom us all.

    Any successful candidate has to appeal to both the base, and the general electorate. If that means giving a few carrots to a few purity ponies along the way, the candidate needs to figure out how to do that without alienating the general electorate. This time out it seems to mean “don’t sexually harass women, be better than indifferent to minorities, but don’t have called for Franken to resign”.

    Also, I don’t see how anyone who was aware in the past twenty years can think that we have entered circular firing squad territory. 2004, 2008, and 2016 were all way more vicious.

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  12. Gustopher says:

    @Guarneri:

    Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Brennan, Clapper, Ohr…………….. They are going down. The only thing remaining to see is if HRC and BO had enough buffers. (“Yeah, the family has a lot of buffers.”)

    Barr’s claims of overreach and spying on the Trump campaign really does mean we need to see the full Mueller Report. For oversight of the FBI, if nothing else.

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  13. Gustopher says:

    Is there a pastel option for the blocky 8-bit graphic default avatars?

    I like seeing the distinct avatars for people too lazy to sign up for their own, but they’re a little too bold. Those people don’t deserve to have that much attention drawn to them.

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  14. SenyorDave says:

    @Gustopher: Barr’s claims of overreach and spying on the Trump campaign really does mean we need to see the full Mueller Report. For oversight of the FBI, if nothing else.

    I agree. IMO Barr is a hack, he was a hack who helped whitewash Iran-Contra, which has pretty much disappeared from the history books. But if he is to be believed the FBI might have been used to go after a political campaign. Aside from an investigation which should be transparent from the standpoint of keeping Congress informed (since the AG was appointed by the president so there is an inherent conflict of interest), the full Mueller should be released at the very least to House and Senate committees to see what it contains.
    BTW, Barr says spying occurred but as all media accounts have noted, he provides no evidence. I can think of another person who makes a lot of sensational claims with no evidence to back them up, I just can’t remember who that person is.

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  15. Teve says:

    Dave Levinthal
    @davelevinthal
    In a fundraising email today, the
    @OhioCRs
    describe
    @AOC
    as a “domestic terrorist” — a term often reserved for the likes of Timothy McVeigh and people who kill children in their school classrooms

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    @AOC
    ·
    11m
    This puts me in danger every time.

    Almost every time this uncalled for rhetoric gets blasted by conserv. grps, we get a spike in death threats to refer to Capitol Police.

    Multiple ppl have been arrested trying to harm me, Ilhan, & others.

    @GOP
    , what’s it going to take to stop?

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  16. dennis says:

    @Gustopher:

    If immigration remains a top issue, the Democrats will lose

    It’s a simple quantitative solution. None of us “natives” is producing enough tax base babies for future sustainability. Dems can calculate a lower legal immigration rate over a longer period while supporting dynamic secure border initiatives. Also, teaming up with willing Republicans on the issue (Rep. Will Hurd, for example) to craft bi-partisan legislation takes the fire out of Trump’s asinine rhetoric, if not the stupid.

    Also, I don’t see how anyone who was aware in the past twenty years can think that we have entered circular firing squad territory. 2004, 2008, and 2016 were all way more vicious.

    C’mon now, G. The Dems are notorious for eating their wounded. The latest being, throwing Ilhan Omar under the bus. Netanyahu won, again. Watch him prove Omar correct.

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  17. gVOR08 says:

    @dennis:
    From Kevin Drum,

    Via Axios, here’s the full exchange:

    “Barr: I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. … There were a lot of rules put in place to make sure that there’s an adequate basis before our law enforcement agencies get involved in political surveillance. I’m not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at that.

    Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.): But you’re not suggesting that spying occurred?

    Barr: I don’t … well … I guess you could — I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur. But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated. And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.”

    What Barr is talking about is normally referred to as “investigation.” The FBI did indeed investigate various members of the Trump campaign, and there has never been the slightest evidence that it was improper. The case was precipitated by a tipsy George Papadopoulos telling an Australian diplomat that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. The Australians reported the meeting and the FBI began its investigation.

    So perhaps a better headline would be something like this: “Barr: No Evidence That Trump Investigation Was Improper

    So Barr has nothing, but he fed FOX a BS headline. A couple weeks ago there was happy talk on this site that Barr would release the report with minimal redactions within a week. So far all we have is new categories of redaction. Barr is proving himself the partisan hack he looked like. This is only going to get worse until Congress has the complete, unredacted report.

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  18. Kathy says:

    Brexit’s been extended until Halloween 2019, with an option to leave earlier if (ha ha ha) a deal can (ha ha ha) be reached (ha ha ha) in the Commons (ha ha ha) before then (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha).

    For something less funny, this means the possibility of a second referendum remains technically alive. I mean technically as in one can technically win the lottery by buying one ticket.

    Also technically one can say Britain is not seceding from the EU. Technically. I like to think first world countries have grown past the real possibility of civil war. I guess Britain and America will provide proof.

    For the record, I find civil war within nuclear armed states to be too alarming.

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  19. gVOR08 says:
  20. Kathy says:

    OMG! this is too good: The National Enquirer is for sale!

    I know the parent company, American Media or something, isn’t part of the sale. It’s merely spinning off its leaky vessels. Still, what if Jeff Bezos were to buy them, offering a very high price if they include any and all catch-and-kill stories on Trump? Which would then go on the front page of the same trashy tabloid that helped make Dennison a trashy celebrity.

    I’m not suggesting this would be any kind of good investment for Mr. Bezos. Only that if he wants this particular extravagant kind of payback, he can easily afford it.

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  21. Jax says:

    Testing to see if I have a picture now, since it’s open forum.

    Yay!

    You will have to excuse the rawness of my blog so far. I’m just getting into this. It’s mostly for drone photography.

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  22. Gustopher says:

    @dennis:

    C’mon now, G. The Dems are notorious for eating their wounded. The latest being, throwing Ilhan Omar under the bus.

    Omar is the outrage du jour on the right, since AOC kicks their asses every time they tangle with her. And she’s Muslim. And there’s a chunk of the Democratic Party that thinks that if they help the Republicans kick Omar, the Republicans won’t kick them, plus, she’s a Muslim.

    Not a circular firing squad — worse. A mixture of cravenly responding to Republicans and Anti-Islamic bigotry. And it pissed off a lot of the younger base.

    But, if ineffectually kicking Omar helps Democrats in marginal districts (I don’t think it does, but conventional wisdom is that it does) then I’m ok with it. I’d rather they respond to Republican calls of anti-Semitism with “bullshit!”, but they are the professionals.

