Patterico's Pontifications

3/3/2021

Becerra a Divisive and Radical Pick for HHS

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Mean Tweeter Neera Tanden has withdrawn her nomination for OMB, while Xavier Becerra seems to be poised for confirmation at HHS — despite the fact that his radical record makes him far more divisive and worrying a pick than Tanden (a Bernie critic) would have been in her spot.

For one thing, if you can watch this clip without becoming infuriated at Becerra’s smug evasions, you’re a better man than I. (If you’re a woman, you’re certainly a better woman than I, but that has little to do with this clip.)

Mikekoshi aka nofanofcablecos wrote a piece recently about the Little Sisters of the Poor case and I have been meaning to take it apart but have not had the time. Long story short: even CNN’s expert admits the case was really about the rights asserted by the Little Sisters of the Poor:

“California did not name the Little Sisters in the original document; in that respect, they only ‘sued’ the federal government,” Adam White, a resident scholar at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute told CNN. “But the entire point of their lawsuit was to revoke the rights that the government had granted to the Little Sisters and other groups, which California admitted by arguing that the Little Sisters’ rights were precisely the thing that the US government was defending in this case.”

David French wrote much more about Becerra in December here. In addition to the Little Sisters of the Poor case, he notes that “Becerra zealously defended a California law that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for free and low-cost abortions,” “defied the [then] current HHS Office of Civil Rights to attempt to force churches to provide abortion coverage,” and also “selectively and aggressively prosecuted an undercover pro-life activist” who had investigated Planned Parenthood.

But hey, at least he didn’t write any mean tweets we know of!

Becerra is not an example of bipartisanship. About the best you can say about his incipient confirmation is that California will rid itself of him and get a new Attorney General. Of course, this being California, it could end up being worse. (Patterico’s Law: it can always get worse.) (I’m sure someone else laid claim to that law before but I’m too lazy to look it up and I’m an inveterate thief of such things anyway, having stolen “Dog Trainer” from Harry Shearer and “always trust content from” from Mickey Kaus.)

I expect I’ll have plenty of things negative to say about Joe Biden over the next four years and this nomination is definitely one of them.

59 Responses to “Becerra a Divisive and Radical Pick for HHS”

  1. Patterico’s Law is cited (in iambic pentameter form) in Act IV Scene 1 of King Lear:

    Edgar. [aside] O gods! Who is’t can say ‘I am at the worst’?
    I am worse than e’er I was.

    Old Man. ‘Tis poor mad Tom.

    Edgar. [aside] And worse I may be yet. The worst is not
    So long as we can say ‘This is the worst.’

    Appalled (1a17de)

  2. Patterico’s Law: it can always get worse.

    Isn’t that a derivative of Murphy’s Law?

    Murphy’s law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.

    whembly (446c04)

  3. Re: Becarra, I don’t see Murkowski or Collins not vote for him after Tanden.

    But, whoa momma, you’re going to see a whole slew of court cases seeking injunctions once he’s confirmed. That man is truly radical.

    whembly (446c04)

  4. There is also the uber-pessimum version:

    “The perversity of the Universe tends towards a maximum.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  5. Just think of the US Attorneys he’ll appoint. But they won’t be called “radical”, just “progressive.” Who can be against progress?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  6. Joe Biden is just the beard.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  7. wow that guy seems like an a$$

    Time123 (653992)

  8. Republicans have a done a piss poor job of opposing Biden appointees:

    Gina Raimondo (Commerce) 85-15
    Cecilia Rouse (CEA Chair) 95-4
    Miguel Cardona (Education) 64-33
    Jennifer Granholm (Energy) 64-35
    Linda Thomas-Greenfield (UN Amb.) 78-20
    Tom Vilsack (Agriculture) 92-7
    Denis McDonough (Veterans) 87-7
    Pete Buttigieg (Transportation) 86-13
    Alejandro Mayorkas (DHS) 56-43
    Antony Blinken (State) 78-22
    Janet Yellen (Treasury) 84-14
    Lloyd Austin (Defense) 93-2
    Avril Haines (DNI) 84-10

    As far as I am concerned, the Republicans should have gone to the mats on each of the appointees. Only one (so far) received less than 60 votes in favor. Make Harris earn her salary by forcing tie votes for each of them.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  9. An ass? you mean Sasse? He’s trying to get Becerra to say he ‘s targeting nuns and religious liberty. But he doesn’t think he was, he thought he was trying to ensure health care for everyone, which does in fact include reproductive health.

