Morning Ed: Politics {2017.11.05.Su}

[Po1] Jeffrey Friedman is worried about liberal governance’s legitimacy crisis.

[Po2] Behold, the power of hate! Actually, more like the power of having a political enemy on which to focus your energies.

[Po3] A Montana power couple is covering their bases.

[Po4] Maureen O’Connor looks at the philosophical fascists of the gay alt-right.

[Po5] This is really damning.

[Po6] This is really hard. Telling people they’re bad is much easier.

[Po7] ThinkProgress’s targeting of enablers of white nationalism appears to be working?

[Po8] Gurwinder Bhogal’s efforts were heroic, but I can’t blame everyone else for not doing it.

[Po9] Jacob T Levy writes of democracy and sovereignty, and how a nation’s control over its own destiny has always been vastly overrated.

[Po0]


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

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326 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Politics {2017.11.05.Su}

    • See below. There is a lot of self-serving interest in Brazile’s account and she is being challenged. Plus this sells books. Here is another challenge to her account:

      http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/11/donna-brazile-and-the-latest-great-hillary-scandal/#

      So Brazile herself, though she obviously disapproves of the JFA, says the primaries weren’t rigged and there was no internal corruption at the DNC that favored Clinton. In something that suprises me not at all, it appears that even though Clinton had substantial authority and could have rigged things, she instead used this authority to raise lots of money; make sure the DNC hired competent people; and try to get the party apparatus working again.

      In the end, then, this strikes me as almost classic Hillary: she did nothing wrong, but practically went out of her way to make it look like she was doing something slippery. I have never seen another human being do this so frequently. But, in fact, it looks like she really didn’t do anything seriously unscrupulous here, and nearly everyone agrees that, in the end, the primaries weren’t rigged in any serious way.²

      So the more interesting thing about all this is: why did Brazile write this? Her prose is so melodramatic that you’d think she had discovered Hillary was a child molester. Finding the JFA “broke my heart,” she says. She called Bernie Sanders to tell him about all this, but first “I lit a candle in my living room and put on some gospel music. I wanted to center myself for what I knew would be an emotional phone call.” (In fact, it turned out not to be an emotional call. Apparently Bernie didn’t care much.)

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    • I applaud the writer for being so calm and stoic in the face of white fear and rage.
      And the point about how supressing her voice can only harden it is well taken.

      But…

      I guess the reason I am so much less tolerant of people like Chelsea is that I am so similar to her, as was discussed in the other day’s links.
      When I hear white people lamenting bilingual signs or neighborhoods changing ethnicities, I feel like saying, “Cracker, please”.

      That sort of lament is based on the idea that white Christian dominance is the natural order of the universe, and while white people should be tolerant, we should be alarmed over the idea of being in the minority.

      That idea is what cannot be given tolerance or legitimacy.

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      • What I was getting at was kind of in line with what said, that folks are not being allowed to be good.

        The thing that struck me in that exchange is the belief that people have that “white culture” (whatever that means) is dying, a belief that is strongly encouraged by right leaning pundits, and not only is that message not being effectively countered, it’s being fueled by folks on the left not only agreeing, but alsi saying “Good riddance, you all were a bunch of wankers!”.

        So the lie is not only being sold hard by the right, the left sells it too and piles on an extra helping of, “you are bad people for being sad about it, because everything bad in the world is your fault”.

        I mean, if you can’t counter the lie, you can at least avoid heaping on the abuse.

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        • Very true, and as much as I want to heap scorn on the fearful white folk, part of me also knows that I am being invited to a war.

          Like ISIL, white supremacists thrive on the idea of an apocalyptic battle and constantly want to bait the rest of us into reacting with fear and rage.

          So I keep repeating to myself that the first act of resistance is to refuse to be afraid, and decline the invitation to battle.

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        • But doesn’t this depend on what people want to feel good about? I’m with you in being against the RAR types from the article on Reed I put in Linky Friday. There is a lot of value in Western Civilization and a lot of it is good.

          However, then you have something like Sarah Huckabee Sanders calling Robert E. Lee one of “our leaders” during a press conference (and mentioning JFK twice) and it is hard to say someone should feel good about pride in the confederacy. Or they get really defensive because their uncles were cops and there are a lot of stories on police brutality in the news.

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          • I guess that depends on a lot of things. It’s a case of picking your battles. Reminds me of a quote from R.A.H.

            This sad little lizard told me that he was a brontosaurus on his mother’s side. I did not laugh; people who boast of ancestry often have little else to sustain them. Humoring them costs nothing and adds to happiness in a world in which happiness is always in short supply.

            I don’t entirely agree with the last part, because I think humoring them too much can lead to things getting enshrined in law that probably shouldn’t, but I also know that being derogatory or dismissive about the same can rile people up such that things get enshrined into law that probably shouldn’t.

            So in the end, it comes down to, “Don’t be a dick to random strangers just because you disagree with them.”

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  1. The Donna Brazile story is raising challenges. Here is Josh Marshall from TPM:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the-dnchfa-agreement-donna-braziles-growing-pile-of-nonsense

    As I was writing this post, news broke that Brazile also claims in her book that after Clinton’s fainting episode she seriously considered replacing Clinton on the ticket with Joe Biden and Cory Booker because her campaign was “anemic” and had taken on the “odor of failure”. She chose Biden-Booker because she decided they had the best chance to shore up support from working class voters. But Brazile says she “thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her. I could not do this to them.”

    This adds an important new detail to the story because this is a ridiculous claim. The chair of the DNC has no power to unilaterally replace a candidate on the ticket. The candidate must resign from the ticket or die – I believe there may be a reference to ‘incapacitation’, candidate on life support after a stroke, etc. But none of those three things happened. If one of those things does happen the decision falls to the entire DNC – a few hundred members from across the country – to meet and decide on a replacement. This is a power Brazile quite clearly did not have. So the whole storyline makes no sense and did not happen.

    More probable is that when Clinton fainted she started brainstorming who should replace her if she turned out to be seriously ill and resigned from the ticket or died. That makes total sense. She had zero power to replace Clinton unilaterally and the choice wouldn’t have been hers regardless. But as interim chair of the DNC she would have been a major player in the decision-making. So it makes sense that she might have started gaming out possible scenarios. But she seems to have taken this plausible interlude and recast it as a moment of decision in which she could see Clinton was flagging among working class voters in the midwest, considered replacing her with Joe Biden but finally could not break the hearts of the women who supported Clinton.

    This is all pure fantasy. She’s married a non-existent power with a highly improbable prescience to create a kind of retrospective, fantasy football version of the nomination in which the momentous and weighty decisions all fell to her. It is highly reminiscent of the agonizing call in which she purportedly informed Bernie Sanders that he’d been right all along and the nomination race had been “rigged”.

    But I expect BernieBros and HRC haters will stick to Brazile’s story because it confirms to all their priors on the Clintons especially HRC but hey, reasoning is hard, Clinton hate is easy.

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    • I am entirely with Marshall on this. It wasn’t invented from whole cloth – I’m sure they did look into it and I think people were too quick to inflict contempt on people suggesting that it was being looked into – but the story as she tells it now doesn’t work.

      That’s not the part of the Brazile story the BernieBros and so on care about, though. Does that render her less credible when it comes to the other part? It kind of does, in my view, but mileage varies.

