Patterico's Pontifications

5/30/2020

Does the Voter Deserve Responsibility for Everything His Candidate Does?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:01 am



[Note: If you’re looking at this post’s length and saying “yeah, I’m not investing the time to read a book when I came here looking for a blog post” then here is the TL;DR version: assume for the sake of argument that I, a conservative Trump critic, vote for Biden in November — not because I support Biden’s leftist policies, but as a rejection of Trump and Trumpism. (In reality I’m more likely to cast a protest vote; this is a hypothetical.) If you’re a Trump voter, you don’t get to blame me for the bad policy things Biden does, like bad judges … unless I get to blame YOU, right here and right now, for every stupid tweet Donald Trump has ever written. If that’s not provocative enough to get you to read the post, then have a lovely Saturday — but do me a favor and don’t comment below unless you have read the whole thing. People who make arguments I have already addressed in the post are going to get the back of my hand and they will deserve it.]

Chances are, when I ask a question like that posed in the headline, you picture a concrete situation in your head and answer accordingly. “Of course a Biden voter will have to take responsibility for the judges he appoints” or “I voted for Trump but that doesn’t mean I’m responsible for his stupid tweets.” Having surveyed the apparent contradiction between the two statements I just made, the person who wants to say both things might say: “Well, a voter takes responsibility for his candidate’s policies but not his personal behavior. He’s voting for the former, not the latter.”

Put a pin in that while I go on what might seem like a digression (warning: a long one), but in reality isn’t.

I have been thinking a lot about the defense many Trump voters offer to justify their vote for Trump: “I think he’s a ridiculous person and needs to get off Twitter but I love what he has done.” I’m going to call these people the Pragmatic Trump Voters, and I have never criticized them for this stance, ever. Not once. You can check. I criticize the people who praise or minimize or dissemble about Trump’s moral failings, but you have never seen me criticize the people who frankly acknowledge Trump’s moral failings, but vote for him due to a greater concern about policy.

Their view doesn’t work for me personally because, for one thing, there’s too much of Trump’s policy I don’t like. I like a couple of things he has done (some immigration initiatives, some regulatory loosening, and most of his judges being the primary example) but I dislike a lot of what he has done (impose ruinous tariffs; alienate friends and embolden dictators; attack, undermine, and ultimately corrupt law enforcement and the Department of Justice; contribute to a culture of ugliness, dishonesty, and contempt for rules and norms; set a standard that personal corruption is no big deal and indeed to be defended) as well as what he has failed to do (such as make any effort to rein in federal spending; or make a genuine effort to repeal ObamaCare). Based on my numerous policy disagreements with the man, I cannot personally defend — at least in this instance — the notion of voting for a fundamentally bad man on the basis of policy, because there’s too much of his policy that I disagree with.

So there’s that phrase: “in this instance.” That caused me to ask myself: “How would I feel if I had a president who actually carried out each and every one of my policy goals but was as wretched as Trump is on a personal level?” In other words, what if I were as happy as the Pragmatic Trump Voters I speak with about a particular politician’s policies? Could I bring myself to vote for someone who carried out my favored policies, but was as big an ass as Trump is on a personal level?

And this is going to seem like a cop-out, but it’s my genuine attempt at an answer: I don’t think such a scenario is possible. Because the things I care about — which (as has become very clear to me) are not the things most Republican voters care about — are things that require a moral person in office to accomplish.

I care deeply about having someone in office who is not corrupt. Someone who puts country first and their own pocketbook and, in important situations, even their own political fortunes second. I still disagree with Gerald Ford’s decision to pardon Nixon, and I know that’s an unpopular view these days, but I respect Ford for making that decision. Because I believe he did it because he truly believed that it was the best move for the country, even though he knew it might cost him the election. Donald Trump is the complete opposite of this ethic in every way. He cares only about himself, period, and never puts anything or anyone ahead of his own interests.

This, fundamentally, is the problem. I could go on about other ways that someone of Trumpian morals cannot possibly accomplish the policy goals I desire in terms of issues such as building trust in federal law enforcement and DoJ; proper relations with foreign leaders; and a host of other issues. But at rock bottom, it all comes down to whether the president is going to put himself first or his country first. And someone who always and everywhere puts himself first is not someone who can realistically accomplish what I want accomplished by a president.

That’s a hell of a digression. Remember: my opening question was: does a voter bear responsibility for everything his candidate does? The point of the digression was to address the argument that one bears responsibility only for the policy choices of your candidate and not their personal shortcomings. For me, it has become apparent that one cannot separate the two. The presidency is a singular role: an entire branch of government embodied in a single person, with primary responsibility for foreign relations and a host of domestic responsibilities, including many that have been delegated by Congress — either formally, as in the tariff or immigration areas, or informally, through a systematic congressional failure to assert its own authority in countless areas of policy. You can’t validly make a personal/policy distinction — or even a words/action distinction of the sort Trump supporters often urge (“look at what he does and not what he says!”) because the personal matters, and the words matter.

In steadfastly refusing to criticize the Pragmatic Trump Voters, I have essentially taken the position that, no, a voter does not bear moral responsibility for the bad qualities or policies of his preferred candidate — as long as 1) he can articulate a sensible alternate criterion upon which he based his vote; and 2) he fully acknowledges the bad qualities of his preferred candidate and never minimizes, ignores, or justifies them. A voter confronted with two candidates, each of whom is a mixture of good and bad qualities, cannot be held morally responsible for everything bad that their preferred candidate does — unless those bad things are the reason for their vote, or unless they pretend those bad aspects of their preferred candidate don’t exist. Similarly, the voter cannot be held morally responsible for the inability of their non-preferred candidate to do the good things that candidate would have done if elected — as long as the same conditions hold true.

Why do I say “moral” responsibility? Because, sure, there’s some level of responsibility to the extent that you were aware of the bad qualities and chose to vote as you did regardless. You can’t claim to be shocked that, say, Trump acts like an asshole as president, or that Biden nominated bad judges. It’s all, as Trump minimizers love to say, baked into the cake. To me, the distinction is similar to that of the person who chooses to walk in a bad area of town by themselves late at night and is robbed. Can they claim to be shocked that they were victimized? No, but in my view they nevertheless bear no moral responsibility for having been victimized. Same goes for the voter who votes for an imperfect candidate (*whispered*: they are all imperfect). That voter cannot plausibly be assigned moral responsibility for all the bad stuff his candidate does, unless the voter a) voted for the candidate for that reason and/or b) pretended that the bad stuff doesn’t exist or isn’t that bad.

To get back to the italicized provocation that opened this post: the reason I am expounding on this at some length is because I have been thinking about what happens to the GOP if Trump loses in 2020. (If he wins, which he might, the analysis is simpler: more of the same but on steroids.) That will be a separate post, but for the first two years at least there is going to be a very nasty and very tiresome blame game. Trump fans will blame Never Trumpers for all the bad stuff Biden does — “look! we’re losing control of the Supreme Court! and look! he’s doing awful thing x, y, and z!” — and Never Trumpers will respond with some variant of “well maybe if you hadn’t spent so much time and energy rationalizing the actions of a narcissistic corrupt criminal dipshit, you wouldn’t have alienated the whole country.” It will be endless and repetitive and very very ugly. It will be followed by something else — but during that two years or so, it will seem like the same argument will repeat itself for all eternity.

In that argument, the pro-Trump faction will be composed (as it always is) of Trump superfans and Pragmatic Trump Voters. (It’s an oversimplification but a useful one.) I could not give less of a shit about the Trump superfans. I find those people repugnant and utterly untrustworthy. They can all go to hell. I’m addressing myself to the Pragmatic Trump Voters here. And again, I have never criticized y’all for being Pragmatic Trump Voters.

And what I’m saying here is: if you think it would have been unfair for me to blame y’all for Trump’s stupid tweets or his corruption — and I do — then it’s equally unfair for you to tell me, when Biden does something awful, “well, Patterico, you asked for this.” When he nominates an ideologue for the Supreme Court, don’t tell me it’s my fault. (Again: I’m assuming here for the sake of argument that I vote for Biden; in reality I will probably cast a protest vote. Even then, you’ll still blame me for not voting for Trump, and for having criticized him all the time, so it’s not really that hypothetical that I’ll be blamed.) If you do say it’s my fault, then I get to blame you for every damned fool idiot or corrupt thing Trump ever said or did. And I didn’t do that to you before. Again, you can check. So don’t do it to me.

This is a plea from the perspective of a Trump critic. (I have never called myself a “Never Trumper” because that seems like a cohesive group and I’m not much of a joiner and don’t want to be tarred with stupid opinions members of my “group” utter.) If Trump loses, a period of ugliness is coming. Frankly, I don’t think “Never Trump” conservatives are that large a faction, so it’s hard to see how the “human scum” could truly swing the election — but such will be the desire for blame that their influence will take on an outsized role in the minds of the pro-Trump faction. There will be recriminations, and they will be bitter.

Don’t contribute to it by blaming protest voters for Biden’s leftism. It’s not fair, unless you are taking ownership of Trump’s Twitter account — and what sane person would? If we are indeed headed for the period of ugliness I described, let’s please look for ways to minimize it.

Have a great Saturday!

193 Responses to “Does the Voter Deserve Responsibility for Everything His Candidate Does?”

  1. 2,000 words. Congratulations if you made your way through all of it.

    If you didn’t, please don’t comment.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Excellent post. I read every single word, and because it is so compelling, challenging, and insightful, it was nothing less than a pleasure to read.

    Dana (0feb77)

  3. I read it all. Agree with most of it.

    I do want to throw one observation into the mix. In 2016 it was reasonable to think that Trump would act “presidential” once he got into office, and that the GOP would keep up the guardrails on anything with which he went off the rails. In 2020 of course that is but wishful fantasy.

    Kishnevi (3e04ed)

  4. i don’t know what’s so indispensable about mr. president donald trump that a good person couldn’t do all the same good policies

    i don’t even know what’s so indispensable about all those good policies when half the country does not even think they’re even all that good

    and, besides, trump makes my skin crawl

    so when i vote for joe biden and he does all kinds of bad policies, i won’t blame me

    i will blame all the republicans who did not give me a good person with good policies to vote for

    and who did not make my skin crawl

    nk (1d9030)

  5. I’ve always depicted myself and those like me “T-rump Objectivists”, because I’ve never had trouble crediting T-rump with some good stuff, while also being realistic about who he has been, is, and will be given his despicable character and personality disordersssssss.

    I can respect those who voted for the Orange Raccoon in following their conscience…with ONE reservation. They had to do as I’d done back in 2015, and informed themselves of who this slug IS. If they couldn’t be bothered, or allowed themselves to be ensorcelled by reading a book he didn’t write but claims he did, or drawn into a mass hysteria at a rally, then…yeah, I DO blame them.