    Victor (4959fb)

  10. No, Bacerra comes across as an A$$to me. I get what you saying but that’s how it feels.

    Time123 (653992)

  11. Becarra sounds like a real loser.

    Hoi Polloi (15cfac)

  12. Image over substance rules: what Sasse says is irrelevant; he projects the image of a child too small for the big boy chair he’s sitting in— and the suit he’s wearing.

    Sit up straight, Ben. And finish your peas.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  13. He got better within a minute.

    Sasse seems to be saying that California wanted to make sure the nuns could get contraceptives. Becerra seems to be talking tooo abstractly. Sasse does too, though/

    Sasse also tries to show hypocrisy in going after privacy violations with regard to the secret filming of Planned Parenthood and parts of aborted babies, but California (Becerra says he wasn’t Attorney General then and Sasse’s time runs out for the second time) didn’t go after PETA for violating privacy in chicken farms.

    So impartial administration of the law wasn’t the reason. It was underlying values or what beliefs you subscribed to, or sided with.

    This doesn’t have too much to do with HHS. (it could but he doesn’t ask any questions in that direction)

    He should be glad that Becerra was not nominated for Attorney General. The question is: Who would replace him as California Attorney General and would that person be better, the same or worse? I suppose, though, the substitute nominee for HHS might be better, or at least more competent.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  14. SF @13-

    The question is: Who would replace him as California Attorney General and would that person be better, the same or worse?

    ……..
    Here’s a list of those mentioned as possible appointees, bearing in mind that the governor may choose someone not prominently mentioned:

    –Assemblyman Rob Bonta, 48, is the assistant Democratic leader, representing parts of the Easy Bay including Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro.

    –Rick Zbur, 63, is executive director of Equality California, one of the state’s most powerful LGBTQ civil-rights advocacy groups. He has led the organization since 2014. Last year, Zbur launched a campaign for Los Angeles city attorney, a race on the 2022 ballot.

    –Diana Becton, 69, is the Contra Costa County district attorney. She was appointed in 2017 and elected to a full four-year term the following year. She has advocated expanding prevention and treatment programs for people who are mentally ill, addicted to drugs or homeless. Becton was a judge in the county for 22 years, including serving as presiding judge.

    –Darrell Steinberg, 61, has served as mayor of Sacramento since 2016, easily winning re-election last year. Steinberg’s political career spans three decades. As the former California Senate president pro tem, Steinberg held one of the Legislature’s two highest-ranking posts for about six years.

    Additional possibilities:

    –Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego

    –California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu

    –Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of Fremont

    –Rep. Adam Schiff of Burbank. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly is pushing hard for Schiff.

    –Rep Ted Lieu of Torrance

    –San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera

    –Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
    ……..

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  15. 9. Victor (4959fb) — 3/3/2021 @ 9:26 am

    [Sasse is] trying to get Becerra to say he ‘s targeting nuns and religious liberty. But he doesn’t think he was,

    Becerra doesn’t deny that actually. He’s actually relying on the Catholic principle of “double effect”

    Becerra says he was trying to get the law interpreted correctly [not even that – but the law “as we saw it] , and says no more, meaning if that also restricting religious liberty or would make those nuns violate their convictions, that was an unintended effect.

    Sasse says the exception the federal government made applied only to those nuns or similar groups.

    And Becerra can’t say it made any practical difference (beyond what Sasse says, religious liberty rights)

    They both are not completely clear. Sasse also seems to have the name of the case wrong, and Becerra knows he does – that a wrong name s going around in right wing circles – and makes much of it, like that answers all questions.

    It was not “California v Little Sisters of the Poor.”

    he thought he was trying to ensure health care for everyone, which does in fact include reproductive health.

    Includng people who are definitely not going to use it. So what was that for? The possibility that the nuns might become Protestant and marry but meanwhile retain their exemption?

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  16. > Assemblyman Rob Bonta

    is my assemblyman. i haven’t been here for even a year, so i’m poorly placed to judge his performance, but i’ll say this: he’s *much more communicative* than any previous state representative i’ve had.

    > California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu

    i don’t understand why he’d give up that job.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  17. 11. Hoi Polloi (15cfac) — 3/3/2021 @ 10:05 am

    Becarra sounds like a real loser.

    No, he sounds like a less eloquent and condescending Andrew Cuomo.

