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:

    Gingrich is getting cancelled for Pence praise vid.

    You reap what you sow.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Putting my seed order together, well, first step anyway: Go thru the various web sites and bookmark everything I think I might want to grow. Step 2: Winnow the list down to a few reasonable orders. Step 3: Bite the bullet and place the orders. It will take me about a week to do it and I’ll have them in plenty of time to start them by 2/15.

  3. Sleeping Dog says:
  4. Sleeping Dog says:

    Police let most Capitol rioters walk away. But cellphone data and videos could now lead to more arrests.

    The Trumpkins, trapped in their info silo, never read all the articles from the BLM protests about shutting your phone off and wearing non-descript clothes.

  5. Kathy says:

    Mitch is saying the trial after impeachment wouldn’t happen until the next term.

    Of course, he can start the trial at any time. So the question is, can he get away with making it Biden’s problem?

  6. Jen says:

    My handful of conservative friends are LOSING IT on Facebook. Demanding to know where everyone’s going now that their demigod has been deplatformed.

    I’ve been friends with some of these people for 35-40 years. It’s more than a little pathetic.

  7. Sleeping Dog says:


    It can be quicker. Once Ossoff and Warnock are seated and the Dems have control, they can change the rules. The question is, when will GA certify.

  8. CSK says:

    Rush Limbaugh personally deactivated his Twitter account in order to show solidarity with Trump.

  9. CSK says:

    The jolly japesters who invaded the Capitol were chanting: “Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!” You can see the video at

    According to Ben Sasse, Trump was “delighted” with the riot.

    Sasse: “Trump was walking around the White House wondering why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was as you had rioters pushing against Capitol Police trying to get into the building.”

  10. Mikey says:

    The incoming administration must come down on these far-right seditionists hard and not let up, because as far as they’re concerned Wednesday was a massive success. Letting them generally get away with it would be an enormous mistake.

    The far-right Trump insurgency just scored a huge propaganda coup

    As we seek to absorb the meaning of a violent insurrectionist mob storming the seat of government on President Trump’s behalf, a kind of split screen is emerging.

    On one screen, Trump is shriveling into a buffoonish, pathetic figure. His violent and destructive fantasies remain unchecked and dangerous, but news accounts are depicting an increasingly isolated figure whose advisers are deserting him, even as he rages ineffectually over his inability to reverse his election loss.

    On the other screen, a different picture is emerging: For the loose network of groups and lone actors that carried out Trump’s calls for violent disruption of the lawful conclusion of the election, it’s becoming clear that the siege was a huge and momentous success, a propaganda coup that will energize them for a long time to come…

    …“A lot of these extremist groups have explicitly discussed what the attack on the Capitol represents for their ability to overwhelm law enforcement,” Holt told me, adding that the security failures are seen as “validation of a broader narrative about the government buckling” that will awaken others to its “corruption.”

    In a terrific segment, Rachel Maddow looked at Wednesday’s events and concluded that the loosely knit movement that showed up on Trump’s behalf will see all this as a “big success.”

    “His supporters pulled off a violent, armed insurrection attacking the U.S. Capitol,” Maddow noted. “And then they all just walked away to tell their war stories about it.”

  11. Kingdaddy says:

    Alabama’s Attorney General heads an organization that helped mobilize Wednesday’s mob:

    “I’m calling for the Rule of Law Defense Fund with an important message,” the robocall stated, according to Documented. “The march to save America is tomorrow in Washington D.C. at the Ellipse in President’s Park between E St. and Constitution Avenue on the south side of the White House, with doors opening at 7:00 a.m. At 1:00 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal. We are hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections. For more information, visit This call is paid for and authorized by the Rule of Law Defense Fund, 202-796-5838.”

