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. Gustopher says:

    Repeating Monala’s link to the story about the woman who lost everything in an apartment fire in Seattle, and injured herself jumping out of the burning building.

    There’s a gofundme link as this is what qualifies as a social safety net. It’s also a few neighborhoods away from where I live.

    I just thought it might have gotten lost in the discussions of whether we have to live with our neighbors and attempt to accommodate their views or whether we have other alternatives. Plus I was still up and saw an empty thread.

  2. CSK says:

    It was good of you to bring this link over to today’s forum.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sahil Kapur

    Joe Biden handily won Americans who make under $100,000.

    Donald Trump handily won Americans who make $100,000 or more.

    Any analysis that reduces the power of Trump to economic anxiety misses the forest for the trees.

    Sahil Kapur
    Replying to
    More data pertaining to economic anxiety and the 2020 election.

    Tom Nichols

    David Brooks is one of many columnists who is never going to admit that Trumpism was about cultural and social resentment, not about economic anxiety or “a sense of place” or the Forgotten Towns or any of the other bullshit rationalizations.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Yet more proof that God has a wicked sense of humor:

    A recount in Wisconsin’s largest county demanded by President Donald Trump’s election campaign ended on Friday with the president-elect, Joe Biden, gaining votes.

    After the recount in Milwaukee county, Biden made a net gain of 132 votes, out of nearly 460,000 cast. Overall, the Democrat gained 257 votes to Trump’s 125.

    Trump’s campaign had demanded recounts in two of Wisconsin’s most populous and Democratic-leaning counties, after he lost Wisconsin to Biden by more than 20,000 votes. The two recounts will cost the Trump campaign $3m. Dane county is expected to finish its recount on Sunday.

    So recounts in heavily DEM areas turns up more votes for Biden. Who’da thunk it?

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via NotMax over at BalloonJuice: Sit Down, You’re Blockin’ The Vote! He’s got the voice for that little ditty, and it’s quite fun.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Visitors track down mystery desert monolith in Utah

    Around 48 hours after news of their finding was made public, pictures appeared on Instagram of people who had managed to find it. Among them was David Surber, 33, a former US army infantry officer, who drove for six hours through the night to find it after spotting a Reddit post purporting to have found its coordinates.

    “Awesome journey out to the monolith today,” he wrote on Instagram, where he also shared its location. “Regardless of who built it or where it came from. It was a positive escape from today’s world. Some for many people to rally behind and enjoy together.”

    He said he was alone with the structure, which he described as formed of aluminium and formed of “three pieces riveted together”, for about 10 minutes before others arrived.

    “Overall not too crowded you all want to make the journey,” he wrote.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Rich Kids Who Want to Tear Down Capitalism
    Socialist-minded millennial heirs are trying to live their values by getting rid of their money.

    I wonder if a better use for their wealth wouldn’t be creating and investing in businesses in hard hit communities, fund higher education opportunities and create paths to home ownership. It maybe the writer, but this has the smell of dilettante-ism. But hey, it’s their money.

    A good argument for a 100% inheritance tax

  8. Tyrell says:

    “How ’bout those Cowboys!”

  9. Teve says:


    Housing prices doubled where most of the jobs are while wages flatlined, and also the earth is rapidly burning.

    Arguing with a bunch of retrograde fascists over whether they have to accept the existence of gay people or abortion is such a waste of precious time and energy.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Why did it take nine hours to go 130 miles in our new electric Porsche?’

    A couple from Kent have described how it took them more than nine hours to drive 130 miles home from Bournemouth as they struggled to find a working charger capable of producing enough power to their electric car.

    Linda Barnes and her husband had to visit six charging stations as one after another they were either out of order, already had a queue or were the slow, older versions that would never be able to provide a fast enough charge in the time.

    While the couple seem to have been “incredibly unlucky”, according to the president of the AA, Edmund King, their case highlights some of the problems that need ironing out before electric car owners can rely on the UK’s charging infrastructure.

    I suspect that here, it is much worse in some locations but better in others.

  11. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Are we taking bets on how soon it will be before the first graffiti is applied to the monolith?

  12. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was somewhat bemused by the concept of an electric Porsche…..

    Not that you can’t go fast with electricity (see rail guns) but I always thought part of the image of a Porsche was the rumbling vroom-vroom….

