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After Trump

One of the most interesting aspects of 2017 so far to me is the radicalization of the Vox set.

The Vox set are usually who come to mind when I think of earnest do-gooders and also “neo-liberals.” They sincerely believed that good government policies could make the lives of the American people better and that these policies would be rewarded by voters on election days. “Neo-liberal” because Vox also believes in the kind of too clever by half policies that are supposed to “nudge” people to better decision making like the health exchanges in the ACA are supposed to get people to shop for new and better insurance every year. They also believed in the spirit of bi-partisanship comity more than any other group.

But instead they are finding that good policies are often not rewarded at the polls. Ezra Klein is dismayed that the Republican Party can be silent about what is in their highly unpopular health-care bill and still have a good chance that the bill will pass. He has gone far enough to declare that Trump’s Presidency is an American crisis.

Matt Yglesias declared that Trump has lost the era of nothing matters politics.

Since taking office, his signature values — showmanship, shamelessness, and corruption — have spread like kudzu in official Washington. It’s now a country where Cabinet secretaries go on television to lie and claim that a $600 billion cut to Medicaid won’t cause anyone to lose coverage. It’s a country where the speaker of the House introduces an amendment to erode protections for patients with preexisting conditions and then immediately tweets that it’s just been “VERIFIED” (by whom?) that the opposite is happening. Republican senators who a couple of months ago were criticizing the House bill’s Medicaid cuts as too harsh are now warming up to a Senate bill whose cuts are even harsher.

The watchwords of Trump-era politics are “LOL nothing matters.” If you’re in a jam, you just lie about it. If you’re caught in an embarrassing situation, you create a new provocation and hope that people move on. Everything is founded, most of all, on the assumption that the basic tribal impulses of negative partisanship will keep everyone on their side, while knowing that gerrymandering means Republicans will win every toss-up election. If you happened to believe that Republicans in office would deliver on their health care promises, well, you might be interested in a degree from Trump University.

There are a few ways to interpret Matt’s observations. Is he saying that the Republicans are heading to massive suicide by ramming through an unpopular bill (albeit they are rolling out the horrible aspects of their health care bill very slowly)? Or is predicting that the Republicans will pass their bill, it will be a disaster including for their base but it won’t matter because of negative partisanship and gerrymandering and Republicans will lie through their teeth? There is evidence that partisanship causes changes in who you find more trustworthy and truthful.

Trump is not going to be around forever and the center-left are not going to be in a minority forever despite how bleak it seems now for us. But I do wonder how any spirit of comity could return to the nation. My own opinions on Republicans are rather low right now. I hear the so-called moderate express doubts and concerns about the more extreme House and Senate proposals but they vote for them anyway because the so-called moderates fear getting a primary challenge from the right and ending up life Eric Cantor. So I did not rejoice when Dean Heller expressed opposition to the AHCA yesterday, I heard his objections as saying “bribe me” to Mitch McConnell. I’m also starting to think that political civility is a chump’s game where the Republicans get to call you “the party of Satan” but then get upset and outraged when heated rhetoric and barbs at sent their way.

So what happens when the Democrats become the majority party again and control Congress and the White House? Do we become the adults in the room and try to get Republicans on board with our bills through numerous amendments and meetings and have them not vote for it anyway? Or do we just say “fuck them” and ignore the Republicans like they are doing to us now? I’m curious about anyone who believes that the best course of action is to reach out to the Republicans especially those of you in the Democratic Party. It seems clear to me that the voting public does not necessarily reward maturity and reaching out despite what we want to believe.

I don’t think the center-left is capable of the wild lies and distortions that Trump is capable of. I think we should remain dedicated to offering good and positive policies. I just don’t think it is worthwhile to bend over backwards to get some Republicans on board anymore or to offer very moderate candidates for positions on the judiciary anymore.

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329 thoughts on “After Trump

  1. ” Is he saying that the Republicans are heading to massive suicide by ramming through an unpopular bill (albeit they are rolling out the horrible aspects of their health care bill very slowly)? Or is predicting that the Republicans will pass their bill, it will be a disaster including for their base but it won’t matter because of negative partisanship and gerrymandering and Republicans will lie through their teeth? ”

    The bill maybe be unpopular, but does that really matter? What matter is whether or not the bill is unpopular with enough voters in the districts of those republicans who voted for it. Theoretically, if the bill screwed over “blue state” voters more than red state voters, Repub congress folks would be safe yes?

    “Or do we just say “fuck them” and ignore the Republicans like they are doing to us now? ” You mean kinda like the ACA? I’d assume this will be the plan going forward for each party.

    “I don’t think the center-left is capable of the wild lies and distortions that Trump is capable of. ” Oh Saul, you idealist. Of course they are. Do we need to quote the litany of lies around the ACA? Do we need to quote the lies around gun control? The lies around our actions in Ukraine, Syria, Libya……

    “I think we should remain dedicated to offering good and positive policies.” Funny thing is that a lot of people don’t think that the policies offered are either “good” for “positive”.

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    • “Or do we just say “fuck them” and ignore the Republicans like they are doing to us now? ”

      You mean kinda like the ACA? I’d assume this will be the plan going forward for each party.

      Both these comments are inaccurate in the same way. The GOP isn’t saying “fuck you” to only liberals/Dems, they’re flipping off the Trump base and they’re own base as well. GOP lawmakers are betting that the electorate’s anti-liberal hatred is greater than GOP hypocrisy, lies and bad policy.

      Similarly, the myth that the Dems rammed thru the ACA without GOP involvement or contribution – I think 50 +/- GOP amendments were included in the bill in addition to the architecture of the bill originating from conservative think-tanks – is a GOP myth originated at the time of the ACA for cynical political purposes and has since become accepted as an article of faith by conservatives and BSDIers.

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      • “The GOP isn’t saying “fuck you” to only liberals/Dems, they’re flipping off the Trump base and they’re own base as well. ” I already addressed that, indirectly, in my comments about being re-elected. Frankly, nothing matters but the results of the next election for each person who votes on the bill.

        “Similarly, the myth that the Dems rammed thru the ACA without GOP involvement or contribution ” Did any Republican vote for the ACA? Perhaps I’m mis remembering, but I seem to recall they didn’t or very few crossed the aisle. So, whether or not the ACA incorporated pieces of some Republican bills isn’t truly relevant.

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        • So, whether or not the ACA incorporated pieces of some Republican bills isn’t truly relevant.

          Well, sure it is. It shows that the processes for the two bills were radically different and that the GOP’s claims about the ACA are false and that their current claims about the BCRA are also false.

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          • What matters is how many republicans voted for it.

            “Or do we just say “fuck them” and ignore the Republicans like they are doing to us now”

            A quick search suggests that the ACA was passed with zero Republican votes. So the dems did say “fuck you” to the republicans and passed a bill along party lines. That’s the specific point I was making. And the only point. Bitch all you want about me pointing out that BSDI, but BOTH SIDES DO IT.

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            • Um, no.

              If Side A says, “We want your support. How can we get it?” and Side B says, “Do these 100 things,” and Side A says, “We’ll do 50,” and Side B says, “Okay,” and then Side B doesn’t support it, they’re the ones being dicks. Especially if Side A had the numbers necessary to make reaching out optional.

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            • A quick search suggests that the ACA was passed with zero Republican votes. So the dems did say “fuck you” to the republicans and passed a bill along party lines.

              This gets to my earlier point, Damon. The bill you’re saying was a fuck you to conservatives included 50 GOP amendments. The vote was party line, but the bill they voted on wasn’t.

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            • Name one major piece of legislation the Democrats have ever–in the history of the country–developed in complete secrecy, unveiled two weeks before a vote, and refused to allow the opposing party to offer amendments on.

              Until then, the BSDI critique is as misplaced now as GOP kvetching will be when the Democrats regain the majority some day and do exactly this new normal.

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              • There was some news on this by one of these “truth evaluation” sites.
                Their opinion was most major legislation is done close to this way.

                Take the ACA for example, yes, we had publicstuff… but fundamentally that was just for show and the actual bill was done in a couple of offices.

                It’s something of a new step to skip all the public fluff and just do it, but it’s a very tiny step.

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                • Take the ACA for example, yes, we had publicstuff… but fundamentally that was just for show and the actual bill was done in a couple of offices.

                  I don’t know what you mean by this, but the ACA had a bunch of committee markups.

                  Yes, all bills are written somewhere in some office, but then they are introduced into a committee, and parts get rewritten. Then another committee, and more rewrites. And again. And maybe a few more times.

                  The actual work of Congress happens first in congressman offices, and then in committees, not on the floor. The stuff on the floor is mostly for show, but bills really do normally get run past a bunch of people in committee, and almost half those people are of the opposing party.

                  Putting a bill, especially a large complicated bill, on the floor without it going through any committee is almost unprecedented(1), at least in non-emergency circumstances.

                  But, then again…that didn’t actually happen. The bill has been pulled.

                  1) Frankly, I’m a bit startled that the Democrats don’t have a way to force it to go through proper channels. Often in organizations operated by these sort of voting bodies, there are standing rules that certain types of things, if first introduced on the floor without going through certain committees, can automatically be referred into those committees just by a motion, and people would have to vote to stop that by overriding that standing rule.

                  But, then again, both houses of Congress’s rules are pre-Robert’s Rule of Order and have a bunch of completely idiotic problems with them because of that.

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            • Nonetheless, Republicans had input on the ACA, and that input was incorporated in the document that eventually became law. That input mattered, for better or worse; pretending otherwise is duplicitous.

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        • As everyone is well aware the GOP tried to do their ’94 act in 2009 all over again; play footsie under the table, then yank support at the last minute pleading for a do-over. The primary difference in 2009 being that the Dem’s, having seen this dog and pony show before, declined to take another kick at that football. The result: to the GOP’s screaming shock and outrage the bill was passed and yes it was passed without any GOP votes in the Senate.

          It’s also on record that the GOP committed in 2009 to vote against anything Obama proposed regardless of the content of it. So it being rammed through without GOP support was the only way it could be done. That said, as Still points out, the GOP had enormous input and say in the bill up to that point. Obama would have cut off on of his arms to get their votes back then.

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        • Frankly, nothing matters but the results of the next election for each person who votes on the bill.

          #ProfilesInCourage

          The point of politics shouldn’t be merely to get reelected, it should be to do good while you’re there. Which is why I’m so effing proud of Pelosi’s work during the early-Obama years.

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          • Actually the job of a congresscritter is to do the work you were “hired” or elected to do…what your constituents want.

            If they want a wall, you vote for a wall, or you convince them that a wall is the wrong course of action.

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            • That’s not very originalist of you. In fact, the founders’ disagreement is the very reason the constitution originally did not have direct election of senators (and why they chose a republican rather than democratic form of government).

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              • Who said I was an Originalist? And that was only for senators. House of Reps are directly elected. So you could say that the senators (originalist mindset) should be doing what the state legislature tells them to do.

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                • correct re: difference between House and Senate. Senate originally is to represent the States, and the House the People. In my opinion, it still ought to be that way, as long as we are still a federation of sovereign states.

                  That said, “doing what your constituents want” is a poor basis for leadership and popularity is a poor proxy for good judgment. Most people do not know enough about complex subjects of policy relevance–health care, climate change, pollution, economic policy, monetary policy, etc.– to have sound opinions on them; weighting their opinions the same as those who spend their lives studying them is foolhardy.

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    • I think the article kind if got it backwards. Geography isn’t the footnote, everything else is. Relative isolation has allowed Canada to control the pace of cultural change and avoid highly publicized government screw ups. Give them something like Merkel’s idiocy with Syrian refugees or the periodic exposures of failed federal policy we have on our southern border and there’d be fuel for the fire.

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      • Sense of national identity improved dramatically over the 50 or so years Canada imported more and more foriegners. The 1st and particularly 2nd generation immigrants tend to have a stronger sense of collective national identity than average in English Canada. It makes sense when you think about it a second, they aren’t here because of an accident of birth, they are here because they choose to be here and had to jump through numerous hoops to make that happen. They’re way more invested.

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        • It’s not that they’re weird. It’s that their version of populism is significantly different from the version you find in Iowa. Their version of populism has full-throated support of single payer, for example.

          When it comes to “who is a guy who I could enjoy a beer with”, is the answer more likely to be Harper or Trudeau?

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          • They were the opposite of each other in technocratic/populist methodology. Harper was populist policies coming from a man who presented himself as a technocrat. Trudeau was a populist persona as a front man for technocratic policies.

            We should distinguish a guy who campaigns as popular personality and guy that campaigns as a populist. Trudeau is definately the former but not the later.

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          • The American version of “who is a guy who I could enjoy a beer with” apparently includes a guy who can drink because he’s a drunk and a guy who can’t drink because of his religion.

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            • It’s a stupid criteria.

              If I were hiring a surgeon, I’d prefer a great surgeon who was a cold fish over a gregarious surgeon who was mediocre.

              If I were hiring a plumber, a carpenter, a mechanic, a coder… jeez.

              But when we hire politicians, we suddenly switch to “how would you prefer your maître d’?”

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              • I recall having a beer with a college friend who had gone on to medical school and spent part of his time at the emergency room in Cook County Hospital. He described the most important character trait for a good ER surgeon as arrogance: “Some ER patients die, but not this one, not today.”

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                  • All of the experts agree that an additional properly-placed level-one trauma center in Chicago would lower the murder rate dramatically, perhaps by more than half. Many of the shootings happen in a pretty small area — which happens to be relatively far from the existing trauma centers.

                    That wouldn’t be a unique result. I remember reading a piece about Houston’s first trauma center (opened in the days before they called them that). The then-police chief credited the center with cutting the city’s murder rate in half (with a corresponding increase in attempted murders).

                    Anecdotally, I occasionally fence with an EMT who used to work the Denver area with the highest rate of shootings. I recall him saying once that “if I can keep them alive until we get to Denver Health, those arrogant bastards save almost everyone.”

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                    • It seems to me, that it would be cheaper to hire more cops to patrol the area than to build and staff a level-one trauma center. But then again having more cops patrolling the high crime areas would also be seen as racist by some.

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                      • There have been a number of studies as to what the optimal number of police officers are for any given area, and the results are not encouraging.
                        They suggest that there is no single number which can be applied to all areas, and that the number for one particular area can change over time, and even from one time of day to another.

                        The ineffectiveness of more cops on the streets as a means of reducing crime was the reason the Bush admin. refused to re-authorize the Byrne grants.
                        The matter is exacerbated under the intelligence-led policing model. Today’s police officer needs some space for maneuverability in order to perform at their best.

                        The upshot is that five cops on each block doesn’t do as much to reduce crime as much as one cop over five blocks can.
                        As one sergeant, a 27-year veteran, told me:
                        If you’re doing too much police work, you’re screwing up somewhere.

                        That’s something that stuck with me.
                        And I wish the general public could understand that better:
                        Being a cop isn’t about being a hero.
                        Being a cop is about doing as little actual police work as you have to do.
                        Smart cops figure out ways to reduce the amount of police work they have to do. The other ones don’t make it so long.

