While I do not count myself as one of Trump’s “idiot followers”, I do think there are many on the right who will say things they don’t necessarily believe in order to create a narrative to try to affect an outcome. Just the usual mechanations of modern day American politics. The left uses similar tactics when necessary.
Personally and generally speaking, I don’t have a problem with Trump and his people wanting to investigate potential election fraud and explore legal avenues in an effort to ferret out wrongdoing or even turn close races in some states. That said, I also feel that the rhetoric and accusations have mostly been way over the top and the lawsuits about as effective as Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye.
I hope that President Trump will leave peacefully and expediently when the time comes although I’m sure that “quietly” would be far too much to ask.
Getting back to the point, most of Trump’s supporters, IMHO are blindly supporting him in spite of his election fraud claims, not because of them. I think it’s wrong to categorize them all as idiots or assume that they believe those accusations, even if they claim to do so.
You know I would never think of you as an idiot of any sort.
And yes, some people are amazingly dishonest and make things up to try to achieve some political end. Trump is the master of that, to the detriment of the entire country and the world. Political “spin” is one thing, but Trump literally waged a war on the truth. If there had been any evidence of electoral fraud and if Trump’s investigations had turned up anything then I’d remain supportive of following through. That’s the only honest stance anybody should take.
However, literally every single case Trump brought to court was dismissed because there was either no cause of action, no injury, a failure to bring them in a timely fashion, or no evidence. The lawyers in their filings and in court were crystal clear that they also were not alleging fraud of any sort - because lying in court can get you disbarred.
So sure, investigate to your heart’s content, but you have to be honest with it and with the American people. That was always Trump’s failure from the start and until the end. His perpetuating of this lie damages the country. The 75% statistic proves the point.
I’ll also throw in here, that of the actual cases of voting fraud that I’ve seen reported (a biased set, I’m sure) the vast majority have been perpetrated by Republican partisans and also only affected a handful (i.e. < 5) of votes. And my understanding is that’s generally been the case with voting fraud in this country: a small number of cases in each election affecting a small number of votes. Only in races as tight as the Iowa congressional district (margin: 6 votes) could that affect the outcome.
The Heritage Foundation maintains a database (https://www.heritage.org/voterfraud). While I have approximately 1.3% overlap with their policy preferences, I trust them to have comprehensively done the research. Although even the “about” page discussing the database makes it sound like a Republican talking point.
Trump remains true to his antidemocratic self, pressuring the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” 11,000 votes, based solely on rumor from his sycophants. Meanwhile, his GAO and OMB refuses to assist the transition. He is a catastrophe.
@DanOR “Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”
@KitMarlot I’d say that sums it up. We have numerous domestic enemies trying to overthrow the duly elected government and these senators, as well as the President, are giving aid and comfort. There will be plenty of witnesses to their treachery. Perhaps you would prefer sedition as the more appropriate charge?
While I will be the first to admit that Trump is a narcissistic megalomaniac who refuses to face reality, the hyperbole and bombast from the left and most media outlets has been and continues to be equally annoying.
@chipgreen And honestly, that’s my thing. I don’t like Trump and didn’t vote for him, but I like and respect many of the ‘deplorables’ who did. Many of them are not idiots. Some of them are ill-informed and see ghosts around dark corners, but most of them have rational reasons for supporting him. De-legitimizing someone else’s opinions and preferences is its own form of tyranny.
@chipgreen Sorry, could you be more specific as to what constitutes hyperbole and bombast?
I’ll refrain from engaging in both-sider-ism here because that’s what bugs me the most about some of these discussions, except to point out the Fox News claims that Obama was going to impose Shariah law on the United States.
The hyperbole and bombast from the left has been going on for 4 years now, not just since the recent election. All the investigations, accusations and impeachment proceedings were filled to the brim with hyperbole and bombast. And yes, there was plenty of it to go around from the right about Obama when he was President as well. And again from the left when Bush was President. And from the right when Clinton was President. Rinse, lather, repeat.
I have grown weary of it from both sides over the years and it only serves to inflame those whose backers are on the side it’s coming from and entrench those against it on the other side. I almost wish our pols would just throw down every once in awhile like they do in… Taiwan? Maybe there would be some of the schoolyard chumminess after a good row between the two sides. Of course it wouldn’t last, but even a little break would be refreshing.
@chipgreen I appreciate your acknowledging that this is not a recent invention of the left.
One difference that’s seemed apparent to me is that the more recent ones done by the right have more of an intent to affect election outcomes while much (but by no means all) of the stuff from the left seems to actually want to figure out whether something happened. I could grant that the first Benghazi investigation was trying to do that, but the umpteenth?
As for impeachment, I think Trump should have been booted from office for trying to squeeze a foreign country for election assistance. Obviously ymmv, but that was one of the few things where I thought the rhetoric coming from the actual House members (particularly Adam Schiff) was perfectly accurate. I don’t pay much attention to the media for many of the reasons you outline.
@chipgreen@klezman I hate to be piling on because I appreciate that we’re still attempting to hang out despite the political divide. But I am not sure it is possible to be hyperbolic about Trump.
From his earliest days he and his family tried to evict people of color from their housing developments; took out full page ads (for no particular reason) calling for the execution of the now exonerated Central Park 5; bankrupted municipalities (he bear culpability for those actions); he (and his siblings) defrauded the government of revenue in a complicated scheme to reduce his inheritance taxes; he went out of his way to reduce his brother’s childrens’ inheritance on his father’s deathbed and forced their cooperation with a settlement by threatening to withhold medical care from his nephew; he at worst assaulted a number of women and acted reprehensibly at best; and (this is not a moral failing, perhaps) his entire fortune is from inheritance and licensing revenue as television host while pretending to “do business”.
While president, he continue to put his perceived self-interest above every element of his job. I cannot say that for any other president since Nixon and Nixon only on his worst days.
I don’t get the enthusiasm of his supporters but, given such support, I understand why simps like Rubio and Cruz march as best they can to his ill timed drumbeat.
@canonizer@chipgreen@FritzCat@klezman Reps and Dems have been playing a different game since at least the 1960’s, with Tricky Dick and his evil entourage blueprinting the conservative strategy of lying, cheating, and stealing their way through election cycles. The Dems, on the other hand, have chosen to “go high” when the Reps go low. Dumb. In battle, the only reason to “go high” is to rain boulders on the enemy below, but that’s not in the Dem’s playbook.
Not to my knowledge? I have never lived in Canada. My oldest sister was born there but by the time I was born, our family had relocated to the Cleveland area. I have a lot of Aunts/Uncles and cousins in Alberta and another cousin in the Yukon.
@chipgreen If one (or both) of your parents was born in Canada you should already be a citizen. You’d just need to get the proof of citizenship by submitting your information and proof of your parent’s Canadian birth certificate. It’s super easy - got it for my first kid immediately and we’re about to send it off for our second.
@chipgreen@FritzCat Good job marrying a Canadian!
Yeah, technically they’re citizens at birth and just need the certificate. So it’s really just an administrative process more than a discretionary one. Which is really nice.
It is reasonable to protest (even violently) when the people you believe in tell you that an election was rigged. That makes Trump, Cruz, Hawley, Rubio, Jordan, Nunes and dozens of others complicit in the destruction in DC.
Their fearmongering is odious. To borrow a phrase: lock them up.
@DanOR@losthighwayz Several discussions on NPR and other places about exactly this. The chair of African American Studies at Princeton was blunt: the police response yesterday made it abundantly clear that there are rules for white people and rules for everybody else. (I paraphrased)
"These terrorists (they are not protesters; they are not rioters; they are terrorists, insurrectionists, and traitors) have violated the following federal laws:
18 U.S.C. § 2385. Seditious Conspiracy. If “two or more people… conspire… by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof,” penalties are fines and twenty years imprisonment.
18 U.S.C. § 1361. Destruction of Government Property. If the damage exceeds $100, penalties are fines up to $250,000 and ten years imprisonment.
18 U.S.C. § 111. Assaulting Federal Officers. Fines vary, 20 years imprisonment.
18 U.S.C. § 351. Assault on Members of Congress. One year imprisonment.
41 CFR 102-74.380. Creating a Hazard on Federal Property. Penalties vary.
36 CFR 2.34 (and elsewhere). Disorderly Conduct. 90 days imprisonment, $300 fine."
@davirom Not a Trump supporter, more of an anti-Trump Hater, but I’m a fan of both the First Amendment and the rule of law. Probably not many Trump supporters who think critically about wine (or at all.) This was an appalling case of angry protesters getting out of hand (not unlike Seattle’s CHAZ or the riots in Kenosha this summer) and every perpetrator should be punished according to law. There’s plenty of fiery rhetoric out there, but don’t forget that Congress concluded their business shortly before dawn. “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”
-Federalist No. 51
Yup, you’re all correct best I can tell.
-White privilege in that only one person was killed
-Terrorists attacking the Capitol
-The need for the 25th amendment and/or another super quick impeachment
-Complicity from certain Republican officeholders, who may now qualify to be removed from office under the 14th amendment for inciting this insurrection
Also, Biden sounded like a real president of the USA in his announcement earlier. Such a relief.
Politics aside, today was a disgrace and an embarrassment for our entire country. No matter which political party anyone supports, they need to respect our democracy and maintain human decency.
The president (as well as other officials, staff, family, etc) that flat out incited today’s events and attempt at “mob rule” should be held accountable. Sadly, I have a feeling that’s not likely to happen.
@kawichris650 Yeah, I’m not optimistic that perpetrators will be held accountable, especially the perpetrator in chief, DJT.
Although I did hear on NPR this morning that several people have been charged by the DOJ so far and they expect to file charges against many more people.
But the international perspective was also helpful: how does the USA prove to the world that this truly is a beacon of democracy? Is it possible to do that without holding Trump accountable for sowing distrust in elections, in democracy, and for inciting political violence - perhaps the single most undemocratic thing he could have done?
The President’s language and rhetoric often goes too far," … “I think, yesterday in particular, the President’s language and rhetoric crossed the line and it was reckless. I disagree with it, and I have disagreed with the President’s language and rhetoric for the last four years.”
Cruz JUST OFFERED REPRESENTED TEXAS IN CONTESTING THE ELECTIONS OF OTHER STATES IN ORDER TO BOOST TRUMP’S OPINION OF HIM.
Just amazing to see these spineless people walking upright. Goddamn medical miracle.
Here’s a multiple choice option to make it easier for conservatives to respond :
A ) Denial: “It didn’t happen”, “Fake news”
B ) False equivalency: “The left has done worse”
C ) Deathbed conversion: “There’s only 12 days left in his term, but gee, maybe he IS a bad guy”
D ) Ignorance: “Who knew 4+ years of this rhetoric would come to this?”
E ) Outright lying: “Those weren’t Trump supporters at the rally and in the Capitol, they were antifa”
Are you looking for responses from conservatives now? Because before you were after “Trump apologists”. I am the former, not the latter.
Of course the siege on the Capital was horrible and inexcusable. Right wing fringe groups were the main instigators (not Antifa or BLM or Anarchists as some claim, although there is always the possibility that there were a handful of “professional agitators” mixed in, just as there were in the BLM riots last year). Just as in those BLM riots, there were a small percentage of violent protesters who made everyone look bad.
Qanon conspiracy theorists, Proud Boys, Boogaloo, White supremacists and Nationalists, right-wing militia types, etc. These groups are not representative of the average Republican or conservative. They are, however, much more mainstream than they have any right to be, based upon Trump’s refusal to condemn groups such as theirs as long as they support(ed) him. They were always fringe groups until Trump started wooing them (with his “good people on both sides” rhetoric).
Hopefully they will recede back into the fringes in the coming years.
@chipgreen Thank you for a reasoned reply to what was intended to be an attempt at facetious humor. Although, all of the listed “answers” correspond to responses I read that were made by Trump supporters when asked for comment.
You say the right-wing groups you mention are “not representative of the average Republican or conservative”, but given that Trump got 74 million votes I have to question what it means to be average in that population. Even if you discount the single-issue voters Trump appealed to (abortion, guns, tax reductions, etc.) there are still a lot of Republicans who are willing to vote for someone who lies constantly, dismantles needed infrastructure (I’m thinking of the pandemic response team Obama left that was functioning when DJT took over), separates families and puts the kids in cages, etc. etc. etc.
I guess I’m old fashioned, but to me character counts. At one time I considered myself a Rockefeller Republican, but the Republican party that could include me no longer exists. Even though I was once considered conservative and hold the same views, the “average” Republican has moved so far to the right of me s/he may as well be on another planet.
@chipgreen@davirom Hell, even this socially liberal Canadian could have held his nose and voted for Republicans as recently as Bush 2. But today’s GOP? Not a chance in hell.
(The holding my nose would have been because of the sexism and anti-abortion stance of the GOP even then.)
You’re saying there isn’t a single Republican you could vote for today? You realize that there is a rather large faction of Never-Trumpers, yes? And even some who publicly supported Trump but have disapproved of things he has said and done along the way. An example of that would be Ohio’s Governor Mike Dewine, who has gained wide bipartisan support for his handling of the pandemic here in OH.
It is disappointing to see you continue to paint the right with such broad strokes.
@chipgreen@DanOR@klezman I could have supported Romney except to get the nomination he ran to the right (e.g. repudiating Romneycare in MA) and Obama seemed the better choice to me. I might have supported John McCain or Jeff Flake. I don’t say Republicans are unappealing per se, but it seems the ones who rise high enough to be on a ballot feel the need to pander to the Trumpkins; the archetypes being Hawley and Cruz, but there are also a hundred or so in the House that made a pointless stand to overthrow the election.
@chipgreen@davirom I suppose I should have clarified - I know less about Republican parties at the state level. The national Republican Party has, to me, moved so far away from an entity that I could support on so many things. I simply cannot support a party that wants to roll back civil rights, put religion ahead of everything else (I say this as a somewhat observant person), and pander to the worst things in the United States. Even if I agree with some of their policy preferences they are just too far from what I consider to be reasonable. It’s not just about Trump, it’s about the whole platform they’ve espoused for the past decade.
I don’t know much about Dewine. I did like John Kasich when he was running for the Republican nomination, although even he, on further looking, was amazingly anti-abortion, which is a nonstarter for me. I simply cannot agree that the government should interfere in a woman’s reproductive rights (before fetal viability).
So while there might be individual Republicans who I think are honest and principled, the federal Republican Party is too full of rot for me.
Full disclosure, though, I’m also not exactly a progressive on many things and dislike much of the rhetoric from the far left and disagree with some (many?) of their policy proposals.
I find it interesting how many of these “brave patriots” are on the run, in hiding, or backpedaling now that their revolution has flamed out and their leader is hunkered down in the WH. “I was just recording it for the media”; “I was trying to convince the others to be respectful”; “I didn’t mean to be there but got swept in with the crowd”; “It’s not my fault that others were out of control”. The hunt is on for these seditious rats and they will be brought to account.
@chipgreen I agree with you but want to make the distinction between arsonists and looters, which largely cause property damage (not condoning that) and an insurrectionist mob which wanted to overthrow the US government. There is, at least to me, a huge difference in the threat level each represents.
Impeachment should proceed even though Trump will only be in office for 2 weeks. What he did should not go unpunished, and it prevents him from running for any office in the future. As a bonus, our tax dollars won’t be going to pay him a pension, providing health insurance, or paying for his security for the rest of his life.
Regarding our politics in general, Democrats have to ask themselves why 74 million Americans believed it was better to vote for Trump than Biden. I understand the far right, hardcore 33% supporting a Republican candidate no matter what. But what about the other 10-15% that still said Trump was better than any alternative the Democrats could offer? That’s after 4 years of seeing him continually lie, pander to extremists (or at the very least not willing to condemn them), turned combatting the Corona virus into a political issue that likely resulted in thousands of preventable deaths, and numerous other things. Is this simply tribalism where people will vote R or D, no matter the quality of the human being representing their party?
@dirtdoctor I’m with you on impeachment. He also needs to be impeached and convicted (a) as a matter of principle for inciting an insurrection against the United States, and (b) so that he can be prevented from ever holding elected office again.
I think part of the answer to your other questions is the right wing media bubble that only rarely lets reality in. There are plenty of side by side screenshots you can find of Fox News vs other websites during the insurrection at the Capitol. It’s maddening.
Maybe because Biden has been running for President on and off for close to 40 years now. He’s like a Democratic Ralph Nader. But suddenly in 2020 he is the best you guys can offer? The best “Not Trump” you could come up with? Ugh.
I guess what I was trying to say can be applied to both parties, in that they should be looking at their messaging and priorities to broaden their appeal to more Americans. Maybe @klezman is right and it’s just a function of how people get their news, whether it’s left/right wing national media or Twitter/Facebook feeds that spew crazy conspiracy theories that people automatically think are true without doing any research (I personally think this is the bigger issue).
I guess I have a follow up question for @chipgreen. What characteristics would a Democratic candidate need to gain more support from center-right Republicans? I agree that Biden was not that most inspirational candidate, but for me he seemed to have several characteristics that were important. He was closer to the center than the far left and he generally seems to care about fellow Americans. Yes, his speeches are generally not inspiring and he often says stupid things, but you rarely hear anyone say something bad about his character and intentions. For me, even before looking at policies, the first step in deciding my vote is to evaluate whether or not the candidate is a good person. I don’t know how anyone can look at the entirety of Trump’s life and come to the conclusion that he cares about anything but himself. The constant lies, things he said about women and potentially did to them, making fun of a disabled man, constantly peddling unfounded conspiracy theories, never admitting a mistake, worrying about his economy and re-election instead of telling Americans the truth about COVID-19, and it just goes on. It was an easy choice between Biden and Trump, and I’ll admit it was more difficult in 2016 but ultimately I thought Hilary was the lesser of 2 evils (which I think Trump has proven true).
Maybe my lesson is Americans care less about a person’s morals as long as they promise to cut their taxes or give them free healthcare and pay their college tuition.
@canonizer because the Democratic party is the major party opposing the Republican party candidate, Donald Trump, for whom 74mm Americans voted. The question posed isn’t “why did the Republican candidate lose”, but “how could 49% of Americans vote for a person we consider evil”. One conclusion is that 49% of Americans are evil, but there are others.
I don’t think Biden was inspiring, but he’s the right candidate for this moment in so many ways. He exemplifies all of the good qualities we want to see in our leaders and has so few of the bad ones. He’s just so human in a way that makes me proud to have him be an example for my kids.
The thing about what I said about messaging is a bit more subtle than that. The Democrats have a broadly popular agenda if you ask about the policies in isolation, but when you ask about the “Democratic agenda” its popularity goes down. Better messaging should be able to fix this gap.
My prescription for the Republicans is to propose a conservative slant on policies that do what people actually want. Their messaging is so effective (aided and abetted by Fox News, OANN, etc) that they’ve created an alternate reality for their party. And they need to stop stoking racial resentments, being anti-abortion, and sexist. Only then can there be a true battle of ideas.
What characteristics would a Democratic candidate need to gain more support from center-right Republicans?
Firstly, more of my fellow Republicans need to move closer to the center and stop trying to shame us moderates with terms like “RINO”. Secondly, I think Biden actually does embody some of the characteristics that center-right Repubs would require but he feels like a retread. He is quite obviously past his peak (as was McCain for the Repubs when he finally got his nomination) and is a perennial also-ran. The constant gaffes and the serial hair-sniffing don’t help.
Clearly any Dem would have to express a willingness to reach across the aisle to have a chance at bipartisan appeal, at the risk of losing goodwill within his/her own party. These candidates (on both sides), to a large extent, are formed from our own image. We as a nation have to move collectively towards the center before candidates will start to follow suit. I don’t think it will work the other way around.