  13. grumpy realist says:

    Oh, and it looks like we’re getting down to the actual crunch date for the post-Brexit negotiations between the U.K. and the E.U. and the two available options are a) bad (skinny deal), and b) worse (no-deal). The Tory party is still split between those who are slightly realistic and those who are imagining a remake of the British Empire.

    And Boris Johnson seems to be at the whim of whoever last spoke to him.

  14. CSK says:

    Donald Trump literally doesn’t know what he’s doing. He Tweeted yesterday that he’d be in Georgia today to campaign for Loeffler and Perdue.

    His trip there is not till Dec. 5.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Cain: I hope not, but I suppose it is inevitable.

    @grumpy realist: They have a choice of embracing the future or get left behind. Besides, it is a pretty sporty looking car. If you aren’t a complete speed demon, what’s not to like?

    I suspect I am not alone in having outgrown the Vroom vroom! phase of my life. My current truck came with glass pacs and when it was time to replace them I didn’t hesitate to put mufflers on it. Makes driving down the highway a much more pleasant experience.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Piles of cash at home’: Hong Kong leader says US sanctions mean she has no bank account

    Carrie Lam says she is paid in cash and calls US sanctions imposed over security crackdown ‘unjustifiable’

    2 thoughts: #1: Pobrecito….

    #2: That’s one way to say, “Well, rob me!” (I suspect she has really tight security, but still)

  17. Mikey says:

    Of course the classless, intolerable asshole would do something like this.

    Trump’s Already Gaming Out a 2024 Run—Including an Event During Biden’s Inauguration

    According to three people familiar with the conversations, the president, who refuses to acknowledge he lost the 2020 election as he clearly did, has not just talked to close advisers and confidants about a potential 2024 run to reclaim the White House but about the specifics of a campaign launch. The conversations have explored, among other things, how Trump could best time his announcement so as to keep the Republican Party behind him for the next four years. Two of these knowledgeable sources said the president has, in the past two weeks, even floated the idea of doing a 2024-related event during Biden’s inauguration week, possibly on Inauguration Day, if his legal effort to steal the 2020 election ultimately fails.

  18. CSK says:

    Ha! I knew it! Didn’t I predict that Trump would hold a rally during Biden’s inauguration?

  19. sam says:

    Speaking of Old Blighty. Has anyone else seen Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Crown? If it’s accurate, Thatcher deeply resented the upper class and hated the working class. Not surprisingly, if the portrayal is accurate, her MO was “Suck up, and beat down”. When she curtsies to the Queen, it looks like she’s trying to screw herself into the carpet. Maybe JohnSF could say something about this.

  20. JohnMcC says:

    I read Mikey’s comment and was trying to remember who had predicted such a timing coincidence….

  21. Michael Cain says:

    @grumpy realist: Have you looked at the number of countries that have bans on selling new ICE cars starting between 2027 and 2040? It’s past time for the big players to have at least one design team and production line doing an electric vehicle, getting the dealers used to the concept, figuring out what the service departments need, etc, etc.

    Service departments are eventually going to be in deep do-do. My son’s girlfriend has a year-old Nissan Leaf. She laughs about the regular maintenance: rotate the tires, check the coolant level for the battery pack*, replace the cabin air filter. Usual under-car inspection of things that should have very long lives except for damage (things like brake lines, boots on drive shafts, suspension parts). The dealer told her the friction brake parts should be good for 150,000 miles. The 12V battery that powers the electronics is a standard 48 month battery.

    * Fast charging (80% in less than 30 minutes) can result in enough heat in some of the battery cells that it has to be managed.

  22. charon says:


     …. vote by income …. ….

    vote by opinion economy ..

  23. Sleeping Dog says:

    @grumpy realist:

    A couple of weeks ago, the Times had an article on a revival of interest in hydrogen powered vehicles and interestingly that big oil is leading the investment in research. As the article points out the bugaboo for EV’s is recharge time and charger infrastructure. I know from wandering the back roads of New England on the motorcycle, you don’t see many publicly available chargers in the rural areas. Oil companies are interested in hydrogen because they already have the distribution model in place, but not the production facilities. And fill up time is similar to gasoline.

    The other thing I wonder about with EV’s, if they reach the point where most of the vehicles on the road are battery powered, is there sufficient lithium available and what is the environmental cost of recovering it?

  24. charon says:
  25. CSK says:

    A stunt like that would be absolutely in character for Trump. And then he’d brag that more people attended his rally than attended the inauguration.

