Patterico's Pontifications

7/4/2019

Justin Amash Leaves The GOP

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:05 am



[guest post by Dana]

The timing of the announcement is a little bit on the nose, but overall it’s unsurprising news. From his op-ed:

Modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral, but there is an escape.

Most Americans are not rigidly partisan and do not feel well represented by either of the two major parties. In fact, the parties have become more partisan in part because they are catering to fewer people, as Americans are rejecting party affiliation in record numbers.

These same independent-minded Americans, however, tend to be less politically engaged than Red Team and Blue Team activists. Many avoid politics to focus on their own lives, while others don’t want to get into the muck with the radical partisans.

But we owe it to future generations to stand up for our constitutional republic so that Americans may continue to live free for centuries to come. Preserving liberty means telling the Republican Party and the Democratic Party that we’ll no longer let them play their partisan game at our expense.

Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.

President Trump took time out of his parade preparations to respond to the news, and gave credence to the “partisan death spiral” theory:

amash

At least one GOP leader has already called for Amash to be stripped of his committee seat. Currently Amash holds a seat on the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, as well as subcommittees for civil rights and national security:

walker

Exit question: Does Amash run for president in 2020?

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Good for Amash. He’s about three years late to the party (pun intended), but it can’t be easy for an elected GOP congressman to leave his party, so I’ll cut him some slack. So: welcome to the #ExGOP club, congressman! We have pie!

If he runs, I’ll give him even more money, and will vote for him. I might even volunteer for the first time ever.

Yes, I know. He won’t win. It doesn’t change what I would do.

151 Responses to “Justin Amash Leaves The GOP”

  1. Good morning.

    Dana (bb0678)

  2. So who’s he going to caucus with,

    Narciso (dc0f8d)

  3. He was getting trounced in the polls by one and tied with another. And more expecting to enter the race. How do you say Good-bye in Chinese?

    mg (8cbc69)

  4. DeCantored

    mg (8cbc69)

  5. UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Good for Amash. He’s about three years late to the party (pun intended), but it can’t be easy for an elected GOP congressman to leave his party, so I’ll cut him some slack. So: welcome to the #ExGOP club, congressman! We have pie!

    If he runs, I’ll give him even more money, and will vote for him. I might even volunteer for the first time ever.

    Yes, I know. He won’t win. It doesn’t change what I would do.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  6. I returned to the GOP last November after a 5-year hiatus, for pretty much the same reasons Amash left. I’d rather work from within. But that said, if he throws his hat for POTUS on the Libertarian or Independent ticket, I’ll probably vote for him.

    Paul Montagu (fc91e5)

  7. Patterico (115b1f) — 7/4/2019 @ 10:48 am

    Huzzah!

    Dave (1bb933)

  8. Reading Trump’s response it is simply amazing he got more than 400 votes nationwide. Have some self-respect, people.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  9. I agree. I think it great that Amash left the GOP. Let him run as a Libertarian. A “Plague on both your houses” candidate who believes in Big Business, low taxes, no tariffs, massive immigration, cutting social security and medicare, and the willingness to lose to the Left-wing Democrats rather then forsaking his unswerving “principles”

    rcocean (1a839e)

  10. The more honest Libertarians leave the GOP the better. Then, without these “Mavericks” we can can focus on the main job of defeating Left-wing crazies like Bernie and Harris from taking over the Federal Government. This means recognizing that massive illegal and legal immigration is not our friend, and that we need to address the concerns of the working class by negotiating good trade deals and not mindlessly babbling about “tariffs bad”. It also means, recognizing that Big Business is not always our friend nor is the Chamber of Commerce the voice of God.

    So let Amash go. Let Bill Kristol and David French leave too. Let them talk to the 5% of America who agrees with them.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  11. If Rep. Amash were to remain a Republican, he would have held onto his seat easily. He’s well-respected here. But now, he’ll have his work cut out for him, what with straight-ticket voting and additional competition in the general.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I disagree with a clear majority of my congressman’s positions. But he is nothing if not principled, consistent, and transparent. Gotta respect the guy.

    TR (2c5752)

  12. My prediction on Amash is he will lose in 2020, and then go get his reward – a job with Goldman Sachs.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  13. 11… yes. Some get it Some never will.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  14. There is an article in the Flatbush Jewish Journal that Orthodox Jews in New York (who share his political inclinations) including members of his family are disenfranchising themselves by registering Republican and they hould register Democrat and as a result Melinda Katz lost the nomination for District Attorney of Queens. (it also helped that it was a multi candidate a race with another candidate getting endorsed by a newspaper and getting 15%.

    But the latest news is that in the final count (including absentee and affidavit ballots) Melinda Katz is ahead by 20 votes (according to both campaigns – no official election results have been released) and she declared victory.

    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is term limited as of the end of 2021, and also the mother of some of Curtis Sliwa’s children.

    She got about two thirds of the later counted ballots that did not pass through the scanning machines on Election Day. (you can’t call them paper ballots – they’re all paper ballots, and a small amount of early voting will only start for this year’s November election)

    It makes sense. The absentee ballots would be old time residents of Queens, while the affidavit ballots were probably the result of a huge turnout operation by Tiffany Cabán’s campaign. Most affidavit ballots, in general, aren’t eligible. Anybody not registered in the Democratic Party woudn’t be counted – the on;y people whose affidavit ballots would be counted would be those who were not previously regsered in a party but the Board of Elections hadn’t gotten around to putting their name in the book. I don’t know about people voting at the wrong election district. This contest was countywide.

    It”ll probably get reversed again. All that Tiffany Cabán needs is a few more affidavit ballots being declared eligible. And she could discover that some of the people who voted absentee are dead, but still get mail delivered, and the vote get cast by other members of their family. I wouldn’t know how good the Tiffany Cabán campaign was at challenging them.

    In the meantime the Board of Elections is doing a hand examination of all accepted ballots.

    Sammy Finkelman (845007)

  15. “And I am so tired of partisan politics….I will caucus with Democrats” – probably

    Hawkins (f51703)

  16. “Most Americans are not rigidly partisan and do not feel well represented by either of the two major parties.”

    This bloviation from a founding member of the “rigidly partisan” ‘House Freedom Caucus.’

    What. A. Hypocrite.

    The tail doesn’t wag the dog, fella. Can’t leave something you were never really in; Amash wasn’t a ‘Republican;’ he’s a ‘Libertarian”; a parasite, hosting off the GOP. “Libertarians” have their own party so he can try to play ball and run the bases wearing their uniform.

    Good riddance. And welcome to 1964.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  17. It;s easier for a politician to be an independent in the Senate.

    Sammy Finkelman (845007)

  18. And the liberal and conservative parties in New York not to mention the working families (acirn) one.

    Narciso (dc0f8d)

  19. This subject is one upon which our host and I fundamentally disagree, despite much civil and respectful dialog. For those who’ve missed it (since I write nothing here that will surprise our host or even regular comment readers here), my contrary position is this:

    We do not have a parliamentary democracy like Britain or Israel. We have a two-party system. Those who choose to exclude themselves from both parties are essentially rendering themselves irrelevant to the American political process, and they forfeit most of their opportunity, and at least some of their credibility, in any and all future attempts to influence the party whom they would otherwise continue to identify with, but for their decision to self-exile.

    Brilliant voices in the wilderness may be noble and admirable, but they are undoubtedly less effective in actually bringing about change within either party, and the only changes that can realistically be wrought in our existing system can only come through the constant struggles within and between our two parties.

    This means, and has always meant, going back to spats between Jefferson and Hamilton around Washington’s cabinet table, that one finds oneself with co-partisans with whom one disagrees at least a little, on at least some issues. And in times like these, when both parties are being shredded by fringe elements who’ve managed hostile takeovers by ideologues, one may disagree a whole lot with one’s nominal co-partisans.

    That, I respectfully submit, is a reason to work harder and be patient in trying to exert influence within one’s chosen party — not a reason to self-exile.

