The end of the line

We've shouldn't be surprised we've arrived at this destination.

The desecration of America’s temple of democracy today was just the culmination, not of Trumpism, but of decades of motion in the same direction. It all happened very conspicuously, and perhaps slowly. However, we cannot be shocked at or surprised by the end point in which this trajectory has taken the United States.

The candidacy of Barry Goldwater showed the weakness of “mainstream” Republicanism in the face of the radical right.

The Dixiecrats who migrated from the Democrats to the Republicans were a faction dedicated to repressing the equal rights of a significant portion of the American population.

Nixon’s Southern strategy helped tighten the bonds of white supremacy with Republicanism. His invocation of “the silent majority” also underlined how Republicanism was evolving into white grievance politics, even among people who weren’t consciously racist.

The Republican “leaders” who decided to play footsie with the religious right opened the door to a large number of absolutists who believed that God sat on one side of the political aisle, and Satan on the other.

Reagan’s anti-government rhetoric may have been delivered in a congenial fashion, but it nonetheless attacked the legitimacy of government itself.

The embrace of conservative commentators like Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, who openly called liberals traitors, contributed to right-wing tribalism and de-legimitization of others.

Newt Gingrich worked very hard toward the same ends, using a similar rhetorical strategy. On top of it, he mobilized Republican politicians to turn obstructionism, distraction, and norm-breaking into a dominant political strategy.

The vacuity of Republicanism in the last twenty years or so took Reagan-esque anti-government rhetoric as an excuse for being nothing more than opposition and obstruction. Actually getting things done in Washington was not only optional, but actively derided.

The attacks on science, under duplicitous banners like “teaching the controversy,” eroded critical thinking among many Americans. Worse, these attacks contributed to the attitude that knowledge wasn’t necessary, only gut feeling and a sense of righteousness.

The D-minus version of American exceptionalism (“USA! USA!”), combined with an ignorance of history, led many Americans to either disbelieve that it could happen here, or not even be aware of what could happen here.

Social media amplified all these trends. Plus, it helped put people who would have otherwise been harmless, lonely cranks in their communities in touch with like-minded lunatics. Social media also helped create a hermetically sealed environment in which ignorance and conspiracy theory could flourish.

Every Republican who fell into line after the election of Trump only contributed in the most immediate way. They abandoned the few remnants of a common sense of public good, of devotion to governing well, of a belief in the sanctity of our political culture and institutions. The Republican Party became an empty shell, devoid of principles beyond compliance with the half-baked notions of the living embodiment of the Seven Deadly Sins. It did not even feel the need to explain what it stood for in a campaign platform, because it stood for nothing.

I could add more contributing factors to this enumeration, but you get the idea. Trump may have wound up an angry mob of ignorant, conspiracy-minded, impatient, absolutist adherents today, but the mob has been forming for a long time.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, , , ,
Kingdaddy
About Kingdaddy
Kingdaddy is returning to political blogging after a long hiatus. For several years, he wrote about national security affairs at his blog, Arms and Influence, under the same pseudonym. He currently lives in Colorado, where he is still awestruck at all the natural beauty here. He has a Ph.D in political science that is oddly useful in his day job.

Comments

  1. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Totally agree.

    We bought the ticket. We take the ride.

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  2. Kathy says:

    This would be a good time for such Republicans as still care for governance to take back their party, or form a new one. There are bound to be a few, like Romney, perhaps, or other Northeast Republicans*, mostly governors.

    What happens if, say, five GOP senators leave their party but won’t caucus with the Democrats? The count would be 50 D (including King and Sanders), 45 R, and 5 I. Do the Democrats then have the majority, or do they still have to share with the other two blocks?

    *I’m aware where Utah is (I’ve seen the highway signs in Vegas), but Romney once governed Massachussets.

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  3. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    I’m sure you could recruit Charlie Baker. He’s the current Republican governor of Mass., and he’s made it clear on multiple occasions that he despises Trump.

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  4. drj says:

    but the mob has been forming for a long time.

    Not spontaneously, though. It also took a lot of deliberate propaganda and misinformation. People actively decided to do this.

