Mitch McConnell on SCOTUS Vacancy: “Oh, we’d fill it”


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

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207 Responses

  1. This is my shocked face. The simple fact is that as long as the GOP controls the Senate, they control the judiciary. And you can thank Harry Reid for that, after he got rid of the filibuster.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      Because surely, Mitch McConnell would never get rid of the filibuster the moment it became inconvenient!Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        Yeah, “Mitch McConnell would have respected long-standing traditions of the Senate if only Harry Reid had kept the judicial filibuster,” is pretty laughable, given his other abuses of procedure and lack of respect for other traditions (like ignoring blue slips), it reeks of the studied anti-partisanship used to rationalize Republican malfeasance.Report

    • Avatar Philip H says:

      Reid was an idiot for doing that, and got justifiably called out for it at the time. And it highlights a theme we’ve been exploring around here for a while – Democrats keep using a slow, dithering approach to Republicans head strong plowing through norms. There is no really hard push back, hence the belief that Republicans are the only fighters in the ring right now. And while some conservative judges do surprise sometimes (see the SCOTUS decision yesterday essentially affirming the Pennsylvania school policy on transgeneder person using the bathroom of their gender expression instead of their genetics), McConnell is right that remaking the judiciary makes long lasting impacts. I firmly believe he will accept sacrificing his Party’s hold on the Senate and the WH once that remake is complete. Its the principle reason why he is allowing the rest of Trump’s tantrums.Report

      • Avatar Dan Miller says:

        What would “push back” look like, if not what Reid did?Report

        • Avatar Philip H says:

          At the time? I don’t recall all the particulars, but I’m sure there was something else that Mitch wanted that could have been publically and loudly torpedoed in return for the obstruction.

          My larger point is Republicans for most of my life have been willing to destroy institutions and norms to get and achieve power. Democrats either cower in the corner or put out tepid half responses. They are not a robust opposition, and frankly its a big reason why Republicans fail to respect them. And “We told you so” isn’t going to convince anyone they are fighters.Report

    • Avatar North says:

      What should Harry Reid have done differently? Acquiesced to Mitch’s blockage and left a larger backlog of appointments for subsequent Republicans to fill?Report

  2. Avatar Aaron David says:

    In ’18, the R’s gained ground (ever so slightly) in the Senate. In other words, as a nation we want them to have control over this, among other things. And with Harry Reid’s groundbreaking stupidity as far as long ranging politics go, they can control this process pretty tightly. They had also gained ground during the tenure of Obama, showing that the people did not care for his philosophy of governance, which includes SCOTUS picks. McConnell saw that and took advantage of it with Garland, using the playbook of that fool Reid. This move gets called the Biden rule for the reason that the former VP and current presidential candidate was in favor of it when his party would have gained from the breaking of that norm.

    What is often talked about re Trump is the breaking of norms. What gets missed in that bit of punditry is the norms that have been broken over the last 40 years. And if one looks closely, you can see other norms that were broken in the 40 years before that. And so on. Norms that include members of both political alignments work because both groups benefit from them. As soon as the benefits become uneven, the norm will go out the window to gain an advantage. Right or wrong the conservative movement feels that they should shore up the judicial system with judges that have the same philosophy as they do. I may not always agree with them (it’s about the same as with the lefts political philosophy) but they are in the position to do this electorally. And that is all that matters at the moment. Could this be as silly as Reid’s decision? Yeah, probably.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Chris Coons is great in this clip.

      Both sides want to win battles to the point where they don’t care whether it puts the war at risk. This happening at the same time as the college tuition thing coming to a head? If you haven’t read The Gods of the Copybook Headings recently, I suggest (to everybody) that you re-read it.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David says:

        As long as they see themselves as being treated unfairly, members of both sides will do this shit. And the will always justify their actions. From Bork to Garland, you will hear the crowing of the “victors” and the lamentation of the losers.

        I was reading something about Nevada(?) giving all its electoral votes to the “popular” vote winner. I am amazed that in the course of trying to rewrite the losing campaign of yesteryear, a state will willingly disenfranchise its voters. And possibly give a hated candidate a moral win.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        This “both sides” nonsense is bullshit and you know it.

        Only one side nominated Donald Trump for President. But for some reason Leftwards are obligated to pretend that wasn’t a massive defection in and of itself [1] because otherwise we’d threaten the symmetry that lets savvy gadflies and concern trolls pretend to be above it all.

        [1] Even though, at the time, many Rightwards acknowledged it!Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          I actually don’t know it.

          Do you believe that “The long march through the institutions” refers to an actual thing? You don’t have to, of course.

          But when I see this game, I see that it’s been iterated for quite a long time.

          Defections, at this point, aren’t only not surprising, I am not sure that they’re even bad strategy.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            I believe it refers to an idea; the argument that it’s actually happened is quite silly, though.

            Of course, it’s exactly the sort of silliness that allows this pretense of being above it all to continue; it balances the mere existence of Leftists anywhere with Republican control of the levers of governmental power, and more than that, even arbitrary abuses of that power.

            RIghtward Culture War anxieties, largely self-inflicted by parallel media institutions expressly designed to create (and monetize them) that anxiety then justify defection.

            And of course that defection is good strategy, because the very asymmetric nature of the party coalitions means that the “Left”, as represented by the Democratic Party, rarely retaliates, and when it does retaliate, rarely does so with much force.

            And one side keeps scoring victories due to those defections, and keeps degrading the norms that make the country’s political institutions function, and for some reason you see a mutual commitment to conflict.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Well, much like with “the liberal media”, the argument that the media isn’t conservative because all of the journalists are pro-choice vs. the argument that the media isn’t progressive because it’s so pro-corporate allows both sides (BOTH!) to be right.

              So too with the Culture War “anxieties” held.

              Both sides (BOTH!) look at the Culture War and see that they’re losing it.

              Personally, I see this only ending in War or Divorce. Whenever I start asking what Team Good would be willing to give up in order to achieve Détente, the attitude is usually some variant of “why should we give up a goddamned thing? They’re the ones that suck!” (And, to be honest, the thing where I’m negotiating away things that aren’t mine to negotiate away is distasteful after a while.)

              For what it’s worth, all of the “victories” you see the other side winning? I’m pretty sure that they don’t see them as victories at all.

              Anxiety, man. It’s a thing.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          There is no truth, there is only the game. And only those indifferent to the outcome can see things clearly; everyone else is hopelessly biased and blinded.Report

    • Avatar Dan Miller says:

      A body where California has the same say as Wyoming says nothing about the will of “the nation”.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David says:

        Yes, as they are equal parties in this nation, they get an equal vote.

        Hence the Senate, and hence the House for different things. This is to assure reginol variation in our country is understood, and that the population does have its say.Report

        • Avatar Dan Miller says:

          They’re not equal.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David says:

            Then why do they have equal votes? They are both states, right? Maybe the whole point was to give various areas and differing opinions equal say!

            But maybe you are right, as an ex-Californian (four generations!) maybe Wyoming should get a greater say.Report

            • Avatar Dan Miller says:

              This is circular logic. You’re justifying them having equal votes because they’re equal parties, and you’re saying they’re equal parties because they have equal votes.

              Objectively, there’s no reasonable criteria by which Wyoming and California should each receive two Senators. It was a shitty compromise even back in the 1780s (James Madison hated it for a reason), and it’s only gotten worse over time.

              Maybe it was necessary to get Rhode Island on board in the 1780s, but here and now there’s no legitimate defense of it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Is there a process to change it?Report

              • Avatar Dan Miller says:

                There is. Unfortunately, it’s blocked by people who don’t want to change the system, for reasons beyond my ken. I hope you’ll join me in condemning them.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’d be more interested in figuring out what it’d take to get them on board.

                If I can make their reasons within my ken, maybe I can change their minds.


                Just kidding.

                Anyway, condemning them without understanding them strikes me as some serious “make myself feel better without actually helping anything” behavior.Report

              • Avatar Ozzy! says:

                I prefer systems where I have equal votes with myself. The rest of you are far beyond my ken, so I hope you will condemn yourselves with me.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I see a lot of my life as not being under the jurisdiction of other people. Maybe Maribou has some serious jurisdiction, my mom to a much lesser extent, and I make a handful of trades with my boss to allow him limited jurisdiction over me.

                I assume that others are, more or less, similar to me when it comes to jurisdiction issues.Report

              • Avatar Ozzy! says:

                Yes, sorry, I was being obtuse for (clearly poorly executed) attempted humor.

                I was going for the idea that someone else has an equal vote as me? Boo that person! sort of thing from the comment you responded to.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Oh, sorry. My humor is such that I caught the joke, nodded, and then wanted to make a serious point anyway. Sorry.

                The idea that we should change things is one that makes sense to me. The idea that we break things to allow us to change things without using the onerous processes available is an idea that makes sense to me.

