How I Survived Betomania…

Tracy Downey

Tracy Downey

I'm just a simple story maker longing to make the world a better place, while butterflies dance inside my head.

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44 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    Great article, sorry you didn’t get a taco. If Beto undermines Bernie, which seems entirely possible, that alone will have rendered a valuable service to the party.
    I don’t think I’m grokking the Trump comparison though; I mean if Beto is the lefts Trump then the left is in a hell of a lot better shape than I thought it is and I’m relatively positive about the left.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to North says:

      “I don’t think I’m grokking the Trump comparison though; ”

      If Democrats don’t have their Trump, both sides can’t be the same. That’s why Clinton had to be as big a crook as Nixon, except he didn’t get forced to resign, which means to balance it he had to be a bigger crook.

      That’s why Obama had to be an empty suit, promoted just for his skin color and his ability to “Read off a teleprompter” or else he’d not be the same as Dubya.

      Beto has to be Trump. Clinton has to be Nixon. Both sides must, now and always, be the same.

      “Both sides are the same” is a subset of “Whataboutism”, and it’s ingrained deep in many voters. Say you think of yourself as a smart, savvy person and it’s time to vote. But the candidate on your preferred side has a lot of rumors of corruption. As as smart, savvy voter you can’t vote for a corrupt candidate! Even if that candidate will caucus with the right party, nominate the right judges, vote the right way on the hot topics….

      You have standards, right? You’re not a blind supporter — you know corruption and you know you won’t stand for it.

      Except, of course, unless his opponent is just as bad. Actually he’s probably worse, you know how that side is — they get away with a lot more, ’cause of the media bias. So, best case, he’s just as bad as the guy on your side — but really, he’s probably a lot worse. Your trusted news source is full of rumors about the guy, he’s got to be dirty as hell.

      So you might as well vote for your guy. Sure he’s corrupt, but they’re both corrupt, so no matter who you vote for a corrupt guy is getting in. Might as well vote for the one that picks the right judges, caucuses with the right side, etc.

      And you can sleep easy, knowing you’re a smart, savvy voter who doesn’t blindly vote for just “your side” — you have standards you adhere to, and you never in a million years would have voted for that guy if the other side hadn’t put up someone so much worse. So really, it’s the other side’s fault.Report

      • Avatar Donna Phillips in reply to Morat20 says:

        To MORAT20 just a question. So if Obama was an empty suit who could read from a teleprompter what do you call Trump when he said it really didn’t matter that it rained when he was giving his 4th of July speech to the nation he is currently holding the highest office of and due to the rain he couldn’t read the teleprompter but it was fine because he had memorized it (maybe not his exact words), and he said among other things that George Washington and his troops were able to man the airports to prevent the British from seizing them during the Revolutionary War. Makes me wonder why the Wright brothers were wasting all that time trying to get a meager invention up in the air and fly for a few minutes. And why were they so excited when they were able to make such a great accomplishment when a little over 125 years earlier we already had planes and even airports where you land a plane so they didn’t have to try their homemade plane on a beach that was so much softer to crash on if they could get it up in the air and maybe they wouldn’t kill themselves when or if it crashed to the ground. And Andrew Jackson could have prevented the Civil War when Andrew Jackson died 16 years before the Civil War had begun. Just a few more things, what do you call a guy that said after attending a military school and he wasn’t drafted nor did he enlist due to a bone spur in his foot, at least that’s my recollection, because Vietnam just seemed so far away. Oh, boo who. I could continue with the examples, such as his tax returns, and the fact he refused to appear before Robert Mueller, and didn’t even answer all of the written questions, and that the moon was part of Mars, etc. Again I ask what do you call him? I call him a liar, a cheat, a crook, a coward, and a childish dumb a**, a white supremacist who stokes hate, and who knows less about the nation he is running than an elementary school child and can’t spell any better than one either!Report

    • Avatar Tracy Downey in reply to North says:

      Just to clarify so the opinion isn’t misconstrued: Bernie in my opinion, is the left’s Trump not Beto and I specify that above.