    But yeah, it’s not something new. Here’s McEnany sounding like a John Birch Society pamphlet from 1961:

    Does anyone truly believe that an anti-military, anti-police, Fidel Castro-inviting, Reverend Wright-loving Marxist embroiled in a child abuse scandal won fairly in the state of Georgia?

    I DON’T !!

    Apart from the “catching the tiger by the tail” part, premeditated evil is certainly also part of it.

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  5. flat earth luddite says:

    History taught me that the “experiment” we call democracy would someday end. I’m saddened and disgusted that it’s happening in my lifetime.

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  6. Teve says:

    Talia Levin

    “False coup attempts are often followed by real coup attempts.”

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  7. OK, I don’t mean to be Pollyanna here (I’m so often accused…) but this is not the time to mourn the death of democracy. This is a terrible day and an utter humiliation for our country, but this is when we decide never again. We have an enemy, it is domestic and it includes a frightening number of law enforcement officers, but that’s a problem, and you solve problems. In two weeks we have the WH and Congress, and the judiciary seems relatively solid.

    Don’t start digging graves, gird up your loins, whatever that means.

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  8. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: I don’t know anything about Baker, but I would take Kingdaddy’s point as being it’s not enough to be anti-Trump. Within a few months they’ll all claim to have been anti-Trump. They have to reject their party’s last several decades. They need to separate themselves from Movement Conservatism and its intertwined faux populism.

    I’m watching Pence on my TV machine trying to rehab himself and sound reasonable. And the fwcking MSM will buy it. And now Moscow Mitch.

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  9. Thpmm says:

    Thank you for saying this. My sentiments striped of hot anger leaving an icy and focused condemnation.

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  10. Thomm says:

    Thank you for saying this. My sentiments striped of hot anger leaving an icy and focused condemnation.

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  11. JDM says:

    I was thinking about the proper legal punishment for those radical insurgents who took over the Capital. Trying them for treason and hanging them would just make them martyrs. Not good. A slap on the wrist would just enable them. I am thinking a rather cruel and unusual punishment.

    The older commenters here have no doubt seen the movie ‘A Clockwork Orange’. And the scene where the protagonist, Alex. is given aversion therapy by having his eyes propped open and forced to watch films of sex and violence. I propose that the MAGA rioters be forced to have their eyes propped open and be forces to watch videos of Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. Surely, for them, a fate worse than death.

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  12. CSK says:

    Srephanie Grisham has resigned as Melania’s chief of staff, effective immediately.

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  13. CSK says:

    Maybe it’s the fact that Pence had to give the order for the national guard. Maybe it’s the fact practically everyone, except for a few loons at the usual crackpot websites, is condemning Trump.

    Is that why I have the feeling that Trump won’t be president tomorrow? Or that he might not even be president right now?

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  14. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    When I heard that it was Pence who ordered out the guard, I wondered if he had invoked the 25th. It was reported that he had huddled with congressional leadership.

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  15. Mikey says:

    @Teve: A coup attempt that steps on a rake and then shits itself is still a coup attempt.

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  16. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You’re sounding like me.

    What happened to grumpy-pants you?

    Actually, I applaud this approach. We need resilience and effort.

    Today, lots of establishment Rs figured out that enabling Trump encourages mob violence and anti-democratic insurrection.

    There is the “Tiger by the tail” and also the “Frog and the scorpion” – what did they expect? This was so predictable.

    Today was an abject humiliation for America. Today we hit bottom. (I sincerely hope it is bottom.) Tomorrow, we can take steps. It is not the end of us unless we allow it to be.

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  17. inhumans99 says:

    I guess this is as good a thread as any to ask if y’all just saw Romney’s speech imploring his colleagues to do the right thing and give up the challenges? There were two moments where people clapped and he even added some levity to the moment and said hey, I have been in Trump’s shoes…losing sucks (and you could hear the laughter that generated).

    It is so easy to point out the oppositions flaws but from where I sit I am starting to like Romney more and more as a person, not just as a politician who has scruples. It is so great that he did not let his loss to Obama fester and grow into an obsession against his opponent, and well…like I said in another thread, I am more than happy to cut Romney some slack. That woman who heckled him at the airport, well, after she saw his speech today her head must have exploded in rage, lol.

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  18. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    @de stijl:
    I sincerely hope you’re both right. Maybe it’s that I’m tired. I know we’re not what I was taught we were as a child, but I’m worn to a nub watching what we’ve become.

