Patterico's Pontifications

2/24/2020

The Flight 93 Election in Reverse

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:58 am



Verad Mehta has a piece at Medium that attacks the “reverse Flight 93 election” argument in favor of Anybody But Trump. Mehta makes some good points, like this:

“Policy doesn’t matter,” averred Nichols. It can be “reversed,” avowed Brooks. The reason so many NeverTrumpers are loath to back Warren or Sanders, and are even, in the wake of Sanders’ massive victory in the Nevada caucus, contemplating the once unthinkable prospect of voting for Trump, is that policy does matter, and the reason it matters is that often it can’t be reversed.

In fact, policy matters a great deal. Especially when you’re demanding conservatives support a Democrat over Trump, with the consequence that you are telling them they must vote for a candidate who backs many policies they oppose. Nichols offers no answer to this dilemma. For he does not believe it is a dilemma. And that is why his argument fails.

Trump’s voters, we are incessantly told, have voted for everything he has done in office. Not just judges, tax cuts, and deregulation, but: tariffs and trade wars; “children in cages”; his Twitter invective and depravity, vulgarity, and vindictiveness; his incompetence; etc.
Yet if voting for Trump was voting for all those things, then a vote for the Democrat in November is a vote for everything he or she will do or might have done. Gun confiscation. Taking away private health insurance. Massive taxation.

If Sanders is the nominee, as now seems likely, voting for him would be voting for his program to “reorder or referee almost every part of American life.” It would be voting for a man who admired some of the most noxious regimes of the last century. A vote for either him or Warren would be a vote for a presidency as authoritarian as Trump’s purportedly is.

I used to think policy was virtually the only thing that mattered. Give me someone who votes my way, I would say, and I’ll forgive almost anything in their personal life. (Almost. I could not support Christine O’Donnell, because of her obvious dishonesty.) Then along came Donald Trump, to prove me wrong. I don’t want to make the same mistake in reverse, and act on the idea that only character matters. Policy does indeed matter.

But leaving the analysis there doesn’t cut it, and Mehta ultimately passes on truly addressing the real question facing people who want Trump out of office: the notion that Donald Trump is actually dangerous to our system of government. He mostly handles the concern by asking: Really? That’s what you actually think?

America has faced existential threats before. Nazi Germany. The Confederacy. The Soviet Union. Nuclear weapons. Is Donald Trump an existential threat? Will the United States or its system of government cease to exist because he was elected or is reelected? Is the 2020 election really a matter of life or death?

Think what this is actually saying — that unless you vote for this one candidate, that unless this one candidate is elected, the nation is doomed. And unless you don’t, and unless they aren’t, too.

Asking these questions rhetorically, as Mehta does, with an air of disbelief (“do they really think?!”), does not convince people who suspect the answer to these questions may actually be yes. I keep coming back to the fact that Trump has already demonstrated that the ways to rein him in, other than an election or unlawful and immoral violence, do not and cannot work. With a two-party system in which Senators of the same party of the president will almost never vote to impeach him, it is impossible to remove him through impeachment. Given that fact, along with a Justice Department that refuses to indict a president who has not been impeached, we now know that a criminal cannot be removed from office, except through an election or through violence (which, again, is immoral, wrong, and unthinkable).

That’s your Flight 93 scenario, and it can’t be shrugged away by asking the questions as if the answer is obvious.

I think the better argument than the Flight 93 argument for voting for a Democrat — any Democrat — is that voting for Trump reinforces and ratifies all his corruption, nastiness, instability, proud ignorance, and shocking dishonesty. The GOP needs to be dealt a hard punch to the face for backing all this, and it has to hurt. A lot.

But is that argument good enough? I don’t know.

I’m still uncertain whether that convinces me to vote for Bernie (assuming he ends up being the nominee). I’m tempted to do so, because my vote is meaningless and it would stand as a tiny symbolic rebuke to Trump and everything he stands for on a personal level. But the trouble with viewing a vote against Trump as a symbolic reproach of his corrupt evil is that it will also be seen as a symbolic ratification of socialism, a system that (taken to its logical extreme) is the most evil and dangerous known to man. Socialism and communism (there is really no difference; it’s just how far down the road you want to walk) have killed millions.

As an aside: don’t talk to me about &(*&(*^ Bloomberg. He’s taking too large a chunk of the possible centrist support from someone like a Buttigieg or Biden, who are slightly less insane than Bernie and have a much better chance of winning.

I understand Mehta not confronting this tough question. It’s a tough question because there really is no easy answer. All we can do is ask these questions, and then resolve to somehow fix a system that gives us choices like this, time and time again.

There’s still an outside chance that we get a “moderate” like Biden or Buttigieg. They’re not actually that moderate, but the so-called moderates are moderate enough for me.

That said, it does not look like they can win the primary. And it does not look like the socialist can win the general. So we get four more years of Mr. Looney. Let’s just hope he doesn’t nuke someone.

353 Responses to “The Flight 93 Election in Reverse”

  1. I’m already trying to see the bright side. If we don’t get nuked, we’ll at least control the Supreme Court for the rest of my natural life.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. I think that the last few years has been some kind of mythic curse of the Greek gods (I tip my hat to nk), to force each of us to really ponder what we believe in, and why.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  3. mythic curse of the Greek gods

    I suppose that Apollo could have gotten the Fates drunk again, but I’m more inclined to believe that Loki and Coyote, respectively the Northern European and American Indian prankster gods, are the ones who hold sway in America. 😉

    nk (1d9030)

  4. “American Gods,” nk. American Gods.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  5. “With a two-party system in which Senators of the same party of the president will almost never vote to impeach him, it is impossible to remove him through impeachment.”

    This simply makes no sense. “Almost never”, even if that were the case (and it isn’t), doesn’t translate into “impossible”.

    Though, it’s a pleading way to frame the weak case against the president as doomed to failure even if it was a strong case.

    Hope for a DC jury next time.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  6. voting for Trump reinforces and ratifies all his corruption, nastiness, instability, proud ignorance, and shocking dishonesty.

    You left out the worst part. His violation of the norms that reduced executive power. These included limitation on what a president does with their power in foreign policy and law enforcement. Much of it Trump justifies by completely unproven conspiracy theories around the Deep State being out to take him down. Not one single investigation of the Russia investigation, or the HRC email investigation has found any evidence that it was a plot motivated by politics.

    If Bernie is elected in 2020 and attempts do the same corrupt play (and I think he will) there will at least be room to push back that the violations of these power limiting norms is part of why Trump lost and that the public has said we don’t want foreign policy and government contracting wielded for political gain. We’ll be able to say that is complaining about ‘corporate media’ is no more valid than trump’s ‘Fake News’ and that the public doesn’t buy it
    After 4 more years of Trump that all becomes harder.

    time123 (14b920)

  7. It does look to me, though, and not only to Bloomberg, that all these Democrat Alyssa Casimiros (freaking weirdos) are campaigning for Trump.

    nk (1d9030)

  8. You can start looking at things the way I am looking at them, Pat. It’s all about entertainment value. I think Bloomberg, coming from his NYC background as he does, knows the real Donald J. Trump better than any other Dem candidate. The possibilities for sheer entertainment value are endless no matter who wins in the general.

    Gryph (08c844)

  9. 3. And don’t forget Anansi, the Akan spider-trickster.

    Gryph (08c844)

  10. Thank you, Gryph. And Anansi. He would have been here since 1619.

    nk (1d9030)

  11. The point of requiring a two-thirds majority is to prevent the President, elected by the damn will of the people, something you don’t seem to value much, from being removed from office for all but the most egregious “high crimes and misdemeanors,” such as treason and bribery. For those offenses where the President poses a real risk to the public, such as Treason, you’d get bipartisan support for removing him.

    Not for this B.S. you wanted him removed for.

    This is all a feature, not a bug.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  12. “Not one single investigation of the Russia investigation, or the HRC email investigation has found any evidence that it was a plot motivated by politics.”
    time123 (14b920) — 2/24/2020 @ 8:36 am

    Shorter time123: Trust me instead of your lying eyes.

    https://dailycaller.com/2020/02/24/case-agent-1-stephen-somma-fisa/

    Wait til a DC jury rips into this guy Somma. LOL

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  13. “Contempt of Congress”!

    For going to the courts.

    Yeah, I know there was another charge, of which he was also equitted, but this was such politically-motivated bogus nonsense. No, the Constitution did not want the President removed over that.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  14. Imagine the anger when RBG is replaced by Trump just because the Democrats let Russia pick their candidate.

    That’s something I guess.

    Dustin (764e61)

  15. I agree with Tom Nichols. Policy matters, but it’s usually reversible, and Trump is a uniquely garbage person in our political history. I shudder at the thought of him prying open the Overton Window of human awfulness a bit more each day for four more years, and how much of that can be reversed.

    On the other hand, I can’t say I’m sanguine about pulling the lever for Bernie. I’m not terribly concerned he’ll replace the Lincoln Monument with a replica of Lenin’s tomb, or anything policy-wise equivalent. Even if the Dems win big, I just don’t see there being the votes in Congress for anything significantly left of Obama. And the good news is Bernie lacks at least 90% of Trump’s nauseating personal defects. My main concern is Bernie’s entourage. I’d expect the people Bernie empowered to do some truly awful stuff.

    I’ll probably make myself vote for him anyway. Trump is just such an unparalleled a-hole. But I really pray the Dems stumble into nominating anybody else (except Tulsi.) Even the hippy lady.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  16. … vote for Bernie (assuming he ends up being the nominee). I’m tempted to do so, because my vote is meaningless and it would stand as a tiny symbolic rebuke to Trump

    “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

    If the choice is ‘vote for Hitler’ or ‘vote for Stalin’, do we really have a choice? There truly is no lesser of two evils here.

    I feel your pain regarding your vote being small and insignificant. I live in Texas, so my vote will never tip the scale against trump. And if by chance, the election were so close that my vote might make a difference, then surely the rest of the nation has voted against him in a landslide.

    Yet, I will not vote for him. And I will not vote for Bernie either. So my dilemma is… Vote 3rd party, vote write in, or just stay home. I have never sat out a presidential general, but if this is my choice then my couch is looking pretty good. I’ll just put on some popcorn and watch it play itself out.

    Glenn (fd9218)

  17. @Pat

    I think the better argument than the Flight 93 argument for voting for a Democrat — any Democrat — is that voting for Trump reinforces and ratifies all his corruption, nastiness, instability, proud ignorance, and shocking dishonesty.

    I want to answer this directly.

    No. It does not ratifies all of that. Outside of Trump’s rabid base (which all politicians has), Republican voters can still call balls & strikes here. Most are the pragmatic types who will hand-wave superficial Trump flaws in favor of concrete agendas they support.

    Yes, character matters…and yes, policies matters too.

    But, probably just as important are the policies your political opponents wishes to implement.

    In 2010 when Democrats has near total control of the government, I was puckered up the whole time worried about how far left those Democrats would be willing to pull the nation. We were lucky, that there were enough moderate Democrats to pump-the-breaks, such that we *only* ended up with Obamacare. Even then, Obamacare was disasterous as a whole and we’re lucky that we’ve been continually chipping away at this mess.

    Vote however you want. It’s your vote.

    I just hope you factor in the likely Democrat policy agendas in case they do regain power.

    Here’s my question back at you: Will there be enough moderate Democrats to “pump-the-break” this time?

    whembly (51f28e)

  18. “With a two-party system in which Senators of the same party of the president will almost never vote to impeach him, it is impossible to remove him through impeachment.”

    5. Munroe (dd6b64) — 2/24/2020 @ 8:29 am

    This simply makes no sense. “Almost never”, even if that were the case (and it isn’t), doesn’t translate into “impossible”.

    It could make sense, if this depends a little bit also on the politics of the times and the politics now are not like that of the 1970s.

    A) The political parties are stronger now than they were in 1974.

    Or:

    B) Trump has a cult, but this was not the case with Nixon.

    or

    C) The Democrats are stupider than they were in 1974.

    or

    D) Now both political parties have strong dedicated supporters; in the 1970s there was only one/

    A, B< C, or D he politics of the times are not like that of the 1970s. So Patterico can say:

    "Almost never: but it's impossible to see this happening now.

    Unless Trump does something to change that.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  19. . Let’s just hope he doesn’t nuke someone.

    Not too likely, actually, but he might shut down international trade and commerce fr=or four years. He wouldn’t do it alone, but he might be crucial, and could tip things over into massive quarantining of stopping of travel.

    We won’t see this coming, though, for at least another month or two.

    You wonder what they would do if there was some serious new infectious disease.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  20. I can’t help observing that the question at the heart of this dilemma — “to Trump or not to Trump?”, or alternatively “to socialist or not to socialist?” — is stuck in the same old false dichotomy of American politics that has snookered the whole nation into feeling that there is “no choice” but to vote for one of two worst-case scenarios. This false dichotomy is the Washington establishment’s stage-managed fantasy of the “two-party system.”

    If you hate what Trump represents — as you should — then don’t vote for Trump. If you hate socialism — as you should — then don’t vote for socialism.

    If, as Patterico says, a vote for Bernie would (for him) be a symbolic gesture against Trump, since his vote wouldn’t make any difference, then a vote for a third- (or eighth-) party candidate would have the same effect without the after-dinner nausea.

    For decades, principled conservatives and constitutionalists have writhed in anger at “their” party’s clever ruse of chanting “binary choice” every four years, the rhetorical whip they use to force everyone back into the Republican pen after foisting yet another establishment-friendly nominee on them. (Please don’t tell me Trump isn’t establishment-friendly. I’ve spent four years making the case that he was exactly what McConnell ordered, in the GOP’s fight to “crush” the pesky Tea Party constitutionalist movement once and for all. Anyone remember them? Anyone remember that Trump was a major donor and endorser for McConnell against the TP in 2014, and that Trump appointed McConnell’s wife to his cabinet?)

    And every four years, those constitutionalists and conservatives, snookered yet again — Bush, McCain, Romney, Trump — invariably grumble and squirm and growl, and then drag themselves back into the fold and vote for “anything but the socialist.”

    This GOP establishment ruse, and the sheer smug smirk with which they have exploited its effectiveness all the way to an inevitable second term for a man as absurdly repulsive, ignorant, and unqualified (and hence pragmatically useful to them) as Donald Trump, should be the last straw, shouldn’t it? I mean surely this time the “binary choice” rhetoric has to appear to every principled voter as the fraud that it is, and always was.

    You don’t “have to” vote for Trump to beat the socialist. And you don’t “have to” vote for a socialist to beat Trump. Since either vote is — if Patterico is right, and I believe he is — a vote for tyranny, this is the election, if ever there will be one (actually, 2016 was one too), for conservatives and constitutionalists to say enough is enough. It’s time to break free of the two-party establishment machinery and illusion.

    Does voting “None of the above” mean tacitly voting for a socialist? No, no more than it means tacitly voting for Trump. It means overtly, openly, sincerely, voting “No” to the Washington establishment’s corporate progressive ratchet to Hell.

    It means voting as a free citizen, voting with your conscience and your independent mind, rather than as a useful statistic of tyranny. If the two parties are really this corrupt — and they are, or else 2016, the “binary choice” between the two worst humans in America, could never have happened — then the only freedom on the ballot in 2020 is spiritual freedom. That’s the freedom of the voter who votes for “A pox on both your houses.”

    Yes, you’ll still live in an advancing tyranny the next day — a victory by either major party guarantees that — but your soul will be free, and your conscience clean. In an age of creeping soft despotism, that’s the only freedom an individual of the free-thinking minority can realistically hope for anyway.

    Daren Jonescu (ad8e67)

  21. the real question facing people who want Trump out of office: the notion that Donald Trump is actually dangerous to our system of government.

    I don’t think Trump is such a threat, but there are people on the left who are, which could lead to danger if the Democrats gain substantial majorities in the House and, especially, the Senate, and the wrong Democrat is president.

    Packing the Supreme Court will be only part of it.

    Elizabeth Warren, in this context, is far more dangerous than Bernie Sanders, but you have to pay very careful attention to the vice presidential nominee.

    Who could be counted on, at this stage, not to name a bad vice president? I don’t know.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  22. The accusation that Trump has committed crimes, is fantasy. A conclusion that lacks facts. A conclusion that flies in the face of facts as determined by Democrat Leadership.
    The President was impeached by the House. Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, etal, refused to defend the charges of criminal conduct.
    The only conclusion that can be reached, attempting to defend their accusations, and meeting the elements needed to define actions as criminal, would make them all look more foolish than the show trial they were forced to conduct.

    Now that the silliness that President Trump is a criminal has been dispatched, you are left with violation of “norms”. That accusation requires one to shut down all examination of history prior to June of 2015.

    Admit it. President Trump is doing what GOPe politicians have always promised in order to get elected, but never had the talent or desire to accomplish. For that sin, President Trump must be punished.

    Iowan2 (1c4a14)

  23. 20. Daren Jonescu (ad8e67) — 2/24/2020 @ 9:25 am

    the “binary choice” between the two worst humans in America,

    Why do you exaggerate?

    Couldn’t you make that: The two worst humans in major party politics?

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  24. @12, can you quote me the part of the article you linked that refutes my statement?

    time123 (14b920)

  25. 16. Glenn (fd9218) — 2/24/2020 @ 9:16 am

    If the choice is ‘vote for Hitler’ or ‘vote for Stalin’, do we really have a choice? There truly is no lesser of two evils here.

    Oh yes, there was. It was the difference between the death penalty and life imprisonment.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  26. You don’t need to vote for Bernie or Trump.