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              • It’s a stupid criteria.

                Maybe. The Prez literally has a gun pointed to everyone’s heads. Having him be someone who can relate to you is an effort to make him trustable.

                If I were hiring a surgeon, I’d prefer a great surgeon who was a cold fish over a gregarious surgeon who was mediocre.

                A great surgeon has a track record of being a great surgeon, so figuring out who is great and who is not is easy. The Presidency is a one off.

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              • I agree; i want politicians who’se expertise is making decisions in complicated ambiguous social fields, and who know how to listen to policy experts, and can tell facts from lies. but for that last, you need someone who is in touch with the lives and hearts of the people they represent, who know the lives they live, and who value them. that is what is going on. do you value me and mine? are you my neighbor, or am I just another rung in your ladder to be stepped on?

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      • You need a really broad definition of populism for Justin Trudeau to count as a populist. He did not run on any version of populism and does not use populist rhetoric of any sort. He is a squish liberal and not a firebrand.

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        • As opposed to “technocratic”.

          Appeals to emotion, ideas of national identity, and the like. Not wonky at all. Anti-wonky. Style over substance.

          “Which politician would you like to have a beer with?” as main criteria for which politician would you be most likely to vote for.

          (Now, if you’d like to argue that “populist” *SHOULD* be the opposite of “elite”, I’d have to concede that Trudeau’s background is the opposite of populist.)

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          • the problem is not technocracy, per se, its an entrenched technocracy shielded from the negative consequences of their own mistakes and unable to update their views based on them, i.e. a panglossian technocracy singing praises for the emperor’s fantastic garments.

            people are capable of believing the most impossible things. indeed, sometimes, the more improbable the better.

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  2. Just a heads up, but for people who weren’t paying attention to politics, Barack Obama was President for the previous eight years. I can provide proof along with quotes.

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  3. Or do we just say “fuck them” and ignore the Republicans like they are doing to us now?

    Yes you should. Obama never learned this lesson, as the story to his reaction to attempted Russian influence on the election indicates.

    You’re still going to have the Max Bacchus / Ben Nelson type problem when you get clear Congressional majorities, but those are people where wheeling and dealing makes sense and wI’ll be reciprocated (on stuff like judges)

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    • Hear the sigh loud and clear, but I actually agree with Saul on that point: Trump lies much more than the center left is capable of because Trump lies more than any faction or individual (only McConnell and Cornyn come to mind) is capable of.

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      • Here is the thing, Democrats are perfectly capable with pulling their own legislation if it gets pie in the sky. California State Senators passed an audacious single-payer plan without a funding mechanism that would cost 400 billion dollars. They seemed to think that they would be able to commander money from Medicare, Medcaid, and VA funding despite not having any reasonable way to do so.

        So Jerry Brown and the CA Assembly said this is crazy and numerically impossible and pulled the legislation.

        But now everyone is mad at those evvvilll corporate Dems and their ties to Big Business.

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    • Agree with . Trump lies on a scale not seen in politics as long as I have been alive. He lies so much that it seems inadequate to call them lies. Rather, he has simply chosen to untether himself from reality and use words in a way that is almost wholly metaphoric.

      All politicians lie and have always lied and the center-left is no exception. But “you can keep your health insurance” is a normal political lie, on the order of “no new taxes.” The big difference between now and then is that GHWB didn’t have a whole ecosystem of new media-splainers to come along after the fact and argue that it wasn’t a lie after all. I’m sure some folks on the right-leaning political media tried, but we all just understood that politicians sometimes say dishonest things to get elected or get legislation passed to keep from having to openly call for unpopular policies.

      So yeah, Trump is a whole other animal, but it’s what came right before (not Obama but the political and media environment of the last decade or so) that allowed someone like Trump to come along and snip the last remaining lines that were tethering political discourse to reality.

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      • Not really.

        [He] lies on a scale not seen in politics as long as I have been alive. He lies so much that it seems inadequate to call them lies. Rather, he has simply chosen to untether himself from reality and use words in a way that is almost wholly metaphoric.

        Those words could well have been written about Reagan.
        And the *BIGGEST* difference (i.e., between Trump’s & Reagan’s reset of policy) is one of style.
        And, as far as I can tell, the main criticisms on Obama from the Left are those of his management style.
        GWB too, for that matter.

        The Left is very fashion-conscious.
        It’s all about style.

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      • Rather, he has simply chosen to untether himself from reality and use words in a way that is almost wholly metaphoric.

        The technical term for that is ‘bullshitter’.

        ‘As the Princeton University philosophy professor Harry Frankfurt put it in a famous essay, to lie presumes a kind of awareness of and interest in the truth — and the goal is to convince the audience that the false thing you are saying is in fact true. Trump, more often than not, isn’t interested in convincing anyone of anything. He’s a bullshitter who simply doesn’t care.’
        https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/30/15631710/trump-bullshit

        Lies are intended to make the victim of them believe something untrue, which means that have some sort of logic behind them. The world in which the victim does believe the lie is better for the teller than the world in which the victim knows the truth.

        This is why people do not generally lie about easily disprovable things. The point of a lie is to get someone to believe a false thing, and if they are not going to do that no matter what you said, there’s no sense in lying. (Barring some obscure situations, like legal reasons. No one may believe ‘I don’t remember’, but they can’t prove it.)

        I think everyone has noticed that is not why Trump says untrue thing, but the weird thing is that Trump says untrue things for two others reasons, which is a bit confusing.

        The first is, indeed, ‘bullshitting’. Trump is an improvisational grifter, and operates in the moment, trying to convince people of things for a split second before moving on to the next, one thing after another, and the point is less to get them to believe stuff and more to have unmoored all their objections from reality. It’s Truthiness, but whereas Truthiness used to just fill in for where Truth failed to be on the speaker’s side, it’s entirely Truthiness, where the words are just flapping mouth sounds that make the listener feel correctly, and not intended to convey actual information.

        The second, the more surreal sort of lies that are blatantly obvious and repeated over and over, like the side of his election day crowd, are weirder. They are better understood as part of a dominance performance, in an attempt to prove he can construct your reality for you, to prove he is so powerful that you have to pretend what he says is true, and repeat it even if you know otherwise.

        Often, the first thing will turn into the second thing. He will say the first thing as part of rambling nonsense intended to confuse people, and someone will catch it and go ‘Wait, what? That’s not true!’ and he will tell everyone to defend his obvious made-up nonsense.

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        • I would say it’s something like magicians’ patter except that it’s mostly improvised. If it actually made any sense and managed a modicum of internal consistency, it would be an extraordinary talent.

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          • I think it does have an internal consistency. Unlike lots of other uses of communication (eg, conveying information) Trump’s speech acts are designed to establish dominance over transactional proceedings leading to favorable outcomes for him personally, on his terms. Facts don’t matter. Coherence doesn’t matter. What matters is tipping the structure of zero-sum transactions in his favor by putting his opponents on the defensive. That’s why he’s always attacking Obama and etc. on laughably ridiculous grounds: to get his opponents to defend themselves from the exact same accusations he’s being attacked for. “Obama is the colluder!” “Comey is the leaker!” “My inauguration crowd was the biggest in US history!” It’s a cynical approach to a narrowly perceived zero-sum game where winning doesn’t require strength to overcome your opponent, all it takes is maliciously destroying your opponent unconstrained by a conception of fair play and without any regard to honesty, morality, integrity, truth.

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            • It’s a cynical approach to a narrowly perceived zero-sum game where winning doesn’t require strength to overcome your opponent, all it takes is maliciously destroying your opponent unconstrained by a conception of fair play and without any regard to honesty, morality, integrity, truth.

              The Progressive equivalent is labeling people or policies they don’t like as “racist”.

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  4. Trump is not going to be around forever and the center-left are not going to be in a minority forever despite how bleak it seems now for us.

    Really? That actually seems quite plausible for me. In fact, I’d even say that’s probably the modal outcome. I think the overall alignment of American politics is substantial flux right now. I think the Dem fantasy of a 2006-2008 electoral juggernaut is well within reason. But politically speaking I’d much rather be our team than yours. Our political vulnerabilities are tied to person of Donald Trump. Your team is structurally very weak in a lot of different ways.

    But I do wonder how any spirit of comity could return to the nation.

    But this is an easy question. Accept being a political minority, at least for now, in the spirit of directing your mentality to the best interest of the United States, including the Republican parts of it, demographically speaking. Give up the rhetoric and mentality of resistance.

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      • I can’t read between the lines for this, so let’s just say the Dem base is clearly and obviously motivated with the mentality of resistance, which is having huge adverse and corrosive effects on our political discourse now.

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        • Influential conservative thinkers have written books about liberals titled The Party of Death, and Liberal Fascism, and Demonic. I think conservatives deserve at least a bit of the blame, don’t you?

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          • No. I’m not familiar with Demonic (Ann Coulter?) but at least vaguely familiar with the other two.

            First of all there’s an obvious difference in the severity and immediacy of the issues, ie, the abortion license vs immigration policy (and temporary immigration policy at that).

            But most importantly, today’s feral Left advocacy has no understanding (or worse, intentionally blurs) the distinction between advocacy and rebellion. Even the word resistance hints at that.

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            • resistance?

              resistance ??

              What, beating up protesters, making a scene at some college talk, and all the other shitting actions? That’s not resistance. What that Bernie bro did to the republican on the softball filed. Only that could really be called “resistance” in the truest sense of political resistance.

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                • “the self-determination of the American people”

                  I literally LOL.

                  The american people don’t want self determination, or at least the portion that votes. How could they when the continually vote against that and in their actions of what they will tolerate. No, americans are sheep, bleating for more food, lulled by electronic wizardly, believing the lies they are told while they are led to the sheering station.

                  They get what they deserve.

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                  • I agree with that.

                    At first, I thought the Patriot Act was a horrible thing due to the sharp erosion of rights.
                    These days, I’m more inclined to believe the American people are generally undeserving of rights.
                    But that is only a belief.
                    It is undeniable that there is little valuation of rights or esteem for them.
                    Anyone who would maintain a right is held in derision.

                    Let them have what they desire, I say.

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            • Yea, it’s not like conservatives are saying things like:
              “Lib, it’s not about policy. It’s about the fact that you are a bad person, with bad motivations as it relates to the self determination of the American people, and therefore the American people are voting against you.”

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              • It’s a hard needle to thread. I’m not trying to be gratuitously contentious. On the other hand, it’s very important to emphasize that now, in 2017 (as opposed to 1983 or 1996 or some other year), that lib is a moral error.

                There are issues of judgment and perception involved but for the most part they’re not the important ones. Libs today are motivated above all else by the dehumanization of their political and cultural adversaries. Eg, some of them are in political office now, so we get to “resist” them, etc, etc.

                It’s very important to be able to isolate this and reject it, without any kind of rationalization, or yes-butting.

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                • Libs today are motivated above all else by the dehumanization of their political and cultural adversaries. Eg, some of them are in political office now, so we get to “resist” them, etc, etc.

                  See, Koz, at some point, we’ve all just gotten tired of your completely unsupported claims with no evidence at all. Just asserting things is not evidence of them.

                  Eg, some of them are in political office now, so we get to “resist” them, etc, etc.

                  Again, did you live in a vacuum chamber under Obama?

                  As I have pointed out several times, and you have literally never responded to, the right used almost exactly the same terminology with their ‘tea party’ and ‘rebellion’ (And waving a fricking treasonous flag, even in places that have no excuse of ‘heritage’.), and I point out that the right has a nasty habit of waving guns and talking about ‘Second amendment remedies’ while doing this, while the left doesn’t.

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                  • As I have pointed out several times, and you have literally never responded to, the right used almost exactly the same terminology with their ‘tea party’ and ‘rebellion’…..

                    And I have told you, several times, with chapter and verse IIRC about the treatment of President Obama and President Trump have very little parallels.

                    In fact, the most typical lib complaint in that context is that Mitch McConnell said that he was motivated to make President Obama a one-term President.

                    That’s completely different, to the Left activists who can’t admit that Donald Trump is President now.

                    More generally there is a completely different mentality to Tea Partiers and Gadsden Flags and the rest of it, with the Deep State, lib, anti-fascist, etc, etc opposition to Trump today.

                    When the Right finds it’s political opposition intolerable, it looks for ways to evade, or remove themselves from the opposition’s dictats, and in a few cases even resist them. You can say those things are good or bad, but they do not materially affect the legitimacy of the government itself.

                    That’s the exact opposite of what’s going on now. There’s a lot of people on the Left who think that Donald Trump really isn’t the President, Jeff Sessions really isn’t the Attorney General, Neil Gorsuch really isn’t a Justice of the Supreme Court.

                    And that mentality isn’t just out there among Facebook radicals, it’s also festering the squalid little cesspools of our society, who don’t have to circulate in mainstream American opinion, and who have to meaningful accountability: federal judges, professors, deep staters, etc.

                    The upshot is, if you want to be a meaningful participant in American political culture, it’s your obligation to clean that shit up. And the nature of that obligation, and the consequences for ignoring it, are becoming more and more explicit as time goes by.

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                    • In fact, the most typical lib complaint in that context is that Mitch McConnell said that he was motivated to make President Obama a one-term President.

                      That’s completely different, to the Left activists who can’t admit that Donald Trump is President now.

                      It sure is interesting how you are comparing an elected official to ‘activists’.

                      As your memory was wiped in 2016, I will remind you that ‘right activists’ spent 8 years trying to prove that the president wasn’t an American. (In fact, for some reason, I think maybe even a future elected official was part of that, rhymes with ‘Donald Trump’.)

                      More generally there is a completely different mentality to Tea Partiers and Gadsden Flags and the rest of it, with the Deep State, lib, anti-fascist, etc, etc opposition to Trump today.

                      You are really good at asserting that it’s somehow entirely different, yet seem incapable of actually producing any evidence that would lead to that conclusion.

                      And, again, I point out that ‘the deep state’ is something the right has hallucinated. The deep state, before the right decided to pretend it was something else, was a term for some sort of hypothetical pro-conflict intelligence service quasi-conspiracy that sorta made sure we were constantly at war.

                      I have very little opinion on that quasi-conspiracy theory, but that really is what ‘deep state’ used to mean.

                      That doesn’t have the slightest thing to do with the problems that Donald Trump is having with the government. In fact, it appears 90% of the problems he’s having with the government are with his own staff, and the rest appeared when he started behaving in dubious ways around Comey and Comey slowly backed away and started documenting things.

                      There’s a lot of people on the Left who think that Donald Trump really isn’t the President, Jeff Sessions really isn’t the Attorney General, Neil Gorsuch really isn’t a Justice of the Supreme Court.

                      Sigh.

                      Trump: ‘In U.S., 84% Accept Trump as Legitimate President’
                      http://www.gallup.com/poll/197441/accept-trump-legitimate-president.aspx

                      Obama:“Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the Presidential election last year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?” The overall top-line is legitimately won 62%, ACORN stole it 26%.
                      http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2009/11/acorn.html (And note there’s another 22% missing that ‘are not sure’.)