    I’ll admit that, as mentioned on another topic earlier,

    I have to confess that this is yet further proof why you don’t want someone like me in charge. I’ve seen prison riots handled with a firmer hand. Live ammo, use the firehoses to clean the chamber after. Survivors charged with assault against officers, sentences stacked.

    In this case, any survivors [would] charged with sedition.

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  19. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    We can dream, can’t we?

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  20. Jon says:

    @inhumans99:

    I am starting to like Romney more and more as a person

    Give it time, you’ll get over it.

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  21. Mister Bluster says:

    CNN is reporting that GOP sources are saying that some cabinet members are pondering the 25th Amendment.

    CNN is reporting that National Security are considering resigning.

    CNN is reporting that some White House insider has stated:

    Trump is out of his mind.

    Don’t

    quote me

    on any of this

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  22. Thomm says:

    @inhumans99: Romney always stuck me as a person who deeply cares about this country even if I disagreed with him. His father was an amazing man, a great ceo of rambler and amc, a good governor and I’m sure instilled this in him.

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  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    @de stijl:
    Exactly, we’ve hit bottom, or close to. The pendulum has swung. I sat my trans daughter down four years ago and said, look, the whole social justice thing is stalled for now, there will be no more forward movement. This where we dig in and hold onto what we’ve got.

    My worry/hope was around the question of whether we would hold the culture. We did. Now we’ve won back ground on the politics. This is like Gettysburg, bloody, some people would think it was time to give up, but it was actually the turning point. They failed today. They tried to take Little Round Top and they did not. Even if they don’t know it, they’ve lost.

    Now we seize the opportunity and push the pendulum back again. The situation is still fraught, but this is winnable. Unless we are stupid this is do-able.

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  24. CSK says:

    Trump has banned Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, from the West Wing.

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  25. Barry says:

    @JDM: ” Trying them for treason and hanging them would just make them martyrs. ”

    We don’t know until we try it. Remember, the biggest constant on the right is that they aren’t punished.

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  26. Kathy says:

    @inhumans99:

    I think of Romney a bit as Margaret Thatcher said of Gorbachev: we can do business with him.

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  27. MarkedMan says:

    Trump has the nuclear codes. Early on in his presidency he openly fantasized about using nuclear weapons. We need the 25th, or lightning fast impeachment. This can’t be a Collins moment, where officials furrow their brow and contemplate being stern. We need action.

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  28. David S. says:

    I believe Pence’s order was illegal, too? Unless they retroactively invoke the 25th?

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  29. Jay L Gischer says:

    I agree with @Michael Reynolds and @destijl: We’ve hit bottom. Things are terrible, and also full of opportunity. This is where things die, and where things are born. This is the exact inflection point, I think.

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  30. de stijl says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite:

    Giving in means giving up.

    Acceding to despondency is a poorly chosen option in my book.

    Today was the most shocking day in my life even though I strongly suspected mob violence today.

    I expected that Capitol police and federal folks would have been better prepared – this was openly discussed on pro-Trump fora. That a mob broke into the chambers is beyond shocking.

    They were five deep for a peaceful BLM protest in the same spot. It is almost as if there were a racial prejudice against protesters who are black.

    They broke the barricades and occupied the chambers.

    But, it was for naught. Biden is still going to be the President.

    Performative activism made flesh. And too stupid to realize they were the pawns, and if identified, subject to prosecution.

    I hope today – that this is an inflection point where people who should know better speak up. Many have today. Many more should.

    Today may have been the worst day since the Civil War as far as effect, but do not give up. The direct action insurrectionists are a quite small minority.

    Do not give up.

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  31. CSK says:

    According to Gabriel Sherman, WH counsel Pat Cipollone told WH staff to avoid Trump or they could be prosecuted for treason.

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  32. DrDaveT says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    We have an enemy, it is domestic and it includes a frightening number of law enforcement officers, but that’s a problem, and you solve problems.

    Sign me up, but I’m still waiting for someone to offer a plausible strategy for halting (much less reversing) the disinformation engine. Those people who stormed the Capitol today almost all believe not only that Trump actually won a landslide victory, but that this is widely accepted as fact. How exactly do you think that can be countered? Whose voice would they actually listen to at this point, explaining to them that they have been duped?