      Thanks for reading, and yes, sadly, I did not get to eat my el pastor taco. I’ll have to go back.😎👍🏻Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North says:

      I think it is what Morat20. There are a lot of people out there who really hate Trump and/or the GOP but all their priors are still strongly directed to tribal identity towards the GOP and/or even Trumpian policies himself. This is hating Trump for saying the quiet parts loud and vulgarly but not for the policies themselves as much. Maybe they would not crack down on undocumented immigrants or children as much but they are also not ready for Pathways to Citizenship or more immigration.

      On this very blog, we have seen #NeverTrumpers complain about the state of the GOP but also that the Democrats are the crap team. One former OTer on Facebook predicted that Trump’s popularity would hit 60 percent because of the Barr exoneration.

      A lot of people for reasons of cultural identity, geography, or whatever have been primed to hate the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is the party of those people. Those people being city dwellers whether minorities or culturally-elite snobs (culturally-elite in this case might meant the 25-year old public school teacher who likes going to museums on free days or splurging on brunch every now and then. How dare you put on airs and not like NASCAR like the rest of us.) But they are smart enough to see that Trump is a disaster but they can’t bring themselves to pull the D lever.Report

  2. Avatar Morat20 says:

    “Okay, I’d like to interject here. Do Democrats realize we do indeed have an immigration crisis at our Southern border? ”

    We don’t have an immigration crisis. Net illegal immigration from Mexico is down a lot. It peaked in 2007 ( There are fewer illegal immigrants from Mexico (indeed, from all of South America) now than there were in 2007. Border crossings are down and have been trending down since well before Trump took office.

    We have a leadership and management crisis. There is a set of self-defeating immigration directives from the WH that took an orderly, functional process and turned it on it’s head with no planning or preparation, leading to a complete collapse of a quite functional system into this mess.

    For you to claim there is an illegal immigration crisis, you really need to explain how a significant trend downwards in illegal immigration somehow precipitated a crisis, or how “fewer illegal immigrants both crossing the border and fewer illegal immigrants living in the United States” somehow represents anything but a problem that’s getting better.

    For the record, Democrats are quite keenly aware of the management crisis, and of the short-sighted, self-defeating directives issued by the Executive that led straight to family separation policies, preventable deaths, and kids locked in cages.

    All against a backdrop, I cannot stress enough, of a fewer illegal immigrants. It takes a real “leader” to take a problem that’s getting better and somehow turn it into an absolute catastrophe.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Morat20 says:

      Your article, originally posted in 2015, seems to be badly dated. Have a look at the current numbers from US Customs and Border Protection. The bright red line that’s way above all the other lines is 2019. That line ends at February with 76,103 apprehensions, which seems to be a new record, and ICE warns that they’re expecting it to surge far past that as spring rolls on, with 1.5 million illegals expected to come this year. That’s almost three times higher than in previous years.

      Trump is saying he’ll shut the entire southern border down this week, and for good reason. He’s also cutting off aid to Central America.


  3. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    We don’t have an illegal immigration crisis. We have a humanitarian crisis because too many voters have a xenophobic and racist fear of brown people and get anxious at the idea of whites being a plurality instead of an outright majority. Possibly they get anxious if whites are not an overwhelming majority.

    Though the constant drumbeat from many on “illegal immigration” shows that fact-based, technocratic arguments and points are largely useless. People are going to believe what they believe, facts be damned as much as torpedoes.Report

    • We don’t have an illegal immigration crisis, but we do have a situation at the border right now that exceeds xenophobic fear of a non-white majority. One that Trump is handling poorly, but that Obama demonstrated is difficult for even an administration with good intentions to handle well.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

        Actually Obama didn’t do that poorly. He recognized the facts — we don’t have the money, manpower, or logistics to do something like “Stop everyone at the border and throw them into a holding facility until we process them”.

