Thursday, February 25, 2016

Will Trump veer-to-center?

"Interesting" doesn't even begin to describe this incredible U.S. political year.  For example, one of the statistical mavens at Five-Thirty-Eight points out that Marco Rubio's best path to thwarting Donald Trump's coronation march is to concentrate a lot of attention on blue states (those that award GOP delegates winner take all) or on blue-urban-college-educated districts. One of the richest potential troves, for example, would be districts along the California and Washington coasts!

How can this be? In zones where democrats outnumber republicans, it turns out the fewer and better educated GOP voters have outsized ability to choose Republican convention delegates. Wow. 

Of course this weirdness was deliberate... it gave Romney & McCain advantages in past years and it now seems the establishment's last hope. But the party masters who designed the current rules dug a pit for themselves, as Trump keeps winning districts by mere 35% pluralities yet getting all of each district's delegates. That is why he swept the boards in S.Carolina, despite getting only a third of the votes. Well, well, cheaters eventually are hoist by their own petard.

Okay so here's the stop-Trump path, a narrow one. If Cruz, Rubio and Kasich all three take their own winner-takes-all home states - perhaps by urging Texas, Florida and Ohio voters to pick "favorite sons" - then there's a chance for some momentum shift.  But then, in that case, none of the three will drop out!  Next, divide up the rich upper midwest, Michigan etc.  And somehow get those educated republicans in blue districts, who are staring in horror at this train wreck, to actually come out en masse. Then, a brokered convention.

No I haven't forgotten the potential end game if Trump falls short of a convention majority. The "white knight" of that scenario - House Speaker Paul Ryan - would act very very coy and reluctant.  Still, he's laying down polemical points either way, hedging his bets in case Trump wins, by saying that Republicans can "fix the country's problems" with "whoever the Republican president is."

Let's see. The GOP had the presidency 20 of the last 30-some years. They have had Congress vastly more often than the Dems. Indeed, they held all three branches of government simultaneously from 2001-2007, able to pass anything... anything at all... that they wanted.  So, why didn't they "solve the country's problems" then?

Let's be clear, aside from huge tax cuts for the rich and loosening banking/Wall Street regulation - and wars - they did zilch across those 6 years of absolute power. They canceled no programs or agencies, reformed no entitlements and in fact created Medicare Part D without any way to pay for it. They did nothing about abortion or immigration or any other part of the Fox-rant agenda. 

That period of absolute power-lock was the laziest six year congressional period in US history. All whining and no action.  (Oh, and actual outcomes from periods of republican rule were spectacularly negative.)

Um... "fix the country's problems"? Even if you are a radical right winger, why should you believe Ryan, this time?

== Out in right field ==

My reading of Ted Cruz led to a crackpot theory that his aim, all along, given his Nixonian unlike-ability, was to emulate Nixon and go for the VP slot as a stepping stone. That would have happened if Walker or Jeb or Perry were the nominee.  Now? The earlier bro-mance between Trump & Cruz (which fit my theory to a T) is now over amid a huge mud-slinging fest. 

No it's time to peer ahead to Tump's likely running mate. Sure, Nikki Haley was set up by the GOP masters to be the obvious choice. For example, she'd cancel some of the "Trump's a racist" stuff and give the establishment some hope Prez Donald won't last 4 years.  But I tell you it all depends. She's the right choice if he stays the Donald we've come to know, so far -- a raving Mussolini.  In other words, the act he's been putting on, to win the nomination.

Only... he's not a Mussolini. Will Donald - the day after he's nominated - drop all his confederate shiboleths and charge at full gallop for the American Center?  

I'd bet 3:1 odds that's what he'll do, suddenly channeling Bernie Sanders in his anti-oligarch schticks! Raise taxes on the rich! Regulate Wall Street and break up big banks! He'll jiu jitsu Hillary by out radicalizing her reformist agenda!  She'll be left stammering in amazement... unless she gets ready first.

If this center-veer happens, then Don'll need a Veep who can keep the Confederates and Southern Baptists from feeling betrayed.

If it ain't Cruz, then my money is on Mike Huckabee. Not Palin... nono. Not Sarah Palin. Huck scares me more in logical terms.  But Palin is... just too... er... entertaining.  An overdose.  Watch the hilariously scary flick IRON SKY.

== The other Trump we glimpsed ==

You think I am exaggerating Trump's ability to do sudden, brilliant veers?

Ted Cruz had reasons for baiting Donald Trump into defending New York.  They are battling for the… shall we say the “red vote”?  It is a more accurate term than “religious conservative” or rural or tea-party or neo-confederate or any of the other categories that pundits apply. Hatred not just of city folk, but of all smartypants types like scientists, schoolteachers, medical doctors, law professionals, and so on.  

Sure, Trump stood up for the spirit and gumption and skill that New Yorkers showed, both during 9/11 and for years of rebuilding. Indeed, standing on the rubble, New Yorkers turned east – toward the co-owners of Fox News whose cousins and sons hijacked those planes – and shouted: “Is that all you got?” 

City folk are the ones with terror targets on their backs, yet they get on with life, while the rural folk who are screaming loudest about terrorism are mostly safe.

(To be quite clear, not all or even most rural folk are “rednecks,” by far! Just as most city folk are not marching PC activists. But when it comes to GOP primaries and caucuses, it is the most vociferous in both parties who show up.)
         
Of course, Donald doesn’t dare point out the rest of the story.  That “New York values” – portrayed as depraved by the radio shock jocks – actually have vastly better outcomes, when compared to practical measures of morality in Red America.  Putting aside Utah… and some sections of Chicago etc… the comparison between Blue “values” and Red are pretty clear, with Red America surging way ahead in rates of teen sex, teen pregnancy, STDs, domestic violence, divorce, dropout rates, gambling and a myriad other areas of gross immorality like addiction, alcoholism, drug use, and even obesity... this in an area that screams shrilly and aggressively that it knows better how lives should be lived. 

If facts could convince - wherever abstinence-only is the preachified sex education course, the direct and nearly universal outcome is more, not less, teenage sex. 

Here, we get again the core Fox Fact. What matters isn't what's true, but what’s “truthy” and ought to be so.


== The Rise of the Religious Right ==


Do you actually believe the radical Christian right’s rise had anything, fundamentally, to do with abortion? Try looking at the real history: The Real Origins of the Religious Right.  Even years after Roe-v-Wade, even the Southern Baptists were yawning, calling abortion “a Catholic issue.”  It was court decisions – and Nixon enforcement – banning tax-exempt status to fiercely segregated private schools that lit the torch firing up the movement we now see.

What this article leaves out is the way far-right social conservatism benefited from a devastatingly stupid wound self-inflicted by the left – 

-- the insane over-reach called Forced School Bussing of students away from their neighborhoods, in order to impose integration de facto, by force majeur. 

That utopian-orwellian effort from the 1980s was senseless, cruel, distracting, ineffective, wasted vast resources and drove millions unnecessarily into the arms of fundie radicalism. Forced School Busing was absolute proof that the right does not hold a complete monopoly on dogma-driven stupidity, and that the far-left needs be watched, as well.


See the new book, Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right, by Seth Dowland, which discusses the importance of gender issues and private Christian schools in shaping how "religious freedom" consolidated the religious right.


Sure, there’s no comparison at this moment. Some campus PC excess? That’s loony and rude. Watch: Monty Python’s John Cleese Blasts Orwellian, PC College Campuses. 

But PC-bullying is a hangnail irritant compared with the Entire Right’s plunge into madness, anti-science, anti-all-knowledge-professions, oligarch-loving, Earth-wrecking, economy-ruining troglodytic madness. Elsewhere I elucidate the true, underlying reasons for the abortion frenzy, as well. 


Face it, this is the revived Confederacy, friends.  There is no other explanation for why millions of lower middle class whites would support their class oppressors.  This is phase 8 of the American Civil War.
                     
== the Bloomberg phenomenon? ==

Yes, yes, another East New York City billionaire is pondering his own run.  Michael Bloomberg so far has generated little enthusiasm.  But if Donald Trump gets the GOP nod, Bloomberg could draw a sudden effussion of support from several directions.  Despairing "ostrich republicans" -- who have been in denial over the party's plummet into insanity -- might hurry to MB. As might establishment republicans seeking one goal, for Trump to lose so decisively they can get their firm hands back on the reins of the rampaging elephant that they spurred to madness, in the first place.  May they get the first half of their wish. 

Oh but while we're in sci fi territory:  Bloomberg Sanders? Trump-Sanders? Never gonna happen.  But I am paid to go what-if.     