    Does the T-rump voter deserve responsibility for everything the Thug In The Oval Office has done BAD? Some are clinically insane, others just incompetent, and still others simply lacking in judgment; hence, I’d say it is a question of the individual.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  6. As someone who never ends up with a candidate who cares about more than about 30% of things that I’m interested in, I personally think the “my candidate, my party, no matter what” people have a fundamental misunderstanding of the voter’s role in the political system but that’s, like, just my opinion, man.

    Nic (896fdf)

  7. 6.

    As someone who never ends up with a candidate who cares about more than about 30% of things that I’m interested in, I personally think the “my candidate, my party, no matter what” people have a fundamental misunderstanding of the voter’s role in the political system but that’s, like, just my opinion, man.

    Nic (896fdf) — 5/30/2020 @ 12:05 pm

    FIFY, Nic.

    Gryph (08c844)

  8. 3. Reasonable, yes, but also wrong. In a big way, wrong. Unfortunately, Trump humpers are so far up The Donald’s behind invested in their man, they can’t admit they’re wrong whether they know it or not.

    Gryph (08c844)

  9. I want to elaborate a bit on my response. Because I have been repelled by Trump on a number of levels, and because I can’t bring myself to support the Democratic platform and find Joe Biden a flip-flopper on policy, and a disingenuous and lifelong politician (the latter description said with the same disdain as the prior description), I have no political home anymore. And I find I’m okay with that for now. Personally, I think it’s the sane place to be these days. I recently had a long convo with a practicing Christian who voted Trump because Trump says it like it is and a How could a Christian vote for Hillary? rationale…The moral failings and corruption of Trump are easily set aside because of “look at all the things he has done” justification. The individual was immovable in their position, no matter the facts I presented. So the group I wonder most about are the Christians who voted for Trump and play defense for him in spite of the ungodly corruption that has permeated his presidency.

    To the Anyone but Hillary: voters: You’ve had 3+ years to see Trump in action, including corruption, dishonesty, self-serving narcissism and all. Hillary isn’t on the ticket for November, so who are you going to vote for? Because I believe Anyone but Hillary voters, which was not a small number, hated Hillary first, and then her policies, so where do they stand now?

    Dana (0feb77)

  10. I don’t view Trump’s lack of class and Biden’s statist ambitions to be similar faults. Biden and the Democrats would destroy much of what I hold dear in order to gain power. Trump is simply an ignoramus with a tendancy to talk. If I have to choose which I will be responsible for — a dishonest crap artist who trash talks or a dishonest crap artist who wants to run my life, I’ll pick the former.

    And no, I don’t blame voters for the choices they make. I blame the two parties — and independents who stand and do nothing — for this crap choice.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. 10. You blame the two parties, and yet you pick one over the other as a “better candidate.” I have a really hard time squaring that circle.

    Gryph (08c844)

  12. I had a Brit ask me yesterday why these were our candidates. I had no answer.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  13. I don’t view Trump’s lack of class and Biden’s statist ambitions to be similar faults. Biden and the Democrats would destroy much of what I hold dear in order to gain power. Trump is simply an ignoramus with a tendancy to talk. If I have to choose which I will be responsible for — a dishonest crap artist who trash talks or a dishonest crap artist who wants to run my life, I’ll pick the former.

    This response talks past the majority of my post as if I had not even written it.

    It would be nice if you would engage the arguments I actually made. People like you are the target audience, Kevin M.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  14. I do want to throw one observation into the mix. In 2016 it was reasonable to think that Trump would act “presidential” once he got into office, and that the GOP would keep up the guardrails on anything with which he went off the rails. In 2020 of course that is but wishful fantasy.

    I don’t agree that it was reasonable to think that, but I recognize that many reasonable people did think that.

    Your observation is precisely why the “I was a Never Trumper in 2016 but I’ll vote for him in 2020″ crowd utterly confounds me. They’re out there in force, too.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  15. 14. Pat, you kind of hit on something here that’s been bothering me for months. I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, I’m not going to vote for him in 2020, and I feel like a voter without a voice. No, I am not going to lodge a protest vote for Biden, but we’re so far gone as a nation, “working within the system” has less than no hope of accomplishing anything I would like to see anyway.

    Gryph (08c844)

  16. I shared your disgust and I did not vote for DJT, even though HRC is a singularly horrendous person who would have done her darnedest to wreck America.

    The answer to your query lies in the degree to which said candidate follows through on promises and assurances given by the candidate. If my guy somehow reverses course on issues and/or refuses to act on problems as promised, I bear no responsibility. If s/he substantially follows through, it is on me and my cohorts. If things go badly when my desires are honored, I must own it. Similarly, if things improve, I earn credit.

    Everything is relative and I do not know where the lines ought to be drawn in all instances. To the extent DJT is an oaf and acts the buffoon, his voters own it. The China trade policy, Israeli support, and Iranian sanctions? They own it. Mexican failure to pay for the Wall? Nope. The slow-rolling of the actual build of the wall? Nope.

    The toad owned his choice to give the scorpion a ride. He paid quite dearly. The Minneapolis and St. Paul polity are paying too dearly, as well. Choices made.

    MAGA folks, to my eyes, largely do own the consequences of their choice. They basically got the dude they wanted and they put off catastrophic advances in the breadth and power of the State (at least until Covid). I did not expect DJT to have followed through on his espoused conservatism – his regulatory devolution/relief alone has been quite something. He has transformed several judicial circuits. And he is a louse.

    There was a stark choice in 2016 and there will be again in November. DJT has been pretty consistently, at least in rhetoric, the man we all saw come down the escalator. Pelosi has been a pretty fair doppelganger of HRC. I say the voters for each (side) pretty much bear moral responsibility.

    The (An?) ugliness, I posit, is already upon us.

    Ed from SFV (f64387)

  17. 12. Kevin, just point out that the UK a few months ago was choosing between Johnson and Corbyn.

    Kishnevi (3e04ed)

  18. Trump is simply an ignoramus with a tendancy to talk.

    No, he’s a dangerous Collectivist with tyrannical tastes who has a history of lying to pretend his central planning moves are legal when they are NOT.

    He and Bernie Sanders had a trade policy you could not insert a knife between, and they BOTH complimented the other on it!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  19. OT: I’ve been watching the SpaceX Dragon launch. The Falcon 9 booster just landed, and the Dragon just completed its orbital insertion. A thing of beauty.

    Gryph (08c844)

  20. This is a plea from the perspective of a Trump critic… If Trump loses, a period of ugliness is coming. Frankly, I don’t think “Never Trump” conservatives are that large a faction, so it’s hard to see how the “human scum” could truly swing the election — but such will be the desire for blame that their influence will take on an outsized role in the minds of the pro-Trump faction. There will be recriminations, and they will be bitter.

    Maybe it never has been, but it seems like it should be that when a candidate is defeated, the loss would cause that party to immediately regroup, rebuild and shift focus ahead to the vexing question of how to win the next election. IOW, in a normal presidential election, a defeat would unite rather than further divide the defeated party. But because Trump has successfully polarized the GOP to a significant degree, a defeat involving him practically guarantees an ugly future.

    Dana (0feb77)

  21. You blame the two parties, and yet you pick one over the other as a “better candidate.” I have a really hard time squaring that circle.

    Why is this hard? I am left with a choice of two. Not three. Show me a viable third option and I” consider it. Having spent some time in the Libertarian Party, I’ve come to the conclusion that 3rd parties are narcissistic wank. Mere posturing societies.

    So, since neither candidate has anything I want, I must choose the least awful. This election is harder than the last one, but Biden’s recent drift towards AOC and Bernie has sealed the deal for me.

    If I lived in a state where my vote was truly meaningless, I’d make a meaningless choice like “Elmer Fudd.” But my choice has meaning here, so I need to actually choose.

    The two parties deserve to be destroyed for this election and the last one. One so bankrupt it’s offered a couple of Chernenkos, the other unable to avoid a moronic jackass.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  22. Kevin, just point out that the UK a few months ago was choosing between Johnson and Corbyn.

    By comparison, those are two fine candidates. Johnson isn’t a fool and Corbyn is alive.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  23. 21. There are third options that don’t involve voting. In the interest of staying in the good graces of our host here, I don’t want to go into too much detail except to say that as a nation, I believe we are absolutely and utterly unworthy of the legacy of our founding fathers.

    Gryph (08c844)

  24. he’s a dangerous Collectivist

    What has he done to make you think so? (the collectivist part).

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. Duh Donald is a BIG GOVERNMENT fan boi from WAY back. He was spawned in the sewage of NE liberalism, which he willingly swam in his life long, becoming just another turd in the flow. He IS an elitist and a doubtless Collectivist (statist) who LOVES central planning and distrusts markets.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  26. More to the point then, Patterico:

    “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

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  27. 25. You’re not wrong, Rags, but Donald isn’t a policy guy. He leaves that heavy lifting to the people he knows are much smarter about such things. Donald is a rent seeker, and that makes him quite different than most of the parasites that have spent most of their adult lives in Babylon-on-Potomac. He is a different kind of politician, but just not in the way his admirers think.

    Gryph (08c844)

  28. If you’re a Trump voter, you don’t get to blame me for the bad policy things Biden does, like bad judges … unless I get to blame YOU, right here and right now, for every stupid tweet Donald Trump has ever written.

    So we are to equate what Biden does (may/will do) with what Trump has written. Actions and policies weighted equally with speech.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  29. So we are to equate what Biden does (may/will do) with what Trump has written. Actions and policies weighted equally with speech.

    Like Kevin M’s comment, this comment ignores the argument I made in the post. It’s as if I hadn’t said any of it.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  30. 26. Is that even possible? With 545 people on Capital Hill slowly eroding our rights more and more with every election cycle, just how do you propose that we make it more profitable for politicians to do the right thing? Friedman, God bless him, was an economist. Not even he could answer the question of how.

    Gryph (08c844)

  31. To the charge that Trump seeks power only for himself, I answer that this is a plus compared to those who wish to give more power to the State. Some day Trump will be gone, but the State will remain.

    That he makes such an ugly spectacle of himself in his clumsy wielding of the power of his office is also a plus as it demonstrates the folly of giving his office such power. Again a plus.

    That the press seems to have a hard-on for dealing him dirt is also a plus as anything that diminishes the cult of the omniscient state is a good thing.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  32. Maybe it never has been, but it seems like it should be that when a candidate is defeated, the loss would cause that party to immediately regroup, rebuild and shift focus ahead to the vexing question of how to win the next election. IOW, in a normal presidential election, a defeat would unite rather than further divide the defeated part. But because Trump has successfully polarized the GOP to a significant degree, a defeat involving him practically guarantees an ugly future.

