Thursday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open 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

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    Let me just say that this is what the rest of America has to deal with also. If Congress and staffers are outraged, welcome to the club.

    POLITICO Playbook: A peek inside the Playbook inbox: Boiling over with rage

    TIRED: PEOPLE WHO WORK IN THE BUILDING — legislative aides, chiefs of staff, press assistants, members of Congress, career workers and maintenance men and women — are furious with an institution that does not have uniform rules or masking requirements, does not mandate testing and is run with minimal oversight.

    — FROM A HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKER: “[Pelosi] is getting hammered by everyone. People are really really mad. Ripshit might be a better word … [Gohmert] was in Judiciary, Natural Resources and on the floor. Doctor has told members who were near him yesterday to call for instructions, Members want masks made mandatory.”

    FROM A SCHEDULER TO A HOUSE REPUBLICAN MEMBER: “Our office has been required to be fully staffed since session resumed at the end of June (including an intern). While mask use isn’t banned, it’s also not encouraged, and has been derided on several occasions by the [chief of staff] and the member.”

    — FROM A CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER TECH STAFFER: “If you asked me to give you a breakdown of mask usage in member offices, it’s nearly universal in Democratic offices based on my random observations; within Republican offices, it’s probably under 50%. And some GOP offices ask why you are wearing a mask, which puts our staff in an awkward position — do you say because of the pandemic and risk the office taking that as a political stand? Do you take it off to make them feel better?

    As the book title says: A Confederacy of Dunces.

    7
  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Joy Reid
    @JoyAnnReid

    This is quite a set of facts about these two presidents.
    Quote Tweet

    Geoff Bennett
    @GeoffRBennett
    · 10h
    After tomorrow, former President Obama will have euologized John Lewis, Elijah Cummings and John McCain at funeral services the current President of the United States either stayed away from or was not invited to.

    6
  3. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Who would want to be eulogized by Donald Trump?

    6
  4. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    No idea.

    But I know two things:

    1) any eulogy by Don the Thief would start with the word “I”

    2) any eulogy by Trump the Ignoramus Magnus would be 99.9999999% about how great Trump thinks he is.

    5
  5. DrDaveT says:

    For those who have been saying that the best counter to Trump is ridicule, not vitriol:

    Webinar: the Power of Humor and Ridicule as a Tool of Influence and Opposition

    About the lecture:

    Charlie Chaplin, Daffy Duck, Dr. Seuss, Team America, and Winnie-the-Pooh have entertained audiences using humor. What is perhaps less known about these entertainers is how their humor and images have been used to denigrate and ridicule dictators and authoritarian regimes. When thinking about propaganda and mass influence, humor and ridicule do not often come to mind. However, humor and ridicule are powerful tools of influence and can be used to encourage opposition to authoritarian rule. This talk will explore what makes humor and ridicule such effective tools of influence and why authoritarian regimes fear ridicule so much.

    ETA: Now I can’t get Spike Jones’s “The Fuehrer’s Face” out of my head…

    5
  6. Kylopod says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Charlie Chaplin, Daffy Duck, Dr. Seuss, Team America, and Winnie-the-Pooh have entertained audiences using humor. What is perhaps less known about these entertainers is how their humor and images have been used to denigrate and ridicule dictators and authoritarian regimes.

    I’m not sure Chaplin is the right example for that list, as The Great Dictator is one of his best-remembered works today. What is considerably less remembered is the Three Stooges short You Nazty Spy (where Moe dons a Hitler mustache and Curly plays a Mussolini clone), which predated Chaplin’s film by several months. They later did a sequel, I’ll Never Heil Again, which came full circle and directly parodied the iconic balloon-globe sequence from the Chaplin film.

    3
  7. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Yes. Trump’s eulogy for his father was notable for being 99.99% about Donald, not Fred.

    2
  8. CSK says:

    @DrDaveT:
    “Ven der Fuehrer says ‘Vee iss der master race,
    Vee go heil, heil, right in der Fuehrer’s face…”

  9. Kingdaddy says:
  10. CSK says:

    @Kingdaddy:
    I was just going to cite his tweet about this. He fears the election will be “fraudulent” if people are allowed to vote by mail.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Joy Reid Retweeted
    Dave Temkin
    @dtemkin
    ·
    13h
    This is 2:18 of uncomfortable wincing and absolute shame. Watch.
    Quote Tweet

    Yashar Ali
    Elephant
    @yashar
    · 13h
    My God

    Harrison Arkansas, I know it well.