== Finally - ==

Bernites: check this Al Franken endorsement. He's still funny and very smart and emphasizes that you have no need to get over-emotional. Leave that to the dissolving hysteria on the other side. The only times that the loyal, Union side wins these phases of recurring civil war is when Blue America stays calm, practical and fiercely determined. 

I just wish Franken had mentioned science.  There is one symptom of the current psychosis that has taken over U.S. conservatism that disqualifies it from holding a burnt match, let alone power.

Their war on science.  And every other knowledge profession in American life.

78 comments:

Berial said...

You said, "If facts could convince - wherever abstinence-only is the preachified sex education course, the direct and nearly universal outcome is more, not less, teenage sex. "

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say, 'less teenage pregnancies' not necessarily less teen sex?

donzelion said...

Republicans can "fix the country's problems" with "whoever the Republican president is."

Oddly, the only problem the Republicans can agree on is...the Democrats.

Everything else is pure circus orchestration. The Republican primaries are a gladiatorial circus (and turns out, even $200 million does not a gladiator make). PC fascists are oppressing you! Illegal aliens are oppressing you! Ivy Leaguers are oppressing you! Scientists are oppressing you!

Trump is a natural circus performer - always has been. Miss USA, towers, flash, Apprentice, Trump University, et. al. He's the first candidate to believe his own name is worth $2 billion (let alone any other assets). The performance 'trumps' any other loyalty, but that Don has found an audience that is fact-adverse, susceptible to cult-like control - the perfect targets to fleece. Whatever "the human" actually believes, he'll swap principles like a performer changing uniform, and fixate upon how best to keep 'em coming to watch.

Tacitus2 said...

It is probably time for all of us who presume to punditry to just acknowledge that we have no idea where this is going or why.

As a conservative - but not a registered Republican - I can't vote for Trump under any circumstances. I think H. Clinton is shifty, there is a whiff of corruption around her. But she believes in something if only the narcissistic conviction that it is her turn to sit in the Oval Office and give it her best shot. Personal flaws aside she is not that far off of being a centerist. I doubt she can control her "friends" but she at least has some kind of internal compass.

Trump, imho, has no core. He wants attention. He represents much that I find repugnant combining as he does the swamp land salesmanship of a Developer and the culture impoverishing bloviation of a "Reality Star". I have no idea what he would do in power and suspect he has no idea either.

What are we to make of our two major parties? Clinton will be coronated via "Super Delegates" no matter what Sanders or anybody else does. And the GOP allows its members to speak....stupidly. Meanwhile the Press gives free PR to those combatants they find most entertaining and saves the accumulated Donald Dirt for the day after he becomes Nominee.

As a nation we deserve better by far.

So.....Clinton as the lesser of two evils? Maybe.

Tacitus

donzelion said...

@Tacitus - It is probably time for all of us who presume to punditry to just acknowledge that we have no idea where this is going or why.

Fair point. Candidate George W. Bush made clear in 2000 that "using American troops to escort children to school" abused their mission, drawing great cheers. When he actually deployed them to do that, he drew great cheers as well, often from the same folks.

I doubt [Hillary] can control her "friends" but she at least has some kind of internal compass.

Is it not fascinating that we draw our references to morality and politics from navigation? "Moral compass." "Steering the ship of state." An emotive link that presupposes that the one will aid the other, even in the face of a rational mindset that acknowledges, "things don't really work that way."

Still, we can make guesses about the 'moral compasses' and political realities each player would confront.

(1) Clinton operates a fierce, 'insider' machine. Obama beat on the 'map' game; she won more actual votes, and would likely have won but-for the party stripping Florida's delegation (after that decision, the Party insiders divided, and superdelegates voted their conscience). The fact that she's an 'insider' gives her power to choose which parts of the insiders to empower, which to downplay. It's actually quite liberating...

(2) Sanders operates a fierce, 'outsider' machine. It works through various battle cries -"Minimum wage at $15/hr!" "End NAFTA!" "Revive Glass-Steagall!" We could anticipate a Sanders regime would "try" to implement the agenda, probably fail on some measures, revolutionary rhetoric giving way to implementation on others. (E.g., if you want to negotiate a raise, you don't ask for exactly what you want - you demand $15, knowing the other side will only offer $7, and try to meet somewhere 'reasonable' - if you only ask for $12, the other side will like the outcome more...but will still hate you.)

(3) Donald is a circus performer. You don't get and keep people in your tent by "giving them what they want" - you get them there and coming back by whetting a "desire to be satisfied" and "almost" doing so. So, a Trump presidency would likely consist of numerous silly proposals - anticipating that they'll be blocked by others (Congress, Courts, Democrats). He might win one a couple biggies (ending Obamacare and erecting new tax cuts) - but the rest of his time would probably be grandstanding. Why change tact, when this ploy served him so well so far, and offers to do the same, at no great cost to him?

On science, I think Trump would look for whatever offers greatest entertainment value. We'd get a token "Save Cute Pandas" proposal, and gut the complicated machinery of protecting environment. We'd get "build the Martian farmland" - and gut basic, unsexy science.

Jumper said...

You forgot "Repeal Taft-Hartley!" LOL

"How do you make God laugh?" "You tell him your plans."
A less circuitous link to Cleese:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAK0KXEpF8U

David Brin said...

I'll not taunt or gloat. Tacitus knows I have "conservative" and "libertarian" sides and have long been in agony that those two sides of the American temperament cannot rouse themselves to bring forth mature adults to engage in negotiation. There ARE such mature adults... like Tacitus. Some path must open for them to have a party.

I do know this. Hillary's downsides are very limited. We know she'd appoint solid people to do solid jobs. Push science. She & Bill do well at defense and foreign - no living Americans have better records. If she gets a Congress what's to fear? 10% higher taxes on the rich and the breakup of some American Zaibatsus and better student loans? Maybe reverse citizen's united? This is not lenin.

If the GOP is slapped down hard, it WILL come back, perhaps chastened. And if thoroughly slapped-down, they won't start out a HC administration with Fort Sumter levels of hysteria-hate.

No the worst Hillary outcome is if she does NOT get a Congress. If she gets in without the GOP suffering badly in Congress and the Statehouses, then they will blame it all on Trump and we will have all-out, almost-hot war on the elected president from day one.

And McVeighs. Biggest drawback of a Hillary presidency. The Mc Veighs. There will be a tsunami of them. And the fault of Rupert, down the line.

donzelion said...

Last thought (too many) - Tacitus, why precisely do you "think H. Clinton is shifty, there is a whiff of corruption around her."

Hillary is the "Goldstein" of an Orwellian enterprise, the great test case of circus Americana - "how much hatred can we manufacture and direct toward her through propaganda alone?" If you're annoyed about Repubicans saying silly things, it's because they have mastered the cumulative power of repeating silly things, again and again. They KNOW that you'll find much of what they say silly. But for value judgments, they are confident they can still manipulate you even if (especially if) you reject much of the garbage.

Every silly game is about deploying Hillary/Goldstein in a new war - she is the "PC nazi threatening your freedom of thought!" - she is the "Culture Warrior destroying Christmas!" - "Don't trust Hillary!"

I am not saying that Goldstein is actually a hero in 1984, nor that Hillary is somehow heroic. Only pointing out the power of propaganda to implant thoughts even into smart, critical people's minds.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

What are we to make of our two major parties? Clinton will be coronated via "Super Delegates" no matter what Sanders or anybody else does.


I think Hillary will be the nominee, but not because the super delegates will cheat. They could have done that in 2008, but went with the will of the voters after all.

I think Hillary will beat Bernie fair and square. I'm not sure that I want it to be so, but I believe it to be so.

And despite what our fellow-poster Robert believes, I think Hillary is the better candidate to beat a Republican. And that's my number one goal. The way you feel about Trump, I also feel about Cruz and Rubio. And Christie and Fiorina if they were still in play.

And while I don't have the same visceral hatred toward Jeb! or Kascik (sp?), the fact is that we must not have another Republican appointed to the Supreme Court. Scalia's Raputre saved us from a completely illogical (but seemingly-inevitable) decision that the words "whole number of persons" actually means something else that gives more districts to Republicans. We dodged a bullet, and must not ever be in the position to rely on God to save us again.

So a Democrat must win the White House, and Hillary will be that Democrat.


And the GOP allows its members to speak....stupidly. Meanwhile the Press gives free PR to those combatants they find most entertaining and saves the accumulated Donald Dirt for the day after he becomes Nominee.