                      Bush: While seven out of 10 Americans accept Bush as president, 15% say they do not accept Bush as the legitimate president now, but might in the future, and 11% of the public says they will never accept Bush as the legitimate president.
                      http://www.gallup.com/poll/4687/seven-americans-accept-bush-legitimate-president.aspx

                      (Note all those numbers need to be doubled, as basically it’s only the opposition party that disagrees with legitimacy, and the parties are basically half the population.)

                      There are small amounts of both parties that never accept the election results. The Democrats historically have somewhere around 30%, with maybe another 22% on the edge, depending on the year, whereas the Republicans refusers seem to start at 50% and have another 40% somewhat unsure.

                      Or, to look at the math, about 50% of the Democrats, at most, were willing to say they think the president is illegitimate when the election was weirdly decided by the Supreme Court (Which, like it or not, does add some ‘legitimate’ level of doubts of legitimacy on the result.), and, no matter how much the left hates Trump, only 32% are willing to come to that conclusion!

                      Meanwhile almost three-fourths of Republicans were willing to say Obama is maybe illegitimate. 74% of them. 52% were sure he wasn’t legitimate, 22% percent were on the fence.

                      This, BTW, shouldn’t be odd an odd result to someone who just, literally, this very discussion, said that liberal politicians were not Americans, which leads to the rather obvious conclusion that no Democratic president can be legitimate.

                      The upshot is, if you want to be a meaningful participant in American political culture, it’s your obligation to clean that shit up. And the nature of that obligation, and the consequences for ignoring it, are becoming more and more explicit as time goes by.

                      It’s the left’s job to find people on the left who view the current president as illegitimate and somehow magically convince them to stop posting on Facebook.

                      And it was the right’s job, apparently, to find people on the right who view the current president as illegitimate and elect one of them as the next president

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                      • Like this. This particular disgrace was perpetrated by a sitting US Senator even.

                        Listen, no one with any credibility believes that Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation was illegitimate. Sen Merkley’s complaint is not going to affect the business of the Supreme Court at all. But what it can do is forfeit libs’ position as participants in the American modus vivendi.

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                        • I point out the current Republican president spent years attempting to paint the last president as illegitimate, you point to a Democratic Congressman.

                          I’m pretty sure that president trumps Congressman.

                          Or is it because he did that while in office? Well, here you go:
                          http://www.politico.com/blogs/anneschroeder/0709/Chris_Matthews_goes_off_on_Rep_John_Campbell_over_Obamas_birth_certificate_.html

                          That’s just one of them, for the record. I also point out that even after they backed off claiming he was not born in America, they continued, for years, to pander to those people, doing things like introducing bills requiring presidential candidates to turn over their birth certificates. And continued to vaguely talk about how wasn’t really American even if born here.

                          And I also will point out that Merkley’s claim was the politicizing of the court appointment process to the current extent, to block voting on a nomination until the previous President was out of office, and then having to nuke the fillibuster to get the next person in because the opposing party was outraged by that sequence of events, made decisions of the court illegitimate. It had nothing at all to do with President Trump.

                          This is, of course, because the left still operates in a reality-based universe, and understands that Donald Trump was elected via normal procedures, and even there were a lot of lies and outside meddling in the campaign, none of those invalidate any results. And thus, when Democrats are actually polled instead of you just making up stuff, a much higher percentage are willing to admit he’s legitimately president than, for example, they admitted Bush was. (Which, as I said, really does sorta have a question mark over how he got into office, at least the first time. It was, at minimum, unique.)

                          And a larger percentage of Democrats are willing to admit Trump is legitimate president than Republicans were willing to admit Obama was legitimately president, which were almost none, although most seemed to eventually accept he was born in the US and seemed to mean it in some vague metaphorical, aka, racist, sense.

                          You seem to have…completely ignored that fact, despite it utterly destroying your point.

                          The left mostly operates in a reality-based world where we can admit that the other party can legitimately be elected president, and the right does not. (And as I’ve pointed out, you are literally arguing that Democratic politicians are not ‘Americans’, which rather indicates you are infected with the same thought.)

                          Meanwhile, a few people in Congress, (The actual voters do not care) has a reality-based objection to Gorsuch, namely, that that seat was supposed to be Obama’s to fill.

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                          • I don’t think you’re getting my point. I’m not trying to say libs are worse by some subjective standard of nastiness. I could make that argument, I think, but I’m not.

                            What I’m saying is that the lib/Left/deep state Trump-related corruptions are as bad as they are for two reasons that don’t apply to the Right.

                            1. They operate at a completely different level. Birtherism is a great example. Because (forgetting the racial angle for a minute) the Establishment had no patience for it at all.

                            Imagine if you had Senators, sub-Cabinet level executive branch officials, district and appeals judges saying that Obama can’t use his stimulus money to fill potholes until I’m satisfied with his long-form birth certificate. That’s basically what’s been happening with with the Trump Administration.

                            2. At the activist/voter level, lib/Left mindshare is leaving the nationhood of the United States entirely. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing necessarily, except that libs are ever more maniacally trying to control the politics of a polity that they don’t imagine themselves as belonging to.

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                            • Imagine if you had Senators, sub-Cabinet level executive branch officials, district and appeals judges saying that Obama can’t use his stimulus money to fill potholes until I’m satisfied with his long-form birth certificate. That’s basically what’s been happening with with the Trump Administration.

                              Just asserting that ‘sub-Cabinet level executive branch officials, district and appeals judges’ are opposing Trump randomly without any evidence does not mean I am going to accept it as true.

                              I know in the conservative victimization universe it’s taken as a given, you can all invent theories about ‘deep state’ (Which I have pointed out actually is a term to refer to the pro-war military-intelligence complex, and nothing to do with random executive branch people. About the only thing you can hypothetical come up with a conspiracy to place blame on ‘the deep state’ would be, possibly, the Syria strike.) but there is very little evidence of any of those entities opposing Trump.

                              And almost all ‘evidence’ to that regard is because Trump is doing something completely unprecedented in national history, like fucking up the entire air-travel system by telling them not to accept existing visas from people flying into the country, without bothering to actually inform parts of his own government in charge of that, and everyone is scrambling around trying to figure out what is actually happening.

                              Or Trump is just outright lying about things and other parts of the government are like ‘Uh. Well. Here are the true things we are saying.’ because they don’t really know how to operate in a universe in which the Office of the President blatantly lies in ways that contradict what his own government is saying and actual reality. (The weird thing is, it’s not impossible that some of parts of the executive would participate in a lie, although Trump’s own people would need to be installed first. The problem is where Trump just randomly lies and then doesn’t bother to try to get any lower part of the executive branch or other parts of the government on board.)

                              None of this is any of the sort of ‘rebellion’ you imagine is going on, where everyone hates Trump and is working against him. This is the low-level parts of the government attempting to continue operate while the chief executive has been replaced by tornado of chaos and nonsense.

                              The closest we’ve come to actual ‘rebellion’ by non-politicians is some Park Services Twitter feeds, for a couple of hours. (And it turns out those were ex-employees who still had access, IIRC.) That’s been pretty much it.

                              Oh, and a lot of high level White House staff are leaking like sieve, but as I pointed out last time you talked about the deep state….uh, those guys are always described as top level, and they have way more access and knowledge of the President than any civil service member would. Those leakers are, clearly, Trump’s own appointed people.

                              As for Democratic Senators, yes, they are not working with Trump. But I feel I should point out that Republican Senators, indeed, didn’t say Obama couldn’t do things until they were satisfied with his birth certificate…they just kept him from doing things, period.

                              At the activist/voter level, lib/Left mindshare is leaving the nationhood of the United States entirely.

                              …you say, because you have defined liberal as not part of the United States.

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                              • As for Democratic Senators, yes, they are not working with Trump. But I feel I should point out that Republican Senators, indeed, didn’t say Obama couldn’t do things until they were satisfied with his birth certificate…they just kept him from doing things, period.

                                I still don’t think you’re getting it. What libs/Dems/Leftists/deep staters are doing is going down a road to forfeit their position as participants in the American modus vivendi.

                                The wall of text you’ve written in your recent comments, I think you’re wrong on the merits. But most importantly it’s nonresponsive anyway.

                                The things the GOP did in opposition to President Obama were in the context of their participation in the American modus vivendi, even as a minority. The things the Dems are doing against President Trump are in repudiation of their participation in the American modus vivendi.

                                In terms of policy, in terms of cause and effect, it’s very important to consider if these maneuvers are working or not. But in terms of the modus vivendi, it’s not. The votes against Trump’s Cabinet are prima facie evidence of bad faith among the libs, even if as a Senate minority they can’t actually carry the day.

                                Or let’s try another angle. Poli sci types talk about the executive leadership of a country as divided into two roles, the head of state and the head of government. In America, both roles are combined into the same person, the President. In parliamentary systems such as the UK, they are divided between two people, the Queen and the Prime Minister.

                                There is nothing the Republicans ever did that interfered with Mr. Obama’s role as the head of state. In fact, he did quite well at it, which kept some modicum of popularity for him even as his policies became more and more unpopular.

                                It’s equally clear, that the libs and Dems refuse to acknowledge Mr Trump’s role as the head of state, starting from the women’s march the day after he was inaugurated. And they have maneuvered to foment disrespect to Mr Trump and his office as much as possible since then.

                                Or here’s another angle: since the election, libs have, in their own way, been repeating the strategic error of the Hillary campaign. Ie, they perceive that they are the alternative to Mr. Trump’s governance, and therefore they reason that if they can just take down Mr Trump by enough pegs that they’ll be able to take over by default.

                                But the American people aren’t having it, even as they continue to oppose Mr Trump in a vacuum. Ie, even if they are opposed to Mr Trump, they are willing to see him remain in power as long as they have no belief at all in the good faith of his adversaries. Ie, they reject the false choice libs want to force on them.

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                                • The votes against Trump’s Cabinet are prima facie evidence of bad faith among the libs, even if as a Senate minority they can’t actually carry the day.

                                  Whereas failing to put up Obama’s nominee for a vote isn’t bad faith.

                                  I understand fully the concepts you are saying.

                                  I just utterly disagree with them in every possible way.

                                  And I point out that you keep attempting to rewrite your objections. Because I remember when the absolutely horrible thing that Democrats did that broke all political norms used to be ‘passing the ACA’. But you’ve quickly moved passed that for very very obvious and self-serving reasons (Namely, the Republicans are about to do something that really has all the traits that were mostly made up for the ACA.), and rewritten the history as the norm violating when he was elected.

                                  Although you keep running into a lot of problem, because I keep rejecting your vague assertions of conspiracies against Trump by the ‘deep state’ and all those judges that mysteriously became liberals the second Trump took office, instead of what actually happened, namely that Trump did a bunch of really stupid unconstitutional stuff because he doesn’t understand anything about how immigration (or anything) works.

                                  So now you’re sorta reduced to ‘But the Democrats didn’t vote for his cabinet picks’. That’s what you’re hanging the entire universe on, a symbolic vote.

                                  You even had to drop the ‘didn’t vote for his Supreme Court pick’ when I pointed out that technically more Democrats voted for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee than Republicans voted for Obama’s last nominee.

                                  Do you know you’re doing this, I wonder? Are you trying to trick people? (Because you’re not.) Or do the justifications move around just as quickly inside your head?

                                  ‘Liberals are not participating in the United States because they refused to vote to confirm his Cabinet choices.’ That’s it. That’s what you are at this point.

                                  I wonder if I should point out that the Republicans wouldn’t confirm his labor sectary choice, either! Or that DeVos was so unqualified she lost two Republican votes. Or that four of them dropped out because they literally could not bring their finances into conformity with regulations.

                                  Or that when Trump is not constrained by the Senate, we get a a National Security Adviser literally working for a foreign government.

                                  The reason that Cabinet nominees are no longer rubber-stamped is that Cabinet nominees used to be well respected and known members of the president’s party, very thoroughly vetted before hand, with no whiff of scandal, and if there was any sort of scandal, they didn’t stick around to be voted down.

                                  That, uh, changed.

                                  I wonder if I should also point out that Republicans in Congress sat on hundreds of nominees that literally no one had a problem with, for no reason at all, all throughout Obama’s term in office. I’m sure you’ll somehow figure out this is different because it’s the cabinet.

                                  There’s always some reason that what the Demcorats are doing is uniquely evil, and if Republicans ever come along and do the same thing, you’ll just rewrite history where of course that was fine, who ever complained about the Democrats quickly forcing through the ACA over a period of months and a dozen committee markups and Republican amendments and not even a majority approval rating. No one complained about that! That was just normal politics!

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                                  • Whereas failing to put up Obama’s nominee for a vote isn’t bad faith.

                                    That’s right, it’s not.

                                    I understand fully the concepts you are saying.

                                    I just utterly disagree with them in every possible way.

                                    Sigh. No, in spite of your assertions I don’t think you understand. If you took an ideological Turing Test on my comments in this thread, I don’t think you’d pass.

                                    So far, your mentality is as if we’re having a debate over some known proposition, and your role is to refute whatever it is that I’m arguing. And there’s nothing wrong with that necessarily, but that’s not what we’re doing, at least not yet. Because among other things if that was what I was doing at least, the first thing I’d note is that I have scoreboard. And I think you’d have to concede that yeah, I do.

                                    Specifically, you’re trying to offer objective rebuttals to a subjective phenomenon, which just doesn’t fit. There’s a lot of people out there who don’t like Republicans for a lot of reasons, some legit and some not, but the one thing the GOP doesn’t have to worry about as that the country thinks that they’re Not Really Americans.

                                    Therefore the idea that it’s ok for the Dems to vote against Justice Gorsuch and Trump’s cabinet because the GOP Senate “pocket vetoed” Merrick Garland doesn’t hold up, as the libs found out to their detriment.

                                    The same with this stuff about “conspiracies”. It could be that you, the Middlebury protestors and the Trilateral Commission met in a windowless room somewhere and made a plan to disrupt and assault Charles Murray. But most likely you didn’t.

                                    But this has little to do with how America sees this, and what America wants. You’re the Left, they’re the Left, the whole bunch of you are Not Really Americans, I can and have and can continue to vote Republican until it stops. This may involve a belief in conspiracies, but doesn’t require it.

                                    This even applies to whatever they’re calling the ACA replacement this month. I’m very wary of what’s going on for exactly the reasons that you mention. I don’t think the American people are going to like this jack-in-a-box idea that health care policy is whatever pop’s out of Mitch McConnell’s office. And most likely it won’t pass.

                                    But if it does, there’s some chance that the Republicans will get away with it even then. And if they do, it will be because they have a reservoir of trust that the Democrats don’t have. And that nobody who voted or would vote Republican felt that they are being shut out because Mitch McConnell short-circuited the process.

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                                    • You continue to mistake the will of people in select parts of the country as the will of the people. Yes, the GOP is winning the game but that game isn’t, “Have the ideas the most people like.” So saying that their wins amount to that is illogical.