    Vote for a Third Party candidate, so make it clear you reject both parties. I would say that it’s the best option especially if you live in a state like California or Texas or (like me) Florida, where one party or the other is almost certain to win.

    kishnevi (496414)

  27. @12, can you quote me the part of the article you linked that refutes my statement?

    No, time123, Munroe cannot do that because it’s just a random squirrel he threw in to derail the thread.

    nk (1d9030)

  28. Gryph (08c844) — 2/24/2020 @ 8:45 am

    I think Bloomberg, coming from his NYC background as he does, knows the real Donald J. Trump better than any other Dem candidate.

    Well, he says he knows him.

    Or knows people who know him.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/13/donald-trump-mike-bloomberg-insults-twitter

    Thu 13 Feb 2020 16.16 EST First published on Thu 13 Feb 2020 16.09 EST

    Using a now-familiar line of attack that misstates Bloomberg’s 5ft 8in stature, Trump tweeted: “Mini Mike is a 5’4” mass of dead energy who does not want to be on the debate stage with these professional politicians. No boxes please.”

    In a subsequent salvo Trump compared Bloomberg to his 2016 Republican nomination challenger Jeb Bu

    “Mini Mike Bloomberg is a LOSER who has money but can’t debate and has zero presence, you will see. He reminds me of a tiny version of Jeb ‘Low Energy’ Bush, but Jeb has more political skill and has treated the Black community much better than Mini!”

    Twenty minutes later, Bloomberg returned fire, drawing attention to doubts that Trump is not as wealthy or as successful as he likes to portray himself.

    “@realDonaldTrump – we know many of the same people in NY. Behind your back they laugh at you & call you a carnival barking clown,” Bloomberg said in a posting. “They know you inherited a fortune & squandered it with stupid deals and incompetence.”

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  29. #17

    Whembly —


    I think the better argument than the Flight 93 argument for voting for a Democrat — any Democrat — is that voting for Trump reinforces and ratifies all his corruption, nastiness, instability, proud ignorance, and shocking dishonesty.

    I want to answer this directly.

    No. It does not ratifies all of that. Outside of Trump’s rabid base (which all politicians has), Republican voters can still call balls & strikes here. Most are the pragmatic types who will hand-wave superficial Trump flaws in favor of concrete agendas they support.

    If there was real opposition to Trump in the Republican party that had money behind it, I would expect to see a significant primary challenge. I would expect more noise from Senate and House members, and the sort of cacophony the freedom caucus would spout. I would expect a Fox News show where some dissent is aired. I would expect a Hugh Hewitt to criticize Trump like a Limbaugh would criticize W.

    I don’t see that. Not at all.

    I have never seen such Republican unity — not even in the days of Reagan. So it is pretty fair to attribute to, say, Susan Collins responsibility for Trump’s orruption, nastiness, instability, proud ignorance, and shocking dishonesty. Because it is unthinkable in the GOP to actually do anything about it.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  30. which democrat kamikaze pilot is the nevertrumpers pick of the day?

    mg (8cbc69)

  31. There’s always the Libertarian option, if you think of your vote as a symbolic protest for personal gratification, or you could request a paper ballot and write in your candidate of choice.

    I wouldn’t vote for any of these potential Democratic nominees, nor do I think any one of them can win the general election. It’s possible, but unlikely, one may squeak through the electoral college, as Trump did in 2016. It’s probable, more likely, that one may win the popular vote but lose the electoral college, which will cause much wailing and gnawing of teeth.

    If you consider your one-out-of-hundreds-of-millions vote insignificant and have resigned your self to four more intolerable years of Trump, or are concerned about an out-of-control president wildieng power at will, then the obvious solution to the dilemma is to concentrate on Congress.

    That’s what the Democrats should do, focus on increasing their majority in the House and regaining the Senate. Trump is only able to act with impunity, because he knows the Republicans-in-thrall will not vote to impeach him in the House and the Republicans-in-thrall will not vote to convict and remove him in the Senate. Take away that advantage, and it’s game over.

    A Democratic House and Senate can always vote to impeach and convict Trump. It’s not like they don’t have enough evidence of his corruption, incompetence and ill will, or bad faith, against our allies and indeed the country itself.

    This is my dream scenario. Trump wins reelection, but the Republicans lose the House and Senate. At that point, he’s impotent. None of his policies or nominations will pass, and he will always be subject to impeachment, conviction and removal. Then what, Pence ascends to the presidency? He could be impeached, convicted and removed as well. That would leave the Speaker of the House in charge.

    It’s called checks and balances. The legislative branch can always reign in the executive branch, and the judicial branch can always determine who is right and who is wrong.

    Let’s employ that strategy. You know, the one the Founders and Framers conceived. Three separate and co-equal branches of government. When one gets out of control, the other two establish order.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  32. I studied the candidates in 2015, and concluded that I could never vote for either of the corrupt, pathologically narcissistic, lying, Progressive (Collectivist) thugs on offer.

    T-rump has confirmed my analysis in spades. My vote for “neither” stands. There’s just no need to go beyond that.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  33. The point of requiring a two-thirds majority is to prevent the President, elected by the damn will of the people, something you don’t seem to value much…

    You seem to value it enough to lie about it. The “damn will of the people” elected Hellary.

    …from being removed from office for all but the most egregious “high crimes and misdemeanors,” such as treason and bribery. For those offenses where the President poses a real risk to the public, such as Treason, you’d get bipartisan support for removing him.

    That is NOT what the Framers said about impeachment. Either you know better and just lied again, or you are dangerously ignorant WRT the whole matter.

    Not for this B.S. you wanted him removed for.

    You mean using his office for corrupt political gain? THAT BS?

    You wanna disclaim your standiing in the T-rump cult? Or is that a feature?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  34. Donna E. Shalala
    @DonnaShalala
    ·
    I’m hoping that in the future, Senator Sanders will take time to speak to some of my constituents before he decides to sing the praises of a murderous tyrant like Fidel Castro. https://twitter.com/HotlineJosh/status/1231733462157099013
    __ _

    ABC News
    @ABC
    The nationwide survey reveals a startling picture of the large number of Venezuelans surviving off a diet consisting largely of tubers and beans.

    _

    harkin (b64479)

  35. Remember when the NeverTrump movement was about “conservative principles?” Yeah, you don’t get to claim conservative principles when you’re considering voting for a communist.

    Edoc118 (2faa81)

  36. So my dilemma is… Vote 3rd party, vote write in, or just stay home. I have never sat out a presidential general, but if this is my choice then my couch is looking pretty good.

    For the life of me I don’t understand this attitude. Granted, I’m not from Texas and I don’t know how the ballots work there, but in California our ballot this November will as usual be chock-full of legislative races and ballot initiatives, many of which will have a more direct impact on my life than whichever clown we send to the Oval Office for the next four years. So when people say that because they don’t like the two major party choices for President that they will “stay home,” I have to wonder if they live in an area where their ballots are mercifully uncluttered — though you would think that a conscientious citizen would at the very least vote in his or her district’s Congressional race — or if they are sadly one of those millions of Americans who think that only the Presidential election is worth their vote.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  37. “No, time123, Munroe cannot do that because it’s just a random squirrel he threw in to derail the thread.”
    nk (1d9030) — 2/24/2020 @ 9:42 am

    Shorter nk: butt gerbil.

    Munroe (866ee4)

  38. 35 – kinda sorta.
    __ _

    (((AG)))
    @AGHamilton29
    ·
    “Voting for Bernie is fine bc Congress will prevent him from passing any of his policies!”

    So you will be voting for Republicans in Congress to serve as a check on him?

    “Lol no I will vote for Dems in every race”

    So sounds like that check thing is just a BS justification…
    _

    harkin (b64479)

  39. It’s a dilemma. A used condom fished out of a New York sewer (that would be Trump, BTW, for the metaphorically challenged) or a communist. That’s the point of this post. But you need to know how to read.

    nk (1d9030)

  40. Shorter nk: butt gerbil.

    I’m saying “Trump-lice” this week.

    Say it once, say it twice,
    Say infestation of Trump-lice.

    nk (1d9030)

  41. I think I’ll be voting for divided government. That way, neither unpalatable candidate will have a “mandate” to accomplish their agenda. Even if Bernie gets elected and nominates judges, we have a McConnell in the majority to vote the too-liberal ones down.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  42. @29

    If there was real opposition to Trump in the Republican party that had money behind it, I would expect to see a significant primary challenge. I would expect more noise from Senate and House members, and the sort of cacophony the freedom caucus would spout. I would expect a Fox News show where some dissent is aired. I would expect a Hugh Hewitt to criticize Trump like a Limbaugh would criticize W.

    I don’t see that. Not at all.

    I have never seen such Republican unity — not even in the days of Reagan. So it is pretty fair to attribute to, say, Susan Collins responsibility for Trump’s orruption, nastiness, instability, proud ignorance, and shocking dishonesty. Because it is unthinkable in the GOP to actually do anything about it.

    Appalled (1a17de) — 2/24/2020 @ 9:52 am

    Much of that is because GOP wants to remain in power, not because they worship Trump’s feet. Once Trump leaves, it’s incumbent on grassroots Republicans to elect/favor better candidates (ie, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, etc…).

    Guess what, this is what politicians does in order to curry favor to ensure their place at the table.

    Again, weigh the policies that the Trump administration has actually achieved. Those are not nothing. There are real good Republican agendas being worked on during the Trump era.

    Of course, it isn’t everything that we’d like…but why throw out the baby with the bath water?

    Furthermore, there’s growing recognition that Democrats are on the march towards socialism and leftism that would be unthinkable mere decade ago. Anecdotally, I know many not-Trump voters who will definitely vote for Trump against Sanders. That may be a byproduct of my orbit as I’m in my 40’s and I remember politically and culturally the Rise and Fall of Communism.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  43. A vote for either him or Warren would be a vote for a presidency as authoritarian as Trump’s purportedly is.

    This.

    People talk about Trump being “a king” or otherwise out of control. But frankly his actions have been mild compared to nearly everything Sanders wants to do. Just think, for example, what an authoritarian Trump would do with respect to sanctuary cities.

    Trump has advocated no law that deprives anyone of any freedom they have now. Sanders would do that in a number of instances. So would Warren. Bloomberg would, too, just different things. Biden and Buttigieg would only be less so. The entire Democrat Party has signed onto the “Green New Deal” which is about the most fascist proposal that this country has even seen adopted by a major party (even worse than FDR’s NIRA”). OK, maybe slavery and Jim Crow (also Democrat).

    There is really no comparison: Trump is an incompetent scoundrel and a complete jerk, but he has no designs on personal liberty. The Democrats view “liberty” as a vice.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  44. The only danger is that Trump’s behavior will become the new normal for a president. Some future Democrat will justify his rounding up of conservatives by “Well, Trump tired to round up Muslims.” Except, wait, he didn’t.

    The truth of the matter is that Trump is a transparent bounder. We all know that. “I yam what I yam” said Popeye. But he is the man of the hour just the same. That does not mean that people EXCUSE his behavior; enough of them simply tolerate it. Some revel in it, not because they like the behavior, but that they like his targets and the discomfort he brings them.

    None of this suggests that another President who was as much of a jerk would get the same tolerance. None of the Democrats still running behaves this way, nor would it help them if they did.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. There is really no comparison: Trump is an incompetent scoundrel and a complete jerk, but he has no designs on personal liberty.

    Really? Can you use your property as you wish, and trade with those you choose? Those are personal liberties right out of our founding ideals.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  46. Let’s face it. For the never-Trumpers, any Democrat is preferable.
    For them, Satan would be a reasonable alternative.

    David Longfellow (44fae2)

  47. With a two-party system in which Senators of the same party of the president will almost never vote to impeach him, it is impossible to remove him through impeachment.

    The Founders knew this, BTW. After examining several quite different schemes, they chose this as least-unworkable. The 17th Amendment did not help.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  48. @20. If you hate what Trump represents — as you should — then don’t vote for Trump. If you hate socialism — as you should — then don’t vote for socialism.

    Which makes you a communist– telling others to think- ‘as you should.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  49. Really? Can you use your property as you wish, and trade with those you choose? Those are personal liberties right out of our founding ideals.

    1) Will you PLEAZE give up on your eminent domain hobby horse? It is hardly something Trump proposed, or even used a lot. It’s really tiring to have that assertion made time and again when it is such a weak weak reply. I don’t think you understand how pathetically weak it is.

    2) Similarly, trade wars and duties and such are nothing new. At one point the entire US budget was paid for by duties and excise taxes (internal duties). Trump has managed to get China to agree on a number of long-held demands (IP, for one) that have eluded every president since Clinton. He used trade weapons and it worked. This may be one of the reasons they keep getting used.

    Next you will argue that the income tax is theft and by not eliminating it, Trump is clearly a Communist.

    Compare ANYTHING Trump has done to the idea of nationalizing medical care and pharmaceuticals, as Bernie does.
    Show me a real liberty of citizens, existing and unmolested before Trump, that he has curtailed, or advocated curtailing.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  50. A question for #NeverTrump:

    Do you anticipate the day when we return to the Bush-Clinton-Obama economic consensus, where the only real argument between the two parties was over social issues?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  51. I think the better argument than the Flight 93 argument for voting for a Democrat — any Democrat — is that voting for Trump reinforces and ratifies all his corruption, nastiness, instability, proud ignorance, and shocking dishonesty. The GOP needs to be dealt a hard punch to the face for backing all this, and it has to hurt. A lot.

    But is that argument good enough? I don’t know.

    I do. When the opponent of this dishonest man are also dishonest, although perhaps only intellectually, the argument becomes fairly weak. When they intend to alter the rules of what is, or is not illegal (e.g. possessing firearms, choosing your own medical care, “hate” speech) or to appoint judges who will do their wet work for them, the answer becomes clear.

    There question is not between a dishonest man and honest ones. It is between which group of scoundrels will be less harmful to Liberty. That is an easy question this year.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  52. Patterico,

    Instead of voting for the Democrat — you vote may be meaningless in CA, but it is an incremental indication of what you prefer — vote for the Libertarian candidate. That way you can 1) not vote for Trump, and 2) not vote for Socialism.

    Since you believe that your vote is not going to stop CA from giving it’s electoral votes to the Democrat, why on earth do you view it as a 2-valued decision? I suspect that 3rd parties will do well in CA if it is Trump v Bernie.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  53. so many typos.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  54. Let’s just hope he doesn’t nuke someone.

    I’m pretty sure that some tried to get him to attack North Korea if they did not disarm. His love affair with Kim was pretty hard on Mattis, Tillerson, Bolton and others. The failure of Trump to enforce the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty will be his longest-lasting mistake, right up there with Carter’s support for Khomeini.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  55. Bernie sanders wins nevada caucus. All power to the soviets! Workers of the world unite you have nothing to lose ;but your chains! Lets start building the re-education camps now!

    asset (497073)

  56. Whembly (#43) —

    Much of [GOP unyielding support of Trump] is because GOP wants to remain in power, not because they worship Trump’s feet. Once Trump leaves, it’s incumbent on grassroots Republicans to elect/favor better candidates (ie, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, etc…).

    My own sense is that Trump’s conduct will be imitated by the GOP politicians, because it seems to work. If you bless out CNN all day long, make outlandish comments about traitors and deep state, you help your election. The only way this conduct stops is if it becomes dangerous to the politician who propounds it. Nikki Haley and Tim Scott may be decent folks, but uber-toady Lindsay Graham is who speaks for them.

    I think you believe that, somehow, Conservative virtue will suddenly reappear in 2024. It’s the rebirth of the concept Florence King used to talk about — the self-rejuvenating virgin.

    Guess what, this is what politicians does in order to curry favor to ensure their place at the table.

    And this will suddenly stop in 2024, because…? Until Trump becomes poll booth poison, every GOP member will seek to imitate him.

    Again, weigh the policies that the Trump administration has actually achieved. Those are not nothing. There are real good Republican agendas being worked on during the Trump era.

    This is always a question of what values are more important to you. It seems like a lot of the Trump tribe doesn’t mind a run amok executive and a lost First Amendment, as long as the Second Amendment is alive and well.

    Furthermore, there’s growing recognition that Democrats are on the march towards socialism and leftism that would be unthinkable mere decade ago. Anecdotally, I know many not-Trump voters who will definitely vote for Trump against Sanders. That may be a byproduct of my orbit as I’m in my 40’s and I remember politically and culturally the Rise and Fall of Communism.

    Yes, I love me a binary choice between a guy who prefers Russia, but will take Hungary AND a guy who prefers the Soviet Union, but will take Sweden. It IS a question of who will do more harm, and Bernie makes that choice painful. I do think the Donald and his flying monkeys own the GOP for many years to come if he wins in 2020. I don’t necessarily think the same of a Sanders victory, but I could be wrong about that.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  57. I think that it’s worth considering the Mae West approach –

    “Whenever I have to choose between two evils, I pick to one I haven’t tried before.”

    John B Boddie (286277)

  58. but uber-toady Lindsay Graham is who speaks for them.

    Lindsay blows with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Vichy Trump.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  59. Given another president, Lindsay’s vane will turn.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  60. 31. Gawain’s Ghost (b25cd1) — 2/24/2020 @ 10:11 am

    There’s always the Libertarian option, if you think of your vote as a symbolic protest for personal gratification, or you could request a paper ballot and write in your candidate of choice.

    Better check state law to see if its’s even counted as more than an undervote. (which is not detectable because lower on the ballot candidates always get fewer votes)

    If you consider your one-out-of-hundreds-of-millions vote insignificant

    Not hundreds of millions. Just one single solitary 100 million (approximately)

    then the obvious solution to the dilemma is to concentrate on Congress.

    With me the important thing is to see that Jerrold Nadler wins, and does not lose, his primary. That’s the on;y contest whose outcome could be in doubt.