The press--at least television--has abandoned its civic role, and is only interested in ratings. Every race has to go down to the wire, and the most interesting (outrageous) candidates have to be in contention. When billions of dollars are spent on an election, who do you think is receiving that money?


As a nation we deserve better by far.


If only the Justice League could save us.

But there's no justice--there's just us.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

Um... "fix the country's problems"? Even if you are a radical right winger, why should you believe Ryan, this time?


Because to radical right-wingers, government is the country's problem, and doing nothing is an accomplishment.

David Brin said...

One of my favorite wishes... declare that broadcasters once again are using a public trust and resource and hence must offer 5 minutes of rebuttal for every half hour of ranting opinion.

Five minutes per hour, even per DAY , would demolish Hannity & co.

donzelion said...

Dr. Brin - "One of my favorite wishes... declare that broadcasters once again are using a public trust..."

LOL, what kind of a 'nanny state' libertarianism is that? Didn't God ordain that "the air, and all that passeth through, shall be private property"? [Actually, it would be precisely the 'nanny state' Smith endorsed, springing directly from his writings - and one reason I look with caution at many of Smith's - and now Hayek's - 'advocates'.]

Sorry, snarky/playful. The problem with the 'Fairness Doctrine' is that the 'air' may be limited, and thus rules enacted for fair distribution, but cables put into the ground are not so limited, and there is a problem with compelling people to offer a platform for others. Or to quote Warren Burger (never my favorite justice) - "Government-enforced right of access inescapably dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate."

One would hope, with Smith, that "social sanction" would drive audiences away from Fox schlock. One would hope that the audiences (largely, angry white men) would perceive that persistent grandstanding was misleading them (e.g., "Saddam and Osama coordinated 9/11"). One would think that given the serious harms resulting from such deceptions, the audience would recognize the betrayal - and look elsewhere on their own.

But cults do not operate thus. For those who are ambitious, cults offer platforms for self-aggrandizement. For those who are scared, cults create a network to get a job. Especially useful if the cult-leaders are sending your job to China - "Please don't close my factory! Look, I hate Obama too! Pretty please!"

[Says this self-aggrandizing participant, himself troubled, looking for a supportive community of strangers...but hopefully not reiterating trite schlock.]

Tony Fisk said...

Jamais Cascio recently compared Trump to the Foundation Series character 'The Mule' (though not so much a 'black swan' as an orange one)

Meanwhile in Australia:

A long time ago (2010*), Gillard ousted PM Rudd.
Not so long ago (2013), Turnbull ousted PM Abbott.

One might call these acts of chicanery by both major parties equal.

Gillard did, at least, have the integrity to immediately call a general election.
Turnbull did not; partly because it already looked a bit copy-cattish and, after only two years, it would have had to be a Double Dissolution (ie full Senate, as well as Lower House)

Turnbull may now be rueing that decision, as he is clearly having to toe the extreme right-wing line to keep them from reintroducing Abbott (a certifiable sociopath. Think 'first among equals' and you'll have a glimmer of what's standing behind Turnbull)

I don't dislike Turnbull. I equate his situation to that of B5's Emperor Londo Mollari being forced to accept and work with a Keeper to 'guide' him. Following that analogy, it wouldn't surprise me if, once the Senate voting procedures have been revised (currently before Parliament), he *does* soon call a DD** to provide something of a circuit breaker.***

Fanciful? I do admit the image of Turnbull and Shorten throttling each other to death may be stretching the analogy just a little.

----
* ETS? Pshaw! I blame the trailers for 'Game of Thrones'.

**Requires a 'trigger' to demonstrate a non-working Parliament ie: repeated Senate rejection of legislation. There is one, but it's a bit stale. Turnbull will probably wait for a new anti-union one that's coming up.

*** Remember, this is someone who publicly stated he would not lead a party that wouldn't acknowledge climate change and ratify the ETS. It must be galling to be now doing so.

David Brin said...

Five minutes per hour of ranting is not a matter of socialism but of public health. The worst memes can be self-fought by citizens, but they need at least a homeopathic taste of vaccine. Not so much full rebuttal as someone credible saying "that is bullshit and you can compare the facts here."

donzelion said...

"Five minutes per hour of [of freedom from] ranting is not a matter of socialism but of public health."

LOL. I can hear FoxNews playing through my neighbor's wall right now. I like the thought that he's trying to infect me (and needs to turn the volume up to let me know).

The worst memes can be self-fought by citizens...
How does one fight a cult?
(1) Join another cult. Offer better, competing possibilities. (Perhaps that's why, after your last post about 'militant moderate regulation and fairness' - participants raised AI?)
(2) Weaken/reduce/divide the sources of support for the cult, so that it drives its own destruction.
(3) ????

Robert said...

I disagree.

Hillary is the Greater Evil.

However, she is not against abortion and that alone is why if Sanders doesn't get the nomination, she should be elected President over whatever candidate the Republicans choose. Because it's about the Supreme Court.

But it ultimately is a moot point. I'll be voting Libertarian as I've done for quite a few elections now (though I did vote for Obama the first time when I lived in NH and my vote meant something) because this state will vote Hillary if she is a zombie and the only other candidate is a Republican.

Rob H.

donzelion said...

Back to the post and the history lesson here - for CITOKATE purposes (how I expel myself from any cult):

the insane over-reach called Forced School Bussing of students away from their neighborhoods, in order to impose integration de facto, by force majeur.

Sure seems like madness...but...after the 2nd Brown decision came down, the court held that desegregation should occur "with all deliberate speed." Segregationists chortled: "hahaha! let's deliberate about this for a thousand years!"

In the '60s, North Carolina "somewhat desegregated" - offending parents, who redrew district lines to "re-segregate." Starting in 1965, judges demanded the school district offer a plan to restore desegregation. Years went by, and for some reason, no plan could work. "Give us another year, judge!"

Finally, the judges backed a plan to immediately stop the delays: 'bus' the student from District 1 across the street to District 2 to the nearby school they wanted to go to anyway but couldn't because "wrong district."

Of course, the judge didn't run the school district, and they had a simple response: fire some teachers, close some classrooms, and protest, "Hey, Judge - there just ain't no room in that school for them ni - er, black students. But they can go over to this school on the other side of town..."

The 'more responsible' media in the 1970s reported: "children ride for 2 hours each way to school each morning at XYZ elementary school..." Interviewed both sides: angry parents, angry segregationists, angry drivers - everyone agreed: "THIS IS INSANE!"

Which it was: an insane response to an insane bigotry operating at the level of fury that only a bigoted parent can muster. The right cut its teeth learning how to mock the "stooooopid federal government" for the policy.

[Side note: Jimmy Carter is regularly derided as the incarnation of "stoooopidity" on this, but consider his motives. The busing programs initially targeted the South; cities in the North have long been just as guilty. If a thing is wrong in Charlotte, then it's also wrong in Chicago...so...when the program expanded so that more people could witness the stooopidity of it all, that surely helped flip several moderate northern states to Reagan.]

The solution to all of this? Gosh, I wish moderate people voted in ALL the elections. In the school district votes, the fields are full of thugs, who are local captains in a mass anti-science cult.

Ken Burnside said...

There are times when I wish the Heinlein proposal of requiring a voter to solve a quadratic equation before receiving a ballot could be implemented.

Combine that with range-vote "survey ballots"...

OK. I'll keep dreaming for Clinton to nominate Gary Johnson to the SCOTUS....

Ken Burnside said...

There are times when I wish the Heinlein proposal of requiring a voter to solve a quadratic equation before receiving a ballot could be implemented.

Combine that with range-vote "survey ballots"...

OK. I'll keep dreaming for Clinton to nominate Gary Johnson to the SCOTUS....

Alex Halavais said...

"And McVeighs. Biggest drawback of a Hillary presidency."

I don't know. The McVeighs will show up with any Dem. president. Continued involvement in foreign wars (pick a half-dozen states over the next four years) will lead to more dead Americans and non-Americans under Clinton than under Sanders. Clinton with a congress will make such incremental changes that an electorate will cry for her replacement in four years, and it won't be with a candidate who is more progressive. If you want the GOP to recover from Trump, vote for Clinton...

David Brin said...

Ah.... what bull puckey. I swear some of you Berners simply have to be in the pay of the Kochs. You know damn well Bernie himself doesn't believe a word of what you just said.

Give HC a congress and the 2001 Bush tax cuts for the oligarchy go away and science and education get funded and dozens of other Sanders wishes. And it will be incremental under Bernie too. Jiminey you expect he'd get all that list of his by what? Asking?