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                                      • The 2016 did not prove that the GOP will be governing America for the forseeable future. What it did prove, especially in the context of the 2010 and the 2014 elections that preceded it, is that as demographics currently stand, it has access to a working majority. And therefore, Dems can’t have legitimate governance in America if they concede all of it.

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                                          • “But this [ie, conspiracies among Leftists] has little to do with how America sees this, and what America wants.”

                                            Good one. Ie, libs/Leftists don’t have to actually be conspiring to visit the sins of one lib on another.

                                            We have no idea what America sees or wants, certainly not based on the 2016 election results.

                                            Au contraire, I think we do, a least a little bit. 2016, combined with 2014 and 2010 lets us know that the GOP has at least the possibility of a working majority. And therefore, the D’s have to peel off at least some of it to be legitimately relevant.

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                                    • So far, your mentality is as if we’re having a debate over some known proposition, and your role is to refute whatever it is that I’m arguing. And there’s nothing wrong with that necessarily, but that’s not what we’re doing, at least not yet. Because among other things if that was what I was doing at least, the first thing I’d note is that I have scoreboard. And I think you’d have to concede that yeah, I do.

                                      No, because I have no idea what the hell ‘I have scoreboard’ is supposed to mean.

                                      I suspect you mean you think you are operating the scoreboard, and thus can set it to whatever you want, so you automatically win any argument you are in. (For the record, I do not concede that.)

                                      Normally, I wouldn’t think you were saying something so silly that completely destroys any idea you’re discussing things in good faith, but it’s you, and you just said a lot of very silly things in this post that sorta did just that, so maybe you said one more.

                                      Anyway, everyone else, remember: When you talk to Koz, you’re not actually trying to figure out facts with him. Your role is not to refute him, your role is to agree with him that Democrats are doing bad things, and isn’t it horrible!

                                      These are bad things that he really doesn’t want to explain, because it turns out that Republicans started them or they’re, like, the presidents own administration leaking, or batshit stupid Trump things being shut down, but they’re, like really bad things, promise, especially when you take them as a vague whole instead of actually looking at any of them and comparing them to how things have previously gone.

                                      And so, until the Democrats stop these Bad Things, he and other Republicans not going to…vote for Democrats!

                                      Huh. That’s a rather weird threat. Not really sure it works.

                                      I guess….he and other Republicans considered voting for Democrats, and then made an objective rational choice not to based on Democrat bad behavior? (Despite the fact this bad behavior is now stuff they did under Trump, so, uh, hardly can explain any of their votes except a few special elections, in which Democrats actually made gains. Huh. Weird.)

                                      But, anyway. I’m sure it was a fully rational and informed choice for Republicans, so Democrats should just stop all their-

                                      Specifically, you’re trying to offer objective rebuttals to a subjective phenomenon, which just doesn’t fit. There’s a lot of people out there who don’t like Republicans for a lot of reasons, some legit and some not, but the one thing the GOP doesn’t have to worry about as that the country thinks that they’re Not Really Americans.

                                      -bad…behavior…erm, wait.

                                      So Republicans didn’t make an objective rational choice, but instead just sorta think dumb prejudicial things about half the population?

                                      Oooooo-kay. Not…really sure why you admitted that, but okay.

                                      Guys, I think this really sums up Koz and all you need to know about him and this entire dumbfuck conversation.

                                      In fact, this sum up basically every dumbfuck conversation I end up in with him, where he constantly comes up with newer and nonsensicaller reasons that everything the Democrats are doing is Totally Out Of Bounds, and completely unlikely that thing that Republicans did under Obama.

                                      Except in the end it always boils down to ‘But a lot of Republicans, despite not really disliking the policy issues they push, hate Democrats, including me! And we can’t just have completely stupid reasons for hating Democrats!’.

                                      And I would love to respond to that, but I suspect you would not believe me.

                                      But this has little to do with how America sees this, and what America wants. You’re the Left, they’re the Left, the whole bunch of you are Not Really Americans, I can and have and can continue to vote Republican until it stops.

                                      Remember, folks, it’s the Democrats that are refusing to participate in the political process, not the party that literally thinks the other party has no right to participate in the political process because they are Not Really Americans.

                                      Somehow.

                                      And Koz, I leave this discussion by, once again, pointing out that literally more people voted for Hillary, and their Democratic Representatives (And Senate, but that doesn’t count.), than for Republicans.

                                      And I point out that 30% of people who call themselves Democrats, compared to 26% who call themselves Republicans.

                                      Edit: BTW, I just googled “I have scoreboard” and have essentially no hits on that phrase as itself. In fact, almost all hits are weird quotes of computer output. That isn’t a real phrase. This provides further evidence of my theory that Koz is, in fact, a time traveler who arrived in 2016 from hundreds of years in the future (Where ‘I have scoreboard’ is a phrase, probably meaning ‘I have control of the final outcome’), and has brought himself up to date by reading very inaccurate right-wing websites.

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                                      • No, because I have no idea what the hell ‘I have scoreboard’ is supposed to mean.

                                        I suspect you mean you think you are operating the scoreboard, and thus can set it to whatever you want, so you automatically win any argument you are in. (For the record, I do not concede that.)

                                        No, it’s simpler than that, and I believe it’s a fairly common idiomatic phrase.

                                        That is, that the recent run of events has been in my favor. Trump won, and more recently and topically, Ossoff lost. You may not believe or may not follow my train of thought as it pertains to what we can infer from that, but I think you do have to concede as a simple matter of fact that Ossoff did in fact lose. And furthermore, this might be able to help us reconcile the anger-filled business “blah blah Koz is such a dumbfuck”, hopefully in a better way.

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                                        • No, it’s simpler than that, and I believe it’s a fairly common idiomatic phrase.

                                          Dude, there are 29 hits on “I have scoreboard”
                                          https://www.google.com/search?q=%22I+have+scoreboard%22#q=%22I+have+scoreboard%22&start=20

                                          Whole internet, 29 examples of that phrase. Among the quotes ‘I have scoreboard and netgraph set to tab’ and ‘So far I have: /scoreboard’ and ‘I have scoreboard overlays on layer 1’ and ‘I have Scoreboard and do not notice any plastic facing on it.’ I.e., every example I can figure out is talking about some thing named ‘scoreboard’ that they possess or is a computer function, not a winning score.

                                          I have no idea what phrase you’re thinking of, but it is not ‘I have scoreboard’.

                                          At least not yet. Perhaps it is a very common phrase when you come from.

                                          You may not believe or may not follow my train of thought as it pertains to what we can infer from that, but I think you do have to concede as a simple matter of fact that Ossoff did in fact lose.

                                          That’s you offering an objective rebuttal to a subjective phenomenon, which just doesn’t fit.

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                                      • Oooooo-kay. Not…really sure why you admitted that, but okay.

                                        Again, this is supposed to be pretty simple. The meaning of a persons’ actions, a group of persons’ actions, your actions, libs’ actions, are determine not just by the actions themselves by who the actor is and where they are situated.

                                        President Donald Trump saying that he wants peaceful relations with Russia means something different than if Ronald Reagan saying the same thing, and both of those are different than if Dwight Eisenhower said it.

                                        My sense is, that you are responding to my various complaints about libs and Dems through the lens of your own loyalties to them, with the intent of demonstrating why those loyalties are legitimate. I disagree with that, but that’s not what I’ve been arguing so far.

                                        My point is that that frame of reference is not conclusive. That is a substantially easier proposition to demonstrate, which is one of the reasons why I’m starting there.

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                                      • Remember, folks, it’s the Democrats that are refusing to participate in the political process, not the party that literally thinks the other party has no right to participate in the political process because they are Not Really Americans.

                                        Not at all. There’s two related things going on here. On the one hand, libs are withdrawing from the modus vivendi of American political culture as it’s understood in large parts of America, for example the emphasis on California secession since the election. On the other hand, you have circumstances where at least at some levels libs are not allowed to participate in our political culture, eg, Ossoff.

                                        It’s also a mistake to think that the GOP thinks that libs aren’t allowed to participate in the political process, that’s from me. And even from me, it’s something that I’ve perceived as a nascent phenomenon, it’s something that’s flying under radar now but I expect to get bigger and more explicit as time goes by.

                                        As far as the GOP goes, there’s probably not one in a hundred Republicans who can put this into words as I have in this thread, maybe even one in a thousand. But they can sense it, they can even smell it on the lib, and react accordingly. Again, Ossoff.

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                                        • Not at all. There’s two related things going on here. On the one hand, libs are withdrawing from the modus vivendi of American political culture as it’s understood in large parts of America, for example the emphasis on California secession since the election.

                                          There is literally no emphasis on California secession. That is literally not a thing anymore. It folded two and half months ago after only getting a sixth of the votes it needs.

                                          Additionally, it wasn’t even a ‘liberal’ thing. Of the two backers, one had voted for Trump.

                                          There was a ‘rival group’ that supposedly was going to step in, but they actually mostly changed their purpose and are trying to argue for a national popular vote, the end to gerrymandering, and reorganizing the Senate.

                                          …actually, I can’t even imagine where you were getting news from that there was an emphasis on California secession. At any point in time.

                                          And, every time this is mentioned, I am required to remind people that Alaska literally has a secessionist party. That actually gets votes. That notable Republicans from Alaska have been involved in. Taken quite seriously.

                                          Meanwhile, this non-dead voter initiative was just…some guys who filed paperwork.

                                          But it is, of course, the liberals who are ‘withdrawing’.

                                          As far as the GOP goes, there’s probably not one in a hundred Republicans who can put this into words as I have in this thread, maybe even one in a thousand. But they can sense it, they can even smell it on the lib, and react accordingly. Again, Ossoff.

                                          We have achieved truthiness, I repeat, we have achieved truthiness!

                                          *sounds the alarm*

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                                          • 1) The secessionists in Alaska not taken seriously. Not at all.

                                            2) Koz has thought liberals are the most horrible that ever horribled for as long as he has commented here. What are you expecting?

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                                            • 1) The secessionists in Alaska not taken seriously. Not at all.

                                              On a scale of policy seriousness where 10 represents ‘A major US political party has that as a policy and is trying to implement it’, and 0 is ‘Move the entire US to the moon to escape the mole people’, Alaska secessionism is somewhere around 3 or 4.

                                              Weirdly, it’s only that low not because the party that pushed it is doing badly, it’s actually a very successful third party, it’s that low because the party slowly backed away from it…and then came back, and actually won their petition drive in 2006 to have a vote to demand the Alaska secede from the Union, or, if that wasn’t legally possible, to work towards making it possible.

                                              The Alaskan Supreme court, weirdly, ruled any attempt at secession unconstitutional, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. I can understand secession itself being unconstitutional, but ‘directing the state to work towards it’ (Which if it’s unconstitutional, at either the state or Federal level, would seem to require a constitutional amendment at the correct level) is itself unconstitutional? Huh?

                                              I mean, I completely disagree with what they are trying to do, but that doesn’t magically make their attempts unconstitutional.

                                              But, I mean, they actually got a ballot measure passed, even if the courts decided to ignore it. They’ve been around for almost 70 years. They’ve had disagreements over the policy, they’ve backed away from it, they’ve moved towards it, they’ve elected politicians. There is some level of seriousness there. It’s about two clicks below Libertarianism in likelihood of happening, but it’s not nothing.

                                              California secessionism, meanwhile is probably 1, and only isn’t 0 because it is theoretically possible and has been suggested by human beings in a non-facetious manner. It’s not supported by any party, not even a minor party, and the organization that started the entire thing is dead, and the organization that sorta ‘took over’ has entirely moved away from that to trying to get California more of a vote in the Senate.

                                              (Hilariously, those idiots have somehow managed to pick literally the only goal that is more impossible than a state seceding. A simple US Constitutional amendment, plus perhaps a state constitutional change, could allow states to do secede. It could lay out a process, and states could follow it. But increasing, or rather decreasing which would obviously happened if anyone else increased, the amount of votes a state has in the Senate is literally the only specific thing still remaining in the constitution that cannot be changed by a ‘simple constitutional amendment’!)

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                                      • These are bad things that he really doesn’t want to explain, because it turns out that Republicans started them or they’re, like, the presidents own administration leaking, or batshit stupid Trump things being shut down, but they’re, like really bad things, promise, especially when you take them as a vague whole instead of actually looking at any of them and comparing them to how things have previously gone.

                                        Your arguments along these are wrong on the merits, at least imo, and we’ll get to them to the extent that you and I both have the patience for this.

                                        But first we should agree that just because you believe that your actions or your political allies’ actions don’t necessarily mean what you think they do. Other people can and will ascribe their own meanings to your actions, and those meanings count. Or, if we don’t agree, we should hash out why.

                                        And so, until the Democrats stop these Bad Things, he and other Republicans not going to…vote for Democrats!

                                        It isn’t Republicans who you should be worrying about, it’s Americans. That’s to say, there’s lots of Americans who in recent elections have voted for Republicans or supported Republicans, who aren’t themselves Republican and don’t even necessarily have a high opinion of the party and its people for that matter.

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                                        • But first we should agree that just because you believe that your actions or your political allies’ actions don’t necessarily mean what you think they do. Other people can and will ascribe their own meanings to your actions, and those meanings count.

                                          Oh, I agree with that totally.

                                          You do not.

                                          Because you keep ascribing meanings to the actions of both Democrats and Republicans, and arguing about those.

                                          Here you are, right above, making an objective claim about something that is, at best, a rather hazy and vague interpretation of events:

                                          Imagine if you had Senators, sub-Cabinet level executive branch officials, district and appeals judges saying that Obama can’t use his stimulus money to fill potholes until I’m satisfied with his long-form birth certificate. That’s basically what’s been happening with with the Trump Administration.

                                          ‘That is basically what’s been happening..’

                                          Not ‘The perception upon Republicans is that that is what has been happening…’.

                                          No, you say it really is happening.

                                          I then point out that most of what you claimed there is conspiracy nonsense, because the response to Trump from anyone but politicians is not from ‘leftists’ but pretty much from all levels of the government, because Trump keeps breaking shit and, fundamentally, people in the government want it to work because otherwise their job is very hard.

                                          And the political stuff is just…a normal racketing up of partisanship that has been going on for the past two decades, plus some level of ‘WTF is going on?’ under Trump, often from Republicans. (Again, Trump nominated such a bad choice for Labor and Education that he couldn’t even get the first guy in, and had so many defectors on the latter that he had to resort to the VP casting the tiebreaker.)

                                          And then your big claim that Democrats see the president as illegitimate, I pointed out was pure nonsense because Trump is actually see as the most ‘legitimate’ president of the last three by the opposing party, and the previous Republican president is in second place and he sorta does deserve a bit of an asterisk for the unique process. Meanwhile, Obama, who deserves no asterisk at all, had a supermajority of Republicans unwilling to say ‘Yeah, he’s really president’!

                                          Since I totally disproved all those ‘facts’ that were utterly important, you have now decided to switch to ‘What is important is how it looks to Republicans, facts aren’t important!’

