Obama Is Warning America About Trump’s Presidency. Are You Listening? | New Republic

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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228 Responses

  1. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    Err….

    This is surprising and or news?Report

  2. Avatar notme
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    says:

    Sure because no one Trump has been talking to has done this before.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to notme
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      says:

      With sobriety, it looks like this statement is accurate.

      Who on Trump’s transition or destination team has White House experience? So far, only Pence has experience beyond Congress and it’s safe to assume that the pace of decision-making and the institutional pressures of Congressional service are unlike what will be experienced at the White House.Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    One of the hallmarks of 3rd world kleptocracies and bananna republics is their choice of competencies.

    They are highly competent at what is important to them.

    Bribes, kickbacks, graft, brutality, oppression, vengeance and cronyism.

    Everything else…meh.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    This was all accurate, but it was a way of saying that Trump is the first president in living memory not to have even passing knowledge of how a White House operation runs.

    If his campaign had done a better job of playing this up, maybe he could have won the popular vote too.Report

  5. Avatar Kolohe
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    says:

    I’m almost positive Obama was warning about a Trump presidency since Trump locked down the nomination.

    Why would people start listening now if they hadn’t before?

    Eta- heck I think Obama was warning about a Trump presidency since the day Osama Bin Laden died.Report

  6. Avatar Dark Matter
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    says:

    Trump is in this situation because for months no one serious thought he’d win. Having said that, I have serious doubts that either Obama or Bush before him had good transitions. There were a lot of “not ready yet” mistakes, possibly leading to 911 in Bush’s case.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Dark Matter
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      says:

      I’ll put that at a solid “maybe, but I doubt it.” Transitions are big and complicated, and even a very well-prepared one is going to have some screw-ups in it. At this point the reporting on Trump’s gives us incomplete information at best. So that could mean that the reporting reflects cherry-picked screw-ups rather than a botched transition. That said, what I’ve seen looks pretty bad, and that would be consistent with some other things we know about Trump: his team was as surprised by his win as the rest of us, most of his inner circle are pretty politically inexperienced, he is not himself well-informed on the nature of the Presidency or the Federal government in general. So if I was a betting man, I’d put my money on his transition being worse than usual, with potential bad effects. But we just don’t know for sure at the moment.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Dark Matter
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      says:

      To the contrary. I recall that the Bill Clinton to George W. Bush transition was kind of abrupt, because the Clinton team would not cooperate with the Bush team (much) due principally to partisan rancor and also due to the shorter time available to prepare the transition since the result of the 2000 election was in doubt for longer than it should have been.

      Nevertheless, there was a team in place that started running immediately upon inauguration because Bush knew from being Governor of Texas roughly what a governmental executive office ought to look like and function.

      Having had a bad experience himself during his transition, W vowed that it would not be that way for his successor, whether that successor was a Republican or a Democrat, and he followed through. Obama had warm words of praise for the outgoing Bush team’s assistance with his own transition team and again hit the ground running. He vowed to emulate his predecessor, but it appears that the Trump team wants little to do with what the Obama team has to offer. (And yes, it may well be the case that partisan rancor, dislike of Trump, and bitterness about the election is making some WH staff drag their feet; again, there can simultaneously be both disinterest by the Trump people and bitterness by the Obama people to transfer knowledge.)Report

    • Avatar trizzlor in reply to Dark Matter
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      says:

      The stories about the transitions of Bush and Clinton were along the lines of “anonymous sources claim staffers are taking the W’s off the keyboards and writing nasty things in the bathroom stall”. The stories about the Trump transition are “I am a Republican NatSec expert who was asked to help with the transition and what I saw at the operational level was horrifying”. These seem … different.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to trizzlor
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        says:

        That’s only your partisan lens.

        It’s all the same. Everything is equal and the same, otherwise we’d have to be serious and not obsess about horse races and we wouldn’t be able to pretend that sitting on the fence is the same as objective.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to trizzlor
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        says:

        Our last mayor bought the rumors about our new mayor, and stole government property on his way out. Apparently, someone talked some modicum of sense into his head, because the next day he showed back up with the goods.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to trizzlor
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        says:

        The stories about the transitions of Bush and Clinton were along the lines of “anonymous sources claim staffers are taking the W’s off the keyboards and writing nasty things in the bathroom stall”.

        Proving that Fake News is nothing new. Those stories were widely reported despite the fact that they didn’t occur.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Tod Kelly
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          says:

          Colbert coined the phrase “Truthesque” back in the early 2000s for this. You know, something that isn’t true but sounds true, so we might as well pretend it’s true.

          Between that and stuff like the ubiquitous “Some people are saying” lead…..