    This is my dream scenario. Trump wins reelection, but the Republicans lose the House and Senate. At that point, he’s impotent. None of his policies or nominations will pass, and he will always be subject to impeachment, conviction and removal.

    Impeachment, trial with witnesses. followed by acquittal.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  61. a lost First Amendment

    Appalled, I don’t see that. Yes, he gives the press a hard time but he’s not unique in that. His criticisms are also not new, nor are they necessarily false. There is a dominant press culture in this country that is highly partisan. That is more a danger to the purpose of the 1st Amendment than any criticism from government, as it has led to a popular distrust of what was a useful information source.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  62. … [V]oting for Trump reinforces and ratifies all his corruption, nastiness, instability, proud ignorance, and shocking dishonesty. The GOP needs to be dealt a hard punch to the face for backing all this, and it has to hurt. A lot.

    It has been smacked in the face. By it’s own hand– and hard.

    Trump has driven the snakes out of Ireland; in less than four years, he has done what democrats and ‘Rockefeller Republicans’ have dreamt of for decades.

    Trump is a GOP creation; the Reagan era’s ‘picture of Dorian Gray’ – the Frankenstein they nurtured and fed, locked up w/his mistresses, gold-plated cutlery and bathroom fittings in Trump Tower– and who, to their horror, finally got loose. It was the likes of the ‘Stone’-aged creeps who broke him out, with all the flashy flaws so wildly celebrated by blindly rabid Reagan conservatives out of control in the platinum an gold card times of the gilded, go-go 1980s. Trump is the ugly face of that conservatism the GOP tried to hide with cigar smoke, casino mirrors, family values lies, movie star hair dye, and Bedtime For Bonzo celebrity monkeyshines.

    Trump is a conservative creation 40-plus years in the making. And neutering the modern ideological conservative movement, using its own creation against it; marginalizing it back into irrelevancy- stuffing it back into that trunk in Goldwater’s attic so to speak- is reason enough to vote for Trump again– or Sanders… or any democrat that boxes up that miserably warped ideology.

    These are glorious times; transient times– and oh so long overdue.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  63. I don’t necessarily think the same of a Sanders victory, but I could be wrong about that.

    It won’t matter. Once the insurance industry is nationalized, and along with it medicine and pharma, all that will be left for the successors will be making the bureaucracy more responsive. The things that Trump does are ephemeral — tax laws change, borders can be reopened, tariffs can be lifted, etc.

    But un-nationalizing industries is HARD. Cutting back benefits once granted (“free” college, expanded social security, cradle-to-grave medical) is next to impossible, and some IS impossible (mass naturalization of illegals).

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  64. With me the important thing is to see that Jerrold Nadler wins, and does not lose, his primary.

    Why? The further left the Democrat party goes, the less appeal it will have overall. Nothing could be better than AOC as Democrat spokesperson, so long as she is in the minority.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  65. 33. Ragspierre (d9bec9) — 2/24/2020 @ 10:24 am

    You mean using his office for corrupt political gain? THAT BS?

    He didn’t. He just wanted answers to a question or two.

    And had the Ukrainian government done what Gordon Sondland wanted them to do, it would not have affected matters at all.

    What cut Joe Biden’s support in half was Adam Schiff and the Great Impeachment.

    That resulted in Republicans talking all about Hunter Biden, and the original accusations forwarded by Giuliani about firing a prosecutor to stop an investigation got wide circulation.

    Because Biden had no answer.

    He couldn’t say “I made the whole story up! But not that way. It was Vladimir Putin who filled in the damaging background details about an investigation. My son just took the money in return for nothing much more than helping creating an appearance in Ukraine that Barack Obama was secretly on the take. He broke no laws.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  66. It is beyond me why anyone expects a future Congress to undo Bernie’s schemes when a solid GOP Congress could not even amend the terribly flawed Obamacare.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  67. You mean using his office for corrupt political gain? THAT BS?

    BFD. Not the first, not the last. Obama seems to have come out of office a fairly rich man. Where were you when Hillary got $20 million from the Saudis after doing them a favor? Hint: it wasn’t because the Saudis were impressed with her Foundation.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  68. There is no such thing as “good government.” There is only better government and worse government.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  69. 1)Will you PLEAZE give up on your eminent domain hobby horse?

    Nope. You apologizing for it doesn’t make it “weak”. That would be you.

    2) Similarly, trade wars and duties and such are nothing new.

    You challenged the thread to name some liberties Your Man-crush has curtailed. I did. That they may have been trammeled in the past is no argument for screwing our economy now.

    Trump has managed to get China to agree on a number of long-held demands (IP, for one) that have eluded every president since Clinton. He used trade weapons and it worked. This may be one of the reasons they keep getting used.

    You can dream that dream if you want. I won’t wave pom-poms until I see it working. The Chinese play a very long game.

    I’ll bet you swallowed the T-rump boob-bait about “trade deficits”, too. And the lie that we had no means BUT idiot tariffs to deal with trade issues.

    Well, you seem like a typical T-rump apologist.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  70. Appalled (1a17de) — 2/24/2020 @ 12:07 pm

    Yes, I love me a binary choice between a guy who prefers Russia, but will take Hungary

    Or maybe India.

    (pretty unfair because who says Trump really wants that?)

    But look at what Narendra Modi has that Trump doesn’t:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/21/opinion/trump-india.html

    1. Trump pardoned some white-collar criminals, including Michael Milken, and might extend clemency to Roger Stone. But Modi has a home minister, (like FBI) whose had charges of murder and kidnapping filed against him. But the judge in his case mysteriously died soon after Mr. Modi became prime minister in 2014 and the next judge swiftly acquitted. (there’s a lot to be said for separation of powers, and the need for Senate confirmation, and certain kinds of people just won’t be confirmed, even when a president has a majority of his own party in the
    Senate)

    2. Trump couldn’t get Congress to pass any measures against immigrants and Muslims and he’s limited also by the constitution and federal judges. But Modi has a Parliamentary system and no 14th amendment birthright citizenship and he passed a law requiring everyone to prove their residency, or that of their ancestors, before a certain date in 1951, or be presumed illegal aliens, while allowing most non Muslims who don’t qualify to legally immigrate. And he’s preparing to detain who knows how many people.

    3. There’s outrage in America on separating children from their parents at detention centers. It has been barely noticed in India that Mr. Modi’s government has illegally detained numerous children in the valley of Kashmir.

    4. Trump can expect some pushback from even his regular muse, Fox News. But Modi’s allies control almost all the press.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  71. @57

    Whembly (#43) —

    Much of [GOP unyielding support of Trump] is because GOP wants to remain in power, not because they worship Trump’s feet. Once Trump leaves, it’s incumbent on grassroots Republicans to elect/favor better candidates (ie, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, etc…).

    My own sense is that Trump’s conduct will be imitated by the GOP politicians, because it seems to work. If you bless out CNN all day long, make outlandish comments about traitors and deep state, you help your election. The only way this conduct stops is if it becomes dangerous to the politician who propounds it. Nikki Haley and Tim Scott may be decent folks, but uber-toady Lindsay Graham is who speaks for them.

    I don’t believe anyone else can replicate Trumpism… he’s a unique beast. I mean, sure someone will try to replicate it, but c’mon… really?

    I think you believe that, somehow, Conservative virtue will suddenly reappear in 2024. It’s the rebirth of the concept Florence King used to talk about — the self-rejuvenating virgin.

    Conservative virtue isn’t gone my good man… I think it waxes and wanes, but with the right candidates it’ll come back.

    Trump’s convservatism is by proxy (ie, Judges lead by the Heritage Foundation) and by simply doing the opposite of what Democrats wants.

    It’s not ideal…but, it’s the best that we have right in this moment and it’s definitely preferred to Hillary Clinton AND to any 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate.

    I would also advocate that you stop looking at this as some sort of political zero sum game with respect to the Republican party. Just because Trump has temporary influence to this party, doesn’t mean “Trumpism” his here to stay once he leaves public office.

    Guess what, this is what politicians does in order to curry favor to ensure their place at the table.

    And this will suddenly stop in 2024, because…? Until Trump becomes poll booth poison, every GOP member will seek to imitate him.

    My point is that it’s always been this way.

    Again, weigh the policies that the Trump administration has actually achieved. Those are not nothing. There are real good Republican agendas being worked on during the Trump era.

    This is always a question of what values are more important to you. It seems like a lot of the Trump tribe doesn’t mind a run amok executive

    Run amok executive? what?

    and a lost First Amendment

    Again… what? What has this administration done that you just described as a “lost First Amendment”???

    , as long as the Second Amendment is alive and well.

    You just described what it means to be a single issue voter.

    Furthermore, there’s growing recognition that Democrats are on the march towards socialism and leftism that would be unthinkable mere decade ago. Anecdotally, I know many not-Trump voters who will definitely vote for Trump against Sanders. That may be a byproduct of my orbit as I’m in my 40’s and I remember politically and culturally the Rise and Fall of Communism.

    Yes, I love me a binary choice between a guy who prefers Russia, but will take Hungary AND a guy who prefers the Soviet Union, but will take Sweden. It IS a question of who will do more harm, and Bernie makes that choice painful. I do think the Donald and his flying monkeys own the GOP for many years to come if he wins in 2020. I don’t necessarily think the same of a Sanders victory, but I could be wrong about that.
    Appalled (1a17de) — 2/24/2020 @ 12:07 pm

    Sigh.

    Politics exemplifies what have you done for me lately. The parties *will* reflect on whom is the political leader(s) at that time. But, once that leader is out, a new one steps in and thus a new identity is formed. Hence why, for the Democrat party, a Bernie presidential candidate is down right terrifying for me.

    The GOP has only ever been the “Reagan Party” only while Reagan was POTUS.

    The Democrats only ever been the “Obama Party” while he was POTUS.

    These parties are not the same when Bill Clinton or George W Bush were POTUS.

    Best case scenario for post-Trump GOP party is that Trump becomes the new conventional wisdom on how NOT to ignore your base, such that better candidates are selected to avoid electing another Trump.

    whembly (51f28e)

  72. @67

    It is beyond me why anyone expects a future Congress to undo Bernie’s schemes when a solid GOP Congress could not even amend the terribly flawed Obamacare.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 2/24/2020 @ 12:33 pm

    Hence why I refuse to do anything help the Democratic party these days.

    whembly (51f28e)

  73. BFD. Not the first, not the last. Obama seems to have come out of office a fairly rich man.

    All you have is ad hominem and excuses. You deserve the thug in the Oval Office.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  74. Sammy @ 66

    sometimes I worry about you, son.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  75. @49:

    @20. If you hate what Trump represents — as you should — then don’t vote for Trump. If you hate socialism — as you should — then don’t vote for socialism.
    Which makes you a communist– telling others to think- ‘as you should.’

    Seriously? Having an opinion (“as you should” = as I believe) makes one a communist?

    Thinking through a dilemma with a likeminded person, and sharing with him your own conclusions, based upon that likeminded person’s own reasoning (with which one agrees) makes one a communist?

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    Daren Jonescu (ad8e67)

  76. I voted Johnson/Weld last time. I wasn’t all that impressed with Johnson but he wasn’t Hillary or Trump. All the top Democrats scare the crap out of me. I’d prefer another 4 years of the Donald (the devil I know) over what I fear the Dem nominee may bring (the devil I don’t know).

    Hillary won my state by 28 points so my November 2020 vote won’t matter. I’m undecided at this point other than I won’t be voting for the Dem nominee. In my state I can vote in either primary. That vote may matter on the Dem side. I’m undecided with that too.

    Mattsky (55d339)

  77. Joe Biden has been going around South Carolina (he’s campaigning now exclusively in South Carolina) saying that Bernie Sanders considered mounting a primary challenge against Barack Obama in 2012. The Sanders campaign denied this.

    (and I never heard of this. Can anyone find any basis for this?)

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  78. And the lie that we had no means BUT idiot tariffs to deal with trade issues.

    Name the last president who did not employ, or threaten, tariffs. To compare something like that, with the wholesale nuking of liberty that Bernie represents shows an extreme case of chronic perspective loss.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  79. All you have is ad hominem and excuses. You deserve the thug in the Oval Office.

    No ad hominum there.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  80. It is really amazing to me the degree of importance people put on personality.

    Would you rather have a sleazy incompetent who works in your interests, or a smart and effective guy who hates your guts and is doing his best to screw you?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  81. Well, you seem like a typical T-rump apologist.

    More ad hominum.

    But to return the favor, you just seem like a socialist concern troll. To say that Trump is a greater danger than candidates who run on a PLATFORM of curtailing liberty is ludicrous and really hard to fathom.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  82. @76. No; “as you should” = “as you should.”

    Nice try.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  83. 81. If I trusted Trump to work in my interests, that would be one thing. Given his history in Manhattan and Aberdeenshire, I really don’t.

    Gryph (08c844)

  84. All you have is ad hominem and excuses. You deserve the thug in the Oval Office.

    Actually, none of those comments of mine before #74 contained an ad hominum. Calling your repeated perspective loss “weak” isn’t about you, it’s about your weak-assed argument that you think we just need to hear one more time.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  85. If I trusted Trump to work in my interests, that would be one thing.

    And again with his use of a lawful procedure. How does this even begin to compare with outlawing a whole class of transactions and MANDATING that EVERYONE use the government store?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  86. @84.What exactly as Trump done to injure your lifestyle? What has he done to lessen the quality of your life? As the saying goes, ‘all politics is local’- which is usually bounded by the map of your own personal universe. Are you better off now than you were four years go? If you are, try to keep him. If you’re not– try to dump him.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  87. Trump pays income tax. He does so quite reluctantly. Which is worse to a libertarian? That he pays it at all? Or he tries his best to pay as little as possible, skirting right up against the arguable limits of the law?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  88. No ad hominum there.

    You obviously don’t know the meaning of the term.

    The ad hominem fallacy takes the form of “Oh, yeah! Wull, xyz did it, so there!”

    It is a fallacy because it does not deal rationally with the proposition “T-rump is a corrupt sleaze”.

    See now…???

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  89. Calling your repeated perspective loss “weak” isn’t about you, it’s about your weak-assed argument that you think we just need to hear one more time.

    You excuse it AND call it “weak” because you have no valid argument to deal with it.

    I don’t care if you ever hear it again. If that is your idea of a good time, you’d best leave here, and don’t invite responses you can’t tolerate.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  90. These choices are not binary, Patterico! Do not vote for Trump, and ratify his bad behavior. ALSO do not vote for Bernie, and ratify his insane agenda. Vote Libertarian…vote Constitution…vote Reform…heck, vote Green or Worker’s World or Socialist!

    In short, vote third-party.

    Demosthenes (fc005d)

  91. I used to think policy was virtually the only thing that mattered. Give me someone who votes my way, I would say, and I’ll forgive almost anything in their personal life. (Almost. I could not support Christine O’Donnell, because of her obvious dishonesty.) Then along came Donald Trump, to prove me wrong.

    Yeah, a lot of Moderate/Establishment Republicans (are you one? I don’t know) feel that way. All that mattered was electing R’s – so what if they weren’t conservative? We couldn’t have purity tests when it came to stopping Obama, or John Kerry. But then Trump came along. And suddenly 4-8 years of Hillary seemed to be a small price to pay for stopping him. Because of his personal life. His character.

    Now, after 4 years of Trump misrule, if you re-elect Trump who knows what will happen? Maybe, he’ll be having sex with interns in the white house, or letting his “Wingman” AG cover-up some shady dealings, or use the IRS to stop anti-Trump nonprofits from getting tax breaks or perhaps use the FBI to spy on his opponents? Or lie us into a war based on false premises?

    Bernie is looking more “Conservative” every day.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  92. Here’s a question for people who like the Bulwark Boys, Jonah Goldberg, David French, etc. How many liberal democrats can you support – or refuse to fight – before you stop being Conservative?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  93. To say that Trump is a greater danger than candidates who run on a PLATFORM of curtailing liberty is ludicrous and really hard to fathom.

    The problem there is that I never made that argument. So you are now reduced to erecting a straw man, which is a form of lying.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  94. “In short, vote third-party.”
    Demosthenes (fc005d) — 2/24/2020 @ 2:50 pm

    Vote how you like, but don’t pretend you’re taking a principled stand against Sanders or Trump by doing so.

    Someone who would normally vote R but votes third party helps the D, and vice versa.

    A conservative who voted for Gary Johnson helped HRC. A liberal who voted for Jill Stein helped Trump.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  95. I don’t care if you ever hear it again. If that is your idea of a good time, you’d best leave here, and don’t invite responses you can’t tolerate.

    I was here long before you, and I’ll be here when you’ve moved on.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  96. Someone who would normally vote R but votes third party helps the D, and vice versa.

    No, they just don’t help the R, and are making a point of not helping the R.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  97. I think Trump may not win Texas if his Democratic opponent is Biden.

    DRJ (15874d)

  98. Saturday: Bernie becomes the odds-on favorite for the nomination.
    Monday: Dow drops 1000 points.

    Due to coronavirus, of course. None of the newsrooms could figure out another reason.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  99. How many liberal democrats can you support – or refuse to fight – before you stop being Conservative?

    Another (rather stupid) straw man. I dunno all the people you swept into your crap, but I do know that several have been fighting…often very successfully…for conservative values you PRETEND to care about for decades; during which T-rump was supporting the opposite and various Deemocrats.

    The term “campaign conversion” always leaps to mind with your cult leader.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  100. I think Trump may not win Texas if his Democratic opponent is Biden.