  12. Michael Cain says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    The question is, when will GA certify.

    Counties are required to certify by the 15th, the SoS by the 22nd. Can’t see Raffensperger dragging his feet over it…

  13. CSK says:

    The exact same people who vowed to sit out the Georgia run-off elections because Lin Wood and Sidney Powell told them their votes wouldn’t be counted are now bitching because they claim the election was stolen from Loeffler and Perdue.

    This may be the defining characteristic of Trumpkins: They have the memories and attention spans of fleas.

  14. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I don’t know what the rules are, but there’s the matter that the Senate has adjourned until January 19th.

    Of course, Mitch can reconvene the Senate any time, be it for the trial or to seat Warnock and Ossoff. I don’t know if any other Senator, or group of senators, or a committee, can reconvene the Senate earlier.

    It shouldn’t have to depend on Mitch doling out his last protections to El Cheeto.

  15. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: Less to do with protecting Trump than with protecting his caucus members from an awkward vote. Last I heard Moscow Mitch was talking about maybe allowing a vote on the 21st, when, if you squint just right, you can claim it’s not utterly meaningless.

  16. Slugger says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Re the Trump children: if Eric and Don Jr. had wanted to establish their bona fides , they would have been in the front of the attack on the Capitol. Sadly, it turns out that bone spurs are hereditary.

  17. Michael Cain says:


    I don’t know what the rules are, but there’s the matter that the Senate has adjourned until January 19th.

    Technically, there are pro forma sessions often enough that recess appointments can’t be made. The next one is scheduled for Tuesday. If a quorum were to show up, they’re open for business.

  18. Jim Brown 32 says:

    The parallels between Trumpites and Jihadis in terms of marketing and recruitment differ by degree and not by kind.

    Jihadis score very little in terms of tactical victory and are usually killed at the scene if its not a suicide attack. Despite obvious and repeated failure, these events resound as stunning successes in their ecosystem. Driving further radicalization and recruitment.

    In their world, they fought back against overwhelming odds gaining honor for themselves. To them this is the beginning of the revolution. In my opinion there isn’t a path for them to accommodate the views most of us. Which is sad because I have a first hand understanding of what that means practically.

    I devoted a good portion of my life to destroying the enemies of the United States before they could attack US citizens not involved with our foreign policy and simply living their lives. Now many of your are getting a taste of the dynamics many of us in the fight experienced and frankly the futility and sadness of it all.

    Despite public statements that America, Americans, and the West must be terrorized for defiling “Muslim lands” with our presence… it becomes clear that this is bullshit CYA to provide a veneer of cover to moderate, non politically engaged Muslim.

    When you begin to study the enemies to understand how he/she thinks and how/where they might strike next you unearth the real driving force behind these people.

    Why would middle class kids leave there homes and futures for likely death and a meager and hardship-filled life before the inevitable end? The real answer is that these people believe that America, Americans, and the West are and evil force of darkness the earth…but our very existence upon it. In their world, the Earth is too small for both you and them. Someone has to go. Ironically, in the leadership its 50/50 who is a true believer and who is simply there for the sense of adventure and power. But the foot soldiers are fully in. Many on the Left hate GWOT…but the rules of the game leave leaders nothing but bad options. Someone has to die…and shit it aint going to be Joe Bag of donuts at a carnival with the kids getting blown to bits.

    This is what radicalization does. I hope to be in error…but I get the same sense from Trumpites. These people are convinced that they are fighting the forces of darkness..Democrats & RINOs. They are all in.

    Ive seen very little success in deradicalization strategies tried on the ISIS Brides in the refugees camps and people are trying alot of deprogramming stuff. IMO the only hope is that these people, especially my former brothers and sisters in arms who have the expertise to be dangerous, learn to coexist with the forces of darkness in control. Thats hard to do when you are conditioned to take charge of situations. Minorities have done it forever so its possible. Thankfully, we arent dealing with a large group of people so the small percentage of people that will heed a call to action is still managable. 20 more years of Fox and the RW Wurtziler however will make that number unmanageable. This country will have to reimagine the principles of free speech (and capitalism) to remain recognizable

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:


    On the other screen, a different picture is emerging: For the loose network of groups and lone actors that carried out Trump’s calls for violent disruption of the lawful conclusion of the election, it’s becoming clear that the siege was a huge and momentous success, a propaganda coup that will energize them for a long time to come…

    I’m sure it will energize them, tho what good it will do them sitting in their 6×8 cells for the next 3-5 years I don’t know. And after they get out they will be paying restitution for years, not to mention child support, alimony, and all the lawyers they owe.

