Morning Ed: Politics {2017.04.09.Su}

Tod has been talking about this for quite a while now.

It looks kind of like Trugret is not really a thing. Yet.

Democrats are betting on leftism (well, lefty populism) to prevail in Montana.

What happened to all the pepes?

Dylan Matthews explains why the alt-right loves single-payer health care. It would be truly fascinating to see, if Donald Trump were to propose it, which Republicans would be on board and which Democrats would vote against.

Increasingly, Democrats want someone who will FIGHT! We’ll see how this goes.

Gerrymanders is one of the reasons that swing seats are vanishing, but not an especially big reason and it’s being used as a scapegoat for government dysfunction.

Governor Bentley has no intention of resigning.


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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35 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Politics {2017.04.09.Su}

  1. The link on why the alt-right likes single payer healthcare goes to something on German silent movies. The GOP stance was described by an LGM commentator as populist anti-redistributionism. The thing is that people who vote for populists tend to like redistribution very much, it’s just that some of them want to limit it to white people if they could.

    Trump isn’t going to propose single payer though. He is running the country as a more incompetent and extreme GOP oligarch. It’s theorized that Bannon has been down-graded so Jared Kushner and Ivanka Kushner could bring in more oligarchic politics.

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  2. MTA/Alt-Right: It is not surprising that there is going to be a convergence between the two groups and it is going to lead to deadly results. Dylan Roof comes under this category as well.

    Trugret: I don’t expect most Trump voters to regret their votes but I do expect that a lot of them are going to have serious lessons in H.L. Mencken’s “good and hard” observation about Democracy. There is a lot of schandenfruede on the Democratic/Liberal side about Trump voters being shocked and screwed by his various actions. Maybe this is not so great but it seems like we took Trump literally and seriously it his word and many people did not. There was the woman whose husband was deported. There were the people shocked that Trump proposed cuts to programs that help the Rust Belt, etc.

    FIGHT: Yep. As I’ve mentioned a million times on this blog. Democrats are hopping mad at the Republican Party and tired of this shit. We are tired of the blatant cynicism of Mitch McConnell, tired of the concern trolling and pearl clutching from the civility police when we fight for stuff we believe in, etc. The Goresuch confirmation is the the latest example of people trying to hush hush the Democrats from acting for their beliefs because of commonwealth pearl clutching. What do the Democrats have to gain for voting for someone to Scalia’s right even if Trump could have appointed someone worse. It isn’t going to win us any elections.

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    • The thing about all this palace intrigue stuff is that it reveals how little effort or attention the Trump Admin expended creating coherent, actionable objectives and goals. So while it’s fun to point and laugh, the fact that McMaster is shaking things up and Bannon is being marginalized are both (relatively) good for the country.

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      • Relatively is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence. I agree that it is good Mr. White Nationalist is being marginalized but what seems to be happening is that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are basically running the show and they still have the same kleptocratic tendencies of Donald Trump, plus it will lead to the immoral Syria strikes. Maybe more tensions with Russia.

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      • I’m glad that the white nationalists are being marginalized, but the possibility that the military end up in effective control of our foreign policy gives me the screaming willies. That’s not how any of this is supposed to work, and the fact that I hold Mattis and McMaster in pretty high regard doesn’t really change that.

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        • The dirty little secret of Obama’s foreign policy is that it was also a mostly military-first policy, and ‘whole of government’ approaches were either ineffective or abandoned due to lack of interest within the government.

          (for example, Obama wanted a ‘civilian surge’ to go along with the military surge he ordered for Afghanistan at the beginning of his presidency. He wanted a thousand people just for the first increment. He wound up getting a little over 300 total for the entire first 4 years, and the project was abandoned in the second term). (even military-diplomatic joint efforts like Afghan hands were allowed to wither on the vine)

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          • I’m more thinking that it looks like McMaster et al. are setting policy, or trying to set policy, by stating it publicly while Trump dithers and watches them on TV.

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            • Your average 21st century Republican doesn’t have faith in any federal government institution except the military, so I contend having a military guy at the point position on policy doesn’t result in substantially different policy positions than if someone else were on the job, as long as whoever is in the White House is a Republican.

              (and again, I’m not seeing a ‘more involved’ Donald Trump would substantially improve any situation, foreign or domestic).

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          • It’s worse than that. O used the military plenty but that wasn’t’ nearly enough for the Repub’s and their voters. Even his level of use of force wasn’t violent, strutting or brazen enough for many R’s to feel like we were respected or being tough. It wasn’t a little secret that O used the military at all. It was directly what the conservatives believed and felt aggrieved by. The Repub message, loud and clear, was that we were acting weak and afraid and were unwilling to take action. Nothing secret about that.