If I were the Kochs and saw how little their money was getting them by lobbying and adverts, this year, I'd funnel it all into social media. And I will bet you many of the "democrat" Hillary haters (as opposed to Sanders supporters) will be found to be agents provocateurs.

Not you Rob H. I believe you are sincere. Maybe this person is, as well. Still, I'd like to see the "verified" checkmark next to "Alex H's" FB page.

donzelion said...

Ken Burnside - There are times when I wish the Heinlein proposal of requiring a voter to solve a quadratic equation before receiving a ballot could be implemented.

LOL - well, they do make sure the 'school district' votes are handled separately from the general election most of the time. Gotta make sure turnout is less than 20% so you can stack it with a cult. If the Heinlein proposal were adopted, I assure you, algebra would be deemed "yet another PC/Muslim conspiracy against America" - and banned in high school.

Alex - Continued involvement in foreign wars...will lead to more dead Americans ... under Clinton than under Sanders.

Just like Serbia? Two non-combat deaths (a crash, as I recall) to bring down Slobodan Milosevic, a truly monstrous thug every bit as vile as Saddam. Damn site more professional than Bush's handling of Iraq. Of course, Republicans screamed it was all about a certain blowjob, and given the lack of body bags, most Americans forgot it happened.

Dr. Brin - I swear some of you Berners simply have to be in the pay of the Kochs. Nah, the Koch acolytes are instructed to use specific words in their posts, so that they can track where those terms were used through their own monitoring system and monitor responses. Their goal would be to put words in your mouth. I doubt you're a major target for recruitment - a committed contrarian a lousy cultist makes, but who knows? Still, Alex is right - the McVeighs won't care - anyone who fails to sing the right hymns will be deemed a threat - regardless of what they say or do.

Will Feret said...

"And McVeighs. Biggest drawback of a Hillary presidency. The Mc Veighs. There will be a tsunami of them. And the fault of Rupert, down the line."

This. If we're in the eighth stage of the American Civil War, which uses the American Political System against itself, I have a feeling that after that fails the "ninth" stage might be an actual war. Not along the lines of the Confederacy mind you, which involved fighting a foreign nation with a government, but in terms of there being much more shooting as lower-class rightists see the GOP in its death throes and resort to violence in a last bid to fight "socialism" and restore a quasi-feaudalistic society (despite them fighting for a society where THEY would also be oppressed).

Just to give an example of how nutty the rightists have gotten (this is purely anecdotal) my Uncle makes over a hundred thousand dollars a year, lives in the subarbs of California, and yet is willing to move his family to a third-world country (the murder capital of the world, actually!) to avoid Democratic governance because he always thinks Obama/Clinton is on the verge of implementing tyranny. He is constantly making doomsday political predictions (thanks to the AM radio hosts he listens to) and does not seem all that bothered when they don't come true, just constantly making new predictions in their place. He thinks global warming is a hoax, we should have flat tax, legalize monopolies, etc. I don't think he is "militant" becuase he is not a violent person but I pray to God he does not do some other idiotic thing if (when?) Clinton becomes president, and it would not surprise me if more violent people who are that politically radical go totally off the deep-end when the GOP implodes by November.

donzelion said...

@Will - Wouldn't worry too much about your uncle. Or the McVeighs.

(Aside from SciFi) the Middle East has been my focus for about 20+ years now, starting with a course on Global Terrorism offered by a professor who'd been a specialist in the govt when that specialization wasn't cool. For the section on American groups posing the greatest threat, we read (along with a textbook), "The Turner Diaries." (As literature, I do not recommend it, nor do I recommend checking it out from a library - but it is the first place I encountered anyone plotting to crash airplanes into American buildings - it is a power fantasy for insurgents, the way Atlas Shrugged is for investment bankers - wretched, wretched writing.)

We also spent some time critiquing the various psych profiles that were available. While Hollywood makes this practice seem spot on, in practice, initial profiles of possible suspects were wacky and way off. But one consistent thread was that these folks isolate from anything 'mainstream' for their primary source of information - disconnecting entirely, or finding a small cluster of like-minded people who "know better," occasionally watching something 'mainstream' for purposes of mocking how little those folks know. To them, Fox and even AM radio (ClearChannel & Friends) would be nothing but "a liberal front" (!!!) - actively deluded, or even part of a conspiracy to hide the "real bad stuff" that only they know about - regarded with contempt, but not the same visceral hatred directed at the Oppressors.

Yes, I find Fox venal. But no, don't jump to any conclusions about their viewership.

But even so: for now, at least, aside from deranged fantasies, these people will do nothing but kill a few innocent folks and stir up fury. They will not threaten America per se, just some Americans. They will not unite beyond small bands (and even that is rare - typically, they spend most of their time fighting with one another - the Oregon 'uprising' appears to have had unusually well-organized, charismatic leadership - which to outsiders, still looks like a bumbling band of misguided fools.)

donzelion said...

Oh, and by the way, these folks would (if they bothered to read) see words like the "Neo-Confederacy" or 8th Confederacy coming from someone outside their group, who is a scientist and a 'respected author' (whose books they've never read) - and see "proof"!

"You see! Even the stupid liberals know what's going down and are afraid of us!"
"Damn straight! I'll re-post that comment from so-and-so over somewhere else now..." (the re-posting of deranged nonsense is a little like graffiti - 'claiming turf' - as I understand it, they'll steal a sentence out of context, and then build a rubbish set of moronic sentences around it, and feel, for a few seconds, almost as much empowerment as they do at a shooting range for "standing up to the Oppressors!").

Will Feret said...

I agree with you in that I do not think they could pose a threat to America like this current Confederacy is... they simply lack the numbers. However even if only 1% of them become radicalized that's a lot of people. For the record I don't think 90% of the Fox News or AM radio crowds will want to pick up a gun to fight the government, but we're going to see an increase in domestic terrorism as white nationalists and anarcho-capitalists lose what little political influence they thought they had when the GOP self-destructs. Also some general far-right paranoiacs who don't have an actual agenda beyond "screw the liberals who are trying to install communism".

Deuxglass said...

This primary season is amazing. Trump is by far out in front in spite of spending little money and having a minimal campaign organization. Sanders is dominating Hillary in spite of not having the big money behind him and equally with a minimal campaign organization. Normally for a candidate to stand a chance he needs to have both lots of money and a solid organization but in this race, these things account for squat. If this had happened in just one party, I would just put it up as a fluke but since it is happening to both parties at the same time, I have to conclude that it might be heralding a major shift in the electorate. The elites in both parties are mystified and confused. Their carefully groomed candidates with their professionally coached sound bites are not doing well at all.

If Trump is a Republican then he is a blue Republican. It looks like he is capturing much of the Hispanic vote over two Hispanic rivals. That should not have happened according to the Republican party elites. He is capturing a third or the evangelicals when he doesn’t even go to church! Unthinkable!

On the other side, Hillary is having her own problems. She is just squeaking by Sanders. Democrat voters are so unenthused about her that many didn’t bother to vote. The turnout figures were under the last time by a good amount and many those who did vote voted for Sanders. She can get the delegates but I honestly don’t see how she can declare victory.

Both Trump and Sanders are mavericks. They both want to “shake up” the political system to its roots and the voters are hearing their message. The other candidates represent “business as usual” politics when that has been widely discredited. Incremental change is not enough to break the hold interest groups have on Washington and voters perceive this. When Hillary wins at the convention, can you really expect that those who supported Sanders will meekly line up behind her in the general election? That is what the Democrat party elites expect but I think they will be, once again, surprised and clueless. For the Republicans elites any combination of Cruz, Rubio, Kasich or a white knight is just straw-clutching and will be perceived as much by voters.

The two party elites carefully rehearsed choreographies are no longer working. The Democrat elites are still dancing West Side Story and the Republican elites are dancing Chicago with neither one seeing that ticket sales are way down and that their theaters are emptying. A new show is in town.

Jumper said...

Apparently there was a doctor who had died, and when he got to the pearly gates, there was a long line, and he said to himself, "I'm a doctor! Surely I don't have to wait in a line" so he went to the front of the line.

St. Peter was there greeting the new arrivals, and he said to the doctor, "whoa! Wait a minute sir! You have to wait in this here line before I can let you in".

The Doctor replied, "But I'm a doctor!"

to which St. Peter chuckled and said, "Well, up here you have to wait just like everyone else."