@KitMarlot I think the Republicans have successfully created 2 wedge issues in the last 50 years that have siphoned off democrats: abortion and unrestricted gun rights. On a personal level, I think Democrats could find a middle path on gun rights since the population supports reasonable safety measures; given the overwhelming female constituency there isn’t any daylight on reproductive issues (which I support).
The third issue that Republicans claim is taxes and there is something uniquely aspirational about the American belief for lowering marginal tax rates. Trump could have cut taxes for everyone other than the highest bracket but instead gave the overwhelming windfall in tax reduction to the wealthiest/highest earning people. Democrats could easily leave all the tax brackets as is except adding 2 marginal brackets (the obvious figures being 39.6 and then something in the 40s). I’m sure there will be screams of SOCIALISM even though there is nothing historically remarkable about such rates after WWII.
[And then there is this WILD shift in blue collar/manufacturing towards Trump when the Republican party seeks only to reduce the power of labor at a moment when labor’s power (and share of corporate revenue) has dwindled horribly.]
I don’t think 49% of the population is evil. I think there is something wrong when a substantial majority of Republicans believe that the presidential election was stolen (despite many House seats flipping back to Rs). There is something profoundly wrong, and perhaps evil, with the people (Trump, Cruz, Hawley, Limbaugh, Bongino, et al) who amplify that lie. And to suggest that this is the same as the 2016 cri de coeur of “not my president”, when Clinton conceded the day after the election, can charitably only be called bad faith.
Watching Republican leadership try to overthrow the government in a procedural ratification of electorates is beyond disturbing. Watching “conservative” pundits blame Antifa or BLM for the violent attempted coup in DC makes me feel ill. Watching Trump tell a group of white nationalists to walk over to the Capitol to overturn a stolen election makes me want to see him rot in prison.
Thanks for the thoughtful beginning portion of your post. We need collaborative efforts like this from our politicians. Where can we find common ground? Where can we compromise? Let’s start there, get some successes under our belts and then work backwards to the more contested ideals with some positive momentum and goodwill already having been generated.
@canonizer@chipgreen@KitMarlot Unfortunately, for all that the “mates” on this board may be able to reach a kumbya moment, national politicians are too heavily invested (and by that I mean fundraising) in division to give more than a sly sort of lip service to bipartisanship. The only issue with a chance that I can think of at the moment is infrastructure repair.
I know what you mean. As someone who has been dragged half-willingly into local politics, I have seen firsthand how the party bosses demand unwavering loyalty from their stable of candidates.
Without the support of local, state and/or national parties, candidates would be forced to do all their own fundraising and that is no easy task without party support. That leaves guys like Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Yang or perhaps an Elon Musk who can actually thumb their noses at one or both parties and choose their own platforms.
But ultimately, the party bosses want candidates who can win. It once again comes back to us, the public, to demand more centrist candidates.
This has to be the most respectful, even-tempered political discussion board around, maybe due to the liberal consumption of our favorite beverage. Some of the others are more like a MMA death match. Congrats everyone for keeping it civil!
There was nothing un-civil or disrespectful about his posts when he was participating. You, however, resorted to name-calling a number of times in response to him. Just sayin’…
@canonizer@chipgreen@DanOR@FritzCat on the flipside I was chastised by rj and rpm for one grammar error which was rather annoying. I have seen many grammatical errors on here and to be singled out because they did not agree with my position was petty to say the least.
@canonizer@DanOR I went back through my comments for the past 30 days, and the last PoliTicks thread, and found that I did indeed make derogatory statements about Twitch22. I re-read the posts, and am just amazed by how patient others have been with him. I think his posts were terribly disrespectful.
I guess I didn’t catch the disrespect although I was skimming a lot, finding the volume of posts a bit overwhelming at that time and as an elections official, was just plain exhausted from months of stress, long hours and working weekends. Thankfully my county pulled off the election without a hitch despite having to overcome quite a bit of adversity along the way!
@DanOR You comment about ‘respectful and even-tempered’ is risible. Virtually every voice that has been on the right here has left because real discussion has not possible for some time. We cannot even agree on what the facts are, let alone discuss political ideas. That’s why I left and won’t be back - other than this post, because the self-congratulation for having driven out conservative voices needs to be pricked like a boil. Just because we’re no longer out in public, doesn’t mean we’ve gone away or will go away.
With the banning of Trump and the de-platforming of multiple conservative voices, Democratic calls for humiliation and firing of anyone who supported Trump, we are heading straight towards despotism, destruction of the Bill of Rights, and worse.
As personally offensive as Trump has been, his policies for the most part have been highly beneficial to most Americans, and have made the world a safer, better place. He spent four years fending of the most scurrilous and false attacks from the left, the Democratic Party (but I repeat myself), and still managed to accomplish much.
If the left were so confident in its ideas and the honesty of the recent elections, it would be the first in line to have open counting of votes, verification of voter signatures, open recounts; and would welcome the full and complete airing of all of the evidence put forward of vote fraud - the opposite of what has happened: the challenges have never been openly and fully aired, but have been shut down without evidentiary hearings or dismissed out of hand. That is not the way to convince 74-odd million voters that you didn’t steal the election. And if the left weren’t totalitarian - fascist - it wouldn’t be busy de-platforming conservative sites and authors, getting people fired for their political views and demanding essentially ‘reeducation’ for Trump supporters.
The form of the republic will continue, but liberty as the Founders understood it is dead - and you are all like the good burghers in Nietzsche’s aphorism 125 from The Gay Science (Die Frölische Wissenschaft) who laughed at the ‘madman’ who came into their midst and decried the death of God… he came too soon and it had not yet arrived, though they had done the deed themselves. I’d like to think most of you are intelligent enough that you will eventually rue what you have done, but I’m not sanguine about it.
@rpm, I’m hesitantly tagging you since you unequivocally stated your intention to leave the conversation.
Why is there such conviction that a hand recount is necessary in the swing States where Republicans picked up House seats? Numerous states under conservative leadership (eg Raffensberger) conducted recounts. The Intelligence community said it was a secure election. There does not seem to be any there, there.
I think it’s weird that there’s this natural acceptance that every one of 74M Trump votes was legitimately cast but Biden’s are suspect. The baseline assumption that distasteful electoral results must be false stuns me.
Clinton conceded the day after the election in 2016. For two months, Republicans have been chanting, “Stop the steal.” The assault on the Capitol is a natural outgrowth of this rejection of democracy by conservative leaders/thinkers.
I’m sorry we can only agree on distrusting each other’s news sources.
I really do try to listen to the opinion of others, so I’ll first ask a few questions and end with a comment. You and I have never met, and I don’t know you except for your few posts. Hopefully your statement about not participating except for that one post is not true, stoking the fire and then walking away.
First a few questions. You state something is a fact when many would view it is your opinion, thereby talking in generalities instead of stating facts that back your opinion. Specifically you state “his policies for the most part have been highly beneficial to most Americans, and have made the world a safer, better place.” This is clearly an opinion, one that I think many would disagree with. I would ask that you provide the facts used to develop the opinion of being in a better place than we were 4 years ago.
You state that democrats “would welcome the full and complete airing of all of the evidence put forward of vote fraud”. Trump’s team submitted over 60 lawsuits and our courts, many of them led by Trump appointed judges, consistently have said there was either no proof or legal grounds for their lawsuits. The question, do you believe that our justice system did not provide Trump a chance to question the election that just occurred or are you saying the process of future elections needs to be reviewed/revised? Regarding this past election, continually repeating that there was fraud doesn’t make it a fact, especially when the conclusion of every investigation, review and recount has suggested otherwise, including the Barr led DOJ.
Last question, do you think freedom of speech extends to private industries and companies? These platforms clearly provided Trump leniency over the past 4 years, up until the past few months. Should they have let him continue to use their platforms to allow a person to organize riots on the capital, especially when there is a big push (Trump included) to eliminate the law that protects these platforms from being held accountable for the member posts?
For the comment, and what irked me about your post, the statement/implication that democrats are fascist and will/should regret their current opinions/actions after stating that republicans have left this conversation because how that were treated. That’s like throwing stones in glass houses. What good is going to come from making such a statement?
I think you all know my position - we are all better off with a diversity of voices joining in respectful and even tempered discussion/debate. I’ve bent over backward to avoid (as best I can) making statements that would inflame others. I hope I’ve succeeded.
Not so long ago this forum was frequented by right-leaning people, but over the last couple years of the Obama presidency and throughout the Trump presidency some folks (none who are tagged here) seemed to get angrier and angrier. Arguments seemed to go farther and farther from facts.
So I hope that tempers can calm down and with the passing of the Trump era hopefully we can find our way back to having useful and insightful debates on policy and the best ways to steer the country toward a bright future.
@DanOR@dirtdoctor@klezman@rpm my biggest issue is that many are willing to give Trump a pass (vile, racist, sexist, and divisive speech and/or actions) so long as he has sound policies (which are debatable). How is this ok?
It looks like Mitch McConnell, Liz Cheney and untold numbers of additional Republicans are ready and willing to vote for Impeachment at this point, to wash their hands of Trump and prevent him from running again in 2024.
While the siege on the Capitol was the last straw, I believe the fracture was already in progress. Trump’s (and his lackeys) antics were to blame for both GA Republicans losing the runoff elections that would have kept control of the Senate. Trump, as usual, was more concerned about himself than what was good for the party.
A repositioning of the party has already begun as the article surmises that “Mr McConnell, it seems, has calculated that losing some of the president’s most loyal following would be less damaging than the exodus of moderates that would occur if he and other leaders stand by Mr Trump.”.
Furthermore, it goes on to point out that “For Mr McConnell it is all about winning. The bald facts are that in 2016 Republicans controlled the White House, the Senate and the House. After four years of Mr Trump they have lost all three.”.
This correlates with my own contention that, ultimately, the party bosses want to win and if it requires fielding more moderate candidates to do so, then that’s what they will do. It remains up to the American public to take back the Republican party from the likes of Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Q-Anon crazies.
@chipgreen Agreed, especially about McConnell and his thirst for power (which requires a service to winning above all).
I hope the GOP can figure out how to moderate, but I think a clean break between the Trumpers and the rest into a new party would be good. This country needs an honest centre, left, and right voice in politics.
I am still a fan of the (supposed) silent majority of moderates forming a new party. It’d be tremendously successful.
I did not vote for Trump in 2016 because I was afraid he would do something erratic and dangerous like start a nuclear war with South Korea. As I waited for impending international conflict, the Mainstream Media criticized every decision he made and refused to credit his successes and I began to wonder if I was being brainwashed. This summer, despite his refusal to do simple things to improve his chances of reelection (like not putting on a mask) I started thinking that Americans were generally better off than they were 4 years ago, that on balance he did a better job with the pandemic than Hillary Clinton would have done, and that Joe Biden might be ok but there was no way he’d last 4 years (and Kamala Harris was a wild card.)* Then, the first debate happened and I decided that I just couldn’t vote for him. Of course, the events of the last 2 months have vindicated all the pundits who predicted catastrophe 4 years ago, so enjoy the Schadenfreude guys, but be careful with the tinder. It’s a dry forest out there, lots of people thinking that ideological purity has a place in party politics and that violence is justified when you don’t get what you want.
*These are my opinions, these are not facts. I’m not going to substantiate them with evidence, this is simply how I feel. You are encouraged to think my opinions suck, but I’d rather not hear about it unless you can find a way to say it respectfully.
@KitMarlot Why do you think Clinton would have handled the pandemic in a worse way than Trump? While estimates vary, Trump’s inaction and downplaying the pandemic have led to tens of thousands more deaths than more competent responses. Furthermore, a competent response would have avoided politicizing a virus.
While I’m not certain Clinton wouldn’t have fallen into some of the same traps, at least she lives in a world of facts.
@klezman I said I wasn’t going to substantiate my opinions, but I suppose this one needs some explanation. I named Mrs. Clinton because she was the dem nominee in 2016, but I could have subbed “Democrat X”. (Once more, these are my opinions) Operation Warp Speed, forcing GM to make ventilators and letting local govt’s decide on lockdowns don’t happen with a Democrat in charge. PPP and $600 bonus for unemployment maybe, but I’d be surprised if stimulus checks go out as quickly as they did without someone as independent as someone like Trump.
Furthermore, a competent response would have avoided politicizing a virus.
And you think Mrs. Clinton wouldn’t have?
While I’m not certain Clinton wouldn’t have fallen into some of the same traps
She certainly wouldn’t have had daily press conferences where she put her ignorance on display, but there isn’t a whole lot a federal government (non-authoritarian class) can do once an unknown virus is loose. We were woefully unprepared.
@KitMarlot@klezman Bringing Mrs. Clinton into this discussion is simply diversion, a chance to trot out a familiar boogeyman. The far right has demonized Mrs. Clinton to the point where millions believe she worships satan and slaughters babies. Unfortunately, that’s not hyperbole, it’s a sad comment on the gullibility of Americans. As a result, many conservatives believe her capable of any evil and incapable of anything constructive. She in fact is extremely intelligent and if faced with the covid crisis, her efforts and effectiveness would easily eclipse trump, whose response was catatonic at best, if not criminal malfeasance.
@KitMarlot Fair enough. You are, of course, welcome to your opinions and I’m not trying to persuade you. I’m simply trying to understand how you arrived at that opinion.
An administration that denies reality and scoffs at science is particularly poorly positioned to deal with a pandemic. That’s really why I think any other administration, Democrat or Republican, would have managed better than did Trump.
We both acknowledge that’s opinion. We’ll get to see what a Biden administration does starting next week.
@KitMarlot my parents always taught me to treat others like you want to be treated. I truly believe the media despises Trump because he has been attacking them both as a unit and individually since he took office. As a leader he could have done a much better job to mend fences. He chose not to.
I can’t help myself, as it’s in my nature as an analytical engineer, not to comment about providing facts/reasoning/observations to explain one’s opinions. I am guilty of asking the “why” question, as that’s how I try to understand how someone derived an opinion. Why it that now considered wrong? It’s not an attempt at being derogatory or to belittle, but to gain an understanding of an opinion so that we can have a civil discussion.
If it’s okay to just state an opinion as if it’s a fact, without providing reasoning or background, that when you get a bunch of people believing that Democrats are a bunch of pedophiles running a child sex trafficking business behind a pizza parlor in Maryland, while Trump is a Savior that is going to win a war against them.
Bringing Mrs. Clinton into this discussion is simply diversion, a chance to trot out a familiar boogeyman. The far right has demonized Mrs. Clinton to the point where millions believe she worships satan and slaughters babies. Unfortunately, that’s not hyperbole…
Considering the high stakes involved for our country with the pandemic, what has stopped her from coming up with some useful suggestions on how to better handle it? Lots of other people have weighed in with opinions and suggestions while she has remained silent. Maybe she is still working on her health care reform project that she started n 1993.
@losthighwayz He gives as good as he gets, and you could say he started it. No argument there. I think the media is outraged for both the ridiculous things he says and the way their reporting of his antics doesn’t change hearts and minds. Their power is diminished. I know when I hear/read something outrageous that he said I check multiple sources first before deciding if I 1.) believe it and 2.) care.
@canonizer@losthighwayz I hope impeachment removes him from public view instead of making a martyr of him. It was wise putting Jefferson Davis in Ft. Monroe even if he deserved to be hanged on the spot. Started the healing process after the Civil War on solid footing.
Yeah and I thought Obama would be the great unifier after all the bad will generated by Bush Jr. for invading Iraq. Instead, he continued the same foreign policies as Bush while concentrating on ramming through “Obamacare” to create a legacy for himself. Considering that Biden was part of that administration, I am not holding my breath on the unification thing but time will tell.
@chipgreen@KitMarlot@klezman@rjquillin Uhhh, because he was brown? I know…“he’s making this about race again”, but I really do believe that for many, especially on the right/in the south, that is a significant factor.
@KitMarlot@klezman I do think that Bernie becoming chairman of the Senate Budget Committee is genius! Now Bernie will have to look at both sides of the budget equation rather than just handing out money like candy. (At least I hope this happens)
@KitMarlot That’s pretty good, actually. I think Obama’s intent was to make things better for all Americans. It would have been bad if he had focused on making things better for African-Americans. Note that I’ve always been a big fan of Carter, so you’ve got to suspect my opinions on everything.
@chipgreen@KitMarlot Honest question - do you think there was any policy Obama could propose (faithful to his campaign promises in any way) that would have garnered Republican support? Even restricting the question to a health care overhaul.
@rjquillin Welcome back to the discussion, your absence was noted. I might give credit to your “both sides”-ism if you can point out anything the Dems have done that compares to the GOP’s failing to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland for the last YEAR of Obama’s term (to “let the voters decide”), then pushing through Amy Coney Barrett in a matter of weeks before this election.
Under threat of legal action from Dominion, here is the American Thinker’s retraction for their part in amplifying the COMPLETE FUCKING LIE that was the notion that fraud played any part whatsoever in the election of Joe Biden because said lies had NO BASIS IN FACT. I hope their profiteering, warmongering, grifting souls rot in hell for encouraging division and violence in our Union.
I’m sorry for the caps but, man, my f’ing blood pressure.
American Thinker and contributors Andrea Widburg, R.D. Wedge, Brian Tomlinson, and Peggy Ryan have published pieces on www.AmericanThinker.com that falsely accuse US Dominion Inc., Dominion Voting Systems, Inc., and Dominion Voting Systems Corporation (collectively “Dominion”) of conspiring to steal the November 2020 election from Donald Trump.
These pieces rely on discredited sources who have peddled debunked theories about Dominion’s supposed ties to Venezuela, fraud on Dominion’s machines that resulted in massive vote switching or weighted votes, and other claims falsely stating that there is credible evidence that Dominion acted fraudulently.
These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact. Industry experts and public officials alike have confirmed that Dominion conducted itself appropriately and that there is simply no evidence to support these claims.
It was wrong for us to publish these false statements. We apologize to Dominion for all of the harm this caused them and their employees. We also apologize to our readers for abandoning 9 journalistic principles and misrepresenting Dominion’s track record and its limited role in tabulating votes for the November 2020 election. We regret this grave error.
@canonizer Is there a reason why you left this part of the page off of your post?
We received a lengthy letter from Dominion’s defamation lawyers
explaining why they believe that their client has been the victim of
defamatory statements. Having considered the full import of the
letter, we have agreed to their request that we publish the following
They knowingly amplified absolute lies about Dominion. They do not have any journalistic standards, let alone rigorous ones. They have so much first amendment protection and could easily turn aside any litigation if they hadn’t actually manufactured the story.
Why is it hard for people to say that voter fraud played no part in the election? I guess I’d feel better about calls for unity if there was an admission about the legitimacy of our incoming government.
Cover your ass, abbreviated CYA, is an activity done by an individual to protect themselves from possible subsequent criticism, legal penalties, or other repercussions, usually in a work-related or bureaucratic context. Wikipedia
There, I helped you out, but “honestly” I don’t believe that anyone who lives in our society didn’t know that.
Why is it hard for people to say that voter fraud played no part in the election?
Voter fraud plays a part in nearly every election. But it’s usually a very small part. Was there more fraud in this election than most other elections? Highly likely, in fact I would bet on it when passions run so high on both sides. Was there enough fraud to swing the election? Highly unlikely. But it’s not realistic to think that there was no fraud whatsoever.
@chipgreen@Mark_L@rjquillin I don’t think I was suggesting that there was not a single instance of voter fraud. I’ll reaffirm that statement that it did not play any part whatsoever in the outcome of the election. The gcc, cisa, nass have deemed it the most secure election in American history.