    Andrew Como would not just repeat the same words.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  18. Becerra’s ace in the hole is that he served in the House for a quarter century (1993-2017), so it’s likely that he is at the very least an acquaintance of some of the Republican members of the Senate, as well as Manchin, Synema, and any other Democrat who might be inclined to oppose him. That will probably provide him just enough cover to get by on a 51-49 or 52-48 vote.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  19. He’s trying to get Becerra to say he ‘s targeting nuns and religious liberty

    As stated in Patterico’s post, he assuredly was. Their suit was targeted at removing the carve-out for religious liberty. What’s to discuss?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  20. @9

    An ass? you mean Sasse? He’s trying to get Becerra to say he ‘s targeting nuns and religious liberty. But he doesn’t think he was, he thought he was trying to ensure health care for everyone, which does in fact include reproductive health.

    Victor (4959fb) — 3/3/2021 @ 9:26 am

    No, he was definitely targeting nuns and others using religious exceptions.

    He’s not dumb and don’t let him feign ignorance.

    whembly (446c04)

  21. @8:

    Rip, I could not vote for Trump but this is why I could not vote for Biden. People who say that the GOP is dead and all its Senators should be driven from the public square have to accept that the Democrats will have free reign.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  22. Meanwhile…

    “No one was killed by the rocket but one person, a contractor, died of a heart attack.” – President Plagiarist 3-3-21

    Idiot.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  23. Maybe he’d appoint a woman of color with previous experience as a district attorney.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  24. Four the last 4 years (actually 50 years) people keep telling me elections have consequences. He is a moderate lefty. You better hope a real lefty like AOC is not appointed to cabinet.

    asset (94c438)

  25. These appointees are what you get for not voting for Trump.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  26. These appointees are what you get for not voting for Trump.

    Tanny O’Haley (8a06bc) — 3/3/2021 @ 1:22 pm

    Worth it.

    Time123 (653992)

  27. These appointees are what you get for not voting for Trump.

    At least the Republicans can vote “no.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  28. These appointees are what you get for not voting for Trump.

    At least the Republicans can vote “no.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 3/3/2021 @ 1:57 pm

    This has been my problem with the elite Republicans for a long time. For instance McConnell doesn’t understand optics. He won’t bring something up for a vote unless he is sure he can win which of course makes it look like he’s not trying at all.

    Republicans not voting no and other reasons are why we got Trump.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  29. Only Trump could have gotten these appointees nominated.

    nk (1d9030)

  30. These appointees are what you get for not voting for Trump.

    Tanny O’Haley (8a06bc) — 3/3/2021 @ 1:22 pm

    Worth it.

    Time123 (653992) — 3/3/2021 @ 1:25 pm

    It is my belief that these people will do far more damage than Trump could have ever done as president. I believe abortion is murder and Biden wants us to pay for it. That is morally wrong in many ways. There are a bunch of other things too. The policies Biden is putting forth are destructive to the lower middle class and the poor. Just look at the price of gas. I am disabled and now on Social Security and cannot afford to drive as often as I would like to because of the cost of gasoline.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  31. It is my belief that these people will do far more damage than Trump could have ever done as president. I believe abortion is murder and Biden wants us to pay for it. That is morally wrong in many ways. There are a bunch of other things too. The policies Biden is putting forth are destructive to the lower middle class and the poor. Just look at the price of gas. I am disabled and now on Social Security and cannot afford to drive as often as I would like to because of the cost of gasoline.

    Tanny O’Haley (8a06bc) — 3/3/2021 @ 2:55 pm

    That bar is now set at “Hasn’t sent an armed mob to attack the US capital based on the lie that the election was stolen.”

    But if you’re focused on Gas prices you must have been really pissed in 2018 when they were higher.

    Time123 (66d88c)

  32. Only Trump could have gotten these appointees nominated.

    So, Biden’s excuse for assaulting America with these nominees is “It’s just this pandemic and that lying son of a bitch, Trump!”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  33. @Tanny@30 Biden hasn’t shut down any working pipelines or refineries or vacated any current leases for drilling or gas production. AFAICT, Biden hasn’t done anything that would cause gas prices to increase. What do you see as him having done to increase gas prices?