    Precisely because Amash had a history of speaking (and writing) his mind, and gathered some support within the GOP because of that, he has had influence disproportionate to his single House seat. Many, perhaps most of us, at least knew his name before we read this post, for instance, and that cannot be said about dozens and dozens and dozens of other congresscritters who are relatively unknown outside their districts.

    Now he has abandoned his efforts to influence his fellow Republicans, and he has forfeited such credibility with them that he had previously earned. I do not applaud his action, therefore, and count it tantamount to giving up, which I certainly cannot admire, and indeed continue to recommend strongly against.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  20. TL/DR version of #21: The pie referenced by our host in #6 is imaginary.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  21. @21. ‘… tantamount to giving up.’

    In short, it just shows how weak those feathers have been in that wing.

    Pruning the plumage has been long overdue. Welcome to 1964.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  22. Beldar @21.

    We have a two-party system. Those who choose to exclude themselves from both parties are essentially rendering themselves irrelevant to the American political process,

    And in certain places one political party is virtually nonexistent, and we have aoe party system, with primaries.

    In California and Louisiana we have “jungle primaries” where anyone can enter and the two top finishers go to arunoff unless oe person collects at least one more than 50% of the vote/

    Sammy Finkelman (845007)

  23. “Modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral”

    Partisan politics works surprisingly well when people simply accept election results.

    Munroe (27ff8e)

  24. narciso @20 The Liberal Party in New Yrk has been dead since the 2002 election for Governor, although there are some attepts to revive it from time to time. Instead, most Democrats run with the Working Families Party. For many years there was a Right to Life Party

    I think we have 8 or 9 official parties with automatic ballot access which s gained by getting at least 50,000 votes cast on their line for Governor.

    They are:

    Democratic Party
    Republican Party
    Conservative Party
    Working Families Party
    Women’s Equality Party
    Independence Party
    Green Party

    The Libertarian Party achieved ballot status in 2018. The Reform Party of New York State (Curtis Sliwa) lost ballot access in the 2018 election.

    Sammy Finkelman (845007)

  25. I don’t think they’ll be able to agree on who won the Democratc primary for DistrictAttorney of Queens – which means Melinda Katz wins because she will wkin any rerun. or whatver they do.

    She did turn down a possible opportunity to run in the general election as a Republican

    Sammy Finkelman (845007)

  26. I’m with Patterico on this. And I’m with Amash on this.

    In her collected essays, Provocations, Camille Paglia writes of the 2016 election that if Donald Trump wins, it will destroy the power structure of the Democratic and the Republican party. That was a prescient and precise observation, and it has indeed become true. Neither party is recognizable from what they were just a few years ago, so a pox on both houses.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  27. not really, maybe after 2020, there are two many sources of resistance on a whole host of fronts, one might consider him a fusionist coalition candidate, but the Dems are moving mach 5 to the left,

    narciso (d1f714)

  28. An interesting exercise for Beldar (for whom I have the greatest respect): what would be too much for you? Under what circumstances would you dissociate yourself from the Republican Party? I ask because I think everyone should have a “limit.”

    Simon Jester (374700)

  29. The DNC is for open borders, ANTIFA, higher taxes, more regulation of private enterprise, abortion on demand, free healthcare for illegals, harassment of Trump officials at restaurants, forced busing and the doxxing of political opponents, but golly those mean Trump tweets are a bridge too far. /rolleyes.

    Brendan (782967)

  30. Simon Jester,

    Exactly. Everyone has their own tipping point. What can we point to now that would evidence a move toward smaller government, concrete evidence that the GOP is deeply concerned about over-spending and the ever-increasing deficit, entitlements, etc? Some people latched onto the GOP and Trump because they believed that he would not only get border security under control but would actually put up a wall. Now the spending is laughable, no one seems concerned with even slowing it down, there is no wall, and there is healthcare on the way for illegals, and a hard push by Democrats toward open borders, etc. People have their own pet issues that they use as the litmus test for belonging to a party. And with that, they have some sort of timetable before frustration wins out and they leave the party. I think your questions is a good one, and I think everyone has a different tipping point.

    Dana (bb0678)

  31. Beldar, the Democrats used to have moderates who tried to resist that party’s drift into socialism, immorality and lunacy. How’d that work out for them?

    And can you name a single Republican congress-critter who’s managed to accomplish anything by lashing themselves to the mast as Trump steers that party onto the rocks of ignominy, immorality and lunacy?

    Trump should have been treated as a pariah and anathematized from day one. That, almost five years into this nightmare, only about 1% of the GOP appear to have the moral clarity to do so is a disgrace.

    Instead large segments of the GOP think they can use Trump – despite his manifest and irredeemable corruption and wickedness – for their own purposes. But he corrupts everyone and everything he touches, and discredits every idea and policy he is associated with.

    Dave (1bb933)

  32. Simon Jester (374700) — 7/4/2019 @ 1:33 pm

    I have made similar inquiries of Beldar (for whom I also have great respect) in the past and I hope he’ll address your question, because I’m genuinely interested in the answer.

    Dave (1bb933)

  33. ^^^ YES ^^^

    They can have their cowpie and eat it too.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  34. Yes on 31, from Brendan.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  35. Instead large segments of the GOP think they can use Trump – despite his manifest and irredeemable corruption and wickedness – for their own purposes. But he corrupts everyone and everything he touches, and discredits every idea and policy he is associated with.

    I left this comment last night at another post:

    … Trump and his supporters mutually use one another for their own benefit and gain. And neither party’s goals can be counted on as being in the nation’s best interest. Trump is the mouthpiece for their frustrations and they provide him the accolades and affection he craves. To have so much of oneself invested in any president is mind-boggling. But to have so much of oneself invested in this particular one just doesn’t compute with me.

    It doesn’t matter if he corrupts everyone and everything he touches, etc., he is the voice and has the platform needed by those who feel disenfranchised, overlooked and left behind. He is willing to use it on their behalf, they are willing to agree that that is enough for them. Win-win.

    Dana (bb0678)

  36. It seems like Trump appeals to and speaks for everybody that’s got to jump when someone else blows the whistle.

    DRJ (15874d)

  37. Republicans will most likely lose more seat in congress as long time republican voters won’t put up with the schiff anymore. You can’t trust a herd of rinos.

    mg (8cbc69)

  38. Now he has abandoned his efforts to influence his fellow Republicans, and he has forfeited such credibility with them that he had previously earned. I do not applaud his action, therefore, and count it tantamount to giving up, which I certainly cannot admire, and indeed continue to recommend strongly against.

    Beldar (fa637a) — 7/4/2019 @ 12:14 pm

    I think he has given up and I join others in wondering when, or if, you think someone should give up. In other words, when do you view the GOP as a lost cause? History is full of lost causes that some realized earlier than others.

    DRJ (15874d)

  39. So he lied to his constituents when he ran for office as a Republican and said he’d stand up for them.

    He should resign his seat.

    NJRob (bf9a97)

  40. My view is that while third-party candidates rarely win elections in America, they can impact the outcome of national races and focus national attention to particular issues. They can change what we talk and care about without having to win. In fact, Trump basically did that with immigration and ended up co-opting the GOP and winning. So I am not convinced that the only way to make a difference is through the two political parties.

    DRJ (15874d)

  41. How many lies does Trump have to tell before he should resign?

    DRJ (15874d)

  42. is he going to caucus with the democrats, who are the most obvious statist faction, verging on point 4 labour politics in the 80s,

    narciso (d1f714)

  43. It seems like Trump appeals to and speaks for everybody that’s got to jump when someone else blows the whistle.

    Or those who used to be able to make other people jump and lost their whistle.

    Dave (55e817)

  44. @40. This has been a long time in coming, DRJ. Our Captain could never have been elected 15 or 20 years ago. As in ’64, this is simply cycle change and Trump is a bridge to something- or nothing.
    That’s really what the disheartened should focus on. “Beldar”-types are a party’s bedrock– granite, not limestone- and don’t dissolve easily so come hell or high water, they stick- any ‘party’ needs them to survive.

    My money is on Trump dumping Pence and rescuing Haley from an increasingly distressed Boeing BoD before she gets burned by it. If she stays, she’s toast.