  26. DrDaveT says:

    @CSK: I’m fine with Trump holding a rally during the inauguration. It’s like putting up a blue light at the edge of your garden party, to draw all the mosquitoes away from the people.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if it were true. Biden is going to put Covid limits on all inauguration events and we all know trump won’t.

  28. CSK says:

    It will do that, won’t it?
    Oh, Trump’s rally will be a superspreader. No doubt about it. I wonder where he’ll hold it? I thought it might be at his D.C. golf course.

  29. Slugger says:

    @Tyrell: I think they’ll beat Texas Tech. After they beat Iowa State, I thought that they were on the way. The Texas loss was a disappointment.

  30. Michael Cain says:

    @Sleeping Dog: There’s a lot of interesting work being done right now in aluminum-ion battery tech. Multiple labs have demonstrated aluminum-ion battery chemistries that, compared to lithium-ion, have faster charging rates, higher energy density, better safety, and several thousand charge/discharge cycles with little loss of capacity. So far, they’re pretty expensive to make.

    Recall that lithium-ion batteries were proposed in the early 1970s and the first practical prototype built in 1985. One of the early knocks on lithium-ion was, “But they’re so expensive to make.” I suspect that before too many years go by, research will produce an aluminum-ion battery that is at least as good as lithium-ion at the same price, which takes care of the is-there-enough-lithium problem.

  31. Jay L Gischer says:

    Just to review. The focus on working class voters in 2016 came not because Trump won them, but because there was a big shift in how they voted between Obama (and before) and Trump. A sizable chunk shifted to the R column (and mostly stayed there this time). Even though Trump didn’t win them. But that was what changed.

    So, with these people we might ask, was it economic or racism?

    Thing is, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. In fact, the two usually go hand in hand. This has long been the case. White lower classes aren’t doing badly, and racist appeals are made to either give them somebody to look down on, or give them someone to blame for why they aren’t doing well.

    There is a ton of racial scapegoating in the Trump appeal. Yeah it’s racial. AND, it addresses unhappiness that many working people have about their lives. Not in any real, substantive way, mind you.

    We did not take care of working people during the Great Recession as well as we could have. The game is rigged, and Trump is one of the guys rigging it, and the rigging being done doesn’t help working people.

    Trump has said all manner of outlandish things, it gets lots of media coverage, and it gives the impression that he’s “doing something” about China, about offshoring, about immigration, etc. None of it helps, though.

    I’m not a marketeer or a political messager, but I don’t know why Democrats can’t crack this edifice of lies.

  32. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Maybe, and I hope you are right. But I have belief that the states and countries that legislating the elimination of the ICE in 15 to 30 years are going to be suspending the implementation of those laws.

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I’m not a marketeer or a political messager, but I don’t know why Democrats can’t crack this edifice of lies.

    Simple enough from where I sit: They prefer the lies over reality. If I ever meet a trump voter who says trump doesn’t lie I will be hard pressed to restrain the urge to slap them. So far I have yet to need that type of restraint. They all say, “Sure he lies, but he pisses off the Libs.”

    I don’t know how much of it is hate and how much is the comfort that comes with lying down in a comfortable bed of falsehoods that say nothing is their fault, I don’t know.

  34. charon says:

    So, the last time I was at the bike shop, to pick up my bike left there 3 weeks earlier for repairs (they are really busy now, pandemic, it takes a while for them to get to stuff), people in the store included:

    1 customer (me)

    1 store owner

    about 4 bike mechanics (they sell stuff also, but spend most of their time fixing bikes)

    Also, the shop strongly discourages browsing, they want people to get in and get out, and make that abundantly clear.

    You can @ me all you want, but #Gorsuch’s “science” in ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF BROOKLYN, NEW YORK v. ANDREW M. CUOMO, GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK is wrong and he uses his twisting of scientific fact to make his conclusions. 1/

    “So, at least according to the Governor, it may be unsafe to go to church, but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for a new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians.” 2/

    First, mass gatherings indoors for an hour or more during high community spread of the virus ARE NOT the same as a half a dozen people in a liquor store for a 5 minute transaction, in a bike store with a few people for 20 minutes. 3/

    So, Justice #Gorsuch is wrong on the science. It is in part, the basis of his opinion–if bike shops and liquor stores can be open without restrictions on occupancy, why can’t other institutions do the same, including churches and synagogues? 8/