          It’s amazing we’re not doing worse, really.Report

  7. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    Does ANY pres elect have a solid plan going in with the team already set to go from day 1? I doubt it. Stuff changes. Sure, HRC probably would have had a better team since she’s already in the admin and it would continue, but I doubt a real change would lead to anything anyone would regard as “smooth”. Yeah, Trump may be behind the curve, may not know what’s needed, etc., but this is not the real problem. This is just noise. We really need to be focusing on that alt right dude and his racist misogynistic attitudes. He’ll have everyone in camps, with no muslim immigration, a wall made by latino slave labor, “wrong thinking” folks/gays/lbgt folks in concentration camps and america will descend into isolationism and he will nuke everyone! Also there will be snow during thanksgiving. Buy toilet paper.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Damon
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      says:

      So, um, why aren’t you making money off this?
      Surely there’s some scam you can run?
      (Like that Jackbooted Obama Thugs gonna steal your guns thing last time round…)Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Kim
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        says:

        Jujitsu is making it hard. Sooooo tired. And then there is all the Skyrim gaming AND the girlfriend. What little time I have left is spent on trolling for married women in open relationships, who are looking to hook up. And I do work a bit too.Report

  8. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    Speaking of warning America…

    I see on my FB feed that an Episcopal church in Indiana was spray painted with a swastika, and the phrases “Heil Trump” and “Fag Church”.

    An Episcopal church.
    In Indiana.Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      Obviously, those people are just worried about trade deals and austerity, Chip.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      Clearly this was because Pence was booed. When will Democrats stop being so mean and forcing honest, hard-working, real Americans — not those fake city types — to be so vile?

      You just have to realize that Trump, the alt-right, and racism is all the fault of Democrats. And refusing to acknowledge this is why they lose, because only the votes of real Americans count. And Democrats keep letting unreal, possibly imaginary, Americans vote.

      And also they’re so rude. It’s like they WANT all those swastikas and hate crimes.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Morat20
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        says:

        We can be quite certain that these actions were carried out by a median or marginal Trump voter of the sort recently discussed.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Will Truman
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          says:

          Who cares who did it, or why? Besides the poor sods who got vandalized.

          This is the new normal. Welcome to America.

          (And if you want cynical, realize that we have lengthy conversations about “liberal tone” and “the optics of [presumably] liberal theater goers booing Pence” because liberals might actually listen to the scolds and “civil norms” police.

          It’s one-sided because, frankly, everyone knows only one side even cares.

          But we can’t admit that. That violates one of those “civil norms”.Report

        • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Will Truman
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          says:

          Hey, if the right wants to try to make idealistic pushy SJW’s on college campuses the face of the Left, I have no problems making asshole racists painting swastikas and such the face of the Right.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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            says:

            LET THE FINAL BATTLE BEGIN.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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            says:

            I have no problems making asshole racists painting swastikas and such the face of the Right.

            This is why I assume it’s the left painting swastikas. For every true nazi there’s tens of thousands of SJWs who’d love to paint the Right as nazis.Report

            • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Dark Matter
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              says:

              Sigh. Innumeracy again.
              The dude who said that only 0.01% of Christians are interested in resuming blasphemy laws and stoning.
              325 million Americans.
              83% are Christians. 270 million.
              .01% is one in ten thousand.
              That means that 27,000 Americans are actively lining their neighbors up for the stocks and pillory.
              And he was bragging about how low that was?
              The GOP is lining up to register all American citizens who are Muslim to capture 1% of that.
              Big numbers are big numbers, but it’s easy to see when you say something ridiculous.
              Like saying that literally everyone who voted for Clinton would “love to paint the Right as nazis.” (Note: there are far more than 10,000 literal Nazis – Multiplying a big number by a big number without actually performing the experiment first makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about).
              Personally, I hate having to do it. For the fraction of it that actually is, mind you, I have no problem.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Will Truman
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          says:

          Trump had his opportunity for a Sistah Soulja moment.
          Then he went and appointed Steve Bannon as his right hand man.

          This is who Trump is.

          As a great American orator might say,
          Moderate Trumpists plz refudiate!Report

          • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Chip Daniels
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            says:

            Agree.

            Agree.

            Have you talked to any Trump supporters about it?Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Will Truman
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              says:

              Not yet about this particular instance.
              But about past instances, my Trumpist relatives have criticized it.

              Softly, as a strange aberration which is inexplicable, almost like a Buddhist spray painting “Every Man For Himself”.

              They seem puzzled how all these Neo-Nazi Pepe the Frog memes of shooting and gassing Jews seem even relevant to Trump.

              Meanwhile, those emails…Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Oh, and this is why I am so strident about shaming even the median or marginal Trump voters.
                What we have witnessed in history before, is that it was the average German, the basically decent loving people, who enabled the worst of the Holocaust.

                It was the kind hearted good natured white people who enabled the Jim Crow lynch mobs.

                No, the average Trump voter isn’t out spray painting swastikas or even using the word “ni88er”.

                But thats not enough, not nearly enough.

                We have a moral duty as citizens to rein in the worst among us, and ignoring it, or papering over the outrage with soothing platitudes is itself an outrage.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                I’m kinda sick of all the “failure to reach them” discourse, along with what seems like (to me) a certain moral cowardice. Ozy Franz sums up a lot of what I feel here:

                While Trump’s base is fairly upset about anti-racist and feminist activism, I do not think that changing anti-racist and feminist activism is necessarily a good way to get Trump voters not to vote for Trump. I think that Trump’s base’s primary objection to people like me is not to our tone but to our beliefs. No matter how politely we respectively speak, Trump voters object to the presence of large numbers of immigrants, and I object to people deporting my friends, sometimes to places where they’re in danger. These are incompatible goals, and they are likely to be quite angry at me about them (as well as I at them).