The Doctor was very angry and stormed back to the end of the line. By now a lot more folks had arrived, and the line was much longer. As he stood in line, he stewed over the fact that he had to wait just like everyone else. After all, he was a doctor. The more he thought about it, the more angry he became. And just as he was thinking about all of the power and control he was missing on earth, he noticed a man coming who was dressed in the finest shoes shirt, tie and trousers under a white a lab coat, completed with a stethoscope dangling from his neck. "Obviously this man is a doctor" the doctor thought to himself. But instead of going to the end of the line and waiting just like everyone else, he walked to the front of the line. Peter gave him a thumbs up and a wink as he stepped to the side and allowed him to enter, giving him a high five as he passed.

When the doctor saw this, he was outraged and stomped to the front of the line and demanded entrance because, like the man who had just been admitted, he too was a doctor, and should be allowed to enter.

Peter laughed and said "You don't understand sir! That wasn't a doctor... that was God! He just thinks that he's a doctor!."

Jumper said...

That joke was really about Silicon Valley libertarians.

Deuxglass, the primary system is too bizarre. Outlier states do early primaries, caucuses, etc. Bush and Kasich blew it. Look how late states with education wait for their primaries.

Deuxglass said...

Jumper,

Your slur on voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada is really too much. New Hampshire is way above in college graduates and Iowa is in the middle. Nevada is only a bit lower mainly because of the large immigrant population. In fact the worst showing for Hillary came in New Hampshire which by the way is the most educated state. Hillary's best showing came in Nevada which is the least educated state of the three. Three data points do not make a trend and we do need more results but it looks like she has a problem with the college educated group. Rather than being natural allies they look to have become a problem for her.

raito said...

I don't want Trump as President. Not just because he would do a poor job, that's pretty much a given. And not precisely because he's an 'outsider', though he is, more than anyone except perhaps Carson. It's because of what I think might happen in 2020. Because I see this sort of thing happening in other political circumstances.

If Trump wins, and does a poor job, the GOP's message will be 'outsiders do a poor job' rather than 'Trump did a poor job'. And the follow-up will naturally be 'so you should let the party decide because we know better'. And some will believe it. And if enough do, we're worse off.

My conspiracy-theory hind-brain is already telling me there's people preparing just those talking points for the future.

As for some specifics as to why I dislike Hillary, there's always the Tata Consulting thing. The H1B thing gets contentious, I know. But try looking at the companies requesting the greatest number of visas, and where their headquarters are, and it's hard to think there's nothing fishy going on. She brought Tata to NY. Tata apparently 'needs' H1B visa workers because they 'need' people who speak Hindi. But that's only one reason.

I also dislike political dynasties. So I have an aversion to Jeb, Hillary, and Bush the Younger.

Still, if it's Trump vs. Hillary, the choice to me is obvious.

Anabelle said...

It's interesting that you're talking about Trump and PC Bullies in the same post. Trump is largely running as the guy who will stand up to the PC bullies. Except... the bullies aren't really interested in governmental politics, except a as distraction. They're bullies, who want to crawl too the top of their little heap, beating down anybody who defies them. So Trump "defies" them by saying outrageous things to make them mad. But if he's elected(and isn't overwhelmingly successful) they just get stronger by accusing anybody who defies them of being just like Trump.

Luis Salgueiro said...

As an outsider and looking from across the Atlantic I have to ask:

Are you guys serious??? Is there any actual, factual hypothesis that D. Trump might conceivably become president? Isn't that a bit too farfetched even for Sci-fi?

BTW and in a somewhat unrelated note: Is it true that Texas allows guns in public buildings? On the net I find that it's old news, but it was news this week in the news channel. How is that working out? Many gunsliger duels yet?

Luis Salgueiro said...

@Jumper

Good one. But no it wasn't about Libertarians... it was really about doctors. We do hold a monopoly on truth you know. =)

My old teacher told me another one:

Christ decides to do some miracles and decides to go to work on a free clinic.
Desguised as a doctor starts seeing patients.
The first person enters.
What is your complaint sir?
I'm lame, I can't walk straight. Th man says.
Christ examines the leg, performs a miracle and tells the man:
Go now you can walk straight again.

Outside the clinic a frind asks the patient:
Was the doctor any good?
Nahh the blip didn't even check my blood pressure.


Anonymous said...

I too am very worried about the potential explosion of right-wing violence if the Confederates lose a third election in a row. They have been denigrating democratic norms for so long that their base has zero faith in the institution. It does not even matter if they think there was voter fraud, white supremacy is so ingrained that no election is really legitimate to them. The complaints about PC culture are representative of the fear they have over losing White Privileged.

I hope that a swell of right-wing violence would shame the GOP establishment away from their stated goals of Nullification, but I ain't gonna bet on it. Time to build personal defense drones capable to intercepting bullets and restraining militants!

-AtomicZeppelinMan

David Brin said...

WillF. I sympathize about your Uncle. I have for years been urging sane people with such relations to demand firm and time-set WAGERS. They understand the concept of bets and honor. Try showing him how much money he would now owe you, if the wagers had started ten years ago… and demand new ones… just for fun.

ZepMan: one hopeful trend. A lot of the worst, sanctimonious white jerks are Boomers. We’ll be ageing out.

Donzel I wrote about self-isolation into echo chambers… or Nuremberg rallies of the like-minded… way back in EARTH. Still, I just read a scary novel set in a near-future US Civil War – TEARS OF ABRAHAM by Sean Smith (not yet out). Scary, tense, fun read.

Might my “8th Confederacy” help spur some of them to make it explicit and call themselves rebs, openly? Damn straight. It is essential that Blue America wake up and become firm in resolve and that might help. Certainly Spike Lee is wearing his Union kepi everywhere. I have to wonder if the idea percolated to him from my own postings 4 years ago…

David Brin said...

Anabelle & others who cite my criticism of “PC Bullies” always leave out part II. Sure, there are nasty pieces of oppressive jerkiness on the FAR-left, bullying folks from the tenured safety of a few hundred university soft studies departments and maybe 5 cities and perhaps some awards committees. And they matter SQUAT in affecting or harming our nation and civilization. Not 1% of 1% the harm done by today’s ENTIRE-right insanity.

Does Trump have fun tweaking PC Bullies? Feh. He spreads the Hannity lie that such twits represent the tens of millions of moderate LIBERALS who have no truck with PC but only want good, solid progress in a nation that moves pragmatically forward.

No, where Trump will dazzle us all is with the blurry speed of his dash for the center, as soon as he gets the nomination. I know some of what he’ll say, and we will all be very very dazzled.

Sr. Salgueiro it is not THIS Donald Trump to fear... he would never win the general election. It is the one who transforms into "Mr. Fed-up moderate-reasonable" who might either do us huge GOOD... while losing... or do us stunning harm... by actually winning.

David Brin said...

Deuxglass, do Bernie’s supporters respect Bernie Sanders? Or do they not? When he stands at the convention, turns to Hillary and says “I will be your goad and conscience!” will they cheer?

When he then turns to address his own supporters and tells them not to DARE rationalizing giving Hillary anything less than total commitment, what will you and the other Bernites do? When Bernie himself says Bullshit to the Clinton-bashers? As he has been saying, all along?

Dig it… The rivalries in the two parties are totally different. There’s no hate between Bern & Hill. They are siblings and sparring partners. And I would not have wanted her to cake-walk to the nomination. A nice, slightly-testy tussle-scrap primary fight – with maybe a tiny bruise, cut-lip and shiner to grin over? This was exactly what the doctor ordered. Tune it up.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

If Trump is closer to the center than all the Republican hopefuls and Bernie and Hillary are on the Left, then your worst-case scenario is stymied. Personally I don't like Trump and I would prefer any President to him except for those on the Republican side. Why do you think Trump would be worse than Rubio or Cruz? Once in office what do you think he will really do?

Jumper said...

raito, you're right inasmuch as I was aware of Iowa and New Hampshire's educational levels, but I was also looking at low population numbers. In short, what I said was wrong on its face. California, New Jersey, Washington and Connecticut are not early, and South Carolina is, although they aren't exactly uneducated as much as one might think lately. Apologies, too, for my errors and poor explanation of what I was thinking.
I just made a crude cartogram of this on my site.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. brin,

I am not a Sander supporter by a long shot but I do recognize that he has hit hard on some of our most important problems and can't be ignored. If he turns around and plays buddy-buddy with Hillary then many of those who supported him will see it as a sellout and they would be right. It would confirm that he was just a straw man to give her nomination an illusion of a true primary and that the Democrat elites have been leading us by the nose all this time. As a Democrat, I am royally pissed off that I was not given a choice of presentable candidates. We have a choice of only two. What happened to all the other potential choices? Doesn't the Democratic Party include some quality people? At least the Republicans have a choice. Me, as a Democrat, was given none. Was all this orchestrated just to get her into office? If Sanders does what you say and sucks up to Clinton then the Democrat party elites will be taking their voters as fools. Those fools just might not follow the script this time around.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

I disagree.