    I think it’s an interesting mental exercise to picture what will happen, but months and probably years of outright civil war, with blame at the heart of the grievance on each side, is Step One. That is the easiest part to foresee.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  33. 31. Trump IS the state. And his pre-politics career in New York City consists almost entirely of rent-seeking on the backs of people neither wealthy nor notorious enough to put up serious opposition.

    Gryph (08c844)

  34. @10 I think you are giving Trump too much credit. He’s also a statist, but he’s a statist like Louis IVX was a statist, L’etat c’est moi. He’s deliberately tearing down systems put into place to spread power across the government and, in his misguided need for absolute loyalty, is trying to set up a standard and a system where the President is the King. I find that to be far far more dangerous to the US system as a whole than Biden’s belief in government. Trump is also deliberately making us worse as people. He’s stoked every possible area of conflict in order to create a fanatical faction of followers (sorry, did not originally intend that alliteration, but am keeping it) who will allow him to do anything he wants and support him in doing anything he wants. Ain’t nobody feel that way about Biden.

    Nic (896fdf)

  35. He IS an elitist and a doubtless Collectivist (statist) who LOVES central planning and distrusts markets.

    Perhaps. Or maybe that’s just the sewer he learned to swim in. I have trouble assigning ideologies to Trump as that would require him to actually think about what he does.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  36. @31 The state will remain with the system and protocols that he set up. That create a system of elected monarch rather than a president.

    Nic (896fdf)

  37. 35. Explain his central planning crap, and his Bernie Sanders trade policy. It’s all in keeping with his MO in other areas. He does not like people, trust them to do what’s good, or like diffused power.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  38. One, I never have voted for Trump and never will. If that makes me a NeverTrumper, then so be it. I’ll still call balls and strikes on his words and acts. In that vein, I mostly agree with his picks for judges and I agreed with his decision yesterday to yank preferred trade status from Hong Kong, among other things, but there is so much more to disagree with.
    Two, I agree that a person is a Pragmatic Trump Voter only if Patterico’s two conditions are met. I have no patience for those voters who pulled the lever for him because they thought he would Make America Great Again; they’re brainwashed chumps, believing in a fraud like Trump. Even his hair is a fraud. Unfortunately, the size of that contingent is disturbingly large.
    Three, I also have no patience for the elected Republicans and talk show hosts who sold their souls to Trump in order to stay in office or keep their ratings. They know who they are, choosing loyalty to a goddawful human being over loyalty to a party and what it stands for. America is the worse for it.
    Four, I think David French outlined succinct, sensible criteria for how a Christian should vote.

    Let me answer with my voting philosophy—one I believe advances a Christian biblical witness and the long-term peace and prosperity of our national home. In each race, I impose a two-part test on candidates. First, they must possess a personal character that is worthy of the office they seek. Second, they must broadly share my political values. If a candidate fails either prong of that test, he or she doesn’t receive my vote.

    Trump doesn’t have the personal character for the job and Biden doesn’t share my political values, so I’ll vote for neither. In 2016, I voted for Gary Johnson in protest of both parties nominating sh*tstains. This year, my vote will be “qualified conservative to be named later”, once again in protest of both parties’ rank dysfunction.
    Five, I was in the GOP since Reagan’s first term, then left the party in May 2013 out of disgust with where it was going. I came back in November 2018 because, even though I’m in the exiled 10% that consistently opposes Trump, I’d rather advocate from within the tribe. I’ve lost the argument before and will probably continue to do so, but I’m not a liberal or Democrat and there isn’t a viable third-party option.

    Paul Montagu (466a99)

  39. This:

    In each race, I impose a two-part test on candidates. First, they must possess a personal character that is worthy of the office they seek. Second, they must broadly share my political values. If a candidate fails either prong of that test, he or she doesn’t receive my vote.

    Dana (0feb77)

  40. 39. I think French has a lot of good things to say, but that said, there are two broad classes of pundits: those that agree with me, and those that don’t. And the former category is shrinking. Regardless, no pundit has ever pushed me towards or away from a certain candidate I would have voted for anyway.

    I don’t need a judge to tell me when my rights have been violated, and I don’t need a pundit to tell me how to vote.

    Gryph (08c844)

  41. I think it’s an interesting mental exercise to picture what will happen, but months and probably years of outright civil war, with blame at the heart of the grievance on each side, is Step One. That is the easiest part to foresee.

    And this is why we need a third party. Trump has so fractured the GOP that valuable time will be wasted assigning blame, pointing fingers, and justifying one’s actions. But, is there the possibility that an internal civil war will cull the herd, and refine and redefine the GOP, resulting in a non-MAGA influenced united front?

    Dana (0feb77)

  42. 41. We’ve had third parties. Reform Party. Libertarian Party. I’m pretty sure the Libertarians-with-a-capital-L are going to field a candidate again this cycle. What you want is a viable third-party candidate. And the power brokers have rigged the system to ensure that this never happens.

    Gryph (08c844)

  43. I don’t need a pundit to tell me how to vote.

    French isn’t telling you how to vote, Gryph. He is sharing the calculus that he uses when voting. And it happens to be very similar to my own.

    Dana (0feb77)

  44. 43. I know. My post yet again came out a little sharper than I intended. And I don’t really think to tell me how to vote is French’s intention. I do think that as the American body politic continues to spiral the drain, it’s gotten to the point where many people will vote for someone who is diametrically opposed to most of their principles in that search for the “least bad” option.

    Gryph (08c844)

  45. Stephen L. Miller
    @redsteeze
    ·
    I’m still gobsmacked

    Yesterday – Riots are the only way these people have left to be heard. Silent protest like Kaepernick isn’t working.

    Today – It was Nazis and Russians.
    __ _

    I do not ‘blame’ anyone for voting against the party that lives off double standards and outright lies that have produced collusion hoaxes to the point of an impeachment farce and does a two-step on blaming conservatives for riots that they were cheering on two days ago.

    Put these people in charge at your own peril. I myself would rather wait till I am gone for the entire country to turn into Minneapolis.
    _

    harkin (4a404c)

  46. 45. There’s still South Dakota. We’re not perfect, but we’re not Minnesota, either.

    Gryph (08c844)

  47. I don’t need a judge to tell me when my rights have been violated, and I don’t need a pundit to tell me how to vote.

    Because you live under the delusion you know every-damn-thing.

    Pro tip: you have a lot to learn.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  48. 47. Go home, Karen. SMDH

    Gryph (08c844)

  49. The clear difference is that you say you cannot separate the professional from the personal, Patterico, but most can. And it’s political decisions that affect my life, not whether the president is a jerk on Twitter (like Trump) or in interviews (like Biden).

    Your personal disgust with Trump as a man is making you rationalize why you will vote for another disgusting man in Biden who clearly has issues with women and kids. But you don’t want to be held to account for the clear harm a Biden presidency will do. With Trump, it’s baked into the cake. We know what kind of man he is and the policies he pushes. With Biden it is too.

    P.S. In my opinion it is beyond wrong to try and equate personal failures with policy failures. Personal failures are on the individual as they show who they are. Policy failures affect each and every one of us.

    TL/DR: stupid tweets =/= disastrous judges.

    NJRob (a35f12)

  50. @ NJRob,

    In my opinion it is beyond wrong to try and equate personal failures with policy failures. Personal failures are on the individual as they show who they are. Policy failures affect each and every one of us.

    Aren’t our foundational values and principles reflected in what we say and do? And aren’t those same values and character traits informing the decisions we make, whether they be personal decisions or decisions about policy?

    Dana (0feb77)

  51. And this is going to seem like a cop-out, but it’s my genuine attempt at an answer: I don’t think such a scenario is possible. Because the things I care about — which (as has become very clear to me) are not the things most Republican voters care about — are things that require a moral person in office to accomplish.

    I do not think this a cop-out, at all. Because I believe that, today, what is required to get nominated and then elected, acts as a filter against a moral person in ways that penalize important virtues such as humility, charity, and honesty. Good for you on rejecting this falsehood.

    I agree with your answer that “no” is the answer to the headline, because “deserve” is a question of justice. Is it an irony that the more just a person acted, the less responsibility there was to be borne?

    felipe (023cc9)

  52. In my opinion it is beyond wrong to try and equate personal failures with policy failures. Personal failures are on the individual as they show who they are.

    Except almost all of Trump’s policy failures result from his personal failings.

    Kishnevi (63ea7c)

  53. Now if you vote 3rd party because both men are disgusting personal individuals, that’s a calculated decision made on your own moral code and perfectly understandable. But to claim Biden is morally superior is a joke.

    NJRob (a35f12)

  54. Addendum: the one thing you point to, judge selections, is the one thing he’s kept himself personally uninvolved, so it’s the one thing where his personal flaws don’t interfere with the result.

    Kishnevi (63ea7c)

  55. Aren’t our foundational values and principles reflected in what we say and do? And aren’t those same values and character traits informing the decisions we make, whether they be personal decisions or decisions about policy?

    Dana (0feb77) — 5/30/2020 @ 2:10 pm

    Some of the greatest leaders were men with poor personal attributes.

    NJRob (a35f12)

  56. 55. Trump? A great leader? LOLOL

    Gryph (08c844)

  57. I don’t need a pundit to tell me how to vote.

    French articulated in 2020 how I voted in 2016, and that criteria hasn’t changed.

    Paul Montagu (466a99)

  58. In each race, I impose a two-part test on candidates. First, they must possess a personal character that is worthy of the office they seek. Second, they must broadly share my political values. If a candidate fails either prong of that test, he or she doesn’t receive my vote.

    I do this too, but in reverse order.

    Hoi Polloi (dc4124)

  59. Some of the greatest leaders were men with poor personal attributes.

    NJRob (a35f12) — 5/30/2020 @ 2:24 pm

    But what I am asking you is whether you believe that one’s core foundational principles and values, and even character, inform the decisions people make?

    Dana (0feb77)

  60. The clear difference is that you say you cannot separate the professional from the personal, Patterico, but most can.

    Trump’s gutter character isn’t about the personal, it’s about the gutter character he has displayed in office.

    Paul Montagu (466a99)

  61. A voter deserves responsibility for what they knew they were going to get when they voted for a candidate.

    I knew we were going to get better Supreme Court picks from Trump than from HRC. I also knew he was going to be tougher on illegal immigration. Nothing like Remain in Mexico or halting DACA was going to come from HRC. Scaling back regulations, too. I also knew he was going to be much more crass, and a bit of a loose cannon. As for putting himself first, that’s pretty much a wash with respect to HRC.

    So, it’s fair to blame me and others who voted for him for all of that, though I did not give him my vote in the primary. It’s also fair to blame me for all of that after 2020, should he win.

    A Biden voter, or a self described conservative who wastes their vote on a nobody, knows what they’re getting, too. Biden will likely flip the Supreme Court (replacing RBG, Breyer and Thomas with young leftists), will change Remain in Mexico to Just Try to Make Us Leave the US Dare Ya, will make AOC the first Climate Change Czar, will be very PC (when not senile) and very pandering and platitude heavy, and will be somewhat creepy. He will not put the country first.