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      • I’m wondering what the absolute best take in Hillary’s favor would be…

        Donna Brazile has now been at the forefront of both Al Gore’s close-but-no-cigar election and Hillary Clinton’s close-but-no-cigar election and she knows that she’s never going to get a job at anywhere near that level ever again. She might have connections, she might have institutional knowledge, but she was one of the people in charge when everything crashed/burned not once but twice.

        So she has to make a buck now and the best way to make a buck now is to cater to the waxing powers by stabbing the waning powers in the back. (And the best way to do that is to sell something that says “I knew the waxing powers were right, but I couldn’t do anything but watch the waning powers screw up.”)

        Heck, if she makes her pitch attractive enough, she might get a place in the new waxing power structure (if a bit further down the trough).

        Is Donna Brazile particularly skilled at the whole “I know who is going to be in power tomorrow and I know how to cater to them” game?

        If she remains good at it (because it seems that she’s been good at it in the past), this is one hell of an indicator about who is going to be in power of the various structures tomorrow.

        It sure as hell is an indicator about who ISN’T going to be.

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          • It’s inadvertently pulling a trick similar to the one that Trump is really good at.

            Let’s take a particular proposition. The proposition is up to interpretation, but, until now, the argument over the proposition is whether the proposition was true or whether it was false.

            The trick is to say “the proposition has a value of 10!” when, really, even if the proposition was true, the proposition would only have a value of six or seven, tops.

            And so we’ve moved from arguing over whether the proposition is true (the old argument) to whether the value of the proposition is six. Seven tops.

            Six isn’t even that much. I don’t see what the big deal is.

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        • There is Mark Shield’s take:

          it’s proof, more than anything else, to me of how little Barack Obama cared about the Democratic Party or about politics. He was great at getting elected. He got a national majority twice in a row. Nobody had done that since Eisenhower. He was leaving the party $24 million in debt, therefore, vulnerable to Hillary Clinton’s coterie of big givers

          .

          He was great himself, but not much for — he didn’t like the business. He didn’t like the company of politicians.

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    • @will-truman @jaybird

      I’m going to softly push back on all of this just a bit.

      A lot of the problem here seems to rely on the semantics of the word “rigged.” What does “rigged” mean? And what is/isn’t/should/shouldn’t be allowed in a small-D democratic primary?

      I don’t think it’s Clinton Hating to acknowledge that HRC has never been well liked, be that for good or bad reasons. Nor do I think that is Clinton-Hating to acknowledge that the last time she was a “shoe-in” to win the primary, she got beat by a relative neophyte who didn’t even have the good taste to be white. Nor do I think it’s Clinton-Hating to suggest that in a party with approx 100 members, with a candidate that — let’s be honest — there was never overwhelming excitement about even within the party, that the only real challenger was someone who was’t even a party member because she was a perfect candidate is a hard line to swallow.

      So, does that mean Clinton rigged voting booths? Obviously not. Does it mean that Clinton’s people didn’t work damn hard over the past 8 years via political pressure, strategic donations money, and things we probably would prefer to never know about to make sure that she had a clear path to the nomination without any potential Obama 2.0s embarrassing her once again? Well, ymmv on how likely you think that scenario is. But assuming it is likely, would that be rigging the primaries, this ensuring of a decision that was made before those 100 million party members ever got a chance to have a vote on the matter?

      Like I say, the semantics of “rigging” carries a lot of weight here.

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      • Let me clarify: I don’t *CARE* whether it was “rigged”.

        I care *VERY MUCH* that there seems to be a power struggle going on in the Democratic party right now and this power struggle seems to be getting worse rather than settling down and getting better. Let me say again: Elizabeth Warren was asked whether the primary was rigged and she said that it was.

        (New theory! This was Donna Brazile pulling the Crazy Ivan of getting Warren to say that it was rigged and then pulling the rug out from under her!)

        Like I say, the semantics of “rigging” carries a lot of weight here.

        Oh, yeah. Politics ain’t beanbag and I’m sure that the way that sausage is made is pretty unsavory.

        That said: There were quite a few people in this last election who felt that “the establishment” was not listening to them and was, in fact, running roughshod over what “the people” wanted. (A more populist movement, if you will.)

        The best thing for the Democratic party as a whole is to get everybody to take a deep breath and then to agree to work with each other.

        The question is whether there is reason for the more populist of the people in the Democratic party to believe that they will be treated “fairly” by the Democratic party in future primaries.

        The importance of hashing out the semantics of “rigging” is one of those games that would do a good job of communicating (to me, anyway) that the game is rigged and that I am not going to be treated fairly.

        (But, then again, I caucused for Bernie.)

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        • It sure beats paying attention to the the new batch of corruption, potential perjury of the AG, deleted hard drives in GA and lies in the actual admin. The people whose political careers are over and who demonstrate an epic level of poor timing are surely more important then any current or future elections.

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          • Yes, yes, Trump is bad too.

            I forgot that I needed to point that out.

            Trump is bad.

            You’d think that the Democratic party as a whole would be able to get everybody to take a deep breath and then to agree to work with each other in the face of such an existential threat, though.

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            • Do you every watch Fox or conservo media? For some reason they don’t spend much time talking about the various scandals, lies, etc in the current actual admin. Hmm i wonder why that is. Talking about D dysfunction and such is a much better topic.

              People selling books, and who have already had significant push back on their facts, might not be the most important focus for the future. Yeah it keeps the old feuds going and keeps the D’s in an uproar and keeps picking at scabs. Public fights and book tours don’t often do much to find the road to the future or actually heal wounds.

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              • I don’t watch television. (Please imagine I said this with a huge amount of self-satisfaction, as if I were waiting for someone to ask me if I watched something on television.)

                People selling books, and who have already had significant push back on their facts, might not be the most important focus for the future.

                Who do you think would be the most important focus for the future?

                Personally, I suspect that people like Elizabeth Warren are the future of the Democratic party. As such, I see her opinions as part of what is going to be making up the future. (Of the Dems, anyway.)

                Now, of course, if I’m wrong about that (and I could totally be wrong about that!) then I need to know who is the future if Warren isn’t.

                Who is?

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                • Who is the future of the D’s? I don’t know, neither does anyone. That will be determined by who is successful in the next couple of cycles. Brazile, for one, seems focused on settling old scores and polishing her rep. If there is anything that isn’t useful for the future, it’s that. Heck she seems to be, from a few tweets, having a good stir at the VA Gov election. So i don’t know who the future is, but Brazile is the past and needs to move on.

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                  • Well, here’s some evidence that backs up what you’re saying.

                    Tom Perez was on Meet the Press today and was asked if Donna Brazile fell for Russian Propaganda. He answered “I don’t know what Donna Brazile fell for.”

                    Did Donna Brazile fall for Russian propaganda? DNC Chair Tom Perez says: "I don't know what Donna Brazile fell for" pic.twitter.com/kRT17T2rGI— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) November 5, 2017

                    So maybe all this stuff will go away and we can get back and focus on the real issues, like Trump.

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                  • The other day the NYTimes ran a piece discussing whether Washington would be a trifecta state — ie, control both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office — after the special elections on Tuesday. It is reasonably likely that western Dems will add three more trifectas in 2018 — Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico.

                    There’s all this stuff happening with the national party and/or the NE urban corridor Dems, and a different thing happening in the West.