                                          But wait, there’s a better example of this: You literally saying the opposite thing of what you just said:

                                          It’s a hard needle to thread. I’m not trying to be gratuitously contentious. On the other hand, it’s very important to emphasize that now, in 2017 (as opposed to 1983 or 1996 or some other year), that lib is a moral error.

                                          There are issues of judgment and perception involved but for the most part they’re not the important ones. Libs today are motivated above all else by the dehumanization of their political and cultural adversaries. Eg, some of them are in political office now, so we get to “resist” them, etc, etc.

                                          It’s not how people perceive thing, you explain. It’s how liberals are motivated by the wrong thing.

                                          Not that they are perceived to be by Republicans. They factually are motivated by wrong things.

                                          That’s to say, there’s lots of Americans who in recent elections have voted for Republicans or supported Republicans, who aren’t themselves Republican and don’t even necessarily have a high opinion of the party and its people for that matter.

                                          Yeah, fun fact: There’s even more Americans who, in recent elections, have voted for Democrats.

                                          Period.

                                          BTW, I like how you seem to think you can concern troll Democrats in the same discussion that you have constantly attacked Democrats. Yeah, that only works if we legitimately think you have our best interests at heart.

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                                          • BTW, I like how you seem to think you can concern troll Democrats in the same discussion that you have constantly attacked Democrats. Yeah, that only works if we legitimately think you have our best interests at heart.

                                            Well, yeah, yeah I can, though obviously you don’t necessarily have to agree with me or believe me. In fact, I’d even say that I do have your best interest at heart. Though it’s complicated sometimes. Sometimes I mention things that I think are in the best electoral interest of the Democratic Party, eg, if when I write that the Dems would be better off if they voted for Trump’s cabinet and made a big production about how Trump is their President.

                                            In other circumstances, I’m saying that the spiritual motivations of modern American liberals is in a bad state and it’s in your best interest to do something else. And to a large extent I’d rather talk about other things, but over the last few years those other things have become less and less relevant, to the point where we have to deal with the elephant in the room.

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                                          • And the political stuff is just…a normal racketing up of partisanship that has been going on for the past two decades, plus some level of ‘WTF is going on?’ under Trump, often from Republicans. (Again, Trump nominated such a bad choice for Labor and Education that he couldn’t even get the first guy in, and had so many defectors on the latter that he had to resort to the VP casting the tiebreaker.)

                                            Uhhh, no. You’re misperceiving the context that Trump illuminated and operates in. In fact, to a substantial exent he created it.

                                            I mention this because I read an article by Ken Masugi a couple of days ago that goes into it a little deeper. Specifically,

                                            Thus Trump opposes identity politics, not by singling out groups, but instead by showing how an American identity is superior to all others (and especially to divisive sub-groupings of Americans). Trump’s patriotism is what Aristotle called political friendship, a kind of friendship of virtue. It is the unity of purpose, individual and national, that Lincoln described in the Gettysburg Address.

                                            Far from being its enemy, such a “populism” becomes essential to preserve constitutional government, just as clearly as identity politics destroys it. It promotes a higher identity that unites rather than divisive sub-identities that set us against each other. And this is why the political correctness of identity politics is a necessary step to build that enduring faction known as the administrative state. That kind of authoritarianism and anti-constitutionalism is wholly assumed by Clinton. Quite the opposite with Trump.

                                            Ceaser’s characterization of Trump as “post-ideological” misses that Trump is in fact pre-ideological—he thinks in terms of the whole American nation, not in terms of the groups that comprise it. Trump is more like Lincoln at Gettysburg than Madison in Federalist 10.

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                                            • Uhhh, no. You’re misperceiving the context that Trump illuminated and operates in. In fact, to a substantial exent he created it.

                                              And here we have yet another example of Koz just basically making whatever argument he wants at any point, not matter how much it conflicts with previous points.

                                              You see, previously, it was Democrats who ramped up partisanship under Obama with their refusal to work with Republicans on the ACA.

                                              Then it was Democrats who ramped it up under Trump because they couldn’t handle losing.

                                              Now, it appears, it was Trump who created that environment, because some utter bullshit thing I can’t even bother following.

                                              Koz, seriously, every discussion with you is that sort of gibberish, where you just randomly quote anything that you think seems to make whatever point lets you ‘win’ with regard to how bad Democrats are, but you have entirely failed to notice that this web site is, in fact, composed of the same people from post to post, and we actually remember previous things you have claimed, and at this point, in the mere few months you have returned to posting here, you are already speaking utter contradictions.

                                              Because your entire point seems to be posting intellectual sounding arguments to, again, have a reason to criticize Democrats and defend Republicans, and you do not seem to understand that you have absolutely no consistency at all. You take firm positions on things and then, the same discussion, take exactly the opposite position.

                                              And then you quote a guy who, in that very article, defends Watergate. And seems to think identity policies isn’t identity politics if you label the identity you have chosen ‘American’ and all the other identities as not-American. Which is, uh, not how it works.

                                              BTW, just claiming that ‘Trump’s patriotism is what Aristotle called political friendship, a kind of friendship of virtue.’ not only presents no evidence at all…but doesn’t really make a lot of sense. (And is an interesting reference to make for an article that immediately before that complained about ‘intellectual elites’!)

                                              Aristotle did talk about political (Although the best translation probably would be ‘civic’) friendship, and also talked about ‘friendship of virtue’. A friendship of virtue is the highest form of friendship, vs. friends that just shared interest, or friends that were just using each other.

                                              A friendship of virtue is where you want good things to happen to other people regardless of how those things effect you. I.e., it’s literally how we define ‘love’ now, but he calls it a ‘friendship of virtue’.

                                              But friendships of virtue Aristotle, rather explicitly, claimed would, by necessity, be limited in number. Which…seems reasonable to me. You can’t love everyone. And it means trying to lump civic friendship under them is kinda silly! You don’t actually want good things to happen to Americans regardless of how it impacts you. No one loves every American, except God and/or The Machine.

                                              Aristotle’s idea of civic friendship was basically just…community. It has nothing to do with his ideas of ‘friends of virtues’, and those are not that. If they needed classifying, they would probably count as ‘shared interest’ friendships, where the ‘shared interest’ is ‘living in the same community’.

                                              So, in addition to this article misrepresenting what Aristotle means by ‘friends of virtue’, it’s basically just saying ‘Trump’s patriotism is based on a sense of shared community’ in a somewhat wrong and very roundabout pseudo-intellectual way.

                                              Which is assuming a whole bunch of facts not in evidence.

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                                              • You see, previously, it was Democrats who ramped up partisanship under Obama with their refusal to work with Republicans on the ACA.

                                                Not at all. The Republicans’ fortunes were at low tide at that point. Nobody gave a shit about Obama’s partisanship per se. They disapproved of the fact that Obama and the D’s went off on their health care tangent against the priorities of the American people for a plan they didn’t want.

                                                Then it was Democrats who ramped it up under Trump because they couldn’t handle losing.

                                                As it stands today, the D’s problems aren’t that they oppose Trump’s policy initiatives. If that’s what they were doing, they would be in much better shape than they are. They have to express their unwillingness to accept Trump’s existence as President.

                                                Eg, the link I just posted.

                                                It’s one things to think that President Trump is distasteful and I, as lib, disapprove of him for this or that. It’s quite another to expect that distaste has motive power of the mechanics of design to express the self-determination of the American people. That’s where the modus vivendi part comes in, and that’s where, whatever problems the American people have with Donald Trump, it’s still not enough to help the Demos.

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                                              • So, in addition to this article misrepresenting what Aristotle means by ‘friends of virtue’, it’s basically just saying ‘Trump’s patriotism is based on a sense of shared community’ in a somewhat wrong and very roundabout pseudo-intellectual way.

                                                And you’re just being obtuse in this line of thought. It’s clear from context that Masugi is not distinguishing political friendship, from friendship of virtue, in fact in this case he asserts that the former is a kind of the latter. And the reason it is, is precisely because it is not directed toward self-interest (ie, just like you defined it.)

                                                The point of this is very clear. It’s not that Trump represents this or that faction of American politics, though he might, more importantly he credibly represents himself as being above faction (ie representative of America as a whole), and for that he got a lot of support of otherwise apolitical Americans, in spite of his manifest crudeness and vulgarities.

                                                At that level, the D’s have neither the moral authority nor the political leverage to oppose this.

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                                                • And you’re just being obtuse in this line of thought. It’s clear from context that Masugi is not distinguishing political friendship, from friendship of virtue, in fact in this case he asserts that the former is a kind of the latter. And the reason it is, is precisely because it is not directed toward self-interest (ie, just like you defined it.)

                                                  Uh, please pay attention.

                                                  I don’t give a flying fuck what Masugi thinks. I was pointing out that he said that Aristotle/B> thought that civil friendship was a type of friendship of virtue.

                                                  Aristotle, who originated both those terms, did not, in fact, think that.

                                                  Masugi can think whatever moronic thing he wants. He just can’t ascribe those thoughts to Aristotle.

                                                  he might, more importantly he credibly represents himself as being above faction (ie representative of America as a whole), and for that he got a lot of support of otherwise apolitical Americans, in spite of his manifest crudeness and vulgarities.

                                                  And that is the position you have decided to take for the next two minutes until you have picked another one. Why…would I care, at this point? It won’t be your position the second I point out flaws in it, or the second you want to argue anything else.

                                                  And it, I must say, is a particularly nonsensical position. This is the president that couldn’t figure out he was supposed to stop campaigning once he won the election, and switch to being the president of all Americans…and as such didn’t get a honeymoon period. This is the president who immediately started his next campaign. This is the president who (as the article itself mentions) has attacked Americans because of their heritage.

                                                  To believe he’s credibly representing himself as the president of all Americans, and that he’s doing it more than past presidents, takes a particular sort of stupid that is not worth arguing about, a particular level of near-total blindness to the actual behavior and statements of the president himself.

                                                  Maybe Masugi believes that, I don’t know. All I know is there is no point in addressing what you claim to believe, because it will not be the same in the next discussion you have.

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                                                  • And that is the position you have decided to take for the next two minutes until you have picked another one. Why…would I care, at this point? It won’t be your position the second I point out flaws in it, or the second you want to argue anything else.

                                                    No no no no. You’ve tried this gambit a few times now, and it just doesn’t fly. You are either incredibly obtuse or incredibly pedantic, probably the latter though it may be some of both.

                                                    It could be that Masugi misconstrues Aristotle’s work on friendship on the way to making his points about Trump. I haven’t read Aristotle in a long time. It really doesn’t matter, the argument as it pertains to Trump is plenty clear enough. And it should be equally clear that I haven’t meaningfully changed my position on this at all.

                                                    To believe he’s credibly representing himself as the president of all Americans, and that he’s doing it more than past presidents, takes a particular sort of stupid that is not worth arguing about, a particular level of near-total blindness to the actual behavior and statements of the president himself.

                                                    Lib, you should never ever ever ever write anything like this. Trump’s mechanism in this case is not terribly difficult to figure out. And even if it were, it’s laid out clearly enough in the article itself. Specifically, it is populism and the repudiation of political correctness in its current American context that creates the possibility for Trump to credibly represent the American identity as opposed to a particular narrow factional or ideological slice of it.

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                                                    • Specifically, it is populism and the repudiation of political correctness in its current American context that creates the possibility for Trump to credibly represent the American identity as opposed to a particular narrow factional or ideological slice of it.

                                                      If you want assert is that it is possible to represent all Americans by reputing ‘political correctness’, you are wrong, but you are wrong in a sorta dumb general conservative way. Hint: political correctness is really just another way of not being an asshole.

                                                      I know conservatives have invented an entire structure of what political correctness is, and think it needs removing, but that thing doesn’t really exist, and isn’t doing anything to politics at all. It just means you can’t call people ‘homos’ and ‘retards’ anymore, and the n-word is completely off limits. But whatever. That’s not really worth arguing it.

                                                      What is not a reasonable position to take is that Trump is representing all Americans solely because he doesn’t do political correctness…or in fact any sort of non-asshole behavior at all.

                                                      In fact, Trump’s ‘non-partisanship’ is actually allowing him to dismiss parts of America that the GOP never did, or at least never openly did. Republican elected officials always put the party first, which means extending outreach to everyone.

                                                      Trump, who isn’t really a Republican, does not care about the party. The only people he cares about including ‘on his side’ are the people who voted for him.

                                                      But the thing here is that you have presented a theory, and I have presented one, and it should be easy to prove which is true. If Trump is truly representing all Americans, then surely he should be polling well.

                                                      Of course, not only is that not true, it’s not true in exactly the place it would be true if you were right. I.e., there is a period between the election and taking office where a president is supposed to present himself as the leader of ‘All Americans’. Before he starts doing any nasty policy, he’s supposed to slowly rise in the polls be acting like he represents all Americans.

                                                      Trump…did not do that.

                                                      But this is the sort of bullshit you always do. You present a theory based on facts (or, in this case, not even that.), and then when the facts are proven wrong, you just latch on to some completely different theory.

                                                      I remember five minutes ago when you were arguing that Democrats were incredibly partisan and not accepting of the president…and then you turn around and claim that Trump is representing ‘All America’. Well, then he’s not doing a particularly good job, is he?

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                                      • Edit: BTW, I just googled “I have scoreboard” and have essentially no hits on that phrase as itself. In fact, almost all hits are weird quotes of computer output. That isn’t a real phrase. This provides further evidence of my theory that Koz is, in fact, a time traveler who arrived in 2016 from hundreds of years in the future (Where ‘I have scoreboard’ is a phrase, probably meaning ‘I have control of the final outcome’), and has brought himself up to date by reading very inaccurate right-wing websites.

                                        Sigh. This a common enough metaphor, has nothing really to do with politics, and Kazzy who I hope you’ll accept as a lib in good standing, got it perfectly well.

                                        It is an interjection, typically used at or about a sporting event between supporters of one team against supporters of another. Whereas, the supporter of a losing team, making an argument deemed to be irrelevant or superfluous, is met by the retort “Scoreboard!” meaning “You lost, deal”

                                        Eg, a Dolphins fan says, “The Patriots are overrated. If the opposing coaches weren’t incompetent, and League didn’t let them cheat for years, they still might not have any rings.”

                                        “Scoreboard!”

                                        “But but…”

                                        “SCOREBOARD!!!”

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                                    • If you took an ideological Turing Test on my comments in this thread, I don’t think you’d pass.

                                      And I also think it’s worth pointing out that, as far as I can tell, your comments contain no statements of ‘ideology’, in the sense of political theory and policy.

                                      Your comments are about how you (and, you assert, a lot of Americans) feel about Democrats, sometimes presenting some justification for that supposedly feeling, and sometimes not.

                                      In fact, I have almost no idea how you actually feel about any policy whatsoever, because policy is not where you exist. You exist entirely in the realm of feelings.

                                      The closest to policy you get is complaining about the ACA…but that almost entirely is framed in how it was passed, and how harmful you think the method of passing was, and not whether the policy itself was a good idea.