    I think that everything will depend on the nominee and the campaign. Trump is quite capable of an own-goal October surprise. Biden could forget where he is, or why he’s there. Bernie could have a stroke (have you seen how red he gets in debate?).

    Everyone thought Hillary had a gimme until she literally wilted. The Democrats should go with the one they want. It seems like the Republicans are.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  101. I was here long before you, and I’ll be here when you’ve moved on.

    Then you’d best buck up, snowflake.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  102. Online Bernie Bros are as willing to fight for their guy as online Trump supporters.

    DRJ (15874d)

  103. And, really, a debate between Trump and Bernie would be quite informative. Judging by seeing Bernie at the last debate, his rage and self-righteousness isn’t very becoming. Trump is as he is.

    It’s anyone’s guess who is uglier in debate, but Sanders is the only candidate who is not assuredly a cooler debater than Trump. “He fights.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  104. Then you’d best buck up, snowflake.

    Now name-calling. Sad.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  105. There are quite a few Americans who don’t give a fig about “helping” an R or D. We don’t vote tribes or cults.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  106. “No, they just don’t help the R, and are making a point of not helping the R.”
    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 2/24/2020 @ 3:04 pm

    Al Gore circa 2000 could not be reached for comment. Third party votes to Nader gave FL to Bush.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  107. Now name-calling. Sad.

    After your sniveling about hearing a valid point that YOU asked for, I’d say it fits you down to the ground.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  108. @98

    I think Trump may not win Texas if his Democratic opponent is Biden.

    DRJ (15874d) — 2/24/2020 @ 3:04 pm

    Thats…a tall order for Biden.

    whembly (c30c83)

  109. ho hum another Dick swinging contest

    mg (8cbc69)

  110. Minnesota looks to be in play for Trump:
    http://www.startribune.com/minnesotans-split-on-trump-heading-into-2020-election/568111002/

    Still a looooooooooong way to go tho.

    whembly (c30c83)

  111. To put it another way: Can you think of one way that Bernie Sanders is signaling respect to voters outside of his base?

    He has taken a nearly maximalist liberal position on every major issue. It’s especially striking from him, because he has shown over his career that he grasps the importance of building a coalition…
    https://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2020/02/bernie-sanders-making-big-mistake/

    And the internet never forgets.

    I think keeping the moral panic in check may be a good idea. Bernie may not be the candidate at all.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  112. @83:

    @76. No; “as you should” = “as you should.”

    On that pseudo-logic, in conjunction with your original comment that I was a communist for saying “as you should,” I offer the following similarly totalitarian positions:

    “You shouldn’t go outside without gloves on such a cold day” = Communist.

    “You should be more careful about your health with these flu bugs going around” = Communist.

    “You should have the baby even though it was a ‘mistake,’ because abortion is immoral” = Communist.

    “You shouldn’t let the progressives manipulate you into giving up your gun rights” = Communist.

    “You should not allow a communist to subvert your system of government” = Communist.

    Okay, you’ve got me convinced! I would recommend that you spread your wonderful logic all around the world to make us all wiser — but of course recommending that (or anything else, apparently) would prove that I’m a communist.

    On your reasoning, once again, just to be clear: Expressing opinions is evidence of communism.

    This is not even worthy of any fancy logical fallacy names. It’s just a schoolyard-level personal smear, about as meaningful as saying “Your mother wears army boots.”

    Daren Jonescu (2f5857)

  113. 98.I think Trump may not win Texas if his Democratic opponent is Biden.

    What mkes you believe Biden will live that long? Have you seen him lately– especially in HDTV??????!!!! 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  114. @113. 1+1=2, not 11. Your own words betray; get over yourself.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  115. @100:

    The term “campaign conversion” always leaps to mind with your cult leader.

    It’s amazing how many people will still accuse you of name-calling for using the word “cult” in relation to Trump’s support base.

    In fact, it is exactly the correct term, granting the current socio-psychological lexicon. Read any decent list of the essential traits of cult members — I prefer lists written long before the Trump era, and focused on religious cults, just to weed out the mere political rants from progressive Trump-haters. It’s remarkable how many of the traits line up in easily identifiable and unmistakable ways with Trump followers, or at least those among them who express their views publicly.

    I would highlight the following traits, consistent with all comprehensive cult descriptions:

    Radically changed views on important topics, but with the cult member either unwilling to acknowledge that he has changed, or attributing the change to a “conversion event”;

    Expressions of outrage and hatred directed against anyone who is perceived as critical or suspicious of the group’s leader in any way — even if that person was a trusted friend or ally the day before;
    An obsession with the idea that the cult leader is a victim of unjust persecution, and the target of some sort of massive conspiracy to undermine his leadership;

    An unbending certainty that the cult leader has a mysterious master plan or grand design, in defiance of all evidence to the contrary;

    A tendency to increasingly identify the cult leader with God’s plan, or even with quasi-divinity himself;

    The belief that the cult leader is not merely a great man, but possibly the greatest man, the definitive man, a man chosen by History, and therefore personally indispensable and irreplaceable.

    An intransigent ability to rationalize the cult leader’s every contradiction, every hypocrisy, every immorality, every authoritarian act, and every self-aggrandizing attitude, as somehow understandable and necessary aspects of his greatness.

    Daren Jonescu (2f5857)

  116. @115: Am I a communist? Yes or no.

    That was your original accusation, based on my use of the phrase “as you should” in the context of discussing opinions I shared in common with our host.

    So are you going to stand by it, and make yourself ridiculous, or continue the “nyah-nyah” runaround to avoid the actual question?

    That’s a rhetorical question, of course.

    Daren Jonescu (2f5857)

  117. @117.make yourself ridiculous

    Yes, you have: (“as you should” = as I believe”)

    No; “as you should = as you should,” comrade.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  118. @ 36 Well, JVW, the ballots are pretty much the same here in Texas, or this part of it at least.

    Every election, there’s a proposal to raise property taxes to fund some county or district project. Now, nobody is going to vote to raise property taxes, but everybody is going to vote against raising property taxes. It’s a great, albeit somewhat manipulative way of maximizing voter turnout.

    The thing is that this congressional district, which includes several of the major cities in the Rio Grande Valley and stretches on a narrow highway all the way up to Sequin, but does not include San Antonio, has never, since its creation in 1913, ever voted for a Republican. In fact, over the last century, in one-fourth of the races, the Republicans didn’t even bother to field a candidate.

    It’s the same in city and county elections. There are only Democrats on the ticket. I couldn’t vote for Libertarian, or a Republican even if I wanted to, because there are none on the ballot. It’s a little different in state and federal elections. At least then, I have a choice. But in city and county elections, I’m left with the least disagreeable Democrat. Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents don’t bother to campaign in this district, because they know they cannot win.

    It’s different in state and federal elections. At least in those I have a choice. I wrote myself in for president once. Yeah, in 1992–I could not vote to re-elect GHW Bush, would not vote for Bill Clinton, and Bodie was as unacceptable as either of the other two, so I voted for myself.

    I lost, of course, by about 150 million to 1, but still my vote was registered and was counted.

    I always vote in city and county elections, because I don’t want my property taxes raised. I always vote in state and federal elections, but I can’t and don’t support either party. I vote Libertarian every chance I get.

    I have never and will not ever vote for Democrat at the state or federal level. I will not vote for Trump or any of his sycophants at any level. That leaves me with voting for the less disagreeable Democrat, or the Libertarian, wherever I can, but the Republican party is dead to me.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  119. @ Munroe, #95:

    Someone who would normally vote R but votes third party helps the D, and vice versa.

    I have three responses to this. In order:

    First, I reject this line of reasoning utterly. Voting for someone helps them. Not voting for someone does not help them. In voting third-party four years ago, I chose not to help either Clinton or Trump. My lack of help went to them in equal measure. If you’ll forgive the torturous construction, Clinton wasn’t not-helped less.

    Second, because I know you’ll reject my rejection…just because I usually vote Republican doesn’t mean they own, or are owed, my vote. When I cast my ballot, I’m voting for a person, not a party. I have marked my ballot for a Democrat a couple of times, because I knew they would be good or because the Republican was terrible. Neither Trump nor Clinton deserved my vote, so neither got it.

    Third, even assuming for the sake of argument that you are right…I live in one of the reddest states in America. Whatever “help” (by your lights) I will give the Democrat will be only slightly less useful than squeezing a single drop of brackish water onto the tongue of a sinner in Hades. Similarly, Patterico is not going to swing California all by himself. So you can rest easy. If your precious Donald needs my help to win my state, my help won’t matter, because the nation as a whole will already have signed up for four years of Comrade Bernie’s Socialist Adventure.

    Demosthenes (fc005d)

  120. Well, churn the butter, fry them fishes and call Scarlett in for lunch; South Carolina’s Clyburn to endorse Biden. Like the upstairs butler endorsing the plantation overseer. What would Corn Pop say?!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  121. No ad hominum there.

    You obviously don’t know the meaning of the term.

    The ad hominem fallacy takes the form of “Oh, yeah! Wull, xyz did it, so there!”

    It is a fallacy because it does not deal rationally with the proposition “T-rump is a corrupt sleaze”.

    See now…???

    Ragspierre (d9bec9) — 2/24/2020 @ 2:41 pm

    No, that’s not ad hominem. Ad hominem is relating the personal strengths or weaknesses of the proponent to the merits of his argument. It’s a fallacy only because logicians and rhetoricians say so, and what the f*** do they know, all they do is sit around all day playing with words instead of doing something useful, the losers.

    nk (1d9030)

  122. Remember when the NeverTrump movement was about “conservative principles?” Yeah, you don’t get to claim conservative principles when you’re considering voting for a communist.

    Cool cool. By your logic, you don’t get to claim you are against lying, corruption, marital infidelity, idiocy, illiteracy, and 10,000 other vices and moral failings, since you’re obviously considering voting for Trump.

    I have never ever criticized anyone for simply voting for Trump, since they might have rational reasons for voting for an imperfect person. Trump superfans can’t extend their opponents the same courtesy because of course they can’t.

    Patterico (d1767a)

  123. Note that even *considering* voting for someone as a least worst alternative brings on the self-righteous distortion.

    Patterico (d1767a)

  124. I doubt I actually will vote for Bernie precisely because I think he’s a commie. But I won’t make my decision to satisfy the edocs of the world. If I were the kind of weak individual who lets his vote be determined by baseless cheap insults such as he has leveled here, I would be more (not less) inclined to vote for Bernie after reading his comment.

    Patterico (d1767a)

  125. 113, maybe that’s part of the attraction, so long as he lasts as long as William Henry Harrison…if Biden bucks CW and picks younger whiter competent as opposed to younger crazy POC or inexperienced

    urbanleftbehind (40bbfb)

  126. I think the arguments in this thread for registering yet another protest vote are the most persuasive comments I have read. Thanks Daren, Kevin M, and perhaps others.

    Patterico (d1767a)

  127. @ Munroe, #106:

    Third party votes to Nader gave FL to Bush.

    One could as easily argue that butterfly ballots, and senile seniors who punched them for Buchanan instead of Gore, gave FL to Bush. Or that those who voted for Harry Browne or John Hagelin nearly gave FL to Gore. And no matter which argument one advances, one would be wrong. If you were to stop someone from voting for a third-party candidate, that doesn’t mean their next choice would be the major-party candidate closest to their leanings. Maybe they’d vote for another third-party candidate. Or maybe they wouldn’t vote. You don’t know.

    I wish I had a time machine. I’d take it back to 1984 and vote for David Bergland. Then I’d come back here and tell you about it. Then I’d sit back and laugh as you chastised me for helping Mondale against Reagan. (That wouldn’t be the first thing I’d do, of course. The first thing would be to go back and play the winning lottery numbers from that last big pot that didn’t pay off. Then I’d have money and time enough to afford to spite people a little.)

    Demosthenes (fc005d)

  128. Note that even *considering* voting for someone as a least worst alternative brings on the self-righteous distortion.

    They have that in common with the Bernie Bros.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  129. And no matter which argument one advances, one would be wrong.

    Any or all of them could be right. When an election is very close there can be multiple independent “but for” causes.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  130. Sorry, nk…

    Ad hominem, short for argumentum ad hominem, typically refers to a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  131. Any or all of them could be right.

    No, they couldn’t. Voting for a third-party candidate doesn’t mean that you are helping some major-party candidate. It means that you are choosing NOT to help either one.

    Demosthenes (fc005d)

  132. “It means that you are choosing NOT to help either one.”
    Demosthenes (fc005d) — 2/24/2020 @ 4:56 pm

    That may be your choice and intent, but that’s not how it plays out in reality.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  133. As you will, Munroe. Further conversation is pointless, since all you’ve done is to gainsay what I said.

    Demosthenes (fc005d)

  134. I said “could” be right. Just because a particular vote for the third party candidate wouldn’t have otherwise necessarily gone to either major party candidate doesn’t mean some of the third party votes wouldn’t have gone to one of the major party candidates. If the number of votes that would have gone to the loser exceeds the number that would have gone to the winner by more than the winner’s margin of victory, it’s fair to say the third party candidacy cost the loser the election.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  135. R.I.P. Katherine Johnson

    Brilliant numbers cruncher; ‘Hidden Figures’ star; NASA icon.

    Ad Astra, Earth Angel. Ad Astra.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  136. @ lurker:

    I said “could” be right.

    I understood you perfectly. You said “could.” I said “couldn’t.”

    …it’s fair to say the third party candidacy cost the loser the election.

    Yes, I know a lot of people believe this. What I am saying is that those people are wrong. As I have already laid out my reasons, I won’t bother repeating them. The only reason I am responding here is because I think you are under the impression that I misunderstood what you said. I didn’t.

    Demosthenes (fc005d)

  137. I genuinely believe that Trump is a criminal who is also letting foreign opponents influence him in a way that harms our allies. I believe that his trade war is harming a lot of vulnerable farmers without doing much good and harming the rest of us trying to help the farmers. I believe he is fiscally irresponsible and, in fact, that the Dems right now are more fiscally responsible because at least they will pay for what they want. I cannot vote for Trump. And I do believe that it’s a binary choice and my self respect demands that I make it. I would really really rather not vote for Bernie, but I cannot vote for Trump.

    Nic (896fdf)

  138. #136

    Are you confusing intention for causation? Or maybe proximate causation for but for causation? Because if you know what but for causation is, your reasoning eludes me. Whether a third party candidacy is a “but for” cause of a major party candidate losing an election is an arithmatic problem, nothing more, nothing less.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  139. I believe that his trade war is harming a lot of vulnerable farmers without doing much good and harming the rest of us trying to help the farmers.

    It is also hurting American manufacturing and jobs. Both as predicable and predicted.

    ALSO, tariffs impose a hidden tax on American consumers.

    FINALLY, tariffs under T-rump are predicated on flat-out lies, and are a plain authoritarian theft of Americans’ right to choose.

    Just FYI, T-rump has shoveled MORE money to farmers to mitigate the damage his idiot tariffs have caused than the entire bank bail-out cost.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  140. Whether a third party candidacy is a “but for” cause of a major party candidate losing an election is an arithmatic problem, nothing more, nothing less.

    Only if you assume that those third party votes would have gone to the loser…but in reality they might have gone to the winner, or not voted at all.

    And the point of voting third party is to register the fact that neither of the two main parties. In 2016 we had a corrupt authoritarian statist with leftwing social views competing with a corrupt authoritarian statist with rightwing social views. So I voted Libertarian, meaning against authoritarian statism.

    Kishnevi (712fff)

  141. Kishnevi (712fff) — 2/24/2020 @ 5:58 pm

    I don’t know your voting record, and I’m not asking that you reveal it. But, if your trend since 2000 was to vote for the Dem, then your libertarian vote in 2016 helped Trump. If instead you really do swing back and forth, then I can agree with your point though I believe it’s much the exception rather than the rule.

    Munroe (866ee4)

  142. Only if you assume that those third party votes would have gone to the loser…but in reality they might have gone to the winner, or not voted at all.

    Yeah, I said that @134.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  143. The idea that Trump might lose to Biden but not Sanders in TX seems off to me. For one thing, Bernie does very well with Latinos. For another thing, he did almost as well among blacks and moderates as Biden in Nevada. Lastly, Biden has lost a step to put it charitably. He is not “all there.” And he has no devoted base. Bernie, old though he may be, is all there, and has a fired up base. At the end of the day, after all the handwringing, Dems will fall in behind Bernie, and peel off some of Trump’s voters. The horrified never Trumpers who hold their nose and end up voting for Trump won’t be enough to stop him (IMO).

    JRH (52aed3)

  144. Fortunately, if we lose the Never Trumpers in 2020 it won’t matter. They are so few in number, and most live in Blue states that Trump will lose anyway. As for their influence due to twitter, print, TV, etc. the vast majority of people have tuned them out, assuming they ever listened/read them in the first place.

    In real life, I have never met anyone who liked Bill Kristol. And I wonder how many people read or care about Rubin, boot, Goldberg, Erickson, etc. George Will used to be fairly famous, but that was 20 years ago. Almost all the Never-trumpers are part of the Liberal DNC-media, and are ignored by the Liberals/Democrats.

    Today, I somehow stumbled on a hilarious piece in the The Atlantic about Jennifer Rubin from 2013, about how Rubin should be fired from the WaPo due to her anti-Obama attitude. I’d completely forgotten about that, and her hatred of Obama due to his Middle east policy. Which just shows what little impact she’s had over the years.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  145. Bloomberg is about to nuclear on Bernie so we’ll see how tough he is soon.

    JRH (52aed3)

  146. The Democrats may very well nominate Sanders but, for now, the swing voters that determine elections in Texas are suburban voters. It is my feeling that they would vote for Biden but not Sanders.