    It’s easy for me to say, as I am not a Muslim woman, but I’ll also add this: if saying bad things about bisexual men can can give a midwestern Democrat his bigot-cred, so the good old boys will vote for him, and we can shore up healthcare and act on global warming, I’m ok with it. Bonus points if he can twist it into support for gay rights (same sex marriage means men men won’t marry women and cheat on them with other men down at the truck stop, or whatever).

    I need healthcare more than I need the approval of some square state mouth breather. And global warming is probably an extinction level event at the current rate.

    Yes, I’m a few steps ahead of the science on global warming. Every prediction has turned out to be optimistic so far, and I fear unseen tipping points.

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  23. Gustopher says:

    @Gustopher: I wander back and forth between thinking that we should sacrifice whatever and whoever is necessary to limit global warming, and thinking that humanity should just drown in the rising seas and suffocate in the sulfurous stench of decay as the ocean currents stop and hoping that whatever evolves next does a better job of it.

    I don’t know which is more cynical.

    At least I’m hopeful about the next dominant species with the extinction scenario.

    Ummmm. We really need to see the full Mueller report?

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  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:

    I really don’t understand why you and James Pearce don’t get along… other than tone and a bit of specificity, this could be a Pearce claim. He would say “we shouldn’t focus so much on minorities”, but it’s the same underlying thing — what the base finds important, isn’t important, and will doom us all.

    No, it isn’t at all the thing. I have no issue with actual minorities. I have an issue with victim-appropriation, with white liberals expiating their guilt and (surprise!) making things all about them. I have an issue with some feminists who seem to imagine that they are somehow the moral equivalent of African-Americans – 52% of voters is not anything like 13%. I have a problem with the leftie word police. And I have a problem with the NKVD style fixation on shooting their own rather than facing the enemy.

    None of that is remotely “we shouldn’t focus so much on minorities.” Rather it’s that we have a responsibility to produce practical results for POC and for women and for gays because God knows the Republicans aren’t going to do it. Results. Not brave poses, results. That means winning. Because without power – POWER – we can’t do anything for anyone. Doing nothing for no one is just fine for me – I’m a rich white guy – but it’s a betrayal of the very people we’re supposed to be about.

    So, yes, I get cranky about weak-ass campus lefties talking pie-in-the-sky and arranging circular firing squads and enforcing purity standards because I don’t really give a fuck about virtue signaling, there are real people who don’t have health coverage, or food, or homes, and real people being shot by cops, or gunned down in a place of worship, and real kids in cages. This is serious shit to me, Gus. Our country, our democracy, our freedom is on the line and instead of fighting the enemy the ‘progressive’ Left is putting hatchet jobs on HuffPo and elsewhere, everyone trying to out virtue-signal everyone else. It’s irresponsible. It’s weak and narcissistic. And it’s a betrayal.

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  25. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Mister Bluster: “Here’s how you get Capone. He pulls out a knife, you pull out a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way and that’s how you get Capone.” (h/t Brian DePalma)

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  26. dennis says:

    @Gustopher:

    I wander back and forth between thinking that we should sacrifice whatever and whoever is necessary to limit global warming, and thinking that humanity should just drown in the rising seas and suffocate in the sulfurous stench of decay as the ocean currents stop and hoping that whatever evolves next does a better job of it.

    So do I, G; so do I.

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  27. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: And the Torygraph commentators are going batsh*t, like usual. “Clean Brexit!” “WTO!” “Get rid of Theresa May!” they yelp, and then accuse anyone who provides them with “erm, you might not want to do that because…” data of “being a remoaner! Quisling! Traitor!”

    One starts to wish that the U.K. WOULD fall over the cliff, just to listen to the screams of these individuals when they come in contact with reality.

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  28. Guarneri says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Your hero, Michael Avenatti, will fix all that when he’s elected president, right?

    BTW – what’s he up to these days anyway?

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  29. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    Question: What is the plausible, innocent explanation for why Trump refuses to have any American present when he talks to Putin?

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  30. wr says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: “(h/t Brian DePalma)”

    Actually, h/t David Mamet.

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  31. Kathy says:

    Lesson for the day:

    Sleep-deprived and with only one cup of coffee in you, is no fit state in which to make decisions regarding unexpected news. Even if you think you’re sure, go check or ask somebody.

    Don’t worry, all it will cost me is two Uber rides, and a very red face.

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  32. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: It’s the same contemptuous “they’re doing it wrong” attitude that we get from Pearce.

    To which I say… “you’re doing it wrong!”

    I don’t really give a fuck about virtue signaling,

    What you mock as virtue signaling I would call ineffective protest. Over the past fifty years, as a society we’ve gotten very good at neutering protest by removing it from the sight of those being protested. It requires historic levels of action for something to appear on the mainstream news, or twelve septuagenarians with tea bags hanging from their tricorner hats.

    Meanwhile, Republicans have been trying to criminalize what little protest remains.

    This leads to:

    Our country, our democracy, our freedom is on the line and instead of fighting the enemy the ‘progressive’ Left is putting hatchet jobs on HuffPo and elsewhere

    You’re not wrong. But what’s the solution? Beyond old man yells at clouds?

    I’m surprised that we haven’t had a wave of left wing terrorism yet, because people have been effectively removed from the system. I’m too fat and comfortable in my life, but surely there are people with a lot less to lose.

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  33. DrDaveT says:

    @Gustopher:

    Every [global warming] prediction has turned out to be optimistic so far

    That’s not quite true, though it will do for the elevator speech.

    What has actually happened is two distinct things:
    1. The most influential consensus reports (e.g. the IPCC) only include the factors and forecasts that pretty much everyone agrees with. That makes them inherently conservative; the consensus forecast is less scary than the average forecast, and in fact less scary than most individual forecasts.
    2. The sensitivity analysis with respect to how much/well humanity responds to the threat and does something about it doesn’t generally include the most likely case, which is “humanity ignores the problem and continues to increase greenhouse gas production without bound”. The IPCC reports tend to treat “current rates” as the worst case, and do not use those as the point estimate.

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  34. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    It’s the same contemptuous “they’re doing it wrong” attitude that we get from Pearce.

    The problem with Pearce–at least my problem–isn’t that he thinks Dems are doing it wrong. It’s that he has no consistent or coherent argument, and just criticizes whatever Dems are doing at the moment, even if his explanation why totally contradicts what he said before. For example, before the Alabama Senate election in 2017, he said that black voters wouldn’t come out for Jones because they knew it was just two white dudes who wouldn’t do a damn thing for them, and that Dems wouldn’t win the South until they learned that blacks weren’t looking for white saviors. (Pearce didn’t seem to notice he was already contradicting himself here.) After Jones went on to win, he claimed it happened because the Dems had “followed my advice.”