    It is the same reason that other large indoor gatherings have seen restrictions. Seen a Broadway show lately? No. Because the theaters are closed. Been to an NBA game lately? No because the NBA had the great sense to play its games without fans in the stands. 9/

    Others can talk about legal merits of Justice Gorsuch’s argument, the moral implications. But Gorsuch’s argument is epidemiologically, scientifically ignorant, even worse, he had full knowledge of these facts in the amicus briefs in the case. So he is lying through his teeth. 10/

    And I think
    has something to say on the moral argument. Not all people of faith are as anti-science as those on #SCOTUS. 11/

    Pope Francis: A Crisis Reveals What Is in Our Hearts

    Short thread on Cuomo case at the Court yesterday, with some history: (1) the per curiam opinion doesn’t even try to do the necessary public health analysis; there is only a spurious shifting of the burden to the state and then a change of the subject (per curiam, pp. 5-6). 1/6

  35. Kathy says:

    Trump’s like a spoiled brat who thinks he can change the rules midway through the game because it’s his ball, except it’s not even his ball.

  36. sam says:
  37. grumpy realist says:

    @Michael Cain: Bauxite Bauxite Bauxite. And if that ain’t enough, we’ve always got the landfills dating from the 1950s and all the trays from those TV dinners….

  38. gVOR08 says:

    @Michael Cain: Improvements in batteries ties into other developments. I’ve seen a couple of references to renewable energy becoming so cheap it might actually fulfill the BS promise about nuclear, too cheap to bother metering it. This is largely a function of capital being so cheap of late. Wind and solar are intermittent. Elon Musk already has a grid scale battery installation operating in Australia with, IIRC, current tech lithium ion batteries.

    The last issue of Scientific American has an article Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2020. Three are relevant. Progress is being made on battery electric aircraft. With “photocatalysts” and enough energy CO2 can be consumed to manufacture useful chemicals. And improvements are being made in the efficiency of breaking water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen can fuel shipping and manufacturing processes. China has a plan to build a million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2030.

    I suppose at some scale we have to worry about thermal pollution, but in the meantime cheap, abundant electricity can be a game changer. Which is not to say we shouldn’t tax carbon. Finding some limited ability to clean up a mess shouldn’t be a license to make the mess.

  39. Loviatar says:

    @de stijl:


    In the 90s, Oklahoma City awakened many Americans to the existence of cells of such people scattered “out there” somewhere. Today, almost all of us live within a few miles if not blocks of such people.



    In my mild-mannered, 50/50 Democratic/Republican middle class neighborhood in a small Oregon city, I regularly walk past driveways containing pickups sporting the decals of far right militias that train on weekends for the coming “revolution.

    Radicalized GOP

    This has been building for over a decade now. I’ll bet those militia neighbors of mine were Tea Partiers back in 2010. But Trump & a radicalized GOP has given them new focus and legitimized their calls to violence. The head of my county’s GOP is a big fan and promoter of the PBs.

    My only quibble with his statement is that its been building for far longer than a decade.

    Domestic Terrorist Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in OKC on April 19, 1995. He killed 168 people, including 19 children, of whom 15 were in the America’s Kids Day Care Center. The victims ranged in age from three months to 73 years and included three pregnant women.

    emphasis mine

  40. Monala says:

    @Gustopher: thank you for sharing this. Speaking of neighbors, neighbors from nearby buildings caught us when we jumped out our building. Neighbors offered first aid, and housed one of the families that had nowhere else to go. They were actually more helpful than the first responders, other than the firefighters.Neighbors have donated meals and clothing, in addition to money.

    I do live in a racially diverse, liberal area, but I can’t say it would be different in a red community.

  41. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @charon: All the evidence one needs to understand that we have the wrong type of people on the Supreme Court. These people are academics that have a hard time grasping outcomes of their rules. Law is a tool invented to serve society…but to academics (really of any discipline) it is a thing unto itself.

    Seriously, who thinks its great idea in the interest of religious freedom for ignorant congregations to become disease vectors and sicken or kill their most vulnerable member? Even Gorsuch doesn’t think that…but because he’s basically a technician of the law, hes unable to grasp how the system he’s an expert in impacts and interacts with other systems in society.

    Don’t get me wrong, we need technicians and academics…just now in roles that demand practically and ingenuity.