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  33. de stijl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The last four years have seen a huge social change in acceptance of trans folks.

    Social change almost always precedes political change.

    We are bending toward the correct direction albeit too slowly for those in the crosshairs.

    Please give my message of resilience to your daughter. Have hope.

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  34. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    For every one of the Capital intruders there are a thousand reflexive R voters.

    Move a hundred off that reflexive R vote.

    Not to get too Sun Tzu, but the enemy just gave us an enormous breach on purpose. Exploit it, ffs.

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  35. gVOR08 says:

    Apparently the shooting victim has been identified as a protester. Nothing about circumstances. I’d bet on a gun handling accident, but if it was a cop he’s in trouble, it’s a white woman.

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  36. Michael Reynolds says:

    @DrDaveT:
    My half-formed thought is that we’re seeing a tectonic shift. The old lines of male/female, white/non are shifting, forming new lines largely along lines of intelligence. Except that it isn’t quite intelligence, it’s almost like Apple and Microsoft, two different operating systems.

    Either a common reality reasserts itself, or we have a long-lasting schism. iPhone and Android. My guess is that their ‘reality’ largely implodes. It won’t disappear, it may become violent, but its real power will leak away like a cut balloon.

    Then again I’m high.

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  37. Jay L Gischer says:

    @DrDaveT: My best answer is that we need antibodies. Social media is a whole new thing, and lots of people don’t have any antibodies for the kinds of nastiness that they spread. Continued exposure will develop them.

    I also think that the giant “one-size-fits-all” behemoths are hard to sustain, because they can’t please everyone. I think a simple requirement that they have clear terms of service and apply them to everyone equally, or face legal consequences such as fines or damages would do a lot. Maybe we can rescind section 230 protection in this case?

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  38. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl:

    Social change almost always precedes political change.

    That’s why the fundies and the rest of the GOP base are pissing in the wind and cannot be accommodated. They’re demanding a political solution to societal faits accomplis.

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  39. de stijl says:

    @gVOR08:

    Even R raised young’uns are pretty cool with all of their peers.

    The tide has changed.

    When your whelps disdain your boundary policing you are fucked.

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  40. Scott F. says:

    I agree with the long trajectory leading to today that Kingdaddy lays out here, but it seems that ‘end of the line’ seems premature. Until someone, anyone really, faces consequences from today’s insurrection, there’s further along the path downward we can go. I’ll believe we’ve bottomed out when the direction of the GOP really heads another direction. I fear we’ve only slowed the descent.

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  41. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    gird up your loins, whatever that means.

    My loins were born girded. Pre-girded. The girdiest loins.

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  42. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy:

    What happens if, say, five GOP senators leave their party but won’t caucus with the Democrats? The count would be 50 D (including King and Sanders), 45 R, and 5 I.

    I have no reason to believe that a split wouldn’t take some Democrats along for the ride. Manchin and Sinema, for instance, might be comfortable as the most liberal wing with a Reasonable Conservative party than the most conservative members of the We’re Still Sane Big Tent Party. I suspect Dr. Taylor would have a lot to say about two party system with first past the post and single representative districts as part of that hypothetical scenario.

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  43. Kurtz says:

    @Gustopher:

    The girdiest loins.

    Don’t make me send a selfie to show it is I who has the girdiest loins.

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  44. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’m watching Pence on my TV machine trying to rehab himself and sound reasonable. And the fwcking MSM will buy it. And now Moscow Mitch.

    McConnell seemed to realize a few days ago that they had lost control of the monster they had created. (Sometimes both Dr. Frankenstein and his creation are monsters)

    Don’t be too reluctant to offer an olive branch though. There are four possible lessons Republicans can take from this:

    1. Creating a monster is wrong.
    2. Opposing monsters is more politically advantageous.
    3. You should try to keep your monster weak enough to keep on a leash.
    4. If the monster had sharper claws and bigger teeth, things would have worked out better.

    Those who learn the first lesson are fine. Most Republican Congress critters will look at this disaster and pick between the second and third lessons. We would rather they choose that second lesson.

    Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley will learn the fourth lesson, and should be figuratively hung from lampposts.

