Saturday’s Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. 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


  1. de stijl says:

    Do you wanna kick Saturday’s ass? Wake up and greet the day, my friend. I have a triptych.

    Epic – Faith No More
    Grey Cell Green – Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
    Party Hard – Andrew W. K.

    Bang your head and fling your hair. If you greet the day fierce it will fear your 90’s awesomeness. Grr!


  2. Bill says:
  3. Bill says:

    The non-Donald Trump related headline of the day-

    Australian man jailed after stomping on pregnant Muslim woman

  4. CSK says:

    It occurred to me that Trump has been hospitalized because it was the only way he could be confined and thereby prevented from infecting dozens (at a bare minimum) of other people. Those dealing with him at Walter Reed will at least be able to take precautions. He can hardly order medical personnel not to wear masks and other ppe in his presence, as he did in the West Wing.

    The entire White House is going to have to be deep cleaned.

  5. wr says:

    @CSK: “The entire White House is going to have to be deep cleaned.”

    And that was before the virus!

  6. CSK says:

    Yup. Fumigated.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: The entire White House is going to have to be deep cleaned.

    1/ 21/21.

  8. de stijl says:

    I cannot think of a President hospitalized since Reagan. Haig declaring he was in charge.

    Usually, for minor stuff, WH med staff got this, but in this case Trump gets airlifted to Walter Reed on late Friday night.

    This is speculation, but I believe he is sicker than spokespeople are saying.

    Hospitalization means pretty sick. He is overweight and old.

    This is a big deal.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    David Mowatt

    Having COVID was the worst experience of my life. Every moment was just the most appalling suffering and pain, fighting for breath, doubled over coughing. Please exhibit a moment of human empathy and imagine how much he may be suffering, because it fucking rules

    Yes, I am imagining how much he may be suffering, and you know what I think? “It’s not enough.” Fuck empathy for that soulless piece of norm destroying, law breaking, constitution shredding, family separating, Putin sucking, violence inciting, covid spreading, loudmouth racist trash.

    What did I miss?

  10. Teve says:


    The Trump campaign manager position is like being the #3 guy in Al Qaeda in the 2000s.

  11. Teve says:

    Apparently Barrett is a member of a Catholic sect that denies not just abortion, but IVF and even birth control.

    I would link, but I heard about it in a podcast.

  12. de stijl says:


    What did I miss?

    Check the last bit of the last sentence in the quote.

  13. CSK says:

    I know very little about religion, but isn’t birth control (except for the rhythm method) prohibited by regular Roman Catholic doctrine?

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Yes, and Catholic School girls of a certain age who aren’t taking BC are as rare as spotted owls or Florida panthers.

  15. Teve says:

    The US added 51,403 new Covid cases yesterday.

  16. Teve says:

    @CSK: most US Catholics ignore that.

  17. CSK says:

    That I do know.
    @de stijl:
    As I said, maybe they stuck him in the hospital to keep him from infecting other people.

  18. CSK says:

    Oh, I know. But unless you mean that Barrett’s sect takes some special pledge to avoid b.c., I don’t see how the prohibition would be any different from what regular Catholics are supposed to believe and practice, even if most of them don’t.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In grand jury testimony made public on Friday, a law enforcement officer said police in Kentucky did not end up searching Breonna Taylor’s apartment on the day she was shot and killed by police who had arrived with a search warrant.

    I had thought she died for no good reason. Turns out she died for no reason at all. Words fail.

  20. de stijl says:


    No US President goes to the hospital unless very ill. It sends a strong message of uncertainty.

    WH med staff are top notch excepting the political appointee at the top where it’s vague during these Trump years where it is likely a lying sycophant.

    This is new territory in living memory. This does not happen until last night. That man is very ill else he would not be there.

  21. CSK says:

    @de stijl:
    You’re very probably quite right about the degree of Trump’s illness, but bear in mind that Trump himself is a manic, ill-tempered toddler. Unlike any other intelligent, rational adult, he can’t be trusted to follow medical advice. And he’s known for doing the opposite of what he’s advised to do.

    It’s true that this diagnosis might have frightened him into following doctor’s orders. But I wouldn’t bet my own well-being on it.

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: That man is very ill else he would not be there.

    I would say he is ill and they fear he is going to get worse, so they aren’t taking any chances. Very ill is when he gets put into ICU. Not they might not have already put him there and not told us, but it is a little early in his illness for that to happen.