    A Trump-Haley ticket will win in 2020.

    Nikki Haley is the future of the Republican Party for a 2024 presidential run.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  45. take the florida legislature please, mark twain could have well taken note on that, marco Rubio, tried to wrangle the cats to limited effect,

    on another note, allen west who was bitterly disrespected by that body, when it came to reapportionment, who was slandered by miss fields, is now running for the chairmanship of the Texas GOP, just goes to show the respect the party shows veterans,

    narciso (d1f714)

  46. @ DRJ, who asked (#40): “… I join others in wondering when, or if, you think someone should give up.”

    It all depends on whether one wishes to be a participant or an observer in politics and democracy. Because I want to be a participant, I won’t.

    And @ DRJ, who observed (#42):

    My view is that while third-party candidates rarely win elections in America, they can impact the outcome of national races and focus national attention to particular issues. They can change what we talk and care about without having to win. In fact, Trump basically did that with immigration and ended up co-opting the GOP and winning. So I am not convinced that the only way to make a difference is through the two political parties.

    I think your example — of Trump “co-opting the GOP and winning” — tends to prove my point, actually. He could have run like Ross Perot, as someone affiliated with neither political party, in which case he would have finished third, and almost certainly would have put Hillary into office. He did not; he recognized, correctly, that to have even a long-shot chance at actually winning the job, he had to pick one party or the other and pretend to believe in at least some of its purported principles. I’ve always thought, in fact, that he’d have been a better natural fit with the Democrats, but Hillary did indeed have that nomination sewed up and tied with a bow, having essentially rigged the DNC to ensure that this time would be “her turn.”

    No, at least since 1860, the examples of third-party or independent candidates who’ve had effect have all had spoiler effect — most notably T.R., as a “Bull Moose,” almost certainly electing Woodrow Wilson, and Ross Perot, as an independent, quite probably electing Bill Clinton. Those aren’t “positive” differences in my view. Ultimately they drove American government at least temporarily in a very different, and mostly opposite, direction from what those third-party or independent candidates claimed to be seeking by standing for office.

    I am still relatively confident that the GOP will outlast Trump. He’s fat, old, and unique, and when he’s out of the White House for whatever reason, he won’t be replaced by a clone or a proxy. And since his current success is based on wild and irrational personal loyalty among his cult members, rather than any sort of genuine and coherent philosophy or platform, those folks will either drop back into political non-participation or end up wandering off into some rump-group irrelevancy, sort of like Pat Buchanan enthusiasts; at most they’ll again be a noisy but mostly irrelevant and entirely powerless fringe group.

    Trump too shall pass.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  47. I’ve been a libertarian since I was fifteen. November 6, 1976, the bicentennial, it was a Saturday. I had some work to do for the Drama/RTF squad–prep for the next play, edit the football game we had filmed the night before for broadcast. Yeah, we had our own television station, KBOB, on public broadcast. The district had spent $400,000, which would be about $1.2 million in today’s dollars, on cameras and editing machines. This was state of the art equipment, better than any local news channel had, and we were just kids!

    On a side note, you don’t give something like that to high school students. Our own television station with state of the art equipment, and our own channel, are you kidding me? This in the mid-70s, when Saturday Night Live was the hottest show on TV. You don’t give teenagers access to something like that, but they, the adults, did, and we took it and ran away with it. We had our own Soap Opera–“As the School Turns.” We filmed skits and plays. And we covered Friday night football games; my duet partner and I did play-by-play and color, in reverse vaudeville. He was the fat guy, I was the skinny guy, but unlike every other comedy duo–Laurel and Hardy, Abbot and Costello, for example–where the skinny guy is the straight man and the fat guy is the clown, we reversed roles. He was the straight man, and I was the clown. It worked, because the audience was expecting one thing, and got the opposite. He did serious play-by-play, I did colorful, comedic, commentary.

    So I had some work to do, and I walked down to the school, it was just a couple of blocks. When I got there, there were all these cars parked in the parking lot, and this long line of adults around the school.

    I was like, what are all these people doing here? It was the election, and the high school was the polling place, but I didn’t know that at the time. So I’m wandering around wondering, what is going on?

    Then this guy, a complete stranger, a long-haired hippie radical, came up and gave me care. He said, “Here, kid.” It was a Social Insecurity card. My number is 000-00-0000. On the back it reads:

    KEEP this card, if you wish. It entitles you to absolutely nothing. HOWEVER, it has several advantages over your Social Security card.

    1. It does not force you to invest money, from your paycheck or profits in a fraudulent and financially doomed retirement scheme.

    2. It will not be requested or required on any school or job application, tax form, or in any business or financial transaction.

    3. It cannot be used to find you, intimidate or investigate you, or otherwise invade your privacy.

    I read that and thought, that’s the party I want to be a part of. And I wasn’t yet eligible to vote.

    Yet the Libertarian party is full of kooks. I am not a registered member, and I have never doated to a single candidate. I just vote Libertarian as a protest vote.

    Because that’s what this is. I agree with Beldar that we have a two-party system, but I disagree that the way to change either party is from within. Neither party is going to change. That’s what makes both of them unacceptable.

    Amash is right in quoting from Washington’s Farewell Address. It was once the most widely published and read article in America, more than the Declaration and certainly more the Constitution, over a century. In it, Washington warns the people about hyper-partisanship, excessive debt and intervention in foreign conflicts.

    Look at us today, in the century after Washington’s Farewell Address stopped being the most widely read article in the country. It was required reading when I went to school a few decades ago.

    All we have is hyper-partisanship, excessive debt, and interventions in foreign conflicts.

    Nothing good will come of this. Washington knew it centuries ago. Amash is merely trying to remind us of origin.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  48. and faction is just a way of life, now the left had ratcheted up all institutions, through demography and indoctrination,

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/07/amy-klobuchars-student-loan-policies-show-just-how-far-leftward-democrats-have-moved/

    pence is probably even more intolerable to the left, and as we saw in 2008, a fresh female face, drives them into convulsions,

    narciso (d1f714)

  49. “a fresh female face, drives them into convulsions”

    but enough about AOC.

    Davethulhu (bc6fa6)

  50. as mark steyn has put it re france, the gaullists and the socialists, agree on 80& of everything, so real issues are handed to the likes of the national front, the en marche phenomenon is mostly socialist, the tories and the liberal democrats certainly agree more than they disagree as the Cameron term showed.

    narciso (d1f714)

  51. @50. Pence’s wife is wearing ‘flag attire’ -a scarf of some sort- at the Trump’s Lincoln Memorial spectacular.

    Flag code violation: arrest her. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  52. How many lies does Trump have to tell before he should resign?

    To me, that’s not the issue because we know that he lies as easily as he says anything else. Truth no longer has anything to do with his presidency. The more critical question is, how many lies does he have to tell before he should be fired by his boss, the American people? He is who he is, and who we’ve always known him to be. Bit the American people? That’s the $64 question. Clearly, some believe he’s told one too many lies.

    Dana (bb0678)

  53. Pence is intolerable to teh gheys and the loose women. Generic POC will take their chances.

    urbanleftbehind (dd2c9c)

  54. It only proves your point if you ignore 1860-1917 when government was dominated by Republicans and the one “Democratic” President (who was actually a conservative) Grover Cleveland. Maybe the GOP will stay Trumpified the way the Democrats remained tied to the Confederacy for decades. Or maybe someone will come along to turn things around for the GOP the way Cleveland did for the Democrats.

    I don’t know. I don’t think anyone can know, which is why several have asked when you would decide it is a lost or a worthless cause. To me, it sounds like your answer is, “I will never give up.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  55. Weather be damned, eh, Captain, no rain on your parade; lots of martial music and so many white faces at der Lincolnburg Rally airing on C-SPAN. All that’s missing is a very large swastika atop the Lincoln Memorial.