    Similarly, when the government shutdown was going on, he argued that Dems should just give Trump the $5 million for a wall. After a deal was reached that included less than $1.4 million for some fencing, Pearce claimed it proved what bad negotiators the Dems were–even though they were giving substantially less than what Pearce himself had previously said they should give. When I pointed out the contradiction to Pearce, he just changed the subject–repeatedly.

    When Pearce asserted that Dems “lost the mid-terms badly,” I explained to him point by point how they in fact made substantial gains. His response? He said “Winning elections is a start,” then linked me to two articles about the homeless problem. A little later he asserted that the election was a “mixed bag” for Dems but didn’t acknowledge having changed his position.

    The problem with Pearce is that he never argues in good faith. While he presents his claim that the Dems are doing things badly as his conclusion, in fact it’s his starting point which he simply assumes to be true and then goes scrounging around for arguments to justify it; once people point out flaws in whatever arguments he’s using at the moment, he then simply shifts to a different set of arguments, without ever admitting he was wrong the previous time. He comes off sounding like someone at a debate club who was assigned to adopt a particular viewpoint for one session.

    Needless to say, MR never behaves in this manner; agree or disagree with him, he always gives the sense that he’s arguing based on how he sees things and isn’t just trying to stir the pot or get on people’s nerves.

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  35. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @wr: You’re correct. My bad.

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  36. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:
    1) If you ever find me moving goalposts, point it out.
    2) If you ever find me unwilling to explain or defend a position, ditto.
    3) And if you ever find that I am refusing to confront facts, double ditto.

    The Democratic agenda will emerge – as it should – during the course of the primary race. What I would like to see from mainstream liberals is an understanding that this is not Obama’s 3rd term. It’s not a restoration, the progressives won’t accept that and neither will some mainstream liberals – like me. We are about the future, not the past. We want better than it was, not a comforting return to status quo ante.

    What I’d like progressives to understand is that fratricide does nothing but help Trump. I saw another hit piece from a Bernie supporter against Pete Buttigieg, a piece that rested on vapor. That shit needs to stop. Argue issues, not ad hominem, we’re all on the same side. And understand that our best hope is some progress, it isn’t revolution. And for God’s sake, talk to some people who didn’t get a liberal arts degree. People who work and support families.

    I think we should be talking health care, wages, reasonable daycare support, undoing Trump’s various nasty ‘policies’ on immigration, treating our international friends like friends, and thugs like thugs. The single biggest opening is economic, I think, looking at, for example, pilot projects on UBI, and apprenticeships in lieu of the single-minded obsession with college. I think we need to ask more of the rich, but within reason, and with a reasonable lead-time. We need to get granular on climate change and talk about nukes, because if the progs want to veto nukes out of hand, we’re basically done on meaningful action.

    The single biggest danger is immigration: we need a policy that secures borders humanely and without our very own Berlin wall. We need simple, clear criteria for refugees and we should widely distribute that info in Central America. We should hire a lot more immigration judges, institute an enforceable worker ID system, and insofar as it’s legal, we should try to adjudicate refugee claims in situ.

    Something I think libs and progs agree on, we need a complete overhaul of our ethics laws throughout government. Let’s put legislation and serious penalties behind the emoluments clause so we don’t end up with another game show host/hotelier taking bribes in the open from murders. And a law on record-keeping – no more meetings where no one but POTUS and Putin can conspire against the American people.

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  37. MarkedMan says:

    @Guarneri: Guarneri, no one in the anti-Trump camp is the slightest bit surprised that Avenatti is crooked. (Allegedly). After all, he is involved with porn stars and payoffs to the National Enquirer. He shows up on television making thuggish threats and spouting nonsense he can’t prove. Conducts business by Twitter. He’s more of a reality TV star then a lawyer. And was contemplating a run for President despite being ridiculously unqualified. What are the odds that a guy like that ISN’T corrupt?

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  38. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Avenatti is a smarter Trump with a more honest hair stylist.

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  39. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael j Reynolds:

    And for God’s sake, talk to some people who didn’t get a liberal arts degree. People who work and support families.

    While I realize that this makes a great applause line, KNOCK IT OFF! There are plenty of liberals out there with liberal arts degrees who work and support families! My ex-wife left her drunken first husband and getting a liberal arts degree was the key to her regaining her life and rescuing her daughter from a hand-to-mouth existence in Red State Eastern Washington. I’m sure that there are others.

    On the other hand, Guarneri has a degree in the sciences. Kavanaugh and Gorsuch both have degrees in Law, Trump in economics (yeah, that surprised me too), bunches of conservatives DON’T have liberal arts degrees. But I don’t think it would be wise to listen to them; even if they do work and support families.

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  40. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    The progressives and liberals driving the narrative are all ‘college kids.’ Where are the union voices in the Democratic debate, for example? The Dem narrative is being driven out of Park Slope and Silver Lake and the MSNBC studios. Yes, I understand that’s not the voters, but that’s the problem – our story is about AOC and democratic socialism and the latest outrage hashtag. I don’t have a problem with democratic socialism, or hashtags,, but I don’t think a guy making $14 an hour gives a shit.

    It’s not always about the reality, in running for office you’re telling a story, and right now our collective story is not one that would have moved me much back when I was waiting tables. My feet hurt, my back is going out, I made a lousy 30 bucks in tips and you’re going to do what for me? A green new deal? Some more words I’m not supposed to say? Somethingism? That would have been white noise to me when I was humping trays.

    I’m not saying we have to kowtow to this demo, but we ought at least to try to reach them, for the good of the country. I’m not looking for another 1 or 2% victory, that doesn’t end this madness. We should be looking for Cannae.

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  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael j Reynolds: I’ll just repeat what I said. Knock that shit off!

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  42. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: @Michael j Reynolds: a big difference between liberals and conservatives is, if it turns out Avenatti is a crooked reality star, we liberals won’t make him president. 😛

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  43. Teve says:

    @Michael j Reynolds:

    It’s not always about the reality, in running for office you’re telling a story, and right now our collective story is not one that would have moved me much back when I was waiting tables.

    you know it’s the Republicans making fun of AOC for being a bartender, and AOC defending working class people like bartenders, right?

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  44. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael j Reynolds:

    Avenatti is a smarter Trump with a more honest hair stylist.