                It’s foolish to ignore this fact: these are real differences. They want things that would ruin my life. I want things that — well I guess a fair number of people believe I am literally demonic. I don’t know what to do about that. But to paper over the nature of bigotry is itself monstrous.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to veronica d
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                says:

                @veronica-d For me, it’s not really a question of cowardice so much as it is one of playing the long game.

                Even in a world where Trump wins the White House, there are no serious discussions about repealing the 19th amendment, despite the fact that it was passed less than a century ago via an incredibly bitter and controversial struggle. This isn’t because the forces of one side are plotting out the best political strategy to overturn the 19th; it’s because the thought that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote has become a ridiculous notion, where those that actually advocate it are considered fringe laughingstocks.

                That, I believe, is the only path to true victory in regards to all civil rights issues: that the vast preponderance of the people who would remove a civil right would find the very idea that they might do so to be ridiculous. Anything less is just an invitation to those on the “wrong side of history” to tip the scales back toward darkness.

                The strides your community has made in the past half decade have been extraordinary — to be honest, even as I rooted for change I never imagined we’d have collectively come as far as we have in such a short time. But as awesome as those strides are, I’m sure you of all people would agree that they aren’t nearly enough. There’s still a long, long way to go before a 13-year old girl realizing she isn’t a boy has the kind of acceptance and paths open to her that she deserves. And therein, for me anyway, lies the rub in using this moment in time to separate and label the masses as With Us or Against Us. Our side is not yet the real majority, and if we treat everyone who does not agree today as an irredeemable enemy, then we are likely going to lose.

                I have not lived your life and cannot experience this particular debate through your eyes, so this is not a plea for you to act differently or change your viewpoint. You strike me as an incredibly brave person, and you gotta do what you gotta do to take care of you and yours. I get that. That you haven’t at some point picked up a baseball bat and gone bats**t on someone harassing or threatening you is astounding to me, because I frankly doubt I’d have had the strength to keep from doing myself if I’d suffered the abuse over time that I know you have.

                But I am pushing back on the notion that those of us who committing to bringing more people over to our side in the hopes of getting us to a point where the world is safer for those most in need of civil rights protections comes from a place of cowardice. For me — white, cis, upper-mid class male that I am — flippantly dismissing people who disagree with me about these things isn’t bravery so much as my path of least resistance.

                What you see as my cowardice, I see as my committing to tedious, annoying, banging my head against the wall conversations and opening up myself to hostility from all sides to push towards a different outcome that I truly believe in.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Tod Kelly
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                says:

                @tod-kelly — I don’t disagree with any of that. I’ll say, I don’t really disagree with your tone on this. It’s more of @jaybird ‘s kind of snide cynicism that drives me bananas. I swear if some skinhead beats me to death tonight, he’d find some way to scold liberals for failing to hug skinheads.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
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                says:

                I swear if some skinhead beats me to death tonight, he’d find some way to scold liberals for failing to hug skinheads.

                Veronica, I beg you: BUY A GUN AND LEARN TO SHOOT IT AND CARRY IT WITH YOU.

                If you need recommendations for good, concealable ones, you have a lot of resources on this site who can make good recommendations.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                But what if the person yelling or trying to assault somebody was blocked or sarcastically replied to on Twitter? According to the right and libertarians on the Internet, both sides are equally at fault.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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                says:

                Well, we obviously need to pass a law, have the executive sign it, then have law enforcement make sure that people follow the law and then go on to arrest them if they don’t.

                What could go wrong?Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Ah, there’s the @jaybird cop out I was waiting for! Even the solution isn’t perfect, why have one at all.

                But, I’ll be blunt – as long as we’re a nation with 300 million guns who lets any poor soul who goes through eight weeks of training, lots of poor people are going to get shot by the police.

                Shockingly, in dirty socialist places where they actually make you go to school for 2 years to become a cop and have strict gun control, they weirdly don’t have such a problem with the police being insane authoritarians.

                But I know, the way to fix things is to make sure they don’t have pensions. That’ll fix it all up!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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                says:

                I’m 100% down with requiring police officers to go through as many hours of training as we require of women who wish to braid hair.

                I’m just pretty sure that our problem here is that society is broken and breaking and getting worse and the solution, if one is to be found, is going to be found at levels far, far below that which is touchable by any central planning capable of handling a nation with 300 million guns.

                Which tells me that the best advice that I have for you is that you need to buy one of those guns and learn to shoot it.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                So, we’ve already lost? The only choice is between something that’s absolutely on their terms and something that’s only partially on their terms, but still with full buy-in?
                Geezus, Grandpa, what did you read me this thing for?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to El Muneco
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                says:

                If you don’t like the social contract, maybe you should move to Somalia.

                More seriously, if you don’t want a relationship with someone that is partially on each of your terms but will full buy-in from both of you, then one of you shouldn’t be in charge of telling the other how to regulate (insert egregious example of over-reaching Federal Law here).