    It’s totally fair to blame a conservative who votes Biden/protest for all of that. Expect ugliness.

    beer ‘n pretzels (efe0ef)

  62. I think it’s an interesting mental exercise to picture what will happen, but months and probably years of outright civil war

    Andrew Jackson caused a party split, with the Whigs emerging as the anti-Jackson party. They didn’t last mainly because Jackson left the scene and they have no other unifying cause. Their anti-slavery faction became the Republicans, along with like-minded Democrats.

    I see both parties fracturing soon, as the hard Left in the Democrat Party will soon control it. Trump marked the end of the party system that started with Reagan; what follows it is a good question.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  63. #33, shorter: New York City consists almost entirely of rent-seeking.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  64. odd how the primaries worked out in bidens favorites, but bernie’s supporters have been given free reign of the streets, in 20 cities, of course the failure of the j 20 riot prosecution, led us to this point,

    narciso (7404b5)

  65. The clear difference is that you say you cannot separate the professional from the personal, Patterico, but most can. And it’s political decisions that affect my life, not whether the president is a jerk on Twitter (like Trump) or in interviews (like Biden).

    This is a false dichotomy. An inveterate liar is both personally and professionally a person who cannot be trusted. A demagogue is someone who deliberately sets groups or individuals against each other, most often by fostering lies or false popular belief for their own agenda. A cheater will cheat in professional and personal relationships.

    Patterico hasn’t said he’d vote for Biden. In fact, he posed this whole discussion as a hypothetical.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  66. If you vote for a candidate for any other reason than their policy (or a policy proxy like party), you are still responsible for their policy. That you are doing so because one guy is a jerk is an emotional response and not a lot better than “She’s better looking” or “He’s a Libra.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  67. An inveterate liar is both personally and professionally a person who cannot be trusted.

    The only difference between Trump and Biden is that Biden is a much better liar.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  68. But what I am asking you is whether you believe that one’s core foundational principles and values, and even character, inform the decisions people make?

    Dana (0feb77) — 5/30/2020 @ 2:38 pm

    Religious people yes. Atheists not so much.

    NJRob (a35f12)

  69. . Trump? A great leader? LOLOL

    Gry

    Words not said for $1,000 Alex.

    NJRob (a35f12)

  70. The only difference between Trump and Biden is that Biden is a much better liar.

    Well, I’ll disagree, though I suspect that was snark. Neither is a person of acceptable character, and that is surely the nut-cutting issue.

    Religious people yes. Atheists not so much.

    That’s another untruth. A lot of atheists have a very developed moral code by which they strive to live. Conversely, some of the people I’ve known who are loudly proclaiming Christians are the people who make you grab your wallet and start looking for an exit!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  71. I keep reading that post and try to find a unifying theme, so I pick and choose.

    if you think it would have been unfair for me to blame y’all for Trump’s stupid tweets or his corruption

    If he had been running against a candidate who was not even more corrupt (and in a way more likely to harm them, or the country), then it would be fair indeed (never mind that Patterico and I cast identical votes).

    In the coming election we have several distinctions: one candidate is a terrible boor and a scoundrel, the other candidate is an unctuous scold and a scoundrel. One candidate generally the State doing nothing, the other favors the State doing everything. Given that, the choice is clear, but there should really be a better option.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  72. Biden IS a better liar. He can through out BS with the best of them. He stated in debate against Palin that she was an ignoramus for not knowing that “Article I was about the executive.” She thought it was about Congress, but did not have the courage of her conviction.

    And he got away with it.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  73. Anyone who supports Biden in 2020 is to blame for his leftism and all the damage he and his administration will do to the country. Lets be perfectly clear, if any famous Never-trumper thinks people on the Right are going to forget their 4 years of giving aid and comfort to the left-wing enemy, they’re mistaken. The Dispatch Gang and the Bulwark boys are now SUPPORTING Biden. They’d have the guts of a burglar to imagine that in 2021 or 2023, they can pretend that didn’t happen and they are “Republicans” again.

    Now, what makes this more insane, is many of these same Never-trumpers who demanded we lose to Hillary in 2016, and are either neutral or pro-Biden in 2020, were in 2008/2012 championing “pragmatism” and claiming “purity tests are for losers” and the only thing that mattered was stopping Obama!

    Of course, nothing is dumber than a Conservative Republican. They are like Charlie Brown and Lucy can pull the football away 100 times in a row and they still get conned. So I won’t be surprised if they welcome back Rubin and Bill Kristol as “old friends” in 2021.

    rcocean (846d30)

  74. One candidate generally the State doing nothing, the other favors the State doing everything.

    If only that were true! Duh Donald is a BIG GOVERNMENT GUY. He LOVES subsidies, tariffs, bail-outs, and HIS kindssssss of regulation! Just lately, he’s come out in favor of screwing with the First Amendment. You can recall other examples.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  75. The Dispatch Gang and the Bulwark boys are now SUPPORTING Biden.

    Please post a link supporting that for each org.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  76. That’s another untruth. A lot of atheists have a very developed moral code by which they strive to live. Conversely, some of the people I’ve known who are loudly proclaiming Christians are the people who make you grab your wallet and start looking for an exit!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9) — 5/30/2020 @ 3:37 pm

    She asked my opinion jerk. I gave it to her. Stalin thanks you for your assistance.

    NJRob (a35f12)

  77. 69. Yeah, I know. It’s just the very thought tickles my funny bone every time I think it.

    Gryph (08c844)

  78. She asked my opinion jerk. I gave it to her. Stalin thanks you for your assistance.

    Stalin was a seminarian. As in studying to be a priest. Which might explain all the parallels between the Russian Revolution and Exodus, down to the Purges:

    26then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side—come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. 27And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.’ ” 28So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day. 29Then Moses said, [e]“Consecrate yourselves today to the Lord, that He may bestow on you a blessing this day, for every man has opposed his son and his brother.” https://biblehub.com/nkjv/exodus/32.htm

    nk (1d9030)

  79. 78. That doesn’t tell the whole story. Stalin was a distinguished seminarian and his poetry is still studied throughout the former Soviet Union, but he was repeatedly confined to his cell for breaking the rules, which he did more and more brazenly until he declared himself an atheist and started a study group for forbidden books, including Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto. When he left the seminary in the Spring of 1899, he never looked back.

    Gryph (08c844)

  80. Policy is the only thing that matters. Stupid things Biden says are just as irrelevant as stupid things Trump says. It is hilarious Basing your vote on a standard only Jimmy Carter could meet, and he was a horrible president.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  81. And what I’m saying here is: if you think it would have been unfair for me to blame y’all for Trump’s stupid tweets or his corruption — and I do — then it’s equally unfair for you to tell me, when Biden does something awful, “well, Patterico, you asked for this.”

    I have the opposite take. It’s fair to blame me for Trump’s bad words and deeds–which are abundant–just as I will blame anyone whose vote (whether for Biden or a third party) results in a Biden presidency, and all the longer-lasting (judges) and deeper-cutting (socialism) harms that will follow.

    It’s a calculation of who will do the least long-term damage to the country. I’m not saying it’s an easy determination. Indeed, there are good arguments on both sides. However, Trump will probably be dead within a decade; a Ninth-Circuit-style Supreme Court and increased socialism will last a lot longer.

    And, if you think that Trump will stop tweeting if he loses in November, you’ve been smoking too much hydroxychloroquine. If Biden wins, you will have bad policy AND Trump’s insidious tweets.

    norcal (a5428a)

  82. Read it all, back hand away. For me it was about the choices we had. The lesser of 2 evils. I’m not 100% sure Biden gets the “nod” but if he does you’re probably voting for his VP choice.

    Vote for whoever you want, you’re in Ca and the D’s are getting its electoral votes anyway.

    Patrick (50e6ac)

  83. The Pharisees were always telling everyone how the were morally superior to everyone else because they were the only group who could properly interpret the law.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  84. 83. And now the judges and justices sitting on the courts are modern-day Pharisees. They proclaim the law as we the people lap it up like dogs eating crumbs from the master’s table.

    Gryph (08c844)

  85. This is all too easy for me because I live about 18 minutes north of Hillary in Westchester and the electoral vote is a foregone conclusion. Donald Trump is a flaming asshole. Hillary was a flaming asshole. The vote was easy – a flaming asshole whose husband will roam the White House with purple pills as he looks for interns while his wife imposes more restrictions on more businesses and appoints judges I can’t stand, or a flaming asshole who may actually appoint the judges he promised and roll back regulations? The truly weird thing is that with Trump as a flaming asshole and Biden as a flaming asshole the choice is easier because Biden is also incompetent and has many of the same weaknesses as Trump – lying (not as often, but weirder lies); strange issues with women (not as often but weirder); even lower IQ; even his draft issues are similar to Trump’s – asthma that was only ever mentioned ICW the draft. He would be the age at the beginning that Reagan was at the end; he has dementia in addition to being dumb and a jerk. And I’m in NY so the electoral vote is a given. My decision is easy again. Oh, and every time I start to think otherwise, Trump’s opponents do something even worse and more repellent than what Trump does.

    I voted for third party candidates in 1976 and 1980. I concluded that nobody cared that I did and since then have voted for the candidate who is overall less repellent no matter how repellent both main candidates are. Yes, easy again. Not perfect but easy.

    Lazlo Toth (cbb623)

  86. Biden is better at using a chain to tame the CornPops of the world.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  87. “The Pharisees were always telling everyone how the were morally superior to everyone else because they were the only group who could properly interpret the law.”

    Now we call them Evangelicals, and they’re Trump supporters.

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  88. Because you live under the delusion you know every-damn-thing.

    Pro tip: you have a lot to learn.

    Should I just get rid of you, Ragspierre? You seem to be incapable of commenting without using this sort of tone. I don’t like it and I’m clearly not the only one.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  89. In the coming election we have several distinctions: one candidate is a terrible boor and a scoundrel, the other candidate is an unctuous scold and a scoundrel.

    The notion that anyone thinks these men morally equivalent is astounding to me.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  90. Patterico, it’s your dojo, as Mr. Miyagi might say. You might do me the favor of reading every comment I’ve made on this thread, because I think your impression may prove inaccurate. Always up to you.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  91. The notion that anyone thinks these men morally equivalent is astounding to me.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  92. The notion that anyone thinks these men morally equivalent is astounding to me.
    (oops)

    The notion that anyone thinks either of these men is virtuous is astounding to me. Trump’s sleaze is far more overt but Biden has been slimy his whole career. Ask Justice Thomas. He IS a far better liar, understands the system far better, and a world-class BSer. Trump is actually clueless about how to lie. I think that Biden cares more about what people think, and maybe that’s a point in his favor (he can be deterred).