Hillary is the Greater Evil.


That's why I name-checked you.

I know we have an honest difference of opinion here.

"Greater Evil" than what, though. Than Sanders? Maybe, although I'd be hard-pressed to classify either of them as evil. Than Trump, Cruz, or Rubio? Not even close.


However, she is not against abortion and that alone is why if Sanders doesn't get the nomination, she should be elected President over whatever candidate the Republicans choose. Because it's about the Supreme Court.


"Abortion" is the least of it, though you are correct about the Supreme Court. Hillary would not appoint Justices who will rule that "whole number of persons" means "whole number of Republicans", which the GOP appointees were essentially about to do. Anyone who asserts that Republicans are "strict originalists" which are necessary to prevent Democratic activism is being disingenuous. Democrats may sometimes overstep their bounds, but they at least use actual legal reasoning to support their decisions. Scalia and company were about to make shit up out of whole cloth and unilaterally (as Rubio likes to say) ram it down our throats.

Atheist that I am, I'm convinced God stepped in and saved us at the last minute.

And you think Hillary is worthy of the epithet "evil"? Seriously, dude, why?

LarryHart said...

raito:

I also dislike political dynasties. So I have an aversion to Jeb, Hillary, and Bush the Younger.


As some here have pointed out before, a husband and wife do not make a "dynasty". A son inheriting the position that his father had is more dangerous, as it establishes the expectation of a line of succession that can keep going. If a husband and then a wife each hold the job, then they're done. Just like four terms of FDR.

It may be a bit distasteful, but it's not a "dynasty".

LarryHart said...

Anabelle:

They're bullies, who want to crawl too the top of their little heap, beating down anybody who defies them. So Trump "defies" them by saying outrageous things to make them mad. But if he's elected(and isn't overwhelmingly successful) they just get stronger by accusing anybody who defies them of being just like Trump.


You honestly don't see the irony as being "Trump is a bigger bully than any of them"?

LarryHart said...

Luis Salgueiro:

Are you guys serious??? Is there any actual, factual hypothesis that D. Trump might conceivably become president? Isn't that a bit too farfetched even for Sci-fi?


At the moment, I don't think he will win the presidency, but I do believe he will be the Republican nominee. Really, at this point, what's stopping him?

So, if the inevitable advertising (and social media push) against Bernie's "socialism!" or Hillary's "Clintonism" is successful enough in swaying voters away, we might well end up with President Trump.

After President Ronald Reagan, I'm afraid nothing is too farfetched even for Sci-fi.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

it is not THIS Donald Trump to fear... he would never win the general election. It is the one who transforms into "Mr. Fed-up moderate-reasonable" who might either do us huge GOOD... while losing... or do us stunning harm... by actually winning.


If Donald Trump actually wins, don't you think he'd be like the dog who catches a car, and then doesn't know what to do with it?

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

As a Democrat, I am royally pissed off that I was not given a choice of presentable candidates. We have a choice of only two. What happened to all the other potential choices? Doesn't the Democratic Party include some quality people?


They didn't show up. Except for Martin O'Malley, and apparently, no one cared. Biden could have run, but didn't. Elizabeth Warren made the decision that she does more good in the Senate, and she's right. In a way, I wish Bernie Sanders understood that too (although he's still there, so no loss).

Me, personally, I'd be happier with a system where the parties draft their nominees. It really is a bad idea for the person who "wants it most" to get the nomination as some sort of prize. But until that changes, it's up to the candidates themselves to run.

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

Was all this orchestrated just to get her into office? If Sanders does what you say and sucks up to Clinton then the Democrat party elites will be taking their voters as fools. Those fools just might not follow the script this time around.


That's not what Dr Brin said. He was assuming that Hillary would win, and then Sanders would tell his followers to support the Democratic nominee rather than letting a Republican appoint the next Scalia. Likewise, should Sanders win the nomination, Hillary would do the same, as she did in 2008.

Your continual mention of the "Democrat party" puts some doubt as to your Democratic Party credentials. Just sayin'

Deuxglass said...

LarryHart,

It just feels too much like a "smoke-filled room" to me. In 1999 there were seven democrats in the race. In 2008 there were eight. In 2004 there were nine and in 2016 there were.....two. How do you explain that?

donzelion said...

Deuxglass - If Sanders does what you say and sucks up to Clinton then the Democrat party elites will be taking their voters as fools. Those fools just might not follow the script this time around.
Aye, "cut off thy nose to spite thy face"...precisely as many Democrats did in 2000, when they stayed home or voted for Nader, thereby enabling GWB JR to take over.

I try to see politics as a series of policies and tactics, rather than personalities. Take, for example, the minimum wage "debate."

(1) Sanders' "revolution": issue a "maximum demand" - $15/hr.
(2) Hillary's "incrementalism": issue a "fixed demand" - $12/hr.
(3) Republican position: avoid the topic, and redirect attention toward PC bullies and other "more serious threats."

A "maximum demand" strategy is logical when the negotiation is between an individual and a company. However, it is a risky tactic when negotiation is between a group of individuals and a company. The company will try to break up the group, offering a few individuals MORE than the maximum demand, to pit them against others in the group, and thereby achieve far less than the maximum demand - all while breaking up the group itself.

A "fixed demand" strategy facilitates group cohesion. The group has to endorse it, because it's that or nothing. Either stand together, or lose. That changes the debate: the company must respond to the demand itself, rather than assess its ability to pick off outliers and divide the group.

The Republican tactic is to keep government out of this debate entirely, so that companies will offer what they like, and workers get the wage the company sets.

If a person has a goal of raising the minimum wage, which of these approaches is most likely to succeed? And if a person has that goal, the personality of the 'champion' representing that person should be less important than the process of implementation (hence: they should show up and vote, even if they don't fully endorse their option, as there are more important things at stake).

Deuxglass said...

LarryHart,

I live overseas so I can't vote in the primaries but I have voted in all the presidential elections and I have voted democrat except once since the 70's. You may doubt my credentials and I don't mind because I don't know you and you don't know me. If my comments fail to live up to what you think a true democrat must be then frankly I don't care.

Treebeard said...

I still say a peaceful Soviet style break-up is the best option. Why are you so stuck on your American empire? Don't you think that in the lifespan of empires, there comes a time when they have too much diversity, diverge too far internally, and have elites too far out of touch with reality, to hold together? It looks to me like the forces of disintegration are starting to win globally; the whole Federation/World Government/Novus Ordo Seclorum/New Atlantis project, which was America's founding purpose, appears to be unraveling. Eventually, the imperial core will have to face reality.

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

In 1999 there were seven democrats in the race. In 2008 there were eight. In 2004 there were nine and in 2016 there were.....two. How do you explain that?


I think many potential contenders viewed Hillary as inevitable, and decided not to bother challenging her. Depending on your view of things, that might be good or bad. If they only thought she was the inevitable Democratic nominee and didn't think beyond that, then that's a bad decision. If they thought she was most likely to run roughshod over the GOP, then not so bad after all.

In 2008, it was "Hillary vs Obama" pretty early on into the race. The Illinois primary was in February that year (I think New Hampshire was on Jan 2, and Iowa might have even been in late 2007), and even by the time I voted in the primary, I don't remember anyone else being considered in serious contention.

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

You may doubt my credentials and I don't mind because I don't know you and you don't know me


Actually, I don't doubt you, because your words are pretty consistent.

I'm speaking only to the force of your argument on those who "hear" you. "Democrat Party" sounds like something Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity would say. Friendly advice, for you to accept or reject as you please.

locumranch said...



The title of today's thread (Will Trump veer-to-center?) shows a complete lack of comprehension about counterintuitive US political reality:

(1) Trump is a political Centrist with an Isolationist bent that protects the lives of US Military personnel by shunning foreign military adventurism, an Anti-Immigration (Strong Border) policy which would greatly benefit US labour, increase real wages & benefit the dying US Middle Class, and a Pro-Planned Parenthood Women's Health policy despite his distaste for Abortion-On-Demand,

Whereas

(2) Hillary Clinton is functional Conservative with an Imperial bent that has led & continues to lead to needless US military casualties in foreign conflict, a Globalist policy which supports NAFTA (originally a pro-Oligarch Republican policy) & TPTP to the detriment of real wages, US Labour & the dying Middle Class, and a Gender-specific Empowerment program that consolidates additional rights, privileges & political authority into the hands of an established Female Majority which represent 53% of all registered voters.