                The idea that we should break things, change them, and then go back to the way they were before we broke them?

                Yeah. I think that that *MIGHT* work, but it requires a pile of dead bodies and unless we’re willing to discuss who needs to be part of that pile, it strikes me as a silly avenue to bring up in the first place… unless, of course, just talking about it is a form of self-care (in which case, hey, self-care away).Report

              • Avatar Ozzy! says:

                No worries! Text is great until it aint.

                I think that ‘equal’ changes much more than most will credit over the longer term. Does the current status lend weight to wyoming or the dakotas being equal to california in the senate? Probably not, in this snippet of time. It sure as hell did 100 or 150 years ago though. It might again in 200 years.

                Moving slow is a feature of the system we live in. I think it may be its most resilient aspect.Report

              • Avatar PD Shaw says:

                The process to change it is called “compromise.” What could large states give small states that they would accept in exchange?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                What do the small states want?
                What are they afraid of losing?Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                What do the small states want?
                What are they afraid of losing?

                As a group, losing their veto power on amendments?

                More generally those are hard questions. Delaware and Rhode Island are not North and South Dakota, and the answers may be quite different.

                If I were to go out on a limb and speculate about what they might all want in common, my first guess would be, “Control of who can move there.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                My guess would be culture war stuff- Abortion, toilet privileges, and rights for ethnic minorities.

                In other words, the legitimacy of other people.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                I’ll disagree about those being common across the group.

                As I noted elsewhere, the 10 smallest states (by population) have 10 Republican Senators and 10 Democratic Senators. Geographically, five are from the Northeast, four are clustered at the north end of the Great Plains, plus Alaska.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Well yeah, but the smallest 5 have 8 Republicans and 2 Democrats.

                And the driving force behind all Republican politics is culture war and identity politics.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                If you let me cut samples small enough, I can get any result I want. The top item for “want” in Alaska and Wyoming is almost certainly land use policy and mineral royalties for federal holdings. That’s a nothingburger for the other three in the five smallest.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I think it is those smallest ones which are driving the fury over the EC and Senate, and the culture war identity politics that is fueling it.

                Because really, this isn’t some dry academic debate over political mechanics.

                The fact that those 8 Senators, a twelfth of the Senate, who collectively represent fewer Americans than one of the larger states can effectively shape the SCOTUS is disconcerting.

                Add to this that the driving issue for these 8 Senators and the SCOTUS decisions is identity, literally the worth and legitimacy of more than half of Americans is infuriating to quite a few people.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I think that it has something to do with the Masons.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                Those 8 aren’t the only people in the Senate doing things. They are acting in concert with the rest of their respective caucus’. What we should do is move to restrict and contain what damage these tiny states, which have no place in our system as they are often smaller than some counties, from doing to much damage on the Senate floor.

                And as they have no place in a Federal system, we should simply reapportion these votes into the largest that they orbit. Thus all of New England should be moved to be a part of Maine. They will surely revert to the mean in a generation politically, but in the current term, they will be happy with Maines current set of Senators. I mean really, those people are represented fully in the House.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                I’m more interested in the trends. 100 years ago, Iowa and Nebraska and the Dakotas were some of the most progressive states in the country. Even 20 years ago Democrats won Senate seats. What has happened since then?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                “What has happened since then?”

                There’s a very interesting thread that begins here, I think, that might give a handful of hints. (Warning, strong language.)


              • Avatar PD Shaw says:

                Maybe you should ask Biden. And maybe after he’s talked around the issue for an hour, go ask Bernie.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                Given that states can’t have their Senate representation reduced, even by Constitutional amendment,without their consent, making representation proportional to population is a non-starter. A work-around might be a designated number of at-large Senate seats, which would not reduce any state’s representation.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                No, what I am saying is that they have equal votes at the state level. Each state gets two votes. They have proportionate votes at the population level. So, each state in the federation gets a say and each person. The two combine to make law. As the two, states and people are different so I can see all sorts of reasons for it.

                Don’t really care that Madison hated it, what it took to get Rhode Island into the mix. If that is what it took, then that is what it took. And, in its elegance, I can see every legitimate defense of it.

                You may think my logic is circular, but I disagree. Indeed, I think it is perfectly straight forward.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                You know the defense of the Senate. It serves as a check on the power of the largest states. I consider that a legitimate argument. No, check that: it is a legitimate position, and I consider it persuasive. I guess I’m a little irritated at your calling the position illegitimate.

                We are a union of states. There’s nothing unreasonable about having states carry equal weight in one of the houses. A unicameral legislature would also be reasonable. However, I don’t see any reason that we should have two houses, both of which are filled in the same way. You could argue that, and it’d be a legitimate argument, but it wouldn’t persuade me.

                The idea of an upper and lower house is primarily for obstruction. That’s what the Framers wanted. A population-based Senate would be less obstructive.
                If anything, I think we need more obstruction.Report

              • Avatar Philip H says:

                even a hundred years ago it was a flawed argument. Southern states who wanted to maintain slavery gave us the ill understood and poorly implemented second amendment. ANd frankly if states were equal in the senate we’d have immigfration reform resembling what California (as the 6th or 7th largest economy in the WORLD) needs, not what Iowa claims they want (even though they need it more then California).Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If you’re not serving the economy, who are you serving?

                We really need to make some serious distinctions between contributors and sponges.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                What does slavery and the Second Amendment have to do with the Senate?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                And here we have a full-throated defense of the Senate in what is supposed to be a simple condemnation of it.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        Factoids: The 10 most populous states account for just over 54% of the US population; of those 20 Senators, 10 are Republicans and 10 are Democrats. The 10 least populous states account for just over 2.5% of the US population; of those 20 Senators, 10 are Republicans and 10 are Democrats (well, 8 Democrats and 2 independents who caucus with the Dems).

        The Republican advantage, if we want to call it that, is in mid-sized states with populations in the 3-7M range.

        All population figures are based on US Census Bureau estimates for July, 2018.Report

        • Avatar PD Shaw says:

          If the large state disadvantage was that significant, California and Texas could simply bifurcate themselves and double their Senate representation. That they don’t do this is because they gain a significant advantage in the House (and they don’t think their state lines are abstract fictions).Report

    • Avatar North says:

      Yes, because if Reid had simply acquiesced to McConnell’s blanket filibuster blockade of all of Obama’s judicial appointments then McConnell would have left the filibuster in place for the even larger vacancies that would have been left to fill when a Republican took the White House. Any bridges you want to sell us while you’re at it? Maybe some cheese from the moon too?

      And the Biden rule is entirely a right wing messaging invention. The Dems never once did anything of the sort and never had that policy.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David says:

        Then he should have gotten more votes across the country, as opposed to the coasts.

        As for it being a messaging interpretation, yes, yes it is a right wing invention. Dems need to come up with a messaging system that is equal.

        Politics can be like that.Report

        • Avatar North says:

          He had 59 Senators! When was the last time the GOP had that many? And I would note you elided the question since we both know that McConell, with 51 Senators, would have ditched the judicial filibuster in a heartbeat. He certainly wouldnt have agonized about his lack of broad voter support.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David says:

            And 59 wasn’t a supermajority by the rules at the time, which is what he would need to ram through any ‘ol Justice. So, he made the rules easier. Defied norms!

            And then he lost his hold on the reins.

            Somebody mentioned there might be consequences! And boy, howdy!

            Would Mitchy McC do something bad? Maybe! But Reid did something stupid.Report

            • Avatar Philip H says:

              even on the left we agree that he did – and many on the left pointed it out to him. Doesn’t change the fact that McConnell hasn’t made the situation better.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              Just as Mitch was defying norms by issuing blanket filibusters on all Obama nominees regardless of their merit; likewise on his decision to organize blanket opposition to all Obama’s polities right after the man was elected regardless of merit. What would a better response have been to those norm violations? Simply to allow Mitch to hold all those vacancies open until he could abolish the filibuster himself and then fill them as he very openly indicated he intended to do? No one has suggested what a better response from Reid would have been.

              As a libertarian I would think you would want to preserve the filibuster considering how beneficial it is to obstructing state expansion. Though I suppose your republican side of looking at things would prefer that it merely be a rule that applies only when Democrats have a majority; so much for the indicated will of the voters.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                Of course he was defying norms! Iterated prisoners dilemma.

                In answer to your question, I would say to nominate someone acceptable to the other side of the coin. Or, Obama could have asked McC for a list of justices that would be acceptable and confirmed one of them, or thrown it back if none were acceptable. But as it stands, it looks like McC was hired to stop Obama dead in his tracks, as that is what he did and he was rewarded for it.