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            • If you’ve been paying attention to, say, Reddit or Twitter — for some reason, this story is being massively bot-supported.

              I haven’t seen such blatant botting in quite awhile, and I don’t think Donna Brazile paid for such a social media blitz.

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        • I agree with pretty much all of this.

          Where I may (emphasis on ‘may’) split with you is this: Until the non-Bernies can admit that everything HRC did was The Best Thing Ever, there can neither be growth nor mending, and there certainly can’t be a righting of the ship.

          This isn’t because it’s HRC per se. It’s because if the person in the drivers seat didn’t win, you need to be able to acknowledge that first and foremost. Nothing can happen until that steps has been taken. (Well, nothing good anyway.)

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            • Sure.

              I have yet to have a conversation about the election w/ a non-Bernie Dem that does not ultimately end in my being told that either:

              A). If you look at the numbers you will see that HRC actually had the most resounding win in POTUS election history,

              B). HRC was the candidate because everyone who wasn’t a Fox News talking head LOVED her and desperately wanted her to be POTUS,

              C). HRC would have cruised to victory of historic proportions if only the Russians, the FBI, CNN, and the New York Times had not conspired against her, or

              D), some combination of all the above.

              No one in the above-mentioned demographics I have talked to seems at all interested in considering the possibility that maybe she wasn’t the greatest, most popular, and/or most qualified candidate ever. And looking at the possibility that some or all of those things aren’t correct — by people who aren’t Bernie supporters — needs to happen before the party can right itself.

              Because otherwise, I honestly think she’s going to end up being the candidate again.

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              • Okay, I understand now.

                This goes back to the whole “Trust/Collaboration” thing.

                If you want high collaboration, you’re going to need high trust.

                And if there is a significant group that doesn’t feel like they can or should invest in a high trust relationship, they freakin’ won’t. Even if you do prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you can’t believe we’re still talking about this old news instead of talking about things that are actually important.

                Because otherwise, I honestly think she’s going to end up being the candidate again.

                Brazile doing a U-turn is one of those things that actually surprised me (like, for real) today. Clinton being the nominee again is something that I would have said was freakin’ impossible yesterday.

                Today? Well, it’s not *LIKELY*.

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                • Not in the recent past, as I’ve been absent in the past couple of months. But I don’t think I’ve ever written anything about Clinton having weaknesses on the site ever, pre or post election, than wasn’t responded to be a chorus of “Well, actually…” by the site’s libs.

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                  • “Well actually” is at least a wee bit different than the behavior described above.

                    You also obviously weren’t around during that brief period wherein failing to say “Hillary is terrible” was a disqualifier.

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              • There really is a problem with this program, which is that C is very much a colorable argument, given the narrowness of the Trump victory and the unprecedented FBI meddling in the election at the last minute.

                Would that have been a “victory of historical proportions”? Unlikely. Many states that had been solid Blue last time would still have been uncomfortably close.

                So now your plan involves convincing someone that something they may well have actual good reasons to believe is true is false, and doing so in a way that, unless done very delicately, appears to excuse or defend genuine wrongdoing and institutional failure.

                That doesn’t sound very easy.

                Maybe you should start by agreeing that, in fact, C is largely true, instead of dismissing people’s entirely justifiable anger at the conduct and competence of institutions that absolutely should have performed better.

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          • Where I may (emphasis on ‘may’) split with you is this: Until the non-Bernies can admit that everything HRC did was [not -ed] The Best Thing Ever, there can neither be growth nor mending, and there certainly can’t be a righting of the ship.

            Yeah, basically you’re in a weird spot where the more sectarian libs have no problem hanging you out to dry.

            You’re in a situation where you’d like to be a more or less conventional lib as far as policy goes, with a sprinkle of centrism here and here. So you’ll never be a full Bernie. But you’re also skeptical of movers and shakers of the Democratic Party, and suspect that there’s far more corruption there than you’d like to support. And their answer back to you is just to suck it up and deal. And really, who are you to anything else, after all it’s not like they ever lost a Presidential Election or anything.

            In this situation, personally I’d just vote Republican and be done with it. But YMMV.

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          • I don’t think HRC was the best thing ever. I think she made mistakes. I don’t think she ever got the “poetry” part of campaigning even if she was pretty good at the prose part of governing. But that is my critique of wonks in general. To be fair, I’m somewhat sympathetic because I recoil at impassioned and inflamed rhetoric but people really seem to like it in politicians or they want soaring hopeful rhetoric because we aren’t Vulcans.

            But I still can’t get over the “Bernie is great. Bernie will solve everything” aspect of the BernieBros. I remain adamant in my anti-Messiahism.

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            • Yeah, the people who thought that Bernie would be able to usher in single-payer were really stupid. I can’t believe how stupid the college students were who thought that Bernie would make college free and forgive college loan debt. Remember that kid who donated some of his student loan money to Bernie? What an idiot!

              Those kids should have straightened up, put the bong down, and kept their stick on the ice and voted for Clinton.

              I honestly don’t know why they were not only stupid then, but they’re stupid now. Stupid, stupid, stupid. They should have appreciated Clinton more! The fact that they didn’t shows that they were stupid.

              Now they just need to stop being stupid and get in line with the Democrats. The real ones. Not the pie in the sky ones.

              (I think it’s because they were all straight and white and they found Bernie less sexually threatening than Clinton was.)

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                    • Greg, we’ve talked about this before: If people are actually saying the things that you’re pointing at? It’s not a strawman anymore. It’s a manman. You might want to say “Hey, that person isn’t representative of Bernie supporters!” in that case but you can no longer say “That’s a strawman of Bernie supporters!”

                      Of course, if you read an attack on Bernie supporters that strikes you as relying rather heavily on some of the more extreme non-representative samples of Bernie supporters as if the non-representatives were examples of all of them, you might want to push back against that sort of thing… but you wouldn’t call it a “strawman”.

                      Of course you might instead find yourself attacking the people pushing back against the above.

                      I don’t know what you’d call that, though.

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                        • You’re scratching on one of the dynamics that I think is pretty unhealthy.

                          Is it possible for a racist statement to also be a true statement?

                          (Not “are racist statements and true statements co-extensive?”… that’s not what I’m asking.)

                          (And if you want to swap out other words for “racist”, like “sexist” or whatever, that’s okay too.)

                          So the question comes: Is it possible for a racist statement to also be a true statement?

                          If not, no problem. We know that racism correlates with falsity. That’d be a relief, actually.

                          If so, though, we’re then stuck in a place where we have to figure out whether the whole “true” thing is more important than the “racist” (or “sexist” or whatever) thing.

                          And there’s a bunch of real jerks out there who think that “true” is going to be more important than conforming to social norms.

                          I mean, assuming that it’s possible for a racist proposition to be true. It’d be really easy if such a thing wasn’t possible at all.

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                          • I dunno, man. Do you think it’s “true” to compare immigrants to pus?

                            That doesn’t seem like a statement that can be determined to be true or false, except in the sense that as a metaphor, it isn’t literally true.

                            But it certainly violates a norm, and I happen to think that norm is important. So fuck me, right?

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                            • I think that violation of norms is serious business.

                              I mean, unless the norms are toxic. Then they ought to be violated.

                              But if they’re not toxic, we should keep them and people who violate them should be, at a minimum, shamed.