    But anyone who wants to use the power of the state to take 2/3rds of someone’s income (as Biden would do to some), or force them to change their lifestyle dramatically (as his new green buddies would demand) is a noxious scoundrel who knows few bounds. There are different ways to be morally objectionable.

    Of course “equivalent” is hard to prove.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  93. George H.W. Bush, during the 1992 campaign, on character:

    Just this morning the Los Angeles Times, there’s an article suggesting that Governor Clinton is already preparing yet another economic program, with billions of dollars more in new spending. But his advisors won’t spell it out until after the election.
    Now, you might say, why is this important? Because there’s a clear pattern to Governor Clinton’s past, a patter of deception. Character does matter. A pattern of deception is not right for the Oval Office. You cannot be the leader of the world, you cannot be leader of this country if you have a pattern of deception.
    You know, last night Governor Clinton said he was not interested in my character. He said, I quote, “I want to change the character of the Presidency.” Well, let me tell you something. You cannot separate the character of the President from the character of the Presidency. They go together. You cannot be one kind of man and another kind of President. It is that simple.

    Emphases mine. Bush’s words 28 years ago were prophetic when it came to Clinton, and same goes triple for Trump.

    Paul Montagu (466a99)

  94. As for “The Senate will stop all this leftist stuff” which I keep hearing, the first thing the new Democrat Senate will do is get rid of the last vestiges of the Old Republic filibuster. Then they’ll pass everything on the wish like they did Obamacare.

    Trump is incompetent and does damage, but it’s not focused damage; theirs will be,

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  95. I think our last virtuous and morally incorruptible president was Carter. No thanks.

    beer ‘n pretzels (c380ad)

  96. George H.W. Bush, during the 1992 campaign, on character

    And he lost. See my #26

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  97. @Patterico…

    Pragmatic Trump Voter, that’s me. Or, another way to state my support is that I’m a Transactional Trump Voter.

    Does a voter bear responsibility for everything his candidate does?
    NO.

    If you think it would have been unfair for me to blame y’all for Trump’s stupid tweets or his corruption — and I do — then it’s equally unfair for you to tell me, when Biden does something awful.
    Sure, if you feel the need to assign blame.

    Frankly, the time to assign blame is during the primary. Blame the primary voters… blame the GOP establishment that allowed the environment that allowed Trump to take the nomination… blame the liberal media giving Trump oxygen during the primary in their giddy belief that Trump would be Hillary’s easiest opponent to the detriment of much better GOP candidates… hell, blame Joe Scarborough for allowing primary Trump to use his show near daily.

    Afterwards, its a binary choice between the GOP candidate vs. the Democratic candidate.

    For me, I consider which of the two would advance my preferred agendas…and it ain’t going to be Joe Biden, nor any of the other Democratic politicians.

    I can separate the man from his policies.

    Just as I can separate the man, Roger Waters… a raging anti-semite… from his musical talents. And I bloody lurve his musics.

    Vote however you must. You don’t need to justify yourself to us. Just as you shouldn’t seek justification from Trump voters (even the Trumper Humpers).

    However, I’ll add this, we all should strive to call balls an strikes in good faith. Neither Trump, nor any other politician in existence… is perfect. There *will* be bumps in the road…which should only be laid squarely on that politician’s foot… not the voters.

    Please, continue calling out any misdeeds from Trump or other politicians. Every. Single. President. Has. Those. Moments.

    But, when it’s time to vote for a President… the voter is facing two agendas:
    -A Democratic agenda
    -A Republican agenda

    That’s it.

    If it’s a choice between a raging narcissist ex-Democrat asshole, who generally opposes Democrats out of spite versus a bumbling ex-VP asshole, who will acquiescence to every liberal/lefty demand that would be far leftward than that of the Obama administration.

    I know whom I’m voting for with my eyes wide open.

    It won’t be Biden.

    whembly (c30c83)

  98. Live Coverage-Los Angeles: From downtown L.A. to the Westside, police cars go up in flames during protests over killing of George Floyd

    Protests over the death of George Floyd drew thousands of people Saturday to the Fairfax District, where a police car went up in flames at one intersection.
    …….
    A news photographer captured flames emerging from the SUV’s roof, windows and doors as people can be heard screaming in the background.

    The city of L.A. issued a curfew in downtown (since updated to the entire city) to start 8 p.m. Saturday and end 5:30 a.m. Sunday. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the curfew while trying to empathize with protesters, calling for an end to violence against black Americans at the hands of police while condemning some of the destruction that’s emerged.
    …….
    During the evening, some people looted businesses downtown and several police vehicles were left vandalized, authorities said. More than 500 people were arrested.
    …….
    Live coverage at the link showing looters in the Fairfax district and Beverly Hills. Police are firing flash bang and rubber projectiles.

    Rip Murdock (90b76a)

  99. Live coverage of the destruction of major cities, between this and the lockdowns therll be nothing left

    Narciso (7404b5)

  100. Stalin and mao were both atheists. I’m. Sure they thought that their moral codes were very well thought out and attempted to adhere to them with great rigor.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  101. The Left… Great God, y’all… what is it good for?

    Good for burning down cities, ruining lives, livelihoods and fomenting violence and racial division.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  102. Garcetti… talk about clueless…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  103. @92 I’m not a tax expert or anything, but I so know that isn’t how progressive tax rates work. I assume you do too?

    Nic (896fdf)

  104. Demolition man wasnt supposed to be documentary.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  105. In new york california certainly michigan the authorities are against the law abiding and tacitly for the disruptors

    Narciso (7404b5)

  106. This stopped being about floyd three days ago.

    Narciso (7404b5)

  107. When they are throwing molotov cocktails against police cars its no longer about floyd

    Narciso (7404b5)

  108. Probably the killing of a dhs officer in oakland crossed that line

    Narciso (7404b5)

  109. When an orange baboon who should have been left with his pack in the Serengeti 74 years ago says “when the shooting starts, the looting starts”, some people take him at his word.

    nk (1d9030)

  110. The other way around, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. You’ll have to forgive me, I don’t speak baboon.

    nk (1d9030)

  111. To return to the original question of the well-written essay that began this thread –

    It makes no sense to assign the individual voter responsibility for everything the candidate of his or her choice does. Many of the challenges that face an elected official (at any level) during his or her term of office cannot be reasonably forseen. I doubt that the question, “What would you do if you were faced with a nationwide pandemic that caused record unemployment and had a series of urban riots at the same time?” was ever asked to either Ms. Clinton or Mr. Trump.

    The individual voter does bear some responsibility for the tenor of the government that is elected. How will this person govern? Who will this person ask to assist him or her? What manner of relationships will we have with our neighboring communities, states, and international partners and opponents? There is certainly enough information available to make an informed choice in the matter and it’s not overwhelminlly difficult to decide on a candidate in the case where that person supports policies you disagree with as well as policies that you embrace.

    In my case, and I believe this is shared by several other participants here, no small part of the decision is based on an evaluation of the candidate’s character, flaws included.

    We are at in inflection point, and while the desire to return to the comfortable world that many of us remember is strong, we need to recognize that it wasn’t comfortable for millions of our fellow citizens. The times call for significant structural changes in many areas, and the idea that one size fits all (aka major federal government programs) has had its day. We each bear the responsibility of voting for candidates who we believe can bring forth the imagination and effort required for the next decade.

    It’s easy to point out that we are going to be given the choice of two imperfect men when we go to choose the next president. The choice we make as individuals makes each of us responsible to some degree for what comes next.

    John B Boddie (f44786)

  112. “This stopped being about floyd three days ago.”

    You didn’t care about him 3 days ago.

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  113. In the future lets not flatline the entire country while sentencing old people to a slow and painful death on purpose.

    Yes i meant you squid

    Narciso (7404b5)

  114. I had the same choice in 2016 dump or hellbot. Do I vote for hitler or stalin. I chose to honorable vote for a third party candidate. On election night maddcow told me I didn’t care who won. I cared more then the maddcow cared who won. If trump was so evil democrats should have put up a champion not a grifter and pervert enabler.

    asset (fe9a53)

  115. Please their other alternative was a superannuated trotskyite who honey mooned in the soviet union. Thats who the disruptirs are

    Narciso (7404b5)

  116. “In the future lets not flatline the entire country while sentencing old people to a slow and painful death on purpose.”

    This would have required Trump to not be a self-serving narcissist.

    “Yes i meant you squid”

    No clue what you’re talking about.

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  117. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

    Trump’s policies are popular because they’re actually good for the people who voted for him, his Tweets are greater entertainment than any daily television show, and you hate him because you were personally, socially, and politically profiting from very bad policies, a very narrow and attenuated moral stance, and a very cowardly and non-confrontational political and personal style based of of fear of monetary loss rather than any desire to protect concrete people, places, or things.

    And now you’re aligning yourself with the party whose own voters AND their trained paramilitaries are currently burning down all of their cities at once, and have the audacity to pronounce moral judgments on the people who took one look at that and immediately started smashing the like button on Team Boor!

    Let it never be said that losers don’t have a sense of timing! And let it never be said that someone who loses this hard doesn’t deserve every single bit of mental, physical, and spiritual angst that his continual refusal to repent of his prideful and destructive ways brings!

    Pharisee Law (76605a)

  118. Good points, but you should have edited out the profanity. It makes you seem as if you’ve lost your temper. Also, wishing people go to hell is unworthy of you.

    Golden Eagle (8e3954)

  119. As far as I can tell, the only actually immoral thing Biden has ever done is plagiarize part of speech 33 yrs ago. While I realize that this is the worst thing a politician can ever do in their entire career, it was 33 yrs ago.

    (as far as the accuracy or inaccuracy of Biden’s story telling, here’s a new meme for y’all to no doubt misunderstand terribly: Some of you have never had a garrulous Irish uncle spend 3 hours straight telling stories at your family dinners, and it shows.)

    Nic (896fdf)

  120. The worst thing biden has done is sell out the american worker to china and vote for the iraq war. Next whoring for the student debt industry and credit card vultures.

    asset (fe9a53)

  121. These rioting leftist scum are your biden brothers. Burn this mf country to the ground. vote with Joe.

    mg (8cbc69)

  122. I wish some of these looting rioters would set foot on my lawn.

    mg (8cbc69)

  123. @120 Warren supporter?

    Do you feel that way about everyone who vote to let the president send us to the war in Iraq? Generally speaking, I personally don’t think being wrong is necessarily immoral. A heck of a lot of American people believed Bush (or more likely Powell) on Iraq.

    Various kinds of companies pick and choose what state they work out of because the specific state laws are friendly to them. Delaware has very friendly credit laws for Credit card companies and the banking industry. This means that banks and credit card companies were among Biden’s constituents. It’s a politician’s job to do things that help out their constituents. Is it any more immoral to help your constituents who are banks than it is to help your constituents who are agribusiness or the auto industry or gun manufacturers or mega churches or any other corporate or corporate adjacent entity? Is it immoral at all? If you are a defense attorney and you defend a rapist or murderer, is that immoral? Is having loose bankruptcy laws a question of morality at all?