    ——
    As an aside, since in common vernacular, “literally” can now mean “figuratively”, does that mean “figuratively” might mean “literally”?

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  45. Gustopher says:

    @Kurtz:

    it is I who has the girdiest loins.

    Are you sure you don’t have the girliest lions?

    (We will very occasionally hear the phrase “fruit of my loins,” but we never hear the phrase “loin fruit.” Why is that?)

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  46. Gustopher says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Maybe we can rescind section 230 protection in this case?

    The large social media companies always have more content to shove in your face than will fit, and have to choose what to show, typically through algorithms involving engagement.

    I would say that that decision of what to recommend is an editorial decision by the company, and not protected by 230 as that decision isn’t user content — that they can be held liable if they continue to push content that they know (or should know) is harmful. And then let the chips fall where they may.

    A site like OTB would only be liable for the “related posts”, “popular posts” and “editor’s picks” choices. (Wow, this page has three different widgets that point to other posts, likely all automated). The fact that OTB doesn’t generally have radicalizing hate speech in the top level posts means that would have basically no exposure.

    Facebook, Twitter and YouTube would have to put some effort into not promoting hate speech and inflammatory lies. There would likely be report-as-hate-speech wars, which would lead to pictures of cats and corgis having more prominence while other posts are being manually reviewed. That seems fine.

    Parler would make the legal argument that everything it has to show users is hate speech and inflammatory lies, and that their editorial decisions are no worse than random.

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  47. CSK says:

    When Trump told his besotted followers to march on the Capitol, he assured them that “I’ll be there
    with you.” But he went straight back to the WH to turn on the tv, revel in the havoc he created, and, doubtless, chow down on a few luncheon hamberders.

    Did any of them notice that he left them in the lurch to take all the heat themselves? Did it occur to them that maybe their big, bold, brave fighting savior is actually a chickenshit son-of-a-bitch?

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  48. de stijl says:

    How do capitol police get over-run by protesters? This was discussed on open forums for weeks.

    I should not use “protesters”. Those outside had a perfect right to demonstration. Misguided and foolish, but rightful. Yahoos who decided to breach the capitol were felons.

    Incited by the the current President who riled ’em up.

    I don’t understand how the capitol police were that underprepared and overwhelmed. It is scandalous. An investigation is needed there.

    Sen. Cruz & co. thought they were doing cheeky political performative theater. The audience took them at their word and reacted as if what they saying was to be construed as truth.

    Ted Cruz is the worst example of Trumpian whipped dog R. Trump explicitly dissed him and his wife in 2015. Trump was explicitly a super dick to him. What goes wrong in your brain to lick-spittle support a narcissistic tyrant who belittled you publicly? I do not get that at all.

    I do not usually truck in RW political meme-speech, but Cruz is a cuck. How does one decide to subjugate oneself to a bully like Trump?

    It is fascinating in a super creepy manner.

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  49. Gustopher says:

    Social media amplified all these trends. Plus, it helped put people who would have otherwise been harmless, lonely cranks in their communities in touch with like-minded lunatics. Social media also helped create a hermetically sealed environment in which ignorance and conspiracy theory could flourish.

    Social media also lets queer kids in Idaho find each other. And furries pretty much everywhere. And Jews in rural Minnesota, and Mormons in Montana and families everywhere.

    Not saying that you have to figure out all the answers right now to make social media great, but I think when it gets blamed, it’s worth pointing out that it also does good. It connects more than just lunatics who think there’s a globalist conspiracy of pedophile lizard people.

    A lot of the alt-right came from GamerGate, and it’s definitely worth exploring how you go from isolated pockets of people sharing racist cartoons (pre-GamerGate internet) to angry, deliberately-misinformed mobs storming the capitol building, including the role of the police who are not immune to social media.

    It’s not that Trump is a master of the internet with his tweets. Just as a factory owner depends on roads and electricity and countless things provided by the government, Donald Trump depends on an infrastructure of hate built by others.

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  50. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    In the depth of humid summer I need to gird my loins with hydrocortisone cream to prevent crotch rot. I hate late July and August.

    I have genetically wimpy skin.

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  51. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl:

    I do not usually truck in RW political meme-speech, but Cruz is a cuck. How does one decide to subjugate oneself to a bully like Trump?