  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    One thing that I’ll give Trump credit for in his SC picks, he broke the stranglehold that Ivy League, particularly Harvard and Yale law have had on nominees over the last 20 years. Unfortunately, he didn’t look beyond the appeals courts.

    We would be much better if a justice or two was a former governor, legislator or state SC justice. They would bring a far different experience to the court than what we have. Of course, they wouldn’t be as predictable nor as young.

  43. Loviatar says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Seriously, who thinks its great idea in the interest of religious freedom for ignorant congregations to become disease vectors and sicken or kill their most vulnerable member?



    New York did not do a good job of accommodating religious services. Nor has Washington state for that matter. That’s something that affects large groups of people, and which they resent not being able to partake in. And, even though it is stupid, religion is an enumerated right.

  44. Gustopher says:

    @Loviatar: Two things, as I find you tiresome.

    First, I never said that accommodating religious services means having them continue exactly as before. I’ve said that some things definitely need to change, but that we should be bending over backwards to allow services to function and that we should be including some of the right-of-center folks in that conversation — people need to feel represented, they need to feel like they have some sense of control. So, you’re quoting me out of context.

    I’ll go further on this — the health officials craft suggestions that the executive branch has to implement to the best of their ability. At a state level, New York and Washington have gotten the science right but the politics wrong, and that hobbles efforts to get compliance.

    For four years, Trump has deliberately been a President only for his base, and he is resisted outside his base because of this. Our officials at the local level have made that same mistake — aggravated by Trump at a national level, yes, but that makes it more important to include everyone at the local level.

    There’s a difference between emergency measures that last for a month, and emergency measures that last for the better part of a year. People will put up with a lot when it’s sudden and short, and there’s not time to include everyone in the process. When the emergency is lasting, you have to include them.

    Second, what the flying fuck do you propose? We have to live with these people. We have to breathe the same air as these people in our supermarkets. Options for not living with them are brutal and horrific.

    Temper tantrums aren’t effective.

    These people aren’t children — you can’t just tell them what to do and then sell them into slavery if they refuse, or drop them off at the orphanage.

    Do you want them all arrested and hauled off to jail? We don’t have the jail space, and we don’t really have the police on our side for that.

    What do you want to do with them?

  45. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: 4th in the NFC East who lost to the Washington Don’t Got a Mascots? Those Cowboys? What about em?

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: In my area, we have about half a dozen charging stations that are never used from what I can see. Of course, that’s understandable given that I’m slightly farther than maximum round trip from the closest major city. A social service agency has two and a couple of really rich people on the hill have Teslas, but I assume the agency charges their cars at night and the Tesla drivers at home.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: Can’t speak for others, but for me, the big deal with Porsches wasn’t the vroom vroom as much at the 2 seat convertible factor. The big obstacle wasn’t price, either, it was that at 6’3″, the seating was a little too cramped for me.

  48. Sleeping Dog says:


    Gulags, cultural revolution, Cambodian killing fields, Vietnamese re-education camps, there are plenty of leftist examples of how to deal with a recalcitrant population. Gus, you’re simply not woke enough.

  49. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Slugger: I guess that I thought the wrong Cowboys. 🙁 Still, a 6-2 team beating a 3-6? Man bites (hot) dog. Bear lives in woods.

  50. Gustopher says:


    The restaurant business is being absolutely decimated. Congress should step up and help. Time is of the essence!

    Huh. Something that is actually true. If only the Republicans in Congress were willing to negotiate.

    I don’t think Trump understands the issues, or even wrote this tweet, but had Republicans actually tried to govern, he would have been re-elected.

  51. Gustopher says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I suggested that the other day and Loviator thought I was being ridiculously over the top!

    Some form of internment camps or death camps would work. It would take care of the bad neighbor problem. It wouldn’t be a final solution as there is always going to be dissent, but it would solve the problems for a few years at least.

    And if a few bleeding heart do-gooders are hiding Republicans in their crawl spaces, then at least they are socially distanced.

    I’m not saying it’s the best solution, but it would solve the problem.

    I’m a bit of a bleeding heart liberal, so I might be more inclined to try to hold Sturgis Motorcycle Rally II and then just fence them in. Them being the Dakotas. We should airlift out the Native Americans and the blue voters — we can resettle them in the homes of the Republicans we have penned into the Dakotas.