                              But that didn’t answer my question and veered toward the whole issue of “here’s a racist statement that is false, are you saying it’s true?” thing that I was hoping to avoid.

                              Maybe we should just agree that propositions that are racist cannot, by definition, be true and maintain some amount of social cohesion for a bit. And we should shame people who disagree.

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                                • Maybe, just maybe, you could stop treating Nazis like they’re decent people who are your buddies and part of your in-group, unlike Jews and Hillary supporters and the rest of us who are beneath your contempt.

                                  Unlike, you know, Nazis. Who are decent folks who raise some good points.

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                                  • You’re going to need a pointer for that because I’m fairly certainly you either misunderstood Jay or you’re conflating him with someone.

                                    I could be wrong, but like I said, you need a pointer.

                                    Or to stop attacking him for giving harbor to Nazis.

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                                      • So I went back and read that entire thread (which happened, ftr, during the time in which I felt that you were almost all so consistently on tilt that I was completely ignoring the comments because it wasn’t worth the energy to wade through them as a reader).

                                        I would conclude that you definitely weren’t conflating him and you definitely were misunderstanding him – then as well as now.

                                        So that’s helpful to me. Thank you.

                                        I can see why what he was saying back then, felt to you like that’s what he was doing, scolding you for not giving adequate consideration to people who literally would like to murder you. He and I actually had some knock-down drag out fights about several of his perspectives around the same time, mostly around the topic of him conflating “adhering to social norms” with “not being a jerk to individual people by being oblivious about how they feel when you say things to them,” and I get how incredibly frustrating it can be to try to figure out what he’s trying to say vs what he sure as hell seems to be saying.

                                        That said, there’s absolutely no way to have a civil discourse if you go to “OH YEAH YOU THINK” about stuff someone said a year ago that isn’t actually what they said.

                                        So if you can’t parse him/forgive him, I recommend you ignore him. Because I really don’t want to suspend you for calling someone a pal of Nazis because you honestly (though mistakenly) feel attacked and belittled and looked down on compared to Nazis, by that person … I really don’t. That would be shitty.

                                        But you’re on tilt right now and you’re making accusations that aren’t actually fair or justified. That’s not what he was doing or saying, then or now. He was doing a very crappy job of explaining himself back then, I will concede – not such a crappy one now.

                                        And I will suspend you if you don’t stop.

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                                        • OK, maybe I’ll just have to ignore him because frankly it looks like he’s still treating Hillary supporters with contempt—we’re completely irrational—while insisting that we consider that maybe racists are saying true things and we should be nicer to them because they might be telling the truth.

                                          The two on their own are kind of obnoxious. Taken together….

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                                          • Yes, you should definitely ignore him then, and stop restating that he’s doing the thing I’ve already said you’re misunderstanding him and being uncivil by claiming he’s doing, which I do not agree that he is doing. (To be clear, I do not agree that he is doing *either* of those two things.)

                                            So quit.

                                            Please.

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                                              • Asking the question doesn’t merit a suspension.

                                                Expecting me to explain him, when it’s transparent to me that what he’s doing is complex, obtuse, not necessarily accurate, and NOT what you’re saying he’s doing, is asking for more than I have capacity for, right now, though.

                                                FWIW if it was someone other than my husband you were responding to in this way, I would’ve suspended you a ways upthread.

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                                                • FWIW if it was someone other than my husband you were responding to in this way, I would’ve suspended you a ways upthread.

                                                  I will endeavor to be (much) more charitable to him in the future, then, since I didn’t realize that you were giving me more slack with him in particular.

                                                  Apologies to the both of you.

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              • Thanks for putting words in my mouth, Mr. Dada.

                Yeah they kind of are dumb and lacking in historical thought considering how hard it was to pass the ACA and that was with a largely clear Democratic majority. You still had right-leaning Democrats going against the more “Medicare for All” aspects. And this was how many decades after the initial passing of Medicaid and Medicare. Universal Healthcare has been a progressive goal since the Truman administration if not before. The forces opposed to it in the United States are total and epic.

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      • This is where I ultimately land on it:

        The “rigging” that occurred, was not Clinton over Bernie. It was how Clinton vs Bernie became the main two choices in the first place. In that sense, it has a fair amount in common with the 2000 GOP primary. Except at least in 2000, there were more choices at the outset. (The fix was also in for Gore that year, of course. But at least Gore beat his opponent like a drum. Bush and especially H Clinton struggled more than they should have.)

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  2. Po6: Trust is hard but the issue here is that all the burdens seem to be on the left and no one gives the “older, less educated” generations any sense of agency. They are almost absolved of all agency in their own beliefs.

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    • It’s not on “the left”, it’s on “the establishment.” Prior to election day -when it was seen as a Republican problem – it was all about what the GOP should have done. Meanwhile, a pretty easy case could be made that Corbyn’s rise had a similar dynamic and the trust failure was made by those to his right. Or the rise of Syryza and the European economic establishment. The article focuses on rightward populism, which is a mistake, but the lessons are more general.

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      • Fairish but there are some interesting contradictions and/or tensions with the first link. Jeffrey Freidman’s essay expresses a belief that a lot of voters/citizens have very naive and unnuanced views of what government can and should do. Also why politicians vote the way they do. Note this in his take-down of voters who claim politicians are in the pockets of “special interests.”

        The world is a complicated place and lots of people seem to have knight-in-shining armor views of politicians. I called this Messiahism on Linky Friday.

        The problem with number 1 is that even in a more homogeneous society is that something might or might not be a “problem” that needs “solving” based on ideology. We are relatively homogeneous at OT but have lots of disagreements on what or what is not a “problem” that needs “solving.” PO6 seems to indicate that the populist backlashes are defacto legitimate in their grievances and resentments. I am not sure that is true.

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    • One can argue that the burden is on the Left because the Left represents Outsiders and Outsiders that want welcome and acceptance from the Insiders are generally the ones who have to do the hard work convincing Insiders to let them in. Thats how it works socially and I’m not sure why politically is different. LGBT rights took a giant leap forward when it moved from destroy heteronormative patriarchy to can we join your gang. The Civil Rights movement and feminism also had elements of convincing White America or men of letting them into the Insider’s club in addition to fighting for change.

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  3. Po1: There is a legitimacy crisis but in the United States a big part of that legitimacy crisis was caused by decades of cultivating the idea that government is always the problem and has no role in providing solutions to the challenges a country faces. The hope was that it would lead to minimal government free market utopia. The actual result is that people still look to government to solve common solutions but don’t trust it either.

    Po3: Both of them seem to be dubious people unfit for political office or really anything else.

    Po4: There is actually a decently long tradition of the more aggressively masculine gay men being active in Far Right politics because of the sheer masculinity involved in a lot of Far Right politics. Some of the early Nazis, who ended up dead during the Night of the Long Knives, were gay. Gay men were also prominent in founding the modern Far Right parties in Continental Europe. The idea that all LGBT people are liberal or leftist is an Anglophone one and has to do more with how the Right in Anglophone countries was more hostile to LGBT rights than the Right in other developed nations.

    Po5: Be more cynical. She is trying to sell something.