    Every free trade supporter in the country supported opening up trade with China (It was not my favorite thing Clinton ever did. I understand why he did it, but “I wanted a legacy” isn’t good policy.)

    Nic (896fdf)

  124. @122 Vote for Trump, be a neonazi member of the KKK like an unfortunate number of the people who rioted in Charlotte? (I’m pretty sure that isn’t how that works, but you do you.)

    It sounds like your plan would be to shoot any looter or protestor or whatever who stepped on your lawn. That kind of bravado isn’t bravery. People who are dying to shoot people with their guns shouldn’t own one. A gun is a tool that should be respected and the aftermath of shooting another human being should be more than respected. Shooting someone is serious business and you best be damn sure the situation you are in worth taking the life of another person. The real world isn’t a movie and your gun isn’t a toy.

    Nic (896fdf)

  125. Trump better cordon these mindless oafs before they reach rural Americans that have CAN DO ATTITUDE.

    mg (8cbc69)

  126. Just don’t forget your safe word, mg.

    nk (1d9030)

  127. There’s a lot here in the blog and the comments. Here’s my two cents:

    1. It’s curious the opinion that electing Biden will bring on socialism and the death of more of our “fundamental liberties”. First, our system doesn’t work that way….unless the Democrats sweep the Senate too. Second even if that happens, we saw in 2010 what results when there is one-Party major social change….significant blowback. It simply doesn’t last without broad consensus. Third, what are these massive (or even frighteningly incremental) liberties that we will lose? This always strikes me as rank hyperbole. Sure, the 2A is always a favorite target but push come to shove none of this goes very far….especially for the average person who might have one gun for home security. What fundamental liberties did I lose during the reign of Obama? At some point this line of argument is just silly and over wrought.

    2. Trump has made the GOP increasingly paranoid and subject to conspiratorial thinking. Again, our current media dysfunction does not help this either (political advocacy and news reporting has been completely blurred). Too many on the Right simply say stupid irrational things these days…..and this is bad for a healthy democracy. Mix in the daily harm of losing trust in government institutions…..and executive orders that are pushing the bounds on executive power….this doesn’t end well….because it’s not anchored in coherent thought…..but some odd mix of narcissism and nationalism. Biden may be bad for policy…but he is bad in the conventional sense…..he and his advisors still acknowledge the rule of law and respect for norms…..my impression is that Trump’s team do not….and think they are inconveniences. This is fundamentally more concerning. I probably won’t vote for Biden because I don’t support his vision…..but there’s something to be said for normalcy….

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  128. #127 you are forgetting one thing. Systematic voter fraud. The idea that democrats have any respect for the rule of law is laughable. You are either very naive or foolish.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  129. #88 rags is violating your so called policies on a regular basis. You keep him around because he is a never Trumper.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  130. Occasional policy perks are not enough to offset Trump’s daily crazy ignorance, and what the public sees is likely just the tip of his crazy ignorance. He had his chance and blew it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  131. #128, where is the evidence of systematic voter fraud….that seems to elude even Republican prosecutors? We operate under a legal system that requires evidence….most of this is….men who spend way too much time on the internet…drowning in confirmation bias. I won’t argue that vote fraud never happens……and massive mail-in votes could be a problem….just that it is more exaggeration that makes the Right seem paranoid…..

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  132. I am Ragspierre. If you’re too lazy to type it, you can cut and paste. I’ll do you the same courtesy.

    FYI, I am not a “never Trumper”. I am a T-rump Objectivist, so I can give him props when he does anything good, while also dealing with the reality that he is a terrible, awful, really bad man-child and the worst POTUS in history.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  133. “#127 you are forgetting one thing. Systematic voter fraud. ”

    Reminder that the only significant voter fraud in the last election was perpetrated by republicans.

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  134. Pat, I think there are certain actions by a President that the voter is morally responsible for. Certainly not all actions are foreseeable….but with Trump for instance, he was clearly under-prepared on many levels….and so if this lack of experience….whether it be policy or political….leads to crises….or national embarassment….then this reasonably falls on the voter….who thought that having a bull in the china shop was a good thing. That’s one prime reason I cannot vote for Trump…because I think this is inevitable…..and I want no part in it…because I see eventually some advisor will not block an action that will have severe consequences. Trump really doesn’t care about being impeached….it’s more drama….it’s more media theater. He’s thrives on conflict and spin. And Fox and Talk Radio is willing to back him up. We need to get back to good people…or at least better people….

    AJ_Liberty (165d19)

  135. joe staffers donate bail money to free white supremacists in Mn.

    mg (8cbc69)

  136. 132. Okay, Raggy Karen.

    Gryph (08c844)

  137. “You didn’t care about him 3 days ago.”

    The idiocy of the riot enablers is a wonder to behold.
    __ _

    Soledad O’Brien
    @soledadobrien

    What do you have to lose, Black people?
    _

    G
    @TCC_Grouchy
    ·
    Let’s see… jobs, businesses, economic development opportunities. And the gain side: food deserts, self-induced poverty, and more standing in the background while people like Al Sharpton make money off of the discord.

    _

    harkin (9c4571)

  138. 136. Showing, again, you have no rational argument.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  139. Don’t contribute to it by blaming protest voters for Biden’s leftism. It’s not fair, unless you are taking ownership of Trump’s Twitter account — and what sane person would

    Apparently Pharisee Law @117 and mg@121 take ownership.

    Rip Murdock (90b76a)

  140. FWIW Pharisee Law is Steppe Nomad. He just can’t quit this website.

    DRJ (15874d)

  141. “The idiocy of the riot enablers is a wonder to behold.”

    You also didn’t care 3 days ago

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  142. 117. whose own voters AND their trained paramilitaries are currently burning down all of their cities at once,

    All the mayors agree it is a conspiracy, but no one has quite identified yet who they are. John Miller of the NYPD will give reporters later today what they know.

    Trump said it was Antifa and radical left groups.

    Of course they are not burning down their own neighborhoods. Of course they are not trying to correct whatever contributed to George Floyd’s death. So arguments saying that is stupid or counterproductive or stupid are quite besides the point.

    Sammy Finkelman (fd3539)

  143. “ Let it never be said that losers don’t have a sense of timing! ”

    Great post Pharisee, whoever you are. I don’t agree with it all but lots of good folks do.
    __ _

    And yes the timing is pretty choice:

    Vernon Jones
    @RepVernonJones
    ·
    I refuse to allow a bunch of ANTIFA affiliated thugs to come to my beloved city of Atlanta and burn it to the ground, under the guise of #BlackLivesMatter.

    They don’t give a damn about black lives. They only care about DESTRUCTION.
    __ _

    Vernon Jones
    @RepVernonJones
    ·
    I’m a Georgia State Representative and lifelong Democrat. But in this election, I’ll be casting my vote for @realdonaldtrump
    .
    I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Party left me.

    #MAGA #KAG #WalkAway
    __ _

    harkin (9c4571)

  144. 107. Narciso (7404b5) — 5/30/2020 @ 8:12 pm

    When they are throwing molotov cocktails against police cars its no longer about floyd

    I do;t think it ever was, because this is taken care of. There are a few things that you could argue need to be done – like not having the local DS investigate complaints against policemen, or making it easier to fire policemen – is not what this is about either.

    This is about getting rid of police, or, maybe better, creating police free zones, so that drug dealers can sell drugs without interference and their customers can rob and steal without getting interfered with and winding up in jail.

    Sammy Finkelman (fd3539)

  145. And he lost. See my #26

    I’m not disagreeing, just noting how a plurality picked an utter sleazebag once. The difference was the party from whence the utter sleazebag came.

    Paul Montagu (466a99)

  146. You also didn’t care 3 days ago

    You don’t care about the officer killed in Oakland.

    beer ‘n pretzels (d19622)

  147. “ All the mayors agree it is a conspiracy, but no one has quite identified yet who they are.”
    _

    The MN state AG gave everyone a hint a while back but for some reason he’s trying to bury it:

    Paul Sperry
    @paulsperry_

    May 28
    ·BREAKING: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has removed 2018 tweet w photo of himself holding up and endorsing the “Antifa Handbook,” a “book that strike [sic] fear in the heart of Trump.” Antifa’s been blamed for stoking Minneapolis riots,vandalism

    https://twitter.com/paulsperry_/status/1266236263708782592?s=20
    _

    harkin (9c4571)

  148. “ You also didn’t care 3 days ago”

    Gotta love mind reading as political discourse.

    Was that you at the elementary school fair dressed as a gypsy peering into a crystal ball?
    _

    harkin (9c4571)

  149. “You don’t care about the officer killed in Oakland.”

    I do, but you clearly don’t. You just see an opportunity to tar the protestors.

    The Oakland police tweeted Friday night that they did not believe the shooting was related to the violence that would later break out on the nearby streets during a demonstration sparked by the police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

    https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2020/05/30/george-floyd-officers-gunned-down-at-oakland-federal-building-one-dead-one-wounded/

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  150. #88 rags is violating your so called policies on a regular basis. You keep him around because he is a never Trumper.

    Trump violates every so-called conservative principle on a regular basis. Yet the Always Trumpers, claiming to be the true conservatives, love him unconditionally because he “makes the right people mad.”

    Radegunda (89f220)

  151. “Gotta love mind reading as political discourse.”

    Doesn’t take a mind reader, all anyone needs to do is read your posts.

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  152. Burn this mf country to the ground. vote with Joe.

    I remember when fervent Trumpsters were saying “Blow the whole thing up!” and “Burn the place to the ground!”
    They’ll say they only meant blow up the corrupt DC establishment. But they were clearly moved by a spirit of destructive rage.

    Radegunda (89f220)

  153. you are forgetting one thing. Systematic voter fraud.

    Except there’s no evidence of “systemic”. Twitter was right.

    Paul Montagu (466a99)

  154. I do, but you clearly don’t. You just see an opportunity to tar the protestors.

    Well, clearly you don’t see an opportunity. That’s why you didn’t cherry pick.

    “The Oakland police tweeted Friday night that they did not believe the shooting was related to the violence that would later break out on the nearby streets during a demonstration sparked by the police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

    In an email to KPIX 5 early Saturday, Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson could not confirmed the tweet – “Still under investigation, unknown if related.”

    At a news conference in Washington, DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf called the slaying of the officer an assassination.

    “As of late we have witnessed an outright assault on our law enforcement community,” Wolf said. “Last night in Oakland, California, an assassin cowardly shot two Federal Protective Service contractors as they stood watch over a protest. One officer was killed, the other is in critical condition…Let me express my deepest condolences to the family members of these two FPS contractors.” “

    https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2020/05/30/george-floyd-officers-gunned-down-at-oakland-federal-building-one-dead-one-wounded/

    Are you always this dishonest, Davethulhu?

    beer ‘n pretzels (97c894)

  155. “ Doesn’t take a mind reader, all anyone needs to do is read your posts.”