                You should just agree “okay, this part of how we do stuff is considered outside of how we tell each other how to live.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to El Muneco
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                says:

                Oh, and if you can’t agree? Get a divorce.

                Because if you still try to maintain the old relationship without a consensus where there is massive buy-in on all parties’ parts?There will constantly be an increasing chance of violence.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Tod Kelly
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                says:

                Here’s the thing @tod-kelly. We can have those conversations with little downside. At worst, we’re pussy ass liberals who hate America.

                For minorities, there’s actual danger out there, so I’m not going to tell people of color or non-straight cis people that it’s there job to convince other people of their basic humanity.

                Also, the truth is the VRA was reauthorized almost immediately under a Republican Congress with a Republican President only 10 years ago.

                Now, it’s very likely that with Jeff “Too racist for the 1980’s” Session as AG, it’s going to be gone, maybe literally soon enough.

                Yes, suffrage is safe, but only because 50% of the population are women. The rest of everything accomplished since approximately 1913? Not so much. That depends on how much backlash there is to dismantling the welfare and regulatory state in gerrymandered conservative districts.

                I mean, there’s people on this site who think it’s a good idea to hand the selection of US Senators over to state reps who make an $800 per diem, meet 9 days a year, and get 1000 votes to get into office.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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                says:

                For minorities, there’s actual danger out there, so I’m not going to tell people of color or non-straight cis people that it’s there job to convince other people of their basic humanity.

                No disagreements.

                Now, it’s very likely that with Jeff “Too racist for the 1980’s” Session as AG, it’s going to be gone, maybe literally soon enough.

                Perhaps, though I think I likely agree with you that despite the odds of this happening the downside is so potentially awful that we have to fight as if this is likely.

                The rest of everything accomplished since approximately 1913? Not so much.

                I think this is where you and I might disagree. If there’s one thing Trump has taught us, I would argue, is that those Federalist Society talking heads were always just a sidebar nerd group who’s ideas no many people in the party ever really cared that much about. I think people like Ryan looked at the election and said, “Boy, people really do love an and want us to get rid of Medicare, SS, food stamps, etc!” But I think he’s going to find out that pretty much the opposite is true. I think Trump won the GOP nod precisely because he told everyone he and the government would keep them safe, fed, and paid.

                I mean, there’s people on this site who think it’s a good idea to hand the selection of US Senators over to state reps who make an $800 per diem, meet 9 days a year, and get 1000 votes to get into office.

                Yeah, and there are people on this site who think we need to scrap the Constitution, go bitcoin, and allow people to declare themselves an independent nation when they don’t like their tax bill.

                Representative of the real world we are not.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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                says:

                Now, it’s very likely that with Jeff “Too racist for the 1980’s” Session as AG, it’s going to be gone, maybe literally soon enough.

                The guy’s history (reportedly) includes desegregating schools, having the head of the state Klan given the death penalty, and supporting the nomination of Eric Holder.

                http://www.weeklystandard.com/in-alabama-jeff-sessions-desegregated-schools-and-got-the-death-penalty-for-kkk-head/article/2005461Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                Well, that just proves it–there’s no better way to prove that you’re a KKK plant than by taking a very public and decisive action against an important member of the KKK!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                How much common ground do the people you’re criticizing think you share with them?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                A lot, since I usually root my outrage in the Christian message, and in the traditions of American political norms.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                To clarify, just in case, I wasn’t asking how much you think you share with them.

                I mean, it’d be like someone asking me “how much common ground do you share with Chip Daniels when you criticize him?” and I answered “a lot, we’re both children of the Enlightenment.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I’m not sure where you are going with this.

                Is this another “you’re never going to persuade people by being so shrill” type of thing?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                No. It’s “you’re never going to persuade people with deontological arguments when they do not share your deontology.”

                Being shrill, in this case, is a signal that you do not share their deontology despite your claims that you do.

                I mean, seriously. You’ve read Voltaire. You should know this.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I haven’t read Voltaire actually but I’ve read history.

                And I know that the middling good natured white people didn’t change their minds or votes until racism was stigmatized and declared taboo, and those who practiced it were shamed into silence. They changed their minds because they craved the respect and admiration of the rest of society.

                Shaming and ostracism isn’t a magic tool, and it doesn’t necessarily work the way we want it to work.

                Right at this moment, Trump’s forces are using it to claim the moral high ground, by portraying Mexicans and Muslims are dangerous, and mass roundups as a sensible and morally just solution to protect America.

                In case anyojne hasn’t noticed, Breitbart and Fox are never about calm reason, but moral outrage.
                Meeting moral outrage with mushy ambiguity is a time tested loser strategy.

                I can’t predict victory; I don’t know whether Americans will decide that Muslims are not worthy of dignity and equality.

                But I also can’t sit down and be silent and cede the moral high ground to them.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                ” I usually root my outrage in the Christian message, and in the traditions of American political norms.”

                Stephen Colbert did this schtick already, and a lot better than you, and after a while everyone agreed it had got old and he was moved on to something else.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                Deriving liberal political views from Christianity and constitutional principles is a schtick, now? How do you think the insides of our heads work, anyway?Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                Everyone didn’t get tired of him, which is why he was offered a bigger, better paying gig by a competing network.