    Can’t wait for them Stukas and Heinkels to fly over!!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  56. Beldar, you speak of Amash giving up and that being unacceptable, but would you think different if Amash stayed in R primary and got a sufficient number of dems to either register R short term or declare for the R ballot (not sure if Michigan primaries are closed or open), a variation of the Thad Cochran Senate runoff and Joe Strauss having held on to the Lege speakership for such a long time.

    urbanleftbehind (dd2c9c)

  57. @54. It’s backwards: Americans are resigned to lies. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  58. @ Dave, who asked (#33):

    Beldar, the Democrats used to have moderates who tried to resist that party’s drift into socialism, immorality and lunacy. How’d that work out for them?

    And can you name a single Republican congress-critter who’s managed to accomplish anything by lashing themselves to the mast as Trump steers that party onto the rocks of ignominy, immorality and lunacy?

    You write as if this was a once-and-done process. It’s not; it’s a cycle, if you step back and look at history even during my lifetime (i.e., since 1957). JFK’s assassination was the first bit of national politics that I felt directed affected by (mostly, by resentment against the unfair conclusion of most of the rest of the country that the State of Texas had collective guilt for the martyred (clay-footed) Saint Jack; I was at least vaguely aware of the scope of LBJ’s popular and electoral swamping of Goldwater in 1964. I was becoming more politically aware and involved by 1968, and I remember vividly the Democratic primaries, RFK’s romantic insurgency (another cult leader), LBJ’s unexpected refusal to run, the Chicago convention with its overt Dem-on-Dem violence, and the emergence, ultimately, of Hubert Humphrey — LBJ’s Veep and former pawn, who’d stopped inspiring much of anyone sometime in the late 1950s. Humphrey at least ran a fairly close race in the 1968 general election. But then — in direct reaction to the chaos of 1968 — the Dems chose the then-equivalent of Bernie Sanders, i.e., George McGovern, who led the Democrats to one of their most crushing Electoral College defeats, losing 49 states. And then there was the post-Watergate “new way,” the emergence of the peanut farmer, a state governor from Georgia and so-called “New Democrat,” who ran and won as a moderate.

    Nancy Pelosi is actually as close to a “moderate Democrat” as still exists, yet she’s locked in a struggle to control her own caucus against the likes of AOC; Pelosi’s embarrassment at having to pull the House’s emergency immigration funding (and many strings) legislation mid-debate, and to substitute instead the bipartisan Senate version, revealed that she still holds a procedural whip hand, but an awfully weak one. My money’s ultimately on AOC and the crazies; I think this may turn into another 1972; but that will just mark yet another extreme in the continual cycle.

    As for GOP congress-critters lashing themselves to the mast: Jeff Flake or Justin Amash, to pick a couple of examples, ended up attracting a relatively small crowd of admirers, John McCain a somewhat larger crowd. But whether it’s Kevin McCarthy or Mitch McConnell or even crazy Rand Paul, most Republicans in Congress are keeping mum rather than voicing obvious criticisms, with only a few exceptions. Some of them probably have genuinely sold out; I believe most of them will heave enormous sighs of relief on the day Trump is no longer POTUS, and their focus has been on waiting him out, doing a little interstitial maneuvering against the Dems (but while ostensibly deferring to Trump), and retaining some position from which to pick up the pieces, whether they’re large or small, post-Trump. That’s not very bold, in terms of working for change within the party, but they certainly are accomplishing more (e.g., confirming judges, passing this emergency funding for the border crisis) than those who’ve quit the field altogether.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  59. @ urbanleftbehind (#58): I’m not quite sure I followed your question. Could you try it a different way?

    @ Simon Jester, who asked (#30):

    Under what circumstances would you dissociate yourself from the Republican Party? I ask because I think everyone should have a “limit.”

    Everyone should certainly have “a limit” as to individual votes cast for particular candidates. Lifelong Republican that I am and intend to remain, Trump was wildly past my personal limits, such that my strong inclination to vote of my party’s nominees in general was easily overcome.

    But that’s a very different question than leaving the party.

    Certainly if the two-party system were collapsed into a one-party despotism — think of the end of the Weimar Republic, and the National Socialist Party’s opportunistic seizure of absolute power, and ruthless suppression of every other party or ideology from 1933 through 1945 — then the whole two-party paradigm, or even a multi-party paradigm, becomes meaningless. (One of the reasons I don’t want to be a parliamentary democracy like Britain or Israel, and like the Weimar Republic had, is that I think they’re inherently less stable and therefore inherently more vulnerable to such wolves.)

    Short of that, if there is still a two-party system — even one as lopsidedly imbalanced as that which prevailed in the U.S. between 1933 and 1947 — then if one wants to be a participant instead of an observer, one should (1) pick a side, (2) try to influence one’s co-partisans on the issues on which you and they disagree, and (3) generally support that party’s resulting nominees.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  60. In #61 that ought have read: “my strong inclination to vote for my party’s nominees.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  61. Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.

    While I’m incredibly happy that Amash is leaving the R party, I’ll have to say that he’s being dishonest with the people who elected him. He ran, and was elected as a Republican. Trump was President. What has happened in the last 8 months since Nov 2018, that would cause him to leave?

    The honest thing to do, would be to say in the R till the about April 2020, and then say, I’m running for re-election as an Independent and will no longer be a Republican. Or even more honest, to have run as an independent in 2018. I have a GENERAL problem with Pols getting elected as members of one party and then suddenly switching.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  62. “lots of martial music and so many white faces at der Lincolnburg Rally airing on C-SPAN. All that’s missing is a very large swastika atop the Lincoln Memorial.

    Can’t wait for them Stukas and Heinkels to fly over!!”

    Liberal Democrats often project and reveal what they are all about.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  63. Beldar:

    I asking whether it is preferable to quit the Republican Party and run as an Independent or remain a Republican and depend on democratic votes/voters, be it as a one-time expedient (Thad Cochran) or on a continual basis (Joe Strauss).to remain in one’s office

    urbanleftbehind (dd2c9c)

  64. Looking online it seems that Amash had only a slim chance of being renominated in 2020. So, changing to an Independent is actually his ONLY good chance of being re-elected. Lisa Mursowkowsi won as 3rd party in 2010, so why not Amash?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  65. The only problem is that Amash will get zero D votes.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  66. @ urbanleftbehind (#65): There’s considerable precedent for American politicians leaving one party to join the other. Our current Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, was the longest-serving governor of Texas as a Republican, but before that he was a Democratic state legislator who endorsed Al Gore’s 1988 presidential bid in Texas (but, he says, ultimately voted for Bush-41). Perry certainly retained, and increased, his political relevance after abandoning the Democrats (or, as he and other former-Democrats-turned-Republicans in Texas and elsewhere insisted, the Democratic Party left them).

    But leaving either party to run as an independent? On the national scene, that’s just a bad joke. That might work for, say, Bernie Sanders in Vermont, because Vermont is small and weird and a little crazy. But otherwise, it’s a gesture, typically either meaningless or (if it turns into a spoiler role) counterproductive.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  67. I’m watching it live and seeing a lot of diversity in the crowd. Perhaps your TV’s color or contrast needs adjusting, DCSCA.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  68. If it was SouthEastern Michigan, with its mix of favorites and 2 identity blocs, I would agree, but he might have a shot with Western Michigan Dems, such few that there are and the slim to none likelihood they actually put one of theirs over the top.

    urbanleftbehind (dd2c9c)

  69. Well, the tubes in that big wooden Zenith box are probably older than the Barca lounger, Haiku.

    urbanleftbehind (dd2c9c)

  70. Mix of Laborites, e.g. Stabenow

    urbanleftbehind (1ab396)

  71. @69.Plenty of white balance, Haiku; more likely, you’re due for a cataract check.

    @71. New set is just 5 days old, ubl; Philips flatscreen- made in China; perhaps the yellow tint needs adjusting. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  72. @64. Yes, Herr Trump has- hasn’t he.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  73. 73… just had my eyes checked, my vision is 20/20. In fact, I see right through you.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  74. You write as if this was a once-and-done process. It’s not; it’s a cycle, if you step back and look at history even during my lifetime (i.e., since 1957).

    Well, it’s a cycle except when it’s not. Sometimes things change forever and never go back to the way they were.