  12. Jen says:

    @Kingdaddy: I am of course furious about this stupidity, but it feels like an attempt to distract from the *horrific* GDP data.

    2
  13. Kathy says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    This is going to bite him in the ass, to use language he’ll understand, bigly.

    For one thing, he brings up the untenable, split-hair difference between voting by mail and absentee ballots. No difference in principle.

    For another, if a few days of voting by comparatively few people per polling place cannot be done safely, how the hell does he expect schools, comparatively with lots of people per location and lasting for months day after day, can open and operate safely?

    It’s time for the Republican party to answer this question: are you willing to destroy the American political system because an incompetent idiot in well over his head is a sore loser?

    3
  14. Sleeping Dog says:

    Imagining that when the Reality Show Host passes, that no one from official Washington will show up to honor him.

    2
  15. Jon says:

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???
    7:46 AM · Jul 30, 2020

    Not all all ominous.

    2
  16. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I’d advise Donald the Ass to leave strict instructions that he is to be cremated, and the ashes dumped in the sewer, as the best means of ensuring no people ever dance on his grave.

    3
  17. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    Trump’s eulogy for his father was notable for being 99.99% about Donald, not Fred.

    I watched Newt Gingrich’s eulogy at Sonny Bono’s funeral in the ’90s, and I had a disgusted feeling Newt was making it about himself. But it was far more subtle than Trump. I’ve long thought of Gingrich as a kind of a mini-Trump. They’ve got a number of traits in common. But he isn’t anywhere near as stupid (even if he isn’t anywhere near as smart as the media makes him out to be), and he’s been in politics for over a half-century. He knows how to conceal his narcissism at least part of the time and adopt a semblance of being a normal person.

    One of the most obvious facts about Trump tends to get weirdly overlooked (sort of like the way a TV screen becomes a big blur close up), which is that all of his negative traits are at such cartoonish extremes that people start to mistakenly think he’s unique in possessing those traits, when the only thing unique about him is how absurdly transparent he is. He’s like the 4-year-old who denies taking from the cookie jar despite still having crumbs around his mouth. Mary Trump spoke about how complicated it would be for a mental health professional to provide a full picture of his many pathologies, but one thing I wish there was more discussion of is the fact that he never seems to have developed the social intelligence of virtually all functioning adults to pass off his more venial tendencies as something else. His default approach to everything is simply to declare something to be true, as if by saying it he can make people believe it through sheer force of will. He’s got absolutely no sense of perceptions of plausibility, and he seems completely oblivious to some of the most basic elements of normal human interaction, such as the fact that bragging about oneself or denying wrongdoing often just raises people’s skepticism or suspicion. Even narcissists typically know this, which is how you get such behaviors as false modesty. Trump never pretends to be modest (though he has claimed to be modest), because it never occurs to him that he needs to.

    9
  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The co-founder of conservative student group Turning Point USA, Bill Montgomery, has died from complications of the coronavirus, according to two friends of his.

    Montgomery, who started it in 2012 with young conservative star Charlie Kirk, died at the age of 80 on Tuesday from Covid-19, according to pro-Trump conservative strategist Caleb Hull, who posted about the death on Twitter and his personal Facebook page, and Chicago-based citizen journalist Vic Maggio.

    “I really wish people would just stop politicizing this pandemic and grow up while innocent people around us are dying,” Hull also said. “You have no idea how painful it is to be forced to sit at home while your loved one dies alone in a hospital.”

    1
  19. MarkedMan says:

    As anyone with an ounce of sense could have predicted from his surly frat-bro demeanor, Kavanaugh is corrupting and degrading the Supreme Court, making it clearer that, to Republicans of his ilk, it is little more than a partisan operation. According to CNN, he is staging a leak campaign to make it clear he did everything he could to help his leader, Donald Trump. I can’t recall a single time in the past where a sitting Supreme Court Justice leaked the private negotiations in a recently decided case. Heck, I can’t even think of a case where Justices spoke about what went on behind the scenes in even thirty year old cases in any but the vaguest terms.

    Republicans. Always classy.