    Nic (896fdf)

  34. Nope. It’s a corollary to “Only Trump could have gotten Biden elected President”.

    Come on, man! Here’s the deal. Don’t you remember when Biden was considered Obama’s “removal” insurance? Only by running against the corrupt criminal traitor orange loser Trump could Biden possibly have ever been elected President. And let’s not even get into Kamala’s chances.

    nk (1d9030)

  35. Time123 (66d88c) — 3/3/2021 @ 3:14 pm

    And higher from 2011 through July of 2015. So what? The issue is that since the election gasoline prices have steadily gone up.

    https://www.gasbuddy.com/charts

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  36. @Tanny@30 Biden hasn’t shut down any working pipelines or refineries or vacated any current leases for drilling or gas production. AFAICT, Biden hasn’t done anything that would cause gas prices to increase. What do you see as him having done to increase gas prices?

    Nic (896fdf) — 3/3/2021 @ 4:30 pm

    “Working pipeline”. I see what you did there. The problem is that gas prices just like commodities aren’t based on reality, they are based on what investors believe they will become. They believe that Biden‘s policies will make the price of crude oil go up, therefore the price of gasoline.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  37. “since the election gasoline prices have steadily gone up.”

    Interesting. What did Biden do between the election and his inauguration to increase gas prices?

    Davethulhu (6ba00b)

  38. “They believe that Biden‘s policies will make the price of crude oil go up, therefore the price of gasoline.”

    I suppose that’s a theory. Here’s another one:

    The sharp rebound in oil prices and therefore the cost of gas is being driven by the rising pace of vaccinations, the increasingly robust recovery of the economy and supply constraints set by oil-producing nations. The record freeze and resultant short-term disruption of economic activity in Texas last month has brought additional pressure on prices.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/economy/articles/2021-03-03/oil-rebounds-pushing-gas-prices-closer-to-3-a-gallon

    Davethulhu (6ba00b)

  39. These appointees are what you get for not voting for Trump.

    We’ll get more than this. It’s what you get for supporting Trump as the nominee as opposed to anyone else. As long as Biden doesn’t make himself dictator he is better then Trump. Yes, he will do bad things and hurt you, but if you’re not willing to blame Trump for losing and the people who made him the nominee in 2016 then your attempts to blame me are not going to be very persuasive.

    I expect to see a lot of the same over the next four years and my answer is not going to change.

    Patterico (ea45b6)

  40. The Republican nominee’s job was to persuade me. It was not my job to vote for a piece of trash. It was his job not to be trash. He failed. His fault and his supporters’ fault.

    Not mine.

    Patterico (ea45b6)

  41. I’m surprised no Republican in the Senate thought to roast Becerra on his association with Pakistani hacker and possible spy Imran Awan.

    Factory Working Orphan (f916e7)

  42. DCSCA # Who is he plagiarizing here? Trump? That’s kind of what Trump said last year.

    Look at Biden. He wants to make peace, but all that Iran and the Taliban will agree to is making things look like they inflicted a military defeat for the United States.

    If the United States is going to withdraw, anyway, they want to make it look quite clear that they inflicted a military defeat on the United States.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  43. Meanwhile…

    “No one was killed by the rocket but one person, a contractor, died of a heart attack.” – President Plagiarist 3-3-21

    Idiot.
    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 3/3/2021 @ 11:12 am

    It’s like he is giving the defense attorneys for those who will be tried in the death of officer Sidenick some help…

    Hoi Polloi (b28058)

  44. These appointees are what you get for not voting for Trump.

    We’ll get more than this. It’s what you get for supporting Trump as the nominee as opposed to anyone else.

    Exactly. Anybody who felt thrilled when Trump descended the escalator and started his demagogic rhetoric is not only gullible, but is also the cause of the current predominance of the left.

    norcal (01e272)

  45. … then your attempts to blame me are not going to be very persuasive.

    I expect to see a lot of the same over the next four years and my answer is not going to change.

    Patterico (ea45b6) — 3/3/2021 @ 5:13 pm

    I just want to make sure that I am reading this clearly. Are you saying that I am specifically blaming you and only you for Biden getting voted in as president? If that’s the case I apologize. I am probably better off saying y’ll. Those who didn’t vote for Trump as a group not as individuals.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  46. Exactly. Anybody who felt thrilled when Trump descended the escalator and started his demagogic rhetoric is not only gullible, but is also the cause of the current predominance of the left.

    norcal (01e272) — 3/3/2021 @ 5:30 pm

    I reluctantly voted for Trump as a not Hillary vote. I am pleased and displeased with some of the things he did. He’s definitely not perfect, though I think he’s much better than President Biden and the policies of the Democrat left which seek to destroy the United States. My opinion. Your opinion may vary. I never saw the video of him descending the escalator. I wasn’t excited about his run for presidency. I thought there were better candidates. However I felt then and still do that I couldn’t with a good conscience vote for Hillary. What she stood for was anathema to everything that I believed.