    Po2 and Po6 seem to be in conflict. Po2 clearly shows that having a target to hate has some good political effects when it comes to clear heading thinking. Po6 shows that hating your political enemies isn’t really that effective in getting them to change. I do agree with Po6 though. One big problem with current liberal or leftist politics is that it doesn’t really afford anybody or any group not deemed oppressed an opportunity to be good but only less evil. If you tell people that even if they do the right thing or the right reasons that they are going to be evil, most are going to choose to do something that makes themselves better off.

    Po9: This is true but people like the idea of sovereignty. If you want them to give up that sovereignty in favor of free trade and free movement of peoples then your going to have to offer something tangible in return. You have to convince people that free trade and free movements of peoples is a good thing rather than impose it from above.

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    • Po1 – This would carry more weight if the legitimacy crisis were strictly an American phenomenon.

      Po5 – Yeah, I agree with this. I wrote that before subsequent revelations that cast some doubt on the original story. I’m still really surprised Brazile would burn that bridge. She has no future in a Sandersian party, and has alienated her own tribe.

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  4. So there’s an election in Virginia on Tuesday, apparently.

    The campaign itself was rancorous. There was an ad from the Democrat running that had a truck with a Confederate flag trying to run over non-white children (including a presumably Muslim girl in Hijab). (This ad got taken down after the (PLEASE NOTE USE OF THE PASSIVE VOICE) truck attack in New York.)

    Anyway, there’s an Upshot poll that is worth looking at.There are two ways to spin it:

    1. Hey! The Democrat is winning in the poll! 43% to 40%! They should be able to ride a three point lead to victory!
    2. What in the hell do you mean that there’s 17% undecided? There is never 17% undecided. There’s, like, 3% undecided. That means that 14% were lying to the pollsters. Why in the hell would 14% of people lie to pollsters?

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    • Also, look at the history of the race… Northam started +12 on a referendum on Trump and Trump has Trumped all the live long day to a dead heat.

      What really strikes me is that neither candidate gives a rat’s ass about anyone on the other side… it’s pure: vote for me because you must. I suppose all the analysts driving the strategies are looking a data that mirrors the Po0 graphic above and doing what seems logical… but if Northam loses whoever is running the Democratic Big Data initiative needs to be eased out because they aren’t asking the right questions.

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        • Living in the media market where this is going on has been quite interesting. Most brutal and cynical advertisements I can recall seeing. The big one right now ties Northams votes on restoration of rights to felons to a guy who got caught with a huge amount of kiddie porn.

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            • Honestly? Utter desperation by team blue activists and a weird ambivalence elsewhere. House money is probably right to favor Northam but you get the feeling even a rainy day or something could give Gillespie the upset. Northam had to see off a primary challenger to his left that resulted in him seeming a little… off to me. There was a widely circulated one where he said ‘Donald Trump is a narcissistic maniac!’ that maybe played well with the base but I think seemed patronizing to everyone else.

              Caveat is I’m north of the Potomac and my contact with Virginians is primarily with the very blue DC suburbs. This will be decided a bit further out and probably in the Hampton Roads/Norfolk area.

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          • And immigration via Sanctuary Cities… which struck me as exactly the sort of nonsense that could be safely ignored by Northam (given Gillespie’s over the top MI-13 Ads)… until Northam flipped his position.

            I guess the polling is showing that position A is better than position B… but that’s sort of my point… he’s already voted to prevent legislation banning SancCities… so who or what is he appealing to by saying that he’s now not opposed to a ban. [Theres a double negative because there are no sancutary cities in VA – so he’s not coming out in favor of something, he’s coming out in favor of not being against something] Just to be clear, what’s weird is that he’s getting nothing for flipping his opinion… opprobrium from his team and indifference from the other team.

            Neither side has put forward any “plan” for VA, it’s pure signalling and tribalism. Oh how I long for the days of CarTax repeal.

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            • It makes an outrageously cynical sense when you consider that the Democratic party has completely lost its bearings on the immigration issue. The primary forced national issues into the conversation and Northam wasn’t ready. The fact that they let that LVF ad get on the air is baffling to me.

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  5. Apparently there was either a plane or a helicopter carrying 8 Saudi officials (including Prince Mansour Bin Muqrin) that crashed earlier today.

    Given the coup going on in Saudi (including the arrest of the biggest investor of Twitter), there’s a lot of weird stuff happening over there. Like, we’re getting ready for a new balance of power in the Middle East kinda “weird stuff happening”.

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        • imo, that gets the casuality backwards. The Saudis and the Iranians have never been friends, but now the Saudis now have someone in the White House that will back them up even when they (the Saudis) are the ones looking to pick a fight.

          (which is saying something given the state of Saudi – US and Iranian – US relations over the past 35 plus years)

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          • I don’t think so; I’m tying it to Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) evolution; my uninitiated guess is that he’s buying what we’re selling in ways that the elder Saud clan didn’t.

            On the one hand, we agree that it’s US blood and materiel he’s banking on and surely the Trump foolhardiness is in full display… but the Saudi’s were always more realistic about what war with Iran would entail. {edit, just noticed there is no other hand… let that be a lesson}

            Possibly MBS is thinking he’ll take care of Yemen and Qatar and then prevaricate over Iran and leave his US handlers with no actual benefits for the US – just like the past 50 years.

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            • MBS has been MoD for over 2 years – the Saudi incursion into Yemen started on his watch (while Obama was still Potus) and has been a quagmire when it hasn’t been a s**t show.

              Nontheless MBS has not only not been fired (which tbf it’s hard to fire your kid) but, has been promoted to heir apparent – and the big leadership shakeup happened after Trump took office (and after The Orb)

              Also, MBS is a millenial, and you know how they are. (But really, I do kinda expect the 30 something year old dude to *not* be ‘realistic’ as most of his predecessors)

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      • About that missile

        “Iran’s role and its direct command of its Houthi proxy in this matter constitutes a clear act of aggression that targets neighboring countries, and threatens peace and security in the region and globally. Therefore, the coalition’s command considers this a blatant act of military aggression by the Iranian regime, and could rise to be considered as an act of war against the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

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        • Reading the CNN timeline, it seems possible (and police are investigating) if the shooter was killed by a local resident who pursued him when he fled.

          This may be a “good guy with a gun”. But chasing someone fleeing — even a mass murderer — will make for an interesting situation. If that’s indeed what happened.

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          • This may be a “good guy with a gun”.

            In the smaller shooting incident in Thornton, CO this week (three killed), police said that it took them much longer to identify the shooting suspect from the security camera footage because of the number of people at the Walmart who were carrying and drew their guns.

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            • I’m now seeing it reported that the local resident did shoot him, but he ultimately died of a self-inflicted wound.

              It just brings up lots of questions…

              To me, it is one thing for an armed individual to respond to an ongoing threat. It feels like another for them to pursue someone they believe to be disarmed* and continue engaging them with firearms. Do we want non-LEOs engaging in pursuit of people — even monstrous people — and shooting at them? My hunch is that we don’t for a host of reasons. So what do we do now? And what if the fatal shot was indeed fired by the local guy and not the suspect himself.

              And how certain are we that we’ll get the truth? If killing the guy would put the local resident at any sort of legal risk, would we put it past the cops to say, “Nope, self-inflicted,” to protect the guy… an understandable urge?

              * The local resident somehow caused him to drop his weapon, though more were found in the car according to reports.