                                      As I have mentioned before, I generally read you as someone who agrees with Democratic policies for most things, and yet for some mysterious reason votes for Republicans, and almost all your political existence is coming up with a justification for that.

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                                      • And I also think it’s worth pointing out that, as far as I can tell, your comments contain no statements of ‘ideology’, in the sense of political theory and policy.

                                        Your comments are about how you (and, you assert, a lot of Americans) feel about Democrats, sometimes presenting some justification for that supposedly feeling, and sometimes not.

                                        You’re reading too much into the word “ideology” in a technical sense. The idea of an Ideological Turing Test comes from Bryan Caplan I think. It says that in order for you to demonstrate that you understand another person’s political argument, you have to be able to argue their case yourself. And you have to do it without disparagement, in fact as an enthusiastic advocate for it.

                                        In any event, you have written that you completely understand my point of view, you simply disagree with it. For my part, I find that to be not credible when I have to explain the concept of scoreboard for you three times.

                                        You are correct, however, to note that my primary argument in this thread is not ideological. It is spiritual, for lack of a better word. That is, the modern American libs choose to alienate themselves from America as the results of elections run against the Democratic Party.

                                        More concretely, this has a lot of manifestations. Of these, the most immediate is that to a substantial extent, the liberal mentality does not hold itself accountable to the mechanics of American self-determination.

                                        These mechanics are substantially determined by the Constitution, and some of them don’t merely go all the way back to the Founding, but were also the animating principles behind it. In any event, the attempts at the undermining of the American people and their capability for self-determination are bad faith in the possibility for governance in America.

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            • It seems like the Dems took the wrong lesson from the Obama years. You don’t shout “Resistance!” You pretend like you’re trying to compromise and then use every parliamentary trick you have to keep anything from happening so only voters who follow the news closely know that you’re grinding the gears.

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              • Absolutely. If I were running things for the D’s they would be in way better shape than they are. The psychological shock of losing to Trump has manifested itself as the need among libs and D’s to maniacally oppose everything associated with Trump, to the maximum extent possible. These are the symptoms of unbalanced people.

                One consequence of that, is that the standards of accountability are very low. People see that everything Trump does is being thwarted at every turn, therefore they’re not expecting him to actually fix anything.

                The D’s would be way better off if they hippie-punched some of their nasties, voted for his Cabinet nominees, dialed down the personal antagonism, and start holding him accountable for this or that. “What’s your plan to defeat ISIS, Mr. President?” etc etc.

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    • Actually, it’s not tied to 45 at all… Every policy plank of the GOP platform has at best plurality support among the populatuon as a whole. As currently constituted, they are extremely fortunate that they aren’t competent at the process of governing – since everything they accomplish will make them less popular.

      They’ve doubled down on firing up the base through visceral hatred of anything liberal – which works well enough, a number of regulars here being object examples. But it’s a strategy for outsiders, the rebels not the empire.

      If the Ds can make the Rs own their own accomplishments, which is not at all certain, they might wish to go back to the days thay could hide behind 45 and his incitements.

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      • Yep. The GOP health care plan is extremely unpopular even with their base but they know they are being ideological true believers and ramming it through as best they can. Possibly. It looks like McConnell is getting enough nos from both “moderates” and far right types that he is going to have a hard time squaring the circle.

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      • we are forgetful creatures. let there be fires in the rivers, let old people die in the streets, let the poor go hungry, the jobless beg on the streets. then people will remember. republican ideas are their own worst enemies.

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    • It’s fascinating since that seems like a total inverse of how it looks to me. Trump got the nomination by taking many of the central GOP policy planks and throwing them on the bonfire. He denounced the GOP’s war adventures, called out Bush as an incompetent failure, promised not to cut entitlement programs, promised to replace the ACA with something that’d do what the ACA did only better and was a walking repudiation of the entire GOP’s stated social policy. The man nominated by a base that flat out disdained the republitarian mindset (though admittedly he doesn’t appear to have any conception of an alternative policy platform).

      And yeah he managed to eke out a win against Clinton based almost entirely on a contest of personalities (with an assist from Comey). Pretty much all the things that sank Clinton were particular to Clinton and thus go away with Clinton. Even if Trump had a coronary and died tomorrow the policy gaps that brought him to power remain.

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      • Trump did start swimming back towards Republican orthodoxy after he won the primary though and has since governed as a more extreme version of a Republican President. The only part of his primary campaign that he kept in tack was his anti-immigration message.

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          • I don’t think “swimming back” is even the right way to put it. It’s not so much that he swings back and forth with the wind and has no positions of his own. It’s that he will literally say the first thing that pops into his head that sounds like it might be a good response to a question without bothering to wonder what it will mean an hour from now.

            He’s rarely taking a position when he does that. He’s just making noise to move the conversation along, away from what he doesn’t want to talk about and toward more general stuff, like how great he is and how great it will be when you close the deal with him.

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      • Trump got the nomination by taking many of the central GOP policy planks and throwing them on the bonfire.

        Exactly. He’s not a conservative. Blinded by ambition and the prospect tax cuts, the Congressional GOP doesn’t realize that.

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        • I still think Trump went for the nomination for two primary reasons:

          1. To get back at Obama for humiliating him in front of national TV; and

          2. Grifting for money and building his personal fortune.

          And what Lee said is true, I don’t know why everyone is still insisting that Trump is not a conservative plutocrat. Why do we focus so much on what someone says instead of what they do? Trump did not drain the swamp and all his actions in office have been standard GOP plutocracy. All of his advisors are Wall Street billionaires or oil executives. He will sign anything that Ryan and McConnell put in front of his desk.

          I think some people on the left can be just as much a mark for listening to what Trump says and taking him at his word even if they did not vote for him.

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          • I don’t know why everyone is still insisting that Trump is not a conservative plutocrat.

            I think it’s because his move to the right derives from political necessity much more than ideological alliance. He realized that McConnell and Ryan wouldn’t allow bipartisan bills to reach the floor, so he’s stuck working with the most reactionary elements in the GOP, tacitly endorsing their policies and trying to sell them as fulfilling campaign promises.

            It’s possible that he’s been running a bait and switch the whole time, but (personally) I don’t believe it. Nothing in his past indicates he’s a conservative ideologue or even a conservative at all, really. He’s a populist. His metric for evaluating a good policy or a good leader is quite literally approval ratings. He says it all the time.

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            • I agree he is not a conservative ideologue like Ryan or the Koch Brothers. But he isn’t a populist either. He is a con man. I doubt he ever thought about politics (or anything beyond himself and money) very long or deeply.

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                  • Populism got him elected, but governing is another matter. And that’s the con. He sold himself as a deal maker and congress doesn’t work that way. Or foreign policy. Or…

                    But maybe the GOP caves on BCRA and he somehow gets Dems to the table for a bipartisan HC bill. That’d be a win for him, don’t you think?

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                    • Well sure, that’d be a win for the country and a cause for enormous soul searching on the part of the Dems (save health care and provide enormous benefits at the cost of bolstering Trump*). But the GOP is nowhere near that position right now. Maybe after 2018.

                      *Personally I think that they’d take that deal depending on the policy particulars.

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                • Sure Gwen Paltrow and Amanda Chantal Bacon seem to sincerely believe in the woo that they peddle for millions despite the scorn of the Internet and media.* But I think he is a populist second and a con man first. Populism is just the means to end for his con and grift and corruption.

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      • I agree with this quite a bit, but not enough to matter in the context of my earlier comment.

        I do agree the HRC was a uniquely weak Demo candidate and if someone else had gotten the nomination, that Dem would have beat Trump. I do agree that the D’s will be better off for nominating someone else (if in fact they do nominate somebody else, according to some at least she’s running again).

        But as things stand, independent of Trump there is a possibility of a populist/conservative voter coalition, which if it matures, shapes to be the dominant force of American politics for 25 years.

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        • Every time a right winger suggests HRC may run in 2020 I do a quick Google on her to check on the chatter. Yup, still 5:1 right wing sites to maybe liberals talking about the subject. Hillary is done, I say that in sorrow since I think she’d make a great Pres, she had her chance in 2016 and there’s no way she’ll be able to replicate her march to the nomination in 2020. The Party doesn’t owe her anything and she lost to Donald Trump (yes Comey helped but she let herself be in a position where his 3% swing put her under) that’s inexcusable.

          Now I’m sure the GOP -could- forge a new coalition with the populists. To do so I suspect they’d have to, ya know, do things populists would like. Watching them do their normal tax cutting reindeer games I am pretty skeptical that a grand republican populist alliance is in the offing. The current GOP policy platform isn’t just indifferent to populist ends- it’s actively and intensely hostile.

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          • I’ve only seen lefties suggest she run merely because they want to cause right-wingers to stroke with anger. Basically a lot of people on the left have reached the “I welcome their hatred” stage of opposition. These are not necessarily people who liked HRC that much in the first place either. They found her too corporate.

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              • The far left are no fans of the Clintons. There won’t be much constituency for them there. It’s nonsensical really- there just isn’t a Clinton2020 group left in the party, not on the far left or the center left. I’m certainly not convinced there’s a Clinton2020 movement even within the Clinton camp.

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                • It’s not about the Clintons it’s about the resistance, eg, “I welcome your hatred” from Saul’s interlocutors.

                  I appreciate that it’s going to be difficult for libs to give up the anger juice that propels them to drive the polarization of America, but frankly I don’t feel much sympathy for them.

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                  • And I appreciate that it’s going to be difficult for cons to give up the anger juice that propels them to drive the polarization of America, but frankly I don’t feel much sympathy for them either.

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                      • You’re right, the GOP is the coldly-rational, unemotional party that wants to kick 15 million people off of medicare so that the richest few Americans can keep more of their money.

                        Maybe we can all be Kansas!

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                      • Frankly I think going BSDI actually gives infinitely too much credit to the GOP but we go back a long way so I was gonna throw you that bone. In reality the Dems have been business as usual pretty much since the turn of the millennium. The GOP is the party that has descended into deranged nonsensical anger. Even the Dems in the wake of the Trump victory have been pretty conventional so far.

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          • I guess I was thinking of this.

            In any event, because of Donald Trump we already have a populist/conservative coalition. Now the trick is keeping the coalition without Trump. I think that in the broad sense the coalition is more popular than Trump is, so it can be done. The immediate problem is that too many Trump supporters have put in their trust in Trump over the coalition, which is a mistake imo.

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          • I have growing faith that Ds in general will realize at some point before 2020 that every D electoral winner in the TV era was either under 60 and telegenic, or was sworn in on Air Force One to succeed someone who was.

            So next time – No Clinton (Ms or Mr). No Sanders. No Warren.

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        • But as things stand, independent of Trump there is a possibility of a populist/conservative voter coalition, which if it matures, shapes to be the dominant force of American politics for 25 years.

          And what party, exactly, will they have? Because the Republicans certainly aren’t it.

          The Republicans might sometimes make populist sounding words with their mouths, a strategy that worked as long as they were ‘denied’ the ability to pass laws by the dastardly Democrats.

          Except, not really. The only populist thing they did was their anti-ACA stuff, which did get them elected…which has resulted in them carefully lining up to blow their own lower torso off.

          The Republicans can’t just keep pretending to be populists…while slashing Medicaid and reducing health insurance subsidies. In case you weren’t paying attention, taking down the ACA stopped being ‘populist’, or at least ‘popular’, several months ago.

          And after that they’re about to do tax reform, which will be exactly as harmful to the middle class as it is planned to be. And they’ve never pretended to be populists there…if anything, cutting taxes on the wealthy is exactly the place where they are most out of sync with their base.

          Meanwhile, looking at Trump, they have the opposite problem on some of his ludicrously idiotic ‘populist’ things. The Wall, for example, won’t get built, and I find it rather dubious that Republicans will be able to run on building the Wall after they fail to do it the first time.

          And finally, we have the actual problem with populism: When you win stupid victories that don’t accomplish anything, you don’t become more popular, and now you can’t run on it next time. Aka, Trump’s possible victory in barring some Muslims from the country.

          The whole premise of the idea of populist/conservative voter coalition lasting 25 years is rather silly, in fact. Populism is not any sort of functional basis for a long term voter coalition. It is a useful way to get into power, but then once you do so, you have three possible outcome:

          a) The things you got into power on, you do, and everyone likes those outcomes and you stay in power, not via ‘populism’ but just because you’re a normal party that does things people like! But I think even you have realized that Republican’s positions aren’t popular, so that’s not going to work for the Republicans.

          b) The things you got into power on, you do, and everyone hates those outcomes because it turns out that blind populism is often very dumb. And you get voted out. This is what the Republican party is sorta doing with the ACA.

          c) You reject the promises of how you go into power, aka, a pivot. This can result in a lot of things, sometimes it even works out. This is basically where Trump is going, although it seems likely he’s just doing it because figuring policy out is hard. (Maybe that even would work out for Trump, in a hypothetical universe where his complete unfitness for office didn’t mean he does not understand any of the restraints he is supposed to operate in and isn’t going to get impeached.) But it certainly means you can’t just run as the same populist again, and it probably means that a Republican standing there in 202 saying exactly the same sort of things as Trump is not going to be believed.

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          • And what party, exactly, will they have? Because the Republicans certainly aren’t it.

            Of course they are. See Jon Ossoff, and whatever your theory of that race was that happened to be wrong.

            The reality is, the GOP is the means by which Americans vote for America. That casts a pretty wide net, and a pretty dismal future for those who want to be outside it.

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            • Of course they are. See Jon Ossoff, and whatever your theory of that race was that happened to be wrong.

              Your theory is that Karen Handel ran as a populist?

              Because, uh, she didn’t. I don’t even know how to address that idea because it is so ungrounded in reality, but she didn’t, at all.

              Karen Handel ran on asserting that Ossoff was extremely far left, and that she would repeal the ACA and she would lower taxes. She’s a completely standard Republican candidate. The only slightly off thing about her was she was explicitly pro-Trump, but that doesn’t seem to extend to be any policy of his, except strengthening the military. (Which is, of course, a completely standard Republican claim.)

              But you have already pre-emptitly accuse me of making up stuff about that race, so instead I point to her web site at https://karenhandel.com/issues/ and ask you to point to any policy position that could be called ‘populist’, or even isn’t any 100% ISO standard Republican. A single one.

              You can’t just magically declare that all the positions a major political party has held for years are ‘populist’. That is not what that word means. That is literally the opposite of what that word means. Not only are none of her policies non-mainstream, she didn’t try to pretend they were, she’s not even a faux-populist!

              The reality is, the GOP is the means by which Americans vote for America. That casts a pretty wide net, and a pretty dismal future for those who want to be outside it.

              Remember, everyone, the left saying ‘Not my president’ is completely unacceptable according to Koz, and a cause of major concern.

              Meanwhile, him dismissing all Democratic political candidates as people who ‘want to be outside America’ is perfectly fine, I guess.

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              • Your theory is that Karen Handel ran as a populist?