    …“A lot of these extremist groups have explicitly discussed what the attack on the Capitol represents for their ability to overwhelm law enforcement,” Holt told me, adding that the security failures are seen as “validation of a broader narrative about the government buckling” that will awaken others to its “corruption.”

    I fully expect some more group actions in the next few months. But wait until these assholes start getting arrested and are looking at 10-20 years for something they thought was a lark. Flipping on their compatriots like a stack of flapjacks will begin to look better and better, especially after sitting in a county jail cell for a few months because they couldn’t raise the million dollar bail. A lot of these groups will come apart at the seams, especially when the accusations of being turncoats start flying around. Who do you trust? Who can you trust? It’s easy to talk tough when you are sitting on the La-Z-Boy, you know, give me freedom or give me death? Real easy to swear to swear an omerta too. But when one you’ve been sitting in a cell for 3 months with a lustful Big Willie and you haven’t seen your lawyer in 2 months because your wife thought the rent was more important than your lawyer….

    Well, they know things and they know people who did things and a prosecutor might even look upon one’s release on a lower bail and the promise to wear a wire as the actions of a true patriot.

    These people are deluded but they are soon to come face to face with a reality they didn’t know existed. I just hope not many people get hurt between now and then.

  20. CSK says:

    Rosanne Boyland, an ardent Trump fan participating in the insurrection, was trampled to death when the mob surged into the Capitol Building.

    She had been carrying a “Don’t Tread on Me” banner.

  21. Franklin says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Crap. Are you saying I need to plan ahead? I built garden beds last year and mostly planted things my neighbors had already started and didn’t have room for.

    Of course, I have some time up here in Michigan. Won’t be planting until April.

  22. Franklin says:

    @CSK: I shouldn’t, but LOL!

  23. CSK says:

    No, they were dancing to the strains of Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” in the White House while watching the coverage of the insurrection on Fox.

    See “Trump Riot Watch Party” on Youtube.

  24. CSK says:

    Talk about irony.

  25. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Indeed. This is what I’m saying needs to happen. We can’t extend the error of just letting them walk out of the Capitol. We can’t go preach reconciliation because they will just take it as weakness.

  26. Kingdaddy says:

    @Jim Brown 32: See my post from this morning. I share your fears.

  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    You’re right, but time tends to eliminate these people. Al Qaeda? ISIS? Hezbollah? All are weaker today than they once were. The world changed around them. The Arab states abandoned AQ and ISIS to make deals with the Israelis. Hezbollah is tied to a weakening Iran. The problem with asymmetric warfare is that no matter how clever and ruthless they are it still doesn’t work.

    Who have AQ and ISIS targeted? MBS? Still there. The UAE? Still there. The Israelis? Hah. France, the UK? Both seem to have survived. The USA? Still the sole superpower. And in the end their failures cost them the people. And all of that is in a backward part of the world.

    In the next 12 months we’ll see some Trump terrorism, which will alienate still more people, as we defeat Covid and the economy takes off like a bottle rocket. The more they act out, the sooner they disappear. The culties will remain culties, but the cult won’t grow, it will fade and wither.

  28. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..start them by 2/15.