                Would I love the filibuster to come back? Of course! Indeed, I would love the supermajority to be raised to 66 members. But I can think of many things I would love that just aren’t going to happen.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Well McC had indicated he was blocking all nominees and that none that Obama sent up would be accepted regardless of who they were so I guess it really does boil down to McC being hired to stop Obama (years before Obama was even elected). That says it all I suppose. We’ll see how the filibuster fares going forward. Seems to be holding up on the legislative side of things so far- probably because McC hasn’t been able to get over a bare handful of Senators margin in his majority.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                Oh, we will not see the same old filibuster return for a while. Not until there is a clear, overwhelming majority of holders of the same vision for the country.Report

              • Avatar Ozzy! says:

                There is no way the filibuster is reinstated. Zero. I am sad it is gone. But it is gone and never to return.Report

              • Avatar Ozzy! says:

                I said this below, but why are you are you arguing about the ‘civility’ of the derivatives of this instead of hammering against the move? Hammer against it! It’s a good point!

                Your argument is already lessened by the secondary effects you are focused on. Hammer the narrative! Hammer the R’s for being terrible and unfair and bad!

                Keep up what you are doing and it becomes a non-story.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Or, Obama could have asked McC for a list of justices that would be acceptable and confirmed one of them, or thrown it back if none were acceptable.

                No list created by one side would be acceptable to the other. Obama would never replace a Far Right Justice with another with his supporters insisting he flip the court, the GOP wasn’t going to let him flip the court. Biden observed this decades ago.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                You are right, they wouldn’t have been accepted. What they would have done is given political cover for a partial process, made Obama look presidential and earned Brownie points.

                McC would have downed anyone who came up, so the D’s lose nothing but gain gravitas.Report

              • Avatar Philip H says:

                You do remember that McConnell voted to support Garland’s installation on the DC Circuit Court before denying him even a meeting as a SCOTUS nominee right?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                And times change, and the R’s were put in place to stop the selections of Obamas SCOTUS picks. And we know this because they were able to expand their hold on the Senate.

                In other words, people approved of this.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                likewise on his decision to organize blanket opposition to all Obama’s polities right after the man was elected regardless of merit.

                My impression was that both sides do that, i.e. work to make the other guy a one term president.

                In terms of norm breaking I’d say the suggestions/discussions/advocating of impeachment before Trump even took office seem like a new thing.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Your impression would be wrong. The Dems didn’t indulge in blanket opposition to Bush W. and cooperated on drafting policies on subjects where they agreed with him or could compromise with him. Obviously they did blanket opposition on policies where they had no common ground with the GOP but McConnell’s position was unique in that he opposed Obama on all policies and whipped his caucus to make sure Obama never got the bipartisan cooperation he’d campaigned on seeking even on issues where compromise was possible.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter says:

        The Dems never once did anything of the sort and never had that policy.

        “Politics has played far too large a role in the Reagan-Bush nominations to date. One can only imagine that role becoming overarching if a choice were made this year, assuming that a justice was announced tomorrow that he or she was stepping down,” Biden said on the Senate floor in June 1992, not long after Bill Clinton won the Democratic nomination to challenge then-President George H.W. Bush.

        “A process that is already in doubt in the minds of many will become distrusted by all,” Biden continued. “Senate consideration of a nominee under these circumstances is not fair to the president, the nominee or to the Senate itself.”

        Note btw Biden was in a position to block the process by himself, he held McConnell’s current post.

        So he announced it as not-quite-policy so that they could not confirm one of the GOP’s guys (while the GOP controlled the Presidency and the Dems the Senate) and they could claim it was an established policy. However if they weren’t in that situation then they could still walk it back later.

        Heads I win, tails you lose.

        The larger reality is the GOP’s voters would never forgive the GOP for giving Obama that seat without a fight, so they did.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      In ’18, the R’s gained ground (ever so slightly) in the Senate.

      I’m more interested in the geographic pattern that’s developing. In 2018, the Rs gained four seats in the Midwest and the South, but lost two seats in the West. They seem likely to lose at least one more seat in the western states in 2020: Gardner from Colorado is in trouble, and McSally in Arizona lost a US Senate race in 2018 (but got McCain’s old seat by appointment).Report

      • Avatar Aaron David says:

        That would be a more interesting story than what is currently being peddled. But populations shift, which is nothing new. I mean, our whole political system was designed around keeping Virginia down.* Now, look at it.

        *While the idea was for a specific thing (too much power in the hands of Virginia), what came of it has shown its universal point. Limiting power that is concentrated too much in one geographical area.Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          Except it doesn’t do that anymore, if it ever did, because states have wildly disparate sizes for historical reasons.Report

  3. Avatar greginak says:

    I hear some R senators are gaining a bit of weight. Their doctors are concerned. They recommend Dem senators watch what they eat and exercise a bit more as they are surely the cause of the R senators weight gain. There is also a R sen who keeps losing his glasses. D’s need to stop losing them.Report

    • Avatar Ozzy! says:

      You could always game out the options.

      As a majority they had a risk in not appointing under the previous president. It was bad form. It was shortsighted. It was just plain wrong. It was unfair. That risk is there for anyone to call out, now and in the future. The reward was to have their judge (maybe) approved and the other judge not. They chose option 2 and were successful.

      Now it is your turn! You get to beat the hell out of that risk! Do so! Keep doing it! Why are you taking the weakest possible complaint (in sort of ironically cynical style) and harping on it? It was unconscionable that Garland wasn’t approved. That’s the message!

      Your stance here is tonally inferring that it’s not that big a deal. All you have to say is a pithy little sardonic quip about it. Stay on message, man! It’s a good hammer.Report

  4. Avatar pillsy says:


    Well, much like with “the liberal media”, the argument that the media isn’t conservative because all of the journalists are pro-choice vs. the argument that the media isn’t progressive because it’s so pro-corporate allows both sides (BOTH!) to be right.

    No, that’s not the issue. The issue is that even if the media is liberal FSVO “liberal”, it’s a category error to argue that its liberalism is somehow a betrayal that justifies nominating Trump. Maybe the conservatives are losing the Culture War [1], but more to the point losing the Culture War doesn’t make a real justification for a “Flight 93” approach to state power.

    But that’s exactly the way the Right treated it by first nominating Trump and then going all in for him once he’d won the election.

    As for the compromise point, there just isn’t symmetry there either. You look at the Extremely Online Left (of which, sure, I’m a member) and see how we aren’t interested in compromise, but that’s not the opinion of the modal Democrat. We’ve got Joe Biden leading in our primary right now, and he’s the Dem most strongly running on compromise and “reaching across the aisle”. Folks like me will likely be dragged into supporting him, because that’s where the party is.

    Which annoys me, to be sure, but that’s where the party is, and it’s there because the Democratic coalition isn’t just a mirror image of the Republican coalition. That’s where “both sides” arguments ultimately founder; they require a non-existent symmetry to hold together.

    [1] Of course, we never seem to talk about how many of the losses are due to windmill tilting over nonsense like Creationism.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Personally, I think that Trump is a response not to “liberalism” but to “elitism”. Trump was a response to the elite attitude toward immigration and globalism. More workers, more H1Bs. (We’re seeing a bit of a resurgence of weird amalgams of nationalism and populism in Europe too.)

      As for the compromise point, I agree that there isn’t one. It’s why I think “Divorce or War”.

      (Also: The nonsense of Creationism has method to its madness.)Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        What makes a welcoming attitude towards immigrants “elite”?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          What makes “You can work in our factories because you are cheaper than our countrymen but your children cannot go to our schools” a particularly “welcoming attitude”?Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            Whose saying that?

            And where are the elites in all this?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              You’re unfamiliar with CEOs using immigration to suppress wages while living in Woke cities and, at the same time, living in School Districts that are effectively segregated?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                And you think elite CEOs represent the bulk of immigration-friendly folks?

                And isn’t one of those CEOs who “uses immigration to suppress wages while living in a Woke city”, named Donald J. Trump?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                So we’ve moved from “who is saying that?” to “well, are they the *BULK* of the pro-immigration people?”

                No, they’re not the bulk of the pro-immigration people. People who live in gated communities who need domestic help also are very pro-immigration.

                (And, yes. Donald Trump was indeed one of those CEOs!)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                So if we sorted all of America into two sets, one generally friendly towards immigrants, and one generally hostile, you really think that the first group would correlate to “elite” and the second with “commoner”?

                If you isolated out the people who employ immigrants, would they be predominantly pro-Trump or anti-Trump?

                You’re doing the thing that the some leftists do, of trying to make economic class the dividing fissure of America, and it really isn’t.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                No, that’s not my argument either…

                But if I had to ask whether “The Elite” were generally pro-immigration or anti-, I’d conclude that, generally, they were pro-.

                And if I had to ask whether the Proletarian was generally pro-immigration or anti-, I’d conclude that, generally, they were okay with a very, very small amount but above that amount, they’d be against.

                (It’s weird how whenever we argue this sort of thing you completely forget that we’ve been arguing this sort of thing for a decade.)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                You’re mixing categories arbitrarily.