    6
  20. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I think Melania Trump was trying to tell us something when she said, after the grab-’em-by-the-pussy debacle, that she had “two little boys at home.” Barron was eleven at the time; Trump was seventy. It’s unusual for anyone to describe a seventy-year-old man as “a little boy,” and it certainly is disturbing.

    What’s of equal interest (and mystification) to me is the ease with which his devotees have adopted Trump’s own estimation and perception of himself.

    5
  21. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Not sure what you meant to link to?

  22. Kylopod says:

    Bloomberg reports, not surprisingly, that 92% of Trump’s ads are being run in states he won in 2016. But he’s also reportedly targeting three Clinton states: Minnesota, Nevada, and New Mexico.

    Okay, I can sort of see the rationale with MN and NV–but NM? What the hell is his team smoking?

    NM went to Clinton by over 8 points. His current approval there is 11 points underwater (per Civiqs). There hasn’t been much polling data of the presidential race there, but a PPP poll in June had Biden up by +14. It’s got an entirely Democratic state government and Congressional delegation. But what’s even more bizarre is that there are several states that would seem to be relatively more promising but which Trump is ignoring–such as Colorado. It only went to Clinton by 4 points, it’s got more EVs, and there’s an embattled Republican Senator there. Both he and Trump are probably toast in the state, but at least it would make a bit more sense if they focused their attention there.

    This really raises questions about the competence of Trump’s team. Everyone knows Trump himself is a moron, but you’d think the political professionals around him would have some understanding–what, is Mark Penn working for him now or something?

    3
  23. Monala says:

    Herman Cain has died.

    link

  24. Kingdaddy says:

    I know the Nephilim might be a little obscure, but Stella Immanuel was talking about the somewhat monstrous offspring of couplings between angels and humans. I don’t think she was speaking figuratively.

    4
  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Sorry about that. If you have the stomach, try this:

    Dave Temkin
    @dtemkin

    This is 2:18 of uncomfortable wincing and absolute shame. Watch.

    Yep, that works.

    2
  26. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod:

    This really raises questions about the competence of Trump’s team.

    When presumably competent people are making wildly bad decisions, I find it useful to pose alternative agendas and see if they more closely match those decisions.

    If the goal is to get Trump elected, then spending money in the states you mentioned would make sense. But if the goal is to make as much money as possible off of a moron you are secretly hoping will lose big, then the question becomes “Who makes money off of campaign ads in New Mexico”, not “Does spending money there help Trump’s chances”.

    6
  27. CSK says:

    @Kingdaddy:
    I don’t either.

  28. mattbernius says:

    @Monala:

    Herman Cain has died.

    Of COVID-19… potentially contracted at Trump’s rally…

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/30/politics/herman-cain-dies-coronavirus/index.html

    2
  29. Kylopod says:

    @Monala: I have to confess: I felt saddened by the news. Which surprised me.

    I don’t know what it is. I’ve mentioned before that when I heard about Limbaugh’s lung cancer diagnosis, if I had said here what I really felt about that news, I’d have risked being banned. But my meanness and lack of empathy toward right-wing grifters is pretty limited. Limbaugh is at a level of loathsomeness that brings out the worst in me. Cain just wasn’t at that level–despite the fact that I had little respect for him and believed he was among the many things wrong with this country.

    It may also be a reflection of my ongoing anxiety about Covid-19. I already had a full-blown panic attack from hearing about the death of Nick Cordero, an actor I don’t know from a hole in the wall.

    There’s a certain part of me that has a temptation to gloat about right-wing people getting karmic retribution for their Covid-19 denial, but I have trouble sustaining this attitude when I hear specific stories, and I’m also well aware of the fact that millions of “innocent” people are being hit by the virus too. We’re all in this giant petri dish together.

    7
  30. CSK says:

    @Kylopod: @MarkedMan:
    On July 25, Steve Pearce, the chair of the NM Republican Party, told Breitbart that Trump would win NM and that it would put him over the top in a close election. Trump probably heard about this and was thrilled. Imagine winning over a blue state!!! Let’s run lots of ads there!!!!

    That may be the answer to an otherwise mystifying question.

    4
  31. EddieInCA says:

    Herman Cain had died. Of Coivd. He called it a hoax. He said masks were stupid. He said people were tired of masks AFTER HE WAS DIAGNOSED.