    As far as the left they have only gotten worse. The Obama administration in my belief was anti-Semitic and had one of the slowest recoveries of a recession ever. Of course everything was Bush’s fault (another candidate I wasn’t pleased with) and all the magazines and newspapers when they showed a picture of Obama put a halo around his head as if he were an angel or God. His transgender policy was abominable. And despite what everybody said wouldn’t happen there were instances of men saying they were women in the women’s bathroom who were peeping toms of biological women or in one case that I know of assaulted a child. Oh and this isn’t the first time they’ve tried to pass the anti-equity bill which violates First Amendment protections of Christians.

    Don’t assume because I preferred Trump over the democrat nominee that I’m a Trump sycophant. I still believe that he is a deeply flawed man, though not as bad as King David in the Bible. I don’t believe President Trump was responsible for murdering anybody because he had adultery with the guys wife.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  47. You may believe differently than I do. If more people voted against Biden then Biden would not have become president. I believe that a vote that wasn’t for the opponent of Biden was a vote that allowed Biden to become president. In this case I believe just as in the case of Hillary that President Trump was better, though not perfect choice.

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    — C. S. Lewis

    Trump being the robber baron and the RINOs and democrats tyranny.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  48. @Tanny@36 So you are blaming Biden for stuff other people imagine might happen? It seems like the people with the imaginations would be at fault here.

    Obviously if your most important concern over anything else is outlawing abortion, then you aren’t going to vote for a Dem or a pro-choice politician. I would think that would be enough of a reason.

    @Tanny@46 “the policies of the Democrat left which seek to destroy the United States”

    Trump literally attempted to overturn the most basic foundational premise of the US, first through dishonesty, threats, and seditious rhetoric and finally through inciting violent sedition against one of his co-equal branches of government. The vote is the basis of the country, if someone takes that away, nothing built on it can stand.

    Nic (896fdf)

  49. I don’t believe President Trump was responsible for murdering anybody because he had adultery with the guys wife.

    I’m sorry, Tanny, but I believe that Trump is responsible for murdering hundreds of thousands of Americans with his criminal handling of the pandemic, including but not limited to telling us that there was nothing to worry about while telling the truth to his Wall Street buddies so they could make more money.

    PS I believe David had Uriah killed so that Uriah would not have Bathsheba killed for adultery. I don’t know if Nathan considered that mitigation or compounding the crime. I consider helping the rich get richer by letting hundreds of thousands of Americans die to be compounding the crime.

    nk (1d9030)

  50. nk (1d9030) — 3/3/2021 @ 6:30 pm

    ’m sorry, Tanny, but I believe that Trump is responsible for murdering hundreds of thousands of Americans with his criminal handling of the pandemic, including but not limited to telling us that there was nothing to worry about

    That’s what Dr, Fauci was saying.

    while telling the truth to his Wall Street buddies so they could make more money.

    I don;t think it was Trump who did that – it was Larry Kudlow. Trump only wanted to keep the stock market from dropping lower.

    PS I believe David had Uriah killed so that Uriah would not have Bathsheba killed for adultery.

    The Rabbis say it wasn’t technically adultery and note that Nathan the prophet did not accuse David of that. David, they say, had his soldiers all give their wives writs of divorce in case they did not come back from battle and their fate wasn’t known. Otherwise it would have been an unforgiveable sin.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  51. And Kudlow didn’t have any inside information – just an informed opinion. Trump, for that matter, had no secret information about the virus that was kept from the American public.

    Someone told him it was the most serious national security threat in late January, 2020. That didn’t mean it would necessarily actually spread. The medical advice he was getting said it could be contained, like SARS was..

    Now Trump tried to underplay the seriousness of the disease – but he had a basis for that, too. Deaths from the flu were way overestimated and did not change from year to year.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  52. Tanny,

    Go back and read Patterico’s comment. Both he and I are blaming people who supported Trump over the other Republicans running for President. I am not blaming you for preferring Trump to Hillary; I voted for Trump over Hillary.

    (Back then I saw everything in terms of policy, because that is how I had approached elections my whole life. Trump’s words and actions made me realize that there can be harms that are worse than bad policies.)