    DRJ (15874d)

  147. Munroe (866ee4) — 2/24/2020 @ 6:15 pm

    FYI I voted for Anderson in 1980 (my first time voting), for every Democrat from 1984 through and including 2000. Then I got interested in Libertarianism, and although I don’t belong to the LP, I voted for the Libertarian candidate in the last four Presidential elections. Had Trump not been the nominee I would have voted for the GOP candidate. This year I will probably vote Libertarian again. I might be tempted to vote Democratic if the nominee is more or less moderate, but I think the GOP GOTV machine here in Florida is strong enough to ensure Trump will carry the state. (The Democrats did an all-out effort for Gillum and Nelson in 2018, but failed.)

    Kishnevi (712fff)

  148. @146 I guess that’s the big question. Is distaste for Trump more of a motivating factor for voters in the suburbs than horror at Sanders? I think the answer might be yes. I’m rememembering the turnout for those women’s marches in the ‘burbs. Bernie for all his flaws is not a grabber of genitalia.

    JRH (52aed3)

  149. (that we know of. I guess it’s still early and stuff may come out).

    JRH (52aed3)

  150. There is proven distaste for Trump in Texas but I highly doubt that means Sanders could win here.

    DRJ (15874d)

  151. Here’s the new David French position:

    1) Bernie cannot bring socialism. He cannot rule by decree. None of his big plans will happen.
    2) But that doesn’t mean he’s harmless. His presidency would be bad for America.
    Our parties are failing to produce fit candidates. Do not endorse their failures with your vote.

    Which is hilarious. French CLAIMS to be some sort of conservative. But his tweets and writing for the last 4 years consist of attacks on Trump, attacks on Right-wingers and Christians for supporting Trump and cries of “Both sides are wrong”. The one thing Rev. French does NOT do, is fight the Left.

    Now, with someone SUPPOSEDLY against everything Rev. French disagrees with, his response is “Lets sit this one out”. LOL! If you were a secret liberal who wanted to subvert the Right-wing and help the Democrats, how would you act? Well, just like David French. After all, what will happen if Bernie gets elected? Will French attack him, or continue with his “Both sides are to blame?” I’d guess the latter, since he’s already made it clear he doesn’t care about WINNING in the real world.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  152. @137. Always believed America would elect have a woman president before a Jewish president but that could flip. He’s right about the healthcare system– and train stations (more actually, Moscow subway stations- been there/seen’em) being magnificent art galleries that make every subway stop and train station in America look and smell like a toilet. And he’s right about Castro- in so far as he went– on the literacy program. It’s not an absolutist world- though Trump and anti-Bernie folks will try to make it so. Bloomberg tried but fell flat with it in the last debate. But others will try. Not everything is ‘bad’ in these places; Russians are a proud and accomplished people; Cubans– well, the mob sure loved them back in the day when ‘casinos were royale.’ The key remains the Senate- as long as the Senate remains GOP, Bernie or any democrat won’t get anything done. And if Trump is re-elected, the SCOTUS will be seeded w/fresh GOPers–but believe judges in a lifetime gig, for the most part, will be loyal to the law and not ideologies that put them in place. Dynamic times for sure.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  153. Lets face it, the Bulwark Boys and the Dispatch have turned into a Comedy act. But maybe Bill Weld will turn back into a Libertarian this fall, and they can vote for him.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  154. Yes, the Senate is the Key. We can survive Bernie if only we hold the Senate. LOL! What if Bernie goes full…wait for it…authoritarian? Those Obama judges aren’t going to be striking down Bernie’s executive actions, are they?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  155. There’s still COVID-19. All the rallies, all the fundraisers, all the handshakes, and old men the most at risk, more than infants or old women.

    What? It’s better than SMOD!

    nk (1d9030)

  156. 154. What if Bernie goes full…wait for it…authoritarian?

    What if hot fudge sundaes aren’t actually fattening? See Sleeper for details.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  157. I genuinely believe that Trump is a criminal who is also letting foreign opponents influence him in a way that harms our allies. I believe that his trade war is harming a lot of vulnerable farmers without doing much good and harming the rest of us trying to help the farmers. I believe he is fiscally irresponsible and, in fact, that the Dems right now are more fiscally responsible because at least they will pay for what they want. I cannot vote for Trump. And I do believe that it’s a binary choice and my self respect demands that I make it. I would really really rather not vote for Bernie, but I cannot vote for Trump.

    Nic (896fdf) — 2/24/2020 @ 5:35 pm

    That you dismiss the corruption within the leftist party doesn’t surprise me. That you think our alliances are harmed by Trump instead of strengthened doesn’t surprise me as you come at them from a non-right perspective.

    NJRob (8eb734)

  158. Pence/Hailey vs. Klobuchar/Buttigieg. COVID-19, you came when America needs you the most. Don’t let us down!

    nk (1d9030)

  159. Here’s the new David French position:

    No, I’ll bet that’s your lie about French’s position.

    Put up the link where he says any of that, or you claim he says it.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  160. That you think our alliances are harmed by Trump instead of strengthened doesn’t surprise me as you come at them from a non-right perspective.

    Duh Donald is such a rude dummy he managed to piss off BoJo. You seem to be coming at the question from a genuflecting perspective. That is not the American way.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  161. That you think our alliances are harmed by Trump instead of strengthened doesn’t surprise me as you come at them from a non-right perspective.

    It’s beyond rational dispute that Trump has harmed our alliances. If being rational means you’re no longer coming at things from a “right-leaning” perspective then that says more about the right than it does about rationality.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  162. @158 No, I’m not talking about corruption, I’m talking about crime. He has defrauded thousands of people, employed illegal aliens, assaulted women, misused charity donations, obstructed justice, attempted to extort an ally for personal political gain, and probably cheated on his taxes.

    And our alliances are harmed by Trump. England, France, Canada, Germany, Mexico, S. Korea, Japan, Ukraine, the Kurds. The only two that might be considered strengthened are Turkey and Saudi Arabia and we strengthened them buy giving up a US alliance and one of our own residents.

    Nic (896fdf)

  163. I’m going to vote for Bloomberg in the WA State primary because Trump is the only Republican on the GOP ballot and Bloomberg is least liberal candidate who remains viable. I don’t see a path for Klobuchar. The latest–actually, only–poll that I’ve seen here has Bernie up by 5.
    For the general, it’s protest vote all the way, baby, because both parties will yet again nominate Turd Sandwich and Giant Douche for the world’s most important job.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  164. It’s beyond rational dispute that Trump has harmed our alliances. If being rational means you’re no longer coming at things from a “right-leaning” perspective then that says more about the right than it does about rationality.

    Patterico (115b1f) — 2/24/2020 @ 8:00 pm

    Our relationship with Israel is stronger than ever. Our relationship with England is in better shape than it was under Obama’s “return the bust” policy. NATO members are starting to contribute to their own defense. Mexico signed a new trade deal and is enforcing their own border for the first time.

    Sorry that we dumped Iran and Venezuela
    Those aren’t alliances I’m interested in.

    NJRob (8eb734)

  165. 98. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 2/24/2020 @ 3:05 pm

    Saturday: Bernie becomes the odds-on favorite for the nomination.

    Monday: Dow drops 1000 points.

    Due to coronavirus, of course. None of the newsrooms could figure out another reason.

    It was coronavirus. Or rather te shutdown.

    Nw that;s amistake, becasuse the Federal Reserve Board will compensate. But many individual companies wll be hhurt, and others may be helped.

    It can’t be Bernie. It’s not so certain that he would get the nomination, and even less that he would win, although admittedly they might believe the polls.

    What was anyone expecting before?

    And what’s the possibility of Bernie getting his program through Congress, even just the stock transfer tax??

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  166. There’s something else about the stock market decline…

    people in Japan and Europe are not skeered of Bernie. What did their markets do today?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  167. Americans may think our alliances have not changed but the UK views it as fractured:

    UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace made it clear how fractured the relationship between the US and Europe has become under Trump in a recent interview with The Sunday Times. Wallace suggested that the UK can no longer rely on the US.

    “I worry if the United States withdraws from its leadership around the world,” Wallace said.

    He added: “The assumptions of 2010 that we were always going to be part of a US coalition is really just not where we are going to be.”

    Wallace said the the UK is “going to have to make decisions that allow us to stand with a range of allies.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  168. nobody is skeered of mr. bernie

    he is a sweet old man who wants us all to have free sex changes and an overdose of morphine if we check into a hospital after age 70

    just like in denmark

    or oregon

    nk (1d9030)

  169. personally, i think the body hair electrolysis would be the worst part

    nk (1d9030)

  170. If I don’t vote for Bernie it will be because his followers are such azzh*les. I mean super nasty and disturbing. I like the man himself but I might have to sit this one out.

    JRH (52aed3)

  171. Meanwhile Biden is losing it. He told a SC crowd he is a candidate for the US Senate, before trailing off into gibberish. Unless this is a doctored video.

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1232162597115453441

    JRH (52aed3)

  172. I think that was Biden giving up. He’s over. (politically). Sanders wins SC.

    JRH (52aed3)

  173. DRJ (15874d) — 2/24/2020 @ 8:36 pm

    I’ll take those quotes with a grain of salt, but if they are accurate opinions of the leadership in Europe, then we are better off going at it alone. The Iran “deal” wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on and the bribes involved led directly to terrorist acts against American interests. The world is better off with a weak Ayatollah, not a strong one.

    [Found in filter; not sure why it was there.]

    NJRob (4d595c)

  174. No clue why I have a response in moderation. No curse words, no insults. Strange what gets approved and what triggers the filter.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  175. hyperlinks and words (ab)used by mr happyfeet in the past are the most likely explanations mr rob

    Dave (1bb933)

  176. I’ve been busy today, so I haven’t had the time to respond to Patrick’s excellent and provocative post.

    I am starting to think about the election like this:

    There are a host of social and political problems that we have learned to accept cannot be solved in the foreseeable future, our fervent hopes notwithstanding.

    It’s possible that Donald Trump and his corruption of the Republican Party may be another one of those problems. If so, I will console myself with having done everything realistically possible to prevent the problem, and later to try to remedy it. And I’ll continue to do whatever I can, which is unfortunately very little, in practical terms.

    As for the election, there is nothing in Sanders’ policy positions to recommend him, and much to oppose. The only reason to vote for him would be that he is not awash in corruption and not beholden to foreign dictators like Putin and Kim. While Sanders’ vision of America as a statist utopia is unrecognizable (and unachievable), I don’t expect the unbridled lawlessness that is sure to mark a Trump second term. A few days ago, Sanders said the right things in response to the reported Russian meddling in the primary on his behalf, a much stronger and patriotic statement than anything Trump has said on the subject in almost four years.

    It won’t really bother me if I’m unable to vote for either of the two main party candidates in November (it will bother me, of course, that we have such terrible choices, but that’s already ‘priced in’ regardless of whether I decide to vote for the Democrat, a third party candidate, or write in John Roberts). Rejecting both candidates seems like a perfectly rational choice if things develop as they appear most likely to.

    Dave (1bb933)

  177. 171 – better alert the media of your historic moment of thought

    mg (8cbc69)

  178. @163. And our alliances are harmed by Trump. England, France, Canada, Germany, Mexico, S. Korea, Japan, Ukraine, the Kurds. The only two that might be considered strengthened are Turkey and Saudi Arabia and we strengthened them buy giving up a US alliance and one of our own residents.

    Wouldn’t say harmed so much as stressed; change does that. Trump is, after all, merely a transient. These countries simply shrug and keep moving on. Most of these important, significant and key alliances, like in Europe, from the post WW2 era, remain strong beneath the surface scrabble and prattle- particularly w/t nations that share a common language. There’s generational change to contend with as the post-war world and the structures it generated fade into 20th century history. A strong Germany, a thriving Japan are solid allies today. The Berlin Wall has been gone for nearly two generations now; the Cold War and the Soviet Union a distant memory. McNamara’s ‘triad’, cost-effective for its time, is increasingly archaic in the era of computer wars and thumb drive viruses. Essential resources and demographics of the planet are shifting, too, as fresh powers rise in the Far East, new technologies take root and older ones mature. The British Empire ended a century ago; the American Century, born on 12/7/41, peaked on 7/20/69 and essentially died on 9/11/01. And after two world wars, the rest of the world is merely catching up and back in the game now. And in many ways, passing us by.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  179. 123. Patterico (d1767a) — 2/24/2020 @ 4:35 pm

    Note that even *considering* voting for someone as a least worst alternative brings on the self-righteous distortion.

    There;s an argument also for occasionally voting for the worser of two evils because of how it might affect the coices in the next, and further, elections, if the worser s not too bad.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  180. Thank you, Patterico, for this post. Not too dissimilar from the scandal, that is the Cross of Christ, it serves to reveal the hearts of many. So, with this is mind, I will tell you how I will be voting.

    It is a moral obligation for me to cast my vote. So my decision must be viewed through the lens of a (hopefully) well-formed conscience. That means that my decision should not need defending in the presence of God at my Judgment. Did I listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?

    What I will not do is follow the opinions of men. Men who advise tacking away from the truth to take advantage of the current winds of politics that promises my arrival to the truth at a future date – “tomorrow never happens, man”*. The way is narrow and steep. If Christianity has taught me anything, it has taught me that I will pay in this world for my beliefs. But like the Master, so the student.

    It is clear, to me at least, that the greatest threat to the survival of mankind is the culture of death: The slaughter of innocents. It is an outrage so great that their blood cries to Heaven for justice. A cry God hears. When I appear before my Creator, my Lord, and Savior, I will answer for many sins, but I will not be complicit in the murder of Innocent.

    I will always cast my vote for the one who defends life. The tree may be ugly, vile, and greatly despised, but the fruits are not all bad.

    * Janis Joplin [sad story]

    felipe (023cc9)

  181. I’ll take those quotes with a grain of salt, but if they are accurate opinions of the leadership in Europe, then we are better off going at it alone. The Iran “deal” wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on and the bribes involved led directly to terrorist acts against American interests. The world is better off with a weak Ayatollah, not a strong one.

    I honestly don’t get the bolded portion and have to wonder if you’ve thought it through. For sanctions to work you need other nations to not just follow them, but to help enforce them. You can try to do everything with a stick, but it’s a lot harder and eventually you have to start using the stick. To say nothing of the incentive that creates for countries to find other alliances and partnerships.

    Trump’s self advertised deal making has been a real disappointment. The China deal is mostly an agreement to purchase agriculture products (and they’re already asking to dial it back) and the revisions to NAFTA are minor, and were mostly in the TPP. The increases in NATO ally defense spending isn’t particularly impressive either.

    time123 (69b2fc)

  182. Zogby says Sanders/Warren 48%, Trump/Pence 45%

    Just something to curdle your Wheaties…

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  183. …and DCSCA will yet again plug for his version of Brown Honey

    urbanleftbehind (f58f46)

  184. Last night, on Colbert, former Chicago mayor, Congressman and Obama White House chief f=of staff claimed, like it was an undisputed fact, that Bernie Sanders had considered running aprimary campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2012 against Barack Obama.

    And Joe Biden is running a digital ad (cheaper, but it could be enough to get the “word” out) that Bernie Sanders “can’t be trusted” because he weighed a 2012 primary against “our first African American president,” Barack Obama (New York Times)

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  185. Mike Bloomberg cancelled (if he ever really accepted) a Town Hall appearance on CNN Monday night.

    He’s devoting full time to preparations for the debate tonight at 8 pm on CBS. H is reported to be concentrating on attacks on Bernie Sanders (and not defending himself?)

    Elizabeth Warren made attacks on Michael Bloomberg. I think she’s coordinating with people to do so, who want her to do that because usually attacks do not benefit so much, or even harm, the person making them, and (they probably think) she’s lost the race anyway.

    She’s not objecting to a Super PAC helping her, although earlier it was a point with her that she was not going to look for help from a SuperPac, I think.

    Maybe these people could be really for Buttigieg. Or Biden, but just not seeing the handwriting on the wall? Or Sanders, maybe? Trump?

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  186. 183. I left out his name: Rahm Emmanuel

    Michael Bloomberg has a number of statements coming back to haunt him, or just being used against it.

    There’s his description in 2016 about how easy it is to teach someone how to be a farmer, and a speech where he evinced a callous attitude, it seems, or the audience did, to a father and son who died of a drug overdose.

    The main point of that speech was that we should not legalize marijuana because there’s not been enough research about its harmful effects, and he said it permanently reduces the IQ of teenagers who take it by 10 points. That claim surprised me – what it’s known to do is reduce short term memory if it is taken a lot. (I think that effect is because cells are broken down to give the liver a vitamin necessary to detoxify and get rid of it, and marijuana causes you not to use your brain. It can also break down muscle, instead, and any effect on nausea is probabl cuased by the forced breakdown of cells.)

    That loss of short term memory may correlate with IQ. A newspaper story says Bloomberg’s claim was based on a 2012 study, buut it has been “debunked”

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  187. I believe it, Sammy. All these jerkoff politicians are only out for themselves.

    Democratic Socialism, my fat aunt Fanny! They just want to be bosses and live well off the sweat of the workers without having to put in the talent and industry to do it through business methods.

    nk (1d9030)

  188. I knew you were talking about Rahm Emmanuel, Sammy.

    But did you know that his brother is the business partner of the husband of Jeff Bezos’s girlfriend?

    I know, I know, but this whole election season so far is for the gossip columns and supermarket tabloids.

    nk (1d9030)

  189. About a Sanders camapin for president in 2012:

    Here is something:

    https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/bernie-sanders-talks-primary-challenge-obama-good-idea-our-democracy-and-democratic-part

    He didn’t say he should do it, but somebody should do it.

    Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders continues to argue that a Democratic primary challenge to President Obama would be “good for democracy and for the Democratic Party.”

    Sanders will not be a candidate. The Vermont independent, who caucuses with Senate Democrats, is running for re-election in 2012.

    But Sanders, who has been sharply critical of Obama’s compromises with the Republican right on economic and fiscal policy, continues to talk up the idea of a primary challenge as a vehicle to pressure the president from the left. He is not alone. Ralph Nader is actively encouraging a primary race. And one-third of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents tell pollsters that they favor a primary challenge to the president, while just 59 percent oppose such a run.

    Referencing his regular appearances on Thom Hartmann’s nationally syndicated radio show, Sanders said: “I do a radio show every week. Over a million people hear it in almost every state in the country. Those are working-class people, progressive people. There is a lot of disillusionment. They want the president to stand up for the middle class, for the working class of this country, and they want him to take on big money interests in a way that he has not done up to this point.”

    Who might challenge Obama? Sanders isn’t naming names. But in an appearance on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers program that was taped Friday, Sanders said: “I am sure there are serious and smart people out there who can do it,”

    That’s an optimistic take. In fact, potential challengers have been reluctant to step up.

    Critics of a primary challenge fear that it would not snatch the nomination from Obama but would weaken him in fall competition with a Republican such as Texas Governor Rick Perry or former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

    But Sanders says: “Here’s the point: If you’re asking me, do I think, at the end of the day, that Barack Obama is going to be the Democratic candidate for president in 2012? I do. But do I believe that it is a good idea for our democracy and for the Democratic Party—I speak, by the way, as an independent—that people start asking the president some hard questions about why he said one thing during his previous campaign, and is doing another thing today on Social Security, on Medicare. I think it is important that that discussion take place.”

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  190. “Michael Bloomberg has a number of statements coming back to haunt him, or just being used against it.”

    Good. It is to be hoped the same is true of Biden, Sanders, Trump (again, pussy-grabbing and all) and anybody else running. My major objection to Hillary back in 2016 and concern to this day is that the general media plays favorites. They pick a side and bury actual facts, quotes, data and testimony that hurts “their side” and they elevate (or invent, or take out of context) quotes, cherry picked date, lawyers’ opening and closing remarks (as opposed to testimony) etc with the deliberate intention of hurting “the other side”. As as the Ent said to the Hobbit, there is absolutely nobody altogether on “My Side”. At the moment, however, because the media has taken on to itself the role of Grima Wormtongue, my side is Wormtongue’s “other side”.

    pouncer (df6448)

  191. I believe it, Sammy. All these jerkoff politicians are only out for themselves.

    Yeah. That’s kind of everybody.

    “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

    ― Milton Friedman

    PTw (894877)

  192. we’ll at least control the Supreme Court for the rest of my natural life.

    Well, yeah. Vote Trump.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  193. Vote Trump to make Justice Sotomayor cry!

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  194. We need a system that tries to control bad behavior and poor choices by our leaders, and we have it. We also need to elect people with character. Character by itself may not be enough, but it doesn’t hurt. A good system and good character work together.

    It is politically profitable for Trump to appoint conservative judges. He realizes how important that is to his base, and he has done it admirably. By that standard and observing what has happened the last three years, his base doesn’t care about the budget/deficit, foreign affairs, or Trump using his office to enrich himself and his family. His policies in these areas have not been admirable but neither he nor his base seem to care. The GOP will not change until the base wants a better leader or they lose.

    DRJ (15874d)

  195. If you can measure character at a distance, through the politician’s propaganda, through the media’s bias, etc. you’re a much better man than I and certainly a much, much better man than the vast majority of voters. When a man starts telling me about his character, I keep a close watch on my silverware. The best system is the one, as MF states, that incentivizes the wrong people to do the right thing. Free markets do this. Free association does this.

    All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
    — H. L. Mencken

    PTw (894877)

  196. It is so interesting to me how invested Trump’s base is in having authoritarian solutions. They want a President and judges to fix things because they no longer trust the process. To some, even the word process is a dirty word.

    But America rejected England in part because they learned that monarchs could not be trusted to rule in a fair manner. Our Founders invented a process that would be fair when authoritarians failed. If something doesn’t work, fix the process. Don’t go to systems that we know don’t work, whether they are communism, socialism, or authoritarianism.

    DRJ (15874d)

  197. Character is demonstrated in how someone lives, just like Christianity and any other quality or belief.

    DRJ (15874d)

  198. nk (1d9030) — 2/25/2020 @ 6:47 am

    But did you know that his brother is the business partner of the husband of Jeff Bezos’s girlfriend?

    I know, I know, but this whole election season so far is for the gossip columns and supermarket tabloids.

    I don’t think I knew that, bu I did hear, a few times now, that Chuck Todd, a moderator on the NBC debate last Wednesday, has (actually it’s had) a business relationship with Amy Klobuhar because she and husband (used to) rent a house from him, paying rent if $3,700 a month.

    Here is maybe the first story:

    https://pagesix.com/2020/02/20/debate-moderator-chuck-todd-was-amy-klobuchars-landlord-in-arlington

    Klobuchar and her husband, lawyer John Bessler, rented a 3-bedroom home owned by Todd in Arlington, Virginia, sources said. The Minnesota Democrat and Bessler apparently began renting the house in 2008. A source insisted to Page Six that Klobuchar and Bessler are not currently living at the home anymore — but it’s unclear when they moved out.

    A 2008 report by the Star Tribune on where Minnesota reps live said at the time that Klobuchar and Bessler moved into a 3-bedroom Arlington rental home from a smaller apartment to accommodate family visitors.

    They were renting the house for “$3,200/month, plus utilities.” The report added at the time that, “Before moving in May to provide more room for ‘visiting grandparents,’ Klobuchar and her family rented a two-bedroom apartment in northern Virginia for $2,800 a month.” The article said that Klobuchar and Bessler still had a Minnesota home, but that her workweek consisted of, “Four to five days in D.C., with one family weekend each month in Arlington.”

    The house — according to online listings of the address — has 3.5 bathrooms and is approximately 3,000 square feet.

    A source said it’s not a secret among Beltway insiders that Todd rented the home to Klobuchar — though it doesn’t seem to have been disclosed publicly….

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  199. Our Founders invented a process that would be fair when authoritarians failed.

    No. Our founders invented a process that incentivized one set of SOB’s with their own agenda to keep an eye on two other sets of SOB’s with their own agendas. Conflicting purposes designed with the understanding that absolute power corrupts. Three co-equal branches of government each given limited powers such that no one branch can easily lord over another without the help of the third. And given that the third inevitably would have its own agenda, some degree of balance. Words like “fair” or “trustworthy” or “character” are not in our constitution. It’s a document based on the assumption that power is a dangerous thing and must be held in check regardless of the perceived character traits of those holding it.

    PTw (894877)

  200. While our intelligence community is the most impressive in the world, we can’t see and know everything. No nation can. So we rely on other intelligence services. And not just the ones of Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand that, along with the United States, make up the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance. We also need allies with eyes and ears in places we just can’t go, like North Korea and China. A purge of our best and brightest intelligence officers will signal to them that new management is coming, and current relationships aren’t useful any longer.

    Allied services also won’t trust us if our own officers face constant pressure to politicize intelligence. That means reporting streams will dry up, we won’t get early warning on planned attacks and we will lose critical knowledge about the decisions adversaries are making that may not have consequences today, but could have huge ones in the next decade. It’s impossible to know how many clues we will miss if our intelligence community is isolated from the world and the president’s daily brief only reinforces what the administration wants to hear.

    A so-called house clearing could damage our intelligence abilities for at least a generation. Recruitment and retention will of course plummet, and those officers and analysts left won’t have the mentorship or the experience to ensure our assessments are based on truth.

    —————————————————————–
    AAaaaaaaaaaannndd the T-rump march through our institutions just keeps a-going.

    You can’t gut American institutions and get away with it. Of course, Duh Donald doesn’t care about that cost any more than budget deficits. He won’t be around to pay the piper.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  201. Character is demonstrated in how someone lives, just like Christianity and any other quality or belief.

    Sure. And most Republican voters want a winner as their President. Winning denotes (an important aspect of) character.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  202. Sure. And most Republican voters want a winner as their President. Winning denotes (an important aspect of) character.

    I sure can’t speak for Republicans, but I doubt the proposition that they want a winner at any cost, or that they see the T-rump mode of “winning” as a positive character trait. It certainly DOES tell us a great deal about his “character”. And yours, for that matter.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  203. Talk about a straw man: “a winner at any costs.” You dishonestly added that bit.

    Howeever, a booming economy, a staunch pro-life Presidency, great relationships with important foreign allies such as India, and keeping a bona fide communist and/or a man bitterly opposed to the Second Amendment out of office are costs I’m willing to bite the bullet and just accept.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  204. The Founders cared about the structure of government (checks and balances) and about character (which they also called virtue). Federalist 55 (probably written by
    Madison) concluded that without virtue, there can be no self-government and only despotism is the answer:

    As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be, that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.

    It seems like some Republicans think man is hopelessly depraved and it is time for despotism. Are you one of them?

    DRJ (15874d)

  205. I’m saying he’s virtuous and that you’re wrong.

    I’m not arguing for his, or yours, or anyone’s, perfection. I’m saying he gets thing done and has not destroyed liberty. That you’re being paranoid.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  206. Fortunately Madison did not think Americans are without virtue, but it is incumbent on us to pick leaders who demonstrate good character as part of their leadership and we must care about virtue if we want to govern ourselves.

    DRJ (15874d)

  207. Well, maybe you can virtuously put someone office who can ensure 100s of thousands of American babies who would not otherwise be killed in the womb are stabbed in the neck.

    For virtue’s sake.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  208. Trump is virtuous? What good character traits do you see in Trump? Please list them specifically.

    DRJ (15874d)

  209. “It seems like some Republicans think man is hopelessly depraved and it is time for despotism. Are you one of them?”
    DRJ (15874d) — 2/25/2020 @ 8:35 am

    Let’s get a take from Madison’s slaves.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  210. Word.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  211. Talk about a straw man: “a winner at any costs.” You dishonestly added that bit.

    YOU…

    1) don’t even know what a straw man fallacy is, and

    2) there’s nothing “dishonest” about what I wrote. You calling it dishonest is dishonest.

    Just as I’ve learned to expect from your “character”. Fitting lil’ cultist.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  212. Deflection is an answer, too. It means you are too insecure to discuss this topic outright.

    As for abortion, Trump’s support now is good. He used to think abortion was a good solution to a “problem.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  213. Yes, what you wrote was utterly dishonest. I said Republican voters want a winner. You inserted the bit about “at all costs.” No one said that. And now of course you’re reverting to your usual bit about acting like a school child and calling names.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  214. It is hard to list Trump’s good character traits. He loves his children, although maybe not equally. He seemed to love his parents and siblings, although (again) not equally.

    DRJ (15874d)

  215. Deflection is an answer, too. It means you are too insecure to discuss this topic outright.

    There’s no deflection. I could list several of his virtues. I’d already alluded to several, including one which you concede, about his dedication as President to saving innocent unborn children’s lives.

    There are several others which I alluded to in the exact same comment (the ability to foster these things count as important virtues):

    a booming economy, a staunch pro-life Presidency, great relationships with important foreign allies such as India, and keeping a bona fide communist and/or a man bitterly opposed to the Second Amendment out of office

    Speaking of children, he’s raise several well-adjusted one, so you can add being a good father to the list. I’m sure there are many others. How many times have you been on stage with Rosa Parks receiving an award for “patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity”?

    We could go on like this.

    That you have panted such a hated picture of this man that you can’t even fathom he can be and is often virtuous is a poor, and sad, testament to you, not to him.

    If I’m being honest here.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  216. He seems very proud of his current wife and their son.

    DRJ (15874d)

  217. @213. You forgot one: he most decidedly loves himself. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  218. He is dedicated to his base, not abortion. Abortion is something he would have used so his support now is a re-election choice, not a virtue.

    DRJ (15874d)

  219. Again deflecting, now to a criticism of me. But it is a hard thing to find virtue in Trump.

    DRJ (15874d)

  220. To 215 and 216, yes. Absolutely.

    Re: 217. You don’t know this. You’re not G-d. You can’t look into his heart.

    It goes back to that whole thing of “fruits.” You can know his words and his actions and he’s made that a priority, including in hist last SOTU.

    In any case, voters aren’t just choosing a heart and a soul, they’re choosing a President: “render onto Caesar.” They’re looking for someone to get things done in the real world and whatever his motivations are for advancing a pro-life agenda vigorously, I support them.

    I really don’t get your stopping him in his pro-life work, putting someone in place who would do the opposite, because of your alleged virtue.

    Maybe you can explain that to me.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  221. (the ability to foster these things count as important virtues)

    Clearly we have different views of what virtue means. Most definitions are that character or virtue means high moral standards. It doesn’t mean winning.

    DRJ (15874d)

  222. You inserted the bit about “at all costs.” No one said that.

    Wull, duh. Of COURSE I inserted it in MY comment. I was left having to say it to counter your BS.
    Which is copious…!!!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  223. Re: 217. You don’t know this.

    I see what he did. Abortion was his initial solution to an inconvenient child. Should we ignore thus because it doesn’t fit your narrative?

    DRJ (15874d)

  224. Most definitions are that character or virtue means high moral standards.

    Clearly.

    Virtue has an old history and goes back to at least the classical world. There it was a sub-set of ethic, which is the study on how to live. It comes down to action.

    Different philosophical schools of thought, such as Stoics, Platoists, Epicureans, etc., would place different emphasis on different values. But it wasn’t so much about having “high moral standards” in the Christian sense.

    It was about doing.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  225. My last comment should have, instead, blockquoted this part of DRJ’s comment:

    Clearly we have different views of what virtue means.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  226. Abortion was his initial solution to an inconvenient child.

    Did he do that? I didn’t know that. If so, when, with whom, what evidence?

    No, that shouldn’t be ignored, if so. That’s awful. I condemn it.

    However, I’ve known people who had abortions, were appalled by what they’d done, and became among the staunchest of pro-life advocates. I’ve seen this pattern repeated in other areas with other people I’ve known.

    What am I supposed to do, condemn them forever if they’ve changed and are now working to fight against the wrongs they’d participated in, after being told by much of society those wrongs were right?

    Or applaud their progress and welcome them as an ally to good?

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  227. I care about character because people of low character often lie, cheat, steal and do things that hurt our system. You can vote for your Caesar but I won’t.

    DRJ (15874d)

  228. I provided a link in 211.

    DRJ (15874d)

  229. But you’re thinking about casting a vote for Biden.

    Just amazing.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  230. Trump considering aborting Tiffany Trump, which is horrific. He didn’t, which is fortunate. Now he’s pro-life, which is excellent.

    Let’s add to Trump’s list of significant virtues his ability and willingness to change for the better.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  231. I hope he changed his mind about abortion. A lot of people did, including me, but I never tried to get one or get someone else to.

    DRJ (15874d)

  232. But you’re thinking about casting a vote for T-rump.

    And you come here pretty much daily to give him a tongue bath.

    Just amazing.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  233. I have said I am thinking about voting for Biden in the primary. I have not decided about the general. I want to see who the Democrats run.

    But I don’t support the notion that a President is a despot who decides how to run America, so I don’t think Trump or anyone is as all-powerful as you think.

    DRJ (15874d)

  234. I hope he changed his mind about abortion. A lot of people did, including me, but I never tried to get one or get someone else to.

    I am, with great seriousness and gratitude, glad you changed your mind about abortion.

    I also hope that you will find a way in your heart and mind to extend that to supporting a strong pro-life President who, you’ve just acknowledge, may possibly be sincere in his change of heart as you were in yours; in any case, he’s leading as a pro-life President and that should count for something.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  235. The reality is that Trump was elected because Hillary is so horrible; that Hillary won the popular vote although not the electoral vote because Trump is so horrible; and if he is reelected it will be because his Democratic opponent will be horrible. There is nothing that makes Trump fit for the Presidency on his own merits. Nothing, nichts, zip, zero, zilch, nada.

    nk (1d9030)

  236. Trump considering aborting Tiffany Trump, which is horrific. He didn’t, which is fortunate.

    You are quick to tell me I can’t know things but you are ignoring Trump’s own words.

    DRJ (15874d)

  237. I have said I am thinking about voting for Biden in the primary.

    I know. That would be casting a vote since you mentioned you won’t “vote for Caesar” because of your principles. I don’t understand how your principles allow you to vote for Biden, the young-girl neck-sniffer who talks about children wanting to stroke his hairy legs, who’s corrupt as heck financially, and so on and so forth, even pandering to black voters in South Carolina by outright lying about getting arrested (900 miles away from him!) trying to visit Nelson Mandela.

    As a Senator.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  238. Let’s add to Trump’s list of significant virtues his ability and willingness to change for the better.

    You mean his ability to bait boobs with his disgustingly apparent campaign conversionsssssss?

    Some “virtue”!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  239. I promise to vote for a pro-life despot when our system changes from a republic to despotism, although I doubt we will still have the right to vote then.

    DRJ (15874d)

  240. You are quick to tell me I can’t know things but you are ignoring Trump’s own words.

    You misunderstand: He didn’t [abort her], which is fortunate.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  241. DRJ, thanks for that link. I did not know Trump was for abortion for convenience. My estimation of his character hasn’t really changed, but it’s fascinating that he won the GOP primary.