    Can’t argue with the hair, but when you get down to it, Avenatti has the same all consuming flaw as Trump – he is a kerosene soaked moth helplessly drawn to the brightest flames. What was Avenatti thinking to get involved in such high profile disputes if he was criminal from the inside out? In 2016 I loudly proclaimed that Trump would drop out if he was in danger of winning the nod because, stupid as he is, even he had to realize his business dealings couldn’t withstand the intense scrutiny of a presidential run. It seems that both Avenatti and Guarneri’s boy Trump are indeed both that stupid.

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  45. gVOR08 says:

    Will Rogers famously noted he wasn’t a member of any organized political party, he was a Democrat. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Jefferson’s buddies bitched about the Democratic Republican’s poor message discipline. This is inherent in being a big tent party. It’s also a product of liberals being, almost by definition, less prone to falling in line. Republicans benefit from not really having a program. They just want to do what their lobbyists tell them to do and it doesn’t matter much what set of lies they tell to cover this up.

    But I think mostly it’s driven by the supposedly liberal MSM who love their ‘Dems in disarray’ and liberal nut-picking stories. They could do stories about Louis Gohmert and they’re occasionally forced to talk about Steve King, but they seem to prefer to talk about Ilhan Omar or AOC, I hope because they’re from places people have heard of and not because Kid Sultzberger thinks Trump will cut his taxes.

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  46. gVOR08 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Trump’s Bachelor’s in Econ with a specialization in finance is, technically, an Econ degree. But just barely.

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  47. Teve says:

    Robert Maguire
    @RobertMaguire_
    Can we all just appreciate for a moment that the older sister of the sitting President of the United States just retired so as to avoid an inquiry into a decades-long tax fraud scheme she participated in *with the President* (who is still in office)

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  48. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: it must be especially barely if he had to send his lawyer to threaten the school to never release his grades.

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  49. Teve says:

    Max Kennerly
    @MaxKennerly
    ·
    Mar 21
    Five years ago,
    @paulkrugman
    called out Moore in a column titled “Charlatans, Cranks and Kansas.” Moore’s response in the Kansas City Star was filled with so many errors that the newspaper declared it would never publish him again.

    So sure put him on the Federal Reserve Board.

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  50. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08:

    Will Rogers famously noted he wasn’t a member of any organized political party, he was a Democrat.

    Like a lot of famous quotes, this one has been widely misunderstood. Rogers made the comment during the 1930s, when the New Deal coalition was a largely incoherent mishmash of interest groups, and not all Dems were even New Dealers. It was a period when the party included white supremacists as well as blacks and white supporters of civil rights, when FDR attacked the money-changers while the previous Democratic nominee Al Smith extolled the virtues of wealth creation in terms that make him sound like a forerunner to Paul Ryan.

    If you transported Will Rogers to the present day, the Democratic Party would seem to him to be a model of unity and conformity, and he’d be stunned by the ability of its members to pick fights over a $12 vs. $15 minimum wage, Medicare-for-all vs. improving Obamacare, prioritizing economics vs. “identity” issues from people who hold more-or-less the same policy positions. It’s not that any of those disagreements are unimportant, it’s just that we tend to lose perspective by thinking they’re indicative of some major chasm when in fact by historical standards it’s hard to think of a time when the parties have been more unified (which is actually a problem). The parties of the early and mid 20th century were extremely factionalized in a way that today’s activists and pundits tend not to appreciate when they talk about intra-party civil wars or invoke the Will Rogers quote.

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  51. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Teve:
    I love AOC but I don’t think she reads as a proletarian, do you?

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I have no idea what you’re upset about. I’m not a politician, or in the media, I don’t drive the narrative. So I think I’ll go on expressing my opinions.

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  52. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    I don’t know if you’re married, but in my house all the loudest arguments are over trivia. The smaller the stakes, the crazier it gets.

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  53. Teve says:

    @Michael j Reynolds:

    @Teve:
    I love AOC but I don’t think she reads as a proletarian, do you?

    Hispanic woman working a low wage job in Queens is plenty proletarian, unless you’re* using the NYT Feature definition of proletarian to mean ‘white guy at a diner in East Flatbush between shifts at AutoZone’.

    But we live in an insane country where rich worthless heir Donald Trump is the blue collar champion, while a broke hispanic bartender is an elitist snob, somehow.

    (* Not “you” you, like, the Royal You, man)

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  54. Teve says:

    In writing that comment I just triggered some of my own alarm bells. I constantly have to remind myself that Russia and the Republicans are the bad guys, and not to get caught up in negativity towards anybody on the good side.

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  55. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Teve:
    I would love to think you’re right, but accessing my old blue collar self, thinking about my brother and sister waitrons and cooks? I think AOC reads as precious, not as a prole. In restaurant world a smart, pretty girl putting herself through college by picking up bartending shifts would not be ‘one of us.’

    But she’s not a candidate. Look at Warren – clearly sincere and with an endless supply of policy ideas – policy ideas aimed largely at working people, but she’s nowhere in the polls. I don’t know why, but I suspect it’s a blend of sexism and reverse-snobbery because she reads as a college professor, which is what she is.

    Look, working people know what they are in the eyes of the larger society. They know they have no prestige or position and most know life isn’t likely to get better for them let alone their kids. They live in a constant state of low-grade fear – a blown muffler is all it takes to take out the car, which takes out the job. In that world talking rot about reparations, or how we’re going to be 100% green, and just as soon as you lose your trash-hauling job we’ll retrain you to be a code monkey, that’s just noise. Now, talk about subsidizing and regulating daycare? Ears perk up. Talk about minimum wage raises? Absolutely. That’s what I mean about talking to working people. They are stressed, they’re worried, they aren’t wildly hopeful, they know how trapped they are. Their needs are pragmatic – how do I get to work, how do I pay the babysitter, how am I going to afford the meds I’ve been prescribed, can my kids get an education. Those are the questions we need to answer, and some of the candidates are trying, but the elitist condescension of many/most Democrats still rings a loud distracting gong.

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  56. Teve says:

    When I was in college and working in restaurants on Glenwood Ave in Raleigh most of the people in the kitchen were also in college so she doesn’t seem abnormal to me, but we all have different experiences. Her opponents in Congress and on Fox news are certainly not going to help anybody with wages or childcare that’s for sure.

    Hey she just popped up in my Twitter feed.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    @AOC
    ·
    7m
    Fox News brought me up 3,000+ times in *6 weeks.*

    That’s how hard they’re fighting against dignified healthcare, wages, & justice for all; and turning their firepower on the youngest Congresswoman in history to do it.