                If bigger and better paying entertainment gigs went to people everyone had gotten tired of, Yakoff Smirnov and Pauly Shore would be pulling big bank right now.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Tod Kelly
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                says:

                If he was so good at it then why didn’t they let him keep doing it? The Late Show has a kind of person it wants its host to be, and the only time Colbert has really got the laffs there was when he was not being that host. I’m sure he’ll be there for another few years, but he’s not going to have Letterman’s tenure.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                Dietrich Bonhoeffer did it first, and better even than Colbert.
                But then it got old and less funny.

                Or he was killed.

                Or something.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                “No, the average Trump voter isn’t out spray painting swastikas or even using the word “ni88er”.

                But thats not enough, not nearly enough.”

                Hey, remember when it wasn’t the responsibility of every moderate Muslim to vociferously and publicly condemn the actions of every crazed zealot appropriating theocratic language to justify their own misanthropy and chaos-worship? That we needed to see those people as genuine outliers from the majority of just-plain-folks who maybe had some weird ideology in their history but didn’t really make a thing out of it?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                How many American Muslims actively voiced support for Osama Bin Laden, or expressed support for ISIL?

                The equivalent of your statement would be if I accused all white people of being Klan members or all Christians of hating gays.

                All people who support ISIL, share in the shame; All supporters of Trump share in his shame.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Well, you have to understand, Chip. There’s a lot of history in the region.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                What region? The southeastern United States?Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                The Muslims who vote for the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamist parties – absolutely, the actions of those parties are on those voters.

                On the other hand, the Muslim down the street from me who runs the local corner market? He doesn’t have to defend his religion. I mean, any more than any other religion that worships a fake sky god. 🙂Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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                says:

                “the Muslim down the street from me who runs the local corner market?”

                He’s Muslim, same as any suicide bomber. If he wants to not be Muslim anymore, if he wants to not be associated with that ideology, then he could certainly convert to any other religion (or punt and go atheist.)

                Or we could accept that people are individuals, with individual reasons for choosing between Eeny and Meeny, and that one Eeny supporter’s distasteful acts don’t splash onto another’s.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                “He’s Christian, same as any abortion clinic bomber.”
                If you’re really tarring an entire religion with the terroristic actions of the few, I think – despite how idiotic extremist Muslims are – as far as domestic terrorism among US citizens is concerned, you’re either fully behind registration of Christians or you’re a hypocrite.
                Of course, I’m not disallowing the possibility that both are true.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to El Muneco
                Ignored
                says:

                “If you’re really tarring an entire religion with the terroristic actions of the few”

                Which is exactly what happens to Christians already so I don’t know what you’re trying to achieve here.

                Or we could accept that people are individuals, with individual reasons for choosing between Eeny and Meeny, and that one Eeny supporter’s distasteful acts don’t splash onto another’s.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Which is exactly what happens to Christians already so I don’t know what you’re trying to achieve here.

                Yeah, people keep forgetting about all those Christian registries we’ve made so that we can keep track of their kind.Report

              • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Shame away and let me know if that changes any minds. Contra Veronica above, talking to people about these issues in ways that ask them to empathize with undocumented immigrants (especially children) changes at least some peoples tone, if not their minds. The worst thing you can do is to start off my telling them to stop using illegal alien because it’s offensive.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Gaelen
                Ignored
                says:

                I remember how well acting empathetic toward the children of illegal immigrants went for Rick Perry in the Republican primaries.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jesse Ewiak
                Ignored
                says:

                …you’re suggesting that the illegal immigrants hated him and voted against him?Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Shaming is with what? Folks have been calling us all racists since the start so by now it’s background noise to me.

                Maybe if the left hadn’t started with the most extreme position from the start there might be somewhere to go.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                What we have witnessed in history before, is that it was the average German, the basically decent loving people, who enabled the worst of the Holocaust.

                This is why I mentally translate “racist” and/or “nazi” into “not a democrat”.

                The guy who supported his daughter becoming a Jew is an antisemitic to Nazi levels? Was that before or after he was waving a rainbow flag at his own rally?

                Oh, and his AG choice is a KKK supporter… when he’s not desegregating schools, executing KKK leaders, or supporting the previous Black AG. Because what we’re supposed to treat seriously is the hearsay at the hearing where he got Bork’ed and not his actions.

                Accusations of Racism is a club used for cynical political purposes. Trump and his crew oppose open-boarders and illegal immigration (one of the big reasons I voted against him), however that’s just a (bad) policy choice.

                If accusations of racism/Nazism is the only way you’ve got to describe bad policy then you’ve already lost the argument. Trump isn’t sending his daughter and grandchildren into death camps. Suggesting he will just shows that you don’t have a serious argument and people tune you out.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                If that is credible to you, go right on believing.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, and did you know Trump supports a woman’s right to choice?
                And he won’t touch Medicare!
                And he will take on those big banks on Wall Street!
                And he thinks Republicans are gullible suckers?