    What will it take for people to take it seriously?

    6
  32. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kylopod:

    I have to confess: I felt saddened by the news. Which surprised me.

    I can respect and understand that.
    On the other hand, call me an ass if you will…I will openly revel in every mother-fuqer who has called this thing a hoax, dying ugly intubated suffocating deaths. How many people have they killed, indirectly, with their ideological anti-science Trump supporting nonsense? Fuq every single one of them.

    2
  33. gVOR08 says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    I know the Nephilim might be a little obscure, but Stella Immanuel was talking about the somewhat monstrous offspring of couplings between angels and humans.

    I thought that was Orcs.

  34. drj says:

    @EddieInCA: :

    What will it take for people to take it seriously?

    For some people it needs to get close:

    Conservative youth group Turning Point USA has deleted a tweet sharing a Nicholas Cage meme mocking “leftists” over protective masks.

    The tweet was deleted after it was announced that TPUSA co-founder Bill Montgomery, who was 80, had died from complications linked to the coronavirus.

    1
  35. Monala says:

    @Kylopod: yeah, I get it. I feel saddened too. I read too many stories about ordinary people who believed it was a hoax until they or their loved ones got sick. How many such stories do we have to hear? Maybe, just maybe, having someone so high profile die will turn the tide.

    1
  36. MarkedMan says:

    @drj: Wait, is Nicholas Cage a Covid Truther? Seems out of character….

  37. Paine says:

    The header of CNN.com is a trainwreck for Trump: Cain dead from C-19; Trumps floats idea of delaying election, and “US posts worst drop on record.” MAGA, indeed.

    1
  38. drj says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Cage was just part of the meme.

    Apparently, TPUSA were Covid truthers, though – until the very moment their 80-year-old founder (of a youth group – how?) died of the virus.

    2
  39. EddieInCA says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I will openly revel in every mother-fuqer who has called this thing a hoax, dying ugly intubated suffocating deaths. How many people have they killed, indirectly, with their ideological anti-science Trump supporting nonsense? Fuq every single one of them.

    I feel exactly the same way.

    1
  40. Kylopod says:

    @Monala:

    I read too many stories about ordinary people who believed it was a hoax until they or their loved ones got sick.

    I tend to make a distinction between ordinary citizens who are right-wing and professional propagandists. I look at the former more as victims and the latter more as perpetrators. But it isn’t always an easy line to draw. For instance, where does that Dallas columnist who contracted Covid-19 fall? At least he came clean and denounced his previous position, even though it took a death in the family to do it. (Empathy is a very foreign concept in the conservative world–they don’t recognize something as a problem until it happens to them personally.) But he still has a grifty feel about him. And at what point does an ordinary citizen become part of the propaganda machine? A personal Youtube channel? No matter how far they are in disseminating their destructive ideas, it isn’t always easy to tell who’s lying and who’s being lied to. Then there are those like Louie Gohmert, who seems truly vile yet seems to be a true believer (at least when it comes to Covid-19 denial)–which by the standards I set should have me classifying him as a victim. But I just can’t, and don’t.

    4
  41. @CSK: Donald Trump.

    I think that’s the list.

    3
  42. reid says:

    @Kylopod: As one of the resident New Mexicans, I concur. It’s extremely unlikely that Trump will win NM. If anything, the southern part of the state is rural goofball territory, and there’s a chance it could turn back to red. (I donated to the incumbent D, who seems entirely normal and decent.)

  43. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s pre-recorded a three-hour salute to himself.

    3
  44. Gustopher says:

    @drj:

    their 80-year-old founder (of a youth group – how?)

    I believe the Young Republicans are all over the age of 18, and legally adults capable of making their own decisions, even if we find those decisions … troubling because of the power imbalance. Hopefully Mr. Montgomery was following the campsite rule, and leaving the young men better than he found them.

  45. CSK says:

    @reid:
    But, as I pointed out above, the chair of the NM Republican Party recently told Breitbart that Trump will win NM in November. I’m pretty sure that’s what’s behind this ad buy.

    4
  46. @Kingdaddy: Based on what I have seen, she is serious and not speaking metaphorically at all.

  47. reid says:

    @CSK: Oh, yes, I don’t doubt it. That’s as good an explanation as any. It’s still not true, though. (I’m learning to detest Steve Pearce.)