        If you did something stupid like that, especially without a few years to and a lot of money to ramp up infrastructure and manpower to prepare for it, you’d end up with crowded holding facilities, children in cages, preventable deaths, and a bunch of other gross, public failures — without actually changing the end result.

        He ended up focusing on the worst of the worst, ignored the ones already present unless they committed crimes, and most of those who came through were given a court time to show up to plead their case, rather than being held and then see a judge and then deported.

        The attendance rate for the Court was above 95%, IIRC, and as the number of illegal immigrants in the US fell off by about 1/6th over his term, it must have been working.

        Then Trump came into office, and he and Sessions decided on…this. Which has led to children in cages, and people in holding camps under bridges. Which the Tracey called an “immigration crisis” rather than incredibly bad management.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

          I’m referring to the border surge of 2014, much of the criticism of which comes from the left. There was a while thing where repeatedly people on the left pointed to alleged mistreatment of crossers by the Trump administration that actually predated it because even if you’re trying, border surges are hard to manage even with a “good guy” as president.

          The main differences are that this one is much bigger and we have a president who is not a good guy.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Morat20 says:

          Establishing immigrants, especially brown immigrants as undesirable Others is the policy.
          The policy is carried out with the tactic of arbitrary displays of power and cruelty.

          The United States could easily process and adjudicate any number asylum seekers, work visas, and green card seekers in an orderly humane way.
          But Trump and his supporters don’t want that. They want to demonstrate that “None Is Too Many”.Report

          • A lot of these problems predate Trump. Believing Trump is bad and his policies are cruel is one thing (I agree!) but believing that without that there wouldn’t be problems is unfounded.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

              There have been numerous attempts at immigration reform over the last two decades.

              They’ve failed, and it’s not from lack of willingness to embrace workable solutions from the left.

              Obama was, like Democrats in general, constrained by the fact that the GOP is really stuck on the issue, and incapable of doing anything but shouting slogans.

              Which is sad, because there are plenty of conservative solutions, a number of which slot right into a bipartisan immigration reform package, but in general those solutions are foreclosed by the more xenophobic elements of the GOP base.

              The GOP is stuck in a bind — any sort of ‘immigration reform’ that is not “deport them all” will anger a very sizable portion of their base, opening them up to primary losses and lower general election turnout. Deport them all, however, is pretty much a non-starter with everyone else in the GOP coalition. (It’s radically unpopular, doomed to failure, and the PR side is likely to anger quite a few people. Children in cages, after all).

              That is not due to Trump, but Trump is very much the current face — and a living exemplar — of the exact portion of the GOP base that has prevented any actual movement on immigration, leaving the Executive stuck trying to deal with insufficient funds and manpower for the mandates placed on them.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                As far as I know, not a single Obama proposal would have prepared us for 4000 asylum seekers a day. Or 1000, for that matter.

                And you keep acting like kids in cages didn’t occur under the Obama Administration. It didn’t occur as often because Obama didn’t separate families to scare would-be seekers away with mistreatment. Which is my point: It’s hard enough even with good intentions. I think where you guys are misleading yourself is that it’s easy if you care and are competent. I think the Obama Administration is both, but they also recognized that some problems are actually problems even if Republicans say they are. Dealing with that kind of surge is one of them. I hope Democrats will have a plan, or that it is just easy and the Obama Administration committed unforced errors.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Will Truman says:

                Again, we DO have the financial and logistical capability to handle 4,00 people per day, IF the Republicans would allow it.

                Obama wasn’t constrained by technical feasibility, but by political feasibility.

                And again, no one can articulate why simply letting these people come in and work on their citizenship while they live here is a problem.

                Everyone just wants to start out every discussion with the baseline assumption that “Immigrants are a problem”Report

              • We don’t have the capacity. We could build it, but we don’t have it. We would need to allocate the money, then get the contracts, then build and buy and hire the people we need. All of which can be done, but have and would take time.