                “Pro-immigration” doesn’t correlate with “welcoming of immigrants” which is why I used Trump as an example.

                There is a very large group of people, both elite and Prole, who are very strongly pro-immigration, but want them to be a powerless underclass of serf labor. They mostly support Trump.

                There are also people, both elite and Prole, who favor varying degrees of control and restriction of immigration, but want them to be treated with fairness and dignity. They mostly oppose Trump.

                I’ve only recently become aware of how the term “Elite” has become wholly disengaged with any connection to economic class, and entirely encompassed within a culture war tribal set.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Are “Sanctuary Cities” very strongly pro-immigration, in your view?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Sure, in the sense that “pro-immigration” can mean two completely opposing ideas.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                So, so we’re playing “If By Whiskey” with immigration? Fair enough, I guess.Report

              • Avatar Road Scholar says:

                Sanctuary cities are just pro law and order. They want immigrants of whatever legal status to report crime, step up as witnesses, etc. That doesn’t happen if talking to the cops can get you deported. They’re saying immigration enforcement is a Federal responsibility; their responsibility is a safe city.

                So it’s not really pro-illegal immigration so much as anti-anti. Sort of agnostic to the legal status of the residents.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                And, hell, I’ll just copy and paste something I said all the way back in 2013:

                I don’t think that it’s a deliberate plan either… but the benefits of illegal (and undocumented) immigration (and, for that matter, large influxes of unskilled workers in the first place) are felt by powerful people with powerful lobbies and the costs are felt by schlubs. On top of that, the ideologies line up pretty well… libertarians like immigration because they like open borders. Businesses like immigration because they like cheap labor. Democrats like immigration because they like the voting tendencies of the immigrants once they’ve registered to vote. Heck, just look at a picture of most of the folks in opposition and the arguments against them just write themselves.

                Everything lines up perfectly and there’s no need for a conspiracy at all.


              • Avatar InMD says:

                Still accurate, still a problem.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Nice theory, but the very same people who are “pro-immigration” are also enthusiastic about Trump.

                Because no one, not even the Trumpist base really wants to reduce levels of immigration.

                What they want, openly and in your own description, is a base of cheap easily exploited serfs.

                So the boundary lines are not between those who want more immigration or less, but between those who want to treat them as fully equal humans, and those who want to treat them as lesser beings.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter says:

          What makes a welcoming attitude towards immigrants “elite”?

          Every time I go into the theory of free trade and immigration I’m sure my Master’s Degrees are showing.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David says:

        I think this is absolutely the right take on things. If Trump was a one-off, that the rest of the world was trending “blue” Pillsy would be on the right track most likely. But with the rejection of the green agenda in Australia, Modi’s reelection, Five Star in Italy, Bosenaro, Brexit, and on and on… It is more a case of the whole ideology of leftism being rejected worldwide. There was a good article on India and Modi in Bloomberg lately talking about this very thing in relation to the subcontinent. Well worth the read.

        Leaving leftists wondering what happened when they were so, so close.Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          The Leftist ideology of Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush?

          Come on.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David says:

            Actually, yes. Those two in particular.Report

            • Avatar North says:

              So libertarianism is now on the left? I mean on some policies it is but if you map what voters have been rejecting out it has some overlap with leftism where leftists have commonality with libertarians but it really correlates strongly (especially in the US) with a wholesale rejection of libertarians.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        Yeah, I’m sure that Mitch McConnell and the rest of the institutional GOP supported Trump both before and after his election because of their resentment of this “elite attitude toward immigration and globalism”.

        As for the compromise part, it’s pretty bizarre to blame both sides for driving us towards “Divorce or War” when one side is willing to compromise and the other side absolutely refuses to.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          As for the compromise part, it’s pretty bizarre to blame both sides for driving us towards “Divorce or War” when one side is willing to compromise and the other side absolutely refuses to.

          What are you willing to compromise on when it comes to The Culture War?

          (I’m 100% down with any answer that says something like “how in the hell could we possibly compromise on that?” or “it’s unseemly to trade what belongs to others for some advantages from myself”, btw. But I’m not sure I’ve ever heard what, specifically, people would be willing to give up in the culture war. Even when I’ve made suggestions in the past, they’ve resulted more in accusations of what *I* must be like than anything even close to a discussion that we’re in the same ballpark of what people would be willing to compromise on (despite assurances that they’re willing to compromise).)Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            3/5 of a person is not a compromise.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Pillsy, I’d like to point to this comment right here as a counter-example to your claim that “one side is willing to compromise and the other side absolutely refuses to.”Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Yes. The “compromise” solution for a number of these issues is to let the States have their own slimy solutions.

                However the federal gov has gotten so big and powerful that it may not be possible anymore… and all news is local. So when something clearly WRONG happens, the solution is to have the feds step in.

                Which means there’s tremendous pressure on various groups to control the Supremes and Congress and the Presidency.

                Which in turn means occasionally the Presidency will be in the hands of someone who isn’t a member of your tribe or your culture, and it will matter a LOT.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Already addressed:

                As for the compromise point, there just isn’t symmetry there either. You look at the Extremely Online Left (of which, sure, I’m a member) and see how we aren’t interested in compromise, but that’s not the opinion of the modal Democrat.


            • Avatar DensityDuck says:

              “3/5 of a person is not a compromise.”

              it’s always funny how people roll this out like it’s a sick burn and don’t realize that it was the southern states who wanted slaves to count as an entire person and the northern states who wanted them to not count at all.

              “oh it’s more complicated than that” sure, but the implication is that them Damn Racist Rednecks worked like hell to deny two-fifths of black bodies’ existence and would have gone further if it hadn’t been for the Noble Defenders Of Humanity.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            What are you willing to compromise on when it comes to The Culture War?

            Me personally?

            Didn’t I just say my reluctance to compromise is not representative of the broad US Left as a whole?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              What is the broad US Left as a whole willing to compromise on?

              (Please keep in mind that I’m more likely to see “we’re going to stop doing X” as a compromise offer than “we won’t do Y like we were going to” as a compromise offer.)Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                How well did the compromise of the ACA work? Did that bring peace and cooperation. There will be a lot less cooperation on healthcare.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I agree with you, Greg.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                1. Spending cuts (especially entitlement spending).
                2. Gun control (compare what people want today compared to what they wanted in the ’90s).

                There was a 3, where immigration reform was going to include a lot of stepped up border enforcement, but even then it was pretty obvious that “border enforcement” was pointlessly cruel and it didn’t work to get any sort of buy-in from the Right, so I doubt you’ll see a repeat of that one.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The first is changing something.
                The second is promising to stop trying to change something (at least in the short term).

                (I think that the 2nd (NPI) could be made permanent with a SCotUS ruling and made about as moot as Gay Marriage. So we’ll see what happens in the coming months.)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                You thought my 3/5 comment was a joke?

                Equality is a binary.

                The entire Republican project is predicated on hierarchy, a rejection of the full equality and legitimacy of others.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Not at all, and not for a second.

                If anything, I’d say that your comment illuminated that any request for any compromise in any area will be compared to asking you to condone owning slaves.

                Out of curiosity, would you have seen “not being in a Union” as morally preferable to the compromise offered by the North?Report

              • What has the left got that it’s being asked to give up?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                We discussed that sort of thing back here. My two suggestions were to say that the whole “bake the cake” thing was an overreach and also to allow creches on the lawn in front of City Hall.

                You can read the comments for how *THAT* went.

                My conclusion was:

                I mean, we’re not going to be bringing jobs back. We’re not going to be able to change anything with regards to economics at all. That ship has sailed.

                When it comes to economics, the only thing that we can really do to improve their lives is retrain them and make them move.

                When we start discussing things that are in our theoretical power that we could, theoretically, offer on a culture war level, our values prevent us from making concessions there as well.

                We, honestly, have nothing at all to offer them and, honestly, they look at us as if the only thing that we have done to them is take things away. Culture, economics, whatever.

                We have nothing to give them. We have nothing to offer them.

                Even when we discuss small and silly concessions that might be made that we could give these people, we hammer out that our values prevent us from making these small and silly concessions.

                Hell, we may have so many principles that we are offended by even the suggestion that these concessions are either “small” or “silly”.

                We’re going to be wondering, more and more, why these people won’t work with us in the coming months and years.

                Why they don’t trust us. Why they won’t collaborate with us.

                It’s because they have had much taken from them while we explain “well, you have to understand” and, in exchange, given them nothing they wanted and, when they complained that they didn’t want what they were being given, they were mocked for not having sufficient taste.

                This is why they will not trust us. This is why they will not collaborate with us.

                “But they should want different things.”

                Yeah, okay.