But voters feel like it was stolen or, at best, unfair because that message being continually bandied about. The inauguration is 3 days away and Trump hasn’t conceded.
Anyway, I’ll think I’ll have one of those vintage winesmith sparklers on Wednesday.
@canonizer@chipgreen@Mark_L@rjquillin Acknowledging that Biden will be sworn in is not the same as conceding and telling the country that Biden won the election, fair and square, and earned the privilege of being President.
You forgot to add that he should write it 500 times on the chalkboard.
Lol, not to be hyperbolic…
We merely want him to say he concedes, which is what every other presidential loser has done. We want peaceful transfers of power because that is at the core of this experiment in democracy. It’s obviously too much to ask of Trump.
And then, ultimately, we should ask why he has been lying about the election results since early Nov. Cui bono?
For now, we should all toss some popcorn in the microwave to see what pardons come out in the next 2.25 days. It’s such a shame that they won’t be announced on Twitter.
Even if you believe Trump’s recognition of reality that he’s not being sworn in for a second term is a concession of sorts, you have to admit that it’s far from what this country expects as a formal concession. That’s when the loser announces to the world the he or she lost, usually after having called to congratulate the winner on their victory.
Trump is a sore loser. No debate there. Personally, I’m happy that he intends to pack up and get out of town before the Inauguration. I think it’s better for everyone involved that he does just that.
@canonizer@chipgreen@klezman@Mark_L@rjquillin Bad actors spawn other bad actors. That’s where we find ourselves right now, with trump having led his minions down a very dark path, to the detriment of our country. There is a time for fighting and a time for healing and he doesn’t know the difference, or doesn’t care.
Do you suppose Giuliani visited all 100 of the soon to be pardonees to work out payment arrangements? What about the ones who wouldn’t or couldn’t pay $2 million? Now add those to the 100 who supposedly can - how many visits would Giuliani and his henchmen have had to make to visit all those inmates and make those arrangements?
Do you suppose the inmates could just get on the horn and make a single phone call to arrange for the availability of those funds? And without prison officials being aware of the scheme despite tapped phone lines? Or maybe the prison officials are getting a kickback? Now how many more conversations have had to take place?
Are these all going to be lump sum payments? Who is going to launder all these payments?
Seriously, Qanon’s “plan” makes more sense than this baloney.
A quick addendum to note that I am not necessarily disputing the account of John Kiriakou referenced in your first link - but I am absolutely disputing your quantum leap into asserting that Trump is going to be paid $2 million apiece from each person whom he is about to pardon.
As I figured, you were completely serious. The logistics alone of “selling” 100 pardons makes the idea laughable.
Who is this unnamed, shadowy Giuliani “associate” anyway? He who waits until Rudy has to take a leak to proposition the target for $2 million for a pardon. I think the writer of this tripe (Martin Pengelly) has read too many John Grisham books.
So the people calling for hard evidence of voter fraud accept bribery insinuations about President Trump as fact?
I wrote something longer but for a meaningful voter fraud to have taken place whereby the Rs won many seats in the House but loss the presidency would have required an extensive conspiracy across states with different election and registration systems. It is unlikely to the point of impossibility.
For Trump to accept a bribe he literally only has to accept a bribe. 100 is probably a hyperbolic headline. But given his history in “business” and the emoluments that he has regularly accepted (events/people staying at his properties, asking Woody Johnson to request moving the British Open), it doesn’t stretch the imaginations of people negatively predisposed to him.
I’m still trying to understand something, chip. Which of the following are you saying:
a) Trump is not likely to be swayed by people offering him money for favours (pardons/commutations in this case), and it’s pure insinuation
b) Trump is likely taking money for these favours, just not at the scale in davirom’s post, making the initial post hyperbolic
c) Trump will take whatever he can get, it’s just not proven
d) None of the above
Given that Trump has funnelled tens or hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to his businesses, what would you all say to a package that (a) prevents this from happening ever again, and (b) requires the non-arms length businesses to repay the government any profits from government spending there.
Basically, I think it’s fine if Trump (or any future government appointee/elected official) wants to spend time at the properties he owns. But my tax dollars should not go toward anything beyond the direct cost of him staying there.
I thought it was pretty obvious. I am saying;
e) There is no organized effort by Rudy Giuliani and/or his “associates” to sell pardons for $2 million apiece on behalf of Trump.
@chipgreen@davirom@FritzCat OK, fair enough. I didn’t actually intuit that particular view of it from what you’d said, so thanks for clarifying. I also don’t think Trump and buddies are necessarily soliciting payments for pardons.
I think I’m mostly in the (b) camp. I think Trump would happily take money in exchange for a favour of that sort. I also think plenty of people know that about him and would try to make it happen. Ergo, I think it’s likely Trump will profit directly from at least a few of his pardons. And like many things about this (thankfully outgoing) administration, the fact that nobody would deny this is a distinct possibility is the major issue to me.
@chipgreen@KitMarlot My apologizes to those on this forum who were offended by the suggestion that Trump would sell pardons for money. Pardons seem to have been reserved for political payback (Lil Wayne, anyone?). Now commutations, which are not required to be disclosed . . .
@davirom Trump’s offensive, and I’m not offended by the suggestion. In fact, I think it is more likely than not that he did peddle influence, but I’d be surprised if any solid evidence turns up. Boss has got a lot of buffers. What offends me is that reporters are so quick to report innuendo as fact (and that people believe it) when it involves a certain orange haired ex-president. I sincerely hope he’s “ex” for good.
How do you explain his granting clemency for former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatric? I’m not inclined to research all 143 pardons but I’m guessing there are quite a few other examples that would also go against your assumptions.
@chipgreen@KitMarlot I don’t have a fully formed hypothesis for each pardon, I was looking for commonality. I hadn’t looked at Kilpatric but now having done so I found this synopsis from AP of his conviction: “In 2013, Kilpatrick was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, fraud, extortion and tax crimes. The government called it the “Kilpatrick enterprise,” a scheme to shake down contractors and reward allies.” Sounds sympatico with Trump to me.
I also found that the US Attorney for eastern MI has resigned, as is customary since he was appointed by the outgoing president, but in doing so he criticized Trump for making the pardon, which is not customary. FWIW, for all that he was a Trump appointee, he sounds like someone who I can appreciate as a public servant.
At least we can agree not to research all the pardons.
Here is something else Biden is not: Someone whose worldview was shaped in important ways by time at an elite university campus and the cultural debates that thrive in that setting. He is the first president since Ronald Reagan for whom this is true.
Let’s change the discussion away from Biden vs Trump, each person will be more critical of another with opposing views. That will never change.
Let’s talk policy. What are your thoughts on the proposed pandemic relief plan? I am not a fan of sending everyone a check, simply because there are many Americans (more than 50%?) that have not been economically impacted by the pandemic. However, I’m not sure how the funds could be allocated to impacted individuals without spending a bunch of money in the bureaucracy of administering such a relief package. Maybe it is more economical to send everyone a check and hope that individuals not impacted spend the money or donate it to a charity. Also, I would prefer to spend our government’s money on a infrastructure bill to help employ folks and improve our communities long-term.
Regarding the additional checks/tax credits, is it wrong to ask individuals to give something back to the country in return for the immediate help? When filing taxes, could we ask individuals to provide some proof of community service or charitable donation in return for receiving the tax credit?
One last item on the proposed relief bill. I really don’t like the idea of tying a federal minimum wage to the bill, that’s like asking for a fight in Congress. Regarding a minimum wage, instead of setting a fixed $15 dollar wage for every state, why not have a way of adjusting the minimum wage by applying cost of living adjustments for each state? $15 in Des Moines, Iowa goes a lot farther than $15 in NYC.
I agree the shotgun approach to getting money into people’s hands is less than ideal. This was litigated, at least somewhat, by Congress last year in the first stimulus. If they’d been on top of it rather than left themselves with a need to rush again, it would make sense to be more narrowly tailored in the cash infusion. Perhaps linking it to unemployment run by the states would have worked, I don’t know.
I think it would be a smart provision if 2020 tax forms were adjusted to have people “justify” their receipt of the payments. Like showing a decrease in income from the prior year or something. Although I think I also read that those payments are taxable income, so there’s that.
$15/hour at 40 hours/week is like $32k/year. How many places can you live, even as a single person, for that kind of income? I agree that the minimum wage could/should be adjusted for location. Many states already do this by increasing theirs, and I believe they still could under a new federal minimum. To me this is simple: the federal minimum wage should be indexed to the poverty level. Probably at about 2x the 2 or 3 person level. Turns out that’s close to $15/hour of full time work. https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines
Should this be part of this bill at this time? That, I’m less sure of. I’d probably hold it off on parts of the economy that are suffering right now and can’t even afford to pay the pittance minimum wage they’re paying now. But then again, PPP loans/grants could solve some of this if you view it as a joint strike.
I haven’t done enough research to have a strong opinion on an appropriate minimum wage. I would note that I do not agree with calculating the wage based off a 40 hour work week. I wish I only needed to work 45 hours let alone 40. Raising that number to 50 hours and using the same $34k/yr goal, drops the minimum wage to about $12/hr. That seems like a good baseline, with adjustments based on location and implementation over a given timeframe, maybe a couple years.
In regards to the argument that companies can’t afford such an increase, are they/we not already subsidizing via food stamps, welfare, and other social programs paid for via tax dollars. Of course the issue then becomes, if the need for those tax dollars is reduced, does Uncle Sam start spending more elsewhere instead of reducing the tax burden on companies and individuals.
@dirtdoctor@rjquillin when I was a kid, a minimum wage job was basically for teenagers to make some spending money on the side. Too many people now need to subsist off of it.
I suspect, being an engineer, you’re well paid and on salary, exempt from the requirements of the fair labor standards act. (As am I.)
But now we’re in quibbling range - what is the “correct” annualized salary for an American who works minimum wage jobs to feed and house themselves?
Not to completely change course, but instead of mandating a higher minimum wage to raise individuals above poverty levels, why don’t we focus on developing our workforce? A long time ago our country decided that providing everyone an opportunity to earn a high school diploma was in America’s best interest. Now it’s many decades later and we’re in a completely different economy requiring different skills, it seems like it makes sense to provide some higher level of education. I don’t think I would support 4 years of free college, but 2 year degrees/trade programs might be interesting. That would cover the basics req’d in most 4-yr programs, then everyone pays their way when they specialize. It also allows, and potentially promotes, the pursuit of a trade/craft, such as carpenters, electricians, and plumbers. There’s a real shortage of people in those fields and you can make a great living.
@dirtdoctor I started working at a gas (pardon me…) Service Station at $2.25/hr. which was enough for me, not to live, but to pay for my education, which started at $50/semester for tuition in CA at that time.
Apparently CA thought that an educated populace was of value. I agree with dirtdoctor…make the first level of college/trade school inexpensive.
As for the “stimulus”, I have received money that I don’t really need. I will pay taxes on that money, and those who need it won’t, which takes care of the problem somewhat. It saddens me that so many people will be dead or financially ruined after this pandemic is done.
@hscottk Isn’t it also a test of the Republicans who say they want unity and healing to work together with Dems to craft comprehensive immigration reform? Or will they obstruct and hope for chaos they can exploit to their base?
@davirom@hscottk Much as I want to see comprehensive immigration reform (especially having gone through the system) I’m not sure the caravan of refugees is totally relevant. That seems like more of a foreign policy issue: if their home country wasn’t so ravaged they’d have less reason to brave such a ridiculously long and dangerous journey.
Then again, perhaps it’s an opening for a deal.
@davirom@klezman Biden supports a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally and is a strong supporter of DACA. The caravan falls into neither of these categories. Will he push to have them stopped before they reach the border? Will he allow them all to petition for asylum in the US? It will be interesting to see if he can handle these issues without angering the far left who helped put him in office.
Refugee laws were not really built for this sort of mass exodous, so perhaps a different approach is needed. But this country should never stop taking in refugees. Just think of all the European Jews who’d have lived through the Holocaust if the USA (and others) had better refugee laws.
I’m just not sure how this will proceed far enough without the necessary Republican support; meanwhile, the days are short to move forward with the legislative agenda.
I think the comparison to the Great Lie is apt - that Germany could have won the war but for those traitorous peace negotiators. It feels baked at this point and the absolutely insane Q following (which must be somewhere approaching 10-20% of the country) is going to see any result as evidence of the rightness of their made up/insane cause.
I do think crimes should be prosecuted and penalties levied for them. Personally, I would like to see Trump tried criminally, in Georgia and possibly NY, and jailed. I don’t think he needs a 25 year sentence - 36 months would be fine.
@canonizer “ain’t nothin’ gonna happen”, but those who went into the Capitol need to be prosecuted. And, a thorough investigation of those fomenting needs to happen, with possibly some convictions, and Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley need to GTFO.
@FritzCat Mcconnell is backtracking. It isn’t even going to take years for this idea to pervade the Republican party. They couldn’t even step away from it for a month. This is done more to help Cruz’s popularity than anything else he has done in his career.
@canonizer@FritzCat Yeah, seems to be the case. So then I wish nothing more for the Republican party than to disintegrate and leave the Democrats in full charge of the federal government for the next 12-16 years. Not my globally preferred outcome, because I’d like to see a thoughtful right-leaning party in this country. But this Republican party has lost any and all credibility. Very sad.
Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. If she can get elected in GA, it just shows you how badly Trump and his cohorts screwed the pooch when it came to the runoff election. Perfect example of why sane Conservatives need to take back the Republican party.
@canonizer@chipgreen I agree with Chip, although it would be an easier call if some prominent (non-standard?) Republicans were at least calling her out, more that is, than a senator who has already announced his retirement.
If her opinions don’t cross the line for standard Republicans, then they have enlarged their tent to include her. Her constituents (standard Republicans?) elected her knowing she liked a Facebook post in January 2019 reading “a bullet to the head would be quicker” to remove Nancy Pelosi. She has called the Sandy Hook and Parkland school shootings hoaxes, so the leadership placed her on the education committee. Oh, and Jews are responsible for CA wildfires with lasers from space.
A Trump inspired (if not led) insurrection didn’t do it, this woman hasn’t done it, what will it take before standard Republicans rise up for more than a news cycle to say this is not who we are?
This situation is still in progress. Although the downside to disavowing her is that it could turn her into a martyr of sorts, making her even more popular among the conspiracy, nationalist and militia types - especially if she is expelled from Congress or forced to resign. Regardless, I hope that she is at least removed from the Education & Labor Committee.
@chipgreen I thought I was done with this particular thread, but I just stumbled on my new favorite quotation of the day. It comes from John Cowan, the Republican who ran against Marjorie Taylor Greene (“MTG”) in the 2020 primary:
“MTG is the AOC of the GOP. But as much as I hate to say it, AOC is nowhere as crazy as this,” Cowan said. “I’m a neurosurgeon. I diagnose crazy every day. It took five minutes talking to her to realize there were bats in the attic. And then we saw she had skeletons in the closet.”
He is considering running against her again in 2022.
The likelihood is that MTG will vote in line with party 99% of the time, except when she thinks there is better exposure by breaking with them in some presently unforeseeable moment of bipartisanship. I’m sure a debt ceiling battle is in our future.
Comparing AOC (who believes in social safety nets) and MTG (who believes Jews created a laser to start CA wildfires) is beyond contemptible. MTG is one of the costs for years of undermining democracy.
@canonizer@chipgreen At the risk of trying to mind-read Dr. Cowan, I don’t think he is saying there is some kind of crazy-ometer that can be strapped onto people to determine the empirical and therefore comparable level of crazy inside. (But wouldn’t it be nice?) I interpret the quotation as the speaker saying he has not interviewed AOC but he disagrees with her ideas and positions and he considers them unworkable, undesirable, or “crazy”. Whereas his assessment of MTG is based on first hand knowledge and is clinical. Different kinds of crazy. YMMV.
@chipgreen@davirom I think that’s charitable. It’s borderline unprofessional to diagnose people publicly, not to mention that neurosurgeons are not psychologists/psychiatrists/neurologists. Having an MD doesn’t make someone an expert on the entire strata of medical knowledge.
If he is exhibiting clinical knowledge of MTG, that suggests he is doing so of AOC as well in stating that she is not as crazy.
@canonizer@chipgreen Thank you, I was trying to be charitable. The word choice of “clinical” was mine, not Dr. Cowan’s, so I don’t think his professionalism is at issue here. I stated up front that I was attempting to read his mind. An alternate theory might be that his assessment is based on their public statements and in his political judgement MTG is farther off the right wing tail of the political spectrum than OAC is off the left. Still mind reading.
@chipgreen@davirom I think that’s a lot of nuance. Practically speaking, Cowan and MTG have the same politics. They share the identical constituency. They are more alike than either is to AOC, who, again, supports safety nets and not racism (what a monster).
The vote stands as a pivotal moment for the party Mr. Trump molded into a cult of personality, one likely to leave a deep blemish in the historical record. Now that Republicans have passed up an opportunity to banish him through impeachment, it is not clear when — or how — they might go about transforming their party into something other than a vessel for a semiretired demagogue who was repudiated by a majority of voters.
The determination of so many Republican lawmakers to discard the mountain of evidence against Mr. Trump — including the revelation that he had sided with the rioters in a heated conversation with the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy — reflects how thoroughly the party has come to be defined by one man, and how divorced it now appears to be from any deeper set of policy aspirations and ethical or social principles.
After campaigning last year on a message of law and order, most Republican lawmakers decided not to apply those standards to a former commander in chief who made common cause with an organized mob. A party that often proclaimed that “Blue lives matter” balked at punishing a politician whose enraged supporters had assaulted the Capitol Police. A generation’s worth of rhetoric about personal responsibility appeared to founder against the perceived imperative of accommodating Mr. Trump.
I don’t post here much, but when I heard the news I was in disbelief and I’m wondering how others feel. From any/all sides.
If jury members announced before a trial that they already knew how they’d vote and the trial wouldn’t change their minds, the court would dismiss those jury members.
Twice now Republican senators have done just that and voted to acquit Trump. They have failed to uphold the oath they took when they entered office. Many of them were acting like disinterested students during a school assembly, actively ignoring the prosecution while they made their case. There was ample evidence showing Trump incited the insurrection. I honestly don’t believe there’s any denying it.
This shouldn’t be about Republicans vs Democrats. It should be about human decency, and Trump is an awful human being. Yes… that’s my opinion, but millions of other people feel the same way and I’m clearly not an outlier.
In the end, the world saw the violence that was incited by Trump, and the Republican senators chose to look the other way. I sincerely hope when midterm elections roll around, the elected officials who have shown such apathy do not get re-elected.
@kawichris650 IMO it’s not about whether Trump is a terrible human being or not. It’s about whether he violated his oath of office, and he most assuredly did. The defense didn’t even argue against that point - because they couldn’t.
Forty-three republicans violated their oath of office, but since there will be no repercussions, and in fact they will be rewarded for their treachery, nothing will change. They are contemptible lapdogs who should be run out of Washington on a rail.
As entertaining as it is to discuss nothing but negative opinions of Republican politicians and those who support them ad nauseum, does anyone have any thoughts about Andrew Cuomo?
I checked out cnn.com for shits and giggles and did a ctrl-f for “Cuomo”. Out of over 200 headlines on their front page, how many hits do you think I got? If you said “0” you are a winner.
I guess they would rather report about Ted Cruz’s Cancun trip (prominently featured) than the fact that Cuomo’s own party has turned against him for his handling of nursing homes and their residents during the worst of the pandemic. Now that his own staff has admitted to the lies and cover-ups, while others have come forward with their own tales of being berated and/or threatened by Cuomo to regurgitate his talking points (“or else”), what should be done? A federal investigation seems like a starting point. With all the tales of bullying and belittling, Cuomo is sounding an awful lot like that person Dems love to hate (hint: he just moved to Florida). Can/should he be pressured to resign?