  23. de stijl says:


    I accept that.

    Replace very ill with quite ill.

  24. grumpy realist says:

    @CSK: and yet a sizeable percentage of Americans are willing to put this manic, ill-tempered toddler back in power over all of us for the next four years…..

    I don’t want Rod Dreher over at TAC ever again to preach about morality. He’s already made it obvious he’s perfectly willing to sell his soul for political (or in this case, judicial) clout and is willing to risk the U.S. getting torn into pieces under Toddler Trump in exchange. I despise him.

  25. de stijl says:

    Next time McEnany speaks it will be Ill Communication. Beastie Boys rock hard.

    I am delighted by the oddest things.

  26. de stijl says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Welcome to the club. I despised him years ago.

  27. Sleeping Dog says:


    As other’s have mentioned, opposition to BC, IVF and abortion are standard teaching of the church. Sex exists for procreation with a corollary being that gay sex is sinful because it’s not for procreation.

    At best, practicing Catholics pay lip service to these teaching, even in the most conservative communities, mostly they are ignored.

    A fruitful line of questioning on Barrett and faith, will be to ask about the death penalty, also considered wrong by the church and the extensive, and often ignored in the US, social welfare teaching of the church.

  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, the dominating St Louis Cardinals pitcher who won a record seven consecutive World Series starts and set a modern standard for excellence when he finished the 1968 season with a 1.12 ERA, died Friday. He was 84.

    The Cardinals confirmed Gibson’s death shortly after a 4-0 playoff loss to San Diego ended their season. He had long been ill with pancreatic cancer in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.

    Gibson’s death came on the 52nd anniversary of perhaps his most overpowering performance, when he struck out a World Series record 17 batters in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series against Detroit.

    RIP Bob. You will certainly get into heaven because when you meet St Pete at the pearly gates, you’ll glare at him and throw a brush back pitch at his head and walk right in.

  29. Teve says:

    ….Aaaaaaaand Ron Johnson just popped.

  30. de stijl says:

    Trump’s hospitalization undercuts everything he said since February.

    A virus does not care who you are. (Yeah, I’m doing my schtick. It is righteous as hell.)

    A virus cannot be intimidated. A virus cannot be bargained with.

    A virus needs a host to replicate.

    A virus is.

    Yes, I am stealing from Terminator 1.

    T1 Kyle Reese was sort of a dink. I want T2 Sarah Connor; she was bad ass.

  31. de stijl says:


    Given your McEnany backstory hypothesis, that was a disturbing follow on. 🙂

  32. Joe says:

    I would say he is ill and they fear he is going to get worse,

    I have a different theory, OzarkHillbilly. I think they wanted to get him to Walter Reed in case he becomes very ill. Better to show him walking onto and off of the helicopter than wait two or three days and see him carried on and off. It’s early for him to be very ill. We’ll see where it goes, but having him where they can best treat him is the right precaution.

  33. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Someone else who likes Ned’s Atomic Dustbin!
    About the only band I know of that had two bass players.

  34. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Funny thing is, the Catholic ban on birth control isn’t based on Biblical injunction, but on adopting the stance of the “natural philosophers” that what is “natural” is good, and that contraception (and homosexuality) are “unnatural”.
    IIRC the phrase in the catechism is “They are contrary to the natural law”

    Cue eye rolling from Anglican theologians/philosophers who think “natural theology” is a concept with very shaky foundations.

  35. Scott says:

    @Teve: The drummer in Spinal Tap.

  36. @CSK: TBH it seems to me that any president would have been taken to the hospital and given the most thorough treatments available.

    So, as dramatic as it sounds (and it is dramatic, I will agree), I don’t think it is because he’s Trump. It is because he’s POTUS.

  37. de stijl says:

    Of that era, Grey Cell Green is one of my favorite songs. Ned’s were a bit too now with their clothes, but who cares really? No skin off my butt what they wear.

    That song rocks.

    I am looking for input as to an early aughts version of that tryptich.

    I have Jimmie Eats World Sweetness and The Hive’s Hate To Say I Told You So locked.

    From that era I am blanking. Everything I think of is too before or too after.

    Screw it, duopoly:

    The Sweetness – Jimmie Eat World
    Hate To Say I Told You So – The Hives
    ? – ?

    Perhaps others have better memories.

    Ah! The Killers. Mr. Brightside works. A bit soft, but fast enough.

  38. charon says:


    Not strictly a Catholic sect, it is open to anyone who accepts the Nicene Creed.