              • Avatar North says:

                Jay, question: How has that “Bake the Cake” war been going? Last I checked after the Supreme court the Bake the Cake baker got another extremely woke person running at him and then that attack collapsed once the CO courts growled at them. There’re a lot of gay people in the US and a lot of Christian businesses. Have there been new waves of lawsuits? Are the Democratic candidates all waving the banner of marching into Christian businesses, schools and hospitals and forcing them to get with the “bake the cake” program? Isn’t the compromising from the left already here? Hasn’t it been here for a while? Or is it non-existent as long as right wingers, media figures and libertarians can find some lefty on twitter or in a comment section saying compromise is impossible?

                I mean I don’t want to pile on but is it not significant that when you want to find examples of lefty intransigence one has to go digging into comment sections, twitter, occasional journalists and acadamia whereas when one wants to find examples of right wing intransigence one need merely go as far as the Republican President and the Republican Senate Majority leader? Or is it just both sides are horrible uncompromising fanatics and that’s that?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                How has that “Bake the Cake” war been going?

                Seems to me that it’s still going on. As you say: “the Bake the Cake baker got another extremely woke person running at him”.

                At the same time, the people who went out of business in Oregon and had to pay six figures in fines still had to pay them.

                Or is it non-existent as long as right wingers, media figures and libertarians can find some lefty on twitter or in a comment section saying compromise is impossible?

                I suppose we could talk about Threat Theory and just because someone is not actually threatened that they shouldn’t *FEEL* threatened…Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Your info is out of date tho. The CO courts rumbled about harassment then the Bake the Cake fellow and his woke adversary and the CO human rights commission settled out of court (basically the commission and the woke person basically retreated and gave up).

                And we’re not talking about right wingers and how we feel- everyone is entitled to feel what they feel. We’re talking about third party people. The media narrative setting speakers, the above it all third parties comfortably observing that “well both sides are extreme; The Republican Party Platform says that legal civil marriage should be restricted to a man and a woman and I found Pillsy and Chip Daniels commenting at Ordinary-Times saying that any compromise on gay marriage issues is akin to slavery.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, my suggestion for compromise was not “give up on the Bake the Cake thing after losing multiple times in the courts”.

                My suggestion for compromise was, let me copy and paste it, “to say that the whole “bake the cake” thing was an overreach”.

                “But they won in court!” isn’t really the same thing.

                I mean, I’m not even asking for something like “that was wrong and we shouldn’t have done it”. Everybody knows that it was the only principled position that principled people could possibly possess. Everybody good, anyway.

                Like I said. There’s nothing that can be offered.

                It’s probably problematic that I’d even wonder if there was anything that could possibly be. (It’s certainly distasteful to explore such things.)Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Yes but that is, of course, ludicrous and not how political issues die. Parties and groups of people don’t gather to sign some armistice or issue a flowery mea culpa. They just… stop fighting for it. The fact that Masterpiece Cake Shop doesn’t have a hundred similar lawsuits cropping up all over the place says something significant. The fact that even in the Masterpiece Cake shop case the Commission in question basically gave up and decided to leave the dude alone says something. The fact that one has to go back to the same handful of old examples* instead of having a vast selection of new “Bake the Cake” cases to cite in this country with millions of gay married people says the same thing. What more would compromise from the left look like? There is no Lavender Citizens Soviet that I can go to ta get a declaration issued stating that the left in general is not wedded to the idea of crusading into every Christian business and institution in search of wrong think.

                Meanwhile? On the right the current policy is that Obergefell should be overturned. The religious groups still advocate that gay and trans people should be driven out of civil life. The Republican Party still endorses those policies in its platform, their political leaders and their media organs still parrot those lines.

                But I can find a feminist lesbian renaissance studies grad student on twitter who says Christian fundamentalist pastors should be forced to perform gay weddings in drag so I guess both sides are extreme right?

                *And it bears noting that if you list out all the relevant cases over half of them were brought to suit by Christians against various governments and bodies claiming discrimination without there being a flesh and blood gay couple on the other side of the case.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                So I guess we agree that we shouldn’t compromise on whether the cases should have been brought to court in the first place… even though those cases lost.

                So there’s really nothing on the table that we can compromise on, is there?

                I can’t think of anything.

                Can you think of anything?Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Half the cases of that ilk were brought to court -by Christian business owners- with no involvement by gays at all. How would that even work?

                And setting that aside you are mistaken. The general absence of any significant number of new cases like Masterpiece Bake Shop indicates that the left Agrees with you and is compromising on if those cases should not be brought to the court in the first place… because they’re by and large not being brought to court.

                I’d not have brought the bakery case to a lawsuit myself. But again, vast movement of people, the Lavender Citizens Soviet continues to not exist to issue blanket compromises on behalf of liberals everywhere.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Interestingly enough, The American Prospect argues that the baker *LOST* the case. (It was a battle/war kinda thing and he only won in the short term.)

                But nevermind that. My overarching point is that we can’t think of anything that we’d be willing to compromise on with those people.

                Which seems to me to indicate that whatever is on the table, it doesn’t include compromise.

                Do we agree on that or do you have something that you think could be compromised on?Report

              • Avatar North says:

                It is interesting take and also turns out to have been incorrect. See what happened after this article is the following: A trans activist requested a gender reveal cake of some sort, the baker refused, the CO Commission started proceedings again, The baker launched a suit and then the CO courts said “Hey Commission, you’re harassing this baker” and then Commission and the baker settled (which amounted to the Commission agreeing to leave him alone and him agreeing to stop his suit). So he won. And hasn’t suffered further lawsuits nor have business owners like him generally faced any form of widespread gay harassment but on the other hand business owners in general know if they start turning away gay people they’re on thin ice legally. Compromise.

                But never mind that. To your follow up point I have to disagree. In the real world the lefts been pretty active in compromising and pretty inactive in the field of intransigence. On the internet, yeah, hard to find many people eager to compromise on the internet or twitter but I struggle to think of places less consequential to the real world than the internet in general or twitter especially. You talk about War and Divorce? Sure, but as far as I can see it should be War AND Divorce. The devout partisans will war on the internet, then divorce by turning twitter off or blocking each other. And the non-devout partisans? They’ll wonder who those loons on the internet are and what they’re smoking.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                It almost feels like Online is bleeding out into Normieland, though.

                AOC’s Persona is directly responsible for Amazon NYC evaporating is the first multi-billion dollar thing to come to mind.

                Trump, I suppose, is the second.


              • Avatar North says:

                It would seem that way to us wouldn’t it? After all, we’re online folk. AoC’s persona doesn’t seem very unusual to me. She’s our current generations Bernie only she’s somewhat more savvy (and much prettier). Bernie predated the internet.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                This is the really messy thing about compromises. Someone on your team is going to bleed, you’re going to be ignoring something that is WRONG.

                On the other hand, this path of delegitimizing the other side (which translates into someone else’s culture) is definitely concerning, and “divorce” here would be a lot more ugly than any compromise.

                Letting the states handle this sort of thing in very imperfect ways would lower the level of national fighting and prevent one-size-fits-all cramdowns which your side isn’t always going to win.

                Presumably we could then have national political elections where accusations of Nazim aren’t routine and let us put people on the Supreme Court without them them being accused of being monsters.

                And yes, it’d mean various people have to vote with their feet and leave uncomfortable situations. It’s also mean the people of [one State] living with the idea that [group X] in [another State] have fewer “rights” than they do.

                And I think Jaybird is right in that there’s no way the various groups would allow it.Report

              • Pay reparations for 2000 years of persecution, and we can talk about the creches.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                That was the Egyptians.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      The Flight 93 narrative is illustrative of the asymmetry.

      The GOP isn’t any longer a conservative party interested in a shared vision. They are, by their own words, revolutionaries who refuse to view any opposition as legitimate.They prefer to crash the plane rather than share power.

      Which makes compromise impossible.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter says:

        …revolutionaries who refuse to view any opposition as legitimate.

        Pot. Meet Kettle.

        Trump won the election on Nov 8, 2016.

        Suggestions he be impeached were printed in the NYT Nov 17, 2016.

        The idea was given legislative form (by Elizabeth Warren among others) in December of 2016 (although it didn’t become law) and Vanity Fair characterized this as “a preemptive effort to lay the groundwork for a future impeachment argument.”

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          Trump is not “any opposition”.Report

          • Avatar JoeSal says:

            Trump is pretty milquetoast. I mean yall aren’t even worried much about the furniture yet. And as much as Chip wants to feign, not much has been actually deconstructed.Report

            • Avatar pillsy says:

              The problems with Trump neither start nor end with his ideology or even his rhetoric. Hell, one of the few mitigating factors about the guy is he barely even seems to have real ideological commitments so much as irritations and knee-jerks.

              But even if he were more politically mainstream there’s still the manifest character flaws and conflicts of interest which rendering him unfit for office.

              And that’s why he isn’t “any opposition”.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                Well, no worries then, it’s a good thing he doesn’t have to stumble through another 4 years in such fashion.Report

        • Here’s a compromise:

          If you don’t elect crooks, we won’t talk about impeaching them.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter says:

            If you don’t elect crooks, we won’t talk about impeaching them.