    Actually, Roger Stone is a cuck. We don’t know anything about Ted Cruz’s sex life, and we kind of wish we didn’t know about Roger Stone’s.

    And not all cuckolds are the victims of alpha men that the right wing likes to claim — some just really like seeing their partner get it on with special guest stars.

    Sure, some cucks are Roger Stone, but the vast majority are just hard, working people out to have fun. Generally, not as nice a crowd as furries, but who is? Furries are like Mormons — almost every one of them is a nice person on an individual level even if you feel squeamish about parts of their life.

    I could never be a furry, I’m just not nice enough. And I could never be a cuck because I can’t maintain a relationship.

    Anyway, cucks are mostly fine people who don’t deserve to be affiliated with Ted Cruz.

    I don’t understand how the capitol police were that underprepared and overwhelmed. It is scandalous. An investigation is needed there.

    I suspect that the investigation is going to lead to the rather sad and unsurprising discovery that some of the capitol police were sympathetic to the angry mob. You don’t get millions of people believing that the election was stolen and have that not affect the police at all. There are videos that appear to show police dismantling barricades, and there is a question about who opened a locked door from the inside of the capitol building — and while I’m not latching onto those and saying “aha! that’s it right there!” I’m open to the possibility, and kind of curious as to how the capitol police avoid that type of vulnerability.

    Buddy system, with one very clean liberal cop who plays by the rules and one hard right cop that wants to bend the rules and has too many takeout containers in his car? Because that just sounds like a sitcom. Perhaps they are in love with the same woman. I think we know where that will lead. And it needs to be a musical — Cop Rock was ahead of its time.

    Anyway, good to see you posting — I don’t think I’ve seen you for a bit. I hope your covid is gone and left no lingering effects.

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  52. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Thank you for bringing up Gamer-gate in relation to end-time Trumpian social behavior. It never got properly addressed.

    Yesterday was LARP “revolution” for RW militia types. They literally stormed the capitol building while livestreaming.

    Did not accomplish anything by it, actively hurt their cause by doing it but whatevs it was compelling livestreaming. One dude was a newly elected WV Rep.

    I expect a lot of folks will be surprised that they are now subject to Fed felony charges. LARPing “revolution” has consequences if you so in DC.

    Banned In DC, Bad Brains – been punching this up all day.

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  53. de stijl says:

    Banned in D.C. and White Riot by The Clash have been getting a repeated a lot today.

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  54. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    I decided to take some time off.

    My opinion is worth jack shit in the big picture. I wanted to not do comments explicitly designed to cater to up-votes. I was trending in that direction and that is a bad path.

    I am comfortable sniping from the cheap seats, but I never want to be on stage.

    Stepping away has benefits. You no longer have to refresh constantly.

    It was good for my head to step away and I recommend it.

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  55. Franklin says:

    @DrDaveT:

    How are cult members deprogrammed? How did Germans rehabilitate after Naziism? Could some of the answer lie there?

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  56. JohnSF says:

    Biden electoral college victory confirmed.

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  57. de stijl says:

    @Franklin:

    Some of it was forcibly walking the burghurs and their kin through camps they knew were there but conveniently forgot to mention when allied forces took that town.

    Killing Jews and assorted undesirables outside of the view of ordered society was accepted.

    Walking the complicit through the camps was a genius move. You allowed this travesty to happen on your watch. No backsies. You did this.

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  58. de stijl says:

    I did a day trip to a Polish camp once thinking it would be informative.

    I could not cope. I started crying and could not stop because it was too overwhelming. The mechanism of Nazi genocide is so banal. A building in a field. I could not cope.

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  59. JohnSF says:

    @Franklin:
    The leading Nazis were purged; but after a brief policy of exclusion of all Nazis under the Occupation, the lower ranks were let back. They needed the administrators, engineers, doctors etc. who had almost all been enrolled in the Party.

    The Federal Republic in 1951 ended “de-nazification” as a policy
    Though war criminals were still pursued (but definitions varied: concentration camp staff and Gestapo were likely to be prosecuted; but some military and SS got off very lightly)

    After that the Basic Law (i.e. the constitution of the Bundesrepublik) provided that:

    “Parties that, by reason of their aims or the behavior of their adherents, seek to undermine or abolish the free democratic basic order or to endanger the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany shall be unconstitutional. The Federal Constitutional Court shall rule on the question of unconstitutionality.”