    Too bad for them, cause we don’t flinch. #ForThePeople

    Christ. They’re talking shit about her every 20 mins on Fox. Going to make her the New Hillary.

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  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael j Reynolds: I should have been a little more explicit; you wrote

    And for God’s sake, talk to some people who didn’t get a liberal arts degree. People who work and support families.

    People with liberal arts degrees are no more monolithic than any other group and to treat them as though they are is the same asshat stunt that Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, the folks at Fox News, and the rest of the right wing echo chamber use to denigrate, oh say, wealthy people who live in Cali as not in tune with the real world–you know, where real Americans such as themselves live.

    I would never want to interfere with your right to speak. I just wish that you’d stop being an asshat. Like I said in my first post, it’s a great applause line; you should use it at CPAC next time you go. They’ll love it!

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  58. Teve says:

    Trump’s sister the judge is resigning because of an ethics probe into those illegal tax scams she and Donald benefited from. Her name is Maryanne Barry. when they say history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes, is this what they’re talkin about?

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  59. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    A) If you think I’m ready for CPAC I don’t think you’ve been paying much attention.

    B) The reason those people use those lines is because it works. Which means the lines are resonating with people. Right? Which to me suggests that however you feel about liberal arts majors, the people we’re hoping to peel off don’t agree with you. When tne enemy has an effective weapon, you counter it.

    C) I don’t think there are a lot of blue collar people in our OTB commentariat, do you? I don’t mean people who worked at a crab shack in Ocean City for a summer, I mean people have lived in that world, in that trap. I have. I didn’t wait tables to pay for college, I was a waiter, a professional, full-time, Advil-popping, drink-stealing, customer-dissing, tip-counting, resentful waiter. Also a house painter, and a janitor. Now, maybe I’m wrong about how working people see the world, but I suspect no one here has better credentials for making an educated guess. Say ‘green new deal’ and they turn off. Say ‘democratic socialism’ and they turn off. Say ‘we’re going to cover half the cost of daycare’ and you’ll have their attention.

    We don’t need to give up on what we want, and it may well be that we can win without blue collar voters. But it’s still not good for the country. For the good of the country we need to find ways to at least talk to what are being called the ‘Trump-tryers.’

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  60. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Jennifer Rubin today:

    The recent Monmouth poll of Iowa voters is instructive: Biden not only leads, but has a 78 percent favorability rating and support from the kind of Democrats who show up in primaries — moderate, older voters. Biden has support from 44 percent of seniors and 35 percent of self-described moderate and conservative Democrats. Among lower income/working-class voters whom Democrats have been desperate to attract, he gets 38 percent. Those kind of voters — not self-identified socialists, not Bernie activists on social media — are numerous and dependable voters. And they’re not exactly the kind to punish him for hugging people in distress.

    From the perspective of working people who like Biden, who do you think they picture in their heads getting upset over Biden’s handsiness? College kids. And how many of those voters are thinking, Hell, I hug people, too, am I excluded from the club? I don’t know how much time you spend on Twitter but progressive activists are in many cases just assholes, and they reserve their most intense assholery for their allies.

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  61. Kylopod says:

    @Michael j Reynolds: I think it’s important to be cautious about reading into the current numbers. At this point four years ago the leader in national polls on the GOP side was Jeb Bush, and the leader in Iowa was Scott Walker, while Trump barely registered at all in polls in which he was included.

    Most voters are simply not tuned in right now, and the best-known names are naturally going to dominate the polls. I have my doubts how many voters are even aware of hands-gate at present.

    Also, the voter bases of each candidate don’t always fit the conventional pundit assumptions. There’s a surprising overlap between supporters of Biden and Sanders. Studies found that last time Sanders voters tended to be more conservative than Hillary voters, and he did best in states with the most white working-class voters. Part of that was the NeverHillary effect, but it shows that his “socialism” didn’t necessarily turn him off to those kinds of voters.

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  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: That’s why I noted my surprise, too. Still, it’s not a degree in liberal arts and people with degrees in finance are generally not among those who don’t “work and support families,” which is what the content of the post was about.

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  63. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    Let me clarify: I don’t want Biden or Bernie. My top two at the moment are Harris and Buttigieg.

    Clarifying further, I think we can probably win without many blue collar voters, but I don’t want yet another skin-of-my-teeth win, I want to nail the coffin lid on the tea-party, quasi-fascist GOP.

    Here’s what I want to see more of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WLuuCM6Ej0

    More of that, less of ‘OMG twenty years ago so and so said a bad word that wasn’t a bad word then, but is now, and so-and-so should have known it. Disqualified!’ The attack on Buttigieg I read the other day – from a Bernie person – took him to task because in Pete’s autobiography he mentioned being excited to first see Harvard Square as a young college kid, yet he failed to mention the homeless problem there. Really. That kind of nonsense is rampant in progressive media, and it is fratricide.

    I don’t give a millimeter on social issues, I not only accept #MeToo my first reaction was, ‘finally!’ But when we get to the level of having decent guys like Biden trashed over irrelevancies, I think that’s a real problem, a real problem that does not speak to the vast majority of Democratic voters.

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  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael j Reynolds: I know you don’t go to CPAC; you just use their lines. And damn straight about the resonation. You’ve resonated me into thinking you’re and asshat.

    BTW–is 15 years warehousing, another 8 doing temp industrial, and working most of the remaining 25 or so as contract labor blue collar enough to pass the test?

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  65. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    It certainly is.

    Now tell me how many of your old pals in the warehouse give two shits about a green new deal, democratic socialism or whether Biden hugs people? How many would care about daycare support or better pay? Now let’s compare how much media attention goes to Biden’s hugs vs. say, Warren’s plan for daycare?

    Who do you think is driving the hands-gate story? That did not rise out of the Right, it came from the Left who then handed it to the Right to use as a weapon against other Dems. And who in the real world cares about Biden’s hugs outside of Park Slope and Silver Lake?

    That is what I’m talking about. Progressives handing weapons to ‘conservatives’ to use against mainstream Democrats. Our message on rights and economics is being buried under the noise generated by the precious. We are sending a message that only the ideologically pure are acceptable.

    At the point where you start thinking I’m the Right, you need to take a good look at where you stand, because if I’m the Right the Left is looking at about 10% support. And I’m really sick of being called an asshat when I’m one of the few people here who uses his real name and risks economic reprisal for loudly defending the Left, and in addition to accepting that risk and pushing for my own impoverishment, I put my money where my mouth is. According to Open Secrets I’m one of less than seven tenths (.7%) of Dem donors who give more than $200. In 2018 I gave a hundred times that. If I’m your idea of the enemy strap in for Trump the Sequel.