    I know resettling Native Americans has certain bad connotations, but it would be strictly voluntary. It might be better to just seize Republicans assets sell them, and give the money to Native American families directly, and let them choose what is best for their families.

    Yes, that does sound better.

    The alternative is to either live with the Republicans or die with them, and both of those sound terrible or at least hard.

  52. Gustopher says:

    I’m flippant, but I really would like to know what Lov’s goal to maximize compliance or contain risk is other than to just be really angry.

    Or how being very cross with them will change their behavior.

  53. Gustopher says:

    “Pack quicker,” Donald snapped as he used his forearm to clear a mantle’s worth of knick-knacks into a Hefty bag. Melania gave the finger to a holly wreath and began wrapping the Churchill bust in scarves.

  54. Loviatar says:


    I’m flippant, but I really would like to know what Lov’s goal to maximize compliance or contain risk is other than to just be really angry.

    The same method used to maximize compliance since men contrived rudimentary government. Coercion through the LAW by the usage of FINES and JAIL time.

    See the problem is not that there aren’t ways to coerce behavior, its that you don’t want to use the methods available to you, I wonder why.

    Some examples of the American government coercing behavior:

    – During the 80s to control the crack epidemic that had put inner city communities at risk, Congress wrote coercive LAWS that prescribed severe FINES and JAIL time for anyone caught using crack cocaine (only crack, not the powder variety). The LAWS were then strictly enforced by prosecutors and judges.

    – To control the meth epidemic that is currently putting rural communities at risk, Congress is writing coercive LAWS that prescribe limited FINES and JAIL time along with special drug courts that can authorize therapy and counseling instead of jail time for anyone caught using meth. The LAWS as written will be enforced at the discretion of prosecutors and judges.

    – To control the right-wing domestic terrorism that is putting America at risk, Congress is writing coercive LAWS that proscribe the study of right-wing domestic terrorism and has ordered the FBI to not pursue cases. The LAWS as written give no discretion to the FBI.

    And the big one:
    – To control the black communities’ activities (eating, sleeping, walking, etc.) that put white communities feelings at risk, Congress wrote LAWS that prescribed severe FINES and JAIL time for anyone caught living while black. The LAWS were then strictly enforced by prosecutors and judges. You know them as the Jim Crow Laws.

    See, you can coerce behavior. Wear a mask, socially distance and don’t gather in large groups. Its not that FCUKing hard or coerce.

  55. Gustopher says:


    The same method used to maximize compliance since men contrived rudimentary government. Coercion through the LAW by the usage of FINES and JAIL time.

    See the problem is not that there aren’t ways to coerce behavior, its that you don’t want to use the methods available to you, I wonder why.

    Please, fill in your hypothesis on why.

    Your examples are all from the war on drugs (the drugs are winning, by the way), right-wing terrorism (the Proud Boys are still standing proud) and then Jim Crow laws.

    A curious collection, to say the least. Failures and an immoral legacy of slavery.

    Many jurisdictions have laws enforcing the mask mandates, but it’s a haphazard thing depending on local government whims, and even when they exist, they are rarely enforced because the police are not on our side. And people move between jurisdictions.

    And where we do attempt to enforce things, we get bogged down in court cases that don’t always go our way — see the Supreme Court ruling that put you over the edge, and the Wisconsin cases.

    Michigan had armed nuts storming the State Capital, and no one shooting them dead like the dogs they are, because either what they were doing was legal or the police refused to uphold the laws. If the armed nuts were of a darker hue, the police likely would have found the laws to uphold.

    Laws at a national level won’t happen until at least January, which means giving up for a few months (at least) and then fighting with enforcement. Federalism ties our hands in a lot of cases — we couldn’t even force the states to expand Medicaid. And, we are probably not going to win those two Senate seats in Georgia, and even if we do, the 50th vote is Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

    Ultimately, the legitimacy of the government flows from the people, and we have a pandemic during a crisis of legitimacy. We need to act now, not in a decade after we finish going through a political realignment, or another 150 years when the effects of slavery are cut further.

    That means we have to get people that we don’t like to work with us. Don’t rule by unilateral emergency decrees longer than we have to, and get people in the room to agree to restrictions they can live with, rather than getting them so angry they dig in their feet out of spite. It means … gasp … understanding the people next door and what they hold dear.

    That means accepting less worse, and cutting the preventable deaths by half instead of entirely. Perhaps that means we have stronger state guidelines but weaker state level requirements and enforcement, with crazy exceptions that put some people at greater risk, but more people following. And then cities with stronger requirements and enforcement.