    Under this law the Nazi party was banned; a neo-nazi party was banned in 1952; the Communist party was banned in 1956 (it still is, formally; though some successor parties are not).

    The law has become effectively redundant: the neo-nazi NPD was not banned in a case in 2003.
    And Die Linke in effect includes the communists.

    The court reasoning is that the democratic order of Germany is not under threat.
    Also a large number of NPD members, and undisclosed numbers of DL, are actually agents of the BfV = Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz = Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution; the German internal security agency.

    Nazi symbols etc are still forbidden though.

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  60. Teve says:

    @IChotiner

    A few more pieces trying to understand where Trump voters were coming from and this could have all been prevented.

    (For people who don’t know, this is a long-running gag)

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  61. al Ameda says:

    A few observations …
    1 … I think we’ve hit rock bottom … for the moment.
    2 … Brit Hume (aka, supposedly one of the sane ones at Fox) was on the air speculating that he wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be a false flag left wing instigated operation.
    3 … One of my siblings said to me, about the insurrection and takeover, paraphrasing, ‘well it’s bad but, from day one Democrats never gave Trump a chance … ‘

    13 days left? We know he can do a LOT more damage.
    Republican leadership should 25th Amendment him out as soon as possible.

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  62. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Brooklyn 99. It is a good show and savvy.

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  63. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    I did not realize that I’d lost my sense of smell until it came back.

    One morning I woke up and the world smelled full.

    You know the thing where you get water in your ear from swimming?

    You soon do not notice the effect. It becomes the new norm to your brain. A day or two later it drains out and you hear properly again. You notice the improvement – “Wow! I can hear. It’s so loud!”

    I did not realize I lost my sense of smell (marginally) until I regained it when suddenly the world smelled again. Woke up one morning to a super smelly world.

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  64. Teve says:

    @bensiegal

    “I had a long conversation with [Pence],” said Inhofe. “He said, ‘After all the things I’ve done for (Trump).’”

    tulsaworld.com/news/state-and… via @tulsaworld

    HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAH

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  65. de stijl says:

    Give ’em enough rope, they’ll hang themselves.

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  66. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    That’ll teach you about drinking beer then ordering a vindaloo.

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  67. Barry says:

    @Gustopher: ” A lot of the alt-right came from GamerGate, and it’s definitely worth exploring how you go from isolated pockets of people sharing racist cartoons (pre-GamerGate internet) to angry, deliberately-misinformed mobs storming the capitol building, including the role of the police who are not immune to social media. ”

    The Mainsteam Media, those ‘liberals’, looked upon it as Young Boys Having a Bit of Sport.

    Facebook and Twitter seemed to feel that the alt-right was a revenue source. As did the MSM.

    The GOP strongly encouraged this, up to the President.

    This isn’t spontaneous; it’s been orchestrated.

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  68. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    One time I made a curry with cubed beef. It was not intentional. It was the meat protein I had on hand. It was the frugal move. I did not realize the import until the next day.

    I retroactively apologize.

    It was yummy over rice. It took four or five portions to eat it all. I ate it all.

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  69. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Curry is something I cook regularly; lamb dopiaza! chicken tikka masala! beef madras! jalfrezi! samosas!
    The modern national food of Britain.

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  70. de stijl says:

    @Barry:

    I tried to knock down gamer-gate in its infancy and wow did that not work out.

    There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of young men very hostile to inclusion. Race, gender, outlook.

    I learned it is not productive to engage with them.

    Gamer-gate is decidedly not about fair journalism. Mostly, it is misogyny and racism.

    Trying to engage one on one was a disaster. Never again.

    It did not surprise me at all that adherents became a core of the Trumpian madness.

    A smart academic will draw these lines better than my anecdotal recollection.

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  71. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    Beef based curry seems sacrilegious to our S Asian brothers and sisters, tho. I swear it was not intentional.

    It was very yummy, in my defense.

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  72. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Given that the Democrats have retaken control of the Senate, look on the bright side: Any chance of Trump running again in 2024 (even if he stays out of prison) is kaput. The chances of Cruz or Hawley being the GOP’s latest version of the Great White Hope are drastically reduced. And Rudy Giuliani demonstrated (yet again) that he belongs in an insane asylum.