    Dustin (54c3c7)

  242. So now the primary is a binary choice between Trump and the Democrats? Is Trump the answer to every problem now?

    DRJ (15874d)

  243. You misunderstand: He didn’t [abort her], which is fortunate.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793) — 2/25/2020 @ 9:24 am

    Ok, thank you, I did misunderstand but I think the credit goes to Marla.

    DRJ (15874d)

  244. Quite probably Maria deserves great credit for that and other things regarding the raising of Tiffany.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  245. *Marla

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  246. Trump loves himself, his family, and his possessions. He supports results you like (as do I, in some cases), but that also are more likely to get him re-elected. His virtues seem to be loving his life.

    DRJ (15874d)

  247. I care about a lot of issues, including abortion, but I am not a single issue voter. Is anyone here?

    DRJ (15874d)

  248. His virtues seem to be loving his life.

    Yes.

    And trying to improve lives of Americans, born and otherwise.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  249. PTw (894877) — 2/25/2020 @ 7:53 am

    Words like “fair” or “trustworthy” or “character” are not in our constitution. It’s a document based on the assumption that power is a dangerous thing and must be held in check regardless of the perceived character traits of those holding it.

    There are ideas close to that in the Federalist Papers, especially about the president. According to Alexander Hamilton in Federalist number 68, the process of electing the president was made long and complicated enough, with the need to get support in many different places so as to assure there “will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue” and that it was “a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States.”

    https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed68.asp

    It doesn’t work the way it was originally intended, and it never worked that way actually starting in 1796, but it is complicated.

    The biggest problem with this working out thsi way is the inability to veto candidates because there are obstacles to new candidates jumping in or being proposed when people are dissatisfied with the first choices available.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  250. @246

    I care about a lot of issues, including abortion, but I am not a single issue voter. Is anyone here?

    DRJ (15874d) — 2/25/2020 @ 9:33 am

    Raises hand…

    I am.

    I’m a “Not-Democrat” single issue voter.

    😉

    whembly (fd57f6)

  251. It seems like some Republicans think man is hopelessly depraved and it is time for despotism. Are you one of them?

    Look, it’s best I not get into it with you because you are one of the protected species here. I made a comment in regard to the founders acknowledging the reality that man has certain weaknesses in regard to the temptations of power and thus designed the system to account for that. For you to misconstrue such a thing in order to imply one thing so you can imply another so that you can imply your strawman of despotism and ask if I am one of them is quite the stretch. Quite the stretch. I’ll just leave it at that lest I say something that will hurt your feelings.

    PTw (894877)

  252. I don’t think virtue is the same as policies/results. I care about both but virtue tells us how dependable someone is. Policies tell us about their goals, and results speak to ability to get things done.

    I think Trump’s strongest area is his determination. He stays with things and tries to get results, but he also can be bull-headed and reckless, ignorant of risks and consequences (hence Patterico’s concern that we might get nuked). Trump has few policies he cares about, as evidenced by how often he has changed positions on topics in his life. And I see little reliability to his character except self-centeredness. Too bad the GOP can’t give him a performance bonus every time he does something conservative. Then I think we could trust him.

    DRJ (15874d)

  253. Sorry you feel so insecure talking to me, PTw.

    DRJ (15874d)

  254. I’m not saying you have to be a single-issue voter, DRJ, although killing of innocent children for convenience is such a horrific evil, I could understand someone who was.

    However, you’ll note that you told me your changed your mind on abortion and I didn’t question your or attack your bona fides. I was sincerely happy and grateful that you had.

    You don’t have to believe Trump likewise changed his mind sincerely (although realizing you had almost killed your daughter, who you grew to know, could certainly be eye-opening), but can you be a bit more circumspect in being certain that he didn’t, and holding his thoughts from decades earlier against him?

    Many would extend the same courtesy to you.

    Have I ever done anything I now think was wrong? Yes. So have most people.

    The fact that we don’t do those things now opens up the very real possibility is we have really, genuinely improved our beliefs along with our actions about that… doesn’t it, DRJ?

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  255. Off fact: Texas no longer has straight ticket voting, whembly. One can still vote that way but only by checking each candidate individually.

    DRJ (15874d)

  256. I think Trump’s strongest area is his cowardice. He’s too scared to overstep by too much, as much as he would like to. It’s also why he lies so much (he’s afraid to tell the truth), and why he overreacts to any perceived threat like a cat that got its tail stepped on.

    nk (1d9030)

  257. 243. Was Maria, instead of MArla, some kind of Autocorrect?

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  258. There are ideas close to that in the Federalist Papers, especially about the president.

    Yes Sammy. And they are in the FP and not the Constitution for a reason. Of course honor and integrity are valued. Even, as the saying goes, among thieves. But the founders also understood, not just that men are capable of abusing power, but also that one man’s virtue is another man’s vice. Mature people understand that noble principles conflict and men’s abilities to sort such things out properly, which principle trumps which principle in a given moment, are way beyond a mortal’s pay scale. Thus the system they devised. This is partly what Milton Friedman was getting at and H.L. Mencken, in his cynical way, was also saying.

    PTw (894877)

  259. I can see Trump might feel that way and I said I hope he does, but he also might understand why abortion appeals to some people. Having a checkered history on a topic has consequences. But I certainly think Trump would be more dependable on abortion than any Democrat because he would be pressured by his base to be reliable. (That is related to PTw’s point, IMO, because people can be unreliable.) If I were a single issue voter and that issue was abortion, Trump would be preferable. Pence would be even better.

    DRJ (15874d)

  260. Was Maria, instead of MArla, some kind of Autocorrect

    No, it was a mistake. I didn’t have Trump’s relationship history on the tip of my tongue.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  261. Sorry you feel so insecure talking to me, PTw.

    You mad, bro? Nah, you’re just doing your usual thing of baiting people. Speaking of character…

    PTw (894877)

  262. @254

    Off fact: Texas no longer has straight ticket voting, whembly. One can still vote that way but only by checking each candidate individually.

    DRJ (15874d) — 2/25/2020 @ 9:46 am

    Yeah, I knew about that. And that may impact how things go going forward.

    More than half of my family resides in Texas (the others are in Southern CA, Denver and Missouri). My texan peeps assures me that the only way Texas flips blue, would be because if general Republican apathy. Amongst GOP and independent voters, Trump still has pull. If Biden is the nominee, I’m sure he’d be competitive (ala Beto was against Cruz), but if it’s Sanders/Warren? Yeah, I don’t see Texas going blue for quite some time.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  263. Trump’s political climate is pro-life. Friedman’s theory has that much validity at least.

    (But I don’t see any more than that. How do you establish a political climate in a democracy? The climate comes from the people and their circumstances.)

    nk (1d9030)

  264. The climate comes from the people and their circumstances

    Precisely. Which is why politics is downstream from culture. Persistently trying to change a culture through politics is folly. You change the politics by changing the culture. There was a guy about 2000 years ago who tried to make a similar point. They ended up nailing him to a tree for his efforts.

    PTw (894877)

  265. I thought your comment was interesting, PTw, and I tried to discuss it with you. I wasn’t baiting you. When you say you can’t talk to me and call me a “protected species,” what should I think but you are insecure about engaging with me?

    DRJ (15874d)

  266. For much of the single-issue pro-lifer, Trump’s political climate being “pro-life” is a boon. Doubly so for Pence being VP as well.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  267. The President could be the first one ever to march in the National Right to Life rally.

    Oh. That’s what Trump did.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  268. For much of the single-issue pro-lifer, Trump’s political climate being “pro-life” is a boon. Doubly so for Pence being VP as well.

    Speaking of things Trump did, if pro-life is important to you, have to give Trump credit not just for his own considerable actions, but also for his choice of replacement should something happen to him.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  269. I agree, whembly, except I think there is a Trump exception in Texas. His 2016 victory margin in Texas was below other GOP nominees. Trump hurt Cruz’s re-election efforts and made Beto look better as a result. Republicans still win big in Texas except when Trump is involved.

    DRJ (15874d)

  270. @263

    The climate comes from the people and their circumstances

    Precisely. Which is why politics is downstream from culture. Persistently trying to change a culture through politics is folly. You change the politics by changing the culture. There was a guy about 2000 years ago who tried to make a similar point. They ended up nailing him to a tree for his efforts.

    PTw (894877) — 2/25/2020 @ 9:58 am

    Breibart was the first that I’ve noticed that articulated this point.

    Hence why we need to push the culture that Communism/Socialism/Statism as ideologies are incompatible to American cultures.

    The mere fact that Sanders may be winning the Democrat Presidential candidate AND that general leftward pull of the modern democratic party concerns me greatly.

    Hence why I, again, will turn into a single-issue voter in that I’m voting against every Democrat candidate on my ballot.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  271. Hence why we need to push the culture that Communism/Socialism/Statism as ideologies are incompatible to American cultures.

    Advance the culture on the right.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  272. There was a time when character meant doing something hard and unpopular, not something easy. Supporting abortion is easier for a Republican than for a Democrat. Trump has stood up for something unpopular with the GOP establishment on immigration, something both Cruz and Trump did. That shows courage to do something unpopular, although I give them both limited props since that position was popular with the GOP base. To me, Cruz standing up to the ethanol subsidy in Iowa is a better example of courage/character on a policy issue.

    DRJ (15874d)

  273. There was a time when character meant doing something hard and unpopular, not something easy.

    Oh, come on! President Trump has not had an easy time of it. Your comment is bordering on ridiculous and has passed absurd.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  274. You really feel sorry for Trump? Didn’t he say he was the tough guy who wasn’t afraid of DC or Democrats? Didn’t he encourage supporters to yell LOCK UP his opponent?

    DRJ (15874d)

  275. @272

    There was a time when character meant doing something hard and unpopular, not something easy.

    Oh, come on! President Trump has not had an easy time of it. Your comment is bordering on ridiculous and has passed absurd.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793) — 2/25/2020 @ 10:12 am

    DRJ literally just gave props to Trump in the very next sentence.

    …and yeah, Cruz’s attempt to take on the ethanol industry is a great example on character on policy issue.

    However, I would like to point out that Trump’s immigration policies shows considerable integrity on his part. It’s his signature campaign issue, and one that he’s stubborn about…rather than taking the easy way out once he gained the Whitehouse. I’m not sure a Cruz or Rubio administration would’ve been able to weather the storm that Trump has endured.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  276. I don’t feel sorry for Trump, DRJ, and have no idea why you would think I said that. He’s involved in the great struggle of his own free will. But he ain’t takin’ it easy: that was nonsense.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  277. OK, fair enough, whembly. We’re all agreed, except nk: Trump has courage from time to time.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  278. I gave you an example of how abortion is easier for Republicans than Democrats, so my point was not “ridiculous and … passed absurd.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  279. Right. You did. I should have placed more emphasis on that than the first sentence.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  280. I agree Trump has been determined on immigration. I want a Wall so I am happy with that, and I have said that many times. It is troubling that any criticism of Trump is seen as supporting Democrats. Trump thinks it is disloyal, even traitorous, to criticize him but it isn’t.

    DRJ (15874d)

  281. We always have lively discussions, Make America Ordered Again. Thank you.

    DRJ (15874d)

  282. You don’t have to marry the guy, DRJ. He doesn’t have to meet your every moral desire: he ain’t Ashley Wilkes; he’s more Rhett Butler. A Rhett Butler who B.S.’s. This analogy needs work.

    But he’s better than a communist.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  283. @279

    I agree Trump has been determined on immigration. I want a Wall so I am happy with that, and I have said that many times.

    I remember.

    He’s moved that Overton Window that it is now acceptable to build this wall. (as evidenced by how the ire over Trump’s uses of the emergency act has died down…which, to be fair, I want this law updated so that others can’t cavalierly do the same thing)

    It is troubling that any criticism of Trump is seen as supporting Democrats. Trump thinks it is disloyal, even traitorous, to criticize him but it isn’t.

    DRJ (15874d) — 2/25/2020 @ 10:29 am

    That’s always troubling…but, also pretty true whenever you face a political base. Every Presidential tenure has rabid bases that acts like this… or, at least I remember all the way back to the Reagan years when I started to pay attention.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  284. But he’s better than a communist.

    Damning with faint…marginal…paise.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  285. If Bernie is the opposing candidate, it should be enough to cast your vote from him, Ragspierre. Yeltsin was a drunk, but he was an improvement over the Soviet Generals’ coup he helped put down.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  286. *for him

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  287. However, I would like to point out that Trump’s immigration policies shows considerable integrity on his part. It’s his signature campaign issue, and one that he’s stubborn about…rather than taking the easy way out once he gained the Whitehouse. I’m not sure a Cruz or Rubio administration would’ve been able to weather the storm that Trump has endured.

    Nope. No way, Jose! He had both houses of Congress, and did he get money for the Wall? Nope. He gave a tax cut to his big money donors. The Muslim ban was all sound and fury signifying nothing and it went nowhere. DACA/DREAM, when he had both houses? He punted it to the Supreme Court. He didn’t do anything of substance on the Wall or on immigration until he lost the House and was looking at reelection.

    nk (1d9030)

  288. @286

    However, I would like to point out that Trump’s immigration policies shows considerable integrity on his part. It’s his signature campaign issue, and one that he’s stubborn about…rather than taking the easy way out once he gained the Whitehouse. I’m not sure a Cruz or Rubio administration would’ve been able to weather the storm that Trump has endured.

    Nope. No way, Jose! He had both houses of Congress, and did he get money for the Wall? Nope.

    nk… he did NOT have both houses of Congress. Let me repeat, as this is one point that drives me absolutely bonkers: HE. DID. NOT. HAVE. BOTH. HOUSES. OF. CONGRESS!

    Legislative agendas still needed to overcome the 60 cloture vote threshold. Ergo, Democrats had to play ball if he/GOP wanted wall fundings passed. Were you expecting McConnell to nuke the legislative filibuster??

    Democrats will NOT going to play ball to give Trump a signature policy win.

    He gave a tax cut to his big money donors.

    I got a nice tax break, and I’m sure as hell not a “big money donor”.

    The Muslim ban was all sound and fury signifying nothing and it went nowhere.

    That wasn’t a muslim ban. It was a ban on countries who couldn’t provide information for officials to vet prospective immigrants (with Venezuela and NK thrown into that plan).

    DACA/DREAM, when he had both houses?

    DACA/DREAM were not legislative agendas, they were EOs signed by Obama.

    He punted it to the Supreme Court.

    He tried to reverse Obama’s EO by issue his one EO but was taken to court. For those claiming that Trump is a tyrant, norm-busting president… he’s doing a terrible job by actually engaging the judicial process here.

    He didn’t do anything of substance on the Wall or on immigration until he lost the House and was looking at reelection.

    nk (1d9030) — 2/25/2020 @ 11:05 am

    The Green Card regulations recently blessed by SCOTUS and the actual physical walls being built disputes this point nk…

    whembly (fd57f6)

  289. He had both houses of Congress, and did he get money for the Wall?

    HE had both houses of Congress??? Again, see the Constitution. Milquetoast Republicans aside, just because people sitting in Congress are of the same party does not guarantee ANY president full and total cooperation on anything. US history is full of recalcitrant members of the POTUS own party who, mostly for graft, but many even on “principle” are not willing to go along with whatever POTUS wants. And when you consider there are enough milquetoasts in the R column who are openly opposed to him, and especially ones privately opposed to restrictions on immigration, one would have have child-level naivety to believe such a thing.

    W had both houses of Congress for four straight years, did he balance the budget? Did he cut even domestic non-defense spending? Did he cut regulations? Did HE build a wall?

    PTw (894877)

  290. “HE had both houses of Congress??? Again, see the Constitution. Milquetoast Republicans aside, just because people sitting in Congress are of the same party does not guarantee ANY president full and total cooperation on anything.”

    This isn’t just any President. It’s one who made repeated grandiose claims about “dealmaking” (as in, no one is better than he at making deals). Trump aside, that’s part of what any President is expected to do to get stuff done. Part of the job.

    JRH (52aed3)

  291. Milquetoast Republicans

    I remember that meeting with Trump and House and Senate leaders from both parties. It was televised.

    Trump gave Diane Feinstein everything she asked on immigration. “A clean bill” she called it, with nothing in it for Republicans. It was Kevin McCarthy, GOP House majority leader, who stopped him.

    In return, McCarthy got berated by Trump on guns: “That’s because you’re afraid of the NRA!”

    nk (1d9030)

  292. 267. Make America Ordered Again (23f793) — 2/25/2020 @ 10:01 am

    Speaking of things Trump did, if pro-life is important to you, have to give Trump credit not just for his own considerable actions, but also for his choice of replacement should something happen to him.

    In the Flatbush Jewish Journal there was a very prolific writer of very long letters that covered topics that other letters writers had written named (or nicknamed) Rocky Zweig, that appeared almost every week.

    They printed on page 4 of the current issue (dated Feb, 20 but it comes out on Wednesdays) that he had died “this past Tuesday” more likely Feb 10 than Feb 17. I dd;t know that he had written (probably not that log ago) that he would stop writing because of his deteriorating health. They printed some of his letters as a memorial, and due to numerous requests from readers.

    I find this in one of his letters:

    ..Ironically, the worst prevaricator on the national stage today is also the most honest, depending on the circumstances. That, of course, is Donald J. Trump, who lies about ridiculous things every day as nonchalantly as he applies his hairspray every morning, but is completely honest about his agenda and what he’ll do to achieve it.

    Actually, not, although he’s more truthful there.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  293. One thing I read that Trump lies about is he goes around claiming to be interested in deportation, but the numbers haven’t risen since the previous year. It’s lowering immigration, both legal and not, that he;s done and he’s not honest about his policy of trying to lower immigration.