  48. Monala says:

    Yashar Ali Elephant
    @yashar · 47m
    Angela Stanton King is running for John Lewis’s congressional seat, received a pardon from President Trump earlier this year, and is a QAnon supporter.

    Quote Tweet

    Angela Stanton King Flag of United States
    @theangiestanton

    US House candidate, GA-5 · 1h
    All the celebrities and Democrats catch COVID and magically heal. But Herman Cain is dead! I swear I hate it here. I was right there with him. We were perfectly fine!!! This is WAR!!!

    1
  49. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    I concur.

    That said, I won’t say whom I hope contracts COVID-19 and dies alone gasping for breath (you probably can guess some of the select few who make the list). instead I’ll post this link about how Stalin died, and say I gain a bit of comfort picturing the grand butcher lying on the floor for hours after he’d crapped himself.

  50. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Watching the services for John Lewis…it is stunning, the low level of intelligence we have come to accept in our current President. We have come to such a low place in our history. I hope we can find our way back up out of this abyss.

    3
  51. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    I enjoyed the part about how when they found him on the floor they assumed he was passed out drunk and left him there.

    1
  52. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    Who knows what goes through Don the Idiot’s alleged mind?

    One thing, though, I hope he makes it clear no money at all is to be spent in Texas. Texas is Solid Red and always will be. Spending even a penny there guarantees defeat for some reason.

    2
  53. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    The Appeals Court in DC has agreed to reconsider the Flynn case en banc.
    This does not bode well for Flynn.

    4
  54. KM says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    This is actually a big problem. Trump’s not exactly young or in good health so his passing is going to be sooner rather then later. I’d say within the next 3 Administrations since I doubt he’ll see 90. So it would be wise for Biden and his successor to have a plan. How do you honor someone who technically deserves it for holding the Office but has been an utter disgrace and criminal? What’s the bare minimum you can get away with to placate partisans and Cult45? Does he deserve to lie in state and where? Who gives the eulogy and what’s the attendance etiquette? How many honors are required for POTUS as a matter of course and how many are signs of respect that can be forgone for one who doesn’t deserve them? The

    Both Dem and Repubs need to game this out as it’s a political landmine out on the horizon. The nuts will never be happy and find fault/ disrespect everywhere but better to be prepared…..

    1
  55. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    instead I’ll post this link about how Stalin died, and say I gain a bit of comfort picturing the grand butcher lying on the floor for hours after he’d crapped himself.

    Just to be clear, I have absolutely zero personal sympathy for Agent Orange, or even for his family (whom I don’t believe truly loves him). Part of me would be delighted if he came down with Covid-19. But I’m not sure it would be a good idea if it were to happen before the election. First of all, if he gets it and survives it might even elicit sympathy from the public. (Probably not–I think it would just further shatter the alpha male image he likes to project. But you never know….) But if he dies before the election, that would throw everything up in the air. I’m used to getting flippant responses from liberals whenever I bring up this scenario (no way Pence can win; he’s got the charisma of a bowl of porridge; the Trump cult won’t show). I just don’t share that confidence, and I think people underestimate how big an impact it could have for Trump to be suddenly replaced by someone who may be awful in a lot of ways but who isn’t a raving madman.

    So in spite of everything, I’m hoping Trump makes it to Nov. 3rd. After that, he can go walk onto a crowded highway all he wants…..

    2
  56. MarkedMan says:

    There is part of me that asks “How can these Covid Truthers be so stupid?”. But I’m not sure it is as simple as stupid. And being a typical engineer, I’m going to explain by tying it back to engineering (because, hey, that’s what we do).

    As an engineer, you often have to deal with ambiguity. Did you find root cause for a problem? You may never know and you may have to make the decision as to whether to ship or hold based on the best data you have. This type of thing comes up all the time. If you take a hard gimlet eye to problems and issues you are often left with some degree of ambiguity. Inability to deal with and accept ambiguity dooms you as an engineer. You see this with junior engineers all the time, where they get what they think is a solution so they stop digging. They want to feel confident they have found the answer and pushing to find potential flaws in their reasoning just messes that up. They either grow out of it or leave engineering.