    It’s been many years since I was a gardener. Somehow I remember an old saw about how the leaf lettuce seeds should be planted by Valentines Day. I believe I swept back the snow and tried that a few times. Don’t think I got more than a few BLTs for my efforts.
    I do recall an early spring in 1977 when I had started tomatoes from seed in peat pots inside in February. They lived in a south window above the kitchen sink and I could set them outside on the stoop when there were warm days as early as April. By the time I set them in the dirt late April early May some of the plants already had green tomatoes on them. Ripe red tomatoes early June!
    Never had the opportunity to repeat that.*

    *Quoting the lazy, hazy archives of my brain.

  29. Sleeping Dog says:


    According to McConnell’s memo, under the current rules, it would take unanimous consent of the senate to open for business beyond the pro forma session. If Schumer were to become majority leader, the Dems could change the rules, but that won’t occur till GA certifies, with the earliest that can happen is the 16th.

  30. charon says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Kamala Harris not VP until 20th.

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Franklin: Yeah, you can wait until mid to late march to start your seedlings. I don’t get to really jonesing for the garden until I start my seeds. Then I’m checking them every day.

  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    More trouble for Boeing: Boeing 737 carrying 62 people feared to have crashed into sea near Jakarta

    The plane, a Boeing 737-500, does not use the same software system as those involved in two crashes that killed hundreds of people and left Boeing in crisis, according to Reuters.
    Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation, has also been criticised for poor safety standards in its aviation industry, which has been plagued by accidents. An AirAsia plane crashed in 2014 with the loss of 162 lives.

  33. Sleeping Dog says:


    Duh. I guess if it is a 50-50 senate Schumer could move for a rules change and see if any R signed on.

  34. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I mostly agree…but time didn’t eliminate these people Michael. We killed them. And the ones we didn’t kill, we engineered their “brothers” into killing them for supposedly working with the infidels.

    This is not the type of society where you want these type of things happening around you. Yes, the Jihadis lost, mostly because they are down to the 50th string, but at tremendous costly to the societies where middle eastern autocrats originally found them useful. The middle east is opening up…but mostly to Westerners and Western interest. If you aren’t close to the shot callers…the ME is a shitty place to be an regular Arab. And that’s directly attributable to factionalism which deepen once Arab powers figured out that the suicide attacks weren’t aimed only at the Great Satan. AQ, ISIS, Taliban, etc all have overwhelmingly Muslim body counts on their hands.

    The promise of America is supposed to be that regular people have opportunity. To achieve the best possible outcome, we must turn off the radicalization vectors and isolated the radicalized with as little violence as possible lest we trigger an endless cycle of violence and retribution we find in other cultures where people have 500 year old grievances.

    Yes, there are a small number willing to respond to a call to action…there is not a small number of people that think they have a point. These people are susceptible to radicalization…Ive seen it too many times. This is truly sn inflection points. Dems may have to themselves do the right things in regards to “free speech ” and fall on their swords at the ballot box in 2022 to answer the mail here.

    20 more years of attention merchanting on far left and far right sides will cook our goose.

  35. Jay L Gischer says:

    I understand @JimBrown32 to be saying, “We need to focus on these people and systematically break them down”. I agree.

    I understand @Michael Reynolds to be saying, “We can handle these guys, there’s no need to be afraid” I agree with that, too. We just need to focus on that. In my view, that’s more important than focusing on covid.

    To my distress, John Judis does not agree. He thinks impeaching Trump a second time is throwing him into the briar patch – it’s exactly what works for him. I think you have to stand up for yourself. You have to vigorously defend the principles the country is based on, or you will lose them. You have to do the thing that’s important, not the thing that’s expedient.

    Of course, I’ve long known I’d make a terrible politician.

  36. CSK says:

    Jen and Sleeping Dog:

    There’s a really disturbing article at about the rise of anti-Semitism in New Hampshire.

  37. Kingdaddy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The problem with asymmetric warfare is that no matter how clever and ruthless they are it still doesn’t work.

    You’ve cherry-picked your examples. While the success rate is nowhere near 50%, it’s ridiculous to say that asymmetric warfare never works. From small groups that seized power (Nicaragua, Algeria, Cuba) to larger movements (Vietnam, China) to state-sponsored terrorism (Russia in the Crimea), what you might mean by “asymmetric warfare” often works.