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              • Was he shooting at the suspect from the car, or following at a distance while talking to 911? One is reasonable, the other, not so much (unless he was being fired upon, but shooting from a moving car is hard, and doing it while driving is even harder).

                Also, getting shot with a rifle is traumatic, most folks will drop what is in their hands. This is why the military uses retention slings.

                Finally, this is TX, it would have to be a very strange set of circumstances that would put the citizen at legal risk such that the police would be willing to cover for him. And you’ll have the FBI all over this, which will make the kind of covering that you suggest even harder (medical examiners won’t lie on an official report just because).

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              • Wouldn’t you consider him an ongoing threat?

                If he left the scene drove one town over and shot-up a mall would we be pleased no one gave chase?

                Presumably the civilian pursuer would stand-down at the earliest possible moment that authorities arrived (if only out of fear of being shot in a hot situation)… but I wouldn’t fault the principle of giving chase.

                Possibly I’m foolishly out in front of some details about the civilian interfering with the police on the scene, but CNN is reporting that the police don’t arrive until 5 min after the shooter lost control and crashed.

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                • and

                  First, let me be clear and say that I am not criticizing this fellow at all.

                  What I’m wondering is…

                  A) What the laws are. Could this guy face any criminal penalties for pursuing a fleeing suspect/criminal (I’m not trying to mince words here… I really don’t know what the appropriate term is) and shooting at him?

                  B) What we want the laws to be. I imagine the potential for situations to be made gravely worse by non-LEOs pursuing fleeing suspects/criminals and shooting at him. I’m not saying that happened here. But I would venture to guess it is a behavior we want to discourage. Which may mean instituting penalties… even if things don’t get worse. But maybe only if they do? That isn’t necessarily how deterrents and incentives work though.

                  So, I recognize that there is much we don’t know about this situation so I’m reserving any judgement. Rather, I’m speculating how we might want to respond if certain hypotheticals were true, included among them if the local resident shot this guy after an extended chase and when the guy no longer posed any threat. Where is the line between self-defense and murder? This would seem to take us in the direction of “castle doctrines” and SYG laws.

                  And it is made all the more complicated by the heinous nature of the crimes committed by the suspect/criminal.

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                  • I gotcha… I don’t know the legal answers… I’d assume that if they killed 3 other civilians chasing this guy like a modern day Yosemite Sam they wouldn’t be immune.

                    This CNN interview with the (unarmed) driver of the truck is kinda interesting… unless there are some new details that come out, I’m actually a little surprised at the restraint.

                    {And how lucky is that to have Walton Goggins on hand for the chase}

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                    • So reading the CNN link, no shooting happened during the chase, only prior to it. So that is a moot point. Citizens pursue people suspected of a crime all the time while talking to police.

                      As for shooting the suspect prior to the car chase, it might depend somewhat on circumstances, but unless there is clear and convincing proof that the citizen could not have known the shooter just shot up a church, and then the citizen shot the suspect without warning or provocation, chances are he is on solid ground.

                      If he had shot the guy after he had wrecked, without some kind of provocation (like he pulled out another gun and began shooting at the two men in the truck), then we’d be in different territory and his use of force at that point would be very questionable.

                      Whether or not a Texas Grand Jury would return a True Bill against him, however, is a whole other question.

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        • yeah, I had to go through another round of muting. Just RTs in some cases, in other cases, wholesale muting of the person.

          I swear we’re about two more of these away from me saying “fish Twitter” and deleting my account even though I have several close friends I stay in contact with on there. Or maybe unfollow everyone but my friends, and even then mute their RTs. I don’t know.

          People have lost their ever-loving minds.

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        • I think we just need some ground rules on when it’s OK to politicize a mass shooting. I propose that once the next mass shooting happens, you can politicize the previous one, provided the next mass shooting happens a minimum of one week later.

          Votes in favor?

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          • Personally, I think that the whole “if you had only listened to me!” response to any given tragedy is a fairly predictable response to any given tragedy that is covered by one’s preferred political policies and the whole “How Dare You?” response from people whose preferred political policies might not cover any given tragedy is a way to change the subject to more favorable ground.

            Whether it be a discussion of a gun attack or a truck attack.

            Discussing what would be necessary to prevent tragedies is important.

            “We need Policy X!”

            At this point we can ask things like “What would Policy X cost?” and “Who would have the greatest negative non-monetary costs to Policy X?” and maybe even “Would Policy X even work?”

            And then, once we have those answers, we can play the fun game of deciding if we’d rather suck it up and keep putting up with the status quo or suck it up and pay the price of Policy X (easier when other people have the greatest negative non-monetary costs).

            Or, I suppose, implement someone else’s Policy Y. (But we need to ask those questions about Policy Y too!)

            I think that politicizing tragedies is part of addressing tragedies. The problem comes when someone looks at yet another tragedy and then fails to deal with the questions like “would my policy work?” but jumping immediately to “if you’d prefer the status quo to paying the price for my policy, you’re Evil-with-a-Capital-E!”

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            • Since it’s pertinent, I’ll relink this post from Allauhpundit re: conservative support of gun regulation: Poll: Strong Majorities Of Republicans Support Various Gun-Control Measures, Including Banning Bump Stocks

              I think it supports the hypothesis that the NRA drives the agenda here, certainly not liberals, even in conjunction with those 50% or so of conservative voters. Note the last sentence:

              The NRA’s willing to have the ATF reclassify bump stocks as automatic weapons, effectively banning them, but it doesn’t want a Republican Congress to get comfortable with passing new gun-control regulations. I guess that’s that.

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            • I’ve noticed a strange effect I hadn’t anticipated, with mass shootings and terror attacks merging together in the public mind.

              That is, I don’t see a lot of non-political type of people separating a truck attack by a Muslim fanatic from a gun attack by a white man, and demanding different policy responses.

              Instead, what it looks like from my perspective is that America is becoming more like Israel, or Britain during the Troubles, where occasional attacks are just accepted as part of the world we live in.

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              • As compromises go…

                I wonder if there would be a trade possible with Even More Extreeeeeeme! Vetting applied to both immigration and weapon purchases.

                “But we already do enough background checking!”
                “Okay. No trade then.”
                “But I want my preferred policy preference!”
                “Okay, would you accept even more extreme vetting?”
                “You’re just communicating ignorance of how much vetting happens already!”
                “Okay. No trade then.”
                (And continue forever.)

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                • Your political calculus based on a Two Sides Horse Trade logic doesn’t conform the policy commitments Each Side holds, tho. Look at the Allahpundit link again: 80% of conservatives support universal background checks. That constituency already *wants* more extreme vetting of gun purchasers.

                  Your basically saying that the horse trade, for conservatives, is “We’ll give you what we already want if you give us what you don’t want”.

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                  • Your basically saying that the horse trade, for conservatives, is “We’ll give you what we already want if you give us what you don’t want”.

                    The trade only works if it hurts?

                    I don’t know how to deal with that, then.

                    Maybe the Democrats can win the house in 2018 and pass the Bump Stock law, get it through the Senate (that they’d have to also win) and get someone in the White House in 2020 to sign it?

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                • The problem is that the amount of vetting is already extremely disproportionate.

                  As the spouse of an immigrant I’d think you’d be quite aware of that disproportion.

                  I personally, as an immigrant, am already at my tolerable limit of vetting, and I say that even as I am aware of how much less vetting I get than people from some other places / skin colors than mine.