    Once I rose to a certain level, almost all of the engineers around me could handle that ambiguity, but I began to interact with Sales, Marketing, Finance, etc and found that many people who were very competent in those field can still be very agitated by ambiguity. “If we make this change will it fix the problem forever?” and when the answer is “No, there are other things that may cause a similar problem”, they get agita. I can see them ramping up inside. A large part of my job in these meetings is to control expectations and emotions, and getting us moving on the righteous path again.

    I think Covid Truthers (or Vaccine Truthers or 9/11 Truthers, etc) are often people that cannot deal with ambiguity and look for certainty. They are attracted to Trumps or Falwells or Demon Dream Sex lady because above all else those characters are so darn confident. And they are confident because they are disconnected to reality. Reality is messy and they don’t let that affect them.

    This is why it does no good to patiently explain the science to the Truthers. Inside all they hear is you saying “we’re not safe, we’re not safe, we’re not safe…” over and over. They NEED someone to tell them they have an absolute answer.

    5
  57. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    IMO, Madam Speaker and the rest did not do a good job of impeachment, precisely because they thought Trump the Dummy easier to defeat than Pence the Dummy’s Dummy.

    I’ve no idea what happens if a candidate dies before the election. Right now, that is a real possibility for both candidates, regardless of our wishes. I doubt there’s any kind of protocol in place, and I just hope we won’t have to find out.

  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: How do you honor someone who technically deserves it for holding the Office but has been an utter disgrace and criminal?

    Oh fuq that sht.

    1
  60. Gustopher says:

    @KM:

    How do you honor someone who technically deserves it for holding the Office but has been an utter disgrace and criminal? What’s the bare minimum you can get away with to placate partisans and Cult45? Does he deserve to lie in state and where?

    By jailing his ass before he dies. Discrediting his legacy so there is nothing to eulogize.

    He deserves to lie in state… in the state penitentiary!

    (Lock him up! Lock him up!)

    3
  61. wr says:

    @KM: ‘So it would be wise for Biden and his successor to have a plan.”

    Sure. And they have plenty of time to devote to this question, right after they come up with plans for beating the virus, fixing the economy, dealing with the white supremacists, rebuilding our infrastructure, protecting voting rights, uncovering the corruption in the White House over the last four years, fixing international relationships…

    My vote is to stick his body on the curb outside Trump Tower early Tuesday morning and let the sanitation department haul it away.

    1
  62. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    If Trump Non Compos Mentis is to lie in state, there needs to be spitting and no-spitting sections of the casket.

    2
  63. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    I’ve no idea what happens if a candidate dies before the election. Right now, that is a real possibility for both candidates, regardless of our wishes. I doubt there’s any kind of protocol in place, and I just hope we won’t have to find out.

    The technical aspects of it are probably not that daunting. Even if it happens after most of the ballots have been created–and after a significant number of people have voted by mail–they can probably come to some agreement for the electors assigned to the dead candidate to vote for the chosen successor instead when the EC convenes in December. Then it would resemble those occasional downballot elections where a dead person has been elected, such as John Ashcroft’s opponent in 2000.

    The main uncertainty if this happens to Biden is that it could throw the Democratic Party into a state of disarray and reopen wounds that have been suppressed up to now. Some would want the replacement to be Biden’s running mate (assuming he lives for another week, just long enough to make the announcement), while some of the Bernie people would insist it should go to the runner-up in the primaries, and others would call for the primaries to be done over again (which is of course impossible). It’s ugly to think about….

    1
  64. Sleeping Dog says:

    @KM:

    Eh, it’s not my job. I wouldn’t put much effort into this. As @gustopher points out he could go to jail or more likely that realizing that a state funeral for the Reality Show Host, could prove to be an enormous embarrassment to the family, they might decide simply to have a private service.

    The further in the past his presidency is Cult45 will be a decreasing concern. If he lives past 2024, even the culties will be saying Who?

    @Kylopod:

    ABSOLUTELY, we want the Reality Show Host alive and on the ballot come November 3.

  65. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Charles Sykes:

    With the news that Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) has tested positive for the coronavirus, there is a temptation to be less than gracious.

    I intend to give in to that temptation.

  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: That only get’s us back to an adjacent-to-marked-man’s question:

    Does Steve Pearce own a media company, ad agency, or printing/sign making shop?