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            • There’s a certain contingent of America that firmly believes you have to routinely remind the world that America has the biggest metaphorical dick. That, to paraphrase a quote from Dubya’s term, you routinely have to find a small country to toss up against the wall and beat down, just to prove to the rest of the world that you still have it.

              In essence, there’s a lot of people who can’t tell strength from posturing (or rather, see posturing AS strength instead of PR) and insist we do a lot of it.

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  3. I think if Trump should ever hit 70 percent disapproval, we’ll still only see maybe 5% Trumpgrets. Maybe after he’s gone, there will be a swing.

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  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/07/opinion/the-bad-the-worse-and-the-ugly.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fpaul-krugman&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection&_r=0

    By now there’s a whole genre of media portraits of working-class Trump supporters (there are even parody versions). You know what I mean: interviews with down-on-their-luck rural whites who are troubled to learn that all those liberals who warned them that they would be hurt by Trump policies were right, but still support Mr. Trump, because they believe that liberal elites look down on them and think they’re stupid. Hmm.

    Anyway, one thing the interviewees often say is that Mr. Trump is honest, that he tells it like is, which may seem odd given how much he lies about almost everything, policy and personal. But what they probably mean is that Mr. Trump gives outright, unapologetic voice to racism, sexism, contempt for “losers” and so on — feelings that have always been an important source of conservative support, but have long been things you weren’t supposed to talk about openly.

    In other words, Mr. Trump isn’t an honest man or a stand-up guy, but he is, arguably, less hypocritical about the darker motives underlying his worldview than conventional politicians are.

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  5. The alt-right has an embedded asymmetric relationship between men and women, so it seems pretty reasonable that they would adopt rhetoric of MRAs. But it’s mostly just a co-opting of rhetoric, since I make out MRAs to be a reactionary (and often hostile) feminist splinter group.

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      • Sure i believe them. ISIS are bad guys that really isn’t news. They still aren’t’ a threat to existence of the country. They are also pretty happy with us going after one of their main antagonists in Syria. Did you read about the Muslim cop who tried to defend the Christians?

        I don’t recall anybody saying ISIS aren’t’ bastards just that they can’t beat us. Terrorism is primarily the tactic of those who can’t win on the battlefield.

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        • A threat to the existence of the United States (a risible proposition) or a threat to the existence of Egypt? It’s a good deal more plausible to imagine circumstances in which some person with overt political power in Egypt is sympathetic to Daesh, particularly given two violent changes of government there in the past five years.

          I’d add that this attack looks a lot like the sort of thing I’d expect Daesh to do; it shows signs of coordination and planning by a command structure after a willing suicide bomber had been identified. Compare this to, say, Nice, which while still a horrific tragedy did not demonstrate either advancement of a political agenda, nor the ability of Daesh to extend its power by controlling and directing violence.

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          • I don’t’ know nearly enough about the politics of Egypt to know how much of a threat to the state they are. So now i’ll opine about it like an expert.

            Okay, i won’t. That ISIS can strike in Egypt doesn’t seem all that relevant to the threat they pose to us. Very different countries and people and politics. Certainly the Egyptians won’t be overly bothered about reacting gently to ISIS. ISIS is a bunch of bastards, no argument there. But that doesn’t define what our response should be. If we went just be degree of evilitude, then we would invading North Korea. They can match anybody for level of bat shit crazy.

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  6. Trugrets — like Will said “yet”. The poll was taken only a month and a half in. And I don’t feel good about the rigor of how they drilled down. A couple of flaws I see that leave me shrugging my shoulders at its relevance — when you drill down to only Trump supporters, 339 isn’t a large enough sample size. You’d need nearly twice that many polled to be statistically significant.

    And it’s not the Trump voters from whom I’d hope to see a behavioral change from next time around — it’s the third party voters and the vast sea of people who didn’t vote at all who hopefully (at least from my personal standpoint) will see that sometimes “making a statement” or abstaining can leave you in a place you really don’t want to be in.

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  7. The rigors of confirmation bias demand that I rethink my attitude toward gerrymandering if Vox is telling me I’m right.

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  8. Here’s the real link for the Dylan Matthews article.

    This would be a good time to remind everyone that “National Socialism” is just a name, and that Nazis are in fact as right-wing as you can get in every sense of the term.

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