I saw it on Yahoo’s front page earlier in the day while at work and for some reason wondered what CNN had to say about it. I scrolled up and down and couldn’t find anything. It seemed like a pretty big story so I figured it had to be there somewhere which is when I ctrl-f’d it.
I did eventually find an article when I used their Search function, however, so they didn’t ignore it completely and the article was dated 2/18 so it is surprising it couldn’t break the top 200 on the very day it was published. Maybe Chris Cuomo has enough clout to bury it?
Anyway, I am surprised that you aren’t more up on this as it was widely known for some time that he was sending elderly people with Covid to nursing homes instead of hospitals, thus exposing the most vulnerable to the disease, in effect killing hundreds if not thousands that might not have otherwise been infected. What wasn’t known at the time was that he was also covering up the number of those deaths.
@chipgreen I’m up on the first part of it, at least a bit. I’ve not been following the nursing home stuff as much in the last couple months since our work on estimating that risk concluded back then.
As you know, I try to not have different standards for people with different party affiliations. If he’s covered stuff up or committed crimes he should suffer the consequences.
This is my first time hearing about it, but nonetheless I couldn’t agree more. I stand by my previous comment about human decency over party affiliation. It’s unfortunate so many people with political power see it the other way around.
@chipgreen@kawichris650@klezman Partisan finger pointing, imo, is a zero sum game. Cuomo did this, Cruz did that, AOC said this, MTG said that, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. To move the country forward, assuming that is what the people on this board would like to see, I suggest changing the focus to issues instead of personalities. Yes, I have a history here and this proposal may seem convenient as the villain du jour is a Democrat, but there is a new administration that seems also to care about policy instead of just “winning”. As I see it, among the issues that might, possibly, find middle ground and enactment are the 3 I’s: immigration, infrastructure, and insurance (medical). OK, I fudged the last one a little to make it an “I”. Thoughts?
@chipgreen@davirom@kawichris650@Mark_L I’m not convinced term limits will solve much on their own. The polarization and inaction from Congress seems, imo, more a result of the way they get elected rather than how long they’re there. Move to a ranked choice voting system nationwide and jungle primaries. That’ll get candidates to move toward the centre rather than pandering to the extremes of their party’s base.
Put in some reasonable term limits, say 18 years or so, and you’re looking at what should be a much better system. Coupled with a voting rights improvement (e.g. standardizing early voting, ballot design, mail-in ballot rules, and banning gerrymandering) this country could even become a leader in democracy again!
You can call it partisan finger pointing and of course I did purposely single out a Democrat to demonize but it’s about his actions and words, not his party.
It looks like he could very well get impeached in the near future. I believe that you have also brought up some worthy discussion topics but we can talk about more than one thing at a time and I would encourage anyone who has an opinion or something to say about the Cuomo situation to please do so.
@chipgreen I don’t know all there is to know about nursing-homegate, but it appears that Cuomo and his people made a big mistake early on when little was known about the 'rona. And, we did have a huge mess in NY City. However, since that time he has worked tirelessly for the people of NY State, and I want him to continue to do so.
You are either very forgiving or a Cuomo apologist. You might feel differently if your Uncle had died of Covid in a NY nursing home like State Senator Ron Kim, whose livelihood was apparently threatened by Cuomo for daring to speak out.
I know you are an AOC fan. She is not so forgiving and is calling for a full investigation. Do you agree with her or would you prefer to chalk it up to honest mistakes and ignorance without an investigation?
Immigration: I am in favor of the wall and disappointed that Trump did not build more of it. However, I am also in favor of doing something to streamline the process of becoming an American citizen so that it is easier for immigrants to come to this country legally, on a path towards citizenship. But those who are here illegally or arrive illegally need to be sent back and turned back, respectively.
Infrastructure: I am very much in favor of spending money on our Nation’s infrastructure. Cybersecurity, bridges, roads, electrical grids, mass transit, water and drainage systems, etc. I would also like to see much of that work being done in inner cities. Let’s rebuild instead of continuously expanding into previously uninhabited areas, destroying natural habitats along the way and then claiming that animals like deer are a public nuisance and need to be culled now that they are roaming the streets that used to be forests.
Insurance (medical): Obamacare has been an abomination, bowing to big pharma and insurance companies who wrote much of the legislation that had to be passed to find out what was inside (thanks, Nancy!). Obama was so determined to create this legacy for himself that he sold his soul to ram it through. I believe he had good intentions initially but he was all too willing to throw them by the wayside in order to get a deal done. He should have stood his ground on the single payer option and insisted on price controls for pharmaceuticals, for starters. Yes, I would actually support a single payer system. Instead, we got a half-assed deal that, while successful in getting more people covered by medical insurance than had been previously, failed in so many other ways as to negate that fact and more. Meanwhile the cost of medical insurance, hospital care and drugs keeps on going up much faster than the rate of inflation just like it did before. Sadly, I feel it would require too much time, effort and money to repeal the ACA and start over but let’s fix what’s broken!
Finally, an “E” for Education. Props to Biden for shooting down the loan forgiveness crap. But at the same time, what can be done to lessen the cost of a college education? I believe most Universities are top heavy. Let’s start by getting rid of half of the administrators and their bloated salaries. This, from the son of a former Dean of the Engineering school at CWRU, ha!
@chipgreen I don’t think I’ve said I’m a fan of AOC, but I do support a full investigation of what happened in nursing homes because of Cuomo and his administration. Until that investigation has occurred, I am going to be a Cuomo apologist. I’m sorry that anyone had to die, or have a relative die due to COVID-19, but I think that Cuomo is doing more to save residents from that fate than many state governors and federal folks from the last administration. Did Cuomo make mistakes early-on? I bet he did, due to lack of knowledge. Is it human nature to be embarrassed by mistakes and try to hide them, and even lash out at people who might uncover those mistakes? Yes it is. Has he worked hard since then? Yes he has. I want to know more, and see where the investigation goes before condemning Cuomo.
Time to talk substance! I’ll just pick a couple things.
First, why do you think a wall on the US-Mexico border is a good idea? We have far better technology using drones and remote sensing equipment to catch people coming across illegally. That approach is also far superior environmentally.
I also understand the appeal of “punishing” people who came here illegally. (More than most, I might add, since I’ve come here through proper processes.) But removing the ~11 million illegal immigrants from this country will have a whole lot of effects we don’t like, probably starting with a massive spike in food prices. I think the best solution out of a whole lot of suboptimal options is to legalize those here prior to the start of the Biden administration (as in the current bill) but only as far as getting permanent residency with the standard back-taxes/penalties/etc. I think citizenship should only be an option for the “dreamers”. IMO, that addresses reality while also not overly rewarding those who came here illegally.
I disagree with your characterisation of how the ACA came to be, but there’s no point in litigating that here. I did not see any specific issues you have with it aside from the lack of a public option or moving fully to single-payer. I agree a public option or moving to single-payer is the right answer.
Immigration: The assault on the capitol showed that physical barriers don’t work. As I said previously, I used to be considered conservative and I still object to spending $22 million per mile of wall even if I thought it might work (see article). Mexico stated right out the gate they wouldn’t pay for it, and didn’t, so who does? The American taxpayer, specifically out of funds intended for military counter-narcotics. IMO the wall is both a bad idea and poorly executed. I agree with you that there needs to be an easier path to legality if not citizenship, and I would add a guest worker program. I don’t see sending “them” back as a practical solution. I don’t like the privacy implications of identifying “them”, the potential costs of operating such an endeavor, the impacts on our economy as alluded to by @klezman, or stigmatizing ICE agents who have a legitimate function, by having them show up, sometimes in the middle of the night, to forcibly remove people from their homes or workplaces (see article). I also object to administrators like the acting director in 2017 quoted in the article who believes it is the agency’s mandate to instill fear.
Infrastructure: I agree with everything you said.
Insurance (medical): I have a problem labeling as an “abomination” a program that has provided access to healthcare to tens of millions of previously uninsured or uninsurable people. There are defects in the law which I would characterize as attempts to bring Republicans on board while Obama was still naïve enough to believe congressional Republicans were interested in anything more than obstruction. I would point out that from the passage of the ACA in 2010 to today there has never been a comprehensive plan from Republicans to replace it. Kill it, yes. Replace it, no. I agree with you that a form of single payer is a better solution, but back in 2010 it was a non-starter. My interpretation is that Obama decided to get his foot in the door and, as has happened, people would be satisfied (see article) and open to a more comprehensive solution down the road. As an aside, it was Bush II who pushed through the legislation that forbids Medicare from negotiating drug prices (see article) thereby contributing to the drug cost spiral.
Education: I agree with you both on loan forgiveness (with a caveat) and the exorbitant cost of college education. I was fortunate to get my kids through while it only outrageous . Politically, I don’t know how one legislates to predominantly private institutions concerning their org charts. Each of the states could of course mandate changes for their individual state-run colleges and universities, but I suspect that would result in migration of faculty (who are often also administrators) to states or private institutions with fewer restrictions. My unworkable proposal is to dissolve college athletics or limit their budgets including, no especially, coaches salaries, to what can be raised from outside sources, e.g., television, apparel, advertising, etc. BTW, the caveat is: If there is a way to make higher ed more affordable then folks who went through the system before those changes are implemented should get some kind of concession.
@chipgreen New Yorker here - Cuomo has always been terrible. His petty spats with deblahblah at the beginning of the pandemic caused extra confusion and probably death. His cover up and threats about nursing home revelations is scandalous. But the lack of support he received from the federal government, when they knew (see Trump’s interviews with Bob Woodward) covid was highly contagious and airborne is perhaps the only mitigating factor in how much I dislike Cuomo.
Cuomo is an arrogant and self aggrandizing pos. Publishing a book about his success in dealing with covid strikes me as extraordinarily egotistical. For all of that, covid hit the densest part of the country (from European travel, not China) first and, lacking control over interstate/international travel, knowledge and equipment, was set up to fail. Additionally, Trump was reportedly wanted blue states to suffer
Anyway, I’m not going to lose sleep if Cuomo goes to jail. F him.
The more I learn/read about Cuomo the more he seems like the “opposite side of the same coin” with Trump. Although Trump has him (and pretty much everyone) beat on the narcissism index, Cuomo doesn’t appear to be far behind. Writing a book bragging about his own leadership skills while still in the middle of a pandemic, the early stages of which he effed up bigtime? And the end was still nowhere in sight? Yeah, pat yourself on the back, Andy!
I am good with using other methods than a physical wall, especially if they are more efficient.
I am not in favor of actively looking for people to deport but when you run across them - hasta luego!
I do not agree with legalizing everyone who is here already but I could accept some sort of amnesty period where they can register and either get on a path to citizenship or a work visa or whatever, as long as they are going through the proper channels.
It looks like we may have more in common than previously thought.
This is just the type of common ground I wish our politicians would seek to find as a jumping off point to working together to get things done. But would opinion based news allow the entrenched masses to find it acceptable?
No moderates allowed!
Oh, the outrage of Dinos and Rinos! Prehistoric politics?
@chipgreen given your response, it sounds like we’re actually on basically the same page. I’m not sure the difference between providing a path to legal status compared to how you phrased it. Anything meeting what I described would necessitate implementing it basically how you described.
@chipgreen I don’t actually know the details of my home country’s immigration policies.
But a clear merit-based system obviously makes sense. The system in this country is crazy for a number of reasons. And having been though it myself I can attest to how utterly capricious it feels, even if you’re following the rules.
@chipgreen@klezman True story: My daughter (US citizen) got a masters degree in Canada. On the way in, Canadian immigration told her emphatically that she had a student visa and whenever she dropped out or graduated, she had to go back. After she graduated my wife and I drove up to collect her and on the way out the immigration officer asked her, sincerely I believe, “What, you’re not staying?”
Ironic that Cuomo’s nursing home deaths scandal has been overshadowed by his sexual harassment scandal(s). To me at least, the former is more egregious than the latter but it’s all about the “me too” movement these days.
@chipgreen clearly he’s a lovely guy.
My stance on harassment or assault claims has always been the same: listen to the accuser(s), investigate honestly and thoroughly, and take appropriate action. Jumping to “just believe” an accuser and stop there is just insane.
Any comments, especially from the right-leaning folks here, about Biden’s progress in getting vaccines into people? And the revelation that he brokered a deal between J&J and Merck to speed up production of the J&J vaccine and is using the Defense Production Act to speed this all up?
To my mind, this is what leadership on SARS-CoV-2 looks like. It’s also showing the best of what government can do to help people.
@klezman re: J&J and Merck…
They were already setting this up in January, just waiting for the approval to move forward. Common practice from what I’ve heard.
How is it that ‘what am I doing here?’ Biden assisted this?
Props to Biden for not hindering the ramped up production and props to Trump for having re-appropriated $10 billion along the way to keep “Operation Warp Speed” at warp speed. One of Trump’s greatest accomplishments IMHO and it’s good to see Biden take the ball and run with it.
@chipgreen@FritzCat the response from the incoming administration was that although operation warp speed may have helped speed along the vaccines’ development (and those involved have different opinions on that, from what I’ve read) the previous administration had precisely zero plans for actually getting vaccines into people. I honestly wish it had been otherwise because maybe I’d have a vaccine by now. But here we are.
@klezman@rjquillin the “Pfizer vaccine” is actually a partnership with BioNTech (because Pfizer didn’t do MRNA) and Oxford partnered with AstraZeneca (because Oxford couldn’t do manufacturing.) Even greedy healthcare companies occasionally prioritize well-being.
I think you’re asking two different questions. How long would it have taken to get a vaccine developed and approved without warp speed? Probably not much different because Moderna was already testing theirs within a few weeks after it was declared a pandemic. That’s the thing about RNA vaccines - quick to develop. My understanding is that where it helped was providing assurances and maybe funds for scaling up production.
How much longer or shorter to get vaccines in arms once approved? The evidence says warp speed did nothing on that front given there were zero distribution plans when Biden took office.
@chipgreen@FritzCat@klezman@rjquillin I guess I really don’t care if bureaucrats, luck or skill gets the credit for an FDA-approved vaccine 12 months from the emergence of a novel virus. We take it for granted now because it happened, but last year experts said that was impossible. I’m just not sure how much credit to give the guy who’s been there for 6 weeks.
What I will give Pres. Biden credit for is getting schools reopened ASAP. Must sound less reckless coming out of his mouth.
Yes, experts thought it was impossible because a RNA vaccine had never been done before. That has zero to do with any administration and everything to do with the scientists who’ve been working on it for the past 25-ish years. It also had to do with the logistics of a clinical trial having enough data to affirm safety. It’s “fortunate” that so many people got infected in the summer/fall around the world that we got safety and efficacy data far faster than expected. So I’m not really giving Biden any credit for getting the vaccine developed, nor am I giving Trump much credit for it. The thing I am giving Biden credit for is managing the logistics of distribution and actually getting vaccines into people’s arms. I’m also giving him credit for bringing Merck and J&J together in this deal. (Similarly to how I do give Trump credit for the Israel-UAE deal.)
As for schools, Trump wanted to just leave everything open and to hell with whoever got infected and died.* Biden actually wants to do things safely. A world of difference, imo.
Honestly, the pandemic was a chance for Trump to show he could put politics aside for even half a second, listen to the best available evidence, and lead an effort to minimize the effects of the pandemic. I truly wish he hadn’t failed so spectacularly on all counts.
Strange though, how both delayed announcing until just after the elections. Can’t give Trump any credit for cutting any red tape that helped development and production.
I’m not sure why you’re implying that releases of scientific data from Merck showing that its drug didn’t work and they were stopping development was somehow politically timed by it being on Jan 25. J&J doesn’t even enter into that since they’ve been working on getting their vaccine approved, which got through just last week.
Hard to believe, I guess, that not everything in this world is political?
The Trump administration’s cutting through red tape was at least as impressive as the speed with which vaccines were developed. Do you have any idea how long it usually takes to get FDA approval?
I know that any president would have minimized the requirements as Trump did. At least I sure as hell hope so. I think literally every regulatory agency around the world convened their expert panels to review the evidence as quickly as possible. To whatever extent Trump helped that happen with FDA: great! Emergency Use Authorization (the pathway it was approved) is not a new Trump creation, though. I think it’s been around for decades. (And yes, I know how long drug development usually takes, being a bioengineer. We had many classes discussing it in grad school. There’s a lot to discuss on that front.)
I’m willing to give Trump credit for things of value he did. I just happen to be of the opinion that most of what he “accomplished” on the policy front was a travesty rather than good. Obviously ymmv on that one! Even the things that were ostensibly “good”, like the tax bill, was a dud for us, raising our taxes by 5 figures.
I still don’t understand why conservatives still want to defend how Trump handled the virus. Yes, I give his administration credit for purchasing vaccine doses in advance to promote production, but I don’t see the speed of vaccine development and approval as being unique to his administration. Is the argument that an Obama or Biden administration would have slowed down the process? I just don’t buy that.
I personally think his handling of the virus cost him a 2nd term, and likely thousands of Americans their lives. Imagine if he actually told people how dangerous the virus was from the beginning instead of saying it was like a flu and would just disappear. Then there’s making mask wearing a political thing. Once scientists realized that masks were important, how many infections could have been prevented if he embraced and promoted wearing masks? On top of that, at the time when America had the highest rates of infections and deaths, his sole focus was himself and lying about a rigged/stolen election,
Some will just be unwilling to accept Trump did anything of value. Personality was not his greatest accomplishment, policy was.
I’ll give credit where credit is due. Here’s a quote from The Washington Post:
“He [Trump] launched Operation Warp Speed, the greatest public health achievement in history. Until now, the record for the fastest vaccine development was four years. Operation Warp Speed did it in nine months.”
I agree with Klez and his point about FDA emergency use authorization. Trump obviously didn’t implement that. Nonetheless, if the above quote is true and the fastest previous vaccine development was four years, then the nine month time frame for getting a Covid-19 vaccine is certainly impressive.
I’ll credit Trump and Operation Warp Speed for cutting through red tape, getting funding, and helping to speed up the process. However, he initially downplayed the virus and a lot of lives were lost as a result of that.
I think it’s just as (if not more) important to credit all of the researchers and all of the time they spent working around the clock in order to develop safe and effective vaccines as quickly as they did.
I still don’t understand why conservatives still want to defend how Trump handled the virus.
Personally, I was defending how he fast-tracked vaccine creation, which is not the same thing as how he handled the virus.
Imagine if he actually told people how dangerous the virus was from the beginning instead of saying it was like a flu and would just disappear.
Yes, imagine if he did. What would that level of fear have done to the American psyche? Suicides, overdoses, mental illness and domestic violence all would have likely risen even more than they have over the past year. The stock market may have crashed. Even more businesses would have failed. More people out of work. More people without adequate food. More hoarding of supplies. The list goes on and on.
I’m not saying that I think his approach was the right one but I am saying that overplaying the danger of COVID-19 might have been even worse than underplaying it. No matter who was in charge and no matter how they handled it, people would have been unhappy. It was pretty much a no-win situation.
Once scientists realized that masks were important, how many infections could have been prevented if he embraced and promoted wearing masks?
One of the things that makes me angry is the way the mask issue was addressed initially by health professionals, namely the CDC and also Dr. Fauci. They specifically told people not to buy or use masks. They knew full well that masks would help stop the spread of COVID. I remember having this discussion with my partner at work. They said almost immediately that it was an airborne disease spread through respiratory droplets, yet we were supposed to believe that washing hands and not touching our faces was the best way to prevent it? Oh, and immediately disrobe and wash all your clothes in hot water after returning home from work each day! And don’t touch the bottoms of your shoes, you could be carrying it around!