  39. de stijl says:


    The Red Shirt on Star Trek TOS.

  40. Bill says:

    I already have tomorrow’s headline of the day (It is a sad one so far as I am concerned). Weekends are notoriously slow for news and Sunday and Monday mornings I have my work cut out but not tomorrow.

    Of course more big medical news concerning Trump could beat out the one I’ve already chosen.

  41. Mikey says:

    Chris Christie now too.

    I just received word that I am positive for COVID-19. I want to thank all of my friends and colleagues who have reached out to ask how I was feeling in the last day or two. I will be receiving medical attention today and will keep the necessary folks apprised of my condition.
    — Governor Christie (@GovChristie) October 3, 2020

  42. Sleeping Dog says:


    You’re right on that. It’s been a long time since I cracked open a catechism. The whole natural law thing is taught as an extension of the teachings of Jesus, all gussied up with a philosophical framework in order to keep the masses in line.

    Barrett may fall back on natural law, much the same as Thomas did.

  43. Bill says:

    For Trump supporters, here is a short bit of the 1980’s movie Virus. A ravaged White House after a worldwide pandemic. At least Covid 19 isn’t 100% fatal for everyone not living in Antarctica.

  44. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:

    a bit too now with their clothes

    Half the people I knew back then dressed just like that.
    I lived about 10 miles from where the band was formed, and a girl who was an ex of one of the band was a friend of a friend.

    Never did get round to seeing them live though.

    Neds, along with the Wonder Stuff, and Pop Will Eat Itself, all from the same Stourbridge/Black Country area; always seem to me have a very Black Country Midlands feel to the sarcastic lyrics.

  45. de stijl says:


    Ned’s in that vid are very 1991 / 1992. That is not a bad thing. Be you, dudes. Holy crap, that was nearly 30 years ago! I am so old.

    That song kills. I absolutely love it.

    Epic by Faith No More. Also with stupid 90s clothes but a kick ass song. I listened to it at work on my walkman with crappy headphones that ate too many batteries constantly. On cassette.

    Epic is epic. Mike Patton is an amazing 5 octave singer. And very clever with lyrics and phrasing.

    I cheated on Party Hard. It is a 2001 but it feels 90s with the hair whipping and mic cord snapping. GAH! Too much love.

    Andrew W. K. is the sweetest man, btw. Follow him on twitter. He is a mensch that gets anxiety and related afflictions because he deals with it as well.

  46. mattbernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    TBH it seems to me that any president would have been taken to the hospital and given the most thorough treatments available. […] It is because he’s POTUS.

    Agreed. And let’s not forget that the Presidential Suite at Reed is more like a small-scale Whitehouse or Hotel Suite than what most of us think of as a typical hospital room. So it’s designed to be a working space for the resident as much as a medical space.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: There was a reason: she died because Louisville Metro Police are f’ked-up violent armed thugs. What more reason does one need? It just another version of the story about the guy who murdered 6 people “because that was all there were in the house.”

  48. charon says:


    It also has its own ICU also, no?

  49. Teve says:

    I don’t usually find Andy Borowitz funny, but credit where credit is due:

    Amy Coney Barrett Defends A Fertilized Egg’s Right To Lose Its Health Coverage Nine Months Later

  50. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Minneapolis cops are definitionally thumpers unless proven otherwise. (St. Paul cops are a little less so.)

    Some Minneapolis cops are rapers. He is retired now. I want his pension to go my friend. He should be homeless and vulnerable until he dies.

    Sad that Louisville’s are thumpers too.

    We need to contain and curtail this. For everyone’s sake.

  51. Teve says:

    When trump’s staff write tweets pretending to be him they don’t do a very good job. This isn’t nearly as crazy and irregular and random and semi-literate as the real thing.


    Doctors, Nurses and ALL at the GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are AMAZING!!!Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well!

  52. de stijl says:


    Most social media influencers speak better English than Trump does.

    Trump should do sponsored videos. Totally presidential.

  53. de stijl says:

    In Louisville aggro cops are probably called sluggers.

    Beat your ass because they can. No one who matters minds.

    I should never live in Minneapolis again because I want to visit great harm on one ex-cop.

    Being “between addresses” messes with you because *anyone* can mess with you for free unless you fight back.

    There are many perverts and sociopaths in the general population. Know that. They look for kids to exploit and homelessness basically makes you mute and invisible.