    My state has been doing a great job of listening to the scientists, and a poor job of listening to the people. We can do better. Same in New York.

    And we need better PR so the story isn’t “The Governor is moving Foo County back to Phase I because of these three graphs,” but rather “look at these dead people in these overrun hospitals, that’s why we are moving back to Phase I”

    Ulimately, there are four options:
    1. Live with each other
    2. Die with each other
    3. Leave
    4. Get rid of them

    3 and 4 are really off the table, despite your fondness for Jim Crow. Just from timing, we can’t organize a good purge or exodus that quickly. Refugee camps spread disease, etc.

    We are trending towards 2. With some work, we can get a blend of 1 and 2. That would be less worse.

    Our Governor told people to stay home for Thanksgiving. They didn’t. People hold Thanksgiving dear. Maybe it was the wrong message. Maybe a better message would have been for safer Thanksgiving rather than Thanksgiving abstinence.

    As much as we want to live in a world where this isn’t just The Onion, we don’t.

  56. Sleeping Dog says:


    LoL. I do say that discussion of final solutions comes with ominous history.

  57. Loviatar says:


    You asked how I would enforce compliance, I told you. LAWS, FINES and JAIL time. You may not like it or agree with it, but it’s a method that has been used by the US government since its existence.

    You know, this discussion is frustrating, because for 50+ years I’ve watched bemused as the government and a sizable portion of the citizenry bent over backwards to coddle the Republican party as it slipped further down the path to right-wing fascism. You’ve been here for the past two days arguing we need to “talk to them”, how does one have a reasonable discussion with a party that celebrates a domestic terrorist (Kyle Rittenhouse)? How does one talk to people who scream threats against mask wearers during a deadly pandemic? How does one reason with a spoiled, screaming child?

    You’re coddling nasty disrespectful children. You’ve spoiled them to the point where discipline is the only coercive method that may work. They’ve plotted to kidnap and execute a US Governor because she told them to wear a mask in the midst of a deadly pandemic. These people are not reasonable, they are not reachable through persuasive measures, discussion is no longer an option. They are spoiled children whose been given opportunity after opportunity to change their behavior, but after every new chance they push the boundaries that much further. Are you going to wait until the boundary they push is a smoking crater that used to be a federal building.

    You don’t give in to spoiled children; you ask them to comply in a firm, calm voice (REGULATIONS), you set boundaries (LAWS). Finally you punish, either by taking away treasured items (FINES), or time-out / sent to bedroom (JAIL). In other words you coerce them into behaving until they learn to do it of their own volition.


    Please, fill in your hypothesis on why.

    You’re a smart guy, so I’m pretty sure you know, but I’ll be clear, RACE.
    The US Government has a history of solving problems within minority communities, whether real or perceived, through the coercive power of it LAWS. Yet, they’re often hesitant to use that same coercive power for problems that manifest itself within the white community. Even when those problems are very similar/same to those they’ve previously addressed within the minority community.

  58. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Gustopher: I believe a paradigm shift is in order. Instead of fining establishments for not using the prescribed spread control measures–they need to be fined for damages associated with super spreader events.

    Sure its after the fact–but as you mentioned it takes too many resources to be the mask and capacity police– a few high dollar judgments and a lot of PR will change behavior overnight.

    The Sturgis people should have gotten the shit sued out of them along with the Trump campaign. Remember, a lot of the people getting sick and dying are people who weren’t even at these events. Im surprised some ambitious ambulance chasers haven’t already started hauling people in court.

  59. Loviatar says:


    We can argue about this for the next 50+ years and not convince the other person of our point of view, so I’ll leave you with this endpoint.

    Life is all about choices, at the end of the day the US Government choose to do very little about the pandemic. We can speculate on why they chose to do very little regulating. We can speculate on how they would enforce any regulations. But in the end they choose to do very little and we’ve lost 265,000 Americans and counting.

  60. Gustopher says:


    how does one have a reasonable discussion with a party that celebrates a domestic terrorist (Kyle Rittenhouse)?

    Only about 20% of Republicans are actual Nazis. If you want to get anything done, you have to split a large enough chunk of the other 80% away from the Nazi wing of the Republican Party.

    You’re a smart guy, so I’m pretty sure you know, but I’ll be clear, RACE.