                  I’d be ok with gun purchases and immigration receiving the SAME vetting… but I doubt that would fly with anybody other than hippy pinkos like myself, and open-border libertarians, because immigrants would get much less vetting than they do now and gun owners much more.

                  Then again if the polls are reliable, maybe everybody would be pretty happy with that solution except for certain powerful lobby groups. Paging Lawrence Lessig…

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                  • Dude, and you got vetted *BEFORE* 9/11.

                    That said, we’re in a place where we (as a society!) are suffering increasing amounts of attacks that “the other side” sees as an acceptable tradeoff for living in their idea of a better society.

                    So then what?

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                    • I still get vetted regularly, dear. The vetting didn’t stop with my green card getting issued. I don’t think you fully let yourself understand the level of intrusion I am willing to endure for the sake of being married to you and not having to leave all our friends/family here.

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                      • Wait… are attacks increasing? If so, which? By what metric?

                        Feelings, media exposure.

                        I don’t know what the hard numbers are, of course. I don’t think it matters what the hard numbers are.

                        From what I understand, crime is going down down down down across the board. But coverage of the crimes that remain allows for a level of granularity and immediacy that higher levels don’t allow for.

                        I suppose that there are a handful of solutions to that particular problem that involve changing how things are covered by the media… but, at this point, that sort of thing is crazy talk.

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                          • Well, let’s find some data.

                            Here’s the wikipedia page for “Mass Shootings in the United States by Year“.

                            So let’s look at the number of pages for the last dozen years.

                            2006: 5
                            2007: 6
                            2008: 7
                            2009: 8
                            2010: 5
                            2011: 8
                            2012: 12
                            2013: 6
                            2014: 5
                            2015: 10
                            2016: 16
                            2017: 16

                            That chart seems to have an upward curve, at least it seems to me that it does. Do we have any data people who can take the numbers and turn them into something meaningful? (Of interest might be that 2000-2005 are all numbers of 3 or less. Fewer? Numbers that get no larger than 3.)

                            As for terrorist attacks on American soil, here’s wikipedia’s page for that.

                            Just eyeballing that page, it looks like things didn’t really start rolling until the 70’s.

                            But, and I’m just eyeballing here, here are the numbers from the last dozen years:

                            2006: 3
                            2007: 1
                            2008: 4
                            2009: 7
                            2010: 9
                            2011: 1
                            2012: 1
                            2013: 5
                            2014: 9
                            2015: 7
                            2016: 8
                            2017: 4

                            I don’t know if yesterday’s shooting moves 2017 from 4 to 5, yet.

                            Do we have any data people who can say whether that line is going up or down?

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                            • It could be a trend, it could be contagious:

                              But according to a 2015 paper out of Arizona State University, “Contagion in Mass Killings and School Shootings,” there is some data that mass shootings often occur in bunches, suggesting that they “infect” new potential murderers, not unlike a disease. “We find significant evidence that mass killings involving firearms are incented by similar events in the immediate past,” the authors wrote. Suicide and terrorism, too, have been found to be similarly contagious. (Interestingly, the authors found “no significant association” between the rate of school and mass shootings and the state’s prevalence of mental illness.)

                              Of course some terrorists engage the demonstration hoping to inspire imitators.

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                            • We must also account for which of those lend themselves to which side’s preferred policy proposals.

                              I venture to guess that gun control advocates who would hold up each and any of those shootings and say, “This… this is why we need gun control.”

                              Looking at the terrorist attacks… let’s focus on 2017… I see one that would lend itself to discussion of immigration policy (the NY attack). Quick perusing of other years leads me to say, “Some not all…” And that is without controlling for the attackers who weren’t actually immigrants but can conveniently be looked at as… unAmerican.

                              Which means we have a definite uptick in the types of attacks that at least justify the calls for “VET THE GUN PEOPLE!” and… maybe an uptick, maybe not in the types of attacks that at least justify the calls for “VET THE IMMIGRANTS!”

                              Then we can look at how those vetting processes already look.

                              But, sure, keep BSDIing it.

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                              • I’m sure you remember London mayor Sadiq Khan saying that the threat of terror attacks are part and parcel of living in a great global city and how you’ve got to be prepared for such thing and you have to support the police.

                                This, of course, was twisted out of context into how he must have been saying “hey, terror attacks are part and parcel of living in a big city” and he wasn’t saying that.

                                But one does wonder if there is an acceptable level of violence.

                                And whether we can say that the level of violence caused by “radical” extremists is below this acceptable level and the level caused by “well, let’s not call them *RADICAL*” extremists is way above.

                                Can we?

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                                • I don’t mean this as anything other than a flat statement, but a) *at this point* (not previously), I am personally having trouble following an argument that you are making other than trying to irritate people even though I am certain that you are making one. and b) if you are late picking me up because of your efforts at continuing the argument referred to in a), I will be Very Grumpy.

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                                • That isn’t the calculus.

                                  On one hand, you have the tension between a looser immigration policy and the potential that those who immigrate here may cause harm. Some will argue, “ANY HARM IS TOO MUCH HARM! KEEP THEM OUT!” Others will say, “The harm is unfortunate but a greater harm would be keeping them out.

                                  On the other, you have the tension between looser gun control and the potential of harm caused by guns. Some will argue, “ANY HARM IS TOO MUCH HARM! NO GUNS!” Others will say, “The harm is unfortunate but a greater harm would be banning guns.”

                                  The problem is… the harm caused by guns seems demonstrably higher AND we already have stricter immigration controls than we have gun control.

                                  So your proposal is that we take immigration vetting from, let’s say a 7 to a 9 so we can take the number of immigrant-caused terrorist deaths down from 6 to 0 in exchange for taking gun control from, say, a 3 to a 5 to make a dent in the 30K+ gun deaths every year.

                                  Surely you can see why that proposal is not what you claim it to be.

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            • The issue isn’t the policy specifics.

              It is that attempts to discuss guns after a shooting draw, “TOO SOON!” and “YOU’RE POLITICIZING A TRAGEDY!”

              Discussing immigration after a truck attack do not draw nearly as strong, loud, or widespread opposition in that form.

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                • Sorry, which of those authors took a “TOO SOON! HOW DARE YOU!?!?!?!” approach?

                  Also, why [do you keep – rephrased by Maribou for unnecessary inflammatory language directed at another commenter] pointing out you are using the passive voice when I’m actually not even sure that you are…?

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                  • Oh, I’m sorry. I see now that you were asking for “TOO SOON!” and “YOU’RE POLITICIZING A TRAGEDY!” and not “TOO SOON!” or “YOU’RE POLITICIZING A TRAGEDY!”

                    You’re right. I was only able to find “YOU’RE POLITICIZING A TRAGEDY!”

                    So I guess you’re right. I couldn’t find any examples of what you were asking for.

                    Also, why this repeated silliness by pointing out you are using the passive voice when I’m actually not even sure that you are…?

                    I’m saying that it was a “truck” attack and not an “ISIS-affiliated attack”. Blaming the truck is passive. Implying a motive on the part of the driver is active.

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              • I have a better idea.
                Lets discuss the next mass shooting, the one that hasn’t happened yet but surely will.

                We know it will be a man, almost certainly white. He will be a troubled loner with a history of broken relationships and abuse both given and taken.