                Did Obama ever ask for it? Probably not because he never had need for it. He did have need for 1000 at one point but by the time he would have built it, it would have looked like the probably had passed.

                You’re right that it’s a political problem in that you could theoretically make it happen from a logistical standpoint. But there’s not much reason to believe that it’s the Republicans specifically preventing it. That implies that if the Democrats had unified control they’d to it instead of using that money and political capital pursuing other priorities. I’m skeptical.


              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                “As far as I know, not a single Obama proposal would have prepared us for 4000 asylum seekers a day. Or 1000, for that matter.”

                You mean besides the way he did? Process them, set up a court date, and have them appear to determine the validity of their claims?

                And of course there’s stuff like the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” which would have helped quite a bit, but despite passing by a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, Boehner never found the time to bring it up for a vote.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Morat20 says:

                You mean besides the way he did? Process them, set up a court date, and have them appear to determine the validity of their claims?

                Just to be clear, they didn’t actually deal with the numbers we’re talking about and the policy you refer to happened only after the courts had to step in and tell them to cut it out with the indefinite detentions, which they were doing to try to dissuade people from coming (sound familiar?).

                Let’s not forget, though, about deporting thousands of them who never made their court date often because of faulty notification procedures (and, if we’re being honest, a desire to adjudicate a lot of cases on a limited amount of time with not-unlimited resources).

                Then there are stories of the abuse within the system.

                Including, of course, kids in cages. Some of the most circulated pictures of the whole Trump fiasco turned out to be from the Obama administration. (Which, along with the ACLU report, and some of the reports of “missing children“, became a pattern of confusion over which bad things happened under whom.)

                There was a lot of angstiness on the left about Obama’s handling of the situation.

                I’m actually a defender of the Obama administration on a lot of this. There are, to my mind, critical differences between what they were dealing with the best they could and the problem Trump created last year via his own policies. But it was a clusterfish that caused them a lot of problems.

                I’m not sure where you are getting this idea that it went swimmingly, but it really didn’t and a lot of the complaining comes from the left. Clinton would have done better than Trump is going to do (and last year’s chaos wouldn’t have happened to begin with because that was all Trump), but it’s a tough situation. People who worked for Obama say so.

                And of course there’s stuff like the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” which would have helped quite a bit

                Not as far as I know. That dealt with a lot of different aspects of immigration from those already here to those wanting to come here legally and illegally. But not really asylum.

                The closest it comes is if the administration misused some of the work visas to handle asylum claims. That would have risked another set of problems.


              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

                Back when I was freaking out about this, I pointed out that Obama deported more than any other president in history.

                “Ah! We don’t know that he did *PER CAPITA*!”, came the response.

                Because it didn’t matter so long as he wasn’t setting records. (And we never even cleared up whether he did set records… I couldn’t find per capita numbers. But the fact that I couldn’t *PROVE* it, made it not matter.)Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                No. You clearly don’t understand The Narrative. Obama and the D’s want the openest borders that were ever open to flood the country with illegals. Obama didn’t do anything about The Invasion and the D’s never tried to compromise with R’s.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                Clearly, you do understand it.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Will Truman says:

                But Whatabout Obama isn’t doing any work here to excuse away Trump.

                Maybe a unified Democratic control of government wouldn’t be perfect, but it is certain it would be better.Report

          • Or put another way, you could remove the GOP from the equation entirely. Entirely. Pretend that instead of Republicans we have an NDP. You still wouldn’t have a government capable of handling 4000 cases a day. If you did, the vast majority of the time they would he standing on their hands, and the accommodations we’d have while processing them would be sitting vacant the vast majority of the time. All of the money being spent on that being not spent on something else like education or health care.

            None of this is a defense of the Trump Administration. Rather, it’s a statement that the problem exists independent of who occupies the White House. The differences are in how they confront the problem and what their aims are.

            But people who are trying to argue that there is no problem except the administration aren’t just arguing with me. Among the people trying to sound the alarm are Obama’s DHS chief. And among the people who had a problem with Obama’s handling of the previous one is the ACLU.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Will Truman says:

              It is a crisis because…we are apprehending and holding too many people?