    You do understand the difference between the primary and general election, right?

    norcal (01e272)

  53. Our esteemed host wrote:

    These appointees are what you get for not voting for Trump.

    We’ll get more than this. It’s what you get for supporting Trump as the nominee as opposed to anyone else. As long as Biden doesn’t make himself dictator he is better then Trump. Yes, he will do bad things and hurt you, but if you’re not willing to blame Trump for losing and the people who made him the nominee in 2016 then your attempts to blame me are not going to be very persuasive.

    President Trump was a dictator? How odd, then, that he didn’t get everything he wanted done passed, and how very undictatorly it was of him top subject himself to an election he could lose.

    This was the point I was making, albeit unsuccessfully, before the election: Mr Trump might be an [insert slang term for the rectum here] but his policies are far more important than his personality. You voted for, you essentially campaigned for, Joe Biden. You wanted him, you got him, and now you own some of the responsibility for the policies he is imposing on all of us.

    You could have voted third party, but if you did, I never saw that you had posted it. You could have told us that you just couldn’t vote for President Trump, but not actively campaigned against him. But you were pretty much all-in on defeating President Trump, with the only nominee who could do so.

    One of your posts, many months ago, concluded that you would have to support the Democratic nominee, and take the [insert slang term for feces here] show that followed. Well, that’s just what you’ve got!

    Xavier Becerra? You own it! Richard Levine? You own it! Increased illegal immigration? You have no complaint!

    The Dana in Kentucky (60eb7f)

  54. norcal wrote:

    Back then I saw everything in terms of policy, because that is how I had approached elections my whole life. Trump’s words and actions made me realize that there can be harms that are worse than bad policies.

    Really? When your tax dollars are going to pay for abortions in the US, and have already been directed to pay for abortions abroad, how can you say that there can be harms that are worse than bad policies? When the Border Patrol releases ‘asylum seekers’ who have tested positive for the f(ornicating) virus that has destroyed our economy to go wherever they f(ornicating) want in the US, how can you tell us that there are harms worse than bad policies?

    The virus has cost us at least ten million jobs, half a million lives and an entirely lost school year, and President Biden is releasing COVID-positive “asylum seekers” into the population? Please, tell me, how is that not worse than anything President Trump did?

    The Dana in Kentucky (60eb7f)

  55. Mr Finkelman wrote:

    Look at Biden. He wants to make peace, but all that Iran and the Taliban will agree to is making things look like they inflicted a military defeat for the United States.

    If the United States is going to withdraw, anyway, they want to make it look quite clear that they inflicted a military defeat on the United States.

    They did inflict a military defeat on the United States, and everybody knows it.

    Our goal in Afghanistan was to destroy al Qaeda and kill Osama bin Laden, which was accomplished. But then President Bush decided that we had to turn the place into a Western democracy. Duhhh! The British tried to control Afghanistan; they couldn’t. The Soviets tried, and they couldn’t either. The only people who can govern Afghanistan are Afghanis, and they don’t do such a hot job themselves; tribal leaders control the different regions.

    We applied Westernized thought as though it could run a place that is not Western and pretty much hates Westerners.

    Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, these places are not ‘ready’ for the type of government of which we approve because they do not think like us, they do not have cultures anything like ours.

    Our military is great for, to use Rush Limbaugh’s formulation, killing people and destroying their stuff. When you try to use the military for other things, not so much.

    We deceived ourselves when the military did establish democracy in Germany and Japan, but the situations were wholly different. In 1945, we had virtually destroyed their economies and killed or wounded most of their fighting aged men. There was no one left who could resist!

    Not today! We wage wars while trying to kill as few people as possible; does that make any sense at all? We try to kill the bad guys without hurting any innocent civilians or destroying their homes and employment. When has that ever worked?

    The Dana in Kentucky (60eb7f)

  56. The Dana in Kentucky (60eb7f) — 3/4/2021 @ 7:25 am

    and President Biden is releasing COVID-positive “asylum seekers” into the population?

    If they stayed in Mexico, where they stayed would probably become a supespreading event. In fact probably already has. They’re doing both –

    Now, unlike as id the case with Canada, the United States has not sealed the Mexican border to most other border crossers, so if they stay in Mexico it’ll get into the United States. That’s probably why El Paso had such a terrible epidemic.

    There are approximately 350 million legal crossings between the United States and Mexico taking place annually. That’s 1 million a day. If that’s both ways, it’s approximately 500,000 people entering the United States from Mexico daily. And you’re worried about 200 or 300? Even if there is a higher rate of positivity because people have been camped together?