  54. dazedandconfused says:


    BREAKING: After testing positive for Covid, Kellyanne Conway is lying comfortably at home.

    -Andy Borowitz

  55. de stijl says:

    If you can donate to a shelter please do. Socks, underwear, deodorant, cash, legal assistance, anything. Interview clothes are very awesome.

    We can fix some of this.

  56. de stijl says:


    “lying comfortably at home”

    Some editor is getting high fives from colleagues for sneaking that one in.

  57. BugManDan says:

    Odds Dems can take the senate took a hit.

  58. BugManDan says:
  59. mattbernius says:

    @charon: That’s my understanding. Everything is in a single place

  60. Monala says:

    @dazedandconfused: It’s hard to laugh at this. She lied to her kids, and was walking around maskless around them.

  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BugManDan: I hope that when push comes to shove, that’s gonna be much ado about nothing, but I do not dismiss the Christianists ability to forgive the gravest of sins committed by a Republican if he prostates himself with proper sincerity, while screaming from the rooftops to burn a DEM at the stake for the slightest of strayings from the morality they themselves don’t hold.

  62. BugManDan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I find your hope so cute. I think the only hope in NC is low R turnout now.

  63. BugManDan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: What part of MO are you from? I grew up in SW MO, between Springfield & Joplin.

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BugManDan: I live about halfway between Sullivan and Richwoods, Sullivan is 60 miles west of 270 I-44. 12,5 acres of hill and hollers, not much but it keeps the neighbors at bay. Where abouts did you grow up?

    ETA: meaning the closest town

  65. BugManDan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Went to HS in Miller. Lived in Halltown & then in the boonies. Miller is just north of I-44, nr Mt. Vernon.

    My FIL lives in Hermann, so much closer to you.

  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Monala: You’re not looking at the bigger picture. Now, her kids have been exposed and they go back to school part of the big immune herd. Right? She’s only doing it for them, just like when she quit her job as alternative facts wrangler for Trump. It’s all in the service of the greater good.

  67. JohnSF says:

    Happy anniversary to Germany!
    30 years today since reunification.

  68. Kurtz says:

    Okay, I have something personal I need to tell you all. I am frightened by this tweet:

    Ronny Jackson

    US House candidate, TX-13
    1/2: Our President and First Lady have tested positive for COVID-19, however, rest assured they are both fine and completely asymptotic. The President is in very good health and has NO comorbities.
    4:31 AM · Oct 2, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

    In the unfortunate, unlikely event that any of you are stuck making a decision about whether to pull my plug, I declare that an asymptotic state qualifies as a pull.

    I can’t imagine the agony of asymptocy.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  69. JohnSF says:

    IIRC the Asymptotic Drive was the spaceship propulsion used in Arthur C. Clarke Imperial Earth
    Perhaps they are metamorphosing into starships?

  70. JohnSF says:

    LOL. Just thought, one definition of asymptotic could be “eternally circling the plughole”.

    “Paging Mr. Dante Alighieri, Mr. Dante Alighieri please pick up the white courtesy phone…”

  71. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    I don’t dispute that any president would have been given the best treatment available. But, considering what facilities the WH has, and what can be brought to it, if this were only a mild case of Covid-19, Trump could be isolated and treated at home.

    He could well be in far worse shape than we know.But, if he’s as brimming with vigor as his spokespeople insist he is, then I think I’m justified in wondering if they stuck him in Walter Reed because it was the only way they could prevent him, even temporarily, from being a one-man superspreader.

  72. Teve says:

    I’ll probably re-post this comment in the morning because on this blog people aren’t active on weekend nights. So Chrissy Teigen just had a miscarriage which she talked about on Twitter and probably Instagram. And I saw a Wonkette story about it and first it talked about how she started immediately getting attacked by anti-abortion people oh yeah what do you think a miscarriage is bad if you believe in abortion etc. etc. etc. but when I got to the stuff about what Q anon people were saying to her I just had to close the article.

    Some people’s social media behavior should get them sent to jail.

  73. Jax says:

    @Teve: Shitty People with Shitty Values, indeed.

  74. Teve says:

    Staffers are droppin dimes on Ken Paxton 😀

  75. Monala says:

    A number of gay men have reclaimed the term “Proud Boys” and are posting photos on Twitter of themselves kissing, attending Pride parades, etc. with the hashtag, #ProudBoys.

  76. Jax says:

    @Monala: I am so on board with this!