                Of course not. She ran as an American, and for this race that was good enough.

                I haven’t followed most of what you’ve written about this race, but from what I have seen, it’s about “The judge opened the window for young voters to register here and with ad money there and Indivisible doing this other thing, etc, etc we can finally start to end the Trump agenda and the Trump Presidency.”

                The point is, the voters in that district don’t think that way, that the only thing they should care about in politics is opposing Trump.

                Instead of going down this road over and over, maybe it’s better to starting talking with us, considering and doing the things that we want, and avoiding the further polarization of America.

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                • Of course not. She ran as an American, and for this race that was good enough.

                  No she didn’t. She ran as ‘a Republican’.

                  You stand there and repeatedly say that Democrats are the problem by being mean and refusing to work with Republican, and at literally the same time you assert Democrats are not Americans.

                  You can’t do both of those at the same time. You simply cannot. Not a single person here is on board with that idea. Even other conservatives here think that is insane.

                  The point is, the voters in that district don’t think that way, that the only thing they should care about in politics is opposing Trump.

                  And here is the part where I, like always have to do when talking to you, point that my claim was actually disputing your claim that the Republicans can build some sort of coalition of ‘conservative/populist’ voters and rule for 25 years, and I pointed out that it is literally impossible to keep being elected and get a majority as a ‘populist’, because no ‘populism’ policy can never have a majority, or even a large minority, of government support. People run as populists, and then (if they succeed) change the conventional political wisdom and their position is not populist anymore, it’s just…normal.

                  At which point you introduced Karen Handel, which was, as far as anyone can tell, unrelated to any ‘populism’, as you have just admitted.

                  So to get back to the point, please point to anything that the Republican party is doing that will continue to make it ‘populist’ in the future. Especially without Trump.

                  As I said, the closest thing to populism the Republicans have is ‘repeal the ACA’. And it did, indeed, get them elected, over and over.

                  Of course, doing that is so against political wisdom that when they had the chance to do that, they punted (Because it actually was a really bad idea.) Instead they switched to ‘replace the ACA’, and at this point, with the Senate bill, they’re basically at ‘make the ACA very shitty and repeal the Medicaid expansion very slowly so the voters don’t notice’.

                  Which is, of course, the problem with people who run on really stupid populist ideas get in office enough that they can’t blame other people for failing to do their dumbass promises. Those ideas have to shift.(1)

                  So, anyway, enough about the populist thing they just got elected on. That isn’t going to work in the future, and yet you seem to think they can remain populists.

                  Please point to what populist position you think they will take next.

                  1) As always, when I talk about what people in politics ‘have’ to do, I am implicitly saying ‘Unless they want to become very very unpopular’, and thus I am excluding Trump, who does not understand any of this.

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                  • You stand there and repeatedly say that Democrats are the problem by being mean and refusing to work with Republican, and at literally the same time you assert Democrats are not Americans.

                    That’s right. There’s an idea of a modus vivendi, a mentality of people who may not agree on everything finding some kind of operational agreement for working together, that’s not necessarily enforced directly but still works because the parties involved are invested enough in their mutual relationship.

                    The point being, is that the D’s the libs, some judges, parts of the deep state, etc,. are forfeiting their place in the modus vivendi of the mechanics of American politics.

                    They like to think of themselves as some kind of heroes for standing up the unique horribleness of Donald Trump, the GOP, or whoever. But what I am saying to you is that other people can see that and adapt accordingly, inside the Administration, the maneuvers of the GOP in Congress, or the voters.

                    It’s not really as hard to figure out as you want to imagine.

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                    • The point being, is that the D’s the libs, some judges, parts of the deep state, etc,. are forfeiting their place in the modus vivendi of the mechanics of American politics.

                      That was an unintentionally revealing comment on your part.

                      I suspect you wanted to include examples of elected Democrats failing to work with Republicans, but the problem, and it is a fundamental problem of your entire theory, is the Democrats are not, in fact, doing that.

                      In fact, you keep making grand claims they’re going to do that, and running off and disappearing for a bit when it doesn’t come true.

                      We remember when you were talking about how the Democrats were refusing to confirm people in the Senate, and then…you just sorta went away when it turns out they were not doing that.

                      We remember how you complained that Democrats weren’t going to work with the Republicans on heath care, and then we actually got to that point, and wait a second, everyone can actually see the Republicans refusing to let Democrats participate at all. (They’re barely even letting all the Republicans participate!) Yes, the Democrats have started fighting back about that and delaying things in the Senate, but it’s clearly in response to being locked out of the process by Republicans.

                      So, at this point, your examples of liberals not working with Republicans and fighting them tooth and nail are ‘judges’ and the ‘deep state’.

                      I could actually say a lot about both those stupid claims, in that the judges have been across the politics spectrum, and ‘the deep state’ is actually “people close to Trump, who were hired by him, are leaking like a sieve in because that administration is completely dysfunction and basically everyone there hates Trump and is trying to use him for their own purposes”…which has nothing to do with any supposed ‘deep state’.

                      But I think a more important point against your claim is that it is completely nonsensical to think the voters will hold that against elected Democrats.

                      There’s no one out there saying ‘Man, top administration officials keep leaking horrible information about Trump…I was on the fence before, but I feel that I need to vote for a Republican for Congress in 2018, because that is somehow related, right? Those Democrats in Congress have to have something to do with all those leaks in the White House, right? Herp derp.’

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                      • First of all, whatever happens in health care this month, for good or ill, I’m not blaming the D’s on this one. It’s all on us, for better or worse.

                        As far as the rest of it is concerned, there’s no shortage of examples. In particular, there’s no shortage of examples among the political class, in the resistance inside the executive or judicial branch, or at the activist voter level.

                        The lack of votes for Trump’s cabinet, the lack of votes for Neil Gorsuch, the shooting incident on the baseball fields, the campus riots against Milo, Charles Murray and Heather Mac Donald, the litigation against the travel ban, it’s very clear that libs’ hearts and minds are in the wrong place at all levels of society.

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                        • In particular, there’s no shortage of examples among the political class, in the resistance inside the executive or judicial branch, or at the activist voter level.

                          Weirdly, the voters do not vote for the political class. Or activist voters. Or the judicial branch!

                          They do, technically, vote for the executive branch, at least the head of it, but that actually seems to make even less sense than the things you normally say. Are you asserting the Republicans, because they have elected an incredibly poor leader who cannot keep control of his own people (Yes, despite what people seem to keep implying, most of these leaks are at the level where they basically have to be coming from Trump’s people, not civil servants.), will blame Democrats for that?

                          But, then again, you aren’t talking about leaks, you just keep mentioning ‘the deep state’ and how ‘the executive’ is turned against Trump, and have failed to give any actual examples of that.

                          You’re sorta batting 0 for 4 there.

                          The lack of votes for Trump’s cabinet

                          Oh no! The Democrats have, in absolutely no way at all, impeded things!

                          the lack of votes for Neil Gorsuch,

                          More Democrats voted for Neil Gorsuch than Republicans voted for Merrick Garland, so you don’t really get to pretend that’s something the Democrats started.

                          the shooting incident on the baseball fields

                          I literally typed something in my last post guessing you would mention that, and pointing out that, uh, a Democratic Congresswomen was shot in 2011 by a right wing nutjob, because I knew you would not remember that, because your memory recorded nothing that happened during the Obama administration except ‘They passed a health care bill’.

                          But I said to myself, hey, let’s try giving Koz the benefit of the doubt, and erased it.

                          That was dumb of me.

                          the campus riots against Milo, Charles Murray and Heather Mac Donald

                          Ah, yes, because campuses weren’t protesting speakers before that.

                          the litigation against the travel ban

                          Remember, folks, the ‘liberals’ are villains for standing up to unconstitutional laws.

                          And, yes, I am sure in your mind, Trump has temporarily won that…except he ‘
                          ‘won’ that by basically removing the unconstitutional and illegal parts. (Whch were, to recap: Blocking people with existing visas, trying to restrict immigration in addition to tourism, claiming the right to exclude green card holders.)

                          Yes, there’s something he’s calling the travel ban that is about to go into effect, but it’s basically had all the stuff that was actually objectionable removed, and what is headed to the Supreme Court is basically the ‘restrict travel visas from certain countries’ that pretty much everyone thinks he could have gotten away to start with, or at least he could have gotten away with if he hadn’t stupidly revealed religious animus as a motive for it during the campaign.

                          Whether or not someone can present an unconstitutional justification for an otherwise constitutional executive order at one place, and then later claim they did it for constitutionally-permissible ones latter, is unknown. But even if Trump manages to get away with that, that was a very small part of what he originally tried to do and the lawsuits stopped.

                          it’s very clear that libs’ hearts and minds are in the wrong place at all levels of society.

                          And by ‘wrong place’, you always means ‘a non-conservative place’.

                          As I have mentioned before, no matter how much you likes to pretend the left’s anger and hatred outstrips the right’s, one party nominated a politician who regularly had mobs chanting about imprisoning people, and the other did not.

                          BTW, I think everyone needs to remember, at all times, that according to Koz, every single liberal, in fact, every person that seems to be on their side, is representative of liberals. Someone brings a lawsuit because their wife has been barred from reentering the country? That’s all liberals doing that.

                          I mention that not to argue with it (That is pointless.), but to remind everyone that, in a discussion with Koz, anything any conservative does is entirely representative of conservatives, and something they can control.

                          Lawsuit against cooking a cake for a gay couple? That’s literally some sort of endorsed conservative position. Sean Hannity pushing the Seth Rich conspiracy theory? That’s a conservative position. Milo Yiannopoulos praises underaged sex…hrm.

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                          • Weirdly, the voters do not vote for the political class. Or activist voters. Or the judicial branch!

                            BTW, I think everyone needs to remember, at all times, that according to Koz, every single liberal, in fact, every person that seems to be on their side, is representative of liberals. Someone brings a lawsuit because their wife has been barred from reentering the country? That’s all liberals doing that.

                            Yes, yes, yes, yes lib, now you’re getting warmer. Is our children learning?

                            American absolutely can visit the sins of lib upon Jon Ossoff. It can, it has, it will, it will do it again after it has it done it already.

                            Charles Murray, James Hodgkinson, Berkeley, if you ever want to win a meaningful election, you need to be policing that shit. In fact, you should be doing it anyway.

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                          • Oh no! The Democrats have, in absolutely no way at all, impeded things!

                            To follow up from my last comment, I don’t think you’re getting the direction of things here.

                            It’s just about the policies or the appointments that passed or blocked. It’s about libs forfeiting their place in the American modus vivendi.

                            That’s going to be tough nugget for libs to wrap their heads around so it’s useful to go into a little bit. For at least as long as I’ve been alive (and probably longer than that), Dems have created a mentality that their alienation from the American mainstream is an occasion for compensation for them. That mentality has worked for a long time, that I think it’s hard for libs to imagine that it could actually be another way. But it could.

                            Simply put, libs’ alienation from the American mainstream could simply cause Americans to view libs as having forfeited the participation in the American modus vivendi, and treat them accordingly.

                            Related to that, the opportunity for Dem Senators to vote for Trump’s Cabinet constitutes an obligation for them due to tradition and comity, but more importantly an honor and a privilege as well. Ie, voting for Jeff Sessions isn’t something Dems got to do, it’s something they get to do.

                            Libs’ obligations to the American plurality run deeper than they think.

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                  • And here is the part where I, like always have to do when talking to you, point that my claim was actually disputing your claim that the Republicans can build some sort of coalition of ‘conservative/populist’ voters and rule for 25 years, and I pointed out that it is literally impossible to keep being elected and get a majority as a ‘populist’, because no ‘populism’ policy can never have a majority, or even a large minority, of government support. People run as populists, and then (if they succeed) change the conventional political wisdom and their position is not populist anymore, it’s just…normal.

                    Yeah, about this. There may be something to this in the abstract, but in this context it’s kind of stupid.

                    The is a substantial body of Right-populists voters, previously an underserved market, energized and mobilized by Trump. These voters are politically motivated by good jobs, immigration, trade, and the safety net in a communitarian sense (That last part is important. There might be big policy differences between that and a welfare state based on multiculturalism or bread and circuses but culturally they are much different).

                    In any event, they are a substantial market segment, and if you add them to more conventional conservatives motivated by taxes, abortion and strong defense, you could easily have a winning coalition for a long time.

                    Frankly, the one thing that will break up such a coalition if it does materialize is if the Dem’s fold on multiculturalist identity politics.

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                    • These voters are politically motivated by good jobs, immigration, trade, and the safety net in a communitarian sense

                      A thing they were very motivated by that you mysteriously left out: Better health insurance than Obamacare, or at least better than higher premiums that they think is due to Obamacare.

                      Weird you forget that, considering your theory that, uh, it caused a huge political shift and is the reason that people switched to voting Republican in the first place. Anyway.

                      And the fundamental problem is that the Republicans do not actually have a plan to do any of those things.

                      In fact, they’re going in a backwards direction on both health insurance and the safety net. (I am not exactly sure what part of the safety net you think Republican voters are for, but it’s hard to figure out any part of the safety net they plan to make better or increase. Even stuff that is traditionally middle-class like unemployment insurance.)

                      Meanwhile, it is almost impossible to figure out any way they can make any positive improvements on jobs. Trump might run around making doing stunts and talking about how he saved microscopic amounts of jobs, but that only works for so long.

                      Of course, it’s fairly easy for the government to create jobs, but they’d have to spend money to do so. Which they won’t.

                      And I don’t know what you mean by trade exactly, but any reduction of trade is going to increase prices, making things worse.

                      About the only thing Republicans can actually do anything in the direction their base wants is immigration, and there have been several dumbass promises in idiotic directions they have to untangle before they can start making movement on that.

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                      • Here’s a link I cited to North a few comments ago.

                        There’s definitely some tension in the populist desire for a strong safety net versus what conservatives have typically done or believed for fifty years or whatever.

                        As things stand, it’s easier for the GOP because they are maintaining the safety net instead of expanding it.

                        In any event, it’s not breaking against the GOP for cultural reasons that Edsall describes.

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                        • As things stand, it’s easier for the GOP because they are maintaining the safety net instead of expanding it.

                          Evidence doesn’t support this claim, Koz. The Senate can’t even get their bill outa committee right now (between 5 and 9 defectors depending on when and how you count), and if they do the bill they take to the floor garners 17% support among the electorate. By my lights that means things are hard, really hard, for the GOP right now.

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                          • That’s where it’s worth reading the Edsall link.

                            Basically, the Right-populists have a strong Hayekian streak about them, for lack of a better word.

                            The Right-populists might believe in a strong safety net, but they are also have substantial animosity to the coercive power of the federal government and the D’s are corrupted by their association with the aggrandizement of government.

                            Therefore, even when the GOP fucks up, like they might be doing here, they’re less likely to get burned by it.

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                        • As rebuttal to that article, I point to:
                          http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/01/democrats-new-crossover-voters-romney-clinton-215211

                          As it points out, for all the fetishing of Obama-to-Trump voters, a large amount of people also switched the other way, from Romney-to-Clinton.