    One of the problems is that a lot of his base do not conceive of this as a profitable wrong. If they thought it was wrong, albeit profitable, they wouldn’t want to do it where it wasn’t profitable, and look for win-win situations, nor would they be bothered by people who had violated the law getting away with it. As far as encouraging more law violations, they’d do a mathematical calculation and not worry about “unfairness.”

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  294. “Hence why we need to push the culture that Communism/Socialism/Statism as ideologies are incompatible to American cultures.”

    Republicans have been crying wolf on Communism/Socialism for so long that the words have lost all meaning.

    Decrying things as statist is the easiest way to identify a libertarian.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  295. Republicans have been crying wolf on Communism/Socialism for so long that the words have lost all meaning.

    That’s what a Communist/Socialist would like you to believe.

    nk (1d9030)

  296. “Republicans have been crying wolf on Communism/Socialism for so long that the words have lost all meaning.”
    Davethulhu (fab944) — 2/25/2020 @ 12:17 pm

    Yeah, evidenced by those groups called Antico and Antiso.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  297. @293. Republicans have been crying wolf on Communism/Socialism for so long that the words have lost all meaning.

    Yep.

    The kids aren’t buying it anymore.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  298. Decrying things as statist is the easiest way to identify a libertarian.

    Alternatively, if you notice your eyes rolling a lot, you’re probably talking to a libertarian.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  299. You don’t have to marry the guy, DRJ. He doesn’t have to meet your every moral desire:

    True, but a President’s morals are more important to society than the average person, don’t you think? To me, s/he should have at least the kind of values we expect from a middle school or high school teacher. No vulgar language, don’t be cruel, no suggestive behavior, keep things intelligent, be fair. Trump doesn’t do any of those things. He’s not even close.

    DRJ (15874d)

  300. s/he should have at least the kind of values we expect from a middle school or high school teacher

    Good God, no.

    Make America Ordered Again (bf003c)

  301. Heaven save us from a Pharisee president, and Pharisees who will put him/her in power.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  302. By the current definition of socialist, Trump is a socialist: tariffs, attempts to prop up coal by decree, and unilateral farm bailouts. When Obama did the auto bailout it was called a “war on capitalism.” When Trump does his bailout he is praised as benevolent overlord. Trump’s favorite beneficiaries of course are his own pockets. Republicans (at least Trump-loving Republicans) have no standing to criticize the Senator’s socialism.

    JRH (52aed3)

  303. er the Senator being Bernie.

    JRH (52aed3)

  304. . It was a ban on countries who couldn’t provide information for officials to vet prospective immigrants (with Venezuela and NK thrown into that plan).

    He just added 5 more countries, including Nigeria. And the extra green card conditios.

    s now there;s the corona virus quarantine, which, IN SPITE OF XI’S CLAIMS OF ERADICATING THE VIRUS, IS NOT GOING AWAY ANY TIME SOON.

    Logically it should maybe soon be extended to South Korea. And Iran. Maybe Italy and the European Union. The whole Eastern Hemisphere.

    A group returned sick from Italy to Long Island. But it seems to be an old familiar virus. So; no problem.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  305. @293

    “Hence why we need to push the culture that Communism/Socialism/Statism as ideologies are incompatible to American cultures.”

    Republicans have been crying wolf on Communism/Socialism for so long that the words have lost all meaning.

    Decrying things as statist is the easiest way to identify a libertarian.

    Davethulhu (fab944) — 2/25/2020 @ 12:17 pm

    No… its our education system that is failing us here…particularly how/why the Cold War was fought.

    Republicans regularly warns folks about Communism/Socialisms. Just as we’ve long warned about Venezuela when Maduro claimed power when he instituted a Sandinista-flavored communist control.

    Just as we’re warning you about Bernie, AOC gang and the modern Democrat party.

    Case in point…Nazism still holds in such strong disregard since WW2, and yet Communism/Socialism is still being defended by some ideologues as something we should aspire (see the Bern).

    whembly (fd57f6)

  306. I mean China is claiming they will eradicate it, and the WHO for now pretends to believe them.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  307. @301

    By the current definition of socialist, Trump is a socialist: tariffs, attempts to prop up coal by decree, and unilateral farm bailouts. When Obama did the auto bailout it was called a “war on capitalism.” When Trump does his bailout he is praised as benevolent overlord. Trump’s favorite beneficiaries of course are his own pockets. Republicans (at least Trump-loving Republicans) have no standing to criticize the Senator’s socialism.

    JRH (52aed3) — 2/25/2020 @ 1:48 pm

    That’s not the definition.

    Socialism refers to the ownership of the means of production. Trump admin isn’t taking control over the productions of stuff here.

    What you’re describing is a variant of crony-capitalism.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  308. 304. whembly (fd57f6) — 2/25/2020 @ 1:49 pm

    Just as we’ve long warned about Venezuela when Maduro claimed power when he instituted a Sandinista-flavored communist control.

    It was Hugo Chavez who set o the whole system. Nicolas Maduro inherited it when he died, only he’s incompetent, and times were a little different. The country may really be being run by Cubans.

    Sammy Finkelman (9966eb)

  309. Whoops… I stand corrected Sammy, you are correct.

    whembly (fd57f6)

  310. How soon we forget.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  311. We always have lively discussions, Make America Ordered Again. Thank you.

    I’m taken.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  312. First, I am surprised by your revulsion to the idea that a President should have a very basic code of conduct/respect (like, say, a teacher). Is your objection to modern education, because not all teachers are liberal activists? I don’t think a civilized self-governing society can succeed if people won’t demonstrate a basic level of courtesy or respect.

    Second, I hope your “I’m taken” response is a joke because it seems inappropriate to our discussion. But I misunderstood your intent before and I will assume I am misunderstanding this, too.

    DRJ (15874d)

  313. I am surprised by your revulsion to the idea that a President should have a very basic code of conduct/respect

    That’s such a straw man. I just don’t see the ethics and qualities of a President as anything like a school teacher. To start with, it would be nice if the President wasn’t a leftist socialist hack, the sort of person who would recruit children to increase their salary by supporting their union, passing along whatever propaganda the government had deemed worthy for young minds (some of which is good, some of which has lead to one of the two major parties on track to nominating a commuist), and actually had some independent study into important things, as Trump and most other Presidents have done.

    And yes, of course, it’s a joke. Not that you wouldn’t have fine qualities the right person would (or does) appreciate, mind you.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  314. School teachers have great skill sets for touchy-feely fields like B.S. network marketing schemes (and Trump, to his discredit, has advocated at least one that I’m aware of) and others where teaching/connecting is important (some of which can be great fields, such as, yes, teaching—if done right).

    But generally I don’t want a teacher or, worse, a professor in charge of the government. That almost never works out well.

    Leadership benefits from different backgrounds and personalities than teaching.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  315. I realize your description of teachers is accurate in some places but certainly not everywhere and not where I live. I specifically listed the qualities I think matter, and they have nothing to do with politics or even teaching but with common decency, manners and respect. Feel free to suggest another comparison but if one of my children had a teacher who acted like Trump, that would be an unacceptable role model/mentor/teacher.

    I appreciate when people take the time to discuss topics. I know we all have other things to do.

    DRJ (15874d)

  316. “ Republicans regularly warns folks about Communism/Socialisms. ”

    Republicans, including folks on these very forums, said that Obama was a Marxist.

    Davethulhu (94520c)

  317. certainly not everywhere

    Yeah, I know. I was generalizing. That’s also why I mentioned other things besides political leanings.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  318. Also, you were generalizing. It happens.

    Obviously, if Jesus becomes a teacher and decides he’s going to reduce the number of sinners sent to Hell using the bully pulpit to get his message across, that campaign would have support.

    But I’d rather vote for a carpenter, in general, for President than a teacher. Your mileage may vary.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  319. I was generalizing that parents want their children treated with civility and fairness in school. (Maybe some parents send kids to school to get the discipline parents don’t give them, but that is another issue.) I don’t think parents send kids to school because they want them to learn about sex, lies, or vulgarity. And I really don’t understand why that is required in politics … unless DCSCA is right and Americans are so shallow that we can’t self-govern, we must be entertained.

    DRJ (15874d)

  320. Fine, carpenter it is.

    If I trained with a carpenter, I would expect to be treated fairly and honestly. That seems basic to me. It might not happen but it should happen if we want a successful society. Or the carpenter could take advantage of me, lie to me, make fun of me, and act superior to me, but that would be selfish and not productive for him or me.

    DRJ (15874d)

  321. If I trained with a carpenter, I would expect to be treated fairly and honestly.

    I’d expect them to be shrewd, not get ripped off easily, deliver good work, know how to market themselves, etc. More real-world skills.

    And, if on top of those, they were a serious andidate for the Presidency, I would expect them to have prepared themselves, using those real-world skills.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  322. 315

    “ Republicans regularly warns folks about Communism/Socialisms. ”

    Republicans, including folks on these very forums, said that Obama was a Marxist.

    Davethulhu (94520c) — 2/25/2020 @ 3:09 pm

    He most definitely was in a way… but, even then, he wasn’t a true believer like Sanders.

    He was also shrewd enough to calibrate his policies to such a degree to a meaningful policy. He publically opined that he wanted a British healthcare system, or even something like the Canadian single-payer system… but he knew he wouldn’t succeed on either of those because he knew he didn’t have the support. So… he calibrated with his Democrat peers and we ended up with Obamacare.

    whembly (c30c83)

  323. What whembly said about Obama, exactly.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  324. “ He most definitely was in a way”

    No he wasn’t. It was ridiculous at the time, and it’s more ridiculous with the benefit of hindsight. This is the point that I’m making.

    Davethulhu (94520c)

  325. “ He most definitely was in a way”

    No he wasn’t. It was ridiculous at the time, and it’s more ridiculous with the benefit of hindsight. This is the point that I’m making.

    Davethulhu (94520c) — 2/25/2020 @ 4:14 pm

    Yeah… he was.

    He was an Saul Alinsky adherent who did his damnedest to push the political overton window towards the left. If he could push more Socialist/Marxist polices… he would. I have no doubt of that.

    It was only the moderates in his own party from 2008 to 2010 and then the Republicans (tea party!) and adverse court rulings that slowed him down.

    whembly (c30c83)

  326. ^ This.

    Make America Ordered Again (afc191)

  327. The ad hominem fallacy takes the form of “Oh, yeah! Wull, xyz did it, so there!”

    A bit late to respond, but no. Ad hominum means “at the person.”

    Ad hominum is “you’re stupid.” This is different that “your argument is stupid” which does not attack the person at all.

    See https://www.lexico.com/definition/ad_hominem

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  328. You are quick to tell me I can’t know things but you are ignoring Trump’s own words.

    Well, it’s good that he’s a self-centered jerk who now “does the right thing for the wrong reasons” then. A man of Principle would be constrained by the past.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  329. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 2/25/2020 @ 4:52 pm

    Do you really just enjoy being wrong?

    I published the definition above.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  330. “He was an Saul Alinsky adherent who did his damnedest to push the political overton window towards the left. ”

    Any Democratic president would do the same (except maybe Bloomberg).

    “If he could push more Socialist/Marxist polices… he would. I have no doubt of that.”

    It was the depths of the great recession. If the country wasn’t ripe for a little marxism then, it’s for sure not ripe for it now. Obama protected the bankers.

    Your (and maoa’s) argument is that Obama was a Marxist, who was too canny or weak to implement any marxist policies. And Obamacare wasn’t an example, it preserved insurance companies.

    No matter who gets the nomination, Republicans will claim they’re a socialist. Just like, if a Democrat wins the White House, the Republicans will suddenly rediscover fiscal responsibility and family values.

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  331. It makes sense to see Trump as a shrewd businessman who brings those talents to his Presidency. He should also fulfill his fiduciary obligations under the Constitution but I doubt he cares about that since “fiduciary” doesn’t seem to be a concern as a businessman or as President.

    DRJ (15874d)

  332. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 2/25/2020 @ 4:52 pm

    Do you really just enjoy being wrong?

    I published the definition above.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9) — 2/25/2020 @ 6:13 pm

    You published a/one/some definition you found somewhere. I see no reason to prefer it over mine or Kevin’s, and I figure neither does Kevin. Now look up the definition of “nudnik”. We’ll probably all agree on that.

    nk (1d9030)

  333. Obamacare was designed to fail and force us to a national healthcare system. That was the point. That’s why the left is now pushing full on socialist healthcare. Because Obamacare couldn’t work.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  334. I see no reason to prefer it over mine or Kevin’s, and I figure neither does Kevin.

    Just one reason; you’re wrong.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  335. I think ad hominem is a personal attack instead of argument on the merits, e.g., “Your argument is wrong because you are a dumb Texan.”

    I think “Wull, xyz did it, so there!” is guilt by association. That is very similar to ad hominem because it does not argue the merits, but it is an attack based on associates instead of the person.

    DRJ (15874d)

  336. I was taught, quite explicitly in AP history and AGAIN in college in Argumentative and Persuasive Writing, precisely what I see right now on Wiki:

    “A makes a claim a, B asserts that A holds a property that is unwelcome, and hence B concludes that argument a is wrong”.

    Searching this web thing in general you can find many different definitions from any common insult to definitions that are almost explicitly guilt by association reiterations. This is a problem that I have been seeing over the last decade or so, where the internet definition of something has become the real meaning of that thing. Ten years ago I had a friendly argument with a blogger that came down to the meaning of a word (forget which word it was). He was using a wiki-ish definition of that word while I was using my hard cover 1992 Webster’s Dictionary. The two definitions were almost exactly opposite.

    PTw (894877)

  337. Lost the important italics when cutting/pasting…

    “A makes a claim a, B asserts that A holds a property that is unwelcome, and hence B concludes that argument a is wrong”.

    PTw (894877)

  338. It happens in the best of circles. A criminal conviction for a felony, or other crime that involves dishonesty or moral turpitude, is routinely admissible in court to impeach the testimony of a witness.

    nk (1d9030)

  339. And with good reason.

    DRJ (15874d)

  340. So it’s not a fallacy. I’m no fan of philosophers, not even Greeks beloved by the Roman Catholic Church, but Aristotle called it ethos, persuasion through character, and went on and on how the worth of the person relates to the worth of his postulation, for good or bad.

    nk (1d9030)

  341. Ad hominem doesn’t have to be fallacious. It just very often is. Like a lot of logical fallacies, it all depends on the basis of the argument. A true argument (true predicates, true conclusion) can’t be fallacious.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  342. So it’s not a fallacy

    While I’m no fan of (mostly modern) philosophy either, it is still technically a fallacy. Just one that in the real world comes with significant caveats based on to what degree a is an objective vs. subjective claim. What annoys me about ad hominem (besides spell checkers) is how it gets bandied about even when not applicable. To me it’s generally a sign of someone trying to get out of a weak position. See also cries of hypocrisy. Not that hypocrisy isn’t a fair argument, it’s just that it’s much too easy in most cases. Depending on how you choose to approach an argument, in what context the subject is being discussed, virtually anyone in virtually any argument can be accused of hypocrisy.

    PTw (894877)

  343. went on and on how the worth of the person relates to the worth of his postulation, for good or bad.

    As for this, I would argue the reverse. The worth of one’s postulation, at least as it is seen to play out in the real world, forms the worth of the person.

    PTw (894877)

  344. Not that the worth of the person cannot be later degraded by future postulations that fail, especially by the degree of the failure.

    PTw (894877)

  345. As for this, I would argue the reverse. The worth of one’s postulation, at least as it is seen to play out in the real world, forms the worth of the person.

    Yes. That’s modern thought (scientific method if you wish). Testing and observation. Or we can go back 1,987 years:

    Matthew 7:15-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
    You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

    nk (1d9030)

  346. PTW

    The problem with personal attack as a logical fallacy arise when the assertion isn’t fully provable or easily summarized.

    For instance, if the world’s worst person says “2+2=4”. It’s not the same things as when they say “Widgets are an excellent food choice when we balance multiple competing factors.” If we stipulate in the 2nd case that engaging with their argument requires treating them as credible in a number of ways (that they’re fairly presenting each factor, that they’re not leaving factors out, that they’re advancing the assertion for the reasons they claim etc) we could arrive at a situation where its entirely proper to dismiss their assertion because they’re the worst person in the world.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  347. My favorite logical fallacy is “A=C and B=C therefore A=B”.

    (Humans are bipeds and ostriches are bipeds therefore humans are ostriches.)

    nk (1d9030)

  348. The problem with personal attack as a logical fallacy arise when the assertion isn’t fully provable or easily summarized.

    Yeah, that’s what I was getting at when I said ” comes with significant caveats based on to what degree a is an objective vs. subjective claim.”

    Yes. That’s modern thought (scientific method if you wish). Testing and observation. Or we can go back 1,987 years

    Don’t have to go back that far.

    Einstein: “I, at any rate, am convinced that He [God] does not throw dice.”
    Bohr: “It is not our business to prescribe to God how He should run the world.”

    PTw (894877)

  349. My favorite logical fallacy is “A=C and B=C therefore A=B”.

    The fallacy is in polluting the meaning of the “=”, not the statement itself.

    PTw (894877)

  350. Right, “=” should be replaced with the “⊆” symbol.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  351. If we don’t get nuked, we’ll at least control the Supreme Court for the rest of my natural life.

    Well, the GOP-appointees have been a majority on the Court for most of your life already. There were 5 Ike-appointed members members from 1959-1962, and then there have been 5 or more GOP-appointed members continuously since 1970.

    Some of them (Blackmun, Stevens, Souter to name but 3) have been disappointing. If you mean “conservative” rather than GOP when you say “we” the numbers are different of course.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  352. Between 1969 and 1991 the GOP appointed 11 members to the court, unanswered. And yet.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)


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