              Then why re we holding them, instead of releasing them to pursue their various forms of application?

              Why not use the border wall money to hire more processing personnel and caseworkers?

              Why not increase the number of legal visas we give out?

              There are many, many other ways to handle the influx of asylum seekers, work visas, and green cards, other than a deliberate policy of exclusion, which I agree predates Trump, all the way back to the Irish immigration.

              The crisis only is a crisis because of that policy.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “Then why re we holding them, instead of releasing them to pursue their various forms of application?”

                That’s what Obama did. And IIRC, something like 95%+ of them showed up to their court hearings later. All on their own.

                Like I said, the current “crisis” is a failure of management. The issue of illegal immigration has been roundly ignored (mostly because all attempts at legislative changes have been stymied by the GOP’s own internal struggle over the issue) for at least two decades.

                Thankfully, net illegal immigration is down and the number of illegal immigrants in America is down, and under semi-competent management the system limped along.

                Under less competent management, of course, you get children in cages, migrants housed in facilities under bridges, and dead asylum seekers.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Morat20 says:

                And even the 5% who didn’t show up, are a problem because…well, no one can say exactly why they are a problem.
                Because they became productive law abiding members of society.

                So the “crisis” is not what the immigrants are doing…the “crisis” is that they exist.Report

            • “You still wouldn’t have a government capable of handling 4000 cases a day. If you did, the vast majority of the time they would he standing on their hands, and the accommodations we’d have while processing them would be sitting vacant the vast majority of the time. All of the money being spent on that being not spent on something else like education or health care.”

              Agreed! 👍🏻Report

  4. Avatar Jesse says:

    “But this is clearly a liberal pipe dream because if this speech gets replayed in Nevada, O’Rourke wouldn’t carry a tenth of the state”

    I guarantee you that O’Rourke can still win Nevada by saying this, because that was the political policy of Hillary, I have no problem believing she said it, and she rather easily won NevadaReport

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse says:

      But Hillary was charismatic and didn’t make any mistakes.

      Can we trust Beto to be as skilled as Clinton was?Report

    • Tracy Downey Tracy Downey in reply to Jesse says:

      Banning AR-15’s is not what her policy was. We have four gun shows a year. Three shooting galleries, and Northern Nevada is the rural area. Nye County specifically would vote against this.

      Universal background checks- yes. That passed. But banning guns?

      No way. The fundamental difference is how the left cannot grasp conservative culture.

      Mental health policies now like Rubio’s I can get behind.

      Nevada may have a blue chunk down here in Clark County, but there are plenty of center right and independent voters here that would balk at such a proposal.Report

  5. Avatar JoeSal says:

    Good stuff Tracy

    For the Church of Need, state power is a addiction. My prediction is that the candidate that offers the highest value of “appearance” of achieving state power and deployment of the preferences of the church will get the leftwards vote. (By default the highest authoritarian the left can muster.)Report

  6. It doesn’t look like I commented on this yet Tracey but great piece! Really felt like I was there! 🙂Report

  7. Avatar Tracy Downey says:

    Thank you my friend:) 😊Report

  8. Avatar George Turner says:

    The other day I ran across an amusing take on Beto. A female author said that women were quickly getting over him, since he was like that ex-boyfriend. Way too into himself, convinced everything he utters is profound and insightful, always going jogging to “clear his head”, always too busy with his latest cause to do anything useful for them, and still searching for himself. She said the type is good for about three fun dates, and that’s about it.

    I can totally see that now.

    I was reminded of it when I saw a take down of Beto’s response to a student who asked how he justifies his lack of charitable contributions when he’s a multimillionaire (which amount to 0.3% of his income). His response was that every day he gets up and contributes so much good to the world. That is how he contributes, by letting the world bask in his goodness and brilliance. Woohoo!

    Yeah. He’s one of those boyfriends.Report