    Feel free to copy and paste the best example of my posts that says or implies that I did not care about the murder of George Floyd three days ago.
    _

    Psssst – you can’t.

    Mind reading is not your strong suit, stick with mindless blather/unfounded accusations (example already posted).
    _

    harkin (9c4571)

  156. “Are you always this dishonest, Davethulhu?”

    Did your read your own link?

    “This is a moment of pain for our state and nation,” he said. “We are also mourning the tragic loss of a federal security officer and wounding of another in Oakland. Jennifer and I send our sincere condolences to their families, friends and colleagues. No one should rush to conflate this heinous act with the protests last night. A federal investigation is underway, and we should let that process play out.”

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  157. “ I remember when fervent Trumpsters were saying “Blow the whole thing up!” and “Burn the place to the ground!”
    They’ll say they only meant blow up the corrupt DC establishment.”

    Of course they will because it’s overwhelmingly true that what they meant was systemic corruption in government (best exemplified by the DC swamp).

    Those burning down their own neighborhoods and shouting that this thing we call the USA is a ‘failure’ are all on the Left.
    _

    harkin (9c4571)

  158. These riots, called “Protests” by the absurd deceitful media, is just another example of how completely corrupt and untrustworthy the Dispatch Gang and Bulwark Boys are. Given their constant yammering about “Character” and “The rule of law” when Trump is involved, you would expect them to be in the forefront in condemning Antifa and the lawless elements that are using the death of ONE PERSON in Minnnapolis, as an excuse to burn, loot, and destory.

    Instead, these Never-trumper clowns use the riots to attack Trump, preen about how “anti-racist” they are, and discuss getting rid of police immunity. Proving once again, they have ZERO desire to fight the left – even when the Left is burning down innocent private businesses (many of whom are owned by the Sainted IMMIGRANTS).

    Do Goldberg,Kristol, and french have ONE true conservative bone in their body? was the conservative act before Trump, a COMPLETE con-job? it would seem so. But then maybe the dispatch gang and bulwalk boys just give their boss what he wants.

    rcocean (846d30)

  159. “Feel free to copy and paste the best example of my posts that says or implies that I did not care about the murder of George Floyd three days ago.”

    Feel free to copy and past the best example of your posts that says or implies that you do care about the murder of George Floyd.

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  160. All I know is that regardless of who wins in November, I’ll still get to display that same bumper sticker: Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Vote.

    And I’ll still get the same reaction from the same people, that I should be ashamed of myself for not doing my civic duty by voting and that they hope I’m happy for my smug moral superiority that lets me sleep better at night by telling myself it’s not my fault the other guy won when it is indeed my fault for not taking a moral stance and voting for the other other guy. To that I say, voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil, that my one non-vote had the exact same effect on the election as your one vote had, and – most importantly – voting in a democratic election carries with it an agreement to abide by the decision of the majority. No, thank you, when regardless of who I vote for they’re going to make government bigger and more expensive and more intrusive, I do not agree to abide by the decision of the majority and I reject the idea that this sort of tyranny of the majority is a moral good.

    So, sure, go ahead and vote to salve your conscience that you didn’t vote for the greater evil, but you still participated in the process that you agreed to abide by that led to his election.

    And, Dana @9, I am sorry that it has taken this long for the scales to fall from your eyes. If there is one thing Trump is good at besides conning people into believing anything he says, it’s the opposite of that, being able to expose the cons and the lies of his enemies. For all that the GOP has talked up their principled opposition to big government, they’ve never meant a word of it. For all that they told you to hold your nose and vote for “Maverick ” McCain – the one guy you could always count on to support Democrats and attack Republicans in a “bipartisan” manner – and told you to hold your nose and vote for Romney – the father of Romneycare and the one Republican in the whole country who couldn’t possibly attack Obamacare, THE singular issue of the GOP – did you really not think you’d be told to hold your nose and vote for Trump as well? When the best they can offer is “at least we’re not as bad as the other guy”, you know that they know all they have to offer is to be the lesser of two evils and if you’ll settle for the lesser of two evils that’s all you’re ever going to get.

    Jerryskids (702a61)

  161. Did your read your own link?

    No, that was your link. The one you cherry picked.

    You don’t identify who that quote is from. Gavin Newsom cares as much about that dead officer as you do.

    beer ‘n pretzels (a30163)

  162. “Mind reading is not your strong suit, stick with mindless blather/unfounded accusations (example already posted).”

    You should probably stick to your gimmick of copying other people’s tweets instead of doing your own thinking.

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  163. “ These riots, called “Protests” by the absurd deceitful media,”

    It was instructive that CNN started using the word ‘riot’ a lot more once their HQ started getting assaulted.
    _

    I also like the MSNBC guy in the midst calling it a ‘merry gathering’ right before a bottle whizzed by.
    _

    harkin (9c4571)

  164. “No, that was your link. The one you cherry picked.”

    Ok, so if I’m cherry picking, perhaps you have evidence that he was killed by protesters?

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  165. BTW, one additional absurd thing about these riots against RACISM, is they occur in Blue Cities that haven’t had a Republican or even a moderate Democrat Mayor in 20,30,50 years. In fact, you get the feeling these Democrat Mayors and Governers are actually enjoying the “protests” and the looting, death, and destruction, since it gives them a chance to yammer about “Racism” and how “Nobody is more against it, then I am”.

    We then get equally ridiculous Op-ed’s from various blacks and establishment Whites about how “we” have failed black America. Oh, who’s this “We” kimmo sabe? Republicans and Trump voters haven’t been running these big cities and blue states for 20 years. If there’s “racism” and “Police brutality” in LA, SF, NY, Minneapolis, Baltimore, or Atlanta, don’t look at us. Look in your liberal democrat mirror.

    rcocean (846d30)

  166. “ You should probably stick to your gimmick of copying other people’s tweets instead of doing your own thinking.”

    ‘Doing my own thinking’…You mean like all my responses to your mind-reading?

    Nice deflection but once again, you can’t.

    Best go polish your crystal.

    harkin (9c4571)

  167. Let’s all turn down the temperature a few degrees, please.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  168. If you can’t, I’ll close the thread and I will explicitly name the people who caused me to shut the discussion down.

    You don’t want to be that person.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  169. “Nice deflection but once again, you can’t.”

    Feel free to copy and past the best example of your posts that says or implies that you do care about the murder of George Floyd.

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  170. Ok, so if I’m cherry picking, perhaps you have evidence that he was killed by protesters?

    I don’t have evidence he was killed by protesters. I have evidence that you quoted an unsupported tweet to claim the killing was already known to be unrelated.

    I’ll wait for the facts, just as in the Floyd case. You’re free to cling to “hands up, don’t shoot” narratives.

    beer ‘n pretzels (f9bfed)

  171. “I’ll wait for the facts, just as in the Floyd case.”

    Why did you bring it up if you’re waiting for the facts?

    Why not mention literally any other murder.

    “You’re free to cling to “hands up, don’t shoot” narratives.”

    Are you actually uncertain whether or not Floyd was killed by the police?

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  172. @119

    As far as I can tell, the only actually immoral thing Biden has ever done is plagiarize part of speech 33 yrs ago. While I realize that this is the worst thing a politician can ever do in their entire career, it was 33 yrs ago.

    (as far as the accuracy or inaccuracy of Biden’s story telling, here’s a new meme for y’all to no doubt misunderstand terribly: Some of you have never had a garrulous Irish uncle spend 3 hours straight telling stories at your family dinners, and it shows.)

    Nic (896fdf) — 5/31/2020 @ 12:54 am

    On multiple occasions Biden claimed that the trucker in the accident where his wife was killed was drunk and driving erratically. That was a bald-faced lie in an effort to foster a sympathetic image.

    He’s a massive jerkwad.

    whembly (c30c83)

  173. @142-
    All the mayors agree it is a conspiracy…….
    Proof? Please provide quotes from all the mayors (I doubt you can) and name the conspirators.

    Rip Murdock (90b76a)

  174. Why not mention literally any other murder.

    “The officers were keeping watch over the protest…”

    But, you’re right Davethulhu, I could’ve brought up any murder. Like, for example, I could’ve brought up those officers killed in Dallas in 2016 while watching over a BLM protest — which we know had nothing to do with the protest. Totally unrelated. Just a tragic coincidence. Something random like that.

    beer ‘n pretzels (d19622)

  175. “But, you’re right Davethulhu, I could’ve brought up any murder. Like, for example, I could’ve brought up those officers killed in Dallas in 2016 while watching over a BLM protest — which we know had nothing to do with the protest. Totally unrelated. Just a tragic coincidence. Something random like that.’

    It seems to me that you’ve stopped waiting for the facts in this case.

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  176. @117-
    Trump’s policies are popular because they’re actually good for the people who voted for him ……
    I agree they’re popular with his base, but certainly not with the rest of the country. It explains why his disapproval is at 53%.

    Rip Murdock (90b76a)

  177. It seems to me that you’ve stopped waiting for the facts in this case.

    You’re mockery detection meter is giving out false negatives. Better get that calibrated.

    beer ‘n pretzels (0b864e)

  178. *Your

    beer ‘n pretzels (0b864e)

  179. Desperate retailers to ask Fed, Treasury for emergency help amid worries that economic turmoil could worsen
    ……As they reopen stores full of merchandise from March that no one will want in June, retailers are struggling to make room for summer goods trapped in overstuffed warehouses.

    With five big retailers having filed for bankruptcy in May, some of the industry’s survivors can’t get financial backing for their holiday season orders — prompting an urgent appeal to the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve for help.
    …….
    Weakness in the roughly $3.8 trillion retail sector could ripple across the wounded U.S. economy, hobbling prospects for a rapid recovery from the unprecedented economic shutdown put in place to combat the pandemic, economists said.

    Without a Treasury or Fed guarantee of its routine financing, the retail industry could suffer “a commercial credit crisis that threatens to seize up our economy and stall the safe restart in its infancy,” the American Apparel and Footwear Association will warn Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell in a letter early this week. The trade group represents more than 1,000 name-brand companies, including manufacturers and retailers.
    …….
    Another industry asking for a bailout. Let them go bankrupt-it’s the Trump way. Just say no!

    Rip Murdock (90b76a)

  180. Another industry asking for a bailout. Let them go bankrupt-it’s the Trump way. Just say no!

    Unlike state governments, retailers weren’t already going bankrupt before CV.

    But, nice conflation.

    beer ‘n pretzels (efe0ef)

  181. 142. SF: All the mayors agree it is a conspiracy…….