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  66. Kylopod says:

    @Michael j Reynolds: Biden and Bernie aren’t my favorites either; if nothing else, their advanced age concerns me. I’m just saying I don’t think Bernie’s professed “socialism” is as big a handicap as some people think, as he’s already proven some appeal to white working-class voters. Indeed, he’s been criticized somewhat from parts of the left for prioritizing economic issues over “identity” ones. Perhaps his greatest weakness in the 2016 primaries was among African American voters, particularly in the South, and he has a habit of sounding tone-deaf when discussing race and gender issues.

    I agree that the emphasis on WWC voters is in some ways overstated. Obama also did poorly among this demographic, just not quite as poorly as Hillary. They’ve been steadily moving away from the Democratic Party since the Bill Clinton era.

    I’ve mentioned this stat before, but if there’d been just a 1% increase in African American turnout in the crucial states of WI, MI, and PA, Hillary would be president now–even with the WWC vote remaining absolutely the same. Of course that would still have been a ridiculously narrow victory. But the point is that the focus on WWC to the exclusion of all else makes people lose sight of the big picture. The goal should be rebuilding the Obama coalition of minorities, young voters, and college-educated whites. That may include doing better among WWC voters than Hillary did, but it doesn’t mean doing especially well among that demographic in an absolute sense. Obama never did and was still the most successful Democrat in decades.

    There’s something I find deeply ironic about all the WWC talk. People seem to forget that in 2008 this demographic was considered Obama’s big weakness, while Hillary was viewed as having more of a natural appeal to them. She’s the one who first made hay over Obama’s remark about this group bitterly clinging to their guns and religion, who went around chugging beer on the campaign trail, and who made the cringe-worthy remark boasting about her support among “hardworking Americans, white Americans.” It’s part of the reason why Obama chose Biden as his running mate: he was looking for a candidate with strength among this demographic, to offset his own weakness.

    One of the traps people get into after seeing their party lose elections is to get stuck fighting the last battle, making them miss new opportunities. Before Obama came along there was a widespread narrative that Dems’ best chance of winning back the White House was by nominating a Southerner, or at least finding a way to be competitive in that region; it’s a large part of what was behind the push for candidates like John Edwards and Mark Warner. Obama found a path to victory without most of the South. Of course he was helped a lot by the economic crash, but pretty much nobody talks about the need for Dems to win the South anymore.

    I’m not confident Dems are going to get big wins like 2008 anytime soon, at least not without something like the economic crisis that year. Even then, that was a relatively modest victory by historical standards–nothing like the super-landslides of the past, where candidates like FDR, Eisenhower, LBJ, and Reagan approached a full-sweep of the states. The country’s just too divided at this point. You can push pocketbook issues and try to avoid getting distracted by all the identity stuff that’s supposedly turning off all those voters. But the best you’re going to do is peel off a minority of these voters. Their hatred of liberals is deep-seated and cultural, and it’s not going to disappear just by presenting them with a different frame.

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  67. Gustopher says:

    @Michael j Reynolds:

    I don’t think there are a lot of blue collar people in our OTB commentariat, do you?

    A year after college, in the George HW Bush Recession, I’ve had to choose between buying peanut butter and medicine. And, I had the safety net of moving back into my parents house. So, better than some people, but sucky enough that I got a taste.

    A lot of blue collar and white collar people have the same issues — living paycheck by paycheck, squirreling away what they can to weather the inevitable storm. Most of our so called “middle class” is living that way.

    The attack on Buttigieg I read the other day – from a Bernie person – took him to task because in Pete’s autobiography he mentioned being excited to first see Harvard Square as a young college kid, yet he failed to mention the homeless problem there. Really. That kind of nonsense is rampant in progressive media, and it is fratricide.

    There’s a good chance those homeless people Buttigieg didn’t mention were your blue collar and lower white collar folks who didn’t have a good safety net when shit hit the fan in their lives. I don’t think it’s disqualifying that he doesn’t mention them in this instance, but it does make me wary. Genuinely wary.

    I like Mayor Pete. Years of NPR have conditioned me to like him. Plus, a one eyed dog.

    I’ve read things about his policy of getting rid of 1,000 dilapidated homes in 1,000 days in South Bend which leave me more wary — there are a couple of hit pieces making the rounds, and I want to see more balanced journalism on the subject.

    Who do you think is driving the hands-gate story? That did not rise out of the Right, it came from the Left who then handed it to the Right to use as a weapon against other Dems. And who in the real world cares about Biden’s hugs outside of Park Slope and Silver Lake?

    The right was circulating Biden pics during 2016, to say “Trump isn’t the real abuser, he’s all talk. Look at Biden being all creepy”. This isn’t the left handing the right an issue. It’s an issue that’s sitting out there which anyone can see. And, it’s the type of thing that dealing with it badly in the general election would doom us.

    He’s the front runner, if he is going to fail I want him to fail early enough that the rest of the field has plenty of time to compete. As front runner, he is special.

    But I really want some hard jabs against our candidates. I want to see who can handle it, as handling it is the main job of the candidate.

    I want someone to attack Elizabeth Warren for some bullshit, so we can see if she has gotten better at controlling her own narrative after the DNA self-own. And I want her to hand the attacker his ass.

    I want Buttigieg to have to deal with something, so we can see if he can still feed the press sugar cubes from the palm of his hand or whatever it is he does to make them all fawn all over him.

    I don’t want to see “Bernie was robbed, so BernieBros should stay home” or “It’s awful that Gillibrand is being treated like the villain when Al Franken groped people, so screw the rest of them”. I see myself edging towards that last one, sometimes, and have to remind myself that the election is more important than Gillibrand being unfairly demonized. We have dozens of other candidates.

    But, seriously, screw Al Franken. You grab butts on the job, you risk losing your job.

    I will say one other thing though — Bernie is not a Democrat. I don’t see a circular firing squad, I see an invasion. You may have the shape wrong.

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  68. Teve says:

    One of the things that helps me stay positive when people of liberal type a are complaining about people of liberal type b, is that the Democratic party has never in my lifetime been just a herd of ethnocentric racist authoritarian dipshits who all hate the same people and fall in line obediently when their strong man comes along. The brownshirts goose-step in unison, my side doesn’t. In the 42 years I’ve been on the planet, the Democratic party has been an eclectic coalition of feisty scrappy mostly intelligent people and a handful of jerks, and they fight internally like a bunch of cats thrown into a bag. They are never happy with their own party. And yet, over time, they manage to win stuff and make America a little better place.

    and way more people are identifying as liberal than any time in decades.