                True fact, man, true fact.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        And also they’re so rude. It’s like they WANT all those swastikas and hate crimes.

        Given that several of these alleged hate crimes have already been shown to be hoaxes, and that those actually caught are likely the tip of the iceberg, then yes, that is in fact what some leftists want. Or rather, they want to create the perception that there’s been a wave of racist hate crimes.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Odds are the Left is proclaiming the Right are Nazis again. The Right mostly doesn’t see itself as racist.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        Hmm, I bet they don’t.

        Oh, this just happened:

        Alt-Right Founder Questions if Jews Are People

        Nothing to see here. Move along.Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          @chip-daniels

          To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.-George Orwell

          There seems to be so many people including people here who just don’t want to see the racism and bigotry connected to Trump’s rhetoric, campaign, and ultimate skewed victory.

          I have my theories. Libertarianism has always gone closer to the right and Republicanism with its small government ethos so there are natural alliances. There is the fact that even if one is not racist, if one is white and nominally Christian, ones probably knows bigots. They could be family and friends. They could have supported one and done well by one. So one just doesn’t want to admit that one’s friends could have malignant reasons for voting for Trump.

          So people just come up with stories about snooty college students yelling “check your privilege” to Diner workers.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            Racism is a very big part of Trump’s appeal but calling this out anytime you can isn’t necessarily the way forward politically. You read LGM and you know that there are posters there you are basically arguing any white person who doesn’t agree with BLM or people of color on every little point is racist. That seems counter-productive at best.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq
              Ignored
              says:

              I think that spray painting swastikas and right arm “Hail Trump” salutes are a bit more than “every little point”.

              I know, the Neo-Nazis have always existed.
              But on the fringe, a laughable sideshow.
              They are in the main ring now, in the spotlight, with a President who winks and nods at them.

              I see this as a testing, trial balloons to see how far they can go, how overt and brazen they can be before they get shouted down and driven back into the shadows.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            “There seems to be so many people including people here who just don’t want to see the racism and bigotry connected to Trump’s rhetoric, campaign, and ultimate skewed victory.”

            As I said elsewhere, the next four years will be an endless circle of “yeah, but, RACISM” and “yeah, racism, BUT”.

            I mean, there is not an article written that I’ve read which is supportive or explanatory of Trump’s candidacy that does not at least acknowledge the racism element in his support. Many of them foreground it, most of them use phrases like “explains a lot of” and “is a large element in”.

            Am I just missing it? Have I just found the one-in-a-thousand articles that talk about that and the vast majority claim there’s not a jot or tittle of racist ideology among Trump voters? That I can go through papers and columns and TV reports and find not a single one that talks about white people having beef with nonwhites?

            “one just doesn’t want to admit that one’s friends could have malignant reasons for voting for Trump.”

            See, what you’re implying here is that those reasons were the only reasons. That no other reason existed, that millions of people are just so god damn RACIST that despite voting for a black man in 2008 and 2012 they voted against a white woman in 2016.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              This ends one of two ways. Divorce or War.

              Or, I suppose, the former following the latter.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m holding out hope for a negotiated settlement.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Is that like “Okay, we’ll do the 10th Amendment for reals this time”?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You kidder. Like that would solve any of our current problems.

                Add: Granted, it might solve your problem with what you see as our current problems…Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Instead of “Divorce”, it’s “Let’s buy separate houses.”Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The problem with both the divorce and war scenarios is this:

                Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                I hope you’re right. That spends on how much the towering peaks of blue at the edges and the layer of blue that turns magenta into pinkish in the middle have in common with each other.

                I get the feeling that that is “less and less” rather than “meh, more or less about the same”.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I hope you’re right. That spends on how much the towering peaks of blue at the edges and the layer of blue that turns magenta into pinkish in the middle have in common with each other.

                I get the feeling that that is “less and less” rather than “meh, more or less about the same”.

                I get the very opposite feeling, that there is not much substantive difference between Houston, New York City. Raleigh, Seattle, Miami and Denver.

                For sure, Houston is much more like Chicago than it is like, for instance, Midland, TX, or Jasper, TX

                But perhaps Jaybird’s POV is different han mineReport

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s comparing some of the spikes to spikes, though.

                I’m wondering if there is (growing) difference between a democrat in Houston/Chicago and a democrat in Midland or Jasper.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The original argument was that there was two Americas, and that Blue America was urban, more populous, more diverse, more productive, etc., and viceversa.

                Insofar as Blue polititians in Chicago prioritize similar things as those in Houston (mass transit, for instance), they are similar.

                Are Dems in Jasper similar to Dems in Houston? As pertaining to their worldview, Dems (if there is any) in Jasper are probably similar (probably more likely to be Black than Hispanic or White, though). Dems in elected office in Jasper (which I doubt there is any) would probably care less (or nothing) about Mass Transit, and perhaps more about about funding a fire department for the city,Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                If that was the argument that I communicated, then I made a mistake.

                There are a lot of different gradients of “reddish” in the map that I was looking at. Sure, LA is a towering peak, but there is a difference between the deep magenta in this county and the pink in that one.

                The difference is that there is a layer of blue in the pinkish county.