                But he will pass through society unnoticed and unremarked upon, like a phantom leaving nothing behind but the eerie sense of chill reported by his neighbors and acquaintances.

                Although a loner, he will have flirted with radical politics or religion or ideas, drawn to them like they were his own Carole Ann from Poltergeist, but ultimately he will spurn them all for reasons of his own.

                So what can America do about this legion of walking wounded?

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            • Note the poll I linked to above. Given that conservative voters support several types of gun regulation I don’t know where this idea of “politicization” comes from *other than* as a product of the NRA and dead-end 2Aers who oppose any regulation whatsoever.

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              • That poll and similar ones suggest that something is keeping the country from implementing gun control policies. You suspect it’s the oversized influence of pro-gun lobbyists, but I’m suggesting that it’s the backlash against anti-gun politicization. As for where the idea of politicization comes from, I think if you look around at reactions to mass shootings, you’ll see it.

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                • I think those two things are basically two sides of the same coin. The thing that makes the gun lobby so powerful is that it has probably the largest number of single-issue voters. Guns and abortion are the only two topics that I can think of that have a big critical mass of people who would vote for a guy who promised immediate nuclear war with Russia as long as he promised to go their way on one of those issues.

                  And while the abortion issue has a good balance of single issue voters on both sides, the pro-gun single issue voters hugely outnumber the anti-gun ones, so the issue isn’t likely to move.

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              • Given that conservative voters support several types of gun regulation I don’t know where this idea of “politicization” comes from *other than* as a product of the NRA and dead-end 2Aers who oppose any regulation whatsoever.

                Not so much “any regulation whatsoever” as much “why Russia needs land”.

                It’s reasonably clear these regulations are NOT going to stop the mass murders, and occasionally the NRA will need to give ground. So they need ground they can reasonably give without losing the entire game.

                Because if they allow all the “reasonable” regulations to be passed, then sooner or later they’ll have to give ground on the unreasonable regulations.

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            • Well, I suppose the good news for the NRA is that the rate of mass shootings has reached an “escape velocity” that guarantees that there will always be one in the news fresh enough to make discussion inappropriate.

              It would be good if there was a way to say, “No, I’m just politicizing the ones from six months ago. The current one–well that one’s totally special and unique and we just don’t have enough information / haven’t had enough time to process our shock. Let’s just talk about the ones from six months ago.”

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              • All my policy preferences aside [1], at a certain point acting as if we should all be shocked into politically circumspect silence by each occurrence of something that happens every month or so is bizarre.

                [1] To be clear, even though I fucking loathe the NRA, I agree with them about gun control a lot more than I agree with most of my fellows on the Left.

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                • I’m pretty much with you. My own position is that it’s clear that deep and aggressive firearms regulation would reduce gun deaths substantially, but that type of regulation is deeper and more aggressive than Americans will accept. The types of regulations we could realistically pass seem mostly red tape for its own sake (or worse, just designed to piss off gun owners because of culture wars BS), so here we are, and here we will be for the foreseeable future.

                  I even think the Democrats should just drop the issue, given that it’s a political loser and a stupid hill to die on given that they’ll have minimal practical effect. They should spend their political capital doing something more likely to yield results and take away the Republicans’ monopoly on the rabid single-issue voters.

                  I’m just deeply annoyed at the idea that something that happens every few weeks should shock us so deeply that we couldn’t possibly talk about it without disrespecting the dead or the troops or some nonsense. We should be numb enough to this issue that we’re discussing it like deaths from smoking or nudging the speed limit up on a highway somewhere. It’s just part of the background noise of policy making.

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                  • My own position is that it’s clear that deep and aggressive firearms regulation would reduce gun deaths substantially, but that type of regulation is deeper and more aggressive than Americans will accept.

                    Realistically, after such a change, I think suicides find a way to do their thing without a gun, ditto mass murderers, and the big winners would be drug dealers and inner city youth who copy them.

                    It’s asking a lot of me to give up my rights for that segment of society. I can reasonably think I’d be a lot less safe in that setup than I am now.

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                      • Don’t say stuff like that, please. Like, say, “what about the following research on suicide and the impact of guns?” or even “what about the considerable literature that proves yadayadayada about suicide and the impact of guns?”

                        Or even “It’s hard for me to believe you can hold a position like that given the incredible amount of research on suicide and the impact of guns.”

                        But telling people they hold the position that they do because they haven’t read something is just… unnecessarily inflamed. And that’s more of a problem on incredibly inflaming topics, not less of one.

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                      • This indicates you haven’t read much of the research on suicide and the impact of guns.

                        When I look at the suicide rates around the world, the US is about average and there are countries with MUCH higher suicide rates which also have no guns.

                        http://www.businessinsider.com/world-suicide-rate-map-2014-4

                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

                        I think in suicide we deeply enter the world of symbols and the gun works really well as a symbol of death… which is going to explain the various research you could source. But at best the suicide rate would drop for a while, but we’d get a different symbol and everyone would move on.

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                        • Exactly my point.

                          Many, many, many people who attempt suicide but survive never attempt it again. These aren’t “cry for help” folks but folks who made sincere attempts on their life and were fortunate to survive. And they never tried again.

                          The effectiveness rate for suicide by gun is very high. If these folks couldn’t get guns into their hand, they’d likely try through other means. Less effective means. Some of them would survive the attempt and never try again. They’d be alive.

                          So, yes, if you think that the suicide rate wouldn’t be impacted by gun control, you haven’t read this research.

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                          • The effectiveness rate for suicide by gun is very high. If these folks couldn’t get guns into their hand, they’d likely try through other means. Less effective means. Some of them would survive the attempt and never try again. They’d be alive. So, yes, if you think that the suicide rate wouldn’t be impacted by gun control, you haven’t read this research.

                            The gun works. Jumping from high places also works. I can think of a few others which are pretty darn effective… enough such that the number of “survivors” would presumably be small. We have roughly 21k gun suicides but we have roughly 44k total suicides.

                            Hmm… assuming the number of attempts stays constant, replacing gun with something only 90% as effective would save 2k people a year. Not nothing, but not a lot… and I can think of methods which are more than 90% effective.

                            IMHO the big winners would still be in the inner city.

                            …And I greatly like the idea that I could be armed with a month’s notice.

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                            • It’s not true that if people don’t have guns they will find another method of suicide. There is research on this. Guns, given their symbolic value, ease of use, ubiquity, relative certainty over other methods and instant effect act as a multiplier for suicide. Suicidal people very often have one chosen method they want to use. If they don’t’ have that method they won’t try to suicide. It is suicide prevention 101 for mental health workers to get guns out of the home of a suicidal person and/or get rid of the method they say they will use.

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                              • I’m curious and I think you might know. Also I tried googling and was awash in stats that were… shall we say poorly sourced, whereas I trust your knowledge on its face.

                                Roughly what percentage of completed suicides (not attempts) are preceded by communicating that the person is considering suicide, previous known suicidal thoughts and/or related mental health diagnoses, etc? Vs being “out of the blue”?

                                My personal experiences have seemed to indicate it’s about 50:50 known risk vs out of the blue (which is much lower than claimed by the various orgs I’ve come into contact with *other* than the Samaritans & associated …) but I’m realizing I don’t know what the stats are in any real sense.

                                Do you know?

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