    The reason McConnell is throwing all the norms overboard is he knows his side is on the way out and they have to get while the gettin’s good.

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  69. Gustopher says:

    @Michael j Reynolds:

    And I’m really sick of being called an asshat when I’m one of the few people here who uses his real name

    What’s with the lower-case j as a middle initial?

    Also, sometimes you’re an asshat. You’re usually right, and often right even when you’re being an asshat. The dismissal of a large chunk of the base as “precious” is probably as bad as that chunk of the base not even thinking of working-class issues. (It’s also what reminds me of James Pearce — not moving goal posts, or lack of specificity, but that belief that you’ve got all the right answers and those other, precious people are doing it wrong — and I point that out to tweak you because I am a terrible person)

    The Democrats are a big tent party. It includes the precious people, minorities, the college educated, and women. It should include more of the working class, but we’ve lost our way. I don’t think we have to throw the precious people under a bus to get the working class — I think we just have to actually speak to the working class.

    Trump spoke to working class white folk. Clinton put out position papers. Trump told them that their problems were caused by brown people. Clinton noted in a NY Times that her position paper showed that actually brown people are a benefit to the economy.

    (I’m an asshat who didn’t give as much money, but am readily identifiable even if not using my real name)

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  70. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    It’s not just the WWC worrying me, but the HWC – Hispanic voters appear to be about 28% in support of Trump. The national average is 42% . Hispanic voters are a huge growth opportunity, and we have a racist POTUS treating them like crap, and still: 28%. Something is not right there. We should be seeing numbers paralleling black voters, and we’re not.

    I agree the word ‘socialism’ doesn’t carry anything like the freight it did back in my (our?) day. I think Bernie has done a great service moving the Overton window on economics issues. He’s not the guy to enter the promised land IMO, but he’s done some good.

    @Gustopher:

    This isn’t the left handing the right an issue. It’s an issue that’s sitting out there which anyone can see. And, it’s the type of thing that dealing with it badly in the general election would doom us.

    I disagree. It’s an issue that is only effective against us. It doesn’t hurt them, just us. If we keep inventing litmus tests and excluding anyone who fails the perfection standard, we’re going to be left with no one. What happens if we see Kamala hugging someone who later says it made them feel uncomfortable? What if we discover that Gillibrand dropped the N-Bomb in her high school yearbook? What if Cory Booker called someone a ‘tranny’ in 2002?

    No one can clear a bar that moves constantly, particularly not if clearing the bar doesn’t just require present day perfection, but perfection for their entire adult life and career. Ralph Northam wore blackface what, 30 years ago? Now he’s a great supporter on social issues, but no, we’re urged to hand the governor’s office over to a Republican who is in all likelihood an actual, living, breathing white supremacist. That’s madness. We have to be true to our ideals, but those ideals also have to include concern for real people today. Instead Dems go headhunting, looking to remove a guy who has been a friend to real African-Americans in Virginia. Why? Because he used to be a thoughtless jerk. Everyone was a thoughtless jerk at some point, everyone said or did something intemperate at some point, including you, as I imagine you’d agree.

    @Teve:
    I agree with all of that, but there has been a change: social media. SM magnifies the voices of trolls, especially on the Left, especially among the wealthier/educated demo, among the donor class, among the media. I love ideals, but there’s aspiration, and then there’s power, and without power we do no good for anyone. We won’t get back to power if we insist on knee-capping every person who runs, and again, there is literally no one, no living being, so perfect that their lives survive this kind of heretic-hunting. We’ll be down to a choice among those who have successfully concealed their sins – hypocrites and liars.

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  71. Michael j Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:
    I will absolutely cop to being an asshat at times, though my preferred term would be ‘a dick.’ (That’s what my wife calls me). But as for thinking I have all the answers, no, I really don’t. I come here precisely so that my ideas can be tested. I don’t in the least mind you arguing with me, quite the contrary, you’re a guy I always read because you’re smart and thoughtful and well-motivated.

    I deliberately state my opinions with a minimum of qualifiers – weasel words. I could dress my opinions up in better disguises, make them more superficially acceptable, but to what end? I don’t need people responding to my cleaned-up version, I want the fire to be directed at my main argument, not my writers’ tricks.

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  72. Teve says:

    FWIW as an aside, I’m really really liking these semi-weekly open threads.

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  73. Gustopher says:

    @Michael j Reynolds:

    No one can clear a bar that moves constantly, particularly not if clearing the bar doesn’t just require present day perfection, but perfection for their entire adult life and career. Ralph Northam wore blackface what, 30 years ago? Now he’s a great supporter on social issues, but no, we’re urged to hand the governor’s office over to a Republican who is in all likelihood an actual, living, breathing white supremacist.

    No one wants to hand the governors mansion over to a Republican. Other than Republicans.

    Northam got up, made a great first statement, and then proceeded to destroy any and all credibility he had with every other statement he made. The fact that the Lt. Governor may be a rapist, and the Attorney General also wore black face was something of a surprise.

    It is worth noting that Northam’s support from the black community did not suffer the same decline as his support from whites. Apparently black folks in Virginia just take it as a given that all white folks dress up in black face… and all evidence seems to suggest they are somehow right.

    Northam is still there. If his successor were not problematic there might be a strong call for him to resign.

    No one would have called for Franken to resign if he would have been replaced by a Republican — or at the very least they would face a backlash way harsher than Gillibrand has faced.

    As far as Biden goes, he was going to be attacked on this. It doesn’t matter if it only works on the left, what matters is that it works and the right would use it — the Republicans are as happy to get a lefty voter to stay home as they are to get a Republican to turn out.

    The coordinated N-prong attack on Biden from all sides — inappropriate touching, abortion, comments on segregation, Senator from MBNA, … — was bad. And good. But mostly bad. I want that team on our side in the general election though.

    Btw, I think a fair number of Republicans stayed home in 2016 because Trump was disgusting, but have come around to embracing him once his treasonous, racist, incompetent ways were revealed. He’s going to be very hard to beat if he doesn’t destroy himself.

    Just had a vision of a Biden-Trump debate where Biden asks Trump if he needs a hug. I think I’m ok with that.

