Ordinary World


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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28 Responses

  1. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    [OW7] Amash is correct. Let me hypothesize now, though, that this is what both sides *want*. Both sides *want* a unitary state with an imperial president.

    This isn’t a BSDI critique, that’s a critique of hypocrisy. There’s no hypocrisy here… this is what we want, this is where our politics are trending, and this is what we’ll have soon enough.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Both sides *want* a unitary state with an imperial president.

      Interesting. (Hmmmmm…..) One counter to this view might be that the logic of collective action within a hyper-partisan two-party electoral system kindasorta entails this outcome, ie., that to achieve our political goals we will, outa institutional necessity, transfer power from the legislature to the executive. But that kicks the can down the road: do we (as a society) *want* a hyper-partisan etc system? I don’t know that we do, but we’re also individually incapable of changing that dynamic. So then we’re back to people, as you say, “wanting” a unitary state with an imperial presidency for rational reasons. Hmmm….Report

  2. Avatar LTL FTC says:


    Dems, last week: Huge majorities agree with us on gun control, taxing the rich and climate change. Don’t be afraid of an assertive left flank!

    Dems, this week: Let’s find something deeply unpopular and make it a litmus test for our nominees!

    (And yes, it’s very unpopular outside certain work media and political circles).Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq says:

      Sorry didn’t mean to report this. Just a slip of the thumb. Please ignore moderators.

      I think most reparations supporters know that it will be deeply unpopular. They still believe it is the right thing to do and are willing to pay the political price.Report

      • Avatar LTL FTC says:

        No doubt that they’re willing to pay a political price, but the important bit is who wants to pay. Reparations, like most of the unpopular culture war stuff that polls so much worse than the Dems’ economic program, is driven by rich urban whites. Their urgent concern is not with their own well-bieng since that’s generally OK under the GOP.
        I try to avoid “oh, they’re just signaling” arguments, and in this case I think most white wokes do believe what they say. However, the role of the noble, principled loser is a lot less appealing if you have some real skin in the game.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David says:

          “white wokes”

          Wolks, that’s my new term. Just added to the dictionary.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            “Warren is the first choice among economic liberals and the white working class, but ranks only 8th among self-identified wolks, a key demographic for her chances to win the primary.”Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq says:

          There are many, many African-Americans that are pushing for reparations. This is not just a bunch of white progressives fighting for it. Most of the advocates for reparations are African-American.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter says:

      The price tag would turn the Green Deal deeply unpopular after it was better known, it should have already been considered a breathtaking over reach.Report

  3. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    [OW1] If Mueller has the goods, Pelosi will of course impeach.

    I don’t know if this means that Mueller doesn’t have the goods or whether Pelosi knows that for 2020 a President Trump is more valuable to Democrats than a President Pence. Or even *more* cynically whether an Impeached Trump (absent a Mueller smoking gun) is better for Republicans than sitting president Trump.

    [edit: belay that last sentence, I got ahead of myself and forgot there’s no {removal from office} impeachment without Mueller smoking gun]Report

    • Avatar J_A says:

      I am totally against a President Pence, who I find significantly more dangerous than Trump, and who would have a fairly easier time winning the election.

      Hence, I believe, and fear, that smart Republicans would actually vote to impeach Trump as long as the fig leaf (or smoking gun) is big enough to cover them from the “5th Av. shooter” base.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine says:

        An interesting question is how much smoke vs how much gun would be needed… but I think you are right that given just the right amount of smoke Trump would get dumped… which is partly why Pelosi won’t frivolously test fate.