    I was curious as to whether you were going to claim that my reluctance to try to impose order is racist. I reject it because it’s not going to work, not for any other reason. I don’t even get to the other reasons.

    I’m not going to claim to not be racist, because I am an American and we’re raised that way, although less and less each generation.

    The US Government has a history of solving problems within minority communities, whether real or perceived, through the coercive power of it LAWS. Yet, they’re often hesitant to use that same coercive power for problems that manifest itself within the white community. Even when those problems are very similar/same to those they’ve previously addressed within the minority community.

    The US is bitterly divided, as you might have noticed. Historically, white people have been able to do terrible things to minorities when the white folks are united, or don’t care. White folks aren’t united right now, which utterly paralyzes the country.

    We can’t even put down Black Lives Matter with force (an inability that I think is a very good thing), despite calling out federal troops.

    Worse, most white folks voted for Trump. The power of racist white guys is against us. Most of the police voted for Trump. Huge swaths of rural areas voted for Trump.

    And police are local. We have very limited tools for applying coercive pressure as you move up from the local level. My Governor could not force people to do diddly-squat across the state without the cooperation of local officials, and that cooperation has been collapsing. That collapse is partly coming from the national Republican Party, but also from the bottom up as local people chafe against the restrictions. That first part is hard to do anything about, but that second part needs attention.

    My Governor needs to work to regain that cooperation — even if he has to work with literal Nazis and Nazi sympathizers (for the most part, he doesn’t). It’s that, or give up on controlling the virus outside of the big cities.

    And this is Washington State. This is the easy level. Go next door to Idaho, and they don’t even have a Governor who supports doing anything about the virus other than shipping sick people to Seattle hospitals — that disaster doesn’t even stay in Idaho.

    The levers we have to affect the outcome are fairly limited, and they don’t include just making everyone do everything the scientists say. If our country wasn’t having a legitimacy crisis and we didn’t have the President lying about the pandemic every day, we would probably have more tools. As it is, for controlling behavior Getting the voluntary cooperation of Republicans at the local levels is the best tool we have.

    We have a shitty hand, plain and simple.

    We’re averaging 1500 deaths per day (7 day rolling average) and it’s going to rise after Thanksgiving (that’s baked in now), and the best we can do is be prepared to react to that, seize the moment, and try to negotiate the narrow path to a minimally disastrous Christmas.

    I’m dreaming of a minimally disastrous Christmas,
    Still so much worse than the ones before,
    Where the hearses glisten,
    And the children listen,
    To hear if grandma’s breathing anymore!

    Still, I’m dreaming of a horrific Christmas,
    With every sympathy card I write,
    May your fevers break,
    And your lungs merely ache,
    May all your children survive!

    That needs some work. Anyway, we have five weeks to stop a massive, country-wide super-spreader event. And we will fail. But the degree to which we fail will affect a lot of people.

  61. Gustopher says:

    @Jim Brown 32: It’s really hard to prove that you got your Covid from a specific event. Doable with genetic tracing, but hard.

    The lawsuits against the cigarette companies were brought by the states, and that would probably be the way to go here. It’s easier to prove some effect in aggregate.

    But show me the states heavily affected that are likely to sue.

  62. EddieInCA says:

    @Loviatar: @Gustopher:

    I’m disgusted that the US – on a state level, and national level – didn’t have the political will to do what was neccessary. South Korea, with 50X the population of South Dakota, has less deaths than South Dakota. How the fvck does that happen??

    So, as far as I’m concerned, all those anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, can just go F off. They can effing die for all I care. Every single one of them. My neighbors? No. They’re not my neighbors. I do what I can do. I keep my distance. I wear my mask. I avoid planes, trains and buses. I have everything delivered. Everything. I’m controlling what I can control. Those who aren’t taking it seriously, or who think it’s a hoax, can die for all I care. In fact, I actually hope they die. I genuinely hope they die. I won’t shed a tear. I won’t care in the least.

    Like Michael, I know I’m an asshole. But I am also who often tries to help those who don’t want my help. In this case, f them. I do hope they die. Sooner the better. I’m tired of the ignorance.

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    The Sturgis people should have gotten the shit sued out of them along with the Trump campaign.

    Yeah, but that was never going to happen and we all knew it.

  64. JDM says:

    @EddieInCA: Welcome to the Fellowship of Pricks, Assholes and Sociopaths.