            Your side started talking about impeachment when the big issue was renting hotel rooms.

            Presumably because the women who got caught selling pardons lost the election.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Well this thread filled up with a lot of bad-faith arguments quickly. I commend my fellow left OTers for actually trying to engage calmly and rationally with the bad-faith arguments.Report

  6. Avatar pillsy says:


    My two suggestions were to say that the whole “bake the cake” thing was an overreach and also to allow creches on the lawn in front of City Hall.

    Way back when, I said something about a possible compromise about the cake in a different thread:

    Coming back to this, and thinking back to the most recent flareup of the cake-baking thing, I think a real solution is going to involve both sides of the Culture Wars recognizing that Jesse Kelly represents (in an annoying fashion, to be sure) another subculture, and that subculture deserves the same measure of accommodation and toleration as everybody else’s.

    This requires us to let plenty of things go, but it also requires them to accept that not calling the legal and cultural shots is not persecution.

    For what it’s worth, my position on the cake itself remains unchanged. I’m fine with carving out exceptions to those specific sorts of services as long as there’s an articulable limiting principle that prevents it from expanding to a general case sort of right to discriminate in commerce, employment, and housing. Trust isn’t good enough there because the Right has been using “religious liberty” as a justification for state persecution of LGBT people for roughly ever.[1] Every time the subject comes up, people start saying well, of course it won’t apply to that, or even private discrimination in “essential” services like medicine, but folks:

    Under the new proposed rule, it would be perfectly legal for a doctor, hospital, insurance plan, or pharmacist to refuse to cover transgender people, to provide coverage for gender-confirmation hormones or surgery, to fill prescriptions, or to treat trans people in emergency rooms.

    It would also be legal to discriminate against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, because the same provision of the ACA, Section 1557 had been understood as prohibiting “sex stereotyping,” or discriminating against gays and lesbians. Already, there have been numerous cases of doctors refusing to treat the children of same-sex parents and pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for HIV medication once they learned the recipient was gay.

    In addition, Axios reported that the Trump administration is considering a nationwide religious exemption to allow adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against LGBT people, rather than place children according to the best interests of the child.

    Want people to sign on the dotted line? You gotta be clear about what they’re agreeing to.

    [1] NC’s recent HB-2 was advanced on “religious freedom” grounds, but still featured the grotesque trans-bashing “bathroom bill” stuff.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I’m fine with carving out exceptions to those specific sorts of services as long as there’s an articulable limiting principle that prevents it from expanding to a general case sort of right to discriminate in commerce, employment, and housing.

      What’s kinda wacky is that everybody agrees that Facebook and Twitter should be allowed to refuse service to all kinds of people. Like, if Jesse Kelly got banned tomorrow, what would the arguments in support of this be? Let them play out in your head. I’m sure you don’t need me to recreate them.

      Does this present identically to there being in-groups whom the conventions protect but do not bind, alongside out-groups whom the conventions bind but do not protect?

      I mean, the Krassensteins got banned the other day for a handful of Twitter terms-of-service things (some of which the Krassensteins themselves admitted to). The arguments I saw were not “you gotta follow the terms of service” but “see, it’s not just conservatives that this happens to!”

      Which is weird.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        What’s really wacky is that Denny’s is forced to serve black people, but can discriminate against me for not wearing pants.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        What’s kinda wacky is that everybody agrees that Facebook and Twitter should be allowed to refuse service to all kinds of people.

        As far as I know, this is untrue. Because Facebook has actually gotten in hot water for letting its advertisers show ads to people in racially discriminatory ways. I think they would run into serious trouble if they started banning people on account of race. As far as I know they’ve never tried, though.

        So no, your argument is obviously wrong.

        But that’s not all.

        Does this present identically to there being in-groups whom the conventions protect but do not bind, alongside out-groups whom the conventions bind but do not protect?

        I mean, the Krassensteins got banned the other day for a handful of Twitter terms-of-service things (some of which the Krassensteins themselves admitted to). The arguments I saw were not “you gotta follow the terms of service” but “see, it’s not just conservatives that this happens to!”

        OK but doesn’t this cut the legs out from under your contention? We don’t fucking care about the Krassensteins.

        We aren’t going to bat for them because they’re grifty assholes who embarrass not only liberals, but all carbon-based life.

        Bizarrely (and I’m being 100% straight on this one) conservatives don’t feel the same way about Alex Jones, Milo, PJW, et c. It makes no sense at all to me.

        Why wouldn’t you just say, “Good riddance,” especially when your own ideological conception of free speech indicates that Milo getting canned from Twitter isn’t a violation of it?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Because it seems like when someone says “sorry, we don’t make gay wedding cakes”, the hammer of the law comes down upon them. Sure, after years of lawsuits and court rulings, they might be found to have had the right to do what they did… but I’m sure you’ve heard the line from cops that say “you can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride”.

          When the law binds (but does not protect) the outgroup and it protects (but does not bind) the ingroup, it creates tensions. If the outgroup gets excluded for Viewpoints and the ingroup requires blatant violations of terms of service to get excluded… well, things are going to get worse and not better.

          Certainly if there were some very, very high profile cases recently where outgroup people got the ride (if not the rap) for excluding ingroup.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            The law should protect an excluded outgroup by…allowing them to exclude an outgroup?

            Maybe the reason these bakers are an outgroup is because they want to exclude an outgroup.

            Maybe if they would just stop trying to exclude outgroups, they would find themselves suddenly an ingroup.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              I don’t think that the injustice is found in the whole “ingroup” vs “outgroup” thing but in the “protects but doesn’t bind” vs “binds but doesn’t protect” thing.

              But, I agree, the quickest way to end a war is to lose it.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Who isn’t being protected, and who isn’t bound?

                The “We Don’t Serve Christians Big Homo Bakery”?

                If the entire definition of their group is “We want to exclude those guys from public life” then maybe they should rethink this whole “freedom” stuff because they really, really, seem unclear on the concept.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Who isn’t being protected, and who isn’t bound?

                I believe I wrote a comment here that answers your question.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I once commented (either here or elsewhere) that the fundamental goal of the contemporary conservative movement is making “asshole” a protected class.

                This seems like evidence of that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Imagine the works we could create if we could send the hammer of the law against people who don’t demonstrate sufficient social niceties.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                You mean by requiring them to broadcast messages sent by racist dickholes in order to assuage Rightward Culture War anxieties?

                Because Twitter banning people isn’t “sending the hammer of law” after anybody.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                Oh, we’ve circled back to “private companies aren’t the government and therefore what they do cannot violate your rights”? cool, cool. Let me know how that pervasive surveillance works out for you.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                No, we’ve circled back to, “Private companies have free speech rights, and the government can’t compel them to speak by requiring them to broadcast messages from odious dillholes (or even non-odious non-dillholes).”

                This is not actually that hard.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I suppose we could have a “public square” conversation. Have courts ruled that prominent politicians cannot block people from following them because there are Free Speech issues when it comes to public forae?

                If so… it looks like we’re discussing whether racist dickholes should be allowed access into the public square and it’s now a question of First Amendment rights.

                Now, *MY* attitude is that allowing “we reserve the right to refuse service” to individuals while having very low barriers to entry for new businesses offering competition will result in a stable equilibrium that would *NOT* result in a system where everybody makes noises about it being a public forum but secretly limiting visibility of undesirables.

                If there’s a “have it both ways” kinda thing where one side gets access to stuff like blocking people and shadowbanning them and another side doesn’t, then this deliberate asymmetry will create something unsustainable and, yes, that will escalate the culture war rather than letting it be waged in a harmless corner by enthusiastic participants.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Have courts ruled that prominent politicians cannot block people from following them because there are Free Speech issues when it comes to public forae?

                If by “prominent politicians” you mean “the actual sitting President of the United States”, then sure, but that is because the President is a government official, not just a private citizen.

                Other judgements involve stopping the government from barring people from signing up for social media.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The fact that the forum is being used as the Public Square by the actual sitting President of the United States seems to change the dynamic somewhat.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Presidents (and other elected officials) often publish editorials in newspapers.

                Should newspapers be compelled by the government not to discriminate against columnists on the basis of the political content of what they write?

                Because that seems like a really bad idea.

                (Also the ruling against Trump is dumb, but it’s dumb in mostly unrelated ways.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Should newspapers be compelled to publish people? No. (Neither am I a fan of the “Fairness Doctrine”.)

                But I am a fan of something being called a public square being treated like one rather than there being a standard where people jump to “it’s private” when it’s convenient and back to “it’s the public square!” when it’s convenient.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                They’re not, though.

                They really aren’t.

                Both the “public square” arguments in question involve how government officials interact with the social media service in question.

                I just don’t see why this is all that confusing.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Because if there are rules that get applied to one side but not the other, it feels like the deck is being stacked.