They also made it clear that there was a finite supply of masks and that they were needed by hospital staff and first responders, so you didn’t have to read between the lines too hard to figure it out. If the masks were not helpful in preventing the spread then why were they so critical for those on the front lines? Also, use some common sense - the virus is spread through the air in respiratory droplets. That means that you breathe them in. A mask could only help prevent that.
Yet, here they all were telling us not to use masks because they wouldn’t help prevent it. It was THE BIG LIE. And when you start out with a BIG LIE it’s a little harder to get people to trust you down the line.
While I agree with you that Trump should have promoted mask wearing once the CDC and Dr. Fauci finally admitted the truth to the American public, a lot of damage had already been done.
On top of that, at the time when America had the highest rates of infections and deaths, his sole focus was himself and lying about a rigged/stolen election,
I agree that Trump went off the rails there at the end. I guess that when the going gets tough, narcissists ultimately resort to narcissism.
Emphatically agree with this (but to be clear I don’t miss him)
and likely thousands of Americans their lives"
This is more questionable. I would like to point to the discussion of the differences between California’s and Florida’s health outcomes. The only point I’d like to make is that there is only so much elected officials can do when faced with a novel virus. We’d do well to acknowledge the uncertainty.
Yes, I give his administration credit for purchasing vaccine doses in advance to promote production, but I don’t see the speed of vaccine development and approval as being unique to his administration.
then the nine month time frame for getting a Covid-19 vaccine is certainly impressive.
Ridiculously impressive, yes. But even that misses 80% of it. The actual vaccine was in a phase 1 clinical trial 63 days after the viral genome was sequenced: March 16. (Note that Operation Warp Speed was announced on May 15, 2 months later. So let’s get our timelines straight here.) All because of 25+ years of research into using mRNA to deliver the antigen-creating material alongside novel ways to deliver it to cells in a way that makes vaccine development extremely rapid. That was the whole point, after all. Moderna and BioNTech both saw the emergent need for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and swiftly changed their development priorities to meet a global need. This is a great example of corporations doing the right thing and being nimble - I wish we saw it more often.
Yes, imagine if he did. What would that level of fear have done to the American psyche? Suicides, overdoses, mental illness and domestic violence all would have likely risen even more than they have over the past year. The stock market may have crashed. Even more businesses would have failed. More people out of work. More people without adequate food. More hoarding of supplies. The list goes on and on.
I wholeheartedly disagree with this assessment. There’s a very big difference between fear-mongering and being honest yet reassuring. Trump was the wrong guy for the job, to be sure, given his malignant narcissism, but he didn’t even try. Can you imagine the alternate world where Trump encouraged a nationwide lockdown for 3 weeks, coordinated a strategy to get everything opened back up, and (especially) kids back in school? He’d have been a hero for it, and I’d have been first in line to say so. That was about the only way to avoid the calamities you mention, which are most assuredly real.
One of the things that makes me angry is the way the mask issue was addressed initially by health professionals, namely the CDC and also Dr. Fauci. They specifically told people not to buy or use masks. They knew full well that masks would help stop the spread of COVID. I remember having this discussion with my partner at work.
I’m mildly annoyed at how this was handled by the pros, but much more filled with fiery rage about how Trump dealt with it, by turning it into a political issue. Remember, early on Trump basically said this was a “blue state problem” and we could all go suck on an egg.
Your work partner’s analysis of the situation was flat out wrong. Sorry. Masks serve a variety of functions, and there’s also a wide variety of ways a virus can spread by “respiratory droplet”. Early on in the pandemic, the initial assessment by all involved was that this virus was NOT airborne. In a scientific context, “airborne” specifically means via aerosol: viral particles are suspended in the air mixed with a water-based droplet AND that those droplets are small enough to stay airborne without falling to the floor AND that there’d be enough virus in them to infect somebody breathing them in. Early on in the pandemic we most certainly did not know that. It was initially assumed that it spread by larger respiratory droplets that do not form aerosols and fall onto surfaces. Much work was done in the scientific community to assess how true that was, leading to early recommendations that were proven wrong and also leading us to eventually conclude that this virus indeed does spread via aerosol. Depending on how much evidence you needed to be convinced, this was established some time between June and September. This article from August suggests significant disagreement remained at the time: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7413047/
Now that we’ve established the proper timeline and facts, I can put out my opinion that guidelines actually changed far too slowly to keep pace with the scientific discoveries. The early recommendations to wash your food and boxes when you received them was (imo) over the top and bordering on silly - but remember that at the time we also thought the fatality rate was around 5% and that it spread very easily via fomite (fomite = live virus on surfaces, usually as a result of respiratory droplets landing on them). So while the public health messages, imo, should have been far more measured and nuanced, they weren’t totally out of bounds. This is also where I agree with you, chip, that going overboard could have easily crossed the line into fear-mongering.
As for masks. That was always a tough one. If we were South Korea then this would never have been and issue because they had lots of masks. But this is the United States and mask supply was nowhere near enough to keep medical personnel sufficiently supplied. Remember the hoarding of canned food and toilet paper last spring? Medical masks and N95 masks were, in this country, always only intended for professional use, and supplies were set for that use. IMO, it was reasonable last March/April to tell the public to leave the masks for the pros - not just for protecting them from COVID but also for just daily use in surgeries and in professions where you’re exposed to shit in the air. Was it objectively right or wrong? I don’t know, and 20-20 hindsight provides a whole lot of bias in evaluating decisions made at the time.
While I agree with you that Trump should have promoted mask wearing once the CDC and Dr. Fauci finally admitted the truth to the American public, a lot of damage had already been done.
Not sure why you’re hating on Fauci. The guy is a dedicated public servant scientist. He was also muzzled by Trump, to the point where he was no longer allowed to speak his mind.
Even ignoring that, Fauci (and the rest of the scientific team) did a pretty good job of staying current with the science. There was no lie here. The established timeline of scientific progress (which was in itself extremely impressive) jibes pretty well with when the CDC teams changed their recommendations. If I’m missing something on these timelines, please feel free to correct the record.
This is more questionable. I would like to point to the discussion of the differences between California’s and Florida’s health outcomes. The only point I’d like to make is that there is only so much elected officials can do when faced with a novel virus. We’d do well to acknowledge the uncertainty.
I’m not sure comparing Florida to California (or any pair of states) is all that fair. California had a ton of early cases and then for a while was the model for the nation, keeping case rates low. Then transmission (possibly from new variants, we’ve since learned) jumped up and we regressed to the mean. I think more instructive comparisons are to other countries around the world. The biggest difference here is the (politically-based) rejection of basic public health measures that kept transmission rates high. The overall level of unhealthy people in the country also keeps our death rates high. So yes, there’s nothing any president could have done after the fact about the general level of comorbidities, and our death rates likely would be higher than much of the rest of the world, but we still have 5x the cases and deaths compared to our population. Why does the USA have 5x the cases than it should compared to its population?
Also with respect to Operation Warp Speed, turns out the BioNTech didn’t do anything with Operation Warp Speed aside from sell a bunch of doses to the USA last July.
So let’s please give credit where due, but not overstate or understate how much these programs affected their development.
And let’s also remember that Operation Warp Speed completely neglected to establish a delivery plan for the vaccines. I will give the Biden administration credit for getting that piece of the puzzle properly solved, although they had precisely nothing to do with getting the vaccines created/approved. The number of doses getting out to states/localities and the number actually making it into people’s arms is increasing weekly.
@kawichris650@rjquillin the 9 month thing isn’t as impressive when we pause to acknowledge the numerous vaccines created without ows funding were created in the same amount of time. It’s somewhat lucky that we were well equipped to sequence and vaccinate this type of virus.
for whatever reason it became political (like seemingly everything about 2016-2020.)
Yes, the “wet market” origin story has long been unlikely at best and discredited at worst. It does seem likely that it escaped from a lab, and there are certainly conspiracy theories out there that this was some sort of biological weapon (for which there is no evidence).
I care about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 for only one reason: what lessons can we learn to help make sure we can (a) be more prepared for the next one and (b) prevent the next one to the degree possible.
I read the article a couple days ago. I have always suspected it originated in that lab.
It is a political issue when China tries to cover it up and lies about it, as it spreads around the World and people are dying from it. Who knows how long they knew about it and what they did to those who tried to spread the news. We now know for a fact that it was in the US already in January 2020 at the latest. There is evidence that it may have already been here in November or December of 2019.
Deciding to not spend YOUR money on a company that doesn’t support your rights is Capitalism … both sides do it, just look at Chick Fil-a boycotts.
Cancel Culture is shutting down anyone that disagrees with you, usually by doxing your work and personal information. And yes, both sides can do it, it’s just that the Far Left is far more prevalent in doing it now, usually in the name of Diversity. Unable to see the irony of excluding others because they disagree.
@davirom@MarkDaSpark I vehemently disagree with holding people “responsible” for past offenses when those things were generally considered socially acceptable at the time. Times change as does acceptable behaviour. To the extent that “cancel culture” is a manifestation of that phenomenon I can’t stand it.
Having said that, it strikes me as a bit hypocritical for companies who are paying (in some sense) for their current positions via the free speech of others to cry foul. Perhaps this is just a time when the masses who disagree with some of the “acceptable” behaviours have decided to take a loud and public stance.
And let’s be clear - a random group, no matter how large, of people shouting on twitter doesn’t compel anything. If a corporation decides to act based on it then clearly they see it as a potential impact to their bottom line.
@canonizer@klezman@MarkDaSpark Of course, it depends on which side of the aisle one resides. Any number of actors, authors, and donors have been “canceled” (no more quotation marks) by one side or the other for their statements or behavior, often long after the acts or even after the person died. The left, it is said, is trying to cancel the entire state of Georgia because of its new voting law. The right, is trying to cancel MLB for moving the all star game out of Georgia and they think Dr. Seuss was cancelled for some drawings in books written 60 or more years ago (it is arguable whether this counts as cancellation as the overwhelming majority of Seuss’ work is unaffected). Several colleges or universities have taken names off of buildings after acknowledging the racist activities of the donor, UC Berkeley and Chapman College spring to mind. In 2017 the Democrats even returned money (!).
Anyway, I prefer LaVar Burton’s (of Star Trek and Reading Rainbow fame) take: When questioned by the View’s Meghan McCain about cancel culture, specifically referencing Dr. Seuss, he said he prefers the term “consequence culture”.
@davirom Of course, I believe what is occasionally called cancellation is frequently accountability. I know this sounds like I’m being facetious when I ask for evidence of someone being cancelled but I’m not. We cannot cancel States. Their existence and powers are Constitutionally enumerated. Likewise, ongoing business concerns can be boycotted, not cancelled. I’ve been told that Democrats want to cancel the Founding Fathers as if that was actually what the left wants or has any feasibility.
Was Louis CK cancelled? Maybe for about a minute but he seems to be doing fine.
Was Bill Cosby cancelled? No…he was charged for criminal behavior.
Was Bill O’Reilly cancelled after evidence of non disclosure agreements covering sexual misconduct surfaced? I mean kinda sorta maybe ehhhhhhh but you’re really walking a tightrope when it comes to something inside of an NDA eventually being disclosed.
@canonizer It seems the discrepancy is definitional. It seems to me that Bill Cosby was both convicted and cancelled, in that some folks now deny that he was ever funny or that it is somehow inappropriate to appreciate his talent. (Hmm, is Fat Albert body shaming?).
John Boalt donated the money to build the law school building at UC Berkeley and for about a century it was called Boalt Hall. Last year his name was removed due to in large part to his promotion of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Current administrators said Boalt’s actions and beliefs did not “. . . align with the university’s mission of fostering diversity and equal opportunity on campus.” Was he cancelled? Your call.
@davirom I think anyone arguing that we should not distance ourselves from a violent criminal is being disingenuous. I would say the same thing about the idea that we could cancel someone who has been dead for 120 years.
No one seems to be upset that we are removing the Sackler family’s name from public institutions. Where are their advocates?
it’s categorically silly to suggest that criminals or dead people can be cancelled. Calling BS.
@canonizer@davirom “Cancel Culture”, like other provocative cultural-political branding phrases has been widely misapplied. I first encountered it a few years back when students engaged in campaigns (sometimes violent) to prevent on-campus speeches or fire paid staff/faculty because they disagreed with their opinions. Once a phrase evolves past its original meaning, can it be misused?
@canonizer The goalposts seem to be shifting. “Categorically silly”, really? I believe the term “erasure” is also out there in the zeitgeist as a parallel concept. Instead of me guessing and you taking potshots, please set out the specific parameters you would require before allowing that cancellation is possible. Or just say you don’t think it is.
BTW, my original post was intended to draw a discussion about the distinction between individual and collective action with regard to a perceived offender, not the consequences of the action on the subject. That’s not the direction the thread took, so I accept that I was not clear.
I am indifferent as to whether there is or even possibly could be such things as cancellation or erasure as that was not my point.
I’m not totally sure where to start. Cancellation was a Black pop culture term. It has been extended in the rightwing culture war hyperbolically to describe thin skinned liberals’ desire to remove people/concepts/et al. It is not used by the left/democrats. So I would prefer it to be restricted closer to its conception, which would be a non-legal diminishing of status of community members.
The threat of cancellation feels largely manufactured as a way to drive a wedge into supposedly universally beloved pieces of Americana, ie “what will the left cancel next? Dr. Seuss*?!? Mr. Potato Head?!? Margaret Sanger?!? Et cetera?!?”
Erasure might be more accurate but philanthropy is frequently used as a tool of reputation laundering, certainly dating back much farther than Boalt. Is our reassessment, acknowledging that we do not want to honor proponents of racist legislation (or medical profiteering), an act of erasure or holistic understanding?
*fwiw, the Seuss estate withdrew a small portion of its catalog, which in modern internet parlance might be called a self-own but hardly cancellation. The books remain among the bestselling picture books.
@klezman Breaking a tiny rule, but what is systemic about racism, is that it has been capitalized upon by many people, for many years, without any real substantiation.
Just because it seems to be so pervasive, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is.
Many people don’t like nitwits; fine. If you are a run of the mill nitwit, that is understood, but if you are a black, yellow, red, or brown nitwit, then you are a racist for making them aware of being a nitwit. It isn’t about color, it is about being an individual that can be dealt with in a civilized manner, and having that person respond in kind.
The ‘chip on the shoulder’ crap is BS, and always has been, as has attempts toward making things ‘inclusive.’ If you are the best suited for a position, you get it, not as a matter of an artificial quota, but because you are the best. To do anything less is to really be racist, and give something to someone based upon the need to elevate someone not qualified, thus creating an artificial barrier to them ever being able to feel like they’ve accomplished something. I wouldn’t want a promotion on that basis, would you?
People can do just fine on their own, without some really racist handout. If racism is systemic, it is certainly at work in these kinds of policies.
Ah, so you’re in the camp of “racism isn’t a thing any more, ‘reverse racism’ is the real problem”. Oy.
Also, please familiarize yourself with the tomes of literature about unconscious bias. The paper that really struck me once upon a time was the one showing that rejection rates for identical resumes were substantially higher (I forget the exact amount) when the name at the top was stereotypically black vs white.
@CroutonOllie your post started off well enough. But you failed to substantiate any of your opinions and I haven’t seen any indication that my interpretation of your words was wrong. Of course, feel free to correct me if I misinterpreted what you wrote.
@CroutonOllie really not sure why you seem to be so full of vitriol. Again, I apologise if my comments are perceived as attacks.
While I may agree that there are substantive issues with affirmative action (which is what it seems you were talking about above), it is also categorically untrue that the best person for any given job always gets it. I wish it wasn’t the case. In my own hiring I’m sure I make mistakes due to unconscious bias, but the body decide can do is try to be objective while realizing our limitations as humans.
Problems with systemic racism are not just found in hiring practices. There have been many recently documented cases of black families being consistently lowballed on the appraisal of their home. One recent case reported a woman who, after getting two low appraisals, got the help of a friend to make it appear like her home was owned by a white family and the appraisal doubled.
@hershelk Yes, that is another good example. I wasn’t meaning to limit the discussion to hiring, but used it because it’s well documented and basically incontrovertible. The housing issue has many proof of principle examples but I’m not yet sure it’s gotten to the same level of proof. (But I suspect it will.)
Sorry, don’t come on much, but it should really about hiring the best, regardless of who they are.
If you are the best, you get it; if not, nope.
Chose people before, to move up, down, all around. My interest was in the job/mission, and not any artificial considerations.
At one time, these considerations needed to be parsed in a different manner, as access to education was a consideration, but not in critical areas. People deserve a brain surgeon, for example, that can function.
Just play it straight, and whatever way the cards fall, they fall.
@CroutonOllie@klezman. The problem is that due to both systemic and unconscious biases, the best are often not being hired or even given a proper chance. If you are less likely to interview someone with a black sounding name or only look to the “best” schools that many people of color can’t afford how can you be certain you are getting the best candidates to choose from. There are also many studies that show that a diverse workforce and in particular a diverse management leads to increased productivity. How do we factor that in?
OK, I’ll bring it up - the Israel-Palestinian conflict. I watch John Oliver all the time and he went on a screed against Israel this past week. While I haven’t always agreed with his opinion or the point of view he espouses, I’ve never before found any of his stories to be so ridiculously biased and slanted. I (sadly) expect that from most of the media here but I do expect better from people like Oliver.
@klezman I don’t find it much of an overstatement though I did not watch the rebuttal. I’m a Jewish person who has been to Israel a few times and have a great deal of family living there (some of whom in the Tel Aviv suburbs are earnestly working to oust Netanyahu). Israel has become a deeply racist place. No one really gives a shit about the Palestinians for more than lip service. This whole escapade gives Bibi a more entrenched hold on the country to avoid his/distract from his personal potential criminal liabilities.
I don’t even think it’s fair to call this a conflict. The Israeli military easily steamrolled Gaza (hot knife meet butter), they’ve misled the Western press to enable sweeps, and they’ve gone on a cleaning/fishing expedition has probably been the object of their dreams for years.
Hamas may be a terrorist organization but the options for Palestinians, particularly those in Gaza, suck. Israel has strategically occupied larger swaths of the West Bank and East Jerusalem to salt the ground of the long proposed 2 State solution. They are not an honest or fair partner in this exchange.
My thoughts (per usual) are probably unpopular here!
@canonizer I’m also Jewish, been to Israel several times, but don’t have any family there.
Well, I’m certainly no fan of Bibi. I think he’s terrible for Israel. I hope he’s ejected from the PM position and that he’s sent to jail if he’s convicted of his corruption charges.
I also agree it’s not unlikely that Bibi was hoping for a pretext to conduct a sweeping operation like he’s done here.
I don’t have enough on the ground data to know how racist Israeli society has become, but I will ask how one should view your neighbours when they want you to not exist and to be killed and deny your right to have a homeland.
Israel’s military superiority should be a huge reason why Hamas would avoid starting a conflict like this, knowing that the IDF can steamroll them. One might think Hamas would rather try to rally support against Israel more than they care about their citizens they are supposedly responsible for.
I don’t know how much the Israeli government (really, in this case, Bibi and his ultranationalist coalition partners) are trying to scuttle the possibility of a two state solution. It seems a possible fair reading of the developments of the last few years. It’s not like there haven’t been multiple very good offers in the past. If only Arafat had actually been an honest partner and not a scumbag who stole from his people to live a lavish lifestyle rather than solving their problems like he said he would.