    Rip Murdock (90b76a) — 5/31/2020 @ 10:46 am

    Proof? Please provide quotes from all the mayors (I doubt you can) and name the conspirators.

    De Blasio spoke of having spoken with other mayors, and on one of the interview shows one of the mayors spoke of having talked with other mayors so such a conference call took place on Saturday.

    https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/bill-de-blasio-speech-transcript-during-nyc-protests-may-30
    Mayor Bill de Blasio: (06:20)
    I’ve been in touch with fellow mayors today, and people are seeing folks come from outside their cities, to foment these protests. We’re seeing people certainly coming from outside the neighborhoods that are raising the concerns peacefully, and trying to create a violent, negative situation, with police. We can see it with our own eyes.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio: (06:20)
    I’ve been in touch with fellow mayors today, and people are seeing folks come from outside their cities, to foment these protests. We’re seeing people certainly coming from outside the neighborhoods that are raising the concerns peacefully, and trying to create a violent, negative situation, with police. We can see it with our own eyes.

    Sammy Finkelman (fd3539)

  182. They all say it was done by outsiders, not locals, and planned = a conspiracy.

    Who they were, or who the ringleaders were, I don’t think they know yet. It’s being investigated. But it was not spontaneous.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/transcript-atlanta-mayor-keisha-lance-bottoms-on-face-the-nation-may-31-2020

    MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about something your police chief said at a press conference yesterday about some of the more violent actors that we saw on Friday. She said they were part of a highly calculated terrorist organization. Who are the groups that you think are behind this?

    BOTTOMS: You know, I can’t say who they are,,,,. It looked differently racially in our city than our normal protests looked. And it was- it was just- it was a different group. So we don’t know who they were, but many of them were not locally based. I’ll say that.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: But when the Justice Department when the attorney general spoke, he said something about radical left. Do you have any indication of organized groups who are plotting in your city?

    BOTTOMS: No, I don’t. I don’t.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/transcript-st-paul-mayor-melvin-carter-on-face-the-nation-may-31-2020

    MARGARET BRENNAN: Mr. Mayor at the White House says that Antifa, a far left extremist group, has been infiltrating American cities. Is that who is instigating the violence that you’re seeing?

    CARTER: …. There also seem to be people in those crowds who are very intent on sparking violence, on breaking windows, on starting fires and on trying to convince those folks to- to engage in unlawful behavior. We’re hearing very clearly from many of our historic advocates, the folks who were on the front lines after Philando Castile was killed. The folks who’ve been on the front lines of the Black Lives movement, not only do they not know the folks who are right there inciting violence, but they’re seeing people jump out of those crowds to break a window and then go run back right back in and behind those crowds. It’s very concerning for me.

    MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you have any idea who those instigators are?

    CARTER: We’re working to get to the bottom of that right now. Our law enforcement partners, our police department and I know our state law enforcement partners are working very hard to get to the bottom of exactly who that is and what exact agenda is behind that….

    https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-may-31-2020-n1220191

    CHUCK TODD:

    — We’re trying to understand who are the people responsible for this violence. Yourself, the governor, Minnesota has indicated that there is some domestic terrorist out there, perhaps some white supremacists. Bill Barr, the attorney general, characterized the outside instigators this way. Let me play that bite for you and get you to respond. Take a listen.

    [BEGIN TAPE]

    AG WILLIAM BARR:

    Many places it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchic and left-extremist groups, far-left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from outside the state to promote the violence.

    [END TAPE]

    CHUCK TODD:

    Now it’s our understanding, Mr. attorney general, that according to the Justice Department they got that intelligence from state and local authorities. What do you know about who’s behind this?

    KEITH ELLISON:

    Well, here’s what I know, there’s been a lot of videotape taken by demonstrators of people who are very suspicious, who really did start breaking windows, particularly at the AutoZone. And there have been other, you know, photographs and cars with no license plates. Very suspicious behavior. But the real point is we do need to investigate it because the truth is nobody really knows. I’ve talked to people who are demonstrating, some of them say they think some of those folks are from Minnesota. And they also say some people have come from out of town….

    MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS:

    CHUCK TODD:

    Mayor Lance Bottoms, do you believe there were outside forces at work? We heard from the attorney general, he seemed to think that there was some Antifa-like — and he said very radical left groups. We heard in Minnesota, the governor thought there was some very radical far-right groups also involved. Have you seen any evidence of any of these outside instigators?

    What I know in Atlanta is that this protest, even just from a physical standpoint, didn’t look like our normal protests. We, obviously, have a large African American population in Atlanta. This crowd was a very diverse crowd. And that was noticeable on Friday even before the problems began. We also noticed that many of the protesters even got lost when there was a detour. And many of our organizers in this city, who often don’t agree with me, have shared that these were people from the outside. They did not know them. And had no idea where they came from.

    Sammy Finkelman (fd3539)

  183. Biden leads Trump in Post-ABC poll as president’s coronavirus rating slips
    Americans give President Trump negative ratings for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and as the crisis has persisted his prospects for reelection in November have eroded, with former vice president Joe Biden now holding a clear lead nationally, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
    ………
    Biden leads Trump 53 percent to 43 percent among registered voters nationally. That 10 percentage-point margin compares with what was a virtual dead heat between the two candidates two months ago, when Biden was at 49 percent and Trump 47 percent. Among all adults, Biden’s margin widens to 13 points (53 percent to 40 percent).
    ……..
    Among Trump supporters, 84 percent of adults say they would definitely vote for him in November, compared with 68 percent of Biden supporters. Among Trump backers, 87 percent say they are enthusiastic about supporting him and 64 percent are “very enthusiastic.” Among Biden supporters, 74 percent say they are enthusiastic about backing him, with 31 percent saying they are “very enthusiastic.”

    When a Biden-Trump contest is filtered only through those who currently say they are certain to vote, the former vice president’s margin is cut in half (51-46 percent). ……
    ……..
    On the question of making voting by mail easier, ……overall, 65 percent of adults express support.
    ………
    …….. Biden is seen favorably by 46 percent compared with 48 percent who say they have an unfavorable view of him. For Trump, 42 percent say they have a favorable view compared with 55 percent who see him unfavorably.
    …….
    …… It is on a range of personal attributes that Biden’s standing solidifies. Nearly half (48 percent) see Biden as honest and trustworthy, compared with 35 percent for Trump. On the question of empathy, Biden is viewed slightly negatively overall, with 45 percent saying he “understands the problems of people like you” and 49 percent saying he does not. Yet Trump fares worse at 38 percent saying he does and 61 saying he does not.

    Biden also rates higher than Trump on whether he has the personality and temperament to be president. ……..

    …….. In the Post-ABC survey, Biden has the edge among older registered voters by 10 points, 54 percent to 44 percent.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (90b76a)

  184. @92 I’m not a tax expert or anything, but I so know that isn’t how progressive tax rates work. I assume you do too?

    Taking X on the margin is still taking X. Asymptotically it IS taking X.

    So far Biden has said he would raise the top marginal rate to 40% and impose a 12.8% FICA tax above 400K. There we are at 53%. If you live in California, you add a — non-deductible — 13% for state income tax and you have 64.5% of every dollar over a million. This, BTW, includes capital gains which would be regular income in Biden’s scheme, and would devastate the incentives for innovation by doubling the taxes on stock gains and some stock options.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  185. ….. retailers weren’t already going bankrupt before CV.
    They were certainly on the brink, but I am philosophically opposed to corporate bailouts.

    Rip Murdock (90b76a)

  186. And I’ll bet you the $500K home-sale exclusion disappears too.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  187. Officials blame outsiders for violence in Minnesota but contradict one another on who is responsible
    As unrest continued in Minneapolis on Saturday following the death of George Floyd during his detention by city police, leaders at the federal, state and local levels said large numbers of outsiders had seized upon protests begun by Minnesotans to advance their own political agendas.

    But the officials offered little evidence to show who was responsible and contradicted one another on who was to blame.
    They variously assigned responsibility for the escalating violence to far-right nationalists, left-wing radicals, drug cartels and possibly foreign agents in statements, news conferences and presidential tweets.
    …….
    By claiming “outside agitators” and “conspiracies” mayors and governors are avoiding their ow responsibilities for the breakdown in social order.

    Rip Murdock (90b76a)

  188. @186-
    You support “big” government bailouts of the private sector? Wow.

    In answer to your question, yes.

    Rip Murdock (90b76a)

  189. Black clad terrorists smash car’s windows, slash tires, drag occupants out.

    https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1267160179923136518

    Davethulhu (55869f)

  190. You support “big” government bailouts of the private sector? Wow.

    Now do CalPERS.

    beer ‘n pretzels (63146f)

  191. Wisconsin election officials agree to send voters ballot applications
    The Wisconsin Elections Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to move forward with a plan to send ballot-request applications to most voters for the general election, which would clear one hurdle for those preferring to vote by mail rather than in person during the coronavirus crisis.

    The six election officials, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, still must agree on the wording of the letter that will accompany the applications, but they concurred that the 2.7 million voters in the state who have not already requested a ballot should be automatically sent the form necessary to request one. Upon filling it out and sending it back, the voter would then receive a ballot to vote in the November election.
    …….

    Rip Murdock (90b76a)

  192. You could day that maybe the protest organizers are lying to the mayors ad they are local and they do know who they are, but that would still be a conspiracy.

    It could be that some of people previously involved in protests co-ordinated with them and are trying to disclaim responsibility, but that’s all.

    More:

    https://spectrumnews1.com/ky/lexington/news/2020/05/30/national-guard-activated-in-louisville

    Governor Beshear said, “The demonstrations in Louisville have all started peacefully, but what we have seen, especially last night, and what our intelligence says is going to happen are outside groups moving in, trying to create violence to harm everybody who is on those streets. We cannot let Breonna’s legacy be marred by violence, and we can’t let our streets turn violent.

    Overall, it sounds like there’s some kind of FBI investigation going on, and the FBI has waited too long to wrap it up.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/week-transcript-31-20-house-speaker-nancy-pelosi/story?id=70979225

    O’BRIEN: Well — well, listen, everything I’ve seen in — and that we’re being reported were — the reports we’re receiving is that this is Antifa. They’re crossing state lines.

    And we’ve seen this happen before. We saw it in Portland. We saw it in Seattle. We saw it in Berkley.

    Crossing state lines = predicate for federal jurisdiction.

    We’ve seen it happen before = There’s an ongoing federal investigation.

    Stephanapolous also said that the Department of Homeland Security, “has put out intelligence notes over the weekend warning that domestic terrorists from the far right and the far left both are looking to exploit this.”

    Both the far left and the far right? Russia?! Well, maybe because of messages on Telegram.

    Sammy Finkelman (fd3539)

  193. beer ‘n pretzels and Davethulhu:

    I am closing the thread. Congratulations.

    Patterico (115b1f)


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