Dig the absurdity of this US political inversion: Trump (the putative Republican) is now the New Pro-Labour Candidate & Clinton (the putative Democrat) is now the New Anti-Labour Representative !!

Finally, let's identify this so-called 'War on Christmas, Science & Climate Change' as the False Straw-man Arguments that they are:

Since every US national is FREE to believe whatever it is that they wish to believe, there is NO WAR on anything. Good for you if you believe in (either) Religious Rapture or the coming AGW Apocalypse. Die Gedanken Sind Frei !!

You are free to (1) BELIEVE whatever it is that you wish to believe and (2) ACT in accordance to those beliefs -- Just leave those who do NOT share your personal belief system ALONE!!

Cut your personal CO2 Output to the bone: Develop Solar, Wind & Alternative Energy strategies; Huddle in the Dark if you so desire; Enjoy your methane-negative Vegetarian Diet if it floats your boat; Worship the Gigantic Spaghetti Monster of your choice; and, as always, Lead by Example if you wish converts.


Best

Treebeard said...

LOL exactly locum. Everything has become inverted in American politics.

How failed is the Democratic Party if billionaire Trump is the class warrior and champion of the working/middle class, at least in a lot of people's minds? A lot of this is about class warfare, and the fact that there is a massive squeeze going on with the middle class; that below the salary class especially, things are rough, and globalism/immigration, combined with an apparent elite indifference or hostility, really has a lot of people angry. Trying to brush it away as racism is part of the problem; it's as if there is an elite plot to gut an entire demographic, while using “PC” to try to silence them. But things are boiling over, and the old playbook isn't working, and I do think widespread civil unrest may be coming soon if something doesn't give.

Anyway, that's how it looks to me, down here among the peasants.

LarryHart said...

locmranch:

You are free to (1) BELIEVE whatever it is that you wish to believe and (2) ACT in accordance to those beliefs -- Just leave those who do NOT share your personal belief system ALONE!!


I'm right with you on this.

But, the concept of religious liberty is supposed to mean the individual has freedom from coercion, not that the institutions have freedom to coerce. Lately, the phrase has been corrupted to mean the second thing.

Deuxglass said...

donzelion,

I see your point and in normal times I agree with supporting any democrat over a republican. I do not avocate cutting off our collective noses just because the one who wins at the convention is not what I would consider to be the best. I do want to underline that this time around, democrat voters were not given a reasonable choice. You say that Sanders wants $15 an hour and Clinton wants $12 so in principle they are close together but I feel that Sanders would really fight for those $15 while Clinton would quietly drop it if her big donors were against it. It is not so much what they say, they are close on many things, but what they will do. That's the problem for me. I feel she is just lip-syncing.

Laurent Weppe said...

* "How does one fight a cult?
[...]
(3) ????
"

(3) The Churchill Option: Burn it alongside the infected host.

***

* "There are times when I wish the Heinlein proposal of requiring a voter to solve a quadratic equation before receiving a ballot could be implemented."

That's what the "literacy tests" were claimed to be about...
And of course, they were rather notoriously rigged to stop smart black people from voting while allowing barely literate white-skinned obedient lackeys of the upper-class to access the ballot.

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

It is not so much what they say, they are close on many things, but what they will do. That's the problem for me. I feel she is just lip-syncing.


I see it slightly differently.

Yes, Hillary will do whatever is politically expedient. I think the whole Bernie phenomenon is showing her that it is more politically expedient to pursue liberal policies than it might have seemed eight years ago or twenty years ago.

In other words, I don't think Hillary is a conservative who mouths liberal memes to appeal to Democrats. I think she is a liberal who pursued conservative memes in the past because she thought that was a necessary step in staying politically viable. She probably deeply regrets her Iraq War vote now, not just because the mood of the country has swung away from support for that war, but because she probably was personally against it in the first place, but she thought (as many others also did) that a "no" vote was political suicide.

If Hillary can be convinced that doing right by us is politically expedient, she will do so.

Deuxglass said...

LarryHart,

You mean to say that she voted for the Iraq Resolution, even though she was personally against, in order to be politically viable for her plans to be president? That was a major war that killed over 4000 of our soldiers, left many more maimed, cost a trillion dollars and destroyed a country. Don't you think that a vote of that importance should merit more than just political expediency? That would be taking her cynicism to the level of that of the Bush administration if what you say is true. Sanders voted against the Resolution and he is still around.

Laurent Weppe said...

* "Don't you think that a vote of that importance should merit more than just political expediency?"

It should, but it is true that left-wingers are rather often terrified by the prospect of being shouted down by demagogue bullies, so Clinton's (and the rest of the Democrat* Party's) rather destructive blunder, while disappointing is about par for the course.

* Yes, I use the word Democrat. I'm deliberately mimicking an idiosyncrasy of the french language: we say "Party Démocrate" when we talk about Obama's, and Clinton's, and Warren's party with a donkey as its animal totem, and we say "Party Démocratique" when we want to talk about any party whose leaders and activists do not want to establish an autocracy.

Anonymous said...


I watched the HC interview today and she referred to her "public record" as the reason why she wanted to keep the transcripts of her paid Goldman Sachs lectures secret. Why would she want to do that?

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

You mean to say that she voted for the Iraq Resolution, even though she was personally against, in order to be politically viable for her plans to be president?


Not just to be president, although I would guess that was on her mind. To be viable for any office. Don't you remember what it was like back then? Bush had a 200% approval rating, or something of that sort. The prevailing wisdom was a "no" vote would be political suicide.

There are some who voted the other way and proved that "wisdom" wrong, but many if not most congresspeople voted for the war for just that reason. Hillary wasn't the exception, she was the rule.

That was a major war that killed over 4000 of our soldiers, left many more maimed, cost a trillion dollars and destroyed a country. Don't you think that a vote of that importance should merit more than just political expediency? That would be taking her cynicism to the level of that of the Bush administration if what you say is true.


Well, yes, if she could have actually prevented the war. Her one vote wasn't going to swing anything.

You're making it sound as if Hillary stands out in the crowd for casting a calculated, cynical vote. No, almost all of the Senators and Representatives did the same thing.


Sanders voted against the Resolution and he is still around.


Yes, history proved that "prevailing wisdom" to be incorrect, and sooner than anyone expected. That's why I said I'd bet Hillary regrets not taking the high road and the popular one as well. I also expect she learned from that mistake.

Anabelle said...

Trump is already pretty centrist. (In the "say things that sound good" sense, not the "carefully pick the best ideas from both sides" sense or the "left of the average democrat" sense.) EXCEPT for the stupid things he said to prove he ain't afraid of no PC police. He can't take those things back, so his possible swerve to the center will be composed of proving he ain't afraid of no smartypants banker. Those statements will also be mostly be composed of terrible ideas that won't help.

And yes, he is a bully. Different playground from the PC ones.

Alfred Differ said...

@donzelion: (Carry over from last thread) The thing about badges of honor is one has to believe they are about honor. If I'm a good, tax paying citizen in a nation where the civil servants spend my contribution stupidly, is it honorable to let them continue? That's the issue some minarchists face. It's not that they want to cheat. After all, there IS a role for government in their world view. It's that they disagree as to the extent of that role. Some even point out that an oversized extent produces behaviors they consider to be immoral.

I'll disagree with you on whether government should be cultivating virtue, though. My reading of Smith doesn't support that. It is the people who do that with an implied threat of coercion for those who don't follow suit. Government can and should stay fairly neutral regarding the virtues being enforced. That's why we use a jury system to decide guilt. WE decide.

Luis Salgueiro said...

Good point about Reagan, and so the predicted veer by Mr Trump could actually give him the presidency.

So the catch would be what kind of president would he be... in a way if people start wondering about that then is already won half the battle! How many people (Trump included) would think that he had any kind of chance only a couple of months ago.

I see a trend developing: Greece, Portugal, Spain, today Ireland. The people have had enough of the same. They want change... any change... at any cost. So any candidate that SEEMS to be anti-establishment will have an edge. Abstention is also a problem that seems to affect all established democracies.

A large section of the population wants a strong leadership, a parental figure to guide them, not to have to make difficult choices.