  38. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    I agree there will be pain before we get past this. But I’d suggest we have a secret power: money. I don’t just mean that we have a lot of it, but that we worship it above all other gods. In the US of A things that don’t turn a profit tend not to survive long, and while there is money to be made at the fringes, long-term this Trumpist bullshit is unprofitable. As a result, we now have Big Business on ‘our’ side.

    There’s another huge advantage that we have in the culture. Unlike the ME, the culture simply does not support Trumpist terrorism but remains decidedly liberal. Even our religious nuts are all about profit, so here too, we’ll see fringe religious figures continue to make a few bucks but the television preachers who support Trumpism will lose their platforms. You don’t get to build a Crystal Cathedral without mainstream acceptance. The big cultural megaphones belong to Hollywood and other profit-seeking enterprises.

    So, IMO, the economic and cultural incentives are all on our side and the economy and culture are symbiotic and in sync. Key here is that much-maligned group, white liberals. Trumpism is a reaction to loss of status by whites and by males. But most whites are not with these nuts. 60% of Biden’s vote came from whites. It’s really hard to build on white grievance when whites are divided. Also, 45% of males supported Biden, so here, too, it becomes hard to manufacture male grievance when nearly half of the male cohort is like, Nah, we’re good.

    TL;DR: We’ve held the culture, the capitalists are on our side, and nothing lasts in the US unless it is profitable. White supremacy and male grievance? Not profitable except at the fringes.

  39. Michael Reynolds says:

    We are not Nicaragua. Or Cuba. Or China post WW2. We are the richest, most powerful nation on earth. Our people are not hungry. They are not oppressed. As I said to @Jim Brown 32: above, we have very different incentives at play. Trumpism is white and male grievance over loss of protected status, phony causes that don’t even have the broad support of whites or males. In the midst of a pandemic and following four years of madness from the White House, the culture has remained on the same path it was on before, and is clearly supported by capital. You therefore have the grievances of privileged but diminishing minorities vs. the culture, capitalism and the sheer inertia of the system.

    No doubt they’ll blow some things up. But five years from now all these Trumpist groups will be deep into fratricide and half their members will be FBI informants.

  40. @Michael Reynolds:


    Still an armed group and a political party that is (or was early last year) part of the Lebanese government.

  41. Sleeping Dog says:


    Since I’ve hardly been out of the house since March and don’t participate in Twitter, Facebook etc., I wasn’t aware of that. I read the local papers’ website (they’re all owned by the same group), but there is not a lot of state news, beyond what’s happening in the legislature. So after that looong preface, I wasn’t aware of this. But I’m not surprised.

    A town Selectwoman, was subject to a no confidence vote by her peers, due to comments she made about Black, Lives Matter. NH has a long and sordid history of crazy right-wingers and antisemitism has raised its ugly head on more than one occasion. Remember the bears in Grafton? Some of the self proclaimed libertarians are closer to neo-nazis than disciples Ayn Rand.

    It will be interesting to see what the R leadership does with the two Reps mentioned. At minimum an ethics complaint should be filed and followed up on, but best would be for them to be kicked out of their positions.

  42. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    And yet quiet. Why? Because Syria is flat on its back and Iran is broke and scared. On the one hand Hezbollah gives Iran an extra arm, so to speak, but it’s an arm attached to a very vulnerable body. The Israelis threaten Hezbollah, we and the Arabs threaten Iran. And let’s not forget the Turks who will never allow an actively terrorist Hezbollah to gain control of Lebanon, or allow Syria to destabilize the ME – the Turks have deals to sign and money to make. Hezbollah’s state sponsors are weak, its enemies are powerful.

    Asymmetrical warfare’s weakness is right in the definition. It’s little guys using little guy tactics against big guys who have access to the entire range of responses. We can quite literally annihilate Iran and they are powerless to stop us. Asymmetrical warfare is a neat trick that only works for as long as we allow it to. If/when it becomes sufficiently irritating, we have the means to end it.