    The Democratic Party, for instance, was taken over by extremists, opportunists and demagogues in the 1970’s and 80’s, and will never again be a credible institution.

    The GOP is now well into the same process, but it’s a much bigger calamity lose the *last* party of integrity and responsibility.

    Your imperative seems to be “keep your powder dry for the battles to come,” but many of us have reached the painful realization that the war is already over and the bad guys won.

    Dave (1bb933)

  75. Trump is out-Reaganing Reagan. And it’s driving the hard far Left nuts and the hard conservative Right crazy. Love it; he’s so deliciously despicable.

    You know what the difference between Trump’s July 4, 2019 festivities and Reagan’s July 4, 1982 festivities? Nothing– except it didn’t rain on Reagan’s media extravaganza at Edwards Air Force Base.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  76. 77-You seem to miss the point AOC. The people in the middle will elect Trump. Far left, far right and the never trumpers delegate count is minimal. When is Oprah making her splash into the kiddie pool?

    mg (8cbc69)

  77. You know what the difference between Trump’s July 4, 2019 festivities and Reagan’s July 4, 1982 festivities?

    You know what the other difference was?

    Reagan was a patriot who had a vision of America as a shining city on hill, and strove to make it a reality, helping to free tens of millions from tyranny in the process.

    Trump is a reprobate who admires butchers that send tanks to murder peaceful college students, expresses romantic love for tinpot despots, and insists we’re morally equivalent to Putin’s murderous kleptocracy.

    Dave (1bb933)

  78. And the dems would have and (did say) the same about Reagan re el Salvador guatemala and the phillipines

    Narciso (dc0f8d)

  79. But that’s a very different question than leaving the party.

    It would seem that at some point in time, the questions merge. One informs the other.

    Dana (bb0678)

  80. Justin China uses the Washington Post for his coming out of the closet statement. Typical Hack.

    mg (8cbc69)

  81. The political pendulum is always in motion, and always has been. Sometimes it moves more slowly than at other times. Today it seems that it has been moving with increasing speed. I think it is more obvious when looking at the fractured Democratic party. Center left is now miles left, and the once outer-edges are now even farther left, yet with more Democrats finding their home there. With the Republicans, it’s more chaotic because Trump is not wed to any political philosophy nor grounded in anything other than making deals and the personal reality show that is his life. Maybe the GOP comes out of Trump’s tenure without permanent damage done, I wouldn’t play the odds. Especially if he gets another four years. If, in just two year’s time he’s bucking the system as much as he has, and going off script on just about everything, what on earth will things be like with another 4-6? Also, exactly who was it who backed and supported his candidacy and nomination?

    The only thing we know for sure is that Trump won’t change, and what we’ve seen is what we will continue to see, for possibly another term. To think that some permanent damage won’t be done in that period of time seems naive at best.

    Dana (bb0678)

  82. @79. ROFLMAOPIP In fact, Reagan was an actor; a showman; just like Donald Trump.

    “How can a president not be an actor?”- Ronald Reagan

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  83. @75. X-ray vision, eh; plays to your comic book character. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  84. @ Dana (#81): That’s a perceptive comment, and I don’t disagree with it. Yes, over time, the questions may merge, as when one is at a tipping point of frustration with his or her party and can no longer support its candidates, plural. Rick Perry can put a finger on when he says his tipping point was reached — September 29, 1989, when he switched parties and thereafter ran for office as a Republican instead of a Democrat.

    At one’s tipping point, then, one might be justified in switching major parties, if one intends to continue to be a participant in the two-party system. But simply abandoning one party, without embracing the other party, ultimately means that one has chosen to become very nearly irrelevant in a two-party system, regardless of where one’s tipping point was located.

    From the point of view of politicians, one’s tipping point is often quite opportunistic, and sometimes those switches occur in relative isolation: For instance, ex-Gov. John Connally, a conservative protege of LBJ, was still a Democrat when he was named Nixon’s Treasury Secretary in 1971; he led Democrats for Nixon in 1972; and he formally switched parties in 1973; and who aspired (unsuccessfully) to become Spiro Agnew’s replacement and then the 1980 GOP nominee.

    Rick Perry, by contrast, was one of what turned into a mutually reinforcing cascade of Texas Democrats who switched parties about the same time he did, or within the next few years, such that by the time Gov. George W. Bush ran for president in 2000, the last Democrat elected to a statewide office — the colorful and memorable late Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock — enthusiastically endorsed and campaigned for Dubya.

    It’s awfully hard to imagine any Republican politician who’d actually be embraced by, and effective within, the modern Democratic Party. But I can easily imagine some Democrats — Joe Manchin, for instance — still making a successful jump to the GOP.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  85. @83. Nikki Haley.

    Trump changes personnel like underwear; he’ll dump Pence [that trip to New Hampshire wasn’t cancelled for nothing] pluck Nikki from the Boeing mess and a Trump-Haley ticket will in 2020.

    She’ll be 52 in 2024; Nikki Haley will be the GOP nominee after Trump.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  86. Trump is a reprobate who admires butchers that send tanks to murder peaceful college students, expresses romantic love for tinpot despots, and insists we’re morally equivalent to Putin’s murderous kleptocracy.

    Wow, I thought Trump haters foreigners and was going to Start WW III or at least destroy NATO and betray every ally. With the never-trumpers and democrats the only consistency is “Orange Man bad”.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  87. @ Dana, who wrote (#83):

    The only thing we know for sure is that Trump won’t change, and what we’ve seen is what we will continue to see, for possibly another term. To think that some permanent damage won’t be done in that period of time seems naive at best.

    I agree of course that Trump won’t change, and that if he’s reelected to another term, more damage will be done to the GOP.

    As to whether it’s permanent, irreparable damage, though: I’m not convinced of that. The damage Nixon undoubtedly inflicted upon the GOP was thought by many to be the GOP’s death knell, but then came Reagan, and the Grand Old Party suddenly became pretty grand again. I think Trump is actually doing more long-term damage to the country than he is to the GOP in particular, especially at the state-government level; and it seems very unlikely that Trump will ever again have the opportunities that he basically squandered during the 114th Congress, a rare period of consolidated GOP control (albeit not filibuster-proof control) in which the only major legislative accomplishment, of either Trump or the GOP, was a tax cut and increases in military spending (undoing the “sequester”). Even if he’s reelected, I expect a continuing legislative deadlock of the sort that Trump is fundamentally unfit to even begin to un-jam, which won’t stop him from continuing to degrade our national discourse and pour kerosene on our national hyper-partisanship, but will mean most of his claimed successes can be undone by a Democrat president with nothing more than a stroke of the pen, reversing Trump’s executive orders and replacing all his political appointees.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  88. 89. Wanna talk about permanent, irreparable damage to a brand?

    Nixon signed the EPA into law.

    Bush 43 signed the TSA into law.

    Eisenhower signed the Interstate Highway Act into law which made it possible for FedGov to blackmail states for highway dollars.

    Republicans one-and-all. I could go on.

    Gryph (08c844)

  89. Looking at what has been accomplished in less than 3 years against a backdrop of constant vitriol, lies, half-truths, hate, derangement and – in some cases – aiding and abetting the enemy, spewed by NeverTrump, the Left and it’s media operatives (BIRM), my concern lies more with the lasting damage that will result should the Democrat candidate emerge victorious in November 2020.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  90. The damage Nixon undoubtedly inflicted upon the GOP was thought by many to be the GOP’s death knell

    The GOP rejected Nixon.

    The GOP has embraced Trump.

    Dave (1bb933)

  91. @ Dave (#93): I just don’t agree with your second sentence. I think it’s way too broad a brush, and mistakes, in many cases, acquiescence and conflict-avoidance with a whole-hearted embrace. Such “embrace” as Trump can claim is largely situational (as with the Gorsuch and Kavanaugh confirmations), but do you really think, for example, that Susan Collins’ confirmation votes for them was an “embrace” of Trump?