                You know the only way to win 3-Card Monte?Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                But that’s just not what’s happening!

                Seriously you’re arguing for restrictions on a private company’s speech based on the fact that the government (including the President) is bound by the First Amendment in various ways.

                That’s perverse.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Restriction on a private company’s speech? What am I saying it can’t say?Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                You are saying it must say (specifically broadcast) stuff said by Rightward assholes like Milo in order to assuage Rightward Culture War anxieties.

                And by “must”, I mean you’re saying that the “public square” thing means they should be compelled not to engage in viewpoint discrimination by the government.

                Unless you don’t believe that, and you just think people should be allowed to complain about Twitter, in which case, yes, people are absolutely allowed to complain about Twitter.

                Hell, half the tweets on Twitter are people complaining about Twitter.

                But if that’s all that’s at stake, what is the actual compromise even supposed to be?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’m saying that if it is a public square, that means certain things.

                And if it is a private company (and, therefore, *NOT* a public square), then that means other things.

                Are there legal precedents for the speech that must be allowed in public spaces? Is there a legal precedent for whether Twitter is one?

                If the answers are “yes” and “yes”, then there are precedents for this sort of thing and I am not restricting Twitter’s speech by pointing out that some things follow from other things.

                And saying “wait, that doesn’t count!” in one’s own favor will present identically to stacking the deck.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                But the arguments that you’re using to say it’s a public square aren’t arguments that bind Twitter. They’re arguments that bind the government.

                Do you really want to have a world where if someone (yeah, even a judge) describes something privately owned as part of the “public square” in order to keep the government from restricting how people use it, its owners should have their speech rights restricted?

                Because, uh, that sounds like a really, really, incredibly terrible idea.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                A classical liberal would accept that they were born that way, and it wasn’t a perverse lifestyle choice.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                I once commented (either here or elsewhere) that the fundamental goal of the contemporary conservative movement is making “asshole” a protected class.

                You’re delegitimizing someone else’s point of view and culture.

                Assume the fundies are correct, and orientation is learned and can change. After that, it’s not a big step to think “acceptance of this lifestyle” increases the odds of your own kid joining that lifestyle.

                That’s their point of view. I disagree with it, but I’m not sure science fully backs me up. The counter argument is it’s an excuse to make life suck for one specific person who presumably didn’t have a choice. Another issue is what do we do if it’s a choice for some people although not all (i.e. both are right).

                The thing is, I am fine making societal choices which are going to be problematic for people who are in that position although it’s not entirely (or maybe at all) their own fault or choice. This is a balancing act where we weigh various values and judge how many people are going to suffer.

                And different groups are going to end up making different choices, and the US is multicultural.

                If you want an example of the Left telling someone it-sucks-to-be-you we’ve got that female college student being stalked who wanted to CC, and was effectively told ‘no, you being raped and tortured isn’t worth us sacrificing our anti-gun ideals’.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                The whole focus on the courts started because the Supremes decided abortion was a right and school integration (for some schools, not for the elites) was mandatory. Cakes is just the icing on the cake.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            Because it seems like when someone says “sorry, we don’t make gay wedding cakes”, the hammer of the law comes down upon them.

            Yes, that’s because quite a few states ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

            Do you genuinely not understand this?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Sure. And there are states that don’t. And there are cases that go all the way to the supreme court and find that religious exemptions exist (not whether or not they *SHOULD* but whether or not they *DO*).

              And it’s all moot at the end of the day because we agree that this is also something that shouldn’t be compromised upon at the same time that we forget that the original exercise was to find something that democrats might compromise on.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                When did I say it shouldn’t be compromised on?

                Read my actual freaking words, dude, not what the imaginary pillsy in your head is saying.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                So, you…accept that the shop should not have been required to bake a cake for a gay wedding?Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                “Baking a cake for a wedding is like saying, ‘I approve of this wedding!’ and as such the government shouldn’t compel you to do it,” is one reasonable way of looking at it, but not the reasonable only way of looking at it.

                Hence why it’s a compromise instead of a, “Duh of course they should get to do that.”Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                Do keep in mind that “they shouldn’t have to bake the cake” is a change from your historically-stated opinion.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Fair enough.

                Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries seems to waiting to see if it’ll get picked up by the Supreme Court.

                We can all wait to see what happens.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                The pattern seems to be that the media and “disinterested” third parties expect a spark of humanity from the right and perfect compromise from the left and find it understandable that the former cannot seem to muster it and inexcusable that the latter falls short.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Perfect compromise? I’m asking for something that could be compromised upon and my conclusion is that, generally, there isn’t anything (well, one exception consisting of one person).Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Something that can be compromised on? We can wax lyrical and lengthy about things the left of center will compromise on; the right of center? Ehhh.. You of all people know that Jay; you were banned at Redstate; no one is proposing to ban you here (and I’d have some choice uncomplimentary words if they did).Report

              • Avatar CJColucci says:

                It’s not as though this “compromise” idea hasn’t come up before. Remember civil unions? That was a compromise. I used to think I was a savvy political realist and thought it was a good one and that SSM advocates shouldn’t be so stubborn about insisting on full-blown marriage so named. Then I looked around the negotiating table and saw that there was nobody from the anti-SSM side with whom to make the deal. Then, when full-blown same-sex marriage was rammed down their throats, they whined about the pro-SSM side not accepting the civil union compromise the anti-SSM side opposed.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Its…almost like the whole definition of the conservative group is their insistence on being the tip of a social hierarchy with everyone else as lesser unequal beings.Report

              • Avatar George Turner says:

                Uh, no. Conservatives are backwards outcasts and human vermin. They are definitely no where near the tip of a social hierarchy. They’re not even in the top half of it.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Very much so! Holy hell yes. I remember reading National Review during the Vermont Civil union debate way back in the early aughts. I think it was Jonah Goldberg, I believe, who was a young whippersnapper back then, asked something along the lines of “Are we sure this is the hill we wanna die on?” in article form. Social cons emphatically said “Yes!” then in the years that followed they got what they asked for. If their is a God(ess?) I know she has a sense of humor. I’ve seen it.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                I do also remember people on the pro-SSM side saying that Civil Unions were just a modern spin on “separate but equal” and that the only meaningful form of marriage equality was for two same-sex people to say We Are Married and have it mean the same thing, legally and morally and socially, as when two opposite-sex people said it.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Depends on what time period you’re referring to. During Vermont if civil unions had been offered nationally it probably would have ended the matter on the spot. The echelons reaches wouldn’t have liked it but without the centrist masses and allies (neither who’d have gotten engaged politically if the practical questions of same sex marriage were addressed by civil unions) they’d just be carping on the internet.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I mean it would have been… a compromise!

                And like, if in 2004, the conservative position had been, “Look, SSM is fine we just don’t want to have to bake cakes for gay weddings,” I don’t think anyone would have hesitated to sign on that dotted line.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “if in 2004, the conservative position had been, “Look, SSM is fine we just don’t want to have to bake cakes for gay weddings,” I don’t think anyone would have hesitated to sign on that dotted line.”

                I…think that was what people were asking for, actually, as far as Masterpiece Cakeshop and similar providers were concerned.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                They were sort of swatting a fly with a Buick then, what with the way the conservative movement made stopping legal recognition of SSM a huge priority.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                During Vermont if civil unions had been offered nationally it probably would have ended the matter on the spot.

                I disagree. There are hundreds of laws at every level of government which say “marriage” and treat marriage special. Everything from making medical decisions for your spouse, to access to your children, to taxes, to inheritance.

                A 2nd-rate marriage only fully works if we rewrite all of these laws from the dozens or hundreds of governmental bodies. We’d have been tripping over corner cases for years and expecting Bible belt states to do this seems a problem.

                Further, the moment the gay-genii was let out of the bottle he became a lot less scary and a lot more acceptable. That btw was a big part of what scared the right’s social warriors.

                If we’d had civil unions we would then have had a lot of pressure to allow full marriages, and that’s a state level thing. All it would take is one state deciding marriage is ok and civil unions isn’t enough, and it happens.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Part of the crazy dynamic is that the support for the status quo is the default “conservative” position.

                “We should change!” is the default “progressive” position.

                So any “compromise” is going to be some variant of “maybe we shouldn’t change as quickly as the most ardent change advocates would like”.

                And that’s like a couple compromising on 1% milk when one prefers skim and the other prefers whole. Neither side gets to drink what they want. Then it becomes a debate between 1% and whole and the compromise is on 2%. “But I want skim!”, the reactionaries say. “We agreed on 2%.”

                By the time we get to whole milk, we might think “hey, good, at least we don’t have to worry about the milk changing anymore…” right in time to hear “we’re going low-carb. I think we should start drinking heavy whipping cream.”

                Okay, maybe the analogy breaks down at some point.