  43. @Michael Reynolds: Your citation of Hezbollah above was not about their relative activity at the moment, but as part of this assertion: “You’re right, but time tends to eliminate these people.”

    Time has not eliminated Hezbollah, especially within Lebanese politics.

    This is my narrow point with this observation.

    And, I would add, al Qaeda and Isis didn’t just fade with time.

    This not to say that that the MAGA idiots who stormed the Capitol ought to be compared to those groups, but I think you are being a bit fast and loose with your assertions/analogizing.

    Really, a better analogy might be the KKK in the Jim Crow era, but that actually doesn’t further your position as that group was quite influential, with membership often being requisite for serious politicians.

  44. sam says:

    Pointe de Hoc this isn’t.

  45. CSK says:

    Yowza, Michelle Obama is one powerful woman. According to someone named Victoria Taft at PJ Media, she issued the order to Twitter and Facebook and the rest to ban Trump…and they did.

  46. Jen says:

    @CSK: Spillane is one of my reps. He’s an idiot who has been in trouble a number of times before, this is absolutely unacceptable.

  47. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Or because Rush knows that he is going to die soon and doesn’t want the account to be hijacked.

  48. Jen says:
  49. Michael Reynolds says:

    Since we’re on an open thread, my Senate play: 50/50 is inherently unstable. A third force can rise and dominate. Sure Manchin can kill legislation. Sure Romney might go against party occasionally.

    But what if they formed a bi-partisan moderates caucus? Manchin, Romney, Tester, Murkowski, Sinema, Collins, maybe others. They could not only block, they could write legislation. They could set the pace, gathering votes from either or both sides. No need to switch parties, leave the partisan divide as is, but form a center block. They could write infrastructure bills, immigration reform, relief bills. If they were smart they’d announce their first priority would be new ethics in government and integrity in voting legislation.

  50. CSK says:

    I loved his excuse about the meme: “As far as I know, none of those people are Jewish.” That he’s on Parler tells you pretty much all you need to know about him.
    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Yes; could be.

  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Normally, I’d be making some kind of snark about the lyric “feel your innocence slipping away/don’t believe it’s coming back soon,” but for the people in the tent, that moment is so long ago that it’s not even a sad memory anymore. 🙁

  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    In case it helps clear up the terrain any, Ronna McDaniel and Don Jr.’s friend from middle school (a Korean political joke) were both reelected to their posts in the GOP. There’s also a NYT article about it but MSN seems to have pulled it from their main page.

  53. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Curiously, you are assuming this hypothetical center block would pursue policies you mostly agree with.

    I think a center caucus is likely, but that it will cause as much heartache as anything. “What do we want? Modest ineffectual reform, coal subsidies and tax breaks! When do we want it? Now!”

  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Our peoplePeople like me are not hungry. TheyWe are not oppressed. Fixed that for improved accuracy.

  55. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    OK, but a group without power is not a problem. A group that has less power than it previously had can certainly be said to have faded, as is the case with AQ and ISIS as well as Hezbollah. No doubt there’s still a rump of IRA provos or Basque separatists, but who cares?

    We’re speculating here, but I’ll bet a dollar that two years from now the Trumpists will no longer be a serious problem. Basically they’re grievance groups with trivial grievances. They aren’t ‘whites’ they’re just white losers. They aren’t ‘men’ they’re loser men. The extent of their ideology is a cult of personality built around a man who two years from now will either be in prison or a shambling embarrassment.

    The Trumpist branding is terrible. What do we want? Um, to reverse time and elect a guy who lost two years ago? You know, that guy who is constantly begging for donations? The orange dude, you remember, right? We wuz robbed of… um…

    They start with, let’s say, 40% of the country, post coup-attempt. Much of that will evaporate within weeks of Trump’s departure. Realistically the percentage of the population that would support Trumpist terrorism at least tacitly is maybe 10%. Especially if the economy is strong. That’s a big number in absolute terms, but nothing like Irish support for the IRA, for example, or Saudi support of Al Qaeda.