                And I’m wondering at the difference in that layer of blue and the peak found in the city.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think the worldview of the thin Blue layer in rural GA is different than the worldview of the Atlanta Metro (or the Anchorage) Blue person.

                Likewise I don’t think Houston Republicans are that different from Kansas Republicans.

                The difference you see is the different weight the Blue layer has in different locations

                There are two things going on at the same time, though:

                1- You grow up with a Blue disposition in rural GA, and you probably want to leave that place as soon as possible. Let’s call that the “cultural/emotional/self” Big Sort.

                2- You find yourself, through random events like being born there, already in one of the Blue Islands, and you join the current information/knowledge based wealth creation mechanisms. After a while, you conclude that Blue fits better with the premises of the information/knowledge basis wealth creation, and you become Blueisher than you were at the start. Let’s call that the “Reality is confirming my biases Big Sort”

                All this, of course, embeds the PoV of an educated white dude exercising his privilege through the ability to chose. Some minorities are just pushed into the Blue Team by the Red Team pushing them out. Many Jewish people would say that the GOP’s excessive emphasis in cultural Christianity makes them unwelcome. Many blacks would point at different issues about why they feel the GOP doesn’t want them.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, I’m remembering the lessons taught me my my VERY BLUE (campaigned for Mondale in Michigan) grandfather about the importance of buying American, buying Union, and voting Democrat. Perhaps they all turned into Republicans after 9/11 (which my grandfather never saw) but I was more thinking about Democrats like him and how very little he would have had in common with, say, our idea of LA Democrats.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                When we agree on about 90% of the things, we notice the 10% a lot.

                I don’t think LA Dems will tell you not to buy American, and much less, not to buy Union.

                Even if those Dems include more LGBT people than perhaps your grandfather would be comfortable with.

                On the other side, perhaps your grandfather would be ok voting for a gay Dem, as long as he also supported buying Union.Report

              • Avatar El Muneco in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                Unfortunately, I suspect that there is becoming less and less distance between Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Raleigh, Miami… and Tokyo, London, Dublin… Than between them and Bozeman, MT, Midland, TX, or even Bradford, OH where John Scalzi lives.
                The big sort is really, really big.
                Dara O’Briain is basically me, but younger, funnier, taller, balder, edgier – OK, not really like me at all, but more like me than anyone I work with or anyone on my block, and I’m in a D precinct in a D district in a D state…Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to El Muneco
                Ignored
                says:

                @el-muneco

                Completely agree re the first paragraph.

                Completely agree re the second, single sentence, paragraph

                Picture of you needed to asses the last paragraph.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Yep except the Bay Area which is lovingly liberal especially SF. SF has a Republican population of around 10 percent. I did see one this election season. Someone had a Kasich poster in their window!!

                But we live closer together than we imagine. Even if a place is only 30-40 percent Trump or HRC voters, that is still a lot of people.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                That bright red arc down the middle of the 48? There are, for practical purposes, no people there. The few people that are there are heavily dependent on areas to the east or west — depending on which state they’re in — for electricity, road, education, and medical care funding. Seven of the 11 contiguous states west of that arc are in the 20 least rural (Census Bureau definition) in the country. Those 11 have large issues — water, fire, electricity, federal land holdings, a hundred years of citizen initiatives — in common. I, for one, believe that the “blue” western states can offer the red ones a much better deal overall than, say, Ohio or Alabama or Texas could offer.

                I have no opinion about what happens east of the Great Plains arc.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                Personally, I think the institutional bias restricting secession to existing states is an outdated mode of analysis. We need to think more progressively on this. More clearly too.

                I’d propose that all cities/surrounding which voted D in the last two presidential cycles unify to become their own non-contiguous nationstate with the other cities (towns, really) and ruralia constituting another nationstate. Win-win. Fair, clean, precise.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Consider the LA basin. It is highly dependent on electricity from as far away as the Oregon-Washington border well away from the blue parts of those states, and from rural Utah. Natural gas from as far away as Wyoming and extreme West Texas. Delivered over transmission lines and pipeline networks through solidly red countryside. LA — at least in my opinion — dare not depend on a different nation-state to continue supplying its critical energy needs. Particularly if the majority of the population of that other nation-state is more than a thousand miles away, and may make anti-LA decisions on a whim.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Ironically, an urban archipelago nation is a system that would cry out for both federalism and disproportionate representation. Far more so than the USA.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                urban archipelago nations (for the pre-20th century value of ‘urban’) were how the Holy Roman and Austro-Hungarian Empires were organized, if I am not mistaken.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Kolohe
                Ignored
                says:

                The Holy Roman Empire wasn’t really an urban archipelago nation. It was a federation of monarchies of varying seize and certain areas directly subject to the Emperor but given a lot of leeway in self-government. The free imperial cities were all independent of another. The Hapsburg monarchy was run with differing degrees of centralization at different times but it was never an urban archipelago nation.