    I also disagree with your first sentence: Until the release of the Watergate tapes, Nixon enjoyed far broader and deeper support within the GOP than Trump will ever dream of possessing, especially in the immediate aftermath of the 1972 election blowout. Of course, the GOP controlled neither chamber of Congress at any point during Nixon’s presidency, and the only way he could get any legislation passed was through compromise with the Democrats; but the GOP contingent in both chambers was generally loyal.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  92. Eisenhower signed the Interstate Highway Act into law which made it possible for FedGov to blackmail states for highway dollars.

    That was by no means Eisenhower’s intent; recall that as the first SACEUR, he’d seen the enormous military advantage to the German war and defense efforts from their autobahns, which the interstate system was designed to emulate and improve upon. I also think it’s silly to call pigs fighting their way to the federal trough the victims of “blackmail,” even though it certainly does give the trough-filler power over them.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  93. Also @ Dave: Who do you think actually was the moving force behind the just-passed-and-signed emergency border funds? That was not Trump, even though he ended up signing the bill. It was GOP members of the Senate, who outmaneuvered Nancy Pelosi and her caucus’ crazy wing, and it happened because those self-same GOP lawmakers were not willing to stand with Trump in letting an undeniable humanitarian crisis deliberately fester.

    If the GOP had fully embraced Trump, that bill would have never been proposed, much less would it have passed with Dem support in the Senate and, ultimately, Pelosi’s facilitation in the House.

    Don’t let your contempt for Trump — which I absolutely share — mislead you into thinking he’s either more powerful or competent than he really is. He’s certainly still dangerous. But his chances of being a genuinely transformative leader — a la LJB or Reagan — is zero.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  94. No it was a necessary Tool to fight the cold war against the siviets, the EPA and the TSA have a) exceeded their mandate) and b) proven ineffective.

    Narciso (dc0f8d)

  95. Once it became clear what Nixon had done, the GOP rejected him (despite the very strong previous support within the party that you note).

    Once it became clear what Trump had done, the GOP (I’m talking about politicians) either defended him or looked the other way, depending what was most expedient.

    I think it’s way too broad a brush, and mistakes, in many cases, acquiescence and conflict-avoidance with a whole-hearted embrace.

    “Conflict avoidance” is what created this mess! There’s not even a whisper of opposition to Trump among the GOP in Washington. One guy (Amash) has the guts to state the obvious about Mueller’s investigation, and *he’s* treated like the one who betrayed our country by covering up for the Russian attack.

    You’re no doubt familiar with the quote about what happens when enough good people do nothing. We’re watching it happen before our eyes, like a train-wreck in slow motion.

    Dave (1bb933)

  96. The left has laid siege to every institution, the law academia and culture, as well as inroads in houses of worship, gramsci (the fellow mayor buttigegs father translated for.) One must be extraordinarily strong willed to resist or face professional ostracism

    Narciso (dc0f8d)

  97. Actually he repeats long discarded talking points, sanctioning an illegitimate govt surveillance operation.

    Trump has faced way more opposition than the supposed loyal opposition posed to Obama. I know there are reasons for that.

    Narciso (dc0f8d)

  98. @ Beldar,

    But simply abandoning one party, without embracing the other party, ultimately means that one has chosen to become very nearly irrelevant in a two-party system, regardless of where one’s tipping point was located.

    I suspect that tipping points and differing points of view with regard to the national GOP may be the difference between living in California, which is a Democratic super-majority and one where a Republican vote means very little, and Texas, where the Republican vote for a Republican candidate actually matters and makes a difference.

    Dana (bb0678)

  99. While I applaud the bipartisan success on the border security bill, it’s a Band-Aid that I don’t see fundamentally changing anything.

    It seems a bit of stretch to attach any great significance to it.

    Dave (1bb933)

  100. I suspect that tipping points and differing points of view with regard to the national GOP may be the difference between living in California, which is a Democratic super-majority and one where a Republican vote means very little, and Texas, where the Republican vote for a Republican candidate actually matters and makes a difference.

    On the other hand, the (formerly) Republican voters of Orange County sent four GOP representatives who unreservedly embraced Donald Trump into retirement last November.

    That seems like making a difference, and could be considered an important first step toward reclaiming the party.

    Dave (1bb933)

  101. The power of vote harvesting and if it’s the law, California Republicans better get with it PDQ.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  102. How were the celebrations in your neck of the woods coronello

    Narciso (dc0f8d)

  103. Just getting going out here, narciso. Hope all is well with you!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  104. Only a micro brain would see DC celebrations today and think Nuremberg or judge by skin color.

    Celebrations here were great – and the weather perfect.

    harkin (58d012)

  105. @107. Perhaps you should review the video; or were those mere tears or joy, not rain, dripping on the plexiglass in front of Dear Leader as der Ho 229 knockoff flew over. Missed them Stukas.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  106. into thinking he’s either more powerful or competent than he really is. He’s certainly still dangerous. But his chances of being a genuinely transformative leader — a la LJB or Reagan — is zero.

    On the contrary, Trump has already transformed conservatism and the GOP. In a very fundamentally way it has abandoned any pretense of small government/antigovernment intervention. It has become the party of Big Government, the party of Nationalism, the party that defines itself by being against Others, but not by being for anything.

    I have mentioned here Charles Lightoller. He was second officer of the Titanic, and the most senior officer to survive the sinking. He was challenged why he had not “gone down with ship” but instead had left the Titanic and survived.

    Lightoller’s answer: “I did not leave the Titanic. The Titanic left me.”

    The GOP has left a number of people in that sense. I suggest, Beldar, the GOP has left you.

    I grew up as a third generation Boston Democrat. I’m not fourth generation because my family only goes back three generations in America. My grandmother became a citizen in 1940, about 40 years after arriving here, solely for the purpose of voting for FDR. (But she was American enough 40 years earlier to arrange her wedding to be on July 4: today is my grandparents’ 108th anniversary.) Criticism of Honey Fitz was allowed, but his gransons were almost divine in status. I started voting Libertarian in 2004, but retained my D registration until a few months ago, when the SJWs and AntiSemites finally became too much. During those 14 years, I voted for the least progressive Democrat. You see how well that worked.

    Your argument is really just a more sophisticated version of the binary choice argument.

    I would suggest that until you, and others like you, go for a third choice, there is no hope of “reform”. Staying Republican merely sends the message that you don’t mind Yrumpism.

    Kishnevi (7de89f)

  107. 95. I didn’t say it was his intent. I said it happened. And it did. I’m sure Nixon’s intentions in forming OSHA were good also, but that doesn’t mean OSHA was not an overreach of federal power — as was the EPA and numerous other boondoggles. My point in mentioning this is that Democrats do not have a monopoly on abusing power. And it’s been this way for a long, long time.

    Gryph (08c844)

  108. 109… remaining a “Boston Democrat” through decades of corruption, graft and the sort of virulent racism Boston became infamous for and then preaching from a soapbox about politics is quite amusing.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  109. Really whose reducing regulation and whose expanding it on every aspect of human behavior under the rubric of climate change, nationalism as opposed to the interests of China eurooe et al. Since you consider legitimate law enforcement practically immoral, who is against , authoritarian’ like the rat dens that New York and San Francisco have become.

    Narciso (dc0f8d)

  110. As for Boston, it’s TRUE there was a uniparty intent for 35 years to protect whitey bulger which encompassed the likes of weld and Mueller as well as delahunt, who was part of the amirault witchhunt

    Narciso (dc0f8d)

  111. @ Kish (#109): It’s for me to decide whether and when the GOP has “left me,” of course, as I’m sure you would readily agree. I’ve explained why I haven’t reached that conclusion, and shall refrain from repeating myself.

    There is no “third choice.” That is a fantasy, a denial of what is in favor of a wish for something different. A third choice, or a fifth or eighth one, may be absolutely realistic to hope for, even expect, in a multi-party parliamentary democracy like Israel, with shifting coalitions of parties that merge, split, and sometimes die rather like amoeba. But we aren’t one.