I don’t care if your thoughts and opinions are popular or not! I care if they’re based in reality and in having a thought provoking discussion!
I am strongly opposed to the settlers forcing people out of the homes they have lived in for generations. But also, don’t poke the bear. I believe the Palestinians and/or Hamas are willing to sacrifice lives in order to make Israel look bad. They know they are going to lose 10:1 in casualties, it has been that way for as long as I can remember. Losing that badly in these skirmishes almost seems to be part of their strategy to garner sympathy. Unfortunately, Palestinian civilians are pawns in this deadly chess match.
I certainly don’t blame Israel for the unbalance of military might but they do need to exercise that might judiciously (especially if they are going to proclaim themselves as having “the most moral army in the World”), which does not include bombing apartment buildings. But mostly, I really really wish they would stop with this settler business.
@canonizer You mean like when Israel forcibly removed all Israeli settlers in Gaza in 2005? Without a peace deal like they got with Egypt? And we see what terrorism that has gotten Israel with Hamas taking over there.
They know they are going to lose 10:1 in casualties, it has been that way for as long as I can remember. Losing that badly in these skirmishes almost seems to be part of their strategy to garner sympathy. Unfortunately, Palestinian civilians are pawns in this deadly chess match.
Yes, and this is exactly why Hamas should never be referred to as a “militant group” because they are a terrorist group. Their own citizens are equally the victims as are the Israelis.
@klezman Wait, other than settlers vacating territory I’m not sure I understand the similarities to ceding the Sinai to Egypt. Israel continued to maintain control over Gaza and wedged the issue between Palestinians in Gaza from those in the West Bank, who had to calculate whether they were better off in the occupied territory than cut adrift.
@canonizer Israel doesn’t control Gaza in the way that most people would understand that term. They do enforce a rather strict blockade at the border, though, to try to keep weapons out. And don’t forget, Gaza shares a border with Egypt as well.
@chipgreen@klezman i wouldn’t trust Stephens to tell me the time of day or current weather. He is precisely one of the people who has conflated any stance against Israel with antisemitism, all while slow walking any discussion of climate change under the guise of reasonableness. He is the new Tom Friedman of bad takes.
How about just stop placing any new settlers. Then they don’t have to worry about what might happen if they remove them all at once in the future, creating a sudden void of which an opportunistic Hamas can take advantage.
@chipgreen@klezman Friedman’s aggressiveness has moderated significantly in the last decade. That’s a fairly wide-ranging and self-congratulatory appeal but it largely conforms with my (not particularly unique/brilliant) opinion that these conflicts help entrench bad political actors. The electorate gravitates towards status quo in these moments being told that riding out a “war” is better than changing horses mid race.
In any event, Stephens has certainly displaced Friedman as the object of my derision at the Times.
@canonizer@chipgreen I dunno. I don’t agree with him on that many things, but he does bring a different point of view from mine. He’s extraordinarily educated on the Israel-Palestinian conflict based on his columns and on interviews I’ve seen with him.
Take this column exploring what would happen if Israel aceded to the left’s demands: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/17/opinion/israel-palestine-gaza.html
And remember that I’m generally left-centre in this country.
@klezman I’m not sure what there is to respond to. He is basically propaganda for Bibi’s fearmongering. Either Israel needs to enfranchise those living within its borders or it should cede the territory. I’m not going to treat his hypothetical worst case of what will happen if liberals get their wish as gospel.
Do we pay perhaps too much attention to Israel? Maybe yes. Is that an excuse for how Palestinians are treated in land Israel controls? Uh, no.
Sorry for the paywall links, Chip, but if it makes you feel at ease I know a number of people who let their subscriptions lapse after the times hired Bretb climate change denying Stephens.
@klezman@canonizer@chipgreen I’ve been taking a break from the news and politics lately, but felt drawn into this conversation. I am Jewish with family all over Israel and I usually get there about every 2 years.
The problem in Israel is a real lack of leadership on all sides. On one hand, you have Hamas, an Iranian funded terrorist organization, that instead of trying to protect the population of Gaza by maybe building bomb shelters or improving their water system, spend all their efforts towards the destruction of Israel by building tunnels to store munitions under schools and hospitals and indiscriminately sending rockets into Israeli neighborhoods. On another hand you have the Palestinian Authority in the west bank that that doesn’t recognize Israel and is working with Arab nations to keep the conflict going for self important reasons. On the third hand you have Israel under Bibi who doesn’t understand anything but strength and Jews only. His administration’s treatment of Israeli Arabs has made enemies out of allies. His over the top show of force might shore up his right wing support but loses most of the rest of the world. He uses fear to stay in power. Regrettably the Palestinians and Israelis (both Arab and Jewish) are caught in the middle.
After Trump, the US is not looked on as an unbiased mediator in any middle east negotiations (unless we are selling weapons). The Abraham Accords, to me, may be the only way out of this. There needs to be a powerful Arab mediator to find a solution. Currently afraid of Iran (and its growing nuclear capability), it would be good for Saudi Arabia to step in and agree to join the Accords if they can hammer out an agreement. If they can make it look like a win for the Palestinians they might be able to sell it to their citizens. SA might have the power to force some compromises by creating a market for Israeli goods and putting money for development into the west bank. Gaza is harder since Hamas marching orders come from Iran, but if economic progress is perceived in the west bank perhaps Hamas will lose in Gaza. It’s a rose colored glasses view, but who knows.
@canonizer I’m certainly not taking his thoughts as gospel. His columns do what good columns do - give me something to think about from another perspective. That’s all. As I said, I disagree with him (and most other columnists) much of the time.
You should remember, though, Israel did cede Gaza 16 years ago and look what’s happened there. Hamas took over almost immediately.
Note that you’re also assigning an argument to me (i.e. Israel can treat Palestinians however it wants) that I haven’t made. I’ve solely been arguing (or reminding, ideally) that Hamas is a terrorist organization that’s sole mission is to kill Jews. This is not equivalent in any way to racism in the United States and any attempts to draw false equivalences does a disservice to everybody involved.
@klezman I guess my point with Stephens is that I’ve found him consistently hawkish and (imho) anti-Muslim.
Sorry for anything aggressive on my end. I’m pessimistic about Israel’s chances these days because I think ultimately they’ve made the 2 State solution untenable, especially with Palestinians more isolated following the Abraham Accords.
@canonizer I’m rather pessimistic also. Getting rid of Bibi is the first step. That’s why I found Friedman’s analysis so insightful. It’s completely not crazy that Bibi provoked this to stay in power just as the other political parties were preparing to finalize a coalition that would include (for the first time) Arab parties in the government. But Bibi prevailed again, at least for now. It makes me so angry because I agree he’s the worst leader for Israel’s long term viability.
Also, what on earth is wrong with 44 of the Republican senators? We can’t have an independent commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection?! I hate to say it, but this version of the Republican Party just doesn’t care about democracy any more. They need to go.
But this country needs two (I’d argue at least 4 would be better, though) strong and healthy political parties, so where will a sane right-leaning party come from?
Yes, this is coming from the same party that investigated the attack on our Benghazi compound for 4 years. An attack on a US facility in a foreign country that resulted in 1 American death. But an attack on the US Capitol that resulted in 5 American deaths doesn’t need to be investigated because they fear they may upset their orange king and his loyal followers. I believe in many conservative principles but I will have to tolerate Democrats desire to give everything to everyone, because there is no way I can support a party that continues to stand by Donald Trump and his approach to politics, nor a party that uses a lie about voting security to make voting more difficult.
@dirtdoctor@klezman Mitch is consistently willing to put his own body on the train tracks. He knows that a commission will be bad for Republicans - Brooks, Hawley, Cruz, Gohmert and others were at the rally. There are allegations that some members of congress entertained insurrectionists in the Cap the day before. So blocking the commission avoids an extending examination that could cast a pall over '22, which bodes well for him.
If Republicans somehow obtain a senate supermajority, they will cast aside the filibuster before anyone is able to blink.
@klezman@dirtdoctor@canonizer there will still be a commission that will investigate the attack, but now Republicans can just sit back and call it a partisan witch hunt since they are not participating. The hypocrisy will be incredible but pandering to their base. A few Republicans who voted for it might even join in. Hopefully the factual outcome will be strong enough to lead to actual criminal charges. Unlike when Trump was president people won’t be able to ignore subpoenas without repercussion.
@CroutonOllie so the National security experts who call it an insurrection are wrong? And the 400+ people who’ve been charged who claim they were acting on Donald Trump’s orders to subvert the government… What about them?
@CroutonOllie numerous news reports about the number of people (and some specific people) charged in the insurrection. Google will happily direct you there. I didn’t think something so widely reported needed references.
Once the domain of graduate schools, critical race theory is an intellectual tradition that emerged in the 1970s that sought to interrogate how the law produces and maintains racial hierarchy.
“It’s a way of looking at why after so many decades — centuries, actually — since the emancipation we have patterns of inequality that are enduring,” Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law professor at U.C.L.A. and Columbia who played a leading role in developing the discipline, said last month. “They are stubborn. And the point of critical race theory originally was to think and talk about how law contributed to the subordinate status of African Americans, of Indigenous people and of an entire group of people who were coming to our shores from Asia.”
Critical race theorists tend to share several key assumptions, as Janel George, a law professor at Georgetown, explains at the American Bar Association website:
-Race is not a biological fact but a social construction.
-Racism is not aberrational but an inherited, ordinary feature of society.
-Racial hierarchy is primarily the product of systems, not individual prejudice.
-Racial progress is accommodated only to the extent that it converges with the interests of white people.
-Lived experience, not just data, constitutes relevant evidence to scholarship.
honestly sure what is deafening about the silence. The conservative half of this element tired of being scolded for Trump’s behavior because he adopted a largely uniform republican platform, which consisted mostly of lowering taxes, supporting Netanyahu and (ok, I’m a terrible comedian) imprisoning Black people.
Biden is attempting to do fairly benign things like govern the country, while being called a left wing socialist by my pillow guy and fox news, and the whole world has become a good deal more pleasantly boring without careening from scandal to ostracized ally to medical misinformation about bleach injections.
I’m pretty happy to have of that type of news. I wish the deck wasn’t stacked against democrats for future elections.
@klezman@losthighwayz OK, I’ll chime in too. It’s pretty clear that People of Color have been getting the shaft for hundreds of years here in the good ol’ USofA. And there are a lot of people who want to keep it that way…particularly the rich white guys and the stupid white guys…and probably, to some extent, the rest of us white guys, and those who think of themselves as white guys. Perhaps it’s time for a new paradigm.
@losthighwayz Yeah, I agree with @canonizer here. I didn’t necessarily expect a nuanced conversation to break out, but would have been pleased if one did. There’s so much less to argue about with Trump out of office, which is quite nice. Boring news cycles are the best!
And @FritzCat, I think you’re in this boat as well iirc, but being Jewish these days is proof-positive that race is a social construct. We’re white when people want to vilify us and “other” when people want to exclude us. And antisemitism today is truly terrifying.
@FritzCat@klezman thanks for posting this. You said it better than I ever would. America is changing and looking at our country’s history through the eyes of a white man, Republican, Democrat, or whatever political views needs to change. The truth is people are afraid of change and what better way to avoid change than continuing to promote old views/ historical interpretations while silencing or ignoring new ones.
@CroutonOllie I’m sorry but I’m missing the part where you addressed the thread… At least beyond saying you think there’s money to be made in racism. Obviously there is, since that’s a good chunk of Fox News and friends’ business.
And the Constitution is explicitly racist… Just saying…
@CroutonOllie the 3/5th compromise? And sexist too, at least until the passage of the 14th amendment. But the nation’s founding documents are racist and sexist. And it’s taken until very recently to treat gay people equally. Need I go on?
@CroutonOllie What on earth are you talking about? “Obscurities”? “Crying tears”? The 3/5ths compromise is far from obscure. The concept of citizenship barely applied beyond white men with property when the constitution was adopted. Sure, there’s been progress, but by no means does this country provide equality or even equal opportunity despite the lofty goals to do so.
I keep thinking you have some sort of larger point to articulate behind your vague an generally unexplained statements. I’m happy to have a proper conversation but you have to actually explain the points you’re trying to get across.
Finally, a statement in this thread that I can agree with.
One half is true, and the other half is a matter of opinion, which we are all entitled to.
As for the Constitution, it is the best guarantor of our freedoms that we could have.
Not only does it state what principles we were founded upon, it spells out the rights that you have with regards to the government under law. The fact that it is ammendable is a strength, not a weakness, and while some interpretations may be a little off, they are correctable. It even provides for remedy, in instances where local law might abridge your freedoms, and makes for their removal. Without it, might could be the element that makes things right, and many voices would find themselves without representation of any kind.
Perfect, no, it wasn’t meant to cover everything, but if you have a problem with it, it is likely due to the implementation of the concepts found within it, and not the document itself.
It also must be remembered that the same rights that you have, every other individual has, too, so if you’re looking for special consideration, the Constitution is not the place to look for it.
Just my 2 cents worth, and a bit more on track than I was the other evening.
Why don’t conservatives respond? Because we’re tired of your opinions stated as facts. The other issue that continues throughout “Liberal” bias is that only White people are biased and have privilege.
Just reread the BS you quoted:
-Race is not a biological fact but a social construction.
-Racism is not aberrational but an inherited, ordinary feature of society.
-Racial hierarchy is primarily the product of systems, not individual prejudice.
-Racial progress is accommodated only to the extent that it converges with the interests of white people.
Um, Race is Science, so yes, it is a biological fact.
Racism is inherited? ROFLMAO! Please point out the Racism “Gene” … No? Because there isn’t one. It’s a environmental/learned issue. And not just among Whites.
Etc., etc., etc.
CRT is actually Racist itself, basically saying that POC can’t do anything themselves, which is basically the Democrats platform. Summed up by Biden on the radio show ‘The Breakfast Club’: "Biden replied. ‘Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.’ "
I, for one, didn’t say the constitution is terrible and I actually didn’t say anything bad about it. I simply noted that as a fact of history, it is a racist document. It certainly lays out some grand statements/aspirations but it has racism baked into the text. To argue otherwise is to deny reality.
That isn’t to say I disagree with many of your other points, because the constitution should be the protector of our rights. I have some very serious misgivings as to how that’s been interpreted in recent years, but I agree that is what the constitution is supposed to do.
Hey Sparky…nice to see you! Hope to see you in person, when these sorts of debates tend to be more friendly
I will note that I did not offer that article along with an endorsement of critical race theory. I simply posted it without comment for those looking to better understand what it is. Seeing as how it’s an academic discipline that’s 50 years old, it seemed kind of important that we were at least talking about the same thing. I’m not going to address your political points about critical race theory because I don’t have any well founded opinions on the subject, except to say that I seriously doubt it preaches the idea that black people are inferior and/or incapable. I’m not going to debate it via meme or tweet, though, as a topic as weighty as this deserves more thoughtful discourse.
Um, Race is Science, so yes, it is a biological fact.
Please clarify. What science are you referring to, specifically? Also, please define “race”.
Racism is inherited? ROFLMAO! Please point out the Racism “Gene” … No? Because there isn’t one. It’s a environmental/learned issue. And not just among Whites.
You invoke this argument, which I agree with, but it actually contradicts your prior statement that race is biology. Race and racism are social constructs, meaning that they are learned behaviours and paradigms and that nothing genetic drives them. And nowhere did I state that racism was the sole province of one racial or ethnic group - far from it.
Hey Mark, No one is suggesting that only white people have privilege - there are many privileges (education, access, wealth, etc). White people are treated more kindly by all metrics (wealth, education, life expectancy, prison sentencing). Why shouldn’t we treat everyone as well?
My understanding is that the popular thing for the last 5-10 years in Conservative circles is to blame Democrats solely for the wealth gap between Black people and whites, beginning with Roosevelt or Truman or Kennedy/Johnson, not slavery, oppression or institutionalized racism benefiting whites of all political stripes.
If we can hopefully very easily agree that all humans are equally capable, I do not have any ideas for the unequal outcomes other than pervasive strain of racism rooted in our legal systems and bureaucracies. (Is it still de rigueur to fault Democrats’ “coddling” of Black people, not any problems with our meritocracy, per the intellectual giant Dinesh D’souza’s wise proclamations, for these gaps?)
CRT appears to me to be the latest boogeyman of the right. Last year it was Cancel Culture. The year before it was who knows. Decades ago it was Political Correctness. The idea that CRT, a graduate framework for studying history, is a persistent monster rearing its head in K-12 education is fantasy. The idea that more than the smallest fraction of people inveighing against CRT have read any of the academic work, as opposed to just reading about it, is equally fantastic.
@CroutonOllie@klezman I very rarely post here anymore, and I am generally relatively moderate politically.
I have a very very hard time seeing the Constitution as racist or sexist. That it was interpreted in a way that today would be considered as racist or sexist is probably obvious, but the document itself? I just don’t see it.
In no place does the US Constitution say that rights are only held by men and not women, or white people and not people of color. The US Constitution refers to “people” and “persons” and “citizens” and nowhere refers to “men” or “women.” It is a gender-neutral document. The closest you get to this is the 19th Amendment, which is again gender neutral, and says
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
I’m sure there may have been various state constitutions that defined voting eligibility or other rights as requiring a certain sex or gender, and surely various administrative and Federal code as well. But the US Constitution? It didn’t. It is actually remarkably silent and neutral on the matter of sex and gender. I don’t know how you can with a straight face say that the US Constitution itself is sexist given this.
As far as racism goes, of course you will point to the three-fifths compromise. But if you look at it, there is nothing in it that speaks specifically to race, outside of a reference to ‘untaxed Indians’:
“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”
Of course those not included in the number of free persons or untaxed Indians were essentially the slave population of the South, and that population was overwhelmingly black. But that said, consider also that NONE OF THE DRAFTERS of the Constitution actually thought that a slave was 60% of a person; the compromise was about balancing the representative power of southern states against northern states. As an aside, the least racist and most pro-abolitionist position taken was that slaves should count for ZERO of a state’s population (i.e. if you want to increase your state’s population and thereby increase your relative representative power in Congress, then you can free your slaves, and only then can you count them towards your population). The slave-holding Southern states wanted slaves to count as a full person in terms of population. It was the abolitionist Northern states that pushed that number down.
Anyways, the canard that the US Constitution is itself sexist is irritating and flatly untrue. It is gender/sex neutral both on its face and in its effect, and somewhat remarkably so given the time and mores surrounding its drafting. And it is far less ‘racist’ than many now claim (if you want to see racism in a founding document, you need turn no further back than to the Declaration of Independence itself, with its description of “merciless Indian Savages”).
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of reading these documents yourself before you pass moral and ethical judgements on them. To do otherwise is to state the (often mistaken) opinions of others as unquestionable fact.
@jawlz Thanks for stopping by and providing a nuanced and useful perspective. These are the kinds of discussions I always hope to have here but (sadly) rarely happen.
You raise some good points about the text of the constitution. Obviously it’s true that race and sex were not directly spoken about in disparaging ways that many (myself, somewhat unwittingly, included) allow our words to imply. FWIW, I’ve read the whole thing many times, but not all of what you say was obvious to me.
My only issue with your argument about the racism and sexism inherent in the document is that the words when used at the time clearly meant “men” and more often “white men who owned property”. The founders obviously were aware that most states at the time severely restricted voting, yet in the constitution did nothing to remove it.
I’d never thought about how the 3/5ths compromise would have been argued at the time, and it’s a good point that an abolitionist point of view required that slaves be counted as zero people for the purposes of apportioning congressional power.