    The FBI will eat them alive. Hollywood is going to go town on these people, they’ll be the new go-to villains. And Wall Street is not having it. I’ll bet on the trifecta of law enforcement, culture and capital over QAnon shamans.

    So, I’m not worried (some but not much) about terrorism, and I’m not even much worried much about the ‘smarter Trump.’ Trumpism is just not relevant in a country that will continue to secularize, urbanize and educate.

  56. Michael Reynolds says:

    Curiously, you are assuming this hypothetical center block would pursue policies you mostly agree with.

    Where did I say that? Prediction is not endorsement. I’m just looking at the power flow. I see instability (50/50) and a way to exploit it. Like analyzing a battle.

  57. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: every example you gave of what they might do is something that I’m pretty sure you agree with.

  58. JohnSF says:

    Centrist parties usually go centre-y 🙂 and usually go for policies most people can agree with.
    Consensus type politics.
    See LibDems in UK.

    Also, under FPTP winner-take-all systems, the centrist find the parties to their left and rigt steal their lunch, and mobise the “enthusiasts”, so the end up getting squeezed out of effective existence.
    See LibDems in UK.

    For centrist parties to dominate requires a consensual polity (e.g. Japan) or carefully designed PR system (e.g. Germany). Latter can easily go wrong also; e.g. Israel.

  59. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Secularization, urbanization, and education is exactly what the Trumpkins dread most.

    The notion that all virtue resides in the country, or small towns, and all evil resides in the big city is a longstanding theme in American culture. Hollywood helped to popularize it. Remember Sarah Palin arriving at some hamlet in the south and squawking about how good it felt to be in “the real America.”

    It’s romantic bullshit, of course, and always has been, as the late Grace Metalious would be happy to affirm, but it’s potent romantic bullshit.

  60. Kingdaddy says:

    @Michael Reynolds: We’re at the left side of the militancy curve, not the right. Comparing the situation now in the United States with the situation in Northern Ireland, after decades of IRA violence, is ridiculous. Particularly since the phenomenon of millions of Americans convinced of an alternate reality constructed through right-wing media and social media is still relatively new.

    They start with, let’s say, 40% of the country, post coup-attempt. Much of that will evaporate within weeks of Trump’s departure. Realistically the percentage of the population that would support Trumpist terrorism at least tacitly is maybe 10%. Especially if the economy is strong. That’s a big number in absolute terms, but nothing like Irish support for the IRA, for example, or Saudi support of Al Qaeda.

    You really don’t understand the dynamics of terrorism and insurgency. “Nothing like Irish support for the IRA?” Groups like the Provos never needed large numbers of supporters. Saudi monetary support for Al Qaeda was significant, but it’s irrelevant to the amount of adherents that Al Qaeda had, which was never that big. Terrorist networks need only be big enough to carry out operations, nothing to the scale that guerrilla armies need (which also is often smaller than people might expect, or guerrillas might claim).

    And as Steven says, these can be very durable forces, once they coalesce. In some cases, like the IRA and Hezbollah, they have a political front that sustains them, even when the military arm is suffering setbacks. In other cases, the militants just fade away for a while, to reform later, such as the different generations of the Klan, or the evolution of terrorist groups in the Middle East and Kashmir.

  61. JohnSF says:
  62. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    So, I’m not worried (some but not much) about terrorism, and I’m not even much worried much about the ‘smarter Trump.’ Trumpism is just not relevant in a country that will continue to secularize, urbanize and educate.

    Even before last weeks fiasco and Trump being banned from FB & Twitter, I believed he’d fade. Eventually he’d be kicked off Twitter anyway, it has just happened sooner. With regard to rump Trumpist guerrillas , if they continue and try and organize on the internet, they’ll just be buying a ticket to jail and without the internet, they probably can’t organize effectively.