                The only real examples of an urban archipelago nation that I can think of is the Old Swiss Confederacy or the British Straits Settlement colony where Penang, Malacca, and Singapore were governed together despite being geographically apart.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                There was also the Hanseatic League, but that was such a different social climate from today. I’m not sure if we can draw too many parallels to any of that.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                The problem with federalism in the USA is the existence for historical reasons of the intermediate units we call “states”, which have little use today, but which tend to stifle the self government of the actual population units (both the urban and the rural units, though, for historical reasons, the rural units have a built in advantage)

                Federalism at a smaller level (county level or similar) makes sense. Federalism that treats Las Vegas and Ely NV (two places I know (*)) as if they were the same, or even in the same planet, I’d rather not.

                (*) Ely, 4,000 inhabitants, six hours drive north of Las Vegas, and about the same distance from Salt Lake City, is Nevada’s ninth largest metropolis. But of course, only the Las Vegas Metropolitan area, Reno and Carson City have more than 10,000 people to start with.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                @will-truman

                Because the cities control a bigger share of the wealth and most of the culture of the country, cities prefer that issues are raised to the federal level, where they can have more weight in pushing for the urban issues that they have at a state level.

                On the other side, as we all live in a more globalized planet (like it or not) standardization is an advantage that also pushes against the concept that there is a “state” way of doing things.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to J_A
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s somewhat tangential to my point, though, which is that a disconnected archipelago would be inclined towards federalism because each of the subdivisions would be separated by time, distance, and a host of other factors. It wouldn’t even be gradual like the USA or a Western-11 nation (though sheer size and history lends both of them to more federalism than the UK).

                As far as the US as a whole goes, we have our disagreement. I think substantial subdivisions is a fair model. I think some of our states are somewhat poorly drafted, given how things shook out, but hindsight is 20/20.

                And as far as globalism, ironically enough that’s actually pushing things towards more “states doing their own thing” internationally. Globalism has given countries the ability to increasingly partition themselves.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                You and I have had this conversation before

                I support the federalism of real historical entities, with separate history, language, religion, etc., that the vagaries of dynastic fortunes have joined in political unions.

                I don’t recognize that that is the case anywhere in the USA, except Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, and the future state of Puerto Rico.

                I don’t think there is a historical, linguistic or religious difference between Kansas and New York that justifies a Kansas way of doing things.

                So, in principle, I’m in favor of federalism. I Just think that in the particular case of the USA the states are the wrong entities because they don’t have any substantive reality behind their borders. I wold be very supportive of county level federalism in the USA.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Geez. When did I become the sane one on this topic around here?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh. Just what I was thinking. “Cue the Michael Cain posts for heavy rotation.”Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                @michael-cain

                Geez. When did I become the sane one on this topic around here?

                When you started bringing reality into the discussionReport

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              that millions of people are just so god damn RACIST that despite voting for a black man in 2008 and 2012 they voted against a white woman in 2016.

              Racists or not (they’re racist, obvs) I think we can all agree those folks are clearly misogynists.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/21/13642606/trump-voters-empathy-racismThis Vox article has good details on the pros and cons of emphasizing the racist appeal of Trump.” The pro, its true. The con, you still need to win elections that means either getting people you never vote to turn out to vote or have some problematic voters.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Dark Matter
        Ignored
        says:

        Again? When did they stop?Report

  9. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    Regarding the transition. The transition machinations are now the shiny object the press is chasing around like a cat chases a laser pointer. That part is the usual course of business. Normally, stories of fumbles and chaos distract from what the incoming Prez wants to do. The West Wing called these ‘process stories’ which made it harder to grab back the mic of the bully pulpit to set an actual agenda.

    But these are no ordinary times, as it were. For instance, and I wish I could find it again, someone’s already admitted to leaking Nikki Haley’s name as a deliberate diversion from whatever the news of that day was already talking about.

    I get a feeling that Bannon and gang, uniquely, are leaning into ‘transition in disarray, in crisis’ because the actual agenda is something that doesn’t need selling – and/or would cause serious blowback if that was everyone was actually talking about.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      Did you see our new crazy, conspiracy-theory, Muslim-fearing NSA is trying to appoint his son to his chief of staff? (Apparently those nepotism laws no longer apply).

      He’s like his Dad, if his dad loved Infowars even more.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kolohe
      Ignored
      says:

      No, frankly, I disagree with this. We now have photographic proof that creation of a Muslim entrance registry is literally at the top of the Trump team’s agenda.
      https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/800779102475063296
      So I mention this to a “moderate” Trump supporter friend of mine yesterday, and I ask if he’s been to Manzanar and what he learned there, if he agrees with me that this an incredibly shameful episode from our history we should never, ever repeat. And he says to me, “But people are scared. Right or wrong to be that way, they’re scared, because they see online and on TV images of Muslims making war and cutting off peoples’ heads and calling for jihad on America and flying airplanes into our buildings. And when people get scared, Katie bar the door, we’re going to worry about being polite and nice and racially inclusive later. Screw the Constitution, they’re saying, we need to defend ourselves. You can’t reason with that.”

      And so I see that for a significant number of “moderate” people the scapegoating and dehumanization has been going on for quite some time. And I taste fear, fear unlike the usual sorts of pearl-clutching that happens in times of ordinary political change.Report

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