Even if I agree completely with your thesis (I’m part way there, but not all the way) it still is clear that the constitution did little to advance equality until the 14th and 19th amendments. I mean, women still had to have a man co-sign a credit application until, when, the 1970s? The Supreme Court, even today, basically said that racist voting laws are constitutional as long as the legislature that passed said law could claim some sort of neutral principle behind the law.
So if the constitution isn’t a racist/sexist document in itself (which I am now inclined to agree with) it sure leaves a lot to be desired in the realm of guaranteeing equality.
@CroutonOllie Why are you interested in the responses? If the constitution were a perfect document it would not require so much work and mysticism (like “textualism” or “originalism”) to interpret, let alone substantial amendment.
People who proclaim to be constitutionally faithful happily ignore inconvenient punctuation, as well as the specific dates of elections and transfers of power.
OK, here’s a long transcript from a podcast called “The Argument” from the NY Times. The introduction (which I’ve read) is in this post and I’ll put the rest (which I haven’t yet) below. I hope this provokes some good discussion here!
What Are States Really Banning When They Ban Critical Race Theory in Classrooms?
Are students being taught that the United States is racist? Should they be?
Wednesday, August 18th, 2021
Today on The Argument is critical race theory being taught to your kids? Better question, should it be?
If you turn on cable news, there’s a good chance you’ll catch a segment on the biggest issue said to be threatening students these days — not COVID, nor unequal facilities, or guns, but critical race theory.
It’s the academic theory that race and racism aren’t just about individual actors and actions. Critical race theory looks at the inner workings of bigger structures that foment and maintain gaps between different racial groups. In short, racism isn’t always burning crosses and using racial slurs. It’s a normalized, systemic effort. Critical race theory got its start in the world of law. But as the story seems to go, it migrated to workplaces, the defense industry, and finally, to schools — but did it?
I’m Jane Coaston, and you’ve probably heard a lot of people arguing about critical race theory in schools — either that a kid reading about the story of Ruby Bridges is being exposed to the dangerous theories of critical race theory, or that critical race theory isn’t being used in schools at all. But my take is maybe one you haven’t heard. I think it would be pretty OK if people used critical race theory to talk about race and racism in schools, but based on some of the lesson plans I’m hearing about, that seems to be more about making white people feel bad than removing structural barriers to equal opportunity. I don’t think that’s what’s happening. One of the most prominent voices against so-called critical race theory in education is Chris Rufo. He first mentioned the idea on Tucker Carlson almost a year ago. Now, one of his main jobs is leading the charge against critical race theory. He’s a senior fellow and director of the Initiative on Critical Race Theory at the Manhattan Institute. And he’s one of my guests today. My other guest Rick Banks, researches race and law, and strongly disagrees with Chris — and maybe with me. He’s a law professor and co-founder and faculty director of the Stanford Center for Racial Justice. I think we’re going to have some disagreements on this episode.
Chris Rufo and Professor Banks, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate it.
It’s great to be with you.
It’s a pleasure, I’ve been looking forward to it.
Excellent, I have also. So Rick, I want to start with you. What is critical race theory?
Well, the idea of critical race theory has mutated, so that now I’m not sure what it means. Critical race theory as I know it originated within the legal academy, among law professors in particular. And more specifically, Derrick Bell was a central figure in the development of critical race theory. And what critical race theory was was a response to what we can describe as the failures of civil rights reforms. In other words, it was an attempt to answer the question of — once we’ve ended slavery and we had Reconstruction, and then we had a Civil Rights Era, and then we passed a lot of legislation, and then the Supreme Court invalidated segregation — once we had all of that happen, why did racial equality not result? And so critical race theory is a way to answer that question. And it answers that question by reference to the centrality of race in the formulation of law and in the effects of laws. A really simple way to think about this question is to — say, if the Supreme Court invalidated de jure segregation in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, how is it that a full decade later, the Black kids were still in segregated schools? Critical race theory attempts to answer that question. The debate that we’re having now in society, I don’t really see it as about critical race theory per se. We have laws that are being passed that prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in elementary schools or middle schools or high schools, but I’ve never encountered — as a parent of three children, I’ve never encountered critical race theory being taught in elementary or middle school, or high school, even. So that’s not really about critical race theory. That’s kind of really a broader question about how do we want to teach about and think about race in American society.
Which we are going to get to. Chris, what was the origin of your concern about critical race theory — because when I first heard of you, it was because you went to the White House under the Trump administration and attended meetings. And you tweeted about how critical race theory was the focus. And in the New Yorker profile that you had, you said that critical race theory is the perfect villain, because its connotations are negative to most middle class Americans. It’s academic, divisive, poisonous, elitist, and anti-American. So where did — how did you get into this, and where did that come from?
Well, I think first we should take a step back. And I think there are really two critical race theories we’re talking about. Professor Banks outlines, really, the idea of critical race theory in the legal academy in 1989. But critical race theory is a critical theory, which means that it operates dialectically, which means that it’s constantly changing and mutating and progressing. And critical race theory — although, absolutely, it started at Harvard Law School, at other elite legal institutions, has moved dialectically and extended its territory. You can even read in Critical Race Theory: An Introduction that the critical race theories themselves say in many ways they’ve been more successful in implementing their ideas in the educational system than in the legal system. There’s now a huge body of evidence — critical pedagogy, culturally responsive teaching, et cetera. There are these massive, 400 page textbooks called things like Critical Race Theory And Education where they’re taking the ideas and the theories. And then, like all critical theories, applying them through the praxis, or practice, to education. And even just down the street from Professor Banks in Cupertino, California, not too far from Stanford Law School, they were teaching intersectionality, which is a key component of critical race theory, to third graders, forcing them to deconstruct their racial identities. In class, according to their, quote, power and privilege. This is —
I want to jump in very quickly. I would say that critical race theory has shifted and changed, because I think that that is what a theory would do in response to new ideas and new evidence. I spoke with Kimberle Crenshaw, a couple of years ago. She’s the person who came up with the concept of intersectionality as part of critical race theory. And it basically argues that people’s identities intersect — for instance, I am a Black woman, so I experience the experiences of being Black, but also the experiences of being a woman and the culmination of that is that I have experiences that my dad might not have as a Black man and my mom might not have as a white woman. Kimberle Crenshaw wrote a paper at the University of Chicago in the late 1980s. And when I’ve had folks who disagree with intersectionality as it’s practiced read that paper, they’re like, well, that seems sensible. And it seems to me, Chris, that what you’re saying, in some ways — and I don’t want to put words in your mouth — is that there is the critical race theory that’s the legal academy that Rick just brought up. And then there is critical race theory, the practice that you see in schools. Is that what you’re saying? I just want to be clear here.
Yeah, I think that’s right. I mean, the summary that Rick laid out I think was accurate in my reading. I think those are all really valuable questions. I think those are really key questions. But as you’ve said the, critical race praxis, the component of the critical theory that is supposed to be applied — and you have to remember that a critical theory is distinguished from a traditional theory, because its goal is not merely to observe the world to reveal the truth, but to actually change the world. Therefore, you have to measure it not only in abstract terms in academic terms, but you actually have to look — well, what is it doing to society? What is it doing in classrooms? What is its impact in practice? And the reason I’m bringing up the example in Cupertino, for example, is really to say it’s not only false that critical race theory hasn’t made its way into classrooms. I have dozens of stories about it. So I think we need to come up with — either we debate them separately, we talk about them separately, or we talk about them together. But the idea that critical race theory isn’t in schools. I think is a myth and not supported by the evidence.
But I do want to note kids exist in a context. They are aware that they are going to school, probably — either with kids who look very different from them or in a lot of schools in America, still, with kids who very much look exactly the same as they do. And they may go to one school while all the white kids go to this different school, and they’re curious as to why that is. Maybe the question is not necessarily — here are some bad ways to talk about this, but is there a better way to talk about this?
Obviously, yeah, I think there is a better way, but I think that there’s another kind of bait and switch that I’ve seen over and over and over from educators, where you come up with an example like forcing third graders to deconstruct their racial identities, or forcing middle school teachers in Springfield, Missouri to locate themselves on an oppression matrix. And then there’s people who say, well, that’s not real critical race theory. Real critical race theory has never been tried. And yet, there’s evidence that is accumulating day by day that when these ideas are applied, they end up with these awful practices that I think all three of us agree should not be in the classroom. So the question — what I think of as critical race theory is not to measure it in the abstract, not to say, well, are the abstract ideas good or bad? We can have a formal debate. But actually, I think the obligation, especially in a school setting, is to measure its success by its practical outcomes. And I don’t think that you can separate them. And then whenever I bring up the actual specifics that happen, people back away. My argument would be simply if something is producing negative outcomes or poor practices, maybe the problem is in the theory itself. Maybe the theory that yields bad outcomes is the source of those bad outcomes.
But there are different strands to this discussion of race in the classroom right. And one strand focuses on identity, and is kind of obsessed with people’s individual identities, and intersectionality, and oppression matrices. And I’m not in favor of all of that generally in the classroom, especially for young people. But there’s another strand, which just focuses on our ability to tell the truth about American society both past and present. And there, the question is whether the prior situation, where we don’t talk about race, whether there are harms that have resulted from that — and I would suggest that there are. And even in my own life, for example, and I say this as a law professor now — I was taught as a child that the Civil War wasn’t really about slavery. It was about other stuff. It was about states’ rights. And then you flash forward 30 years later, my son is in elementary school in liberal, progressive California. And he’s taught about the end of slavery, and Abraham Lincoln as the Great Emancipator, and it was such a wonderful thing. And then he’s taught about the Civil Rights era. And he raised a question in his class — well, what happened between slavery and the Civil Rights era. Like, why didn’t ending slavery solve all the problems? And the teacher had omitted mention of lynching, omitted mention of the racial terrorism that actually has shaped the history of our family. And none of that appeared in the curriculum. So that’s the sort of thing that is, I think, much more common than the examples you’re giving, that we have this willful blindness to aspects of history that are uncomfortable, and that undermines our ability to recognize the challenges that we face in a society. Because we continue to reside within this sort of happy story about progress and freedom and equality and liberty, and to not recognize some of the complications of the story. And ultimately, it actually undermines the goals of education, because what we need children to most take from their schooling is the ability to be critical thinkers — right, and they can’t be critical thinkers if we are systematically shielding them from some of the unhappy parts of the story.
I would make two points. I mean, first, I started my kind of public school education in the late 1980s, and then moved forward from there — K through 12 public schools in California. I learned all about the history of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, Native American genocide, the Black Codes, et cetera. And I think that’s important. I think that’s foundational. You have to be taking an honest look at history, a hard look at history, including those enormous injustices. I think that’s probably pretty standard. I think if you looked at the K through 12 school curriculum today in 2021 that you would find all of those as part of the history. I think that’s good. But you can do that without critical race theory. I think there’s another mutation in the rhetoric where when people say we don’t like intersectionality, we don’t like deconstructing identities, all of those buzzwords that seem to be creeping into the public education system — we just want to teach honest history. And I think that those are separate things. For example, I had what I think is a kind of comprehensive history of racial injustice in American public schools without critical race theory.
You had an extraordinary education, because I’ve taught law students here at Stanford Law School who are flabbergasted to learn that racially restrictive covenants were used in Northern California to restrict who could live where. Students arrived at law school and they are unaware of these very basic legal devices — racially restrictive covenants, which typically would bar entry to certain races. And this has shaped our entire nation. And most people actually don’t know about that. So it’s — I find it hard to believe that they’re being taught about that in high school.
Are there people advocating very strongly for critical race theory to be taught in schools, or is it mostly people advocating against it?
Well, I think there’s both. The people who are advocating very strongly for critical race theory in K through 12 education are teachers’ unions. The NEA, the largest teachers’ union in the country, just this summer endorsed critical race theory at their annual convention. The public school bureaucracies are also very much in favor. In many cases, not in all cases, but in many cases programs, of kind of diversity, equity, and inclusion include some of these tenets of critical race theory. And again, even in Professor Banks’ kind of home area, Santa Clara County, the Office of Education has strongly endorsed critical race theory among — amidst, included, in their ethnic studies program, in which they denounced the United States as a, quote, parasitic system based on the invasion of settlers. And they’re encouraging teachers to, quote, cash in on kids’ inherent empathy in order to radicalize them into critical pedagogies and the kind of Freirean notion of revolution.
I’m not aware of these particular expressions of this commitment that you’re talking about.
Chris, you’ve been very involved in legislation that is attempting to remove this.
Yes. This is how I think about this, and so this is what informs my views. I spent years directing a documentary for PBS, public television, in and out of a public housing project in Memphis, Tennessee in the 38126 ZIP code. And I kind of often find myself reflecting on that experience, reflecting on the thousands of conversations I had, all of the research that I did, all of the people that I met. And then finding there’s such an enormous gap between what people told me where their real life concerns in South Memphis, the things that really impacted their life. And clearly, in South Memphis, it’s that top of the Mississippi Delta. You can feel the legacy of slavery, segregation, institutionalized racism. You can see it, almost. It’s palpable. So no one would deny or even minimize that. But then the solutions that come from critical race theory are — what I think are elite driven and elite serving solutions. They are things that are very good for Robin DeAngelo selling seminars and Ibram Kendi also making children’s books and self-help manuals, but don’t actually solve the problems for the people that I know and met and really admire and care for in South Memphis.
Thanks for that, Chris, but let me offer an alternative interpretation, though, which is that the villain here is actually not critical race theory. The villain is actually the set of conditions and the tendencies that gave rise to critical race theory. Right — so for example, we have always been unwilling to address the intertwining of race and class in American society. We’ve been unwilling to actually commit to do the things that would bring forth a true racial equality. When Brown v. Board of Education was decided, for example, in 1954, the court said you can’t bar or require students to go to racially segregated schools. And it pretty much stopped there, right? And the court declined to do any of a gazillion other things that might have helped to produce racially integrated schools, or that might have helped to create more equitable or more effective education nationwide. So the problem that we have in society, I think is really that we want to imagine that if we make some small tweaks around the edges, that will produce change. But it rarely does, and that’s why race continues to be the problem that it is in American society. So we all have incentives to take the easy way out rather than do the hard work of racial justice, but that’s not because of critical race theory. Critical race theory is really meant to illuminate that tendency in all of us so that hopefully we can do better. [MUSIC PLAYING]
We’re still collecting your anecdotes for a future COVID related episode. Have you successfully convinced a vaccine hesitant person in your life to get the COVID vaccine? Tell me about it in a voicemail by calling 347-915-4324. We might play an excerpt of it on a future episode.
There is a common issue here of, like, yes, the performative act of anti-racism has markedly little to do with anti-racism. You haven’t eliminated disparities that I witness all the time. That problem, I don’t think, would be eradicated by banning critical race theory.
Those are kind of two separate problems, right? So if you want to look at the problem — I think the three of us are in agreement on the problem. And I’ll give you an example that illustrates it. Buffalo public schools in New York — I did a long report on Buffalo. This is a public school district that has, by 5th grade, only 20% of students are proficient in math and 18% are proficient in reading. I mean this is a human tragedy. It’s a disaster. This is something that should be sending red alarms through our society. But instead of reforming itself, the public school bureaucracy in Buffalo has adopted a, quote, Black Lives Matter curriculum that teaches that really the solution is to disrupt the Western nuclear family, to create queer affirming spaces, to dismantle cis gender privilege, et cetera, et cetera — the kind of catch phrases of popular critical race theory ideology. But the question that I think both of you are asking and I’m asking is, what does this do for the kids who can’t read by the end of elementary school?
I think we actually agree on that. I think we actually agree that that doesn’t help the kids who can’t read.
Yeah, that seems less about, like, critical race theory. I want to get to some of the legislation that you’ve been working on. You’re director of initiatives on critical race theory at the Manhattan Institute. So Chris, you’ve got some stakes in the game here. But I want to get into some of the language you’ve used with regard to wins on this. For instance, an Idaho bill H0377. And you said last year on Tucker Carlson, I declared a one man war against critical race theory in public institutions. Today, we have built an army of families, parents, writers, lawyers, activists, and legislators, fighting together to defeat this divisive and anti-American ideology. I want to get to — because that seems that sounds, I mean, I know we all talk differently to different people. But that sounds very different from your critiques of how this looks in a system where not enough kids are getting up to grade level in reading. That sounds to me about an argument about — not whether or not critical race theory is effective, or this interpretation I should say, of critical race theory, but that it’s divisive and anti-American.
First of all, when you’re on cable television, unfortunately, you have two minutes to make your case. It’s also a different audience and a different set of objectives. If you look at the legislation — the legislation in Idaho, for example, that you bring up is quite good. It really just says, very simply, public schools in the state of Idaho cannot compel students to believe that any race is inherently superior or inferior, that anyone should be treated differently on the basis of race, or that any race is inherently oppressive or collectively guilty for historical crimes. And again, it’s very solid compelled speech grounds that protects students’ First Amendment rights, that isn’t overly broad. I think it’s one of the best state bills. And I find it so strange and almost inexplicable that anyone who really read the language in the bill — should we be compelling students to personally believe that one race is superior to another?
I think that this all gets into how these laws are interpreted, because this is a part of a series of pieces of legislation. For instance, in Tennessee, it is illegal for teachers to include any material that promotes division between or resentment of a race, sex, religion, creed non-violent political affiliation, social class, or class of people — which we can all recognize, because we are all sensible people, that that could be interpreted in any number of ways. Like, how do we engage with this? I’m concerned because I think that this legislation is based in some ways on feelings and how people interpret this information. Rick, do you see a harm? Am I crazy? What’s going on here?
Yeah, I think there is a harm to the legislation. I mean, if you’re trying to target the issues that undermine achievement and shortchange students, this would not be the place to start, right? There’d be lots of other legislation that has to deal with funding, and how well teachers are trained and so forth, that might improve children’s education. But one effect of this legislation, which I worry about, actually, is that what we really need in classrooms is we need the very best educators in the world. That’s what we need for our nation to thrive. People who are really good educators, they are professionals who want to act autonomously and to be able to exercise their professional discretion and make their own decisions about how they teach and how they do what they do, just as doctors want to be able to make decisions about how they treat patients, right? So there may be a way where having a legislature, which actually doesn’t really know much about education, come in and start to mandate what can and cannot happen — that actually is going to turn off the very people that we should be trying to attract to education, because those are the people that can help children learn.
But isn’t that already the status quo? I mean, in every state in the United States, the state legislature mandates the curriculum. The state legislature funds public schools. The state legislature determines what is included and excluded in the classroom. In many cases, these bills are one or two pages. It’s a very small addition to provide extra clarity, just to say very simply —
Yes and no there, in terms of state control. Right, so the state does mandate that students should understand — if you’re taking physics, right, there’s a curriculum for physics, or for chemistry. But in terms of whether the teacher performs a certain experiment in chemistry, or another experiment in chemistry, or highlights one aspect or another, that’s left to the teacher’s discretion to figure out how to promote knowledge of chemistry and of the scientific method among students. And this legislation that we’re seeing in some of these states is so broad that it’s hard for me to describe it other than it’s meant to terrorize and instill fear in people, that if they say the wrong thing, some horrible consequence is going to happen.
I mean, I think this all has to do in many ways with our interpretations. Chris, you’ve talked about the education that you had, that was, in your own telling, very broad and very deep — talking about slavery and Jim Crow and the use of redlining. And at no point, I assume, did that cause you to hate America.
And this is what, to me, the debate is really about — is who has authority over public institutions. Is it the bureaucracy? Is it teachers unions? Is it outside diversity training firms that are able to circumvent the democratic process, to circumvent public will, and implement a curriculum really outside of that process? Or is it voters, through their state legislators, and also voters and the public through their school boards? And to me, this is a kind of very basic democratic function, where you’re saying public institutions and the values that they transmit are determined by the public through their state legislatures.