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  57. The Dana in Kentucky (60eb7f) — 3/4/2021 @ 7:37 am

    We applied Westernized thought as though it could run a place that is not Western and pretty much hates Westerners.

    No it doesn’t. A democracy is the best way to assure that the Taliban and al Qaeda do not reestablish themselves, besides being considered the only moral form of government [outside of the Arab gulf states, every country pretends to be a democracy], so what other form of government could the United States attempt to establish?

    Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, these places are not ‘ready’ for the type of government of which we approve because they do not think like us, they do not have cultures anything like ours.

    Not because people don;t think like us, but because the political institutions aren’t strong enough.

    If you caa’t have democracy, the next best thing is a ruler appointed by the United States, and subject to some supervision.

    Doing nothing enables the most evil people to establish or re-establish control.

    In 1945, we had virtually destroyed their economies and killed or wounded most of their fighting aged men. There was no one left who could resist!

    The problem this time, is that there were foreign powers which could: In Afghanistan, mainly Pakistan, and in Iraq, Iran, Assad’s Syria and maybe Saudi Arabia too.

    In earlier times, the British Empire learned that it had to keep expanding and expanding in self defense.

    Not today! We wage wars while trying to kill as few people as possible; does that make any sense at all? We try to kill the bad guys without hurting any innocent civilians or destroying their homes and employment. When has that ever worked?

    That can work,

    The problem is trying to get rid of some bad guys while avoiding war with other bad guys. That’s hard. The neighboring bad guys – ad Russia and China – don’t want to see democracy pr even any improvement in human rights succeed. China maybe not so much outside of its sphere of influence. I think China influenced Pakistan.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  58. Dana in Kentucky,

    Trump gaslit the American people with a firehose of lies, created a culture of kiss-my-ring corruption, and went on to foment an insurrection. Yes, those are bigger threats to our republic than the bad policies you mentioned. It’s not a simple policy calculation any more.

    As for the virus, are you going to argue that Trump did a good job dealing with the pandemic? Really?

    norcal (01e272)

  59. Mr Finkelman wrote:

    We applied Westernized thought as though it could run a place that is not Western and pretty much hates Westerners.

    No it doesn’t. A democracy is the best way to assure that the Taliban and al Qaeda do not reestablish themselves, besides being considered the only moral form of government [outside of the Arab gulf states, every country pretends to be a democracy], so what other form of government could the United States attempt to establish?

    That was the argument of Natan Sharansky, in The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, which the younger President Bush read and liked, but while the theory was appealing, in practice it simply has not worked out. No plan, it has been said, survives the first contact with the enemy, and our attempts to establish real democracies have not worked.

    Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, these places are not ‘ready’ for the type of government of which we approve because they do not think like us, they do not have cultures anything like ours.

    Not because people don;t think like us, but because the political institutions aren’t strong enough.

    If you caa’t have democracy, the next best thing is a ruler appointed by the United States, and subject to some supervision.

    Well, Hell, I’d like to see every national leader appointed by the United States and subject to our supervision, and that’s just about as realistic as what you have suggested.

    Even ignoring the fact that it is unrealistic, how would it work? It would require a permanent deployment of American troops to enforce American rule, because every political opponent of the appointed leader would be screaming that the appointed leader was a puppet of the imperialist United States.

    Of course, we have seen such a system before, courtesy of our British forebears, and the system eventually failed. World war II accelerated its failure, but it was failing already. The French tried it, too, and their failures in French Indochina led to 58,000 American soldiers dying in the dirt and the mud.

    Not today! We wage wars while trying to kill as few people as possible; does that make any sense at all? We try to kill the bad guys without hurting any innocent civilians or destroying their homes and employment. When has that ever worked?

    That can work,

    It can? Where has it worked? If it can work, it sure hasn’t done so yet!

    Wars are actions of national or ethnic pride. It’s not just the soldiers in action, but the civilians around them, who support them in their fight, and the children growing up. Israel has learned this lesson: in four major wars, they punished the Arabs fighting against them, but the Arabs quit while their civilian infrastructure was still mostly intact and the boys growing up were still alive. Those boys, as they grew to fighting age themselves, had not faced the Israeli soldiers, had not really looked death in the eye, and they were now ready to fight themselves.

    The Dana in Kentucky (60eb7f)


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