  67. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Q: How do you honor someone who technically deserves it for holding the Office but has been an utter disgrace and criminal?
    A: You consult with whoever are the deceased’s *loved ones* are about how you can help in sharing their loss because you are a human being and that’s what we do.
    Q: What’s the bare minimum you can get away with to placate partisans and Cult45?
    A: The fact that you are human does not require that you give a rat’s a$$ about placating anybody. Funerals are about the family that suffered the loss and mourners. Nobody else matters.
    Q: Does he deserve to lie in state and where?
    A: Again, all you should do is ask what the family will want. Whatever laws or protocols dictate about who gets to lie in state and where need to be followed out of respect for the grief of those who have suffered the loss.
    Q: Who gives the eulogy…
    A: Whoever the family asks to give one…
    Q: … and what’s the attendance etiquette?
    A: …and check with Emily Post, Leticia Baldrage, or your own sense of dignity and common sense for guidance.
    Q: How many honors are required for POTUS as a matter of course and how many are signs of respect that can be forgone for one who doesn’t deserve them?
    A: Consult with the people who did the funeral for Richard M. Nixon. They will know.

    TL/DR: How you react to/behave at the passing of someone you loathe is a reflection on YOU not on the deceased. Golden Rule, folks.

    5
  68. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    If it’s Biden, the media will have trouble keeping a somber tone, while they are happy to cover the most unusual, historic event to happen in their lives.

    I suppose the party establishment would repair to a smoke-filled room, metaphorically speaking, and come out to announce a candidate, though I won’t speculate on whom that would be. I agree, though, Bernie’s base will scream bloody murder and loudly vote for Trump the Witless if their guy isn’t chosen.

  69. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I think people underestimate how big an impact it could have for Trump to be suddenly replaced by someone who may be awful in a lot of ways but who isn’t a raving madman.

    Indeed!

  70. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: If Trump’s funeral is open casket I want a hat pin concession.

  71. JohnMcC says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: You start with lemonade and the need for a bigger thrill leads you on….

  72. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: How you react to/behave at the passing of someone you loathe is a reflection on YOU not on the deceased. Golden Rule, folks.

    The Golden Rule is trumped by the laws of nature. I’ll be dead and won’t give a rat’s ass what people say about me.

  73. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Just watched Obama’s eulogy of John Lewis.
    It is almost impossible to measure the drop off in humanity from 44 to 45.

    4
  74. Monala says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: this line is great:

    Even in this environment, Gohmert has distinguished himself as a super-spreader of stupidity and mean-spiritedness.

  75. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Monala: I liked,

    It doesn’t work that way, but we’re talking about Louie Gohmert here. A guy who once argued against gun control because gay marriage leads to sex with animals, or something. He once suggested that foreign mothers had babies in the United States so they could turn them into terrorists and said that approving a gay secretary of the Army could be seen as an endorsement of child rape. Gohmert also warned that gays in the military might spend so much time massaging each other that they would be too relaxed to win a war.

    I could go on . . . so I will.

  76. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Me, too, but my response was more directed to people who appear to be… offended?… outraged?… disturbed?… by the thought that Trump will be treated to anything more than a burial in a plywood box in an unmarked Potter’s Field plot in some undisclosed location.

    Perspective. It’s not just for post-hangover time anymore.

    1
  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JohnMcC: Ah! I never was a big lemonade fan. That explains a lot of things. Thanks! 😛

    1
  78. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kylopod:

    What happens would depend on timing. If it is post convention then Biden’s VP would ascend to the position. If it occurs after balloting begins or is too close for ballots to be printed and distributed Biden would stay at the top of the ticket. Pretty much the same thing will happen on the R side.

    It’s too late for anything else to happen.

    Reference the 2000 Misery senate race between Mel Carnahan and John Ashcroft. Carnahan was killed in an airplane crash the week before the election. Carnahan won and the MO gov. appointed Mel’s wife to the seat.

  79. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: To each their own. Me? I want his grave marked so I can find it, should the urge to “visit” ever come over me.

    As to how I “react to/behave at the passing of someone I loathe being a reflection on me,” I would hope it is, because it should be. Good, bad or indifferent, I want more than anything else to be honest.

    1
  80. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Carnahan won

    I voted for the dead guy!