But you’re also involved in helping to influence both the public and the state legislatures. Correct?
Of course. Yeah, I mean, that’s again, how the public process works. Public persuasion in support of certain desired outcomes, rallying voters — ultimately, people can listen to me or not listen to me, just as the same with everyone. But if you can rally the public through public persuasion, and then you have the votes, you have the public pressure, and you have the attention of legislators, you can get things done. I don’t see anything out of the ordinary with that.
How much do you think fear plays into this, Rick?
How much do you think fear plays into this, Rick?
There are two major developments. One is we have this extraordinary demographic change as a result of immigration and other factors. So we have a demographic change. And then we also have growing economic inequality, which breeds widespread economic anxiety. And that’s abetted by technological advances which are going to dramatically remake lots of different industries. And people are worried about their future and the future of their children. So when people are so worried and when they’re feeling that their group is becoming marginalized, or might no longer be dominant, it’s only natural to act with some desperation to try to hold on to what has been. And I think that is part of what’s going on here, because so many of these legislative responses seem to be, in a sense, solutions in search of a problem. Do we know what the effect on student achievement would be if we were to introduce more discussion of race into the curriculum? As far as I know, no. We don’t have the answer to that. When I was a child growing up, I could imagine that for me and my peers, we might have been well served educationally if we had some information that would help us answer the question of, well, why do all the Black people live in this part of the city rather than that part of the city. Why is it that the schools that the White kids go to actually seem to be newer than the schools that the Black kids go to? Why does my father have this job as a laborer where some other white kids’ father has some job that seems to pay a lot more. It might be that if you could give kids a way to help make — especially disadvantaged kids — a way to make sense of their world in a way that doesn’t cause them to internalize all the bad messages in society, it might be that their academic achievement would improve as a result of changes in curricular materials. I think we should at least see that as an open question.
Those are valid questions. I think by the time kids are in high school, that’s probably the right age to be asking some of those deeper and more complex questions. I’d have no problem with that. None of the state laws would prohibit that kind of discussion. But I think there’s two points. First, the reason, perhaps, that you haven’t seen it in your time with your kids is that this is all very new. But I think a second and more important point — and I think a really foundational point — is that opposition to critical race theory in public schools isn’t a racial issue, isn’t, I think as you might have been suggesting, a response to changing demographics, a kind of white resentment. I don’t think it’s that at all. This is a really broadly multi-ethnic opposition. The argument has been from the political left that this fight against critical race theory is driven by resentful white conservatives that are anxious about the changing demographics of society and losing their social status, when in fact, that’s not true.
Chris, you brought it up on Fox News, which then got the attention of then President Trump — but then brought this to the mainstream. And so this is something, like — whether or not you wanted it to be a part of partisan politics, well, partisan politics just happened to you.
We have a partisan political system. That’s how we decide what happens in our country. That’s how our political system functions. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. What I’m saying is that even with the partisan political environment, even with Fox News opposing critical race theory and MSNBC defending critical race theory, the case that I’ve made with my colleagues has been successful in persuading voters that, quote, critical race theory is a kind of pernicious ideology in our education system that divides people rather than unites people. The case that has been made over the last year, I think it is shifting against critical race theory. And my contention is that the more that people find out what’s really at heart of this ideology, the more they oppose it.
Rick, I want to go to you for the last word, because I think Chris and I — I feel as if we have reached a disagreement impasse. And I’m curious, Rick, how should we teach this? How should we teach this— the American story of race and racism?
Well, I think we want the best teachers we can possibly find. And we need to really do everything we can to give them the autonomy, to devise curricular materials that they think are good. Second point is that the longstanding problem in our society has not been that we focus too much on race, but that we focus too little on race, and that we have been unwilling to recognize the centrality of race in American society. So in teaching American history, you should tell that story. What we should not do — and I agree with Chris on this point — is we should not make people feel bad about their identities. We should not stigmatize people. We should not try to indoctrinate children by telling them what to think about contentious issues in society, especially young children. So I think we agree on that. But I do worry that this whole debate about critical race theory is an example of our public discourse and the ways in which our public discourse is lacking, which is that people are forming strong opinions about issues that they don’t really know that much about. They’re not really staying in their lane. They’re trying to express opinions that should really be the domain of professional educators. We don’t have much respect for the educators or give them enough leeway. And through it all— and I agree with Chris on this point — the kids who lose are really the disadvantaged students in our nation’s most impoverished areas who are disproportionately Black and brown. And those kids are the ones who are losing out, but they’ve been losing out long before people ever started talking about intersectionality or white fragility. And I hope— and I know we share the hope that we can do right by the children in our society, because we are not going to thrive as a nation unless we can put aside all these adult squabbles and all these ideological inclinations and figure out what we need to do to make opportunities as universal as talent.
Thank you both for your time.
Chris Rufo is a senior fellow and director of the initiative on critical race theory at the Manhattan Institute. Ralph Richard Banks is a law professor and co-founder and faculty director of the Stanford Center for Racial Justice.
There is absolutely no shortage of stuff to read about critical race theory. Some of the things I recommend are Jean Stefancic and Richard Delgado’s seminal work, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. The New Yorker profile on Chris Rufo mentioned in this episode, titled, “How A Conservative Activist Invented The Conflict Over Critical Race Theory.” A Manhattan Institute panel from last December titled, “Critical Race Theory: On the New Ideology of Race,” featuring both of my guests today. And our previous episode of The Argument on critical risk theory with columnists Michelle Goldberg and linguist John McWhorter. If you like this, I think you’ll find that illuminating, too. You can find links to all of these in our episode notes. The Argument is a production of New York Times Opinion. It’s produced by Phoebe Lett, Elisa Gutierrez, and Vishakha Dharba, edited by Alison Bruzek and Sarah Geis, with original music and sound design by Isaac Jones, mixing by Kara Subbarao and Sonya Herrero. Fact checking by Kate Sinclair, and audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks this week to Kristin Lin. [MUSIC PLAYING]
@klezman Very long, but lots of good stuff here. Good platform, getting two people together to present opposing viewpoints in a respectful way. Didn’t realize that was still happening in this world! I think this hit the nail on the head:
I think the three of us are in agreement on the problem. And I’ll give you an example that illustrates it. Buffalo public schools in New York — I did a long report on Buffalo. This is a public school district that has, by 5th grade, only 20% of students are proficient in math and 18% are proficient in reading. I mean this is a human tragedy. It’s a disaster. This is something that should be sending red alarms through our society. But instead of reforming itself, the public school bureaucracy in Buffalo has adopted a, quote, Black Lives Matter curriculum that teaches that really the solution is to disrupt the Western nuclear family, to create queer affirming spaces, to dismantle cis gender privilege, et cetera, et cetera — the kind of catch phrases of popular critical race theory ideology. But the question that I think both of you are asking and I’m asking is, what does this do for the kids who can’t read by the end of elementary school?
I think we actually agree on that. I think we actually
agree that that doesn’t help the kids who can’t read.
@KitMarlot Yeah, for all that some like to bash the NY Times, they are trying to provide honest debate and a proper marketplace of ideas. Sometimes more successfully than others, but this series is particularly good. Ezra Klein’s podcast is interview style, but also very good. It’s also great that they publish the transcripts.
As for the substance, it always seems to be kind of silly that we can’t provide queer-affirming spaces while also pointing out that reading and writing and math are the basics from which all else comes. I think it’s mentioned a few other times throughout their conversation, but these two things are independent. It’s bloody well obvious that a “Black lives matter curriculum” (whatever that is) isn’t going to help kids learn to read at grade level.
Very interesting, the subject above, but one with a common sense answer: schools should teach, not indoctrinate.
Not trying to hijack the subject, but what is foremost, in my mind, is the loss of US Marines and a Navy Corpsman.
If there is one thing, that used to be a part of the American character, that seems to be lacking now (for many years), it is the concept of RESOLVE.
If the Nation’s interests, are such that ONE American be expended, then those interests MUST BE PROSECUTED TO COMPLETION.
The Nation expects that kind of resolve out of its Armed Forces and, reciprocally, the Armed Forces should be able to expect the same amount of consideration, in return. Lives are not pawns to be played with, through the micromanagement of the Political classes, they are assets that may be brought to bear, in their favor. Politicals might decide when, but the Military should decide how (given sensible rules of engagement.)
Sorry, and even more so, to the families.
I’ve been here before, and damned if it looks like we’ve learned anything.
My salute, to all those Americans that we have lost.
Ideally, completion would occur when the interests of the American people, as defined through the objectives set by their elected representatives, were accomplished. This would be the same regardless of whether it was a task handed to the Diplomatic corps, or the Military. The Mission is assigned through the Political class, and executed by the professionals in the area(s) tasked with accomplishing its objectives. Once tasked, the Mission itself is to be accomplished, and should that seem impossible, then it may be that a review/change in tactics is in order.
Successive failures may necessitate the need not only for a change in tactics, but in managerial oversight, as well, but regardless of the degree of difficulty, the obligation to the American people, and/or our Allies, remains the same. ‘Incomplete’ is a grade that is only acceptable in the interim, not in the final product, and to insure less is to put our long term strategic interests at risk, as well as the morale of the American people, alongside the professionals who have sacrificed in the undertaking of the assigned mission.
It’s no picnic, but these are the things that we need to do, in honor and appreciation of all those who have done so before, in the honor and appreciation of all who do so now, and in the honor and appreciation of all those that will do so in the future; the American people deserve no less. This might sound like a textbook response, but I actually feel and believe that these things will serve us much better than seemingly sacrificing our principles, for political expediency. It doesn’t only take uniforms to fight for freedom, it takes a shared mindset, and the resolve of the American people in accomplishing our defined goals.
Gotta go, and hope all are well in this newest Covid mess. I probably won’t be around for awhile, so please excuse the timeliness of any response; thanks.
@CroutonOllie@FritzCat So then given the clear failure and/or impossibility of achieving the original objectives of the Afghanistan mission - aside from getting bin Laden, of course - what are you suggesting should have been done?
Principles are great in trying to understand where somebody is coming from, but at some point the rubber has to meet the road.
Simple as to how, stay the course, with clear objectives being set, initially, then leaving after they were accomplished. Not so hard, when the mission isn’t changed, but even if it is, something do-able.
A person can do many things that can seem insurmountable, look at all the of people that beat great odds in their battles with cancer, and the like, but do you know how? Stick to it nature, and maybe, the hand of God.
If you say, do; otherwise shut up. This is what we need to learn. Minding our own business wouldn’t hurt either, but that was not the case in this instance.
That’s a nice bit of philosophy, but I asked a question about something concrete. What are you suggesting - specifically - that the last several presidents should have done after Obama managed to get bin Laden killed to prevent failure?
@CroutonOllie@FritzCat So you’re saying we should have gone in and killed every Afghani suspected of being involved with the Taliban?
And then you’re also saying that 20 years old this country’s finest military minds and commanders are all idiots but you have the answer? And it’s as simple as “broadening the front” and “increased search and destroy missions”? Forgive me, but that seems overly facile.
@CroutonOllie@FritzCat Gotcha. Everything you say is blindingly obviously correct and any suggestion of disagreement signals ignorance and hatred of western society. I’ve avoided the ad hominem attacks despite your unwillingness to engage on actual substance. I guess you can’t manage to extend the same courtesy. Oh well.
How can I be off topic, when I respond to the response to a post that I made?
Is of no matter, as I’m not about to respond to interim posts that ask questions so they can feel justified in attacking. ie: I’m no General, never was, but the job didn’t get done, and not about to address tactics, with a layman, that would put our lives at risk, or teaches others how to do so.
I put responses in the terms most think of, when thinking about conflict. Broadening a “front” has more meaning than a geographical front as in the days of old, and we are in better shape to broaden the real front, than ever. Why it didn’t get done, I don’t know, but it should have. If political interference, it needs to be eliminated.
@canonizer So, Canonizer, it’s terrible that 6,000 or so Americans died, but it’s ok that 170,000 - 175,000 brown people died? If you’re a bible thumper, I think you’re supposed to avoid killing anybody according to Commandment VI. And if you’re a Libby Lib, I’d think you’d regret all loss of life. So, if it’s ok that Middle Eastern people die, but not Americans, how should I characterize you?
@FritzCat I’m devastated by the loss of Afghani life to date and what will inevitably follow as the capacity to review footage from August will no doubt make retribution against former US partners even easier.
I think I was trying to gently rebut the idea that we somehow need to give the military free reign to execute intervention indefinitely. I’m not sure anyone has been used more poorly by the US in our toe in/toe out strategy than the Afghans or Kurds.
@FritzCat Minor quibble, but does @canonizer’s “type” matter? I think the response could stand alone regardless of tribe, and the more tribal mixing we have here, the less chance of executing old grievances.
Your use of the term " 'Murican", in the context where it was used, suggests that you seem to have quite distinct ideas of color, but I’ll try to define it in the best way I can.
Americans, for the most part, believe in the equality of everyone. What happens, in other countries, is out of our jurisdiction and domain. Other cultures, with differing views, have the right to exist, too, wouldn’t you agree? Why would we be justified, in attacking them over their ideas, any more than we would over color? We wouldn’t, and we don’t.
Enough from me, I have other responsibilities to deal with, but hope your car project holds up, yet another winter.
Edit, punctuation. (Yes, I still mess up!); also made one word, two.
It is pretty clear to me that the go-to strategy for politicians will be to declare every lost election as fraudulent. This is a direct result of the challenges to the 2020 election. It’s quite cynical and damaging.
@klezman I was trying to beat the drum. I think there’s a bs conflation being drawn between (i) people in the Democratic Party who, following 2016, thought the system was rigged, though largely working as intended and (ii) people now saying that the result is fraudulent if they don’t like it.
To the extent that Dems called Trump “illegitimate,” it was very much about some votes counting for more than others, which feels profoundly undemocratic.
@canonizer I know! Pity the Democrats opened Pandora’s box by contesting elections in 2000, 2004 and 2016 before spending most of 2017 trying to overturn the 2016 election result. Between the decline in civics education, the amplification of outrage on social media and elsewhere, and the glorification of grievance, we’re seeing the ugliness of populism at scale. A democracy if we can keep it indeed!
@KitMarlot Again, it’s funny that 2000, where the election was contested (and any attempt to adjudicate it was declined by SCOTUS), 2005, where the political grandstanding at the 11th hour and the 2017 impeachment (which, to avoid any confusion, was an impeachment and not an attempt to overturn an election) are being conflated with the president calling on the secretary of state to find votes.
@canonizer Yes, that conflation is the result of a deliberate thread of politicking by those in the Republican party who are obnoxiously good at taking things that are 98% different and 2% alike and claiming that they are therefore identical.
Good people here, but see the question as to why Conservatives are often absent.
Have a little story, perhaps a bit crude, but kind of explains it.
No, I didn’t take care of my responsibilities first, but will, and appreciate those who gave me breathing space to do so.
You’ll need to think figuratively, for this one:
Once upon a time, there was a boy named “Little Johnny.”
Little Johnny, romped and played like everyone else around him.
He liked playing, and got along with everyone else at the neighborhood sandbox.
Johnny then got an idea: Why not get a sandbox, myself, to play in, and all of the others will come here to play?
Johnny did so, and all of the other kids came over to play.
Well, it wasn’t long before someone shit in little Johnny’s sandbox, and no-one came over to play.
Despondent, little Johnny cried, and pissed, and moaned about it, to no avail, until he decided to do something.
Conservative Johnny, had this offensive item removed, to realize his investment.
Liberal Johnny, kept crying further, over the injustice of it all, and looked to the state for reimbursement, even through the taxes of others who had dealt with these situations on their own, before.
Moral of the Story: When there is too much shit in the sandbox, no-one wants to play, but if you want your sandbox up and running, deal with it yourself, and refute that guy who tries to dance, by charging you once again.
So, with much sadness at the state of the sandbox, Liberal Jimmy (LJ) cleaned up as much shit as he could (there was a lot of shit) and went to Conservative Johnny and asked him to please stop shitting in his sandbox.
Conservative Johnny (CJ) told LJ to stop crying and that it was his god given right to shit in whatever sandbox he wanted and if he had a problem with that then he knew where his dad kept the guns.
More depressed then before LJ started talking to the other kids in the neighborhood. Most of them did not think it appropriate to shit in a sandbox and where really getting annoyed by those that did but were afraid of speaking out as the shitters where prone to tantrums.
Over time as LJ grew-up he discovered more and more children coming to the neighborhood from all over the place where against the policy of shitting in the sandbox. Even CJ’s children.
Eventually, there were enough anti-shitters in the neighborhood for adult LJ to now get reasonable playground rules passed to keep kids from shitting in the sandbox, despite the threat of violence.
Moral of the Story: You shouldn’t have to clean up the shit, people shouldn’t shit in the sandbox.
@hershelk LJ and his friends have discussed the situation, and have agreed that if they can’t dissuade CJ and his fellow Cs for shitting in the sandbox, they would even be willing to pool their resources to hire a company to clean the sandbox on a regular basis…the big government socialists that they are…
You seem to have missed the point, and it matters little over the ideology of Little Johnny, but your knee jerk reaction is just what many are against. If you want to make Little Johnny one way, or the other, is of no matter. I understand vitriol, but let’s accept your premise.
Your stated solutions are fine, we agree, for a PUBLIC Sandbox.
OK, Little Johnny did it, now:
This sandbox belonged to Little Johnny, and if an adult, he can do whatever in the hell he likes with HIS sandbox, yet you want to pass laws further encroaching on Little Johnny’s rights to do what he wants with his own property?
Ideology is nice, but it gets to the point as to what is the best for all Americans, and the loss of ANY freedom is never good.
I understand why Conservatives deserted. They felt harangued by the Liberal crowd, which just (and still!) wants acknowledgement of the egregious harm Trump caused. That Trump still owns the Republican Party is bad for everyone and not just Democrats.
@canonizer@rjquillin To be fair, it does talk about asylum for a decent chunk of its length. My issue with it is the assertion of “facts” with no substantiation or references alongside the author’s continual use of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
None of that is to say all is rosy. I continue to be irritated by the conflation of legal immigration, illegal immigration, and seeking refugee status all under the single word “migration”. These things are not the same and do not have the same solutions or even the same set of possible solutions.
Sure, it’d be great to stop illegal immigration. It’d also be great to do so without (a) causing a humanitarian crisis or (b) destroying the ecosystems along the Mexican border. Drones and sentry stations would seem (to me) to be as effective as border patrols. Thermal imaging is reliable technology, after all. And drones don’t create ecological problems on the ground.
I don’t have strong feelings on the “stay in the first country” rule for refugees. I can see reasonable arguments on both sides of that one. Sure, one may not want to encourage them to come to the USA (why?) but then one probably ought to also ask whether the countries en route are “safe” by normal definitions.
Lastly, the legal immigration system is ludicrous and FUBAR. I have an employee, for example, who got a PhD from a good school in the USA. They are on their “practical training” period, but have not been selected in the H-1B visa lottery for the last two years. We’re going to try to get them a green card, but the processing is so absurdly slow these days that their work status will run out before an “EAD” will be issued to allow them to continue to work while the green card application is being processed. At least they’re from a country where there’s not a 20 year wait to get one of the few available green cards.
The bipartisan immigration deal(s) of the last couple decades show that everybody agrees the system is broken. The 2013 “Gang of 8” deal seemed like the best compromise, but House Republicans killed it. There’s a good summary of that stuff here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_reform_in_the_United_States
So how about the Congress actually do the business of the American people and work together to solve the problem? (Yeah yeah…wishful thinking, I know.)