    And I’ve likewise explained why the “binary choice” argument applies to one’s party identification, if one wishes to be a participant in instead of an observer of American politics, but does not apply to one’s decision whether to support a particular candidate nominated by that party. If you don’t agree, you’re certainly entitled to disagree. But please don’t mischaracterize my argument as something I’ve specifically denied that it is. Dismiss my distinction if you choose, but please don’t deny that I’ve made one.

    @ Dana: From my birth until the early 1990s, I assure you that being a Texas Republican was every bit as lonely as being a California Republican today. My father, also a native-born and lifelong Texas Republican, was born in 1922, and while he was still around to see Texas turn red, that happened quite late in his life. My grandfather, also a native-born and lifelong Texas Republican, lived his entire life without seeing Texas vote for a GOP presidential candidate or elect a statewide officeholder; I’ve mentioned before that he was effectively the default choice for the one federal patronage job in Dawson County, Texas, under Harding, Coolidge & Hoover, that of postmaster, simply because no one else in the county would admit to being a Republican.

    If California Republicans want to stage a comeback, they have to start working their precincts, or if their precincts aren’t competitive, finding one to work in which is. When California Republicans flee the playing field and throw off their party preference, they are doing the opposite of working toward a comeback. Of course the forces working against them are formidable — so too were Texas Democrats from the end of Reconstruction until the early 1990s. But they were not invulnerable, and just enough of the two-party system survived in Texas to form the nucleus, the kernel, around which the state flipped decisively and in a relatively short period of time.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  112. *amoebas, or perhaps amoebae, I meant (plural).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  113. I suspect that tipping points and differing points of view with regard to the national GOP may be the difference between living in California, which is a Democratic super-majority and one where a Republican vote means very little, and Texas, where the Republican vote for a Republican candidate actually matters and makes a difference.

    And Democrats mean something in Texas, where the GOP means very little in CA — they are being whittled back even in their strongholds.

    While no national third party seems likely, a local 3rd party becomes possible when a national party becomes nothing more than a placeholder locally. In CA there is not even a binary choice. Probably the same in the mountain west. While the Democrats are off insisting on personal pronouns and reparations, some old-school democrats in Idaho could form a party and offer a real choice.

    The drive in both major parties to find extreme positions opens doors in the middle. This may be the inverse of normal 3rd-party activity, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

    Kevin M (61459c)

  114. No need to vote in Massachusetts state elections anymore.
    Only local conservative selectmen and town issues will get me to the voting booth.
    Took me darn near 55 years to figure it out. Oh dopey me!

    mg (8cbc69)

  115. I recall a while back Happyfeet said he wasn’t going to put the effort into voting, because the candidates didn’t deserve it. So he got ice cream.

    A lot of folks responded to this view, and criticized that feets wasn’t participating, and was merely a bystander. By conspicuously rejecting participation, feets was actually shaping the discussion of a few dozen people, most of whom did vote.

    So I think there are two ends of the spectrum. At one end you have people like Amash or Patterico, influencing the discussion of tens of thousands (maybe more) voters by calling into question the point of conservatives voting for corrupt big government blowhards who destroy the momentum of important policy objectives like border security. Amash isn’t quitting and he’s certainly participating on a level few here could hope to. At the other end you have people who don’t vote and don’t care. Somewhere very, very close to that zero level of participation are partisans who march up and vote out of loyalty. They have quit on the ‘choice’ level, and can be counted on to help perpetuate all our nation’s problems.

    Without partisans, foreign governments would never be able to ruin our democracy. George Washington had that right.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  116. Oh, and just in case I’m misinterpreted, I think that persuasive discussion from republicans can be substantial participation. I just don’t think their vote matters on an individual level on the scale that good discussion does (And almost never on the scale that a conservative criticizing the GOP can, because that is potentially so authentic and persuasive).

    There’s a reason Trump’s fans are more threatened by Allahpundit than Hillary.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  117. Good Points, Dustin.
    I’m in the category –
    Until both parties,
    The FBI, CIA,DOJ, and Supreme Court have been flushed to the cesspool – The Fix Is In.

    mg (8cbc69)

  118. Join the No-Party Party!

    nk (dbc370)

  119. Unite For Individualism!

    nk (dbc370)

  120. I am a party of one.

    mg (8cbc69)

  121. I mostly drank alone too.

    nk (dbc370)

  122. You doing your physical therapy exercises like you should, mg? Not too much, not too little?

    nk (dbc370)

  123. Why doesn’t Thomas massie, who has similar beliefs do this, because it’s an unproductive exercise, they imported a new people in California and indoctrinated the rest into eloi, the party is dead over there.

    Narciso (fddec8)

  124. Hillary knows the carp she puts out, Allah actually its it and thinks its filet mignon. It’s so brave to go after whatever the designated target de jure is.

    Narciso (fddec8)

  125. Had a quad tendon that wasn’t firing, nk. Am in a straight leg brace for 5 more days. Can only do limited exercises. As in go to the bathroom!! Cant wait to start the real rehab. Setback three weeks. Thanks for asking.

    mg (8cbc69)

  126. 114. Your failure to accept the third choice does not mean that one is not present. While you accuse me of being unrealistic, I in-turn accuse you of a denial of objective reality.

    Gryph (08c844)

  127. Riders on the Storm Vox

    Riders on the Vox
    Riders on the Vox
    Smell a cache of dirty socks
    Their opinions are a crock
    Like a hunt without a fox
    A soggy cardboard box
    Riders on the Vox

    A smell permeates the air
    Of opinions few will share
    A July holiday
    The price that he must pay
    If you gave this man a vote
    It’s plain, he got your goat
    Grifter on the road, yeah

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/7/3/18759659/justin-amash-trump-impeachment-gop-tea-party-republicans

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  128. Beldar,

    I agree that people can make a difference at the local and state level but I also think the national tickets impact how people vote. I was and still am convinced that Trump is helping turn Texas blue.

    DRJ (15874d)

  129. And there is a reason for that. Some Texas Republicans are happy to embrace an authoritarian like Trump but there are also many conservatives in Texas who are turned off by Trump.

    DRJ (15874d)

  130. Sorry to hear that, mg. Hang in there.

    nk (dbc370)

  131. mg, definitely wish you the best

    Dustin (6d7686)

  132. Sorry to hear that mg

    You ended up with trump, because Paul singer made sure Ted Cruz couldn’t get any support even among his own caucus, he probably paid for so e of the ridiculous claptrap that ended up in the enauirer

    Narciso (fddec8)

  133. mg,

    I am sorry, too. I hope the 3 weeks goes quickly and the brace works.

    DRJ (15874d)

  134. Physical therapy doesn’t help unless the biochemistry is right. It doesn’t help with people with failing or overwhellmed livers wo are losing muscle mass, as in cancer.

    Healing can be sped up by taking folic acid pills of the amount pregnant women take (800 mcg) but maybe 2 or 4 a day at first (you’ll know when its too high when it starts to act as an aphrodisiac); pantothenic acid; fresh pineapple or canned pineapple or Bromelin; protein; and getting sleep. Healing takes place during sleep. If you don’t take the folic acid healing will run at maybe 1/3 the pace.

    Sammy Finkelman (845007)

  135. Rhinestone Cowboy Cowpie

    I’ve been ploughin’ these fields so long
    Singin’ the same sad song
    I know every crack in my armor’s beginnin’ to rust
    My hustle’s soundin’ so lame
    And nice guys will finish last in this dirty ol’ game
    There’s been a load of compromisin’
    But there’s light on the horizon
    And I’m gonna be where they’ll serve up a slice of that stuff

    Lurv some rhinestone cowpie
    Walkin’ out on a plank of a founderin’ pirate boat
    Slice o’ rhinestone cowpie
    Gettin’ calls and emails from scheisters who want my vote
    And writin’ my excuses note

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  136. And I’ve likewise explained why the “binary choice” argument applies to one’s party identification, if one wishes to be a participant in instead of an observer of American politics, but does not apply to one’s decision whether to support a particular candidate nominated by that party. If you don’t agree, you’re certainly entitled to disagree. But please don’t mischaracterize my argument as something I’ve specifically denied that it is. Dismiss my distinction if you choose, but please don’t deny that I’ve made one.