    With Hawley and Cruz stepping on their dicks, the only potentially dangerous R candidate is Cotton.

  63. CSK says:


  64. Michael Cain says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Where did I say that? Prediction is not endorsement. I’m just looking at the power flow. I see instability (50/50) and a way to exploit it. Like analyzing a battle.

    One of the things I’ve been watching is that over 2018 and 2020, the Interior West states went +4 on US Democratic Senators, raising the total to nine. (In the rest of the country the Dems were -2, even after Georgia.) The Dems don’t pass anything in the Senate unless all nine of those are on board. If I were in the Dem leadership, and particularly after this past record setting year, I’d be thinking about management of the federal public lands in the West, about fire fighting, mitigation both pre- and post-fire, water policy, and some very expensive environmental cleanups that the military and Dept of Energy have been dragging their feet on for decades. Maybe even some drastic changes to the Bonneville and Western Power Administrations, which are turning into serious bottlenecks for a bunch of western state plans to increase renewable power usage.

  65. JohnSF says:

    The key difference between long lasting terrorist/insurgent groups and short-lived ones seems to be that the “survivors” had an ethnic and/or religious basis.
    Those who lacked this, who were essentially just political extreme faction tended to be dealt with fairly rapidly, and by more or less “conventional” policing.
    For instance RF/BMG in Germany, Brigato Rossi in Italy, the Anarchists of late 19th century Europe, the Jacobins of early 19th century.

    But, if they do have an ethnic/religious base, they can be the very devil to deal with.
    See IRA, ETA, Tamil Tigers, Daesh, etc.
    Sure, they will lose long term, to the sheer power of a modern state.
    Especially if, like the Daesh, they attempt to be a territorial power and get hammered by Turks, and Kurds, and Americans, and Russians, and Iranians, and British, and French, and Syrians, and Iraqis….
    Living, or rather dying, proof that the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend.

    The question is, does United States have a social grouping as resilient, reliable, comitted and resistant to penetration as the Basques, the South Armagh Republicans, the Tamils, the Shan, the Kachin?
    If not, the life of an American right-terrorist movement is likely to be a short and eventful one.

    Another point: the fascists in their “anti-state” phase, before ascending to power, depended on the state not bringing the hammer down on their street-fighting antics.
    Had the Italian or German state been willing to unleash their armed forces, they would have been crushed.

    Finally; the British state eventually had the beating of the IRA; but at a cost of thousands dead, massive economic damage to Northern Ireland, and tactics that were “unpleasant”.
    Best to nip it in the bud if you can.

  66. flat earth luddite says:

    @Michael Reynolds: .
    After my third re-read of this thread, I finally identified the background music I was hearing.

    Nice thought, but you are way more of a Pollyanna than I am. And I mean that in a positive, uplifted, and complimentary way.

  67. flat earth luddite says:

    @flat earth luddite:
    Lost the link. It was John Lennon’s “Imagine”

  68. @Sleeping Dog:

    With Hawley and Cruz stepping on their dicks, the only potentially dangerous R candidate is Cotton.

    It is waaaaaay to early to make these kinds of assertions.

    No one could have been convinced in January of 2013, that Trump would be a serious candidate, let alone the nominee, in 2016.

  69. JohnMcC says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: There are two internet stories about the rioters who died. One is above; the woman crushed had a ‘don’t tread on me banner’. The other is a day or two older; the man who had a heart attack somehow tazed his own nuts causing his cardiac arrest.

    The thing that serious rebels cannot be, is ridiculous. When we laugh at them, we defeat them. We’re well along that path.

  70. @JohnMcC: I am not sure I understand–did you intent on responding to me? I was commenting on handicapping 2024.

  71. Michael Reynolds says:

    You have a very poor record of guessing about me. An alternative might be to pay attention to what I actually write.