                          And I know the somewhat dubious idea that those people will switch back to being Republicans when Trump is gone, but it is equally possible to argue the exact same thing about Clinton, and Clinton won’t be on the ballot in 2020, and Trump will. (Well, presumably.) So, uh, that’s sorta bad for the Republicans there.

                          Likewise, Clinton is not going to be president in 2018, and Trump will. (Again, presumably.) Considering that midterms usually are ‘opposing party expresses their dislike of the president’, that doesn’t look that good for Republicans.

                          Saying ‘Our voters will come back in eight years’ is…not a very strong position to be taking, even if it didn’t also mean ‘…after watching eight years of Trump break things’ or ‘…after watching Trump get impeached’.

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                          • I’m not buyin’ it, for lots of miscellaneous reasons probably not worth the pixels to write down for now. But primarily, this was the data point that GA-6 was supposed to test, and the results weren’t good for your team.

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                            • But primarily, this was the data point that GA-6 was supposed to test, and the results weren’t good for your team.

                              I don’t see how you got that as a result.

                              GA-6 proved that Romney-to-Clinton voters have also mostly stopped voting for other Republicans. Trump won the district by 1.5 points, and Handel won by 3.6.

                              If anything, that proves the opposite thing than you would want it to…that the problems some Republicans have with Trump are resulting in them having problems with the entire party. They are not compartmentalizing Trump in one place and Republicans in the other. The two are instead tied together.

                              GA-06 especially makes this point when you consider this was a special election, where there are supposed to be a Republican boast due to turnout. We don’t really have any way to figure out what the turnout is ‘supposed’ to be in a special election, but if this was a midterm, it should have tilted somewhere 2 to 3 points towards Republicans.

                              So Handel’s ‘slight improvement’ over Trump in reality probably signifies no Republican movement at all. That district is basically voting exactly where it should be voting if it was a 51% Republican/49% Democratic district…it’s voting that in the presidential, and slightly more Republican at specials and midterm.

                              Which while this is technically a ‘win’ for Republicans, it should cause panic considering what those percentages used to be!

                              When Trump’s polling is taken into consideration, this makes things looks pretty bad for the midterms. He’s lost 15 points in net approval since the election, where he (along with Congress) were basically tied. (Congress’s general approval is also crap, but that, weirdly, is always crap and seems to have no bearing on the election.)

                              Of course, GA-06 leaves it as an open question if voters that originally liked Trump but now dislike him also will tie Congressional voting to him. I.e., just because people who originally turned on Trump turned on all the Republicans at that time doesn’t mean that later people who turn on Trump will turn on all Republicans.

                              Except we’ve had other races that did answer that question! And the answer is pretty much yes.

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                              • I don’t see how you got that as a result.

                                It seems pretty easy for me. Through the fall campaign, we could see well enough, at least in outline, who was going to break for Hillary, and who was going to break for the President, relative to prior GOP/Dem elections.

                                But there was an undercurrent, that of course we know Hillary is going to win, no matter what one particular day’s polls were, or what was filling up cable news about the campaign.

                                Then the big shock was that Donald Trump actually was elected President. This created a big wave anger, sadness, revenge, etc., etc, and from there supposedly the reinvigoration of the Demo’s at the activist level.

                                This, combined with the demographic and organizational resources that the Demos already had, was going to wipe away everything before it. This is what the libs sold themselves on. That’s why they mobilized.

                                But, it turns out from GA-6, it’s the same ol same ol. Libs didn’t do Indivisible and send 30 million dollars to Georgia and the rest of it for same ol same ol. But so far at least, that’s what that huge wave of activism has amounted to.

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                          • Saying ‘Our voters will come back in eight years’ is…not a very strong position to be taking, even if it didn’t also mean ‘…after watching eight years of Trump break things’ or ‘…after watching Trump get impeached’.

                            You’re assuming we haven’t already come back.

                            Trump hasn’t started setting up death camps.
                            Trump has taken the job of being President Seriously.
                            Trump has taken his campaign promises Seriously.
                            Trump has taken the Supreme Court seriously.
                            Trump has apparently taken the law seriously, i.e. when the courts have said “No, you can’t”, he’s protested but hasn’t pulled an Andrew Jackson.
                            Trump seems like he’s taking Economic Growth Seriously.
                            Trump seems like he’s taking his coalition seriously.

                            If you ignore his “all Drama, all the time” shtick (and I do), he’s not bad. He’s the President we have, and very much not the one I wanted AND I didn’t vote for him against HRC… but at the moment I’d vote for him against HRC or a generic Dem.

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                            • Trump hasn’t started setting up death camps.

                              I don’t know about that…FEMA still seems to be in operation, and I haven’t heard anything about their death camps closing down. So, logically, they still have to be there. (Mental note: Start trolling Facebook demanding that Trump tell us where the death camps are and that he close them.)

                              Also, I’m pretty sure no one was expecting death camps.

                              Trump has taken the job of being President Seriously.

                              Trump has literally walked out of a signing ceremony without signing the executive orders he was there to sign.

                              He’s also spent a lot of time triumphantly signing executive orders that…just create groups looking into things and don’t actually do anything: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/04/28/trumps-executive-orders-are-mostly-theater-215081

                              Or, as one snarky article I read in the past put it, Trump is issuing a lot of executive orders that seem to be belatedly trying to get the government to create his campaign platform for him: ‘Hey, you guys, get together and figure a way I can solve the opioid problem.’

                              He also leaves the White House basically every weekend, which is something that I suspect no president has ever done. He’s also apparently working shorter hours that most presidents.

                              He’s failed to learn basic rules and procedures, starting with things like his screw-up-at-every-level first weekend immigration thing. I’m not calling it because it was a bad idea (Which it was), I’m calling it that because he didn’t notify people he needed to notify, he didn’t run it past anyone who could have explained some things and kept it within legally possible bounds and not had disastrous situations at airports, he didn’t invite his party to participate or even give them a heads up, he basically screwed it up in every possible way.

                              He screw up in various ways on his staffing, doing no vetting and not listening to people pointing out problems, which currently are causing investigations. In any administration we weren’t grading on a curve, this would be huge disastrous scandal.

                              But we’re ignoring that scandal because he also has failed, repeatedly to understand, and still doesn’t understand, that he has to let investigations proceed, and not only can he not stop them, attempting to stop them has horrific blowback and interfering with an investigation in some manner is literally the reason for the two in-living memory impeachment and almost impeachment, and is the third rail of the presidency. The president simply cannot do that, period, end of story.

                              I mean, look, I admit I’m not the most objective guy when it comes to Trump. But even when I completely ignore his personality, and his policies, and all the personal and political stuff about him…he’s a completely and utterly incompetent at his job, and seems somewhat lazy and entitled based on the amount of time he’s willing to spend on the job, and he’s had a lot of very major mistakes based on him basically not willing to listen to anyone’s advice or bother to understand the rules of what he is doing.

                              Trump has taken his campaign promises Seriously.

                              So here’s a serious question for you: Do you think he will veto the healthcare bill, assuming it gets to him, on the grounds it cuts Medicaid and he ran against that?

                              Do you think he will threat a veto of the budget if it doesn’t have funding for the Wall?

                              Trump has taken the Supreme Court seriously.

                              Yes, Trump has literally not started a constitutional crisis.

                              *gets out party hats and puts up streamers*

                              Trump has apparently taken the law seriously, i.e. when the courts have said “No, you can’t”, he’s protested but hasn’t pulled an Andrew Jackson.

                              Actually, that Andrew Jackson thing is a myth. Yes, he said it, but he was, IIRC, talking about their court order issued on someone else…who did, indeed, follow it. Jackson never openly defied the Court or any court order.

                              Trump seems like he’s taking Economic Growth Seriously.

                              And yet appears to have nothing to put forward as any sort of plan. Hell, the plan he did have, his dumb privatized infrastructure plan, has gone away and isn’t coming back.

                              Trump seems like he’s taking his coalition seriously.

                              Well, sure. Other than calling their healthcare bill ‘mean’ and giving Democrats a free talking point for no reason.

                              I mean, he’s stopped publicly insulting the Republicans on Twitter, so…woo-hoo?

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                              • The Supreme Court sided with him 9-0. He was right on the law and the 9th or 4th circuits were wrong.

                                In contrast, Obama had the worst record before the Supreme Court of any President since at least 1932, and possibly in US history, winning just 50.5% of cases.

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                                • The Supreme Court sided with him 9-0. He was right on the law and the 9th or 4th circuits were wrong.

                                  Utterly wrong.

                                  Trump’s original travel ban did the following unconstitutional things:

                                  1) Barred people with green cards (Who are ‘US nationals’ under the law and have full constitutional protections and all rights except voting.) from entering the country
                                  2) Violated the rule of law by trying to keep people who had already gotten permission to enter the country (aka, had already been issued a visa) from entering the country
                                  3) Made exceptions to the order for certain religions

                                  Additionally, it did the following thing that was unlawful:
                                  4) restricted immigration by nationality (Well, technically, it just kept them from getting visas, but people who cannot get a visa obviously cannot immigrate.)

                                  Those four things were the reasons the order was immediately blocked from implementation.

                                  It also did the following things that were probably constitutional and legal:
                                  5) Barred refugees from certain countries. This may be a dick move, but is probably entirely legal.
                                  6) Blocked travel visas from certain countries. This is undisputedly legal. Tourist and education and work and other travel visas, in fact, can mostly be issued entirely arbitrarily.
                                  7) Asserted some sort of vague ‘extreme vetting’ on people from certain countries, which is obviously perfectly legal (The State department is entirely in charge of how vetting works anyway!) in the issuing of visas. (But it’s not legal when trying to do it at as they enter the country with an already-issued visa, aka #2. If he wants ‘extreme vetting’, he needs to direct State to vet more before issuing a visa, although he should probably figure out what he means by ‘extreme vetting’ to start with.)

                                  The new travel ban, the one that has partially gone into effect, only has 5-7. Trump isn’t even challenging most of his order being struck down.

                                  And, additionally, #6 and #5 had both been watered down with allowing people who have ‘significant connections’ inside the US to still get a visa to get in.

                                  Note that 5-6 (But not 7, I think.) are currently being challenged on the grounds that Trump, as a candidate, clearly and repeatedly said he would make a ban and the purpose of such a ban would to be keep Muslims out. Basically, the claim is those actions would be constitutional if they just sorta randomly happened, but are obviously illegal when if the laws are targeted at members of a certain religion, and Trump has literally explained that as the purpose of the law.

                                  You want to argue with that logic, feel free, and the Supreme Court has, right now, said that they will not keep the stay in place while that’s decided, and maybe you want to read that as evidence of how they will rule. (But I wouldn’t count on it.)

                                  But Trump’s original travel ban still lays in shattered pieces, no matter what the court says about the new travel ban.

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                                  • I mostly concur with this. I think we’re going to see all Nine Justices say something along the lines of “The President has been given broad discretion by Congress to deal with immigration, but that discretion isn’t unlimited, and the President can neither exceed the scope of the delegation Congress has given him, nor violate the Constitution in his exercise of discretion.”

                                    From there, we’ll see some cleavages on whether particular facets of the Second Travel Ban are unconstitutional or constitutional (with lots of language that dick moves are still dick moves even if they are constitutional), and as to those that are found constitutional, more cleavages on whether they exceed the scope of the Congressional delegation of immigration and naturalization power.

                                    How much of the Second Travel Ban will wind up enforceable at the end of the day? A good amount, but not all of it. Both sides will proclaim victory but as I see it now, and especially after getting a taste on Monday of Gorsuch’s style, it’s pretty clearly going to be a split decision.

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                                    • How much of the Second Travel Ban will wind up enforceable at the end of the day? A good amount, but not all of it.

                                      So if I read that correctly, you think that Trump will be allowed to block refugee and refuse to issue travel visas from majority-Muslim countries despite the fact that he said he was going to make a ‘Muslim ban’ during his campaign? (Because that’s really all that’s left of his travel ban at this point, except the ‘extreme vetting’, which is not only clearly legal, but also blatantly nonsensical bragging that has no real meaning.)

                                      I really don’t know what the precedents are here with executive orders. If a law had been passed and, when it was being passed, the legislature repeatedly claimed it was being passed to harm Muslims, that obviously wouldn’t be allowed, but ‘Muslim ban’ wasn’t really said ‘while the law was being passed’.

                                      OTOH, with laws, only a few people have to talk about that sort of thing, and the entire body’s voting result can be stuck down, even if a lot of the voters said nothing of the sort. Whereas this is, literally, one guy who said those things, and then did it.

                                      Aka, the problematic aspect is a lot more focused (Everyone who did it (aka, Trump.) said they were doing it impermissible reason.), which, in a way, seems to counter the fact it was more displaced in time. (That was said weeks before passage instead of during it.) If that makes sense.

                                      But it does seem to be a valid objection that considering his words would, weirdly, seem to forever bar him from doing something that any other president could do legally. And, as the president, he can’t recuse himself and have someone else decide on it. Does this apply to just his first term? What if Congress put his EO into a law and passed it?

                                      On the…fourth hand (?)…this is a really weird situation. The amount of people who repeatedly promise, in as public a forum as possible, to illegally discriminate against a protected class in impermissible ways, and then make a decision once in office that they admit is the implementation of that, would seem low!

                                      As far as I can tell, the precedent set would be basically ‘Do not promise to do things for impermissible reason when running for office, or you might find it very hard to ever get those things (Regardless of your current reason) past the court when you are actually elected’ which…I sorta like as a precedent. I don’t know how much the court will like it, but it seems pretty good to me.

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                                      • …Trump will be allowed to block refugee and refuse to issue travel visas from majority-Muslim countries…

                                        There are 50 “majority-Muslim countries” (google), Trump’s refugee travel ban is on the ones we’re actively bombing (because their government is close to a failed state and has a terrorism problem) plus Iran (which is an enemy and has state supported terrorism).

                                        Trying to frame “countries we are actively bombing plus Iran” as a security issue is pretty easy. Yes, we can pull his trash-talk campaign speeches into this, but the purpose of doing that appears to be so progressive judges who don’t like Trump’s policy can oppose Trump’s policies.

                                        As far as I can tell, the precedent set would be basically ‘Do not promise to do things for impermissible reason when running for office, or you might find it very hard to ever get those things (Regardless of your current reason) past the court when you are actually elected’ which…I sorta like as a precedent.

                                        You’re assuming a narrow interpretation where liberal courts get to decide what’s impermissible. Let’s try broader examples.

                                        HRC had a history of accepting money which clearly influenced her decisions. As long as we’re making the courts’ telepathic and/or assuming bad faith, could courts assume any/all orders from a President HRC are because she’s being bribed?

                                        Or how about this. If we’re going to assume everything Trump does with majority-Muslim countries is because of anti-Muslim racism and is subject to court orders because muslim is a protected class, why can’t the courts just stop him from dropping bombs over there?

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