    To me the weakest part of your argument is the equation of party affiliation with participation:

    Those who choose to exclude themselves from both parties are essentially rendering themselves irrelevant to the American political process, and they forfeit most of their opportunity, and at least some of their credibility, in any and all future attempts to influence the party whom they would otherwise continue to identify with, but for their decision to self-exile.

    Brilliant voices in the wilderness may be noble and admirable, but they are undoubtedly less effective in actually bringing about change within either party, and the only changes that can realistically be wrought in our existing system can only come through the constant struggles within and between our two parties.

    In reality, party affiliation has very little practical effect. You claim, without any real justification, that only those who identify themselves with one of the two main parties are “participants”. Yet elections are generally won by doing two things: turning out one’s base, and attracting independents. By moving from the first category (a member of the base who regularly turns out) into the second category (an independent who needs to be re-won by each candidate in each election), I claim one is being maximally effective, to the extent one vote means anything.

    While you are certainly within your rights to calibrate someone’s “credibility” based on whether they continue to affiliate with a political party whose leader and direction they find abhorrent (or by any other criterion you choose), I think you’re mistaken to project that value judgment beyond yourself and characterize anyone who disagrees as “irrelevant”.

    Some may hold that view, but some may well hold the opposite view (that those not beholden to a particular party have more credibility), and still others may give it no weight one way or another and simply judge a person’s “credibility” by the strength of their arguments (which seems to me the most defensible position).

    Dave (1bb933)

  137. Mahalo to all for the kind words. Greatly appreciated. Diet is key, as Sammy stated. High fiber, high folic acid foods work. And the best wife, family and friends gives one all the motivation needed to persevere.

    mg (8cbc69)

  138. mg (8cbc69) — 7/5/2019 @ 8:22 am

    High fiber, high folic acid foods work. And the best wife, family and friends gives one all the motivation needed to persevere.

    They’ve been adding folic acid (relatively low amounts) to flour in the United States since 1998. This previously used to be prohibited, on the grounds it made diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia come too late. This was valuing the wrong thing.

    I just read folic acid is also added to enriched rice. And of course, usually, dry cereal.

    Sammy Finkelman (845007)

  139. Sammy, citrus fruits, asparagus, broccoli prunes, pears and peaches, all good sources.Our asparagus patch was plentiful this year.

    mg (8cbc69)

  140. Before then, it was gradual. [Like] this concept of nationalism that I started to see pop up more and more at town halls or on social media, where I heard Republicans speaking favorably of nationalism. And at first I thought it was just people mixing up their terminology. I was like, “No, you mean patriotism.” Like we should be patriotic, [have] love for our institutions in our country and the ideals of liberty, justice, and equality — those are the ideals of patriotism.

    But I started to hear [the word] nationalism more and more. And that’s a concept that really is about a love for your people simply by virtue of being your people, not related to any principles you hold or what your country stands for, what ideals you’re striving for. It’s about [how] Americans are just inherently better, or [how] particular Americans in some cases might be viewed as inherently better. And that’s a very dangerous ideology, and it is certainly not what this country was founded on.

    Sounds like Amash has a problem with politicians actually being accountable to Americans and their duty to the American people.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  141. I won’t pretend to approve of that which I don’t approve of, Dave. If you feel scolded as a result, so be it.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  142. @131. If/when Texas turns blue, blame Texans, not Trump.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  143. he splits atoms with his mind,

    the question of tariffs are tricky,

    narciso (d1f714)

  144. American Nationalism IS fidelity to the Founding Principles of individual liberty, patriotism, justice and equality. I’m glad Amash has left the GOP.

    SGT Ted (c9a5ed)

  145. mg… our region is known for prime asparagus, and when it’s the season, there’s probably none tastier.

    If I may ask, are you among the approximately 11% of the population that emits the telltale sign of enjoying the delights of this king among vegetables?

    May you soon be enjoying better health and relaxation!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  146. I won’t pretend to approve of that which I don’t approve of, Dave. If you feel scolded as a result, so be it.

    Whether or not you disapprove of something is certainly up to you, and I would never suggest you shouldn’t express that disapproval if so inclined.

    But whether or not someone is “irrelevant” seems like a question of fact rather than opinion, unless you say “irrelevant to me,” which I didn’t take to be your meaning.

    I explained clearly how someone unaffiliated with a party can be relevant to the political process, but you’ve chosen not to address that counter-argument.

    Do you think African-Americans have served their own interests well by remaining loyal to the Democratic Party regardless of what it does?

    Dave (1bb933)

  147. Dave (#149): You’ve taken one word out of context from my comment at #21, “irrelevant.” Here is the context you omitted, or perhaps simply ignored:

    We do not have a parliamentary democracy like Britain or Israel. We have a two-party system. Those who choose to exclude themselves from both parties are essentially rendering themselves irrelevant to the American political process, and they forfeit most of their opportunity, and at least some of their credibility, in any and all future attempts to influence the party whom they would otherwise continue to identify with, but for their decision to self-exile.

    Your example of relevance, in #139, was this:

    Yet elections are generally won by doing two things: turning out one’s base, and attracting independents. By moving from the first category (a member of the base who regularly turns out) into the second category (an independent who needs to be re-won by each candidate in each election), I claim one is being maximally effective, to the extent one vote means anything.

    By this, you equate citizens voting at the polls to “the American political process.” I do not, and suggest that your equation is false. The political process is continuous, not something that happens on one day every two years. When you or I comment on a blog like this one, we are participating in the political process. When we give an advocacy group or a charity a contribution, we may be participating in the political process. When we point out something stupid Trump said to our fellow workers at the water cooler, we are participating in the political process. When we wear a campaign hat or put up a sign in our yards or help register voters — and for that matter, when we register ourselves, or choose not to — we are … well, can you follow my drift yet? And from the point of view of politicians, whose careers consist of participating — supposedly representatively — in the political process, be they the town dogcatcher or Nancy Pelosi or whomever, they are constantly making speeches, tweeting, issuing policy papers, fundraising, helping others fundraise. None of these activities is limited to election day, and without them, election day would be a very different and more shallow experience.

    You certainly can cast your votes up and down the ballot, and yes, that’s participating in the process — moreso than merely making a funny at the water-cooler.

    But the practical reality is that the day-to-day participation in the political process mostly goes through, or involves in one way or the other, one or the other of our two political parties. When the question is, “Shall $4.6B in emergency funding for the border crisis be appropriated by Congress, or not?” the immediate next question, so intricately linked that you can’t answer the first one without addressing the second, is “Do you mean the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate or the multiple House counterparts, including those by the crazy wing of the Democratic Party, that are being tossed around for PR and fundraising on the floor of the House?” And the same has been true throughout our history: Are we to have a national bank? Shall we set tariffs to protect the domestic northeastern textile industry? Shall this new territory be admitted as a slave state or a free state? Shall we declare war on Spain based on the sinking of the Maine?

    I freely concur that if one focuses only on voting, and ignores the rest of the political process, then one can be “relevant” — perhaps a little, perhaps a lot, depending on the race and locale — while not identifying oneself with either political party.

    But if you want to actually effect change through all of our polity’s other mechanisms for the ongoing political process, it continues to make a gigantic difference to one’s relevance depending on whether one is supporting one of the two major parties, or instead disclaiming any attachment to either.

    Is that an adequate response? Because that’s all I have to say on that subject, and I’m more than a little annoyed to have one word of my argument wrenched out of context, and then to be chided for not pointing out that annoyance in more detail sooner.

    Your question about blacks and the Democratic Party is a completely different subject. One can go, and I have sometimes gone, on at length about the relative adherence of black voters in general to either the Party of Lincoln or the Party of LBJ. But that’s an issue of switching between major political parties, and it’s unrelated to the question of whether one’s abandonment of both does or doesn’t limit one’s effectiveness as a participant in the political process (re which, see above).

    Let’s agree to ignore each other for a week or two, shall we? I’m out of patience, but hope to regain more simply with the passage of time.

    Beldar (fa637a)


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