    1
  81. Joe says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This article falls under The Bulwark’s attempt to harvest emails – you can’t read the whole article unless you sign up for their daily newsletter. I find this frustrating. While I understand their wish to monetize my use of their cite, promising me more email is no enticement at all. If they just asked me for my address (so they could quietly sell it to list makers), I might give it to them, but if I want to read their articles, I will go to their website.

  82. Kathy says:

    While the government may decide on what honors not to render unto Trump’s ugly corpse, it’s up to the family and/or heirs to decide how to dispose of it, or to the executor of the estate should there be instructions left behind.

    So I’d check what happened to Fred’s corpse to judge the odds of what happens to Donald’s

  83. Kathy says:

    @Joe:

    I usually employ a fake address like margaret@evergreenterrace.com it works rather often.

  84. Teve says:

    Matthew Gertz
    @MattGertz
    · 3h
    The president is scheduling a press event in hopes that cable news networks take it live instead of airing Barack Obama’s eulogy for John Lewis live because he’s the biggest piece of shit on the face of the earth.

  85. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Joe: No never mind to me. I give them an old dead account.

    but if I want to read their articles, I will go to their website.

    I thought that was their website. Do they have another?

  86. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    So did I! It amuses me to no end that Ashcroft lost to a dead guy.

  87. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: One of the proudest moments of my life, telling that religious zealot that I thought a moldering corpse was more qualified than him.

  88. Sleeping Dog says:

    You know if we were both still in StL, we could have beer and pizza at the Blackthorn.

  89. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: Many years ago I created an email account specifically for sign-up purposes on sites that required it. It isn’t a “fake” account, just one I don’t use often.

    3
  90. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Before I moved across to the other side of the river, I lived at Evergreen Terrace and never knew that we had a website. Or a Margaret, for that matter. Small world, eh? 😉

  91. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    For a month I thought Spike Jonze was dead. (Turns out it was a goofy stunt.)

    I saw the headline and was bummed.

    I really think he should act more. He was great in Three Kings.

  92. Kathy says:

    I’m thinking a kind of fusion this week: fettuccine with tomato sauce and ground beef, and on the side white rice with sauteed poblano rajas and onions, with sweet corn mixed in.

  93. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    A bit heavy on the starches?

  94. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’m not in STL anymore, but I could make the trip should the occasion arise.

  95. de stijl says:

    I haven’t looked at my authentication e-mail inbox in years.

    Why?

  96. de stijl says:

    @Kathy: @CSK:

    Needs potatos.

  97. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I left StL ~15 years ago, I get back every few years when I’m travelling in the midwest to visit friends.

    I know you’re down in he Ozarks.

  98. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I’m about 80 miles outside STL (Washington County). I used to make that commute every day when the job site called for it. I am not so flexible as I’d like, but should the occasion arise, drop a note and I just might make it up. (afternoons are best, I go to sleep rather early)

  99. An Interested Party says:

    This thread presents an interesting quandary–what to do when a completely odious person dies…when Trump goes, just do what they do in New Orleans…but even that is too much for Louie Gohmert…he should simply be forgotten…

  100. de stijl says:

    @An Interested Party:

    I never saw Cain as odious. Not my cuppa tea, never vote for him, simplistic, used the campaign to sell books, but in comparison, a pup amongst the sharks.

  101. Moosebreath says:

    For those who believe life is not weird enough, I present pictures of ducks in formal dresses. I am more than a bit amazed the ducks are not shredding the dresses and are instead waddling in them.

    h/t Balloon Juice

    2
  102. An Interested Party says:

    @de stijl: I was referencing Trump, not Cain…

    1
  103. Teve says:

    This is almost too terrible to contemplate. According to Vanity Fair, Jared Kushner and buddies actually developed a comprehensive plan to fight coronavirus in the spring, but the virus was mostly attacking people in democratic cities, so the White House ditched the plan so they could blame Democrats for the deaths.

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/07/how-jared-kushners-secret-testing-plan-went-poof-into-thin-air

    2
  104. de stijl says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Sorry! It was obvious and I missed it thinking it was about today’s news. Maybe I should read the whole comment not just the first sentence.

    When Trump eventually dies I will be able to meet community standards pet SLT’s demand. Relief rather than gloating / ghoulishness.

  105. de stijl says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Now I want drakes in kilts.

  106. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    I started to read that and became so ill I couldn’t finish it.