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  73. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @CSK: Yes. Trump yesterday reminded me of Thenardier in Les Miz, who bragged of his bravery at Waterloo, when in fact, he hid during the fighting and came out only to loot the bodies of the dead.

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  74. de stijl says:

    @SC_Birdflyte:

    Joffrey from ASOIAF certainly comes to mind.

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  75. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Franklin: Honesty, they arent. Lots of work and research has gone into deprograming ISIS radicals..with paltry success.

    Currently, the angle of persuasion is directed at their desire to want to kills themselves and others to further the caliphate and secure their afterworld position.

    Trumpites aren’t going anywhere. We’re going to have to convince them not that they are wrong..but that its against their interests to violently pursue their goals.

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  76. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Teve: Trump operates like a pimp. He might like his whores..but stop bring in money and see how much he likes you.

    Anyone that has ever ran the streets knows this personality type. Congress and especially Republicans are full of people that grew up sheltered from the hoi poi so that think their alignment with Trump is about mutual benefit…but are shocked when he takes a shit directly on top of their heads.

    Even if the situation were reversed and Trump was a Dem, and I was a lawmaker that liked what he was doing. I know who he is and would have a plan to burn him down if he tried to cross me. If you dont have an insurance policy, dont deal with these kind of people.

    Shorter version so eloquently stated by Gen Mattis: ‘be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet’

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  77. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Depends on which particular South Asian group you mean.
    At least some Hindus abhor eating beef; Muslims don’t mind.
    Other way about with pork, of course.
    Unless the Hindu concerned is a vegetarian, which quite a good number are.
    Sikhs generally don’t care either way.

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  78. Turgid Jacobian says:
  79. de stijl says:

    Kingdaddy always has the best pics for his posts.

    Kudos!

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  80. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Gustopher: Y0u make an excellent point. The algorithm amounts to editorial choice, at least in the case of Facebook. Lord knows we’ve seen enough stories about this in recent days.

    I would rather stop and think a bit though, about how this might enable litigious rich guys to silence speech they disfavor.

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  81. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Shorter version so eloquently stated by Gen Mattis: ‘be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet’

    Honestly, this sounds like Batman.

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  82. de stijl says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Batman doesn’t kill, he disables.

    At this point it is arguably cruel. Would you rather live the rest of your life in some ratty assisted living home paralyzed from the waist down thanks to The Batman or The Big Sleep?

    At this point at least half of Gotham City’s bad folk have a broken spine.

    Frank Miller is an ass, btw.

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  83. Jay L Gischer says:

    @de stijl: Batman has a contingency plan for how to deal with it if every other member of the Justice League should go rogue. I mean, he probably has one for himself.

    As to Frank Miller, The Dark Knight was something we needed to read and see in the 80’s. He hasn’t matured well, though. The Iron Age is over.

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  84. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    I worked with a Sikh man. One night we went out for drinks after work.

    I am not religious myself but I do find the concept intriguing and worthy of investigation. His “sword” (which all righteous men must bear) was a tiny pendant hanging off a silver chain.

    He was a new immigrant living in the ‘burbs with no cultural back-up or family locally present.

    I wanted him to know that I understood (as best I could) and appreciated his circumstance.

    We still chat to this day. He does data analytics in SLC. Tyr only knows how Mormons interact with Sikhs.

    Hopefully, well. He seems happy with his life there.

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  85. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    The teams in our shared office space include at least three Sikhs, two Hindus, and at least one Muslim of South Asian origin; plus others of South Asian background with no religious observance.
    Not quite in line with the local population; we’re about 15% Muslim, 3% Sikh, 2% Hindu. Roughly 20% of the city overall of South Asian familial origin.
    So as you can imagine, South Asian food is a pretty big thing here.

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  86. Taggart says:

    @Kathy: and was born in Michigan, where his father was a well-respected governor.

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  87. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    I have worked with the UN at this point.

    One of the coolest I have met was a young man from small town Kenya. The only computer in town was a pice of junk but he made it sing.

    That dude was a hella good C+ programmer. A bit dodgy on commenting his code.

    Give me smart and curious and I will make a team.

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