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  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael j Reynolds: For what it’s worth, you can go ahead and ask me about what I think about the GND. I’ll tell you that I think it’s a day late and a dollar short. And that we’re already past the tipping point on Climate Change. And that even if we weren’t, it wouldn’t matter because this particular problem is the modern-day Tragedy of the Commons, and we lack the resolve to do anything to correct it for the same reasons as the grazing commons–the gains for us as individuals outweigh the costs to us. Don’t got a dog in the democratic socialism fight or Biden or Warren either. On day care, I wish that we believed in the value of it more than we do, but not even Patty Murray is going to fight for that hill. Minimum wage hikes are a blunt instrument for the varieties of economic actors and actions that we’re looking at and yes, I’ve worked at places while I was a temp where a hike in the minimum wage would shutter them. Lots of businesses can handle them fine, but we need to come up with smarter answers for this issue than the ones we have.

    And, no, you’re not the enemy. You’re just to quote Foghorn Leghorn “a loud-mouthed schnook.” Normally, I would have read what you wrote, sighed, and said “that’s just Reynolds being an asshat yet again,” but for some reason, reading that two days ago stepped on the last nerve I had. Maybe you need to hear that more; I dunno. So far, you’ve not persuaded me that you even know what the problem with what you said is; although, you’ve tacked like a master sailor, so congratulations. I would say something prescriptive here–much in the same way you tried to in the “don’t talk to a liberal arts graduate, talk to someone who works and supports a family” but I just don’t care any more. I guess that means that you can put another notch in the onion on your belt. Is it a white or a yellow? I know it’s not a red because the stems on reds are not sturdy enough to loop onto a belt…

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  75. Teve says:

    For what it’s worth, you can go ahead and ask me about what I think about the GND. I’ll tell you that I think it’s a day late and a dollar short. And that we’re already past the tipping point on Climate Change. And that even if we weren’t, it wouldn’t matter because this particular problem is the modern-day Tragedy of the Commons, and we lack the resolve to do anything to correct it for the same reasons as the grazing commons–the gains for us as individuals outweigh the costs to us.

    one of the first inklings that I got that climate change was in fact going to doom us was about 10 years ago when an otherwise very smart friend said that climate change would be easy to fix—-the problem is that businesses, engineers, investors etc just needed to create carbon free products that were better than carbon utilizing products. So, like, as soon as the relevant people created battery powered cars that were not just affordable and fast, but cheaper and more convenient than gas cars, bam, everybody switches, problem solved.

    Imagine your five-year-old tells you no, I’m not eating any vegetables, the farmers need to make some improvements, I’ll switch to eating vegetables as soon as they make broccoli taste better than ice cream.

    To fix your kid’s diet you don’t sit around waiting for those farming miracles, he just has to suck it up and eat the broccoli. To fix our carbon problem we can’t wait on miracles either. We’d have to suck it up and just seriously use a shitload less carbon starting pretty much immediately. And we’re not going to do it.

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  76. An Interested Party says:

    And for God’s sake, talk to some people who didn’t get a liberal arts degree. People who work and support families.

    This kind of stereotypical generalization of people with liberal arts degrees will obviously make such people upset and they will get as defensive as you did in the last paragraph of these comments…I do agree, though, that it would probably be better for Democrats and the country if we saw more clips of Katie Porter, who is dynamite in that clip, and maybe a little less of AOC…of course, under such a scenario, Republicans would try to smear Porter as they’ve done with AOC and Nancy Pelosi…

    The goal should be rebuilding the Obama coalition of minorities, young voters, and college-educated whites.

    Maybe that’s why Kamala Harris is following Obama’s playbook…

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  77. Kylopod says:

    @Michael j Reynolds:

    Hispanic voters are a huge growth opportunity, and we have a racist POTUS treating them like crap, and still: 28%. Something is not right there. We should be seeing numbers paralleling black voters, and we’re not.

    I have a few thoughts about this.

    First, Hispanics don’t necessarily think of themselves as a single group. For instance, Cubans are traditionally conservative. Many Latinos have been in the country for generations. Puerto Ricans are US citizens from birth. A significant number of Latinos consider themselves white (that was true of the ones I interviewed when I was a census worker). Have you spoken to any Latino Trump supporters? I have, and I’ve found that there are some who like Trump’s tough talk on immigration. I’ve met Latinos who hate Hillary with the same intensity as any beer-belly white dude in a trailer park.

    That said, I don’t totally trust the polls on this. There’s evidence Hispanics get systematically underrepresented in polls, and the ones who do show up are disproportionately the more assimilated ones. There’s a group called Latino Decisions that has investigated this phenomenon for years. They’ve not only questioned the exit polls on Trump’s Latino support, they’ve used it to explain Harry Reid’s massive upset victory in 2010, where most of the polls showed him losing to Sharron Angle by a comfortable margin then he went on to win by a comfortable margin. Nevada also happens to be the one state in 2016 that Clinton won despite most of the polls showing Trump in the lead. In other words, it’s the mirror image of WI, MI, and PA.

    All those caveats aside, let’s assume the polls are accurate, just for argument’s sake. How can 28% of Latinos approve of Trump? The answer may be more mundane than you think. That’s roughly in line with the percentage of Latinos who lean Republican, and voters who lean Republican tend to approve of Trump. And why do that many Latinos lean Republican? Possibly for the same reasons anyone else might lean Republican. A majority of Latinos are Catholic, and a significant chunk are evangelical, too. Most of the Dominicans I know are Pentecostal. Those are all very conservative faiths. Given all that, it would seem that Latinos are substantially less likely to vote Republican than would be expected based on their overall views and outlook. Trump’s anti-Latino rhetoric and policies have had a significant negative effect on potential Latino support for Republicans (remember, some exit polls suggested that Bush won 44% of the Latino vote in 2004–probably those numbers are questionable, but he was definitely a lot more popular among Latinos than any Republican since), so to ask why more aren’t fleeing the party is, to my mind, looking at it the wrong way. With African Americans, there’s a lengthy history there explaining why they’ve become so overwhelmingly Democratic despite not being overwhelmingly liberal, going back to the Civil Rights Act, Barry Goldwater, the Southern Strategy, etc. The anti-Hispanic turn of the GOP is much more recent. These changes take time to have an impact on the electorate, especially one as polarized as today’s.

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  78. Kit says:

    @Teve:

    Imagine your five-year-old tells you no, I’m not eating any vegetables, the farmers need to make some improvements, I’ll switch to eating vegetables as soon as they make broccoli taste better than ice cream.

    Nice image! But even better, to my mind, would be that of a passenger on the Titanic who admits that the old girl is sinking but who refuses to abandon ship until a rescue arrives with superior first-class amenities.

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