                But the dynamic is between changing and not changing. And maybe changing wouldn’t be so awful if there were a way to change back if the change was sufficiently unpleasant… but I don’t know of that many examples of things going back to the way they were after a particularly unsatisfying change. It’s always that we didn’t double-down yet.

                And, of course, there are a number of changes that are awesome… but there are a number of changes that aren’t as good as were advertised. There’s no real way to know whether we’re going to end up with a peach of a change or a lemon and there’s no way to go back if we end up with something that doesn’t perform as advertised.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                I dare say it’s more of a was the conservative position but it assuredly isn’t now. Pick your policy; conservatives- such as they are in this country- don’t want to preserve squat. As Will said in his other article, most of them just seem to want to burn it down to own the libs.

                Personally? I blame the conservative elite. They’ve been conning their rank in file for decades and the rank and file has figured that out. They aren’t willing to come out and say “We were conned for most of our adult life” so they just have decided to lump their elite in with liberals and try and thrash everything.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                In order to have an adult memory of America before widespread gay rights, a conservative would need to be at least 50;
                An adult memory of life before Roe v Wade, 70
                Life before Medicare, at least 75;
                The New Deal, almost 100.

                What does Ben Shapiro want to preserve?
                8 bit Nintendo?

                Conservatives are radicals trying to overturn the status quo and erect a world they never new and likely didn’t exist as they envision it.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                It just looks like burning it all down. Let’s say the conservative preference is for a government one story tall. After the Progressives build 60 stories above that one story, burning it down gets a whole lot closer to a one story building than a 60 story.

                Liberals should really not want a government that entangles them with conservatives anyway.

                Have you seen kids running a three legged race? Imagine those two kids wanting to end up at different places.

                Each social construct binds the two legs together tighter. Eventually any sudden movement from one breaks the leg of the other.

                It may be inefficient, but maybe we need to talk about having separate social constructs for separate preferences/demands.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                On which floor of this modest one story building are located the investigations of suspicious miscarriages?

                Where is the Unitary Executive kept?

                Is there like some mezzanine level where they house out of control cops with free reign to shoot 12 year old kids?

                And do the keep the immigrant children in cages in the basement?

                I dunno, seems like an awful lot of building for just one story.Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                Wait…. your worried about the furniture. I already mentioned how this works.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                “Compromise” for gun control would mean being willing to make deals that increase access to guns. I’ll trade you background checks for you backing CC across state lines or something.

                If every “compromise” just means “we will only take some of your rights this time” then one can reasonably view what’s going on is an attempt to march to gun-free incrementally.

                Similarly, the current “gotcha” pro-life question for pro-choice politicians is “can you name any late term abortions you think should be illegal”. Another way to phrase that is “are you willing to move off of abortion on demand at any stage of the pregnancy”. I’ve yet to hear any pro-choice politician answer that one so presumably the answer is “no” and “no”.Report

              • Avatar says:

                Since the pro-life position is “take whatever we can snatch, give nothing in return then try and take the rest” that position is logical.
                The standard modern compromise is: Unrestricted or even assisted access in first term; mild restrictions on the second term and very stringent third term restrictions but with exceptions for rape, fetal abnormalities and the life of the mother. Pro-choice politicians and advocates would generally take that deal in a heartbeat. Pro-lifers never would consider it. Instead they simply demand the third term restrictions with no compromise in return (and often without the exceptions) and screech about how pro-choicers won’t compromise.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Pro-choice politicians and advocates would generally take that deal in a heartbeat.

                The word “generally” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there. We have 8 states that don’t have any limitations for gestation, that’s about as many as would outlaw it entirely. However…

                very stringent third term restrictions but with exceptions for rape, fetal abnormalities and the life of the mother.

                The exception isn’t the “life of the mother”, it’s the “health of the mother”. If this includes “mental health” (normally “yes”) then it’s an exception you can drive a truck through. For example (RL from newspaper) some kid who denies she’s pregnant until the 7th month and then freaks out about it can get an abortion. The level of mental pain and anguish that having a kid unwillingly is probably going to be a “mental health” issue.

                Similarly standard pregnancy has more than enough physical trauma that by normal rules a “health” exception probably means that everyone qualifies.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                “Compromise” for gun control would mean being willing to make deals that increase access to guns. I’ll trade you background checks for you backing CC across state lines or something.

                I thought I literally proposed this around here as a sort of sensible compromise once.

                I dunno, I’m in a weird position because I disagree with most other liberals about gun control.Report

  7. Avatar pillsy says:

    @Dark Matter:

    You’re delegitimizing someone else’s point of view and culture.

    To an extent, but it’s to the extent that I think is actually required by multiculturalism.

    Seriously, we all disapprove of each other in a ton of ways, and mostly we deal with that by STFU about touchy topics, not letting them influence doing work for paying customers, and basically looking for ways to rationalize looking the other way. The idea that baking a cake for a wedding somehow signifies approval for that wedding is a pretty weird position.

    And harping on that weird position to be a jerk to someone is being an asshole.

    Should it be illegal? That’s a different question. I can see a reasonable case for saying that this kind of asshole behavior is the kind that people have a right to engage in. Look for an excuse to be happy for them and take their freaking money and bake a cake because presumably you are cool with the idea of baking cakes for people for money.

    Instead of looking for excuses for doing the opposite.

    And that’s what happened to the SoCons with same sex marriage in general. They invented this crazy idea that if the state grants someone the civil benefits of marriage, that means everybody in the society must approve of that marriage morally, which is pretty wacky to believe it, and then, to quote @North, they decided to make that their hill to die on and proceeded to die on it.

    Maybe they just shouldn’t have done something that, in addition to being mean-spirited and cruel [1], was actually creating a pointless fight. But they did.

    And then they lost. As they deserved to.

    And somehow it’s our fault?

    [1] Really, look into the reasons why gay couples wanted the legal protections associated with marriage some time. It’s not so they could have an excuse to buy cakes!Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter says:

      And that’s what happened to the SoCons with same sex marriage in general. They invented this crazy idea that if the state grants someone the civil benefits of marriage, that means everybody in the society must approve of that marriage morally,

      No, I’d say they started with the idea that gays shouldn’t exist at all, and any recognition of them is “encouragement” and will result in the situation being made worse (i.e. more gays being created).

      If you view every person in the closet as straight and their coming out of the closet as a choice then it sort of makes sense. Your kid comes out, who do you blame when he says “no grandchildren for you”? Yourself? Him? The Left for “encouraging” him? God?

      And “God” has also stepped in. The Priests always need to stay relevant, and “protecting” children from something that’s not well understood is a fine thing if you only have to sacrifice a small enough minority every generation.

      they decided to make that their hill to die on and proceeded to die on it.

      This is like expecting the rubber duck to drown when the water of reality falls on them. They’ll be back.Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        This is like expecting the rubber duck to drown when the water of reality falls on them. They’ll be back.

        Absolutely. Among other things, they’re devout Christians, and if there’s a central tenet of the Christian faith, it’s that dying on a hill isn’t permanent.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter says:

          It’s more that I don’t think the Priests lost their need for power or money. They need to justify their existence(s) and that means finding another hill to die on.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            Then they picked the right religion!

            I’m actually… not super cynical about this? The strength to carry on in the face of massive setbacks is incredibly valuable and adaptive in general, but that kind of metaphorical strength, like many other virtues, doesn’t always work out for the best when it’s bent to bad or self-serving ends.

            I guess I tend to think of religion more as a force multiplier than a bad or good thing in and of itself.Report

  8. Avatar pillsy says:

    @Dark Matter:

    On the other hand, this path of delegitimizing the other side (which translates into someone else’s culture) is definitely concerning, and “divorce” here would be a lot more ugly than any compromise.

    The Right has been doing this for ages upon ages. Like seriously, the whole thing about rejecting SSM was not only delegitimizing other people’s cultures,[1] it was insisting that the state go along with that delegitimization.

    I remember when conservatives used to complain day in and day out about cultural relativism. It really wasn’t that long ago.

    [1] And, like, actually criminalizing homosexuality, which was the status quo in a lot of states until freaking 2003.Report

  9. Avatar pillsy says:


    One thing that gun control and abortion restrictions have in common is that people who oppose them have perfectly reasonable fears that any regulation or restriction is going to be used by antis to chip away at the underlying access more than was agreed up. In the case of the pro-life movement, a lot of “safety” and “informed consent” regulations are really obviously (and even openly) being advanced just to make abortions harder to get.

    I guess when you look at it from the pro-life perspective it’s ends-justifies-the-means stuff but nonetheless it is the opposite of conducive to compromise.

    I don’t know to what extent that’s the strategy of the gun control movement [1], but I do know that “common sense” regulations, including ones that yeah, actually sound pretty legit, have been abused in exactly that way after they passed. It doesn’t have to be a deliberate strategy to be a real concern, and if it is than that just makes things worse.

    [1] I just don’t follow the issue as closely.Report