        I’ll say I don’t think there’s enough smoke yet, but in the immediate aftermath of Mueller – assuming a mushy “mistakes were made” type of report – that will be Pelosi’s test.Report

      • Avatar Pinky says:

        If Clinton had been removed from office, Gore would have easily won in 2000. Did Democratic senators vote to remove Clinton? No, because people would never do that. No matter what the double-rebound possible benefit, they don’t torch their party leader.Report

  4. Avatar Pinky says:

    OW5 – I haven’t read the author’s previous work, but this looks like a good explanation of the divide between socons and libertarians. I don’t know why he created the terminology of “thick” versus “thin” conservatives. The last thing we need is more political labels, particularly in those (rare) cases where the current labels make sense.Report

    • Avatar Road Scholar says:

      Agreed. I’ve seen the modifiers thick and thin applied to stuff like support for first amendment stuff, but not overall ideologies.

      Frankly, the word “conservative” is pretty useless anymore as any kind of meaningful descriptor that would give you a clue to their political beliefs.Report

  5. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Maybe, but religion has demonstrated it’s limitations to change the darkness of the human soul.

    The Republic of Gilead wouldn’t be any improvement.Report

  6. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    [OW1] We know a bunch of terrible things about Trump already, but his support among Republicans is rock-steady. Probably not one Republican Senator would vote to remove, and we’d need 20 of them to vote that way. So yeah, there’s no point to it, and it wouldn’t push things along any more than the already ongoing investigations.

    I’m not sure, in this climate, what would turn that opinion around. I’m tempted to think nothing at all. He’s running a pay-for-play racket at Mar-A-Lago and maybe elsewhere. His campaign manager handed over campaign polling data to Russian agents. What was the quid-pro-quo? We’ll never know, because Manafort isn’t going to tell us.

    But does this move public opinion? Not in the slightest. I recall reading a piece by the reporter who took down Rob Ford, and she said, basically, “you have to have video”. There will be no video forthcoming. Lots of evidence, but no video.

    Therefore, no impeachment. I support this logic.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      I don’t know about “no impeachment” (I have different reasons for thinking Dems are wrong to go 11-dimensional on this, one being that they’re just no good at it), but I do think that if Trump admitting – twice – that he fired Comey to end the Russia investigation doesn’t rise to the level of an impeachable offense in the public’s and Congress’s eyes, then nothing will.Report

      • Avatar Philip H says:

        For once you and I agree, though over here on the farther and getting farther left I happen to think it is a great reason to have impeached already.

        Democrats have their usual two problems – first, the modern Democratic Party establishment is centerist on a good day and not classically liberal. Thus they are reticent to annoy the middle and center right (where many of their large donors sit). Second, they are unwilling to be nasty when nastiness is required. This is why Mitch McConnell’s often invoked “we won’t vote on this because I said so” is generally met with Chuck Schumer’s shoulder shrug. Which is also why I really wish some of the senators who have announced as Presidential candidates would stay in the senate (and why I want Beto to run for Senate again).Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter says:

          Second, they are unwilling to be nasty when nastiness is required.

          Judge Kavanaugh may disagree with you.

          This is why Mitch McConnell’s often invoked “we won’t vote on this because I said so” is generally met with Chuck Schumer’s shoulder shrug.

          The alternative being… what? If we’re talking about Garland then I’m not sure what the alternative was, make it an issue? Didn’t they do that?Report

      • Avatar Pinky says:

        When did he say that he fired Comey *to end* the Russia investigation? Not because of the Russia investigation, but to end the Russia investigation?Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          “Trump never said the words “I fired James Comey to end the Russia investigation”. Gotcha!”Report

          • Avatar Pinky says:

            I’m not intending that as a gotcha. If you want to make the argument that Trump should be impeached for trying to end the Russia investigation, you’ve got to contend with the fact that he walked right past the giant “end the Russia investigation” lever and fired Comey, then walked past the lever again and did nothing for 22 months.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater says:

              I don’t have to have to contend with any of that, Pinky, since my view is that firing Comey under Trump’s stated pretext was (and still is) an impeachable offense.Report

  7. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    There is a big scandal brewing in college admissions to elite universities at this moment dealing with the sons and daughters of many famous female actors.Report