Portugal was ruled by a dictatorship for 60 years, up til 40 years ago when a blodless revolution returned democracy to the people. The dictator, Salazar, is still (40 years later!!) viewed by a large segment of the population as a hero. In a survey a couple years back the dictator was chosen to be the greatest Portuguese citizen ever, with over 40% of votes, the second chosen was the líder and founder of the portuguese communist party!!! Both patriarchal authoritarian figures.

The same survey was done in the USA (Reagan), France (DeGaulle), England (Churchill).

How can this be countered?

@DrBrin
P.S. please don't call me Sr. you obviously know that it is the correct honorific in Portuguese but in a conversation in English it's just weird. Sr. stands for senhor that translates to sir in English.
Please just call me Luis.
If you do insist on being formal (I hope that you don't) then I would prefer Dr. Luis or Dr. Salgueiro since I'am an MD.

David Brin said...

Luis welcome as a doctor. We have several here. Actually, a very elevated community here. And you can see that we have no real trolls. A couple of lunatics! But they are mostly polite about it.


Deuxglass: “I am not a Sander supporter by a long shot but I do recognize that he has hit hard on some of our most important problems and can't be ignored. If he turns around and plays buddy-buddy with Hillary then many of those who supported him will see it as a sellout “

Sorry that is stunning silliness. Sanders has openly said repeatedly “Anyon on this stage tonight (including HC and Martin O Malley) would make a 100 times better president than anyone offered by the Republicans.” Have you even been watching at all?

Do I wish more dems had entered the race? Sure. Jim Webb seemed the ideal prototype DNC BlueDog but faded fast, because he flubbed the 1st debate. O’Malley has frankly got less attention than he deserves. And you KNOW that I pounded drums begging for Jerry Brown to get in!!!!

But in fact it don’t matter squat. You think HC will compromise too much. I fret Bernie doesn’t know administration and is a little weak in Defense/foreign. BFD. Both will surround themselves with skilled people. Grownups and scientists. And if either of them get a congress then Supply Side is (at last) history and so will be Citizens United and the Big Fat War on Science.

Shake it off, man. This… is… not… 1968. And if flouncing purists give us another Nader/2000 - handing things over to another even-worse Bush - then those 2016 Naderits had better go take shelter in some other country.

David Brin said...

You guys know I tried to do a satire to tease the dynasty thing. She’s proved her chops. Bill Clinton as a backroom advisor? What? we get that for… free?
Deuxglass LH was referring to how Foxites refuse to use “democratic” - only “democRat.”

For a change Treebeard asks a reasonable question about devolution and allowing a diversity of social experiments… that I have answered repeatedly. Lt’s start with the 1st attempted Secession-Treason. Further assume the Confederacy had NOT been spectacularly evil in every conceivable way (oh, it was), but just reasonably asking for self-determination.

1. Had the US broken up in 1861, North America would have filled with armies and borders and become another silly martial playground of endless taxes, soldiers and wars. As is, for 200 years most Americans lived their lives under minimal coercion, seeing soldiers maybe in a parade.

2. The CSA cruelly crushed efforts by smaller entities to secede from it. Hypocrites.

3. Will the American Pax end someday? Sure. We’re the only benign empire that actually has striven to create conditions for that to happen! Every innovation by George Marshall and his students (Ike, Truman etc) has pushed the world in positive directions of development, education, commerce, innovation and peace while driving poverty to its lowest % in history. All while promoting memes of individualism and diversity and liberty.

Might those memes lead to looser governance structures in future, allowing some “rebs” to create their own enclave experiments? Sure. Why not. Except for this. Your women will always, always have access to full education and recourse to law. And your women and their kids will be allowed to leave your experiment. If you try to keep them in your nasty enclaves by force or intimidation, we will come in and squash you like bugs. Fair enough?

David Brin said...

locum actually actually thinks dems are weak re border protection when in fact they always strengthen the Border Patrol which gets weakened under goppers. I have shown this repeatedly and it never sticks, even though the logic is clear. And that Mexican immigration to the US has declined into REVERSE, because NAFTA is doing its job.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-immigration-fury-one-of-many.html

The incantation that republicans can ever be pro labor is Hannity-level. As is the notion that “Bomb’em!” republicans today are any different than GW Bush. Our service personal know that democrats are stingy with their lives while goppers spend US flesh like water.

Ask members of the Sr US Officer Corps. They are inherently conservative people and almost none of them will have anything to do with the Republican Party, anymore.

LarryHart said...

Luis Salguerio:

The people have had enough of the same. They want change... any change... at any cost.


The ironic thing, of course, is that the right-wingers who want change...any change...now used to make fun of Democrats for voting for "hope and change" with Obama. Just as the right wingers I used to argue with on a comics forum called me out for saying I "want my country back" during the Bush years ("Why is it your country to want back?") became Tea Baggers exclaiming that they want their country back.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

And if either of them get a congress then Supply Side is (at last) history


From your lips to God's ear, but I thought Supply Side was dead in 2005, and somehow it returned five years later as if it had never left.

Someone forgot to cut the head off and bury the pieces at separate crossroads.

LarryHart said...

Laurent Weppe:

I'm deliberately mimicking an idiosyncrasy of the french language: we say "Party Démocrate" when we talk about Obama's, and Clinton's, and Warren's party with a donkey as its animal totem, and we say "Party Démocratique" when we want to talk about any party whose leaders and activists do not want to establish an autocracy.


Interesting, but would you really capitalize the second one?

In America, we would say "The Democratic Party" for the first case and "a democratic party" for the second, without capitalizing either word.

Republicans deliberately mimic an idiosyncrasy of the English language by referring to the "Democrat Party", which sounds stupid to the ear. See, the word "Republican" is both a noun and an adjective. One can either be "A Republican senator" or just "A Republican." So they act like they're just doing the same thing by calling a Democrat "a Democrat senator". Only they know the dissonance offends the listener's ear.

Alfred Differ said...

Look how well a Soviet style breakup works for Russia's former satellites. [sarcasm] I'm sure we can do it better. [/sarcasm]

The forces of disintegration are not winning. Last I checked people are moving into cities around the world at a rate of about one million a week. Cities change everything. Even US cities show how much of a difference there is.

I'm not that worried about McVeigh's. We outnumber them. We will survive them. We have a whole lot more cameras and people using them nowadays too, so they might get caught.

Anonymous said...

* "Interesting, but would you really capitalize the second one?"

Normally no, I just did here for emphasis.

***

* "Look how well a Soviet style breakup works for Russia's former satellites"

Pretty well for the countries which joined the EU: compare Ukraine to Poland: both countries had the same GDP per capita when the Soviet Union collapsed: Ukraine's was three times lower before the war with Russia began.

(Which didn't stop Poles from voting for demagogues trying to replace the fledging democracy with with an authoritarian regimes which will take it all away if their allowed to have their way, but that's another story).

Of course, in that case, former satellites left a multi-national organization to join another one, instead of staying splendidly isolated (and ripe for the picking).

***

* "The forces of disintegration are not winning. Last I checked people are moving into cities around the world at a rate of about one million a week. Cities change everything."

The problem isn't that modern society isn't growing, it's that modern society is fragile: cities rely on extraordinary complex and involved logistical networks to be continuously fed. I suspect that the would-be barons know this, and are -in some cases openly- wishing for a crippling crisis to happen, so they can fill the void when urban civilization collapses.

Jumper said...

"modern society is fragile"
It is as though, having simply said it, you think that’s all you have to do to prove it.

Deuxglass said...

To get back to the title of the post "Will Trump Veer-To-The-Center?", it looks from reliable sources that Trump ha been consulting with Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. He was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama from 2012-2014 and is definitely not part of the Republican defense team past or present. His interview with the German "DER SPIEGEL" created a stir and is well worth reading. The link is here:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/former-us-intelligence-chief-discusses-development-of-is-a-1065131.html

Trump promises to "get ISIS" and an appointement of Flynn would be exactly that. He also is for dialogue with Russia. Some of his positions are controversial and he is not afraid of speaking his mind. Give the article read. It gives us an idea about what Trump will do and will not view concerning foreign policy and military matters.

Luis Salgueiro said...

@DrBrin
Thanks for the welcome. I don't usually comment on the internet.

BTW why the recurring talk about civil war? What is the fascination of Americans with apocalyptic scenarios? (best selling books an movies mostly deal with those kind o scenarios.

David Brin said...

Luis. Envision the best America of your hopes. That America exists and is more modern and progressive than any nation on Earth. But it has a crazy alter ego that grabs the wheel and in recurring fits starts yanking us toward a cliff.

onward

onward